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: 951 | Ratings: 2,210
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a growler, this Belgian strong, pours a thick dark brownish red with moderate tan head
and fine thin lacing once the head dissipates. Nose of dark fruits, spicy Belgian yeast, plums,
light hops, and a faint hint of cocoa with dark Belgian candy sugars. Flavors are sweet candy
sugars up front and on the sides with a back flavor of cocoa, light pepper, dark fruits of plum
and pie cherries, and more sweet malts marrying with a light citrus like hop presence in the
background. Smooth mouth feel, moderate carbonation, and lots of warmth make this a fine
ale from the Unibroue folks.


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Photo of delta490
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Poured a very dark ruby, nearly black, with a foamy white head, which lingered on the beer but left no lacing. The aroma is in keeping with Belgian dark ales, with a robust malty sweetness, however my wife only noticed the citrus hops. The taste is a fruity, malty sweetness (think dark fruits), with hints of the citrus hops. Has a very nice texture and is easy drinking, despite it's 10.5% ABV. Expensive, but tasty.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Bottle dated October 4, 2013:
Pours deep auburn brown, with a huge amount of tan head. The bubbles are fairly large, but reduces to a nice foamy head that sustains very well and laces the glass with the initial sips.

The beer has a surprising citrus note to it. It definitely has the typical Belgian smells. The base scent has some dark fruit to it also. I had an overall feel of cola to the nose, but not sure why.

The taste starts out similar to a Belgian quad, starting with a bitter chocolate cherry, followed quickly by fig/date, and almost as quickly turns to a root beer like taste. The last taste is probably helped by the carbonation that comes along at that point in the taste. The final taste does add in a lemon-like tartness as well as the Belgian yeast making an appearance.

This is a very tasty beer and does seem fairly smooth behind the carbonation. Not sure how a year of aging affected the beer, but I would grab this again.

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Photo of dar482
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%

The beer comes in a dark reddish brown.

The aroma offers big port wine. Musty red grapes, dark sweet fruit, spice, dark caramel sweetness.

The flavor follows with those sweet dessert wine notes. Lots of concord grape peel on the middle that offers some bitterness to balance out the brew. Some dark fruit, banana, and clove help out the beer. A really good medium plus mouthfeel.

I preferred this over Trois Pistoles in a side by side.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter

A: Blackish brown. A thick, tawny one finger head that dissipates down to foam. Thick lacing.

S: Dark fruits (plums, dates, raisins, figs), Belgian yeast.

T: Follows nose with serious carbonation. Belgian yeast really shines though. Funky. Coriander pops up as it warms. Just terrific.

M: Medium to heavy with thick carbonation.

O: Another winner from Unibroue. I will definitely be purchasing this one again. A steal at $10.

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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 Shroud0fdoom
4.45/5  rDev +7%

look: Very dark dense ruby shade of brown. Nice Two finger off white foamy head. Alcohol legs are apparent. Smell: Spicy yeast, faint dark fruits maybe cherries. Some metalic, faint alcohol. Taste: Same in the aroma but throw in some cocoa nibs and coriander. Feel: Carbonation is on point to style. The body is medium built.

Overall there is alot going on in this brew, yet it comes together nicely. One of my personal favorite BSDA on this side of the globe. Unibroue keep em coming.

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Photo of don1481
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown that light barely can get through. Has an off white head that gradually diminishes and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: smells of sweetness and alcohol. Kind of a plum smell with spice notes.

Taste: sugar plum fairies with spice and the warming nature of alcohol, but the alcohol is definitely in the background. This is really good stuff.

Mouthfeel: pretty clean feel. Mild after taste.

Overall: for less than $10 for a 750 ml bottle, this is outstanding value for the quality. These guys make great beer at very attainable price points.

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Photo of BWED
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Deep brown, near black in color. Light tan head. Great lacing.

S- Dark fruits, prunes and raisins. Sweet malt, fresh baked bread. Belgian yeast notes.

T- Sweet dark fruit, very slight roast. Yeast spiciness.

M- Sweet, fruity, slightly dry in the finish.

O- Very tasty. Sweet and lots of dark fruit notes. The hint of dryness in the finish, pulls the reins on chugging this one down.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bucky bought two bottles of Unibroue's "Terrible" when it appeared in his local LCBO just before Christmas. It came in a 750 ml corked and caged brown bottle with a production date of August 28, 2012 printed near the neck. Terrible was a healthy 10.5% alcohol by volume.

I let this bottle sit for about 45 minutes before opening given the recommended serving temperature of 10 - 12C. As soon as I opened the bottle and the aroma wafted out, I suspected that I was in for something special. Terrible poured a nearly opaque brown/black colour, with just the slightest of hint of ruby at the core when backlit. Pouring produced about 1.5" of tan coloured foam that lasted for 3 minutes before fading to a foamy collar, leaving some modest spotting and lacing down the glass. Its aroma was fabulous...dark fruits, fortified wine, yeast and alcohol. The taste did not disappoint and was dominated by fortified wine, dark fruit (with cherries in the mix), alcohol and yeast, with occasional hints of bitterness at all in this beer, yet not too sweet. Unibroue 17 was a very good beer, but Terrible is in a different class again. Terrible's mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and rich, and Unibroue has the carbonation just right. As much as I enjoyed this beer though, I'm glad I shared it...I think I would have struggled through a full 750 ml bottle given the overall richness of the beer.

In summary, a world-class beer produced by a Canadian firm, and a multiple award winner to boot. My one and only complaint is the lack of availability in Ontario...even though I understand that it is available in the US year round. When it appears again, I'll be stocking up. Assuming that I can resist the temptation to drink it soon, I'll cellar my second bottle for a few years. Who may get better still! Just before Christmas, Terrible was selling for a rather pricey $10.95 per bottle, costing it a few points on the "value for money" factor.

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Photo of Mike-Harms
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Yum yum yum. Dark Belgian, tastes a bit like a good thick Dubbel. It grows on you, one of those beers that gets better as you drink it (my kind of beer), and at the end you wish you had another. At the end, when both you and the beer have reached a higher temperature, this beer is at its best.

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Photo of NVP12345
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich and dark with a smooth, thick head.

S - Very aromatic. Spicy like a Christmas beer.

T - This one took me by surprise. The dark fruit flavors are bold up front paired with rich carbonation, then takes a sudden turn towards sweet and sour as the carbonation dissipates. Very unique.

M - Velvety body with classic Belgian-style carbonation.

O - A very interesting beer, not quite like anything I've ever had before. Definitely worth trying, but after about half a glass the sweetness is a little overpowering.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle date 2013; Poured Feb 2016

Pours dark brown with 2-3 fingers of fizzy head that falls to a nice cap leaving nice lacing. The nose is toasted malt, dark candi, plums, raisins, bread, yeast. The taste follows suit with lots of bread, yeast, raisins, plums, brown sugar, Belgian candi, spice and finishes with a touch of bittering hops. The body is light considering the ABV and a bit thin for my taste. A fantastic beer.

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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 ChugMan
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Food Pairing - Sweet/mild Italian sausage and sauerkraut went pretty well with this, definitely worthwhile. Fruityness of the beer was especially welcome with the light, meaty saltiness of the sausages.

A - Nearly opaque, deep dark orange. Abundant foamy head which left streaky lacing.
S - Dried fruits, lively. Warm but refreshing. Very inviting.
T - Fruit flavors dominanate: red and golden delicious, apricot, peach. Low bitterness which contributes to a mild, tart raspberry sensation. "Brewed with Spices"- clove definitely, maybe some cinnamon. A very bandy-like quality is present as well. Very nice balance considering the relatively high %.
M - Smooth with some spice grittyness, little syrupy, not great but not entirely unpleasant.
O - A lovely beer! Terrifically authentic, sweet fruit flavors. Works as either a meal compliment or on its own, great fun exploring it.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I've greatly enjoyed other brews from Unibroue (including Trader Joe's Vintage Ale) so I had high hopes for this one.

I poured this deep brown brew from a 750 into a tulip glass and was rewarded with four fingers of fine, tan, long lasting head that left surprisingly little lacing on the glass in its wake. The thick foam eventually receded to a ring around the edge.

The smell is strong with dried fruit, raisins and prunes with only a vague sense of hops and a little spice, ginger and possibly allspice.

The taste is very sweet with raisins and molasses front and center, fading to a bitterness like a sugar overload. I couldn't detect any hops at all in the taste.

This is definitely a mouthful of feel, a medium to big bodied brew. If I hadn't been sharing this with a friend I wouldn't have been able to drink the whole thing myself. Light on carbonation and heavy on the tongue, this is a BIG brew.

On the whole, I didn't really care for this. Too sweet and unbalanced for me. My taste has recently shifted toward much more hoppy brews, so perhaps that's part of my disappointment with this highly rated ale. As much as I enjoy big Belgian Christmas ales (Corsendonk, St. Bernardus), this strong dark ale from Quebec was more than I bargained for.

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Photo of One1Asterisk
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed La Terrible out of a snifter with a couple of friends. I loved the heavy raisin smell on the nose, and the beautiful color and mouth-feel this ale provided. I was once a fervent drinker of spiced ales, and they began my beer quest some years ago. La Terrible is an excellent Unibroue offering, and I'll be sure to pick up a few more bottles next time my eye catches the name. I'd love to see how this ale ages!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: deep, dark ruby liquid... semi-creamy, tan foam... little bits of lace

S: clove, prune, semi-sweet dark chocolate... not at all boozy.... overall, bold, dynamic, and inviting

T: dark chocolate and dark fruit up front, quickly followed by potent allspice and brandy-ish fruit flavor and rush of booze.... brown confectionery licorice in the finish through to the aftertaste

M: quite silky-smooth... long-lingering, tonic booze with a touch of subtle warmth... long, slow, mildly viscous finish... ultimately dry with a lingering, ultra-light acidity

O: most, if not all, of Unibroue's large bottle offerings are pretty killer - this is no exception... have gotten myself in trouble with this one as part of the 'Unibroue Challenge' at Pistola's a few years back

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Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Unique dark grey-ish-brown color. Murky, and nearly opaque except around the edges of the glass. Hearty-looking.

S: A subdued smell, but an appropriate introduction to the flavors of the beer. Very deep, slightly sweet, slightly oaky.

T: The combination of the appearance and the smell is a decent indicator of taste, so there are no surprises. The taste is soft, smooth, and immersive . The blend of flavors is seamless, giving the sense of one cohesive identity. The subtle coppery undercurrent common in a lot of Belgian ales. In short: deep, nuanced, and most importantly delicious.

M: Thick and hearty, but not overly sticky or filling. Only a slight indication of the ABV.

O: A great beer, one I'll definitely be buying again. Impeccably balanced and a real pleasure.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle aged 1 year 6 months. Poured into chalice as recommended..has a very dark brown/almost black color, when held to light this beer shows slight tones of dark burgundy. Smell is rich of fruit, yeast, chocolate, and raisin..taste is much more complex than the smell, lots of black cherry up-front, raisin, chocolate, plum, caramel. A rich madeira wine essence and a little woodsy oak on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with medium-heavy carbonation, especially for a "quad" strong ale. Bubbles are small and stickiness is present on the lacing. Overall a great beer, complex, balanced, and interesting enough. Aging has served this one very well. Serve with aged sharp/stinky cheeses, duck breast, filet mignon, desserts (cheesecake) blackberry chocolate mousse, salted carmel and almond bark.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle bought at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a deep, dark brown, slightly purple color, into my Abandon Brewing tulip. 3 inches of head quickly settles, leaving one inch for a while. Not much visible carbonation due to this being nearly opaque.

Intense smells of dark fruit. A little spice.

Tastes like bold, slightly tart, dark fruits (raisins, plums, grapes) with the typical zesty Belgian yeast flavors. Relatively sweet. Slight, but very mild hop bitterness.

Medium body, very little carbonation.

Unibroue knows that the hell they're doing with Belgian ales. This one is great.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark plummy brown with an elegant layer of beige head that sits thin, but long. Looks great in my La Trappe chalice.

Clove phenols with dark rummy fruit flavors of stewed cherry, grape, and date. Esters are strong in the nose. Faint spice notes speak of star anise and coriander. Excellent.

A complex strong dark ale with notes of raisin, dried cherry, clove, a little chocolate, star anise, light banana, and lightly roasty malts. Finishing with some bitterness. Hidden citrus notes underneath. Really well-crafted.

Medium body and soft carbonation. Could use some filling-out.

Great Belgian ale with dark fruit tones and a hint of spice.

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Photo of RusImpStoLuv
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 750 into snifter.

Looks amazing, nice 2 finger head, looks like it will be tasty.

Smell is somewhat disheartening (for my likes), similar to a sour ale. Very strong scent looming from it though.

Taste...ummmm good. Nothing what I expected from what the nose was giving me. Very well hidden alcohols. Warmed very well.

Just what I expected from a BSDA.

Overall, I love this beer and the style. Something different from the normal lineup. High in abv and very drinkable. A must try at some point.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best before 11/16/16 bottle at 40 degrees into goblet
Aroma of figs, dates, “dark” fruit
Head average (3 cm), antique white, creamy, mostly lasting
Lacing minimal
Body dark brown/black with reddish overtones against the light; initially clear with some yeast haze (bottle conditioned) toward the end
Flavor begins with a sweetness resembling dates and figs, no hops, no diacetyl, no alcohol; ends with a faint burning, somewhat clovey goodness
Palate is medium, creamy, lively carbonation

A very flavorable “dark ale on lees”; one that I really like (I buy all I can find) which is available year-around in the US (HA!) but is seasonal in Canada (According to the website).

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Photo of _--TAD--_
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Overall great taste, bought a bottle for the holidays and it was somewhat expensive but turned out to be well worth it. Plus I happen to be a sucker for beer bottles that do not have paper label and incorporate the label as part of the bottle, it really added to the experience because it shows the though about every detail of their product and not just good tasting beer, but it shows they even cared about the presentation and culture of their product.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,210 ratings.
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