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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Ratings: 2,223 |  Reviews: 957
Photo of cvm4
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Upon pour it's a very dark black purple body with a tan head that disappears as quickly as it got there.

Smell: Touch of citrus with apple notes, spice and yeast.

Taste: At first I taste stone fruit. Then it develops an almost sour note to finish in a malty/fruity mix.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation for me.

Overall: This Belgian Strong Dark Ale is very drinkable and very complex. I would buy again.

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

A: 1/2" mocha coloured head over raisin coloured liquid.

S: Complex smell of spice, pepper, orange, apple and yeast.

T: Yeast, apple and orange up front which transitions to a malty raisin finish.

M: Medium viscosity with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: Very drinkable Belgian Strong Dark Ale with complex smell and flavours. I would buy this again in a heartbeat.

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

A: Pours a really dark plum color with a pretty sizable tan head that goes away quickly

S: Lots of berries, plums, cherries, a nice spiciness and almost a jam/preserve kind of sweetness going on. Nice.

T: At first, it starts off with dark fruits and a sugary sweetness, but the middle breaks into a very acidic and almost tart sourness, and the aftertaste seems to be a mix of the two.

O: Very tasty, but I think I enjoy trois pistoles better. I'll have to check out unibroue's other offerings to figure out my favorite. Might buy again, but not if I have trois pistoles/rochefort 10/van de keizer blauw and other great belgian offerings instead.

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Photo of Mar02x
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At a tasting at my place this was the 8th beer we tried. With thanks to the 'Brabander'!

A -Pours a dark brown with ruby edges and a big tan head of tiny bubbles. Nice retention.

S - Wine and oak wood.

T - Very spicy and a bit hot. Some dark caramel and dark fruit flavors as well. I can imagine this would be incredible in the winter.

M - Medium body.

O - Overall a fine beer, it combines flavors very nicely.

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Photo of Brabander
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I know a got this bottle in an in person trade with a very generous BA somewhere the last months....but because of my frequent in person trades with a lot of Americans i forgot who gave this to me, i guess Claarck13, Matt. Thanks!!

We had this bottle in a tasting at the end of the evening. Poured in a wide wineglass this beer is nice darkbrown. There is something about the smell, a light sourness, the taste however is sweet.

Good brew but not the best we had that night (Dark Lord 2010)

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Photo of Roguejaguar
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I stared at this beer every time I went to the store for at least a year. The name itself invites curiosity. Is the beer truly terrible because it tastes so bad, or is the beer so amazing that it is terrible because you will never ever want to drink anything else?

The lack of description on the bottle taunted me.

So I gave in and purchased Terrible. And. I was delighted to find that this has become one of my favorite belgian beers. The smell was crisp, and the taste also delivered something crisp yet smooth.

This beer is worth the money, as it tastes fantastic, and is somewhat refreshing.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.16/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml corked & caged bomber poured into a tulip.

Bottle opens with nary a hiss, luckily after pouring it a small light brown head develops atop a very dark brown to near black color - truly terrible looking. Nose is unsurprisingly classic unibroue yeast, it's malty and a bit sweet as well.

The mouthfeel is very nice, fairly light but rich and creamy with a good amount of carbonation leaving a slightly tingling finish. Taste is again classic unibroue yeast - you love it or you hate it, I think it's ok in this style but it isn't as good as many truble Belgian SDAs.

Overall it's ok and a very good value.

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, can't make out the date.

A -Pours a dark brown with ruby edges and a big tan head of tiny bubbles. Nice retention.

S - Bready molasses, but spicy and Belgian. I think doppelbock for a second, but then immediately the Belgian roots come back.

T - Very spicy and a bit hot. Clove and sweet dark malts. A bunch of bready doppelbock-like flavor, but it remains truly Belgian. Some dark caramel and dark fruit flavors as well. I can imagine this would be incredible in the winter.

M - Medium body, bold, and round with some rough edges. Finishes not-too-dry-but-not-too-wet. Just right.

O - Overall a fine beer, it combines flavors from styles and influences that I love in a highly successful way. I would love to drink this around Christmastime, it is just so warm and comfortable.

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Photo of Rschis16
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks awesome combined with the presentation of a really serious looking bottle. Opaquely black with deep ruby tones underneath. Nice off-white head on top with awesome retention. Smells very pleasant with a spice that I can't quite put a finger on. Something that reminds me of lemons or some sort of sweet fruit. Milk and a little bit of coffee on the nose as well.

Taste is full and complex, but sweeter than I expected, also strong. Very spicy, presumably from belgian yeast. But on the flip side of that, there are dark-roasted malts and a milky character that give it an almost coffee-like taste in the back. Caramel, not terribly sweet but definitely present, comes into play as well. Hops come into play as a floral taste that livens everything up and balances it all out. It certainly has a large boozy influence as well at 10.5% ABV, but even as it warms up, the booze taste never becomes a detractor. In fact it only adds to the level of pleasant spiciness. The last glass of the bottle leads me to a more bitter finish than the first glass, I'm thinking from sediment that hadn't made its way up yet. The mouthfeel is bubbly and effervescent with a dry finish. A little too bubbly, somewhat remeniscent of champagne, for the style, but not much of a detractor.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. It was interesting and complex, definitely making me work to figure out what went into it. Big and boozy, but spicy and delicious at the same time. Definitely worth the buy.

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Photo of Vierenner
3/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle simply states "Dark Ale" ... nothing about Belgian ... which makes a big difference in my opinion. I'm not a fan of the yeasty flavors which seem to be present in nearly every Belgian beer I've tried. That said, the high ABV is nicely hidden, and there are some interesting flavors present (clove in particular). I like the sweetness and the minimal hop bite, but overall I'm unhappy with my selection.

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Photo of cratez
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo, NY.

Pours an opaque black with two fingers of cream coloured froth and a few strands of lacing on the tulip glass. Easily the darkest BSDA I've encountered, looks like an imperial stout or black IPA.

Smell is vinous and phenolic aromas, spice box, clove, field berries, dark grapes, black currants, prunes, alcohol, licorice, candy sugar, yeast, and blueberries. An exceptional nose.

Taste is roasted and sweet malts upfront, more prunes and red grapes, peppery spiciness, molasses, slightly sour berry-like tartness, mild boozy burn, a little sugary toward the end, fleeting aftertaste. Hits the style very well.

Mouthfeel is fuller than medium-bodied, smooth and velvety palate through the middle, prickly carbonation precedes a drying finish. Awesome.

Overall, La Terrible is the king of the Unibroue BSDAs, with an ultra aromatic nose, intense and complex flavours, and surprisingly good drinkability given its weight. I highly recommend this sumptuous brew.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL, best before 11/11/2013. Bottling date? Some time in 2010, I'm guessing.

Pours very dark with reddish highlights on the edges. The head is beige and short-lived. Average lacing and retention.

Aroma is excellent, with darkly fruity wine-like notes. Pretty tart and reminiscent of an Oud Bruin or Flanders Red.

Very thick, rich and sweet, but well-attenuated. Tons of dark and stone fruits, especially dark cherries. Not so much bready malt flavors as fruity ones, though a bit of dark caramel. Surprisingly tangy and slightly acidic. The mouthfeel is nice, with soft, fine carbonation and a creamy weight.

La Terrible is a very good beer, but it kind of has that plain, smoothed-over flavor that all of the dark Unibroue's seem to have, which makes it a bit boring in the end. Far from Terrible though!

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

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

pours a deep mahogany tone while yielding a foamy finger and a half head; good retention and lacing. pretty much exactly what i expect from a good BSDA.

nose is lead by dark fruits with notes of spice, yeast, and a hint of booze evident.

flavor follows the aroma pretty closely with the dark fruit, spice, yeastiness and alcohol all accounted for. the booze is plenty well hidden given the 10.5% ABV on this guy. medium bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.

overall i thought this was really good. no 'wow' factor per se, but very enjoyable nontheless. great beer.

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Photo of kevo237
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet at a local bar. This beer looked like dark fruit juice and kept a nice head throughout.

Smell was bready and typical of the style. Nothing interesting or different. Taste was excellent as there were hints of raisins and dark fruits in general along with some spiciness. It's possible this beer had some age on it since the alcohol was not very detectable as the 10.5% label suggested. This might be my favorite Unibroue beer; just wish I could get it in a place other than a smokey bar.

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Photo of dtivp
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby hues, a one finger light tan head with good retention and moderate lacing.

Aroma of yeast, dark fruits with clove.

Taste was a complex mix of sweet dark fruit, figs, sweet cherries, raisins, yeast and hints of black pepper.

Mouthfeel was medium body , light carbonation, smooth, sweet with a slight dry after taste, alcohol is well masked.

Overall this is a very good dark ale, this bottle had a few years aging in my cellar, which probably tamed it down and smoothed it out. Great job Unibroue.

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Photo of strangemusic
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass, dark DARK cola brown or black with very little head.

Smells sweet and malted, with cherries, almond, fig and polished wood.

Taste is very big, aforementioned cherry tartness, raisin, sugar, yeast, anise, clove and rich, ripe red apple emerging at the finish. Spicy and a bit peppery from alcohol content (which is remarkably well concealed! This beer is strong!)

Mouthfeel has a prickle to it, medium bodied and somewhat dry. I like it. Smooth, almost a little oily, with a lingering bitterness at the very end of the sip.

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

Poured from a 750 mL into a Chimay chalice.

A: Incredibly dark with a small tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer is entirely opaque, though it looks brown at the very edges. Zero lacing to speak of.

S: Roasted malts, Belgian yeast, raisins and a hint of alcohol. Doesn’t smell overly sweet, which is nice.

T: Malts, yeast and raisins, just as it smells, but the alcohol comes through much stronger. Incredibly well balanced, no flavor dominates the others, but instead they all harmonize very well. The alcohol warms the throat nicely as it goes down.

M: Actually a fairly light body, quite a bit of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: I am a big fan of this beer. Not as aggressive as many Belgian-style ales, it balances the flavors nicely and still packs a punch of flavor (and alcohol). Not incredibly complex, not out of the ordinary or original or anything of the sort, but there is something to be said for just a solid, Belgian style beer that's incredibly easy to drink. Worth seeking at for sure.

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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 AlexFields
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours dark reddish color, looks black when the glass is full. Not much of a head, or at least not one that lasts.

Not a very complex nose, sweet candy malts and yeast.

Flavor starts with spicy yeast, fades to sweet candy yeast. Again, not very complex. The taste is good, nice and sweet, but not memorable.

Mouthfeel is a bit lacking in carbonation but not terrible.

This is a decent beer but, like most American (or Canadian) brewed beers in this style, lacks much of the complexity that made me fall in love with the superior Belgian examples of the style. Good enough to enjoy drinking for sure, but not even worth comparing to, say, anything from the Rochefort lineup.


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

750 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Kind of a putrid brownish-red with a nice off-white head. A bit of light passes through, with a reddish hue. The brown color is not appealing.

Smell - It has an earthy apple aroma. Dark fruits and Belgian yeasty goodness, but still it's like baked apples and umami. Interesting, but not complex.

Taste - Kinda follows the aroma. Sweet apple flavor at first that deepens into a darker, more molasses sweetness. A little bit of hops? I dunno. Something is making it earthy.

Mouthfeel - A bit thick at first, but it has a dry finish that keeps it from being heavy. Just a hint of alcohol burn in the finish, because of the dryness.

Overall - Tastes good, but not complex. Apples aren't my favorite flavor in beer. Just tastes like cider to me.

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

Poured into a flute glass at Strange Brew in Manchester, NH

Appearance: pours a dark mahogany with reddish hues and an off white head about a centimeter thick that fades into a ring around the side of the glass.

Aroma: Spicy, dark fruits, cherries, figs, sweet aromas and Belgian yeast.

Taste: Very peppery mixed with cherries, fruits, and malty sweetness and yeastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body with a dry finish.

Overall: Definitely glad I finally got around to trying it. I’ll need to pick up a bottle and throw it in the cellar to see how it develops.

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Photo of ehammond1
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark, dark brown with just the hint of ruby edges. Thin cap. Some lacing.

A peppery and somewhat spicy aroma--surprising. There's definite aromas of sweet and dark fruits and Belgian yeast as well, but the peppery complex is certainly striking and dominant.

Again, more black pepper and a touch of spice in the flavor as well--I suppose that could be cardamom or clove. Rich and complex, lots of dark fruit pungency as well, and no hint at all of the incredible alcohol content.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Quite luscious, a touch heavy, though appropriate.

A complex and spicy BSDA. One I'd love to try again--good thing I have a couple bottles waiting for me at home.

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Photo of Francepants06
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It looked like a dark brown creamy color, with an off white head.
I smelled some sweetness and spiciness
It tasted of brown sugar, sugar cane, some dry raisin aromas and a bit of alcohol.
the mouth-feel was medium to full body.
it was very good for me to find this at one of our local bars since it was only $15 and that's all I had to spend to be set for the night. The alcohol I think is a little much but I think a little aging will help

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

750ml into cervoise. 2010 vintage

A - Pours a dark brown with purplish edging. Mid sized off white to gray head. Decent lacing

S - Lots of Belgian yeast funkiness. Dark fruits (currants, raisins), must, some sugars, cloves.

T - Very nice mix of cloves, dark fruits (as with the nose, plus minor grape), some smoke, brown sugar, vanilla. Very tasty BSDA, one of the better ones I have tried.

M - Medium body, great carbonation, slightly drying

O - Some age on this one and it came across as a very smooth beer, no biting. Very tasty. Loved it.

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

I've been holding onto this bottle for some time, but thought it was about time to enjoy it.

A - Pours a dark cola colour, two fingers of big bubbled mocha head with decent retention and no real lacing.

S - Quite sweet with cloves and bananas, caramel apple, and a touch of roasted espresso and milk chocolate.

T - Surprisingly mellow on the tongue, the cloves and bananas are present, and the roasted malt notes come through nicely. ABV sweetness is noticeable along with a bit of heat on the finish, but by no means offensive.

M - Lighter bodied ale, but goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness.

O - Overall an incredibly tasty dark Belgian and certainly a solid example of the style. Too bad this isn't readily available in Canada, as it would be a wonderful celebratory ale to enjoy on occasion. I will definitely pick up a couple bottles the next time I come across some.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,223 ratings.
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