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La Terrible | Unibroue

938 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: 938 | Ratings: 2,154
Photo of UnionMade
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep, murky brown, topped with a thick, almond froth. A very even foam, all the bubbles forming a tiny, even beading. The head settles into a thick misting, leaving thick streaks of lace trailing down the glass.
The aroma is very complex. Heaps of caramel ad chocolate malt blend with mild, sweetish candi sugar and fruity esters. Lots of banana and apple, with hints of plum, mango, pear and fig. A slight alcoholic tang adds some muscle, with some phenolic clove and band-aid. A touch of wood and herbal hops, a slight coffee note, as well as some peppery, spicy yeast.
The flavor starts with a rich, sweetish, chocolatey/caramel malt. Mild candi sugar, with a quickly entering peppery spiciness. Loads of apple and banana fruitiness, with milder plum, fig and mango. Slight clove spiciness, as well as some phenolic band aid and medicinal flavor. The yeast adds some peppery spiciness in the finish, along with slight herbal, floral hops and a rather strong wash of alcohol in the end. A lingering sugary sweetness, with chocolate and a mild alcohol warmth in the stomach. Rather fizzy carbonation flinging around a lightish medium body in a haphazard manner. A tingly, slightly saccharine syrupy mouthfeel.
Very complex, warmth bringing out slight nuances in the fruitiness and malt. Really nice stuff, but not quite up to par with Unibroue's standard of quality. The yeast adds an awesome spicy, peppery flavor as usual, and the chocolatey malt works wonderfully with it, but I just didn't get the depth of flavor I'm accustomed to with this brewery's product. Still worth a try, at least once. If you like belgian beers with roasted malt, this is for you.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Aged six months. I have six others I plan on ageing for a couple years.

Poured cellar temperature, this has a porter or stout-like head on it: choppy, frothy and brown. The colour is much like a stout or porter as well, near-black, dark brown. The head on this particular bottle lowered very quickly to a mere film. The head was beautiful but not long lasting. Black berries, currants, figs, raspberries, sweet malt, maple syrup, dark chocolate, rhubarb, saskatoon berries, and yeast all make their presence known in the aroma. Rich fruits and berries are the main smells. The taste is alcoholic, more so than the aroma, but still does not suggest 10.5 percent. Sweet on the tip of the tongue, somewhat alcoholic on the middle, and dry and berry-like on the finish. Yeasty, with dark malt sweetness, and detectable grassy hop. This beer conjures up images of mediaeval monks sitting round a table with their meals and flagons of ale in a dark monastery cellar. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, lingering on the palate. This ale may not be the most drinkable: strong, flavourful tastes, combined with high alcohol content make it a beast to consume on a regular basis: compare it to eating a full course heavy meal every day of the week. No, this is meant to be quaffed only once in a special while, on memorable occasions. I drink one every two months or so.

(Cellared for two years, this beer takes on a red-wine character. Rich red-tannins. Extremely high alcohol. I smelt rich cheese, extremely-sweet malts, and heavy rich sugars to the extreme.)

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

La Terrible was served from a 750ml corked and caged bottle. In a Duvel tulip, the beer was an almost black dark brown color and was topped by an uneven brown head. The wonderful nose presented a cola-like aroma with numerous enticing subtleties: rich woody cherry esters, coffee, vanilla, melon, kiwi, field flowers, and earth....almost porter-like in the end. On the palate, a nutty, cherry-root beer roasted/alder smoky maltiness hits with accents of vanilla, birch/sasparilla and oregano(?). The finish is simply divine, kicking in with cascading cherry-earthen-coffee flavors that tingle and excite the tastebuds, leaving lingering cherry-brown sugar aftertastes. The body was superbly full and satsifying, melding very well with the flavors and character of the beer. No trace of alcohol was observed, and the beer was not noticably sweet, making for an very drinkable tasty treat. La Terrible is most definately my favorite Unibroue brew, offering an original array of flavors that I found to be fantastic.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahoganey with a fizzy, but not lasting head. Aroma is fairly yeasty and alcoholic, with some cherry hints. Flavor begins very malty. Dark fruits, and some alcohol towards the end. You can tell that this is fairly alcoholic, but you can't really taste it. In all, honesty, as one reviewer put it, it's conservative. Unfortunately, the alcohol will sneak up on you. Very smooth mouthfeel. Surprising in fact. Drinkability suffers because of the thickness and high alcohol content. Plus, it's eight dollars per bottle.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours an opaque black color with four fingers of light tan foam. There is a bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is very lively, with oak, plum, ginger, and figs. The taste is malty, with some sweet dates and plums. Old wood flavors mingle with roasted malt. Just a hint of alcohol burning on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth, and the drinkability is pretty good for a 10.5% brew. Another kickass Unibroue product!

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark coca-cola color with a modest fizzy tan head. The aroma is a faint fruit, spice, and alcohol in the background. The taste is again fruity with a pronounced dry spice note on the tongue and alcohol in the background. This is a light bodied beer that is only thin on the moutnfeel, but not the flavor traits and finishes slightly dry. This beer drinks down fairly easy for a 10.5% brew. Op uw gezonheid!

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Photo of waughbrew
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, nice head but could have had much better R&L. This beer is very clean, polished, sweet, yeasty, slightly spicy and citrusy like coriander. There are a lot of good flavors going on and it feels great and is very drinkable, but for some reason it lacks the "wow" factor. I guess it is a bit too clean and smooth, without enough esters and phenolics perhaps. Seems somehow conservative, but is a well-made and tasty ale.

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Photo of DaveGood
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very dark brown/boarderline black with a very minimal tan head. There was a comprised mainly of a pleasant dark fruit aroma and a slight tinge of yeast and pepper. The taste was quite complex as it combines a variety of malt flavors. I was able to detect a sweet raisny flavor and a hint of caramel. The high ABV content is nicely disguised but a seemingly cola flavor overall. With a moderate carbonation, this provides a great mouth-feel. Overall, the drinkability is remarkable smooth, given the high ABV and yet another great beer from Unibroue! They are quickly becoming my favorite brewery!

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Photo of watermelonman
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a nearly black color with a moderate but extra fizzy head. I'm not getting any lacing out of this one.

The taste is dark but not too heavy. I think I would place it somewhere between Maudite and Trois Pistoles, even through it's more potent than either of them. There's almost a minor smoked taste at the end, which has me wondering. Spice is present as well.

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Photo of jsolack
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown and cloudy. Cloudyness is hard to detect due to the dark brew. Head is almost nonexistant. Looks nice but would like to see a little more head.

Spice and dark brown sugar comes first to nose. Slight smell of burnt hops. Overall very nice.

Excellent flavor. Spicy sweet flavor first come into mouth. Followed by a mild bitterness that doesn't linger very long. Finish has a mild liquorice flavor.

Light in mouth... isn't heavy but does not seem watery either.

Easy to drink beer... tastes great and finish is pleasent too. Overall very nice.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque with a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is yeasty with some sharp, sour fruity tones. Full bodied in the mouth, with a fair bit of carbonation. The flavor is malt-dominated with some sweet candi sugar flavors up front, a mild dark fruitiness to the middle, and a very pleasant, lightly spicy finish. Not mind-boggling as far as Belgian Darks go, but pretty good.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Fin du Monde tulip glass, it gives up a medium-sized, grayish-tan, dense, bubbly head. Lots of spotty, isolated spots. The beer is a dark, dark, reddish-brown. It's really almost closer to black. Garnet highlights against the light. Wow, that's a strong aroma: signature Unibroue spice, sweetish, yeasty, fruity. The strong, spicy, fruity nose is echoed in front. The middle shows a deep, toffee maltiness. It's thick, buttery, bready. It's all the food groups in one. Finish is dry, spicy, with a little corn bread and lots of alcohol heat. At temperature, it's just sublime.

This may be the perfect Unibroue.

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Photo of BierReise
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Corked woth a 08-1 Stamped on the Cork Poured a a dark brown and possibly the darkest Belgian Strong Ale I've had as of yet. There is not much of a head on this one, just a very subtle thin film. Aroma is fruity with notes of cherries, some clove like spices as well as a peppery spice. The body is quite smooth and rounded with a carbonated crispness. The flavor I find similar to Trois Pistoles. It has the fruity malt and sugary sweetness as well as a spiciness that may be more dominant than the Trois. Overall this is a very nice Belgian style with a very spicy profile.

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Photo of DESTRO
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

so after hearing all the hype i finally gave in a nabbed it. it pours what looks to be black, but when held to light a more of a deep brown is evident. the head is there, but not very glorious. the nose is alcoholic, that is for sure. but it is also has some spice and dark fruit to it, figs maybe. think pistoles with alot more alcohol fumage. taste wise? again, it seems like a hopped up pistoles. alcohol is present, you can feel it in your nostrils. hints of dark fruit, cocoa and sweet malt reign supreme. all riding that signature unibrou wave. lively as all hell in the mouth with lots of carbonation. its a party up in hur! warming in the belly. overall this is a strong beer and it does not hide it. good, but i dont know if ill be returning anytime soon.

paid $7.99 for a 750.

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Photo of ecoboy
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looks like a porter from a distance. The bottle's name and ABV may be threatening, but for a sensory experience beyond the ordinary, fear not.

That Belgian Unibroue sprightliness of mouthfeel cuts right through. A most effervescent dark ale; not leaden at all for one so dark and so strong.

Flavor of pumpernickel, sweet brown bread and richness is still "simple" or unilateral in character. Amazing drinkability for strength and style.

Unexpected and recommended.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to sample "the terrible" (thanks, Ron). I expected this to be kind of a stronger "Trios Pistoles", and that's pretty much what it is. The biggest disappointment was that there was almost no head, and it disappeared almost immediately. Somewhat carbonated, but the alcohol is quite noticeable (in a good way). A bit more warming and fuller bodied than the Pistoles, but not as much so as Westy 12 or Rochefort. As with the Pistoles (or Chimay Blue, for that matter), let it warm, as it improves substantially. Overall, a terrific brew that I would buy on a regular basis if I could. Unibroue is a great brewery!

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Photo of steorn
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night it pours,with an active tan head.The malty,yeasty nose promises good things to come.Very intriguing.The first sip is sweet ,raisiny and there is a strong alcohol present.There is some lacing on the glass as the head settles somewhat.A long finish offers more of the same along with a gentle hoppiness.A powerful ale for sure.One to sip on a cold night.I can see this as getting even better with age.Guess I better buy some more.Allez unibroue!!

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was stunned to find this at the Utah State Liquor Store; they had only just started carrying Unibroue (only Maudite, Blanche, Quelque, Trois, and Don), but the other day they had this beauty! Now if only they could surprise me like this more often. On to the beer.
Pours a deep, dark black with a purplish tan head. Smell is grassy, sweet, vinuous malt. Plums, grape bubblegum are there, so is the alcohol and the Uni-yeast. Taste is semi-sweet, bubblegum wine. Some tangy wheat malts chime in. Very smooth. Finish is warming with some light yeasty bitterness. Mellower than expected, but very good. Full, velvety mouthfeel. The bottle was gone before I knew it. Another Unibroue winner.

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Photo of aracauna
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown body topped by a cream-colored head that fizzes, but doesn't seem to get any smaller very fast. The aroma is nicely spicy, a little alcohol. Nice spicy belgian character in the flavor, but a nice clean maltiness (almost like the malt in a pilsner) rides underneath keeping it from being overbearing. The alcohol is really only felt, not as much tasted or smelled. Good beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle - Poured a pitch-black beer with a nice huge dark head. Carbonation is excellent and aroma is really vinous with alcohol also perceptible. Complex flavor that includes spice, raisin and a bit of roastiness. Overall, this is a great beer that could rival some of the great strong Belgian ale but the alcohol flavor is bit too strong and should have been subtler.

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Photo of Zorro
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy dark beer with ruby hues, I can barely pass light through it.

Smell is great! Big fruit and spice smells and a bit of malt. Lots of alcohol borne smells to this one. It makes you light headed just smelling it!

Taste is WOW! Lots of malt and spice and a bitey level of carbonation nips at your tongue. Every sip releases a new flavor. Lots of preserved fruit tastes here and maybe a rum taste?

Mouthfeel is perfect.

Super drinkable. This is my favorite Unibroue bar none. Drinking this is pretty much "Beer Sex."

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Photo of HardTarget
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: The main smell I get is the Unibroue yeast strain. Under that is rich fruits, and I’m unable to define which ones. Starfruit? Mellon? As it warmed, the alcohol becomes present but not harsh, more of a perfume base, more of a burn in the nose than an aroma.
Appearance: Black, with roasted coffee colored edges. Had a thin head of dark tan, but it quickly collared and left no lace in it’s passing. A little island of head did form in the middle of my Chimay Goblet. It took the form of a little bulls-eye right in the center of my glass. A little wellspring of bubbles fed the bulls-eye well into the third and final pour. As the glass got low, a more obvious brown hue took over.
Flavor: Again, the classic Unibroue yeast on a well balanced brew. Dark fruit, a bit of purple grape but for the rest, my vocabulary fails me. I note some of the pepper and cherry others have noted.
Mouthfeel: The slightest alcohol burn as it evaporates. Terribly smooth but a bit of a belly warm again as it warmed. Very clean finish, no oils here. Does numb the mouth slightly. Liquid silk. I have to second Suds: Full, soft, thick. Well said.
Overall Impression: Terrible. Terribly smooth, terribly well made, terribly enjoyable. I’m in awe of this beer. This is the very model of an iron fist in a velvet glove. I only wish I could more accurately describe it’s wonders to you. All I can say is, seek, find, and try to understand. So happy this wonder found it’s way to Texas, I’ll be buying lots more.

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Photo of mschofield
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red-black, call it black cherry as that fits the rest of this wonderful brew. Big rocky head
Bready malt and dark fruit aroma - cherry and plum, wood, and spices.
A deep roasted malt taste, hides the peppery alcohol that comes out here and there, again dark fruit (cherry) comes out, caramel and dark chocolate.
The aroma and taste are quite complex, I get the impression that everytime I drink one, something else will come out of hiding.
Medium to full bodied, well carbonated.

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

Had this one recently, as a finish, after a sampling of Belgian-style beers and cheeses. The liquid is a nearly-black, thick fluid, topped with a bubbly, solid, large-bubbled head. The aroma is sweet, malty, and alcoholic. Alcohol and spicy phenols characterize the smell. Additionally, the sweetness in the aroma has a sugary, plum-like quality. Taste is intensely fruity and sweet, with serious alcohol warming…this is not a subtle Belgian-style brew. Peppery, spicy, and yeasty flavors offer a nice balance to the sweetness. Full, soft, and thick. Slight hop bitterness in the finish. The beer is complex, intense, and serious…Not to be missed.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Terrible wasn't quite that after all!

Appearance- dark brownish/black with a thick tan head.
Smell- alcohol & yeast dominate. Fruity, Malty.
Taste- strong, hops and fruit. Raisiny but good.

overall, Not a bad beer I can actually say I like it. Although the alcohol is too present. Finally the first Unibroue beer I can't say sucked!

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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 938 ratings.