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La Terrible | Unibroue

943 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: 943 | Ratings: 2,167
Photo of ZAP
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrible??? Nahh try Fantastic....

Dark Black..some light shines through...small fizzy cola like head...actually cola like in color...licorice on the nose...some spicy peppery notes on the nose as well..full bodied...firm...pretty clean mouthfeel...sweet rich flavor profile...tastes like a Belgian Doppelbock...rich, luxourious flavors...sweet maltiness..creamy texture...alcohol very hidden....I keep saying "Damn this is good" as I drink it...a fantastic brew...

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

Pours to a deep brown, almost black color with a fizzy thin tan head that diminishes. The aroma is yeasty and phenolic, I get a kinda roasted nuttiness, and chocolate aroma is well. The flavor has a light sweet maltiness, along with a yeasty, slightly chocolate nutty flavor. Its body is very light feeling compaired to its strength. It has a slight drying finish. It masks its strength well. I could be looking for trouble on this one. A decent, interesting beer.

Sampled 11/29/03

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Photo of avylover
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out nearly opaque dark brown with a smallish white head. Bready yeast and fruity esters in the aroma, typical for unibroue. Perhaps a slightly roasted character detected. Taste of apples, grapes, some toasted malt and alcohol. Nothing really standing out and taking over, fairly balanced. The problem I have with this beer is that it tastes much the same as any other Unibroue product (besides the fruit brews). Nothing new here. Good full mouthfeel with nice carbonation. Very drinkable.
Good beer, but I'm ready for a change up from these guys.

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Photo of merlin48
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle. Emits a "pop" when cork is manually twisted off. Pours into a goblet a deep, ruby, brown, almost opaque color with a cocoa head that quickly dies away. Very little lacing. Cloves and spices hit the nose abruptly, with dark fruitiness soon following. Smell is of a native Belgian, with a tad of smoky mustiness. Taste is complex, but with a bomber bottle I've got the time to investigate. Wow, this is a big beer. Sweet malts are the backbone here, with raisins, figs, and prunes dominating the profile. Alcohol warming is noted, nice...!

This is a big beer. Enormous fruity flavour with enough abv to complicate things. Spend an afternoon with this bottle, and enjoy all the flavours and aromas.

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Photo of far333
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark chestnut color with ruby highlights where the light can get through. A dark beige foamy head rises up and remains perched atop the glass. Aroma is strong and sweet, fruity and yeasty. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy upfront, and tingly across the center of the tongue into the finish. Flavor is very rich and sweet, of cotton candy and pear and cinnamon. So full and sweet, that I can chew on it. Too sweet for me, cloyingly so. In many respects this is an excellent beer, but it seems to need more balance for my tastes.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Probably the darkest Unibroue product I've seen, pouring out to a very dark brown with a hint of mahogany at the edges when held up to light. Forms a tan head with average retention and minimal lacing, not forming a peak. The carbonation is moderate, certainly less so than most of Unibroues offerings. Aroma is classy and intriguing...very clean fermentation with the trademark Unibroue spiciness and cloves, although there is also some wood, brown sugar, and strong apple cider thrown in. Mouthfeel is also quite a bit smoother than other Unibroues..initially verging towards being lightly syrupy and ending with sherry. Taste begins with rotting apples and black cherries, clove, lightly roasted malts, and ends with a hint of whiskey barrel, leather, and an immediately obvious peppery bite of alcohol and sherry. A suggestion of raisins and bananas, but no prunes, dates, or figs. The alcohol is potent, yet very clean, and leaves the brew with a dry finish and a slight puckering in of the cheeks. As it warms, the astringency and wood become more pronounced, and a very distant note of caramel begins to appear.

This is an excellent beer, but I would put it in the lower ranks of Unibroues exceptional brews. I much prefer Don de Dieu or Maudite to this one, which have much better drinkability and frankly, a warmer place in my heart.

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

Pours out a dark chocolatey brown to settle a very deep dark brown, nearly black, very strudy and richly thick substance thats unpierceable by light. Thick, somewhat loose dark cocoa brown head that builds a bit over bundantly, even with a slow pour. Very little lace appears and/or sticks. Aroma is yeasty spiced, cloves and peppery with a light dark fruit-like sweetness and light toffee with a nudge of roasty maltyness. Overall mostly sweet at first but the yeast dominates as it warms. Taste is about what I've come to expect out of these Belgian style dark ales with dark fruity sweetness of some raisin and plum upfront, quick full on spice at the middle with a touch of hops, subsides just as quick to a toffee sweetness and leaves trails of clove and other dark fruits of banana and dark roastyness that lingers with a subdued dryness and yeasty texture in the finish. Mellow but full mouthfeel with some solid carbonation, could be smoother, a little rough around the edges, but gets easier to handle as it warms. A good representation of the style, not to overpowering really, just the right amount of yeast and sweet malts, but lacks some complexity. A fine example by Unibroue but Trois Pistoles is nicer.

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

Another, instantly recognizable, 750ml tall brown glass bottle from Unibroue. This time the familiar gold on the ‘10’ & ‘11’ is replaced with a simple chrome-silver printing. The word ‘Terrible’ tightly boxed in chrome looks terribly gothic against the dark background. Described as ‘Dark Ale on Lees’ & listed at 10.5% alc./vol. I also noted a date of ‘Sep 9 2003’ above the Bar Code on the back of the bottle. Cork and Caged.

After the cage was removed, a firm grip was required to manually remove the firmly entrenched cork which was marked (dated?) 03-2. A loud “thrup” resonated whilst a light grey-blue gun smoke quickly dispersed.

Appearance: There is a lot of activity with the first pour, a large head forms and settles with an almost nitrogenous stout like character. Very, very dark brown, with a deep, almost impenetrable mahogany body – looks like a warming pot of percolating Coffee. A tan colored head that slowly rescinds with an audible fizz, which whilst it leaves almost no lacing, always leaves a thin large bubbled covering.

Nose: This has quite a fruity nose, though a little restrained; it has some peppery spices and a background of yeast twixt lightly roasted malts and a light toffee.

Taste: Has a light sweetness, malts, a feint chewy toffee mouth and a feel of dark fruits to start with. Rhubarb middle with some sweet malts in the latter third, which reveal a peppery spice ending.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a pepper pinch. The alcohol is present in the form of dark malts when the Terrible is swirled in the mouth. Once swallowed, there is a lingering yeasty fruitiness and an aniseed-like tingle feel on the inner cheeks.

Drinkability: The whole 750 was certainly not a problem & I had to remind myself this was 10.5%. Given this fact, it was an offering that was highly enjoyable and one of those beers that is great company for a good portion of the night.

Overall: Not one of greatest beers from Unibroue IMVHO, it lacked depth and complexity in lieu of Drinkability I found. A good beer but not one I’m sure I’d purchase again. Maybe age will better it.

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

dear god! near opaque black, light tan head that never stops and leaves reams of lace.
chock full of thick bready scents, chocolate brownie. hints of malt vinegar, floral/honey and ripe fruit. not too evident is the alcohol...yet.
the flavor is sweet and malty with a great port wine/brandy note.
thick and heavy mouthfeel, big stuff to be sure, very filling. hearty and warming in the belly, a great meal.
this beer is wonderful and i'd say quite drinkable, i just keep drinking it! hard to put down, hard to walk away from.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This baby came locked and loaded! I have never been disappointed with anything from Unibroue, so I am anxious to see how this one is.
I came out looking more like a Coke than anything. It was very dark and the aroma of raisins and hops came pouring out. The taste is loaded with dark fruits and sweet yeast! Carbonation adds a nice sharpness to the mouthfeel. Dark sugars round out this sweet brew that is accented with a nice bitter finish. Just by looking at it, I am beginning to drool. The high alcohol is hidden well, but makes it have a nice little sweet taste. This beer reminds me a lot of Gulden Drake (which happens to be one of my all-time favorite). I personally think this beer is fantastic for anyone who like strong, dark ale! I bought two 750ml bottles for $7.50 each and plan to save one for later. Congrats to anyone who has the pleasure to enjoy one of these.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purs a deep dark brown/garnet hue and unlike other peoples results, I have a massive foamy white head. Yeasty maly nose, and a yeasty malty taste. Another winner from our brothers up north. kind of like a higher powered Trois Pistoles. I would recommend thisto anybody who enjoys yeasty brews!

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Photo of mickeymac
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a caged and corked 750 ml, it's very dark brown with a small foamy head that is nothing but a memory within a minute or two. It winds up looking like a soda that was left sitting out overnight. Dark fruit-raisin and cherry-is backed by a nice peppery smell. Although the fruit and spice tastes are pleasant enough, they are overwhelmed by a strong presence of alcohol that deals a blow to the flavor and the drinkability. As a big fan of Unibroue, this one was a disappointment.

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

The bottle was amazing! But, it probably raised the price of the beer a buck.

The darkest Belgian Style Abbey I have ever seen. Nearly black, but it can't be called black cause it was nearly black. More like a very dark brown. A nice sumptous head floats above the ale. The head lasts long but the lace was relatively non-existant, keep the appearence from being a 5.

The nose was full of dark fruits, roasted malts, yeast, alcohol and bananas.

The flavor was rather dull and the low point in the beer. I was expecting much more. Dark fruits in the flavor, grapes mostly, but some raisins and plums as well. A slight woodiness and very yeasty. Not as full bodied as I expected.

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

Nose out of the bottle is pure port. Small, quickly diminishing head on the pour with an intense fizz. Nose in the glass still has the port scent but much more subdued with strong grapes. Taste is VERY grape still with that lingering port. Finish is dry with none of the grape flavours retained. Alcohol is only present in the after taste. Very smooth. Little of the typically yeasty flavour so present in most Unibroue offerings.

Overall: A great sipper and a fantastic beer to lure port and red wine drinkers over to the good side. Have used it to marinate a steak before along with olive oil and Montreal steak spice. Finished product was wonderful. Not the best offering from Unibroue however due to a lack of complexity. Grapes is all I truly get from this.

Note: A slightly aged version tried later was more red wine like. A bit better, so improved scores.

Second Note: The more I drink this, the more I love it. Improved scores again.

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

750ml bottle. Poured a deep dar brown, with a decent head that didn't stick around long, some fine lacing on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt and fruit. mildly carbonated, and slightly candy sweet. I wish this had just a little more something in the middle, but it finishes nicely. You can tell this has a good dose of alcohol in it, from the tingle in the nose to the warmth as it goes down, Definetly a highly drinkable beer.

I am becoming more and more impressed with this brewery!

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Photo of Winter
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a stone-colored khaki head. Some burgandy coloring noticable in the body also. Thin lacing coats the side of the glass and retreats back into the body. Complex aroma consists of chocolate malt, yeast, anise, alcohol and a hint of oak. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and creamy from the carbonation. Yeast and peppery alcohol are noticed almost immediately. Things settle down a bit and then the flavors or malt and dark fruit arrive midway through. The alcohol is always prominent in the flavor profile and never really takes a backseat. Still, flavors seem to blend together fairly well. Finishes with noticable alcoholic vapors and a lingering fruitiness from the yeast.

La Terrible is a force to be reckon with. I wouldn't mind setting a few bottles aside to see what develops over time. Another great offering from Unibroue. Awesome indeed.

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

what a powerfully complex brew. dind't know what to expect here but have heard nothing but good things about it so i couldn't wait for my first sip. it poured black as hell with a nice tan foamy head that lasts and lasts. looks marvelous. the smell actually was quite a shock. it reminded me more of a weiss or wit beer smell: heavily citrusy and bready, but with other stuff mixed in: other darker fruits (grape, cherry, raisin, plum, etc), earth/wood, floral and a slight spiciness, just to name a few. the taste here is quite good as well. not as heavy as one might expect from the colour. actually has a nice medium body to it. fruit flavours dominate the taste, followed by a bit of spice and tartness into bread and earthiness and ending with a bit of alcohol presence which, for 10.5%, was not overbearing at all. a nice balance indeed, and a nice brew to warm me up during this lovely blizzard.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Popped the cork off this beautiful bottle and it poured a nice dark stout-like deep burnt brown almost black, but not quite. An enormous head just erupted up the glass and cascaded to a great 2 finger head that sadly dissipated to a thin ring after a few sips. The aroma was sweet candy and plums. The great malt flavor coexists with a multitude of fruit flavors; blackberry, fig, plum, and black cherry. Brown sugar and amazing finishing hops complete this outstanding ale. Silky smooth creaminess fills my mouth and slides down my throat. Nice bottle conditioned carbonation. The high alcohol content is greatly disguised while you're drinking this one, but wait till you're finished and you'll realize what 10.5% actually means.
Another exceptional brew from Unibroue, they've yet to do wrong in my book.

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

Winter beer seasonal availability. Very dark color in beautiful bottle. 750 ml too much, a smaller bottle would be just right. Can taste the alcohol, and bitterness. Alcohol not as masked as other Unibroue's. Can substitute for an average wine earlier in the meal.

Had another bottle 1.5 years later and it's spiciness and yeastiness went
well with cheese. Upgraded.

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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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La Terrible from Unibroue
93 out of 100 based on 943 ratings.