Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire

Ale Gâteau Forêt-NoireAle Gâteau Forêt-Noire
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
4.28 | pDev: 6.31%
Quebec, Canada
Retired (no longer brewed)
Ale Gâteau Forêt-NoireAle Gâteau Forêt-Noire
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 75 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lucular
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by Sept. 2023. Purchased in late 2018, so at least I managed to hold onto it for a year and a half...

Pours a deep mahogany brown with a large off-white head that subsides but never goes away. Gorgeous. Not too much lacing, however. Aroma and flavor feature Belgian candi sugar, tart cherries, and a hint of spices, almond, chocolate, and coffee. Complex and delicious. The 10.5% abv is well-hidden. Mouthfeel is superb - creamy, full, and moderately carbonated. Overall a great beer that I will buy again if I have the opportunity.

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Photo of quadmad
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$9.90 from the LCBO. Drank at cellar temperature 11 C.
Cork is dated 2017/07 , so 32 months old.
Very strong taste of sour cherries. Better than when I tried it a year ago

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Photo of Radome
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle.

L - Deep brown color with garnet highlights. Seems clear, but no light comes through when the beer is held up to it. Strong, persistent head is off-white.

S - Delicious aroma of rich chocolate, cherries and brandy-like alcohol.

T - The elements of a Belgian dark strong ale are in there, like bready malt, dried fruits and brown sugar, but they are secondary to chocolate and cherries.

F - Medium body. Carbonation seems to be at a moderate level overall, but it somehow feels prickly and slightly harsh. Moderate hops bitterness keeps the sweetness at bay, with the exception of a slightly sweet finish. Alcohol presence is amazingly low for the ABV.

O - This is a very good Belgian dark strong ale with delicious black forest cake layers. It seems to be exactly what the brewers were going for. Bravo!

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Photo of stortore
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter. Bottle best by 9/6/23, had 11/18/18.

Pours near black and opaque, with a two inch creamy head with great retention and lots of creamy lacing. Aromas of Belgian yeast, spices, wheat, light malt, some cola and chocolate, cherries as warms, light smoke and a shot of banana at the open, that fades. Flavors of malt, Belgian yeast, more chocolate than the nose, wheat, spices, cherries as warms, light cola, faint vanilla. Very smooth and creamy, a very good light to medium body, well carbonated.

This is a really well done BSDA, without any additions. The cherry juice does add to the flavor, less so the aroma. Very enjoyable. Looking forward to aging a few bottles.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from corked & caged 750mL bottle into a tulip. Looks like I missed the boat when this first came out, but I found a bottle recently so here goes! Best by 9/7/23.

Appearance: rich, extremely dark brown with dark red highlights around the edges when held up to the light. Head is three fingers of compact tan foam with just a hint of pink. I think it's beautiful.

Smell: I am a huge fan of cherry beers, and this one smells just amazing. Rich, sweet malt with lots of toffee and caramel character; hints of chocolate; and, of course, that big, beautiful cherry aroma. Wonderful.

Taste: that cherry is just so wonderful paired with the toffee darkness of the malt. It's right up my alley with regards to flavor profile, and very well-executed indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big carbonation and very creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: I really love this beer. I feel lucky to have encountered it at random, in a grocery store beer fridge of all places.

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Photo of harrypowers
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got a 4 pack 6+ months back. The first bottle I tried tasted like the on Lees in bottle fermentation was incomplete. I cellared the rest and waited. Glad I did. The older bottle was much smoother.

Pours a dark brown with an enormous long lasting tan head.

Strong smell and taste of cherries and little else. The 10.5% alcohol level hides sneakily well. Very light body for this type of strong ale.

Too bad this ale is now retired!

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Photo of puboflyons
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with a best by date of 09-06-23. Sampled on Jan 1, 2020.

Gorgeous looking dark brown pour underneath a lacing-leaving off-white almost tan head. I expected reddish hues but that was not to be.

The aroma emits black cherries, maybe black current, and a roasted dark bread sweetness. I do not pick up any booze.

Full mouthfeel. Smooth.

A light cherry tartness in the taste but it is not as evident as I pick up on the nose. Otherwise roasted with a wine-like semi-dry finale.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a custom taster pint; best by 09/06/23.
A: Pours a dark brown with explosive head formation (easily four fingers), a 3 to 4 finger, foamy, wheat colored head, more than a finger of long term retention, and sticky rings of lacing.
S: Tangy on the tart side. Aromas of lactate, molasses, and cherry.
T: Semisweet. Flavors follow the nose, but also white pepper, licorice, and pig iron. Light bitterness.
M: Medium bodied with strong carbonation.
O: A delicious, fruity, Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Just a magnificent blend of beer and fruit.

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Photo of hogrider
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding beer. All ingredients well balanced, a sweet aftertaste of cherries; but not overpowering. I can drink more of this. And remember folks drink more beer and support your local brewery. HOG

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Photo of jdhilt
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a five+ finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color no highlights. Good carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Nose is chocolate and cherry, flavor is baked chocolate with tart cherry in the background. Higher ABV 10.5%, is hidden. $3.47 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of VABA
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a dark color with a very generous head and lacing
A-Aroma has nice fruity and spice hints
T-Taste follows the nose with a fruity and spice flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A good Belgian Strong Dark Ale

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Photo of sjdevel
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark with a reddish hue. Ample amounts of foam. Smells of dark fruits and cherry - Belgian yeast is very apparent. Nice bite of alcohol upfront. Rich and cherry flavor is not subdued. Starts sweet but dries out significantly. Some yeasty metallic flavors that are characteristic of darker Belgians. Very good beer and would buy again. Great price at $10 for 750ml.

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Photo of jkblr
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle bb 09-06-23 poured into a tulip glass at just above fridge temp 10.5% ABV. The beer pours very dark dense brown with mahogany highlights and abundant khaki head. The head recedes slowly to a cap leaving some lacing. The aroma is minimal with dark fruit and spicy yeast. The taste is tart cherry and semisweet malt with notes of licorice, dark fruit, peppery yeast and slight alcohol. The slight tartness and spice serve as counterpoint to the malt, requiring no real bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with above average carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, excellent. Really complex and inviting beer. I wish I would have purchased more.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 25th Anniversary Ale that Unibroue can make again and again.
Looks luscious. Smells of dark malts and cherries. Tastes like that Unibroue yeast is working overtime, turning malt into dark tree fruits and chocolate... which reminds me of cake. In the mouth, there initially is too much carbonation (as I've found in Unibroue's other BSDAs). But when I came back to the Gateau in 45 minutes for dessert, it was just finely soft. A splendid transition.

I went on Unibroue's website and they do a good job of pairing with foods. While I didn't have chocolate cake at home, I did have a chocolate bar and that was good enough to complete the meal. It seems I've had almost all their brews that get distributed to the Midwest. But even those that I repeat, I will do proper research and try to use their pairings and report back. For Unibroue's attention to pairing detail and the general enjoyment I get from their brews, I give them big OA hugs.

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Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 9/06/23
Still using a screw cap?! Pours a giant pillowy Belgian head with plenty of lacing and long retention, very dark opaque brown color

Nose sweet Belgian dark malts, toasty biscuity, some candy like caramel molasses and syrup, candi sugar, hint of chocolate and nutty, then Belgian yeast additions, mild perfumey alcohol with floral spice phenols, various fruit esters, and a background jammy berry and candied cherry

Taste more of the fruit up front, tons of candied cherries and berry jam, with some chocolate and caramel brings a nice candy or black forest cake as expected, more dark Belgian malts, fluffy chocolate nougat with toasted biscuity notes, a little caramel and sweetness, hint of hop bitterness, then yeast additions, more perfumey alcohol as well as tingly warmth, mild fruity esters and some spicy phenols, finishing sticky sweet, a bit more bitterness, long cherry preserves and chocolate cake batter lingering

Mouth is medium to heavier bodied, loads of super high disctracting effervescent carbonation, some warming alcohol but not overly boozy

Overall it has some nice essences of black forest cake mostly on the taste, nose was decent for a Belgian strong dark, however the bottle conditioning went over board, way too carbonated and yeast additives came through a bit too much which clashed a bit with the black forest cake.

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Photo of darktronica
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A new beer for Unibroue's lineup? One can hope. Styled after a Black Forest cake, this one presents with distinctive black cherry notes over a traditional Belgian dark ale. I get less in the way of cocoa or chocolate. Quite effervescent.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a Belgian chalice, this beer pours out like cola and has ruby highlights. It forms a thick and huge, two finger, khaki colored crown. Leaves some stringy lacing.

The nose brings a huge Belgian yeast influence. Dark fruit showing through as well as a huge and beautiful floral presence. Some spices.

The taste comes in with tart cherries before transistioning to the wonderful floral. Slight dark notes of cocoa.

Mouthfeel is tart and dry. It has some alcohol showing, but I wouldn’t guess it at 10.5%. The carbonation is there, leaving you burping it up as soon as it goes down, almost like a soda.

Overall, I think this is a very nice Belgian style. Tart cherries, beautiful floral notes and a mouthfeel that works great on it.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.89/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Deep mahogany color with good clarity. Three fingers of creamy beige head retain very well. Chunky veil of lacing shrouds the glass well after the beer level recedes.

S: Pleasantly woody and roasty on the nose, with whiffs of medium roast coffee, toasted barley, and cocoa beans. Equally apparent is a big hit of tart cherry. Pretty spicy as well. Anise, peppery, herbal, cardamom. Phenolic.

T: Big wave of tart cherry at the outset. It's potent, and comes with a good deal of acidity. Dark chocolate, cacao, and fudge follow soon after. Hints of molasses and cola. Spices come on strong on the back end. They bring some peppery and herbal complexity and bitterness. Some medicinal phenols and a brush of warming alcohol too. Trailing herbal finish with some mild woody roast.

M: Medium bodied, very dry and lithe in the mouth. Airy and creamy. Carbonation is fine and sharp.

O: Not the most well-integrated brew, but it works well enough. It feels more like a progression of bold flavors rather than a fusion into a better whole. Fermentation is nailed though, and it's a pretty drinkable brew. For my money, their 17th Anniversary is still by far the best.

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Photo of avalon07
4.29/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a snifter glass. Had a dark, mahogany brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a two inch, creamy, off white, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very good aroma of Belgian yeast, cherries, spices, chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit.

T: Tasted of a mild chocolate notes, a lot of cherries (present throughout), a bit of dark fruit (raisins), some Belgian yeast, a little spicy presence (pepper), and some caramel / toffee notes. An interesting flavor for this style. It's sweeter and more sugary than your typical BSDA, but no less flavorful. Complex, subtle and delicious.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp, slightly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An immensely enjoyable beer. Well worth a try.

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Photo of RockHop
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A stunning beverage. Pours black with red hue; almond egg-white head 2-3 fingers; great retention and lacing. Fresh cherry and almond notes. Tarp cherry flavor up front releasing into spicy plum, and reminds you of Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke. Flavor does flatten out a bit, but tasty and well-balanced. ABV is well distributed.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. BB 09-06-23
Tall & foamy beige head leaves thick chunks of foam down the glass as it slowly fades atop a dark brown colored ale. Aroma is tart cherry juice, Belgian yeast, and mild chocolate. Flavors are actually reminiscent of black forest cake with notes of cherry & chocolate along with dark candi sugar, caramel, toffee, spicy Belgian yeast and earthy hops. Full body, effervescent carbonation, excellently balanced, alcohol is well concealed. This was really good. I didn't happen to look at the ABV until after it was gone - that's a sneaky 10.5%!

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown body with minimal head and little lace. The aroma is dark fruits, mainly black cherries and raisins (which may just be me b/c I always get raisins in these beers) with hints of yeast, spice and possible candi sugar (or sugary sweetness). Sweet and smooth in medium to heavy body, the black cherries poke out among other flavors of chocolate, dark fruits (read: raisins) and there is a twinge of tartness on the somewhat dry finish. Slow sipper but enjoyable and worth trying.

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Photo of SABERG
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle dated BB 09/06/23 into the test glass.
A - Opened with a solid pop,massive pillow of froth fills half he glass, Carbonation is quite active, supporting the cap through the entire experience. Color is dark red, brown, light struggles through.
S - Dark cherries, tannin, toasted oak, candied sugars, yeasty. Brown canned bread, notes of cocoa, cigar, and fruit leather.
T - Dark fruits, cherry skin, spicy anise, Plum, wine, Buried in there is a strong yeast presence, with some roast malt, bakers chocolate, and with an increase in temperature, add a hint of blackberries. This a complex offering.
M - That froth has the feel of steamed milk, amazing, semi sweet start then a firm lean in from the yeast side. carbonation is bold but not prickly. The feel is soft almost and rich. Mid experience trends to drying, then another sweep of dark fruit sweet rolls over in a powerful way. Finish is surprisingly dry, with a linger of slight tannin.
O - Well this is certainly a complete package, Belgian strong for certain, at 10% there is nary a hint of alcohol, the dark fruits and strong fruity yeast are in perfect pitch, the malt base holds up well to the heavy lift. A very complex feel, and flavors. I will be setting some aside to experience the trajectory of this delightful offering

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Photo of akronzipfan
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perhaps the best brew from my favorite brewery - if you can find it, you must get this fabulous slice of black forest cake, a natural extension to Unibroue's solid, bottle conditioned, Belgian base.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a dark brown - almost black. A nice thick tan head that sticks around for a while. Nose is tart cherries, Belgian yeast, wheat, bread, malts, toffee. Taste is fantastic. The cherries and traditional Belgian ale go perfectly together. Definitely approximating a black forest cake. Mouthfeel is creamy. Overall, this is a great take on a traditional style.

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Ale Gâteau Forêt-Noire from Unibroue
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 75 ratings