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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.
RaftmanRaftman

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BA SCORE
87
very good

677 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 677
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 45
Gots: 42 | 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)
View: Beers (34) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 677 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beejay
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Tan Brown color, slightly hazy. Some good tan colored head at first, but sadly dissipates quickly.

S: Slightly tart and sour, a bit yeasty. Like a tart cherry.

T: Slightly tart cherry at first, but then it fades into a more mellow beer. Nice and refreshing.

M: Very highly carbonated, like champaign or soda water.

D: Good, tasty. But this doesn't stand out from any of their other offerings. Yummy for sure, but if I had one Unibroue beer to pick, it wouldn't be this one.

Photo of bobsy
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange with two fingers of white head, which eventually dies down to a thin collar, leaving only a few spots of lace. The glass is clean, so I'm surprised by the lack of retention and lacing. In fact, it doesn't really look that appetising, but fortunately I know better.

The aroma is with peach, berry lemon, spicy rye, wheat and a light pour of candy sugar. Perhaps there's also a hint of smoke, but its not really as strong as I would have expected. The most dominating characteristic of the whole bouquet is the house yeast, which puts its stamp of approval on procedings.

Things continue in the right direction when the mouthfeel is taken into account. It exhibits a medium-light mouthfeel, and a high, yet soft, carbonation. Pretty spot on for the style.

For a beer that sells itself on the smokiness of its flavour, Raftman is a let down. I'm not sure where the smoke is, but it sure looks like its upped sticks and headed down the river. While I didn't expect a Schlenkerla, I did hope for something, but what little I do get may even be a figment of my imagination. Fortunately, as a Belgian Pale Ale Raftman delivers, and this should come as no surprise to people familiar with Unibroue's other offerings. This beer is, once again, all about the Unibroue signature yeast. Have enough Unibroues and you'll know what I mean - strong doughy characteristics, mixed in with peach, vanilla and spice. Beyond that there's a slight tanginess, reminiscent of wheat and maybe even slightly sour cherries.

I liked it, but I do wish that Unibroue would use different yeast strains in some of their beers, because right now they are all starting to blend into one. I feel like I'm reviewing the same beer again and again...

A big thanks to terryeckmeier for the bottle!

Photo of CortexBomb
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep orange pour with a 1.5 inch white head, U's beers are consistently solid on the appearance and this one is no exception. The U yeast smell dominates the nose with the vaguest hints of peat and sugar on the edge.

The flavour hits the light fruits that U's pale beers are known for. The peat and smoke from the whisky malts that is mentioned on the label is definitely present, albeit subtle, but for the most part this is a fairly standard pale offering from the Quebec brewery.

Mouthfeel is medium, which is appropriate for the style. It's light, effervescent, not unlike champagne, this is standard for the brewery. Drinkability is solid, though I should say that I find most of this style of beer extremely easy to drink.

The bottom line: As I've said before, I think Unibroue is a victim of their own success. In a pure vacuum, almost all of their beers are solid, but because they brew in a fairly rigid style, the brews all compete with each other. Raftman is a nice light offering. I think they are overplaying the use of whisky malts though, as a single malt fan, I expect a more aggressive flavour when the whisky tie-in is featured so prominently. This isn't a bad beer by any means though and I'm still flummoxed as to why it's the one standard offering that isn't available in the US except in the odd little variety pack that has the Chambly beers and an Ephemere. One thing I'll definitely give this beer in parting: exceptional for only 5.5 ABV, and that alone would probably be enough to make it a semi-regular in my glass if it was just available in 4/6 packs in the States.

Photo of Reidrover
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber beer with a large off white head that is very tight and creamy.
Very malty scented ale, with a tad of smoke. aroma.
The atste is better..again the malts, semi-bitter, with some peatiness with smoke in the background. Also some spice takes up the rear.
Intresting palate goes from exciting to watery then back again.
Not a bad beer, moderatly drinkable but by no means great.

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

Poured bottle into wine glass.

Appearance: A kind of caramel color that is fairly cloudy with a nice head.

Smell: Strong malt aroma not unlike one sees in a hefeweizen.

Taste: A very sweet flavor all the way around with a minor hint of fruit that stays hidden until the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A fair, solid body without being too thick or creamy.

Drinkability: Very good beer that is easy to drink and would be good for any occasion.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found this in the Unibrou variety case from Bryn Mawr Beverage in Rosemont, PA. I poured it into an oversized water glass (I work with what I got).
Appearance: The body is a cloudy light brown color. Not an amber shade but close. The head is 3 fingers tall, very light tan in color, small sized bubbles, very carbonated, super retention and no lacing.
Smell: The aromas are sparge, small pumpkin pie spice and earth tones.
Taste: The flavors are fruity, a bit of an earth note and not much else.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very crisp with a thin body.
Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable, despite not being very complex.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of Brenden
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The color is a cloudy burnt orange. A cloudy, thick head retains pretty nicely, leaving some patchy lacing about a quarter of the way down the glass.
There's a spice, some hefeweisen-like banana and clove, a gentle smokiness, some earth and a gentle, non-citrus fruit on the nose. While fairly complex, it also seems somewhat subdued and more spice than anything, not portending the full beauty of this brew.
There's more malt, and much stronger at that, in the flavor. This is the real beauty: smoked whiskey malts. The toasted and smoky flavor added to the rich, bold flavor and complexity of this brew is what makes it. There's a yeast underlying and the gentle fruit flavors linger all the way. Lest I fail to point it out, the balance isn't bad either, with a sharp hops presence rounding this one out.
There's a nice, tingly crispness in this brew, due mostly to an amply moderate carbonation. It does still have a nice smoothness in a gentle but fairly rich body.
This is a deserving brew, and I hope that it doesn't continue to be underrated.

Photo of ludachris
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great beer I picked up from Premier Wines and Spirits. I'm really happy I found this in a single bottle instead of committing to a sixer.

Pours a deep hazy burnt caramel with a one finger foamy white head that quickly dies down and leaves virtually no lacing. Fair amount of carbonation quickly makes its way to the surface.

Smell of belgian yeast, banana (reminds me a lot of a hefe), slightly smokey with a subtle malt presence and a touch of rye. Picking up on a bit of raison too?

Belgian yeast up front, light biscuity malt, slightly smokey and a touch of dark fruit. Almost no hop presence.

Mouthfeel is rich and somewhat creamy. Flavorful and quaffable; much like the other Belgian Pale Ale I had earlier.

Overall, another solid brew from Unibroue. Leaves me anxious to try more of their stuff.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly cloudy amber-brown colour with a decent, but small head of shiny white foam. Some good lacing, the body looks a little thin, otherwise a nice looking brew.

Light Belgian-style yeast on the nose, organic and a little fruity, a little deeper, raw peaty character and some spice. Overtones of fizzing acidity are a little unwelcome, but otherwise very decent.

The taste is where this beer really starts to shine. A wonderfully delicate, but intricate and long palate of lightly smoky malts, Belgian yeast and organic must. Some light bitterness mid palate, but this has simply declined to a dry crispness by the end. Body is very light, and it feels strangely carbonated - as though the CO2 hasn't dropped out of suspension. Mostly, a very decent Belgian pale, with a very subtle twist.

I'd been looking forward to trying this beer for some time. Unibroue again doesn't disappoint, although it's somewhat upsetting that I lay my hands on a bottle just as Unibroue cuts its Australian supply. Ah well.

Photo of klewis
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy copper with a big white head. Legs, but little lacing.

S: Fruity with a hefe-type smell. Citrus aromas with a hint of grass.

T: Slightly spicy with a mixture of citrus and medicinal phenols. No noticeable presence of "whiskey smoked malt."

M: Very light-bodied with lots of prickly carbonation.

D: Pretty good, but their are better hefes or witbiers out there that are similar yet better.

Photo of DrewOSU
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by beachbum1975, thanks man

A: Pours an amber, to copper color. 1/8 inch white head, lacing is tight and sudsy that sticks to the side of the glass on the initial pour.

S: Huge rye on the nose with a malt background. Very aromatic.

M/T: Light body, big carbonation bite on the tongue at first sip followed by a farm like, rye flavor. Aftertaste leaves a pleasing, semi refreshing flavor. You get some spice background on the swallow and aftertaste. No blend in the taste, you get a lot of rye on first sip, the flavor drops out and then a wash of aftertaste. Tastes very fresh.

D: Light, spicy and semi refreshing. No lingering aftertaste and low alcohol. Pretty easy drinker.

Photo of beachbum1975
2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First time I can recall seeing this beer in the shelves. I loved the label and the name of this beer, so decided to try it out on a whim. No freshness date on this bottle.

Big pop when prying the top off. Pours a light brown with off-white head. Tightly compacted bubbles which face fast leaving a light skimming on the top of the beer.

I smell freshly boiled corn on the nose with a strange wood, like oak in the mix. Maybe that's the rye coming through. White pepper in the mix, too.

The peppery spiciness comes through in the mouth. The carbonation is high in the mouth, much like champagne. Taste is like the nose with the rye and wood characterists coming out as the predominant flavor.

Interesting, but not my cup of tea (or beer).

Photo of GordonQuid
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an old boot....glass.

Rusty root colored with a frothy white on einch head with ample lacing. I feel like I should put my flannel shirt on for this review.

A bit smokey in the nose with nice malt charateristics. Effervescing bubbles tickle the nose a bit.

Taste is crisp hop bite with nice mildly smokey malt and caramel flavor. A bit sweet dark candy as well is mixed in. Dry.

This is a good strat to a session beer. I wouldn't drink these all night but a good flavorful starter.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into oversized wine glass
A - Orangish rusty copper color, decent white head quickly diminishes.

S - Malty aroma, spices, light fruit, yeast

T - Belgian yeast, light fruits I get lemon, raisins and figs, a slight hint of whiskey, smokey finish...damn this is more complex at first thought

M - light mouthfeel but heavy carbonated, has a dry aftertaste

D - very drinkable, balanced, smooth and complex. This is a great beer and one of my first Belgian Pale Ales, excellent.

Photo of arizcards
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of a Unibroue gift pack back in June. Good thru 2-26-11.

Beer poured amber orange with a decent white head. Nose is malty with hints of spices. Taste is classic Belgian yeast strain, hints of lemon, peppery finish is primary with hops taking a back seat. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, the beer glides gracefully across the palate in classic belgian style. This is quite the drinkable beer, light but somewhat complex. Would definitely try this beer again.

Photo of mikedashg
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-orange amber hue with a white foamy head
lots of bubbles

S-lemon spice yeast

t-apple lemon orange moderate
Belgian yeast yeast rind spicey finish

m-good full carbonation and crisp finish

d-very easy drinking Belgian style with a bitter spice finish. Very balanced.

Photo of flagmantho
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. One day, I will get real glassware.

Appearance: poured a slightly opaque golden amber with a very thick head. I can see lots of carbonation. Large globs of lacing as I drink it down.

Smell: clean wheat aroma with a little hint of tart apple.

Taste: nice wheat flavor, again with a little tartness (though less fruity). Hops are a little spicy but not overpowering; they blend well with the wheat.

Mouthfeel: body is on the heavy side of medium, and with the level of carbonation present this gives it a distinct creamy texture.

Drinkability: while it is a little to thick to be a session beer for me, its flavor and its nice wheat refreshing factor really help drinkability.

Photo of theghost3
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a 3-finger, frothy white head. The head disappates quickly. Lots of lacing.

Smell is mainly lemon, cloves, yeast, and herbal hops.

The taste is spicy with some light fruit flavors, earthy hops, and a hint of whisky. Mouthfeel is carbonated, almost too acidic & leaves dry.

This can be a drinkable beer. The low ABV is nice but the strong acidity is a bit off-putting.

Photo of EddieSTL
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy, deep copper. small white head.

S - Nicely Fruity. Apricot, slight apple? Maybe some smoke, but subtle. No hops.

T - Light earthy/spicy hops with light fruit. Dry, slightly smoky finish. Moderately bitter.

D - Pretty high. Pretty light beer.

Overall this is a really good beer. All of it's characteristics are subtle, and you could spend some quality time hunting out the flavors and aromas. Very nice!

Photo of laituegonflable
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very hazy copper colour with furious, prolific carbonation throughout the brew. A good bubbly head about 2 fingers thick sits as a crowning touch, leaving some pleasant - but thin - lacing behind.

Smell is gorgeous. Very Belgian in style with a lot of jammy, resiny fruit aromas; raisins, apple and cherry bark, and a good hit of spice as well. Very delicate whisky aroma at the back and a healthy woodiness. It's sweet but rustic, and wonderfully balanced.

Taste is slightly resiny at first, with a nice complex palate profile. Hints of figs, raisins and pine, with a really pleasant whisky character on the middle, along with an obligatory booze hit, which is obviously from the particular malt used rather than the relatively low ABV. It's a very welcome flavour, although not accompanied by a burning sensation. Very grainy flavour throughout but with a refreshingly brusque hop spice towards the back, cleans up the palate superbly and leaves a fresh bitterness as a linger. Doesn't leave much of a smokey character, but just a delicate woody touch towards the back.

Feel is dense and foamy, with a lot of bubbling, just a beautiful texture.

This is a supremely drinkable beer: balanced and complex, a lot of great flavours, very clean finish. In the Unibroue universe this is a dwarf, but it's clearly standing on the shoulders of its gargantuan brethren.

Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, in a downtown Montreal hotel room.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium-dark golden amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, and tightly foamy off-white head, which dissipates at a steady rate, leaving a low-lying berm of island-ho lace around the glass.

It smells of peaty, somewhat neutered smoke, that Belgian house yeast, cloves, a bit of muddled bruised drupe fruitiness, and pale grainy malt. The taste is lightly smoked, semi-sweet biscuity pale malt, with a slightly toasted marshmallow essence, some fruity pear and apple pie notes, singed banana chips, coriander, woody vanilla, edgy, spicy yeast, and soft grassy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and mostly just palate-clogging in its frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the yeasty pale malt, middling spice, and smoked woodiness duly lingering.

An interesting enough ode to those in Quebec's history who adhered to the 'one whisky, one beer' policy that I'm also quite fond of. The whisky malt does well to make indeterminate appearances throughout this beer, and overall, it's a unique and approachable offering from Unibroue - a smoked Belgian Pale Ale.

Photo of Buggies
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a nice head. Smells of bread and yeast. Slight bit of spice and fruit in there too. This beer is sharply carbonated which I enjoy. Taste is interesting. Fruit is noticeable along with a sweetness from I'll assume the whiskey malt. Some sort of funky sweetness left behind, but the finish is pretty dry.

Not a bad beer at all. I'll definately have to get more of these.

Photo of kaseydad
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great label and name for a beer. Giving love back to the forest dudes.

Pours a nice amber/caramal color with a fizzy head...which upon inspection looks like little fish eggs. Major carbonation is taking place and my ale is indeed alive.

Fruity and floral smells. It says made from whisky malt but I'm not getting that out of the smell.

There is a fruit taste but it is rather subdued. Malty kick and a odd aftertaste. That must be the whisky malt as it is rather soothing to the amount of carbonation I am getting in each sip. I was hoping for more out of the sip but I'm not getting it. I was expecting more fruit but came away with more malt.

The beer has definitely calmed down and as it warms and there is a little more of the whisky/alcohol taste coming through.

Photo of eat
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Edit: let this one warm up a bit before smelling or drinking).

My girlfriend knows I like trying new beers and thought she had never seen me drinking this one before. She has a good memory; I've never thought to buy the Raftman. Average ABV beers rarely do it for me when compared to 7 or 8% and up. Poured from a 750ml into my new Maudite chalice. Or would that be calisse?

This beer has a pretty unique colour to it, I have no idea what to call it. Maybe pastel amber. It's kind of brown/orange/amber. Opaque and a bit thin in texture. Nice colour but a less than impressive head, which fades fairly quickly to a thin blanket of foam and then to nothing at all. No lacing.

This actually smells pretty similar to a decent bottle of 12 year old single malt. If I had done a blind smell test, I might have guessed this was whiskey and not beer. Sweet, astringent malt, Unibroue yeast, a bit of hops and some Belgian spices.

Right up front there's a smokiness imparted by the whiskey malt followed up by some tingly, slightly bitter hops. Some Belgian-style spices in the background. It kind of reminds me of RJ's d'Achouffe Brun with some water poured in it. Not as sweet as the smell suggests. I'd like to taste even more malt here. I'm pretty into the subtle smokiness of this beer, but it's a little weak flavoured for my liking.

I know that Unibroue is well-known for their overcarbonation and while I usually enjoy high carbonation more than most, this is the first of the Unibroues I'm going to say is overcarbonated. If I had to list the most prominent feature of this beer, it would be the carbonation; it just dominates everything. Also, the feel is definitely too thin here; inappropriately light-bodied.

This is an alright beer. Drinkable but not one I would actively seek out. The smell, taste and feel are all too light for me. I'm giving it an extra 0.5 because the light smokiness is kind of cool. It's the only other Unibroue besides Ephemere I've had which weighs in at 5.5%. I guess I'm just a strong beer kind of guy.

Photo of MeisterBurger
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice liquid copper topped by a foamy head that starts settling immediately, fades away fast, and has little head retention. Ce qu'est un bummer.

The nose is funky yeast, with some clean, fresh herbal notes that go away as the head dies down, and just a nice and inviting freshly sliced unripe pear-like fruitiness and a touch of caramel and pepper.

It's very dry and tart at the start, fruity with a nice peppery spice to it that lingers beautifully in the finish. The malt is toasty and biscuity, there's dried apricot in the middle, and the hops are bittering but mellow. The alcohol is slightly warming. It all works together nicely.

Mouthfeel is refreshing and creamy, with mild pricking carbonation. Medium bodied.

While I am not completely blown away by this, there's really little that is wrong with it other than the lack of head, but it doesn't taste flat like a lot of headless beers can, so really, that's just nitpicking.

Raftman from Unibroue
87 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.