Unibroue 17 | Unibroue

344 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 344 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of charlzm
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 05/21/08 at LAX Radisson beer tasting.

Color is a dark caramel amber hue. A one finger head stuck around for quite some time, leaving decent lacing.

The aroma is sweet and full of peppermint, if my nose does not deceive me. Also some cheese notes. Somehow, it works.

Lively carbonation keeps things moving along on the palate. Tart cherries and sweet caramel both appear quickly. A hint of cheese in the flavor, then a clean, clean finish.

Not cloying, sticky, parching or bitter: this could have gone wrong in so many ways, but the brewers pulled it off. Hats off. And corks off!

 594 characters

Photo of unibrew
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Turns out, I had a bad bottle it seems. I retried this beer, and found that I really enjoyed it. Had to be the bottle.

My Old Review:
While I enjoy mostly everything Unibroue puts out, this is definitely not one I'll be buying again. I bought it expecting it to be similar to all the other anniversary ales they make, but, at first sip, I was put off by the pungent taste from the sourness of the figs, dates and/or currants in it. I haven't read where anyone else complained about the taste here, I'll chalk it up to a personal preference in taste that I just don't like those flavors, but, I can't give this beer a high rating because I didn't enjoy it. I did nonetheless force it all down. I'm not letting a 10% beer go to waste!

 733 characters

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

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a murky near-black with some plum highlights when held up to the light. Even a gentle pour gets about 2 inches of head, and there's a lovely web of lace that appears as the head slowly recedes. Aroma is quite lovely with dark ripe fruits, molasses, caramel, chocolate, powdery cocoa, wood, citrus and orange blossoms. Complex and balanced aroma.

Flavour has a awesome kick to it, the booze hits you right away. Great interplay of sour and sweet, and there's almost a bit of brett-like sourness in this one, a definite farmhouse element to be sure, and it's a little out of character for Unibroue but it's a really welcome change. Tons of woodiness as well. Herbal character in the background, perhaps just a little anise, pepper, and savory. Vanilla as well, juicy ripe pears, plums, dates. Balls out carbonation, but the body isn't overly heavy. Obviously you can't go nuts with this stuff, but it leaves you wanting more with every sip. I can hardly wait to throw some in the cellar and see what happens in a few years.

 1,067 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a murky dark brown, nearly opaque body with a good inch of light tan head. Smells fruity with chocolate, date, and a fair bit of wood/smoke. Tastes like a fine mix of chocolate, date, wood, smoke, hints of caramel. Complex and extremely well-balanced. Medium to full in body. A beer that feels full and yet goes down very easily. Tasty and more drinkable than expected. Another top notch limited edition beer from Unibroue!

 477 characters

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

A- Poured into a large 32 oz mug. Nice dark brown color, same as the color of the bottle itself. Despite the color it is very light tasting and feeling.

S- Wow, very complex. It smells like most Unibroue brews, but this one has a very fruity smell. I almost smell cinnamon, peach, pare, and vanilla.

T- I'm tasting the fruitiness the beer has to offer. Lots of apple and hint cinnamon. The presence of alcohol isn't strong, but light.

M- Very light, and smooth, not thick as one would think.

D- Easy to drink, nice carbonation. I bet this beer would get even better the more it ages. Would be good with a verity of good cheeses or white sauce pasta dishes. Grilled salmon would be a tasty compliment to this light tasting beer.

 733 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely one of the best brews from Unibroue I have tasted to this day. The beer pours a dark, cloudy amber with a thick, slightly toasted looking head. The aroma is that of rasins, prunes, and toffee. The flavor resembles Trois Pistoles on steroids. Rasin, fig, and all kinds of candied fruit shine through. The finish is short, but very memorable as the hops finally show their presence. Although the maltiness of the 17 overpowers the hops, it is very approachable and is a great after-dinner brew. As strong as it is at 10% ABV, it may even be dangerous. This beer is almost too easy to drink. Unibroue 17 will definitely benefit from a few years of age, and I recommend trying one now. Buy a few more and set them aside and try one a year to see the progress.

 766 characters

Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Dark brown with ample carbonation and a thick brownish head.

Aroma: Strong and malty with hints of raisin and currant. Alcohol warmth shows through immediately. Smooth.

Taste: Smooth and delicious. Raisin and currant flavors show through. Malty. A lot of alcohol warmth though. Rich and complex.

Mouthfeel: Dry and warm from the alcohol. Strong raisin flavor especially. The warmth is almost too much.

Drinkability: Very drinkable but with a few years of aging, the alcohol warmth will fade or disappear altogether.

Verdict: Another anniversary beer from Unibroue that is meant to be savored. It is a young beer and needs a few years of aging to be truly delicious. I know from experience after drinking a bottle of Edition 2005 I had last December.

Pick it up, savor it and get another bottle to age.

 814 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yeasty aroma with a bit of fermentation ale fruit and a little caramel malt. A little apple aroma too.

Darker than previous anniversary beers, not a complaint, just a surprise. Big head of fine bubbles that lasts and leaves very nice lacing. Brown but pretty cloudy when held up to the light.

Flavor is very malt forward with tons of caramel and dark crystal and just a hint of roast. Underlying ale fermentation with more fruit and a little spicy like licorice. Hop bitterness is fairly high but hop flavor is not a factor. Very nice complexity of ale fermentation and malt flavors.

Pretty high carbonation makes it seem light and refreshing and not really all that big bodied which is impressive given th 10% Very lively on the tongue.

Another nice beer from Unibroue. Definitely worthy.

 793 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to pieper for finding this one for me!

Caged and corked 750 into a large tulip.

Pours dark deep ruby brown with massive amounts of ivory foam. Great sticky large-bubbled lace.

Nose is an enticing combination of scents, with tart fruits, dark berry and plum, full floral bouquet, slight candy sweetness, earthy wood, moss, and smoke, and a little sour funk.

Taste is a nice dark blend of flavors, with full roasted malts, crisp tart fruits, mild sweetness, and a smoky finish with a little spice. Some alcohol taste at the finish detracts from the overall flavor, but it's a pretty well done dark ale.

Feel is medium, full but not heavy. Plenty of mouth filling carbonation tingles a little. Slick on the tongue with an alkali feel.

Overall a very tasty beer. Great flavor profile and character, only infringed upon by the high and relatively noticeable abv.

 876 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

04/23/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle both caged and corked. 2008 anniversary release. Poured into my La Finde Du Monde tulip.

Appearance- Clouded chestnut color with ultra fine particles of yeast. One inch plus of large bubbled foam. Easy 1/2 inch of staying power. Very good patchy and chunky lacing.

Smell- Odd and complex. Clove overkill with anise, strong inscence and a very odd scent of rubber fishing worms. Yes fisherman, go to your tackle box and smell those rubber worms and you will get what I mean. Also a mild chocolate malt nose.

Taste- Spiced beyond imagination. Star anise, massive amounts of clove, cinnimon, fennel, prunes and dried plums. Pretty sweet base and the lightest of coffee grounds in the aftertase. ABV seems a bit lighter than stated. Hops peak through in the aftertatse as well. Cola flavoring with a raw corn sryup flavor.

Mouthfeel- Heavy carbonation, fairly creamy and definitely chewy.

Drinkability- Another beer that I don't really know if I like it or not. Definitely overspiced with too much going on. It's like a steak, you don't want to ruin it by spicing it too much.

 1,161 characters

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.

 716 characters

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.

 591 characters

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.

 954 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml poured into a chalice; December 2010 stamped on the side

Pours a murky brown with cherry red highlights. A fluffy off-white cap bubbled up to full finger+.

Smells of brown malt, bread, oak, fruity esters, and a tinge of alcohol.

Spicy pepper, sweet Belgian dark malt flavor with raisins/prunes. The alcohol is very present on the palate, but it's not big enough, and comes on at the right time, where it doesn't really detract from the taste.

Light and airy. The carbonation is close to perfect.

One bottle is perfect, you really don't need any more.

Another great beer from Unibroue and an extremely solid interpretation of the style.

 648 characters

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.

 503 characters

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.

 741 characters

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

Purchased at Vendome Fullerton.

A- Poured into my Chimay chalice, this beer pours an opaque reddish-brown color with amber hues when held up to light. There's a big light tan head that coats the entire glass with sinister web-like lacing as it settles.

S- Spicy Belgian yeast with all the usual suspects: banana, clove, dark fruits, and various spices that I can't exactly pin down. There's also some pepper, lemon zest, and a bit of a metallic tinge in the background. Maybe some bready malt in there too. As the beer warms, the grassy and lemony aromas really come out with some floral notes as well. Really nice.

T- Everything the aroma promises. Lots of spicy flavors up front with a grassy, lemony bitterness on the finish.

M- A medium-bodied feel with prickly carbonation.

D- All the flavors work together nicely and the 10% ABV is well-hidden.

I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to Belgian-style beers, but I found this to be a tasty, drinkable treat. Recommended.

 982 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A + S: A very dark, murky brown topped with a nice, fat, slightly sandy head. A nice point right between foamy and creamy... big bursting bubbles, great to let that aroma out, and oh what a pleasing aroma. Some dark fruit - like raisin/date and spice, somewhat similar to a buttertart. A sugary - but not quite caramel like aroma in there, as well.

T: Raisin/apple and spices, like nutmeg and allspice. A touch biting with the spices, and almost a little tart towards the finish, but still quite nice. It is just the slightest bit foamy, and otherwise fairly rich and full. Quite a notable warming as the alcohol strikes that back of the throat, though before finish, it's covered quite nicely.

D: A bit of a doozy to sip away, but - like a celebration, like its namesake - it's something I'd only do once in a while for the occasion. I will happily enjoy the rest of this bomber, and then come back to it in a month or two.

 928 characters

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

Into a Val Dieu chalice, this pours a murky brown with an enormous, thick, frothy head with great retention. Spicy aroma, quite phenolic, with some underlying sweet toffee maltiness. Nice malt flavor upon first sip: medium roast, very coffeeish. Fairly bitter from the malt character. Yeast character not as strong as in the nose, but there's still some peppery spiciness that provides complexity.

In recent years, Unibroue's anniversary beers have been competent, but rather forgettable, with nothing standing out different from previous years. This year's interesting malt character makes something of a change, though I'd like to see some more adventurousness from them.

 675 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip glass. Pours deep, dark brown with a thick and rocky head. Great retention and lacing. Smell is great, smells like a good Belgian should. Some fruit (apple, pear, maybe some grape?), sweetness, bread, and yeast. This brew has a somewhat earthy taste to it I thought. Some dark fruit, some candi sugar, a slightly (very slightly) bitter aspect on the back of the tounge. I have to say the alcohol was not noticable at all, not one bit. Moderate carbonation leaves a lighter-medium mouthfeel. Overall a great beer. I would have scored higher on drinkability but, although tasty, this beer does have a kick to it and a glass or two should suffice.

 680 characters

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.

 372 characters

Photo of Raymond69
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown , rocky head with good lacing.

Aroma has yeasty toasted malt base , with hunts of apples and dark fruit.

I get a distinct apple pie taste , with cinnamon and perhaps some clove. Alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium with some lingering sweetness. Carbonation is good.

Overall a very nice treat that I'll certainly seek out.

 359 characters

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.

 651 characters

Photo of hoser
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best Unibroue anniversary beer in years ,heck maybe since the first one the 10. A little like my fave Maudite and not as heavy as Le Terrible but a slight licorice spiciness like Le Terrible, I guess my review without getting all beer geeky is a nice blend of le Terrible and Maudite. I bought six the first purchase; note to self by more. Paul please brew the 10 again.

 374 characters

Photo of Quej
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark brown murky beer with lots of tan head.
S - Smells strongly of fruit, yeast and alcohol. Some hops are detectable along with the taste of berries, dirt, tree bark and even plastic. Very odd.
T - Tastes sweet and bitter, lots of malty tastes and fresh hops. Quite sour and notes of bubblegum and fluorine can also be detected in the yeast. Roasty and malty tasting mostly.
M - Thick and bubbly, quite zesty and pleasant.
D - Not so high. Hard to finish this bottle. It's just too weird and strong. Not the best anniversary Unibroue has made, but really good nonetheless.

 578 characters

Unibroue 17 from Unibroue
4.16 out of 5 based on 344 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.