Trois Pistoles

Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #5
Ranked #1,140
4.26 | pDev: 10.56%
Quebec, Canada
Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles
Notes: Drawing on Quebec folklore, Unibroue chose the name Trois Pistoles to honour the city’s historic importance and pay homage to the legend of the Black Horse. Conjured up by a priest to help build a new church, this incarnation of the devil ran off when its bridle was removed. Because construction was still underway when the horse vanished, a stone remains missing from the church to this day.
Reviews: 2,102 | Ratings: 5,186 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle has been sitting in my beer fridge for about 3 years at 45-50F.

Murky, caramel brown with a decent inital foam head that rises to the top of the tulip glass -- yeast dregs spin darker colours into the head.

Medicinal, grassy, just a touch, with liquor soaked sweet cherries, hint of chocoloate.

Bone dry, soft mealy mouthfeel. Alcohol is high, but very hidden, very spooky, lending a nice spicy character to the flavour and blending with a chocolate malt flavour (brownie-like). Soft cherry flavours. Sweet caramel, bready flavour holds things up. Hops are grassy, but not overpowering. Alcohol comes back for a second haunt, this time warming the gullet and head. Mineral towards the finish with dry baked chocolate residuals, some spice and faded esters.

I have found my god. It's lives in all bottles of Trois Pistoles -- 3 year old bottles, but godly nonetheless.

Sep 17, 2002
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

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

Presentation: 12oz brown twist with a bottled on date on the back label.

Appearance: Tawny amber brown with a thin tan lace that does not subside.

Smell: Grassy with a barn yard / horse blanket and a mild tartness in the aroma.

Taste: Crisp carbonation with a chewy malt palate that has toasted and chocolate undertones. Very rich and spicy with hints of black pepper. Alcohol is quite evident allowing some sweetness to the taste buds and also lending a hand to the spicy flavours. The rest of the palate is on the dry side with an underlying grainy, herbal and earthy taste throughout.

Notes: Another spectacular brew from one of the best breweries from Canada. Big enough to pair up with the most robust meals or just to sip the cold winter months away. Packed with complex flavours and deviously drinkable at 9% abv.

Mar 09, 2002
More User Reviews:
Photo of Bartleby91
Bartleby91 from Wisconsin

4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/3/13 and poured into a snifter.

The appearance is a really murky brown with a good amount of yeast sediment settling on the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is dark fruits, floral spiciness, chocolate malt sweetness, brown sugar and some nice estery yeast notes.

The tastes are sweet up front with dark fruits, bready malt sweetness, brown sugar and yeasty estery note. Also a nice floral spiciness.

The palate is medium plus with a substantial malt sweetness and alcohol spice lingering well. Nice and creamy finish.

Overall this is an awesome quadruple/ Belgian Strong Dark. A great beer for the price and how well it ages. One of the best beers I've had of this style.

Feb 12, 2017
Photo of Premo88
Premo88 from Texas

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into vertical goblet
(best by 10-20-2019 printed on bottle)

L: murky plum topped by huge head of tan foam, very Belgian abbey ale look with foam nearly pouring out of bottle and that dark brown-amber color that's nearly purple; 100% opaque; head is slightly sticky; keeps a full skin and almost half-a-finger-tall collar; clearing up a bit on the edges and at the bottom; not much lacing but still classic all around

S: dusty yeast, dark dried fruits, dates, raisin bread, raisins; as it warms takes on a much "lighter" overall presence, toasted apricots, toasted apricot or peach kolache, powdered sugar, and all of that mixing with the darker dates/raisins notes

T: dark ... raisins, nearly bitter earth or burnt malt, but with plenty of that evening-out sweetness of plum and brewer's candi sugar; the earthy aftertaste lingers; that earthy flavor, both up front and in the aftertaste, has a hop spiciness to it, like potent Old World hops ... not sure if it is, in fact, hops, but if not it's doing a good imitation

F: super-charged carbonation and light-midweight liquid creates that fluffy abbey ale mouth that's too good to be true; it's still percolating as you drink it, yet it's not stinging or harsh

O: a truly "dark" ale leaning more on the raisin/licorice side of the quad/Belgian dark spectrum with only hints of the plum/dates lighter side; normally my preference is for those lighter notes, but this darker dark is too good to pick any nits ... a wonderful beer all around with that Belgian yeast popping and giving it all the life you expect from a well-made abbey ale; best of all: it comes in 4-packs! this beer might go on full-time rotation in my fridge

Jul 16, 2017
Photo of Fear4Beer
Fear4Beer from Pennsylvania

4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'll keep it short. So drinkable, smooth, no taste of alcohol, but dangerous at 9%abv. Dark with taste of dark fruits, yeast and brown sugar.

Blended absolutely perfect! One of my favorite beers ever!

Feb 03, 2015
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brown and mahogany color with a dense and gloriously tall bubbly and foamy head. It retains well and leaves nice semi sticky lace patterns.
In the nose it consists of dark bread, a slight touch of cocoa, dark fruit such as prune, fig and dark grape, slight bubblegum, and finally, a generous helping of spices; cinnamon and clove are prominent. A nice bouquet of complexity.
The taste and feel are a heavenly treat. Creamy, velvety and smooth. Medium to full but so fluffy and drinkable at the same time. Great complexity of flavor. Dark fruits, especially musty grape, provide a wine like texture. Their is a subtle coating of cocoa or dark malt creaminess, which is felt in the finish. The spices, particularly clove, are also felt in the finish. Mid palate, the brew becomes increasingly peppery. There is even the tiniest splash of hops that adds the most minimal bitterness possible. Oh yeah...I forgot...this has 9% ABV??!! I could not is that well masked.
This one is delightful. Perhaps my favorite from Unibroue thus far.

Dec 13, 2016
Photo of untitledeuphoria
untitledeuphoria from New York

4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best before 12.12.14. Drank 10.18.14. Poured from a cork and caged bomber into a 12oz Tulip after having warmed up for 15min or so.

A: Pours a dark rose brown, murky, like muddy lake water. One finger of tan head which crackles and fizzles away immediately. I can't say it is the most visually appealing beer in the world, but it has a certain amount of intrigue to it.

S: Oh baby, there it is, there is that Unibroue mastery. Dark fruits up front...raisin, plum, ripe pear, and cherry. If it stopped there that would be satisfying enough, but there is a walloping load of rum and dark chocolate lurking with a smattering of mellow winter spices and sweet malt. The aroma is out of this world, painstakingly complex, but in no way overwhelming.

T: Sweet, almost wine like in its layering and finish. Dark fruit once again, predominately raisin, plum, and fig. Malty, yeasty, with hearty winter spicing. So many strong flavors that the alcohol is nowhere worth giving a damn.

M: Dry and highly carbonated. Similar to a red wine that bounces along the tongue. Chewy, with a smooth, spiced finish. Lingering alcohol warmth, like wrapping up in one of grandma's quilts on a cold fall morning.

O: This beer is a spectacle. It has everything you could want out of the style, and then just shows off for good measure. Quite possibly the pinnacle of Unibroue.

Oct 26, 2014
Photo of DVMin98
DVMin98 from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've seen this beer everywhere. Always ignored it. Then saw my buddy check it in on another app. Said how much he loved it. Well, I can be a follower. Poured into a Westy XII goblet. Nice dark color. Minor fiz. Smell is dark fruit. Flavor is nice fig/plum. Really delicious. Sometimes, you gotta just pull what's on the shelf. There's a reason beers like this are everywhere...cuz they're awesome! Will be doing this more often

May 22, 2017
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe from Michigan

3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, murky, swampy brown color, completely opaque. Some very minor hints of ruby can be seen when held up to direct lighting. A very fine-bubbled, beige head forms with decent retention, though lacing is minimal at best. One whiff of this stuff and it's very clear that it's a Belgian style ale. Belgian yeast abound, hints of dark, fruity esters, light banana, spices, clove, plums, and mild phenol. The aroma isn't nearly as strong, sweet, or abundant as many other BSDAs, which is somewhat of a let down. Naturally, things get a little better as it warms up, but I was still expecting a bigger punch out of this one.

The taste matches the nose quite well - earthy esters, dirty, slightly musky hop bitterness, sweet prunes and dates, spicy yeast, clove, pumpernickel and rye toast, light caramel-like malts, very faint molasses and sugar. Some grape skin flavors are there as well, which mesh with the alcohol character to produce a wine-like sweetness that comes out at the end. Nice mix of yeasty-fruity with spicy-earthy; there isn't one flavor that severly overpowers any other, so if there's one thing this BSDA does extremely well - it's balance. Much like the aroma, I would've like the flavor to be a bit bigger and bolder. The body was even a little thinner than I would expect for this still, medium at best, with a high amount of carbonation. The aftertastes dies down with some spice grape and apple skin esters erring on the earthy side of things, maybe with a touch of clove and spice.

Maybe I was being a little too critical because I had such high hopes for this beer after many recommendations from friends and such high ratings on this sight. Don't get me wrong, this beer is damn good, balanced excellently, and certainly unique. But it doesn't quite hit "blow-me-away" status. Something I definitely wouldn't turn down if offered, and certainly not bad at only 8$ for a bomber.

Feb 04, 2013
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – The thick and dark, almost black, body sits underneath a big head.

Smell – Typical aroma for the style. The dark fruits come out at first, followed closely by the big, dark, bready yeast scents. This is a beautiful fragrance.

Taste – The yeast comes out even bigger here. It is a wonderful flavor, and complimented well by the fruits from the smell. Prunes, raisins, plums, and overly-ripe apricots meld with some banana and tobacco for an excellent flavor.

Behind this comes the yeasty bread. If you’ve ever made fresh bread and taken a taste of the yeast and sugar mix before all the flour is added, this is it. A baker would appreciate this flavor. It is absolutely phenomenal.

Mouthfeel – I like the big carbonation of this brew, but it may be just a tad off style. But, in the end, this feels great.

Drinkability – The big carbonation slows one down a bit, but this is a work of art.

Comments - It’s hard to overachieve in this category, but Unibroue has once again come up with a winner.

Update – I reviewed this initially with a 2003 and thought it would be interesting to review a 2004 vintage. This beer just blows me away. I can’t believe that it’s not brewed in Belgium. I just love so many things about it, but that dark yeast flavor just puts me in heaven. I juggled some ratings around to include upping the Drinkability to a perfect 5.0.

Sep 03, 2003
Photo of do_ob
do_ob from Kentucky

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours a light-medium brown and settles as a dark, burnt cherry color in the glass. About 2 fingers of head initially, bright and bubbly on composition; this receded down to a dense lacing after a couple minutes. On the nose, red & white grapes, sourdough, figs, smoked leather, oak, dark fruit, and sweet fruit (mango/apricot). Sweet, crunchy, dried dark fruit on the taste initially, accompanied by light notes of leather, chocolate, oak, organic spice, and bready, toasted malt. Quite complex, and very enjoyable. The feel is on the lighter side, but damn near perfect. No hint of booziness anywhere throughout, and as easy to drink as anything you 've had.

Overall, very freakin' good. I can't help but compare this to Rochefort 8, which is my favorite Belgian beer ever. This is close, but not quite as good. Still an incredible beer.

Mar 07, 2016
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yeasty brick red with a generous amount of dark bronze (center) and ripe orange (edges). Unfortunately, the head doesn't look anywhere near as good as the beer itself. Ecru in color, it has that somewhat harsh, unsticky texture that neither looks good nor deposits much lace. Or, in this case, any lace.

The nose is enjoyable, but it isn't strong enough or complex enough for this strong, complex style. It's primarily dark fruity, on the order of unsweet dates and dried figs (not dark enough for raisins and not light enough for apples and pears). There's also a moderate amount of an indeterminate, musky spice.

Trois Pistoles is good beer that doesn't blow me away. I'm still waiting for the Unibroue beer that will blow me away. Like most of their offerings, this one is on the lighter side of the style spectrum. Light is appropriate for a witbier or a hefe weizen, but I think BSDAs should be big, bold, spicy, and semi-chewy. That isn't to say that the beer isn't enjoyable, just that it doesn't fit my favored profile for the style.

Sweet and bitter fight to a draw, with spicy fruit maintaining center stage throughout. It isn't as spicy as say... oh, your average Belgian BSDA, but it's no shrinking violet either. The fruit comparison isn't obvious in beer that's this unsweet, but it's there. Dark caramel and even carob notes are present as well.

The mouthfeel is enjoyable if you like light and airy BSDAs rather than full ones. Although the carbonation is finely fizzy when beer first meets tongue, it fades quickly. Again, not my idea of perfection, but someone has to hold down the left edge of the bell curve.

I had high hopes for Unibroue Trois Pistoles. Why, exactly, I have no idea, since nothing that this brewery has yet released (that I've tasted) has lived up to the hype. I've found that the higher alcohol brews (Maudite, La Fin Du Monde, Don De Dieu) have been more to my liking than their lower alcohol counterparts. That said, they still can't hold a candle to the Belgian originals. This is good beer, but it isn't even close to special.

Feb 19, 2006
Photo of aracauna
aracauna from Georgia

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This may sound odd but the flavor reminded me a bit of watermelon. Maybe it was the esters combined with some of the other yeasty flavors but it was interesting. Smells like a good belgian should. Not as spicy as some, but the estery fruitiness is good. Having trouble with some of the spicier belgians, this is a good beer to me. It had less of the fuzzy mouthfeel that a lot of Belgians have. I think that's a good thing as some feel too fuzzy.

Jul 15, 2002
Photo of tommy78
tommy78 from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like a previous reviewer, brought a four pack from Quebec and poured it into a Trois Pistoles glass. A very dark, brown colour with serious head filled the glass. The head quickly dissolved, but it revealed an intense, yeast aroma. I also noticed a slight odor of fruit. The taste is is my favorite: quick and to the point. The taste of malt, fruit, and spices did not hang around in my mouth as some other Belgian types tend to do. It left a sweet taste on the palate. This beer goes well with any poultry-based dinners. One of my favorites from Unibroue.

Jan 26, 2007
Photo of jmalex
jmalex from Pennsylvania

4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I think this might be my favorite beer. Maybe. I dunno, but this is one of the first beers that completely blew me away. My tasted have matured a lot since then, so we'll see.

APPEARANCE: Pours a very dark brown with some vague crimson highlights into my Trois Pistoles chalice. The off-white head starts out decent, but shrinks to a medium collar and large patch of bubbles floating on the surface.

SMELL: The smell is amazing and balanced between all the right aromas. The signature bready Unibroue yeast stands out as it does in all their beers. Dark fruits come out in cherry, plum, and raisin aromas. A slight alcohol accentuation comes with an all-spice-type spiciness.

TASTE: The flavor sneaks in, but comes through big time. The yeast works perfectly with the huge fruity flavors this beer brings. The finish starts out a bit sweet, but then drops out as stealthily as it came in. What you're left with is just a fleeting hint of what you just drank, demanding another sip.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-bodied but it seems much lighter. The carbonation is just off the level of high and effervescent but still within acceptable levels.

DRINKABILITY: Off the charts. No alcohol is detectable whatsoever. This beer CANNOT possibly be 9%. I'm only drinking the 355mL bottle today, but I think all of my future Trois Pistoles purchases will be 750mL.

Yeah, what a fantastic beer. Is it my favorite? That's a tough call - one too tough to make. But let's just say that I'll be stocking up for as long as this beer exists.

Jan 21, 2008
Photo of vancurly
vancurly from Australia

3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, hazy, chestnut edges. Beige foam.

Berry aromas. Cool. Subtle spice, with slight tropical notes.

Very spicy profile, with hints of musk, pepper, coriander seed. Kind of like a dark wit....

Medium body, full mouthfeel, with little bitterness.

Apr 02, 2007
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse from California

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Trois Pistoles pours a dark brown cloudy hue with a solid 1-2 finger foam head with some lovely sea wave lacing.

The aroma smells medicine like with a slight alcohol tinge.

The taste is unique and reminds me of a custom made root beer. The alcohol character is well hidden in the taste. It is sweet bready malt. In the mouth is mealy with a slight bitterness that goes away quickly. Overall a solid brew which I will definitely drink on a yearly basis.

Apr 08, 2008
Photo of bheilman
bheilman from Indiana

3.18/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not really sure if the bottle was labeled correctly. Some of the other reviews could be similar to mine, but I would have areally hard time describing this beer as a strong dark ale. It was much more light and fruity. The beer had a strong yeast flavor and some hoppy fruitness that was very sour and citrusy in nature. I don't really like those flavors in my beer, so that's why I gave the beer a generally poor review. It wasn't awful, and I should say it had a really unique flavor. I will give it another try, but this time it wasn't that favorable in my mouth.

Jan 08, 2009
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown.. Nice creamy head on top, and a lot of sediment.. lots...

S: Ripe fruit, strawberries.. smells a little like sangria...

T: Very smooth and mellow.. fruity and delicious.. there is a hint of something sweet almost a caramel taste to it, rich and luscious with just a touch of tartness in the finish.

M: Possibly a little over carbonated, but still nice.

D: Totally, I first got this on tap, and wasn't overly impressed, but the second opinion proves that this is a beer that will last. Quite Delicious.

Mar 05, 2009
Photo of FreshmanPour77
FreshmanPour77 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -6.1%

Dec 03, 2011
Photo of DrGonzoDDS
DrGonzoDDS from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Mar 10, 2012
Photo of acurtis
acurtis from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -12%

Jul 12, 2012
Photo of GrabMeAnAbbey
GrabMeAnAbbey from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -6.1%

Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Scamboogery
Scamboogery from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Dec 17, 2012
Photo of brettski
brettski from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -12%

Apr 21, 2012
Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 5186 ratings