Unibroue 15

Unibroue 15Unibroue 15
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
4.05 | pDev: 9.14%
Quebec, Canada
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Unibroue 15Unibroue 15
Reviews: 213 | Ratings: 252 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: A 750ml cork and caged brown glass bottle, the type always used by Unibroue. Has a simple presentation, but a very characteristic one that not only has a trademark Unibroue “look” reminds me of some of the Allagash specials. The obverse of the bottle has a silvery-gold metallic printed frontage. The calligraphic text ‘Unibroue’ has a reverse ‘15’ inset in a rectangle, with the words ‘celebrating our fifteenth anniversary’. Listed at 10% alc./vol.

Appearance: Soft marmalade orange with a gentle pastel dusted tangerine torso. Lots of streamers run the gauntlet, rising quickly and collecting underneath the expansive head. Surefire off-white head is very active and immensely confident on the pour and subsequent top-ups; it rises quickly but settles slowly and gently whilst always retains a uniform cross-section. Once topped up, the Goblet of ‘15’ sat on my desk but was far from docile, it has all the life of a Larva-Lamp, the head slowly rescinding with the feisty streamers reflecting the light and projecting a shimmering golden-shred body. Attractive.

Nose: Gorgeous spicy hops, baking dough and a certain yeast character that seems to remind me of earlier Unibroue 10 and 11. Finishes with mild hints of white pepper. This disappears as it warms and develops a lovely herbal quality and fruity tangerine background that sits extremely well with the spicy hops and yeast. Solid aromas!

Taste: Fruity start with some traces of freshly cut Apple slices and soft Pear skins. The herbal laden spicy hops middle the brew and introduce some sweetness and a resilient yeasty aspect that reminds me of a wheat beer at times. Finish has tangerine and fruity hops which linger, for some time.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a forceful conditioning which supports the hardy carbonation levels, yet these never over run the palate. The texture is finely distributed and readily spreads itself over the tongue and cheeks imbuing a sense of well being. An enjoyable 10% libation that dares to entice you to sink a whole 750 without any fear of reprisal, I may end up sleeping in tomorrow though.

Drinkability: A wholesome treat from start to finish. Refreshing on the palate with a forceful carbonation that is far from dominating and allows the complexities of this brew to shine through. Damn drinkable.

Overall: As with the Unibroue 10 and 11, I am impressed. I am not fan of the darker “terribly boring” brews that Unibroue seem to have knocked out to much fanfare in the past years. Their strengths lie in producing this style of brew for my money. Influenced by the Belgians no doubt, this brew is a tasty fruity and spicy hopped treat that does not disappoint. Recommended. Cellar 1-2.

May 24, 2006
More User Reviews:
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Foxman from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a golden yellow, even orange in spots, cloudy and hazy with carbonation. Three fingers of tight, sculpted white head retain heartily and long. Sticky lacing lays taped to the inside of the glass.

The aroma grants a layer of toasted grain sweetness, as well as notes of banana, green apple, vanilla, coriander and clove. A light earthy sourness flirts with an air of alcohol in the background.

Upon tasting, there's a flash of malt and grain sweetness, fruity with apple and berries, and with a creamy vanilla touch along the tongue. A slight mintiness combines with clove and coriander to slide through the middle, in conjunction with a swipe of alcohol. A yeasty tanginess weds a mellow sourness toward the close, and the finish dries aptly to allow a soft bitterness to linger. While multi-layered, it doesn't present as especially busy, and it's capably sassy and tasty.

Medium bodied, the grain and spice and yeast unite to lend a tangible presence on the palate.

Like so many anniversary beers, it's big, but it's also nicely done across the board. And while it may not fascinate, that's mostly because it lulls you with goodness, and it surely does give a solid account of itself. The bigness is well represented in the ABV, but in a fetching, warming way. And in spite of its power, it is a joy to drink, though in moderation. This is something neither MacKenzie brother would drink, and that's fine, because that means more for the rest of us.

May 19, 2006
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PorterLambic from Florida

4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy apricot/yellow with a big, big barely off-white head over 2" tall.
Smell is fruity with clove, pepper, lemon and orange notes. Very nice balance.
Taste is amazing! Malt, wheat, fruits, sweet, alcohol, orange. OMNEG is there orange. The balance and complexity is un-fricking-believable.
Light effervescence, smooth with a capital "smoo", silky, full bodied but nowhere near overpowering. If you can get hold of a bottle, do it. You will not be disappointed.

Nov 15, 2007
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bold gold infused with orange juice. Abundant swirling yeast and lots of rapidly ascending bubbles can be seen immediately after the pour. The beer looks remarkably like a shaken snow globe. Too bad the soft, unsticky lid and the nearly clean glass are such downers.

The aroma follows the style guidelines to a 'T'. It's ripe orchard fruity (Golden Delicious apples and apricots) with an invigorating spiciness from all those circulating yeast. No letdown here.

Amazingly enough, I've only had one other BSPA from Unibroue (the solid Don De Dieu). 15 is more than solid. It's comparable to some of Belgium's finest, yet still falls a fraction short of world-class. It's also one of my favorite beers from these guys.

Thankfully, they've actually allowed some of the malt sugars to survive. In my opinion, too much Unibroue beer is overattenuated (thin and dry), which is the same 'problem' with most Jolly Pumpkin beer. This offering, though, is nicely sweet early, tangy in the middle, and snappy and dry late. Appreciable alcohol? None.

Fruitiness is perfectly complemented by zesty ground clove and white pepper spiciness. At two years and seven days of age, 15th Anniversary ale is drinking exceptionally well right... about... now! Actually, it probably has a few years left on it. Since it's unlikely to improve, why wait?

The mouthfeel, like all the rest, is in sublime balance. On the one hand, it's lightly viscous with just enough mouthcoating to provide flavor linger. On the other hand, it's expansive and well-carbonated without venturing anywhere near fizzy. In a word, it's Belgian-like.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of Unibroue (at least relative to their reputation), 15 is incredibly enjoyable beer. It's a fantastic BSPA with no shortage of depth and complexity. If you're aging a bottle, drink it now. If you're lucky enough to find it on the shelves, buy all you can carry. Excellent biere.

Jan 13, 2008
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just when it looked like Unibroue was going into near retirement mode come one of my new favourites from them.Big pop in cork. A saison in sight and spicy aroma. lace. Clean crisp spicy and orange taste, with refreshing carbonation that kicks into finish with hop bitterness on aftertaste. What did I pay? It was worth it.

Jul 09, 2006
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horshack7 from England

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a orange yellow with very foamy head about two fingers thick along with bubbles rising up from the bottom.

Aromas: Tons and tons of dried fruit notes along with small hints of nutmeg.

Taste: Incredible amounts of dried fruit flavors apples, apricots, and slight mango flavors hints of corriender. It carries a unique hop bitterness yet medium bodied.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and chewy.

Notes: This one is another well crafted beer from Unibroue very drinkable with a nice hop charachter. Cheers!

Jun 21, 2006
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blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out as quite the imputant little Duvel-esque pale straw light hue loaded with bubbles rising to a settled frothy pillowy headcap.

Scents are a doughy Belgian clove and floral note with a touch of fruity lemon esters that are overtaken by the spices. Plenty of vanilla notes compliment the nose.

First swigs: Mirror image of the nose with a powerful doughy and instantly dusty dry finish. A touch of heat in the possibly due to its new age? Some sugary tongue wacking and lashing going on.

Feel is a touch too foamy and frothy. Clean really, but still has a warm gullet feel.

Last swigs: A decent beer but Unibroue has become a one trick pony of late. Remember 2004?

May 18, 2006
WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Jul 03, 2013
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Billolick from New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, no freshness dating or vintage info. Nice looking gold etched graphics. Pours medium hazy soft golden amber, with a very long lasting near white head and leaving behind, fine stringy lacing. Exciting citric (lime), fruity, floral nose. This is a strong, flavorful brew, with notes of more citrus, doughy malts, yeasty herbaciousness, and quite present hoppy drying notes. Fine creation in brewing. Big time brew, highly recommended.

May 26, 2006
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Zorro from California

4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the glass this is a slightly hazy dark golden colored ale with a puffy white head that dies rather quickly.

Smell is strongly of apples at first, then the fruitiness abates and the other scents can come out. Mildly sweet and spicy with a tickle of black pepper, cinnamon and mint in my nose. Fruity and floral are a mix of apple and honeysuckle with a hint of lavender.

Taste is spicy and woody with a lit of apple and cotton candy flavor at the beginning with a decently bitter finish. Sweeter than Duvel this is nicely floral and spicy and actually has a bit of spice burn in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice and drinkable this doesn't seem to be up to Unibroue’s normal mind blowing standards. This is about in the same class as Duvel but no better. OK but nothing special here.

Dec 10, 2006
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bark from Sweden

3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is orange-yellow; the finger thick head is airy and off white. The liquid is a bit hazy.

The smell is fruity with quite a log of yeasty notes. Some alcohol and green apples.

The taste is quite sweet. Lots of green apples and other dry fruits and earthy minerals. The aftertaste got notes of apple juice, and some bitter hints. I couldn’t notice any alcohol at all.

The carbonation is strong, the liquid creamy.

This is not my favourite style, however I found this one balanced and well crafted.

Aug 04, 2007
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CortexBomb from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out hazy golden with a strong white head on top of it. This is textbook Belgian pale goodness. Smell is strongly of light fruits...pears in particular, and a strong wheaty tone is also present, along with a general estery aspect. Strong.

Taste starts out sugary sweet, and then rushes into the pear and esters from the nose. A spicy tinge also infests the flavour on the back of the tongue, and the malts are also present, lending body and a certain creaminess. The spice in this beer is unlike the usual, more peppery aspect that seems to be present in Unibroue's beer, this is more light, friendly, I'm at a bit of a loss to describe it. Finish is lightly hoppy, and the sweet spicy aspect of the flavour lingers. Quite tasty.

The mouth on this is what I would consider good for the style, there isn't a lot of hop action, but the mouth is full and completely enjoyable. It coats your tastebuds with Unibroue goodness. Drinkability is also very good, an easy drinking and very tasty beer.

Overall, despite some apparent missteps since the Sleeman's takeover, 15 is vintage Unibroue; great flavour, easy to drink, a pleasure to have in my goblet. Cheers for 15 great years guys!

Mar 15, 2006
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kbnooshay from New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Fancy 750 mm bottle with a cool gold "15" logo on it. This poured a gorgeous hazy swampy gold color with a white head. The head is composed of lots of miniscule bubbles that makes for an awesomely thick yet fizzy head.

s: Yeasty! The aroma was also full of banana, citrus, pepper, and other tasty spices.

t: Pleasant light bitterness. The spicey notes really rock here. Gets ya in the back of the mouth. The flavor here is kinda in between the mellow fruitier don de deiu and the spicier la fin du monde.

Mf/d: Mouthfeel is tingly and warm. I could drink so much of this! The alcohol is not detectable at all. This is pretty impressive for a 10% abv beer. Refreshing and potent.

Aug 09, 2006
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Beertracker from Oklahoma

4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Unibroue 15 (Fifteenth Anniversary Ale) is best served at cool cellar (40-45°F) temperatures from a tulip or pear shaped stemmed glass or goblet. This finely tuned Franco-Belgie Strong Ale pours up tall and noisily with a huge, pillowy white head that sits firmly over a rather hazy, deep golden-sunset orange body. The enticing aroma is filled with an intermingling of earthy (cilantro, tomato vine), spicy (cracked black pepper, whole cloves, coriander) & hugely fruity (dried apricot, bruised banana, poached pears) estery notes. There's plenty of alcoholic warmth underlying the spicy yeast notes along with a hint of honey-vanilla malt. The saturated flavor starts off very fruity with a soft, luscious candied maltiness that carries into a soft bitterness that gives way to a very earthy, spice dominated finish with a surreptitious alcoholic warmth. Unibroue 15 is a powerful elixir that shows just how dangerously drinkable this style can be. Here's to sweet sixteen!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Nov 10, 2006
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carln26 from Missouri

4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured from the bottle a hazy gold color with a thin bubbly head. The haze in the beer shows a bit of sediment that steeled quickly. The nose has a lot of citrus. Primarily lemon, but there is orange in there too. A nice bit of yeast character too, a little bread dough. Finally a light hint of caramel on the finish. The taste has more of the citrus. Wow, really palette awakening. More of the lemon/orange. Just a touch of white pepper, followed by light caramel and fig from the malt. The mouth feel is very fizzy, lively and light. Drinkability is good. This would make an amazing summer beer. It’s not for session drinking, but it has that light character I look for in summer beers.

Jun 04, 2006
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JanM from Sweden

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I thought Unibroue would make a great Christmas holiday beer but after tasting it I have changed my mind. It poured in a nice hazy, honey-yellow color with lots of bubbles and thick foam. A developed smell of yeast and fruits, perhaps apricots, and lemon. The taste was very sweet and a little bitter. Spicy with a strong presence of yeast and alcohol. Being a vintage beer and smelling so good it did bnot prove to be as overwhelming as I expected.

Jan 01, 2007
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NEhophead from Massachusetts

3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, light peach with flashes of gold. Delicate, carbonated head that leaves a centered, semi-intact sheet. Light, dimpled lace.

Musty, candied sweetness. Heavy peppered spice with a delicate whaff of diacetyl. Citrus, fruity esters.

Moderate candied sugar that engulfs a heavy spiced flavor profile: pepper, smokey corriander. Sweetened fruit: light banana, rounded pineapple. Very carbonated, slightly dry finish with an aftertaste of powdered sugar, alcohol, and corriander.

A light, medium bodied; sweet and creamy, but cut with a decent amount of carbonation.

The alcohol presence is fairly deceiving for a big ale so light on the palate. Easy drinking, but nothing too exciting in terms of flavor.

Mar 13, 2006
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Gagnonsux from Texas

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a hazy golden orange. Head is tall and thick, with a high level of retention. Aroma is enjoyably spicy with an underlying sweetness. A sip starts very spicy which rounds into a nice, candi sugar laced malt. Very fresh and flavorful, but not as complex as expected.

Jun 18, 2006
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Goldorak from Canada (QC)

3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well well...If it isn't the Beer Canadians weren't supposed to have access to, even though we're the ones who helped keep the ship afloat for all those years...Thanks Barry for bringing up this controversial Beer north of the border! I'd be lying if I didn't say that this one's already got two strikes against it...

Appearance: Opaque blondish with a few peachy notes, head is a nice and compact web of honeycomb bubbles.

Smell: The usual Unibroue yeast profile, but with a rootbeer like tangent.

Taste: Creamy caramel, a bit buttery (DMS?), I found it quite thick and sugary, with a little cooked vegetables (asparagus and cabbage) and just a whole lot of alcohol. To be fair, this was sampled after 4 consecutive 5-star lambics, so maybe my palate was a little whacked, but it really seems like the yeast they use has played itself out, and that they're running short of ideas. Like the Edition 2005, maybe it could gain to sit in the cellar a few years, but I won't go out of my way to have it again.

Mar 05, 2006
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark golden color with a bountiful head that leaves loads of splashy lacing

Smell: Banana yeast esters, along with some coriander and white pepper

Taste: Starts with a light fruity banana flavor; after the swallow some depth of flavors (caramel, coriander and pepper) kick in to provide a nicely balanced finish; as the beer warms, there is a distinct barnyard tinge that kicks in

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderately high carbonation

Drinkability: A much more subtle version of Fin du Monde - much easier to drink, too

Jun 05, 2006
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kmpitz2 from Tennessee

3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a super clear and bright, light golden color wtih a finger of head that falls to a solid coat over top. Good cascade of bubbles flow from the bottom of the glass. Nose is nice and fruity. I get notes of pineapple, mango, and some moderate banana. Behind this, there is a healthy dose of spiceyness and a puff of alcohol. Nice smell. Flavor is a little more subtle than the nose. Solid banana, light lemon, just a touch of graineyness, and a touch of spiceyness from the yeast. Very tasty. Feel is thick, with a nice healthy carbonation that cuts it down and keeps drinkability good. Overall, the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Its a bit there in the nose, but not in the flavor. I think this one will blend a little better in the flavor as it sits for a while, but this is still nice. I like it.

Mar 03, 2006
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Franchise from Oregon

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a blood orange leaving a thin white lace that disappears quickly. The body is cloudy and moderatly carbonated with a slight alcohal presence. The smell is spicy, wheaty, musty, fresh cut grass, with a pale malt honey notes. The taste is sweet upfront, honey and a sharp hop bite that perfectly matches the sweetness in the brew. This is another great offering from Unibroue.

May 26, 2006
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DrJay from Texas

3.36/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed straw yellow colour topped by a big, rocky, white head. The nose is bready and yeasty, with some citrus and a bit of a musty aroma. Sharp carbonation hits you at the start and it's quite sweet. There's some apple in there, along with the standard Unibroue yeast flavour. Fizzy carbonation, medium body. This beer is alright, but certainly not inspired. I questioned whether I was just bored of the brewery at this point, but a recent bottle of Trois Pistoles told me otherwise.

Apr 25, 2006
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BeTheBall from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper color in my Duvel glass with a foamy two finger head. Minimal lacing down the glass as she emptied. Aroma was slightly tart and sweet at the same time, with some hops in the background. Taste was at first a touch tart, but balanced by hops to dry it out, almost like candy in a way. Very tasty, and very good with my dinner as a pairing. Mouthfeel was full. Drinkability is good, thanks to rich flavor and aromas.

Jun 11, 2010
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden, big white head forms, some lacing, and good retention. Smell is sweet, sugary, wheat, spices, citrus, some yeast and a weird funk. Taste is sweet with lots of citrus, wheat, spice and yeast. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with high carbonation. Tastes like almost everything else Unibroue puts out, except not as good. Not bad, but far from outstanding. Thanks DrJay!

Apr 13, 2006
Unibroue 15 from Unibroue
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 252 ratings