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

Winter beer seasonal availability. Very dark color in beautiful bottle. 750 ml too much, a smaller bottle would be just right. Can taste the alcohol, and bitterness. Alcohol not as masked as other Unibroue's. Can substitute for an average wine earlier in the meal.

Had another bottle 1.5 years later and it's spiciness and yeastiness went
well with cheese. Upgraded.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with orange tint. Big carmel/toffee nose.

Big flavors; gigantic flavor of cooked fruit and apricots with black coffee and sweet malt. Finish is medium/short and stops this from being cloyingly sweet.

Soda pop character but good. Layered flavors of sweet malt, figs, prunes, raisins and brown sugar but with hints of cola and with a Dr. Pepper flavored finish.

Different but nice.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best before 11/15/16.

Pours an opaque brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, dark fruit, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet malt and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice fruity flavors but it's fairly boozy in my opinion.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw this at my local shop and thought it'd be cool to get my friend two bottles of this on his sons 2nd birthday to prep him for the Terrible Twos. He loved the idea and we broke open a bottle that night.

The beer poured out as a muddy brown color with a light tan head on it. The nose was spicy and had a bit of a booze smell going on. The taste was really good at first then it had a bit of a metallic flavor, I was worried that this was going to be the way the rest would taste but it went away. The flavors that remained were of spice, booze and some earthy bread in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel wasn't too bad, overall a pretty decent brew.

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Photo of metter98
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is cloudy and very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a creamy beige head.
S: Aromas of dark fruits stand out prominently in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and complex. It has a slight amount of sweetness with flavors of dark fruits and hints of spices and yeast.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is incredibly drinkable and goes down very smoothly.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great Belgian Dark Strong Ale that differs from the Trappist varieties quite a bit- but is no lesser in quality.

La Terrible begins with a dark brown, purple-ish glow. Though dark, the beer does show some light along with its modest haze. A timid blanket of foam rises and covers the beer while omitting lacing. The look is good but not great.

Aroams are very fruity with plumbs and grapes; backed by a foundation of pilsner malts, dark candi sugar, and raison-y malts this beer gives a lot of aromatic qualities.

Flavors of sweet malts and sugars give the impression of cola, bread crusts, and subtle pilsner malts. But the bread-and-butter of the beer lies in the yeast which delivers a punch of fruity esters (plumbs, grapes, raisons, figs, dates, nuts, and other stone fruits). Phenols give light woodiness or smokiness while the alcohols ride a fine line with fusal notes.

Though quite dry and warming, the beer delivers a digestable feel that is very easy to drink; far too easy for the alcohol punch that the beer delivers. The beer is nearly effortless to drink.

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

Cracked this open at C'est What in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The label's import agent (Unibrew USA - heh) is listed as being in Shelbourne, Vermont. Quite a circuitous route to get a beer that comes from ostensibly the same country in which I'm currently sitting at a bar...

This beer pours a very dark mahogany hue, with slight reddish edges, and a huge amount of creamy, puffy, light beige head, which leaves a thin ring of lace as it dissipates. It smells of that typical Unibroue yeast, dark sweet malt, coriander, banana, and spicy floral hop notes. The taste is big sweet dark fruity malt, mildly yeasty banana, dry earthy hops, and a wee bit of booze. The carbonation is moderate, with a dense, sticky body, and it finishes off-dry, with a somewhat clammy, sticky fruitiness.

A wonderfully balanced big boy beer, the effect worthy of its moniker.

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a tan head that persists beautifully with splashy lacing scattered across the chalice

Smell: Caramel, dark fruit, pungent spice, balsa wood, funky yeast and alcohol

Taste: Starts with a rum-soaked fruity aspect, combined with chocolate and caramel; mid-palate, there is a phenolic, herbal balance; the finish is relatively dry, with some residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light and carbonated for such a big beer

Drinkability: So powerful and complex, it is difficult to drink very much of this

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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 Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle - Poured a pitch-black beer with a nice huge dark head. Carbonation is excellent and aroma is really vinous with alcohol also perceptible. Complex flavor that includes spice, raisin and a bit of roastiness. Overall, this is a great beer that could rival some of the great strong Belgian ale but the alcohol flavor is bit too strong and should have been subtler.

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Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown/burgandy color with a fomay, bubbly, light-brown, three-finger head that left some good lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruit, like raisins. Also, a plum aroma. It had malty and floral notes, too.

T - It tasted of dried fruit (raisin) and had I nice malty sweetness. There were also hints of clove and spices.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is another outstanding beer from Unibroue. It holds up well to all of their other beers and other beers of this style.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico - Alexandria (feels weird to have to specify the city now!) Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice dark brown with a light tan head. Some lace as it falls down my glass. Nose brings a touch of booze along with some light dark fruits and some dark candy sugar. The taste adds in a bit of darkened sugar or caramel...maybe some molasses. Good dark fruits with a bit of sweetness. Medium feel with good carbonation. This is a nice example of the style, and it seems like it would age quite well.

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Photo of superspak
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, best before 11/15/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy khaki head with incredible retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a ton of streaming carbonation retaining the thick head. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, plum, apple, pear, molasses, toast, dark candi sugar, bread, clove, light pepper, bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of yeast ester notes with a good dark malt balance; and good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, plum, pear, molasses, toast, clove, pepper, bubblegum, dark bread, chocolate, dark candi sugar, and yeast earthiness. Slight fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light and dark fruits, molasses, dark candi sugar, toast, dark bread, clove, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of fruity ester flavors with a big dark malt backbone; and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick, creamy, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong dark ale. Great complexity and balance of fruity ester and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the gravity. A highly enjoyable offering as expected.

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of light brown head on an opaque brownish-black body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Toffee and sweet caramel with some cherry and plum fruitiness. Light chocolate and even a hint of nutty chocolate.

T - Thick and malty, cherries and toffee up front. Richer fruit comes out in the middle, plums and dates, figs. Finishes with some clove notes from the yeast and medium caramel complimented by light chocolate and a hint of spicy hops.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is quite fruity for a strong, dark belgian, but it comes together well and displays a nice level of complexity. The dark fruit is very nice, though the malt complexity is less impressive. Well worth trying and even deserving of a regular place in the beer fridge.

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

Pours a deep deep brown with a great slight off white sticky head,aroma is fresh and malty sweet with a light smokey note.Taste has bunch of different compnents definent raisin and candied sugar with smokiness that lingers in the finish along with some ever so slight tartness.Its been awhile since I have had a Unibroue beer until today and they were well missed.

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

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Super thick rich creamy head of 2 fingers fades slowly over basically pure black colored beer with just hints of light getting through around the thinned edges.

N: Lots of dark malts, lots of fruit, raisins, nuts, a little caramel, crystal malts, touch of Belgian candi sugar, some Belgian dark malts on top, and hints of cinnamon raisin.

T: very fruity to start. Sweet malts with Belgian malts, mostly dark, rich with candi sugar, raisin, lots of raisin, nuts again, a little cinnamon, caramel, toasty, and even a touch of roasted malts. A little warming booze to let you know it has some alcohol in it which stems from that candi sugar Belgian booze taste. A touch of bitterness comes out with all that.

M: Semi thick to medium with decent carbonation.

F: Sweet but dries well, pretty hot and boozy on the finish though. A little tingly alcohol and warming boozy taste and feel. Lots of sticky sweetness and sweet stickiness. Lingering dark Belgian malts a little with more raisin, nuts, dried fruits, chewy malt flavors, and a hint of bitterness again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

La Terrible delivers an opaque black body with burgundy highlights beneath a long-lasting head of rocky light tan foam. The retention is good, and it slowly drops to a wide collar and lacy surface covering but leaves little lacing (most likely due to it's 10.5% abv). The nose is yeasty and spicy (coriander, black pepper?) over some dryish malt with a light touch of fruit in the background. It's lightly zesty in the mouth with a very fine, natural carbonation that warms to become creamier and smooth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a bit more malt and fruit added to it. It's a bit sugary in its flavor, but not "sweet" as it's balanced by drying alcohol and a solid bitterness. The malt is a touch caramelish with a slight dark-chocolate-bordering-on-roasty note (dark fudge or brownie-like); and there's some fruit involved as well (plum/prune, dark berries, black cherry). It finishes dry with a clear note of alcohol and some residual malt and fruit. Quite nice!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a small goblet glass. Best before date of 11/11/2013 and I know I’ve had the bottle for at least 6 years.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains tart fruit, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of tart dark fruits, brown sugar, licorice and some chocolate. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is almost non-existent as you would expect from this type of beer after being cellared for this long. There’s a very faint hint of alcohol. The beer seems to get more balanced as you continue to drink it and the tartness looses a bit of its edge in a favorable way. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong and well-disguised kick, good representation of style, it seems to have held up quite well with time as I know this beer was made to do. However, even though it’s a good beer, I didn’t find it to be anything special.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $8.48 at Sherlock's in Marietta, Georgia. Best Before: 2-26-2012.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, walnut brown body with an appropriately tall, foamy, light tan head.

Smell: Sweet-scented, malty nose coming across as a plated up Shoofly Pie for dessert along with some secondary notes of dark fruits and spice.

Taste: Dark, not-quite-roasty maltiness with flavors of molasses, dark brown sugar, dark candi sugar, and sweetened cocoa-flavored coffee. Burst of black cherry, sour cherry, and cooked raisin fruitiness. Earthy spiciness with a hint of black pepper and ground cardamom. Small touch of alcohol warmth, though, as it warms somewhat, it becomes a moderate pinch of alcohol warmth. Finishes dry but also malty with a taste of, well, again, I'd say Shoofly Pie, but I feel that reference would be entirely lost on most.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Well carbonated with a tingly, altogether bubbly mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Paired remarkably well with the movie "Casino". I'd pair the last third with some food to see how it goes, but I only have yogurt and ramen, so... Easily one of the better Unibroue brews I've had, but, sadly, not one I often see around in Georgia. Ah well, such is life. Drinks surprisingly easy for purportedly being above 10%.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Roasted hazelnut that betrays a hint of crimson when backlit with weak January sunshine. Orange edges add some amount of visual interest. The crown isn't impressive in the least. It's toasted tan in color and lacks any sort of quality texture or stickiness. It looks worse over time and never does grace the glass with any lace. Only the beer's color allows the appearance to be granted an above average score.

While I like the aroma, it isn't what I expected. I would think that a Belgian strong dark, especially one called La Terrible, would be more dark malty than this. It's fig and bruised apple fruity with a pleasing amount of clove spice from the yeast. More complexity would be welcome.

The flavor gets things solidly back on track. I wish the beer smelled like it tastes, but then the latter is always more important than the former. This 2004 edition is really drinking fine right now. The 'best by' date on the label is 08-08-2007, while the brewery's website says the bottle should be good for 10+ years. I decided not to take a chance and popped it open today.

More than most Unibroue products, La Terrible actually tastes Belgian. It's a wonderful version of the style that compares favorably with some of the best I've ever had. For whatever reason, the flavor is darker and richer than the nose suggested it would be. Whatever complexity was missing has been found. Each mouthful is bursting with black raspberries, raisins, cherry tobacco, molasses and dark candi sugar.

Weaving in and out, tying it all together into a neat little package, is a spectacular clove and cardamom-intensive yeastiness that becomes even more bold as I get into the bottom half of the bottle. La Terrible is a little sweeter than most BSDAs, but that's how I prefer beer of this style to be. Tangy and spicy make sure that sweet doesn't get out of control. Warming brings about an almost unfathomable amount of depth. I hope 2004 wasn't the final year of brewing because I'd love to buy a a case of this stuff and lay it down for a few years.

I just realized that I haven't commented on the alcohol. That's because it's nowhere to be found on the palate. It is, however, beginning to make my head spin, so I'd better quit gulping and start sipping. Contrary to the mouthfeels on most Unibroue beer (which I find to be too light) this one is perfect for the style. It has a minor amount of chewiness and a lightly sticky finish. It also has a Belgian-like amount of carbonation that is further reason to applaud its authenticity... never mind the country of origin.

This stunning beer is, by far, my favorite Unibroue offering and is the best beer I've ever had from the Great White North. It's a classic BSDA that I would have sworn hailed from Belgium if I had encountered it in a blind taste test. Forget the overall score, it deserves to be thought of as a '4.5' beer at least. La Terrible is a great name, but a more appropriate one would be La Fantastique.

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

Review from notes.

A: Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Decent sized tan head, moderate retention and sporadic lacing.

S: A little dark fruit - grapes and currant, some molasses, and a lot of Belgian spice, mostly cloves.

T: Sweet dark fruit up from, grapes and prune, some more molasses, and some pepper and clove spice.

M: Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Sweeter than expected with a slightly dry finish.

O: A pretty good beer, not I would expect otherwise from Unibroue. While I liked it, I probably wouldn't grab it again. Might be the style as most Belgian Strong Dark Ales don't grab me.

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Photo of russpowell
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cool bottle, BBD 06/08/2007 (couldn't wait!!)

Pours black with a large thick, fluffy tan head that fills the top thrid of my chimnay glass. Good lacing and head retention

Smell: huge earthy, fruitty (plums) odors

Taste: fruitiness, tartness, sourness & leather. If I close my eyes, i swear I'm somewhere in the Andrennes. Sweetness & oakiness in the finish

MF: Effervescent, but too much alcohol for good balance

Not a good session beer to be sure, but drinsk good for its ABV . Great with strong cheese or these spicy green chille pistachios I'm enjoying right now! Worth the $$

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had not had this one in a long time, and certainly had never reviewed it but running across its path again lately made me think about it and decide it was time for a revisit. Served cold and poured into a small pint glass.

The pour was dark, nice dark brown color with some light ruby highlights when held up to the glass. Nice head of off white clings to the sides of the glass for all that it is worth. Big notes of prunes, dark fruits and light grain are the most notable right out of the gate. Warming brings this to the forefront even more so as the richness and depth of the aroma come forward. Each sip brought a different nuance to the table, dark fruit, figs, plums; pears are all well represented here. Really nicely done I have to admit. Nice big malts and a dry, almost spicy finish leaving you instantly looking around for more.

Overall I was impressed. This really a top notch and very well done example from Unibroue. I would have no trouble going this route again; in fact I cannot wait to.

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Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large, four-finger head. A touch of tan to the froth. Deep, dark ruby brown color. Light only shines through on the sides of the glass.

Sweet cherry smell. Some raspberry, too. Reminds me of a framboise, but without the sourness.

Rich sherry-like flavors: strong alcohol, sweet berry. Rich body with a warming swallow. If there are hops, they are hidden. I would consider this to be an after-dinner drink, IF you haven't had too much to drink already. This is a very tasty sipping beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Erik for sharing this with us at the Fridge -appreciate it cuz! enjoyed from a tulip chilled.

The color is deep burgundy with some brown hues with translucent clarity and thick cap of cream which holds well. The first sniff gives off some stone fruit and dark cherry odors with mild citrus and light spice ester from the yeast with mild sweet note of dark sugar. The aroma is varied well with slight hints of other dried fruit like date. The feel is very highly carbonated with moderate sweetness and low alcohol with slight spiciness and semi-dry finish.

I like how the yeast and sugar in this combines to give a hint of candied orange rind with the dark sugar providing some rum-like body with mild alcohol and sweetness in the middle there is slight nutmeg-like woody spice that carries over from the yeast and adds complexity with a nice mild creamy toffee note in the finish. Overall I though this is a solid belgian with a nice amount of flavor and has some interesting spice and fruit notes.

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