Trois Pistoles | Unibroue

2,013 Reviews
Trois PistolesTrois Pistoles

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 10-31-2000

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,013 | Ratings: 4,923
Photo of lic217
4.36/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Reddish brown, big quickly fading head, but a small one hangs on for awhile
Smell: Dark fruit, touch of alcohol, and spice, a little bread
Taste: Dark fruit, cherry, bread, a touch of spice and banana
Feel: very carbonated, a little thin
Overall: Nice tasty beer

 268 characters

Photo of BigGold
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had poured from 12-oz. bottle, stamped "B[est]B[uy] 09-23-18," into chalice. Trois Pistoles is not Chimay Blue, but neither is it ashamed by comparison.

 159 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

A dark ale with little light passing through. Has a very white head on top that sits. Has a sweet malty smell to it. Has a fruity flavor and is very carbonated.

 160 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown - beer appears thin, but not watery. One finger khaki head dissipates quickly leaving some spotty foam along the top of the beer.

Smell has aromas of dates, prunes, red grapes, and raisins. Substantial undertone of funky belgian yeast comes through. As the smell develops you get some whiffs of a tart green apple.

Taste is initially dark fruits - dates, prunes and raisins, with a nice yeasty funk. As the flavor profile develops though, you get this interesting brown sugar sweetness that isn't overly sweet, but adds some depth. Additionally you start to get a real tartness to the beer that tastes like a granny smith apple. Really interesting and very nice.

Feel is medium carbonation with a decent tingle on the tongue and mouth. Beer is thin, but not watery. Drinkable especially for such a high ABV.

Overall a really nice offering. Do yourself a favor and let this warm up before drinking it. You'll miss a lot of the flavor profile if you drink it too cold.

 991 characters

Photo of Mongrel
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks and tastes much thinner and fizzier than expected. It tastes really bright and twangy up front, almost infected, but mellows out quickly and begins to show some grape and dark fruit character. Apple, brown sugar and some light Belgian spice also emerge. Overall, sort of thin and underwhelming considering this one's near legendary status.

Edit: this certainly gets more interesting as it really warms and settles. There's a nice interplay of tart green apple and caramely sweetness. Finishes remarkably smooth and dry for the ABV.

 538 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: opaque; cola colored; 2 finger tan head that receded to a wispy cap; no lacing;

S: sweet malt for a moment, then clove and banana; when the head was gone, the aroma was dark fruit - banana and clove were gone;

T: a bit of coriander up front, then it follows the nose; flavor is more assertive than the aroma; very mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; lightly dry finish; alcohol is warming;

O: very good, bit I didn't get the dark fruit flavor that I would expect from this style;

 529 characters

Photo of BeernOnThe4thOfJuly
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown and almost translucent. Dark fruits on the nose with burned sugar. Tangy flavor with a spice background. Overall pretty sweet with subtle Belgian qualities.

 167 characters

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a super dark brown with reddish brown highlights and a quickly dissipating beige head. Aroma is a bit muted, but had hints of malt, dark fruit. Taste is of huge dark fruit, malt, belgian candi sugar and hints of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is smooth, yet prickly with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a very well done BSDA, a style I need to explore more after this.

 393 characters

Photo of JakeScully
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The dark version of Unibroue. Dark fruits, sweety, pretty high ABV. The beer before sleeping well worth the try and shows that this brasserie equal everything Belgian

 166 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown color with beige head. Aroma has dark fruits, dark sugar and some booze. Taste has some nice dark cherries and raisins, dark sugar and a bit of alcohol. Medium body with high effervescence. Nice but not one of my favorite styles of beer.

 249 characters

Photo of do_ob
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 875 characters

Photo of 98green
3.62/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to snifter. Look is deep brown. Smell is sweet Belgian sugar and spice. Initial taste was a bit metallic, but that faded through the bottle. As it armed, more mellow banana. Feel is hit carbonation and warming alcohol burn. Overall a solid Belgian dark. Style is not my favorite tho.

 290 characters

Photo of lwillitz
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - 1 finger greyish-tan foam over a body of deep mahogany

S - fruit (apples and berries), brown sugar, Belgian yeast/banana, hint of pepper

T - Belgian yeast, pepper, dark fruits, brown sugar, touch of wood, hint of booze, aftertaste of brandy

M - smooth, chewy medium/full body, highly carbonated, alcohol warmth

O - a very pleasant Belgian; great beer for sipping on a relaxing afternoon

 433 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.74/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Seems dark, due to opacity and floating specks, but it's a more medium shade of brown in the light. Very fine, thinner head, though still decent retention, beige to light tan in color. Aromas in order of intensity: candy sugar, dark fruit, funk; none of these terribly strong. Light tartness and even lighter funkiness up front, flavors increasing and melding towards fortified/aged/old wine by the finish. Not overly sweet or vinegary. Not very phenolic either. As the back label states, a mild dark, even in spite of grain/grape spirit booziness. A little peppery past the finish, and with retro-olfaction while drinking. Body seems a little light, but not too watery, what with the alcohol and foamy effervescence. Slightly warming.

 735 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.69/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Having this one for the second time. Best-by date on the bottle is May 25th, 2018. Yep, that would be two full years (and a couple months) from now.

Pours with a bit of a "glug-glug-glug" sound even though I'm not pouring awfully fast, and pretty soon a HUGE head of light-tan foam has billowed up from the surface of this beer with an audible fizzing sound. Really nice texture to the foam, too. I was only able to get a little over half the bottle into the glass before I had to stop for fear of overflow. The beer itself is incredibly dark, appearing almost black at a glance, though I can see some dark brown around the edges when I hold it up to a light. Seems to be a bit hazy, as my little LED flashlight doesn't penetrate all the way -- instead it lights up the entire glass bright red, with only the dots of the LEDs clearly visible (also red) through it all. Lots and lots of little bubbles rising up at all times. Foam leaves some lacing behind as it shrinks away, and more as I start drinking. Have to say this looks really nice!

Smell is Belgian-yeasty all the way. Seemed a little banana-ish at first, but as the giant head of foam recedes into a thinner layer on top, the banana-ness has faded and it's more just "yeasty," with some sweetness and spice poking through (most recent sniff came across almost cinnamon-y.)

Taste is similar, but if anything it's fainter. Subtler? I dunno. Yeasty, some sweetness, maybe a tad of spice in there too. I am noticing a pretty nice aftertaste (malty, sweet, a bit yeasty) lingering in my mouth after a few sips, but it's a bit puzzling that I'm not tasting as much when the beer is actually still in my mouth. Oh wait, next couple sips I am starting to pick up a noticeable brown-sugar-like thing in the flavor. Burps are yeasty and a bit fruity, I almost want to say plum-like but not quite. Maybe starting to pick up a little hint of the cinnamon-y spice in the flavor at this point. After pouring the remaining beer into the glass I am noticing a bit of a "tropical-fruit gum" sort of yeast flavor popping in that wasn't there before -- that's interesting. Wonder if I may have ended up pouring the yeasty stuff from the bottom of the bottle in and this is a yeast-ester flavor that only the bottle-conditioning strain of yeast produced? It's a nice addition, but it does seem to kind of overpower the flavors I was picking up previously. It even takes over the flavors of burps. Fortunately, it seems to blend in with the other flavors a bit better a few minutes past the initial pouring, seeming to add a little "oomph" that was lacking previously. On the last few sips of the glass, I almost think I'm picking up a faint, tiny little bit of leafy-hop bitterness at the very end, but it's not enough to be 100% sure that's what it was.

Mouthfeel-wise this is really nice; seems a lot lighter than its color would indicate but still never even remotely close to being thin or watery (there is that little hint of stickiness to it that I really like in bigger beers), and pulls off "fizzy but not prickly/uncomfortable" pretty well. There was a whole lot of alcohol warmth in my mouth upon taking my first sip, but that seems to go away pretty quick on later sips.

Overall, I enjoyed this one significantly more than I did the first time I tried it, but I'm still left feeling like I may be missing something. Maybe just one you need to have a few times before you can fully appreciate it? Either way, it has at least left me with a very nice "warm and fuzzy" buzz and certainly wasn't unpleasant in any way (appearance and mouthfeel being the high points by a large margin), so I may end up picking up more of it in the future to test out my "gets better every time you try it" theory.

 3,773 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my favorite St. Feullien chalice (because Maudite was in my Unibroue tulip as I am still trying to figure out this brewer's carbonation.) My tentative conclusion: Trois Pistoles either needs less carbonation... or I need to cellar it longer. Unfortunately, I usually fail at keeping long enough.

2/28/17 I succeeded at cellaring until about the Best By Date. And amazingly, my hunch worked: there is less carbonation and I have increase Feel by .25. Less bubbles makes it work better with cheeses... which I am enjoying as I write... so a .25 increase Overall.

This beer is listed in one of three books comprising my classical beer education.
"1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", page 826.
Glad I gave Trois Pistoles another try. Patience was the key with me.

 776 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle: Pours opaque brown color with a 1 finger beige head that was packed with very tiny bubbles that popped as it faded and left minimal spotty lacing and a creamy speckled layer on top.

Smells of dark fruit, toasted grains, black cherries, malt, mild spices like pepper and coriander, Belgian yeast, toffee and a bunch of bready/malty complexities. Simple, yet dynamic and very nice to inhale.

Tastes like it smells with dark fruit up front that brings dates, red grapes, black cherries, raisins and soft brown pear, followed by sweet malt, toasted grains, brown sugar, mild spices like pepper and coriander, Belgian yeast, red wine/merlot and a light boozy aspect. The sweetness is mild and the spices interact with the malts to produce a lot of complex flavors while suppressing the ABV. A Belgian via Canada with nice balance, incorporating the yeast and earthy notes for an interesting variety of flavors.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium to almost chewy body and a slightly tart and bitter aftertaste that releases some minor alcohol burn, but keeps this malty and on the good side of sweet. It's been a while since I drank this beer and it was very good once again.

 1,214 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with badass label poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours a dark hazy ruby brown with three fingers of finely foamy beige head that leaves stormy cloud top lace as it recedes.

Smells of raisins dusted with brown sugar, cocoa powder, candied dark fruit and spiced stewed mandarin oranges.

Tastes of caramel drizzled raisin tarts, more sugary dark orchard fruit, sweet red wine, faint cocoa powder and ominous warming alcohol.

Feels sturdy and frothy. Full bodied with lively, creamy carbonation. Finishes pleasantly sweet.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Easily one of Canada's best.

 601 characters

Photo of gautch726
3.86/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This one fell a bit too much on the sweet side for me, both in the nose and on the tongue. Kind of an off-putting taste for an otherwise finely crafted ale.

 157 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle best by 3/2018 (revisit 2/27):
Pours a nice brown that becomes dark brown almost towards black in the glass, with a sort of burgundy hue to it. The white-tan head has structured bubbles low, and a nice foamy look on top. Sheets of lacing on each sip does cling here and there to the glass.

Nose is not overpowering. There are the classic notes of date and raisin, but combined with a red wine-like fruitiness. There a generic note of tartness in the background as well. In some sips I get a little cocoa - which is strangely at odds with the other notes.
Revisit: dulled notes as I got before (except the cocoa, not getting that this time), but also a root beer thing going on this taste.

The taste opens light with a bit of Belgian yeast and a hint of banana bread. Light cola notes (accented by a medium high level of carbonation) follow. The date-like notes come in last, combining with the opening notes to again remind me of a breakfast/dessert bread. The alcohol makes a brief appearance near the end before the lingering taste takes over.

A solid beer that didn't have the depth of flavor I expected. This beer is actually sort of light, which makes it easy drinking despite a slight hint of alcohol heat.
Revisit: seemed a bit lighter than even I expressed before. Only adjusted nose down a notch on this revisit.

 1,341 characters

Photo of irrevjim
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from bottle to tulip
look; lots of head, ok retention, plenty of lacing, dark mahogany color
smell; roasted raisin bread... mostly sweet and roasty, prunes, bananas, cherries, hint of burnt tire
taste; malty sugar, hints of cherry and banana, milk chocolate, hint of bitterness, could use a hint more in my opinion
feel; smooth and full bodied with light to moderate carbonation, good feel
overall; nice, not my style but a very drinkable not too boozy strong dark ale

 468 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.84/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, best before 8.19.18, poured into a Half Acre holiday snifter.

The beer pours a beautiful dark burgundy color, opaque and thick, with a bone colored head, billowing up to two fingers that has great retention and yields plenty of lace. The aroma is very nice, loads of stone fruit, rig, plum, raisin, cherry, brown sugar, huge amount of brown bread grain character, banana and clove yeast, perhaps a bit too sweet for me, but otherwise very traditional and to style. The flavors offer quite a lot of complexity, banana, prune fruit, brown sugar, toffee, rich grain, yeasty clove, fusel alcohol, a bit of pie spice as well, very deep, rich and complex, though I find the alcohol to be a bit overpowering as it warms and a bit on the sweet side. The mouthfeel is great, coating, rich, full bodied, lively, gentle with a delicate finish, lightly warming.

Verdict: A very nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Unibroue, certainly a classic beer by all accounts and while it's not QUITE what it's Belgian counterparts are, it's a well built beer that will satisfy nearly anyone who loves a good Belgian beer. I do find this one a bit sweet and the alcohol is a bit distracting, but when it's all said and done, a fine ale.

 1,226 characters

Photo of JoLight
4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Very dark brown body, much like St. Bernardus Abt, which looks like prune juice, but not as dark. The head is an off-white, light khaki color; it retains very well.

Aroma: Banana bread. Some kind of fruit, like pear. Toasted malt.

Pound cake, toasted malt, banana, some kind of berry flavor, like a mild cherry soda (maybe like Cheerwine?)

Mouthfeel: Thick, carbonated, somewhat chewy.

Finish: full, somewhat chewy, and savory.

 453 characters

Photo of mkh012
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cannot say enough about the amazing drinkability of this beer. Perhaps the most drinkable Belgian Strong Dark Ale I've ever had.

Look- almost spiced-rum-like. dark brown, a touch of red, short-lived tan head
Smell- the nose is subtle. dark, malty, classically Belgian. nothing really stands out amongst it all, but its a nice combination
Taste- a perfect harmony of malts, chocolate, dark fruits, all subtle, so incredibly smooth. a slight cherry cola aspect. there is no alcohol, no bitterness, no off-putting notes. subtle banana, cherry, and chocolate on the aftertaste but absolutely no beer-y bitterness
Feel- medium bodied. creamy but fairly carbonated. a pleasure to swish around and savor but also easy to down. deceivingly drinkable

Joins La Fin and Don De Dieu as Unibroue beers in my top 10. A+ for drinkability and aftertaste.

 841 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, BB 08-19-18
A - tight, creamy beige head gradually fades into a foam on top of a dark brown colored ale
S - yeast, dark candi sugar, caramel, spice, raisin, earthy hops
T - sweet and spicy with notes of dark candi sugar, dark fruit, spicy yeast, caramel, brown sugar, earthy hops
M - fuller body, very smooth and effervescent, finishes with some booziness that is warming but not hot
O - always great to come back to this one!

 440 characters

Trois Pistoles from Unibroue
4.2 out of 5 based on 4,923 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.