Raftman - Unibroue

Not Rated.

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very good

677 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 677
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 45
Gots: 47 | 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)
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Ratings: 677 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bnuttz
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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
4.4/5  rDev +14%
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
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
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
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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

This one was a cloudy amber color that seemed to have small particles floating in it. It had a HUGE head that took a while to dissipate.

The smell was... just smoky. Hard to tell what kind of wood smoke, but that was it. I couldn't pick out any hoppiness or fruitiness. Just the smoke.

The taste was smooth, malty, slightly bitter, not as smoky as the aroma implied, and very restrained. Not too bad. But not spectacular, and not as drinkable as one would hope.

Photo of foamyhead
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light amber coloured cloudy brew. The foam is relatively firm, although it doesn't stand the test of time.

In the nose I sense a fresh, compact smell of fruit, typical smell of topfermented beer. Maybe a bit of wet, exotic wood?!

The beer has some power in the body, although it is to carbonated for it's style - in my opinion - and after the first impressions of taste it more or less "dissappears" from the palate, leaving a discrete hint of smoke hand in hand with a (very) little hoppiness.

All in all: it promises something, but is not able to live up to it. The body is not harmonic and balanced, and the promised whiskey malt taste is much to discrete, compared to eg French whiskey malt beer 'Adelscott' or the German 'Highlander'.

Photo of cbl2
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle with Best Before: 3/3/03 clearly marked (though sampled on 4/18/04)


Slightly pale dark straw in color with intense carbonation, and a 3 inch thick white head.


A rather pleasant yeasty aroma coupled with hints of grapefruit.


I don't detect the smoke promised on the bottle, this has a smooth mouthfeel with malt characteristic present, and a hint of citrus on the tongue. Fruit character builds throughout as the beer warms on the tongue, and is carried to the throat by an overwhelming carbonated presence.

Photo of beckerboots
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a really hard time to get a handle on this beer. Poured to a very distinctive orange colour (Maybe even a very deep yellow). Head was a very classical Unibroue style. Hard charging in the beginning followed by a just as hard retreat. I waited patiently for seven minutes for this beer to reveal it smokiness, but it fell well short. The slight waft of whiskey malt (beer is brewed in Sam Bronfman territory) was overshadowed by the fruit swril of apples and pears that lightened the 5.5% ABV. A very capable sipping beer that should be nurtured (still could not find any hint of smoke) in your mouth. My great expectations were quelled to a degree.

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

this brew has an impressive apearance, bright orange with a lot of enourmous carbonation bubbles (unibroue beers always have the most amazing carbonation). once the sediment is added it becomes mysteriously opaque but still very orange. The head was 2 inches and fluffy, leaving copious amounts of lacing down the glass to look at. The smell is of vanilla, hops, some kind of fruit and there are whiskey notes (it says whiskey malts are used). I can't really sense the smokiness, it must be very subtle.
the taste is full and impressive. you can definitely taste the smokiness but it is much more balanced than the German Rauchbiers (a good thing to me). There is a strong malt base and nice hoppy and fruity flavours. This beer is definitely a keeper. The smoke isnt overpowering. Unibroue must be the best brewery in Canada and this beer is worthy of its name. I will definitely try this again.

Photo of mzwolinski
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange, with an extremely thick white head. Light smoke aroma out of the bottle, followed by some yeasty and sharper citric notes.

The flavor starts gently, lightly smoky, and develops a lightly fruity (peach?) middle. The finish is tart, slightly sour, with a mild pepper flavor. Aftertaste lingers with more light tastes of smoke.

Everything about this beer is very gentle and subtle. The moutfeel is light, but the substance of this beer is not -- there's a good deal going on here in terms of flavor, and they're wonderfully blended together.

Photo of abents
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden brown with a big head that disapears quickly.

Smell: Smells of yeast and a sweet almost fruity notes as well.

Taste: Very carbonated and followed by a whole lot of hops. Leads to a good malty taste along with some citrus and apricots.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated beer but still extremely smooth drinking.

Drinkability: Great beer that leaves a great taste in your mouth and wanting more.

Very drinkable and complex beer. A good beer to try, very pleased with this.

Photo of tommy78
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I tried Raftman at the Fourquet Fourchette in Chambly, Quebec, and it was very interesting. The 20oz was poured out of a tap, and it was crisp. The appearance was a nice, hazy colour with a creamy top. The smell was probably the best characteristic: sweet and spicy. The taste was decent at first; it bordered on bland. However, you tasted the acute spicyness on the aftertaste, especially on the back on your tongue. Mouthfeel was average, nothing out of the ordinary. And, the Raftman compliments food very well, especially a Sunday Brunch combo of veal sausages and Canadian bacon.

Photo of ark57
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I liked this beer, but I didn't get much smoke out of it. There was some peat in the aroma of this hazy, golden ale, but I wanted much more. It is sweet and fruity with a slight smokiness. It is very creamy and goes down easy. I find it hard to stop drinking even though I wished it was smokier.

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

I had this beer cool, because I had only had a limited time to refrigerate it. Its a dark amber with a bubbly head that lasted a short while. Smelled kind of like spices, and tasted similar, as well as some sweetness, maybe a little to warm because I hadn't refrigerated it long enough. However, it still had a nice mouthfeel with not too much carbonation, and was very easy to drink.

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

Upon opening the 22 oz. bottle the cork flew about 5 feet into the air! The cork had a great smokey whiskey-like smell to it. Poured smoothly creating a average head with lots of yeast sediment towards the bottom.

Color is a medium reddish brown. Nose was similar to the cork itself, with the smokiness coming through over the citrusy-winey aroma.

Taste is mild, no one flavor overwhelms - the lightly smoked flavor comes through while a hint of a whiskey-like flavor follows right after. This taste characterizes this beer completely and is so even a taste that it literally tastes as the label describes (which not all beers can claim). A good solid beer for the smoked category, and has what I would say a slightly higher drinkability than other smoked ales.

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

Pop the cork.

Pours an orange amber with a big white head which fades quicker than expected. Smokey sweet if there is such a thing. Unusual flavor, but I'm not so sure I'm digging that whisky flavor that is in there. There is a touch of fruity in there too. Hops come along near the end, but are quite subtile. Goes down smooth. An interesting ale from Unibroue. I'd like to try this on tap.

Photo of beergeek279
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a very hazy copper, with a nice head. The smell is a strong smoked malt. The taste is a peat smoky malt, like a good Scotch ale. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, could have a few.

A nice offering from Unibroue. The whisky malt makes this a very Scotch-ish/Scotch ale taste, and a good example at that. Quite good, and probably would have this again!

Photo of jeffboo
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An off-golden color with thick creamy head. Aromas of spicy yeast,banana,and cloves, with a touch of whiskey to it. The body is light to medium that starts caramel with some clove and yeast, somewhat hefeweizen like in flavor with some vanilla that finishes lightly sweet. I'm rather ambivalent about this brew, nice but they do others much nicer.

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

Had after 27 months, and its not a bad Belgium, yeasty, less whisky than I originally noted. Probably rated fair at 3.9. Now an incredible selling Onatrio beer.
If you like whisky or scotch, as well as beer, then its an interesting and purposeful cocktail of the two. Original and unique. Refreshing evening drink. Swirl it and fizz settles to a nice orange/brown color.

Photo of nomad
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy carbonation! Bursting out of the bottle, fast and furious in the glass, it was holding up the soft and puffy head, and clouding the already murky copper color of the beer. Smelled of lemon and some whiskey malt - clean but characterful, nice. Taste was lemony, yeasty, thin. Had a great malt full of quiet character but impossibly light on the palette. Some melon notes, almost strawberry like at times. At end one of the better finishing beers I can think of, soft and easy with small reminisces of all its shades of flavor.

Tastes like a great summer beer to me, and as such seems like it needs to be fresh.

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

This beer pours to a nice light golden color but is fairly hazy. It has a medium head with tiny bubbles that eventually settle to a nice thin rim around the glass. The aroma is slightly malty with the largest hop aroma I have noticed from the Unibroue beers. Slightly sweet taste with, almost a caramel flavor, with a light bitterness at the end of the drink. Overall another good beer worth trying from Unibroue!

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