Trois Pistoles | Unibroue

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Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles
5,037 Ratings
Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Todd on 10-31-2000

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Ratings: 5,037 |  Reviews: 2,049
Photo of kwjd
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with hints of red. Nice off-white head and ok lacing. Smells of dark fruity cherry and a hint of chocolate. Taste is really complex, the fruit with some mild bitterness. Quite a sweet beer. Quite aggressive carbonation. One of my favourite beers from Unibroue.

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Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and poured with a finger high off white head that quickly dissipated into a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface.
S: A rather complex aroma of cherries and other dark fruits fills the nose, along with some notes of yeast and hints of alcohol.
T: The taste has a moderate amount of sweetness with flavors of apples, cherries, dates, figs, spices and yeast. There are also some notes of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a high amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is very well hidden, which makes this beer relatively easy to drink.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into an Allagash flute. Poured dark brown with a one finger off-white head that quickly subsided to minimal. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, bread, citrus, and sweet sugar. The flavor was of malt, spice, and subtle citrus. It was light on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a nice brew. Not the best of its style, but a pretty nice example. The flavor was very pleasant and the aroma was very complex. Worth trying for sure.

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Photo of Mooch273
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Solid 1/8" birch colored head; very dark opaque brown.

A: Immediate sweetness of malt, brown sugar and caramel.

T: Caramel, brown sugar, plum, figs and molasses. Sweetness overpowers any signs of a high ABV.

M: Very fine carbonation bubbles make this a smooth drinker. Very subtle bitterness after each sip, slightly dry but comfortable.

D: Pleasantly sweet dark ale that makes for an excellent accompaniment with dessert or, as the label alludes, a great substitute for a port. Smoothness and light carbonation make it quite drinkable despite higher ABV.

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Photo of elflake
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle, with aggressive pour into Duvel tulip creates massive head, but fades quickly.

Aroma of dark, ripe fruits. Taste comparable with aroma, and lighter fruitiness, (almost tripel bananasness : banana bread malt ? ). Not much alcohol heat at all, but warming. Nice finish ; a little dry, not cloying at all.

I felt that La Fin Du Monde and Maudite were really over-rated, so I tried this very sceptically, and was overwhelmingly pleasantly surprised : better than Chimay blue ?

Consumed while grading papers : probably to the students benefit... ; > }

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Photo of Stigs
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a Stone Levitation glass...about 8oz left before someone had to go to bed, lucky me!

A - poured a finger of loose and bubbly, very light tan colored foam. the beer is hazy, muddy brown in color.

S - yeasty and bready dominate right off the bat...spices come to play, along with a bit of dark (plums) and light (banana) fruits. some faint alcohol and sweet molasses finish.

T - sweet candi sugar and banana, cherry, apples kick it off sweetly. booze cuts in and warms the mouth, along with some sharp live yeast and bread. red-wine like near the end with a chocolatey finish.

M - wonderfully bodied with prickly yet controlled, lively carbonation. flavors dance in your mouth, very refreshing, and finishes a little sticky and dry.

D - wonderful beer, nicely complex yet not flashy. alcohol, though not hidden completely, is kept in check and adds another dimension. a great one fro Unibroue.

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Photo of mrunseen
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Rochefort Chalice.

Appearance: Poured a dark brown / mahogony color, with a light brown head. The head started at about 1 finger which faded a bit but maintained throughout the session. The bubbles comprising the head were tight with decent lacing.

Nose: Lightly fruity and sweet smelling, slight smell of alcohol but not overly boozey.

Taste: The alcohol in this beer was apparent to me, although not overpowering. This beer had a sweeter taste comprised of cherries, sour grapes, Belgian sugars and figs.

Mouth: The mouth was a bit thinner than the beer's appearance would have you believe. It had a lighter feel but was pleasant.

Drinkability: Overall, I would say this is a sipper, and I would probably try this beer again.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Floral jasmine, damp earth, toasted malts; herbal with a fruity undercurrent. The floral/perfume scent was really interesting.

A clear, reddish tinged, dark hazelnut brown with a crown of dense head populated with a myriad of tiny bubbles.

Floral and herbal on the tongue with a fruity medley in the middle (juicy plums and nectarines come to mind) that signals a supple exit to a sweet yet drying finish; some nutmeg as well. The tongue drying just increases the desire for another sip.

Medium to light bodied, prickly on the tongue, with a fairly high level of carbonation that keeps the beer very drinkable and offsets the richness of this beer. Solid.

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Photo of bohemiandonut
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On appearance alone, this is a knockout. Dubbel dark wavelengths bordering on reddish/burnt orange. Absolutely creamy ochre head settles quickly from about three fingers height.

Smell is delightfully Old World Red, Chimay Blue and mellow spice. Some hint of banana and clove but generally black cherry, goji, and date. Dark honey sweetness. A hint of vodka is somewhat disconcerting, but I almost like it.

This is indeed what a good port wine should taste like. Slightly grassy/peppery, with the sweetness of strawberries soaked in brandy. A bit of oak appears, not extravagantly. Everything about this beer is subtle subtle subtle.

Mouthfeel is definitely where this beer excels. Smooth and creamy but not sticky, almost "thin" in a counterintuitive way. Carbonated half-n-half? I'm usually not a fan of minimally carbonated beers but this is almost too good to be true. Finishes quick but perfect. Such an accomplishment.

Unibroue often falls short for me when I pit it against the big boys, most notably with Fin du Monde. Trois Pistoles on the other hand is a welcome addition to the world of BSDAs. Less aggressive than Huyghe, smoother than Bernard. Not necessarily "better" mind you, but it fills a space that no other beer quite manages to fill. Prost!

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Photo of HotHands
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from bottle into Chimay chalice. Pours an opaque dark brown, close to black. Large fluffy off-white head, not much lacing.

S - smells of dark fruits, especially black cherries, currants, and plums. Smells fresh and clean. Reminds me of some red wines.

T - Fruity notes like black cherries and grapes up front, with a nice malt backbone that contributes toasty brown bread and brown sugar flavors. Belgian yeast throughout. Musty red-wine like flavors at the end with a definite alcohol flavor.

M - good carbonation and body. The feel is not too oily, and the finish is a bit dry, which I like. The dry finish makes it more drinkable.

D - Quite drinkable for the ABV.

A solid offering from Unibroue. I enjoy their pale Belgians a bit more, but Trois Pistoles is a great beer if you're looking for something darker or to pair with dessert. I'd imagine this would be heavenly with some fruit-laden Crème Brulée. It's also a great beer to give to red wine drinkers to get them interested in the better form of alcohol!

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The body is nice and thick. It's a cloudy brown that's very hazy creating a boatload of head. This is certainly a complex with a lot of flavors mixing together. There is some banana bread and what seems like some plumb and a touch of lemon. Think of it as a slightly toned down version of Aventinus that doesn't require as much chewing. A great find!

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Photo of Chico1985
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've wanted to try this for a while, finally getting around it. 750ml into an oversized wine glass, bottle is a little over a year old.

Pours very dark brown with 2-finger white head, looks like a liquid oreo. Sediment floats about. Excellent retention and good lacing.

Smell is lots of Belgian yeast up front and very fruity, light and dark fruits. A little sweet and funky.

Tastes I pick up are dark cherries and grapes, yeast, clove, brown sugar, raisins, toast. Some tartness and red wine notes and a little musty.

Carbonation is medium-high, body is a bit thin but not bad. Alcohol is well-hidden which seems to be a Unibroue staple, leaves a warming feeling in the stomach.

Nice rich flavors while remaining pretty light and drinkable.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Chimay glass.

A: very dark purple/brown/mahogany color, nearly opaque, little bits of light pass through. Nice 1 finger white/tan head with heavy lacing and decent head retention

S: heavy dark fruits, belgian spices all over, funky yeast, this smells authentically Belgian. Notes of grapes, figs, cinnamon and cloves. Very aromatic.

T: the front features some sweet malty notes, dark fruits- figs, grapes, cherries, and then it becomes progressively more spicy which counters the sweetness nicely. The finish is slightly dry and nice and clean. Very well rounded brew.

MF: high carbonation, smooth mouthfeel that borders on being slightly sticky, this however does not detract from the overall flavor

D: this is my favorite from Unibroue, nice balance, great overall execution and very authentic

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Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: A rough pour yielded a dark brown beer with red highlights with a thin dark brown head that quickly faded into a thin scum and collar leaving no lace down the glass.
S: Notes of fresh blueberry juice, molasses and licorice. Blueberry smell only really noticeable right after the pour.
T: Dark roasted malts, vanilla, coconut and slight berry. Very roasted and toasted flavors. Not very sweet actually. Slight fruity twist to it. Finish has some sweetness to it, and the aftertaste is roasted with a blueberry syrupy chocolate flavor to it.
M: Very airy mouthfeel, almost spongey carbonation. Medium body with a faint trace of alcohol in the finish, especially as the beer warms.
D: Pretty good stout but not one I would want to drink very often. Blueberry works well with the roasted character of this beer, but it's not that noticeable and doesn't really add enough to this beer to make me want to choose it over a number of other stouts.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: When looked at head on the color of this beer almost looks stout-like. It is very dark. However, when held up to light there are some deep ruby highlights that differentiate this beer from a stout. Tons of slightly off white head that reduces to gorgeous, open lacing.

Smell: Malt, dark fruits, cherries, caramel and the slightest hint of booze.

Taste: Dark fruits and a bit of malt are evident up front. It has hints of pepper. On the back end you get cherries and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: This beer has an awesome soft mouthfeel. The carbonation is perfect. It leads to a slight peppery mouthfeel but not enough to be too much like other BSDAs that I've tried.

Drinkability: The alcohol in this beer does become evident, but in no way is it too much. Great beer to sip on, or have with a meal.

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Photo of NODAK
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma here is fairly sweet with dark fruit and perhaps a hint of spice.

Pours nearly black in the glass with little head.

Taste is mostly of dark fruit first, then a more citrus taste, reminicent of orange, upfront and through the body. There's some more fruit sweetness and molasses at the finish as well, along with a faint smattering of bitterness. Mouthfeel seems to be fairly thin considering style. Alcohol isn't all that noticeable, surprisingly. Looking at other reviews, I expected a boozier experience.

It's an interesting beer. Not my favorite within the Unibroue family, but a respectable one. For the ABV, it's very drinkable.

(Note: Just looked up homebrew recipes for this beer and saw that orange peel is indeed included in the recipe. So I'm not too crazy tasting orange in this beer.)

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Photo of brouwer
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the last of a selection of Unibroue that I bought last month.
This is a 750ml bottle.
The appearance in the glass is dark copper with a 2-3 inch head.
The smell is that of ripe fruit as advertised.
The taste is rich with the taste of hops but not overwhelming. Mildly sweet with yeast undertones.
The mouthfeel is perfect with the right mix of carbonation and smooth mellow aftertaste.

Overall this is a very drinkable dark Belgian. I was pleased.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep chestnut with a ridiculously creamy head. Unibroue beers always have amazing, lush bubbles and mouthfeel. This one pretty much has to warm up a bit before being consumed, or else a trademark cardboard flavor will dominate. Prunes, malt, almost red-winey flavor. Still a little of that cardboard. A bit boozy, but still covers the 9% decently.

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Photo of Pencible
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a translucent dark mahogany with fluffy light tan head.
S: It smelled like wild yeast and citrus hops, with earthy caramel and some subtle dark fruit.
T: It tasted like wild yeast and caramel, with some dark fruit and citrus. It had a bitter metallic aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This was a good beer, but typical for the style with no unique character or complexity. It had good body and hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. It might improve with age, but it's only slightly above average fresh.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep dark brown with a one finger beige lace that stays atop the beer quite nicely.
S- smell is of dark fruit (plums, dates, black cherries), and brown sugar. A bit of alcohol zing was noticable when warmed.
T- Dark malts and dark fruits are the big players throughout the tasting. Alcohol warmth is certainly there as well. Quite sweet with just a hint of spice in there as well.
M- Light initially but finishes more full bodied. Highish carbonation, which is something I'm not usually a fan of in this style, but for some reason it didn't detract much here.
D- I really enjoyed this. Unibroue is one of those breweries that doesn't make a bad beer. While Maudite and Fin Du Monde are more towards my liking, this beer definitely has the goods in its own right. A bit of aging could help this one as it seemed pretty hot.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an snifter.

3.5 A: Dark brown in color. One finger of frothy light tan head that falls fairly quickly and doesn't leave much lacing.

3.5 S: This one needed to warm up quite a bit before the aromas started poking out. Plenty of fruitiness: plum, grape, and raisin. There's even a touch of citrusy lime in there. Also a touch of solvent. Pleasant, but fairly weak.

4.0 T: Taste for the most part follows the nose. Dark fruitiness with plum, grape, raisin, and prune. Some toffee in there as well. The malts are okay, but somewhat boring. The good part about this beer, as in most Unibroue beers, is the yeast. They use a wonderful strain. Peppery and a unique yeastiness not really found anywhere else.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Perhaps a touch too much carbonation, but I do like the spritziness. This could use a bit more body. Otherwise very smooth.

3.5 D: This is a pretty tame beer overall and one that just about anyone could enjoy. Indeed, I enjoyed it, but it isn't mindblowing. I love the flavor of Unibroue yeast, but prefer it in a better application (such as Maudite).

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Photo of Foxxypants
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, good head with good retention, nice lacing.

S: Very dark sugary/fruit smells, some noticeable yeast aroma, reminiscent of a deep port.

T: Very sweet. Dark fruit tastes dominate the palate, with some subtle malt flavors and mild hop bitterness. Finishes with a nice touch of alcohol spiciness.

M: Starts out lighter than expected, medium carbonation. Finishes with a bit of a thicker feel, lingers on your tongue.

D: Very easy and pleasant to drink. Doesn't need any accompaniments. For it's dark color and high alcohol content, it's a surprisingly easy beer to drink.

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Photo of nataku00
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. A dark brown ale with an initial finger of tan head. Very little lacing of fairly persistent head while drinking it.

Nose is strong dark dried fruit (plums, raisins, dates), toasted malts, and dark brown sugar.

Taking a sip, the taste is dark fruit with the alcohol presence making itself known right away, but it melts into a yeasty sweetness mid tongue and finishes long on the back of the tongue with maltiness.

Medium body beer lingers on your tongue with the fruitiness, encouraging the next sip to reacquaint your tongue with the beer.

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Photo of r0nyn
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split with and courtesy of fellow BA infi. Poured into a Duvel snifter.

Appearance is a dark, dark reddish brown that just barely lets light in around the edges. A good pour creates a white frothy head that leaves a lot of sticky lacing. Yeast can be seen suspended in the brew if you look hard enough. Initial sniff yields a huge sugary and fruity smell right off the bat. Figs, dates and plums. Subsequent sniffs reveal some crisp maltiness along with some subdued alcohol. Really nice smell.

Taste is initially very subdued, which is surprising, given the fact that this is classified as a Strong Dark Ale. There's malts, then some very subtle fruit from the nose. Transitions into a boozy warmth that kind of creeps up on you, as there isn't an alcoholic bite. Pretty alcoholic, but there's no aftertaste and it finishes smooth enough. Mouthfeel is pretty light and clean, nothing to complain about, but not what I was expecting out of a beer like this.

Drinkability is pretty good, as it's a very nice-smelling beer with a decent taste follow-up. The booziness isn't masked all that much, but it's not an overpowering alcoholic quality, making Trois Pistoles easy to drink. Just be prepared to be a bit surprised. I know I wasn't.

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Photo of infi
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, best before 12-03-12.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance is a translucent maroon pour with moderate carbonation trails throughout the glass. On top formed a thin white head of fine bubbles that left a decent amount of ringed and speckled lacing around the middle of the glass. The smell was predominantly full of the candied Belgian sugars and boozy 9% heat with subtle hints of malt. Not too much overall on the nose.

Taste is fairly sweet and bready, notably from the malts, and on the back end is a substantial boozy heat. The alcohol truly makes its presence known - a bit too hot for me, compared to other BSDA's I've had. Overall, the flavor profile is very unilateral and not as complex as I'd like.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and silky. And drinkability is moderate and very easy to finish. The score suffers due to the slight muted flavors in the taste. Not bad, but not the best BSDA by Unibroue.

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Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,037 ratings