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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

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1,988 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,988
Reviews: 912
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 107
Gots: 252 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,988 | Reviews: 912 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HochFliegen
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour was very dark brown almost black. It did have some ruby hues to it as well. Head started out really good with lots of tan froth but quickly dissapeared.

The smell is very sweet and malty, plum like and a hint of alcohol in the nose as well. Bread like and yeasty scents also dominate.

Bold taste of fruit and carmel. Spicy in the middle with a yeast character just like the aroma. Hoppy and dry in the finish with a alcohol tinge as it goes down.

Mouthfeel is rather heavy with a medium amount of carbonation but yet it finishes really smooth.

Easy to enjoy but could only enjoy a few glasses as the 10.5% ABV starts to make its presence known.

Photo of phisig137
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2004 vintage pours a hazy dark brown. Almost black, but brown shows aroud the edges, as a thin head rises and falls quite quickly. A thin blanket of foam settles, leaving behond minimal lacing.

Aroma is complex to say the least. fresh bread, dark fruits, and yeasty esters are the most prevalent, with vanilla, spicy esters, and caramel bringing up the rear. Very nice.

Flavor is filled with huge amounts of ripe fruit, caramel, and yeast esters. That distinctive unibroue yeast pops in here, and is very pleasant. Sweet up front, but finishes quite dry and slightly hoppy. A very nice beer, that I feel has aged just about perfectly. One more year may do it some good, but it is so good now, I'm not sure I'd be able to let it sit.

Mouthfeel is coating, but oddly thin. I'd expect a lot more from this style, as well as from a flavor of this size. It seems so full of flavor and aroma, but remains thin on the palate. Odd. Drinkability is good for the first glass, then the alcohol makes its presance known. Drinkability goes down, due to alcohol warming after a little while.

I have yet to be disappointed with Unibroue.... everything they make is great. I'm happy I had a chance to sample this again, before it's gone.

Photo of Matthew
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 bottle pours a very dark brown with maroon around the edges. Big thick dirty white head, thick and sticky around the glass.
Very sweet dark fruits wrapped with hints of dark chocolate.
Tastes rich and incredibley smooth. Very subtle flavors run into one another very niceley, well balanced. Some very light yeasty tastes with hints of a very very light tartness. Slight warming at the end but alcohol is barely there. Very drinkable and I could certainly have drank a few more glasses.

Photo of aquatonex
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at Spirit Haus, once I saw the name I knew I had to give it a try...

Pours dark mahogany-brown, like some kind of a cola. Thick creamy head also, like a milk shake. Nose is surprisingly sweet, I was expecting alcohol notes. Dark fruitiness, raisins, winelike in the nose. Taste is quite good as well with a myriad of fruits (grapes, bananas, pears) like an extra dark sangria or fruit punch backed up with hefty malts and only hints (great) of alcohol. Only issue with this, as with most Unibroue's, is the immense carbonation, so be sure to drink it slowly.

Photo of beerphilosopher
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From an '04 750ml bottle ... cellared with love in my very own basement. Poures a solid, almost opaque reddish/black color. Deep ruby tones in the light, along with some massive yeast sediment. Head is light brown and does not retain long. Nose is of a very earthy, woodsy attitude. Stewed fruits - prunes, raisins, and dates. Very distinct port wine-like aroma as well. Palate is so very complex, echoing the nose. Prunes and raisins, along with aged oak. Hints of port wine, cherry, and sweet mollasses as well. There's a lot going on here ... a lot. Slightly biting and a decent carbonation level. Medium heavy mouthfeel. Very smooth, woody, and slightly sweet. Subtle, especially after about 2 3/4 years in the cellar at 55 degrees, yet very, very complex. Finishes incredibly smooth, mellow, earthy, and delicately sweet. An absolutely GREAT dark Belgian-style brew. One of the very best, I believe. Astonishing!

Photo of TheBungyo
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Dated as 2004.
As it tumbled from the bottle into my glass it looked dark brown. Once it completely settled, if someone had told me it was a stout, I wouldn't have been the skeptic. A nice creamy looking head covered the top. Honestly, a gorgeous looking beer. The only thing that kept it from being a perfect 5 appearance wise would have been the lack of lacing. Nose was strange ... it brought to mind a mix of breadiness and Welch's grape juice. Taste is of plum sweetness, sugary cotton candy and a bit of butter. The butter does not show through until the liquid reaches room temp. I honestly wasn't too impressed with the taste until it reached said temp. Alcohol is very well disguised, almost nonexistant. Mouth is very very creamy. While this is a pretty good beer, I'm in no rush to have another. There are far better Unibroue offerings.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - 750 mL. bottle, older style label. I think the bottle was from 2004. A basic brown with a bit of plum color. Very little carbonation in this bottle. Not flat, but not what I would expect from the other Unibroue's I've had.

S - Primarly rich malt and raisin / cherry smell.

T - Taste is similary to the smell - malt / raisins / cherry and spice. There is a definite warming effect not offensive but you know it's a strong beer.

M - Mouthfeel is thick. Not quite syrupy but definitely thick.

D - I shared this bottle with some friends and noone drank more than half a glass. While enjoyable I am not sure I'd want to work my way through a full bottle. Good to try but I prefer some of their other brews.

Photo of Higravity
2.67/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2004 750mL
Well mark down another vote for cola looking beer, with the way the head acts, large bubbles, and the color of the beer. Smells of apples very strong at first, but it changes to a more general fruityness and some dark malt anise. Taste is not good, well it is the aftertaste specifically. Not so much bad as annoying, because of the weird anise taste that reminded me of fresh mulch. I wouldn't not try it again, but not on my dime.

Photo of ybnorml
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown/black beer. Has a small creamy light brown head. Notes of molasses, nuts and candy weave back and forth in the aroma with some alcohol in the background. Dried fruit, figs and raisins, combine with a hint of licorice. A little light on the palate for a beer with such darkness and alcohol. The is a nice roasted malt character that stays with you long after the swallow.

Photo of bruachan
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

grabbed a 2004 bottle from the hudson acme's firesale of stock from wine&spirits. my first venture into the scary, labelless series (10, édition, terrible)

super carbonation leads to some intense heading (i like the last guy's comparison to cola foam) that the alcohol eventually kills off. it's a very dark rusty color; maybe this element looks like cola as well

i feel like i smell cola, but that's just crazy talk. smells like something i might put on my steak. dark, slight dark fruit aroma. soy sauce

hmmm...this is interesting. i think there is some cola in here, along with teriyaki. requisite heat at the finish, with some raisin/dark fruit. actually, the real experience comes at the end: spice, special b and some nice roasted malt flavors

it's not a big beer, for all its size, and it hides the 10.5% well. that being said, not very terrible (in any sense)

i would have liked to be able to compare it to a young bottle, but my guess is that is has mellowed in its age; it certainly is not the flavor monster i might have expected

Photo of Prufrock
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into a pilsner.

deep brown that shines ruby against the light. an inch of fizzy cola-like head that falls quickly.

great aroma: bananas, raisins, yeast, cherries, dark fruits, cola.

bready, malty sweetness in the taste. finishes with a touch of alcohol sweetness. mouthfeel is where this one falls short of the best belgians: fizzy, tingly carbonation, medium-light texture. a very good brew and by far my favorite of the unibroue lineup.

Photo of BigBry
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown 750 ml caged and corked bottle, the name "Terrible" silkscreened in silver on the front. Back has small date of 05-05-2004 label bottles from last year). Has been properly cellared until now. A very simple and classy look.
Pours out a deep ruby brown, almost opaque black color. Big tan head that will foam over if you aren't careful. Lots of small chunks of yeast settled out and covered the bottom of the glass. Pretty intense aroma with raisin other dark friuty characteristics. Flavor is more wine-like than beer, tastes of dried fruit, some burnt and smoky tastes, but unfortunately the strong alcohol seems to burn through and overpower some of the other flavors. Thick, velvety smooth mouthfeel, one to enjoy slowly, small sips go down easy, but again the 10.5% alcohol seems a bit too much. Good, but I like Trois Pistoles better. Maybe should keep one and let it age a few years and see if it mellows a bit.

Photo of ism
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cork stamped with 2004, 750mL cellared in 2005.

Pours with a very active 1-finger biege head that quickly disappears. A little bit of lacing is left behind. Body is a nearly opaque dark maple with amber highlights. Currants in the nose, on top of sweet maple syrup and oak and funky belgian yeasts, a touch of coriander spice, and an undercurrent of ascetic smell. Good carbonation leads raisin flavors, in a medium body. Tartness develops among plum and pear, a refreshing hop bitterness in there as well. Goes down smooth with nuttiness and a bit of smoke emerging in the aftertaste. Smoke and alcohol warmth hangs in the back of the throat for a while.

Alcohol is well-masked but heavy, but such a balanced and refreshingly light dark ale. Complex, but not in the hard-hitting way of Trois Pistoles, truly a unique Unibroue concoction. Not my favorite of theirs, but something to savor.

Photo of russpowell
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cool bottle, BBD 06/08/2007 (couldn't wait!!)

Pours black with a large thick, fluffy tan head that fills the top thrid of my chimnay glass. Good lacing and head retention

Smell: huge earthy, fruitty (plums) odors

Taste: fruitiness, tartness, sourness & leather. If I close my eyes, i swear I'm somewhere in the Andrennes. Sweetness & oakiness in the finish

MF: Effervescent, but too much alcohol for good balance

Not a good session beer to be sure, but drinsk good for its ABV . Great with strong cheese or these spicy green chille pistachios I'm enjoying right now! Worth the $$

Photo of WetCoaster
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*2004 Edition
*Caged and corked 750 ml
*Cellared since 3/05

Appearance: Appears almost black, but to the light the deepest amber imaginable. Head is a latte foam biege, sticky and moderately loose. Fair retention and some lacing.

Smell: Unusual and intriguing. Brown sugar and apricot brandy, smoke and a certain funkiness, though not the typical Belgian yeast variety... can't peg it. A bit of solvent, a bit balsamic vinegar/vinous.

Taste/Moutfeel: Starts chewy and molasses sweet, but as if someone is turning a dial, a cherry tartness becomes more and more intense until it dominates. Hint of smoke in the finish. Mouthfeel is coating with mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good. This is not a favorite style (which does little to explain why I have 15 of them in my garage) but this one is very tasty. Not the most complex beer I've ever had, but the flavor it does have is very good.

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very dark brown with red highlights in a chalice. head is a 1 inch light tan that drops to a capper fairly quickly. thick ring around the glass laces well. first aroma is a vinous grape juice with spices like corriander and pepper. first sip is corriander and pears with a light alcohol tingle and a noticible creamy thick body. grapes, raisins, dates, and maybe prunes. dark, lightly sour fruit with a sweet and yeasty bitter finish. when paired with a horseraddish monterrey, strong oak flavors came forth along with prune/plum characters. truely a wide array of flavors. alcohol fusels become more evident after warming. mouthfeel is, again, creamy, thick and rich with a champaign-like carbonation. swallows very smoothly and rolls around with a light alcohol prickle. drinkability is quite good considering the 10.5% abv, but take your time with this one. it can definitely sneak up on you. overall, this is quite a belgian strong dark. very flavorful with a smooth mouthfeel. i wouldn't say this is my favorite, but it's up there. a must try. i'm interested in how this one matures.

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.

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

Photo of Conrad
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of andythejerk
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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.

Photo of rodrot
4.37/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of karst
4.41/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 1,988 ratings.