Unibroue 17 | Unibroue

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Unibroue 17Unibroue 17
348 Ratings
Unibroue 17Unibroue 17

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 348 |  Reviews: 274
Reviews by kevd193213:
Photo of kevd193213
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Brown pour with slight maroon tinge to it. Huge tan head that sits like a rock with great lacing. Aroma of bread and nutmeg. Taste of caramel, yeast, fruit and subtle chocolate. Great slightly sweet finish with some faint alcohol present. Probably would age substantially well, since the mouthfeel lacked some of the depth I was expecting. Looking for another one to age to re-rate.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest pomegranate with juicy orange highlights when backlit with bright sunshine. The golden sandstone colored crown is Belgianesque, filling more than half the goblet after a gentle pour. The foam is both fluffy and creamy, like brown sugar mousse. Bountiful and beautiful lace puts the finishing touches on this gorgeous ale.

The color and the aroma suggest that 17 isn't the darkest BSDA on the style block. Not that it matters, because the nose delivers in a major way. It's seductively spicy and is bursting with medium-dark fruit. If it tastes like it smells, this will be one impressively complex broue.

Even though it will most likely continue to be great up to (and through) the 'best by' date of December 2010, this enticing elixir is drinking beautifully right now. There's no question that it tastes as complex as it smells, which is pretty much a requirement in any high-ABV, Belgian-style beer.

It's considerably darker than a strong amber, but there's almost no chocolate or roasted maltiness to be found. Specifics include toasted pumpernickel and rye breads, caramelized sugar, ripe figs, a wee splash of molasses and a generous amount of clove, cinnamon and black pepper. Call me crazy, but there's a subtle bourbon vibe as well. Have I mentioned how complex this brew is yet?

The mouthfeel is also worthy of being called Belgianesque. It's on the light side for such a big beer, but the bubbles provide so much lift and so much smooth creaminess that you'll hear no complaints here.

Question: is there a craft brewery outside of Belgium that produces such an excellent array of Belgian strong dark ales as Unibroue? Answer: no. Maudite, La Terrible, Edition 2005 and now 17 are all amazing. At only $7.79, this was a steal. Hey guys, where's 18?

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Very pretty beer. Deep red/brown color with a thick tan head. A fair amount of lacing. It had a peppery spice aroma, with a good malt presence. Faint raisin aroma. The taste was all pepper and spice. The malt was lost, and the raisin was barely there. What was there was a lingering harsh bitterness. This didn't make my list of enjoyable Unibroue offerings.

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Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle lists the abv at 10%.

Appearance: The body has a deep brown color with dark crimson highlights. A thick and creamy off white head stands on top. This head hangs on very well and leaves nice lace patterns on the glass.

Smell: There is an interesting blend of sweet malts, dark fruits, grapes, funky yeast, and earthy old leather. The 10% abv is very noticeable but in an inviting way. Just noticeable underneath everything else I pick up some very slight herbal hop notes.

Taste/Palate: The flavor notes are well blended and backed up with some serious but tasty booziness. Just like the nose suggests it has dark fruit and wine like grape notes with malty sweetness and earthy yeast. Hops are light and add a touch of leafy spice and herbal character off in the distance. The palate has a firm full feel and body with plenty of carbonation to keep it lively and drinkable.

Notes: Overall this is an outstanding and very well made big Belgian Dark Ale. It ages very well and brings lots of interesting complexity to the palate. It’s too bad that this is only a limited one time brew.

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Typical Unibroue bottle, "December 2010" etched on to the side of the bottle, best before date? Pours a typical dark Belgian ale shade of dark brown, with a long lasting creamy, dark tan/mocha head that leaves gobs of thick and sticky lace. I get chocolate, raisins and cafe au lait in the nose. Tasty, strong brew. 10% and you will notice it. I love strong beers so I have no problems here. More raisins, sticky figs, chalky dark chocolate notes. This one tastes fresh, wildly complex and fruity. I tend to enjoy everything put into the stream of commerce by Unibroue, and this one is no exception. Well worth a try and I'm sure this one has plenty of aging potential to boot.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Stonebreaker
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: Had this one out a 750 bottle, popping the cork on a beer never gets old does it?

Appearance: Pours a sexy burnt amber, nice head and a solid lace.

Smell:The smell is sweet and inviting.

Taste: The taste is a twirling tango of sweet malt and just the right amount of bitter from the hops with a nice warming sensation after the first healthy sip. A wisp of cloves and sweet caramel, and maybe a little dry chocolate malt . I don't what else to say but 'me likey'.

Mouthfeel: Nice chewy mouthfeel, though the carbonation kinda dies after awhile.

Drinkability: Very drinkable brew, I have yet to drink something from Unibroue that isn't outstanding.

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

Very nice. Pours dark amber with a big, bubbly tan head. Apples, grapes, cotton candy, banana, and lots of spice in the nose. Vinuous taste. Tart Granny Smith apples and white grapes, mixed with clove, yeast, anise, and a boatload of malt. Sometimes got a sour apple/vinegar blast if I took a big swig. Overall, a really big beer.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

760ml corked and caged bottle poured into a weiß glass.

Pours a nice dark red color with some nice light dark brown head, it's got a very yeasty Unibroue nose with some malitiness.

Tasteis caramel, dark fruits and sweet maltiness it's very good. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, quite drinkable given the abv. Very good beer.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle at cellar temp poured into my stella glass. pours a dark ruby brown color, somewhat murky. a big slightly tan colored creamy looking head. some amazing head retention as well as some really nice lacing.

complex aroma, lots of contrasting flavors going on here. boozy, solvent alcohol, bubblegum/flouride from the yeast, raisons, cherrys, grapes, dark fruits, little bits of roasted malts and chocolate off the intial pour. a pleasent nose.

nice complex taste as well. dark fruits, cherry, boozy alcohol, a little sour, tart like taste. grape like wine taste. a little breadiness from the yeast.

big heavy mouthfeel, nice fine carbonation. a little astringincy in the mouthfeel however. tart mouthfeel. pretty boozy, reminds me of a baltic porter in a way. not much belgium characteristics, but very good non the less.

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

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance Beer is a cloudy brown color head is off white. Not many carbonation bubbles.

Smell Fruity smells of prune, raisons and apricot. A slight bread smell.

Taste Super complex beer. Fruity taste of prunes/plum that is somewhat sweet. Beer finishes with a tangyness and slight bitterness. I would say its a tart taste in a good way. Very strong but not of alc. I like it.

Mouthfeel. Not much carbonation. tangy in the mouth.

Drinkability one 22 oz is plenty.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep mahogany brown hue with a large off white head form a velvet like texture small bubbled effervescent carbonated head, lacing left behind is fine even and intricate in true Belgian style lacing fashion. Good retention the head definitely sticks around for quite a bit, nice look but so typical of past Unibroue experiences not that that's a bad thing.

Aromatics full of pear juice and raisins with floral perfume like nuances. Sweet candi sugar additions noticeable with heavy spice additions, I'm detecting anise, coriander, and spicy peppercorns, that could just be the vibe I'm getting. Evident alcohol sweeps through in the finish, almost like a Belgian style quadrupel ale.

Flavor profile is based heavily on the balance between the malts and candi sugar and the yeast and spice additions. Right now this brew is a bit young with deep sweet raisin and plum layers of malt sweetness with rising layers of acidity and heavy spice additions. Hot alcohol is another unwelcome characteristic that will fade with some aging, right now it's definitely flavorful and complex. I feel this brew being really nice in a year or two right now it's good so drink up and hold to some if you can.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with effervescent fine carbonation that does tickle the back of the throat with each sip. Starts with sweetness on the palate finishes with dry herbal bitterness from spice additions and a soothing alcohol burn to warm you up.

Drinkability, another fine offering from Unibroue I always look forward to trying their Anniversary beers but I look forward even more so to trying them as they age, I had a couple 2004s that were incredible. As well as an 11 and 10 that aged beautifully, this brew has big shoes to fill in the vein of Unibroue Annivesary ales.

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

Poured into a smokestack chalice.

Appearance: Pours a decent sized white head, that recedes quickly, stays as a film for a good while, but then dissapates. Body is pretty dark, almost a milk chocolate color. Very cloudy, not much light get through. But enough.

Nose: When fresh out of the fridge there is a twinge of metallic hops, but as it warms that goes away. There is a lot of sugary sweet malts. Almost a rum aroma. Some fairly spicy notes. Maybe some herby hops. Very nice.

Taste: Very sweet. Again, a lot of sweet malty flavors. Bourbon or rum? Some of the spicy notes as in the nose. The alcohol is very present. There seems to be even more of the herby flavors in the taste. I'm pretty sure I'm tasting something along the lines of coriander. Generally I don't like coriander (I'm not a fan of Witbiers) but this note really works for this beer I think. Very tasty.

Mouth: Fairly bright carbonation, I think helps cut through the booziness and the maltyness. Has a pleasant mouthfeel after-drink.

Drink: The alcohol defiantly comes out in the taste, can be a little over powering. A major sipper. Very tasty, but a big sipper.

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

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours half a glass of dense walnut brown body and half a glass of creamy tan head with a strong carbonation of big bubbles to support it. With each sip there is a ring of foam that sticks to the glass for a good bit before breaking up.

S- This beer has a soft brown malt smell with a soft tree bark woody hint in the background.

T- This beer has a dark brown sugar note and a soft prune hint it is followed by soft raisin note and a hint of bitterness that could be from dark malt or hops. The finish also has a note of molasses rum and a coffee bitterness that comes through as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a silky texture and a light alcohol heat that comes through to clean up the malt flavor.

D- Even though this beer has nice sugary flavor it is not really sweet. This is a good solid Belgian dark ale with some complexity and some nice balance. I don't think age would help this beer but it is nice to drink now.

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

750 corked and caged brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a chalice.

A: Pours deep shoeleather. 1 1/2 fingers of light toffee head. Good retention and decent lacing.

S: Sweet and rich with good yeast presence. Spicy black pepper with a solid alcohol bite.

T/M: Alcohol is very present. Huge warmth with a healthy kick to the tongue. A bit of good bourbon flavor. Rich caramelly malts with plenty of black pepper and yeast. Body is medium to full and good carbonation.

D: I'd bet this will age great. Great sipper.

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

This beer pours a murky, dark orangish-brown hue, with lots and lots of wispy off-white head, that leaves a small amount of lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells of caramelized brown sugar, raisins, prunes, spice bread, and a bit of booze. The taste is caramel malt, mild warming spices, earthy hops, and a little bready yeast. The carbonation is on the low side, the body smooth, silky, and nice and weighty, and it finishes off-dry, more sweet brown sugar essence holding on. This is probably my favourite of the Unibroue offerings that I've had, that Unibroue standard yeastiness being very muted, and the alcohol is very well integrated.

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Photo of mbunje
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a tulip.

A - Very dark, but oddly enough the head is very white offering a nice contrast that you don't see very often. Cloudy. Medium head recedes to nothing.

S - Oak, peppercorn, with a sweet and estery background. Surprising for the style, but very pleasant. This has to either be barreled or use Oak chips.

T - Tart fruit, woody/earthy in a sweet way. Black cherry, pepper.

MF - Medium bodied but a crispness from the carbonation.

D - 1 glass will do you. Lots of complexity. Drinks like a fine cabernet. You could take an hour with a glass and enjoy every sip.

Probably one of the most unique beers I have ever had. Fine job and I recommend the experience.

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Photo of davidw987
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle cellared in my wine fridge for however long I've had it. Drank from a Belgian ale glass. Served at about 60 degrees F. Bottle says it is good until December 2010 (13 months from now.)

Appearance: Mostly clear, brown, not particularly bright, but excellent head with fantastic head retention.

Smell: Doughy foundation with raisiny malt.

Taste: Alcohol is very evident. Typcial flavors for style. slight bitterness on back of tounge aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Mild bite to the swallow, but generally smooth.

Drinkability: I think if this beer had been cooler, it would have had more bite. By all means, drink this a little on the warm side.

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

Served in a chalice, it has towering bone white head on top of a very dark redish brown body. Too dark to tell if the clarity is good but it looks a little hazy. Head settles very slowly leaving spotty lace behind.

Aroma is a delicious mix of raisins, dark bread, and spices.

Flavor is huge and wonderful. Lots of dark dried fruits, warming winter spices, and slight roasted malts. It has a great balance from beginning to end, starting sweet, moving to spicy, and finishing dry and roasty. Some chocolate, caramel, and coffee comes through as it warms.

Mouthfeel is big and robust. Big on body and carbonation but not too much on either. The burn at the end is just enough to remind me of how strong it is. Otherwise, very drinkable. A slow sipper for sure.

Another great beer from Unibroue. I loved the 16 and the 17 lives up to it's promise as well.

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

Muddied, dark ruby brown topped with a plush pale tan foam.
The nose brings smashed apples, cedar, pepper, dates, brown sugar, and black cherry. Some mellow traces of Brandy-esque alcohol swirl around.
It begins its tour through the mouth with a moderately high level of treacly sweetness via toffee and molasses. A anise-laced interlude precedes the dried fruit bath to come. Apple skins, bruised pears, raisins, and some wetter hues of melons, black cherries, and peaches. The yeast obviously contributes, but adds enough offsetting, dryish, peppery, cardamom, concrete notes for balance. There's a bit of boozy heat late, in a thinly Brandy-like fashion.
It's a big, sweet, booze-drenched monster and would drink like syrup if not for the frantic work of the CO2. Yet eventually, the alcohol gives it a late glassy, viscous, burn. But only a twinge of it. But for what it really is, it drinks much smaller.
A thoroughly solid offering, that shines with its not-oversweet sense of fruitiness. The yeast profile is a subtle change-up from most of Unibroue's stable. I appreciate that, for diversity's sake, if nothing else.

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

Strong, rich Belgian, though not very interesting nor complex. Pours dark and attractive, with a retained white head. The Belgian yeast aroma checks in. Above average mouthfeel, it is drinkable, but can use some hook, like spice or fruit. Much better with food.

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Photo of whatname
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large tulip glass, Unibroue's 17th anniversary ale delivers a reddish accented, dark chestnut brown body beneath a massive head of frothy tan foam. The head retention is excellent, and it leaves large craggy rings of lace behind as it goes.

The aroma expresses dark skinned fruit with a hint of spice over an almost-burnt brown sugar (and somewhat vanilla-cake-like) malt base. It's full and sweet and enticing.

The flavor follows suit, and it is sweet, but it's not overdone. There's a really nicely balanced spiciness that helps to cut through it, and then there's alcohol as well, helping to dry up the finish. In fact, it's actually pretty clean and dry in the end with a lingering swirl of dusty spice left behind (anise? cardamom? black pepper? cinnamon?). But I'm putting the cart before the horse...

The flavor starts malty with dark fruit and banana bread laced with spice, and then thins a bit to reveal a smack of alcohol and spiciness across the middle. More fruitiness appears, mainly apples, but also a bit of tropical fruit. Dark skinned fruits then follow - bitterness - and then it starts to fade leaving behind lots of dark fruit skins and mild spiciness. The sweetness fades. Some herbal and leafy hops appear. What is left behind on the palate is a touch woody, dry, spicy, and 'dark-skinned-fruit/dried-sugar' like prune and/or plum. A tiny bit of sweet sugar remains on the tip of the tongue and balances it all out.

I'd expected less of this beer and it delivered more... that's what every brewer should strive for!!!

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Unibroue 17 from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 348 ratings