Unibroue 16 | Unibroue

240 Reviews
Unibroue 16Unibroue 16

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 02-16-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 282
Photo of darklordlager
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a bright, slightly opaque golden with a large birch-bark coloured head. Bubbles make the voyage from the bottom to the top of the glass with regularity. Some floaties.

S: Fruity Belgian yeast is most prominent (Unibroue's strain). Mild smell of dark fruit and bright citrus (orange). Light banana. Gets a bit bready as it warms, with a medicinal character.

T: Fruity, citrus/orange. Bready, but takes a back seat to the fruity citrus and yeast byproducts. Lots of orange, a little clove. Spicy graham cracker. The alcohol melds with the spice in a rather unpleasant way as it warms.

M: Medium body with abundant carbonation (a boatload). To the point of being annoying, irritating to my stomach even.

D: Overpowering fruity/yeasty character makes this something I won't reach for again.

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Photo of LittleBug31
3.42/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Unibroue 16th Anniversary

Appearance: Pours a pretty golden brown with visible bubbling trails of carbonation. Small flecks of sediment that float throughout. A nice yellowish-white head lingers for several minutes.

Smell: Very sweet, shortbready aroma. Smell is very subdued and light. Dark fruits and caramel, mixed with a little bit of citrus. Alcohol comes out very strongly as it warms up.

Taste: Strong flavor, despite the light smell--Fruity and sweet, with hints of spiciness. Hard to put my finger on nameable flavors, yet very characteristic of something I can't put my finger on.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly and bright. Significant carbonation. Taste lingers in your mouth for quite some time between sips.

Drinkability: Very pleasant right away. As is warms, however it gets pretty strong and unpleasant in more than just a few sips.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours just a fantastic deep cherry orange with a big, frothy, in-your-face head and wow, what a great way to break in my shiny new Duvel glass. The head retention is fantastic, and the lacing isn't half bad either.

The aroma is freshly sliced apples, whipped cream and a strong caramel/toffee with just a tinge of Belgian funk. Slightly rubbery. Some honey. A tinge of spice. Smells great. I'd pay just to sniff this beer.

But it gets better.

The taste is incredible. Malty, apple esters, sugary, just full and flavorful with some nice underlying spiciness and phenols keeping the sweetness in check throughout. The sweetness lingers in the aftertaste in the best possible way with almost a ghost of vanilla smoothing out the edges. The alcohol is present and numbs the tongue a little, but that's just fun.

This is medium bodied with a nice light amount of carbonation, nice and soft and smooth. There's some really mildly warming alcohol, but it's restrained.

Yeah. So this beer rocks and why am I more than a little sad that this is the only time I will likely ever have it?

Got this as part of a CanBif from notdan. Thanks dude!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500th review!

- Biggest, baddest beer in the fridge? Check.
- DDC tulip glass? Check.
- Lovely co-drinking partner in crime? Check.

Let's have at 'er...

This beer pours a hazy dark golden hue, with multiple fingers of foamy, soapy white head, which leaves very thin webbed lace around the glass. It smells of caramel malt, cloves, some banana, and yeast. The taste is caramel/toffee/candy sugar - the sweetness is readily apparent - then some cloves and light white pepper, and some warming alcohol. The carbonation is fairly restrained, the body a bit light, but quite smooth and rounded, and it finishes off-dry, the caramel malt sweetness, and a wee bit of yeastiness, persisting. The big ABV is quite nicely integrated, just a twinge of heat in the end.

The even sweetness and minimalist yeast profile make this my favorite Unibroue offering to date, in terms of drinkability. Onward and upward...

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden orange with a big fizzy soap colored 4 finger head with really nice retention and good lace. Lots of bubbles coming up through the centre of this one.

S- Clove, sugar, banana, yeast, a little fruity as well. The booze is detectable, but really mingles with everything else nicely.

T- Follows the nose with a lot of sweet malts as well. Still some heat on this one.

M- Nice smooth body, appropriate carbonation for the style. A treat to role over the tongue.

D- This is the second time I've had this and it's just as enjoyable as the first. It's a big beer no doubt and I'm feeling pretty good right now. I hope I can grab a couple more of these before they're all gone.

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Photo of mltobin
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have tried the 15 from Unibroue before and have been storing their 17 in my cellar. So, when I came across the 16 at DeCicco`s in Ardsley, NY, I had to grab a bottle. Prior to opening it, I did a quick tilted spin and managed to uncork it without a mess.

Appearance is a hazy dark golden color with a big head at first that becomes smaller with some time.
The smell is candy like (conveniently it is Halloween), but also seems to give off a general smell of alcohol. Taste is tad tart, along with more of that candy sweetness and finishes dry. Mouthfeel has carbonation and also a kick of spice, fairly typical in my opinion of a strong pale ale. And the drinkability is good...it is a sipper of course due to its` alcohol content. All in all, this is yet another impressive strong pale ale from Unibroue.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At Max's Ravens and Rare beer event last Sunday.

Golden orange with a thin white head, decent retention. No lacing, this mildly hazy beer is pretty attractive nonetheless

Spicy and sweet with a great pepper and herbal character. Bubblegum sweetness, some honey, this is a touch sweeter than I like

Opening with a light sugar sweetness, honey and floral in character. Sugary and sweet with spicy alcohol. Mildly fruity with grapes and pears. Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation, the long lasting drying finish with some alcohol and sweetness. A solid, enjoyable beer all-round, though a sipper given it's heft.

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Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle that has been kept in a temperature controlled cellar environment for 1.5 years.

Appearance: Slightly hazed brown orange body with a 1 finger beige crown that shows a little retention and lace.

Smell: Belgian candy sugar, banana notes, pale malt, some red fruit notes.

Taste: Pale malt up front with a touch of sweetness that transitions towards a small belgian yeast and hop wave which then gives away to a slightly sugary sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with nice fine carbonation.

Drinkability: Surprisingly good for 10% abv


A: Same
S: Malt is sweeter and more pronounced, banana has softened but is still a major contributor, red fruit notes not so noticeable now.

Taste: Sweet malt and banana action.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation has softened a bit.

Overall: Drinking well right now!

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Photo of mwilbur
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Finally got around to this one and, of note, it opened with a loud pop...louder than most fresh brews. Promising.
A: Pours a cloudy amber-orange with 1 inch creamy white head with decent retention.
S: Nice mix of spice, bready yeast, raisin, and soft lemony citrus hops.
T: Softer, mellower version of the aroma. Pleasant mix of spices (?cinnamon, coriander?), bready yeast, raisin, and hint of floral/citrus hops in the background.
M: A bit brief on the palate. Carbonated fizz, medium body.
D: Quite drinkable, especially considering ABV. I'm sure this softened with aging, but it held up very well.

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Photo of dismal
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally popped this one open. When I got the cork out there was a very nice pop that came with it which was reassuring. Poured it into two pint glasses (split it with my brother) and it poured a very nice hazy orange color with yellowish highlights. Had a nice big white head that had good retention and left decent lacing down the glass. The smell was pretty typical of Belgian beers, kind of yeasty, spicy, some orange and fruity. The taste was a lot like that. I think I was picking up a lot of orange in the taste as well as other fruits. Very nice taste, I really enjoyed it. The mouthfeel was good, not thin at all or anything. For a higher ABV this was very drinkable. I liked this one a lot. I would have loved to of tried it fresh but with a couple years on it was still great. Awesome beer and another great offering from Unibroue.

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Photo of Lukie
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened to celebrate my 24th birthday. And to commemorate all the good Unibroue has given to Australia, that will sadly be going away soon.

Pours out a dark woody orange/off brown, with a 2 inch thick bubbly head. This slowly fades into a nice lacing around the edges of the glass. For a 2 year old beer... nice.

Subdued caramel gives way to orange toffee. Hints of orange-like chocolate/caramel/toffee. A strange blend that is hard to distinguish, but is along the lines of sweet orange marmalade toffee... and such. haha.

Big rich toffee notes give way to a thick orangy-like caramel, and slight spice notes. It's a really creamy, sweet, marmalade orange like flavour. It's noticeable, but hard to explain. Just really well done. Not a mis-match of flavours, everything is joined together into one smooth long lasting flavour.

For 10% this is remarkably easy to drink, with those alcohol notes probably becoming subdued through some age in the ol' cellar. A delicious beer, which shows off the mastery of Unibroue.

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Photo of Buebie
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this great extra in a trade and now cannot remember who sent it.

Poured from a corked and caged 750 bottle into an oversized snifter.
The light side pour produced a big off white 2'' head that sat for a long period of time. Its fluffy and light yet had the snap crackle pop of cola. A good amount of carbonation rise is almost not visible due to the nice looking unfiltered hazy brew. Its a darker copper color that glows nicely with orange and gold hues when held to light.
The head has finally receded to leave more then half an inch of fluffy egg white consistency retention. Lace is spotty leaving long drapes where I tip the glass to take a sip.

Aroma is very much traditional Belgian, with alot of fruity citrus and peppery spice. Hints of banana bread, cloves, cracked pepper, no heat.

Mouthfeel is slick and almost sticky at points, carbonation throughout, yet not overpowering and somewhat creamy from carbonation. The finish after the swallow on the mouthfeel is really clean, no residue or oily after effects.

Taste on first sip is mildly sweet with malt and a bit of fermented honey. More peppery hop flavors, any bittering that was around has no diffused with age. Alot of great maltyness here though, sweat grains, cereal, apples, and a touch of lemon rind, cloves again. Finishing clean and crisp with a dryness coming around to finish and some bittering.

This is a very drinkable brew, no heat present, now overpowering flavors, its mellow, smooth and refreshing.

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Photo of wheatman106
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color, formed a thick white head with medium head retention. Also created mild lacing throughout.

S: Had a weak aroma, fruity, notes of barley.

T: Opens with noticeable carbonation, barley and fruit drive the middle of the beer to a quick finish. Experience a moderate alcohol taste from middle to finish.

M: Light and carbonated.

D: Medium. Decent for what it is.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle shared with psycohops and brothercannon. Poured into a trio of basic snifters. The ale appears a clear deep orange color with about two fingers of cloud-like light ecru foam. A nice looking pour. Nose and flavor consist of spicy yeast, ripe bananas, orange essence, still a bit of alcohol present, slightly tingly black pepper, a touch of caramel. Dry finish with the alcohol coming out a bit more as it warms. As is the case with most Unibroue beers, there is certainly ample carbonation to tie it all together. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one's pale like a British pale (rather than blonde like most Belgian Pales). Copper-bronze, off-white head, some retention & lacing.

S: Candied fruit, citrus rind, caramel, light spicing.

T: Candied fruit, toffee, caramel, light spicing, good bitterness, warming alcohol, though I wouldn't guess it was this strong.

M: Moderate body is smooth, carbonation is light to moderate (presumably lost some through the cork over the last couple years).

D: A good drinker.

Had my last bottle on Thanksgiving (Canadian) 2013. Great brew that has aged gracefully, though I'd prefer something a little drier with a big meal, and the spicing is even more subdued.

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Photo of bobsy
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We did a blind tasting of 4 BSPAs - Unibroue 15, 16, 400eme and aged Duvel - this one came in second.

Amber body, which was considerably darker than the other three. A small white film lingered and gave up spots of lace. The aroma was sweet malt laden, with strong honey overtones. Likewise, the flavour followed suit with honey, caramel and a lingering sweetness. Very estery and with a slight spicy kick at the end. Body was okay, but I think its lost a bit with time.

Cheers D.

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Photo of Gigantis
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like most Unibroues, you must pour carefully to avoid overflow. Once poured, it is a decidedly amber color with a plentiful and frothy head. The lacing is great. The beer is darker and redder than I expected.

I didn't get much from the smell. I had it in a tulip to try and accentuate, inasmuch as possible, whatever aromas I could glean. There wasn't much. Slight rind and some malty caramel. Pleasant, just not all that exciting.

It's got a very fruit-oriented taste. Lots of bananas, pears and musky orange rind. It's got a good, yeasty finish with some clove and peppery spice at the end. Not too complex, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel reminds me a Farmhouse, like Ommegang's Hennepin. This one's got a little bit more zest. It's pretty well-carbonated which I did not mind. I'm thinking that the aging may have taken care of some of that, for which I am thankful.

It's pretty goddamn drinkable! I did not know until visiting the site, that it is 10% abv. I should have figured it was something like that, but it hides it completely. Based on taste alone, I would have thought it more along the lines of 7-8%. I was easily able to consume the whole bottle, though I was a little light-headed afterwards!

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Photo of photomike
3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark orangy brown with a two finger head. Good retention. Unimpressive but present lace.

The smell is sweet malt, banana and clove

The taste is really underwhelming. Maybe the age hasn't treated this well, but it came off as spicy, chalky, carmelly and dry. Not very complex; malty and biscuity. An unsurprising lack of hop profile. Surprisingly, no fruit.

Clean, sparkly and light mouthfeel. Very crisp and rather unsatisfying.

For as much as I didn't like this beer, the alcohol was EXTREMELY well hidden. Not detectable at all, and extremely dry. Very drinkable, for what it is.

I'd imagine this was once an awesome beer, but as it survives us, not good, and definitely not worth the 10 bucks I paid.

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Photo of jsh420
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours dark amber orange with a pillowy 21 finger head that leaves notches all down the glass

smellls of spicy musky fruit mostly banana

taste is still pretty boozy but i dont care i like the heat of fruit and a good malt backbone

mouthfeel - caronation is lively and crisp

drinkability is high even though i split this bottle but at 10% one bottle might be too much

overall - not really a pale and not a dark but who cares it tastes amazing

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Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed only 1/3 of this 750 with ThePeskyDingo. Would have enjoyed more, but my exam the next day insisted me to study.

Poured into La Chouffe tulip.

Pours a 2 finger pillow topped head. Good retention. Slight splattered lace. Color is a dark golden orange.

Aroma is of musky fruits. Orange and banana. Spices and yeast. Typical aroma for a Unibroue beer.

Taste is bready/yeasty, fruity, bananas. spices. Also like the other Unibroue beers I have had. The 10% abv is hidden well.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and now it is boozy. Mellows out a bit and ends with a sticky, boozy aftertaste. Medium-bodied.

Overall, this is another solid beer from this brewery. They do a really great job at brewing Belgium beers and I will continue to purchase their products.

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Photo of ThePeskyDingo
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet, yielding 2 finger off white head that dissipates pretty slowly. Beer is a slightly cloudy amber with medium carbonation.

Smells of malts, yeast, spices and bananas. great smell.

Tastes of malts, yeast, spices and bananas. did I just repeat what I said about the smell??? Tastes how it smells. Rolling over the tongue reveals the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Mild carbonation.

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV. Ill have two pours of this tonight since mothman can only handle one (lightweight).

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Photo of cavedave
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy medium amber topped by a two inch off white head that subsides slowly and leaves fine lace peaks.

Magnificent aroma, strong fruity/spicy/yeasty flowers of perfume joy. I smell pear and peach, raisin, gentle coriander notes, alcohol, corn lily, many complexities of goodness my tongue tries to unravel. The scents are intoxicating me before I've even taken a sip.

Lighter in the mouth than other strong Belgians I've tried. The flavor hits with a zing of soft fruity alcohol and sweet flowers, then goes into a rendition of every delicious fruit flavor the imagination can juxtapose, progressively more tartly, and into a just-perfectly-dry enough-and-no-more finish of brandy and flowers and soft herbal joy that caresses the tongue for minutes. Complexity? Eight sips in my taste buds have registered more than thirty percent of every good flavor they know.

Mouthfeel is excellent, maybe just a bit fizzy, but it keeps it light, and I fear my recent penchant for stout makes it seem more fizzy than it ought be for this style.

Drinkability is stupendously, red flag warning, dangerously good. I could ruinously drink this for extended periods.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice apple-cider amber brown with a bit of turbidity from the yeast. About an inch and a half of white, pillowy head. Moderate lacing.

S- Not as strong as I thought it would be. Slight malt, bananas, cloves. Some caramel. Belgian/yeasty spice and a hint of alcohol.

T- Nice blend of sweet and lightly toasted malt, some bananas, yeasty spiciness. Slight hop finish. Maybe a hint of molasses? Slightly vinous (but not as much as I would have liked). Not extremely memorable, but definitely good and true to style. Served this one too cold, taste definitely comes out as it warms. A little woody mustiness at the end that I like. Almost vegetable-like. Different tastes are coming out as this goes on. Becoming more memorable. Did age mellow this guy?

M- Medium to light bodied, slick, clean.

D- Not exceptional, but not bad. Could have a whole bomber in a sitting easy.

All in all, a good brew. I think I would still go for a Maudite over this one, though.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep golden amber, quite clear with just the faintest haze, with a tall beige head that settles at a leisurely pace to a creamy, somewhat rocky cap. Legs of lace remain behind on the walls of the glass.

The nose possesses a rich underlying malty quality that intermingles with wonderful floral and spicy notes, with quite a fruity character: banana and berry notes are present, as well as some citrus.

A medium body with a middling level of carbonation pulls within it caramel malt flavor with a bit of graininess in the middle; citrusy, somewhat earthy and herbal hop notes mingle with pears, all surrounded by a distinctive yeasty spiciness and a bit of alcoholic warmth. Quite dry, leading into a long, dry, spicy and somewhat sweet finish.

Superb and delicious, and quite drinkable as well despite the high level of alcohol, this nearly two year-old bottle has suffered nothing with its age. Quite magnificent, and well worth cellaring a while longer to see how things change and mellow with time.

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Photo of adamette
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Live Review. Poured from 750ML corked bottle purchased for $6.99 at Chuck's Fine Wines in Chagrin Falls, Ohio late last year. Best by date of December 2009. Poured into my clean, clear Piraat Tulip.

A Great looking orange brown body with a glow when held in front of direct light under a generous 2 inch head that sticks around for a few minutes. Lacing is there well after I finish several of the tulips worth of this great beer.

S Sweet malt and maybe even some hops bitterness. This is a GREAT smelling beer, inviting and intriguing. The smell cannot be improved.

T Sweet malt dominates but there is a great Belgian yeast taste as well. This is a very grainy taste and not as much malt. There is not a strong hop presence, something that I was anticipating after smelling it.

M This is a big beer for sure. Big malt, reasonably high ABV make this a mouthful. There is a mild syrupy stickiness as well.

D It will be a bit of a chore to finish the 750ML bottle due to the high ABV. Now I wish that I opened this with a friend to help. We all know what happens when you try to recork and "save" a beer. This is a delicious beer, do not get me wrong but "drinkable" is not one of it's better descriptors.

Notes: I found 17 to actually be a bit more true to its style than this one (I cannot help but compare) and I was a bit let down by what I thought I perceived in the smell (the balanced hops) but was not so much in the taste.

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Unibroue 16 from Unibroue
4.07 out of 5 based on 282 ratings.
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