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: 952 | Ratings: 2,211
Photo of DaveBar
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at Champagne's in Warren MI for $7.99- 750ml bottle served at 8deg C. Aged 2yrs in my cellar

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high light brown head that lasts for over 5mins before film out. Very dark brown almost black colour. You can't see through it even if an atomic bomb went off 2ft away it's that dark. Seen many times in stouts but not an ale.

S- Oodles of character. Tobacco, molasses, pear believe it or not and yeast

T- Peppery. Very similar to other Unibroue selections. Same yeast. Caramel. Lots here but subdued. Surprizing really. Has a budget cola flavor for a bit.

M- Waterier than I thought it would be

O- Not so good. Started out like a house on fire but ended in a whimper. Will not buy again

Food Pairing

This spicy brew went well with....... Roast beef and gravy with mash spuds on the side. Pick a veggie but it won't go well unless you spice it up in a recipe. Pretty overpowering brew for veggies.


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Photo of fission523
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, nearly black, and completely opaque. Thin cream head dissipates quickly.

Smells bitter, bit of alcohol, sweat bread and cherries.

Mouth feel is very pleasant; smooth but good carbonation. Tastes of burnt caramel, cherries, chocolate, cinnamon. Very pleasant and complex flavors. Aftertaste is a bit of alcohol but sweet and fruity.

Very good - highly recommended.

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Photo of anon
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very deep mohogany hue, nearly opaque. Two-finger head of thick, tan hued foam. Dissipates to a pool of foam with decent retention.

One of those brews you can smell once you pour it - lots of sweet, dark fruits on the nose; plum, raisin, fig and peaches. Clove, cherries and grapes. So much fruit, this smells very akin to a wine.

Taste is heavy on dark red and stone fruits; plum, prunes, raisin, fig, cherries, red grapes, white grapes, apple skin, peaches. Tons of spice in the backbone; lots of clove and nutmeg, tying in with the deep fruit flavours bring out notes of pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon. Banana bread, vanilla bean, rum, molasses, fruit cake, pie crust, sherry, roasted malts and sweet milk chocolate.

Finishes off on the sweeter end of the spectrum, with a nice touch of booze adding to that. Nice clean finish after the slight astringency. Nice lingering flavours of stone fruit, apple skin, baked cherry pie and Graham crackers.

I absolutely loved this brew, tons of layers and complex flavours in this one. Definitely need a few of these to age and see how the flavours progress. Would also be a good holiday beer. Excellent.

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

Pours a thick dark amber-- near black. Strong head reduces to excellent lacing. Too dark to judge carbonation activity. Sample was bought in August 2015 and aged close to a year on room temp rack. Aroma is prunes, raisins, rum, port wine, and oak. Some sherry and slightly rotten apricots as well. Excellent mouth feel. Full and dry. Carbonation is low on the tongue. On the nose, rum and raisins. Some port wine. Sour notes are intense. Like rotten fruit or sour wine. Beautiful transition to sweetness-- malt, caramel, cocoa nibs, vanilla, tannins, and root beer. This happens mid-palate and creates a complex taste profile. On the back there's pepper, cinnamon, and sugar. Lingering booziness and sour notes. Rum and raisins. There an aftertaste of vanilla wafers and rum with sour grapes. Not for the faint of heart-- but for those who love complex and powerful traditional beer this is a true gem. 4.5 out of 5. Excellent. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a simple black with a large beige head. The aroma is very yeasty, with lots of clove, some banana, nutmeg, and apricots. The flavor offers up figs, banana bread, sweet potato, pumpkin flesh, nutmeg, and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is soft and foamy, and surprisingly not rich at all. Overall this is a powerful yet balances beer, with plenty of fruit and spice, and yet deceptively drinkable.

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Photo of teromous
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle has 012151920QFL printed on it and "BEST BEFORE 03-09-2020" on the back label.

Appearance: The body appears black and allows no light in; totally opaque. The head is a short but creamy very light khaki. It fades fairly quickly but retains a short creamy cap. There are fine bubbles around the glass.

Aroma: It has an interesting aroma. There is a good amount of clove an some prune. The aromas are very faint but when I get close there is no mistaking them. The prune aroma starts to get a lot stronger the longer the beer stays in the glass. A fresh pour of the beer really masks the aroma but letting it sit, even for a short while, will really bring out the fruity prune aroma. As that aroma starts to develop it even starts to take on a raisin character. It is really very nice. At first I was pretty underwhelmed by the aroma and the more it sat the more was revealed. Some caramel even made it to the party which was very nice.

Taste: From the onset I pick up quite a few flavors. It closely mirrors the aromatic profile but it leans closer to caramel flavors and a bit of a mossy flavor creeps in. The clove is a bit strong and it pushes away the prune. The overall flavor character is light and again clove and caramel dominate.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light earthy and slightly sweet finish. The beer is very enjoyable and is pretty easy to drink. That sweet finish hinders drinkability just a tad but with a good palate cleanser this beer is wonderful.

Overall: It's a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a good array of flavors. It wouldn't disappoint and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy-to-drink ale of this style. It's the kind of beer that I might drink again and I might not. It is certainly better than your average Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

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Photo of mchegash
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Very dark brown, opaque. Half a finger of beige head.

S: Dark red fruits, a little booze, some darker malts. Smells quite similar to a red wine (maybe a kinda boozy Merlot?)...if the wine was carbonated and had malts added to it. Hints of spice as well.

T: Moderately sweet, with the dominant flavor being the slightly boozy red fruits that were present in the aroma. A bit sour. Spices are faint but present.

F: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: This is a decent Belgian beer, probably not worth the price though.

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Photo of mkh012
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. A deep, dark red with an inch of tan head. The nose is stronger than most Unibroue beers. I get sour cherry, chocolate, and raisins, and the taste largely follows. Bright and juicy for the style. Similar to Trois Pistoles but a bit more intense and sour. Mouthfeel is medium. Fairly carbonated at the start but creamy mid-palate. Definitely one I would seek out again. Cherry, chocolate, and dark fruits, undercut by a touch of pear and green apple. Maybe just a little too sweet. Still a phenomenal beer.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque blackish brown color with a light tan head withedium to good retention.

Dark rich roasted vegetables with oats and molasses. An earthy mushroom and yeast undertone shines through as well.

Taste again starts malty and sweet of molasses. A tangy spice of coriander creates a tongue tingling warmth that pairs well with the yeast and rich black earth. As I continue to sip it, I start to notice more prune juice and dark cherry notes--maybe just a byproduct of the beer reaching more optimal temperatures too.

The feel is suprisingly light and crisp despite the richness and sweetness. To be honest, it is a little to light and delicate of s body and gets overwhelmed. Slightly higher viscosity would have been welcomed here. Also a boozy funky aftertaste builds with each sip.

Overall a tasty belgian style strong dark. Not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of Tilly
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Brown, opaque, khaki head. Long lasting lacing.
A: Dark fruit, spice, malt and caramel.
T: Not far from the taste. Cane sugar, Dark fruit, sloe plum, raisin, caramel, cardamom,
M: Full body, champagne like carbonation, creamy at the back, nice dry finish with every so slight bitterness.
O: Well crafted Belgian Quad from my home and native land.

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Photo of JoLight
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Khaki head, super frothy, lots of great lacing; dark, dark red body, but black front on. Lots of particulate matter.

Aroma: dark wheat, something peculiar and interesting. Some kind of fruit? Cherry? Something unknown. Graham crackers?... Alcohol.

Taste: bland, watery for the style. Faintly sweet and tart as it warms. Graham crackers, again?

Medium full mouthfeel.

Semi-thick finish.

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Photo of JayQue
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another good one from Unibroue. Pours a dense brown color into my Chimay goblet. Some light comes through at the bottom of the glass. Big light tan head with better than average retention. A few very thin bands of lacing on the glass. Very good aroma of dark fruit, malt and some peppery spices. The taste adds a strong yeast presence to the aroma found in the mix. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth for the most part, There is a brief boozy presence but it is more warming than harsh. A very good dark Belgian.

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Photo of BIll_Currie
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

got this bottle at a total wine and more. they only had one left. score!! great pour. one of the better dark Belgians I've ever had. not a big fan of unibroue but this is a great one

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Very dark brown pour that's borderline black in color and opaque. Lacing is thick, cream colored, and has an even layer across the top.

S - Plums, figs, and bready.

T - Some toasted caramel malt, spice, plums, a shot of apple, grape, and a little bit of raisin. The ABV is somewhat detectable but overall, nicely hidden. Just enough bitterness on the back end to round out the sweetness up front.

M - Nice mouth feel with delicate prickly carbonation giving way to a creamy and smooth finish. Heavy medium body and dry.

O - The nose could have been stronger, I thought it was too faint, especially for a 10%+ beer. However, the taste made up for the weak nose.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown to light black in color with minimal light penetration. There's a fingernail of beige resting on about half of the top. Aromas are of raisins, plums, merlot, and dark malt. I taste raisins, black grapes, and dark malt. The mouth is gently warm with alcohol, dry, and lightly syrupy.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

La Terrible pours very dark brown with scarlet highlights and a big, three inch, creamy beige head that seems to last well into the beer before dropping patchy lace on a Unibroue tulip glass.

The aroma is dominated by sweet, dark fruits such as plums, figs, prunes, and raisins offset against a backdrop of funky yeast. These aromas continue to develop with warmth.

While surprisingly sweet, it is short of cloying. The fruit flavors appear to be pickled in rum with light tartness. A cola flavor comes out in a long, mild finish. The flavors develop complexity with warmth.

This is effervescent with a silky texture and medium body. The alcohol is as expected without being hot. The finish is dry.

Sit back and relax. Sip while reading or philosophizing while smoking a cigar or enjoy it on its own. This is one of those rare gems worth savoring in the right atmosphere.

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

On tape at Rattle n Hum, NYC. There a mild musk in the aroma that doesn't carry into the taste. There is a conflence of chocolate & raisinsn the tongue. The usual malt/hop elements are played down to being almost non-existant, not that that's a bad thing.

The deep, rich flavor & texture place this as a cut above...but of what is the question. The character, of which there is plenty here, defies comparison, yet is not alien.

So where does that leave me? Ahead by the experience.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As with others from this brewery it has the same slight sourness to the aroma that I don't like. Otherwise, this pours a nice dark brown with big, lasting, dense tan head. Aroma has some malt and sour fruit. Flavor is quite different thankfully. Nice balance of malty sweetness and ripe dark fruit. A little light body, like their other similar offerings.

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Beautifully dark, with a lot of head and great head retention also. A beautiful look.
Smell: Malty and fruity.
Taste: Sweet and powerful, with a lot of dark fruits: raisin, plums. The sweetness stays on the palate for a long time. Powerful aftertaste.
Feel: Full bodied. Hide the 10.5% pretty well, you don't know what you are getting into!

An awesome (and surprisingly very affordable) brew, true in the Belgium tradition for Unibroue. Would get it again if possible.

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Photo of BeerLover50
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a large tulip glass from a bottle. Pours a very dark black. Retains head nicely, roughly 1 inch. Very fruity, aged smell. One of the most fruity beers I've tasted. And boy does it linger, in a good way. Overall, great beer to chill with. The ABV is high but unnoticeable. Beer and a movie really fits with this brew.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opens with a nice little pop of the cork. Very heady, root beer like color, body & head. Yeasty, bread, fruit & spice aroma. Slightly salty, not too sweet, very nice fruit flavor. I find sense a lot of carbonation, I'll be more gentle with the second pour. Well hidden 10.5.

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Photo of MLoxxer
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I procured a 750ml bottle of this beer which noted that it would be best before roughly a three year date after I purchased it. I must say that already being a big fan of Unibroue that I knew it would be good, but not this good. La Terrible is simply an excellent and quite affordable Belgian style dark ale. There is a lot of flavor here, and I must say that I will look forward to imbibing with this one again.

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Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Wonderful aroma, dried fruits, yeast, slightly herbal. Taste brings more of the same, earthy, rich, vibrant. Dark brown \ ruby body, small airy head, finish could be longer.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black, essentially opaque but for a slight translucence of brown-red, with a light tan head, not much lacing.

S - Dark fruit and yeast, alcohol and prune flesh.

T - Bright, bready malts, dried fruit and plum skins, a hint of spice, and a quick drying close with hints of grape and limestone.

M - Moderate, with a slight warmth of booze in the close.

O - And now I see where the core of the TJ Vintage Ale came from, although at over 10% ABV, this is a more robust brew. That said, it actually hides its alcohol better, and offers greater depth and presence. Definitely solid.

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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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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,211 ratings.
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