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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

995 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 995
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 84
Gots: 293 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-30-2011

This French oak aged, bottle refermented dark ale has a remarkable and complex flavor profile. Its Grande Réserve appellation is a fitting endorsement of its exceptional aging qualities.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 995 | Reviews: 233
Photo of MaineBrewing
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - less then optimal pour produced a thick full three finger creamy white head. Body is a dark mahogany brown. Very hard to see through. The contrast from dark body to brilliant light head is interesting. It is essentially opaque, with ruby hues when held to the light. The head is lingering so long, I am anxious to get a good nose, patience is a virtue. Upon finishing the first class there was ample lacing left behind, great looking brew.

S - intense fruity aroma dominates the nose. whether the yeast or alcohol it all comes together in a raisin prune with slight banana fruit character. Spicyness rounding also to me has tobacco leaf notes. Also pick up a nice dark malt aroma, some roast, lots of sweet barley.

T - Pulled from the beer cellar and drank at cellar temp, giving me an immediate portrait of this beer's beautiful flavor nuances. Very complex and intense flavor, sort of melds all together. Lots of sweet malt, loads of fruit, raisins and plum. Finish is amazing, hop bitterness, alcohol quench, toasty tobacco like the aroma when you toast the foot on your cigar. that taste. I think i get some oak notes but they are subtle if at all there.

M - perfect 10% belgian, has loads of flavor and slow sipping but at the same time a forgiving mouthfeel that isnt too full. Slight quench of alcohol in the finish but by no means harsh. Ample carbonation to almost over carbed.

O - Over all this is a great brew. I think I say that about ever beer I review. But hey, it still is. The taste is on par with most BSDA examples but is less in your face, more subdued, more refined, I would go as far to say elegant. Oak aging must have done that, it does little for the taste in regards to a noticeable BA taste, but it does wonders for the overall beer to produce a mellow, well balanced, delicious big beer.

Photo of ajm5108
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 bottle. Very spicey brew. The aroma has lots of clove, with some mesquite bbq and oak. The clove follows through to the taste, along with some black cherry, fig and currant. Lots of dark fruit all around with heavy spice and cola. Inky feel but smooth, not much carbonation but mouthfeel is fine. One of the spiciest brews I have had.

Photo of Atacama_Rain
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2014 Bottled, BB 02-29-2019.

Wrestled with the cork for a solid 5 minutes only to have it split perfectly flush with the top of the bottle with a few mm remaining, had to push the cap into the bottle. After that ordeal i was expecting a heavily carbonated ale, and was greeted with maybe 2 total bubbles for the entire pour. I kid you not this thing was entirely flat.

I warily dove in anways and took a few swigs, and it is delicious, dark fruits, slight nutmeg/cinnamon and oak finish, followed by strong oak aftertastes.

I tend to expect absolute greatness from Unibroue (and they have always delivered up until this point), but this lapse in quality control and complete lack of carbonation is concerning. This will likely be the lowest rating I ever give one of thier beers sadly. The taste is there, but it feels like i'm drinking juice... not beer :/

my best advice is to find a 2013 vintage or wait a few months for some late 2014 bottles with BB dates past 2019. Judging by other reviews and my experiences, the 2014 vintage with BB dates roughly 2018-2019 should be avoided.

Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done belgian dark . . . Didn't expect anything less from Unibroue. Honestly though, I had concerns about the the carbonation issue I've heard about. Fortunately, my bottle wasn't affected by this problem. Although far from my favorite offering in this style, Grand Reserve 17 is still solid, delicious, satisfying and I'm glad I picked it up. Aromas of dark fruits as well a touch of apple butter. The oak barrel aging complements this style very well . . . Nice oak flavor and barrel character. Feel is smooth and buttery for a Belgian. That's my take on it.

Photo of JasW
3.11/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

2014 corked and caged bottle, with unbelievably heroic efforts required for the uncorking -- yes, pliers were eventually needed -- and no pop when the cork was finally disgorged. A decidedly minimal head developed after a vigorous pour. Extremely low in carbonation, close to flat.

The bottle was returned to Total Wine and exchanged for another, with a batch number (2014-10962) somewhat removed from the first. Yet this second bottle had the same tough uncorking, no pop when finally uncorked, and virtually non-existent carbonation. I decided to partake this time anyway.

It's obvious there is a divine taste of yeast, currants, and other dark fruit, wonderfully balanced, with a quite pleasant French oaky aftertaste.

But there is a deeply serious carbonation problem here. I'm quite fond of Unibroue brews in general, but it would seem it has a quality control problem since the batch number of this second bottle was relatively close to the one from before. I returned the empty and exchanged for something else entirely.

BUYER BEWARE for this 2014 vintage.

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick cloudy copper color with a pink hue and powerful carbonation activity. Extra foamy, delicate, beige 3 finger sparkly head, creating a foam island and lasting around 12 minutes, with some strong legs.

Aromas and flavors of dark fruits, citrus, caramel, honey or maple, floral and herbal spices. Well intensified, delicious rich super fruity taste, slightly vinous but in a soft sweet way, with hints of orange/lemony/coriander/apple slightly bitter feel and a pleasant earthy oak sensation.

Slick, almost creamy, full body with some perfect carbonation. Balanced finish ending with a slightly bitter and dry, thick dark berries mouth coat and perfectly spiced aftertaste.

Overall : The perfect craft; sexy lovely look, warming, awesome freshness, complex delicious flavors, inviting smell, accessible...what else do you want?

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a beer I had set aside for my 1000th beer. I change my mind because I asked for a poll on this site (which got deleted - but the admin gave me congratulations so I don't mind) and on the League on Facebook because it got deleted. I wish I hadn't listened to the poll, which voted for Barrel-Aged Bigfoot. This beer has phenomenal flavor, a darker color than anything I've seen in this style, and it is so smooth.

Photo of 4ster
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage, Drank 2014 from Tulip.

Didn't try it upon release, but seems to have really smoothed out, and probably bumped up a few ABV's.. Unfortunately didn't get to write a proper review.

Photo of SierraFlight
3.63/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From bottle with best before date 12/18/2017. Pours deep cloudy red-brown with plenty of tan foam that lingers. Spicy and yeasty aromas. Caramel, bread, and malt, malt, malt. Oak on the finish.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.21/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2013, BB 2/28/18 at 45 degrees into hand washed and dried tulip
Aroma moderate, rotting fruit, rapidly dispenses to nothing
Head large (6 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishes to 4 mm ring and irregular layer
Lacing good – partial wide rings of tiny to medium bubbles
Body brown amber, slight haze (Bottle conditioned)
Flavor weak, some yeast phenolics and weak fruity esters; no hops, no alcohol in taste or smell (although a stomach warmth comes and quickly passes), no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, slightly fizzy

Appearance 4, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

Photo of sillyhed8
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very solid beer. I am usually not too fond of Unibroue, maybe it's the yeast or the spice they use, and I know I stand alone on this one, but this beer I found quite drinkable and very nice.

Photo of jimdisser
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Complex mix of chocolate notes, caramel, with some hop bitterness. The bottle we split was from my bro Sam Bakko, owner of Wolverine Market, and was 2 years old. This beer is aged in a French oak barrel and the refermented in the bottle. Strange brew!

Photo of Beccy
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasty and well-priced at the LCBO

Photo of srandycarter
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gift from a friend excited to try.

A Murky brown, nice near white head, slow to leave, small bubbled cling.
S Dark musk, spicy and Belgian.
T Very spicy. Almost a Xmas beer. Malt is there and yeast, but the spice is dominant.
M - Medium to full, good carb, ok balance.
D - Good to dry. Afraid one and done for me.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Adam. Thanks man.

Dark copper body with a thin off-white head. Apple aroma with caramel malt and alcohol. Pears, Belgian yeast, booze. Sweet flavor tempered with a touch of Saaz/bittering hops. Hints of white wine. Tasty but a bit boozy. Decent.

Photo of louis3
2.24/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Grande Reserve 17 2014 B121423..... Seved at !8 celcius..

Murky mid brown but still fairly transparent.

Medium body, fine carbonation, foamy texture, but without persistent head.

Typical unibroue stretched yeast experience disguised by extra bittering hop and some maple flavour, coffee flavour, and some wood essence reminding me of cheap brandy.

A very boozy Trois Pistoles variation with some ersatz flavouring components which are not integrated.The booziness was the only thing I enjoyed as I usaually avoid boozy beers and so this was rather novel.

This is the last bottle of Unibroue for me. Canada produces many beers with higher malt content and malt quality and more careful fermentation regimen.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue Grande Réserve 17
750 ml. brown glass bottle, corked & caged, "Bottled in 2013" "BEST BEFORE 02-28-2018"
$12.99 @ Total Wine & More, CHerry Hill, NJ

Appearance: Very hazy (lees were disturbed) deep brown body beneath a massive head of tan that seems to want to rise up out of the glass. Excellent head retention and lacing with a full 1/2 thick head of pillowy foam and broken walls of lace throughout the glass.

Aroma: Apple, soft spice, brown sugar, oak, red grape.

Flavor: As in the aroma, but fuller, with additional notes of chocolate, fig, caramel, bread crust, and soft grass or straw. Soft cinnamon and all-spice. Alcohol becomes more present as it warms, adding to the spiciness. Low level bitterness lingers with brown sugar and grassiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a dextrinous edge. Its very fine-bubbled natural carbonation leaves it smooth, almost silky, and bordering on becoming creamy.

Overall: Sensational! It's not remarkable in its flavor components or its complexity (compared to other beers within the style), but the overall balance and polish is brilliant. Superbly satisfying. Worth seeking out.

Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle was poured into a chalice glass.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber brown color with little vision of anything.

Smell: Spicy, dark fruits, spicy, plums, caramel, bready, cherries, oak, grapes, black currants, and a little leather.

Taste: This beer got a lot better as it warmed. Some bitterness, warming alcohol, dark fruitiness, caramel, bready, spicy, some yeasty notes, oak, and wine.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little dry, some bitterness, warm booze, medium to full bodied, and medium to high carbonation.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer more as the time went on. More and more flavors opened up and made this beer quite the treat. Definitely will have to revisit this one again.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this one up locally when it was first released but haven't gotten around to it until now. Enjoyed from a Unibroue tulip side-by-side with a regular 17.

a - identical in looks to the 17 deep murky brown with a traditional creamy Belgian head that hung out for ages and left sheaths of lace that moved as a giant chunk connected to the surface.

s - nose is a very focused Belgian strong dark. Nice oak notes layered on top of deep dark fruit...think figs, grapes, plums, prunes...with a great Belgian sweetness that rounds things out. The regular 17 comes across a bit syrupy in the nose and overly rich...that one has seen its prime but the grand reserve seems to smell just right at the moment.

t/m/o - as the nose suggests, a perfect balance of Belgian sweetness and dark fruit. Perhaps this one has peaked but if so, it was recent as it is tasty like a champ at the moment.it has that fantastic Unibroue feel. The regular 17 is definitely on the syrupy side, but not as bad as the nose suggested...but the grand reserve is in a really nice place right now. Drink up if you have em.

Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Reminds me a lot of Rochefort 10 except a bit more carbonated. Huge dark fruit flavor -- plums mainly. Bit of oak flavor. Velvety mouthfeel. Delicious, dangerously easy to drink 10% beer.

Photo of keithmurray
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage bottle

Appearance - reddish brown body with tan head

Smell - plums, red wine, figs

Taste - plums, grapes, figs, oak, red wine, blackberry

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high level of carbonation, full, rich, sweetness from the dark fruits upfront, oak on the backend, which is integrated into the flavor nicely

Overall - very good Belgian ale. Recommended

Price Point - $12.99/ 750 ML bottle

Photo of JayQue
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a great beer!! I can't believe I held on to this one for 3 years. Poured from a corked and caged bottle into my Chimay goblet. Muddy brown color with a lot of yellow light coming through. Nice size off white head with average retention. Minimum lacing.

Aroma is some dark fruit and oak. The smell is much weaker than the big flavor.

Taste is very good. Dark fruit (mostly figs) with the main flavor being the oak. Rich and malty, goes down very easily. Not much alcohol in the taste, mostly a warming effect, but then again I have had this for 3 years.

Mouthfeel is rich and mostly smooth. The oak provides a little bite and the warming effect of alcohol presence is felt.

A great Belgian style ale....typical for Unibroue.

Photo of Mlkluther
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Nice beer with so plum and prune.

Photo of jburley2
4/5  rDev -5.2%

2013 Bottle 750 mL
A: Somewhere between a dark amber and a pale brown
S: Figs with a little bit heat
T: Abundant sweetness with figs, oak and a little bit of boozy heat at the end
B: Thin body with nice carbonation
O: More subdued than expected but not to a fault, would drink again

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

The beer pours a dark chestnut brown with a foamy off-white head that provides substantial and unwavering bubble coverage and leaves a thick coat of sticky lacing while drinking. The nose is yeast-forward with a hint of dried fig, alcohol, light oak and molasses (more so with warmth). It's full flavored with a slightly nutty malt base, bubble-gummy yeast, and lingering tannic bitterness. The beer has a rich winter-weather approved malt base, but is stretched thin by a big yeast fruit presence, bitter oak astringency, and double digit abv. The beer's generous carbonation helps oxy-clean some of those heavy flavors off the palate, but it still sits heavier than expected. Regardless of a less than desirable mouthfeel/drinkability, it's a solid bargain bin find!

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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 995 ratings.