Unibroue 17 | Unibroue

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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by AlexF on 02-12-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 272 | Ratings: 343
Photo of Spica66
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with gwuilliums after brewing Batch 18 AIPA. Poured into tulip glasses at 51 degrees.

A: Deep brown color. Excellent head formation with no real retention (must be the ABV?). A nice cap of carbonation and some decent lacing stays throughout the drink.

S: Wow!!! This has a cidery, dark, raisin aroma that I have heard described by other BAs when reviewing their dark Belgians, but had never actually had the chance to enjoy first-hand. No hops remain at this point, but that is fine because the wonderful, rich fruits and the slight maltiness make up for it.

T: This tastes exactly like it smells. Slightly tangy cider taste (Brett doing it's job there), dark fruits and a really solid malt backbone.

M: Round, creamy feel and perfect carbonation. The 10% is completely hidden. Be careful with this one.

D: One of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of poetaster
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark ruby caramel with a strong fruity nose and evident alcohol. Very complex flavors emerge, even at the outset. I taste licorice and root beer, but also something like peppermint followed by bitter herb. This is a very interesting, very well balanced beer, though it might be too bitter for some at this point. It would clearly age very well, and I'm certainly adding more to my cellar. As it warms, the sweetness emerges, though always tempered by a savory herbal bitterness. This would be a great beer to have with roasted meats and strong cheeses--get it while you still can!

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Photo of CJStout
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply fantastic ...

Thoroughly enjoyed through a 750ml, corked bottle.

Initial pour - not impressed ... until the tight, frothy head formed. This is a 10% ABV for Christ'sake!

Smell: Very interesting, but this is expected for a Belgian Strong. No dissapointment. So far, so good.

Taste: Delicous - simply, delicious. Not overpowering for a beer in this category. Very tastey and complex -- but not confusing.

Though no session brew, the mouthfeel is appropriate. This brew is meant to be savored (...and I'm just the candidate!).

Overall: This beverage delivers. Delicious and complex but not confusing (if that makes sense).


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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unearthed some tasting notes from 2009. Tasted on 10/18/09. Bottled on Dec. 17th, 2007. Beer almost 2 years old:

Dark blood reddish brown with 3mm pearl white head.

Lots of yeasty fruity esters on nose. Mild spice notes.

More spice up front with warming alcohol finish. Lingering dark fruits balance the alcohol beautifully.

Nice round mouthfeel. Won't drink because of scarcity [not sure why I wrote this in my original notes].

Overall beer is incredible. One of my favorites from Unibroue. All it took was two years and a trip to see my buddy Phil in Québec.

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Photo of bilyboy65
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has instantly become one of my favorite beers.

A: Light brown in color, lots of carbonation. Good 1.5 finger head that is off white. Leaves a good lacing and film on the glass.

Side note, I may finish the bottle before I get to finish this review.

S: The nose is very sweet. Good mix of spices, fruits and what seems like sugars. It is a very complicated nose. Some cinnamon, brown sugar (maybe)Give it a couple swirls and the fruits come out. Smell apple, pear and also maybe a hint of raisin.

T: Is just as complex and in no way does it let the nose down. First you're hit with brown sugar (maybe something similar). Then surprisingly seems to be a small hint of black licorice. That is soon followed by the fruits. I think pear seems to be the dominate one.

M: Medium/full bodied beer. Lots of activity on the tongue. Low oil feel left behind.

D: I think someone else said it in another review, but be careful because the bottle will be gone before you know it and it's a strong one.

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

In a word: Wow!

After being highly disappointed with Unibroue "16", I almost didn't pick up a bottle of "17" (except that I've got an almost complete bottle collection that stretches back to "10"- I think it was "14" that had a small production run and I wasn't lucky enough to get one).
Don't make the same mistake. Buy "17" and plenty of it, if you can still get it!!!

Where "16" was candy sweet, "17" is a bit darker, much better sweetness/ bitter balance, a fabulous mouthfeel and taste and aroma galore.
I smelt caramel and butterscotch notes, and tasted vanilla and spices plus the lovely caramelized malts. There's not much bitterness at all, and the carbonation is lower than some previous offerings so it was an all-round good find.

I only wish I'd tried it sooner!

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

A - Atractive Tan head, on a nice dark body. Good lacing.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg, cayanne pepper, melon, and sweet chocolate aromas. Alcohol is present, but not dominating. Delilious.

F - This beer is all over. Lots of spice (nutmeg, black pepper, coriander?) in the finish. The fruits (Cherry, melon) are complex and all over, with nice almond flavors. Nice earthiness adds to the overall enjoyment. Even though the beer has a lot of different flavors, it doesn't seem muddled at all. Very long finish

M - Full and silky. Impressed.

D - This was very impressive. One of the best Belgian style beers I've had. Complex, but focused. Would gladly have again.

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

this beer is amazing. Word to the wise-- it's really sweet, but oh so well-balanced. rolling it around in your mouth is heavenly. its got like a ten finger head, its kind of difficult to pour-- but drinking the head is like whipped cream but ten times better and canadian. as you may be able to tell by my syntax, it is extremely easy to drink.

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Photo of JosephLondon
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured with a generous amount of head into a Duvel tulip. There seems to be billions of minute bubbles that give way to pockets of air. The brew is deep brown, the color of a deep mahogany. The head is abundant and retains efficiently while giving a pale brown color; great lacing.

Smell: is overwhelmed with brown sugar and sweet molasses. There seems to be a blend of roasted chocolate and caramel, too. In the back ground is clover, pear, Washington Apple and a subtle hint of plum.

Taste: is like non other, so complex all the while maintaining the PERFECT balance. There is some alcohol presence, but where is the the 10%? The taste is like the smell for me; brown sugar, molasses, roasted chocolate caramel malt, clover, pear, Washington Apple and plum all perfectly balanced with malt and hop. This is a brew to be treasured.

Mouth feel: it is almost like this brew ignites on the palate, each ingredient doing its own part like instruments do in a symphony. This quickly gives way to a dry finish that leaves your mouth yearning for another drink.

Drink: I couldn't slam one of these, but I could definitely drink on a couple of these all night.

This is by far one of my favorite brews!

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Photo of Vaylaus
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Latest bottle opened 11/14/09; Also consumed nearly fresh last year.

A: Cloudy, murky, brownish red with a full head, all the way to the top of my glass.

S: All kinds of good things here. Figs, raisins, spices, and a hint of cola. Spices and cola were more prominent fresh, but they've begun to play nice over the last year.

T: Wow. Creamy, with the dark fruit flavors combining to deliver a somewhat unexpected but extremely pleasant flavor. So hard to pinpoint everything going on here, but it's very, very good. This beer had a spicy, cola flavor when young that has faded to the background now to become a nice compliment.

M: Smooth, for how heavy it is. Nicely carbonated, but not overly so, no complaints here.

D: If it wasn't for the 10% abv, I'd kill another bomber, but after one, I'm feeling it now. If it wasn't on the label, you'd undershoot the abv on this one by a few points.

Like most of Unibroue's bigger beers, this one has aged nicely and is now starting to come into its own. Should be interesting to see if it improves over the next year or two. But plenty good right now.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is strong, rich, malty, with just a hint of fruit - probably apple - and a hoppy, "rubbery" undertone. Color is a warm clear mahogany, and it pours with a very thick beige head that hangs around for a bit. Flavor is rich and mouth-filling, smoky, nutty, with both sweet and bitter tones and hints of chocolate and molasses. Finish is smooth and leaves a hoppy aftertaste.

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Photo of keepersj12
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is fantastic. Beautiful brownish red pour with a large foamy head. Aroma is what you'd expect but the flavor is wonderful. All the taste and spiciness of a belgian but also a vanilla bourbon flavor with some wood aging. Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Another great one from the boys at Unibroue.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's been quite some time since I grabbed a BSDA on a whim but, when I saw this as I perused the sublime Neil St. Piccadilly, it was a must-grab. Deep, cloudy mahogany brown body slides out of the Unibroue 17 bottle, with a persistent patch of slightly tan froth coating the Ommegang glass with foamy goodness as it's consumed; outstanding presentation, period.

Wonderful fruity aromas emanate from 17--cherry, plum, blackberry in all their goodness, very nice. Exquisite taste, very smooth but somewhat strong with the 10% ABV becoming apparent halfway through, but not in an obnoxious manner. Very fruity taste, solid malt, plus magnificent effervescence combined with ideal texture make this a tasty morsel in no uncertain terms.

In my opinion, 17 is the best of the anniversary beers that the five-star brewery Unibroue has produced. It has flavor, persistence, restrained boldness, flavor to spare, it is annealed through the cold-tempered chilling allowing the rather potent alcoholic heat to emerge through the rich flavor.

One of the best BSDAs I've ever had, 17 is a gift, the genuine article. Tremendous, and ready for consumption now, though I'd highly recommend cellaring a couple bottles. Unibroue has actually made something to rival Trois Pistoles and Maudite. Amazing.

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Photo of atremains
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious looking golden brown body covered with a thin frothy white head. Head dissipates relatively quickly, moderate lacing throughout the venture. Smell is sugary, raisins and spices in there. Nice sweet taste, the "Unibroue-ness" is a bit toned down on this one. Spice and cloves a bit on the finish. Medium-full body that fits the tongue nicely with a dry finish. Carbonation is a bit over medium, I like it. This is very drinkable for a 10% beer. Probably my favorite from the Unibroue series so far.

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark mahogany with a modest off-white head that gradually dissipates into a thin layer of foam, leaving a moderate amount of lacing.

S - Filled with aromas of spice and dark fruit. The combination of the spice and fruity sweetness give it an almost cider-like aroma. I'm picking up aromas of red grape, red apple, dark cherries, cinnamon, and maybe just a hint of vanilla. The yeast contributes some earthy/nutty notes as well. Absolutely wonderful!

T - Every bit as complex and delightful as the smell. Dark fruits persist, as does the somewhat cider-like flavor that the fruits and spice create. The red apple that was in the aroma gives way to green on the palate, probably due to the crispness of the beer. Earthy yeast flavors come through in the finish. The alcohol is ever-so-subtly present in the first few sips, contributing some phenolic sweetness to the brew. As it warms though, the alcohol gradually fades.

M - Full-bodied, crisp, and clean. Carbonation does a nice job of keeping the sweetness in check without undermining the spice.

D - Delightfully smooth and absolutely delicious!! It's one of those beers that breaks your heart once you take that last sip.

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Photo of Asgeirr
4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Unibroue 17th pours a grand dark ruby-to-vermilion colour along with a frothy and majestic latte-brown crown (approximately 2 ½ inches of hight), which persist for quite some time and leaves the chalice more-or-less covered in lacing, almost no carbonation is visible.

Smell: Breadish notes along with some classical "Trappist-like" sweet scents of dark fruits like raisins and cherry.

Taste: A slightly citric experience at first quickly replaced by the more dominant toffee/plum-like sweetness and spicier notes of perhaps pepper and cumin along with traces of bitterness (makes me think of ripe apples along with sour dough rye bread -- or apple-pie for that matter). The alcohol is showing of as well, but in a really pleasing manner where it warms you like a fine port or a glass of cognac and leaves the mouth with a dry feeling.

Mouthfeel: Full and smooth to the brim along with a mild, and fitting, carbonation.

Drinkability: Unibroue 17th, was, as expected, a great beer. Its characteristics are genuinely poised between the different sensory inputs of smell and taste as well as the balance in the aforementioned sensational experiences of aroma and flavour themselves.

Sadly, the only brewery from Canada that I've had the pleasure of sampling (and one of the best breweries I've come across -- ever!) 'cause if they're as good as this one I better move my keester to Syrup-gobbler Land pronto!

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Photo of eat
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle dated 5/4/2007, consumed 15/6/2009. Poured into an over-sized wine glass.

This is the most beautiful beer I've ever seen. The head is better than perfect; it actually kept rising slowly as it sat, like a loaf of bread, until it formed a huge, round dome over the glass. Light beige in colour and textured like a mashmallow (thick and creamy), it leaves an extreme amount of lacing all down the side of the glass as is dissipates to a solid one finger head 15 or 20 minutes later. The beer itself is an amazing shade of dark brown.

There is so much depth to this smell. Lactic (almost like cream cheese), lots of sweet caramel, fire-roasted marshmallow, floral hops, citrus, yeast, scotch, mild clove and coriander.

Woah! This is serious. Molasses, caramel, butter, roasted malt, good amount of hops well balanced with a bunch more subtler flavours. A sweet, sticky, malty flavour coats your tongue and hangs on forever. The 10% ABV is there just in the background, hiding behind everything else and warming on the way down. It reminds me both of a great scotch ale I've had and a great saison I've had, but is better than either of them.

Incredibly smooth. Full bodied and creamy with a medium carbonation. I wouldn't say it's way too much carbonation but it could be toned down a little.

This is by far the best Unibroue I've tried and one of the best beers I've ever tried period. It definitely stands apart from the rest; I don't find this has that obvious Unibroue taste to it, this tastes like it could actually be from Belgium. I paid $9.33 for a 750ml of this and it was worth every cent. I easily finished the bottle alone, although I felt pretty tired afterward (similar to after I drink a lot of wine). I'm going back to buy a few more of these.

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

750ml bottle with no best by date.

A - reddish brown color with tan head. Plenty of lacing with medium retention.

S - Great aroma with hints of chocolate, caramel and berries. Sweet alcohol phenol scent.

T&M - Very nice balance of caramel, honey, chocolate, and berry. The hop quality and malt balance is excellent. Medium-high carbonation.

Very good special edition brew by this inexpensive, high-quality brewer!

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

Very foamy at first pour into a pint glass. Sounds like a soda fizzing with just 1" of beer and 4" of light caramel colored head. Drops slowly, leaving little lace early but more later on. Beer ends up a cloudy deep garnet/brown.
Smell is malty, fruitcake with all the dark fruits & bread/ yeast, white grape, alcohol, spices, apple. Great complexity and balance.
Everything the nose got, the mouth does as well. The alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering.
Smooth, creamy almost butterymouthfeel. Wonderful malty fruitcake aftertaste that just slowly fades away.
Absolutely great beer. Took me an hour & 1/2 to finish a bomber. This beer is great warm or cool.

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

Enjoyed this one in a tasting along with Terrible and Edition 2005, and it held its own admirably.

Very similar in appearance to La Terrible and Edition 2005, but perhaps lighter hued in body, and with improved retention and lacing. Great fruity aroma, with lots of cherry and some oak. You sure can tell its a Unibroue when you raise it to your lips - lots of dark fruit, cherry, the signature spicy yeast, and brown sugar before finishing with hints of oak and warming alcohol. Medium body and carbonation seems well suited to they style. Extremely good drinkability, which is dangerous considering the strength of the alcohol.

I think out of the three, this one was my winner, but its a very close call.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes taken at The Freakin Frog in Las Vegas. Pours a reddish copper color with a big fluffy tanned head with lots of lacing left behind.

Smells great lots of raisins mixed with other fruits, toasty sweet malts and some spicy yeast notes.

Tastes just as good as it smells if not better. Loads of dark fruits/raisin goodness, sweet and spicy. This is one hell of a beer from Unibroue. For 10% this beer goes down way to quick.

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Photo of Lukie
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep, dark brown, with glints of hazelnut in the light. The head was thick and firm before dissipitating into a good centimetre of clinging lace.

A rich smell of raisins, dark chocolate, prunes, blackcurrants, roasted almonds, and some hints of sweet glazed cherries. The aroma is quite strong and sweet.

The flavour is full of rich chocolate, bitterness from dark chocolate, with lots of fruity blackcurrant, caramel, and raisins. There is a bite to the finish, which obviously comes from the alcohol. Very in depth and spicy.

It has a moderate mouthfeel, when I would expect it to be heavy. The alcohol is present, and leaves a warm feeling in your mouth. A bottle of this is perfect as an after dinner treat, or a nightcap, but anymore and I think the intensity and the flavours would become too much.

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Photo of Zippie9999
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving: 750 ml: caged and corked. Great presentation from unibroue, as usual.
A: Dark, murky, and chocolaty. Looks like your typical dubbel or Belgian strong dark ale.
S: Dark fruits, Grapes, spicy wintry fruits (plums, figs, etc)
T: Dark fruits, grapes, a little bready, biscuity after thought
M: Creamy w/ low-moderate carbonation (think dubbel or s.b.d.a)
D: Goes down relatively smooth and does a great job hiding the abv, which is 10%
Overall: a great interpetaion of a dark belgian strong ale. I'm buying another to cellar for a year. Gives Rochefort 10 a run for it's money. (I'm waiting for a lightening bolt to hit me for such a comparison, lol!)

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

Pours a murky brown with a deep tan head. creamy with sheeting rather than Brussels lace.

The smell is intense. Pepper, bread, bubble gum, a hint of anise.

Starts out sweet and finishes very dry. Bubble gum gives way to spicyness. The finish is almost chipotle pepper minus the intense smoke and warming down into the chest from the 10 percent alcohol.

There are layers of surprises here with subtle changes as the Delerium Tremens tulip warms and then through the second glass from the 750 ml bottle. The spice remains as dried plum and raisin flavors become more noticable. This could be a great pairing with English bangers and mash or a braised Belgian meat dish with a savory sauce from the drippings. It could also stand up to a dark chocolate or smoked gouda.

The second bottle is going into a cool, dark place with no time off for good behavior until 2010. It will be interesting to see what that alcohol does to the bottle with a little age.

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

This is my first of the Unibroue anniversary beers, let's see how it goes!

Poured into a chalice... About a 1 cm head that holds for ~30 sec, otherwise a dark and somewhat cloudy inviting colour

Has one of my favorite beer smells... Kind of like a Hoegaarden or an Edelweiss Dunkel, with a fruity nose

A very nice flavour that pours nicely over the palate, leaving the citrus tones, and finishes with a bit of a bitter kick. The long term aftertaste is a little unappealing, which dropped it from my initial 'Amazing' 5 to a 4.5, but it may be other things I had eaten...

The only knock I really have against it is that it is not a beer I would consider drinking regularly due to the strength & size of bottle, it is a beer to share. To its credit, it in no way tastes its 10% v/v

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Unibroue 17 from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 343 ratings.
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