Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
4.51/5 rDev +6.9%
Split a 750ml bottle (2012) with my wife at cellar temp, served in snifters.
A: Beautiful beer, dark amber, that produced a two inch off-white head on vigorous pour. Head dissipated over five minutes but maintained a thin coat over the surface almost until the finish. Didn't pay attention to the lacing.
S: I don't know; caramel, raison, bread, a tiny bit of roast? My nose isn't that great, but it seemed kind of indistinct. It smelled like I expected it to smell but subtler; inviting but it didn't exactly blow me away. Not that it needs to.
T: It's a one-year old bottle, so very smooth. The flavors follow the nose--caramel, raison, dried fig, dark bread--but very nuanced, almost delicate, surprisingly laid-back. I really enjoyed this beer, but I expected a stronger burst of flavors. It's very seductive, but coy. The alcohol was well-hidden, and the oak extremely well-integrated.
M: Silky, toward the lighter end of a medium body, not at all cloying or overly sweet. Refreshing, really, and very easy to drink. Carbonation was perfect.
O: It's a little pricey but worth every penny IMO. I was surprised by its very subdued smell and taste, but it really was delicious. Less estery than I expected for a Belgian style ale, but that was almost a plus. Really pleased with this beer, but not blown away. Which is fine--a really good ale doesn't always need to show off.
01-11-2014 21:59:47 | More by Jim_Benz
British Columbia (Canada)
4/5 rDev -5.2%
Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Pours a red-tinted chestnut brown colour. Nose offers sweet notes of sweet, dark dried fruit and baking spice. Taste is similar with notes of cinnamon, raisins, booze and Belgian yeast spice. A big sipper for cold evenings.
01-08-2014 21:07:56 | More by CookstLiquor
4.66/5 rDev +10.4%
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.
01-02-2014 18:44:03 | More by avalon07
4.2/5 rDev -0.5%
Appearance- Pours up a great amount of head that seems to have some staying power. The head is an off-white/light tan while the body is a muddy, chestnut brown with hints of amber which appears as a dark amber with hues of crimson and maroon in the light. The lacing consists of a lattice type sheeting.
Nose- Started off with a little bit of apple that seemed to turn to slightly tart cherry from the bottle. The glass shows a lighter apple with some clove and banana. The bottle remains a bit more resilient with a streak of ashy cloves and a tone of overall stone fruits. Glass seems to settle on a creamy and inviting apple.
Taste- Starts off fairly reflective of the nose though I wish the apple was more dominant of a dominant note. Mixed with the rounded cloves and banana, it's somewhat reminiscent of applesauce. Very well rounded with lots of balance. There isn't anything especially striking here except the extremely refined and subdued type of brew you expect from Unibroue. Some hints of brown sugar and candy sugar in the background. Light raisins and plums. Light brown bread. Presence is on the lighter side but this is not the type of beer that you drink for such. Seems in the middle for Unibroue beers which is good to really good. I really appreciate that you can rely upon their product and that it is always affordable. Some hints of pears. Pretty much a really good beer. Some citrus. Orange, lemon, hints of coriander.
Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied. Light carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy. The mouthfeel is very important to the overall perception of this beer.
Drinkability- Pretty much like almost any other Unibroue beer I've had. Very easygoing while being interesting. Doesn't show a touch of its 10%. Twelve bucks is a reasonable price but I'd probably go with the cheaper, year-round Unibroues instead.
Overall- Good to really good, but mostly really good. I haven't had a Unibroue I wouldn't suggest trying and this is no exception. But try the other ones first. Also, this gets closer to some of the more renowned quads as it starts to have a very strong raisin profile. It's reminding me a lot of Westy at the moment but I'm sure this is only in one aspect. Still pretty good.
01-02-2014 05:29:26 | More by artoolemomo
4.58/5 rDev +8.5%
750 mL caged and corked bottle picked up at the LCBO; this is the 2013 edition. Served at cellar temperature, and poured into a tulip.
Pours a hazy, burnt amber-brown colour, topped with one finger of velvety-smooth, creamy beige-coloured head. It slowly dissipates, eventually leaving a thin, dense cap, a creamy collar, and a modest quantity of lacing behind in its wake. Interesting, complex, yeasty aroma with multiple layers - plum pudding, bubble gum and rum raisin come to mind, with additional vinous, tannic notes. Hints of oak and vanilla can also be detected, blending well with the yeasty spice and boozy nature of the brew.
Very rich-tasting and complex, showing the same level of quality and craftsmanship as their other highly-lauded BSDAs. The profile is overall rather fruity, with raisin, fig and plum pudding flavours atop some butterscotch, brown sugar and toasted malts. From there, it begins to take on a slight dark rum vibe, likely due to the oak and vanilla effects of the barrel aging. The finish becomes increasingly yeasty and spicy, with notes of bubble gum and white pepper leading into a somewhat boozy, woody, tannic aftertaste. Beautifully complex; vinous notes of red wine and oak continue to crop up on the palate long after the sip has been swallowed. Not quite full-bodied but definitely on the sturdier side; this one has a luxurious, smooth mouthfeel that contrasts nicely with the prickly, restrained carbonation levels. As delicious as this beer is, the alcohol content is quite noticeable so it's not something I'd prefer more than a few glasses of (finishing this entire bottle tonight will probably take a few hours, but I think I'm up to the challenge).
Final Grade: 4.58, an A+. This brewery never ceases to amaze me - as much as I love Unibroue's other strong dark ales, I think I'd have to say that Grande Réserve 17 tops even superb classics like Maudite or La Terrible. The French oak aging really helps this brew stand out from the crowd, and the end result is a sinfully tasty, complex, lip-smackingly good winter sipper that no fan of Belgian-style beers should neglect to try. My only regret - that I didn't pick up another bottle to cellar! Oh well, there's always next year's batch.
01-02-2014 04:53:52 | More by thehyperduck
Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.