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La Terrible | Unibroue

939 Reviews
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La TerribleLa Terrible

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002

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Reviews: 939 | Ratings: 2,159
Photo of Trombone69
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is really nice. It reminds me of the Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel (Which is WAY under-rated IMO.) Full body, full flavor, not too extreme. Another fine offering from Unibroue.... I hear it's the Unibroue yeast that gives their beers that distinctive flavor.

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Photo of samshaw
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Solid black with moderate tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Medium character of dark malt.

T: Strong malt on the tongue with light plum.

M: Moderately viscous with light carbonation, complementing the flavor well.

O: "Sinister" comes to mind. Bold and full-bodied.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark brown, almost black; small head, long lasting in chalice

Smell: strong smell of plums (more prune-like); picked up hints of dates and vanilla; strong Belgian yeast smell reminds me of Westmalle yeast

Taste: big hit of spices up front, tastes like coriander and cardamom to me; dried fruits in the mid; finishes slightly dry with just a bit of hops; well balanced overall; gets better as it warms

Mouthfeel: medium mouthfeel due to a good bit of carbonation; a bit too zippy for me for this style

Remarks: drier finish than I expected; great beer overall.

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Photo of darnzy
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in Quebec but I had a hard time finding it in Montreal. After years I randomly found it in a supermarket near my house.

Tastes like a combination of port and wine. Reminds me of a quadruple stout I once had.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle like that pictured here poured into a tulip. A very dark reddish brown with next to no head, just an off-white smattering of lace hugging the sides of the glass. Although this is brewed in Quebec, I had to wait until a trip to Montana to track this down. Alrighty then. Great name. Looks like port.

Aroma is fruity, spicy, rather tart and vinous with a dash of cloves. Palate is much the same although far more robust. Prunes and raisins, fresh grapes as well, faint toffee and chocolate, cooked pears and apples, red licorice, black licorice, rum. Tastes like port. Very pungent Unibroue yeast adds an overarching woody spice. Alcohol is easily discernable. Fairly thick and subtly carbonated. Some tart gooseberry reveals itself in the vinous, fruity, yet dry finish.

One of the more wine-like beers I've yet to sample but not devoid of some classic Belgian strong dark or quad features. Rather acerbic despite the obvious sweetness.

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Photo of JohnCJr
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a standard pint glass. Had an off-white head that dissipated quickly and left very little lacing. I waited for it to warm, because the Belgian yeast was initially very prevalent. As it warmed, plums and brown sugar came to the fore. Nice medium mouthfeel. A tasty brew, but not the best Belgian dark I've had. Still worth drinking, though.

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Photo of airborncamel
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into tulip glass. Look: Dark, dark brown almost black, nearly opaque. Smell: Dates, plums, vanilla... classic quad aroma.....There's some tartness to it, almost like an oud bruin. Taste: caramel, dark fruit, spices... almost chocolatey. Sweet but not cloying. Surprisingly tart for the style, though not as tart as it smelled. Flavor lingers forever. Superb Belgian style quad. Mouthfeel: immense carbonation but still very big body and syrupy. Super dry without being bitter.Overall: An excellent beer, and at $8.99, its unbeatable. My favorite unibroue is their grande reserve, but this is a close second!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml caged and corked bottle, back of bottle says best before 04-15-2015. Served in a chalice, the beer pours very dark brown with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a little while. There's also a decent amount of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like dark fruit, brown sugar, chocolate, caramel, dark bread and a sweet spiciness. For the most part I think the taste is just like the aroma, but there's also some earthiness and a bit of tart cherries noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth, a bit coating, and has a good amount of soft carbonation. Overall I liked this, certainly worth picking up if you've never had it before!

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy black that is cola-like with a frothy khaki head that quickly evaporates from 2.5 fingers to a whiff of a skiff of a film. Neither retention nor lacing to speak of. (3.25)

Dark and fruity. Red Grapes (almost tannin-like), brown sugar, dark fruits, pepper, woodsy. (4)

Sweet and vinous. Red wine, spiced rum, vanilla, over-ripe dark fruits. (4)

Warm, lingering, full--bodied, creamy velvet feel; very, very nice. (4.5)

This is a good beer and an interesting take on a BSDA. That said, I prefer their other beers to this one. Pours kinda sickly looking with no head that lasts (it is 10.5%, to be fair), the beer is very wine-like to my senses. Sweet and boozy, there are some definite alcohol and yeast domination to both the nose and the flavor, with the yeast being less prominent and the alcohol more than in some of their other beers. The beer has an exquisite palate, with a nice coating warmth complimented by creamy carbonation. This is definitely a sipper that is best shared with others. Great big beer for the wine people you might have to entertain... I liked it, but in the future I would likely just stick to Trois Pistoles; well-worth your time to try if happened upon. (4.25)

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Photo of babaracas
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear very dark brown with cola like khaki head, settles to a thin ring with a few streaks of lace down the glass. Smell: unripe banana, clove and black cherry notes, dark brown sugar. Taste: fig, cola, overripe cherry; notes of: toasted multigrain bread, backgrounded spicy hopping, booze. Carb is pretty serious, pillowy and space-filling. Cola sugary finish, dries out but stays sticky. Enjoyable but not great. Bottling code indicates it's a 10/13 bottling and best before 9/2018.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a small goblet glass. Best before date of 11/11/2013 and I know I’ve had the bottle for at least 6 years.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains tart fruit, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of tart dark fruits, brown sugar, licorice and some chocolate. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is almost non-existent as you would expect from this type of beer after being cellared for this long. There’s a very faint hint of alcohol. The beer seems to get more balanced as you continue to drink it and the tartness looses a bit of its edge in a favorable way. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong and well-disguised kick, good representation of style, it seems to have held up quite well with time as I know this beer was made to do. However, even though it’s a good beer, I didn’t find it to be anything special.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a growler, this Belgian strong, pours a thick dark brownish red with moderate tan head
and fine thin lacing once the head dissipates. Nose of dark fruits, spicy Belgian yeast, plums,
light hops, and a faint hint of cocoa with dark Belgian candy sugars. Flavors are sweet candy
sugars up front and on the sides with a back flavor of cocoa, light pepper, dark fruits of plum
and pie cherries, and more sweet malts marrying with a light citrus like hop presence in the
background. Smooth mouth feel, moderate carbonation, and lots of warmth make this a fine
ale from the Unibroue folks.


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Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Poured a very dark ruby, nearly black, with a foamy white head, which lingered on the beer but left no lacing. The aroma is in keeping with Belgian dark ales, with a robust malty sweetness, however my wife only noticed the citrus hops. The taste is a fruity, malty sweetness (think dark fruits), with hints of the citrus hops. Has a very nice texture and is easy drinking, despite it's 10.5% ABV. Expensive, but tasty.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Bottle dated October 4, 2013:
Pours deep auburn brown, with a huge amount of tan head. The bubbles are fairly large, but reduces to a nice foamy head that sustains very well and laces the glass with the initial sips.

The beer has a surprising citrus note to it. It definitely has the typical Belgian smells. The base scent has some dark fruit to it also. I had an overall feel of cola to the nose, but not sure why.

The taste starts out similar to a Belgian quad, starting with a bitter chocolate cherry, followed quickly by fig/date, and almost as quickly turns to a root beer like taste. The last taste is probably helped by the carbonation that comes along at that point in the taste. The final taste does add in a lemon-like tartness as well as the Belgian yeast making an appearance.

This is a very tasty beer and does seem fairly smooth behind the carbonation. Not sure how a year of aging affected the beer, but I would grab this again.

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Photo of dar482
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%

The beer comes in a dark reddish brown.

The aroma offers big port wine. Musty red grapes, dark sweet fruit, spice, dark caramel sweetness.

The flavor follows with those sweet dessert wine notes. Lots of concord grape peel on the middle that offers some bitterness to balance out the brew. Some dark fruit, banana, and clove help out the beer. A really good medium plus mouthfeel.

I preferred this over Trois Pistoles in a side by side.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter

A: Blackish brown. A thick, tawny one finger head that dissipates down to foam. Thick lacing.

S: Dark fruits (plums, dates, raisins, figs), Belgian yeast.

T: Follows nose with serious carbonation. Belgian yeast really shines though. Funky. Coriander pops up as it warms. Just terrific.

M: Medium to heavy with thick carbonation.

O: Another winner from Unibroue. I will definitely be purchasing this one again. A steal at $10.

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Photo of kini
5/5  rDev +20.2%

My absolute favorite beer that I have access to.
Smell, color and of course taste. It's everything I want in a beer.
Opaque, dark brown near black, fruity nose and initial taste then as
To the Belgium yeast. I love Belgium beers and I love strong dark ales the most
and this is the best I've had. Well worth the price.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.45/5  rDev +7%

look: Very dark dense ruby shade of brown. Nice Two finger off white foamy head. Alcohol legs are apparent. Smell: Spicy yeast, faint dark fruits maybe cherries. Some metalic, faint alcohol. Taste: Same in the aroma but throw in some cocoa nibs and coriander. Feel: Carbonation is on point to style. The body is medium built.

Overall there is alot going on in this brew, yet it comes together nicely. One of my personal favorite BSDA on this side of the globe. Unibroue keep em coming.

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Photo of don1481
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown that light barely can get through. Has an off white head that gradually diminishes and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: smells of sweetness and alcohol. Kind of a plum smell with spice notes.

Taste: sugar plum fairies with spice and the warming nature of alcohol, but the alcohol is definitely in the background. This is really good stuff.

Mouthfeel: pretty clean feel. Mild after taste.

Overall: for less than $10 for a 750 ml bottle, this is outstanding value for the quality. These guys make great beer at very attainable price points.

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

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Deep brown, near black in color. Light tan head. Great lacing.

S- Dark fruits, prunes and raisins. Sweet malt, fresh baked bread. Belgian yeast notes.

T- Sweet dark fruit, very slight roast. Yeast spiciness.

M- Sweet, fruity, slightly dry in the finish.

O- Very tasty. Sweet and lots of dark fruit notes. The hint of dryness in the finish, pulls the reins on chugging this one down.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bucky bought two bottles of Unibroue's "Terrible" when it appeared in his local LCBO just before Christmas. It came in a 750 ml corked and caged brown bottle with a production date of August 28, 2012 printed near the neck. Terrible was a healthy 10.5% alcohol by volume.

I let this bottle sit for about 45 minutes before opening given the recommended serving temperature of 10 - 12C. As soon as I opened the bottle and the aroma wafted out, I suspected that I was in for something special. Terrible poured a nearly opaque brown/black colour, with just the slightest of hint of ruby at the core when backlit. Pouring produced about 1.5" of tan coloured foam that lasted for 3 minutes before fading to a foamy collar, leaving some modest spotting and lacing down the glass. Its aroma was fabulous...dark fruits, fortified wine, yeast and alcohol. The taste did not disappoint and was dominated by fortified wine, dark fruit (with cherries in the mix), alcohol and yeast, with occasional hints of vanilla...no bitterness at all in this beer, yet not too sweet. Unibroue 17 was a very good beer, but Terrible is in a different class again. Terrible's mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and rich, and Unibroue has the carbonation just right. As much as I enjoyed this beer though, I'm glad I shared it...I think I would have struggled through a full 750 ml bottle given the overall richness of the beer.

In summary, a world-class beer produced by a Canadian firm, and a multiple award winner to boot. My one and only complaint is the lack of availability in Ontario...even though I understand that it is available in the US year round. When it appears again, I'll be stocking up. Assuming that I can resist the temptation to drink it soon, I'll cellar my second bottle for a few years. Who knows...it may get better still! Just before Christmas, Terrible was selling for a rather pricey $10.95 per bottle, costing it a few points on the "value for money" factor.

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Photo of Mike-Harms
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Yum yum yum. Dark Belgian, tastes a bit like a good thick Dubbel. It grows on you, one of those beers that gets better as you drink it (my kind of beer), and at the end you wish you had another. At the end, when both you and the beer have reached a higher temperature, this beer is at its best.

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Photo of NVP12345
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich and dark with a smooth, thick head.

S - Very aromatic. Spicy like a Christmas beer.

T - This one took me by surprise. The dark fruit flavors are bold up front paired with rich carbonation, then takes a sudden turn towards sweet and sour as the carbonation dissipates. Very unique.

M - Velvety body with classic Belgian-style carbonation.

O - A very interesting beer, not quite like anything I've ever had before. Definitely worth trying, but after about half a glass the sweetness is a little overpowering.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 2013; Poured Feb 2016

Pours dark brown with 2-3 fingers of fizzy head that falls to a nice cap leaving nice lacing. The nose is toasted malt, dark candi, plums, raisins, bread, yeast. The taste follows suit with lots of bread, yeast, raisins, plums, brown sugar, Belgian candi, spice and finishes with a touch of bittering hops. The body is light considering the ABV and a bit thin for my taste. A fantastic beer.

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Photo of Casp1119
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer reminded me to that of Trois Pistoles, which is a great beer. I can understand that not everyone has the same taste for beer as the next person, but this beer fit my palate just right. Great beer!!! Truly enjoyed this one and will be stocking up on it for future enjoyment.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.