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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

406 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 406
Hads: 742
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 57
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-06-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Raftman Alström Bros
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Reviews: 406 | Hads: 742
Photo of RickS95
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It's very dark for any type of pale ale, even one based on the Belgian style. It's a brown beer that resembles dirty river water. Opaque due to the sheer brown color, it's still fairly clear. The head is very bright white and just over a finger thick. Only moderate retention, after sitting for a couple minutes only a thin creamy look sits up top.

This thing smells brilliant. Not a hint of citrus like Americans, this is all malt and spices. He whiskey malt lays a foundation of earthy sweetness. Not sure of the hop varietals, but it seems to be old school hops.

I like the taste but I don't know exactly how to describe it. That earthiness is present but the spicing is very subdued compared to the nose. No hop presence so all you taste is malt.

It's surprisingly light bodied, with an almost watery feel. The complete opposite of dry or crisp, my mouth feels like it's dripping in between sips. The bottle mentions a lasting aftertaste and there is a little spicy feel to remind you of what you just had.

I wish this had more alcohol and a more aggressive taste profile. It's a good beer but I'm not sure it's any sort of pale ale.

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Photo of mchegash
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance 4/5 - Darker orange brown. Two fingers of light tan head. A lot of carbonation visible rising up the beer.

Smell 3.5/5 - Apples, malts, perhaps hints of roasty/smokiness and spice

Taste 3.75/5 - Belgian yeasty / breadiness. Faint hints of smoke and booze and spices. Overall an okay taste. Nothing special.

Mouthfeel 3.75/5 - Moderate level of carbonation. Moderate level of crispness.

Overall 3.75/5 - Not bad, but nothing special.

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Photo of Radome
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a 750 ml bottle in a snifter.

L - Medium brown color lightened by golden highlights. Very slight haze. Off-white head initially thick and creamy, but soon disappears. Very light lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma of faint smoke, and earthy hops. Some low bready malt. Finish has spicy, phenolic yeast notes. There is a medicinal quality that may be from the yeast or the whisky malt.

T - Flavors start off like a Belgian pale ale, with bready malt and low grassy hops. Later in the palate things get more interesting, with a sharp, medicinal and phenolic kick. Smoke in the aftertaste.

F - Medium to full body. Strong, sharp carbonation. Medium hops bitterness. Off-dry finish.

O - This is a unique beer with complex flavors and aromas.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Weird I have to go to Kansas City to find a beer from Quebec. I've never heard of of seen this before, so pretty cool. On tap at Anton's, a place known for epic steaks. Very dark for a Belgian pale, deer ruby to brick red, not pale at all. Not much head either on it, and some haze. Smells like a Belgian, and tastes like one too. Their classic yeast strain tempered only by the heft of the sweet red malt. Not much hops to speak of, and a disappointing under carbonated mouthfeel. I really like the flavor of the beer very much, but the rest if it seems so much less well put together than the rest if their stuff, maybe the line was dirty or the keg was old or something, I see the potential, but on the whole the beer did not live up to my expectations. A fine companion to a dry aged burger though, cooked medium rare with blue cheese and caramelized onions, in that context it's much better than it is in isolation...

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours energetic hazy tea under a 2” cream colored foam cap that quickly descends to a thick film while gripping the side of the glass.
S: Toasty malt with a hint of smoke, spice, over ripe fruit, a hint of rye, spice.
T: Faint cola, grain, fruit, dark dried fruit, mellow malt.
F: Very creamy soft, overall sweet but finishes dry with a touch of spice astringency, above average carbonation, medium light body.
O: Rich easy to drink Belgian Pale Ale packed with flavor delivered in an incredible texture.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle pours a hazed copper color with a modest cap of tan head that fades surprisingly fast without leaving much lace.

Nose is estery Unibroue yeast with a smoky, earthy malt aspect. Smoked bananas on some peanut butter slathered toast. Mmmmm.

Taste shows much of the same with a bubble-gum yeast and light smoked flavor. A little reminiscent of some Bamburg hefeweissbier, but a little lighter in smokiness. Just a fantastic drinker though that so going to disappear from my glass all too fast. I cant believe it took me this long to try this beer, but as with almost all Unibroue beers, I find myself wondering why I dont buy them more often.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hazy golden amber color with super strong activity. Thick foamy beige 4 finger island head, lasting almost forever, with strong legs.

Pleasant floral and fresh apple nose. Well intensified flavors of apples, pears, grapes, and sweet grains with floral and herbal spices. Balanced fruity sweetness with a sharp crispy fresh grassy and slight coriander feel.

Slick full body with champagne like carbonation. Well intensified finish, ending with a fresh fruity feel and a pleasant honey/maple tongue coat.

Overall an excellent craft offerring delicious complex flavors and great freshness. Visually appealing, well intensified, balanced, and accessible. The only flaw is a slightly metallic feel.

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Photo of mick303
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very flavourful beer, made with smoked whisky malt. It is a cloudy medium brown colour with attractive head and lace retention.
S - smoky malt, chewy, leather and baked apples with some brown sugar sweetness.
T - solid flavour body with a gentle smoke and maple syrup wafting in, robust malt really carries the flavour, crisp orchard fruit, and a pleasant yeast flavour.
M- full, bready and malty with an assertive carbonation to carry it.
Overall this is a very nice malt forward beer that highlights the nice smoked elements.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Om in New Smyrna Beach.

T: somewhat subdued funk, some sour, hint of caramel, and a suggestion of pepper.
M: This was disappointing and really affected my overall enjoyment of this beer. The body was quite thin and the carbonation was on the light side.
O: The thin body might not have been so objectionable if the flavor profile had been more notable. I'd have this again, but I wouldn't go to a lot of trouble to seek it out. Not one of Unibroue's better offerings.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy iced tea with a thin head. Light worty malt smell hidden under medicinal house yeast phenols. Flavor: caramel amber ale base with spicy yeast - big on apricot and coriander. Medium body and tiny stinging bubbles. Decent beer overall.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly clouded brown/orange body, plenty of eager carbonation, voluminous fine, rich light tan head with great retention, yet little lacing. Bottle label tempts me to pick up the lumberjack life.

S: Piercing sweet malt, a mix of warm caramel and nearly fruity grains-of-paradise. Pretty straightforward, but delicious.

T: Peppery GoP is more prevalent here, with tropical fruit and a sweet malt acting as the base. Not overly done, this is complex without having a lot of parts. Marvelous.

F: Rich and full, surprising from my experience with this style, but welcome. Even the carbonation seems softer than what I saw in my glass.

O: Surprised in a great way! Wasn't expecting such powerful flavor from a lower ABV beer (when will I learn?), but I got great, clearly presented, and natural flavors. Unibroue captures my heart again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap in a tumbler at Firkin.

I remember buying one of those Unibroue mixed packs a few years ago in order to try this stuff. It's been a while, so let's give it another go, eh? It pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of lightly off-cream foam. The nose comprises light Band-Aid, Belgian yeast, a twinge of dry maple syrup, and light biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with some light orange zest and a richer, less phenolic smoke (though it's still pretty mild in the grand scheme of this glass's things). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid, lightly-smoked BPA. Good times as usual from Unibroue.

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Photo of LovingCup
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this one was pretty much nothing like advertised on its label. It's rather light, refreshing and quaffable. Not really full bodied per say and hardly leaves an aftertaste. More importantly if you pick this up because you expect a smokey or whiskey like flavor you will be sorely disappointed as I don't detect those flavors at all. It tastes like a Belgian pale ale. Got a bit of that yeasty funk, floral and spicy notes like coriander or clove. Banana, bubblegum. It's session able and would make a great summertime brew. Picked this up in the bargain bin for $3 and its still in date and all. Nothing extrodinary but just drinkable, refreshing, and has a decent amount of flavor without being extremely complex. For what it is its quite good. I give it about the same rating it currently has going for it...87

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The only of the major Unibroue beers I have yet to try. Pretty excited- one beer that I have been seeking for years.

A- Body is a very hazy, somewhat dingy copper color. Pours with a 3-4 finger very foamy white head that eventually fades to <1/2 finger and leaves behind some lacing in the glass.

S- Banana, clove, dishwater, a hint of smoke spicy belgian yeast, apples,bread.

T- Upfront is banana clove, spices, bready yeast, a hint of apple, and smoke overtones. A lot more apple comes through for the finish as well as a hint of caramel. Left to linger is some spices and a hint of apple.

F- Carbonation is medium to heavy with a lightweight body.

O- Overall this is a pretty nice beer. Very complex, especially as it warms. Although it is complex it is still very light bodied and drinkable. Another great brew from Unibroue

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Photo of kevofficiel
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not Raftwoman but Raftman reviewing.
Ok finish with the jokes. Lets get right on the smell. And the smell really surprised me. You that that orange smell coming out. Exactly the same smell than the Hoegaarden. Very impressive so far with lots of carbonation going on inside the class.
The look of it is like a peach color even if it doesn t taste like peach. Not exactly the same look as the Hoegaarden but similar.
Now the taste it is a smoky taste. Orange flavour, not strong at all only 5,5 ABV. Very easy drinking beer. Goes down very smoothy. Now for that type of beer if you drink it while eating a smoked meat or a BBQ smoked meat and you drink that beer the combination is perfect and I would rate this beer a 5/5. But as a regular beer than you would drink on the go I give a 4.
So overall would I recommend it ? For sure. Easy drinking beer. Similar taste and look as the Hoegaarden. Nice combination while eating a smoked meat. But as a regular beer there is nothing to spectacular. I enjoyed more than Hoegaarden than this one. But hey good job Unibroue !

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Moderately hazed orange brown color. Three fingers of foamy white head. Retention is a tad below average and just a hair of lacing is left.

4.25 S: Big peppery spiciness right up in your face. That's just what I want from a beer like this. Bready yeastiness, graham cracker sweetness. Banana notes float a pleasant fruitiness.

3.25 T: Tastes like it smells, but isn't as spectacular as the nose. The bready yeastiness comes to the front. Still lots of pepper, but I was expecting more. Banana notes, cracker malts, hints of melon and clove.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. A bit too much carbonation with each pour, but it becomes a bubbly delight with some swirling. Supremely smooth.

3.25 D: It's a nice every day beer.

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Photo of SvenHayden
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Yeasty (of course. Its "on Lees"). mild banana ester, followed by bready malt. Then a little splash of spicy grass (hops i suppose), followed by a tiny bit of roast caramel. Nice and carbonated, but not too thin & bubbly. A pretty damn well-balanced drinkable, and classy beer.

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Photo of mpedara429
4/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Poured out an amber color, pretty cloudy. A hefty three plus fingers of head with good retention and lacing.

S: Bready yeast, clove, and some dark fruit.

T: Not very sweet. Very bready with spicy clove and some raisin.

M: Medium body with heavy micro bubble carbonation.

O: Simple and refreshing. Thats what makes this one so good. Not super complex but does enough things very well that you want to drink it again.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured hard into a Duvel tulip, then backed off to avoid yeast base and spillage onto counter.

Sight: Pumpkin-like orange, brown hues toward the top underneath the head. Hazy. Head is light, white, whipped- almost egg-flip foam. Vortex of carbonation from bottom of glass when first poured. Lace left is big and patchy, with no recognizable or cool word to describe it.

Aroma: Bready, yeasty wafting off head. A bit of malt and cracker, but very subtle hop presence.

Taste: Perhaps hay-ish start, light malt and yeasty fruit traces. A touch of spice, perhaps due to the hops… who knows. A tiny dose of caramel from the whisky malt. I could have told you, however, that this was of the Belgian school of brewing.

Mouthfeel: Medium minus, but great bubble. Refreshing, glad I got a 750mL and not a 12 oz.
Overall: Great, refreshing brew from my favorite Canadians, eh.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%

5.50% ABV. 750ml brown glass bottle with appealing albeit cliche label art and a branded silver cap over a cork acquired at H-E-B grocery and served into a snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery - which makes some lovely beers. Reviewed as a Peat-smoked whisky malt ale. 15.5 IBU.

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half a finger of white colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. More if you include the floater ring it leaves.

BODY: Body colour is a murky copper of below average vibrance. Has some rotten orange hues. Maybe a dab of caramel colour too.

No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Not real appealing, admittedly. Average looking at best.

AROMA: Raw wort-like malts - the kind of sticky almost malt-extract esque aroma you'd expect to find in a new upstart brewery's amber. A hint of tangerine. I don't pick up on any smokiness. Clove. It has surprising warmth for a beer of average ABV, but that may be some of the whisky malt seeming booziness trickling in. I don't pick up on any actual whisky notes. Belgian pale malts.

It's not all that great an aroma. The rawness coupled with the warm fruit. Inoffensive, but unattractive. Average in strength.

No off-notes are detectable per se.

TASTE: Has some pleasant sour apple. Caramel. Belgian pale malt.

I'm not finding any smokiness or whisky notes at all. Maybe a bit of whisky grain on the backend, but only because I'm searching for it. Loads of spicy esters. Ripe.

Has some mild clove and some muted tangerine.

Fairly well balanced, but ultimately rather simple. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Not complex or intricate, but cohesive. There isn't much subtlety to this execution, and it's not a gestalt build, but I do like it in a general sense.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, a bit too aggressively carbonated, and lightly smacky on the palate. A biteen acidic.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, gritty, rough, or scratchy on the palate. Overall presence on the palate is average.

This texture suits the taste decently, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

OVERALL: It's downable, but surprisingly disappointing for a Unibroue brew. The sour apple note is nice, but I'm not sure what it gains from the whisky malt - if anything. Ultimately, this execution doesn't deliver on the promise of the premise. There's no really smokiness here. I wouldn't buy it again. A rare miss from Unibroue.

Where are Unibroue's signature notes of lees? At the very least, I thought I could always count on that.


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Photo of JayQue
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into mu Augustijn goblet. First pour was a clear amber color with a small delicately bubbly white head. The head fades fast and there is little to no lacing. Subsequent pours were a hazy amber color, as the yeast gets more stirred up.

Aroma and taste are strong a nd nice. Belgian yeast and light fruit (apples and pears). Good balance between the yeast flavor and the sweetness from the fruit. Mouthfeel is rich for a 5.5 beer. VEry good Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of Mavigo
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a 750ml bottle of this from Discount Drinks in Farmington. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a a cloudy copper color with a short beige head that lasts for a few minutes before dissipating entirely. Much darker than what I expect for a pale.

S: Smells of grains, wheat, grass, brown sugars, barley, yeast, and hops. A faint aroma.

T: Mellow, smooth flavor, well balanced. Smooth wheat, grains, yeast and malt, followed a slight hint of hops.

M: Well carbonated and medium bodied. Very crisp and refreshing, excellent for a summer day.

O: Probably the best belgian pale ale that I've tried. And since its not imported from overseas, it was much cheaper than the other comparable belgians. Give it a shot.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm quite surprised by how underwhelming this beer is. I have a lot of respect for Unibroue, and I usually like those wonderful Belgian yeasty flavors, but somehow this Belgian Pale Ale just doesn't have much going on in the flavor department, or the aroma department. I'd like to describe what I smelled or tasted, but there wasn't much there.

It was on tap, so I don't know how fresh it was.

This beer is inoffensive, but that's no good reason to drink it.

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Photo of Pencible
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before 03-06-2016, sampled July 2014.

A: This poured a cloudy dark gold with quickly dissipating off white head.
S: It smelled like grassy hops and Belgian yeast, with some earthy nutty malt and smoked barley.
T: It tasted like grassy hops and Belgian yeast, with a little earthy nutty malt and smoked barley. It had a clean sour aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of fine natural carbonation. Thin body.
D: This was a decent Belgian ale, but the scent and taste were really simplistic. It didn't have any unique character like I hoped. The body was a little weak too, but the finish was pretty smooth, so it wasn't difficult to drink. Meh.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep hazy orange-amber color with a one finger head of billowy white foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a fruity nature consisting mainly of apple and pear as well as a nice banana smell. Along with these aromas are some yeasty smells as well as a nice big and bold smoky smell. A lighter whiskey and roasted bread smell are there as well, overall producing a rather toasty and fruity smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a lightly toasted malt flavor along a hint of the fruitiness of apple and pear that was detected in the nose. A little bit of smoke is present upfront with it growing slightly stronger more toward the middle of the flavor profile. Like the smoke, a yeasty flavor also develops more and more as the flavor advances with it bringing a little bit of banana and orange. The yeast and smoke kick it up more toward the end of the taste, with the fruits that were present initially fading a bit. In the end, with a little bit of grass and hay coming to the tongue, one is left with a semi-sweet but somewhat lighter malted but rather smoked and yeasty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner and lighter side with a carbonation level that is full of tons of little prickly carbonation bubbles. For the lighter fruit and yeasty flavors, the carbonation is fantastic, really nice complementing them. The smoky flavors however, are at a loss to some extent due to the high carbonation and thin body, so overall the feel is just OK.

Overall – Now don’t get me wrong. This is a good brew, but it falls a little short of the other Unibroue beers I have had thus far. Certainly a worthy beer to take down (as it really does out compete most in the class) although I feel my expectations were a bit too high and hence I was slightly disappointed.

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Raftman from Unibroue
87 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.