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 djmichaelk
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a perfect pint. Happy to have found a stash of these in a local liquor store since they've been gone for a while.

A - Pours a somewhat murky brown, with a sizable few fingers of head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Raisins and figs mostly. Some candied sugar and sweetness, almost like cotton candy. The fruit is more forward as it warms.

T - Caramelized sugar, spice, and dark fruits. Lots of dates, raisins, and a fig newton flavor that is somewhat unique for me to Unibroue. It's the fig combined with the biscuit flavor that does it. Some alcohol, but it's not burning.

M - Unibroue always hits it right here, with small consistent bubbles. It's like velvet on your tongue.

D - While I'd ordinarily knock it for the high abv, I'd love to open another of these right now.

O - This is like an old friend -- when I first moved to Cali years ago I would buy one or two of these a week. I was a little distraught when they dried up but finding a handful of these really brings back some great memories.

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

Poured from 750ml corked and caged bottle.

A- Pours a deep hazed dark apple cider color except a darker brown. Two and a half finger beige color head shows good retention which dies to a cap on the beer. Some light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Yeasty and malty galore. Huge sweet caramel malts with some darker ripe fruits (plums and raisins) comes to play with a light belgian yeasty nose.

T- Sweeter alcohol and darker fruits come upfront. The darker fruits (plums, prunes, and raisins) come out more in the flavor than in the aroma. Some caramel malts come in the middle of the beer with some light spicing and more warming alcohol in the ending of the beer. The yeasty aroma doesn't really come about in the flavor at all which surprised me. Darker fruits and malts is pretty much all there is.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Tons of darker fruits and malts left on the palate with sweet malts and alcohol in the aftertaste. The alcohol is very drying on the palate with each sip. Flavors are one sided in the malty department but overall flavors are very well put together.

D- This beer was a little too much on the sweet side for me. I did enjoy the beer don't get me wrong but the over the top malts and darker fruits combined with the higher ABV limits this to less than half the bottle. Thankfully I had some great friends to share this one with.

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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 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 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 Carpathia
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful gold lettering on black bottle (750ml). Drunk from a deep goblet, sampled from a Unibroue Maudite snifter.

Appearance: Not really muddy, but a dark burnt caramel. I think I've made dulce de leche look like this when I've overcooked it a lot. Thin, persistent head (at least the way I poured it).

Smell: Very fruity. Lots of dark, dried fruit come to mind as a general mix. The smell changes out of a snifter compared to a chalice; the fig-like fruit used in this brew becomes much more prominent.

Taste: More very strong, very dark fruit come to mind on the taste. Very strong alcohol sensation up front, long, drawn out fig or date like flavors on the back. Very complex, and very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: This is a sipping ale. Letting it rest allows for the flavors to really bloom. I'd drink this like a port or a fine aged spirit rather than a quaffable beer.

Drinkability: Defiantly not a session beer, more of a fine sipping beer, to be broken out on rare occasion.

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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 DIM
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a very dark, amber chestnut color. One of the lighter BSDA's I've seen. It poures with a huge, firm, sticky, and creamy looking off-white head.

s: Wonderful dark fruit aromas that are lightly sweet and have a musty, tart quality. Raisins, cherries, figs, and plums all come to mind. Sweet elements of brown sugar, molasses, and faint honey emerge as this warms. Everything is blanketed by gently warm alcohol.

t: What a marvelous beer! Bursting with rich, darkish fruit flavors of raisins, tart cherries, and figs. Light sweetness in the form of candied sugar and molasses join gentle heat and soft spiciness to round out a fantastic anniversary offering.

m: Long lasting, creamy carbonation makes this feel incredibly velvety and smooth.

d: Not much else to say, I haven't enjoyed a BSDA this much in a long time. What a treat.

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Photo of kwjd
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber brown colour with thick white head. Head dissipates without too much lacing. Smell is extremely sweet of candied fruit and a hint of chocolate. Taste has the Belgian yeast you'd expect from Unibroue to go with raisin, black cherry, chocolate and some nuttiness. Very smooth mouthfeel.

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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 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 oglmcdgl
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle split with onix1agr thanks dude.

A- pour a deep reddish brown with a big beautiful three fingers of off white dense foam with a slight pink hue to it. The head settles to a few spots.

S- sweet candied fruits and a nice chocolate touch. Hints of spice.

T- sweet dark malts and cherries with a mild roast. A very belgian yeast spice and some heat. Bits of tobacco and nuts.

M- medium body with a very active and effervescent level of carb lightening the brew and really pulling out the flavors

D-tasty and enjoyable beer for sure the abv is very well utilized with a slow warming in the belly but almost nothing on the tongue.

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

25.4oz corked and caged bomber from new york state. Been meaning to get on this one. 17 is my lucky number. Says december 2010 so I better get to drinking this.

Fallen acorn brown in late autumn with some forrest wood that's rotted. A healthy pour in a duvel tulip erupted in three fingas of bunny tail fluffy frothy suds with a tint of pink. No lacing.

I was smelling for cherries from the reddish tint on the foam, and they are there minimaly from this two plus year old bottle, I guess they faded. Some holiday spices reminding me of a winter warmer. Small cinnamon, some sugar and some malt. This seems faded and muted for a unibroue dark.

At the present time this comes off like a mix of winter warmer with some bsda and some dubble. Light in nature for a bsda, 17 has fruit, cherries, apples. Sugars, a sprinkle of roast, a slice of bittersweet chocolate and some fruity bready type yeast.

Lighter than I was expecting for a bsda from canada but this goes well with a semi medium body and bubbely carbonation perhaps making this feel lighter than it is. This actually reminded me of a very light fruit beer to me at least. The body does not resemble a bsda to me but it aint no thang but a chicken wang, its lighter than most, just like the taste.

Seventeen is pretty good, it's just different and thatks what makes it good. I was expecting something something similiar to terrible and pistoles especially in the yeast department, but I was surprised by the difference in this. Drink these up if you got em, they are not getting any better.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL corked bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle says December 2010, so I am assuming this is the best by date.

(A)- Pours a hazy maroon red color with plenty of brown-like highlights. Produced a massive frothy eggshell colored head that left intricate lacing all the way down from the fill line.

(S)- Great dark fruits with earthy clay and not yet ripe banana. Tiny bits of yeast.

(T)- Spicy biscuit-like banana & clay with almost creamy fruits. . . basically backwards from the smell.

(M)- A great carbonation level that dances to life on the tongue. Smooth, with great fruits & an earthy core.

(D)- I am not gonna lie, this is pretty damn good with all the age it has received in the bottle. Fits the style well and actually begins to taste alot like a quad at this stage of its life. It could even age further in my opinion; the December 2010 best by date seems pretty accurate though. . . I wouldnt drink this past that date, but who knows?

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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 Cs1987
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black. Poured a large head with good retention.

Smell - Strong dark fruits, and quite chocolatey for a Belgian ale.

Taste - Very malty for a Belgian beer, almost stout-like in flavour. Seriously rich and complex.

Mouthfeel - Great texture, very smooth.

Drinkability - A bit of a challenge, despite the great taste.

Overall - Simply outstanding.

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Photo of Bisho
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a Unibroue La Fin Du Monde Tulip glass.

Light off-white head for such a dark beer with a lot of lacing and good head retention.

Smell was fantastic. Lots of dark fruit (plum & fig), spice, pepper and malt. The booziness was also present on the nose.

Taste was big and boozy! Clove, spice, plums, pepper and a little nuttiness. Lots of sweet malt too!

Mouthfeel was sweet and inviting but not cloying. Good carbonation too.

A big sipper for the end of an evening. This is the best anniversary ale Unibroue have produced thus far. Quite similar to La Terrible but bigger in every way.

If you love the sweet Christmas style Belgian dark ales then you'll love this one too. I am a sucker for them!

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

Poured from 750ml bottle into Orval chalice.

A. Poured a 1 finger off white head. Very dark ruby brown color. Pretty consisten ring of lacing left. Head retention was good. Left a permanent collar of head.

S. Dark fruit, spices, malt, alochol, yeast, pepper.

T. Caramel, dark fruit, peppery, alcohol, spices. Some bitterness.

M. Full bodied. Creamy velvety texture. Medium-high carbonation. Pretty dry except somewhat of a semisweet lingering aftertaste.

D. Its a sipper, but the 750 is pretty easy to put down. I did not like this as much as Maudite or Trois Pistoles. The pepperiness in the flavor is interesting.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Delerium tulip. Pours a very solid dark color with a very large white head that dissapates pretty quick to a nice surface ring. Lacing is present, decent thickness...slides quickly.

Aroma is great...sweet and inviting. Mouth watering...like the best Belgian strong dark ales out there. Also picking up a slightly oak-u scent.

Flavor is wonderful, sweet like cherries and raisins. Slight tartness on the back side. Very smooth and creamy, full mouthfeel...just right carbonation. Let this beer warm up to just under room temp to finish.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into Unibroue tulip.

A - Poured a thick and deep ruby copper amber with a generous frothy head. Really nice mahogany tint around the bottom and sides of the glass. Extremely sticky lacing.

S - Very complex medley of dark and exotic fruits. Traces of caramel, nut, and vanilla.

T - Grape, plum, fig, nut...earthy dark fruit flavor that follows the nose. Touch of raspberry and spices and the alcohol is certainly present as well. Hint of orange too.

M - Well balanced with nice carbonation. The alcohol is upfront which I like. Leaves a very even aftertaste...not bitter, not bready or cooling...maybe a little sour even, the fruit flavor definitely lingers in some way.

D - As all Unibroue offerings, this one is very drinkable. It is very strong which would prevent me from throwing several back and as a limited release, something I'd be prone to picking up and saving for a special occassion.

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Photo of LittleCreature
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4.5
Moussy beige head over an opaque very dark brown body.

Smell - 4.5
Sweet and spicy, aromas of cooking christmas pudding, cocoa and demerera sugar.

Taste - 4.5
Rich, strong, malty and spicy. Tastes of dark chocolate, cocoa, plums, orange peel, burnt christmas pudding and mixed spice. Warming alcohol and moderate hop bitterness balance the richness. Bloody lovely, but I see this as more of a Christmas beer than a BSDA due to the spiciness.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Truly lush mouthfeel, very fine and moussy, medium bodied, warming alcohol.

Drinkability - 3.5
A little too strong and spicy for ultimate drinkability, but sooo tasty.

Lovely, christmassy BSDA. An excellent beer from an outstanding brewery.

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Photo of nsmartell
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 750ml bottle to a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color that barely lets any light in and turns a slight reddish color. Thick light-tan head that sticks around for some time.

Smell: Fruity and dark fruit. Much more going on here than I can describe.

Taste: Alcohol, sweet malts and dark fruits. More so than the aroma, but again there is lots going on here that I am not smart enough to describe.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. A little alcohol bite at the end. The first couple of drinks when the beer was the coldest puckered my jaw.

Drinkability: Another good beer from Unibroue, but due to the alcohol content and sweetness, not something I could drink lots of. Drinkable for the one bottle.

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Photo of bump8628
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into an Ommegang flute.

Dark brown with a creamy tan head. Still pretty murky, which suprises me as this beer has been around awhile.

Aroma comes off as booze soaked dark fruits like cherries, raisins, dates, and fig, but the booziness is oh so smooth and a definite positive characteristic in this case. Also notes of overly caramelized, bordering on burnt, sugars abound.

The aroma only hints at the complexity in the taste. Again, plenty of dark fruits and heavily caramelized sugar, but what's this little surprise...wood...yes, i think it is. And not wood like the bold oakiness that these modern oak-happy brewers are giving us, but a refined, elegant, almost musky and mossy, wood. Many of the "Belgian" traits have begun to fade and what's left is a wonderful combination of malt depth coupled with graceful aging. Really, it's so deep and complex that I can't begin to describe all of the flavors that are coming out of my glass.

I have to say, I picked this up on a whim not knowing what to expect since it had obviously been sitting around for awhile, but I'm really blown away by this beer. It's beginning to take on some port-like characteristics and age has really contributed some interesting (and lovely) characteristics. What a way to bring in the new year!!

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Photo of MTNboy
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It is no surprise this is a great beer. The guys at Unibroue rarely disappoint. Come to think about it I can't ever remember them ever disappointing me. It is a very deep and dark brown with lots of carbonation. There is a lot of foam that is super rocky. It has chocolate malt aroma. At first the flavor hits you like an oak branch. There are some charcoals tones. There are esters of dried fruit and chocolate with a wine like bitterness. It is warming and thick.

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