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 TwelveOunces
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 dated

Pours very black with little of an off tan head. Dark fruits and very pungent cherries. This beer has a massive sweet cherry note. Almost like koolaid. A syrupy beer. Thick in flavor and texture. A lot of the Belgian yeast comes though ads a good bit of spiciness. A bit of caramel and bit of breddyness. A sweeter beer. High carbonation. Smooth in feel and not a lot of sting. Overall, pretty darn good stuff, a strong beer with dark cherry notes and other dark fruits.

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Photo of gleemonger
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish brown, almost black, with a massive, frothy off white head that sticks around for a while, shrinking down to a nice creamy head with some spotty lacing.

Plenty dark fruit and yeasty aromas, with just a hint of roastiness. Smells like it'll be pretty sweet. Not super complex, pretty basic for the style, but nice.

Woah, even more sweet than I thought it was going to be, phew. Sweet dark fruits, banana, a touch of chocolate, just a hint of roast. Okay, after the initial smack of sweetness, it mellowed out a tad and is fairly well balanced. Slight bitterness and a little booze on the backend too.

Pretty heavy body with a lightish carbonation, but a nice bite.

Not my favorite of the style, but pretty damn good for sure. I'd definitely get it again, especially considering the always great price point of Unibroue brews which are always satisfying and well done.

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Photo of flip387
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark and rich looking, dark foamy head.

S: Strong spice almost sweet smell.

T: Rich spiced flavors, and floral hints. Smooth.

M: Slight to medium carbonation, tangy floral and spiced flavors.
Smooth pleasant after taste that is not to strong.

O: Very enjoyable dark beer, not to bitter and leaves a pleasant
after taste.

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Photo of Hopinista
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle poured into Delirium snifter.

A: Poured a serious brown with 2 fingers of tan head. This is about as brown as you can get without being black.

S: I'm immediately hit with huge dark fruit notes. Figs, dates, prunes, cherries assault me right away, but then there's a subtle clove/cinnamon backbone. Just the faintest hint of yeast and alcohol creep through, but this is predominately a mulled dark fruit aroma.

T: The dark fruit comes through here as well. I get a nice malt flavor I didn't pick up at all in the nose. This reminds me a lot of chocolate covered dried figs, very delicious. Getting a slight espresso flavor as it warms a bit. I see that other people detect the ABV in this, I do not personally. I would never guess this was at 10.5% (But I would assume it's strong.) this one packs a punch so I'm sipping slower than I want to.

M: Velvety smooth. Moderate carbonation (even a bit toned down for Unibroue.) Feels surprisingly light given the complex flavor and ABV.

O: I'm just going to come out and say that I am absolutely in love with everything Unibroue makes (Except one beer in particular, which I won't name names[Maudite]) But this is actually pretty different from any of their other offerings I've had. Very complex and enjoyable. I love the depth of flavor which comes with no cost to the drinkability. If this beer wasn't 10.5% I could drink it all night. Another reason Unibroue has my vote for top 3 breweries on the continent.

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

750ml bottle, served in chalice, no BB date, but it's not terribly old. Roughly 6 months?

A - Near black with 1" head that quickly dissipates. Darker than others in the style.

S - Tanned leather, some dark fruits,

T - There's a tobacco that comes through that I'm finding a little off-putting. Everything else is pretty typical. Some leather in there, belgian dark sugars, standard fare.

M - Not bad. That Unibroue effervescent super small bubble is there. Interrupts with the taste a bit, but not too badly.

O - Not bad. Won't say no, but there's better ones out there.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Whoa! That's what I thought after the first sip. Don't get ahead of yourself man.

750ml bottle into a tulip. No date on the bottle, but I picked it up on a trip to Quebec City 3 months ago, so it's had a little time to age.

A Dark ruby red, fairly opaque. 3 fingers creamy head that sticks around for a long time.

S Typical Unibroue Belgian yeasty smell, not surprised there.

T/M Candy, cream soda, figs, dark fruits, a little bit of spice on the back of the tongue, a nice tingle actually, kind of cool feel, really carbonated I guess, but you really don't notice the 10.5%, only the nice warming feeling in the stomach. Would be great on a cold Quebec evening.

O Refer to the first word in the review. I wasn't expecting a whole lot when I grabbed the beer from the fridge, other than the fact that I had just finished a major research paper and it's time to drink some high abv on a Wednesday night. Really impressed with this. Almost like a really complex 10.5% pop. Of course you can't get it in NB, but given the opportunity I'll pick this up again.

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Photo of brureview
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date: 12/11. This is the first time I have tasted this Unibroue beer. I am a big fan of their beers, but this one is the best yet.

In a tulip, the beer poured a 3 finger head, which resolved itself after a few minutes. The color is a beautiful opaque chocolate.

All tasting elements of this beer are more fully appreciated with warming. The initial pour was about 47° F(8.3°C) but the true complexity of this beer shines at 5°F+ warmer.

The mouth feel is tantalizing- carbonated, and tingling on the back of the tongue.

With warming: the aroma is enmeshed with cloves, figs, cinnamon, and a hint of licorice.
Taste: fruit, figs, cloves meld together into a rapturous finish.

This is one of the most complex Belgian style beers I have tasted. The 12/11 brew date enhances the complexity.

A slow, contemplative sipper.

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Photo of jaz58
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a clear pint glass.

Espresso coffee color.

Toffee and fresh yeast nose.

Small bubble head.

Malt, honey and toffee flavours with a slight sour finish due to the lees.

Good mouthfeel.

A very nice winter brew, comparable to other Unibroue brews.

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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love it when something is named exactly the opposite of what it is.

A: Pours scary dark, opaque but no cloudiness. Great looking 2 - 3 finger head which hangs on for a while with good lacing.

N: Smell is strong and boozy and hit me as soon as I got the cork out (using vice grips). Vinous, with dark fruit and grapes. A little unsettling, buckle up.

T: This tasted quite a bit different from the nose. Not nearly as boozy as I had expected. Lovely vinous taste like a robust Zin, with notes of chocolate, figs and dark fruit. Sweet caramel malts with a little bit of alcohol at the tail end, but very subdued.

M: Nice velvety mouthfeel, relatively mild carbonation. Silky and smooth, coated the back of the tongue well. I would put the mouthfeel as medium to light.

A great beer with lovely complexity. Unibroue can do no wrong.

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Photo of Pinioned
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: This stuff is so black you'll be checking under your bed for monsters. It has a nice velvety head, about 3 fingers that take a long time to dissipate. A very attractive pour.

S: I was immediately hit with a very boozy smell, I thought more similar to a wine, but with subdued yeast and malty notes.

T: like everyone else, dried dark fruits, and nice rich malt taste that disappeared as quickly as it appeared, leaving a pleasant and mild alcohol tingle.

M: I was expecting something different, maybe even a little astringent . Not the case. It was very thin on the tongue, but not on taste.

O: This is a very complex, yet drinkable dark ale. It's probably one of the best beers I've had in my short-lived association with craft beers, though I'm feeling really flushed right now.

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Photo of pieman25
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bomber, caged and corked, at an LCBO, I figured that unibroue is spoken very well of on this site so it may have been worth the money, and I learned precisely why unibroue is frequently regarded as one of the best breweries in Canada.

Appearance: This stuff looks pretty darn good, with a decent 3 fingers of head in my tulip glass, and a very dark brown colour. Certainly good looking stuff.

Smell: Smells good, a bit of chocolate, mostly grapey and toasty notes.

Taste: it starts out sweet, with a sort of grapey flavour throughout, starting somewhat sour, and finishing with the grapeyness and some chocolate, coffee/roasted-barly, and black liquorice notes. Overall very interesting through the bottle. I haven't noticed any of the alcohol showing through, so be careful to sip slowly - unless you don't mind the buzz.

Mouthfeel - carbonation seems to take a backseat in this beer, it's there but it's not as significant as in some other beers I've had. It is also quite full-bodied, perhaps not as full as a stout, but heavier than most ales and IPAs that I've had.

Overall: It would be a good idea to share this bomber, but I didn't mind spending the afternoon sipping on it, reading some more dostoevski, and eating a ham and cheese sandwich. This beer is definitely a very pleasant sipper on some colder days, and if the rest of unibroue's beer is as good as this is, I'm going to have to find more.

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

A: Dark purple and black

S: Yeast, candy and fruit nose

T: Deep candied fruit, black cherry and raisin flavors. Sweet rich malt with alcohol on the finish.

M: A little sticky

Overall: This is a great beer. It has all the complex flavors that you'd expect from a Belgian ale.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a bit of brown mixed in a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Sweet dark caramel malts, cherries, raisin, plum, dates, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, and other spices, a bit of sourness, and some booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, black cherries, raisin, plum, dates, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeasts, clove, other spices, some sourness, some residual sugars, and some booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, warming, and slightly sour finish.

D - Great BSDA. Great overall balance and complexity.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: big, frothy, light tan head; near black, with ruby tinge under light

Aroma: vanilla, fruity yeast, pear

Taste & Mouthfeel: heady, Belgian style ale with strong fruit and spice flavours; some caramel; hint of dark chocolate; medium body; cassis, raspberry are most pronounced; a great mix of elements that compliment each other throughout, but it's a bit too intense, needs to round the edges a bit

Overall: love the flavour and easy-drinking body, but could probably use a year to mellow out

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Photo of dbell23
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opened the wire and cork bottle with a super loud pop. Louder than most unibroues for sure. Poured into a tulip. Super dark brown almost black in color. Opaque. Unibroue calls it chestnut brown. That'll work. Dark beige head that starts huge and never completely leaves. Little lacing but still a nice looking beer.

Smell is dark unibroue. Chalky sweet, candied fruit, yeasty, smells almost like a really good Dubbel.

Taste is superb. Sweet candied fruit but certainly not overly so to start. Smooth Dubbel malt in the middle followed by smooth malt very slight hop finish. The aftertaste is delightful. It tastes like the best abbey ale ever or a super good dark Belgian. I don't know what it is but I know I like it.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Not overly carbonated and smooth. Of course, it smooths out as it warms.

Overall a great beer. If you like dark Belgians a must try. Unibroue calls this an abbey style, it's listed here as a dark Belgian. I don't know which it is but I really like it. Sometimes abbeys have a licorice smell or taste which I don't like even faintly and this one doesn't have that. Maybe that's why I like it so well. Another great beer from one of the best breweries in North America. I never thought unibroue could produce a better dark than trois pistoles but this is it.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue's 'La Terrible' @ 10.5% , a Belgian strong dark ale served from a corked 750 ml bottle purchased for $9

A-pour is a very dark brown near black in the glass with some ruby hues alongside the edge when held up to the light , with a big frothy off white head that leaves some thick lace along the goblet

S-classic Belgian yeast Unibroue style , strong on the nose , not unpleasant , just strong with hints of spice and dark fruit

T-a sweet fruit sugary start , malty spicey middle , with a hint of smoke in the bittersweet finish

MF-good carbonation , full bodied , not Unibroue's smoothest on the palate , still a well crafted beer thou

Ov-'La Terrible' only fault is how easy this beer is to drink , even with a couple of warnings I consumed this beer with ease , and felt it later , that said I would drink again before Maudite or Trois Pistoles , just respect the beer , sip & enjoy

prost LampertLand

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Photo of Huetardis
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look, I drink beer because it puts me in a very grandiose of altered states. I don't care if it looks right or smells right. What I care about is how much alcohol is in it, and how it feels and taste going down the ole gullet! I have recently become acquainted with Unibroue's labels and I am particularly fond of only two. The End of the World and the Terrible, both having the highest alcohol content.
These two beers taste delicious. I was surprised by the Terrrible. It taste's better than La Fin. I am not a brew meister by any stretch of the imagination, so in my ignorance I ask myself, what in the hell makes Terrible so dark. Is it food coloring? It taste incredible and takes you off the edge of the world with its higher content rating., which is the real reason I drink beer. La Fin de Monde will always be my first love, but I am quickly turning to the dark side. The only thing terrible about Terrible is its price, and of course the ever so ironic name.

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Photo of hopandbarley28
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is dark brown with deep red around the edges. Fluffy soapy head formed but fell quickly, a result of bottle conditioning.

Aroma is plum, raisin and candy sugar highlighted by esters and spice from the yeast. Sweet maltiness comes through as well. Very nice

Taste comes across much like the aroma. Sweet juicy dark fruits pair really well with the funky-estery Belgian yeast. Malt sweetness on the finish with a slight bitterness and bit of spiciness and alcohol. It leaves a great dry finish on the palate

Mouthfeel is on par for the style. High in carbonation, but it helps keep the beer from being syrupy. The dry finish helps bring it all together

Overall this is a great beer. Not terrible. I'm not usually into Belgian strongs but this has a great balance between dark fruit/malt/spice/yeast.

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a cloudy dark brown, with a foamy two finger tan head. Retention is minimal, with no lacing.

S- The nose is very fruity. Upfront you get figs, grapes, raisins and dry prunes. Also you get that trade mark Belgian yeast smell, with candy sugar and light caramel. The alcohol is surprisingly toned down given the ABV.

T- Lot of grapes in the taste, and not as sweet as the nose would suggest. It's also very yeasty. Of course lots of candy sugar but not as sweet as you would think and alcohol is very well hidden.

M-The mouth feel is medium bodied and somewhat silky. Carbonation is semi effervescent. Very nice.

O- Overall I think this a wonderful interpretation of a Belgium strong ale. I really like the fact that it wasn't too sweet. Not to mention the alcohol was very well hidden. Although not complex it was very tasty be careful with this one being as the alcohol is well hidden it can sneak up on you. Another fine offering from Unibroue.

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Photo of Converge
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours a dark brown but looks pretty much black in the glass. Frothy head of beige foam, that retains for a long time and leaves a sticky web of lacing.

S - Sweet dark fruits, mild spices, and distinct Unibroue house yeast. Medjool dates, figs, and golden raisins. Smells sweet, malty, and very Belgian. There's a slight earthy quality, but overall the nose is sweet with a touch of spice and lots of zesty yeast. There might even be a touch of vanilla, sort of reminiscent of Unibroue's 17 Grande Réserve.

T - Even better than the nose. A beautiful concoction of vanilla, dark fruits, and Unibroue yeast with a mild spice in the background. Very sweet upfront, with dates, figs, raisins, vanilla, cola syrup, and candi sugar. Some mild earthy and woody notes, and Belgian spices to balance the sweetness. Finishes with some slight earthy hops and a long lasting residual sweetness. Incredibly drinkable and balanced. I daresay this is even more tasty than Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve.

M - The mouthfeel is superb. Smooth, thick, creamy, with a fine carbonation that just floats along the palate. Not a touch of heat for a 10.50% ABV beer either. Slightly sticky, and the finish isn't too dry or too wet. Great feel.

D - An all around exceptional BSDA, and possibly one of Unibroue's best; this brewery really can do no wrong. This is probably even sweeter than the average BSDA, but at no point does it become at all cloying. Just an excellent beer in all respects, and one I'll be stocking up on the next time I see it.

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

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger off white head. Left no lacing.

S - Caramel malts, dark fruit, figs, sour cherries, dates.

T - Very sweet. Caramel malt, dark cherries, slightly figgy, some dates in the background. Incredibly drinkable for 10.5%.

M - Slick medium body with medium carbonation.

O - Overall, for 10.5%, this was pretty damn good. The sweetness could be toned down a bit however.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 mL caged-and-corked bottle from the LCBO; bottled Aug. 28 2012. With a name like Terrible, it's got to be pretty good, right? I hadn't had this before when I picked it up, but considering who it's from, I considered it a safe candidate for picking up two bottles on a whim. One was opened and shared a few weeks ago; I saved this one for review purposes. Poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque black colour with some brownish highlights, topped with a few cm of smooth, creamy, light tan-coloured head. It fizzles away a little too readily, sad to say, with very little lacing, but it at least has the courtesy to leave behind a foamy collar around the rim. The aroma is highly appealing, with a wide variety of notes on the nose - including banana, raisins, plum brandy, candi sugar, cloves and that signature spicy yeast. Very reminiscent of Maudite so far - not that this is a bad thing.

A quick sip reaffirms this theory though - it really does come off as Maudite's big brother. Orchard and dark fruit make up much of the flavour profile - ripe banana, raisins, plums, and figs come to mind, accompanied by both brown and Belgian-style sugar notes. Huge, yeasty spices come through nearer the finish, with lots of clove, anise and pepper; the earthy, herbal spiciness helps counter the initial sweetness. Finishes hot and yeasty, with a bit of an oaked spirit/brandy vibe showing up alongside the lingering spice and candi sugar. On the heftier side of medium-bodied, with fizzy carbonation that mercilessly prickles the tongue (though it does eventually calm somewhat as I sip my way through the entire pint-and-a-half). Drinkability might be low, but sippability is through the roof, with a good amount of warmth from the alcohol.

Final Grade: 4.34, an excellent A grade. Unibroue's La Terrible is a behemoth of a beer, to be sure, but 'terrible' is still one of the absolute last adjectives I'd consider using to describe it. It is big and bold in every sense of those words, with all the intense yeasty, spicy, orchard-fruity goodness one might expect from an 'authentic' BSDA out of Belgium. As much as I like this, I think Maudite is still my favourite of the two brews - the combination of spice and abv in this one limits how much I could reasonably slug back before it became tiresome. That being said, it's undeniably amazing stuff, and anyone who has enjoyed one of Unibroue's other Belgian-style dark ales previously should consider seeking this one out - it's a must try.

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

bottle into a globe glass.

opaque deep mahogany almost black color with a huge tan head that lasts. very little lace.

smell is dark fruit, spice, roasted malt, vanilla and chocolate

taste is spicy and malty, dark fruit, dark chocolate with a touch of vanilla in the finish.

mouth is low carbonation, medium body, creamy and dry in the mouth with a slightly wet finish

overall, another solid unibrou

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 25oz bottle. Shared with RoninTK3

Appearance- Dark purple/black with very light/thin head. Little lacing.

Smell- Plum, cherry, vanilla, anise? Yeasty/bready notes. Smells like a bakery. No alcohol.

Taste- Honey, stone fruity smell. Definantly spicy, but I can't pin point the specific smell. Again no alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Kind of thin body. Pretty well carbonated. Smooth.

Overall- Another nice beer from Unibrou.

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Photo of RoninTK3
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Grimbergen goblet and split with Seanniek91.

A - Dark and slightly translucent. Some faint lacing. Very nice, but nothing out of the ordinary.

S - Sweet and fruity, berries, raisins, a bit spicy

T - raisins, currants, a bit spicy, a faint booziness. Very surprised how sweet this one is, but very nice. Not too sweet and the spices aren't overdone. The 10.5% does not come through much at all.

M - Very light bodied. The sweetness lingers, but much lighter than I expected.

O - Not what I expected, but very nice. I've loved everything I've had from Unibroue and this is no exception. Another great beer for a fantastic price from Unibroue.

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