La Terrible | Unibroue

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La TerribleLa Terrible

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-15-2002

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Reviews: 954 | Ratings: 2,216
Photo of RootedFool
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a lugubrious mahogany body and a cola-like head that fizzles out fast leaving no lace to mention.

Smell: dense waft of musty yeast that, as it fades, gives way to a candied raisin and plum sweetness. Like sniffing a forest after a rain storm in the doorway of a bakery.

Taste: immediately sweet, almost brown sugary, on the very tip of my tongue, expanding into a rich sweetness that borders on vinous. The alcohol plays nicely with the heavy sweetness, giving it some vibration, some motion. The aftertaste is a tart bite over the center of my palate, and it lingers there, almost like sourdough; but more sour than dough.

Mouthfeel is just between whole milk and cream. Coats my palate like a velvet glove and doesn't irritate.

This is a great brew to take your time with and listen to apocalyptic folk music. Dark, heavy, and very intoxicating.

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Photo of cro250klr
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wrote a review on a Uni - 11 a few weeks back and mentioned it's lack of carbonation. I just read a few BA reviews on Uni La Terrible and quite a few mentioned carbonation that quickly dissipated. A few nights ago I had a La Terrible and guess what no fizz. The two places where I got these brews both get there stock from Shangy's. (Pennsylvania may have shitty roads but at least we have the ' Beer God'.) Maybe Shangy got a bad batch or something. With that said I have to say, "Good Beer!.
Hats off to the Uni - Brewers! I love high ABV's, dark strong Belgians, and this beer comes through. I gave mouthfeel a 4.0 only because the bottle I had was kind of flat. I thought this brew had a hint of Kasteel, Rochefort 10 and Westy 12. It's black as coal, smooth, fruity, and the 10.5 kick is well hidden. Nice. I'd have to say this is my new favorite from our Northern Neighbors.
I've got a taste for one as I'm writing this and I just have to give this grog two or three or more trys. One of the next few has to have a little head. If not so what. I've suffered through so much fizzy piss water in my day that this stuff, carbonated or not, is heaven.
The follow-up...
I went back and had two more of these. One was flat and the other was carbonated. To be honest, I liked the flat one better. The carbonation seems to take away some of the flavors. I just had a friend of mine order a case for his bar. This may seem weird but, if I come across a carbed up bottle I'm going to mix it up a little in the glass and flatten it a bit. To me it tastes better.

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

This example has been in the cellar for a year and I do believe that it has improved the beer. A certain smoothness has surrounded all those previous big rough notes. I had a ST Bernardus 12 before this and this beer compared favourably to that classic. A nice musty aged taste now appears in the finish and the beer has a drier profile. One of Unibroue's best cellaring beers IMHO.

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Photo of clvand0
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Came in a 750mL bottle with a cork. This beer pours a dark body with a tan head that sticks around. The aroma was spicy, but also had some caramel and a sweet fruityness. Very nice body on this brew. Spicy and malty with flavors of chocolate, brown sugar, and some spices and fruits. Extremely good Belgian style. Love this beer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sampled a bottle from well over one year ago tonite. A chilled sample in a tumbler was my sampling set up.
The beer pours a rich dark cola brown with a small beige head foaming up and fading rather quickly. The aroma is very appealing with ripe dark fruits and some sweet spiciness dominating. I think I detect some coriander scents and some nutmeg as well, these mix very nicely with the ripe plums and raisin scents too.
First sip reveals a thick bodied brew with small yet prickly carbonation. Flavor is rich and malty with some brown sugar, dark chocolate, again plums and also some sweet spices.
Overall this beer is very easy to drink especially with the 10.5% ABV. Very well crafted and drinkable. ANother winner from Unibroue!!!

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Photo of GDMFSOB
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty complex beer for my first review but I'll give it a shot.
The brew came in a brown, 750 mL glass bottle with a September 9, 2003 born on date on the back. It poured out a red-hued, espresso-like brown with a white foam that dissipated almost instantly. The nose was fairly sweet with hints of cinnamon, caramel and raisins. A full, lightly carbonated mouthful coated my tongue and throat on the way down and left a very satisfying malty aftertaste with all sorts of fruits and spices swirling around. There were so many complex, interesting flavors I wish I could have savored this brew more, but it's so damn tasty the bottle was empty within a few short minutes. I'll definitely be buying some more of this stuff in the near future.

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Photo of marc77
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated: Sep 9 2003. Deep bister, with flashes of clear crimson when held to light. Initially gargantuan head fizzles into a middling, but dogged layer that yields sparse lace. Upfront in aroma is a combination of floral nectar tones, black licorice and clove. Secondary, but equally important are notes of singed malt, alcohol macerated raisin and hints of herbally sweet coriander. Incipient in flavor is a sweet suggestion of prune, and wildflower honey. Tempered notes of roasted grain promptly complement and lend a drying balance. Phenols are fairly prominent and are more intense than the token, often encountered clove, but are shy of becoming medicinal. Becomes minty and peppery mid palate, leaving a lingering, but agreeable spiciness indicative of the alcohol content. Hop bitterness and bitter cocoa hints emerge timidly late, and manages to offset residual sweetness slightly. Full bodied. The carbonation level and viscosity are virtually perfect. Finishes intensely floral, warm and with fading notes of baker's chocolate and anise. A unique and very tasting brew, albeit with middling complexity. I'd consider this Trois Pistoles big brother. Cellaring this for a while could be worthwhile. If La Terrible could dry out a notch, it would be superb.

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Photo of Morris729
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burgundy color with a tall foamy tan head that slowly dissipates into a creamy lace. Nose is rather complex with notes of spicy yeasts, black cherries, and an aroma similar to that of cream soda. Taste begins with sweet chocolaty malts along with notes of fresh plums. This is followed by some dark bread dough and a bit of oak leading up to flavors of raisiny port that round out the finish. A nice brew that, at a 10.5% ABV, makes for a good night cap.

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Photo of Roderick
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark almost-black brown with a small tan head that dissipated rather quickly.
The smell was almost imperceivable at first but as you breath it in the soft and sweet smell of candy with just a hint of alcohol.
I was expecting the taste to be somewhat bigger from a brew labeled "Terrible" but my first taste was sweet with caramel and just a touch of old cough syrup that my Grandmother would give to me as a child.With couple of additional taste I picked up some spices and maybe a little vanilla as the high alcohol content warmed my belly. The finish is rather brisk and dry with very little aftertaste.
I really enjoyed this beer and although I know its not top of its class its still a very nice product that I plan to visit again. I paid 8.99 for a 750ml bottle.

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Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a clearish black body with small white/tan head.

The nose was a mix of soft spice, phenols and some caramel.

The taste was medium bodied with a large bubbled natural carbonation. A mix of phenols, fruit, raisins, plums, apples, pears, caramel, soft chocolate, licorice and some alcohol. Overall very soft and drinkable with a mild even bitterness balanced against the soft caramel, licorice and classic dark Belgian ale flavors.

This was really a good beer. I’d heard some negative things about it and had avoided it for some time, but decided to try it one day and was pleasantly surprised. Very smooth and easy drinking. Very tasty. Classic Belgian dark ale style. I think I’ll try another one.

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Photo of ramrod666
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this ale pours a dark, dark brown. little head that is gone in an instant. little carbonation. fruity overtones abound. sour raisin flavor with a bitter but subtle bite. 10.5 % alcohol is moderately hidden. mouthfeel is bready and hearty. slightly astringent. finishing one bottle will prove to be a moderate task. overly this beer was a welcome to the dark ale style, just not as good as i had expected.

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Photo of danadeny
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark, no head, no carbonation.

Smell: Has a faint smell that I could not pinpoint.

Taste: Starts as a sweet maltyness and as I rolled it around I could pick out a slight black licorice mixed well with the sweetness. Then more malty sweetness on a clean finish. As it warms more sweetness is detectible. Hides the alcohol very well.

Mouth feel: smooth

Drinkability: This is close to a sipping beer, but not quite. As it warmed and my pallet became accustom to it, it became more drinkable.

Notes: Overall a decent brew. It didn’t excite me too much, everything was mellow and smooth, very inoffensive, which is a good accomplishment considering it's alcohol content. I find that I could drink a bottle a night.

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Photo of HighCarbDiet
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! What an awesome beer. This was so good that it inspired me to write my first review.

I can't ask for much more in terms of appearance. The color is a deep, milk chocolate brown, somewhat akin to that of a porter. I see no cloudiness, nor any signs of sediment. A nice centimeter-wide head formed upon pouring into a wide-mouthed goblet, then slowly faded to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

This is one of those beers that smells so great, I'm almost afraid to start sipping it. Afraid that the taste cannot match up to the scent, and afraid that the beer will soon disappear. If my eyes were closed, I might have guessed this was a much lighter, perhaps blonde, Belgian ale. The yeastiness hit me first, then a faint bubble-gum note. Further sniffing reveals a sneaky alcohol presence in there too. The suspense is killing me...

Ah, the taste doesn't quite match up to the aroma, but it's close. That bubble-gum I had in my nose follows through in the flavor. The alcohol is pretty well hidden though, making this very drinkable. There's a bit of caramel-y sweetness here, not roasted though. The sweetness comes and goes; like the alcohol, it doesn't overpower. I guess that makes this a well-balanced beer? My tongue senses little bitterness and no hop or floral tones. Slight fruit flavors... maybe?

I wish the taste lingered a little longer. It dissipates rather quickly.

I'm sniffing the empty goblet now. That smell just won't quit!

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Photo of mntlover
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brew with copper tints large brown head falls quickley to ring of foam, with lots of small bubbles rising in the center.Smells of dark fruit, plums, raisins and dark cherry, plus a light yeast aroma on top of toasted malt. Tastes oh so good, smooth malt hints of fruit with some sweetness followed by light hints of alcohol, no burn a just touch, with light yeast and hop tartness to finish.This beer is well rounded tastes wonderful and so delicious never guess its abv. I could drink this stuff all night, hell all week if I could afford too. I pray the Sleeman leaves this brewery as is.

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Photo of cbl2
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A deep dark brown with hints of ruby, bubbling with effervescence capped by an enormous tan head that laces the goblet as it settles.


Semi-sweet raisiny aromas pervade the nose.


This is a big beer. Alcohol is prevalent, though masked to some extent by a sweet grape-like flavor that is conveyed to the tongue on the backs of thousands of bubbles that are perhaps too abundant. Finish is bitter and dry.

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Photo of kegerator
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now this is a nice offering from Uni, finally.
Poured a deep brown caramel color had quite a fizzy head almost looked liek i poured out a coke..If not for this it would have ranked a bit higher in the appearance and mouthfeel.
smell was of caramel, malt and sweetness with some dried fruitiness and spice. very nice
taste was very similar to the smell,
it was a littel too soda like but still a very drinkable, decent brew

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Photo of UnionMade
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep, murky brown, topped with a thick, almond froth. A very even foam, all the bubbles forming a tiny, even beading. The head settles into a thick misting, leaving thick streaks of lace trailing down the glass.
The aroma is very complex. Heaps of caramel ad chocolate malt blend with mild, sweetish candi sugar and fruity esters. Lots of banana and apple, with hints of plum, mango, pear and fig. A slight alcoholic tang adds some muscle, with some phenolic clove and band-aid. A touch of wood and herbal hops, a slight coffee note, as well as some peppery, spicy yeast.
The flavor starts with a rich, sweetish, chocolatey/caramel malt. Mild candi sugar, with a quickly entering peppery spiciness. Loads of apple and banana fruitiness, with milder plum, fig and mango. Slight clove spiciness, as well as some phenolic band aid and medicinal flavor. The yeast adds some peppery spiciness in the finish, along with slight herbal, floral hops and a rather strong wash of alcohol in the end. A lingering sugary sweetness, with chocolate and a mild alcohol warmth in the stomach. Rather fizzy carbonation flinging around a lightish medium body in a haphazard manner. A tingly, slightly saccharine syrupy mouthfeel.
Very complex, warmth bringing out slight nuances in the fruitiness and malt. Really nice stuff, but not quite up to par with Unibroue's standard of quality. The yeast adds an awesome spicy, peppery flavor as usual, and the chocolatey malt works wonderfully with it, but I just didn't get the depth of flavor I'm accustomed to with this brewery's product. Still worth a try, at least once. If you like belgian beers with roasted malt, this is for you.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Aged six months. I have six others I plan on ageing for a couple years.

Poured cellar temperature, this has a porter or stout-like head on it: choppy, frothy and brown. The colour is much like a stout or porter as well, near-black, dark brown. The head on this particular bottle lowered very quickly to a mere film. The head was beautiful but not long lasting. Black berries, currants, figs, raspberries, sweet malt, maple syrup, dark chocolate, rhubarb, saskatoon berries, and yeast all make their presence known in the aroma. Rich fruits and berries are the main smells. The taste is alcoholic, more so than the aroma, but still does not suggest 10.5 percent. Sweet on the tip of the tongue, somewhat alcoholic on the middle, and dry and berry-like on the finish. Yeasty, with dark malt sweetness, and detectable grassy hop. This beer conjures up images of mediaeval monks sitting round a table with their meals and flagons of ale in a dark monastery cellar. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, lingering on the palate. This ale may not be the most drinkable: strong, flavourful tastes, combined with high alcohol content make it a beast to consume on a regular basis: compare it to eating a full course heavy meal every day of the week. No, this is meant to be quaffed only once in a special while, on memorable occasions. I drink one every two months or so.

(Cellared for two years, this beer takes on a red-wine character. Rich red-tannins. Extremely high alcohol. I smelt rich cheese, extremely-sweet malts, and heavy rich sugars to the extreme.)

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

La Terrible was served from a 750ml corked and caged bottle. In a Duvel tulip, the beer was an almost black dark brown color and was topped by an uneven brown head. The wonderful nose presented a cola-like aroma with numerous enticing subtleties: rich woody cherry esters, coffee, vanilla, melon, kiwi, field flowers, and earth....almost porter-like in the end. On the palate, a nutty, cherry-root beer roasted/alder smoky maltiness hits with accents of vanilla, birch/sasparilla and oregano(?). The finish is simply divine, kicking in with cascading cherry-earthen-coffee flavors that tingle and excite the tastebuds, leaving lingering cherry-brown sugar aftertastes. The body was superbly full and satsifying, melding very well with the flavors and character of the beer. No trace of alcohol was observed, and the beer was not noticably sweet, making for an very drinkable tasty treat. La Terrible is most definately my favorite Unibroue brew, offering an original array of flavors that I found to be fantastic.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahoganey with a fizzy, but not lasting head. Aroma is fairly yeasty and alcoholic, with some cherry hints. Flavor begins very malty. Dark fruits, and some alcohol towards the end. You can tell that this is fairly alcoholic, but you can't really taste it. In all, honesty, as one reviewer put it, it's conservative. Unfortunately, the alcohol will sneak up on you. Very smooth mouthfeel. Surprising in fact. Drinkability suffers because of the thickness and high alcohol content. Plus, it's eight dollars per bottle.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours an opaque black color with four fingers of light tan foam. There is a bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is very lively, with oak, plum, ginger, and figs. The taste is malty, with some sweet dates and plums. Old wood flavors mingle with roasted malt. Just a hint of alcohol burning on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and smooth, and the drinkability is pretty good for a 10.5% brew. Another kickass Unibroue product!

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark coca-cola color with a modest fizzy tan head. The aroma is a faint fruit, spice, and alcohol in the background. The taste is again fruity with a pronounced dry spice note on the tongue and alcohol in the background. This is a light bodied beer that is only thin on the moutnfeel, but not the flavor traits and finishes slightly dry. This beer drinks down fairly easy for a 10.5% brew. Op uw gezonheid!

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Photo of waughbrew
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, nice head but could have had much better R&L. This beer is very clean, polished, sweet, yeasty, slightly spicy and citrusy like coriander. There are a lot of good flavors going on and it feels great and is very drinkable, but for some reason it lacks the "wow" factor. I guess it is a bit too clean and smooth, without enough esters and phenolics perhaps. Seems somehow conservative, but is a well-made and tasty ale.

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Photo of DaveGood
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very dark brown/boarderline black with a very minimal tan head. There was a comprised mainly of a pleasant dark fruit aroma and a slight tinge of yeast and pepper. The taste was quite complex as it combines a variety of malt flavors. I was able to detect a sweet raisny flavor and a hint of caramel. The high ABV content is nicely disguised but a seemingly cola flavor overall. With a moderate carbonation, this provides a great mouth-feel. Overall, the drinkability is remarkable smooth, given the high ABV and yet another great beer from Unibroue! They are quickly becoming my favorite brewery!

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

This poured to a nearly black color with a moderate but extra fizzy head. I'm not getting any lacing out of this one.

The taste is dark but not too heavy. I think I would place it somewhere between Maudite and Trois Pistoles, even through it's more potent than either of them. There's almost a minor smoked taste at the end, which has me wondering. Spice is present as well.

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