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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

249 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 249
Hads: 1,050
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 91
Gots: 318 | 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: 249 | Hads: 1,050
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


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

A- Dark Brown & cloudy with a pale beige head of thick fine bubbles. Leaves nice lacing on glass.

S- Good Unibroue yeast. Dried fruit and caramel.

T- Strong alcohol, but this fits this beer. Much of the same notes as the aroma (smell) but with a good bitter flash balancing the whole.

MF- Medium-thick. Warming. A good beer for this winter night at the end of a long week.

O- Pretty much what I was hoping for.

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

Stoked for this one. No. 2011-22437.

A - Pours a murky amber colour with nice carbonation. Two fingers of thick, fluffy light brown head. Some chunks of lace with thick spatterings, and a half finger of thick head for retention.

S - Yeast, sweet spice, dark fruit, other fruity esters. Some grapes. The subtle spicing is nice combined with the yeast and fruit.

T - Dark fruit, a little booze, yeast plays less of a role, the dark fruit really comes out nice. That typical Unibroue yeast with its harshness is there. Sweetness is kept under control, and there is little to no evidence of the oak aging. The finish is nice with a sweet dark fruit note. Sweet, spicy, and rich.

M - Smooth, nicely carbonated, coats the mouth well, medium to full body.

O/D - A fairly solid BSDA. Not what I was expecting. I wanted something great, but for some reason I think Unibroue's yeast got in the way again. Aside from that it's a great, very drinkable and enjoyable one from Unibroue. At $10 I don't think I would reach for it often, but the three others in the cellar will be for special occasions. The smoothness makes this an 'A' beer.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unibroue 17 pours a very dark amber color with a huge lacing head. There is a very strong aroma filled with spices and yeast. The taste is very dark, nice sweet spice note, with hints of yeast. Very creamy, strong flavors. Overall, its sweeter, but very drinkable, nice spice notes.

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Photo of dgilks
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A dark murky brown with a creamy, light tan head. Good head retention and lacing.

Lightly woody and fruity. Nice, sugary malt notes. The vanillin from the wood complements the fruit character well.

Malty with a good dark fruit note. The oak is really well integrated. Quite good.

Medium body with moderately high carbonation. Solid.

A really nice beer. Good combination of Belgian and oak. Well balanced.

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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 metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish brown in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits and maty sweetness are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits-prunes seem to stand out in particular-along with notes of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an incredibly complex taste that makes it a pleasant to sip, although its also very drinkable since it hides its alcohol very well from the taste.

Note: Bottled in 2011

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

A: pours a deep brown with an ample fluffy off white head with good retention
S: smells of zesty and spicy yeast, some tannins, fruity esters and some dark fruit smells. very complex and nice aroma. I've spent minutes just sitting here and smelling it
T: slightly tart up front with a slightly oaked middle with some fruitiness and some spices. sweet and fruity aftertaste
M: slightly prickly carbonation and medium bodied. not bad
O: a very good beer, not quite the bold level of their other offerings but the subtleties are nice and it's still enjoyable

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Photo of spinrsx
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $9.95

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a large size beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, clove, apples, an earthiness

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and dark fruits. There is also a bit of vanilla, apple, and a yeasty spiciness. I can also pick up on the oak and a bit of a burnt/charred flavour.

Overall - Really complex and something that is pretty different from the other beers in the Unibroue lineup. I have a few bottles tucked away and can't wait to see how they taste aged.

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Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Steve as part of the QuadShowdown. 750ml into some tulips, 2011 re-release.

Poured a deep mahogany, lightly purplish. A big cream coloured head is formed. Nose has some light grape, dark fruits, sugary with a slight vanilla note. Taste has alcohol soaked dark fruits, dark syrupy and lightly sugary notes, Unibroue house yeast is completely evident here. Almost reminiscent of Trois Pistoles in some senses. Light and active carbonation upfront but smooths out as the sip progresses (something I find with all Unibroue beers). Very nice but not exceptional. Not alot of the oak aging is evident here, and if it is, it must be very subtle.

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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 korguy123
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 re-release dubbed "Grand Reserve"

A- Dark chesnut with ruby highlights. Three finger tight bubbled egg shell head thay slowly recedes to a nice sized cap. Lacing is sticky and won't let go.

S- Bananas and wonderful yeast quality. There are dark fruits with brown sugar and vanilla. The oak aging really binds everything together beautifully.

T- Bananas and yeast, oak and vanilla with brandy soaked figs. Fresh bead and caramel sauce.

M- Medium to full bodied, light carbonation feeling. Sticky on the lips.

O- This really is heavenly. I can see why they brought this back and I'm glad they did.

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Photo of MattyV
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Nice classy looking bottle.

Average pour into a Maudite snifter yields a dense 2-finger head that lasts forever, with a continuous stream of identically-sized bubbles rising up from the bottom. Dark auburn, slightly hazy with ruby highlights.

The aroma is quite fruity (plums?) at first, with an interesting lactic sourness and hints of oak and the house yeast.

Taste is dominated by dark fruit and caramel. Spicy yeasty notes are evident as expected, but not too overpowering. Alcohol steadily increases in warmth until its peak in the finish. Doesn’t get bogged down by the oak, which instead just adds a nice layer of complexity that is perceptible towards the back end and the finish.

Moderate to full body and aggressive carbonation lends a bit of bite.

This was quite nice at its young age--complex, well-balanced and not overly sweet or yeasty. Time should do only great things for this beer so I look forward to revisiting it again.

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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 UCLABrewN84
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dried fruit, dark fruit, spice, wood, earth, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly tart malt, dark fruit, spice, vanilla, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice mix of malt, fruit, and earth qualities all around.

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Photo of gtermi
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer pours a nice brown body with a thin white head that quickly fades to nothing.

S: The yeast from this beer has a very nice fruity aroma. I pick up a bit of oak that has a slight wine smell.

T: There is a strong amount of oak that gives it a nice red wine type flavor. I am also getting a nice fruitiness, which I get in every Unibroue beer.

M: Usually Unibroue brews have a strong crispness and very strong amount of carbonation, but this one is very mild and easy to drink. Freaking amazing.

O: This is such a nice beer and glad that I found a few bottles. I enjoy the wine flavor that it has and like the body. So nice.

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Photo of bnes09
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Plum colored ale with ruby hues throughout. Thick, lustrous, cream colored head on the pour with exceptional retention. Seems to permanently blanket the glass in froth.

Sweet and spicy aroma. Maple and numerous dark fruit aromas. Nutmeg, clove and black pepper.

Dense malt character suggesting biscuits covered in plum jam. Maple syrup sweetness compliments fig and date character. Spices are there as listed in the aroma with a tad more nutmeg and hint of pepper. Yeast has a musty, clove-like character and is a nice contrast to the malt. Well balanced. No alcohol detectable.

Sturdy full bodied ale. Well carbonated for its strength. Smooth throughout with a syrupy texture in the finish which allows the spices to linger on the tongue.

Solid brew. Complex flavors and aroma, not to mention beautiful to look at. Another classic from Unibroue.

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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 JohnnyBarman
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Reviewed from notes - posted under the wrong entry before)

Handsome embossed bottled from the Yonge and Wellesley LCBO in winter 2012.

Dark brown and cherry, with a big frothy head and loads of lacing. Solid looking brew indeed.

Nose is cherry, figs, chocolate, a bit of yeast and indeterminate candied fruit.

A highly enjoyable dark ale - I really like how the oak played in to this. The chocolate is very delectable, with a slight milky flavor. Fruit is quite nice as well, and the yeast is, as per Unibroue's standards, also enjoyable. A slight woodsy finish. Really digging this. Medium bodied, slightly gritty/yeasty. Typical Unibroue in that respect.

A terrific brew that takes the Belgian Dark Ale to some exciting levels. A thoroughly enjoyable brew over the course of an evening. Worth a pick up!

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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 jrein0254
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I didn't know anything about this beer when I bought it . I usually like Unibroue so I took a chance. It poured out beautifully with a whipped beer mousse head and a caramel color that made me think it would be sweet. The smell was mysterious in that I could make out that it had spices, but all were too subtle to discern which spices they were.
The first taste made me something like galangal or ginger. It has a lot going on flavor-wise, layers of flavor. There is a very, very subtle bitterness, not hoppy though and a back of the mouth almost peppery taste. I think there must be roasted barley in there somewhere that gives it that caramel undertone. The oak mellows and rounds out the ale perfectly. It is clean and refreshing. How many 10% alcohol beers can you say that about? World Class.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, murky brown color. A good 3 finger tan head drops into about 1 finger in time, but stays there with seemingly infinite retention.

S: Dark fruits, a slight spiciness, some Belgian yeast and alcoholic phenols. Not a very strong smelling beer, actually, but rather reserved (you see what I did there?) in this department.

T: lots of sweet malts with notes of caramel and toffee and all those other delicious burnt sugars. Earthy yeast, a slight peppery spice, and enough alcohol to balance out the sweetness, but even so it finishes sweet, but with a bit of a smoky vanilla. After a few sips I can feel the alcohol on the back of the throat.

M: Fairly sticky, but fairly light seeming due to the high amount of small-bubble carbonation.

O: A damn good beer. It hides the 10% ABV scarily well and goes down really easily. It is a nice balance of sweet and spice. Would definitely drink again.

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

Sample: 1 bottle 2011

A: Extremely dark reddish brown, heavy internal carbonation, pours a perfect medium light brown head that is quite intrepid, a bit hazy

S: Quite fragrant, heavy dried fruits, tart cherries, figs, some earthy elements, a few medicinal/herbal notes as well, rather complex

T: Akin to the nose, very nice and strong dried fruit, some spiciness as well as some herbal qualities, a touch of alcohol on the finish, would love to try with some age

M: As I've come to expect from Unibroue, incredibly smooth, easy to drink, light and fruity aftertaste, not too lingering or overpowering on the palate

O: Pretty amazing, certainly deserving of its accolades, smooth, delicious, and fragrant, can't wait to open my second bottle in a few years

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Photo of Originalbeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. I poured it just over half way and at first the off-white head was thick. It thinned out but is still retaining. The color is a rich, consistent dark mohagany brown with reddish tones when held up against the light. No lacing.

N: I sense spices but nothing in particular. Raisins, malt, yeast... and a hint of Welch's sparkling grape juice?

T: Yeast, raisins, bread, malt, brown sugar? ...and some spices.

M: Good carbonation with an emphasis on malt and yeast.

O: Can't compare it to any other beer of this style, I think, so for what it's worth, I like it... a lot. I mean, A LOT.

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Photo of oline73
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

The beer pours a murky mahogany color with a finger of fluffy off white head. The head sticks around nicely. The small and taste are both super oaky. It's like drinking a dark Belgian ale in a workshop. There are some sweet sugar and dark fruit undertones in the smell. The flavor is more balanced, but still dominated by the oak. There is a nice dark fruit component and just a slight sweetness. There is a mild Belgian spice in the finish. The abv is not at all apparent. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side and the carbonation is quite smooth. The finish isn't as dry as I would expect given the oak level.

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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.