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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,922 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,922
Reviews: 906
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 98
Gots: 208 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,922 | Reviews: 906 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of plum coffee with an alacrity to foam and froth violently in my chalice. Now to determine whether this is simply a scion of Maudite or Trois Pistoles or a beer unto its own.

Aromas are sherry, plums, oak tannins, pepper, toasted English muffin, and a slightly distracting sweet cola scent.

Tastes heavy and sweet. The alcohol is quite prominent. The oak and dark fruit come through in the flavor as does a slightly bittersweet coffee. Finish is pepper spiced.

Mouthfeel is strong and spicy, roast and mostly well balanced. The strength of the alcohol is lamentable but not quite overwhelming. Very warming on the palate and nasal passages.

Drinkability is mixed. This is easier to drink than Maudite and harder than Trois but it’s not as interesting as either. The lack of complexity and somewhat undercovered alcohol make this one less drinkable than the average Unibroue for me.

Still, this brew stands on its own, unique, interesting, and genial. Another winner from Canukistan.

DaPeculierDane, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a tan head that persists beautifully with splashy lacing scattered across the chalice

Smell: Caramel, dark fruit, pungent spice, balsa wood, funky yeast and alcohol

Taste: Starts with a rum-soaked fruity aspect, combined with chocolate and caramel; mid-palate, there is a phenolic, herbal balance; the finish is relatively dry, with some residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light and carbonated for such a big beer

Drinkability: So powerful and complex, it is difficult to drink very much of this

brentk56, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of Conrad
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes in a big classy bottle. The cork was jammed in so tight I needed pliers to squeeze it enough to work loose. Then, with a small controlled -pop- the experience begins. The little gas vapour curled out for a good long while, over 10 seconds. It poured nice and thick. A dark opaque hue that captured light like a black hole, with a half inch creamy head that settled down in a few minutes.
The smell is something for the untrained nose to practice on, because there are a lot of aromas, fore and aft, to sniff out. I detected sweet malts, like cherry or apple peel, the hops were spicy yet floral.
Taste: Yum. Bursting with flavours. A well built beer with one flavour after another coming in order. The first hit is roasted malt, followed by fruity notes and spice. Not one overpowering the others. A good balance between malt and hops and many others.
The mouthfeel is a heavy solid body. Chewy but not coarse. Nicely carbonated with effervesence dancing in the mouth long after the swallow.
Drinkability: Very easy consumption. I must remember to take my time and savour it all. Besides, at 10.5% abv and 750 ml, this is a big bottle of high test. Would I have another? Damn right, but not right away. Two in rapid succession would be overkill.
A winner.

Conrad, Mar 03, 2006
Photo of andythejerk
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. Wow. This stuff is good. Pours a huge gloppy head (pour verrrry carefully) and a very close and dark brown color. The smell is hard to describe, it's different. Smells kind of musty, to be honest, not in a bad way, it just smells musty. After one glass I can feel the 10% alcohol starting to warm me up, and I still have the rest of the 750 bottle. The taste and flavor of this thing blows me away. It's sweet and fruity, almost like brown sugar and bubblegum, but at the same time it's very balanced and not cloying in the least. It's a fresh sweetness, not the syrupy alcohol sweetness I sometimes expect from a high alcohol beer. I'm in love. It's not heavy at all, it feels quite light and bubbly in my mouth, but it feels perfect for this particular beer. Very enjoyable, probably my favorite from Unibroue.

andythejerk, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark pour with hints of brown around the edge. The pour into a Belgian glass creates a frothy cap of bubbles that quickly fades to a sparse covering.

Aroma - initially just boozy, but it develops some sugary, slightly soapy, fruity flavors, maybe a cocoa edge. Nothing profound, it is nice though.

Taste - sweet and boozy. Ripe fruit like raisins or plums but nothing distinctive. Yeast flavors are complementary without being dominant. The finish is warm with alcohol but not hot or harsh. Some chocolatey flavors emerge once my palate gets acclimated. Good beer that stays within the game plan of the typical high abv Belgian.

Mouthfeel - feels just slightly watery at first, the bigness of the beer and some warming make for a thicker feel. Subdued carbonation suits the beer well.

Drinkability - tasty stuff as well as potent.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a deep dark brown that is opaque with a thick creamy head that turns a thin wisp of tan bubbles forming a head. There is a good strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S-This beer has a soft dark sweet malt note with some hints of caramel and prunes/raisins. As it warms there is a note of bread that gives nice depth.

T- This beer has a smooth soft malty flavor with some notes of prunes and plumes. There is a bread and yeasty note in the malt aswell. There are some dark sugar candy notes that come through when it warms, and they blend in with the slightly sweet finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight creamy mouthfeel. There is a strong fizz texture in the finish. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer has a nice dark fruit and sugar flavor with some other dark malt flavors. This is a well-built and smooth drinking beer.

rhoadsrage, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of rodrot
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 Edition. This beer poured a dark brown color with a thick one inch head into my Duvel glass. A strong winey aroma wafted from the glass, with a good dose of spices too. The taste was exquisite, rich and malty with notes of spices, anise, molasses and ripe fruit. As the beer warmed, I detected hints of port and sherry and dark rum. This beer was quite similar to Trois Pistoles, but a bit more full bodied if that's possible. A perfect nightcap to a winter evening.

rodrot, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of karst
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured in a Duvel glass. Ist attemp was all head with a considerable wait for it to fall and show me some liquid. (hummmm . . . did I bother to rinse the glass previously containing Monster's Ball Bourbon barrel Stout?) Beautiful clear dark with crimson glints held to the window on this clear warm Jan. day in the Ozarks.

Aroma wad a fault for me but the other MASH club members were much more tollerant of the yeast funk finding floral tones, licorice and clove. Looking past the yeast I detect Madeira, alcohol, raisins and hint of coriander. It would be too nasty to describe the yeast's funk.

Flavor is so Awesome that the Terrible's scent is long forgiven. ( Vennom say that those two words are interchangable in Quebec - how would I know those folk refused to speak English to me even to collect the tab for a meal. Unibroue does hide a small link for English)

We are pairing this with fine 70% dark chocolate and it pairs wonderfully with its
prunes and honey. The high carbonation and abv cut the chocolate and laydown an awesome flavor perfectly balanced. Note some phenolic taste as I sip this Belgium Strong Ale by itself. Warming the alcohol emerges more and some hop bitterness reminding me of the bitter dark chocolate I started with.
Body is about the maximum that you can put in this style. Although some might fault its sweetness.

Terrible is by fall and away the most awesome that I have sampled from Unibroue.

Thanks Dave for sharing this with Jason and myself - next Terrible beer is on us.

karst, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[2004 Edition]

Pours a very, very dark color for a Belgian style, a dark purplish color that reveals some ruby light when held up to a bright light. Almost looks like a stout save for the way the head forms; Fizzy, soda-pop bubbles rise up to a finger, then quickly diminish to a tiny tan ring that leaves no lacing. Very proper for the style.

A tiny bit of smoke highlights the tart, sour fruitiness of the nose. It's definitely a fruity, strong dark Belgian, reminding me of some of Unibroue's own other creations. Delicate aromas of alcohol hide in the background.

Taste - wow, like a dark red wine, quite complex and very fruity. There's a small amount of maple syrup flavor and some distinct spiciness on top of those rounded fruit tastes, with a smooth but distinctly coppery alcoholic bite and subsequent warming on the back of the tongue.

Fizzes up like it should in the mouth - I like how these beers yield almost no head or visible carbonated activity but burst forth plenty of fizzing bubbles on the tongue when drinking. This has a pretty light body, with lots of alcohol warming, and a very very crisp finish.

Quite a delicious sipping brew, by far my favorite that I've tried from Unibroue. A world class brew by anyone's standards, and one that likely benefitted from a year of aging.

Tupperwolf, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of xgrigorix
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Silk screened 75 cl brown bottle, corked & caged. SEP 9, 2003 printed just above the bar code.

Deep & dark - almost black. Creamy looking beige head collapses quickly into a thin halo. Almost no lace on the glass.

Nose is earthy, fruity & very inviting.

Notes of black currant, leather, & anise. Nutty & dark fruit, with some nice earthy notes as well. A little bit woody in the finish. A lot going on, but all in a very impressive balance. Creamy, medium-full bodied. Robust carbonation. Incredibly smooth.

I have no idea what terrible means to Les Quebecois, but it means incredible to me.

xgrigorix, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The usual Unibroue large bottle, caged/corked, with a tiny "Sep 9, 2003" stamped on the rear of the bottle. Not much energy upon twisting the cork out, minor tan head, leaving a slight tiny bubble film and minimal lacing, Pours darkest of shades of muddy brown. Nose of powdered sugar and cola. Strong, tasty, and bold brew, notes of cola, whiskey soaked prunes, brandy, dark candi sugars and smoked oily lifesavers. Vinious, warming alcohol present and enjoyable. Complex and worthy Canadian/Belgian.

Billolick, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of walleye
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle served at cellar temp. date stamped september 9th 2003. poured deep mahogany with a light tan head that left some lacing. aroma musty a sourness, malts, caramel, chocolate, strong presence of alcohol, woody. flavor wow had a hard time just picking the 1st thing I tasted got so many differant thing, caramel, honey, dark fruits, raisins, alcohol, malts, chocolate toffee. got some sourness and bitterness all in a good way. this aged very well.

walleye, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of Gritsak
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 edition

A- deep, dark brown with only slight hints of a reddish burgandy showing through when held up to direct light. the head is a rich, thick light tan. retention is excelent.

S- strong belgian yeast with some light fruit hints and a slight alcohol sweetness.

T- very much like the smell, the taste is dominated with belgian yeast. apricot, peach and a roasted earthy finish with a slight hop tingly left on the tongue.

M- medium body with a bold carbonation presence. this is suprising since its over a year old.

D- i opened the bottle alone, so im glad the alcohol isnt overpowering. overall the drinkablity is on par with the style.

overall- compared to the st. bernardus abt 12 i had the other day, this is a bit more raw and unblanced. although it has a year under its belt, i believe a couple more years to mellow this out would yield some pleasent results. nonethelss as it sits in front of me this is an outstanding beer.

Gritsak, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'05 editioin...
Appears a dark mahogany with a tan head and decent lacing.
Smell is of Belgian yeast with dark malts, and spicy fruit.
Taste is of the Belgian yeast again with some funky breadiness and dark malts blended with spices and plums.
Mouthfeel is that of an effervescent, sugary brew with a Belgian yeast that makes if mildly fruity. There is a slight chalkiness to this brew though. Not that it's bad but it's detracting from trying to enjoy it.
Drinkability? To me, the ABV is evident all around.

weeare138, Jan 02, 2006
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 2004. Drank on new years eve 05/06.

This beer pours a very dark brown, almost black color. Decent off-tan colored head retention.

The nose is sweet and fruity. Plums and other fruits are in control of the aroma. Not citrusy at all though, more of a dark fruit smell.

Taste is similar to the smell. Very sweet, sugary, fruity. The 10% abv is masked quite well. A little warming, but nothing to the magnitude I thought it would be. The taste is good, but nothing to really knock me out of my socks. I was hoping for a little more, maybe I should have let it age a little longer.

At first sip, I thought it had a thin feel. After a while I began to change my mind. It has a moderate to medium body and is nicely carbonated. Drinkability is fine too. I'd have no problem sipping on this for an entire night.

jasonpeckins32, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of nortmand
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 edition.
Nearly black pour with a fizzy off-white head that reduces quickly, leaving no lace.

Huge plum raisin fruitcake nose. Also some typical spicy belgian notes. Yeasty smell lingers.

The taste is a bit too strong yet. Huge affront of preserved prunes, with a dark bittersweetness. Too much alcohol presence, takes away from the overall experience.

The best part of this beer is the bottle conditioned mouthfeel. That tremendous carbonation never fails to impress. As of now, this beer is a bit too strong to drink and will benefit from a few years in the cellar.

nortmand, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking this from a 750mL bottle in The Chimay goblet (like The Pennsylvania State University, the goblet has earned the capital 'T'). The ale came from the fridge cold and has progressively warmed up.

Appearance: Nice midnight black color when poured. No discernable red hints noted. Decent head when poured but none left shortly thereafter.

Smell: The smell of spices (curacao, coriander, cardamum) make themselves known. The cardamum especially (also a component of Edition 2004) is an exotic tasting/smelling spice that really adds a lot to the beer.

Taste: Again, the spices make themselves known, providing an explosion in the mouth that gives way to a long finish. The curacao and cardamum play nicely together.

Mouthfeel: The ale is highly carbonated, allowing the bubbles to cleanse the mouth with each sip. Let the beer sit on your tongue and the spices make themselves abundantly known.

Drinkability: At 10.5% ABV, this is not a brew for the faint of heart. As it is only sold in 750 mL bottles, one is forced to enjoy 2 12 oz bottles so there is an inherent drinkability requirement.

I've read forums that this beer is coming off of the market. If that is the case, stock up as it is a keeper.

akorsak, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue La Terrible
750 ml brown bottle with caged cork
Served in a wide mouthed snifter

Pours a dark purple color with a massive fluffy head. Random traces of sticky lace.

The nose screams funky Belgian yeast, sugars and spice.

The taste starts out rather mild with a tart berry quality mixed with sugar drops. Unique flavors of funky Belgian yeast and black pepper spice.

This is a really nice offering from Unibroue that is complex on the palate. It's one of those beers that gets way better as it warms to room temp and very drinkable at 10.5% ABV.

Hibernator, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black, with nice red highlights around the edges, big off white head forms, stays thick and laces all the way. Smell is licorice, chocolate, caramel, spice, coffee, some yeast and alcohol, with some dark fruits thrown in. Taste is the same, licorice up front, with chocolate/coffee, and cherries/strawberries. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation. One of the better Unibroues.

Viggo, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, black with rosey purple edges, tan head that hangs around forever. Nose is Belgian yeast, just a bit off from having a strong dark fruit odor. Taste starts off rather thin, but quickly revs up to an expected dark fruit flavored ale. The finish is dominated by an alcohol burn that makes it taste spicy hot, like crushed black pepper. Mouthfeel fills through the middle. This is too high in ABV and the alcohol finish is just a bit too aggressive to make this a highly drinkable brew. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it for an after dinner brew.

pentathlete, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition. This beer pours a dark brown. When held to light, it emits an attractive ruby glow. the head is brown and fluffy. It fades slowly, leaving a thick lacing.

This beer has a spicy peppery aroma. I can detect cloves behind the pepper aroma. It has a slight citrus aroma also. I can slightly detect some caramle malty aromas. Not much hop aroma. Alcohol aroma is nicely masked.

This beer has a spicy, peppery taste. I can taste coriander, and a slight clove presence. It has a strong malty caramel like taste. I also taste some dark fruit flavors, like plums. As with the aroma, the alcohol taste is very well hidden.

This beer is highly carbonated. It goes down smooth, leaving a spicy aftertaste. The alcohol warms just a little as it goes down. This beer has a wonderful mild flavor.

This beer might not be a great session beer. It has a great flavor, but the alcohol content is just a little high. Since the alcohol is hidden so well, it might be easy to throw back more than a few.

OStrungT, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of nlmartin
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

Appearance: This beer pours a very dark brown with ruby opaqueness to light. The head was a thick coffee stained biege almost an inch and a half thick. Leaves a solid curtain of lace down the glass.

Smell: Roasted carmel maltyness. Some assorted fruity smells dance in the fragrance.

Taste: This may be the best integrated beer I have partaken of. The beer leads with a roasted carmel maltyness. Then the beer breaks into fruity sweetness, sugar dipped plums, bannanas ect. The beer then follows into a spicy coriander taste before breaking sweet again. Taste is just awesome! This is a very big beer at 10.5% alcohol and I cannot taste its prescence.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a velvety smooth mouthfeel. The beer has a medium body. The alcohol doesnt make itself known in taste or in the mouth. Just a pleasant warming overall.

Drinkability: Gods this is evil stuff. I could suck this down on any given day. Just a perfectly balanced beer goodness.

nlmartin, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of Oxymoron
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You say “terrible” I say “terrible.” I guess that doesn’t work when you are writing. Poured a deep mahogany brown with strong tints of darker red. The head was good with smaller bubbles and foam. The retention did decrease quickly to the edge of the glass throughout the tasting.

The smell is of stronger sweeter malts and Belgium yeast characteristic. There is a roasted quality that mixes well with the spices. Some cinnamon and cloves. There were some off notes of pears and bananas, but limited.

The taste was similar. A malty taste with strong Belgium influences. The malt has some bready almost biscuit taste mixed with a roasted flavor. A complex aroma overall. The spices are not as noticed as per the smell but still are present. Also a light touch of plums are blended with the sweet malt taste. The alcoholic taste is not really noticeable. As the beer warms, it becomes more announced but for such a high beer, it is very smooth.

The texture is smooth and velvet-esk. Good on the phenols considering the high alcohol. Overall I think this was a good treat.

Oxymoron, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. Terrible pours out a dark brown color with a small head. Potent aroma of yeast, apples, and spices. The flavor is very spicy, with lots of flavor from the yeast. Apple skin tartness. Sweet, but not cloying, and the high carbonation seems to carry the sweetness away. At times, I detect some cocoa flavor. The flavors in this beer really work together well. Full mouthfeel. Drinkable, considering the 10+% abv. Another winner from one of the most consistent breweries around.

beveragecaptain, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a deep dark garnet color with about a half inch head at first pour. The head fell pretty quickly just to leave a small head that was maintained by numerous rising bubbles. The beer stays pretty cloudy when being held to the light. There is minimal lacing on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: There is a bunch of fruit and toasty malts. There is a noticeable pepper aroma noticeable more as it warms. There is something different to smell every time you raise the glass to your nose.

Flavor: Wow! Now there is a lot going on in the aroma of this beer! I get bready yeast mixed among a bunch of dark fruit like plums and raisins. There is also a healthy dose of toasty malts in this beer. The entire flavor profile is balanced for the most part. The finish is a bit syrupy, but you wouldn't even guess that this beer was so strong. I would speculate about 7-8% from the flavor...and I am normally pretty close on these things.

Opinion: I have been really pleased with Unibroue, and this is no exception. This beer is complex and very well presented. I would highly recommend giving this one a shot if you like strong dark ales.

SkeeterHawk, Dec 01, 2005
La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,922 ratings.