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

832 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 832
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.61%
Wants: 61
Gots: 206 | FT: 13
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 832 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jsmitty1967
Jsmitty1967

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

05-30-2012 04:01:24 | More by Jsmitty1967
Photo of wgfxkmf
wgfxkmf

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

05-29-2012 03:23:19 | More by wgfxkmf
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%

A: A dark reddish-amber pour with a huge dense tan head sitting on top. Fades slowly, leaving nice rings of lacing behind.

S: Loads of strong, spicy belgian yeast along with lots of bread. Smells almost like spicebread. Some banana and raisins. Brown sugar and a little caramel. Maybe some cinnamon? Very malty, sweet and spicy.

T: Sweet bread and caramel. Lots of brown sugar and again there is the cinnamon. Some banana and earthiness mixes in in the middle. Oaky finish with some more spice.

M: Thick but fairly high carbonation helps cut it a bit.

O: A very spicy BSDA. I got some cinnamon and maybe even nutmeg, kinda like a BDSA/Winter Warmer mix in my mind. Complex and balanced. Sweet and malty. I enjoyed it a lot.

05-29-2012 03:00:44 | More by Dope
Photo of cwd
cwd

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

05-28-2012 17:01:00 | More by cwd
Photo of patjohnfive
patjohnfive

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

05-28-2012 03:31:20 | More by patjohnfive
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +3.8%

2011 vintage Bottle no. 101329
750ml served in a snifter.

A - Dark brown body with a creamy 2 finger head that settles into a tightly knit cap.

S - Earthy and slightly funky yeast and wood, coriander, apple brandy, vanilla, pears, old bubblegum.

T - Robust caramel malt, toasted brown sugar, coriander, clove, oak wood is present but stays on the edges. Apples, vanilla, candied pears, and hints of toasted banana and cotton candy sweetness. Finishes spicy with fruit and woody overtones.

M - Medium carbonation, creamy feel, full bodied.

I started out drinking this at cellar temp but it's way better room temperature. The yeast dominates and the oak is light but gives it a rustic edge. Very complex. Can't wait to pop open my other bottle in about 5 years or so.

05-27-2012 01:51:08 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of deesfrank
deesfrank

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.2%

05-27-2012 01:32:54 | More by deesfrank
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve is perfectly clear, a fact hard to appreciate given the beer's dark, prune-like colour. Hold it into the light, however, and it reveals itself to be practically tie-dyed with all shades of purple and ruby. There's no black here. If looking for head, all you'll find is whatever foam made its way safely to the outskirts.

The bouquet is perfumed like a rose and has a coriander-like air, rich molasses sweetness and just a hint of ash from the French oak barrels. I detect a dried orange peel pithiness, though the beer's fruitiness might better be described by raisin, plum, dried cherry, fig or prune - take your pick. There's no wrong answer. Just add brown sugar.

The toasty flavor is almost truffle-like in both its meatiness and earthiness. The beer essentially drinks like a roasted Portobello burger, or at least would if not for the sweet-savory tastes of plum pudding and rum-raisin that share the flavor. There's no overlooking the dark fruits, molasses sweetness, and peppery, clove-like spice.

For all the caramelized sugar and syrup-like qualities, it's a wonder the beer never becomes cloying. This is even more astounding once you factor in the 10% alcohol. The fact that this is so approachable, even once losing its chill, is a testament to a generously malted, super enticing flavor profile that is as balanced as it is complex.

The aftertaste is underscored by a cola-like sweetness that sticks like the underlining of a wet bathing suit. It is thick but lush with floral features like honey. The peppery spice is impossible to overlook, despite all the dark rum sweetness, but is made more palatable by the a dry oak wood finish and remnant flavors of plum and grape.

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve, like the best examples of Belgian strong dark ales, has a complexity that even Stephen Hawking would have trouble getting his head around. It is somehow simultaneously sweet, spicy, savory and fruity. Strong yet easy to drink. Like so many Unibroue products, this can hold its own with any of the heavyweights in Belgium.

05-26-2012 18:15:45 | More by biegaman
Photo of Joshgonzales79
Joshgonzales79

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

05-26-2012 02:05:55 | More by Joshgonzales79
Photo of Koltar
Koltar

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

05-25-2012 02:09:17 | More by Koltar
Photo of duracell
duracell

Quebec (Canada)

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%

750mL bottle. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a dark brown color with a 2-finger rocky creamy head with a good retention and a limited lacing.

S - Yeast is dominant in the smell. Quite spicy, I pick out some malt, hop, and some candy sugar. A good blend but nothing amazing.

T - Good malt sweetness at taste (brown sugar) I also pick out some dark fruits, caramel, spices and some phenolic notes. Besides, there is a significant amount of residual sugar. I also get some wooden notes as it warms up.

M - Very active carbonation, quite fizzy on the palate but keeps a certain smoothness. Slightly sweet finish with a medium body.

O - Not bad but some features are really spoiling the experience, particularly the mouthfeel. In my opinion, this beer would benefit from a better drinkability and balance. I was hoping a lot but it came out to be disappointing.

05-24-2012 00:41:44 | More by duracell
Photo of SickNukes
SickNukes

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +18.5%

05-21-2012 18:21:25 | More by SickNukes
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev -5.2%

05-21-2012 02:29:09 | More by drewone
Photo of bump8628
bump8628

Oklahoma

4.48/5  rDev +6.2%

One of the better Belgian-inspired beers I've come across in quite some time. Vanilla, cola, caramel, and sugar are balanced against toasted oak, cinnamon, and clove. Earthy bitterness is mild but is supportive enough to hold up against the maltiness. Rich but not sweet. Strong but balanced. Alcohol is completely hidden. This is a seriously complex and dangerous ale. Completely worth the $12 for 750mL of beautiful beer.

05-18-2012 21:10:30 | More by bump8628
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter

Germany

4.43/5  rDev +5%

Picked this up during a trade with misterb303 while in Denver! Bottle #2011-118242. Cloudy mahogany pour with a creamy two finger head with decent retention and great lacing. Wonderful woody, spicy, complex nose. Lots of oak along with hints of dark fruit, toffee, caramel, vanilla, and just a touch of banana. The taste is just as big and just as complex. The oak is once again the star, with hints of nuts, raisins, black cherries, figs, tobacco, maple, vanilla, and brown sugar, with just a bit of cocoa, cinnamon, and booze. The mouthfeel starts off with moderate carbonation, but as it comes to temp, it becomes slightly chewy with a great subtle alcohol warming. Don't drink this too cold. This beer definitely lives up to the hype and I'd love to get my hands on another and leave it in the cellar for a while.

05-18-2012 16:34:20 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.2%

05-15-2012 05:31:27 | More by KAP1356
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +5%

2011 vintage. No. 2011-117741.

Served at slightly cooler than cellar temp into a goblet.

Grande Reserve is a beautiful red amber color with less than perfect clarity. The head is thick at first but settles to just a thin layer. No lacing is left behind.

Aroma is sweet, oaky, and complex. It has dark fruits and spice notes with vanilla elements from the oak aging.

Flavor is intense and complex as well. Cherries and plums mix with pepper and clove. Oak seems to bring vanilla, tannins, and a red wine character as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and strongly carbonated. Alcohol is certainly there but it doesn't seem all that strong for such a young beer.

Overall another fantastic offering from Unibroue. I wouldn't expect anything less from this brewery.

05-15-2012 01:34:47 | More by GilGarp
Photo of 4balance
4balance


4.43/5  rDev +5%

No. 2011-101432 (best before 12-12-2016)

750ml bottle poured into an Ommegang glass. Dark cloudy amber color with 2" tan foamy head with nice lacing.

Distinctive Belgian yeast along with musty wood, spices, dark fruit and alcohol. Reminds me of a wet forest to some degree.

Tastes like the inside of a wet musty oak barrel, belgian yeast prevails with tons of spices, clove, cinnamon, cracked pepper, touch of salt, dried dark fruits; fig, dates, raisins, slight amount of chocolate in the background, roasted malts and alcohol. Plethora of flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little bit of creaminess, nicely carbonated with slight alcohol burn, flavors linger quite a while.

Overall I am really glad I tried this one, mighty tasty. Unibroue never disappoints, if you haven't tried this I would highly recommend it. Would like to see how this one ages.

05-14-2012 01:10:07 | More by 4balance
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

4.7/5  rDev +11.4%

Poured into a tulip glass. Nice thick head over cloudy brown beer. Smell is delicious yeast and spices and molasses.

Taste is absolutely phenomenal both out of the fridge and later as it gets closer to room temperature. Sweet spiced malts upfront, maybe a hint of citrus hops to balance it out. A little bit of Belgian yeastiness. Brown sugar and plums. Flavor profile is a little bit like a good rum. A dry, quick finish.

Excellent mouthfeel. Above average thickness and carbonation but it's lighter and easier to drink than you'd think. You could drink it quickly despite the 10 ABV, or you could sip it slow and steady. I could drink this all day and night and will be on the lookout for more of it.

05-13-2012 19:28:11 | More by jar2574
Photo of teromous
teromous

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev -4%

A: Murky brown color, looking similar to sweet tea. The head is very large and stands for a long time, which is frothy, and is a light tan color.

S: Not much on the nose, but I do get a soda-like carbonation tickle from smelling it. There is a very faint oak smell, and is vaguely similar to a bourbon smell. Overall the smell is very faint though.

T: It has that "high alcohol Belgian Beer" flavor, but without any actual taste coming from alcohol. It's hard to explain, but if you drink high ABV Belgians, you'll know what I mean. It has a slightly fruity flavor to it, kind of like plums. There is a light oak flavor. I also pick up a cinnamon flavor.

M: There is light astringency and dryness, but nothing unpleasant. The mouthfeel is medium, but has an airy quality to it after drinking it.

O: Overall it is a very good beer, and it does taste more balanced than other Unibroue beers. I would drink it again, but it's not so fantastic that I would choose it over any other Belgian Dark, given the price.

05-13-2012 17:27:25 | More by teromous
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

05-10-2012 01:11:07 | More by champ103
Photo of theminutemen
theminutemen

Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -23%

05-09-2012 20:18:29 | More by theminutemen
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

750ml bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with crimson edgework in the hips of the glass with a two-plus inch head of whipped, bone froth. A dense, thick coating remained on the surface for the duration along with solid sheets of lacing. A beauty to the eye.

Aromatics lead off with candied figs, clove-studded apples, licorice, dark rum, grape bubblegum, and schezuan peppercorns.
Ripe fruit and spicey phenols abound with hints of vineousity and oak.

Medium bodied with a soft, lush mouthfeel. Velvety and lively.

Plump, juicy malt with rum-steeped candied apples and pepper dust starts the palate. Hints of oaky tannins and red wine mingle with star anise, peppercorns, coriander, and grape jam.

Finishes with spice-rubbed apples, dark rum, and a mild throat burn.

Great beer with some cellar potential. Very smooth now but I would give it maybe a year or two for the light heat to mellow.

05-07-2012 01:05:31 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -23%

05-05-2012 01:54:56 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

4.08/5  rDev -3.3%

2011 Version Bottle# 68006

A huge tan head quickly dissipated to sit permanently atop the beer, which is slightly opaque, dark brown-copper with golden highlights. Thick chunky lacing rings the goblet, and fine bubbles are active up the side of the glass.

Smells of spices, coriander, and wood. The Unibroue yeast is present as well as some bready malts.

Tastes of the spices up front, leading to a grape fruity tartness, with a hint of that yeast. The tastes smooths as it warms.

Texture is smooth, almost creamy. Fine bubbles like champagne burst in the mouth, but not annoyingly so, and aren't so present as it aerates.

A fine beer, I will be aging one to see how it does. The spices are just a tad much, the wife says they're weird. However, I liked it, and would recommend it with that disclaimer.

DOA

05-04-2012 19:32:37 | More by Drinkerofales
Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 832 ratings.