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 JamesBerry
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out thick and coal black with a reasonable head. There was a slight cola aroma behind the usual Unibroue fruitiness. Has a nice, medium body, complete with a gentle tingling sensation on the tongue. Tastes like a red wine, with a tart green grape aftertaste.

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Photo of granger10
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out an intensely dark color considering it's a Belgian. Probably the darkest Belgian that I have seen. Well upon pour there was no head action to speak of. I tried to get some carbonation out of it but it seemed really flat. There was no lacing while I drank this either. The smell was of bread, yeast, and alcohol, quite a nice combo. The taste was complex and original. I noticed lots of pepper and spice in this. There was also a variety of malt flavors. A biscuity flavor, some caramel, some raisiny sweetness, and a coke taste were all there. The malts were complemented with a hoppiness to balance things out. Not too bitter though but the bitterness was noticed. Yeast flavor was strong and almost overwhelming at times, as well as the alcohol. This may be due to the lack of carbonation. The beer was thick in texture but a little rough, not the smoothest. I liked it, but I think that the lack of effervescence, due to lack of carbonation hurt it a lot. I mean, who doesn't want an effervescent Belgian?

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Photo of bditty187
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark purple hue, opaque, brownish-red influences, the faint beige head was rather rocky, about two fingers in height, it faded surprisingly rapidly to a wobbly, soapy, sparse cap that tried to maintain, as I sipped away the liquid nectar, no lace was produced. The nose is aromatic and airy with pepper, cola-like sweetness, traces of wood, mysterious dark fruits, and a note of rich maltiness. The invitation is clear enough, the bouquet is not dynamic but welcoming nevertheless. What the nose is lacking in the “wow” factor the palate has it in abundance. Sweet maltiness, cola, traces of plums, in the middle a big bite of spicy, flowery hops mingle with hot, spicy yeastiness, towards the end a note of chocolate emerges for a brief moment before being overcome by candied sugar, slightly toasted, it is very nice. The flavors are still raw, I enjoy big vibrant Belgium beers but an aged version might work better with this one. The alcohol seems to largely bypass the tongue and scream recklessly towards the stomach where it erupts in a volcanic fit of heat. In other words this is a hell of a belly warmer! The body is medium and it seems to jump from a thicker feel when the malt is stunningly beautiful or thinner feel when the lively carbonation does a lap dance on your tongue. The big, spicy-sweet aftertaste never allows you to forget what you’ve been quaffing. This is highly drinkable. I recommend La Terrible to any Belgium beer fan. Awesome, even if it’s a tad young. I wish I had more to cellar. My 750ml corked and caged bottle was purchased in Kansas City.

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

Poured jet black, no light penetrating this puppy. Small off-white head runs away quickly leaving no lace at all.
Aromas of raisins, prunes, chocolate, some spice, minor hop bitterness and a hint of alcohol were detected.
Flavor started with a sweety biscuity beginning, shifted to a somewhat dry, spicy middle and finished with a warming, sweet hit of alcohol. Very unique progression of flavors.
Great feel in the mouth, very similar mouthfeel to a Trippel but the dark color really threw me off. Expected "chewy" but got very effervescent and "lively." Nice surprise.
Drinkability is great but very high alcohol makes somewhat dangerous.

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

Here is review 100 of this beer. What else can one say of it? A nice dark ale with hints of fruit, good hops and not overly sweet. The high ABV is barely noticed. A perfect winter beverage, one which warms your soul while the snow falls outside, softly building up..

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

Re-reviewing this beer.Pours a very nice dark brown color with slight tan head that remains the whole way down the glass.Very yeasty,earthy aroma.Port,raison-like aroma.Somewhat malty.Wonderful flavors of black currant,chocolate,raisons and sherry.Some slight spiciness.No 10% alcohol noticed here-very smooth beer.Wonderfully full bodied.Like the other Unibroue beers this is a job well done.I have definately upped my review from the first bottle I had.I have read several detrimental things about Unibroue lately-bad batches,corks going bad etc perhaps I had a bad bottle.This is definately a classic that bears repeating.

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

Boy oh boy. Is this ever good. Mmm. Mmm. Got abottle for Christmas after having already picked one up at the local LCBO. Can't find any more of it around here right now. Rats.

Looks great in the glass – black with crimson highlights. Very attractive. Moderate off-white tan head, good lace.

Spicy and fruity (raisins, dates, berries) with a good solid taste. Smooth on the tongue. Just a joy to drink for its feel and its flavours. The alcohol is noticeable, but nicely fitted to the other elements of this beer, so that it properly warming and not harsh.

I'm out of this beer. Can't find any more. If you come across it, buy more than you figure you're gonna need. Go home, crack one open and then go back and buy the rest (if it's not already all gone).

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

It pours a dark, ruby-brown, looking a lot like strong coffee. There's a rapid, light brown spongy head that settles quickly to indistinct wisps of froth. There's very little lacing.

The first whiff brings a toasted malt sweetness leavened by a yeasty sourness. A light berry note wafts along with a mild spice melange, and perhaps a tinge of chocolate. A strong sniff lays bare a substantial alcohol component.

Like the aroma, the sip delivers a grainy, almost syrupy malt sweetness , with a splach of creamy chocolate bitterness in tow. A spicy clove piquance duels with the mild yeast fruitiness, leaving a lingering black cherry swirl at the back of the tongue. Alcohol lurks steadily and makes itself known throughout the taste. The finish carries a lingering bitterness on the rear tongue.

It's medium bodied, with a creamy texture that slides and coats slickly. It has a round, soft feel to the mouthful.

This brew has lots of character, and while at times it seems to struggle slightly to find a definitive balance, it has flavor to spare. I wasn't sure what I thought at first, but it quickly grew on me despite some small incongruencies. Even though the parts didn't always mesh, the flavors are enough separately to be intriguing. I guess with other Unibroue offerings setting the standards, it might be easy to try to hold this one up to those paragons, but judged on its own merits, which is only fair, it holds its own. Its well above average, and in fact, downright enjoyable to drink, especially as it warms. Speaking of warming, that's just what the high ABV will do, so caution is important. Despite somewhat of an identity challenge, and all that alcohol, it's still drinkable in pleasurable moderation.

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

One of the most drinkable beers of this style I've run across. Dark cola color and a waft of alcohol in the aroma caused me to brace myself for the first sip. Surprisingly moderate in the flavor profile, with abundant yeast phenolic flavors holding the middle ground. Well flavored, but not nearly so heavy or assertive as I expected. Finish was a touch on the dry side, with a white wine lingering flavor. My sample was only about 6 months old, and this was telling in a bit of rawness in the alcohol flavor, which I think would settle down with a bit more age. Although somewhat prominent, the alcohol was well integrated into the flavor. A well made product.

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

Another winner from Unibroue. It pours a deep black, cola like color with a good size, long-lasting head. The aroma is overwhelming malt and hoppiness. It has some tinges of caramel with a slight coriander nose. A Belgian-style flavor that is very rich. It is complex with a malty flavor but it is so much sweeter than a stout or porter, which it resembles in color. There seems to be a hint of caramel in the taste, and a wallop of alcohol. It is crisp and slightly bitter. When you are near the end of the first glass, you can feel the alcohol hit. This is a beer to sip and enjoy but not to overdo. I still like the Le Fin du Monde and Trois Pistoles better, but this is close.

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

The beer pours a deep black color with a thick tan head. The aroma is great. It is full of sweet dark malts with a bit of a Belgian style zing. The taste is far from "terrible." Again, it boasts a number of dark malts that contribute a sweet roasted flavor. There also is a unique tangy black liquorice flavor. It has that Belgian style taste that only makes the presence of an elevated abv. disappear. This has great mouthfeel. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This drinks very well; another kick ass selection from Unibroue.

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Photo of ZAP
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Terrible??? Nahh try Fantastic....

Dark Black..some light shines through...small fizzy cola like head...actually cola like in color...licorice on the nose...some spicy peppery notes on the nose as well..full bodied...firm...pretty clean mouthfeel...sweet rich flavor profile...tastes like a Belgian, luxourious flavors...sweet maltiness..creamy texture...alcohol very hidden....I keep saying "Damn this is good" as I drink it...a fantastic brew...

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

Pours to a deep brown, almost black color with a fizzy thin tan head that diminishes. The aroma is yeasty and phenolic, I get a kinda roasted nuttiness, and chocolate aroma is well. The flavor has a light sweet maltiness, along with a yeasty, slightly chocolate nutty flavor. Its body is very light feeling compaired to its strength. It has a slight drying finish. It masks its strength well. I could be looking for trouble on this one. A decent, interesting beer.

Sampled 11/29/03

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

Pours out nearly opaque dark brown with a smallish white head. Bready yeast and fruity esters in the aroma, typical for unibroue. Perhaps a slightly roasted character detected. Taste of apples, grapes, some toasted malt and alcohol. Nothing really standing out and taking over, fairly balanced. The problem I have with this beer is that it tastes much the same as any other Unibroue product (besides the fruit brews). Nothing new here. Good full mouthfeel with nice carbonation. Very drinkable.
Good beer, but I'm ready for a change up from these guys.

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Photo of merlin48
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle. Emits a "pop" when cork is manually twisted off. Pours into a goblet a deep, ruby, brown, almost opaque color with a cocoa head that quickly dies away. Very little lacing. Cloves and spices hit the nose abruptly, with dark fruitiness soon following. Smell is of a native Belgian, with a tad of smoky mustiness. Taste is complex, but with a bomber bottle I've got the time to investigate. Wow, this is a big beer. Sweet malts are the backbone here, with raisins, figs, and prunes dominating the profile. Alcohol warming is noted, nice...!

This is a big beer. Enormous fruity flavour with enough abv to complicate things. Spend an afternoon with this bottle, and enjoy all the flavours and aromas.

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Photo of far333
3.54/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark chestnut color with ruby highlights where the light can get through. A dark beige foamy head rises up and remains perched atop the glass. Aroma is strong and sweet, fruity and yeasty. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy upfront, and tingly across the center of the tongue into the finish. Flavor is very rich and sweet, of cotton candy and pear and cinnamon. So full and sweet, that I can chew on it. Too sweet for me, cloyingly so. In many respects this is an excellent beer, but it seems to need more balance for my tastes.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Probably the darkest Unibroue product I've seen, pouring out to a very dark brown with a hint of mahogany at the edges when held up to light. Forms a tan head with average retention and minimal lacing, not forming a peak. The carbonation is moderate, certainly less so than most of Unibroues offerings. Aroma is classy and intriguing...very clean fermentation with the trademark Unibroue spiciness and cloves, although there is also some wood, brown sugar, and strong apple cider thrown in. Mouthfeel is also quite a bit smoother than other Unibroues..initially verging towards being lightly syrupy and ending with sherry. Taste begins with rotting apples and black cherries, clove, lightly roasted malts, and ends with a hint of whiskey barrel, leather, and an immediately obvious peppery bite of alcohol and sherry. A suggestion of raisins and bananas, but no prunes, dates, or figs. The alcohol is potent, yet very clean, and leaves the brew with a dry finish and a slight puckering in of the cheeks. As it warms, the astringency and wood become more pronounced, and a very distant note of caramel begins to appear.

This is an excellent beer, but I would put it in the lower ranks of Unibroues exceptional brews. I much prefer Don de Dieu or Maudite to this one, which have much better drinkability and frankly, a warmer place in my heart.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark chocolatey brown to settle a very deep dark brown, nearly black, very strudy and richly thick substance thats unpierceable by light. Thick, somewhat loose dark cocoa brown head that builds a bit over bundantly, even with a slow pour. Very little lace appears and/or sticks. Aroma is yeasty spiced, cloves and peppery with a light dark fruit-like sweetness and light toffee with a nudge of roasty maltyness. Overall mostly sweet at first but the yeast dominates as it warms. Taste is about what I've come to expect out of these Belgian style dark ales with dark fruity sweetness of some raisin and plum upfront, quick full on spice at the middle with a touch of hops, subsides just as quick to a toffee sweetness and leaves trails of clove and other dark fruits of banana and dark roastyness that lingers with a subdued dryness and yeasty texture in the finish. Mellow but full mouthfeel with some solid carbonation, could be smoother, a little rough around the edges, but gets easier to handle as it warms. A good representation of the style, not to overpowering really, just the right amount of yeast and sweet malts, but lacks some complexity. A fine example by Unibroue but Trois Pistoles is nicer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another, instantly recognizable, 750ml tall brown glass bottle from Unibroue. This time the familiar gold on the ‘10’ & ‘11’ is replaced with a simple chrome-silver printing. The word ‘Terrible’ tightly boxed in chrome looks terribly gothic against the dark background. Described as ‘Dark Ale on Lees’ & listed at 10.5% alc./vol. I also noted a date of ‘Sep 9 2003’ above the Bar Code on the back of the bottle. Cork and Caged.

After the cage was removed, a firm grip was required to manually remove the firmly entrenched cork which was marked (dated?) 03-2. A loud “thrup” resonated whilst a light grey-blue gun smoke quickly dispersed.

Appearance: There is a lot of activity with the first pour, a large head forms and settles with an almost nitrogenous stout like character. Very, very dark brown, with a deep, almost impenetrable mahogany body – looks like a warming pot of percolating Coffee. A tan colored head that slowly rescinds with an audible fizz, which whilst it leaves almost no lacing, always leaves a thin large bubbled covering.

Nose: This has quite a fruity nose, though a little restrained; it has some peppery spices and a background of yeast twixt lightly roasted malts and a light toffee.

Taste: Has a light sweetness, malts, a feint chewy toffee mouth and a feel of dark fruits to start with. Rhubarb middle with some sweet malts in the latter third, which reveal a peppery spice ending.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a pepper pinch. The alcohol is present in the form of dark malts when the Terrible is swirled in the mouth. Once swallowed, there is a lingering yeasty fruitiness and an aniseed-like tingle feel on the inner cheeks.

Drinkability: The whole 750 was certainly not a problem & I had to remind myself this was 10.5%. Given this fact, it was an offering that was highly enjoyable and one of those beers that is great company for a good portion of the night.

Overall: Not one of greatest beers from Unibroue IMVHO, it lacked depth and complexity in lieu of Drinkability I found. A good beer but not one I’m sure I’d purchase again. Maybe age will better it.

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Photo of pio
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dear god! near opaque black, light tan head that never stops and leaves reams of lace.
chock full of thick bready scents, chocolate brownie. hints of malt vinegar, floral/honey and ripe fruit. not too evident is the alcohol...yet.
the flavor is sweet and malty with a great port wine/brandy note.
thick and heavy mouthfeel, big stuff to be sure, very filling. hearty and warming in the belly, a great meal.
this beer is wonderful and i'd say quite drinkable, i just keep drinking it! hard to put down, hard to walk away from.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This baby came locked and loaded! I have never been disappointed with anything from Unibroue, so I am anxious to see how this one is.
I came out looking more like a Coke than anything. It was very dark and the aroma of raisins and hops came pouring out. The taste is loaded with dark fruits and sweet yeast! Carbonation adds a nice sharpness to the mouthfeel. Dark sugars round out this sweet brew that is accented with a nice bitter finish. Just by looking at it, I am beginning to drool. The high alcohol is hidden well, but makes it have a nice little sweet taste. This beer reminds me a lot of Gulden Drake (which happens to be one of my all-time favorite). I personally think this beer is fantastic for anyone who like strong, dark ale! I bought two 750ml bottles for $7.50 each and plan to save one for later. Congrats to anyone who has the pleasure to enjoy one of these.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purs a deep dark brown/garnet hue and unlike other peoples results, I have a massive foamy white head. Yeasty maly nose, and a yeasty malty taste. Another winner from our brothers up north. kind of like a higher powered Trois Pistoles. I would recommend thisto anybody who enjoys yeasty brews!

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

Poured from a caged and corked 750 ml, it's very dark brown with a small foamy head that is nothing but a memory within a minute or two. It winds up looking like a soda that was left sitting out overnight. Dark fruit-raisin and cherry-is backed by a nice peppery smell. Although the fruit and spice tastes are pleasant enough, they are overwhelmed by a strong presence of alcohol that deals a blow to the flavor and the drinkability. As a big fan of Unibroue, this one was a disappointment.

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

The bottle was amazing! But, it probably raised the price of the beer a buck.

The darkest Belgian Style Abbey I have ever seen. Nearly black, but it can't be called black cause it was nearly black. More like a very dark brown. A nice sumptous head floats above the ale. The head lasts long but the lace was relatively non-existant, keep the appearence from being a 5.

The nose was full of dark fruits, roasted malts, yeast, alcohol and bananas.

The flavor was rather dull and the low point in the beer. I was expecting much more. Dark fruits in the flavor, grapes mostly, but some raisins and plums as well. A slight woodiness and very yeasty. Not as full bodied as I expected.

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Photo of Ardon
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nose out of the bottle is pure port. Small, quickly diminishing head on the pour with an intense fizz. Nose in the glass still has the port scent but much more subdued with strong grapes. Taste is VERY grape still with that lingering port. Finish is dry with none of the grape flavours retained. Alcohol is only present in the after taste. Very smooth. Little of the typically yeasty flavour so present in most Unibroue offerings.

Overall: A great sipper and a fantastic beer to lure port and red wine drinkers over to the good side. Have used it to marinate a steak before along with olive oil and Montreal steak spice. Finished product was wonderful. Not the best offering from Unibroue however due to a lack of complexity. Grapes is all I truly get from this.

Note: A slightly aged version tried later was more red wine like. A bit better, so improved scores.

Second Note: The more I drink this, the more I love it. Improved scores again.

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