1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

926 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 926
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.85%
Wants: 69
Gots: 244 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-30-2011)
View: Beers (34) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 926 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRap
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Hellpop65
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of jklecko2
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of clesius
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of brpendergast85
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of StoicBeast
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Walkerjgt
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of hypnotoad1
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of jmkoscie
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Tnkemist
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of tom10101
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of jera1350
3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany colored with a fluffy and sticky head of tan foam. Very nice retention and lacing.

The nose is wee bit light. There are notes of bubblegum, alcohol, some dark fruit and an herbal smell also.

Lots of oak going on throughout this beer. Quite herbal and a bit floral with some mild fruitiness and a good dose of alcohol. The finish has some bitterness from the wood and perhaps the hops. Big alcohol and oak on the end. The oak is actually pretty overpowering and harsh at times.

Very dry and tannic with soft carbonation in a medium body. Warm alcohol feel too.

A bit of a disappointment for me now, but I think this beer would do really well with age to tame the oak and booze. Just too raw as a fresh beer, but I see immense upside for the future of this one.

Photo of matthiasbrau
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From tasting notes Nov. 24, 2012

Unibroue 17th Anniversary (2011 bottling)

-fancy paper label; BBD 12/12/2016
-served @ 53f
-deep amber red color
-two fingers foam with no lacing
-no booziness on the nose; as it warms, booze becomes more apparent
-thinner mouthfeel than the 2010 bottling
-nutmeg/vanilla spice is much more subtle than the 2010 bottling

See my related review of the 17th Anniversary ale (pre "Grande Reserve" - bottled in Dec. 2010) as I sampled that beer and this one on consecutive nights.

If I had to choose between the two, I would say the Dec. 2010 bottling was better. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more. The 17th Anniversary Grande Reserve 2011 bottling could probably benefit from additional aging; glad I bought a couple more for the cellar. Overall, both vintages are fantastic beers that I look forward to enjoying over the years.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pour is hazy dark brown with tight light tan head. Nose is heavy candied sugar with notes of oak, lightly cooked brown sugar, a bit peppery, slightly green vegetable, strong dark berry aroma and a tinge of alcohol. Taste follows suit, a bit sweet, lots of berries and candied sugar, light oak balanced in fairly well, a hint of green herb and alcohol in the finish. Body is smooth and full, assertive carbonation and semi dry finish. There is a cooked sugar note that lingers with sweet dark berry after the finish.

Photo of DenverLogan
3.59/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From corked bottle into Gulden Draak large tulip glass. Purchased locally. #2011-167955
Modest cork pop...pours with a giant head...muddy brown copper color.
Rich aromas of oak, tropical fruit, Italian herbs...
Modest carbonation and strong mouthfeel.
Flavors of tropical fruit, roasted malts, dark chocolate, minerals, cardboard, bubble gum...I'd better let this open up for a few minutes...
OK...many minutes later...small head...aroma of funky fruit and toasty malts. Flavors are rich and unique...powder sugar meets tropical fruit with sweet malts. There's also an uncomfortable bitterness, something slightly burning, perhaps some oxidation (might have tasted great at the brewery!), perhaps the French oak...not smooth, not easy drinking. This particular bottle is perhaps rougher than the 100+ Unibroue bottles I've ever tried...humm.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is brown with some red on the edges. The head is beige color and disappear quite fast. The aroma is timid initially. Maybe the beer is too cold, I'll let it warm a little bit. After a little bit, I notice some notes of caramel malts, oak and dark fruits (blackberry and cherry). In the mouth, it is quite carbonated... just like all unibroue beers. Slightly spicy. Some other aspect found in the aroma are present in the mouth. This is a pretty decent beer from Unibroue. One of their best.

Photo of smakawhat
3.64/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a wine like snifter glass. Vintage 2011 Much thanks to the DC bottle share.

Sample pour provides a real creamy tan head, but a very muddy murky brown body, not much else.

Nose fills with large creme brulee sweetness. Sticky toffee, with a little bit of Belgian sucrose and raisin like sweetness. Oak angle on this is not that noticeable.

Extremely fleeting palate. Slightly watery mouthfeel for a barrel aged beer, and particularly a Belgian Dark. Mild faint raisin quality and some faint oak toasty qualities. Sweetness hinted on the nose doesn't come through in the palate with not much flavor.

Overall even for a Belgian dark and particularly a barrel aged one the qualities on this really seem to be missing and toned down.

Photo of papat444
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

MY 600TH REVIEW!

***2011 Vintage***

Poured from a 750ml. bottle and shared with my wife (Date code: M12111602QFL, bottled Dec. 12, 2011)

Appearance: Massive foam that isn't overwhelming but still sturdy. Body is a light chestnut brown and the head is the color of lightly caramelized sugar. Very nice.

Smell: Strong Belgian overtones mixed with some oak soaked in white wine. Mild spicing as well.

Taste: The mellowness is the first thing that hits me. Cork and oak mixed with some mild wine-like overtones. Some spices with a lingering herb presence in the finish. Nice but not as complex as i would have anticipated.

Mouthfeel: Strong carbonation with a body that feels quite smooth. Packs a little bit of heat.

Overall: Some nice oak aging nuances but to me, that's what they were, nuances. Left me wanting a little.

Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

750ml corked and caged bottle shared with NewBrewBB (thanks Brett). Served in a taster. Pours a deep, brownish amber with a loose, cream-colored head that dissipates into a swirl across the center and a tight band around the edges. Nose expresses dark fruit, toasted notes, and a hint of buttery oakiness. Taste follows nose; however, the flavors are really masked by the carbonation. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an extremely gassy/prickly carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a decent beer - typical Unibroue quality; however, the extreme carbonation kills it a bit.

Photo of Pahn
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 2 inch fizzy off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a small ring of lacing. Pours a semi-translucent chestnut/maroon, not much lacing. Great color.

Smell: At first, smells like a witbier (coriander, a little clove). Quickly gets augmented with Belgian quad aromas, dark fruit, cola. Signature Unibroue yeast aroma, augmented by clove, some smokiness, mild ambiguous dark fruit. Spicy and effervescent. Very nice.

Taste: Coriander and clove, with some ambiguous dark fruit heavily influenced by the spice (in other words, tastes like it smells, though a bit milder and even more unbalanced toward spice). Same signature Unibroue yeast that you ought to expect from every Unibroue beer (I like it). Nice French oak undertones, very subtle (creamy, almost-vanilla / almost-coconut) that aren't detectable in every sip, but are a good counterpoint to the spicy main flavor. Fruity, spicy aftertaste. Bit boozy, but appropriate.

The flavors here are good, with the spice giving a tangy, smoky tinge to the dark fruit and Belgian yeast, but it's not very deep. A beer like this, I want more adventurousness... but it tastes good. Other complaint is that the spice use is a heavyhanded element among a few significantly subtler elements, which isn't so great.

Mouthfeel: Thin side of medium bodied. Very carbonated (over- for my tastes). Good finish; neither dry nor sugary.

Overall: Enjoyable, especially if you like Unibroue's regular lineup (mildly backhanded compliment). Interesting beer, with flashes of brilliance (the restrained oak influence, the clove/dark fruit interplay, the bold aroma). Nowhere near great, but I like it very much.

Photo of erialbill
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of MooseBoose
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 926 ratings.