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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 JohnGalt1
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 pulled from the basement for my weekend cellar cleanup party. Got this a long while back from my main man in the Beehive State... Wasatch!! Thanks for all the great bottles over the years John.

Dark brown brew with a sorta flimsy white head... descent lacing and cap though.

raisins are abundant.. there is a slight oxidation that really doesn't detract... a bit of burnt sugars add nicely to some minor phenols.

again raisins run amuck in the flavor.. a bit more spicy phenols... mild clove and white pepper.. dark cherries on a later pour.. just hints of oxidation....

great body.. carbonation may be a tad high.. but I tend to think that with most Unibroue beers.

I doubt I would age the '04 much longer... but I really thing this was a nice brew... thanks again John!


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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 flagmantho
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into my Unibroue tulip. Bottle says best before 11-11-2013; I think I would have preferred a bottled-on date.

Appearance: entirely non-translucent black with three fingers of bubbly tan head. Capital.

Smell: initial impression is that it is quite fruity; mostly big pears and raisins with a little apple but there's also something musty in there. Quite nice.

Taste: big malt; a lot of raisin and pear. This tastes a little like a somewhat light, nuanced barleywine with just a tiny touch of roasted malt. Not that I'm complaining; the flavor is very good.

Mouthfeel: medium body with big carbonation; texture is creamy and highly appealing.

Drinkability: I like the fact that this, to me, tastes like a highly carbonated, light-bodied barleywine. It is sophisticated yet approachable; a frankly difficult combination to achieve. Quite drinkable indeed.

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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 John_M
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today. The beer pours a very dark brown color with OK head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is intriguing, as I get a considerable rootbeer aroma, coupled with some light chocolate and underlying spice. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except there is also cherry and light orange as well. The beer has an interesting spicey finish as well, with a hint of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, with some fairly lively carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, considering the abv. and moderate sweetness.

A good solid beer from Unibroue, though I can't say it's one of their very best.

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

Pours an extremely dark brown with a very finely beaded head that fades to a thin cap. Smells bready, sweet, and slightly spicy with typical Belgian yeast notes. Tastes a little sharp, but otherwise pretty much like the aromas with an additional hit of Belgian yeast spice, as well as some licorice and caraway. Fairly complex, but not necessarily a harmonious whole. Very smooth and a bit tangy in the mouth. Amazingly smooth for the huge abv makes this surprisingly drinkable. One of their better beers. I always enjoy this one.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 750 ml. bottle. Expiration date of 11-11-2013. Sampled on Feb. 28, 2010. This was a difficult cork to remove. I had to use a corkscrew, which I never have to do for beer corks. Luckily I did a good job popping it so none of the cork ended up in the beer. It pours brown with about two fingers of puffy beige head. The aroma is a tad alcoholic but not offensive in the very least. I note some light hops, malts, cereal, and bread. The mouthfeel is decent and rather bold. The taste is incredibly smooth with a bitterness that is typical of strong ales along with mild hops. All told this was an excellent brew.

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Photo of Derek
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the 2004 vintage, loved it & bought the remaining few bottles from the store. They disappeared, so in February 2006 I bought a case & split it with a friend. This '04 vintage is still aging nicely.

A: Cola with a tan head, good retention & lace.

S: Dark fruit, spicy, slightly bready, brown sugar.

T: Wonderful blend of spices, pleasant dark fruityness, brown sugar and hints of chocolate.

M: Moderate body (really well-attenuated for its strength) is smooth; carbonation is moderate.

D: Easier to drink than many Belgian Dark Ale's, and this one's strong! Serious trouble.

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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 weeare138
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'05 editioin...
Appears a dark mahogany with a tan head and decent lacing.
Smell is of Belgian yeast with dark malts, and spicy fruit.
Taste is of the Belgian yeast again with some funky breadiness and dark malts blended with spices and plums.
Mouthfeel is that of an effervescent, sugary brew with a Belgian yeast that makes if mildly fruity. There is a slight chalkiness to this brew though. Not that it's bad but it's detracting from trying to enjoy it.
Drinkability? To me, the ABV is evident all around.

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

An excellent ale that pours a three finger, thick light brown head fades slowly leaving a good lace. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is a malty alcohol. Very deep amber, almost black color. Starts smooth and malty and finishes with an alcohol overtone. Ages well, bought Sept 2006 bottled 2004, best by Aug 8, 2007. $6.22 for a 750ml bottle from Smiley's Beverages Dover, NH.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque cloudy very dark brown, with a thick and creamy mocha head of rocky bubbles. some carbonation, but not that noticeable. Just dark and rich and heavy looking. Fabulous.

Dark raw cacao flavours on the nose, a dusty earthy character and a hint of wet leather. Dark, gritty and dirty, and that's just what I want. There's a little sweeter rum-raisin character coming through as it warms, a little hint of alcohol, but not a huge amount. Still, very pleasant indeed.

Creamy and slick mouthfeel, like melted ice-cream, it's so smooth and slippery and rich, just gorgeous. The taste is a bittersweet dark chocolate richness, with a lingering refreshing alcohol bitterness, with even a hint of citric acidity - like grand marnier or curacao. Lovely, just smooth and rich, but sweet and darkly fruity at the same time.

What a fabulous brew; a rich and full number, with a huge deal of complexity, and a superbly hidden alcohol content. It's extremely drinkable for something I know is so heavy.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish body with a one-finger offwhite head that left some lace down the glass. A candi-sugar and yeast sweet aroma, along with touches of dark fruit and something like figs. Medium-bodied and easy passing although a tad bready/filling, a nice balance of candi and caramel sweetness as well as some light touches of dark fruits (cherries, apricots, figs, touches of citric orange - my tastebuds are all over the place). Finishes a little dry and crisp and not as boozy as one would think with high ABV.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anything but the name indicates.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with red hues around the edges when held up to the light. Topping off the beer was a 2 finger foamy ivory-tan head that retained nicely as well an equally impressive lacing.

S: a beautifully soft roasted malt and nuttiess to it as well dried fruit (cherries, raisins).

T: The initial flavor was very smooth with a yeasty touch of dried bananas. There was some dark molasses, alcohol, and a light candi-sugar sweetness as well detected. A light tartness from the yeast of musky fruit and bread was experienced as well some dark, bitter chocolate.

M: medium, well carbonated and very smooth on the tongue. A pleasure to behold.

D: Incredible drinkability, abv is well hidden and comes highly recommended.

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

A: Poured a deep brown with a nice dirty white head

S: Vinous grape and slight alcohol aroma and molasses

T: A sweet refreshing kick characteristic of champagne initially. Delicious molasses undertones mesh beautifully with the vinous taste. Hints of blackberries, plums and strawberries. Leaves with a slightly sour/bitter aftertaste. Abv is detectable, but not dominant.

M: Absolutely amazing. This beer has a ridiculously low viscosity, yet it moves in my mouth like a thicker beer would. It is astoundingly smooth and incredibly refreshing.

O: Great. It is soothing and delicious, very easy to finish.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a deep dark brown that is opaque with a thick creamy head that turns a thin wisp of tan bubbles forming a head. There is a good strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S-This beer has a soft dark sweet malt note with some hints of caramel and prunes/raisins. As it warms there is a note of bread that gives nice depth.

T- This beer has a smooth soft malty flavor with some notes of prunes and plumes. There is a bread and yeasty note in the malt aswell. There are some dark sugar candy notes that come through when it warms, and they blend in with the slightly sweet finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight creamy mouthfeel. There is a strong fizz texture in the finish. No astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer has a nice dark fruit and sugar flavor with some other dark malt flavors. This is a well-built and smooth drinking beer.

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

Served in tulip. Poured black with no light showing through, and had a deep tan head that quickly dissipated and left minimal lacing.

A rich aroma featured mostly earthy fruit notes with a hint of yeasty spice. The flavors were very similar with the fruit flavors dominant.

While the body was full and smooth, I found it to be a little thin for the style. Drinkability was very good, smooth and easy to drink, although at 10% I'm not sure about drinking several in a row. Overall, a wonderful beer from an excellent brewery, worth trying and seeking out.

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Photo of akorsak
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking this from a 750mL bottle in The Chimay goblet (like The Pennsylvania State University, the goblet has earned the capital 'T'). The ale came from the fridge cold and has progressively warmed up.

Appearance: Nice midnight black color when poured. No discernable red hints noted. Decent head when poured but none left shortly thereafter.

Smell: The smell of spices (curacao, coriander, cardamum) make themselves known. The cardamum especially (also a component of Edition 2004) is an exotic tasting/smelling spice that really adds a lot to the beer.

Taste: Again, the spices make themselves known, providing an explosion in the mouth that gives way to a long finish. The curacao and cardamum play nicely together.

Mouthfeel: The ale is highly carbonated, allowing the bubbles to cleanse the mouth with each sip. Let the beer sit on your tongue and the spices make themselves abundantly known.

Drinkability: At 10.5% ABV, this is not a brew for the faint of heart. As it is only sold in 750 mL bottles, one is forced to enjoy 2 12 oz bottles so there is an inherent drinkability requirement.

I've read forums that this beer is coming off of the market. If that is the case, stock up as it is a keeper.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark brown color with a huge light tan head that sticks around forever and leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is filled with dark fruits (most notably fig and plum) along with spices and yeast. This one possesses a very nice aroma. I love Belgian beers with the big malty aroma with dark fruits.

T- The taste isn't quite as impressive as the aroma. The taste is very dry with some alcohol soaked fruits and spices. I was surprised at how dry the finish of this beer is.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- La Terrible is a solid beer that was very enjoyable, but it is definitely a sipper. Recommended.

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

750ml Bottle from Marche Omni QC for 8$ - 2012 vintage

Appearance – Brown colour with a massive average size fizzy dark beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, grains, raisins, bananas, clove

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, banana, and raisins. There is also caramel mixed with some yeast and clove and a hint of cherries. It ends with a somewhat sweet and spicy aftertaste.

Overall – The booze was well hidden and it's quite drinkable given the ABV. For my money trois pistoles (which is also available in a smaller format) is just as good if not better. Still another fantastic beer from this brewer and I'm looking forward to seeing how a bit of age affects the rest of my bottles.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: deep brown, almost opaque black. Poured a three finger coarse light brown head that dissipated quickly to a quarter inch thickening around the rim. Clear lacing.

S: Spices aroma with dark fruits and raising.

T: Dark fruits and raisins up front. Brown sugar and burnt caramel come next. Finishes with dry alcohol and burnt toffee or coffee.

M: Medium-bodied. Fizzy carbonation make it a bit thin.

D: Other than the finish, very consistent with St Bernardus or Rochefort. Overall, falls a bit short. Pretty sure I'll try this one again though.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best I can describe this is a full, better flavor Belgian Dark. Bold dark fruits, raisins, figs, plums and some spices. Maybe some star anise. Underlying belgian candi sugar and huge carb really helps to coat the palate. Probably the best Belgian Dark I've ever had.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 18/7/11

A hazy dark brown with reddish brown highlights when held to the sun, big three finger light tan head falls fairly fast leaving only a few random patches of lace, my second pour however had great retention and left loads of lace all unorganized but there was even a few chunks hanging off the side. I'm thinking the first pour cleaned my dirty glass because the head stuck around and too the side of the glass the second time around

S very mellow spicy yeast with a little apple cinnamon pie with some candied cherry, raisin and faint booze

T what I smell but with some faint root-beer/cola, slightly herbal and a little dark fruit but I can't distinguish which one, a little brown sugar and yet again the booze is well concealed, I taste some booze but it just blends in to the background. If 4.75 was an option I'd use it here but... its closer to perfect then 4.5 so here it is a "5" for taste

M lighter then one would expect but just enough carbonation to liven things up, the aftertaste is faint and mellow but it goes forever

O not sure how I enjoyed such a big beer on the hottest day I'll probably see in Calgary this year (31C/50%humidity) I know, I know, but here its hot as funk and big BSDA's should never slam back this fast regardless of the season

Not the first time I've had this beer but I was too loaded to take notes last time. I had an 8 and 7 year old bottle last year (or was it 7 and 6?, 02 and 03 it think) and I remember one of the beer geeks there with a greater knowledge then me saying this ones barley drinkable fresh... I disagree

I can recall begging Sleeman reps for a long time with no success to let me sell this bad boy and was told I could keep dreaming. To say I was pissed off buying this at a "competitor" here in Calgary is an understatement. I'm concerned that Sleeman doesn't want the business of one of their best customers in the province. I'm very worried for the Albertan consumers of Unibroue at this rate. I struggle remembering Don Du Dieu and at this rate all their beautiful beers will be a distant memory and I want to barf as a result, not booze induced vomit, just disgusted with the situation kinda spew

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Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle obtained via trade with LuckySevens82. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged, with cage marked as 2004 bottling, and a best before 8/8/07 on the bottle.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed 2" of tan head over the very dark caramel brew. Head holds on for more or less forever, finally fading to a 1/4" layer of bubbles after about 10 minutes, and nice foamy lacing along the glass. Aroma is spices, dark fruits, and some alcohol burn. Taste is light dark malt sweetness up front, with some dark fruitiness quick to follow, and the spicing and alcohol warmth close it out. Mouthfeel is creamy and oh-so-smooth, with drinkability that is very nice for the style.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml caged and corked bottle, back of bottle says best before 04-15-2015. Served in a chalice, the beer pours very dark brown with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a little while. There's also a decent amount of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like dark fruit, brown sugar, chocolate, caramel, dark bread and a sweet spiciness. For the most part I think the taste is just like the aroma, but there's also some earthiness and a bit of tart cherries noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth, a bit coating, and has a good amount of soft carbonation. Overall I liked this, certainly worth picking up if you've never had it before!

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