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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.
RaftmanRaftman

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

622 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 622
Reviews: 389
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 45
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 03-06-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 622 | Reviews: 389 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Fnord:
Photo of Fnord
Fnord

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

Appearance - Opaque amber with a dense white head that lasts.

Smell and Taste - Apple, alcohol, maple, and a little grapefruit. The characteristic Unibroue yeast taste is in the finish. There is a touch of smoke about it, but I may not have noticed it if it hadn't been mentioned on the bottle.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and high carbonation. Fairly crisp.

Notes - This is a beautifully balanced Belgian Pale Ale, the best I've had. Low ABV yet complex, I wish there were more beers like it. Once again, Unibroue makes a superior product. I just wish it were easier to find.

01-28-2011 18:33:16 | More by Fnord
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%

Pours a nice deep copper color with medium head that leaves some pretty nice lacing,I really liked the soft malty slightly sweet aroma.The taste is also pretty soft with a light smokiness to it with a good malty backbone and finishes a little fruity.I think this is a highly drinkable beer for the style,pretty well done.

07-08-2003 06:43:32 | More by oberon
Photo of Popsinc
Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -9.8%

Appearance: 341ml bottle. Pours a cloudy orange/brown with a large frothy head.

Smell: Obvious spiciness in the nose. Light fuity hints and a raw honey sweetness.

Taste: Right off the bat there is a woodniess to the beer, oak maybe. I can see where the whisky malt comes into play here. Some smokey hints as well. This lends a dry, almost tartness to the beer. Not as much spice or fuit as was found in the nose. The finish is a little lemony and dry.

Mouthfeel: Very light and smooth. Not as full and bubbly as i would have liked or expected.

Drinkability: I wasn't crazy about this beer. Compared to other Unibroue offerings, this one is not one of their best.

09-17-2003 16:32:52 | More by Popsinc
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

Note – I bought this for tasting a few weeks ago and the brew was spent. It tasted like crap. I figured that I had got a bad bottle and decided to review with another sample, which is recorded below.

Appearance – Nice, thick, cloudy orange color. The head came up nicely but went down kind of quick.

Smell – Light smoke with the malt and some hops. Well balanced.

Taste – There are some very sophisticated malts in here, and a nice sweetness made up of dark, ripe fruits and table sugar. The whiskey flavor claimed on the bottle is very light.

Mouthfeel – A little over-carbonated for my preference, but this beer left a lot of satisfaction on the mouth. It felt great.

Drinkability – This one went down fairly well.

Comments – I don’t know if I would call it a “whiskey malt,” but it was good nevertheless.

08-31-2003 04:34:33 | More by RoyalT
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

I've been wanting to try this one for a long time so I was thrilled to find it on tap during my most recent visit to the Map Room.

Pours kind of a glowing pale orange color with a healthy white head.

The aroma begins with that wonderful fruity yeastiness found in most Unibroue beers. Then I notice a hint of smoky whisky followed by zesty hops.

The body is light and dry with a variety of light fruit, yeast based flavors. Toasty with some pepper and smoke. Touches of metallic graininess but not much. Peachy esters and lemony finish. Well balanced and quite drinkable.

04-21-2008 17:09:00 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of beerhunter13
beerhunter13

Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +29.5%

01-15-2012 15:56:02 | More by beerhunter13
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
Rijtjeshuis

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

served in tulip...

BA here describes this as a BPA, though I've seen it elsewhere as a rauchbier and the unibroue website describes it as a peat-smoked beer (a seemingly sui generis category). So, it's probably

look -- pours a rich medium amber. The head is a bit of a letdown: white, while it came up to about two fingers, and falling quickly without lacing to a swirling film. Hazy (not truly opaque, nor clear).

smell -- the smell is full of the unibroue ale yeast (maybe a bit more peppery than usual) with some interesting malts in the background. I get the scotch-like peat smoked malt aroma, but it's really quite weak and in the background behind the yeast that comes along with an aroma of rich dark bread. No real hop aroma

taste -- essentially, the same as the aroma, but a the taste is a little better balanced between the yeast and the malt than the nose. The malt character is still similar to rich dark bread with a hint of sweetness in there (which struck me as almost similar to a liquor chocolate). There really isn't all that much in the way of smokiness (at least compared to a rauchbier, which I have seen this brew listed as). Any smokiness there is is carried off with the pepperiness of the yeast and the breadiness of the malt. No real hop flavor, but a bit of bitterness on the finish.

feel -- lighter body than I would have expected, good carbonation. No alcohol warmth. Some spiciness played well with the effervescent finish.

Overall, a decent brew. Pretty tasty, though maybe not the most drinkable (to be frank, I think it could have taken a higher ABV). I like having it with greasy and gravy soaked food.

12-26-2011 20:26:16 | More by Rijtjeshuis
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.6%

12oz bottle courtesy of kmpitz2. Thanks bro. After I pop the cap I get a bit of a gusher..easily contained by a quick pour into my SN tulip. A careful pour reveals a dark copper orange brew with a nice 1/2" head on top along with some stringy lacing. Aromas start off with fruits...orange, some apple along with a underlying peaty smokiness. There's a nice dash of spiciness in there as well. Quite an interesting aroma with a subtle smoke.

First sip brings a smooth fruity body upfront along with a ghostly mellow smoke flavor in the background. There's a yeasty spiciness that runs through the middle with a hint of cinammon, clove and pepper. The interplay between the fruity and the smoke is nice but I was hoping for a big more in the smoke department.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a rush of tight carbonation and a soft body...easily flows over the palate. I'm enjoying this bottle and I'd imagine I could drink another if I had it. An interesting brew for sure...hopefully Unibroue brings this back into rotation. Bottle says best by 04-04-03...about 2 years past and still damn tasty!

05-11-2005 02:16:54 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of FadetoBock
FadetoBock

Alberta (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

12-26-2013 07:09:48 | More by FadetoBock
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.24/5  rDev +9.8%

From the bottle poured into a tulip. A hazy amber color with a very large white head. The head dissipated rather quickly.

The aroma was boozy, vanilla. There was a lot of sweet malt.

The taste was very malt-forward. Lots of toffee and caramel. Vanilla still there, with a hint of whiskey.

Nicely carbonated, very pleasant. I had become bored with Unibroue, but this renewed my faith in them.

06-24-2014 22:16:40 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

4.55/5  rDev +17.9%

Presentation: 750ml corked and wired caged bottle. Freshness date very clearly marked on the back. Label has an image of lumberjacks hard at work.

Appearance: A peach coloured beer, with a slight haze. Head is a snapping thick head of large bubbles that quickly drops to a patchy, thinly ringed white lace. Carbonation bubbles are larger than most beers, like twice as large, with smaller ones mixed in.

Smell: Yeast spice, pepper and fruit of faint apricot.

Taste: Smooth mouthefeel, with a creamy carbonation lift that fills the mouth and then gently pricks the palate with a crisp, quick, sharp hop snap. The malt profile contains whisky malt, and is a well-balanced combination of complex flavours, such as: caramel/toffee, faint fruity apricot, honey and toasted malts. Things thin out towards the end, with a clean finish and slight dryness.

Notes: Oh bliss! A world-class Beglian-style Speciale ale. Much less robust and thinner than the other beers from Unibroue, but this makes it an exceptional beer in which to have many of.

Raftman is brewed in memory of the masters of the forest who were simultaneously lumberjacks, log drivers and raftsmen to commemorate their legendary courage they knew, when it was time, how to settle their differences and share their joie de vivre around a beer or a whisky.

03-06-2001 00:00:01 | More by Todd
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%

Quick foaming head that slowly drops down to an ample lace over a cloudy glowing orange coloured brew.

Woody aroma with hints of yeast and vanilla, a faint smoke is detected also with a fruitiness of peaches and lemon.

Smooth mouth feel with a large crispness from a somewhat aggressive carbonation. Malty upfront with a toasted sweetness, sizeable yeast twang in the middle. A dash of peppery phenols thrown in for good measure. Slight metallic charred grain husk flavour pulls the dryness further in. Swift yet mild fruitiness pops in with an indistinct peach flavour and faded alcoholic esters. Hops are very light with only a fast gracing of bitterness. Toasted grain lingers far into the finish.

I could have one after the other of this brew, I’ll be buying this by the case ASAP.

07-11-2002 16:46:02 | More by Jason
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

12 oz bottle courtesy of fellow Kentucky BAs, clvand0 and kmpitz2. I've never seen Raftman in a store anywhere, so have no clue where this one originated. "Best before 04-04-03", sampled Feb 19, 2005. Pours a hazy, apricot body with a small offwhite head that retains for a few minutes. Sporadic film, patch, and some sheet lace noted. Aroma has tropical fruits, clove, white pepper, and some campfire smoke. Mouthfeel has a light medium body and some subdued effervescent carbonation. Taste is similar to other Unibroue Belgian pale ale stylings. Tropical fruit sweetness, spicy coriander and white pepper, and balancing bitterness from the hops and yeast. There is a noticeable smoked beef jerky component that comes from the use of lightly smoked whisky malts. Finish is clean and evenly balanced. Good drinkability from this Unibroue, even though it is apparently past its prime. The smoked malt character reminds me a bit of Germany's Bamberg smoked beers. Very interesting departure from Unibroue's always interesting line.

02-20-2005 01:41:52 | More by merlin48
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

The operative word here is mild. Large bottle, caged and corked. Openw with low energy and pours with fairly low carbonation, medium, tiny bubble, light tan head. Next to no lacing. Nose is mildly smokey, with hints of vanilla and oak. Subtle and sublime, more light smoke,mellon and oak picked up. Vanilla notes to smooth things along. Tasty and easy going sipper. Fine choice for light foods and of course, smoked meats/BBQ

12-29-2005 20:20:45 | More by Billolick
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

Appearance: big head, murky, a dark orange/yellow with medium carbonation

Smell: I get orange peels and some bourbony smoke

Taste: It tastes almost Belgiany--some bourbon, some earth, some wood

Mouthfeel: light, crisp, with a slightly bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: This is a beer that the more I drink it, the more I like it...It is complex and I could easily drink a six of it

01-09-2009 05:23:12 | More by tigg924
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +3.6%

341mL bottle brought back from a recent trip to Montreal. Always nice to run into a Unibroue offering I haven't tried yet. (For those Canucks in the audience, this label greatly reminded me of the CNFB "Log Driver's Waltz" film from the 70s. How Canadian can you get?)

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Pale amber-copper, slightly opaque with that yeasty sediment. About an inch of fluffy head quickly recedes into a thin, but sturdy ring. Lacing when the glass is tilted.

The nose is that distinctive Unibroue yeast, peach, apple, vanilla, and I guess you could call it smoke, but really it's probably my nose playing off the beer description because it isn't very strong. Still, a nice smell to it.

Tastes like the typically good Unibroue fare, although I was a bit underwhelmed. Nothing really stood out for me in this brew - the smoky, whisky flavors I was anticipating just weren't there, and if they were, they were so well hidden I can't really say I'm being honest about them. Still, a not-so-fantastic Unibroue is still fantastic. Easy to sip on a cold, dreary afternoon.

Slight sediment to the mouth, crisp carbonation, thicker bodied.

This log driver's waltz won't please the beer folks completely, but it still was a decent beer. A low ABV would make for a great session brew. It's of the kind I like to drink so it's hard to knock it, but when I see Unibroue's website describe Raftman as a "a peat smoked whisky malt ale", I was expecting a great deal more than what was there.

03-14-2011 01:18:02 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Swedes21
Swedes21

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1%

341 ml served in a chilled glass

Apperance - beer pours with a nice full bodied head, about 2-3 fingers. It lingers around for quite some time. The beer is a dark orange/amber in appearance and its hard to tell the carbonation levels.

Smell - the smell is nice and smooth, i can pick up some hints of orange, lemon and mild hops.

Taste - nice tasting beer! I can actually taste some sweetness along with the citrus tones. The beer is full bodied without an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Nice mouthfeel, full bodied and lots of carbonation. I can pick up hints of banana as well in the mouthfeel. All the comments in taste remain the same, very nice beer.

Drinkability - I am very happy i was able to try this beer and really enjoyed it. Nice tasting beer that offers the mouth so much, will find and stock again!

12-14-2010 01:57:12 | More by Swedes21
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bpfrush

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

11-14-2011 15:03:41 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Hazy orange and amber with almost no head. No lacing on the glass. Disappointing. Seems a bit lifeless.

A wonderful fruity and sweet aroma consisting of tangy and spicy Belgian yeast, some lemon character, a touch of other citrus, and some candyish caramel malt.

The flavor follows very closely with the aroma, though the tangy yeast isn't quite as pronounced as I thought it might be. Sweet and citrusy, a touch bready.

Relatively poor mouthfeel. This beer seems to be missing it's punch and appropriate body from the carbonation--with it, I think it might make this beer extraordinarily good.

A decent Belgian pale ale but lacking the right amount of carbonation. A tasty beer, but it could easily be improved.

06-10-2011 05:25:02 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Thrasher
Thrasher

Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

Bright amber, medium head. Big apple cider flavor right off the bat, with twinge of spices and yeast, although mild compared to Unibroue's other offerings. Whisky-malt and smokiness is certainly present but obscured by fizziness and Belgian type yeast. Quite refreshing and a bizarre combination of flavors that works. I am getting a lot of wheat characteristics. Not being as awestruck by Unibroue's popular beers as a lot of people are, I was delightfully surprised by this. I was informed at the store that this is no longer available in the US? Is it a summer seasonal?

11-18-2002 14:27:32 | More by Thrasher
Photo of chickenm
chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

750mL bottle. Pours a cloudy orange/brown color with minimal head and no lacing. Smell is of yeast, spices and fruits. Taste has the typical Unibroue yeast taste, spice, and malt. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. This is a good easy drinking beer, though I wish Unibroue would try using different yeast once in a while!

04-15-2011 04:34:19 | More by chickenm
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.53/5  rDev +17.4%

Excellent beer from Unibroue. The head is a nice light brown with big bubbles that settle fairly quickly. The beer is a deep golden to beige color in the glass. The mouthfeel is about average, but the smell and the taste just hit you head on. No that they're overly strong, but the whiskey malt adds a flavor and an aroma that are truly unique and very noticeable. Hints of smoke and an apple-like taste, with definite overtones of whiskey. A real pleasure to drink. I wouldn't be able to have too many because the flavor can get a little overwhelming after a few, but this is a very good beer.

01-25-2003 12:58:59 | More by far333
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

The appearance is a golden orangish tone, with a white head along with a solid amount of lace lining the glass. The aroma has a nice apple fragrance along with some nice esters that arise to the nose. Very sweet flavors with the balancing bitterness arising in the finish, very mild smooth and refreshing. For Unibroue this one is lighter in flavor than most of their brews, but it is still a very solid selection that deserves a shot. It dances on the tongue with the high carbonation, but overall a lighter to medium body. Pretty drinkable, but the high carbonation would stop me from wanting to consume too many of these.

02-18-2003 10:42:13 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.91/5  rDev +1.3%

12 oz bottle dated 2-26-11 (fresh) served in pint glass. Small amount of accessible sediment in bottom of bottle included in pour.

A - medium honey brown; cloudy; ample and dense tan head; head has good retention.

S - Whisky-tinged Belgian-style ale with fruity yeast aromas. Some disagreeable mustiness and notes reminiscent of soap.

T - Complex, yeasty, and only a little bit smokey. Belgian-style ale with fruity yeast; Whisky seemed more evident in aroma than flavor. More sweet than bitter. Hints of peat, roasted cashews and apples.

M - medium body; smooth; light carbonation

O - Malty and dark for a "pale ale". My rating increased by interest and complexity. Also mostly improved, compared to original rating, by aging in this bottle that was produced and purchased in 2011, and stored under refrigeration until Feb. 2013 -- ratings adjusted only partly in the direction of the recent aged bottle. Clearly another sample is needed :)

01-20-2011 00:54:55 | More by chinchill
Photo of stereosforgeeks
stereosforgeeks

Virginia

4/5  rDev +3.6%

12-17-2012 15:27:05 | More by stereosforgeeks
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Raftman from Unibroue
87 out of 100 based on 622 ratings.