Unibroue 17 | Unibroue

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Unibroue 17Unibroue 17
347 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by AlexF on 02-12-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 347 |  Reviews: 273
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 UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small dots form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, spice, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, toffee, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has aged quite well to this point.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out as a deep brown color with a pretty impressive thin head that doesn't quit. The sleep is wonderful. It's wooden and sweet kinda have a hint of vanilla in there. Really impressive flavor. The mouthfeel has a little bite to it. The mouthfeel is also dry. I find this to be really nice overall.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 750 ml bottle. Appears to be more brown than red but there is a little redness showing through once the bubbles clear out and the glass held to the light. Some moderate tan head. Slight lacing noticeable.

The beer smells spicy and yeasty. Also some dark malts noticeable. Someone mentioned that theres probably oak in the beer. After a second sniff I concurred. It almost smells of oak aging. Interesting.

This beer tastes suspiciously like the last Trader Joes Vintage Ale. Heavy on the belgian yeast and dark malts. Possibly colored additionaly with candi sugar. The old oak flavor comes through here too. Seems complex enough to age for a few years.

Medium/heavy body and quite drinkable. Well see what time does for this beer. After all, 7 years has done wonders for the 10 so we'll see what happens with this one.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy dark brown in color and poured with a finger high creamy beige head that slowly settled into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: The nose is rather fruity with sweet aromas of prunes and raisins.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of prunes and raisins as well as some hints of caramel and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and creamy, coating the palate very well. The beer has a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This is a beer that needs to be sipped given the complexity of the flavors. The alcohol is noticeable but for the most part well masked.

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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 BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's completely stoopid that we get the full line-up of Unibroue beers in Kentucky and always get bombers of the special stuff, but we never received the 17 in 2008. Great work distributers and retailers. You're about as useless as the weatherman.

Meanwhile back at the ranch... After bringing back a bottle from Cincinnati, the anticipation of drinking this beer was met with mixed responses, yet underwhelmed by this beer. Especially since Unibroue makes a ton of these Dark Belgian types.

The beer begins with a deep ruy, crimson pour with a haze expected of Dark Belgians. A bellowing, loosely-knit eggshell head takes on quadrupel proportions.

Strong malty flavors of caramel, toffee, cocoa, molassas, and fruitcake fill the nose. Not to be outdone, the candied fruits of cherries, berries, figs, dates, and raisons blaze the trail for complexity and depth. Spicy notes of black peppery, currants, orange peel, corriander, and hints of cumin decorate the nose in that special Belgian way.

Malty flavored throughout, but with a serious dose of dark sugars for a deep, dark taste of dehydrated fruits and caramelized sugars. Still as spicy and flavorfull to the mouth as was to the nose.

Alcoholic, sweet, thin textures dominate the beer with some fusal strength and makes the drinkability quite rough. Otherwise, well attenuated and palatable.

Finishes with a ton of sweetness and heat. Cherries, toffee, and black pepper chase the beer well into the aftertaste.

A very flavorful beer than still has some conditioning to do. The individual tastes are all over the map and need to round out and come together. The hot alcohols have some tamming to do as well.

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Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with a foamy, tan, three finger head. It left thick sheets of soapy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruits (plum and raisin). It also had a good deal of malty aromas.

T - It tasted of biscuity sweet malt and molasses. It had a fruity flavor, cherry, that added a little tart kick

M - It was soft and smooth with a dry finish. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good Belgian-style ale. i'd like to try it with some age on it.

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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 superspak
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in December 2010. Pours very hazy reddish brown color with a very nice 3 finger dense light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some very nice thick soapy lacing clings to the glass, with a good amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big raisin, prune, grape, caramel, toffee, molasses, earth, tobacco, toast, and light herbal. Fantastic and highly complex aromas with great balance. Taste of big raisin, prune, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, molasses, earth, tobacco, herbal, light chocolate, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, earth, light chocolate, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance of flavors with huge complexity. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a nice creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with pretty much zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong dark ale! Huge complexity and great balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Looking forward to trying the Grande Reserve.

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.8%

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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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, spice, dark fruit, caramelized malts and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty and bready up front with flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. There are sweet flavors of caramel, apples and dark fruit in the background. The hops presence is decent and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, good representation of style, pretty good beer to drink for while if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Light brown color and quite cloudy. Extraordinary head with excellent lasting power and lace.

Slightly sweet but still very malty aroma. Light hop; some alcohol warming smells.

Strong alcohol warmth right up front; Lots of malt with a touch of sweetness. Thick body with good corresponding carbonation. There's some light hop in the background.

This is a potent and rich beer with all of the classic Belgian flavors except the sourness.

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Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours caramel with a sliver of tan head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Raisins, leafy hops, cinnamon in abundance

T: Dark fruit, breadyness, green apples, brown sugar & green bannanas up front. More green bannanas, cinnamon booze, & black pepper as this warms. Finishes warming, with more green bananas & cloves. plus tons of green apples

MF: Over-carbonated, a bit hot, some chewyness up front

Drinks alright, fairly complex, a bit warm. Cellar this one for 1-3 years & you have a winner! A bargain at $8.80 a 750ml bottle!!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-brown body with a small, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Gobs of maltiness in the aroma with supporting notes of clove, coriander, wood, golden delicious apples, peaches, and raisins.

Taste: Toasty toffee maltiness though with a restrained sweetness. Bold myriad display of fruitiness. More of the cloves and spice and also a tree bark woodiness creeping in. Noticeable sour yeastiness. Earthy tastes of tobacco and vintage leather. Some puckering tannins. Chewy, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Rather well carbonated.

Drinkability: A pretty solid brew and one of my favorites from the Unibroue anniversary series.

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

A: The pour is a sort of muddy brownish amber color with a couple of finger's worth of khaki colored foam.

S: Quite a bit of fruitiness to the nose. Raisins, plums, figs, and pears. There is plenty of brown sugar, caramel, and molasses as well.

T: The flavor is quite similar to the nose, displaying a very solid fruit character. There are some cherries in addition to the raisins, plums, figs, pears and probably some others that I'm missing. The malt is fairly bready with a molasses-like sweetness that is quite mild.

M: The body is more toward the full side with a really great carbonation that fills the mouth.

D: A pretty damn easy beer to drink, considering the high ABV. I don't know if this one will be getting any better, but it's quite nice now.

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

Review from notes taken 5/3/10.

Corked and caged bottle ordered at the abbey bar (2nd floor of the Appalachian brewing company - Harrisburg location.)

Served in a snifter it appears a dark cloudy brown color with a finger of tan head that fades quickly leaving spotty lacing about the glass. Nose is slightly sour fruits and some dark fruitiness like overly-ripened apples. Taste is malty sweet with flavors akin to the fruity sweetness like plums and over ripe apples. Medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation that boarders being too much. Little to no hop character, the alcohol starts to shine through as the beer warms. Has a lingering taste of dark skinned fruit and alcohol. Overall not bad but nothing overly exciting either.

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Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +20.2%

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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Unibroue 17 from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 347 ratings
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