La Terrible | Unibroue

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2,217 Ratings
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La TerribleLa Terrible
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Unibroue
Quebec, Canada
unibroue.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,217
Reviews:
955
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
11.3%
 
 
Wants:
137
Gots:
354
For Trade:
7
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,217 |  Reviews: 955
Photo of avalon07
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nicely subtle aroma of dark fruit, malt and some yeast.

T: Tasted of malt, dark fruit (figs, plums, etc.), esters, and Belgian yeast. A complex and vibrant flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation with a very dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Another excellent and drinkable beer from Unibroue.

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Photo of megahurts4
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unibroue La Terrible

Appearance: Dark brown, large head, and good lacing.

Smell: Yeast, dark fruit, and spices.

Taste: Yeast, dark fruit (raisins/dates), slight caramel, and spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Overall:
Subtle dark fruits and many properties of Belgian ales make this one a good selection. It is very rich and full of flavor.

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

Thanks to my friend Dan for sharing this. This is a heck of a beer - very big, but well balanced. Interestingly, I had this next to Eel River's Climax Noel, which shared some of the character.

Anyways, this Belgian style had a mix of vanilla bean, plum wine, and mild clove and spice. It was a little heavy, but on par for the style and strength. This is a great beer to share and sip from a red wine glass. There's subtle berry fruit flavors and mellow Belgian spices all building to create a deliciously big beer. Check it out.

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Photo of captainjferjado
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Opaque with active carbonation and an inch thick head which deflates slowly with some wisps of head remaining.
N: Indistinguishable fruity sweetness. Not much else going on here for me.
T: Smooth with a robust cherry and alcohol warmness which is balanced by a closing bitterness. Nice, but not "Terrible."
M: Really very exceptional. It has a nicely balanced carbonation and bitterness which make this one deceptively smooth for all its alcohol content.
D: The mouthfeel is essential to me here since the taste is good but this one otherwise is below average. Very enjoyable to drink, not much to look or smell at, though.

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

Served in Chalice

A: Deep licorice body, medium sized toffee colored head that dissipates slowly
S: Roasted malt, star anise.
T: Warm butterscotch, licorice, toffee, with a good bite of bitter citrus on the end.
M: Well carbonated, chewy brew with a good lively finish. Booze present but not annoying.
D: With a beer like this, you want to pace yourself, but worth seeking out when available.

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

didn't get a chance to check the "best by" date but this bomber had been aging in my cellar for about 1.5 yrs.

pours a dark plumb color but there are some faint orange hues as well that keeps it from being completely opaque. thick head with good retention and good lacing throughout the glass.

little lighter on the nose than I expected for this BSDA. malty notes were present however, brown sugar and molasses with light yeasty and fruity smell present as well.

the flavor is what gets this beer back on track for me. black cherry dominates with light caramel as well. finishes sweet & sour with a bitter aftertaste that builds throughout the drink

medium body with decent amount of carbonation. not quick as thick and creamy as I was expecting from a BSDA by the name "La Terrible."

nice drink that I thoroughly enjoyed. I like a belgian ale that is able to properly balance the sweet & sour with the right amount of bitterness to mute the higher abv. goo drink.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle drank form my chimay chalice. i think this bottle is relatively young, as it expires in december of 2014.

A- this beer pours out a black body with a tall beige head on top. the head lasts nearly the entire beer and leaves behind a wall of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice is the classic unibroue yeast strain. after that comes some sweet brown sugar and fruits. plums, figs, dates, cherries, and raisins. little to no trace of the alcohol.

T- the sweet brown sugar i could smell comes back in the taste. the sweet dark fruits come back also. lots of the dates, raisins, cherries, figs and plums. theres also some lightly roasted malts in here giving it a faint resemblance to a stout. unibroue yeast and a touch of alcohol round this one out.

M- light bodied and pretty thin with a high level of carbonation. sticky on the palate.

D- easy to finish this one, even though it seems a bit green. im hoping some time in the cellar does this one some good.

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

A - Very dark cola brown, almost black, with a bit of a dark cherry walnut hue on the edge. Pretty large, light, fluffy, cloudy, stick, foamy, off-white head. Pretty good retention with a nice sticky, foamy layer of lace.

S - Nice dark fruit with a good plum, fig, and raisin flavors. A touch of dark cherry. Some bubble gum aroma as well. A lot of Belgian yeast and candi sugar as well. Has a full jamy aroma. A pretty good amount of spice and fairly sweet.

T - Get a lot of rum soaked dark fruit (similar to the nose) giving it a bit of a vinous/plumy flavor. Some dark bread/malt and a touch of burnt brown sugar is in the background. Fair amount of bubblegum and phenol flavors come in and out. Belgian spiciness and yeast and the candi sugar are pretty up front, definitely taste like a Belgian style beer. Alcohol is present through out the sip, but not overly strong.

M - Medium body with plenty of carbonation. A little light/thin feeling for the style/ABV. A bit of a zesty feel with a sticky and drying finish.

D - Definitely a sipper with some strong, bold flavors. With a lot of spice, sweetness, and alcohol heat no one flavor overpowers, but it is a little much to drink a lot in one night.

Notes: A good offering from Unibroue, that definitely had a Belgian taste. Pretty bold, strong flavors gave it a feel that it wasn't perfectly balanced, but it didn't really seem out of balance. Overall it is an enjoyable beer that would be nice to have every once in awhile.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer almost looks like a stout when it is poured. Initially it looks black, but when held up to light it does have a slight amount of deep ruby around the edges. It has a pretty robust khaki head that reduces to fine lacing.

Smell: This beer has 10.5% alcohol, and man does it smell like it. Boozy dark fruits are extremely prevalent in the smell. I can also get hints of dark malts and just a bit of smoke.

Taste: Very similar to the smell. Dark fruits with tons of booze. Very mild finish that is smooth.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is just about right; not too much but not too little. It's pretty smooth overall with a pleasant finish.

Drinkability: At 10.5% ABV (and you can really taste the alcohol) it's not a terribly drinkable beer.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep garnet color with a rising tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and yeast spice with some bready malt.

Tastes of the dark fruits followed by a large dose of deep malt. Raisins and figs abound with notes of apple and pear as well. Molasses and dark sugar make an appearance as well. Good amount of sweetness. Yeast spice rounds everything out and adds clove and pepper notes. Alcohol is barely noticeable, only a warming is left in the throat.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of aepb1
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown with a big off-white head

S- Yeast and fruits, nice nose, very full

T- Wild! Malty fruits and some darker sugars. There's a lot going on here

M- Full mouthfeel, creamy with airiness too as it's on the heavy side of carbonation

D- Sip, and it's great to enjoy over a long time!

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

Pours very dark - you only see the slightest hint of a red/brown in the bottom of the goblet when held to the light. The light oatmeal colored head filled 1/3 of the glass and dropped to about a 1/2" throughout the drinking. Smells very nice with a fruity notes with a hint of spice. The taste matches the smell. Here's where I'm torn - the first sip was very nice and a powerful mix of fruit and clove spice notes. The main issue I have is each sip got less enjoyable until by the end a kind of had to force down the last of the botle. Belgian darks are my favorite kind of beer and had I shared this 750ml with someone I think I would have given it a higher rating. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty good beer but with what else is out there I don't know if I'll be coming back to it. I have one more bottle to try out (I won't throw something over based one test). The mouthfeel was very nice (slightly lighter than most) with lots of carbonation to sting the tongue. As for overall drinkability, I'd say above average, just not "wow". I'm looking for a cheaper alternative to my favorite European made Belgian Darks, was hoping this would be it but my search continues.

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Photo of Millersr
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very dark brown with a small head that stays with you till the end.
The smell of this beer is very nice. Kind of like root beer, with a splash of coffee in it.
The taste is heavy, but it is light on the mouth. Hints of chocolate, caramel, coffee. ABV is not evident.
Very easy to drink.
This beer was a pleasure to drink. I will look forward to having this beer again another day!

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

bottle

Pours a dark opaque chocolate color, minimal light passing through the edges, medium white head with coarse texture dissipates to a film.

Smells of tart yeasts, brown sugar malts, and fig like dark fruits.

Taste is of wild yeasts, heavy dark malts, some fig and apple sweetness, and a bit of brown sugar or molasses.

Very full mouth feel with frothy feeling carbonation. Slightest hint of alcohol warmth.

Delicious and very heavy. Something to enjoy slowly. Hides the alcohol okay. Totally worth trying.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle with a drink by date on it.

Pours a very dark, almost black color with a light tan/beige head that while not very thick in size is thick in consistency and hangs out until the glass is done, even if it does thin out some. Some moderate lacing does occur. Smells of spice and slight coffee/caramel notes. Not very strong, but pleasant. Tastes very strong like spices and dark chocolate. It's bitter and not sweet. At first it has a slight bite to it and the alcohol is kind of strong, but not overpowering. After a little bit this bite disappears and it goes down very smoothly. It's very lively. It's pretty drinkable for a 10.5 abv beer.

As a side note, this beer is absolutely excellent with colby jack cheese, green olives and crackers.

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Photo of nataku00
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Dark brown in color with a slight half a finger of head. Head dissipated fairly quickly and with a little lacing only where I take sips from the glass.

Smells of dried plums, banana, and malt.

Taking a sip, plum and malt dominate the taste buds, slightly sweet finish. Despite the high abv, the alcohol only shows up moments after you swallow, which is great. Very velvety beer in the mouth as the flavors dance on the tongue. Medium body, with a light lingering taste of the dark malt to remind you that you still have more beer to sip.

A delicious beer that doesn't allow the abv to overpower your palate.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Rather aggressive pour from 750 into a goblet, yielding a massive head, opaque black body, and a nose that had heavy dark grape notes, like a red wine. Also something that reminded me of the smell of a dentist office, for some reason. Lacing remained, with a little hill of foam in the center of the glass. Taste is big and powerful, though the booze is almost imperceptible; malty and very fruity. Raisin is dominant, very faint banana and spice, more so on the aftertaste. Sweet, almost syrupy, almost no tartness. No hops to speak of; a plus for me. Mouthfeel, as with all Unibroue offerings, is superb, heavy, very fine carbonation yields an incredibly creamy mouthfeel without cutting into flavor. Drinkability is good, but I couldn't finish a 750 in an evening; recommended to share. Could go well with steak or pungent (bleu?) cheese. Another fantastic Unibroue offering; hard to go wrong.

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

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. I've had a case of these big beers over the course of the last year, so it's way over due for a review.

Appearance: Very rich dark brown with a surprisingly nice head for a high ABV SDA/Quad, strong lacing throughout.

Smell: Nice dark fruit notes on the nose, complex right out of the gate.

Taste: This is a rich beer, taste dark fruit, a little spice, well crafted, deep. The same Unibroue yeast flavor profile as Trois Pistoles but somehow better & richer.

Mouth: Smooth on the palate, again a solid brew by Unibroue.

Drinkability: Very, very good, could be a dangerous session beer.

Along with Fin Du Monde this is one of the crown jewels produced by Unibroue, IMO the best Belgian Style strong dark ale produced in North America.

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

750ml bottle, corked and caged, marked with best by 2014.

A - Black with the slightest hint of crimson when help up to the light. A thick tan head sits at the top of the beer and very slowly recedes, leaving a nice sticky lacing.

S - Pretty strong smell of dark fruits, raisins and prunes. Smokey alcohol lingers in the background.

T - Wow! Whatever yeast they used in this has some really interesting things going on. Being aged on lees, the yeast plays the prominent role in this beer. There are tons of dark fruit flavors but the taste has more of a berry feel that the aroma - black rasberry, blueberries and black cherries sit well with the plums and raisans more present in the nose. Very roasty with a hint of chocolate and smoke. Alcohol creeps up slowly as you make your way down the glass but is extremely well covered for being over 10%. Nice sweet and bitter finish.

M - Pretty light for the style. Medium carbonation, smooth and goes down easy, dangerously so.

D - Loved this beer and will definitely buy again without thinking twice if I can find it!

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Photo of kwjd
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with nice head and lacing. Smell is of raisins and cherries with the Belgian yeast. Nice flavour of tangy dried fruit with the dark malt. Mouthfeel creamier than many other Belgian strong dark ales. This hides the alcohol really well. I find a lot to like about this beer, but the flavour isn't quite up there with the top of this style.

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

At the Coppermine Pub in North Arlington, NJ. Poured black with slightly less than a finger of beige head, with average retention, little visible carbonation, and good lacing. Smelled of various dark fruit, plum, currant, and candi sugar. The taste was a tiny bit berry sweeter than the nose, starting on a blackberry/currant note, then progressing to a malty/candi sugar/dark fruit-blend midpalate, and then finishing on a sweet and sour note. Medium-bodied, yet spritzy and crisp on the palate. Excellent sipping beer.

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

A-

750ml into a tulip. Pours a mahogany just shy of black. Dense head arises, superior lacing.

Dark malts, dark dried fruits, spices, ale on lees.

Near textbook strong dark ale. Not too sweet, phenols in control, balanced slightly bitter finish. I intentionally consume some head with the sips while it lasts, adds a creamy accent to the mouthfeel. The peppery alcohol finish is perfect and welcomed.

One of Unibroue's best.
cheers
jd

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Photo of SleepyMonk
2.88/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 750ml bottle poured into a unbroue branded chalice.

Body is very dark with only a very fleeting glimpse of a cola he when held to the light. Generated a dark tan head of about 2 fingers which fell away nicely with patchy lace and finally a generous thin layer remained.

Dried dark fruits dominate the nose along with a mild yeasty funk and warm dough. Aromatic notes grow as the beer warms up towards room temperature.

The taste profile is well characterized by the yeast and it appears as though the malt and dark fruit notes are trying to bust through across the palate however something seems a little lost in translation and instead the taste is very confusing. At first this is a little offensive and perhaps a little metallic or soapy.

Weighting is medium to heavy and carbonation is light.

This beer is bit of an anomaly. The appearance and aroma have the goods, although the aroma is slightly thin, however the taste spectrum is extremely confusing.

I have had Unibroue Terrible on other occasions and this is the first time I have encountered this metallic soapy taste, so perhaps there are good and bad batches. With Unibroue becoming more commercial perhaps there is reason to expect they are losing that "special touch" that they once had.

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Photo of Pahn
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank two bottles of La Terrible with the intention of reviewing them (on two separate occasions). The first was obviously infected, and the second was not. The numerical score reflects the beer as it was intended by the brewery (non-infected). I'll include reviews of both because why the hell not?

---

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled on July 29th, 2009, apparently at 1:47 AM. Guess it's all work and no play for the guys and gals at Unibroue.

Appearance: Free pour yields a two inch fizzy tan head that, instead of dissipating, pops into a swiss cheese pattern, ultimately popping away to a 3/4 inch head that dissipates very slowly. Pours a dark, mostly opaque reddish black and leaves occasional streaks of lacing.

Smell: Trademark Unibroue Belgian yeast, and lots of prune, plum, and grape notes. Some nice toasted aromas and caramel come out soon after pouring, along with an almost sour note. This smell is pretty much a 3.5, though after the beer warms up it develops this harsh booziness that actually makes all the other notes extremely beautiful and unique. This would have bumped up the score, but it seems to only last a short time--then the smell becomes more pedestrian than before.

Taste: First sip is all grape and Belgian yeast. Soon after the spiciness (clove) really comes out, along with a very sugary taste and feel. Aftertaste is hot alcohol warmth and spice. Less fruity than the nose. The mix isn't really working for me; I'm not impressed with this as a Belgian dark ale. It's lacking in complexity, and while the battling flavors are all pretty palatable, I'm not very intrigued by them.

3.5 is the perfect score for this. It *is* above average, and it tastes good... but I can drunkenly name 5 Belgian darks that leave no reason to drink this beer. I expect more from the style, and from the brewery. I'm not bashing it; in fact, I'm continuing to enjoy it. However, I can't review it any higher for taste.

Mouthfeel: Too much carbonation (though I got used to it). Light body. Sugary but not chalky. Finishes a little dry. Hot.

Drinkability: Pretty decent Belgian dark sipper. I was flat out disappointed with the first few sips, but the balance of flavors really grew on me. I'm not struggling to finish this bottle (I'm enjoying it), and I'd drink it again... but it's not in the same league as many Belgian darks and quads.

A hard to review beer... It's as if you're at a pizza-making competition, and green pepper is your favorite food. A pizza maker who you know personally and like has made you a pizza with green pepper, and the green pepper is excellent. Yet, the crust is overcooked, the sauce is bland, there's not enough cheese, etc. It's not a winning pizza, but it's working for you. I can't say that this is a great beer, but the balance of flavor that it ends up delivering (the hot boozy hit, the smokiness, the welcome caramel, the characteristic Unibroue Belgian yeastiness, the clove) is something that I like very much.

---

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled on July 29th, 2009; the same batch as the non-infected bottle reviewed above!

Appearance: Careful pour yields a one inch fizzy tan head that dissipates immediately leaving no lacing. Opaque black with red edges. Looks like flat soda due to the color and lack of any head at all. No lacing. 2.0

Smell: Belgian yeast, sugary but indistinguishable fruit. Dominant sour tang, interacting with some toasted malty notes. Smells amazing. 4.5

Taste: Sour, funky, musty, tart, dry, with some prune in the background. I read the reviews of this before trying it... and something is obviously wrong here. A sugary taste develops as the beer warms, but still very musty. Some mild herbal flavors and phenols are showing up. Some flavor and acidity reminiscent of apple juice. Just enough sweetness and complex ester balance among the tartness and funk.

God damn. This is close to 5.0... I love it. Early on, the realization hits me that this amazing beer I'm drinking is a mistake, and I'm never going to be able to get it again. 4.5

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated despite how it looks. Very dry finish with a puckering tartness. 3.5

Drinkability: If this were how the beer were supposed to taste, I would buy it with great regularity. 5.0

(total score: 3.95, B+)

What can I say? I had this beer in April '10, and it's July '10 now... and it's still one of the most memorable beers I've had all year. Probably top 3. Unibroue, if you're reading this: pilot brew some La Terrible by putting it and some lacto into a barrel, or using some brett or something. This beer is AMAZING with some funk and sourness; those notes really make the sugary Belgian dark ale plum/prune, caramel, and smoke notes in Terrible SING. I am saying this emphatically enough to justify going all caps on it.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 2,217 ratings.
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