Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

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Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

235 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 235
Hads: 1,015
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 9.48%
Wants: 85
Gots: 303 | FT: 18
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 235 | Hads: 1,015
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. (823 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy brown color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Dark fruit nose and flavor is semi-sweet dark fruit and oak. Some yeastiness in finish. High ABV is hidden. Good dark ale but Unibroue's Trois Pistoles is better and cheaper. $11.99 for a caged and corked 750ml bottle from The Meat House Pembroke, NH. (373 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml
Caged/Corked
Bottled In: 2011
Best Before: 12-12-2016

Poured into a chalice a nice dark grape color, nice carbonation, with a little fizzy off-white head, with very minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice yeast notes, plums, figs, grapes, and raisins. The taste is very nice, malty, yeasty, with lots of dark fruit goodness. The ABV is hidden very well with this brew. Medium body. Overall another very nice brew from Unibroue. (463 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Steve as part of the QuadShowdown. 750ml into some tulips, 2011 re-release.

Poured a deep mahogany, lightly purplish. A big cream coloured head is formed. Nose has some light grape, dark fruits, sugary with a slight vanilla note. Taste has alcohol soaked dark fruits, dark syrupy and lightly sugary notes, Unibroue house yeast is completely evident here. Almost reminiscent of Trois Pistoles in some senses. Light and active carbonation upfront but smooths out as the sip progresses (something I find with all Unibroue beers). Very nice but not exceptional. Not alot of the oak aging is evident here, and if it is, it must be very subtle. (656 characters)

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

750 ml Grand Reserve bottle purchased from the LCBO & poured in to a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Poured a medium ruby/brown colour, only very slightly translucent with 2 fingers of thick, bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Belgian yeast, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, raisins and a light orchard fruit aroma.

T - Belgian yeast, plum, fig, raisins, caramel and toffee. The flavours are well balanced with no one flavour being dominant. The oak is very subtle in the background.

M - Medium body, chewy. Light carbonation. (517 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, spices, dark citrus, slight hops, hint of cherry, and a hint of grass. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, dark citrus, yeast, hint of hops, hint of pale malt, and slight spice. Overall, good appearance, aroma, blend, and body. (463 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought the original 17 Anniversary was a bit spicy, this one was the same, but not quite as phenolic.

Very bubbly, pours with a huge head. Good retention, leaves a bit of lace.

Spicy, boozy aroma prepares you for the taste. Alcohol is very forward. I think this one could definitely benefit from some age.

Well-attenuated, highly carbonated, dry finish.

It'd be interesting with some age on it, or back-to-back with the original for comparison. (451 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip; this batch was bottled in 2012. I'm excited!

Appearance: rich amber-brown hue with a moderate haze and a finger of creamy tan foam atop. Nice head retention and overall appearance.

Smell: sweet with a phenolic bite right up front; this mellows to a chalkier aroma with hints of rich, dark fruits. Not bad, but a bit unrefined.

Taste: kind of the opposite of the aroma; with the dark fruits up front and the phenolic bite toward the end. There's a good spiciness, although what I'm really after in a beer like this is the fruitiness. Good, but not outstanding.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of well-integrated carbonation. Quite satisfying.

Overall: perhaps this beer will get better with age, but the spicy phenolic character is just a bit rough for my palate. I love the fruity undertones and wish they played a more prominent part in the flavor. (902 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 1/5/12 thanks liamt07 for the bottle

A dark drown with dark amber highlights when held to the light, two fingers of tan foam has great retention and leaves some random lace

S brown sugar both crystal and burnt, woody yeast, raisin, faint booze but not 10%, there's some over-ripe candied banana and some fortified wine on a deep whiff, smells great with a nice sweet malty complexity with the wood and yeast adding to it even further

T a little more fruity then the nose with slightly more booze but still well concealed for the strength, woody finish and slightly spicy, still everything I smell with less candied banana

M creams up the instant it enters your mouth without being foam, not much heat but there's just a little, impressive all things considered, long finish of wet wood and brown sugar

O I don't have a whole lot to complain about while I'm drinking this one, its drinking great today and I'm sure it would age well too

Unibroue continues to impress me with this brew, great complexity, well concealed liquor, and it smells and tastes great. I preferred this to the aged original 17 I just had last week. It's my understanding that this on will come to Alberta in the future and I'll be buying several to age if it dose, for now I'm thanking liamt07 yet again for the opportunity (1,354 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A dark murky brown with a creamy, light tan head. Good head retention and lacing.

Lightly woody and fruity. Nice, sugary malt notes. The vanillin from the wood complements the fruit character well.

Malty with a good dark fruit note. The oak is really well integrated. Quite good.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation. Solid.

A really nice beer. Good combination of Belgian and oak. Well balanced. (412 characters)

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

From the 750 ml. bottle, 2011 batch dated 12-12-2016. Sampled on June 15, 2012. It pours an incredibly dark amber with red hues and a slightly cloudy appearance too. The soft, supple, off-white head lingers the whole time. The aroma is wonderful with its merger of Belgian yeast, Belgian candied sugar, dark malts, molasses, dark fruits, and maybe even a slight smoky note. The body is slick and in the medium to bold range. The taste is upfront candy sweet and malty with a quickly rising hop bitterness that lingers and becomes dry. An outstanding beer that was easily worth the $14 that I paid for it. (604 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $9.95

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a large size beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, clove, apples, an earthiness

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and dark fruits. There is also a bit of vanilla, apple, and a yeasty spiciness. I can also pick up on the oak and a bit of a burnt/charred flavour.

Overall - Really complex and something that is pretty different from the other beers in the Unibroue lineup. I have a few bottles tucked away and can't wait to see how they taste aged. (754 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a mahogany brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of off white, creamy, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of spices, dark fruit, malt, and yeast.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, raisins, a little fig, spices (cloves, perhaps), malt, and brown sugar. A robust, complex, and well rounded flavor. Everything you expect from BSDA.

M: A high amount of carbonation with a smooth, prickly, lively finish. Medium- to heavy-bodied.

O: Definitely one of the best beers of the style, certainly one of the best to be found outside Belgium. Definitely worth seeking out. (650 characters)

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 (447 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a twany brown with decent head on top of a dark and tropical fruit aroma, some very noticeable yeast along with sugary goodness and that touch of orange/citric spice along with spices. Smooth, semi-creamy medium body that has a fuller mouthfeel thanks to that distinct yeast. This beer has a crackle to it thanks to some lively spices that are peppery and clove-like and there are plenty of fruit flavors. There's an easy to spot orange/banana like citric taste, as well as some black cherry or figs for a dark fruit taste and then there's fruits across the board like apple and grape that I pick up here and there. Well-balanced between this fruits and some spicy and sweet malty goodness, the beer has a lively finish thanks to some good carbonation as well and is a very enjoyable sipper. (798 characters)

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

Stoked for this one. No. 2011-22437.

A - Pours a murky amber colour with nice carbonation. Two fingers of thick, fluffy light brown head. Some chunks of lace with thick spatterings, and a half finger of thick head for retention.

S - Yeast, sweet spice, dark fruit, other fruity esters. Some grapes. The subtle spicing is nice combined with the yeast and fruit.

T - Dark fruit, a little booze, yeast plays less of a role, the dark fruit really comes out nice. That typical Unibroue yeast with its harshness is there. Sweetness is kept under control, and there is little to no evidence of the oak aging. The finish is nice with a sweet dark fruit note. Sweet, spicy, and rich.

M - Smooth, nicely carbonated, coats the mouth well, medium to full body.

O/D - A fairly solid BSDA. Not what I was expecting. I wanted something great, but for some reason I think Unibroue's yeast got in the way again. Aside from that it's a great, very drinkable and enjoyable one from Unibroue. At $10 I don't think I would reach for it often, but the three others in the cellar will be for special occasions. The smoothness makes this an 'A' beer. (1,132 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lovely dark amber/brown color. A massive rocky and dense head forms with excellent retention. Light lace is left behind.
S: Candied fruits, figs, spices. The liquorish aroma I got from the original release, but not as over powering. Still plenty of spices. That distinct Unibroue musky yeast. Chocolate, vanilla, oak. Ultra complex, but nothing is over powering.
T: More of a toasted malt flavor up front, and some wood/oak. Coffee, Chocolate, candied fruits, vanilla, spice and musky yeast. All the complexities of the nose, but I think the toasted malts and wood flavors brings everything together perfectly.
M/D: A medium to full body. Very carbonated, crisp and smooth at the same time. So easy to drink. The alcohol is nowhere to be seen. A great sipper.

The liquorish that was in the original release is still there, but much more mellow. Complexities come out in spades, and a real treat. Highly recommended. (927 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.72/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (580 characters)

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. (515 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip

The body sits a chestnut brown with reddish highlights and a beige cap that rises quickly. A bubbly, fizzy cap reminiscent of soda, just a touch creamier.

The aroma is a mix of sweet and spice. Raisins, figs, cherries, brown sugar, wine, clean oak, clove, orange peel, licorice, and peppercorns.

The flavor profile matches the nose. Broad and complex, but lacking in some density. Brown sugar, raisins, and figs up front before a rush of cherries and spice. The finish is a bit of citrus, peppercorns, and dry oak. Maybe a touch of vanilla/coconut. The oak presence is notable. As it warms, a bit of a smoke element emerges.

Medium bodied, a bit prickly carbonation. The finish is a bit of rum, sugary sweetness, and clean oak. The carbonation detracts a little bit too much from the complexity. Something softer would really complement all of these flavors.

A damn fine BSDA that balances the sweet and spice very well. Excellent aging and complexity. (991 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – The beer pours a very murky brownish-red color with a small foam head of an off white tan color. The head fades moderately fast leaving only a decent level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is massive and sweet with tons of darker fruits. The darker fruit smells are heaviest of a raisin smell, but contain other aromas of plum and fig as well. Along with the dark fruit are some rather strong smells of candied sugar as well as some smells of molasses. Other Belgian aromas of a yeasty smell as well as a decent showing of spice of a coriander, clove, and pepper aroma are there. Some banana smells and a bit of a boozy red wine smell mix with the sweeter Belgian strong dark smells nicely to produce a sweet and inviting aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins much drier then would have been anticipated from the nose, but does begin with many of the flavors that may have been expected. Some darker fruit flavors of a raisin and fig taste mix with a decent showing of a toasted grain and spiced flavor of coriander and clove. As the taste advances, the darker fruit fade some, but are replaced by a bit of brown sugar and molasses, maintaining an overall moderate sweetness. All the while, the roasted flavors increase some and are joined by some rum and some grapy red wine flavors. Some woody flavors also come to the tongue more toward the end, mixing the more boozy rum and red wine flavors nicely and bringing in the barrel aged flavor the would be expected from the label. A bit of a cocoa and yeasty flavor come more toward the end as well, and with them bringing a light spicy earthy flavor, to overall in the end, leave a darker fruity, more lightly sweetened, Belgian strong dark flavor with a nice heavy warming feel to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is higher and pricklier. The bigger body is nice for the darker and boozy flavors of the beer all while the prickly carbonation is fantastic for the fruity, yeasty spiced, and sweet flavors of the beer. Overall, well done.

Overall – like most of Unibroue’s beers, this is a very enjoyable and quite tasty brew with lots of robust flavors that blend rather well with each other. A very tasty Belgian strong dark. (2,370 characters)

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. (1,098 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Number 2011-109047. Best before 12 December 2016.

A: Significantly foamy head (great retention) tops a mahogany opaque beer.

S: Musty fruit...a touch of tobacco (stale yeast? lees?). This earthiness might actually be oak.

T/M: Mmm! Excellent. Smooth, full, round, and quite tasty. Lightly tart dark fruit (prunes), spicy Belgian yeast. Creamy, but reserved (no pun here) with a robust, dry finish. Spices added are obvious, but not obtrusive...clove and coriander mayhap? The juxtaposition between sharp and smooth, fruity and spicy is just great.

O: A pretty great beer. Way better than I thought it would be. Highly recommended. Want to have again. If you can find it, buy it. (739 characters)

Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with some ruby showing through the edges under a small thick tan head that leaves no lacing.

Aroma is dark and fruity but has more spices than I was expecting with some peppery notes and Belgian yeast. Also some clean fresh oak. The fruits are booze-soaked raisins and figs.

The taste starts wih the dark fruits but has an interesting toasty character to the malt profile. Then the fruity esters take over and some figs, raisins and spicy oak. The finish is a combo of sweet fruit and dry peppery spices.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated with lots of dry oak on the palate as well as brown sugar and molasses sweetness.

This is a really nice Belgian beer from Unibroue though not one of my favorites from them. Big, complex and woody. (791 characters)

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. (327 characters)

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.