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Edition 2004 | Unibroue

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
245 Reviews
Edition 2004Edition 2004
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Unibroue
Quebec, Canada
unibroue.com

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
245
Ratings:
267
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
12.25%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
5
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 245 | Ratings: 267
Photo of xymyl
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep gold/light orange. Pours almost perfectly clear if you hold onto the yeasty part for later. A supercharged storm of bubbles keeps the off-white creamy head up. Lacing is there but tends to slide rather than stick.

Smells like lavender coriander honey and pepper and cloves with a hint of overripe peaches, cherries, citrus leaves (and mango?)

Taste is biscuity and bready at first, then light and refreshing pilsner followed by a thick, rich syrupy note that rides the plastic/medicine line without destroying all of the great tastes happening around it. This is all followed by a complex, alcohol enriched spicy herbal blend that shouts out mint, coriander, pepper, and cinnamon then limes and a lick off a candycane.

Overall: This medium full bodied beer will keep me company for the next few hours. It is amazing how the herbal notes have calmed down and become a much more interesting part of the whole. Too bad I only have one left. I'll probably wait a couple more years. Nice. Cellar at 55 degrees, that's the key. The common agreement is to store these corked beers upright, on some beers I actually like the cork tannins to slowly seep in. It worked with this one.

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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 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 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 macster
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Production date of 5-5-04.

Pours a cloudy amber-gold color under a handsome fluffy thick white head. Some spotty lacing left as the chalice drains.


Somewhat of a strange, almost slightly off-aroma not expected of a Strong Belgian style ale. Extremely floral and perfumy with notes of over-ripe berries. Somewhat distracting. I’m typically very careful in keeping my aged beers at proper cellar temps and I’m tempted to say this big 10.5% ’er perhaps did not age gracefully since the ale’s aromas had a bit of an oxidated quality.

Mouthfeel was very nice; full, round and lively.

Flavor profile was similar to the aroma; overtly fruity sweet and sherry-like. Some pleasant malt and biscuity-yeast notes were able to sneak in under the gate also.

Finish was warm and long with a nice balance between the alcohol and fruity sweetness. An interesting brew but I expected more.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged lovingly in my basement since it first hit the shelves. Normally I'm not crazy about aging belgian styles, but I like this better now than when it was young. I sat on this mostly out of a desire to clear out the rest of my more perishable beer.
The cork comes off with a nice champagne pop. Carefully poured into a tulip glass, the beer is bright orange, a nice fiery glow about it. Still hazy, despite my being a sycophant to the sediment. As it is, belgian yeast is a light sleeper. Rapid carbonation bubbles rising, feeding two fingers worth of large bubbled head. The head dies quickly into a collar, then to nothing. An extra spicy aroma. I wonder if this is supposed to be a witbier gone berserk, or this is just some extra peppery, spicy belgian yeast? Toasty belgian malt behind the wall of spice, with vague honey and punchy peach fruitiness. Very much dominated by coriander, ginger, pepper and clove. I swear there's orange peel in here. The flavor starts with heady malt sweetness. Definitely some portion is wheat, I'm guessng because of the the dry, powdery feel and vague sourness. A toasted belgian waffle served with peach and pear slices, drizzled with a ginger caramel glaze, and topped with orange peel shavings and a handful of beery spices. Plenty of coriander on the palate, starting off sweet and ending things off with a crisp, spicy zing. Active, turbulent carbonation keeps the medium-to-full body easily quaffable. A little bit of alcohol hiding under the layers of spice, just enough to remind you you're drinking an XXL beer. The whole experience is....intense.
This aged very well. Basically the same, the spiciness hasn't dropped out a bit, but with a little more maturity to everything else. All the rough edges are gone. Crazy spicy, but enjoyable. It's the illegitimate love child of La Fin Du Monde and Blanche De Chambly, enhanced in the same lab that made the $6 million dollar man.

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Photo of bwyker
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled exactly 3 years ago today, March 3, 2007. Served at cellar temps.

Poured with the typical high powered gush of carbonation that comes from most Unibroue beers, though this one settled a little faster. Off white foam floats on a musty , apricot orange. Lots of funk floating around in the glass -- expired yeast I would imagine. Outstanding aroma. Apple with a slight sourness. Flavor is a muted sweet caramel. Age did this one good. Fully matured sugars with notes of tangerine and some very subtle spices...nutmeg maybe. Mouthfeel is completely smooth. First few sips had a lot of carbonation, settled a bit after a few more. Drinkability is very high. No way you would know this one is above 10%. Alcohol is nowhere to be found and the light, sweet, complex flavor keeps you wanting another sip. Outstanding.

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Photo of hammer09
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I purchased this in April 2006 and decided to save it for New Year's Eve. Overall, I was impressed with this beer considering its age. Edition 2004 poured a deep, clear copper color with moderate carbonation and minor head development. This beer's aroma is very interesting, exhibiting a fruity smell similar to white grapes and, to me, the aroma of VeryFine Fruit Punch. However, the fruit smell is very delicate; not overpowering. Flavor is definitely alcoholic and sweet with a sticky, syrupy mouthfeel.

My local vendor still has some of these remaining, so I may pick up another bottle to see how additional aging affects the beer. Overall, a very good, enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy dark yellow/amber color body topped by a billowing head. Head chunked a bit then settled down nicely.
Sweet biscuit smell to it. Richness of yeasts makes this intriguing. Some spice or flower makes an appearance as well.
Tastes a bit light. The yeast smells turn into spice and herbal overtones. Biscuit still remains in the background. Almost clears the sinus with its spice. Not hot, though, just spiced.
Feels a bit thin, but can drink a glass or two of this brew.

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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 bjohnson
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very cloudy reddish golden color with a frothy two finger white colored head. Nice tight bubbles makes the head look like a pillow. Excellent long lasting retention.
S: Dark fruit coupled with pears, orange peels, and subtle apples. Burnt candy or sugar notes dominate the nose with a strong swirl of the glass. Fresh champagne like yeastyness.
T/M: Lemon and orange peel, spices, pears, and subtle apple notes all come through. Candied sugar is a nice background to the fruityness. Yeasty flavors also dominate, especially in the finish with those orange peels. There's a spicy aspect to the flavors, but it seems as though it's been tamed with the two years of aging. Excellent mouthfeel with such a soft touch on the palate. Slides across the tongue with a medium body.
D: When I bought this I was a bit skeptical considering it sat for two years. Very smooth with an abv that's doesn't even register. Quite a tasty brew that makes me think all Unibroue brews can sit for awhile. Drinking well right now, but I wonder how long it'll hold up. That high abv makes me think so...

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Photo of sleazo
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I found all of the remaining 2004 editions at the Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido. This might be my favourite beer. I am reviewing this now as i am down to just two bottles. This beer has matured since it was first released. I thought it was wonderful upon drinking it relatively fresh and have enjoyed sampling it over time.

A--A copper/reddish hue, nice deep head, dissipates quickly, leaving nice lace.

S- Currants, sweet malt/honey, slight alcohol. The aroma opens up as it warms. excellent smelling beer.

T-This beer is simply divine tasting. Slightly sweet with the unibroue yeast coming through with each sip. The alcohol is barely noticeable. There is a certain spiciness to this beer. During this tasting i am noticing a cinnimon twinge for the first time.

M- Very nice, not too thin, not too thick. Carbonation is mild. Tis one has mellowed with time.

D-I could drink this for the rest of my life.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a cellared bottle at cellar temp. Pouring into a large snifter. The bottle opens with a loud pop and immediate spice scents flood my nostrils. Nice! I begin to pour and although the beer appears to be a light gold champagne color leaving the bottle it arrives in my snifter a much deeper chestnut hue. There is a small .5 cm fluffy off white head foaming up and resting nicely on the surface of the beer. Leaves tight clingy lattice as I drink and/or swirl.
The beer does not pour clear as expected but is riddled with small white chunks, protein, yeast, I am not sure, but I was pouring carefully and the crud just flowed out.
The aroma is sweet and spicy, with pears and white grapes mixing with cloves and nutmeg. Just a bit of orange citrus note as well.
Overall a very pleasant scent.
First sip reveals a very fine and tingly carbonation. The body is fairly light with a silky texture, makes for very easy consumption.
Flavor is sweet and malty at the start, lots of caramel and fruit. Some nutmeg and clove come through and linger on the finish. the beer is fairly mild on flavor but pleasant and burps with some spices as well.
A good drinker almost 3 years after release. Drink em if you got em!

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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 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 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 CRJMellor
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, orange/yellow concoction with a voluminous white head and some scattered lace on the goblet.
Aroma of ripe light citrus fruits, some sweet fructose, a base of light pale or crystal malt, a touch of coriander and white pepper and some medicinal alcohol.
Flavor is accentuated by the sweet malt profile and has just enough spicy bittering to keep it veering too far to one side of the spectrum. Some of the fruit flavors, notably lemon, orange and maybe melon seem to shine as the beer warms a bit.
Mouthfeel is lush and palate-coating. Really well-balanced, great transitions build to a palate pleasing finish. Really high ABV goes completely unnoticed.
Drinkability is top notch another winner from the Great White North.

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Photo of Boto
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle: The cork pulls out of the dusty bottle with a loud "pop". This one pours a hazy, darker golden color. There was a fairly decent head on it, but it doesn’t last long. The aroma is somewhat subdued, which is a bit suprising. Still, there is quite a bit going on in there. Notes of yeastiness, spiciness, some fruits and corriander. Some caramel sweetness on the tongue, with some of the aforementioned fruitiness. Slight hint of alcohol. A very silky mouthfeel. Very nice!

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Photo of rodrot
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to try this one after holding on to the bottle for a couple of years. Reason? Celebrating my first deer harvested with a bow, a feat accomplished after 4 years of fruitless efforts. Anyway, the beer poured a clear amber color with a massive head that took several minutes to subside. Aroma was very spicy(anise, cinammon), yeasty and malty. Taste was incredibly spicy, reminding me of a spiced holiday brew. Notes of allspice, cinammon, clove and even pumpkin meshed perfectly with sweet malts and hops in the taste. Mouthfeel was full bodied, rich and warming, although the high ABV did not detract from the drinkability at all. Regardless, it's best to sip on this one slowly. This beer has aged very well and is easily the best beer from Unibroue I've ever had. Too bad I only bought one bottle. I wish I could have compared this with a fresh sample.

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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 vanrassel
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured from a 750 mL caged, corked bottle a cloudy copper colour with some gold highlights. The cork popped quite forcefully and there was a nice fizzy head that quickly receded to a ring. The smell was yeasty — and also a little medicinal, which I wasn't crazy about. Peach and apricot esters redeemed it a bit.

The taste started yeasty and yielded to a strong, but brief, alcoholic burn in the middle. The alcohol receded to provide a nice warming effect in the background and let some subtle fruity flavours and some spicy coriander come to the forefront.

The finish was a little sticky and left a slight aspirin bitterness on the palate, but this beer is overall pretty smooth and drinkable for 10 per cent ABV.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this awhile and decided to give it a try. It pours a honey color with a giant white frizzy head. Looks like your typical Belgian. The smell is a mix of candy sugar, sweet malt, coriander, raisin, and peaches. The taste is very unique. Vanilla, raisin, peaches, and an almost oak aged bourban flavor are all present. The m/f is medium bodied with an incredible mixture of great flavors. This is an awesome beer. I wonder how much a part the aging played? Cheers.

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Photo of phisig137
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork pops out of this 2 3/4 year old bottle with a mighty force, and pours into a tulip a hazy honey color. One finger head quickly falls, leaving behind a ring of foam, and no lacing. Cork appears to have held up well for this long, as the beer seems to be lively carbonated.

Aroma is jam-packed with spicy yeast esters, accented by a malt sweetness. Very herbal and floral on the nose.

Flavor is nicely rounded, and has a powerful, distinct herbal flavor that reminds me of a type of basil. Dry finish, and lively carbonation scubs the tongue. Also tastes like some honey is added in there as well. Nicely balanced, and doesn't have much alcohol presence at all. Very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is creamy, but oddly, the carbonation is almost too astringent, for which it looses a point. Drinkability is quite good, especially considering the ABV.

Once again, Unibroue hits the mark. I have yet to be disappointed by them, and this beer is no different. Solid offering, and an excellent price for a beer of this quality.

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Photo of mjc410
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

8/18/06
The pour into my La Moneuse tulip yields a nice 3/4 inch head, that falls pretty quickly to small islands of lace on the beer's surface. I was careful to decant lightly, but some sediment still made it into the beer's bright orange-copper body.

Smells strongly of cinnamon apples, pears, a little yeast, and spicy alcohol (just a bit).Sweet also, with a strong ginger presence.

Tastes strongly of pears, ginger and cinnamon apple, altough not as sweet as the nose would suggest. Bitter after the initial fruit/spice kick, with a bit of a tart ending. Spicy from the alcohol, to be sure, although picking out any alcohol negatives is tough. This is odd, very complex, but not quite for me.

Mouth is about medium, very highly carbonated.

This would be great with apple pie, I think.

A bit heavy on the fruit/spice notes, can't taste much malt or hop character, in the traditional senses. Still, I'm glad that I got to try this unique beer,

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Lucky enough to find this in a store recently...surprised to see it unsold after two years.

Poured into a Lucifer snifter and got a beautiful copper-orange color with seemingly a billion bubbles streaking up the sides. Very busy, bubble-wise, one of the most beautiful displays I've seen in a beer. The head is a foamy off-white and retains well.

Aroma offers a sharp spice that's hard to place, somewhere between white pepper, nutmeg and cinammon. Alluring and pretty unusual.

Flavor is exclusively fruity/spicy. Great balance of both. Pineapple vs. peppermint. Peach meets nutmeg. Barely ripe persimmons and sour apple sharing space with coriander, pepper, cardamom, clove and ginger.

The mouthfeel is superb, achieving a fine balance of creamy smoothness and jumpy tingliness. Just hold it in the mouth forever...excellent.

Because of the extreme spice abundance here, this is not for everyone and certainly not for everyday. It's a rare indulgence, but a fine one if you're in the mood. Couple that with the 10.5% alcohol, and you have a beer that's not exactly highly drinkable. But I really enjoyed this bottle and will seek out other editions from the always dependable Unibroue.

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