Trois Pistoles | Unibroue

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Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles
5,031 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: 5,031 |  Reviews: 2,045
Photo of Kromes
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a very thin head. Smells yeasty and spicy. It had a rather unique flavor. The belgian yeasts and coriander spice with an alcohol warmth and black licorice flavor. Also thought I tasted some fruity/peachy flavors. There is a strong alcohol flavor when you first start sipping this. It settles down as you drink and gives way to a more fruity flavors.

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Photo of northaustin
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

for the longest time trois pistoles and la fin du monde were my favorite beers but then i went about six months without having one and then had one the other night in the big corked bottle. it was a little more carbony than i thought but that taste was still there and very very fruity, but not too tart. it has a distinct and powerful flavor than can be overpowering at times but the beer flows out of the bottle easier because the opening is wider and leaves your mouth feeling refreshed. definately the best part about the beer.

pours a nice dark brown/black with two fingers of white head that disappears very quickly and leaves no lacing.

smell is pretty boozey but has a yeasty sweet bite in the nose.

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

Poured from a bomber into a chalice.

Pours a murky milk chocolate light cola color with a thin effervescent head that disappears quickly and leaves nice rings.

Aroma is of spicy banana bread and cloves. Malt comes through as sweet cake and is mixed with the yeast to make for a banana bread, fruitcake type aroma.

Flavor is malt and slightly metallic twang. Yeast is prominent and gives a fruity flavor. The grain seems like a darker roast on a lighter grain, like a roasted wheat? Alcohol is fairly well hidden and only shows upon the beer warming quite a bit.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. La Fin Du Monde makes this look like water as far as thickness goes. Carbonation is very effervescent and bubbly, very active. Beer is very crisp and dry despite the sweet undertones on the flavor.

Nice beer, I am liking this brewery more and more as time goes on.

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Photo of tim9887
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours dark brown w/ off-white foam that doesn't stick around very long - not surprised considering the ABV.

Aroma: Very sweet & fruity... Dark fruits mainly - Plum/grapes? Seems to get even sweeter as it warms.

Taste: Distinctive wine character (the bottle says it holds up like a Port - I'm not quite sure, I don't really drink wine but I'll take their word for it.) Lingering dry, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is tingling on the tongue, the ABV gives a bit of a kick.

Notes: Yet another great Unibroue beer & highly recommended! I was apprehensive because the label compared it to a Port wine because I'm not a huge fan of wine but I was delightfully surprised. Great stuff.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours very dark with a lot of pillowy, light tan head. Laces nicely with pretty good retention. Holding it up to the light reveals a very dark red/amber color... very nice.

S- Wow! Almost like a dark red wine with some malt thrown in. Dark fruits like grapes, cherries, among others... very complex.

T- Belgian spices, more grapes, cherries, raisins, plums, slight alcohol bite (gives it an almost chocolate-covered-apple-like finish). Dry finish. Smooth. Port aftertaste that sticks around for a while.

M- Smooth and creamy, while still light and refreshing.

D- Tastes great and goes down well, but I can't see me having more than one of these in a sitting. This is a great brew, but I wouldn't make a session out of it. The ABV makes it more of a sipper too.

Overall, its very good and complex... I'm very happy with this one. Nicely balanced. I would recommend this one for a try.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Bottle says best by 12-21-09.
A: Pours a very dark orangish-red with tight 3/4 inch light tan head that snaps and pops like Rice Krispies.
S: Malt, belgian spice, raisin, cherry, fig, plum...tons of stuff here!
T: Not quite as potent as the aroma, but still damn good. Toasted malt, belgian spice, raisiny yeast, cinnamon, and I still get that cherry note.
M: Medium body...not as heavy as I was expecting. Coats tongue well and taste matures nicely.
D: Very drinkable, especially for style. ABV very well hidden. A widely available, excellent beer. I let this one cellar for a while, will be interesting to compare with a younger version.

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Photo of stagger
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First review: here goes.

A - Pours black or nearly so, lightening up just a bit as the lees are sent in (hey, you've gotta get your vitamins somehow). Fizzy 3/4" head that dissipates within a minute leaving virtually no lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles (thanks, Don Ho!) making their way to the surface for another couple minutes.

S - My smeller ain't so hot (I busted it) but I do detect some fruit. The fact that I can smell anything at all on this beer means it's probably got some hefty nose.

T - Very nice! Moves through about a half dozen distinct flavours including lots of malt, caramel, and a surprising hit of - is that cherry? - on the exhale, before settling into something not cloyingly sweet, with notes of bitterness balancing it off, and just a hint of alcohol - the high ABV is well hidden. Nicely complex but not overwhelming.

M - As with most Unibroues, this one feels quite alive in the mouth. It's an active but pleasing carbonation with teeny-tiny bubbles. Sharp on the front of the mouth and softer in back.

D - Trois Pistoles is medium-bodied, slightly heavier than its little brother, Maudite, and very, very drinkable. Always disappears a little faster than I want it to; very more-ish.

This one has become my daily staple (hey, I'm getting my vitamin B fix) - and I always have some on hand nowadays. I do try to limit myself to one per session - that high ABV will sneak up on you something fierce. My favourite brew from one of my favourite breweries. Merci, Chambly!

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Photo of JonMich13
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A = Dark brown pour into a snifter. One finger light tan head that quickly settled. Light patchy lacing.

S = Sour grass, raisins, and damp basement.

T = Starts sweet with raisins, cherries maybe, pleasantly mellow in the middle. Some pepper. Finishes with some sour chocolate hints with a metallic twang.

M = A bit high on the carbonation. Medium to thin body. Nice on the palate until the end when it took on a bit of lingering bitter that lingers too long.

D = Alcohol is masked well. But the carbonation and lingering bitter metallic twang made for a slight detriment.

A nice brew from Uni. One that I would drink again but I doubt I seek it.

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Photo of selecter70
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another nice 'un from Unibroue. This dark ale on lees poured a dark brown to near black with a fluffy beige 2 finger head. Full of tiny bubbles rapidly pushing to the head saw it diminish to 1/2 finger and lace was medium in clinging. You could actually hear the fizz as these bubbles churned up, although in tasting, they did not seem present & definitely did not detract. The mouthfeel was smooth with a bitter plum skin flavor, with black coffee & hints of pear-banana-& lemon towards the end. Very interesting, to say the least! Slightly sour with enough bitter & sweet malts, it hinted at red wine-lambic in some respects. The 9% alcohol is not overwhelmingl, but definitely is warming. Very nice indeed!

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Photo of diamondc
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance = dark brown, tan head that doesnt last very long unfortunetly.

smell = so so good. lots of figs and cherries up front. A milk chocolate aroma in the background. some spiciness. I want to bottle up this aroma and sell it.

taste = yes, it is exceptional. raisins, anise and licorice. a little bit of dark chocolate at the end with some hot alcohol on the back of the mouth. Towards the end of the bottle when warmed up, theres a lot of black coffee and cherry flavors. great stuff.

Mouthfeel = a bit too fizzy. Loads of carbonation. Maybe too much here. I'd like a thicker malt presence so I can slow down drinking a whole bomber. Also, the alcohol has a slight burn towards the end. Still, for 9% abv beer this goes down exceptionally smooth.

Drinkability = Yeah .. this is probably meant to be sipped, but I love taking big gulps and letting the beer rest in my mouth while I absorb all the complex flavors.

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Photo of cnally
4.84/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

the appearance is dark brown but not dark enough to eliminate all the light going through. a very sudsy looking head leaves quick.

the scent is full of a malt nose, with a sweet nutty scent underneath. like almond, or walnut. plum fruits and apple waver in the background.

the flavor is delightful. perfectly balanced between the malt and sweet notes, with residual flavors of black cherry and, almost like a wine, a tannin-type flavor. the taste just explodes and does not relent through the tasting. a slam dunk.

fizzy feel and very light. the carbonation is massive and almost too much, but it ends up being second to the amazing flavor.

well, this is an unbelieveable specimen. do all belgian dark ales carry this amount of sweetness and flavor? I don't know but I am going to check. great, spectacular drink.

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Photo of UA8
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nearly opaque chocolate brown.

S- Scents of cloves and spice, tangy yeast, dried fruits, and a touch of released alcohol notes.

T- A touch of sweetness leads the parade followed by yeast tartness and finished with bready malts.

M- Carbonation is a bit heavy and hot. Body could be a touch heavier.

D- Its another solid Unibroue beer. Although I'm feeling that most of them other than La Fin taste pretty much the same.

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Photo of delmarnate
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I received two bombers of this beer in an alcohol exchange at Christmas. Poured a dark brown color in the glass with two finger head. Very spicy aroma with a hint of alcohol at the end. At the first sip the high carbonation is noticeable but not unpleasant. The taste is phenomenal. Very full flavored without being overpowering. Spicy hops with smooth malt finish. No alcohol aftertaste despite 9% ABV. Excellent beer all around.

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

Dark amber with a thin tan head, but has decent retention. Not much lacing. Smells of cloves, malty, with some blending of citrus, raspberry and a little vanilla in the background. The taste is heavy on the malt, the fruit comes through well and mingles well with the cloves. Lighter than expected, a little estery and some butter keeping things mellow and smooth. Easy to drink, and that can be dangerous with the high ABV, but it's just hard to resist. Probably my favorite Canadian beer.

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Photo of Beejay
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of CMW
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark murky brown, almost black color with large off white head that has some serious retention. Lacing is fairly heavy.

S - Dark fruits, raisins and prunes. There is also some malt mixed in there.

T - Like others have said, it tastes similar to a red wine. Dark fruits mixed with some yeast notes. Alcohol is noticeable and finishes dry.

M - Medium bodied and slight creamy.

D - The sweetness is a little heavy but this is quite a beer. Not sure if I would drink more than one though.

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

I just picked up a 12oz. bottle last week for $2.50. Considering the 750ml is almost $9, it's certainly a steal.

Foil wrapped top with a twist cap? That's strange...

Poured into the glass a very dark murky brown color with little head. It continues to rise to the top long after it's been poured.

Aroma is nice with that characteristic dried fruits and spice. Better than most in this respect.

Flavor is excellent with all sorts of fruitiness but subdued enough that it's not overwhelming. There's banana, fig, cherries, and dried apricot all up against an army of spice coming from all directions. Character and depth in spades.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and medium-high carbonation. Not over the top like some I've tried. Nicely done for a Belgian style. I could certainly have another or enjoy a 750ml over a long relaxing evening. It only gets better over time.

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Photo of gciccarelli
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

A - Pours a dark, near-black brown with a fluffy tan head. Lots of bubbles. Head dies somewhat quickly but a small amount of retention exists.

S - Lots going on here. Yeast and fruit - dark grape, hint of cherry perhaps? Hints of spice as well. Slight smell of alcohol.

T - Starts off fruity (dark cherry/blackberry), moving to a sweet malt taste and finishing slightly dry. Toasted malts. Reminds me of a wine almost...very similar finish. Impressive. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, just like the smell.

M - Medium body, high amount of carbonation. Leaves a syrupy coating behind.

D - Very complex, very tasty - great, but couldn't drink this all night.

Another excellent brew from Unibroue - very interesting beer. Reminds me of a fine wine...

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Photo of BigJim5021
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a beige head that persists like a bad rash. Actually, it looks a hell of a lot like murky Coke. I know that might sound awful to the non-beer drinker, but it looks like money to me.

The aroma features the usual Belgian (style) components, with a nice whiff of tart fruit on the finish.

The flavor is plenty tart too. It's not a strong, puckering sourness or anything, but it's got a more sour bite than your average beer. The fruitiness plays really well against the malts and yeast. This stuff is damned good.

Mouthfeel is somewhere between medium and full bodied with a slightly prickly carbonation. The finish is bone dry. Really excellent.

Nine percent? You wouldn't know it from the way this stuff goes down. Like all of the Unibroue beers I've had, Trois Pistoles is immensely drinkable. I would give it a 4.5 if it wasn't for the abv. The price and overall quality of the brew is top notch. Why must the French Canadians be so good at brewing beer?

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

A 12oz bottle...

The head starts out tall like a cooking pot soaking in soap bubbles, but dies down. Deep, dark brown. Dark rose-black in the light. Thick and mega-cloudy; opaque.

The smell is thick and grainy like a dark barleywine. Hints of dark grape. Heavy alcohol and port wine aroma. Almost like a red wine in the nose.

The taste is lots of port wine and grainy sour malt flavors. Puckery and tart. Heavy alcohol finish. Dark stone fruits; grape and plum. Belgian spices at the end when it warms up.

The feel is smooth and buttery but a little thick. Not at all gritty. Milky but smooth. It's like a sour, ripe barleywine or strong ale. Tremendous to nurse for a long time. Great.

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 caged and corked bottle.

This Unibroue looks like a coca cola. Pours a mahogany like color. Produces a slightly brown off-white head. Decent amount of carbonation, no lacing present.

Smell is yeasty and fruity. I don't get fresh or ripe fruit, but more of a dried fruit smell. There is a definite sweetness, but not overpowering or unpleasant. Alcohol is present, but like the sweetness, it's not overpowering.

Very fruity and yeasty. There is a pronounced malt quality that I wasn't expecting, but pleasantly embraced. Too sweet for my liking. The alcohol is present, but well hidden. I am a huge fan of Belgians. But this one came up a little short in the taste department. Thats really my only knock.

Medium bodied. Very smooth. Has a kick from the alcohol.

Overall, a pretty good Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Although the taste isn't what I wanted it to be, it is still intriguing in it's own way. I enjoyed this, just not one of my favorites.

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

12oz bottle from a Unibroue sampler pack. It has a twist-off cap! Geeze...
This beer pours a very dark amber..almost opaque in my chalice glass. Little head that quickly goes away leaving a nice, small foamy sliver of head for the duration of the drink. Smells slightly berry, definite malt, citrusy yeast.
Tastes quite good. Starts off bright and fruity, quickly moving to a more malty, sweet mellowness. Finishes dry and yeasty. Very good. This tastes quite a bit like the Trader Joe's Vintage ale, which I believe is brewed by Unibroue as well.
Mouthfeel is nice, good amount of carbonation and balance overall.
Drinkability is good. I had the 12oz and wished for the 750ml. Given the high abv and fairly high maltiness though, it would be tough to drink a lot of's pretty heavy.
Overall it's a great beer and a very good dark ale. So far I've liked everything I've tried from Unibroue.

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Photo of brewintheLou
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark basically black. Head pretty much completely disappears.

I am getting a berry smell... I believe blackberry.

Dark berry flavors just like the smell. Almost like a black licorice. More carbonation than average and a thinner mouthfeel. Nice beer that I shouldn't pass up.

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Photo of talkinghatrack
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - rich brown with a creamy head and a few floaty bits of yeast that eventually settle in the glass

s - fragrant and fruity with yeast and a bit of inviting alcohol behind it. Some cinnamon. I know it sounds odd but it strikes me as a pleasant soap.

t - sweet, rich, fruity, toasted malts. Very deep. Tart and dry Winelike finish with warming sensation and slight mouth numbing.

m - full bodied and smooth all the way. Great medium carbonation.

d - thanks a lot, Unibroue. Just when I think Don De Dieu is my favorite I try this one. Now it's a toss-up. Highly drinkable at 9% ABV. A treat I will be sure to stock up on.

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Photo of grayburn
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with heavy lacing and 2 finger head

Bouquet of preserved fruit, nectarines, peaches, cinammon, alcohol.

Very unique taste, bitter port like, strong alcohol is covered by the fruit.

Coats your mouth, thick and chewy, well done overall.

Drinkability is good for a beer of this abv

Excellent offering by Unibroue.

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Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,031 ratings