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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,870 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,870
Reviews: 899
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 97
Gots: 197 | 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: 1,870 | Reviews: 899 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of santoslhalper
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a dark ruby brown with a huge, creamy dark tan head.

Smell: The smell is fruity and interesting smelling. The 10.5% is hardly noticable at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste, unlike the smell, is incredibly alcoholic. The fruitiness is wonderful, and mostly focused on sour grapes and apples. The sweetness is low, and mouthfeel finishes dry, yet the aftertaste lingers on and on.

Drinkability and Overall: Another superb beer from Unibroue. I don't think I've had one of thier beers I haven't liked. This one is incredibly smooth, yet incredibly powerful. A few years of age and this will surely be a masterpiece.

santoslhalper, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark almost black brown color with a thick creamy head.

Smells of sweet dark fruits like dates and raisons and yeastyness.

Taste is very good, complex layers of yeast mixing with wood and fruity with out being sweet flavors and a slight woodyness with a very earthy hoppiness to it. Still very smooth and balanced. Hard to beleive this is a 10.5% ABV. No alcohol taste to speak of.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

Drinkability is dangerously good. Goes down easier than most beers at half this strength. Another great Unibroue!

bashiba, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with best before date of 08-08-07. Poured into a Unibroue goblet.

Black fading to very dark brown towards the bottom. Nice beige head that hangs around for a long time but leaves minimal lacing. Lots of carbonation. Starts out hissing like a bowl of Rice Krispies.

Smells of bread, plums, raisens, sugars and some slightly citric notes. Very inviting.

Tastes very well balanced with fruits, sweets, some malt and a nice dry finish that lingers. No alcohol detected, but the warming effect lets you know its there.

Nice full mouthfeel that is to be expected for the style. Very drinkable given that this has such a high abv.

I'm very fortunate in that I live within a short drive of some top notch beer stores. I've really gotten into belgian style ales and from what I've sampled, Unibroue is as close to the real thing as it gets. IMHO,they brew the best belgian styles in North America. Terrible is perhaps their best brew. In my neck of the woods not all places that stock Uni products have this one. If you should come across a bottle, I highly recommend checking it out.

ypsifly, Feb 22, 2005
Photo of Wonka
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

10.5% alc./vol.
750 mL
Date on back is Sep 9, 2003

Appearance - ale is a very dark purple in general and black at the core; rocky, light tan head that starts strong, crackles crisply (like tearing paper) as it pulls back, but it lives on through the glass; lace is sparse but this is expected at the high abv

Smell – what a great nose; cherry, yeast and spice with light caramel and alcohol

Taste – nice dose of spice, dark fruits and light caramel; the close is a bit woody and predominantly sweet with a tolerable shot of alcohol and a light grip of bitterness; an agreeable measure of spice continues through the aftertaste

Mouthfeel - enjoyably crisp early to middle feel along with a medium body that cuts to a dry close; the mouthfeel is a solid compliment to the taste

Drinkability – pleasant; easy to drink throughout and its even more pleasant in progression through the bottle

What a tremendous product out of Chambly, Quebec, Canada. The senses are balanced. The nose runs well with the taste and both run well with the mouthfeel. Two thumbs up!

Wonka, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tall chalice glass.

"Dark Ale on Lees". It certainly is dark. Totally black, with a large tan head.

Aroma: Plums, raisins, caramalized peaches, with a deep, sweet malt underlying it.

Flavor: Highly fruity, tasting of prunes, or maybe plum wine. Spicy yeast character (sage, pepper, anis?), with some hints of chocolate. Finishes reminescent of old port.

Delightfully light bodied for the strength. Lots of carbonation.

The strength of this beer really sneaks up on you. It's eminently drinkable.

allengarvin, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of Naerhu
2.93/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black, with brown highlights, tan head with solid head retention. Decent head retention for a 10.5 abv beer.
Aroma: Sweet, with that Belgian pastry yeast aroma. My wife said that she did not know how to discribe it as any other way but "strange"
Taste: Over-ripe plummy sweetness, charred wood, odd.
Mouthfeel: Full flavored with a full mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Of the four of us who drank this beer, none finished their glass, but I.

Naerhu, Feb 05, 2005
Photo of chunkylover53
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. This is anything but terrible.

This brew is as black as black can be, thus promting the age-old question "How much blacker could it get?" To which Nigel Tufnel responds; "None. None more black."

It pours thick and syropy with a lovely tan head and smells of very very dark fruits. It's got what can only be described as "The Unibroue" smell, of course, but much darker than usual.

As for the taste: Caramel, prunes, anise. Delicious.

I've tried many fine Unibroue products and they haven't let me down yet. But I think I've found a new favourite.

chunkylover53, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of Biffster
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

As we have come to expect from Unibroue, the beer is presented in a dramatic bottle with a champagne cork.

After popping the cork, the beer pours deep brown. It is mahogany with ruby highlights and a quickly dissipating coarse tawny head.

The aroma is nothing short of amazing. It immediately presents with big raisin, molasses, strawberry, and bubblegum. There is a hint of clove and some leather and black cherry. As it continues to warm, there are big currant notes and some cocoa, with a hint of inkiness.

The flavor is malty, sweet and full of caramel at the sip, with vinous and fruity notes emerging. Caramel comes through, along with some cocoa. The finish is sweet and fruity with plenty of alcoholic warming at the swallow.

The body is medium. The carbonation is disappointingly low for the style. The mouthfeel is medium-full and somewhat fluffy.

I have had most of the Unibroue beers, but this was really outstanding even for them. This was rich and complex to an extent seldom found even in Belgian style beers. This would be a great beer for enjoying with Bananas Foster or another rich fruity dessert.

Biffster, Jan 17, 2005
Photo of slitherySOB
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL. bottle, uncorked with a nice and satisfying pop. Appearance was a letdown. A brown, red, almost plum colour. Nice colour, but the disappointing thing was the head. Their was none. Just a little sea of bubbles and froth, but no real head that I expect from a Unibroue offering. No lacing either. Not impressed. Smell was pretty good. That standard Unibroue yeast smell, bit malt character, alcohol, plums, ginger, raisins, currants, figs, earth and floral hops. Taste is strong with raisins and spice. Almost a peppery tingling on the tongue. Opens up to a floral, down to earth taste with a bit of an alcohol/rum bite. Sweet throughout, and very malty. Mouthfeel is thick and almost fizzy. I couldn't drink more than a few bottles a week, but I like it. I'm wondering what'd it be like if aged.

slitherySOB, Dec 26, 2004
Photo of amicar
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a little while since I tried this one... oh gawd, I'm so glad I came back to it....

Pours a gorgeous dark brown to black with a brown- tinged head that stands up and makes you take notice; dissipates at average pace, but leaves nice lacing on the glass. I may have had my first taste too cold, as the aroma wasn't very revealing- just a little hop aroma (later the esters stood up).
the taste persists for a good few minutes; has a caramely, sticky, <barely> sherry- esque quality. Quite complex burnt flavor with an estery undertone just masking the sweetness. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, but not perfectly.

So I am not shy about this. I really love this beer. I mean really. The only things that ding it in the ratings are the fact that all that alcohol bite could be mellowed a little more, and I wish the aroma gave me a little more warning... but otherwise, definitely a repeat purchase. Not more than one of these a night (750mL) though, maybe even shared...

amicar, Dec 20, 2004
Photo of nomad
3.45/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Older bottle, bought when it first came out in the States which makes it a year or more old - I think? It has a "La" before its Terrible on the silkscreened bottle.

Regardless, its been sitting in my cellar for a little while... pours out a ruby color dominated by a cover of brownness. Chocolate malt additions murk the clarity while the head and lacing is fairly lackluster though not deplorable.

Smell starts with the classic Unibroue yeast character, not altogether pleasant, but inviting enough as a lead to the rummy notes and slight dark fruits. Had a peppery accent that I couldn't place on either the roased malts or the alcohol - probably a combination of both. Fresh esters and a good presence of Belgian cara malts round out the appreciable scent, overall.

Taste is earthy and surprisingly chocolatey but makes a nice contrast to the many dark Belgians out there. Crystal flavors are quietly underneath the smoothed-out alcohol burden and nips of hops. As it opens and each sips settles back in my palate the chocolate/high-kilned malt character persists - for me, not that pleasant. Could this beer have sat for too long? Possibly as the yeast-borne characteristics were fairly mute in the flavor department though the general impression is a good rum flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth and low on the tickling/biting carbonation oft noted in Belgian-styled beers. At a dinner party it went decently well with a dessert of 45% and 65% Belgian chocolates, vanilla ice cream, and sauteed figs in apple butter sauce. The crowd was fairly quiet about the beer, a sign that I know speaks to a sense of mediocrity. We subsist on fresh Dragonmead Dead Monk and inexpensive St. Bernardus Abt 12, so our palettes are spoiled.

nomad, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unibroue has the best bottle designs, both the ones with artwork on labels and the silk screened ones. This one is very cool with its silk screened silver 'Terrible' logo.

This beer pours near black like Guinness Extra Stout. The Head is a wimpy ring that leaves very modest trails of lace on the glass. The aroma is malt centred with some dried apricot and rum soaked christmas pudding notes. The taste is of dark fruits, anise, chocolate and that nice Unibroue yeast. Theres a define brandyish alcohol flavor as well. This has a very full bodied mouthfeel with an alcohol zing in my mouth in the finish. Hops arent really perceptable. A nice full bodied ale, definitely the darkest of the Unibroues. I kind of wish it had some roasty tastes, its still really good.

CAMRAhardliner, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of RoterTeufel
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Straight forward bottle. I like the "U" they added to the cork - it adds a nice touch (03-2: if that means anything). Smells excellent out of the bottle. Date on Back of bottle: September 9, 2003

Appearance:Very thin head dissipating quickly. Dark as night, with a slight brown tinge when held up to the light - not translucent in a goblet.
Smell: medicine, slightly fruity.
Taste: Grainy & herbal. Notes of spice & clean semi-dry finish leaves your palate wet.
Mouthfeel: Somewhat prickly although this one seems to contain very little carbonation - perhaps due to the 10.5%ABV, which is not well masked.
Drinkability: I do like this beer, however something I believe one might better enjoy sharing. Moderation comes to mind with this beer due to its grainy nature.

RoterTeufel, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of DrJay
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown with red/chestnut highlights. It looks a little hazy, but it's hard to tell since it's nearly opaque. The head is off-white or cream coloured. The head didn't persist as long as I expected, but while it lasted it was dense and creamy.

Smell: Rich blend of maltiness and fruitiness. Malt is primarily toasted and bready, while fruity esters are reminiscent of raisins. A very light spiciness is present, but little alcohol shows through (kind of surprising given the high abv).

Taste: Starts with a malty sweetness and fruity esters, very similar to the aroma profile but with some cherry notes. At the mid-point, the flavour starts to shift towards more spiciness and alcohol. Peppery phenols and smooth alcohol help balance the malt. The finish is medium-dry with some lingering malt and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation adds somewhat to the full body. Alcohol warming is noticeable, especially at the finish. Smooth, chewy texture with some peppery bite on the tongue.

Drinkability: Definitely not something to rush through, both because of the high abv and complexity. Stays quite delicious as it warms up as well.

750 mL brown bottle with bottling date printed on the back. Bottle conditioned.

DrJay, Nov 27, 2004
Photo of tatterdash
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a fizzy tan head that dissipates rather quickly, I shouldn't have chilled it so much. Aroma of cloves and prunes, and something grain-like. Taste is very smooth and great for sipping. Dark fruits, biscuity, warming alcohol, but very subtle (the alcohol that is). Mouthfeel was smooth and a little syrupy, very good. This is a great sipper.

tatterdash, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of trancefishy
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a bit darker than I was expecting, which is to say pretty dark, with a small coarse tan head.

Aroma is a big hit of yeast followed by a vinous alcohol scent. definitely has that unibroue yeast smell.

Taste. mulberries, smoke, oak, grapes, a dark chocolate truffle with a gooey chocolate center, plums, sourdough bread, and i'm sure i'm missing a lot. the flavours cetainly come in waves. the excessive carbonation does nothing to advance the flavour profile, instead, it detracts from it by exacerbating the alcohol characteristics.

mouthfeel i have to mark down due to it being overcarbonated. i even went so far as to shake the 750 a bit before pouring my second glass. seems as though I didn't shake it enough.

drinkability is great, though, you are sure to be feeling pretty good after polishing off one of these 750s.

this is a classic brew, grab two if you find it. also, there was a little leftover in the bottle after pouring two pints, so i decided to just drink that bit right from the bottle, for fun. that was the fruitiest and best swig of the whole 750. bizarre.

trancefishy, Nov 16, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label Lingo: Sept 9, 2003 Dark Ale on Lees. 10.5 % ABV. 750 mL 1PT 9.4 FL OZ. Now then, FSST!

A dark fig and plum colored turbid 99% opaque pour into me Duvel tulip. A big taunt sandy khaki hued head cap soon whittles down to a frothy collar which can easily be refreshed back to prominant stature with a few healthy swirls. No lace is left in the glass due to ABV%?

Birch beer scents like a hard candy root beer barrel and redolent dark fruits of raisins and pears.

First Swigs: Dry malt ‘powder’ Bisquik. Rum torte cake flavors. Dark cherries, and awl-kee-hawl mildness become somewhat palateable. Deep spice cake bundt cake palate. Some vinous hints. Yeasty UNI house flavors and musty licorice pop out in the finish.

Tight carbonation, smooth medium bodied feel, mostly due to the 10.5% ABV.

Last Swigs: Tight crisp root beer barrel candy with awl-kee-hawl rum notes. Enjoyable UNI house flavors. Penultimate ABV percentage for Unibroue. Slags? A bit one dimensional a.k.a. one trick pony. Attractive bottle which means nada. This is the 2nd $15 bottle t’nite – yup! First was a dumper flat bad drain pour dumper. Some other BA indicated that there is a problem with the corks. Oh, great!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of SeanChouffe
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep bronze color with the antithesis of a head, slippery alcohol legs. Smells of sassafras, malt, caramel, tart wine, alcohol and spices. Flavor is sweet with dark fruits a tart middle with a light peppery finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with no co2 – watery. I would have to say that even though this beer has no carbonation, it still has some nice qualities.

SeanChouffe, Nov 08, 2004
Photo of beerceller99
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75 cl. bottle with a 09-09-2003 bottling date. Pours a dark brown hue with a tan head that fades quickly to a ring at the edge of the glass. Smells spicy sweet with black pepper and dark raisons. Medium bodied with a light, fluffy mouthfeel. Has a friuty sweet flavor of plums, raisons, and dates. Finishes with a sweet alcohol taste on the breath. Very drinkable, maybe too drinkable; this 75 cl. bottle did me in before I knew it.

Note ; I've bought two cases of this brew in the past year, one in Seattle and one in Dallas. " So far ", I' ve found two bottles to be totally flat. The brewery is aware of the problem and blames it on some bad corks. None the less, at $7 to $8 per bottle thats some good beer money going down the drain.

Besides the cork issue an excellent brew.

beerceller99, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Padron4KM
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 printed on the cage, best before 08-08-2007 on the bottle. Pours a dark iced coffee color with a quickly dissapating tan head. no lacing left behind.
Aroma is sweet, fruity, (black cherries, plums, raisins) Malty (dark bread) with rum like notes.(Mollasses, brown sugar)
Alcohol is clearly visible floating on top as a well as coating the glass when swirling.
Flavor is chocolate, raisin/prune, and a little bannana bread in the background. A little alcohol warming in the belly
Very tasty. I plan on getting another to cellar for a year or two.

Padron4KM, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of CortexBomb
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a stunning dark colouration with almost purple tones to it, a light tan head sits on top while the smell is wonderful, plums and dried apricots being in evidence along with yeast, textbook Unibroue, in other words, top notch belgian goodness.

A nice, sweet, yet not sugary tone greets your tongue at the start, with some slightly nutmeggy tones lurking just out of sight and a strong dark fruit profile as one would expect with raisins and plums being the most prominent sensations. The beer leaves a soft alcohol burn in the back of the throat along with a warming sensation, but otherwise one would never guess the high ABV content. Less spicy than Maudite, less fruity than Trois, but still damn good beer.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, though not overly viscuous. It definitely fits this style while the drinkability is, as illustrated by the lack of alcohol flavour, borderline dangerous.

I don't think La Terrible is quite at the pinnacle that some of Unibroue's other offerings reach, but it is still well worth a try if you run into it, I would be happy to have one in my hand any day.

CortexBomb, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a lugubrious mahogany body and a cola-like head that fizzles out fast leaving no lace to mention.

Smell: dense waft of musty yeast that, as it fades, gives way to a candied raisin and plum sweetness. Like sniffing a forest after a rain storm in the doorway of a bakery.

Taste: immediately sweet, almost brown sugary, on the very tip of my tongue, expanding into a rich sweetness that borders on vinous. The alcohol plays nicely with the heavy sweetness, giving it some vibration, some motion. The aftertaste is a tart bite over the center of my palate, and it lingers there, almost like sourdough; but more sour than dough.

Mouthfeel is just between whole milk and cream. Coats my palate like a velvet glove and doesn't irritate.

This is a great brew to take your time with and listen to apocalyptic folk music. Dark, heavy, and very intoxicating.

RootedFool, Oct 16, 2004
Photo of cro250klr
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wrote a review on a Uni - 11 a few weeks back and mentioned it's lack of carbonation. I just read a few BA reviews on Uni La Terrible and quite a few mentioned carbonation that quickly dissipated. A few nights ago I had a La Terrible and guess what no fizz. The two places where I got these brews both get there stock from Shangy's. (Pennsylvania may have shitty roads but at least we have the ' Beer God'.) Maybe Shangy got a bad batch or something. With that said I have to say, "Good Beer!.
Hats off to the Uni - Brewers! I love high ABV's, dark strong Belgians, and this beer comes through. I gave mouthfeel a 4.0 only because the bottle I had was kind of flat. I thought this brew had a hint of Kasteel, Rochefort 10 and Westy 12. It's black as coal, smooth, fruity, and the 10.5 kick is well hidden. Nice. I'd have to say this is my new favorite from our Northern Neighbors.
I've got a taste for one as I'm writing this and I just have to give this grog two or three or more trys. One of the next few has to have a little head. If not so what. I've suffered through so much fizzy piss water in my day that this stuff, carbonated or not, is heaven.
The follow-up...
I went back and had two more of these. One was flat and the other was carbonated. To be honest, I liked the flat one better. The carbonation seems to take away some of the flavors. I just had a friend of mine order a case for his bar. This may seem weird but, if I come across a carbed up bottle I'm going to mix it up a little in the glass and flatten it a bit. To me it tastes better.

cro250klr, Sep 23, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This example has been in the cellar for a year and I do believe that it has improved the beer. A certain smoothness has surrounded all those previous big rough notes. I had a ST Bernardus 12 before this and this beer compared favourably to that classic. A nice musty aged taste now appears in the finish and the beer has a drier profile. One of Unibroue's best cellaring beers IMHO.

canucklehead, Sep 06, 2004
Photo of clvand0
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Came in a 750mL bottle with a cork. This beer pours a dark body with a tan head that sticks around. The aroma was spicy, but also had some caramel and a sweet fruityness. Very nice body on this brew. Spicy and malty with flavors of chocolate, brown sugar, and some spices and fruits. Extremely good Belgian style. Love this beer.

clvand0, Sep 06, 2004
La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,870 ratings.