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La Terrible - Unibroue

Not Rated.
La TerribleLa Terrible

Educational use only; do not reuse.

924 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 924
Hads: 2,092
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 17.07%
Wants: 123
Gots: 316 | 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.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 924 | Hads: 2,092
Photo of putnam
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tah - REEb - (l)...? with a palatalized "R"?
Subtle, earthy, creamy molasses on the nose... It is very dark, but not black. It is burnt brown around the rim as lines of erosion carve into the merengue-like head. A thick, pasty impression is formed in the background aromatics...jelly of allspice, for example, can be discerned there. So can creme brulee and blueberry reduction.
In the mouth it's wine-like. Sharp, young, sappy, northern Rhone Syrah-like acidity keeps this dreamy liquid shiny clean. A background of baked cherries and cinnamon remind me of old Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The aromatics are pulpy and truffly, like Piedmont's hills and it's wines.
Port-like earthiness underlies Kriek sweetness.
This is a nice wine...er...beer!

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

A new experience with the pop of the cork, the brew poured out extremely dark with a nice brown head, which quickly dissipated. The smell was unassuming to me but the first taste lent itself to cloves and cinnamon. The clove sensation remained throughout the glass and the alcohol became more pronounced. I believe this would make a nice compliment to a meal more so than a sipping or drinking beverage.

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

When poured, it was so dark, that it looked black with no foam or lace. The smell of spices, fruit and malts filled the nose. The taste of cloves, malts and other spices with a hint of chocolate/toffee graced the palate. Lively mouth feel with a finish recinisect of brut champagne.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool silver-leafed lettering on a dark brown corked bottle, which opens with a POP! It pours a nearly impenetrable tar with a big light tan moderately fast fading head. A fairly yeasty clove-like aroma bursts forward. A scent of damp hay, malt, chocolate and hops follow, then fades. The malt body is not as full as it appears. Flavors of rye, caraway, licorice, chocolate and over-ripe banana are quite pronounced. Cloves, limes and mellow alcohol maintain equal footing throughout. A light herbal quality emerges as it warms, as does a melding of flavors, as a rounded balance occurs. This brew improves as it warms, which leads me to believe I should have let it sit a bit before opening

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Photo of chrisjvr
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Terrible opens with a small pop and pours smooth and dark with an effervescent head that dissipates quickly. Best to catch of a whiff of it as it goes to pick up the complex nose -- chocolate, some dark cherry, some spice....anise? The taste is nothing extraordinary, but is still very pleasing....pretty much the same as in the nose, but with some roasted malt and wood. The carbonation lends a fizzy texture to the body, but the ale is very, very easy to drink. On its own, it's nothing truly remarkable -- but this is a beer that would be an excellent drink alongside a heavy meal.

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Photo of andyj
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was basically opague brown to black. I was drinking it in my dank & dark finished basement, so it looked more black to me. I couldn't get any red as other reviewers did. The head was a dark brown, which to me denotes the presence of roasted barley of some variety. This is all the more interesting as it is not a common malt used in Belgian-style ales of any style. The aroma was complex, fruity and mildly spicey. Had me wondering, "just what in the heck did they put in here to make so terrible". But the taste, my oh my, it totally rocked. To me it was a myriad of flavors, fruity yet bitter (probably from the blackened malts used). Very carbonated, so it was quite "fizzy" dancing on the tongue with a dry finish and a surprising maltiness. As one can see the variety of flavors and interactions they caused are nearly non-verbal. My wife -- who doesn't really drink at all -- even found it enjoyable. So there, la terrible is just don't right nasty with goodness.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Terrible. Simply terrible. Actually, I just wanted to say that. I found this beer to be very flavorful and similar to the "blue" Chimay.

This beer is a very dark brown with some reddish hues. It looks black in the glass. A frothy tan head forms when poured, but quickly dissolves to a thick ring around the glass and a thin sheet on the surface. A faint aroma of cherry's, caramel malt and alcohol floats above the beer.

Each sip of this medium bodied brew tingles on the tip of the tongue. The flavor begins with a fruity combination of green apples and cherry's. spices (corriander?) and roasted malt fill the middle before a mild alcohol flavor finishes off each sip. An oaky/cherry flavor is left behind. The aftertaste reminded me of a port wine.

This is a good flavorful beer, but I thought the alchohol taste was a wee bit strong.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours an opaque brown. A big tan head that crackles and pops. It quickly down sizes and leaves a swirling shaped disk of foam floating on top of the ale. Not much lacing. Scents sadly are quite weak. There is some sour green apple, dark fruits and some breaded toast. Alcohol and carbonation on the nose interfere with the flavors and are some what fume like.

The flavors are strong dark fruits. The green apple tang is here. Some pepper provides a bite. Other spices and toasted dark bread add to the flavors of this ale. The alcohol in this particular ale is out of balance for me. It is noticeable to the point of intrusion of the other flavors.

Mouth feel is spritzy and carbonated. A very refreshing quality to the ale. Again the alcohol runs interference for me. It's burn is just ever so slightly hinders the smoothness of this ale.

Overall a good but not great offering from Unibroue. I like some of their other ales much better.

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

This beer appears to be black. A nice looking airy and light head adorns the surface. Light brown in color, it lasts about a minute. The remaining collar provides sparse lace. The aroma has got some fume to it. Not real overbearing, but it's noticeable. I also get a distinct "bourbon barrel" aroma to it. Adds a nice touch to the aroma which also consists of subtle tones of bread, cookie dough, yeast and pepper. The taste also has a whiskey/bourbon slant to it. I like it in its delicate nature. The yeast tones are fabulous. Malts are so subtle in their presence. Biscuit tones come to mind. Alcohol provides a little head and leaves a light lingering sting/bitterness. Body is about light-medium. Mouthfeel quite airy, but by no means, gaseous. Unibroue brews some of my favorite Belgian style beers. This is another solid offering.

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Photo of gnaussea
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite dark and forbidding, with a tan/purplish unretentive head. Smells of fruit. Plums, apricot, raisen. Nice malty character to the nose. Tastes of moderate dark fruit, as previously labeled, with the plum coming to the forefront in the aftertaste. Lovely malt character with a complex body and a bit of coffee. Alcohol very present but fits nicely into the flavor. A lovely brew with a dark side. I can see myself drinking it often of a cold, rainy day. All of these 4.5's are more like 4.6-4.7's. I really wish there were a more specific numbering system.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours out plummish, but when I look at the results, it's an unmitigated, solid black, fully opaque, with a finely fizzy, buzzingly carbonated, toasty-tan head.

Aroma: sadly, I mostly get a cola-ish impression, something I like to avoid in beer, but also with dark fruits, and a bittersweet coffee-ish impression.

Taste: heavy, dark, and quickly weighing in with the alcohol component. A well-inegrated collection of flavors, for none truly stands out over any other, all blending terribly well....spicy, sparkly, dark, fruity, roasty, toasty, ...well-rounded, but extra-abominable in it's overwhelming flavor and alcohol.

This is one rich, delicious, dark, and rewarding ale. I can't quite place it above Maudite or Trois Pistoles, who have their own unique charms, which could never be overshadowed or eclipsed by this ebony delight, but this particular Belgian-style black ale is in a class of it's own. Wow! "Terrible" in only the best way. Yum, yum, yum, yum!!!

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Photo of brewhiker
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A VERY dark (can't even see thru when holding it up to the light!) 10% ale from Unibroue. It pours with a little bit of effervescence and little to no head. Very malty-molassesy flavor and smell. A good mouthfeel with no after-taste (a very little finish). Alcohol flavor not really present.
I paired with some strong French cheese (and buckwheat walnut bread) and went quite well (take THAT Cab Sav!). Overall quite drinkable, although for my dark ale money, I'd go for Rapscallion Creation.

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Photo of drewbage
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 09-09-2003 750ml bottle.

Deep dark chocolate brown with a quickly disappearing finely bubbled head,

Aroma is port stewed plums and cocoa powder with a deeper alcohol wafting in from behind.

Flavor is sweet with a mix of chocolate and raisins with a low hint of cinnamon and milky creaminess.

Long slow burn of alcohol finishes the beer out and warms like brandy filled hot chocolate.

This beer should definately age well.

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

Ok so first the bottle, awesome simplistic presentation. The color is dark brown with red hightlights giving the beer an almost purple feel to it. Fruity smell with hits of grapes, and large amounts of head that quickly fade. This beer is big malty and tasty. there are lots of flavors that swirl around in the mouth. Sweet and malty taste with the typical tart abbey style aftertaste. Overall a damn good beer, cudos to the voys from Unibroue on another excellent brew!

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Photo of marburg
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brooown. Deep color. Reddish highlights. Tulip glass captures an uber-thick grayish-tan head.

Gorgeous nose -- dry alcohol, sawdust, plum skin, and peppery spice. Red wine flavored pop rocks. Subtle. Character. Coherent like a sober speech writer. Esters, belgian candy sugar, and grandma's spice rack (coriander? cinnamon?) blend seemlessly. Finishes with an impossibly spicy, fruity depth -- yet dry. Say what?

Zero bitterness until this warms up and sits -- a lot. Loses some body and some dimension but retains its status as a great beer. Alcohol obviously becomes more dominate in the flavor profile. But all things considered, this is drinkable to the highest degree. You simply do not get any grating presence from the alcohol until late, late, late into the drink. And frankly, if you waited as long as I did to finish it, you deserve anything you get.

Just awesome.

Fuck Miller. *This* is the high life.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is nearly black with a thin and creamy light tan head. Quick lacing. Similar apprearance to a Schwarzbier. The aroma is yeasty with notes of alcohol and dark fruit. Rich body with flavors of malt, plum, chocolate and alcohol. Nicely complex, and the finish is warming with a touch of hops. I really liked this Belgian.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this at Garys in Portsmouth last weekend, and for $6.99 at that! Such a deal!! Bottled 09SEP03; a young, fresh sample (how I like 'em! Bier, that is!!).

Poured a very deep, thick brown color, with little, if any, light being able to penetrate the depths of its darkness. Head began as a 1" layer of light tan foam, but soon shrank down to a more manageable layer about 1/4" thick. The foam lasted quite well, yet didn't lace up the glass too much. The nose easily makes itself known without having to stick your face into the glass. Upon closer examination, dark fruit essence becomes evident, along with a tropical fruitiness and a suggestion of spiciness. The body was easily at the medium stage, and perhaps a nudge above. The Bier had a substantial amount of carbonation. This gave the Bier a bubbly/foamy feel on the tongue, yet did not attack it with prickliness. Taste? Ooooh, I like it! I am sampling a myriad of fruit flavors...some tropical, some dark and rich...along with some lightly-sweet malt and a hint of spiciness, perhaps imparted by the yeast. A subtle warming of the esophagus and belly are a welcome side-effect. Nearing the end of my quaffing session, I swirled the bottle and introduced my friends the "yeasties" to my glass. A smidge more of spiciness was soon evident. Good stuff! Terrible? Yeah, terribly good! I gots to gets me some more of this!! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of grynder33
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark, with a big head.Had a nice warm carmel malt smell, couldn't detect the alcohol(yet) Thick cocoa raisin taste on first sip, got a little sweeter on the second taste and the alcohol started to make its presence known.This is a wonderful complex brew,went out and bought another bottle right away. I'd rate this perfect if the texture was a little smoother

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Photo of Dantes
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Package: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle. Elegant silver-embossed label. Dated above UPC symbol “Sep 9 2003” and the cork stamped “03-1”.

Cost: $7.79 per bottle at Finger Lakes Beverage; $7.99 at Wine Legend

Presentation: Chalice at ~50º

Appearance: Dramatic gunsmoke on opening, with vigorous cork “pop.” Medium pour resulted in the most voluminous, pillowy, off-white head I’ve seen yet in a Unibroue beer. Minimal lees in second pour. Head quickly resolved into a ring with a thin skim and no lacing. Body is stout-black, with mahogany edges.

Smell: The first whiff is almost purely alcohol, but further nosing detects prune, blackberry, raspberry, and some roastiness. There are also bready and yeasty elements in common with most Unibroue products.

Taste: Alcohol dominates the palate. I’ll deduct points here instead of in mouthfeel because I feel the “hotness” detracts from the flavor. Very fruity, with some chocolate notes and a touch of coffee joining the prunes, raisins, and berries. Reminded me quite a bit of lekvar (a prune-based pastry filling). The alcohol and fruitiness make this beer almost cloying, without enough backbone to prevent it from being flabby. More like PX Sherry than the promised Madeira. Finish is practically infinite, as the roof of my mouth pulsed with heat.

Mouthfeel: Beautiful carbonation caresses the mouth (or perhaps it was numbed by the alcohol). Extremely “hot” in the mouth.

Drinkability: I have to knock a few points off this, not because its ABV is so high, but because it was so detectable. It wasn’t that this made me drunk, it was that the ABV was so upfront and apparent that I had trouble finishing a 750 (although I did finish an earlier one).

I was really looking forward to opening one of these, expecting to love it. I was a bit underwhelmed overall. There is a stupendous beer in there somewhere, but it is cloaked in too much alcohol and perhaps too much sweetness. The result is a bit flabby. I feel the same way about this as I do the 11; it sacrifices a bit too much balance for the alcohol bump, which is why I prefer the 10 to the 11. Perhaps a year in the bottle will really make the difference. I hope so. I suspect the early reviewers got the best of this.

Backwash: I'm pretty sure there is a great beer in here somewhere. Hopefully, a little maturation will bring it out.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 bottle Sept. 9th 2003 printed above the upc code on the back of the bottle. I just couldent wait, it is a young bottle. Cork smells fruitty and grassy. Pours into the goblet rich with a dark brown/plum color. Fluffy sticky dark tan head. This settles into a 1/4 inch persistant sticky friend. Rich fruity raisen like smell. Rich smooth roast malt initial taste flows into a buttery plum, raisen. the finish is dry with a touch of black pepper. Very smooth and comforting all the way down the gullet. with a little more time in the bottle.. you will see 5's... Nothing is overt.. it is rounded, rich, smooth, and slippery. Luxury in a bottle.

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

Couldn't resist trying this. Poured nicely with a little head that soon goes away. As dark as a stout. I could not see any light. A classic Belgian nose and taste. Dark fruit, some malt a good dose of molasses in the flavor; just sweet enough. Some carbonation that bites. Fig and plum aftertaste. Somehow this does not have the full body taste of a St. Bernardus(for example). I think I am used to getting Belgian beer that is alot older by the time it gets to the U.S. The alchohol is not bashful. This is a tasty brew for sure. I would like to try one after a couple years of aging.It makes me laugh because it tickles my toung

Addendum: Have a bottle that aged a couple months. Taste is better smoother and fuller.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle dated 9/9/03. A nice malty, yeasty smell as I uncorked the bottle. Poured an extremely dark, semi-murky brown that had a quickly disappating rocky head. The aroma was complex. Sweet, with hints of bubblegum, yeast and alcohol. Kind of like a strong root beer that someone had thrown some red fruits into. Very nice.
The taste was complex as well. Rich maltiness, cola, juicy fruitiness and a touch of vanilla. Nice balance with the hops followed by a yeasty tartness. A noticeable alcohol presence that really warmed the belly, but was a little much. Dry finish.
Full, rich mouthfeel with a biting carbonation. The drinkability was hindered a bit by the alcohol presence.
Certainly has all the makings of a classic. A bit young now perhaps, but I can't wait to try this one in a few years. Another great brew by Unibroue.

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Photo of beergurujr
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

comes in a brown cork-finished 750 ml bottle. bottle dated "sept. 5, 2003".

almost pitch black, with a deep brown tinge around the bottom edge of the glass. bottle conditioned; a little cloudy when poured thinly.

aromas of warm dark sugar, brown malt and dark fruits (plums?).

taste is dark dry malt forward certainly; some phenols present. plums, licorice and a bit of sourness as well.

finishes with a tad of alcohol dryness, and those phenols again.

call me picky, but i'm concerned a bit about the phenols (and possible hangover effects).

it's a beer i'll try again in a few months. maybe it's just not aged long enough.

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

La Terrible delivers an opaque black body with burgundy highlights beneath a long-lasting head of rocky light tan foam. The retention is good, and it slowly drops to a wide collar and lacy surface covering but leaves little lacing (most likely due to it's 10.5% abv). The nose is yeasty and spicy (coriander, black pepper?) over some dryish malt with a light touch of fruit in the background. It's lightly zesty in the mouth with a very fine, natural carbonation that warms to become creamier and smooth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit more malt and fruit added to it. It's a bit sugary in its flavor, but not "sweet" as it's balanced by drying alcohol and a solid bitterness. The malt is a touch caramelish with a slight dark-chocolate-bordering-on-roasty note (dark fudge or brownie-like); and there's some fruit involved as well (plum/prune, dark berries, black cherry). It finishes dry with a clear note of alcohol and some residual malt and fruit. Quite nice!

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

Just another great beer from a consistently great brewer. La Terrible is anything but terrible! This murky dark brown brew is topped with a lighter than expected head, being a light cream color just off of white. The head shrinks down to an energetic lacing layer that does its job well.

The aroma gives plum frutiness and a is also a bit vinous in sense. There is also some light spicing to be noticed. This comes through in the fruity, spicy flavoring and along with nice warming from the spice and alcohol gives a very nice overall taste. The feel is full and lingering, leaving the beer less drinkable than you'd like to have it be as this is really great stuff to be sure.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 924 ratings.