Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

995 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
Reviews by Hazer115:
Photo of Hazer115
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I shared a bottle with my brother. This beer poured a great golden amber with a short one finger head that didn't last very long.

I could really pick up on several notes from banana to vanilla to smoked oak.

All of the aromas carried over to the taste as well with a slight since of the alcohol content slipping in there.

A very bright and full mouthfeel with a lot of carbonation.

Overall, a very good beer and one that I would recommend to others.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say it's been awhile since I have had a new Unibroue offering,back in the day I dranf alot of their offerings.Poured into a goblet a russet brown color with a nicely formed one finger off white head.Some phenolic spice and dark fruit in the nose.Yeasty and spiced phenols on the palate,the spice-like phenolic notes are big,some dark fruit and alcohol rounds out the palate.It's a good Belgian dark but I don't get much wood aged except in the finish wich is mild,in saying that it does meld well with the spiced yeasty notes of the beer.

Photo of txbrewer
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice dark brown that you can barely see through (only on the edges). No real lacing from the light tan head.

S - Malty - good malty - delightful malty. Did I mention that nice malty smell. A very mild hop could be found hiding underneath. Some chocolate notes were hiding out in the back with the mild hops.

T - The nose and taste matched. That wonderful malt comes up and is backed by a almost chocolate like bittersweet that I really enjoyed. The hops take a back seat (way back) and that is just fine by me for this malty goodness.

M - Not too thick, not too thin. It is all around and floats throughout quite happily. The lower bitterness with the full frontal malty, cereal sweetness makes this all the much better in the hot summer days.

D - Yes, and then again, and then once more because you found out there was still some more in the bottle. Sipped on this gem while prepping food in the kitchen. Made the time go by so easily.

I asked the 'Beer Guy' at the store about it and he said smooth Chimay Blue that has been oak aged. He is quite knowledgeable on what he sells and he was dead on with this one. The fact that it was also on sale made even that much better of a find. I am going to try and get another bottle or two just to put up in the back of the fridge.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a reddish-brown beer with a tan head.
There was a fair amount of lace.

Aroma of fruit and caramel malt. There was a bit of spice present also.

More taste than I inferred from the aroma. Raisins, figs, cherries. Toffee and caramel. A hint of cinnamon.

This was a smooth, very satisfying beer. Would drink it anytime.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

According to the brewery's website, this is the exact same beer as Unibroue 17 and I have put in a request for the two entries to be merged. However, since I had this out of a bottle labeled as Grande Reserve, I am entering the rating under this entry.

The beer pours a brownish color with a white head. The aroma has a ton of dark fruit in it, as well as a little bit of toffee. The flavor is a little more complex, with some oak and cherry notes complimenting the cherry and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

This bottle was drank alongside an original Unibroue 17, which had developed more dark fruit and yeast components during its aging period.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Reviewed from notes - posted under the wrong entry before)

Handsome embossed bottled from the Yonge and Wellesley LCBO in winter 2012.

Dark brown and cherry, with a big frothy head and loads of lacing. Solid looking brew indeed.

Nose is cherry, figs, chocolate, a bit of yeast and indeterminate candied fruit.

A highly enjoyable dark ale - I really like how the oak played in to this. The chocolate is very delectable, with a slight milky flavor. Fruit is quite nice as well, and the yeast is, as per Unibroue's standards, also enjoyable. A slight woodsy finish. Really digging this. Medium bodied, slightly gritty/yeasty. Typical Unibroue in that respect.

A terrific brew that takes the Belgian Dark Ale to some exciting levels. A thoroughly enjoyable brew over the course of an evening. Worth a pick up!

Photo of jondeelee
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

17 Grande Reserve opens to a sweet, spicy nose that boasts, on the one hand, raisin, fig, date, plum, black cherry, and blood orange fruit esters, mixed with light molasses, brown sugar, and wildflower honey, and on the other, touches of clove, white pepper, perhaps ginger, allspice, coriander, cinnamon…the spice bouquet is varied, and much like in well-prepared foods, difficult to pin down. Hints of lemon and sweet pink grapefruit from the hops add texture. The overall effect is closer to mulled cider than beer, the dark fruits and spices coming together very nicely, tempered only by the lightest touch of toast crust and marble rye bread, and instantly reminiscent of Christmas: gingerbread cookies, five-star fruitcake, wassail. This is one of the more unique aromas I’ve ever encountered in a beer, and a welcome change from Unibroue’s spice-heavy noses.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a panoply of dark fruit esters, including raisin, plum, date, fig, prune, blood orange, and berry, with additional molasses, wildflower honey, and agave nectar thrown in for good measure. Spices are definitely peppery, but also seem to include ginger, cinnamon, clove, coriander, and perhaps allspice; again, the spices mingle well and are difficult to separate. There is a slight rubber tire hint around the edges, which is strange, but mostly blends well with the dark fruits. Touches of lemon and pine from the hops add further complexity, as do brown breads and toast crust. There’s also a very noticeable almost merlot-like quality to the beer, as if grape juice had been added pre-fermentation. The aftertaste is mainly spice, with some dark fruit left over, and lingers on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium to medium-high, biting at the tongue and soft palate.

Overall, this beer had immense promise on the nose, and while most of that translated well to the tongue, the interplay between spice and dark fruit created a strange rubbery taste around the edges, much the way that over-spiced fruitcake comes across as over-caramelized (the point of near-burnt) and slightly bitter. The beer is still good, but this bitter layer adds just enough of a strangeness that it becomes slightly off-putting. The beer is still worth trying, but I wish the taste had more closely followed the nose.

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 BGDrock
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 brew date, aged 1 year

Appearance: muddy, root beer brown; beige head fades swiftly to just a rim

Aroma: apple juice, white grape; fruity esters dominate; candy sweet; light overall

Taste & Mouthfeel: big apple cider flavour with some great yeast spice notes that are a perfect match - feels like a fall beer; medium body, clean texture, alcohol very well hidden; dates; sweetness builds, getting more sugary, although with a bit of tartness at the finish and a some alcohol vapours which actually benefit the overall experience; a hint of oak is verified when I check the label; some smooth pulpy feel, again reminiscent of fresh pressed cider

Overall: a fantastic yeasty beer, just the way a belgian ale should be, although wouldn't have minded a bit more variety in the fruit flavours

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2011 #2011-167353, damn a 10% alcohol Unibroue aged on French Oak this looked interesting. Pours a beautiful murky deep amber with a muddled mahogany brown overcast, big khaki tan head floating thick about three fingers worth in my Tripel Karmeliet chalice. Nose brings out rich mild smoked character with hints of toasted oak, a sliced apple, plump raisin, plums make up the fruit malt base with spice pepper like quality in there going on. Flavors are so balanced with rich oak notes, a mild vanilla spiced character basically the spice additions and French oak staves they aged it on have blended beautifully with this ten percent alcohol dark Belgian style ale. Again spicy floral character within the spice collides with vanilla, toasted oak with a fruity malt base keeping things interesting big layers of raisins/apple, and rum soaked plum with caramelized sugars don't become cloying at any point with alcohol burning just enough to balance out the sweet qualities of this rich oak aged ale. Mouthfeel is effervescent, yet big bodied with a bit of booze that is cohesive within the dynamics that this beer offers big dry oak in the finish with a pleasant robust malt profile throughout each sip. I will also credit some of the dry qualities from the spice additions that Unibroue is so well known for. Overall I'm proud to say I've been drinking Uniibroue bieres since 2001, I'm glad I found them so early in my drinking career.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a Chalice)
bottled on 2011
A- This beer pours a walnut brown body that glows at the base and has a boiling microcarbonation that supports a thick luscious head of beige foam.

S- The well blended aroma has notes of brown sugar and soft french oak some nice yeasty ester almost like dried dark fruit in the finish.

T- The dark sugar notes have a spicy phenolic taste to the finish that is slightly dry. There is a mellow vanilla like oak hint and some clove notes come through as it opens. There are some slightly fruity ester qualities and a nutty note as the beer opens up aswell.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a well hidden alcohol heat.

O- This beer is simple yet elegant with lots of subtle flavors working together. This makes it hard to describe aswell. Very nice beer.

Photo of biboergosum
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle, 2011 edition. A crazy-ass offering to find at the local liquor store monopoly concern, but, I guess I shouldn't complain. Ok, I will, but with a slight sidestep - what is it with these pseudo Champagne corks lately? I don't remember having to break out the pliers and corkscrew so often, and not that long ago. So get the hell off my lawn too, while I'm at it.

This beer pours a cloudy, dark ruby amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, silken, and foamy beige head, which leaves a pockmarked wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away. Nice.

It smells of dark, juicy fruit - bruised banana, wet raisins, fig - Belgian yeast with that French Canadian twist, caramel malt, somewhat boozy vanilla, a bit of astringent woody phenols, and earthy, musty hops. The taste is most certainly Christmas cake-like - caramel and vanilla, a bit of sweet breadiness, soft baker's yeast, figs, raisins, apple and cherry chunks strewn throughout - all doused in a nice red wine essence, with the oaken woodiness and tannic astringency balancing out the underlying sugary notes beautifully. Sigh, more please.

The bubbles are present, functional, and quite knowledgeable about right of way, the body a hefty medium weight, and smooth enough amongst some minor yeasty and boozy tugging. It finishes rather sweet, the bready caramel malt, attendant spices, and fruit still holding sway, with the understated barrel character contributing just enough to help, and not overwhelm.

Erm, well, WOW! Barrel (maybe?) treatment with a subtle touch, for my favorite (thus and by far) of Unibroue's anniversary offerings. What's not to like? Smooth, subtle, and beguiling, and in one of my favourite styles. Zut alors - je vous aime, je veux être avec vous pour toujours!

Photo of mintjellie
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange colour with ruby highlights. The beer gushes upon opening, and on pouring forms a massive pale beige head. Poor retention and lacing. The aroma is complex with fig, raisin, banana, nut; and delicate clove & vanilla notes. Malty and estery, opening with nut, and dried fruit (raisin and cherry) flavours. There is a strong clove note and a hint of banana mid-palate, followed by a strong oak flavour that provides a tannic finish. Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. The carbonation is very finely textured. There is a slippery, almost greasy quality to the mouthfeel that is especially noticeable between sips. Perhaps diacetyl at a level low enough that I can't find it with my nose or palate, but noticeable to the sense of touch. Whatever the cause, I think this beer feels wonderful in my mouth. A complex and satisfying beer - the tannic quality is challenging to my palate, but in a pleasant kind of way. It's strength is very well hidden as well - the alcohol is only really noticeable in terms of how it makes you feel. This is powerful stuff - in terms of flavour, potency, and sheer enjoyment.

Photo of GilGarp
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. No. 2011-117741.

Served at slightly cooler than cellar temp into a goblet.

Grande Reserve is a beautiful red amber color with less than perfect clarity. The head is thick at first but settles to just a thin layer. No lacing is left behind.

Aroma is sweet, oaky, and complex. It has dark fruits and spice notes with vanilla elements from the oak aging.

Flavor is intense and complex as well. Cherries and plums mix with pepper and clove. Oak seems to bring vanilla, tannins, and a red wine character as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and strongly carbonated. Alcohol is certainly there but it doesn't seem all that strong for such a young beer.

Overall another fantastic offering from Unibroue. I wouldn't expect anything less from this brewery.

Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, a Belgian like a wine. Well and complex malting. Not too sweet, very drinkable. Though not spicy, it has a richness of taste that was a mealin itself. Light chocolate, decent yeastability, better than Unibroue I have had.Dark thick brown, above average mouthfeel.

Photo of TownDunkel
4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have been a fan of Unibroue for quite awhile now and when I saw this grand reserve sitting on the liquor store shelf I knew I found gold.

Appearance - This is a beautifuly done limited edition beer. The color is a deep brown that seems to alter to a medium brown at the bottom when poured, never really seen the two tone before!

Smell - Oak, wood, slightly smokey. I wish that the smell was a bit more complex though to match the taste

Taste - Now thats what I am talking about. This has a great flavor the lives up to the Unibroue brand. A malty and smokey flavor that moves to a oak and hop.

Mouthfeel - I just wish this beer had a lasting effect and a bit more carbonation that would stick around when I sip it. Still good showing though.

Overall - A very nice beer but I think I would take a La Fin Du Monde or a Terrible over this one. Great for a try though

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 zaphodchak
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fluffy two finger head and a dusky toffee brown body. Some slippery lace. Good retention.

Nose has a trace of funk, some cola, a lot of coriander, almost metallic, and some hints of grape.

Rich body, thick with toffee, malt, spice and tangy, almost steely (French?) oak character. Coriander lends it a slightly bitter finish. A bit of prune, maybe date.

Bright on the tip of the tongue, much smoother in the back of the mouth.

A darn good beer. I wonder what this would do over time (currently a bit coriander-heavy), but I don't know if I'll buy another.

Photo of dirtylou
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

split and paired with a NY strip, hen of the woods shrooms and seabeans. #northwest

appearance: dark chestnut-garnet body, thick creamy beige head with strong lace

smell: earthy, figs, dried cherries, brown sugar, a touch of smoke

taste: lovely - brown sugar, dates, figs, roasted nuts, maple, dark malt, oak, a fair amount of spice.

mouthfeel: light and lively, well carbonated

overall: great stuff - no surprise from unibroue

Photo of RickS95
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottling

Pours a rich burgundy brown. Not quite as dark as I thought it would be. The head is a finger and a half thick with moderate retention. After some resting, a faint white-ish film rests gently on top.

It's got a lot of spices. Cinnamon comes to mind most. Very malty. Some yeast. A bit of coffee and what smells like chili.

A boatload of malt and plenty of spices. I pick up more cinnamon, malt. Like the nose, coffee and chili spice, and a hit of alcohol in the finish.

It's almost too spicy, but stops just before it crosses the line. Just enough sweetness to offset the spice. Medium bodied. Not hot, but more heat than you'd imagine. Fairly crisp, carbonated finish.

It's a big, strong beer. Definitely a sipper. Tastes more like a seasonal for the fall or winter months with all the spice. A good beer, probably something that could use some more aging.

Photo of Lucho
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours dark amber with a once inch beautiful white foamy head and excellent lacing

Smell: Apples! Green grapes, light oak, very little dark fruits like mission figs and others. Awesome nose that hits you with sparkling apple cider that has been held in oak.

Taste: Wow! This is awesome! Green grapes and apples with some maltyness, with some oak but does not overpower the fruits. There is not much alcohol flavor as this beer is at 10%. easy drinking as it begs you to take another sip. lets see how it open up towards the end of the bottle. I'll come back to this. It did not change too much as it warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Very well balanced with a medium to slightly thick body with perfect carbonation that bounces of the tongue.

Overall: This is a killer beer that has aged very well. I had this when it was released and wow has it mellowed out and fallen into place. Cant wait to revisit in another year. Cheers!

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Huge off white head. Lots of lacing. Thick collar.

Smell - Very fruity. Dark fruits. Cherry. Oak. Some banana.

Taste - Dark toffee malt. Then sweet fruitiness. A bit of sherry oxidation. Intense oak.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Medium heavy.

Overall - Very sweet. Pretty interesting, though.

Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent brown/hazel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Superior head retention & above average lacing

S: Pears, Figs & a touch of treaclely booze. Some phenolic notes once warm

T: Follows the nose, some apricot as well, much dryness & a touch of dark candi-sugar up front. Smokey/peaty notes as this warms, figs, a bit of boozey raisin & a touch of brown sugar. Finishes, dry, warming, figgy & with a touch of treacle, nutmeg, cinnamon & raisin

MF: Fairly chewy, light carbonation. Carbonation picks up as this warms, along a general warming feel, but also thins out a bit

A ponderous beer, says it's best before 12-12-2016, I'm sure this will age nicely, not too shabby as it is now, but I was hoping for given its Grande Reserve handle...

Photo of Heynow007
1.2/5  rDev -71.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

This may be the worst tasting beer I ever had, and I like them all. Stouts are my favorite, especially those aged in bourbon casks. This beer is aged also, but probably in poop casks. Taste like metal in my mouth. Way too carbonated and dull. No fruit, coffee or chocolates.
No where near dirty bastard from founders. can't touch dogfish head. Not even close to southern tier anything.

This beer sucks.

Photo of DonDirkA
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells like banana bread with walnuts in it. Crazy. Theres a lot of yeasty breadiness maybe some raisins. The taste is hotter than expected but its very malty and slightly sweet. It said that its made to age and I agree. Id like to get another one to keep for 1.5-2 years. But probably wont, can always hope.

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