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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

707 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 707
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 11.61%


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)
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Ratings: 707 | Reviews: 190 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
CA_Infidel2o9


5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber to a Tulip

A- muddy brown, 2" cloud like off white head

S- spices, root beer, crayons, vanilla, leather, rubber, oak, auto grease, cranberries, prunes, grapes, raisin

T- plum, raisin, dark grapes, prunes, oak, earthy viny notes, vanilla, sour apple, roasted nutty malts, ethanol

M- SO creamy, oily, average carbonation

O- let her warm! It's so complex when it's at near room temp. I sipped it out of the fridge and was hit with booze, i then let it sit and warm and suddenly it was a whole new beer, full of complexities. Vanilla, oak, leather all shown through, one after the other dark fruits began to emerge, plums, grapes, raisins, prunes. Finally roasted nutty malts sprang forth, creating an awesomely balanced brew. I can go on and on as i continue to find more and more flavors/aromas, but i still have half a bomber to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 00:47:00 | More by CA_Infidel2o9
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

No. 2011-140891 Bottled 2011

Pours a rich and cloudy brown the color of old leather. A huge head develops before receding to a solid finger width of tan. Some lacing left behind.
Smell is intoxicating (no pun intended) with notes of green apple, malt, oak, raisins and a mild sourness all while the glass sits two feet away! Gotta love a ceiling fan. Upon closer nasal ingestion, more dark fruits are found (cherries and figs, I think), the apple is red and green, spices (clove, nutmeg, light cinnamon and pepper). The complexity is amazing and the balance is world class.
Taste is malt, sour, oak, well incorporated alcohol, spice, dark fruits, apples in what has to be one of the most well-rounded beers it has ever been my pleasure to taste.
Full bodied, smooth, rich, almost creamy texture. This slides across the tongue like it knows the way. The only knock is the fairly thick coating that forms on the upper palate and tongue. Lightly effervescent and then mostly at the tip of the tongue. A malt/clove/oak mixture lingers for a good long time to remind you just how lucky you are to drink this alchemical masterpiece. Thank you, Unibroue.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 00:00:49 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Hopinista
Hopinista

Nevada

4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle #15853 2012 vintage poured into delirium snifter.

A: Pours a distinct dark brown color, almost the color of maple syrup. Looks quadruple-esque with a nice fluffy cream colored head.

S: Musty spice and brown sugar upfront. Some banana, caramel, and dark fruit come through. The oak adds a nice back, this smell reminds me of bananas foster.

T: Very complex. Right up front I get a vanilla malt flavor. Some dark fruits, figs and dates are in the middle, and then the oak finishes in a big way. The aftertaste is very reminiscent of taking a sip of spiced rum. Extremely delicious, and the rum character only gets stronger as the beer warms.

M: Very medium and light on the palate, especially considering the amount of carbonation going on. Very easy to drink, which is kind of dangerous for a beer at 10% abv

O: I've always loved Unibroue, and this just cemented itself as my new favorite beer. I picked this up as a whim while on vacation, and now have 2 in my cellar. I'm going to try one in a year, and then the other on the "best by date," in four years. I definitely reccomend picking this up whenever you can.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 07:03:58 | More by Hopinista
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle purchased at Tully's in Wells, ME. Pours a murky nearly opaque dark brown with a good inch of khaki-colored head. Ripe banana, raisin, date, pear, and toffee comprise the aroma. Ripe banana, pear, spice, raisin, and toffee all fairly equally make the flavor. Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Excellent. A little on the sweet side, but I really cannot find a true flaw with this one. Superb.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 00:34:57 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of kjyost
kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2012 21:46:37 | More by kjyost
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim

China

4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown and unfiltered, much like a Coke at first glance. 2 finger beige foamy head.

S: Vanilla, cream, dark fruits, much like a trappist dubbel.

T: Dark fruits- raisins, figs and prunes but all in balance, with time, the oak was detectable in the back of the mouth. Dried cherries.

M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation.

O: Extremely balanced Belgian style ale that is not overly sweet. One of the best ales I’ve ever had. Every bit as good as any trappist ale in my opinion. Went well with the tortiere (Quebec’s meat pie) and steak. Would have paired well with cheeses too, but would be great by itself. We had a bottle from 2011 aged for a year, drank on Dec 31st, 2012.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 03:25:57 | More by patre_tim
Photo of IdeaSpeeder
IdeaSpeeder

Ontario (Canada)

4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - 750ml bottle (2012) partially poured into a snifter glass

Appearance - Pours a dark brown/copper/amber hazy colour, with at least 3 fingers of thick caramel coloured white head which unfortunately fades quickly, leaving a decent trail of lacing along the sides.

Smell - Dark fruits all over the place, heavy spices, light coffee and a good deal of wood. There's a lot going on here.

Taste - Much like the nose, dark fruit's and spices take centre stage. This is backed by a good deal of malt and an equally healthy share of the french oak the beer was aged in (especially towards the end). There's a lingering alcohol taste but not so much as to overpower everything else this has to offer.

Mouthfeel - Extreme (and unsurprising) amounts of carbonation. medium to heavy body with a dry, boozy finish.

Overall - 4.75/5 Been waiting to try this for a while now. A seriously complex brew...this review doesn't do it justice. Regardless, the wait didn't disappoint, and this is easily my favorite offering from Unibroue thus far.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 03:14:39 | More by IdeaSpeeder
Photo of Moss
Moss

Florida

4.84/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Bottle Date

A - An amber color with a light tan colored head. About 3 fingers of head with slow dissipation and good lacing left down the glass.

S - Smells of vanilla and banana from the belgain yeast. Has a sweet smell to it along with some caramel and oak backing.

T - Taste of vanilla and oak. Some sweet taste along with a plum and pear taste. Alcohol is in the background and adds a warming feeling but nothing overly strong.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation but not overwhelming. Typical for the style of beer.

O - Will be saving another 2011 dated bottle for future years. A good Belgian Strong Dark Ale with no overwhelming fruit taste that some others have. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 21:13:38 | More by Moss
Photo of daledeee
daledeee

Iowa

4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 750 ml bottle.

Poured into my big wine glass and got a nice dark somewhat cloudy body with an off white head and an uneven layer between head and body.

Nose is plums and cherries.

Taste is superb. Loads of dark fruit, black licorice, hops, spice. Cherries come to mind. There is a sweetness and tartness built all into one.

Mouth feel is nice and bubbly.

Overall, a really good example. If I would have been sure when I bought this how good it was, I would have bought two. Aging would really be interesting. One of the best beers I have had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 22:20:16 | More by daledeee
Photo of N3rdM3t4l
N3rdM3t4l

Oregon

4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle number 2011-68539 with a best before date printed on back. Poured from 750ml champagne corked bottle into standard pint (my lucky Ninkasi pint even).

A: 3 fingers of pillowey offwhite head that refuses to die. As it slowly falls it leaves sheets of lace. Slightly cloudy but clear dark brown. A lot like the bottle it came in actually.

S: some alcohol and spicy hops up front. A bit of banana and dark fruit. Mostly spice though, smells fantastic.

T: malty and full of alcohol. As soon as I swallow I get some burn, that 10% shows when it is cold. Clove, delicious clove and that astringent belgian funk. Some good malty notes a bit of caramel flavor but not sweet. looking for the oak barrel flavors but having a hard time finding them through the spice.

M: a solid medium body with a hint of tingley fizz. too dangerously easy to drink.

O: I wanted a good belgian so I got Unibroue and they delivered. Boy did they deliver. Wonderful beer, wonderful wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2012 03:48:10 | More by N3rdM3t4l
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 20:57:40 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of bismarksays
bismarksays

Iowa

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 19:46:00 | More by bismarksays
Photo of takemetothelion
takemetothelion

Maine

4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tried on a whim on a trip to Bootleggers, though a huge fan of the Unibroue series. Pretty pricey at $12 but quality over quanity. poured into tulip glass.

A- Midnight with some amber red. Huge head and a little lacing on this moderately carbonated with this black beauty.

S- Fruit and belgian yeast. Quite complex nose with cinnamon and clove. Reminds me of a holiday time. With a easy alcohol presence. It just looks thick and delicious.

T- Best beer I've ever had. This is my ideal strong dark ale. Milk chocolate and an array of fruits are sweet and intense in this adventure of a drink. Raisins and spice come through hard and every sip is more enjoyable than the last.

MF- The carbonation plays perfectly here and the thickness of the dark ale is epic. leaves no bad aftertaste whatsoever.

Overall, a true champion that other beers could learn a thing or two from. Thank you Unibroue

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:55:10 | More by takemetothelion
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Louisiana

4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours dark toffee brown with a biege colored head that retreats pretty slowly. Some bubbles can be seen meeting the underside of the head. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass as the head retreats. I pick up some apple, grape, cherry, and maybe raisin aroma up front with some spiciness, some of those malt aromas, sweetness, some alcohol, and some of that wood. The taste follows the nose. The fruity aromas I detected like the apple, grape, cherry, and raisin are there. I pick up some of those spices, toffee, dark malt, oak, and some barely detectable alcohol heat. The body is medium with strong carbonation, which is to be expected from a bottle conditioned beer. The finish is sweet, but also clean. This is excellent and absolutely worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 01:33:39 | More by acevenom
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.66/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 18:44:03 | More by avalon07
Photo of videofrog
videofrog

Texas

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork & caged bottle into a Duvel Tulip. Poured carefully to avoid disturbing yeast sediment. Bottled in 2011. Best by 12-12-16. Served at cellar temp.

A: Dark reddish brown. Cream head that leaves soapy lacing down the glass.

S: Gets more complex as it warms up. Vinous notes, oak, vanilla, bready malt, a spiciness, and some brown sugar in the background.

T: Many fruit notes. Bready malt there again. Very slight hop bitterness. Oak strong in the finish. Banana there as well. Lingering aftertaste has slight tartness with an apple tone.

M: On the thick side of medium. Carbonation tingles the gums a bit.

O: Alcohol still fairly well hidden for a brew meant to mellow with age. One of Unibroue's better offerings, which says a lot. Really wish I had the patience to cellar one of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 01:46:46 | More by videofrog
Photo of Ranz
Ranz

Texas

4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: In my whisky snifter, this 2011 vintage poured a deep, verdant brown that created a nice finger of head after a slightly vigorous pour.

S: Clove, apple, hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and thick bready malt from the yeast create an intoxicating aroma. Wow: the refermentation did this some good.

T: A strain of sharp, charred oak makes itself immediately present before sugary fruit flavors--including plum, cherry, slight citrus, and fig--come to the fore. Unbelievably complex, this beer boasts some unique and nuanced flavors. Lovely to sip.

M: Incredibly thick and heavy on the tongue, the mouthfeel does the waltz, slowly, around your mouth when lesser beers would try to move too quickly and stumble around. This beer has the maturity and poise to sit comfortably restful.

O: I love a good dark Belgian, and this may take the top spot as a new favorite. Once again, Unibroue fails to disappoint. Excellent job, chaps.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 02:23:42 | More by Ranz
Photo of DaveBar
DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW what a beer! Flavour upon flavor. Excellent.

A- Wonderfully dark and cloudy. Tons of head as usual from this company

S- Pungent. Blended well, nothing outrageously stands out. Belgium all the way

T- OUTSTANDING! First sip at 8deg C in a freshly washed and dried tumbler. Malt, complex, expert brewing for sure. Alcohol is completely hidden for this 10% abv. This is a serious beer.

M- Silky smooth. Dry way later on but that should be expected from a hot beer, super pleasant.

O- Wonderful. Everyone should try at least one in their lives. I bought 5 more for the cellar. Only the price keeps the rating from being higher

Thx for reading

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 01:50:12 | More by DaveBar
Photo of jfdesjardins
jfdesjardins

California

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*** Original 2007 bottle ***

Opened it tonight with friends, and I have to tell you, that has nothing to do with the new 2011 bottle.

It poor nicely into the glass, a nice brown with a small nice head.

The beer smell of oak. caramel, some nuts and fruits. Nothing extraordinary, but yet, it's comfort into a glass.

The oak has strengthened, the alcohol and the sugar has melt into nuts and fruits. Ageing that beer has brings complexity and aromas into the beer.

I've start drinking microbrewery beer partly because of that beer back in 2007, but while the new one is good but has nothing to impress, the bottle that I've opened tonight was worth the five year I've waited to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 06:41:09 | More by jfdesjardins
Photo of Converge
Converge

Alberta (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a deep, murky brown hue with ruby highlights. A short-lived tan head of bubbles that quickly settles to a thin skiff of foam. Bits of sticky lace spot the glass, though nothing much. Cloudy, and full of yeasty haze. And as always, I appreciate the nice packaging and presentation.

S - Extremely complex. Distinct Unibroue house yeast is immediately identifiable, spicy, fruity and full of aromatic esters. Dried plum, figs, and lots of medjool dates up front. Even a bit chocolatey, with some caramel as well. Vanilla is coming through strong, and it smells incredible, and is only complimented further by the French Oak and vinous character. There's so much going on it's hard to put into words. A beautiful mix of Belgian spice, Unibroue yeast, oak, fruits, and tons of rich sweetness. No alcohol coming through at all.

T - A remarkable barrage of sweet, spicy, and yeasty. Big sweetness coming from some caramelized sugar notes, complimented by rich vanilla and the complex, estery Unibroue house yeast I've come to love. There's definitely a vinous quality coming through that helps balance the profile, along with resinous oak flavors, almost smokey. Slight cherry notes, along with medjool dates, figs, raisins, and dried plums. Finishes quite crisp and dry, with vinous oak qualities lingering away. Endless complexity. I always appreciate Belgian brews that give me the expected profile with a unique twist thrown in, and for me that comes through with this one in the vanilla/wine/oak flavors. Very nice.

M - Smooth and mild on the palate. For such a rich and sweet brew, it doesn't feel cloying. Fairly heavy on the tongue, with full body and thorough carbonation of fine bubbles, like many Unibroue BSDAs. Crisp, sticky, dry, but minimal alcohol heat.

D - A BSDA with something to say about the style. It seems most European craft beer is rooted in tradition, while American craft is about pushing boundaries. This North American take on a Belgian classic both satisfies my thirst for traditional Belgian ale and gives me something I haven't tasted before. Just another reason why Unibroue is the best brewery in Canada, bar none.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 00:27:49 | More by Converge
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Props to andrenaline for including this 2011 vintage in a trade back in the winter. I had planned to age it, then I came across it in a store at home last week, so i'll consume my new purchase and continue to age the trade bottle for at least a year

No. 2011-46532

A - a swampy dark amber brown, thumb of tan head dissipated to a thin covering with significant lacing all around
S - banana, raisin, pear, grains, light molasses and wood, rounded out by booze
T - toffee malt, oakey vanilla, fruity notes of sour apple, cherry, raisin, spice and yeasty esters round out the finish, very complex and layered
M - big body, creamy carbonation, velvety smooth, there is no bite to the high alcohol but a noticeable pleasant warmth from mouth to stomach
O - I don't hand out 5's lightly but this deserves it overall, super complex, easy drinking, just a pleasure every time I take a sip

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 04:06:31 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of rappmann
rappmann

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip, reviewed from notes. Aged just under a year

A - Dark copper brown one finger of thick belgian yeast style head, heavy lacing once the head finally begin fading.

S - Yeasty spicy Unibroue-esque scent. But this time it's richer, fuller, mustier.

T - Perfectly sweet and malty, the wood has mostly worn off, but still has enough of a presence to be noticeable, finish's spicy from the yeast.

M - To me this is the only downside of the brew, I find a lot of Unibroue's beers to be over carbonated, and a lot of the times it works, but it doesn't help a beer like this.

O - a great offering from Unibroue as usual, however, I prefer this one fresh.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 04:34:56 | More by rappmann
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 04:53:52 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Honored for this to be my 400th review. Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Label says Best Before 12-12-2016.

A- Pours a murky dark brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that bears great retention time before eventually fading to an 1/8 inch head and a thick ring of lacing. Resilient bubbles slide slowly down the glass when swirled.

S- Delightful aroma that's spicy, yeasty and floral with exceptional balance between the three. Slightly soapy, but with a sweetness that's very complimentary. The spices end up being the main component with some faint alcohol trailing behind.

T- Tastes like your usual BSDA but with extra flavor all around. More yeast, enhanced Belgian candy sugar and an assertive but refined alcohol character. There's a light solvent-like rubberiness in the back that ends up tying the whole profile together better than one might expect. The spices are a bit less involved than in the aroma.

M- Very creamy and somewhat sharp from the spice and alcohol combined with high carbonation making for a superb feel. Full-ish body.

O- What a knockout. Definitely the best dark offering I've ever had from Unibroue. If you're a fan of the Belgians, you've gotta try this.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 23:13:16 | More by Immortale25
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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 707 ratings.