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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: 945 | Ratings: 2,194
Photo of karengarys
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours super dark mahogany brown, leaving a small head of light carmel colored foam - even with my slow pour. the foam keeps emerging.

The smell is a bit sour and musty, with sweetness. Interesting.

The taste is very good and a bit odd too. The alcohol is WELL hidden. It is rich and syrupey, a bit sharp-sweet. It has a musty sour taste, though, which I am not too fond of. Lots of flavors. Flavors should be rated a 4. The sour-mustyness seems off to me, so I've gone down to a 3.

The mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Kudos for such a high alcohol beer.

This is a good drink. Try it. I got it for $7/bottle at a grocery store (Wise Way in Crown Point indiana), and would recommend getting ONE to try. You may go back for more, or like me you may not. It is worth the try.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Terrible. Simply terrible. Actually, I just wanted to say that. I found this beer to be very flavorful and similar to the "blue" Chimay.

This beer is a very dark brown with some reddish hues. It looks black in the glass. A frothy tan head forms when poured, but quickly dissolves to a thick ring around the glass and a thin sheet on the surface. A faint aroma of cherry's, caramel malt and alcohol floats above the beer.

Each sip of this medium bodied brew tingles on the tip of the tongue. The flavor begins with a fruity combination of green apples and cherry's. spices (corriander?) and roasted malt fill the middle before a mild alcohol flavor finishes off each sip. An oaky/cherry flavor is left behind. The aftertaste reminded me of a port wine.

This is a good flavorful beer, but I thought the alchohol taste was a wee bit strong.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark mahogany, no head no lacing.

Dark fruits, nuts, cinnamon, spices.

Fruit at the forefront, mostly raisin and prune. Some belgian earthy tones and nuts.

ABV tastes around what it is - a bit heavy. Mouthfeel is medium.

A simple yet refined taste. Good brew from a good brewery.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark. Black enough to use the glass as a mirror to see my reflection. Poured with a large head, 2 fingers in width and good retention. Great lacing, and first few sips left me with a tasty mustache.

S- Fruits and sweets. Plum or red grape scent, with a subtle amount of mollases or sweet chocolate. Mostly just the fruit.

T- again plum or grape, a slight presence of chocolate but just barely.

M- a bit creamy but not heavy. Leaves a dryness in the mouth like a redwine.

D- too much umph with the higher abv to have more than just the one evening quench. But regardless of that abv still good enough taste to enjoy.

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Photo of gthornton
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 750ml bottle into a Delirium Tremens and Chimay glass.

A: very dark black... our bottle had a high amount of carbonation, so it is interesting to note those that did not. Foamy/fizzy head that lasted throughout, especially in the DT glass.

S: Coriander spice, peach, raisin, plum scents ahead of caramel malt tones.

T: Spicy, with booze overtones, not a chocolate per se, but perhaps close to a bitter cocoa, with a whiskey/MILDLY smokey overtone.

M: Great, soothing carbonation feel on the tongue. Gentle Boozey sting.

D: Makes a great nightcap. Great for a large glass. We are splitting this bottle, as we tend to do with our 750mls, so it might be a different tune if I had it all to myself, but I would say that one is enough, and then I would probably move on to something lighter in color and texture if were to be getting my buzz on in a social setting.

If pairing with food, I would be selective... avoid spices (especially asian)... perhaps a hearty beef stew would be good, or any red meat with light fixin's.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle in a Maudite snifter.

A - Nice dark brown with a light brown head that fade's fast.

S - Strong almost wine like smell.

T - Great flavor, really strong malt flavor.

M - Light bodied and good carbonation.

D - Good beer. Not as good as the other beers from Unibrou.

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Photo of scoots511
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a corked and caged 75cL bottle. Fine foamy head tan in color. Dark in color with some red ruby brown when the glass is tilted.

S: Yeasty with some fruit tones.

T: Tangy fruity tastes balance the high 10.5% ABV. Low hop flavors tasted on the finish intermingled with the fruits. Doesn't taste like there is too much residual sugar, (definitely a relief for me). Malty flavors with no root beer or tootsie roll taste.

M: Highly carbonated and clean feel

D: Goes down smooth with the fruit taste at the finish. Feels like a high alcohol beer but not 10.5%.

Overall I liked this beer. I am more in favor of more earthy tones. But this beer is not too shabby. They nailed the flavors with the yeast but I can't rate this higher than a B. Good Strong Dark Ale

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Photo of nsmartell
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a nice dark brown with lots of foamy head.

Smell: Alcohol, malt and floral.

Taste: Pretty sweet and malty and you the alcohol definitely comes through.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with lots of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is the first Belgian strong ale I can ever remember trying and I would definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of far333
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark chestnut color with ruby highlights where the light can get through. A dark beige foamy head rises up and remains perched atop the glass. Aroma is strong and sweet, fruity and yeasty. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy upfront, and tingly across the center of the tongue into the finish. Flavor is very rich and sweet, of cotton candy and pear and cinnamon. So full and sweet, that I can chew on it. Too sweet for me, cloyingly so. In many respects this is an excellent beer, but it seems to need more balance for my tastes.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark with an immediate foamy head that disappears quickly.

Tastes a bit stronger of alcohol than one would expect, but doesn't distract from the overall flavor. Has a strong woody taste with other notes of spice, a slight coffee being found in the aftertaste. It's the aftertaste that stays with you the longest, lingering in your mouth long after drinking.

Carbonation is a little more than I figured but works in the beer's favor.

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Photo of schmitter
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow, I've had this beer cellaring for about two months now and it is not what i expected.

Poured a deep, dark, almost opaque brown with very little head and almost no lacing.

Smells sweet, and fruity caramel notes.

Again, i get the caramel taste, and fruit, most notably dark cherries and some rich apples. I dont really taste the high ABV, other than the alcohol sweetness.

Not the best I've had from Unibroue by far, but clearly satisfying.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark, blackish brown with average lacing.

Smell - Smells quite tart with a hint of licorice. Hints of light fruits as well.

Taste - This is a very fruity beer. Light fruits, that is. Very tart and cirtusy. Slight hints of pomegranate as well. The most prominent flavor is light cherry, which remains consistent throughout the entire drink.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Very smooth and tart. Light cherry and other fruits. Very consistent throughout. One of the better offerings from Unibroue.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork - best before date 01/30/2016 - served into an EKU 28 snifter in me gaff in Los Angeles, California. I forgot where I purchased it. Reviewed live.

Expectations are very high based on the brewery and a friend's recommendation.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, nice thickness, slight tan colour, and above average retention - especially considering the high ABV. Colour is a nontransparent solid black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. Not unique or special but certainly sleek and appealing. Decent lacing.

Sm: Yeasty/lees, spice, cream, caramelized clean dark malts, hints of nuts, toasted malt, light hints of vanilla, and caramel. A pleasant mild aroma. It doesn't get me really excited, but it's enjoyable and somewhat inviting. Certainly alive.

T: Caramelized dark malts form the foundation alongside some biscuit malt. Yeast/lees are very present and very good. Some cream but not in any particular structural place more than any another. No alcohol comes through. Hints of vague vanilla, but I could be misreading the note. Light spices. Caramelization is weak. Well balanced and nicely built. Some layering. Complex enough. Subtle. The yeasty notes are wonderful here, giving it a biscuity depth that I quite fancy.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a creamy smack-your-lips effect that suits the lively flavour profile nicely. Adequately carbonated. Just thick enough. I do think it's a touch too smooth, but this is forgivable.

Dr: Another good brew from Unibroue. Pricey, but it's an import. This is a brewery that continues to impress me. I look forward to trying more of their offerings in the future. The biscuity yeast notes seem to be a talent specific to this brewery; I've noted that feature specifically in more than a couple of their beers. Very drinkable. Hides its ABV very well. I'd certainly have this again, preferably with a few years on it. I'd recommend this to friends (as it was recommended to me) Give her a spin if you like the style - you won't be disappointed.

A great candidate for aging.

Drank just fine out of me snifter. I'd recommend either a goblet, a chalice, or a snifter for this beer.

Would pair well with vegemite, creamy cheeses, plain toast, and unpronounced simple breads.


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Photo of ramrod666
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this ale pours a dark, dark brown. little head that is gone in an instant. little carbonation. fruity overtones abound. sour raisin flavor with a bitter but subtle bite. 10.5 % alcohol is moderately hidden. mouthfeel is bready and hearty. slightly astringent. finishing one bottle will prove to be a moderate task. overly this beer was a welcome to the dark ale style, just not as good as i had expected.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a super dark brown color, almost black. Almost two-fingers of tan foam of medium density form the head. Retention is pretty good. Lacing is sporadic and fairly sticky.

Dark fruits and brown sugars hit me first. Light phenols. Nice yeastiness. Good spice notes.
Not quite the big nose that I was expecting.

Again, this one is pretty subdued, which is not what was expected.
Good malty backbone, with a fairly big yeastiness coming over the top of it. Nice spice notes. Mild notes of figs and dark fruits. Light touch of brown sugar.
Not very complex, but a tasty brew, nonetheless.

Almost full-bodied. Most of my enjoyment was killed by the high level of carbonation. It really gets in the way of everything else. It's just all sharp and fizzy, in the mouth, and completely detracts from this beer.

While the high abv is nicely masked, the carbonation really kills the enjoyment level of this one for me.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a gift from my boss poured into a snifter

A- I thought that this is one of the best things about this beer. Tons of fluffy white head that appears to be lighter than I expeced and the body is dark

S- Funky belgian stank on this one. I smell booze and dark fruits.

T- Pretty good. Very boozey and dark fruits hit me with hints of caramel and a chocolatey undertone.

M- This one had a little more carbonation than i wanted but was an overall good delicious beer.

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Photo of david18
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a twelve ounce pour of this beer at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's Upper West Side. A very interested example of the style. Not the best for summer however.

Color was a dark mahogany. A little light on the carbonation but definitely not flat.

Aroma was of dark roast and dark fruit mixed with the yeasty aroma typical of a belgian beer.

Flavor had the same qualities as the aroma but also had a good amount of alcohol heat, maybe a little too much.

Overall a very good beer. Probably a great one if you're a big fan of the style.

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Photo of kkipple
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Clear brown with a crackling, fast fading tan head. Fizzy.

S. The usual Unibroue yeast is in full force here, it's hard to describe but it's quite unique. I'm getting figs, toasted grain, some vague spice and a good chunk of alcohol. There's also a hint of, I'm sorry to say, chlorine or something like it. But the overall smell is fine.

T. Sweet, lots of dark fruits and brown sugar here, spiced and yeasty and strangely dry on the palate. I wonder what the OG was on this beer... it's middling complex but the Unibroue funk-yeast thing is a little overwhelming here. Doesn't grab me.

M. Full and fluffy, generous! Cola-like in the mouth.

D. This wasn't a bad brew, but neither one of Unibroue's best. Still a fair value for the price, and worth a shot if you like their other offerings.

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Photo of TLove
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This Belgian Strong Dark has begun to spark a question in my more recent drinking preferences...Why is it that all Belgian-style ales are beginning to taste exactly the same?

This was certainly a very solid showing from the Quebecois brewery, though nothing exceptional by means of Belgians. And for the money, quite frankly, it was not worth the 23 dollars I shelled out at Brickskeller in DC to obtain it. The high ABV and beautiful, dark, but thin color had a refreshingly fruity scent and a light, translucent head. The taste was coppery, if not a little thin. The lacing was also a bit thin, and the dark fruits prevailed as the predominant taste component. It tasted rather like a light bitter and is comparable in its consistency to Duvel, a more well-known companion.

The beer was drinkable, but grew a bit weary over time. It had hints of something great at times, but the price factor overwhelms the enjoyability of this beer, which is unfortunate.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I ended up with this beer because I had a tasting and ended up having way to much beer. Since I spent the most money, I got to keep all the extra beer. Poured this bottle into my trusty Chimay chalice. Wow, it looks like Coca Cola when poured. Translucent brown with a huge rocky white head. Leaves no lacing whatsoever. Aroma is interesting. Definite notes of raisins, plums and other dark fruits. When cold, this beer has a hint of butter but if you let that puppy warm a bit the diacetyl really comes out. Taste is what I think an unsweetened raisin would taste like. Slight hints of other spices, but I cant put my finger on the flavors. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, almost like a soda. I'm glad I was able to try this beer, but at the same time I'm glad I didn't have to drop the 8 bucks on the bottle either.

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Photo of WesM63
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a dark murky brown with a 2finger light brown rocky head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Faintly smells of roasted malts, figs and alcohol.

T: Lots of roasted malts, dark fruits/fig and alcohol.

M: Full body and plenty of carbonation.

O: Not a bad Belgan Strong Dark Ale, however nothing really stands out on this.

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Photo of Pahn
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank two bottles of La Terrible with the intention of reviewing them (on two separate occasions). The first was obviously infected, and the second was not. The numerical score reflects the beer as it was intended by the brewery (non-infected). I'll include reviews of both because why the hell not?


750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled on July 29th, 2009, apparently at 1:47 AM. Guess it's all work and no play for the guys and gals at Unibroue.

Appearance: Free pour yields a two inch fizzy tan head that, instead of dissipating, pops into a swiss cheese pattern, ultimately popping away to a 3/4 inch head that dissipates very slowly. Pours a dark, mostly opaque reddish black and leaves occasional streaks of lacing.

Smell: Trademark Unibroue Belgian yeast, and lots of prune, plum, and grape notes. Some nice toasted aromas and caramel come out soon after pouring, along with an almost sour note. This smell is pretty much a 3.5, though after the beer warms up it develops this harsh booziness that actually makes all the other notes extremely beautiful and unique. This would have bumped up the score, but it seems to only last a short time--then the smell becomes more pedestrian than before.

Taste: First sip is all grape and Belgian yeast. Soon after the spiciness (clove) really comes out, along with a very sugary taste and feel. Aftertaste is hot alcohol warmth and spice. Less fruity than the nose. The mix isn't really working for me; I'm not impressed with this as a Belgian dark ale. It's lacking in complexity, and while the battling flavors are all pretty palatable, I'm not very intrigued by them.

3.5 is the perfect score for this. It *is* above average, and it tastes good... but I can drunkenly name 5 Belgian darks that leave no reason to drink this beer. I expect more from the style, and from the brewery. I'm not bashing it; in fact, I'm continuing to enjoy it. However, I can't review it any higher for taste.

Mouthfeel: Too much carbonation (though I got used to it). Light body. Sugary but not chalky. Finishes a little dry. Hot.

Drinkability: Pretty decent Belgian dark sipper. I was flat out disappointed with the first few sips, but the balance of flavors really grew on me. I'm not struggling to finish this bottle (I'm enjoying it), and I'd drink it again... but it's not in the same league as many Belgian darks and quads.

A hard to review beer... It's as if you're at a pizza-making competition, and green pepper is your favorite food. A pizza maker who you know personally and like has made you a pizza with green pepper, and the green pepper is excellent. Yet, the crust is overcooked, the sauce is bland, there's not enough cheese, etc. It's not a winning pizza, but it's working for you. I can't say that this is a great beer, but the balance of flavor that it ends up delivering (the hot boozy hit, the smokiness, the welcome caramel, the characteristic Unibroue Belgian yeastiness, the clove) is something that I like very much.


750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled on July 29th, 2009; the same batch as the non-infected bottle reviewed above!

Appearance: Careful pour yields a one inch fizzy tan head that dissipates immediately leaving no lacing. Opaque black with red edges. Looks like flat soda due to the color and lack of any head at all. No lacing. 2.0

Smell: Belgian yeast, sugary but indistinguishable fruit. Dominant sour tang, interacting with some toasted malty notes. Smells amazing. 4.5

Taste: Sour, funky, musty, tart, dry, with some prune in the background. I read the reviews of this before trying it... and something is obviously wrong here. A sugary taste develops as the beer warms, but still very musty. Some mild herbal flavors and phenols are showing up. Some flavor and acidity reminiscent of apple juice. Just enough sweetness and complex ester balance among the tartness and funk.

God damn. This is close to 5.0... I love it. Early on, the realization hits me that this amazing beer I'm drinking is a mistake, and I'm never going to be able to get it again. 4.5

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated despite how it looks. Very dry finish with a puckering tartness. 3.5

Drinkability: If this were how the beer were supposed to taste, I would buy it with great regularity. 5.0

(total score: 3.95, B+)

What can I say? I had this beer in April '10, and it's July '10 now... and it's still one of the most memorable beers I've had all year. Probably top 3. Unibroue, if you're reading this: pilot brew some La Terrible by putting it and some lacto into a barrel, or using some brett or something. This beer is AMAZING with some funk and sourness; those notes really make the sugary Belgian dark ale plum/prune, caramel, and smoke notes in Terrible SING. I am saying this emphatically enough to justify going all caps on it.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a very Belgian beer with some Saison qualities. Very strong smell, fruity and yeasty. Cherries, plums, spice and other dark fruits. Taste adds some subtle malts. A little sweet for me, but it does well to mask the 11% ABV. Nice warming touch but no boozy taste. Crisp and sour, with lots of carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my Uprising Chalice. Directly out of the tap, it was a very color, a combination of browns and reds with lots of head. This is a very clean tasting beer. There isn't much carbonation, but I don't mind that. There aroma isn't very distinct, but there is a hint of raisins or other dried fruit. I can detect molasses and vanilla in the taste. Also, there is a smoothness reminiscent of good bourbon (with the burn that is often associated with this trait). There is also a sweetness at the end that is very welcome. Overall, I pretty good beer; not Unibroue's best, but worth picking up a bottle (or ordering a pint) if you get a chance.

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Photo of HTownGuy85
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a snifter.

A - pours dark as dark can be. Pretty thick head (2 fingers) leaves minimal lacing.

S - has that Unibroue yeast smell, sweet like some dark fruits.

T - can definitely taste the alcohol! That slowly mellows out with the hops followed by prunes/dates and coffee flavor. Very interesting.

M - tingly on the tongue, kind of astringent. Good carbonation balance.

Overall, an interesting brew. I'd get it again for its complexity.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,194 ratings.
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