Edition 2004

Edition 2004Edition 2004
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
4.11 | pDev: 11.68%
Quebec, Canada
Retired (no longer brewed)
Edition 2004Edition 2004
Reviews: 246 | Ratings: 268 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml, 1PT 9.4FL.OZ, standard brown glass Unibroue offering with a tall thin neck that is wire caged, capped and corked. The, by now, familiar metallic painted bottle simply says “Edition 2004” and has a listed strength of 10.5% on the front with a date of March 3, 2004 above the Barcode on the reverse. Cork is numbered ‘4-1’. No description of the beer except for the fact that it is ‘Ale on Lees’.

Appearance: Lovely deep gold mixed with some Seville orange and a touch of shocking red when it refracts the light. The body appears clear but with some very light haze at times. Excellent appearance, the head itself it incredibly impressive, a smooth silky Belgium-like carpet that has a very uniform thickness and cross-section. Infinitesimally small bubbles coalesce perfectly to form a silky looking white chain-mail cap that laces extremely well. The conditioning is sheer perfection and really contributes to the mouthfeel.

Nose: Immediately after the cork extraction and during the slow careful pour into my Chimay Glass, I detected a strong whiff of Ginger. Closer nasal inspection reveals more ginger, orange segments, orange zest, a fresh bakers yeast odor, hints of some Belgium candy sugar, attenuated alcohols, and a spritzy but light (strength wise at least) spicy hop character. Wow, this has quite the nose indeed.

Taste: Pretty much a straight run on the nose except for the fact [and it’s an oxymoron I know] but this has some bold but relaxed malts in the background. The alcohol is prominent but never cocky, and it has a lovely bitterness that roller-coasters at times between the dark orange fruits that are light and fleshy as well as thick and zesty like the rind. The ginger in the nose is evident right at the start, and at the finish. Spicy hops occasionally punctuate the middle and ending with a black pepper feel. This is quite dry at times yet fools me into thinking it is sweet, which it isn’t when I concentrate carefully. Very much a distinctive fruity Belgium Strong Ale, this has a lovely simple complexity, and I enjoyed unraveling this one. Impressive levels of dry ginger, spices and hops in the slightly warming alcohol finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel: The incredibly fine conditioning and the awesomely smooth carbonation contribute to a very impressive mouthfeel that is fantastically smooth and yet vivacious. Excellent, this is so close to being a ‘5’.

Drinkability: I thought the 750ml would accompany well tonight, like a good book on a Transatlantic Flight, yet the damn thing it’s only 8:30pm and I am well past half way already. Rather drinkable, but in a very enjoyable manner, and quite a quaffable brew given its 10.5% ABV. Remember that.

Overall: I had heard mixed feelings about this offering after the boring Terrible and especially when I chatted to a few BA’s in NYC this weekend that too had mixed experiences with some Unibroue brews. But I will state that I am not averse to dropping $9 on a special (pardon the pun) 750ml once in a while. So I bought two of these actually, glad I did. Somehow I am not sure how this one will age too well, but I am interested to find out how. Yet I have a gut-feeling that it will be much better fresh and up to 1 year old, but not much beyond that. Still, I have time and 1 other bottle and I am game to be proved wrong.

Well Worth the purchase and sampling, and this is most certainly not in the usual mold of previous Unibroue “specials” that have all been “same-ish” or as disappointing as the boring Terrible. This one has lots of character and should be sought out.

Jul 30, 2004
More User Reviews:
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fdrich29 from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml Bottle "Edition 2004" handsomely engraved in gold lettering on the bottle.

Orange/red grapefruit tinge to this beer once poured. Very active, bubbly head on this one that disappears quickly, leaving only a fine rim of white surrounding the glass. Nice pop of the cork which emitted a slowly rising fog from the bottle. What else does this Champ from Chambly have to offer?

Smell screams Unibroue product, which I love immediately. Smells very much like their La Fin but with a little more umph.

Orange peel is the the strongest taste I can pull out of this special edition brew. Loads of carbination punch the inside of your mouth while it swilrs around waiting to be swallowed. Quite crisp in that respect.

I enjoyed this bottle and would purchase it again, and definitely would put a few away for a rainy day.

Aug 10, 2004
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CortexBomb from Michigan

4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out nice dark blonde, head is perfectly white, and starts out thick but quickly settles down to a thin covering.

Smell is sweet and spicy, with fruit tones like many of Unibroue's offerings but I was getting a tad of pear as well. Appealing, and I was eager to take a sip.

An incredibly complex brew for flavour: the softly sweet spice (sort of menthey...minty...unorthodox) starts it off, while a mild hop bitter caresses the back of the tongue. A more full spice hits the top of the mouth next, vaguely peppery, yet softer than that while the fruits from the aroma, delicate and tropical arrive on the scene. An alcohol aspect creeps in along the way as well, but it feels subdued, present, but not overwhelming. The finish is another strong, peppery / spicy tinge, with a sweetness from the fruits left on the tip of the tongue to remember it by. Remarkable.

Mouthfeel is full, likely due to the alcohol content. This isn't motor oil, but it coats and greatly lends to the experience while the drinkability is impossible to critique, a 10% beer that drinks like water if you're not careful.

Unibroue continues to floor me with their high quality belgian offerings.

Sep 15, 2004
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Dithyramb from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just purchased the other day from Chesapeake Wine Company for $7. They just brought them in as a new brew and didn't know edition 2005 was already out and aboot.

Pours dark liquid, hazy caramel with a quick white head. Dissipated quickly to a sticky lace. Smelled of banana flavored malts with peppary yeast in the background.

Tingly carbonation welcomes in a smooth and creamy malt flavor, punctuated by ginger and clove. Medium mouthfeel is complimented with a sticky malt after feel. ABV is ninja-like in its sneakiness. Very tasty and worth a few.

**Update 12/15/04: Sampled over three different days at varying temperatures. The alcohol was still completely hidden. Lavish sugar coated brew. Mellowness of the flavors and yeast is what sets this apart from the other Unibroue offerings for me. Very nice. I need to purchase another for the beer cellar (crawlspace)**

Dec 14, 2004
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amicar from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle with cork. Nice audible 'pop' when opened.

Pours with an ample white head that vanishes fairly rapidly without residual lacing on the glass. More orange than brown; can't quite call it copper- too light. A little cloudy. The nose is full o' spices, especially coriander. tangerine- like aromas also abound.

The first sip hits you with plenty of spiciness; a little pepper, a touch of cinnamon, tangerine (again), bananna, clove; also tastes like they accidentally dropped the damn coriander bottle in the brew kettle.

Mouthfeel is actually light for such a high ABV. I actually enjoy something with a thinner mouthfeel when spiced so heavily; it just 'jives' better. Not the least bit syrupy or thick, like many Unibroue offerings (not that that's a bad thing).

As for drinkability, deceptively so; easy to blow through one of these and not relize what you've done. You might even want a second one before waking up with complete amnesia the next day. Trust me, stick with one bottle of these in a night, and you probably should split with someone. You'll be calling a cab after a full bottle by yourself.

anyway, quite nice. Not as complex as many unibroue offerings, so it gets dinged for that, but quite tasty.

Dec 22, 2004
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MuddyFeet from North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bottle with a friend. Many of the same characteristics as many Belgian pale ales I tried, except the alcohol is a bit of a kick and the yeast is hardly noticeable. All the flavors seem to be rounded and subtle, but subtle in more of a dulled or flattened out way. Belgian sugars are present as well as a lot of cloves, but the alcohol is so much at the forefront all the other flavors are kind of forgotten. Poured a cloudy gold color with a big foamy head. Nose is pretty typical of a Belgian ale--lots of sugar and sweet malts.Light feel to the mouth but the alcohol burn is a bit too much. Alright for a sample of the style but I would never recommend it.

Oct 02, 2005
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vwahaszee from Canada (QC)

4.7/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is definitely the best beer I have ever tasted. It's a brownish red color, with a lot of head that took a while to go away. The smell is quite fruity, not sure exactly what fruit, but seemed a little like fruit punch. Tasted just as good as the smell, if not better. It has some spiciness, and the fruit flavor is sweet, but not cloying. Goes down really smoothly, hard to believe it was 10.5%. Too bad this is a limited edition beer.

Feb 08, 2004
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drabmuh from Maryland

2.68/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Dan.

This was like drinking wintergreen toothpaste flavored beer. Not a fan. Sorry.

Beer is orange with almost no head or carbonation, no lacing. Eh.

Aroma is like spruce but like spruce extract, almost mint and sweet at the same time. Oh no...

Yep, beer is medium to light in body, no carbonation on the palate and the midpalate and finish are minty fresh! I'm fighting cavities while I test the limits of the liver. Not a fan. This is like sucking on a piece of stale candy. Not a repeat.

Feb 01, 2011
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watermelonman from California

3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured to a bright gold and yellow with a massive head. The lacing is minor but the head is holding up very well.

The smell packs a nice punch of spice on top of sugars and alcohol. The taste is powerfull, to say the least. Spice and alcohol dominate. The mouthfeel is quite sharp, while the drinkability takes a bit of a hit for the quite apparent levels of spice and alcohol.

Nov 22, 2004
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mgdeth from Montana

4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy, golden orange. Head is very thick and creamy, and retention is pretty good. Is that haze supposed to be there?

Smell - This beer is really spicy. Clove and pepper come to mind, and maybe some even more exotic spices. No hop aroma present.

Taste - The taste matches the smell almost perfectly. This beer appears to have taste elements of a Belgian Wit (bitter orange peel and coriander), and a background sweetness accented with clove and other spices. Hop bitterness is not present, or may be very weak.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel of the beer is good - not too thick, but far from watery. The feel is sort of mild, and it lets the flavor of the beer come through.

Drinkability - This beer is highly carbonated, which complements its many gritty spicy flavors. Despite a bit of a flavor explosion on the tongue, the beer is quite drinkable. I want to keep drinking more and more of it!

Comments - Barring the haze, this beer is really outstanding. Stylistically, the beer may not be perfect. This does not matter, however, because the overall experience of this beer makes up for any stle shortcomings. I can't wait to see Edition 2005.

Jan 02, 2005
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bignick from Massachusetts

4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a special beer. It pours relatively dark for a belgian pale. It is very strongly carbonated. The smell is that of spice, but it is more complex. The taste is amazingly complex, with many flavors coming together to form one badass beer. I taste molasses, spice, and call me crazy, but a bit of prune. Of course the alcohol is apparent, As I said, this beer is strongly carbonated, and in a way it contributed to the beer being just a very strong beer. This is, without a doubt, one of the most masculine beers I have ever tasted. To me, it is unquestionably the caliber of a top 100 beer.

Sep 13, 2004
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BrewMan13 from New York

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive head forms upon pouring which recedes into a cap of off-white foam that survives the duration of the beer and leaves decent lacing in its wake.
I was expecting something similar to La Fin when trying this having never had any in this "series" (U10, 11) before. But this is a totally different beast, in a good way.
Its a definitely a darker color then La Fin, a hazy pale orange/brownish color.
I detected something in the smell and the taste which I couldnt immediately place, it was definitely familiar but not readily apparent. Then it hit me. The familiarity I detected was to Smuttynose Pumpkin ale. Yes, a pumpkin ale. There's little doubt the resemblence was in the spices used, presumably something like nutmeg; I really dont detect much cinnamon or other pumpkin-type spices here (the smuttynose was quality, not one of those over-spiced varieties). The alcohol is totally masked, as I've found with all Unibroue beers I've had. Truly one of my favorite breweries. Has a similar belgian-yeast profile as other Unibroue offerings.
Drinkablity is the same old story, its only hindered by the abv, as it sneaks up on you pretty quick. Quite enjoyable while it lasts though, so I cant deduct too much.
All in all another quality brew from Unibroue and definitely different from what I was expecting.

Dec 04, 2004
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NEhophead from Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml

1" rocky, off white head that leads to a lot of thin lacing throughout the glass. A dark orange/light brown in appearance. Plenty of noticeable carbonation.

Very complex aromas: ginger, clove, corriander, pepper, citric hints (lemon, lime).

The flavors start out light with some of the lemon and citric elements, but then immediately give way to a bold spiciness. Ginger, corriander, and clove attack the senses. Despite how strong the spiciness is, the 10.5% abv is still very apparent. Finishes somewhat smoother due to the high carbonation that cuts through the sip.

Medium bodied, yet the flavors are a bit lopsided and obtrusive on the palate in terms of spiciness. A bit grainy. Light on the palate given the 10.5% abv.

Not highly consumable in my opinion given the abv% and the big spiciness that this strong pale holds. A nice treat to try, but not something that I can picture going back for.

Sep 06, 2004
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Gagnonsux from Texas

4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a very hazy orange, with an average-sized, off-white head. Carbonation is good. Aroma is a strong combination of spice, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste is of dark fruity malts joined by citrus and spice. Alcohol has a fairly strong presence here too and is joined by sugary flavors around the edges. This is my second Unibroue product, and if all their beers keep me as entertained, they'll soon join my short list of favorite breweries.

Jan 07, 2006
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ojclark from California

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dense head lasted for several minutes after pour. Very effervescent, bubbles visibly coming up for several minutes as well.

Deep golden/orange color. Cloudy and opaque in glass.

Spicy and penolic flavor and aroma. Seems more like a tripel than a Belgian strong ale. a lot of malt and sweetness very well blanced by acidity, spice and hops.

Feb 18, 2008
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chugamugofsud from Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is excellent, I wish it were offered still. It pours wonderfully light and fruity, it smells mostly of spice (I agree with the cardamom diagnosis). It is exceptionally drinkable, its flavor works very well as a symphony (fruit then spice, finishes with bitters) and I find it to be one of the best of all of the special brews unibroue puts out.

Jan 23, 2006
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kmpitz2 from Tennessee

4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer pours an opaque dark golden color. The head was impressive and thick, about 2 fingers. The nose is spicy and medicinal with some lemon. Taste is spicy and malty, without much hop apparent, with the alcohol coming through in the finish. This beer is moderately thick, not too heavy with a nice crisp carbonation. It's very warming from the high ABV, so I'm glad tonight is cool. Drinkability on this one is very high. I could easily put this beer down for the high alcohol content. I'll be interested to see how this goes with time because its very nice as it stands now.

Jul 28, 2004
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meathookjones from Virginia

4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle corked and caged with a bottled on date of March 04. Pours out a sediment filled golden orange with a small cap of off white foam. The head disappears quickly leaving only the faintest of lace. Light sweet fruits come out with some mint and other spices. Some yeasty and bready notes as well. As it warmed the fruit scents came out more. The flavor starts with some of the spruce like mint and other spices before the sweet fruit notes come in. A little peppery and light alcohol shows through occasionally. Spicy sweet finish with fruit and some warmth from the alcohol. Hefty enough body and quite smooth. Pretty easily drinkable for a big brew with a good bit of complexity to it. Never had this fresh but its doing fine at this point, tasty stuff.

Dec 09, 2005
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DrJay from Texas

4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium amber and mostly clear with a creamy head and nice lacing. The Unibroue house strain gives this a spicy yeast aroma, but it's had time to mellow a bit. There's some fruit in the nose as well, along with a bit of alcohol. Similar characters form the flavour base, but the bready yeast is more pronounced in the finish. Great balance. Carbonation was a little rough and the texture a little slick, but still quite nice. A solid offering from Unibroue and one that I wouldn't hold on to for much longer. Thanks Derek!

Jan 28, 2006
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walleye from Michigan

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured into my Duvel glass copper with a big off white head that left some good lacing. aroma sour, tart, citrus, orange, fruits, brown sugar, hints of cinnamon, alcohol. flavor sweet, apples, orange, alcohol, spicey the sourness and tartness came out after this beer warmed up. very good beer looking foward to the 2005

Feb 15, 2006
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Rio from Kansas

3.4/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle with a cork and some kind of wire contraption (something I've never seen on a beer bottle before), $7.99 in Olathe, KS, date of March 3, 2004 above the barcode on the back of the bottle... Assuming this is the date it was made.

Nice color, a bit cloudy, almost a light brown color, with a tiny hint of orange coloring mixed in, perhaps? Very thick foam, had to stop and pour a couple of times to get the glass nice and full without bubbling over. Foam faded to a nice layer across the top, and a higher ring around the outside.

Smell is an odd mixture. There's an undertone of the typical beer smell, but it's overlayed by a couple of different smells, that I can't quite put my finger on. A bit of orange, I think, and perhaps a hint of a minty smell.

Taste is heavily spiced. I almost want to say it tastes a bit of apple cider, or something similar. Mouthfeel is good, kinda creamy.

The only thing that I really don't care for on this beer is the spice in the taste. The smell of it didn't betray the spice to me, and it really caught me by surprise. It's a good beer, but it's not something I'll probably look up very often. Never had any of the other Unibroue 'Edition' beers, so I really don't know how it compares to them.

Jul 09, 2004
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle.

Pours a lightly cloudy amber/orange, light reddish highlights, thin white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, looks alright.

Smell is real nice, some caramel sweetness, apple juice, lightly spicy, malty sweetness, vanilla, some wood, pretty nice.

Taste is similar, a lot of malt sweetness, honey caramel and biscuit, some apple juice, a bit of alcohol but real smooth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. pretty damn drinkable.

Apr 17, 2011
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poundboy from Vermont

4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another winner from Unibroue,
served from 750ml bottle into wide mouthed stemware. Minimal head but ample carbonation which leaves friendly little lines of bubbles for you to gaze at. Aromas of ginger and sweetness with typical unibroue wonderful esteryness.
Taste. Wow. This is a well crafted, fully flavored Quad with a well balanced addition of spices adding to the complexity. I could pick out ginger for certain, with perhaps hints of corriander and cinnamon as well. While the spices stand out, this is one of the best balenced spiced beers I've had. The spices add to, rather that overwelm the other charactistics of the brew.
Mouthfeel is bubbly and thick enough to let you know its no macro. As tasty as this was, I was glad I had my finace to split the bottle with, I couldn't drink much more than one glass. The high alcohol and spiciness make this one to savor, not to pound.
Edit: I found this tasted best when it was almost room temp. the flavor just rise up and say Hi!

Nov 07, 2004
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noclue from Michigan

4.78/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving type: 750ml bottle served in tulip glass.

Appearance: beautiful, rocky, spumescent head with sticky, soapy, clingy lace. Hazed orange/amber color

Smell: Ginger, pepper, orange peel... Sweet malty goodness.

Taste: Zesty, spicy, zip, bang, wham! Harsh spicy phenols up front, tropical fruit in the middle, and creamy malt sweetness to finish it up. Brutal!

Mouthfeel: Medium body, loads of carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: very drinkable, a good almost exotic ale. Very good!

Sep 06, 2004
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mynie from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey colored, orange red in the sunlight, cracked neon yellow in the dark. Awesome head from a long stemmed chalice pour, retentive and sticky.

Aromas of sweet yeast and honey wake you up like a bar of Zest. Fruit complexities dance around, completely inoffensive sweetness, peaches and pineapples, aged and spiced with ginger and brown sugar.

Starts with potent sweet yeast, very foamy and firm, leading into highly-alcoholic Belgian fruit, much zippier than that of the nose, freshly-picked instead of aged and candied, ending with a yeastfire zip at the end.

Age has treated this well.

May 30, 2006
Edition 2004 from Unibroue
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 268 ratings