La Terrible | Unibroue

2,218 Ratings
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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: 2,218 |  Reviews: 956
Photo of kellertrumpet
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark opaque brown with a surprisingly large head for something over 10%. After a minute the head settles down to a thin ring of mocha foam that settles around the edges of the glass. Dark brown highlights can only be seen around the top and bottom of the glass when held up directly to a light source.

Major collection of dark fruits with prune at the forefront. Some alcohol is present although certainly not overwhelming. There is also a certain sweetness that I can't put my finger on but leads me to believe this might be a sweeter BSDA than I had first expected.

My suspicions were wrong about it being too sweet. There is some bready malt that adds a nice balancing sweetness but in no way is it cloyingly sweet. However, the dark fruits and prune certainly make the transition over from the aroma. Prunes and figs and dark brandied cherries oh my! A bit of a vinous taste and some noticeable alcohol on the back of the palate which flows down to the chest with that wonderful warming sensation. There is some spice present although I can't quite put my finger on it or them as the case may be. Finishes very dry.

Nice sticky mouthfeel with a medium amount of carbonation. No complaints here.

Very enjoyable and certainly one of the more complex beers out there. Every sip seems to unearth a new flavor. Thankfully its a 750ml bottle which holds quite a few sips.

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Photo of dizknee24
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark red dark dark red.

S- Fruits almost a nice red wine smell

T- Well the tastes backs up my original suspicions. I taste a nice wine mixture. very different than any beer i have had in a while.

M- silky?

D- idk this was not bad by any means its just an odd taste for me. it doesnt at all come across like a BSDA. But it is good and i would drink it again.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big 750ml bottle, poured into a snifter.

A- Deep, dark ruby, almost completely opaque. Topped with a thin, sticky beige head.

S- Dark fruits and alcohol, some bready malt in the background.

T-BIG dark fruits, figs and dates come to mind. You can pick up on some malts in the background just like in the aroma. Alcohol is prickly and complex but not overwhelming. Light spices.

M- Smooth, medium body. Good carbonation.

D-Could sip at this all night, very drinkable for 10.5% ABV

This brew is easily my favorite of Unibroue's Dark Belgians, the complexity makes for a very enjoyable experience. If you're a fan of any of the Belgian Trappist ales then this is definitely for you. Must try.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: This one pours a very deep dark murky brown (nearly black), and has just a tinge of blood red in bright light. A light tan head tops off the brew which has decent head retention about it, and is followed with some nice lacing.

S: Starts with a very indistinguishable Unibroue yeast profile. Spicy earthy notes meet sweet fruity suggestions. Milk chocolate covered Bing cherry?

T: Wow gotta love this stuff... I'm thinking plumb to start. There is a nice balance of sweet and slightly tart all followed by earthy spicy undertones. Black plumb and fig seem to dominate (esters). Some earthy spice notes follow up as well as some chocolate and cherry? Suggestions of alcohol creep up as it warms but not in a bad way.
M: tacky, long finish.

O: Quite good and FANTASTIC VALUE. Perhaps one of the best bang for your buck purchases out there.

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Photo of Brianjames16
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark velvety brown color with an off white one finger head. Very good lacing. Sticks around for a while.

S- Dark fruits. I smell a lot alcohol. Figs, apricot, nutmeg. Hell Yes!

T- Dark fruits, Sweet sugars, some subtle spicy but smooth characteristics.
M- Mild carbonation with a silky mouth feel. Thick/medium body. A bit viscous.
D- Cool for a hot minute ! 1 - 2 glasses . aight !

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark, blackish brown with average lacing.

Smell - Smells quite tart with a hint of licorice. Hints of light fruits as well.

Taste - This is a very fruity beer. Light fruits, that is. Very tart and cirtusy. Slight hints of pomegranate as well. The most prominent flavor is light cherry, which remains consistent throughout the entire drink.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Very smooth and tart. Light cherry and other fruits. Very consistent throughout. One of the better offerings from Unibroue.

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

Pours a very dark but surprisingly clear ruby-brown color with a tan head. Head falls to a minimal one. Thinnest of lace.

Smells like plums soaked in alcohol. Lots of sweet fruits and plenty of booze.

Nice, bold, dark fruit taste. Nice sweet malts in the background and warming alcohol. Hints of Belgian yeast for additional flavor. Hop? Nope, not noticeable in this brew.

Rather full mouthfeel. Smooth and boozy with a mild alcohol burn.

Good stuff. Sweet, malty, fruity, boozy goodness. Drink it.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - very dark brown, tall tan head dissipated slowly to a consistent covering
S - sweet raisins, cloves, leafy hops, and alcohol sweetness
T - ripe plumb, raisins, clove spiciness, molasses, and alcohol
M - initially heavy with alcohol warmth that thins out on the finish
D - dark belgians always seem to have a unique character and this is no exceptions, high octane brew that warms the insides and is very drinkable at 10.5%

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

Pitch black colour with a moderate, light tan head. Fair head retention.

Bright, spicy aroma with notes of cinnamon and clove. Nice, moderate stone fruit notes.

Rich, bready malt plays nicely with some good spicy notes. Big, fruity esters with a good dark fruit component. Lovely.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. Nice and dry.

A solid beer and a great example of the style. Another Unibroue classic.

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

Well, well. Welcome back home. Finally going to try this one now that it's available in Quebec. I guess this is a small sign that craft beer is selling better in Quebec.

Beautiful high-pitched pop of the cork. Poured into tulip.

Pretty excited as I'm getting kind of tired of the usual Unibroue lineup.

A- Very dark, (pretty sure it's opaque) reddish brown. Head is a light beige and looks pretty fluffy and kind of sticky... It laces nicely and kind of looks like cushion foam.

S- Homemade apple juice. Whole wheat bread. Something also reminds me of pina colada, rum and all. Some clove. Less dark fruit then Trois Pistoles if I rememeber right.

T- I think this is kind of like a sharper, bolder Trois Pistoles.

M- The sharpness and/or boldness might also come from the mouthfeel, which I find less smooth than Trois Pistoles.

D- Good. Tastes good. Pretty crisp so it should be easy to drink but I'm thinking half a bottle would be good. ...I'm drinking it all though! but if I wasn't alone, I'd split it with a friend and drink something else.

I know I compared this to Trois Pistoles a lot but I really do feel like they're damn close. I do think I like this one better but I'd definitely like to try a side by side tasting.

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Photo of shella4711
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown, syrupy with a two-finger tan head

S: very sweet and fruity, almost smells like a wine

T: true to the scent but also with some chocolatey/molasses tastes

M: crisp and bubbly

D: very drinkable in smaller amounts, due to the sweetness and alcohol content. I shared the pint with a friend since I had to do some driving later. If I wasn't getting behind the wheel, I think a pint would have been plenty for me. Not a beer I'd drink all night.

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Photo of chickenm
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours almost deep dark brown with an off-white head. The aroma has plenty of dark fruit, yeast, spices, and sugar. Complex taste, similar to the smell. Medium-full bodied with a great mouthfeel. There is a little alcohol burn that becomes more noticeable as it warms, but no way you'd guess this is 10.5% abv. Another great beer from Unibroue!

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Photo of HopDiggityDawg
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark fruits
Belgian yeast
Dark reddish brown
Carbonation is excellent
10.5% will catch you by surprise
A great beer to sip by the fireplace during the cold fall/winter nights
I think this sets a high standard for a Belgian Dark ale
This is a seasonal brew that is very affordable, value exceeds cost.

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Photo of hickmancase
3.04/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A bottle from first trip to Bruery Provisions with my buddy Rick.

A: Rosy brown. Dark. Syrupy. One finger head.

S: Sweet.

T: Sweet. Too Sweet. Great example of this style, but too sweet.
M: Medium bodied. Slightly low on the carbonation.

D: Too Sweet. Could be better with some contrasting food.

Similar to Chimay Blue but sweeter.


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

On tap at Strange Brew in Manchester, NH 2/2/11:

A: Dark mahogany brown, slight redish hughes when held to light, opaque. Small 1 inch white head. Leaves little lacing.

S: Dark fruits (plums, dates, a little raisin), tart apples, belgian yeast, molasses.

T: Starts with the dark fruits and transitions into tart/slighly sour apple flavors, molasses malt backbone, fair amount of belgian yeast. Seemed like a cross between Don De Dieu and a Quad. Finish was a little alcoholic warming and acidic, tart, fruity, and molasses. Dark version of Don De Dieu is the best description.

M: Fairly high, crisp carbonation (champagne like), medium mouthfeel that can seem fairly smooth. Fairly standard dark ale body.

D: I tried to drink this slowly (I had to drive home), but it was quite delicious. I figured it was fairly high ABV, but I have to admit, it didn't taste like 10.5% alcohol. This could easily catch you by surprise.

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Photo of scoots511
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a corked and caged 75cL bottle. Fine foamy head tan in color. Dark in color with some red ruby brown when the glass is tilted.

S: Yeasty with some fruit tones.

T: Tangy fruity tastes balance the high 10.5% ABV. Low hop flavors tasted on the finish intermingled with the fruits. Doesn't taste like there is too much residual sugar, (definitely a relief for me). Malty flavors with no root beer or tootsie roll taste.

M: Highly carbonated and clean feel

D: Goes down smooth with the fruit taste at the finish. Feels like a high alcohol beer but not 10.5%.

Overall I liked this beer. I am more in favor of more earthy tones. But this beer is not too shabby. They nailed the flavors with the yeast but I can't rate this higher than a B. Good Strong Dark Ale

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't know why everywhere calls this "La Terrible"...The brewery website and the bottle say only Terrible...

$8.99/750ml bottle so it ain't cheap, but it ain't backbreaking, either. 10.5% ABV, whoa!!

Pours a cloudy red-mahogany. An enormous head opens up like a whale's mouth, gobbling up all the head space in the glass. It's a creamy head, too, made of fine bubbles. Light to medium carbonation. So far this looks great.

Sour cherry dominates the nose. I get some must, so I'm hoping this didn't go bad. It's faint, but there. I also get a faint clove note, along with some nice yeast items. Good, but not wonderous...

Flavor is crazy. Certainly not terrible by any means. Carbonation is so fine, it lends a creamy texture to the ale. First flavor is that sour cherry note, but not as sour as the nose would imply. It has a certain balancing sweetness which is awesome. The sour notes take forever to vanish, ever so slowly backing away from your tongue. This melds right into the middle maltiness, which has some bitter characteristics from the lees and yeast (ok, they're the same thing, I think). Finish carries said bitterness and drives off ever so slowly into the night. Alcohol is warming and hardly apparent. Wonderful beer. Definitely one to find and share with a friend or two.

What I like most: The complex and unique flavor profile.

What I like least: The slightly off bitterness in the finish.

Verdict: Find and drink, very fine ale.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into chalice glass. Pours a muddy dark brown with a light beige head. Smell is yeasty, almost cherry and gummy like, with raisins. Taste is creamy dark malt with raisins, dark fruity, belgian yeast, spices and bananas. Medium body and light carbonation.

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Photo of spree92
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, heavy brown with a massive, dirty-tan head. The only thing I picked up on the smell and taste was belgian yeast and alchool. slightlt tarty and didn't last long in the mouth. I found this to be pretty bland and not up to Unibroue standards.

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Photo of LazyL
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is wonderful. Dark brown with a heavy, creamy, tan head. Alot of lacing on the glass.
Smells like most Unibroue beers, Belgian fruity notes are most prominent, granny smith apple and toffee are in the background.
The taste did'nt blow me away however. It is good, but not great.
Very easy drinking at 10.5%. As most Unibroue beers, this is a good beer that goes down all too quickly.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours completely opaque with a rocky 2 finger tan head. Retains very well.

S - Green apple skins, dusty yeast, clove, pinot grapes,

T - Apples and dark fruits off the top- figs, prunes, raisins and some melon. The yeast is there but doesn't come out and try to bully through the flavors. There is a pinot grape like acidity creating a vinous character. The roasted malts are weaved with molasses, licorice, clove, and pepper. Banana is pronounced when warm. Finishes tangy and slightly acidic.

M - Moderate carbonation, fizzy, medium to full body.

The bright white grape character was unexpected but melded perfect. All the flavors seem so balanced that nothing sticks out. The drinkability is very high for the style. Alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of BBP
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours chestnut with a decent amount of carbonation, average head for the style, and slight lacing. I had to upgrade it's appearance after the head that looked like it would fade just stuck around, and then stuck around some more.

S- Prune and yeast. Assertive dark malt. A tad of booze. Has a stronger sugar smell to it than exists in the taste. Not disappointing though.

T- Dark fruit first and foremost. Plum, grape, and cherry led the way. It has a large amount of sweetness to it, but comes across in such a way that it's not overwhelming. It has more character to the sweetness, rather than just being sugary booze. It's more of a caramel, buttery, bready sweetness. There's even a bit of a bubblegum flavor to the sweetness. It has the character you'd expect in a classic BelgianSDA. The flavor holds through for a while. The finish lasts well, and is a bit spicy. This strikes me as the kind of beer that I could get to appreciate more and break down several drinks later, but sadly I only have this single bottle. I don't feel like I'm doing it justice in the description. It's complex and upfront with flavor, while being smooth and subtle. Probably my favorite Unibroue offering.

M- Nice full body. A bit too carbonated for my liking, but the body hid it pretty well. Moderately dry finish. Slightly sticky.

D- Very easy to drink for a BSDA. One of the easiest to drink I've had so far. Hid the booze quite well. Most of the time a 9% Unibroue 750 will do it for me, so this is a pretty formidable drink.

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

A - A very dark brown. Cloudy from the sediment in the bottom of the bottle, but it was clear before that addition. The head is light brown, with small tightly packed bubbles. The beer looks great.

S - Subtle fig, prune and other sweet dark fruits. Yeasty esters and sweet malt. The aroma good but barely there.

T/M - Medium bodied, Almost silky smooth, with the perfect amount of carbonation. The flavor is much more pronounced than the aroma. Sweet malt, phenols, plenty of yeasty esters.

D - Quite the delicious Belgian Strong Dark. The only place I would knock it is in the aroma. The smells are wonderful but far too subtle for what I expect in the style.

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Photo of basica
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2004. Vintage Aged.

A - Pours an intense dark brown black (almost jet black actually) into my Rochefort chalice with a one-finger thick head sizzling noisily down to a very well retaining and almost permanently stagnant half-finger thick milky tan layer, well sustained by the surprisingly active carbonation despite the opaqueness and age (4.5)

S - Lightly vinous nose with some yeasts and dashes of dark fruits; fairly subdued generally. Not sure if this detracted due to the aging process (3.5)

T - Upfront brown sugar sweetness, yeastiness and the familiar pleasant vinous notes from vintage aged Belgian Dark ales. Some breadiness and malts towards the middle followed by the unleashing of dark fruits with suggestions of raisins, grapes and plums; beautifully mellowed with age and blended with vinous flavors, lasting well into the finish. (5)

M - On the lighter side of medium-bodied, probably due to the age, with a milky smooth texture and above average carbonation, to my surprise. Goes down pleasantly with a nice light warming. (4.5)

D - It's been a while since I last had a nicely aged vintage Belgian Strong Dark ale and this one held up really well on the vinous, mellowed fruity flavors and the milky texture, again familiar on vintage beers, which was really pleasant. Finally, it's almost unbelievable that this beer is a whopping 10.5% ABV from how deceptively easy it's been going down (4.5)

This is #2 of 3 in my American (ok this one's Canadian) brewed BSDAs; this one is a 2004 Vintage aged La Terrible to be put up against a 2009 Pelican Grand Cru and a a 2008 Lost Abbey 10 Commandments; a very interesting horizontal comparison.

First of all, the La Terrible held up pretty well with aging except for the nose which I have to admit was disappointing. Generally, I think La Terrible is CLEARLY better than the Trois Pistoles and Maudite both from Unibroue and may well be Unibroue's best (or amongst the better) BSDAs. For this particular evaluation, the Pelican takes the lead for now though the Terrible has did really well though may not exactly be fair as the vintage years and aging conditions are different. Appearance, nose and nose and the feel probably has to go the Pelican but the taste is pretty competitive albeit on different vintage years.

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Photo of mwrecording
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took a chance on a dirty, smudged bottle of this at a local run-of-the-mill shop.

A: Poured into my Duvel tulip a darkish brown color with an inch or two head that went away in a couple minutes. Laced the glass.

S: Belgian yeast, dark sweet fig/apple notes, some malty notes

T: Wow, I instantly wanted to let the beer sit and drive 5 minutes to order a case. I haven't had a Chimay Blue in awhile but at a buck or two cheaper, I think I'd want a case of this more than it. Tastes the way it tastes and exactly what I'd want/expect from a BDSA...although maybe a bit sweet for the style.

M: I've seen/heard a few people say this was too carbonated, for me it wasn't. Felt great in the mouth, fun to swirl around. Fun to taste.

D: I am a little bit of a lightweight, I did feel a good buzz around halfway through the 750 bottle. Didn't make me enjoy the beer any less. Still love drinking it. Took me 2 hours to finish, slowly.

I want a case of this but I'm going to try their Maudite, which I also have, first to see if I'd prefer a (cheaper) case of that.

Great beer.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,218 ratings.
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