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Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

694 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 402
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 49
Gots: 51 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 694 | Reviews: 402 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of deejaydan
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of Pepeton
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orange color with a nice white head. I loved the aroma. Smoky and I can definitely detect the scotch malts that are described on the label. Very smooth taste. I like how the hops play off of the scotch malt. Great balance. The smokiness dies down when you begin to drink it and it turns into a fairly drinkable beer.

Not being the biggest fan of smoked beers, I poured some of this into a pot of chili I was making. The chili tasted fantastic with it, but I almost wished I had saved some more of it for drinking rather than for the chili. Really surprised by how much I liked this beer. Definitely unique and worth a try.

Photo of hefevice
3.01/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy dark amber with a reasonable large bubble head to start which fairly quickly falls away. Aroma in my case was very attenuated, hard to pick anything in particular out. All I could taste with the first sip was smoke - if you could liquify a bushfire this would be it. Sure there were other flavours present, but I couldn't get past the smoke, which lingered for a long time in the aftertaste. Shouldn't be surprised of a smoky taste in a Smoked Beer style, however this lacked balance. The most disappointing of the Unibroues I have encounted so far. May need to come back and re-rate this as I experience more of this style.

Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This 750ml bottle of Raftman has aged in my cellar for about 1.5 years. It poured a hazy dark straw yellow color with a foamy white head on top. The foam faded quickly to a ring around the surface leave a few spots and lines of lace on the side of the glass.

A spicy aroma filled with clove and pepper with hints of peach and yeast floats above the beer. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth with a mild fizz on the back of the palate and a bit of tartness on the sides of the tongue. The flavor begins with clove and pepper. Some fruity peach notes moves in towards the middle and there's a hint of citrus towards the end. A nice smooth dry malt flavor with a hint of smoke remains in the background.

I've heard unconfirmed rumors Unibroue is no longer producing Raftman. I hope that is not true. This beer reminds me of a Belgian pale, but without the strong spicy kick. It's a well balanced delicious brew.

Photo of SaunaKing
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I read the label to find it was made using malt whiskey but when i poured it, i thought it looked like a wheat beer. This is good since that is my favorite style. A pale amber colour, a little cloudy with a nice head but leaving no lacing. The head is a creamy white. The aroma is cloves and some esters. I can taste a sweet hint of caramel, not very hoppy. Has a light, malty finish and quite smooth and drinkable.

Photo of BigBry
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml brown corked bottle. Huge billowing off white head, that left foam (more than lace) on side of glass. Dirty gold-brown with haziness from sediment left at bottom of bottle. Aroma of yeast and oranges, not really smokey. Taste of fruit, oranges again, trace of hops. Disappointed in the lack of smokey character."

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

Another great brew bought from Thirroul Cellars.
Poured a light brown/amber colour, a white head that dissipated quickly (dirty glasses). Slight haze from the yeast.
The aroma wasn't really there, a slight malt and Unibroue yeast aroma, but not much else. As the beer warmed up, it became more evident that there was a slight smoked malt aroma.
Tasted malty, slightly hoppy, and yeasty. Again, as the beer warmed, the peated smokey malt flavour became evident, not overpowering, but a lingering back palate experience.
A nice beer, could do with a bit more peated malt character, I was expecting a "single malt" kind of thing.

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

Mid dark gold with a generous head this beer has a very yeasty nose that sets stage for a full bodied beer with dryish rye ovetones and great drinkabilty. The fact that this Unibroue has less than 6.00% alcohol makes it appealing to have more than one bottle.

Photo of clvand0
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle This beer pours a light golden color with a bunch of haze in it. I expected it to be darker. Has a nice head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma doesn't have much smoke in it. Aroma is spicy and orangy. The flavor has a nice Belgian Trappist feel, but with a very subltle smoke flavor. Very interestingly done and very well done. Very drinkable and it has a medium body.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer departs the bottle a hazy orange color. The nose is not what I expect, but a great orange, spicey belgian nose. I dig it. What a flavor. The smoke and the orange flavor play a beautiful song together. The smokiness is very subdued, and allows the base beer to come through while still reminding me this is a smoked beer. The feel is moderate to thick. Drinkability is excellent as well. I am so sad that this beer is not sold around here anymore. I would try this one if you can find it.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Label Lore: Uh-oh. Best before 03/05/03. Hmmm...5.5% ABV.

Delicious hazy cloudy yet glowing offering into me Duvel tulip revealing peach hues under an egg shell white head cap that manages to cover the pour. Second yeast pour has some floating particles, but nothing that a few swigs won't cure.

Fruit punch aromas start off the scents.

First swigs: Juicy yet mild mixed fruit flavors. Peach, apricot, apple, pear...UNIBROUE excels at this delicacy style. Light intricacies jump around. This is a playground. Smokey? No! Fruity? Yes. Admit that the Whiskey Malt does not ring a pallette bell. Finish is a lasting sizzle of champagne.

Delicate champagne soft suds vinous feel.

Last swigs: Peach suds. Expecting more "smokiness" to this one, but alas, as all UNIBROUE's offer NO dissapointments. Possibly, this is in fact, as the label "warns" is past its prime. Extra BA brownie points for the cork. That's right. A UNIBROUE U emblem is on the top and bottom. Sorry if this one missed the boat, but next time, remind me to check the label.

Beer is good. Happy, stale beering.

Photo of Skidz
4.69/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best Before 10-02-02, making this about 2 years past due.

Pours out golden yellow and sits light, cloudy copper in the glass with a large white head.

Aroma pour into your nose and throat like you might imagine it would in a Garfield cartoon. Big floating waves of aroma. It is amazing how much this beer puts forth. Apples (cider-like), pears, caramel, peaches, apricots, you name it, it's there. Lightest hints of applewood in a sweet glaze. Delicious. It's like waking up on a cool fall morning and smelling the freshly fallen leaves as the morning sun begins to warm the forest floor.

Tastes delicately sweet up front, caramel, vanilla and sweet cream. Fruitiness extends with a very light apple flavor along with canned pears and faint sweet oranges. Hop bitterness present and accounted for, fading into the light finsh.

I believed I already used the word delicate, so lets call this...petite in the mouth. Ultra-fine carbonation bubble delight the mouth and ease gracefully down its path. Medium bodied, but feels like a newborn. Age has done this beer wonders.

I would drink this as much and as often as I could, were I able to get it anymore. Maybe two bottles left to purchase. Who knows how much longer they will be around for...?

***EDIT: After picking the fairly considerable amount of yeast, a flashlight could barely shine through the bottom of the bottle, up of the bottom and pouring the remnants into the remainder of the beer, I was treated to a much yeastier (duh) version of the beer. Far more dry, but clinging on to its better qualities. Aroma is muted by the fogginess of the yeast. I'd say it's best served w/o the yeast, that aroma was just top notch and made every dive into the beer that much more enjoyable.

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

Hazy copper/orange colour topped by a thin white head. Nice malt base present in the aroma, with a pleasant crispness and noticeable, but not overpowering, smokiness. The flavour was quite complex, with a ripe fruitiness balancing the smoke character nicely. The finish was slightly phenolic with a light spiciness, complemented by a light bitterness. Medium body and carbonation, with the CO2 contributing to smoothness of texture.

Brown 341 mL bottle with freshness date on rear label.

Photo of baiser
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful mahogany brown colour with orange highlights. Was extremely carbonated, huge foamy head that quickly fizzled to nothing.

Faint aromas of smoke, wood, fruits.

This was a very crisp and light bodied beer. Initially some smokiness, yeast, toasted flavour. Then a peppery taste, and some spices. Afterwards, some plum, and more tartness. Mouthfeel was light. Overall, and interesting and refreshing beer.

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

First of all, I am not sure if I had a bottle that was on crack or not, but when I opened this undisturbed bottle, it came out flowing with a vengance. It literrally flowed over for a good minute and a half. The overall appearance was very nice with a pretty hazy apple cider appearance. The head was fantastic at first but then fizzled to a film. The smell was wonderful, but I was expecting a little more smokey aroma. The taste gave off a very interesting and enjoyable roasted flavor. It almost gives off a fruity smokness. This was the first smoked beer that I have sampled and I have to say that I am, once again, impressed with Unibroue. The only thing that would been topped this off would be a little less flat taste, but that could have been due to the bottle in review.

Photo of bnuttz
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark blond almost amber color, with a small frothy head. Smells ever so peculiar, different than any other beer I have ever smelled. You can easily detect the smokiness and whisky malts that are present. The taste is smoky and fruity (that ever popular Unibroue yeast). A very nice "light" beer from Unibroue.

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

Pours a dark amber brown with a head that fades quickly and sleep at the top of the beer for the ride. Smells woodsy with touches of hops, yeast and roasted grains. All mellow and mild aromas. this is the smoothest smoked beer I've ever had. Mellow woodsy flavors remind of the forests of Ontario. Good kick of Unibroue yeast and even a touch of hops. I'll definitely be having another one!

Photo of bditty187
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, peachy-gold in hue, there is a coppery hint as well, especially when held to a light. The head was white in color and a finger in height at the zenith. The head retention was fair, after a moment or so it slithered to a fizzy cap and then a frail collar. There is no lacing, odd, which is disappointing. Still, overall, the appearance is attractive. The nose is weaker than I was expecting. Also, the aroma is distinctively Belgium with lots of yeasty complexities coming through. Vanilla, hints of fruit like oranges, peaches, and something tropical. Candied sugar. At the back is a suggestion of whiskey and peat. These smells are very faint; actually the fruitiness is frail too. No smokiness. The nose is boring, I like what I smell but what is it saying? Speak up! There is no invitation to drink. I’ll be rude and take a sip anyway. Yum. There are the smoky flavors! On the palate, upfront are the characteristics of many Belgian Ales. There are flavors of candied sugar, vanilla, fruit (apples, peaches, oranges mainly with a hint of something tropical), maltiness sweetness that is pleasantly firm, and pepper. In the middle, the smokey characteristics are found, lightly meaty (fatty bacon, sausage), wood, pure smoke, and some whiskey flavors. Alcohol heat follows, more pepper notes too. The finish is very carbonated which does add a lot to this beer and the aftertaste is a good mix of fatty meat, smoke, and the skeleton of a light Belgium Ale. I am impressed at the complexities of a beer with such a small abv. It is very light drinking. Medium in body, light on the tongue but the carbonation is very big and lively; this adds great detail to this beer. The mouthfeel is pleasant. I could really dig this in the summer heat or even a cool winter evening. I’d love to drink the more often, of course it is not available in Nebraska and I have not seen it in KC. I bought my 750ml bottle in Burnsville, MN. Well worth a quaff.

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



a perfect, mouthwatering ruby/brown.


not much to speak of, but the carbonation is evident during consumption. i'd rather feel it in my mouth than see it on the side of my glass all crusty.


the whiskey process this beer goes through gives it a taste NOT like whiskey, but in the same genre. if whiskey was beer, this is what it would be. the flavor is best described as rich and deep without being thick or heavy. something to savor, i'd stick to one 750 bottle rather than a six-pack or case.

the low alcohol content is perfect to allow this beer to refresh you with big sips and a flavor overdose. the abv matches most of your american lagers.

not to mention, the label is beautiful (as most unibroue are).

overall, superb.

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orangish-yellow color with a creamy white head. The aroma is sweet, and fruity, like apples and grapes. The Flavor starts out dry and a bit herbal; it then flows to a semi-sweet fruitiness; again like apples. It has a slight smoky/peat malt flavor as well. It is basically dry from beginning to end. It is light-bodied and easy drinking. Not too bad, but not one of my favorite Unibroue products.

Sampled 4/2/04

Photo of Cwrw
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The use of whisky malt for a beer makes sense: after all, whisky is just distilled beer anyway.

Raftman poured ever so beautifully, with as much head as you wish to pour, foamy, consistent and thick. The massive white head churns like butter or cream in the glass, making a noticeable crackle sound. Patchy lacing. The beer itself is off-ruby, with hints of orange, and it sometimes has the appearance of tomato-juice, but less red. Besides typical Unibroue spice and yeast smells, there is a very flowery, very herbal, and sweet aroma, smelling delicately like some whisky, even managing to give wooden, oak aromas. Every occasional sniff I smell a somewhat unnatural smell--solvent-like, rubbery, plastic. Hard to describe. Nectarines, plums, sour candy, delicate sweet malt, oak. Taste is much of the same, and this is probably the least vigorous Unibroue I have tasted for mouthfeel--it is very smooth, comparatively low-carbonated, and easy to drink quickly compared to most Unibroue products. (Not that I would drink this quickly, but it goes down with surprising swiftness.) Of course, the beer is only 5.5%. Definite wood tastes, with sweet malt, yeasty tones, and a sensational aftertaste of light malt, fruity esters, fresh pine needles, and floral, perfumy notes. Overall though, I wish they would give the beer more sweet whisky malt character, because mostly what I sense is the yeasty taste, which seems to overpower most of the other flavours. This is probably the most drinkable Unibroue I have had thus far, due to low gravity and lighter mouthfeel. Conclusion: this is another great product, but one which could probably improve from toning down the yeast or stepping up the whisky malt.

Photo of pootz
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I avoided this beer for a while as I thought it was a strongly smoked beer (like a rauch brau) I like a scotch ale that uses lightly peat smoked malts. I wasn’t ready for what I found in this Raftman. I like it as probably the most drinkable Unibroue offering next to their blanche. Poured a very hazy light gold with a medium puffy cap. Odor was subdued but interesting....musty-bready...slight accent of spice. Started mild then builds to a silky mouthfeel accented by malt body... slight wisps of smoke (like cooking toast) slight hop citrus tastes then a cleaner dry finish with an understated malty aftertaste. A decent very drinkable beer. Not a deeply smoled malt beer that pounds your olfactory senses...a musty malty beer better served cool than cold.

Photo of PatandDavid
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a pizza place on St Denis in Montreal back in April. Most non-smokey smoked beer I've ever encountered. Pour was a very cloudy tangerine color, white a stiff white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma is all wheat beer and yeast. Taste is alos very wheat beer like, your standard banana and clove encounter. My question was: where's the smoke? Not bad, just not smokey at all.

Raftman from Unibroue
87 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.