Unibroue 15 | Unibroue

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Unibroue 15Unibroue 15
252 Ratings
Unibroue 15Unibroue 15

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ypsifly on 02-17-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 |  Reviews: 213
Photo of zonker17
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of jbertsch
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of amstelcat
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of JayStewart
4.94/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Apricot color. Consumed January 2008, so two years old. Thick, fine, bubbly off-white head. Yeasty, fruity nose. Smooth, creamy, complex brew. Apricots, tangerines. Great mouth feel. Almost chewy. Nobody outside Belgium does Belgian better than Unibroue. Outstanding!

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Photo of StephenRich
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

For 4 years this beer has sat eagerly in my cellar. It was pushed to the back a long time ago, and had only seen the light of day a few days ago when I brought it forth, out of exile. Although I would hardly consider it exile, more like thoughtful maturation. It is the Unibroue 15, a Belgian-Style Tripel which Unibroue crafted to celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2006.

This beer was designed by one of the best brewers of Belgian style beers this side of Belgium, and beer after beer they always blow my mind. I have had a few of the anniversary Unibroue Vintages before, so I was very excited to try this one; it would be the oldest I have ever be able to enjoy. I didn't really know how long I would save it for, and really, it probably would have enjoyed its rest for a few more years. But with my brother and some good friends over I decided that the time was right, and I would let this magical beer shine.

The 15 comes in a classic Belgian style 750ml corked bottle at 10% abv. It is bottle conditioned of course, and along with its higher alcohol content makes it an excellent ageing candidate. I was really very excited for this beer. If you have never had any of Unibroue's beers before you really should. They have a delicious range of classic ales, and a remarkable line of complex and mouth watering specialty beers.

I opened the 15 up cool around 10C (50F) and poured it gently into a Unibroue Tulip. The pour was smooth and silky but with lush and rumbling life. It built and amber orange beer shinning with golden yellow, copper, and bright bronze from every angle. The beer was totally opaque swirling with yeast and bubbles, and while not dark, would let no light through it. A deep and wide haze formed inside the beer hinting at its complexity and round flavors. A fluffy white head formed two inches above the beer, with the bubbles exploding relatively quickly as the fresh air pierced their cell walls.

The nose was mellow sweet with lush and sticky malt flavors that brought on a wide complexity of aromas. Juicy orange, light brown sugar, hints of tart apricot, pale malts, butterscotch, applesauce and a yeasty fresh spice all tickled off my nose with smooth grace. The aromas showed great warmth and gentle spice with a gooey malt, and dried fruit backbone. The slight yeast brought forward a classic tripel aroma, but it was more subdued than I would have normally expected, hinting at this beers age and maturity.

As I rose the glass to my lips the aromas become more powerful and I could taste them on my tongue even before they got there. The first wave of the 15 was incredibly smooth and creamy brining a thick spread of malt sweetness and fruit flavor. Pale and light crystal malts marry with orange flesh and apricot in a warming harmony as light citrus and spice fade along behind.

Light brown sugar, yellow raisins, plums, prunes and dates are all a light shadow in the big pale malt and orange sensations but are easily noticeable with yeasty zest, sweet lemon tartness, and spice. Mashed apples glide in from the sides and show a rotten green apple flavor that works perfectly with big malts and Belgian yeast. I know rotten apple sounds wrong, but it is right here, and works its magic in this beer.

This beer was bottled on January the 6th, 2006 - so was therefore 4 years, 7 months and 2 days old when I opened and enjoyed it. It showed massive complexity and maturity at every angle. I was astonished at how creamy and silky the mouthfeel was, but a light and effervescent carbonation kept it light on its feet and fresh in your palate. The more I sipped this beer, and especially as it warmed, new and delicious flavors would make their way in. I started to get vanilla, orange zest came out further, cinnamon and clove began to show, and more and more yeast brought fresh earthy flavors.

This beer was a masterpiece, and I severely wish that I had more bottles of it. It showed amazing balance, lush and distinct flavors, and a sublime mouthfeel, and a clean and satisfying finish. I imagine that when younger the 15 probably showed more tart, and sharp flavors with a ripe fruit sensation. Age has really created a smooth and elegant beer with a terrific range of flavor and complexity. Truly a world-class beer, thank you Unibroue!

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amazingly complex beer. I tried it both before and after the lees pour.

Pours a hazy, dim gold into my tulip glass, with 1.5 finger head that laces nicely and has good retention. The aroma is very complex - spicy and a bit of overripe tropical fruit. The yeast is prominent in the nose, with some unidenfiable light "toastyness" to it.

Taste is amazing. I could probably identify something different with every sip. There is an undertone of papaya and very ripe mango, in my opinion. The yeast is always present, but keeps presenting a different angle. At first its crisp and spicy, and it becomes nuttier (cashews, almonds) and chewier as the ale warms. Never was there a hint of the 10% ABV. This ale goes down so smooth, and is so interesting, that you want more and more. I wish I had gotten another one. Amazing Belgian Strong Pale. Best Unibroue offering yet, IMHO.

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Photo of phil7568
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this one for a while. I purchased one bottle nearly two years ago and I've been waiting for a special occasion. Well, I guess a boring mid-week night has become a special occasion.

Price tag is still on the bottle. I paid $8.99.

This pours a nice pumpkin orange.

This is a delicious beer. A rich black pepper spiciness is soon overwhelmed by a pleasent fruitiness. The finish is all apple. Carbonation is perfect.

This is an amazingly refreshing brew. I can't believe this is 10%. I sure wish I had more.

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Photo of beersabound
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had no idea what to expect from this one with its uniformative but stylish bottle. I would classify this as a belgian golden ale. But that's because I bought into the BJCP guidlines and they don't have a Belgain Strong Pale category. Anyways, this beer was outstanding. It was bright and effervescent with a big sturdy head. The aroma was of spicy hops dancing a waltz with mild notes of pear and bubble gum. The color was dark gold. The mouthfeel was full becasue of high carbonation and a light/medium body. The flavor was very well balanced with minimal residual sugar and a mild aftertaste and it was super easy to drink. This one could be dangerous if left in the right hands. I could have drank the whole 750ml by myself with out a problem. That is, until an hour later when I'd be hugging the toilet.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of ASymon13
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm still able to buy this on shelves and I'm still loving it.

It pours a cloudy orangish, with a nice fluffy white head.

The smell comes off with a nice spicyness, with an abundance of some very pleasant sweet fruit notes, and a dash of some bready malts.

The spicyness and sweet fruitiness really come through in the taste but it is still wonderfully balanced. There is a dash of some phenols and the alcohol is felt more than actually tasted. Some hops come through, but they take the back seat to the other flavors.

It is still fairly light bodied and the carbonation is very pleasant and I feel appropriate for the style as it is not overdone.

I usually sip on a bottle of this for almost 2 hours and it never gets old. I definitely will be picking up the last of these when I see them to hold as reserves.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with two fingers of fluffy/bubbly white head and a bit of lacing
S - Belgian yeast, alcohol, candied sugar, light fruitiness and a bit of wheat
T - Pungent yeast flavors take over with a slight booziness, some wheat and a touch of fruit
M - Medium-bodied, well carbonated, refreshing
D - The alcohol is there but certainly not what you'd expect with 10abv, somehow Unibroue has really mastered that. It's refreshing...and dangerous.

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Photo of mynie
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been holding on to this one for a loooong time.

Pours nearly as purty as does Duvel. Giant white head with glistening champagne bubbles atop candied honey orangeyellow.

Smells of strong white peppers, cloves, black peppers, and wonderfully fiery Belgian yeast. Smells better than Duvel, actually. Woah.

Tastes great but slightly imperfect. All the peppry burniness of a good Belgian Strong Pale is here (like a witbier mixed with fire and caramel), but there's a slightly off medicinal aftertaste that takes things down just a wee bit. Nothing close to ruining the beer, but it does ruin its perfection.

Wonderful. Grab a bottle if you can find one.

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Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL corked and caged bottle stamped in gold.

Crisp and bubbly gold-straw in color with a quicky dissipating white head and strong carbonation. Aromas of dry wheat, soft fruits, and candy sugar. Flavor is light but complex - crisp and dry up front, sparkling on the tongue. The alcohol content then takes over, leaving the mouth slick and warm in the finish but somehow without being heavy or intrusive. Elements of soft fruits (apple, apricot, peach, lemon), Belgian yeast, some pepper, more wheat.

Effortless to consume, like fleetingly crisp velvet (if that makes any sense at all, which I'm not sure it does).

A masterfully light, complex brew.

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Photo of spointon
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 750ml brown bottle into my New Belgium globe style glass. I picked up this 3 year old bottle from a decent store for $5.99!

A= This ale poured a chill hazy deep gold color with a 2" snow white head. The head settled to a solid 1/4" cap that stayed all the way to the end. Just a few streaks of lace.

S= Sweet malts flash in quick, then get replaced by candi sugar and tropical fruit. Fruitiness was solid but not cloying - Sort of a tropical fruit Pez (but in a good way). Midway the yeast really asserts its funk aroma and takes the sweetness down a notch. Mild alcohol scent on the end of each sniff.

T= Solid pale malt base layed down a biscuity sweetness, followed by a heady blend of apricot/mango and green apple/pear. Midway there is a bit of spiciness and then some chalky yeast character. Finish was pleasantly tart and dry toward the end. Very little alcohol taste, yet the warming of the throat and chest was there.

MF= Medium body and the signature Unibroue effervescent crisp feel. IMO, these guys wrote the book on beautiful Belgian carbonation.

D= Very drinkable strong ale here. One could say dangerously drinkable. I will be on the lookout for more "pre-aged" bottles of this one!

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Photo of dogger6253
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured out into my snifter glass a rich, golden, orange color with a half inch of pillowy, white head. The head faded almost instantly into a ring around the glass all the way through the end. Tons and tons of bubbles jetting up to the top, looks a lot like a dark champagne or something.

The smell is wonderful, very fruity with notes of apples, grapes, apricots and bananas. There's hints of fresh bread balancing it all out and that trademark Unibroue spiciness. The aromas seemed to become more and more pronounced as I drank it.

The taste is equally as impressive. Up front, there are many of the fruits I noticed in the smell: bananas, grapes, apricots, dates, almost unnoticeable hops flavor and a very mild yeast taste. The finish is spicy, not overpowering at all, but a flavor that lingers after each sip. It's wonderful.

Medium bodied and loaded with carbonation, this just dances in your mouth. There's a slight warming sensation that you expect, but it comes on really subtly. This was a great tasting beer, but due to alcohol level and the slight bite of carbonation, I can't see drinking a ton of this in a sitting, but I would definitely drink a ton of it over time. Big props to Unibroue.

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Photo of jzlyo
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma is a complex mix of dark fruit/raisins and fruit. The flavor is dark fruit, mild raisins, yeast, malts and a mix of mild funk and warming alcohol in the finish. From my college days, wish this wasn't a one-off special, it was awesome.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my wide, shallow Rochefort goblet a rich mostly clear gold with a fuzzy yellow-white head. I suspect the head would be thicker and have better retention were a tulip glass used. Lacing is minimal to none, but it gives off a nice, richly glowing aura nonetheless.

The smell is intense - It hit my nose as soon as the beer was uncorked, and grew stronger upon hitting the glass, wafting up to nearly fill the room. Hmmm... WOW.. Duvel has some serious competition here. Matter of fact, it smells better. I'm making the decision now. Intense aromas of lemon, orange, and banana are mixed with light clove and bready yeast - it makes my mouth water very hard. It's got all the best characteristics of Belgian yeast with none of the unpleasantness I sometimes encounter. I honestly think Unibroue does Belgian better than Belgium.

Ummm, I'd better hurry up before I finish the glass, or I won't be able to do a proper review! it's so damn tasty, I'm just quaffing it down! There is tons of peaches and apricots in the flavor, deep, rich - yet very light, very easy to drink, smooth and happily alcoholic. Slight spice balances the zippy, sweet fruitiness. All I can say is - it's delicious.

Alcohol is warm, but not intrusive, and the body is light, bright, and happy. It leaves a slightly dry, slightly sticky aftertaste. Good stuff.

Final thoughts: Well - I think I've got a new favorite strong pale Belgian.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up two 750 mL bottles of Unibroue 15 at Downtown Wine and Spirits a couple weeks ago. I decided to have one tonight and save the other for cellaring. I let this warm up to around 45ºF and served in one of my Duvel Tulips.

Appearance: The pressure inside the bottle shot the cork across my room. Pours a hazy amber-golden, with a thick fluffy head, and large champagne-like bubbles that stream from the etching at the bottom of my tulip. Good head retention, with patchy lace clinging to the side of the glass. The head eventually fades to a thin layer, but reemerges readily upon swirling.

Smell: Upon opening and pouring I noticed a strong earthy yeasty smell. In the nose there's a light sweetness, an orange-cream aroma, bananas, peppery spice, and a light graininess.

Taste: When the carbonation dies down sweet malts are evident upfront. These are eclipsed by a citric tartness that becomes evident in the center. I also get fruity notes of sour apple and banana. Finishes with a nice bitterness, with notes of spice and alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel: Vigorous carbonation, medium-bodied, smooth, with a slightly oily feel. The finish is mildly dry.

Drinkability: Despite being 10% alcohol by volume, this beer is delicious and easy to drink. I'll have to go back to DW&S and buy them out of this one.

Overall: A great example of the style. It's hard to compare to the other beers in this series since I haven't had them in so long, but overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of champ103
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden/orange color. A large pillowing white head forms that takes a minute to recede. A bit of patchy lace.
S: The aroma is what I would expect for a BSPA. Fruity malt: peaches, apples, and some plumbs. Just a bit of musk/funk that is typical for the style. Overall, very pleasant.
T: A sweetness and tartness that follows the style, but it does not dominate. A wonderful fruitiness that follows the nose. The more sips I take, the more I like this beer. I actually detect some sherry notes as well. Complex.
M/D: A medium body that is light and creamy. Carbonated just to my liking. Most examples of this style are way over-carbonated. Not this one. Very easy and smooth to drink. The 10% ABV is almost unnoticeable.

Unibroue sure nows how to make Belgium Pale Ales. The style usually leaves me wanting more. This beer whoever is great. There are a lot of wine and sherry flavors that I can't describe accurately. There are so many complexities. One sip reveals some great fruity flavors. Another sip reveals some woody sherry notes. Amazing.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.52/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this bottle at the Leon Pub while I was studying for finals. The bartender retrieved it from the back refridgerator.

Medium gold hue with almost no haze. Nice eggshell two fingerhead. The smell is divine. Smells of yeast, pear and bannana. Tastes sweeter than most strong pale belgians or tripels. Very fruity and estery. The pear shows up again, followed by a slight hop bitterness. This one gets increasingly tart as it warms and the alcochol begins to show as well. A lot of carbonation, but slightly creamy.

Amazingly drinkable and one of the best Belgian strong pale ales I have had. I had no problem putting down one of the bigg bottles by myself, although it did take a little over an hour. This is an excellent beer, well worth the $11 I paid for it at the pub. I will go back for seconds.

I had this one again a year later and the bitterness had actually increased. A lingering bitterness, that was unique but not great for this beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked & caged (I'm pretty sure this is the only package it's available in).

Opens with a pop! It pours a cloudy orange-yellow body beneath a massive head of fluffy white foam. It eventually dies down, but flumes of tiny bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass maintaining a tight 1/4" of bright white foam throughout the goblet. It also leaves very nice, thin but solid walls of lace throughout at least the first half of the glass.

The aroma is certainly not immense, but it is alluring. It's yeasty, and a touch spicy (clove and mild black pepper) over sweetish, lightly candyish malt. Mild fruity notes of orange and lemon give it some zest.

It's medium bodied and initially zesty in the mouth, but as it warms and some of the carbonation is released it becomes remarkably soft and smooth.

The flavor is very much like the aroma, restrained but beckoning another taste; offering sugar-coated slices of apple with a background of candied ginger, mild vanilla, and unbelievably balanced spice. The combination of alcohol and carbonation warm as it runs to the stomach. It offers an intensely long lasting finish of sweet honey-ish malt, light spice and gentle bitterness.

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Photo of geetlord
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a clear golden yellow with a white and foamy head
The aroma was sweet and yeasty hints of apple and other fruits
Teh taste was very charicteristic of unibroue's yeasts. it was slightly sweet and tart with light seet malts a mildly tart finish and some alcohol in the aftertaste.

I found this to be a good Unibroue beer, kind of like a more complex Fin du Monde

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Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy apricot color with a low wispy off-white head and nice active carbonation up the middle. Fruity, yeasty tripel-ish aroma and flavor; a touch of alcohol on the nose but not the tongue. Nice smooth fruity character that leads to easy drinking considering the ABV. Medium bodied and smooth with a fruity finish; not dry at all.

Would have bought again for sure but can no longer find.

Per bottle: "Celebrating Our 15th Anniversary"

Bottled: 01/06/06
Tasted: 04/19/07

($7.99 / 750ml / 25.4 oz tall straight brown wine-style bottle, corked, and caged)

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Photo of Pamola
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caged and Corked

I've had this bottle for almost a year.

Poured into a Unibroue Chalice a nice cloudy pale yellow color, awesome carbonation, huge two-finger plus creamy white head, which then leaves some awesome creamy sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is malty, yeasty, fruity (citrus), some spices. The taste if very nice, mostly malty/yeasty, nice touch of fruits and spices. Medium body, a nice well rounded complex brew. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Unibroue, highly recommended.

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Unibroue 15 from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 252 ratings