Trois Pistoles | Unibroue

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Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles
5,017 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,017 |  Reviews: 2,042
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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Photo of BernardusHo
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a best value for those who like the style of Dark Belgians. Very dark in color and highly carbonated, this brew has a unique fruity taste that is hard to describe. Easily drinkable and packs a punch, ABV is well hidden. One of my favorites from Unibroue. Definitely deserves a try.

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Photo of bskrtz
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 ounce bottle, served at approx. 39 degrees

A: Belgian dark ale.... enough said. A dark, cloudy brown ale lets little light pass

S: Sour yeasty mash. Bitter herbs & burnt caramel

T: Delicious -- almost Belgian.... tingly carbonation, sweet herbal tones, ginger bread & nuts

M: Dense, complex & balanced

D: Yes

This is another well crafted beer from our friends at Unibroue; made to mirror the Belgian Trappist style

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

Poured a very dark brown with large tan head that lasted with excellent lacing. Aroma was complex of coffee, chocolate and citrus. Complex mouth full of flavors same as aroma with a complex finish with an alcohol bite and long duration.

Very good brew.

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Photo of SeanRedd
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blackish purple vacuum under a light beige head. Bottle exploded upon opening and poured an erupting volcano head that retains after. Aromas of blueberry, elderberry, strawberry, with a hint of dark chocolate. Powerful driving carbonation propelling an explosion of tart, fruity flavors tied together by tangy, bitter chocolate. Aggressive and brightfully complex. Crisp carbonation stings the palate, washing away the zest to usher in dry, cocoa, coffee, and rasberry. Excellent balance. An eloquent, explosive dessert.

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

Pours an opaque plum color with enlivened off-white head. Strong scent of ripe dark fruit, grapes, plums, syrup. Light crisp in taste with notes of fresh plums, grapes, spices, slight alcoholic booze in the center that gets washed away by medicinal fruit tang. Very much like a good wine. Light oil on mouthfeel that slicks the tongue. Alcohol takes a back seat to the fruit while spice rides shotgun; a mystical potion of a brew.

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Photo of jlb307
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at room temp from the 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

A: Murky and black, but almost looked maroon in tone. Frothy one-finger head which dissipated quickly. No lacing. Almost looked like drinking a Dr. Pepper, just a little less red.

S: Very sweet, like ripened fruit. Even the wife liked it! Not overly sweet, as some of the 9% ABV was coming through. Pleasant aftertaste.

T: Like dark chocolate-covered cherries. Yeasty but nicely balanced. The alcohol was not overpowering.

M: Crisper than I was expecting. Really felt like drinking a cola, the carbonation was primarily coming off the sides of the glass. Lingering tingly feeling was left of the gums which I wasn't ready for, but kind of liked.

D: This was a great beer. I would happily keep a supply in my house. Be careful there, this sucker is dangerous.
Another gem from Unibroue!

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Photo of Dulliwhig
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - murky, dreary brown with a dull purple maroonish hue

S - fresh fruit, sour flowers maybe roses, spices

T - black cherry explosion, alcohol warmth but lacking the familiar burn, floral notes, prune aftertaste with a very subdued and distant hop bitterness

M - crisp, drying effect, well carbonated, slightly lacking in body - lighter than expected

D - alcohol is hidden well and the beer is delicious, you want to drink it fast, but you must go easy with the ABV

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Photo of webbcreative
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Black, with a little hint of dark brown when held directly into the light. Nice 3 finger head, that didnt hang around too long.

Smell is really nice, some kind of fruit and spice.

Taste is really, really, really nice. In addition the mouthfeel is wonderful, creamy and smooth. Alcohol is hidden well in this one, but enough to warm you in the end. I can taste some kind of fruit and spice. Malt and hops are balanced really well in this one, not bitter at all.

Overall this is a great brew! Would definitely get this one again. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle conditioned into a Duvel glass. Poured dark brown/black opaque with medium foam and lots of very small bubbles. No lacing.

Slight smell of fruit.

The taste is a complex mix of many things - I picked uo the bottle yeast of course, but also licorice, some coffee, some sour taste. Noticed the alcohol. The finish was strong and it left an aftertatse almost like a plum or hearty wine taste. Reminiscent of a port.

The carbination was lively in the mouthfeel.

Overall I liked this beer, though it was very filling. Not sure I could have a lot here, but enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Bung
3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown/amber pour, large lasting whitish head. Sweet aromas, some malt, yeast. Suprising amount of red fruit with caramel/toffee. Has a stick to it, but rather medium bodied. Quite a bit of carbonation, but it does not get in the way. Does improve as it warms. Not quite sure what to make of the Unibroue brews, it's like they're all the same beer with different flavorings added. Good but not great. This is my favorite however.

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Photo of Rayek
3.84/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper with a fizzy orange tinged head that quickly disappears. Nice clarity for a bottle conditioned beer. Left no lace.

S: Heavy on the coriander, with prunes and raisins along for the trip. Alcohol adds an extra bite to the nose.

T: Dark fruits rule the day with flavors of black grapes and currants. Bitterness is mild, with a distinct pepper bite. Alcohol in the finish adds warmth. Finishes fairly clean for such a strong beer.

M: Medium body is quite undercarbonated; especially by Belgian standards.

D: This got better for me as I drank it. Right out of the gate, I found it to be pretty bland for a Belgian Strong Dark. Thankfully, it got more complex as I continued to drink it. The lack of much head and the watery mouthfeel makes me think that perhaps my bottle had a leaky cork. I might visit this again to see if I got a bad sample.

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Photo of farrago
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid one finger head, active turnover of micro-bubbles, light brown in color, rapidly slides off the glass sides. Dark brown mahogany color with zinc orange accents. The nose is an avalanche of ginger, cumin, clove spice, spiced orange peel, caramelized brown sugar and attractive floral musk, as it normalizes in your nostrils the cherry, black raspberry scents come through, not anything here of note by way of hops. Medium-bodied, big foaminess which initially has your mouth as full as if an car safety airbag was activated in it. After that it becomes super-smooth and fluid, glides through the mouth. Huge inner mouth perfume of ginger, clove spice, swirls around unveiling orange peel, pine needles and chocolate covered raisins. The yeasty notes are like honey braised phyllo dough.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark brown almost black with 1/2 inch of foam that stuck around for quite a while

S - cloves are very present, with some banana and sweet malt aromas along with some deep fruit smells

T - the fruit flavor dominates this one, although not a very overpowering, but sort of very present in the background. Spices and banana flavors along with sweet malts

M/D - decent carbonation, a good smooth beer, but there was something about the flavor that makes it not a completely pleasant experience. It was a good flavor, but maybe just a little too strong for me.

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

Hello to the waitress in SFO who served me this beer at Rose Pistole. First of all it's not 2 pints it 750ml. That would be 1.59 pints. And another thing. Please don't pour the friggin sediment at the bottom of my glass. Thanks Micheal!

Ok, seriously. This is a pretty dam good brew considering it's not from Belgium but Quebec. (insert french joke here) It's very smooth, nice head but not extreme like Duval. The flavor is sweet and yummy but I can't help think it does not have the complexities of some of the brews from Belgium.

I'll definitely look to buy this again but I still feel it has a way to go to be at the table with it's Belgium brothers.

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Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,017 ratings