La Terrible | Unibroue

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La TerribleLa Terrible

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002

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Reviews: 954 | Ratings: 2,216
Photo of IronDjinn
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, if by the title of "Terrible" Unibroue is trying to say "Rocks The Casbah!", then I understand what they are getting at here. This, dear diary, is one of those exemplar beers that should not go unnoticed, should not be passed by if you are so lucky enough to pass it on a shelf in your neck of the woods, should be both horded and consumed, loved and cherished.

Came in a brown 750 ml caged and corked bottle, the logo is in stamped silver (probably a new batch from the gold label bottles from last year). Classy, elegant, minimalist. Pours out a silky reddish-tinged black. Big off-white head. Nose contains intense raisin and fig characteristics, purple grapes and some chicory. Nearly like wine. Flavour is a medley of sweet and spice, dried fruit and brandy. It's terribly good. It's terribly drinkable. Thick, velvety mouthfeel, yet goes with ease across the pallet and down the throat. No boozy bite at all for a 10.5% abv.

I give it top marks, this is very impressive, well beyond my expectations. The aweful truth is that La Terrible is f-ing fantastique.

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Photo of Zorro
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy dark beer with ruby hues, I can barely pass light through it.

Smell is great! Big fruit and spice smells and a bit of malt. Lots of alcohol borne smells to this one. It makes you light headed just smelling it!

Taste is WOW! Lots of malt and spice and a bitey level of carbonation nips at your tongue. Every sip releases a new flavor. Lots of preserved fruit tastes here and maybe a rum taste?

Mouthfeel is perfect.

Super drinkable. This is my favorite Unibroue bar none. Drinking this is pretty much "Beer Sex."

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Photo of Hackattack
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Belgian strong dark ale from Canada is unbelievably great stuff. Another gift from my older bro....THANKS....He runs a major beer distributer outfit and leaves me some killer samples in my Dad's fridge as we take turns visiting Dad from different out of town locations. This one deserves all the flowery hype ( of which I'm not very good ) you can muster. I'll just say it's damn good.... I really like these deeply rich/powerful/high dollar Ales.

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Photo of dcook11
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- pours a dark grape Hue, complete with a two finger off white head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is abundant.

S- grape dominant. Like alcoholic grapefruit juice. Lambic like. The most grape forward beer I have ever had.

T- Grape again, no alcohol at all, finishes with a nice cinnamon quality. The only criticism I could give, would be that the beer doesn't really. Very wine like.

M- very light bodied for such a strong beer.

O- great beer for a warm night, and a fantastic ale for the wine lover. Probably my favorite beer in the style, although it does lack some complexity.

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Photo of kini
5/5  rDev +20.2%

My absolute favorite beer that I have access to.
Smell, color and of course taste. It's everything I want in a beer.
Opaque, dark brown near black, fruity nose and initial taste then as
To the Belgium yeast. I love Belgium beers and I love strong dark ales the most
and this is the best I've had. Well worth the price.

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Photo of Roguejaguar
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I stared at this beer every time I went to the store for at least a year. The name itself invites curiosity. Is the beer truly terrible because it tastes so bad, or is the beer so amazing that it is terrible because you will never ever want to drink anything else?

The lack of description on the bottle taunted me.

So I gave in and purchased Terrible. And. I was delighted to find that this has become one of my favorite belgian beers. The smell was crisp, and the taste also delivered something crisp yet smooth.

This beer is worth the money, as it tastes fantastic, and is somewhat refreshing.

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Photo of SpencerSauce
4.95/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Was stoked on this beer. Looked scary haha. But didnt taste too strong. Also a quadrupal

A- Dark dark with no clairvoyance. I poured mine with a three finger head. I just like a nice head but that seemed a tad to much.

S- some fruit but its hard to tell. lots of yeast ferment smell. slightly boozy.

T- great qaud taste. slight fruit.

M- clean and bubbly. no lingering taste really.

D- easy drinkin id say.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.94/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is the darkest of the Unibroues that I have tasted thus far (I have eight under my belt not counting this one). I really had to work the pour to get a head.

Smell – The signature Unibroue yeast comes out beautifully in the nose. The toasted malt compliments the bready aroma along with undertones of plums and dates. There’s also some table sugar floating around.

Taste – This is perfection of the yeast flavor. It almost tastes like a tremendous dunkel weizen with a little spicing. There’s some typical coriander and maybe a little pepper, but this one is all about the amazing dark yeast body. This is tight, distinct, and very impressive.

We also have some deep fruitiness to help things along. Apricots, cherries, plums, and table sugar give this a sweet finish. This is awesome.

Mouthfeel – Big carbonation and very full without a hint of the enormous ABV.

Drinkability – This went down incredibly well. If you like bready weizen or BSDAs, you MUST give this one a try.

Comments – I was just blown away by this offering from Unibroue. They have always amazed me, but this was much unexpected. The dark bottle and bland labeling looks kind of like a marketing gimmick, but this is the real deal. Personal preference: There’s maybe half a dozen beers I’d put above this one.

Update – I was beside myself after reviewing this back in October 2003 so thought that I would re-review it with a 2004 vintage. Man, oh man, I couldn’t wait to log on to BA to raise all of my ratings just to find that I had fived everything but the Appearance. There’s not much of a head to this one but other than that this beer if perfect.

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Photo of Wamesit
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark brown with a thick off-white/tan head.

S - Sweet malts, natural and rich. Fruit and spice. Hint of alcohol.

T - What a Belgian Strong Dark should be. Gently roasted malts and candied fruit. Brown sugar with a hint of raisin. Slight touch of banana. The warmth of alcohol through but especially in the finish, which is nicely dried.

M - Medium with sprite carbonation.

O - Another gorgeous Belgian by Unibroue. Delicious.

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Photo of xgrigorix
4.91/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Silk screened 75 cl brown bottle, corked & caged. SEP 9, 2003 printed just above the bar code.

Deep & dark - almost black. Creamy looking beige head collapses quickly into a thin halo. Almost no lace on the glass.

Nose is earthy, fruity & very inviting.

Notes of black currant, leather, & anise. Nutty & dark fruit, with some nice earthy notes as well. A little bit woody in the finish. A lot going on, but all in a very impressive balance. Creamy, medium-full bodied. Robust carbonation. Incredibly smooth.

I have no idea what terrible means to Les Quebecois, but it means incredible to me.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew pours a brillant dark brown color with a huge fluffy tan head. The aroma screams of dark fruit and spices. The taste is full of spices, and tangy. The mouthfeel is slightly ligher than medium bodied, with a lot of carbonation. Overall, this is another great brew from one of the best breweries in North America, Unibroue.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: 750ml corked and caged bottle that feature gold embossed writing on it. Accoring to the cork this beer was bottled in 2/2002, I purchased it in 12/2002 and I am drinking it now in 5/2003.

Almost Perfect. I am still trying to decide which beer is a better brew. This one, or Chimay Blue. I may have to switch there scores around when I finally come to a conclusion, but for now. I'll give the award to the Chimay.

This beer is one of only 2 dark beers that Unibroue makes. Upon sampling this beer and Trois Pistoles (their other dark beer) one can only ask themselves, "why is that?"

This beer pours a wonderfully thick, dark, ruby-black colour with a mammoth, off-white head. The aromas are of sharp alcohol, various kinds of dark fruits, candy sugar, exotic yeasts, bittering hops, strange malts, and wonderful spices. The taste is even better than the aromas. Spicy, malty, alcoholic, bitter, sweet, complex, and wonderful.

The mouthfeel is very thick and this beer is 'oh-so-smooth'. The drinkability has to be knocked down a half of a point though as this is a bit too strong for a good sesion of drinking. Weighing in at %10.5ABV and over $6-7US a bottle this Quebec-only, SAQ exclusive release is really a treat.

Soon this will be available here, and than my money may suddenly dissapear.

A magical brew to sip and savor with the ones that you love, and the ones who love you.


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Photo of wiseguy142
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am excited for this.

Of all the Belgian styles, strong dark ale is by far my favorite. Furthermore, I'm excited to be drinking some Unibroue, since I believe this is a brewery I often overlook. They do a lot in the brewing/naming of their beer that makes it more than just beer to you, which is a great creative offshoot of being a brewer.

But anyways..

Pours nearly black. Long, thick streams of bubbles are floating in waves up the side of the glass. The head is somethign I'd expect to see in a coffee stout- very small bubbles like capuccino foam, darker where it meets the glass, sits right on top the whole time I'm writing this. Ridiculous.

Aroma is a bit lacking, but only because it's a little weak. What aroma there is is great. Kind of like eating a toffee candy while drinking coffee.. in a smell.

Taste is almost like a light Belgian milk stout.. weird. Lactose sweetness, but with enough roasted character, along with slight Belgian alcohol/phenolics. WTF THIS STUFF IS CRAZY. I duno I just wouldn't have the first clue how to make this beer. Apparently I'm also really into stream of consciousness reviews, which I'm ok with. Maybe a little nutty.. reminds me of almonds. Bah. Canada FTW.

Mouthfeel is ungodly smooth. Sort of an inspiration for me.. it's like they mashed as high as possible and then loaded a bunch of sugar into the boil.

So I don't think I hyped this up for myself. I was hyped up for Duchesse de Bourgogne last night and was severely disappointed. I want a case of this.

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Photo of leokbelo
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep ebony into a chalice, with a 2 inch foamy head that fades quickly into a thin lacing. Lacing then fades away into the middle of the drink. Very Belgian...
Sweet spices on the nose, currant and...something else...that very Belgian abbey/strong ale characteristic..super inviting.
Extremely deep flavor, sweet spices, figs and nuts in the background..Smooth and rich.
The malt sweetness hides, at first, the 10.5% ABV...those deviant Belgians! Then it hits you, warming, not overwhelming.
Extremely drinkable.
Terrible!! And by that, I mean AMAZING! God bless the Belgians for creating the style, and god bless the Canadians for making such a fine example!
Unibroue at its finest!
Can't recommend it enough!

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Photo of EricMichael
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml to a chalice.

Appearance - Very dark brown bordering on black in the dim light. Rich head with lots of lacing that still clings to the inside of the bottle and my empty glass. Carbonation made a nice pancake-head once the initial head faded.

Smell - Surprisingly subtle. Chocolate covered cherries. Dark fruit and spices. Red wine was the most prominent. A bit of yeast. Can't seem to pick up the 10.5% ABV in my nose like I can with most brews of this potency.

Taste & Mouthfeel - My first thoughts were something along the lines of, "Oh my... wow... this is so deliciously smooth." A unique red wine flavor expertly blended with malt, spices and fruit. Some yeast bite that seemed a little less potent than some of the other Unibroue brews. Exceptionally dry and clean. Effervescence, like a champagne, as the wine-brew goes down. Probably the driest and most crisp that I've had to date. I was rather surprised with this quality in such a dark beer. Alcohol warming in my lower chest.

Overall - Almost perfect. I expect a little bit more in my nose, but everything else was top notch. I can't get over how amazing it felt going down.

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Photo of Casp1119
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer reminded me to that of Trois Pistoles, which is a great beer. I can understand that not everyone has the same taste for beer as the next person, but this beer fit my palate just right. Great beer!!! Truly enjoyed this one and will be stocking up on it for future enjoyment.

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Photo of putnam
4.87/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tah - REEb - (l)...? with a palatalized "R"?
Subtle, earthy, creamy molasses on the nose... It is very dark, but not black. It is burnt brown around the rim as lines of erosion carve into the merengue-like head. A thick, pasty impression is formed in the background aromatics...jelly of allspice, for example, can be discerned there. So can creme brulee and blueberry reduction.
In the mouth it's wine-like. Sharp, young, sappy, northern Rhone Syrah-like acidity keeps this dreamy liquid shiny clean. A background of baked cherries and cinnamon remind me of old Chateauneuf-du-Pape. The aromatics are pulpy and truffly, like Piedmont's hills and it's wines.
Port-like earthiness underlies Kriek sweetness.
This is a nice!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

Appearance: This beer pours a very dark brown with ruby opaqueness to light. The head was a thick coffee stained biege almost an inch and a half thick. Leaves a solid curtain of lace down the glass.

Smell: Roasted carmel maltyness. Some assorted fruity smells dance in the fragrance.

Taste: This may be the best integrated beer I have partaken of. The beer leads with a roasted carmel maltyness. Then the beer breaks into fruity sweetness, sugar dipped plums, bannanas ect. The beer then follows into a spicy coriander taste before breaking sweet again. Taste is just awesome! This is a very big beer at 10.5% alcohol and I cannot taste its prescence.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a velvety smooth mouthfeel. The beer has a medium body. The alcohol doesnt make itself known in taste or in the mouth. Just a pleasant warming overall.

Drinkability: Gods this is evil stuff. I could suck this down on any given day. Just a perfectly balanced beer goodness.

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Photo of dbell23
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opened the wire and cork bottle with a super loud pop. Louder than most unibroues for sure. Poured into a tulip. Super dark brown almost black in color. Opaque. Unibroue calls it chestnut brown. That'll work. Dark beige head that starts huge and never completely leaves. Little lacing but still a nice looking beer.

Smell is dark unibroue. Chalky sweet, candied fruit, yeasty, smells almost like a really good Dubbel.

Taste is superb. Sweet candied fruit but certainly not overly so to start. Smooth Dubbel malt in the middle followed by smooth malt very slight hop finish. The aftertaste is delightful. It tastes like the best abbey ale ever or a super good dark Belgian. I don't know what it is but I know I like it.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Not overly carbonated and smooth. Of course, it smooths out as it warms.

Overall a great beer. If you like dark Belgians a must try. Unibroue calls this an abbey style, it's listed here as a dark Belgian. I don't know which it is but I really like it. Sometimes abbeys have a licorice smell or taste which I don't like even faintly and this one doesn't have that. Maybe that's why I like it so well. Another great beer from one of the best breweries in North America. I never thought unibroue could produce a better dark than trois pistoles but this is it.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Almost black with tinges of ruby/brown hues, not much head but a decent amount of lacing
S - raisins, maybe molasses, belgian yeast, sweet malts, not quite carmelized sugar, alcohol, cherries. Amazing.
T - huge amount of raisins and cherries up front, then sweet sugary malts, maybe burnt sugar, a touch of alcohol warmth, some slightly sour/tartness towards the finish...just an excellent, excellent brew
M - full bodied but not too heavy, smooth, a little high on the carbonation but not too high for the beer, a little sticky but still somewhat crisp as well
D - very drinkable indeed. the sweetness and high abv make it a sipping ale, but they can definitely be big sips

This is my second or third time having this beer, first time on draft, and every time I like it more and more. Thank you Unibroue and thank you Tap and Mallet, I'll be seeing you both later.

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Photo of alexipa
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just amazing.

A: Very dark, reddish hue.
S: Given how dark it is, smells light and wheaty, with plenty of fruit undertones.
T: I'm not sure my palette is mature enough to properly give this beer its due. It's somewhat sweet, lots of fruity flavors, and even some wheat. Can taste the alcohol, in a good way.
M: It was very slightly overcarbonated for me. Creamy and still somewhat light.

I had this on tap at a local pizza place. Really blew me away and I ended up buying a few bottles later that night.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an amber red with a nice creamy head, which after a moment subsided but remained stciky on the glass. Smells heavenly of fruits and wine. The taste was equally as good, with a wonderful dark fruit, almost plum and raisin-like smell. Mouthfeel was excellent, and man, this is fo good I could drink it all day. Just a fabulous beer, no question one of the top few that I've had. Spectacular!

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Photo of ZAP
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrible??? Nahh try Fantastic....

Dark Black..some light shines through...small fizzy cola like head...actually cola like in color...licorice on the nose...some spicy peppery notes on the nose as well..full bodied...firm...pretty clean mouthfeel...sweet rich flavor profile...tastes like a Belgian, luxourious flavors...sweet maltiness..creamy texture...alcohol very hidden....I keep saying "Damn this is good" as I drink it...a fantastic brew...

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Photo of billybob
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

unibroue makes very good beer this is no exception.

pours very dark almost black with a big beige head that settles out slowly but almost no lace.

first whiff smells of alcohol and dark fruits but the second whiff the roasted malt and fresh coffee and hints of chocolate start working.

taste is exceptional changing with each sip, very complex flavors going on here. dark fruits with prunes and figs and raisins with coffee and roasted malts and warming alcohol.

with all this flavor mouthfeel is still light not oily or syrupy.

this was a christmas present and was a real taste treat.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh, boy. Now you're talking. Finally an Unibroue I can really love. The others (Maudite, Trois Pistoles, ___) have been quite good, but overwrought in one way or another, either too sweet or too rich. Perhaps it's the bottle conditioning of the Terrible that attenuates the flavors and creates more room for error. The yeast fruit definitely adds a dimension to distract somewhat from any flaw, as does the high carbonation. (A note on the bottle-conditioned carbonation: while being a bit sharp in the mouth, it is fought off so well by creamy mouth feel that what carbonation would be a liability in most beers here is an unwavering asset.)

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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,216 ratings.
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