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: 271 | Ratings: 342
Photo of REDAMI
2.51/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Deep amber brown pour, no head.

S - Apple wood and toffee on the nose. A slight wiff of bready yeast.

T - Apple cider, leather, caramel. Definitely not a strong dark, more like a mulled apple cider.

M - No carbonation, watery.

Deeply disappointed, this is terribly mislabeled in style.

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Photo of Raugupatis
2.95/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After reading the reviews on this site, I was really looking forward to tasting this offering. I happily popped the cork and poured the ale into a glass to observe its semi-murky, almost stout-like body, incredible head and lovely aroma of nutmeg.

But like a beautiful girl who turns you off when she opens her mouth, this one disapoints at the first sip.

The nutmeg and spice is overpowering to the point of almost creating a sweet ale, except for the slight bite that nutmeg gives you when you taste it straight. There is none of the expected hops or other flavors to back up the spice.

I poured it out and have another bottle if anyone wants it.

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Photo of Pleepleus
3.03/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes.
Poured from bomber to goblet a light chestnut brown color with an inch of foamy cream head and heavy lacing. Smells like black cherries, plums and mint. Taste is very different, almost like a bubblegum apple cider, a bit too sweet. Heavy carbonation on this one. Was worth the try but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of Bananaman
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm, I think Unibroue is a good Canadian makro-brewery, but this one is quite an disappointment. Expensive too!

Looks great though, one of the nicest bottle I've seen so far. Dark brown/red color with lots of yeast particles floating around.

Aroma is a bit strange, notes of leaves (mould ones too) caramel and some sweet dark fruits.

Taste is very sweet and complex with notes of those moulden leaves and syrup. Some hoppiness too.

All and all, a big disappointment. Didn't find this one very interesting or good at all.

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Photo of kinghotpants
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'll be honest - my expectations were high for this one, and I feel let down now that I've had it. It seems good but not great; tasty but not delicious; interesting but not spectacular. The saving grace here is that it only cost me $5 for the bomber on sale, as opposed to the $8 they usually run me.

This beer is <em>dark</em>. The color is really pretty when there's only a little left in the glass, but if there's only a little left it only indicates that you're running out of beer and therefore slacking off. There was a decent amount of head - my second glass was not poured carefully and foamed over. This is impressive in a high-alcohol beer.

My nose isn't that great, and it's allergy season in Las Vegas, but my girlfriend and I agreed that we smelled plums, mostly. There was a hint of chocolate in there too, but the dominant scent is fruity.

The taste is pretty decent. I couldn't taste anything on the tip of my tongue due to carbonation, but I did clearly get an aftertaste of prunes which I did <em>not</em> enjoy. Overall I found it bland.

The mouthfeel started off promising, with a chewy character that I usually enjoy. Then, just as I was starting to like it, it all melted away, leaving me with a watery feeling that ruined the experience as it washed off my tongue. I haven't experienced anything quite like it before, but it's not something I enjoy.

Maybe I got a bad bottle, but I'm not willing to spend another $8 to prove myself wrong (assuming I can find it). I'm normally a pretty big fan of Unibroue, so this is a disappointment.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.23/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Warning, I'm not a real Belgian fan. So please read this with a wary eye. This was a nice beer, but not one that I would really order for myself. I was given a glass by a nice patron at Clark's Ale House in Syracuse, NY.

The beer had an off white head that dissipated quite quickly and a hazy deep caramel color. There was no lacing at all left behind as the beer was consumed.

There was a heavy spice aroma with notes of clover present. It was clear I was about to taste a Belgian style beer.

Very Spicy taste up front with assertive malt and fruit sweetness.
No hop finish at all. Classic Belgian taste lingers.

A sipping beer.

Not my cup of tea, but clearly a very good representation of this style.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/28/09. Bottle. Pours a murky brown with a small off-white head. Aroma of spices, light fruits (particularly honeydew melon, cantelope). Flavor is similarly fruity with lots of melon rind and soft melon with a yeasty finish. Kind of odd tasting but drinkable. Very different from the other Unibroue anniversary ales, which was surprising.

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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 mulder1010
3.46/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ML poured into a Red Oak glass

A-- Poured a dark brownish orange color with a nice tan head. Got a fluffy one finger head on it and leaving a thick lacing on the glass. Good carbonation.

S-- Smells sweet and somewhat boozy. A little bit of a yeast smell. Lots of fruit in this

T-- Get a bit of orange and then the yeasty sweet taste. Sugar and booze as well.

M-- Still has good carbonation but it is thick and chewy. The the alcohol feel to it as well. Does burn a bit going down.

D-- One. Plain and simple. Not bad but when you think of Unibroue you generally think La Fin and how excellent that is. This is good but a bit overboard on the yest and the alcohol smell. A lot going on in this. I can see where this beer could grow on you after a bit. The 10 % is very apparent from the beginning.

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Photo of wanker
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Unibroue is my favorite brewery, but this isn't my favorite Unibroue beer.

This is the first Unibroue beer in which I've noticed a strong alcohol presence. I've always been impressed with Unibroue's ability to mask the alcohol, even in the 10% Terrible (which I love). The alcohol is right up front on this one, which I can live without. Don't know whether this was intentional - but I kinda doubt it was, as alcohol is well hidden in La FDM, Terrible, Don de Dieu, etc.

This one is quite sweet. I think it should have been categorized as a quadrupel. It reminds me of St. Bernardus Abt 12.

Very complex. Definitely a sipper. Just a bit too much for me. Next time I want a 10% Unibroue, I'll buy Terrible instead.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.49/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the Belfast Co-op. Pours a dark murky brown with a long lasting head on it. Smells sweet, slightly citrusy, but with a bit of a plastic smell. Tastes better than the smell, dried fruit, citrus, candy sugar, spices I cannot identify and some slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is good. Overall I do like it but it's not the best I've had from Unibroue or this style of beer.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Deep mahogany with red and slight purple highlights. Fairly thick, with light penetrating the edges but not the center. Head is 2 fingers thick and recedes slowly, becoming a ring that leaves lacing down the glass.

S: Caramel, toffee, dark fruits (raisins, figs, cherries), orange peel, coriander, and cloves. Very distinctly Unibroue.

T: Bready malts dominate the flavor; secondary flavors are caramel and brown sugar, with dark fruits. Hints of spices as in the nose. Nice and complex, but almost too bready. Alcohol warmth is detected and hard to avoid.

M: Thick, chewy, and bready as noted above. Carbonation is slightly high and it makes me burp excessively.

D: It's a decent beer against some others, but Unibroue has much better selections in its standard lineup. I'll age the second bottle I have and see if it improves. If this were a standard selection, I'd probably rank it in their mid-range and avoid it in the future.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Chestnut brown with a big, foamy tan head that floats on top with tight little tiny bubbles.

S - Unibroue yeast, clove spice, figs, a peppery spice that turns to peppermint at times, bready malt and some toffee.

T - Very herbal, grassy and earthy with spicy clove and the slightest touch of dark fruits, some alcohol heat with a candi sugar and malt sweetness.

M - Medium body, sweet but dry at the same time with some alcohol hotness.

D - A mixture of complex and a mess of flavors. Too much going on for me (sweet but dry, earthy but spicy, etc). A decent beer but probably my least favorite so far of a great lineup from Unibroue.

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

Poured a dark brown color with bright ruby red highlights. Had a thick and pillowy long lasting head.

The smell is big and fruity with hints of cherries and molasses.

The flavor is intense with a big boozie cherry flavor mixing in with a strong sour/tart quality. Has sort of a earthy and cedary finish with a bit of herbal hop quality. Lots of little flavors mixing in as well with a touch of vanilla here, a bit of molasses there. Overall it seems to mellow and relax a bit as you drink it.

The mouthfeel is very warm with tons of carbonation and a long dry finish.

Overall its pretty decent, but nothing to special compared to other excellent unibroue offerings.

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

Poured from a Unibroue bomber into St Bernardus glasses. The beer was dark brown copper, hazy, with a thick foam which formed islands at the end of life. The aroma was spicy and fruity, with the definitive house yeast. The taste was much more bitter than I'd hoped, and also a little burning from the alcohol. Decent mouthfeel, but the alcohol flavor tempered the drinkability a bit.

Unfortunately this was one of my least favorites from Unibroue, but I'll not be deterred from trying any future brews.

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Photo of erosier
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep rusty amber color with a tall medium bodied head that sticks around for a while before settling. It laces the glass very nicely all the way down the glass. It smells of rich roasted malt, and alot of yeast aromas. Smells of wild fruits and some clove along with some peppery aroma to it as well. Interesting nose. The taste is strong - very nice roasted malts and then some wilder yeast flavors finish this beer off. These flavors are some wild vine fruits, some peppery taste, clove, and other tastes I couldn't quite make out. Alot of stuff going on in this beer. The mouthfeel is very heavy and smooth. The beer is pretty drinkable but I think that the flavors are so complex that one was my limit but definately worth a try.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.62/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle pours a dark copper color with a fluffy tan foam that fades pretty quickly to a mild sheen and collar.

Nose is rum soaked raisins, bananas, bready Belgian yeast and a little bit of toasty malt. Alcohol is big in the aroma. Maybe some hints of cinnamon and nutmeg? Are there spices used in brewing 17?

Interesting flavor profile here...almost like a Christmas beer. Warms the belly like one, thats for sure. Higher alcohols mixed with the perceived spices make for an interesting combo. Very bready yeast underlies all these other crazy flavors. Fruits are semi-tart and remind me of figs and cranberries. I'm a little disappointed in this beer, does not seem to come together quite well...like a bunch of ingredients thrown together without much thought towards the final outcome.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of spices (white pepper, coriander) with some notes of Unibroue yeast and butterscotch. Taste is also a mix between some Unibroue yeast with a great spice mix and some butterscotch malt. I thought it lacked some dry fruits characteristics and while carbonation was excellent it appears that the body is thinner then their usual offering.

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Photo of Chapter40z
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured a dark creamy brown. Slightly off white head with decent retention. Over all looks very appealing.

S. A slightly spicy bitter smell. Can definitely pick up some ting of some esters.

T. Very complex taste. A lot of flavors hit my tongue at once and i cant seem to pick them apart. Some tart sour fruit taste slowly fades into a flavor that reminds me of Captain Morgan.

M. Full bodied, very heavy on the tongue. Leaves a warm alcohol glow in the belly.

D. Not so good, not so bad. Wouldn't drink more then a few of these but it is definitely worth trying.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel glass.

Appears a hazy brownish red with a big fat two inch plus cream colored head that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Tons of lacing.

Aroma is interesting. There's some dark fruit, mostly blackberries and cherries, a cinnamon/ginger-like spiciness like a pumpkin ale oddly enough.

Taste has some sweetness up front with the dark fruit flavors coming in next followed by that huge spice character. Finish is pretty dry but the spice and fruit character stays well into the linger.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a nice creamy carbonation typical of this brewery.

I thought this was pretty good but the spice character seemed to strong to me. I was hoping for something different I guess.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ML bottle

P: This 17th anniversary beer is a deep, burgundy-tinted brown color in the snifter. The light tan head is statuesque. It's 2 fingers tall and extremely rocky with huge craters in it as it subsides. Retention is excellent and leaves huge patches of sticky lace as it settles to a thin cap of foam.

A: Dark fruits abound! Raisins, plums, prunes, and figs, with banana-like esters permeating from the yeast. Also, some spices and toasted malts are in the mix.

T: Right from the get-go, the roasty-toasty malts are giving me an astringent, acrid vibe that I am finding more and more off-putting as time wears on. They play second fiddle to the sizeable fruit profile that consists of the same flavors as indicated in the nose. Rum-soaked raisins, juicy prunes, faint plums, and figs are dominant throughout. Maybe a little tart cherry in there as well. The yeast delivers that same flavor of bruised bananas, while the black peppery spice adds some kick and another layer of flavor. This is almost stout-like.

M: Unibroue 17 is medium-full, velvety smooth, and really rich on the palate. It is very aggressively carbonated (maybe too much so) to provide a huge, bubbly bite on the tongue that seems kind of out-of-place.

Notes: This is a tasty brew, but that astringency from the malts just doesn't fit in with the rest of the profile. Honestly, I think the 16 blows this one out of the water! Still, it's a rich, malty sweet beer that features a good bit of fruity spiciness. Good, but not a top-shelf BSDA, in my humble opinion.

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

From a 750ml bottle into a chalice. Pours a dark brown color, completely hazed throughout, with a nice head but little lacing. Smell is of dry yeast, lots of alcohol, and some fruity malts. Taste is much the smae. Lots of dark malt, some hints of ripe fruit, the usual Unibroue yeasty dryness, and slight hop bite at the end. Some earthiness, maybe some dirt in the nose and taste. Alcohol is ever-present and not at all hidden, but that's OK. Average carbonation for Unibroue standards, slick mouthfeel.

Not the best of offerings from Unibroue.

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Photo of cbl2
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3/16/2008 $8.95 750 mL 10.00% Best by December 2010 printed on the side.


Pours a dark opaque brown with a half inch of wispy white foam adrift on top that takes its time settling. Impressive lacing.


Dark ripe tropical fruits and caramelized sugar with a touch of alcohol.


Smooth mouthfeel accompanies notes of brown sugar and burnt raisins with a warming alcohol sensation on the back of the throat.

Not my favorite Unibroue, but it's intriguing, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it ages.

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Photo of ralree
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great looking beer. Deep chocolate brown with a nice white fluffy head. Head retention and size are good.

S: Smells very alcoholic with lots of dark fruit. Not what I like.

T: Tastes very good for the style. I generally don't like Belgian ales, but this one is a keeper. Fruity with a strong alcholic secondary taste. Hops are pretty much missing, so no bitterness is detectable to my palate.

M: Feels good in the mouth - carbonation is perfect. Non-astringent, making the mouth feel at home after swallowing.

D: This one gets you really drunk. Fast. Watch yourself and don't drive.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle.

Tried 20 Jul 2008.

Large off white foamy head. Moderate carbonation. Murky brown color. Floral rosy aroma, raisins, molasses. Lots of clove flavor, yeast, caramel. Alcohol is warm. Medium body. Clove, tobacco and burnt sugar in the finish and aftertaste.

Clove is the dominating flavor, would be better if this was toned down a bit.

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Unibroue 17 from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 342 ratings.
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