Trois Pistoles | Unibroue

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Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles
5,041 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: 5,041 |  Reviews: 2,050
Photo of JISurfer
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Talk about a a good brew Ay! This is my first venture into Canadian brews, other than the regular macro stuff. I must say, that this is quite impressive. Just like the bottle suggests, it has a similar taste to a port wine. There is definately a taste of grapes in it too. Has a very dry finish, but it still coats the mouth well and leaves a little bit of an alcohol taste about it. I will definately get this one again.

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

Dark, cloudy brown in color with a very nice head that lasts. I have been waiting to try this beer for a long time. The smell is fruity and sweet with a hint of malt. The taste is very complex. Very effervesent with flavors that change over and over. The beginning is more of the fruit and citrus. The middle and ending are more sweet, dry and warming. An amazing beer that I can't wait to have again. I have a bottle ageing nicely!

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Photo of GreenCard
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original review 2-20-2003...

Aroma: slight maltiness with some wisps of alcohol, raisins and plums.

Appearance: a tawny, reddish-brown, creamy off-white head, some haze (not from chilling). The alcohol content killed the head pretty quickly, even in a clean Chimay glass.

Taste/mouthfeel: a lot of alcohol warmth, slight sweetness, a touch of raisins round out the flavor. The high carbonation gives it a nice flavor break, in lieu of hop bitterness or flavor (of which there is little). A fair amount of caramel aftertaste, but also a slight note of sharp bitterness unrelated to hops.

Overall: A well-crafted beer. Unibroue has not disappointed me yet. This is a great example of a dubbel/strong dark ale, though I generally like a little more presence of the dark, dried fruit characteristic. I have another bottle of this that I'm going to lay down for a couple of years.

UPDATE 7-21-2009: [Review of a bottle aged 4 years beyond its best-by date]

Appearance: ruddy dark brown, slight haze, very little head formation

Aroma: dark brown sugar, port-soaked raisins, prunes, alcohol, and wet dog

Flavor: malty sweet with hints of cork, licorice, multivitamin, chocolate, molasses, and stewed prunes; finishes semisweet with a musty/spicey aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, zesty carbonation, alcohol warmth

Other comments: The bottle didn't make much of a pop when I uncorked it, so it must have lost some carbonation over the years. However, extended aging did not harm this one as much as it harmed the bottle of Maudite I cellared next to it. This one is still a drinkable, fairly interesting beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“Oh, Yearhhh - Babbiieeee”, as Mike Myers would say, in his pathetic English Accent.

The cork did not want to give up its grip, and it took quite an effort to extract it, after the wire cage was removed. The color of this dark beer is gorgeous, a highly polished deep brown chestnut with some mahogany ruby-red hints when backlit. The large head that develops whilst being poured soon rescinds to a thin tan collar halo that grasps the glass sides. Very little lacing at all. Carbonation is still quite high though nevertheless.

Aromas are definitely of Belgium, and not Canada. Deep fruity, powerful, testicle grabbing smells that are not ashamed to reveal themselves. The beginning has a fantastic spritzy presence – the relatively high carbonation of the beer aids the wholesome character, as well as lending to the overall satisfying mouthfeel of this beer.

Tastes are just a ‘non-stop’ Circus of complex acts. They commence with the Master of Ceremonies, MC Dark Fruity Flavours, his eloquent introduction brings on the Amazing Trapeze artistes the “Malt-Teasers”, followed by the famous Vanishing Alcohol tricks of the 9 family members of the Great Escapini’s. After this, the blind-folded Knife Throwing antics of the Port Bananini’s are quickly followed by the warming Fire-Eating Ethanolics. Hold on, where are the Clowns? Well there are none in this Circus – for this is very a serious beer, there is simply no place for face painted jokers here. A high class, highly complex beer, which will certainly benefit from aging for sure I believe. Tomorrow, I am going to get some more to lay down.

Yet again, Unibroue do not fail to impress me, they are the Samuel Smiths of Canada for me. Just where do they keep pulling these magnificent brews from???

In the past whenever, I thought of Canada, I thought of, …………well, erm… yeah, alright, not very much at all. I now think of Unibroue when I hear the word Canada.

Trois Pistoles is the probably the closest attempt at a Canadian Trappist Beer that you will ever experience.

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

Three sprays pours a chustnut red-brown with a light tan head that has plenty of staying power and leaves ample lacing on the glass. The aroma is apples, plums, raisins, pears, and alcohol. There are also aromas of grass and cardamom. The taste starts flavors of caramel and biscuit malt followed by some carbonation tingle with hints of grains of paradise and citrus notes. The finish is a balance of sweet malts and dry floral and citrus hops along with some earthy/grassy hop flavors. The aftertaste is fading malt and spice flavors being replaced by warming alcohol and and date and fig like flavors.. The mouthfeel medium heavy with plenty of mild effervescence.
Overall a very nice Belgian style dark ale. Plenty of malt, and alcohol along with a wonderful yeast. It looks good, It smells good. It feels good. It taste wonderful. And it will make you forget all your worries and cares.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark violet color, with a short tan head that recedes too soon.

Rich, heady aromas come wafting out the bottleneck, plump with associations: Raisins, plums, spices, brandy, dark rum, smoke, and so much more.

Bracing onslaught of hops on the palate, but excellent buttress of malt backs it up.
Fantastic spark on the tongue, and a wonderful sweetness that follows after the drizzling of hops. Transendant complexity, utterly other-worldly, and overjoyous.

A real treat of a beer, and a rare delight. Only the finest of human beings should put this to their lips, as a benedicton and reflection of the worthiness of their souls. So, all you slobs, go better yourselves before daring to crack the cage and cork. So go do community service, adopt a stray kitten, give a street urchin a quarter, let someone on the freeway before you, be kind to our fine feathered friends, turn a Bud man on to oatmeal stouts, just do something to realign your karma to make you worthy enough to pour this fine beer down your gullet.

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

Acquired via trade, although it took me so long to get around to drinking it that it became available in Ohio in the meantime. D'oh! Anyway, this beer pours a deep ruby color with a medium beige head. Aroma of cherry, vanilla, figs, and raisin. Fruity flavor of plum and raspberry, with a lightly chocolate malt finish. Very easy on the tongue, unlike a lot of Belgian Ales. Absolutely smooth and easy to drink. Very good.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.66/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color of this beer is brown like a coke or pepsi and has a thin tan head that quickly dissolves leaving a sheet on the surface. The aroma is typical for a dark belgian style beer with banana esters, alcohol and a hint of spices (corriander?). Each sip begins with a sweet malty flavor, moves towards a tingley raisin-banana taste and finishes with alcohol. A sweet stickyness is left behind.

If you like dark belgian beers I would definetly recommend this one. It's full of flavors that leave you wanting more.

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Photo of proc
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Absolutely delicious. Pours out to a plum color in the glass with a decent, brown sugar-looking head. The aroma is all over the place, with fruit, plums, yeast and although it sounds strange, a sweet tart candy smell. Taste is excellent, with a variety of spices lingering in the mouth. Mouthfeel is near perfect and the finish, while warming, masks the high ABV. Yum.

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

Pours with a fairly large head that dissipates pretty quickly.

Appearance: Very dark amber, cloudy, I couldn’t see through it.

Smell: Some alcohol aroma, strong fruit smell, bananas, although I couldn’t quite discern the rest of the fruits. Pretty pleasant smell overall.

Taste: I found the taste rather refreshing, while still being slightly harsh from the high ABV. I noticed a pleasant sweetness as well as sourness; enjoyable slight banana taste. The aftertaste was a little sour but didn’t last long at all.

Mouthfeel: Very sweet, medium body, enjoyable.

Drinkability: Without the label, you would have no idea that it’s 9%; very drinkable.

Notes: This is the second Belgian beer out of a 3 pack from Unibroue that I have tried. Maudite being the first, I enjoyed Trois Pistoles a lot more. It more smoothly tasted to me, and had a better aftertaste as well. These beers are my initiation into the world of Belgian Ales and I like this style of ale so far. I highly recommend this beer for anyone like me who is just getting into the style.

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

Appearance: Cloudy brown with some tan foam.

Smell: Fruity - bananas - and sweet malt. Very pleasant.

Taste: Sweet, candy-sugar-like, fruity, yeasty, but with some hop character balanced in.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, creamy, low carbonation.

Drinkability: Dangerously good.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Open carefully, this one likes to overflow maybe because it is refermented in the bottle, very good carbonation and head but not much lace. Cloudy reddish brown, nose is raisiny so is taste. Smooth, full bodied and malty - very easy to drink but savor at 9% ABV. $1.50 for a 330ml bottle from Capitol Convenience Concord, NH.

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

Poured a giant head that reduced to basically nothing.I was a little dissapointed in the head retention after seeing the carbonation this Ale presented.The color was a dark blood red.Very strong with an immediate shot of alcohol.Goes down kind of crisp and somewhat harsh from the ABV.A verry bitter finish that doesnt stay in the mouth long.Strange it doesnt leave a dry palate,but almost refreshing.A medium to full body with a medicine like finish.Trace amounts of lace are noted.Very creamy but the high ABV detracts from the mouthfeel somewhat.If they could hide the ABV better it would help.A little watery for the color.Overall good to above average.


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Photo of mjohn27603
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown like a deep varnish. Smells of raisins. Taste is hard to describe but in a good way. Sweet tasting, figs, raisins, dark fruit. This bottle sat in the beer cellar for about 9 months. Best before 9-4-04. 12 fl. oz bottle. Fig newtons flavor. Don't notice overpowering alcohol presence. Worthy of contemplation and reflection.

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Photo of Winter
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky reddish brown with a foamy tan head. Aroma has a strong fruity boquet to it consisting of raisins, caramel, malt and chocolate. Mouthfeel was smooth and mildly crisp from the carbonation. Alcohol isn't overpowering, but does lend a nice warming effect as it goes down. Ale does have a port wine like quality to it as the label states. Being my first Unibroue beer I didn't know quite what to expect, but this was truly a delicious treat.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut brown in hue with a thick tan head that lasts for quite a few minutes. Toasty malts and pine on the nose. Nice clean roasted and caramel flavors. Pretty strong carbonation and medium body. There is a nice alcohol warmth that comes through the middle and a dry finish. Darn good brew!

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

The beer after disemboguing from the 750ml brown bottle takes up residence in my Unibroue “Trois Pistoles glass a murky plum color with the head Bunyanesque and the texture spumous, the lace a sticky thick clinging sheet that completely obscures the glass. Aroma of malt, hints of ripe fruit I like to say plums, sweet and quite a clean and fresh nose. Malt dominates the start, sweet and the top middling in feel, finish is stingingly acidic, hops robust and plentiful, quite dry aftertaste also long lasting. The high ABV makes this a fine winter warmer and a good beer to sample on “New Year’s Eve”.

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

After the first sip, I told my wife this is my favorite from Unibroue. She quickly reminded me that I said that after La Fin Du Monde, Maudite, etc. Pours a dark brown with a big foamy head that lasts, and laces well. Slight aroma of fruits, maybe bigger, but I have a slight cold. Wonderful dark fruit taste and smooth mouthfeel. Silky going down. Clean finish with hints of pepper and spices to go with the fruits. Just a great Belgian Dark. Big alcohol prevents me from having more than 3 or 4 or.....

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Photo of doho95fu
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown reddish color with a thin tan head and an attempt at lacing that slides down the sides after each sip. I notice a bit of everything in the nose from vanilla, to fruit, and malt, and hops, raisins. The taste is much more simple yet great. It is sweet with a thin malt slap, followed by some alcohol kick - which is a good kick. Great finish, smooth and easy. This is a great beer, my favorite so far from Unibroue.

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Photo of kunzbrew
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy ruby red colr with a big head that stays around for a little while. Roasted malt that has a caramel taste with earthy tastes also, very good indeed. This beer came in a three pack from cumberland farms. This almost has a Scaldis Noel taste but not as strong. The alcohol is not over powering, this is a great brew.


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Photo of Wildman
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark reddish amber and formed a light tan bubbly head that left some circular lace. Some carbonation is present as well. An aroma of caramel and spices. A flavor of chocolate, a hint of caramel and spices. Some of the alcohol is present in the finish which was a touch astrigent. A very nice beer.

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Photo of Mark
3.2/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I understand this brand is very highly thought of, and I understand that Belgian Ale is supposed to be on a higher plane in the beer world. I'm sorry but I don't agree. I consider myself to have a wide range of tastes and I'm very open minded of beer like all of you advocates out there. I even went out and bought a goblet that is appropriate for this style of beer. Dark brown color was nice and different, however I was very surprised by the lack of lacing. Taste was full of yeast, fruit and I think clove. Carbonation a bit more than I am used to. A good beer for sipping on a cold night and maybe I'll like Belgians more someday but for now I'll try the one I still have in the fridge (Piraat) and If that dosen't do it for me, see ya.

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Photo of CreamAle128
3.07/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

With me being a big fan on Unibroue, i really wanted to try this beer. I was happy to see when i was pouring a nice dark ale, or what i thought. I smelled some yeast, so i was really geared up to drink this. It took about 15 mins to pour the bottle with letting the head to settle down,but when i took my first sip, all i tasted was fruit, which made it somewhat hard for me to drink, since i am not that big on fruity beers. Very strong peppery flavour. I only sampled one of these 750ml corked bottles, right when i was starting to try belgian-style brews. I will try this again, and possibly re-do the entire review. But for the people who love fruit beers, grab this one right away.

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

750 ml corked bottle Dark orange brown color, big thick clingy head, sweet fruity, bready aroma, full bodied, alcohol hidden very well, smooth and velvety this is a great belgian strong ale, very drinkable.

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Photo of marc77
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Formidably thick, creamy, and stiff beige head akin to chocolate dusted egg whites beat to a soft peak. Hazy garnet hue. Sweet lemony citrus and perfume like sweetness upfront in aroma w/ a hint of fragrant pine. Pleasantly mild green apple acetaldehyde is secondary. Hints of raisin and trace chocolate emerge as the beer breathes. Trace phenol in aroma. Date like fruity fructose sweetness is perceptible at first, then is supplemented by lightly raisiny, dark caramel sweetness. The initially sugary fruitiness widens into a ripe, prune nature that melds well with the understated chocolate character. Clean in terms of yeast byproucts, with only a trace of clove present in flavor. Light in body and correspondingly light, but certainly not weak, in mouthfeel. Hop bitterness is appropriately light, and only barely offsets malt sweetness. Finishes clean, w/ sweetness briefly lingering on the tip of the tongue. Although Trois Pistoles is not the most complex example of the style, its overall soft, pleasantly sweet character lend it unparalleled drinkability. Superbly masked alcohol content. Highly enjoyable. This was a 12 ounce bottle. ...Perhaps one of the finest beers with a twist off cap. I look forward to eventually trying a well cellared 750 ml bottle.

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Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 5,041 ratings