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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.
RaftmanRaftman

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BA SCORE
87
very good

700 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 700
Reviews: 402
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 49
Gots: 54 | FT: 0
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 (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 700 | Reviews: 402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nighthawk
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

341mL bottle with no obvious freshness date (though there is a code on the neck) poured into tulip glass.

Pours a hazy, muddy brown with a small, white bubbly head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Lots of usual Belgian yeast aromas; peach, apple, bread, some banana and clove. Some peat and vanilla from the whisky malts comes through.

Sweet flavours up front, peach, banana and lemon and just a touch of caramel, with some more savoury hints of cloves, smoke and vanilla near the finish. Lingering woody and sweet flavours after each sip.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth and crisp with pleasant carbonation. Starts sweet and ends with a nicely lingering dry finish.

This is a pleasantly light and flavourful beer, goes down smoothly and is quite refreshing. A very nice beer at any time of year.

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

Tasted June 26th, 2009. From a 750 ml bottle.

A: Hazy copper color.
S: Inviting smell of malts and spices. Medium intensity.
T: Strong intensity. Bitter. Spicy...
M: Medium body.
D: Easy to drink.

This is strongly suggested for a go-to day to day beer. A good beer to have as a replacement of yellow fizzy beer.

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

A - This beer poured a dark caramel color that produced a tan fluffy head which had decent retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas of this beer had a nice mixture of caramel, spice, and booze

T - The taste of this beer was not as expected, the whiskey malts were present but not overwhelming, a nice bit of fruitiness (apples and pears), some spice

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a light body, with a moderate to heavy amount of carbonation

D - This was a very interesting beer, pretty good, not something I would like to have a lot of, but something good

Photo of froghop
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a brown-orange with a small white head, and some lacing.

smell of malt, spice, and some caramel.

taste is of spice, sweet fruit, malt, nuts, toffee, and a little smoke, ends tart and a little dry.

overall a decent brew tastes good but lacking in the appearance.

Photo of endincolorado
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Hazy, pale-amber with big, bubbly off-white head. Light-moderate lace.

Smell- Sweet biscuitty malt, earthy hops. Some clove and banana-like yeastiness.

Taste- Delicious, complex and stronger than expected. More clove, ginger, biscuit-like malt, and a slight whiskey-like alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, complemented b a creamy carbonation.

Drinkability- Pretty tasty and well-balanced. Nice complexity.

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

Pours a cloudy amber with a thick off-white head. There is a good amount of lacing down the glass. Aromas are of belgian yeast, clove spice, with a slight woody malty aroma, a fruitiness and a little bit of funk. Initial flavor is sweet, tangy, yeasty and full of cinammon clove spice. This inital flavor gives way to a more intense tang (citrus and sometimes a stronger almost metallic tang) with a more pronounced funk and somewhat fruity finish. I don't think the funk was parmesan cheese or stinky foot, but maybe a funky distant cousin of those two, if that makes any sense. Mouthfeel is actually very good....smooth and the higher carbonation really compliments the beer. Drinkability is good, but the clove spice might get a little old after a while.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Raftman pours a soft caramel color with cherry tones as well. A light white head forms on the pour, but dissipates quickly. The foam flares up again with every swirl of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is mostly soft caramel malt, with some grassy notes.

Taste: The caramel malt has soft, grassy undertones. Pepper and clobes add a much needed spice. It is almost impossible to notice the citrus nip in the light hop presence at the end.

Mouthfeel: More than medium carbonation with a light feel in the mouth. Barely the slightest aftertaste remains after each sip.

Drinkability: A little bit too light and simple for my taste in the style. After one, I am ready to move on to something else, although it is not really dissatisfying.

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

Pours cloudy , yellow in color. Decent heads laces the glass.

Aroma of sweet caramel. Slight grassy notes presumably from a light hop addition.

Sweet caramel and some woodsy earthy notes on tasting. Small amount of hops help finish this off.

Mouthfeel is medium , good carbonation.

Overall a fine Belgian PA.

Photo of sweemzander
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into my Unibroue Tulip. No bottle date. The best by date was never printed in the area it is usually in on Unibroue's bottles . . . . .

(A)- Pours a murky medium brown color. Looks kinda like muddy water. Head dissipated in seconds which is kinda strange for a belgian style. No lace present.

(S)- I am definitely getting those whiskey malts. Slight caramel combined with the classic bananna/clay aroma. Nice drying effect in the nose on the finish in kind of a smoky fashion; tobacco?

(T)- Very light bodied. Slight twang of orange/lemon citrus combined with banannas and light caramel. Slightly sweet. Really subdued and light though, was expecting more strength in the taste; feels watered down.

(M)- Light bodied with lots of carbonation. Maybe too much carbonation perhaps. Where is the pale ale in this? Where is the drying effect and slight hopiness?

(D)- These could be put away one after another no problem. Its super light & refreshing and fruity. Its 5.5% is totally tolerable. However, where is the pale ale aspect this claims to be? Its got the Belgian style down fine.

Photo of Risser09
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge - 2009

Appearance: Partially cloudy copper colored brew with lots of carbonation flowing to the surface. 2" tall cream colored head shows great retention. It is comprised of minuscule bubbles. Rings of lace remain on the glass.

Smell: Wheat, banana, Belgian yeast, pepper and an overall floral bouquet. I'm not picking up any of the whiskey malt. Although there is sort of an underlying booziness aroma.

Taste: Lightly flavored with Belgian yeast, pepper, clove and light malt. Very nice and refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Light, smooth, carbonated with a very light finish.

Drinkability: Very good. I love the lightly flavored beer with their Belgian yeast strain. It makes for a great drinker.

Photo of Proteus93
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden ocher. Head is fast to form, but is not very rich and recedes quite quickly. Kind of lackluster, in the end.

S: Woody, citrus and peach scents. Slightly peppery and a notable maple/vanilla scent that is very apparent in the bottle, but it doesn't really carry over to the glass as much.

T: A fruity blend of peach, date, and apricot with a soft spiciness and a bit of a wood flavour. The whiskey malt flavours are modest and pleasant.

M + D: Sparkling, medium body with a bit of a dry champagne finish. A very robust flavoured beer with a more accessible alcohol content... I can go for that! A very nicely balanced brew, and one that I'm glad to have taken the opportunity to try. You should, too!

Photo of DrMattyB
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Almost clear Golden/dark amber amber color. Orange undertones.
Smell: Yeast and Citrus - Orange peel, notes of raspberry
Taste: Sweet floral notes, slight tingle/bitter at the back of the mouth from yeast and carbonation, slight smoky malt & whiskey big in aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Light and crisp from the carbonation
Drinkability: Could definitely have another. I could see this pairing well with some pork ribs or any other smoked BBQ.

Photo of Cresant
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. Coded, but no date. The body was a murky dull orange-brown. The tall white head subsided pretty fast, no where near as huge as most Unibroue beers I've tried.

Smell was plain, banana skins. Sweet malts.

Taste was mellow grainy malts. Mild spiciness. Only minimal bitterness, but enough tartness to balance the sweetness. Meh.

Mouthfeel was effervescent, and light to medium in body. No my favorite from this brewery.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Longnecks, KY.

Poured dark hazy brown color with a large off-white fizzy head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate roasted, yeasty and small smoke aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium smokey bittersweet flavor with a medium roasted smoke finish of moderate duration.

Solid drinkable brew and standout for smoked style.

Very interesting brew.

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

12 oz poured into my trusty Unibroue tulip. This is a new one for me; I'm always intrigued by what this brewery has to offer.

Appearance: dull, cloudy tan or light-brown hue (the brewery calls it a "coral sheen") with a generous but delicate white sea-foam head.

Aroma: Definitely Unibroue with that yeasty, wheaty nose. Rustic yet subtle, with hints of grass, hay, wheat, a faint mild whisky (not Scotch!) note, bubblegum, and wet rhododendron blossoms. Nice one.

Taste: Slightly watery at first, but it warms the gullet as it goes and it fills out as it flows. Ever-so-slight pleasantly sour hint, flowing into a nice subtle bitterness. Some black pepper on the finish with a dry snap. I give it a 3.5 on its own but a solid 4 with food.

Palate: Slightly thin (for a Unibroue) but not at all unpleasant.

Overall: To me this is more of a quaffer than a sipper (as I think of most UB's as being) so I'm really having to restrain myself with this one-offer. In all, I'm really not quite sure what to do with it (well, other than - duh - drink it!) since it's so different from the rest of their lineup. Something about it almost drinks like a rye ale (but when I ponder the Canadian --> whisky --> rye connexion, it almost makes sense). It really perks up with food! Try a good fresh fish or smoked/smoky meat. This would be a great counterfoil to smoked sausages when you don't want a Rauchbier. It also sits up and converses with roasted asparagus, and even spaghetti and meatballs isn't out of the question.

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

Really glad to see this one back on the shelves here in PA. I remember seeing this a few years ago at a bottle shop, but passed it up since the bottle was covered in dust and the best by date had been blatantly scratched off. A 12 ounce bottle purchased at the Craft Ale House to-go for around $3. Poured into my nonic pint glass and after stirring up the yummies on the bottom of the bottle, appears a rather cloudy and murky honeyed apricot color with about two fingers of quickly fading, off white head. Nose consists of lightly smoked grains and is sweet and fruity. Flavor is of smoked green apples, spicy yeast, a touch of cracked pepper at the end. This Belgian pale is at the very least, medium bodied with and very well carbonated. Super dry going into the finish. Nice!

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay never seen this beers before in 4 packs or the large bottles. Got this one in a Unibroue sampler. Don't know what to expect. Here goes:

A: Poured a cloudy amber color. Lots of carbonation, huge head that dissipates quickly.

S: Smelled pretty sweet actually. Yeasty and fruity. Maybe some apple or white grapes.

T: Okay, first taste I get is an overpowering metallic flavor. Hints of whisky from the malt they used. Pretty clean finish. Get some Belgian yeast. Light hints of white grape. Kinda sweet. Just not a whole lot going on here.

M: As with most Unibroue beers, very lively carbonation and easy drinking. Medium to light bodied.

D: This is pretty easy drinking. Not highly drinkable, but its okay. The main thing detracting me from this beer is lack of character and taste.

I found this beer very underwhelming. I just didn't get a lot of flavor here. This is probably my least favorite Unibroue beer. You really have to search your palate to get any nice flavors to come out here. I am no expert on Belgian ales, but I have had enough to know that they pack more flavor punch than this. If you see it give it a try, but don't expect it to rock your world.

Photo of NightINgale
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy orange/amber colour. One should see the bubbles rising in the glass. The head is rich, of off-white colour, has good retention.

S - Some whisky malts, some serious citrus fruitiness, as well as that Unibroue wheaty, yeasty kind of smell.

T - First you taste the malts, which indeed taste somewhat whisky-ish. Then the flavour goes into the fruity side, with citrus and apple notes. The finish is yeasty and not too bitter. Overall, the balance is there. Raftman is crisp and refreshing.

M - Light-to-medium bodied. Medium, pleasant carbonation adds to the crispness of the beer.

D - Has decent drinkability. Being one of the lighter Unibroue beers, Raftman certainly stands well for its ABV.

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

Poured into a Duvel glass from a 22oz cork finished bottle in my house

Pours an orangerown iith a small head that dissipates quickly.

Lots of apple in the nose, along with a lovely Belgian yeast note, some spices in the back.

The yeast is definitely Belgian, and it is powerful. Apple, smoke, Very soft and velvety.

Well carbonated, lively - a crisp and refrshing beer

Easy to drink - this is no monster ABV which restricts the drinkability, a fine beer from one of the worlds great beer makers.

Photo of adamette
4.73/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Live Review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased at World Wines and Liquor as a part of a "Unibroue tasters pack" (or something similar) which was only $5.99 (It came with 4 beers...good deal!) into my clean, clear Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A Pours a hazy brown orange yellow (like peach color) under a one inch head that dissipated within a minute. I have to say that the label and the name of the beer is one of my favorites. The name is not cute or a pun or rhyming. It is just great. The label is an authentic raftman depiction that honors that activity, does not make it trite. Really excellent.

S Nice sweet malt (Whiskey malt in fact) with only a hint of hops bitterness. I think that the whiskey smell makes it better than good and also creates a better than good level of intrigue.

T This is a GREAT beer! I love the whiskey malt taste against the minimal hops background. It is reasonably light (managable ABV) and really smooth. This really reminds me of another beer whose name escapes me now...I want to say maybe St. Bernardus?! Call me crazy but this is a great beer.

M A nice smoothness carries this essentially light beer past your taste buds not unlike the river that might carry a raftman down current. Really great.

D Excellent. I only had the one 12 oz. bottle but I could easily have drank more.

Notes: I was told (by an employee at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor) that the only way to get this is in the sampler pack. Well, she said that they do not make the raftman in the 750ML bottles anyway. I would love to find 4 or 6 packs of it. It is at the same time a session beer and a fine craft beer. Everyone reading this should try the Raftman. If not, BM me and I will take it off of your hands. This is my favorite Belgian Pale Ale.

Photo of Martin2D
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Cloudy amber with a huge white head that faded

S - Cloves and spices

T - Light, but rich in malt. Subtle hints of spices

M - Medium-low in carbonation, light in body

D - The light, yet rich flavor makes this a must drink. The whiskey malt gives it such a unique flavor. Must try, will definitely drink again!

Photo of tim9887
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into goblet.

Pours a cloudy bronze with white foam. I immediately noticed smoky and woody aromas, not surprised though given it is brewed with whiskey malt.

The whiskey malt is ever-present in the taste as well, yet it is not overdone. Very slight lingering bitterness as well.

A very smooth-drinking beer altogether. I'd like to review it again and take better notes as there was some stuff I wasn't recognizing in the aroma & taste.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into a challis

Unibroue Raftman Ale poured a "dirty" gold peach color with a 1-finger cream colored foam. The head held well as I consumed the ale. Raftman exhibited the typical Unibroue fizzy carbonation that bounced around in the mouth.

Aroma is a little smoky, light yeast spices and mildly woody. Taste is of toasted malt and a little "whiskyish" with a lingering after taste. Raftman has a light medium body smooth mouth feel with a crisp clean dry finish.

Raftman Ale is much less robust and thinner than other Unibroue beers I have had - very east to drink ale.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lumberjack beer.

Translucent, murky, amber color. Large, white head composed of tiny bubbles. No lace but good retention.

Smells of Unibroue yeast for the majority of the beer until apricot, spice, and peat come through.

Tastes of some dried apricot and grainy, toasty malt. Mild smoke. Mouthfeel is super fizzy and grainy.

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

A- Pours a hazy deep golden color with a large frothy head. Decent head retention and lacing.

S- Sweet and slightly fruity. Yeasty and spicy.

T-Sweet,peppery and yeasty. Notes of bubblegum and banana, orange peel.

M-Light bodied, smooth, carbonation is just right. Just a bit more body and this brew would be perfect.

D- An excellent easy drinking ale, I could drink quite a few of these.

Raftman from Unibroue
87 out of 100 based on 700 ratings.