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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.

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

642 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 642
Reviews: 391
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 46
Gots: 34 | 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: 642 | Reviews: 391 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allergictomacros
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Was a clear brown with a creamy head... then I added the yeast. Not really pale... kinda halfway between a pale and dark ale. Head could be bigger and longer lasting.

S - Spicy, crisp, citrus and sweet.

T - Big buttery flavour. Hops show up at the very end, and linger for a bit.

M - Slightly dry and refreshing. Reminds me a bit like a hefeweizen. Light, spritzy mouthfeel.

D - Quite warming for some reason. Very drinkable and delicious.

allergictomacros, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is brewed with whiskeymalt, interesting....

It pours a nice murky orange color, leaving a very thin layer of foam on top after pouring it into my Duvel glass.
Smell is slightly smoky, don't know if I smell this because I know it has whiskeymalt in it, it is not very upfront. I can taste a phenolic beer, like a wheat ale or witbier, with the typical wheat or grainy taste and yeast profile, fresh and fruity. A medium body and faintly bitter. For me a typical wheat beer, no sign of the special malt in the taste. If you promote a beer to be brewed with whiskeymalt, I think it should at least be more apparent!
So, not a bad beer, but not meeting the expectations.

Absumaster, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of funkengruven
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this out of Unibroue's 2006 Collection. My first from the box.

This poured an almost apple cider color to a very effervescent head that slowly dissipated to a puffy white cloud over the brew. Smell is exquisite, hints of chocolate and caramel which I found to be quite delicious.

Flavors in this beer are interesting. A strong malt character dominates, leaving an aftertaste of a fine whisky. This is an especially smooth brew that is very easy to drink. Delicate yet flavorful, a great beer.

funkengruven, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of paterlodie
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Code E105. White head and amberbrown beer that shows quiet some haze. Nose is ambermaltsweet that shows a slight hint of smokeyness and lots of sweetredapplejuice. Next to that low but strange sournote and gets more obvious in nose too that isn't bad but IMO not fitting the brew. Overall more then just OK but missing smoke as I just got some after quiet some snifs and sips. Taste is quiet dry, malty and moderatly bittered. Balanced mouthfeel and well drinkable but missing that bit extra.

paterlodie, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of canadianbarman
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

--Bought it in a variety pack. Came in a 341 ml brown bottle with silver foil covering the top. No freshness date found.
--Poured an orangey haze, with good cloudiness. A large head that quickly diminished to a thin head, still nice. Very little lacing with nice bubbling.
--Smelled of slight yeast with a fruitiness. Also a slight smokey smell.

This is a great mix of many differant tastes converging into one fine brew. Hard to define but I will try: some fruitiness, some malt, some minor caramel to name a few. I would recomend this beer and look forward to sampling the rest of the variety pack.

canadianbarman, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at just above fridge temperature in a Duvel tulip, for maximum sniffage. No freshness date.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear pale orange, with a head that grows four fingers tall and quickly becomes the LOUDEST BEER I HAVE EVER HEARD. The large bubbles explode and reduce, popping and fizzing literally as loud as a just-opened bottle of seltzer. After the noise recedes, the head is gone. Even in this tulip glass, it's gone. Two-and-a-half points for you.

Smell- Whoooah, that be whisky malt. My stomach just buckled... in the past, I remember having one too many single malts, and that nose... yep, brought back a memory. Notes of agave nectar, tequila, come to the front as well.

Taste- A boozy (but light) whisky character starts and finishes this beer; I was left standing and waiting for the hop finish but it never came. Straightforward in its delivery, this is a "whisky beer"... and I presume that it has a relatively exclusive audience. After swirling in all sediment (lees), the taste intensified, but never gained complexity.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- I was prepared to award the mouthfeel a perfect "5", because it was... at first. The dynamic energy in the beer waned as the session progressed, and after a while there was barely anything. I consider this to be a "try me once" sort of tasting, but I'm sure an enthusiastic foodie would find a place for this beer with food.

yelterdow, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of Derek
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Belgian Pale Ale with a hint of smoke use to be a staple of mine.

A: Copper-brown, pours with a nice head, not much retention or lace though.

S: Bready malt and caramel, with a hint of citrous.

T: Bready malt, a little caramel, with only a hint of smoke adding some depth (in a blind tasting, I'm not sure I'd know it was smoke). Slight spicyness. Perfect bittersweet balance. Very malty up front, with a crisp finish. It finishes with a hint of acidic tangyness and a dry, woody flavour that's almost Bret-like (horse-blanket/leathery). A plethora of subtle flavours living in harmony together. Beautiful.

M: Light to moderate body, with a very high carbonation.

D: Exceptional. I've consumed a few cases of this.

Derek, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of Noxious26
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass. 2 bottles came in their Edition 2006, a 12-pack sampler with 6 different beers.

Dark tan to copper colour and cloudy. Great big beige head is 2 inches on the pour and settles down to a nice solid 1/2 inch of foam. Big gobs of sticky lace.

Aroma is sweet and spicy with a faint undertone of smoke. Definitely has a yeasty feel to it.

The belgian style yeast is definitely prominent in the flavour. Something about that clove, banana, spicy character. Sweet and yeasty at the start and through the pin pricks of carbonation. Whisky character and a light smoke flavour fall into place at the finish and bleed into the aftertaste.

Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Carbonation is true to it's belgian roots in that it is like lots of tiny pin pricks of bubbles.

While I like this beer, and it is good, it doesn't reach up over the top. I actually find that the whiskey character detracts a little from the beer, but atleast that distinguishes it from others in the Unibroue line up.

Noxious26, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Billolick, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy dark orange with a smallish white head that left some webbings of lace on the glass. Sweet fruity aroma with plenty of apples and pears. Very light smokiness with some yeast kicking around. Plenty of sweet fruits up front on the flavor with a light spicy yeast. Pretty simple and enjoyable flavor. Very bubbly with carbonation but smooth going down. Easy drinking stuff.

meathookjones, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of EPseja
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz, silver-foil wrapped (ugh... screw top) bottle in a pint glass at just below cellar temperature.

A - Pours a hazy, dark apricot color with a few flecks of sediment that don't really stay in suspension, but rather slowly sink to the bottom of the glass. There is a very quick 3/4'' head that disappeared in the time it took me to type the sentence above, and left an inconsistent film that didnt cover the entire surface of the beer. No real lacing to speak of. Nothing special.

S - Distinct notes of honey-meade and sweet, medium bodied malts, and golden raisins. A faint whisper of alcohol. Can't really make out any hops -- or anything else for that matter. Very direct and simple -- almost too simple for a smoke beer.

T - Clover honey and plastic (phenolic) notes are the first things in the mouth, followed by a very weak middle without much vibrancy of character at all. The swallow brings in a very pleasant trace of peat-smoke and a refreshing tart yeastiness. The finish is pretty clean and not overly dry. An interesting brew indeed.

M - Initially metallic, bright and watery with a tingly *almost* over-carbonation that's common with Unibroue beers, but not enough to be detrimental in this case. Subtley rises to a micro-bubbled, sudsy consistency, and slides down the throat quite smoothly. Personally, I think this mouthfeel is better than pretty much all of the other Unibroue beers.

D - For a smoke beer, Raftman is much more understated than others in its class, but to it's drinkability credit. Very nicely balanced and intresting without being overly complex.

On a side note, the meade notes that are commonplace in this beer will make it appealing to meade lovers who also like beer (like me).

Lastly, I just noticed that despite a good initial swirling of the bottle, there is still a *huge* amount of sediment still at the bottom of the bottle - so much that the empty bottle is bottom-heavy from it. Just as a goof, I decided to decant about two ounces back into the bottle to re-swirl, dislodge the sediment, and add it to the 4oz remaining in my pint glass.

Adding the massive amount of residual yeast turns the apricot color to that of unfiltered apple cider. The meade notes are also kicked way up in the smell. Surprisingly, the taste doesn't change all too much, nor does the mouthfeel. No real changes to my initial thoughts except a 0.5 bump in the appearance and the thought that at least I'm getting my recommended daily allowance of B-vitamins...

EPseja, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of crwills
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this weekend I had planned for a "smoked beer taste fest" or some such. Basically, I was going to review three smoked beers (Unibroue Raftman, Bieropholie Calumet, and Aecht Schenkeler Rauchbier Marzen) all in a row. Didn't work out -- partially because, to me, Raftman doesn't taste like a smoked beer at all. Not that it's not good but... anyway...

My 750 mL bottle of Raftman pours a thick-looking honey or maple syrup. Actually quite nice. Nice big head to start with that fades relatively quickly, with very little residue.

Smell is sweet fruits, honey, raw sugar, and a bit of alcohol.

Taste is quite pleasant. Thick enough to coat the mouth, some decent carbonation. The sweet fruits quickly change to sour fruits, plus some yeast and grain flavours showing through. Very little aftertaste to this beer, which appeals to me.

Not one of my favourite Unibroues, but not bad. I have another bottle I'll save for a month or two at least and sample again.

crwills, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of tesguino
2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

carameled like bread crust; one of the unibroue gourmet beers; a canadian brewery it makes the things affluent; this beer is good for cheese, snack, like appetizer, a 750 ml presentation for mexican market, a whisky malt liquor, fruitty and smoked aroma; its high alcohol content is made for the expert drinker.

tesguino, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of Goldorak
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It feels weird to review one of my "classics", but I had a pen and paper and was waitng for my mash liquor to heat up...

Appearance: Almost opaque, caramel like the kraft candies I loved so much when I was a kid. The head was fluffy and off-white.

Smell: Spicy, Unibroue yeast profile but with a side order of smoke, giving it a peaty character that would come into it's own if only the yeast wasn't bullying so hard. Hops are there but they can't stand much of a chance either.

Taste: One of the smoothest brews Unibroue makes, lactic and yeasty. Maybe it's my palate that changed, but I recall it being a lot more malty a few years ago. An enjoyable, any-occasion brew.

Goldorak, Oct 14, 2005
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange/amber, small head, no lacing. Smell is sweet and smokey, some floral and citrus notes. Taste is smokey malt, sweet, yeasty as almost all Unibroues are, some citrus and light fruit in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, highly carbonated, medium body, nice and refreshing.

Viggo, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy yellow, with hints of red. Malts and a particular kind of yeast aroma... an unmistakable Unibroue trait. Tastes of yeast, and toasted malt too, with some sour notes. The finish is a bit unusual, with sour notes intermingled with wet cedar and bran. I don't really detect any smoke, but I still enjoyed it in an odd sort of way.

fisherman34, Aug 05, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Undated twist top 12oz that has the top of the bottle wrapped in foil, poured into a pint.

Tarnished brass with a small white head that is fizzy but stays around as it is supported by good carbonation.

Smells slightly fruity with some charred wood in the background.

Juicy upfront followed by an acidic twang. Slight smoke follows. Carbonation gives the finish some tingle. Not much else going on, not impressed. The mouthfeel is light, almost watery. Drinkable but boring.

ypsifly, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of waughbrew
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light rust with a fizzy foamy top that quickly settles to a cap. Aroma is pleasant because of the smokiness, which seems more hickory than the peat which I assume was used. Signature Unibroue banana-apple-pepper yeast aromas add their thing with caramelly malt wafting around also. Kind of fizzy and definitely dry, this is a decent flavor profile. The smokiness reminds of ham. Sprinkles of lupulin dust the tongue. The real downer here is the malt flavor - that nice smoke needs something to ride upon besides cheezy caramel, and it doesn't find it here. Nice smoke, yeast, and dryness, but lacking in the malt department.

A good beer, but not impressive by Unibroue standards. I have had this twice on draft in the past, once being at Forquet Forchette, and I will say that the bottled version, while not amazing, is definitely better.

waughbrew, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of Tim2000
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341 mL brown bottle with Unibroue's usual stylish label and foil.

A slightly hazy burnt orange brew with a thick frothy head.

Aroma is yeasty and spicy. A certain fruitiness is also present - green apple comes to mind. There is also a hint of smoke.

This beer has a rich, malty character that balances the mild phenolic and hop bitterness. Tart apples and citrusy coriander are detectable. The subtle smokiness adds complexity to an already flavourful belgian pale. The body is very creamy and carbonation is moderately high.


Tim2000, May 29, 2005
Photo of mntlover
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To start bottle says best before 4-4-03 so 2+ years past its prime but have high hopes it is a Unibroue after all. Also want to thank merlin48 for this bottle.

Pours a hazy apple juice color with a small quick fading head that rings the beer.

Aroma is smokey and fruity peach, apples, apricot on light malt background with some of classic Unibroue spicey yeast aroma.

Taste is light malt hints of smoke and whiskey underneath a fruity mixture, lightly earthy and bitter more apricot like. Finishes with linger smoke and spice coriander. Very tastey more so since its an old bottle must be wonderful in its prime.

Mouthfeel is little heavier then light has a nice carbonated feel to it, over all compliments the flavors well. Drinkability is good taste like a belgian pale with some smokiness a thrown in.

mntlover, May 25, 2005
Photo of elricorico
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark orange with a thick bubbly cream coloured head. Plenty of tiny bubbles can be seen rushing up the sides of my tulip glass. The head retention is excellent.

The smell is full of the classic Unibroue yeast smell, spicy pepper, citrus and a bit of alcohol aroma. I'm digging deep looking for smoke in the smell, but I'm unable to detect any.

The taste is everywhere. Sweet, spicy, bitter, smoky and a touch of alcohol warmth to it. No single taste dominates. The finish is very faintly smoky and lingers with just the right amount of strength.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, though I wouldn't say it is outstanding. Carbonation is sharp and the body is a bit on the lighter side.

This is a beer I could certainly spend some time with. It is subtle. No big single flavour to overpower, no huge alcohol level, no gimmick. All that is here is a well crafted beer. A treat for sure.

elricorico, May 16, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

orbitalr0x, May 11, 2005
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Moan and Dove.

Last time I was at this bar I was introduced to this wonderful brewery. When I arrived last night there was no Unibroue selection on the board. Ten minutes later BAM, there it was.

Deep creamy brown hues, with a 1/2 inch head. Being a smoked beer gives away it most outstanding characteristic, but underneath that is a chocolaty sweat libation. As been my experience with Unibroues in the past, this one broke the mold. I could actually see as I was leaving the bar! Not overpowering in the alcohol department.

Very drinkable, very tasty, very good.

FLAbeergutinMASS, May 07, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a head on this one. Pours with a huge frothy head that took a few times to mellow out a bit. Color is a nice orange color with streams of tiny bubbles coming through. Aroma is lightly smoky, I'd go for a bit more here. Flavor is good and approachable for a smoked beer. Not over the top, yet good. Smooth malts and some flavor of ripe plums come to mind. Velvety smooth mouthfeel. For a smoked beer, this is very drinkable. A good one from Unibroue. Not earthshattering, but good.

deejaydan, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of Pepeton
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another excellent product from Unibroue.
Tried this one from a 750 ml corked bottle. It's production date stated that it was already 1.5 years old. So I bought an aged beer!
I had it with a 4 course family dinner and enjoyed both wonderfuly.

It poured a great orange, lightly cloudy brew. Good head that quickly vanished into a foamy lacing.

It definitely smells smoky, but not as much as I expected. Lots of maltiness, spices and ripe fruits.

Exceptional and complex taste: The smokiness fades in your mouth and blends with the hop bitterness for a crisp yet fruity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is silky and smooth, but in no way watery. Carbonation is high, but not unpleasent.

I wish I could find this one more often, but fine imported beers are not easy to find in my town.

Pepeton, Apr 23, 2005
Raftman from Unibroue
87 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.