Edition 2004 | Unibroue

267 Ratings
Edition 2004Edition 2004

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 12-10-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Ratings: 267 |  Reviews: 245
Photo of Thorpe429
2.38/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by Dan at a recent tasting. Served in a snifter.

Pours light copper without any head or lacing. Given the age, I won't take off too much. The nose is really odd--slight minty character followed up with quite a bit of pizza dough and bread yeast. Really odd. The taste doesn't improve on this; in fact, it's a bit worse. The feel is fairly light with moderate carbonation, all things considered. Really not a good beer at this point. Time has not served this one well.

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Photo of palma
2.45/5  rDev -40%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Something is up (wrong) with the aroma and taste of this beer and I don't know what it is.

Wonderful appearance. Dark golden body. Fluffy off-white head. A lot of Belgian lace.

Grapefruit, mint and pepper in the aroma. But, also an odd smell kind of like salami. This must be some nasty phenol created by the yeast. It is... not good.

Taste is oily, peppery, and spicy. A bad yeast flavor here and a lot of it. I usually love Unibroue brews for that complex yeasty quality but for some reason this one tastes a little off. I don’t know what the problem is. That lunchmeat aroma and now this bad oily yeasty taste make this beer almost undrinkable. What the hell is going on?? Could this be a bad bottle? I doubt it considering it's called Edition 2004, we're in 2005, and it's 10.5 abv.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.63/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan!

A: This brew appears sightly hazy and light orange in color. The head is rather small and leaves virtually no trace of its existence. I'll take age into consideration.

S: The aroma is a huge blast of spruce and pine, but not in a hop or IPA kind of way. This beer smelled of pine cones and evergreen trees. Interesting...

T: The palate is bombarded with spruce, mint, herbs, and an odd, earthy flavor.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: I had trouble getting this one down. Too aggressive, unbalanced, an odd. It was fun to try, though.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.68/5  rDev -34.3%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.71/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From 01/22/11 notes. Brought to a small tasting.

a - Pours a murky brown-orange color with light carbonation evident and one inch of white head.

s - Smells of mint, floral notes, coriander, sage, and something I can't put my finger on, but it seems off.

t - Tastes of weird mint again, coriander, hersb, floral notes. Not enjoyable.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d -This one didn't do it for me; I found the smell and taste a weird mint/herb mix. Wouldn't seek out again.

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Photo of crwills
2.85/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at a tasting with biegaman, northyorksammy, and grub. Thanks guys!

Sadly, this was one of my least favourites of the night. Poured a cloudy amber gold with almost no head. Spicy, clove-and-nutmeg aroma that I thought was distinctly non-Unibroue-like. Flavour was off -- metallic and watery, with a somewhat astringent or spicy berryish aftertaste that didn't fit. Mouthfeel was actually quite decent, but something was just off about the flavour.

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Photo of gregory12
2.99/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Opened the bottle exactly on it's third birthday. Bottle date is 5/5/04. Beautiful bottle. Cork came out without much pop, cork had a smell more like a wine than a beer. Had a skeptical feeling wondering if the bottle had gone bad...

On the pour, beer had little carbonation and a nearly non-existant foamy head that quickly dissipated. Color is a rich amber honey with lots of sediment floating, leading to an almost murky appearance. Tiny bubbles of carbonation faded after 10 minutes or so. Still quite nice looking in the glass.

Then there is the smell. This beer has an odd funk to it. Smells like fruits that are past their prime, like a sweet muscat with a slight spring flower note. Golden raisins, summer meadows and apple juice...but there is still an underlying funk that you can't quite put your finger on. It lures you to take a sip, but you're not sure if it will meet your expectations.

The first sip was filled with trepidation. This beer tastes bizarre. It's not like any other Belgian I have had. It's sweet like honeysuckle, and has a strange aged fruitiness, and an uneasy - somewhat astrigent -zing that hits ever taste bud and leaves a super yeasty sourdough aftertaste that doesn't fade. It's like a light carbonation stays on your tongue long after you have swallowed. This could be the higher alcohol content making itself known, or could be what ever strain of yeast that was used saying it's final goodbye. It is reminiscent of the sourish aftertaste of a cassis or a farmhouse summer saison. I couldn't tell if it was just something I had never tasted before or if the bottle had truly spoiled after 3 years. It's altogether weird, and after the first sip I thought I would not drink anymore. But the strangeness lures you back, and after several more sips, it tasted better, but the hovering weirdness and the lingering aftertaste doesn't fade, and you'll continue to question yourself about the expiration date (there is none on the bottle) and if you like it or not.

So, how do I feel about this beer? It's definitely different, but I didn't like the fact that the flavor was so odd that I kept questioning whether the bottle had spoiled, so it made for an uneasy drink. I wish the bottle had an expiration date, or a best by date so I would know if I missed the peak for this bottle or not. Glad I tried it, but if I saw another bottle at the store I would save my $10 and put it toward something else.

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Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of tom10101
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Dantes
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Package: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle. Elegant gold lettered label with “Edition 2004" replacing “10" or “11.” Dated above UPC symbol “March 3, 2004” and the cork stamped “24-1.” ABV listed at 10.5% and the expected “ale on lees” notation.

Cost: $7.99 per bottle

Presentation: tulip glass at ~50º; tasted both new and aged a year (reviewed here).

Appearance: A continuous plume of gunsmoke tendrils emanated from the bottle after I popped the cork, much like a bottle of dry ice from a horror or fantasy movie. A careful pour generated a light, voluminous off-white head with little staying power. The body was a hazy gold, with tinges of peach-apricot. Tiny particles and tiny bubbles danced through the beer. Classic special edition Unibroue appearance.

Smell: A very fruity, spicy aroma pools in the glass. I could pick out some pepper, candy sugar, clove, allspice, and coriander. Some mitigating malt and yeastiness. Quite a lot (too much) going on in the nose for me.

Taste: My first impressions were dominated by alcohol and a cloying sweetness. The older bottle was smoother and a bit more integrated than the fresh samples, but gave up quite a bit of crispness present in the fresh bottles. Most of the special edition Unibroue’s possess a crisp lemony quality almost totally absent from this beer. The aged sample had a honeyed, tropical fruit sweetness that pervaded and overwhelmed most of the other flavors, smothering the slight yeasty, toasty malt elements I detected in the bouquet. A wholly unbalanced, cloying experience. Has a long, sugary finish with a strong (but warming) alcoholic stamp. Furthermore, the warmer this got, the more cloying it became.

Mouthfeel: At least in this, the 2004 bears the classic Unibroue mark of excellent carbonation. The body is heavy, but relieved by the superfine, active carbonation, which provides the trademark creaminess. Without this, lively carbonation, the beer would be a syrupy mess.

Drinkability: Pretty poor as far as I was concerned. This gave me a headache (for real) and hurt my teeth (well almost) like the DFH Liquor de Malt. How some people could consider this a good match with food is beyond me. I did finish the bottle, but it was a struggle.

Backwash: I seem to be in the minority, but each new Unibroue special edition (11, Terrible, 2004) strays further from the restrained, wonderful classics they used to turn out. As with the previous ones, I’d hoped that a year’s age would improve this a lot, but I was wrong. While the spicy flavors might have been a bit more integrated, the little bit of crispness present in the fresh samples was lost, making this beer flabbier and even more cloying. Furthermore, Unibroue is less and less of a value. Although not as high in ABV, beers like 3 Monts and La Bavaisienne are similar and much better values. I hope that the new Edition 2005 hews more closely to the style presented in the fabulous “10," and regains its dry, crisp structure.

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Photo of isubsmith
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Finally decided to open this guy up after almost 3 years cellaring.

Apperance: Cloudy amber with a white lacy head. The head quickly calmed down but lingered the whole time.

Smell: Hmmm. Lots of spices. Citrus. Cloves. Perhaps corriander. Once it warmed up, lots of alcohol.

Taste: Weird, but similar to the nose. I'm not sure I like the spice blend. I agree with another reviewer - reminds me a lot of pumpkin ales. Perhaps less of the alcohol taste from the nose.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, good body. Coats the mouth very well.

Drinkabiliy: It would be challenging to drink more of these and I'm glad we split the bottle three-ways. I guess I was just not expected such a spiced beer.

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Photo of granger10
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Holy spice! I know that most Unibroue beers are heavily spiced and I like that aspect of their other beers, but this was over the top in added spices. The body had a solid thickness to it and it allowed all of the spices to be strong in their flavor. I noticed lots of ginger, cinnamon, and maybe even some rosemary. There was an apple-like sweetness upfront but the finish is yeasty and dry. Spices all along the way and strongest in the middle. This got better the further I went but the spices were a little too extreme for me.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of wspscott
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle in a pint glass (I need nicer glasses)
Produced March 3, 2004

The cork comes out with a slight "pop". There is still lots of carbonation. This pours a very hazy amber color with a large head but that disappears quickly, no lacing at all. There is an odd scent that I can't place, maybe fruity, it doesn't smell like a Belgian. The taste matches the nose(a little odd), but comes across as a little more Belgian. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy with a nice tingle from the carbonation.

In the end, this comes across as a well constructed beer, but I can't get past the taste. I got this from a friend so I have no idea how this has been stored. I have to wonder if there is some oxidation here. I wish I could have tried this a year ago.

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Photo of peabody
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy straw amber color with one finger of white suds.
(kinda low for a Unibroue)
Smell is sugar/ caramel and wheat/straw. I get apple peels rotting in the summer sun. Mabey even a cinnamon smell.
Taste is sugar then a fruity mix of grapes and apples followed by the sweet hot alcohol burn.
Mouthfeel is clean with hints of Alcohol. No bitterness here whatsoever.
This is low on the drinkability scale because of the high abv and the waytoosugary taste. Too much sweet and not enough bitter.

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Photo of texashammer
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty light orange color with fluffy head. Smells sweet and very much like ginger. Taste is more of the same, all ginger, in a very sweet way (not spicy at all), rather simple -- the ginger doesn't let anything else in. Sweet, smooth and a little sticky in the mouth; got old kind of quickly for me.

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Photo of biegaman
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aged for nearly 3 years, my first taste of the Edition 2004.
Purchased at Rahman's in Montreal some time back.
Pours initially with good head, most of which quickly fades. Leaves behind little dots as lacing. A light golden pear colour. A foul and nauseating aroma. Warming but with no alcohol blatantly evident. An odd spice I think they used. Some distinctly Belgan qualities, this seems to have aged well. A very soft, delicate malt in the flavour. Some honey, flower like sweetness to the taste. Largely I found the flavours repugnant. No Unibroue yeast present - that's good, that's why we age these! Became increasingly perplexing as it warmed. Little to no alcohol detectable in the mouthfeel which is still mildly carbonated, stern and malty even after three years time.
While I was pleased with how this kept together, I found the beer itself less than tasteful. For one reason or another, and I admit this is highly personal/subjective, the flavour and makeup of this one failed to impress, interest, or please me at all.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle shared by Todd last night.
Slightly hazy copper brown color with a smallish head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is filled with overpowering spices atop a faint brown sugary caramel malt base. The flavor is not a bit different. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet spicy mouthfeel. Not bad for a ten year old beer, but too heavy on the spicing for my tastes.

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Photo of grub
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

tasting party dec 6/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer. biegaman contributed this one, so thanks jan!

pours a nice amber colour with a fine white head. the head drops quickly and leaves no lace.

aroma is very heavy on the spices. clove, cinnamon, nutmeg. perfumey. bit of bitter orange peel

taste is similar to the aroma. spices are right up front. kind of perfumey. clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg again. bitter orange peel. some alcohol noticeable. light bitterness. tastes like some pumpkin ales i've tried.

mouthfeel is ok. nice body and decent carbonation.

drinkability is ok. the alcohol is hidden well and is balanced fairly well, but i don't enjoy the very high spicing.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is sort of caramel in color with a thin whitish head to go with it.

S: An intensely herbaceous nose. Lots of menthol/eucalyptus notes as well as sage. There's not really very much malt contributions other than a touch of sweetness.

T: Only mildly oxidized, which is good, but still very herbal which is not so good. There is a bit of prune juice as well as caramel and some other miscellaneous dark fruit flavors. Maybe a bit of booze, too.

M: The body is medium with a pretty low level of carbonation.

D: The nose was really off, and the flavor wasn't too much (if any) better. Not my cup o' tea.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is interesting. I don't know what it tasted like fresh, but it tastes like christmas now. The beer pours to a slightly hazy pale amber color with a thin white head. Recedes to nothing in minutes.

The smell reminds me of absinthe. A little bit of a black anise and peppermint, along with some sort of green herbal tea. Not my proverbial cup of tea, however.

The taste is very similar to the nose. Very dry with some of the strong esters and phenols of the Unibroue yeast. Banana and clove, along with the peppermint, tea, and anise. The finish is so dry that I almost need to drink a glass of water side by side.

I will have to try to age a Unibroue beer that I've had before to see if it produces similar results. This beer was sitting on a store shelf for at least 2 years, and I never had the opportunity to try it fresh. I wasn't too fond of this beer, however. It tastes too much like christmas.

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Photo of Rio
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/4/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small white head and a fair amount of yeast. Aroma of light fruits, some sourness. Flavor of bitter melon rind, some mint gumdrops, spices. It warmed the throat, but wasn't boozy at all (definitely wouldn't have guessed it was 10.5%). I think some of the light fruits disappeared with age, but this was alright.
6/4/7/4/14 (3.5/5)

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Photo of pootz
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation was a 341ml bottle tarted up with foil and gold labeling ....pour revealed a hazy honey-amber liquid with a rocky off white cap that left as fast as a Labatt corn brew...lottsa fizz...aroma is the standard Unibroue sweet must but the alcohol is detectable in this one...starts mild and malt pronounced...honey, fruit and spice notes from sweet malts yeasts and alcohol....finish is fairly wet and sweet with some alcohol creating a peppering to the tongue and a warming. My impression is that this has the makings of a very smooth Belgian high-test but it will take a year or two of cellaring to take some of the edges off this beer....it’s good and smooth and hides the acher-hol well...nothing phenominal here just a high test belgian....frankly I get bored by the similarity of the U-brews...I have saved one I’ll open for review in 2 years. Perhaps I'll see then what all the hoopla is about.

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Photo of elricorico
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy amber that seems to have a bit of a pinkish hue to it. The head was good sized, but has fizzed away to a thin ring around the top of the beer. Visibly the carbonation is quite active.

The smell has is quite sweet. The first thought was peach, and cherry, with candy sugar and Unibroue's yeast smell. A hint of a citrus zest floats about in there as well.

First taste gives me a touch of sweetness up front with a big spicy kick followed by an alcohol burn in the finish. Peach and cherry make another appearance here, and a bit of orange juice in the transition accross the middle of the tongue. The finish has a black pepper taste that fills the back of the mouth and another spiciness that I can't place. The finish is much more pronounced than the beginning, and is a bit more peppery than I like. The flavours are fresh and full though.

Mouthfeel has a touch of body and stickiness to it. The cabonation is substantial but fine, making it pleasant to drink.

Worth having once, but this isn't one that I will put aside bottles of. This bomber is keeping me busy for tonight though.

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Edition 2004 from Unibroue
4.08 out of 5 based on 267 ratings.
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