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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 347 |  Reviews: 273
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 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.

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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.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Boisterous pop when uncorked, I know this is a fresh live bottle. Pours out a deep opaque brown, capped by a creamy beige head, although it gets chunky if poured above the rim line, and settles as a chunky sponge as well. Lots of sticky lacing, it leaves its mark.

Aroma akin to that of a winter warmer, holiday spices, incredibly acute toffee malts, with a bit of yeasty citrus zest. It has that familiar Unibroue yeast twang to it as well. Even the alcohol presence warms the nostrils.

Toffee malt uber alles upon the first sip, warmed by the alcohol, accentuated by the spices, yet the toffee actually gains a sugary sweetness upon the finish. Bready coffee/Xmas cake aftertase that makes you wish you could lick the left over batter out of the bowl. I'm not even that big of a fan of baked goods these days, yet it's making me remember back fondly to being a kid. In fact the aftertaste is also similar to rum balls, now that I'm back deep in the zone. The flavour profile has a hepped up holiday character to it for sure.

The mouthfeel is full and coating, but on the lighter side of that spectrum, it's also smooth. There is an alcohol burn on the back of the throat on the finish and aftertaste, almost peppery in texture.

To me it's the most enjoyable anniversary ale that Unibroue has put out since 11 (although 10 still holds the soft spot in my heart, their first one). A nice twist to things as well producing a dark ale this time around, and amping up the flavour and the spices from the yeast esters. It reminds me of a refined Terrible. Very enjoyable, this is the first in many years I'll buy more than one of their anniversary ales, to enjoy now, and to cellar to enjoy later as it ages. If this is the trend that Unibroue plans on following, then I look forward to following along with them once again.

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

It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas( beer that is). The new special release is spiced much like a Xmas beer. The colour is a deep tawny brown with a big head. The nose is pure all spice and yeast.The taste is spicy , Belgian and full mouthfeel. I loved this beer and I felt the spices really set it apart from other Unibroue beers.

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

Apparently its a barleywine?

Pours deep cooper with a big foamy white head, laces nicely to the side of the glass. Aroma of unibroue house yeast, spice and pumkin pie.

Flavor is quite like many other beers from unibroue. The esters and fenols are unmistake-ably similar to other unibroue offerings. Still the malt presence reminds me of a english barleywine with a little wheat malt added. Quite enjoyable. Burps indicate a earthy hop presence, lost in the aroma because of the spice.

The spice presence is so that it could have been a seasonal, like a christmas ale. A very delicious and engaging ale!

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Photo of Graham5161986
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours an attractive hazy dark ruby-brown with a nice 2 finger tan head that has great retention and leaves some nice lacing on my glass.

S: Aroma's of floral hops, ripe fruit and, most of all, an intriguing pepper spiciness.

T: very peppery with rich fruit (raisin, cherry, plum) and a candied sugar flavour that soothes the palate. Quite a nice buttery flavour too that goes very well with the pepper.

M: Thick, rich, and crisp with a nice presence of alcohol. Goes down slightly oily (because of the sweetness) but the alcohol warms your whole body as it goes down.

D: this is a pretty heavy beer to drink. It packs a hefty ABV punch as well. A great sipper - far from anything sessionable...but why would you want to session this beer? Take the time to give it's complex flavours justice. A nice beer from Unibroue.

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

Appearance: Deep brown with an enormous off white head that leaves lace all down the glass.

Smell: Spicy, malty and yeasty, maybe with a hint of brown sugar as well, but mostly malt

Taste: Spicy with a huge malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, a little less carbonation than I would expect.

Drinkability: Considering the strength this beer is dangerously drinkable.

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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 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 dsa7783
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 Black and gold bottle purchased caged and corked from Super Saver in Somerville...
The appearance was really tremendous on this one - a huge, five-fingered, frothy, foamy, and bubbling head obliterated the serving glass, with a deep, dark-brown, mahogany, ruby-red colored hue with obvious carbonation...
Very rich, malty aroma with notes of dehydrated fruits, and sugared candies...
As with the smell, the taste was likewise dominated by a heavy suggestion of sugared malts... Nuances of toffee, caramel, vanilla, esters, and spicy alcohol also present, which slightly burns the back of the throat... 10% ABV is noticeable but not too overwhelming or cloying... this beer would probably do well to sit for a year or too...
Spicy, sweet, candied mouthfeel, drinkability was good but not great, mainly due to the hefty ABV which was detectable...

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

deep, dark brown with a just barely tan head that holds very well and leaves good lace. very pretty. nose is of malt like a belgian brown should be, molasses/dark sugar, and earthy nature smells. taste is well balanced mix of all of the above with a nice, velvety mouthfeel and a pleasant, mildly warming finish. nice beer. pretty much what i expected from unibroue. similar to 16 with a twist of its own.

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

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours half a glass of dense walnut brown body and half a glass of creamy tan head with a strong carbonation of big bubbles to support it. With each sip there is a ring of foam that sticks to the glass for a good bit before breaking up.

S- This beer has a soft brown malt smell with a soft tree bark woody hint in the background.

T- This beer has a dark brown sugar note and a soft prune hint it is followed by soft raisin note and a hint of bitterness that could be from dark malt or hops. The finish also has a note of molasses rum and a coffee bitterness that comes through as the beer warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a silky texture and a light alcohol heat that comes through to clean up the malt flavor.

D- Even though this beer has nice sugary flavor it is not really sweet. This is a good solid Belgian dark ale with some complexity and some nice balance. I don't think age would help this beer but it is nice to drink now.

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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 alysmith4
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Delicious beer! I was expecting nothing less than great, especially from Unibroue, and I was not disappointed. This beer was fresh, well-balanced, and just right.

It poured a nice thick, dark red color with a thick 2 1/2" head. The smell was syrupy and fruity with a slight earthy tone. The taste was creamy and good.. like the flavors described in the smell, only more enhanced. I would definitely have it again.

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Photo of rodenbach99
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big 750ml corked brown bottle

A: nice brownish-reddish amber colour with a lot of undense head that is mid-term long
S: fresh spicy nose,
T: very spicy mouth, long taste, good aftertaste, the yeasty taste in the last glass of the beer is very nice.

I like this beer

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

Pours a dark dense mahogany from a caged/corked 750 ml bottle. Medium sized white head. Nice smell of dark fruit and spices. Not as pronounced as some Belgian Ales, but still noticeable.

Tastes good as well. There is some astringency, bananas/cloves/spiciness and dark fruit...plums etc. The overall effect is a tasty Belgian but a fairly mild and smooth one. No hint of the alcohol, crisp and rich enough in the mouthfeel. Drinkability is good for a beer of this strength.

A bit milder than some good Belgian style ales, but still a good one.

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Photo of gotbeer
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark mahogany with a thick head of fine bubbles.

The smell has hints of overly ripe fruit esters with some spice.

The taste has more ripe fruit, spices, banana, and sweet bread. It finishes with a slight citric note. The fruit tastes come to the front- melon, and tropical fruit. Classic hints of the Unibroue house yeast.

The mouthfeel is smooth with the typical high carbonation of the style.

Drinkability is good for the style. I could definitely take care of the entire bomber.

This is a great beer from Unibroue. Incredible complexity. This one is a winner. Too bad it's not a regular in their lineup. Highly reccomended.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Unibroue promised its fans would appreciate this beer. As a fan, I can attest that they deliver.

Pours a murky reddish brown with the ever so common giant Unibroue head.

The aromas were mostly dark fruits, with hints of banana, and some spices.

The taste follows the aromas with raisins and banana bread. Hints of caramel and maybe some toffee. Bread-like flavors are present the entire time, and the finish is like biting into an orange. It's a very complex brew, and with so many flavors, it could get overwhelming, but someone holds together.

The feel was a bit aggressive, but crisp, leaving a slightly tart taste in your mouth. I couldn't drink a ton of this, but sharing a bottle is nice.

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Photo of brewtal
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 9-02-2008. Black 750ml corked/caged bottle with an elegant shiny golden "17" logo.

Appearance: Black. Brownish hues when held against the light. Thick beige foamy head
with a lace that lives on and on.

Smell: Up front I smell volatiles in the like of fresh ground coffee and torrefaction

with a touch of smoke. Then some hazelnuts.
Deeper lies a very appealing bouquet of ripe dark fruits (berries along with some
blackcurrant) and there seems to be some caramel.

Taste: Pretty much all pf the above. Sweet caramel sandwiched between the fine, sightly bitter roasted malt caracters mentionned above and the profound blueberry-blackcurrent
fruitiness. The roasted sweet caramel turns a little buttery (diacetyls?) as it heats
up, wich is awesome.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, very rich and warming without being syrupy. It has a nice texture all along, especially towards the end of the glass. What surprises me the most though is the very mellow yeasts, considering this is from Unibroue and that it just came

Drinkibility: No trace of the 10% aclool almost 1 hour into the beer. I'd like to see how this ages...

Pairings: I would definetly go with red game such a deer or caribou steak with
cocoa/coffee or blueberry sauce. Blue cheese also and of course chocolate desserts
(chocolate mi-cuit or mousse would be good).

Truly an awesome vintage ale and what i think is a good suprise from Unibroue. A worthy successor to the very good Unibroue 16.
Keep'em coming!

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