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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

250 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 250
Hads: 1,053
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 91
Gots: 320 | 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.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 250 | Hads: 1,053
Photo of TheBierdimpfe
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thick cloudy copper color with a pink hue and powerful carbonation activity. Extra foamy, delicate, beige 3 finger sparkly head, creating a foam island and lasting around 12 minutes, with some strong legs.

Aromas and flavors of dark fruits, citrus, caramel, honey or maple, floral and herbal spices. Well intensified, delicious rich super fruity taste, slightly vinous but in a soft sweet way, with hints of orange/lemony/coriander/apple slightly bitter feel and a pleasant earthy oak sensation.

Slick, almost creamy, full body with some perfect carbonation. Balanced finish ending with a slightly bitter and dry, thick dark berries mouth coat and perfectly spiced aftertaste.

Overall : The perfect craft; sexy lovely look, warming, awesome freshness, complex delicious flavors, inviting smell, accessible...what else do you want?

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Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a beer I had set aside for my 1000th beer. I change my mind because I asked for a poll on this site (which got deleted - but the admin gave me congratulations so I don't mind) and on the League on Facebook because it got deleted. I wish I hadn't listened to the poll, which voted for Barrel-Aged Bigfoot. This beer has phenomenal flavor, a darker color than anything I've seen in this style, and it is so smooth.

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Photo of 4ster
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage, Drank 2014 from Tulip.

Didn't try it upon release, but seems to have really smoothed out, and probably bumped up a few ABV's.. Unfortunately didn't get to write a proper review.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From bottle with best before date 12/18/2017. Pours deep cloudy red-brown with plenty of tan foam that lingers. Spicy and yeasty aromas. Caramel, bread, and malt, malt, malt. Oak on the finish.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.21/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2013, BB 2/28/18 at 45 degrees into hand washed and dried tulip
Aroma moderate, rotting fruit, rapidly dispenses to nothing
Head large (6 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishes to 4 mm ring and irregular layer
Lacing good – partial wide rings of tiny to medium bubbles
Body brown amber, slight haze (Bottle conditioned)
Flavor weak, some yeast phenolics and weak fruity esters; no hops, no alcohol in taste or smell (although a stomach warmth comes and quickly passes), no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, slightly fizzy

Appearance 4, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5

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Photo of sillyhed8
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very solid beer. I am usually not too fond of Unibroue, maybe it's the yeast or the spice they use, and I know I stand alone on this one, but this beer I found quite drinkable and very nice.

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Photo of jimdisser
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Complex mix of chocolate notes, caramel, with some hop bitterness. The bottle we split was from my bro Sam Bakko, owner of Wolverine Market, and was 2 years old. This beer is aged in a French oak barrel and the refermented in the bottle. Strange brew!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gift from a friend excited to try.

A Murky brown, nice near white head, slow to leave, small bubbled cling.
S Dark musk, spicy and Belgian.
T Very spicy. Almost a Xmas beer. Malt is there and yeast, but the spice is dominant.
M - Medium to full, good carb, ok balance.
D - Good to dry. Afraid one and done for me.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Adam. Thanks man.

Dark copper body with a thin off-white head. Apple aroma with caramel malt and alcohol. Pears, Belgian yeast, booze. Sweet flavor tempered with a touch of Saaz/bittering hops. Hints of white wine. Tasty but a bit boozy. Decent.

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Photo of louis3
2.24/5  rDev -47%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Grande Reserve 17 2014 B121423..... Seved at !8 celcius..

Murky mid brown but still fairly transparent.

Medium body, fine carbonation, foamy texture, but without persistent head.

Typical unibroue stretched yeast experience disguised by extra bittering hop and some maple flavour, coffee flavour, and some wood essence reminding me of cheap brandy.

A very boozy Trois Pistoles variation with some ersatz flavouring components which are not integrated.The booziness was the only thing I enjoyed as I usaually avoid boozy beers and so this was rather novel.

This is the last bottle of Unibroue for me. Canada produces many beers with higher malt content and malt quality and more careful fermentation regimen.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle was poured into a chalice glass.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber brown color with little vision of anything.

Smell: Spicy, dark fruits, spicy, plums, caramel, bready, cherries, oak, grapes, black currants, and a little leather.

Taste: This beer got a lot better as it warmed. Some bitterness, warming alcohol, dark fruitiness, caramel, bready, spicy, some yeasty notes, oak, and wine.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little dry, some bitterness, warm booze, medium to full bodied, and medium to high carbonation.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer more as the time went on. More and more flavors opened up and made this beer quite the treat. Definitely will have to revisit this one again.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Reminds me a lot of Rochefort 10 except a bit more carbonated. Huge dark fruit flavor -- plums mainly. Bit of oak flavor. Velvety mouthfeel. Delicious, dangerously easy to drink 10% beer.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage bottle

Appearance - reddish brown body with tan head

Smell - plums, red wine, figs

Taste - plums, grapes, figs, oak, red wine, blackberry

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high level of carbonation, full, rich, sweetness from the dark fruits upfront, oak on the backend, which is integrated into the flavor nicely

Overall - very good Belgian ale. Recommended

Price Point - $12.99/ 750 ML bottle

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Photo of JayQue
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a great beer!! I can't believe I held on to this one for 3 years. Poured from a corked and caged bottle into my Chimay goblet. Muddy brown color with a lot of yellow light coming through. Nice size off white head with average retention. Minimum lacing.

Aroma is some dark fruit and oak. The smell is much weaker than the big flavor.

Taste is very good. Dark fruit (mostly figs) with the main flavor being the oak. Rich and malty, goes down very easily. Not much alcohol in the taste, mostly a warming effect, but then again I have had this for 3 years.

Mouthfeel is rich and mostly smooth. The oak provides a little bite and the warming effect of alcohol presence is felt.

A great Belgian style ale....typical for Unibroue.

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Photo of jburley2
4/5  rDev -5.4%

2013 Bottle 750 mL
A: Somewhere between a dark amber and a pale brown
S: Figs with a little bit heat
T: Abundant sweetness with figs, oak and a little bit of boozy heat at the end
B: Thin body with nice carbonation
O: More subdued than expected but not to a fault, would drink again

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

The beer pours a dark chestnut brown with a foamy off-white head that provides substantial and unwavering bubble coverage and leaves a thick coat of sticky lacing while drinking. The nose is yeast-forward with a hint of dried fig, alcohol, light oak and molasses (more so with warmth). It's full flavored with a slightly nutty malt base, bubble-gummy yeast, and lingering tannic bitterness. The beer has a rich winter-weather approved malt base, but is stretched thin by a big yeast fruit presence, bitter oak astringency, and double digit abv. The beer's generous carbonation helps oxy-clean some of those heavy flavors off the palate, but it still sits heavier than expected. Regardless of a less than desirable mouthfeel/drinkability, it's a solid bargain bin find!

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

75 cl

Pours a dark cloudy browb with a yellowish head about an inch thick. Retains pretty well.

Smells of grapes, nuts, brett yeast, and a bit of spice.

Wine grapes, cinnamon, oak, bretty yeast, caramel, and apple all come together in the taste. Hint of roasted nuts.

Full body with fluffy carbonation.

Very nice Belgian style ale with lots of body and character. Really nice emulation of the style while also standing uniquely on its own. About as good as you can get in this style this side of the ocean and better than some of the actual Belgians too. Grab it if you can.

This is a 2012 bottle, so it has a couple years of age on it.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark brown glass with murky edge of light brown. The head starts a big 2 finger head and drops to a thin brown cover that leaves a few little drops of lace.

Smell: Strong notes of the house Unibroue yeast, a blend of dark fruit, alcohol whiffs, a light lemon twist.

Taste: Rich, but not overpowering. The dark fruit, plum, cherry, and a bit of tannin, that all manages to stay light and almost airy.

Feel: High carbonation is almost champagne like with a light body that dries quickly leaving a mild chalky note.

Overall: A masterful beer. Great flavor, rich but not heavy, complex but subtle, great execution. The dry finish is a slight drag on the total package, but encourages another tasty sip.

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Photo of bdubw
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer.$ 2.96 a bottle and 24.95 a case for 2013 vintage. Had to buy a case and set back a few so much can compare in a couple of years. This brew is known for its aging qualities.

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Photo of deford
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

I have to say the mouthfeel is fantastic with this beer....wonderful cascade of bubbles that flow right down...perfect! Taste is not too sweet, just what I wanted...very happy with this one.

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Photo of LutherBrau
4.69/5  rDev +10.9%

Appearance: Deep Brown color with Ruby Highlights. Strong degree of opacity. Off-white/tan finger’s-worth of lacy head that does not dissipate and clings well to the sides of the glass. No visible carbonation

Smell: Rich and bready, subtle roasted malt notes balance well with cocoa tones.

Taste: Rich sweetness all over the tongue but not cloyingly so. Just enough hop bitterness to add dimension to the malt character.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied. Coats the tongue like a cool blanket. No tactile presence of carbonation and slight alcohol warming on the back of the palate.

Overall: I purchased this bottle to celebrate tasting my 500th different brew and the boys up North sure didn’t disappoint. This ale is brewed once yearly and this particular example was bottled in 2013. Past awards include 68 Gold and 8 Platinum Awards in International Judging. This is a beer that deserves to speak for itself. Hunt one down and save it for a quiet, reflective night.

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Photo of Sofakingdrunk
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

750 ml bottle for $10

Appearance is a lovely red-brown colour with a 1.5 finger foamy white head. Nice lacing on the glass. Looks inviting

Nose is of alcohol first off,dark fruits vanilla,cocoa,spiced rum and sherry.

Taste is just...wow. Vanilla is what hits me first, really picking up that french oak. Ripe figs,blue plums,bittersweet chocolate and a very distinct alcohol burn, but in a really nice way. You can taste all 10% of this beast. The typical Unibroue yeast is un-noticable here, as far as i can taste. Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel.

Overall a really great sipper....truly a cool weather beer though. Very complex and balanced. Glad that i've got another bottle tucked away in the cellar to sit on for a year or two and revisit.

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Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

2013. 750 ml bottle at Beer Authority, NYC. Paid way too much but I look at it as a one time thing. I'm a big Unibroue fan because of the unique yeast flavor. This brew has just a hint as the stars are the caramel/malt flavors. This thing is growing on me proportionally to the rose in my cheeks. I can feel, from behind the mask, my complexion turning to that of the jovial monk that bedecks most Trappist labels. It's 70F outside but I'm in a Yuletide flava'. Do not....I repeat ...do not...misconstrue this as a complaint. The further I get into this endeavor, the more disembodied I get. Is that Tim Leary over there drinking W/Jerry Garcia. Methinks it just might be. In the end this was a most enjoyable venture.

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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.