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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

257 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 257
Hads: 1,071
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 94
Gots: 332 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Unibroue
Quebec, Canada | website

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: 257 | Hads: 1,071
Photo of TownDunkel
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
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

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Photo of davey101
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml C+C bottle into a goblet. #2011-91282, Best before 12-12-2016.

A - Clear dark brown body. Lets a good bit of light through. Nice and dense off white head with fantastic lacing and retention.

S - Tons of spice. Cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, maple syrup, and candied plums and raisins. A touch of earthy and bready yeast. Light oak and vanilla tannins.

T - Christmas spices lead into dark candied fruits and maple syrup. The finish is yeasty with notes of bready malt, bananas, and spicy esters. A light oak presence with a faint alcohol warmth. Mouth feel is well carbonated but medium bodied.

O - This is an excellent beer. The dark fruits and caramel/brown sugar work really well off of the spicy and banana strong Belgian yeast strain. A beer worth cellaring for sure, seems like it would evolve really well over time.

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Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured an opaque mahogany with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like bready yeast and sourdough and earthy caramel, with some oak and toffee and nutty malt, and a bit of soy and ginger.
T: It tasted like earthy caramel and sourdough and nutty malt, with some oak and toffee and Belgian yeast. It had a clean and mellow sweet and sour aftertaste.
M: It was thick and velvety with fine natural carbonation. Excellent full body.
D: This was an excellent barrel aged quad. Tons of refinement and delicate complexity in the scent and taste. The body was nearly perfect, and the alcohol was very well hidden. Smooth finish too, so it was very easy to drink, but worth sipping. Definitely built to age for a long time, but quite enjoyable fresh. Recommended.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass. (Bottled 2011)

Appearance: It comes off a slightly hazy dark amber soft bubbles throughout the body. The head is pretty thick right off the bat it's white with bit of an orange tint.

Smell: A light yeast aroma that hovers your nostrils, really good so far.

Taste: This beer a little sweet but then again little bitter, has a bourbon to a scotch feel that you can't get enough.

Mouth: Oh yes, very sticking and incredibly smooth.

Overall: This beer is really good, I wish I remember how much it went for because I have had it sitting for a very long time also considering it was probably bottled about a year ago. If you can find it, give it a go...Salud!

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of t420o
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue Grande Reserve 17

No. 2011-85961

Served @ 55 degrees

A- pour produces a big 3 finger tan head resting on a murky brown body with blood orange hues. Very good retention and decent lacing. 4.5 

S- robust caramel and chocolate malt, great yeast smell, green apples, tart cherry, faint oak, great spice smell. 4

T- taste is supurb. A really complex beer. Caramel malt, oak imparts the vanilla, and that wonderful yeast start off followed quick by some green apple, orange peel, tart cherry, spices, and some more of that robust malt. Alcohol is almost undetectable.  The slight vanilla that the oak lends to the beer is supurb. 4   

M- great medium body and nice carbonation level. 4

O- a wonderful beer that I'd love to get a couple more of to age. In fact, I think I will do that since for some reason these seem to be sitting on shelves. It may be the $13.99 price, but if people knew what they were missing they'd be all over it like a cheap suit. 4.5

A- 

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Photo of DavidST
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass, 2011 edition. This pours a hazy dark brown tea color with a massive foamy tan head with a pretty good retention. The smells are of sweet malts, yeast easters, banana, ripe fruit, funk. The feel is medium, high carbonation. The taste is pretty good full flavor lots of sweetness malts, fruit and a little dry on the day down. The high alcohol is completely absent.

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Photo of bismarksays
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chalice
A- Pours a dark rich color, like mahogany. A fluffy beige head and lacing is apparent. If you lacked head or lacing on this, you either don't clean your glasswear or simply do not know how to pour beer. The very picture of what a beautiful dark ale should look like.

Smell: Brown sugar, dark fruits, maybe a touch of banana. If not for a slight burn from either a medicinal yeasty touch or alcohol, it would have been higher for me. Other than that, very alluring and promising. Oh, also maybe a touch of vanilla as well. I didn't get it at first, but as the beer opened up more and warmed a touch, it is faint but present.

T/M: Okay, this baby is well carbonated. I know this is an issue for some BAs. They want their triples carbed and their dark beers a touch more sticky. For me, I only want it to feel nice in my mouth (both can illicit that feeling depending on the rest of the beer) and have the proper viscosity (neither thin nor molasses). For me, given what the bubbles likely did for bringing out the nose, I am more than fine with the bubbly nature of this. I also feel like the subtle flavors that I was unable to pick up in the nose (such as cherry and a light oak) became more accessible even as young as it was due to this lively nature. The slight alcohol burn in the nose is much more subtle in the mouth. Magnificent.

Overall: I waffled between a 4.5 and a 5 on this one. In the end, I went with the five because of the superior flavor and appearance of this beer. While the slight alcohol burn was somewhat unpleasant in the nose, I have to admit it in no way impacted my enjoyment on the beer. Also, it went away after about fifteen or twenty minutes.
I highly recommend this beer. World class.

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Photo of txbrewer
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 2011.

The beer pours a nice dark brown with crimson and near purple tints in it, very interesting. The head is a nice bubbly off white to almost tan head. Pretty.

The smell has a nice dose of sugary and spiced dark fruits,cinnamon and apples. Nutmeg and a touch of malty alcohol as well. Figs and sugar coated raisins. Not overly aromatic or unique.

The taste is nice and follows the smell very nicely, with some definite Belgian style yeast notes to it along with the dark dried fruits and toffee, some really cool underlaying spice. Some bitter notes too, interestingly in a fruity way once again. Taste doesn't explode with flavor as I'd hoped, but it is nice and pretty in line with most unibroue beers.

The feel is ok, more bubbly than I'd like and sort of thinner too. Way too prickly!

Good, but I'd prefer much easier and cheaper beers from unibroue better too. Maybe it's too young yet, it's hard to tell.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1" tan coloured head over brownish/amber liquid.

S: Yeast, pears and figs.

T: Oak, yeast, figs, pears and caramel.

M: Medium to full viscosity and a high level of carbonation, with some drying from the alcohol.

O: More on the bitter side than sweet, this Belgian Strong Dark Ale is quite complex. For my money, though, I prefer Terrible.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

#100

P:  A beautiful frothy bone colored head that remains steadfast.  Body of murky dark  burnt sienna with fluttering carbonation.  Spotty lacing gracefully grabs the sides of the glass 

S:  A potpourri of  medicinal yeast, musty oak, vanilla bean, caramelized  raisins, prunes, sweet bourbon, clove, and a timid anti bacterial soap smell.  Brown sugar, melted butter, bubblegum, taffy, and banana phenol. 

T/M:  Taste follows the nose and delivers a decadent velvety mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sureal the closest thing i can imagine is a melted milkshake.  Taste provides burnt toffee, black licorice,  dark chocolate lurking in the background  caramel, and heavy oak flavoring.  Spices are more subtle than the nose and the alcohol is well hidden.  finishes creamy and leaves with a desirable cherry oak bourbon presence. 

O:  I was really expecting a lot out of this beer since it was my #100 and I can honestly say I underestimated the beauty of this beast. This is without a doubt the best BSDA I have ever had. Granted I am a novice and have not sampled many. However, I find it hard to believe that it gets much better. I still have stock in my collection and will seek out more because I'm curious to see how long it lasts.  If you haven't had this and it's available grab as many bottles as you can find. Cheers!

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the PRF BBQ tasting soiree, full pour into a tasting glass. Thanks to Marsupialized for the generous heavy pour early in the evening, and Peppers/EmpireStateTroopers for hosting!

Appears a murky mahogany brown, turbid with yeast, with cappucino stained foam.

Nutty malty aromas, dried fruit - raisin, currant, dates, some vanilla and oak traces. Flavors follow suit with a low level amount of oak in the background, dominant Belgian yeast lending clove and spice, candi sugar stickiness, and some residual dried fruit in the aftertaste. Full bodied, though it comes off a little thin in the finish. It does seem well suited for cellaring a year or two. A tasty BSDA, and it was nice to get a chance to try it.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of raffy313
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml (C&C'ed) bottle, poured into a Brooklyn tulip. [Bottle No. 2011-102944, Best Before: 12-12-2016]

Pours a murky dark brown with redish hues when held up to the light. A 2 finger tan head with decent retention. Hardly any lacing left behind.

Dark fruits are the primary aromas(raison, fig and abit of fig), with a licorice type spiciness and a nicely balanced brown sugar sweetness. A hint of cherries, and some oakiness round out these rather awesome aromas.

Flavors are almost identical to the nose, with the dark fruits taking the forefront.

Medium body, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. A dry finish, and a definate alcohol bite once it's given some time to warm.

Never had a bad offering from Unibroue, and this one didn't dissappoint. Love this style, and this is one of the better Belgium Strongs I've had. Definately recommend and so glad this one made it to TX.

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Photo of n2185
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a murky brown with two dingers of beige head that fades into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: spices up front with sweet candy sugar and dark fruits. There are some slight buttery notes along with oak and chardonnay-like aromas.

T: similar to the aroma, there are spices and dark, slightly buttery, fruits up front. Oak and chardonnay follow with a slight alcohol presence.

M: medium body with high carbonation, this beer is very dry and clean with a high attenuation.

O: a very tasty beer overall. I enjoyed the regular 17, and the oak barrels add some nice flavors and aromas to it.

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Photo of stephens101
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a bold tan head (2+ fingers). Dark brown and crimson in color. Great retention. Has a grainy aroma with some dark fruits (cherries, black grapes) phenols and slight vinegar notes. A splash of dark fruit to the tongue is followed by a certain graininess, burnt sugar, sweet bread and light hops. Some cotton candy sweetness is noticed as it warms and I find some oak deep down. Medium bodied and a bit airy, smoothly textured, and with a thin veil of alcohol heat. Residing in the realm of the best. I only with this wasn't a one-off.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of kjyost
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle 2011-9067 from the MLCC. Poured at ~6C into a fluted glass.

A: Pours a brown with hints of red at the edge and hints of haze with a great white/tan head that towers over the beer, almost as tall as the beer itself. Perfect score if it were not for the haze.
S: Delciiously phenolic. Definite raw oak notes with dark dried fruits like raisins, plums and figs. Pepper. Maybe a hint of booze.
T: I am in love. Quite hard to find faults with this beer. A bit of sweetness that quickly gives way to the dried fruits with black pepper finishing. More plum than raisin, and some of the oak is evident.
M: Quite dry for the ABV with no hint of the ABV. Seems a hint watery though. Great prickly carbonation. A touch more body would have helped the mouthfeel, although it may have detracted from the body
O: I remember the original barely, though I remember quite liking it. I had a bunch of belgians at this point of my life without my revelation that beer can be better, I just always chalked it up to "different culture, different beer". A year or so later I had my epiphany and wished I had stored this beer (store beer? no one does that). Glad to see it back and as delicious as ever.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium dark brown color with a slight haze and a faint red orange highlight when held to light. Good sized tightly bubbled off white head persists forever. Smells of raisins, dark sugar, caramel, clove, banana, and a bit of ethanol. Lightly spicy with a bit of red wine and vanilla. Nice nose. Taste is mostly sweet with a bit of sugary and caramel interspersed with lots of dark dried fruits. Spicy yeasty phenolics mix with a bit of warming alcohol to form a long lingering sweet finish. Over the top level of carbonation, medium body with a bubbly sweet mouthfeel. Nice tasty beer but has that signature Unibroue sameness. Caramel and dark dried fruit with too much carbonation that tries to ruin the mouthfeel. Glad I tried it, I don't think I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of mscudder
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Poured into a Duvel snifter.

A - Dark brown with a thick light-tan head. Just a tone off from being opaque. Beautiful beer.

S - Dark fruits, touch of caramel, some brown sugar and vanilla.

T - That is what a call delicious. A bit warm from the ABV, but not a strong presence for a big 10%. A wealth of earthy flavors battling against sweetness from the malts.

M - Mild carbonation which adds a bit to this one. Body is heavy as expected but this feels a bit thin for me.

O - This is a fantastic brew from Unibroue that only gets better as it warms, letting out its plethora of flavors. A bit expensive for a bottle (~$13), but if you like dark Belgian beers and are a fan of La Fin Du Monde, Maudite, or other Unibroue beers, this is a must.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
2.85/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Review from notes. Poured into a snifter

A Pours a dark brown with a large billowy head.

S Very fruity with some apple but mostly a banana like note. Also a bit of vanilla and some wood as well.

T While there are hints of things like oak and vanilla, they are drowned out by a massive amount of the fruity yeasty like taste that seems to be standard on all unibroue beers. Also lots of booze doesn't help either.

M Pretty full body with a good bit of carbonation.

Overall an alright beer that is not worth the price point.

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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.