La Terrible | Unibroue

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La TerribleLa Terrible
2,244 Ratings
La TerribleLa Terrible

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
In 2002, when the SAQ requested an exclusive new high-end product, Unibroue responded with Terrible. Given its dark colour and 10.5% alcohol content (a first for Unibroue), we knew that this Belgian quadruple-style ale might very well be greeted with reticence.

So we gave it a name that would evoke terror and worry, but also something extraordinary, formidable and awe-inspiring. From here on out, no other beer can ever be called Terrible.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,244 |  Reviews: 960
Photo of Stunner97
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- very dark brown to black with moderate white head off pour, decent carbonation, head quickly fades away to white lacing

Smell- slight sugar and malts, yeast and spice, little hints of chocolate and caramel, smell is little light,

Taste- early medicinal qualities jump out at you, even a little bit of alcohol can be noticed on your first sip, balance does tend to grow and it gets a bit more complex as it warms up to room tempature, nice sugar and sweet malts, overall a very sweet beer,

Mouthfeel- good level of carbonation and a medium body, bit of back end warmth

Drinkability- this beer is certainly easy to drink and it definitely does grow on you as you go,alcohol feels warm at points but not terribly off balance considering such a big menacing 10.5 percent, its seemed not letting this beer be to cold was a must as tempature dropped the complexity grew directly inversly, a very nice example of a belgian strong dark ale even if there are some better out there, certainly worthy of a try,

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with two fingers of light brown head on an opaque brownish-black body. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - Toffee and sweet caramel with some cherry and plum fruitiness. Light chocolate and even a hint of nutty chocolate.

T - Thick and malty, cherries and toffee up front. Richer fruit comes out in the middle, plums and dates, figs. Finishes with some clove notes from the yeast and medium caramel complimented by light chocolate and a hint of spicy hops.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is quite fruity for a strong, dark belgian, but it comes together well and displays a nice level of complexity. The dark fruit is very nice, though the malt complexity is less impressive. Well worth trying and even deserving of a regular place in the beer fridge.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw the bottle at Zenos and eyed it up for a while before pulling the trigger. Shared with good friend Treyrab.

Poured from a 750mL into a fluted glass.

Dark brown, very small buffed white head. Some visibility around the sides. Nice looking for a Belgian strong dark.

Light but very pleasing in the nasal. Sweet and bitter chocolate with some nice smoothed out caramel. Red grapes, sweet browned bananas. Brown sugar, milky.

Very nice sweet sugar caramel. Very well carbonated which gives the beer a rather light feel. Some nice vanilla, great sweet banana. Brown sugar. Really sweet. Light chocolate tastes. A good beer that I would like to try again sometime.

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Photo of Wheelinb
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep copper to brown color. A thick foamy head about two fingers thick. I was not getting any big aromas, just a yeasty smell and a bit of fruitiness.

My first impression was that it tasted like dates with a slight alcohol taste. There is lots of body in this beer, which I like. A slight sweetness lingered. I thought there would be a thicker texture based on the look but it is more drinkable.

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Photo of capra12
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo finally @ The Gingerman NYC on 8/27/09.

Appearance: Dark brown almost opaque with about a finger head.

Smell: Fermented concord grapes with Belgian yeast.

Taste: Opens with Belgian yeast. There are sweet concord grapes and subtle sournotes which come in from the middle and intensifies toward the finish. Just before the finish the Belgian yeast intensifies at the finish leaving my palate with a subtle alcoholic, yeasty and a hint of hops aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and slighty coarse.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and boy was it worth the trip. The first time I had this is the bottle and now having it on-tap make this brew so much more enjoyable.

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Photo of Brenden
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a deep, rich dark brown / black brew with a light brown one-finger head that fades within a fairly short period of time and has very light lacing.
There's a complex sweetness in the aroma that's a mix of caramelized sugars, dark fruits and something tart like green apple underneath the more direct sweetness. Yeast is also up front.There's a light malt and, perhaps just underneath everything, a lighter hops with a bright, very gentle spiciness. A boozy alcohol is also present.
The taste follows suit and there's really a good combination of flavors that makes for a nice complexity of character. I get a little more coriander and the alcohol really kicks in after a while. The style lends itself to a much lighter hops presence than some, and it really works for this one.
The body is medium in this rich brew, which has a creamy mouthfeel with just enough nip from the carbonation.
This is a tasty brew and one that has helped to pique my interest in the style a bit.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice black color with some brown when held up directly to light. A minimal amount of bone/ brown colored head with some lacing.

S: Wow. One of the best smelling beers I have ever had. Nuts right up front. Roasted chestnuts. A weird mix of barrel which I know this beer is not barrel aged. Faded chocolate and roast. Another wonderful case of my monkey brain just giving out trying to pick out everything. Just really wonderful.

T: Really nice tasting. The roast is there but is never overwhelming. The yeast is huge in this beer but it does not have the normal taste their beers have. Time cures all.

M: Little on the heavy side of medium with a silky carbonation.

D: Split the bottle but I could have drank it myself. Fresh it is ok but with 3? years on it this was a real winner.

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Photo of erz316
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

caged and corked 750 from 2004, expiration in 02/26/2012, in chimay chalice.

A - A pretty solid looking bdsa. this is definitly dark: the body is completely black; only the faintest cola coloured brown comes in at the top of the glass when held up to light. the head is one finger deep, and fades down pretty fast, the colour is a light brown, like a more chocolaty tan. no sizable lace, and once head dies dow there is only a threadbare layer on top.

S - smell is a bit apple-y malt, with some dark fruits. the initial taste is a clear combination of the apple and malts, but it comes out sweeter than more bitter. the middle ground is a bit of cola and burnt or brown sugar. no discernible backbone. not a bad smelling bdsa, but no where near as strong,and it is missing some fundamental aspects.

T - they've got the taste down pretty good, though! tastes like a solid bdsa, but a bit weak in some of the fruitier aspects, and carbonation can obscure the flavour. the initial taste is slightly chocolaty, malty, and fruity. the chocolate is definitely less than the other tastes, but it makes this chocolate cherry flavour, the cherry is much like a flavoured tobacco in that it is quite overdone and obviously artificial, maybe a bit of cola-esque hints; the malts and fruity flavours, which are destinctively over ripe, combine in quite a glorious manner. the finish is a slight cola flavour with predominant savory malts. the aftertaste is slightly sweet, from the malts. The flavour is completely solid and strong, this is what keeps it at a high score, despite being so simple.

MF&D - the feel is just a bit thick for me, I think I would rate it at a medium-thick, not quite as syrupy and viscous as an old ale or a ris, but definitely getting there. the carbonation is also a bit too much, needs to tone it down. the drinkability is fine, but I just thought this beer was a 'meh'; though it was undoubtedly good, it wasn't special enough for me to want more.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach

750ml popured into a weizen glass

A- A huge head rises over the top after a 1/3 of the pour. 4 fingers easily. A roasted but brown color to the head. Body is that of chocolate and quite opaque.

S- huge bursts of dark berry fruit. raspberry and then some banana tones. alcohol and light malt. The dark candied fruit rise overtop of everything.

T- plenty of dark fruits right up front that hit you in the tongue. It overpowers the alcohol and malts. very sweet yet smooth. the belgian spice is typical of a beer like this.

M- creamy, carbonated and sweetness coat the lining of the mouth.

D- as heavy as this beer is it goes down like a pale ale. shoots right down to the stomach leaving a nice warm feeling. One of my favs from unibroue.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cracked this open at C'est What in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The label's import agent (Unibrew USA - heh) is listed as being in Shelbourne, Vermont. Quite a circuitous route to get a beer that comes from ostensibly the same country in which I'm currently sitting at a bar...

This beer pours a very dark mahogany hue, with slight reddish edges, and a huge amount of creamy, puffy, light beige head, which leaves a thin ring of lace as it dissipates. It smells of that typical Unibroue yeast, dark sweet malt, coriander, banana, and spicy floral hop notes. The taste is big sweet dark fruity malt, mildly yeasty banana, dry earthy hops, and a wee bit of booze. The carbonation is moderate, with a dense, sticky body, and it finishes off-dry, with a somewhat clammy, sticky fruitiness.

A wonderfully balanced big boy beer, the effect worthy of its moniker.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #100
750mL bottle poured into a tulip glass. Best by 2/26/2012.

(A)- Pours basically pitch black with a 4+ finger effervescent, yet billowy light brown head with superb retention. Some decent lacing in patches.

(S)- Dark berry fruits with a yeasty and biscuit/baked bread aroma. Light lemon & clay on the finish that is separate from the darker fruits up front.

(T)- Great dark fruits up front, but disappears to give way to a silky yeast and biscuits dimension that turns it head to a lemon curd-type thing going on. On the finish, there are light and delicate roasted nuances combined with more biscuit influences.

(M)- Plenty of carbonation that dances on the tongue, but does not overshadow the rest of the beer. Lightly sweet and delicate fruits that come in layers; not all at once. A nice multiple dimension beer with a cool roasted & bread finish amidst all the layered fruits.

(D)- One of my favorite Belgian Strong Darks out there. Great complexity and balance amidst delicate and layered components. You still taste it minutes after each sip. The 10.5% abv is integrated very well; until you feel it at the end! The whole 750mL will be enjoyed slowly to savor each sip.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. I've cellared this one for about a year. Bottle states best before 02-26-2012.
A: Pours a dark plum with just a hint of light coming through on backlighting. 1/2 inch dark cream head with decent retention.
S: Banana, cream, belgian spice, and hint of toasted malt. Very inviting.
T: Banana with belgian spice, then heavy cream comes though. Mild toasted malt backbone.
M: Very smooth and creamy feel. Soft on the palate. Lingers nicely. Fairly light body.
D: Very drinkable, especially for the ABV. Another very solid beer from Unibroue. They seem to kick out a ton of similar beers and yet they are all distinctly different and good in their own way.

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Photo of wiseguy142
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am excited for this.

Of all the Belgian styles, strong dark ale is by far my favorite. Furthermore, I'm excited to be drinking some Unibroue, since I believe this is a brewery I often overlook. They do a lot in the brewing/naming of their beer that makes it more than just beer to you, which is a great creative offshoot of being a brewer.

But anyways..

Pours nearly black. Long, thick streams of bubbles are floating in waves up the side of the glass. The head is somethign I'd expect to see in a coffee stout- very small bubbles like capuccino foam, darker where it meets the glass, sits right on top the whole time I'm writing this. Ridiculous.

Aroma is a bit lacking, but only because it's a little weak. What aroma there is is great. Kind of like eating a toffee candy while drinking coffee.. in a smell.

Taste is almost like a light Belgian milk stout.. weird. Lactose sweetness, but with enough roasted character, along with slight Belgian alcohol/phenolics. WTF THIS STUFF IS CRAZY. I duno I just wouldn't have the first clue how to make this beer. Apparently I'm also really into stream of consciousness reviews, which I'm ok with. Maybe a little nutty.. reminds me of almonds. Bah. Canada FTW.

Mouthfeel is ungodly smooth. Sort of an inspiration for me.. it's like they mashed as high as possible and then loaded a bunch of sugar into the boil.

So I don't think I hyped this up for myself. I was hyped up for Duchesse de Bourgogne last night and was severely disappointed. I want a case of this.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A=pours a very dark (black) with no clarity. Head is off white and approx 1 finger. Laces minimally.

S=initial cakey banana aromas

T=cakiness comes through in the taste as well, alcohol comes around on the end. Some malty notes but overall very balanced and enjoyable.

M=nice carbonation with a tight feel.

D=drinkable, enjoyable, however the alcohol content hinders this a little.

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Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today. The beer pours a very dark brown color with OK head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is intriguing, as I get a considerable rootbeer aroma, coupled with some light chocolate and underlying spice. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except there is also cherry and light orange as well. The beer has an interesting spicey finish as well, with a hint of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, with some fairly lively carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, considering the abv. and moderate sweetness.

A good solid beer from Unibroue, though I can't say it's one of their very best.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Mahogany. Light tan foam with little lacing.

smell: cloves with "citrusy" background.

taste: As the smell, cloves with light citrus, malty. Nice balance.

mouthfeel: full bodied with med. carbonation.

drinkability: Alcohol is really hidden! Glad I read the label and took it slow.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $8.48 at Sherlock's in Marietta, Georgia. Best Before: 2-26-2012.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, walnut brown body with an appropriately tall, foamy, light tan head.

Smell: Sweet-scented, malty nose coming across as a plated up Shoofly Pie for dessert along with some secondary notes of dark fruits and spice.

Taste: Dark, not-quite-roasty maltiness with flavors of molasses, dark brown sugar, dark candi sugar, and sweetened cocoa-flavored coffee. Burst of black cherry, sour cherry, and cooked raisin fruitiness. Earthy spiciness with a hint of black pepper and ground cardamom. Small touch of alcohol warmth, though, as it warms somewhat, it becomes a moderate pinch of alcohol warmth. Finishes dry but also malty with a taste of, well, again, I'd say Shoofly Pie, but I feel that reference would be entirely lost on most.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Well carbonated with a tingly, altogether bubbly mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Paired remarkably well with the movie "Casino". I'd pair the last third with some food to see how it goes, but I only have yogurt and ramen, so... Easily one of the better Unibroue brews I've had, but, sadly, not one I often see around in Georgia. Ah well, such is life. Drinks surprisingly easy for purportedly being above 10%.

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Photo of argock
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml brown bottle into a clear glass, long-stemmed goblet. Best by 6-5-11 on back label. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $7.79.

A: Almost black with 2-finger tan head that recedes pretty quickly and leaves no lace.

S: Dark, spicy fruitiness dominates with currants, fig, and plum taking center stage with spicy hops and a clove yeastiness putting a bow on this very nice nose.

T: The flavor of this brew borders on explosive with huge dark fruit taste of raisins, figs, currants, and plum that blend wonderfully with spicy, herbal, earthy hops. The Belgian side of the yeast shows itself admirably with a clove character.

M: Sticky but chewy with relatively low carbonation and wonderful spicy, fruity aftertaste. There is no alcohol anywhere in the flavor, nose, or aftertaste.

D: Easily my favorite Unibroue beer -- it contains a huge flavor with a great feel. A couple of years on this will be great to bring out more malt subtleties. A superb beer by any standard.

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Photo of ntraft
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

L: Pitch black with reddish highlights and a tall, mocha-tan head.

S: Smells like coffee and dark fruits. Maybe some toffee mixed in there. Possibly more subtle aroma than other dark Belgians. Some bready notes become apparent as it warms.

T: More dark fruits in the taste, but it's also slightly more bitter than I expected -- the malts are not completely dominant here. The more I continued to drink it, however, the more it opened up with the fruit and malt flavors. In all, I wouldn't say any one flavor was dominant; it was very well-mixed.

D: Very drinkable as long as you don't mind getting drunk! Haha. (The alcohol is well-masked)

Overall: Though not my favorite from Unibroue, a solid offering and well worth a taste.

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Photo of schmitter
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow, I've had this beer cellaring for about two months now and it is not what i expected.

Poured a deep, dark, almost opaque brown with very little head and almost no lacing.

Smells sweet, and fruity caramel notes.

Again, i get the caramel taste, and fruit, most notably dark cherries and some rich apples. I dont really taste the high ABV, other than the alcohol sweetness.

Not the best I've had from Unibroue by far, but clearly satisfying.

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Photo of tyanow
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

***Corked Bottle***

A - Looks like Black Cherry Soda but a little thicker and has a thin and non-lasting head.

S- Dark Fruit soaked in alcohol. Mildly sweet.

T- A bit sweet. A bit spicey. A tiny bit of nuts and apricot in the middle of all that alcohol soaked dark fruitiness.

M - This is a pretty full bodied beer. The low hop and low carbonation leave a long lingering array of flavors.

D - Big beers are never as drinkable to me. I tend to like them more but drink them less. At 10+% and a very tongue engrossing flavor this is a nice bottle to share once in a while, not an everyday kind of thing.

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Photo of TommyW
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark with a tan heads that fades to a lasting ring.

S- Dark fruits (prune, raisins) with notes of tobacco and alcohol.

T- Very malty backbone with notes of dark fruit being most prominent. Some rock sugar seems to be present as well. There is a pleasant warming sensation from the alcohol and a dryish finish.

M- Full body with a fairly low carbonation.

D- Pretty straightforward in its malty sweetness. The dark fruit taste/aroma bring some complexity but it's just a little to simple for what I was expecting.

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Photo of weazal
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S: Dark and rich. Primarily raisins and malt, with a nice, low-key sweetness - like bread pudding made with with raisins and brandy.

T: Mmmm...mild coffee up front under dominating carbonation that turns prickly halfway through until it dissolves into a powerful, thick, sticky, slightly bitter molasses/coffee flavor. Finishes like a stout - with a similar complex bitterness.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with orange tint. Big carmel/toffee nose.

Big flavors; gigantic flavor of cooked fruit and apricots with black coffee and sweet malt. Finish is medium/short and stops this from being cloyingly sweet.

Soda pop character but good. Layered flavors of sweet malt, figs, prunes, raisins and brown sugar but with hints of cola and with a Dr. Pepper flavored finish.

Different but nice.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Pours a super dark brown color, almost black. Almost two-fingers of tan foam of medium density form the head. Retention is pretty good. Lacing is sporadic and fairly sticky.

Dark fruits and brown sugars hit me first. Light phenols. Nice yeastiness. Good spice notes.
Not quite the big nose that I was expecting.

Again, this one is pretty subdued, which is not what was expected.
Good malty backbone, with a fairly big yeastiness coming over the top of it. Nice spice notes. Mild notes of figs and dark fruits. Light touch of brown sugar.
Not very complex, but a tasty brew, nonetheless.

Almost full-bodied. Most of my enjoyment was killed by the high level of carbonation. It really gets in the way of everything else. It's just all sharp and fizzy, in the mouth, and completely detracts from this beer.

While the high abv is nicely masked, the carbonation really kills the enjoyment level of this one for me.

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La Terrible from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 2,244 ratings