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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

406 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 406
Hads: 741
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 56
Gots: 64 | 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 (32) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Raftman Alström Bros
Reviews: 406 | Hads: 741
Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The beer poured a golden yellow color with a big white head.

Smell - The wheat comes through in the aroma with certain dustiness.

Taste - On the initial taste, one detects the sweet wheat and some dry banana notes. It almost reminds me of a less than sweet banana Laffy Taffy. The carbonation brushes the taste away quickly, leaving a dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - A high level of carbonation keeps the taste from lingering. The taste is not overly potent, which makes the taste brief.

Overall - I was looking forward to this one, but was not overly impressed.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

- 5.5% ale brewed with whisky malt.

A: A glass consuming foam visual sits above a dirty, dense orange coloring. Head retention is very well lasting while leaving stratified rings of fancy lacing down the vessel. The crown in barley-beige in color, pitted foamy and cavenous on the surface, solid around the edges. Some quick release carbonation.

S: Wiff of whisky malt, dried cherries and dry grains on the nose. Finishes out with some dry barley.

T: Flavor had a toasted fruitiness, some apple-citrus, fresh barley, cherry-wood and toasted orange peel. Great belgian yeastiness, cantelope, wet pear slices highlighted by a sweet toasted grain juiciness. Soft rye-apple notes, leafy greens and a peppery-cola spicing on the finish.

M: Medium fullness for body, carbonation around the tongue's edges shows a mineral creaminess.

O: A 5.5% full of flavor and as usual , a great belgian yeastiness showing a wide spectrum of flavors. Unibroue never disappoints, they are the western worlds answer to Belgium beer.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 3/6/2016. Pours lightly hazy deep orange copper color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big peach, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, caramel, toast, bread, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of apricot, peach, pear, apple, light banana, clove, caramel, toast, bread, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of peach, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, caramel, toast, bread, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.5%. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian pale ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle best by 3/16/16 at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of yeast and over-ripe fruit
Head average (2.5 cm), off white, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring and partial layer
No lacing
Body medium yellow, hazy
Flavor is subtle, with yeast and a hint of smoke, and a slight spiciness. No alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl.
Palate is light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

A complex, light-bodied and low alcohol offering from, IMHO, one of the best breweries in Canada. I can see drinking several of these in a bar or restaurant, without getting drunk.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and very subtle smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, earth, fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smoked malt supposedly used in this one is almost non-existent in the smell or taste.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Duvel tulip. No decipherable freshness date.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before fading to a thin ring around the edge of a glass and a sheer strip of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Classic rich and yeasty Belgian Pale aroma with lots of banana, some bubble gum and plenty of spices.

T- Flavor follows through bringing a lot of earthy flavors from the yeast. Not really bitter, not really sweet. Just right there in the middle. Great flavor as it entices me to take more and more sips.

M- Vibrant and crisp with a milky texture. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Been waiting a long time to get a chance to try this and finally it landed on some shelves near me. Great stuff. While Unibroue doesn't have a whole lot of variance in their ales, it can sometimes be a good thing since you know it's going to have delightful Belgian-style flavors every time. I wouldn't really call it being consistent, I would call it being dependable. Oh and, as others have stated in previous reviews, I found absolutely no whiskey or smoke notes in the beer from start to finish which is fine by me.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark orange body with decent head and minor lace. Aroma is spicy with hint of whiskey and bourbon as well as some Belgian yeast and hints of tropical fruits and earthy hops. Beer is light to medium bodied, smooth from yeast as well a little oakiness, there are hints of candi sugar and tropical fruit sweetness and these flavors are balanced for an easy drinking beer. Finish is complemented by slight alcohol bite (the whiskey) and some peppery spices.

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Photo of CincyStar
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle with best by date of 3/6/16.
Outstanding Belgian pale ale with smooth but full malt taste and texture and some restrained banana yeast notes. Only disappointment was I was expecting more of the smoked whiskey notes on the malt, but that had more to do with my expectations. The subtlety could easily be viewed as a positive as well.

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Photo of metter98
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellowish brown in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles completely covering the surface.
S: Light- to moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with notes of pale malts. The yeast tastes a little like bananas.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the malts also contribute a slight amount of sweetness and bits of earthiness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: With all of the banana flavors from the yeast, this beer seemed like a cross between a Hefeweizen and a Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy medium golden peach in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint bright yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy off-white head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering about half of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly smoky pale malts, light fruits (apple and pear), and banana from the yeast. Hints of spicy/peppery yeast as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly smoky pale malts with a hint of light fruit sweetness (apple and pear). Light to moderate flavors of banana from the yeast and just a touch of spiciness as well. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish but it does not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp/slightly prickly.

O: I wish the whiskey-like flavors and aromas were slightly more present than they are in this beer. This is a really nice and enjoyable brew with a very traditional Belgian profile.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a corked & caged 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderately gentle hand. Best by 03-06-16. What the hell's a raftman? I guess the guy on the label is a raftman. Rolling down the hole!

A: Hazy, copper-colored body. 2 fingers of dense, off-white head with good retention. Nice lacing. Head is great, the body seems a bit dull to me.

S: Musty yeast notes. I believe I'm picking up some whiskey malt... A little peat. A little wood. Overall, I'm just not getting much in the nose. Smells nice I suppose, but so light! Where's the smoke?

T: Belgian yeast & spice up front, followed by a slightly nutty, lightly roasty malt. There is a fruity kick that I was not expecting. Banana. Very light hopping on a semi-dry finish. No perceivable alcohol.

M: Moderate carbonation with a light creaminess. Light body. Nice feel and drinkability.

O: I was hoping for more malt, earth and smoke in this one. Came across a bit underwhelming. Drinks well and the flavors were good, but awfully restrained.


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Photo of puboflyons
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the corked, caged bottle marked best By 03-06-16. I am drinking it about two years earlier than that on May 2, 2014.

It pours the amber color of a good Irish (or Canadian) whiskey but it builds up to bold, off-white head that fades down after a few moments.

The aroma is of yeast, toasted biscuit malts, Belgian sugars, but not a lot of whiskey. Still it is highly inviting and I can't wait to sip it.

The body is chewy and bold.

If there's whiskey in this it is well-masked. But I am not complaining because the taste is heavenly with its toasted Belgian maltiness, yeast, brown sugar, honey (maybe), and low bitterness at the end. Delightful all around. It deserves the high ratings it is getting.

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

A: A cloudy deep orange color. Almost entirely opaque once the yeast reaches the glass. Two fingers of head , a bit more creamy looking then most other Unibroue beers. Good lacing and great retention.

S: Belgian yeast charachter / the typical unibroue aroma.

T: Clove and spices. Malty as well. Caramel and some slightly tart but sweet fruits come through. I'm feeling pear and apple , both green and red. I'm not really picking up on any of the peat smoke as advertised which I feel would be out of place in this beer anyways. Not overly complex but well balanced. A touch of a sour character come through too, its slight but makes the beer all that more thirst quenching.

M: Crisp and very carbonated. Some what of a thinner body but this aids in the drinkability.

O: A very good beer in my opinion. I paired it with salmon over rice and asparagus, turned out to be absolutely amazing.

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Photo of ssmack
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A golden apricot colour. Half inch of head that quickly became a slick. Great carbonation but no lacing.

Aroma of Belgian yeast. Cloves, earthiness and whisky. Awesome.

Tastes of cloves and medicinal at first. Smokey malt. A tart aftertaste.

A medium feel with lots of tartness.

A full favour Belgian pale ale build on that strong Unibroue yeast.

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

Poured from a 355 ml bottle. Pours a orangish yellow with amber or brown highlights. Nose is dried fruit, smoked meat and spice. Similar notes on the palate, but tastes a bit like a smoked witbier. Hearty and medium bodied with excellent carbonation.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange-amber with a small amount of quick-breaking head. Aroma is very malty, like cornbread with hints of caramel and light smoke. Yeasty. Some pear and apple fruity notes as well. Palate is quite similar, with sweet corn and caramel flavors, a tinge of smoke but no scotch ale in this regard, dry husks, pears and apples, maybe a touch of banana. Vanilla and some coriander or other mild citrus spice. All in all a fairly unique Belgian pale with Unibroue character. One of the more difficult Unibroues to track down, at least in these parts. Perhaps a bit undercarbonated. Finish is persistent, sweet and mildly acidic. Worthwhile and I am tempted to provide higher ratings.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml bottle into a tulip.

A: amber in color, with almost no head...not sure if this is a good thing.

S: the unibroue yeast is right there.

T: the yeast come forward, as does a grassyness and some smoky whisky hints.

M: wow. Very little carbonation... Worried about this. Otherwise it is good

O: this was the elusive unibroue beer for me...one of only two of their regular brews that I hadn't tried. I have to say I like it pretty well, though I am a little suspicious that I may have a bad bottle on my hands.

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Photo of BobZ
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Amber with a small head that instantly recedes to a cap.

Smell: The distinct aroma of Unibroue yeast (slightly musty & grassy) is dominant, not much else leaps out.

Taste: Nice pale ale with a little pepper like spice, but most a grassy flavored brew. The whisky is subtle against a pretty solid bready malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: A little thin, could have actually used more carbonation in this bottle.

Overall: A middle of the road BPA, not bad, not great. I'd choose most all other Unibroue beers over this one.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky butterscotch color. If there isn't light behind it, it almost looks swampy green. It has a light two-inch head that thins out to leave an adequate coating of tiny bubbles. Decent retention; a touch of lacing.

Smells really dank and earthy. It does have a sweet yeasty musk to it as well (as seems to be the case in most of their beers), but is mainly a smell of fresh cut grass with some citrus aromas.

Comes onto the tongue pretty crisp and delicious. There is definitely a smoky, whiskey presence to the taste, but nothing that shocked me. Nice complete, well-balanced flavor.

Some nice grassy, smoky notes and a really great (high) level of carbonation (champagne-like) . Short aftertaste. Unobtrusive and refreshing without being reduced to being "thin."

This is one fine brew! I really enjoyed every aspect of drinking it. It was really well-balanced, neither too sweet nor too bitter. It also wasn't super yeasty (like some other beers they put out--not that yeast is bad or anything). Really refreshing, too. In this respect it also benefits from not having a super high alcohol content like other Belgians. I would have it again. And again. I'd even tell my friends.

EDIT (July)
In all truthfulness, this is my favorite of their beers. I mean, it is a beer that has a solid gimmick (brewed with whiskey malt because lumberjacks were fans of the old "beer and a shot") and pulls it off. The beer is actually better for it. It is the most 'different' in comparison to their other beers (that I have had, obviously), but is not to be missed.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into tulip.

A - pours a dark orange/light brown colour. One finger head.
S - typical Unibroue Belgian smell, sweet, fruity, bit of spice, whiskey.
T - sweet, belgian spice, some orange, bittersweet smooth finish, some whisky hints, smoke lingers.
M - heavy carbonation, tingle stays on the palate long after.
O - I'm not a huge Belgian guy nor whisky guy, but this is interesting nonetheless. The whisky and smoke flavours are pretty subtle. Smell was't all that distinct from other Unibroue. Surprisingly, this is only 5.5%, making it near sessionable territory. I would drink this again, probably wouldn't pick it over some other Unibroue's though.

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Photo of zachary80
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Corsendonk glass (looks like image on back of bottle). From this seasons gift set / variety pack, not sure the date. Area after "Best Before" is blank.

Pours with a large white head, fades, some retention. Hazy light brown body with golden highlights. Low lacing.

Sweet, somewhat tart aroma. Soft.

Mild but interesting BPA. Fruity finish. Yeastiness lingers.

Good mouthfeel and carbonation.

Overall this is one of my favorite BPA. Nothing outstanding about it, I just really enjoy it.

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Photo of peensteen
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly hazy orangey-brown colour, one finger of white head and some lace on the glass. Smell is a nice mix of belgian yeast, fruit and dark sugars, a bit of smokey malt comes across as well, well spiced as well. Taste is quite yeasty, with a good amount of spice, bits of banana and bubble gum, some ripe fruit flavours, light sweetness with a spicy finish. Medium-hig carbonation, on the lighter end of medium bodied, decent overall feel. Solid and really drinkable, like that this has a low ABV, something I could drink a few of in one sitting for sure.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue has yet to disappoint, and I doubt they ever will. Sure, the yeast strain seems to be about the same for each beer, and it kind of shows. But hey, they're consistently pulling off Belgian styles that are produced en masse. And that works for me.

This one is pretty easy to drink and the character is good. Ripe fruit on this one with the dark ale character you'd expect. Was surprised to see it on tap and glad to be able to try it.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Gigs in London. They listed it as a smoked ale but I didn't detect too much in smoke flavours. It definately has the typical Unibroue Belgian yeast taste to this, but its not as strong as the other beers in their lineup. Theres some spiceyness in the taste with faint fruit flavours like apple and grapes in there as well. Definately another quality belgian brew from Unibroue.

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