Unibroue 17 | Unibroue

271 Reviews
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:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 271 | Ratings: 342
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.

 351 characters

Photo of mwilbur
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a dark raisin color with 1/2-1 inch light tan head. Decent retention and lacing.
S: Nice fruity esters, dark dried fruit, hint of belgian spice, apple, and green banana. Very good.
T: Lighter than I expected...took a few sips to get into this one. Caramel malt, mild fruit (not as dark here as in the aroma), and hint of solvent. Not nearly as complex as the aroma was promising...bit of a bummer. With warming, a hint of cinnamon honey sweetness comes through.
M: Medium body. Crisp feel. Smooth. Doesn't linger on the palate much at all...bummer. Sweetly sour aftertaste.
D: Another solid brew from Unibroue, but not great. Fairly light and easy to drink, especially with an ABV of 10%.

 737 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I only had the chance to try this beer once when it was new, so I am happy to be able to again, with some age to it. I poured it in to a snifter. Murky dark brown in color, with a pillow like white head, about a half an inch or so. Perfume like nose of lots of dark fruit such as dates, figs, prunes, cherries, and a little bit of chocolate to boot. One can also smell a bit of the alcohol on this beer. Some other reviewers have pointed out that this has a certain red wine quality to it, and I would have to agree. The dark fruit makes an appearance again, with a bit of brown sugar, apple and wood. The size of this beer is pretty in your face in that the alcohol is an integral part of the taste and overall experience. This brew simply tastes sublime, and works perfectly as a sipper on a cold night. I think I still know of a few places that have this beer on the shelves. I plan on getting one or two more, as I assume this one will age quite well...still great right now though.

 986 characters

Photo of DoreenAndDave
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a sturdy head. Beer is quite dark and a little cloudy. Taste is big and complex. A little sweet up front, with some hints of fig and clove. A bitter finish. The taste is complex and earthy. Mouthfeel is heavy, but in a good, velvety way. You can definitely taste the alcohol, but that's ok. This isn't a beer to be consumed quickly. It's rich and tasty. All in all, quite a nice strong belgian-style ale.

 415 characters

Photo of davidw987
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle cellared in my wine fridge for however long I've had it. Drank from a Belgian ale glass. Served at about 60 degrees F. Bottle says it is good until December 2010 (13 months from now.)

Appearance: Mostly clear, brown, not particularly bright, but excellent head with fantastic head retention.

Smell: Doughy foundation with raisiny malt.

Taste: Alcohol is very evident. Typcial flavors for style. slight bitterness on back of tounge aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Mild bite to the swallow, but generally smooth.

Drinkability: I think if this beer had been cooler, it would have had more bite. By all means, drink this a little on the warm side.

 649 characters

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

Pours a wonderfully dense chocolate color with an off white, thick and bubbly one inch head. Retains nicely, lacing...not so much.

The aroma is gorgeous, almost like sweet grape juice and Maltesers. Boozy maraschino cherries. Malt. Figs. Raisins. Oak. Coke. Brown sugar. Spice. Everything nice.

The taste is chocolate covered cherries, brown sugar and spicy yeast, some oak and a nice warming phenolic alcohol in the back of the throat. Some orange pith lingers in the aftertaste. Just very nice and sweet and dry and mildly peppery.

It's medium bodied, just smooth and luscious.

Quite drinkable and goes down easily for a ten percenter. A little on the boozy side, but that just makes it more fun.

I probably prefer the softer, gentler, more readily available (and in smaller bottles too!) Trois Pistole. Possibly I'm just saying that because, nearing the end of the 750 ml bottle all on my own as I am, I'm almost gauranteed to wake up with a hangover tomorrow. Bah.

 973 characters

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

Deep chestnut, mahogany brown colour. Plenty of light brown head. Tight head structure but retention could be better.

Fruity alcohol, figgy, dark fruits. Very sweet malt profile with some yeasty goodness.

Lots of yeast character with peppery phenols playing a large role. Good support from peach and banana. Some dark fruits and caramelly malts. Some alcohol is noticeable. Mostly sweet with a moderately dry finish. There is a slight smokiness is the background which reminds me of some Scotch Ales.

Medium body, high carbonation, creamy. Warming alcohol is definitely there. Very good.

A very good beer with lots going for it. The alcohol is kept in check and while noticeable this is definitely to style. Very good.

 722 characters

Photo of Vaylaus
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Latest bottle opened 11/14/09; Also consumed nearly fresh last year.

A: Cloudy, murky, brownish red with a full head, all the way to the top of my glass.

S: All kinds of good things here. Figs, raisins, spices, and a hint of cola. Spices and cola were more prominent fresh, but they've begun to play nice over the last year.

T: Wow. Creamy, with the dark fruit flavors combining to deliver a somewhat unexpected but extremely pleasant flavor. So hard to pinpoint everything going on here, but it's very, very good. This beer had a spicy, cola flavor when young that has faded to the background now to become a nice compliment.

M: Smooth, for how heavy it is. Nicely carbonated, but not overly so, no complaints here.

D: If it wasn't for the 10% abv, I'd kill another bomber, but after one, I'm feeling it now. If it wasn't on the label, you'd undershoot the abv on this one by a few points.

Like most of Unibroue's bigger beers, this one has aged nicely and is now starting to come into its own. Should be interesting to see if it improves over the next year or two. But plenty good right now.

 1,100 characters

Photo of cfrancis
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to Fred82 for this bottle. Cloudy amber brown colour with an off white head.
Taste is very complex. So many different flavours as I continue to drink. It starts off with the bitter bite of alcohol, nice yeast undertones with dark fruit flavours and light toffee. Aroma is earthy dark fruits and malt along with spice. So glad I held on to this one until number 300. Just wish I had an opportunity to get more bottles.

 425 characters

Photo of mfkr
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark redbrown color, with a beige head that slowly resides and leaves a thick lacing.

S - Really vinous smell, lots of dark fruits.

T - Dark Fruits, raisins, nuts, burned malt, spices, a little bit yeast and some alcohol.

M - Smooth, faint but sharp carbonation. Lots of alcohol burn.

D - A really challenging beer, a little bit to viscous for my taste.

Serving type: Bottle in a tulip glass.

 406 characters

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

Pours a very burnt red-orange colour, slightly purple-tinged. Head is beige and medium thickness with nice small bubbles. Leaves some beautiful lacing that sinks quickly but still nice. Body is hazy and pleasant.

Nose is very wine-like with strong oaky characters, very dark with woody notes, some red grape tannins, plums, sour notes, yeah, some passionfruit as well. Nice, pleasant, although the wood drowns out other aromas a bit. Very good though.

Taste is very complex, with sour notes and a lot of woody characters. Sweet, rich fruit, with plums and grape tannins on there, a bit of a sour soft drink lemon kind of flavour, quite rindy actually, and very dry with the woodiness, yeah a lot of wood, oak mostly, slightly resiny as well. Some raisin characters and even some cola. A bit spicy, but alcohol is very well hidden except for a slight bite at the back. Pleasant, complex enough, very like a good red wine, really. The comparison is unavoidable.

Mouthfeel is quite viscous with good alcohol warmth, very dry on the back though which is a bit of a turnoff. Well constructed though.

Drinkable - is a red wine drinkable? Yes. Is this even better than a red wine? It's beer. Of course it fucking is.

 1,213 characters

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

Pours a pretty dark brown, very cloudy with a massively frothy head of beige bubbles. Very nice lacing. Body looks a little thin. Looks pretty good overall.

Quite a sweet nose. Lots of raisins, and quite a pungent dunkelweizen note. Quite round and full, a little bubblegum, and a hint of phenolic booze. Lots of Belgian notes in here - pretty good and true to style. Very nice.

Pleasant oaky vinous characters on the palate. Really very quite like a heavy shiraz, with lots of grapeskin tannin. Tingly with latent carbonation, and very large notes of booze. Very sharp with heat, but surprisingly smooth. A confusingly delicious beer.

This is a really top drop, and quite unusual. It really does bring an aged red wine to my mind - even the clinging dryness at the end is reminiscent. I enjoyed it a great deal, even though I found it a little challenging.

 860 characters

Photo of imprezawrxsti
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 750ml bottle, found at tipsy's in suburban Denver.

sampled in the mountains, then re-corked and brought back to denver.

this is a serious beer. it looks a thick, nearly opaque brown, even more so when the yeast at the bottom of the bottle makes it into the glass.

i noticed bits of nuts, biscuits, dates, vanilla, slight hops, and whiskey. almost too complex. you do notice the alcohol in this beer (10% abv), but it's not overpowering. one of the best tasting beers i've had. not a session beer though, this is one you break out for a special occasion.

feels like legit beer in your mouth, thick but not syrupy, with a alcohol sting at the end.

yet another excellent Unibroue, glad i snagged the third-to-last bottle at the store.

 751 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chalice, it has towering bone white head on top of a very dark redish brown body. Too dark to tell if the clarity is good but it looks a little hazy. Head settles very slowly leaving spotty lace behind.

Aroma is a delicious mix of raisins, dark bread, and spices.

Flavor is huge and wonderful. Lots of dark dried fruits, warming winter spices, and slight roasted malts. It has a great balance from beginning to end, starting sweet, moving to spicy, and finishing dry and roasty. Some chocolate, caramel, and coffee comes through as it warms.

Mouthfeel is big and robust. Big on body and carbonation but not too much on either. The burn at the end is just enough to remind me of how strong it is. Otherwise, very drinkable. A slow sipper for sure.

Another great beer from Unibroue. I loved the 16 and the 17 lives up to it's promise as well.

 856 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle at cellar temp poured into my stella glass. pours a dark ruby brown color, somewhat murky. a big slightly tan colored creamy looking head. some amazing head retention as well as some really nice lacing.

complex aroma, lots of contrasting flavors going on here. boozy, solvent alcohol, bubblegum/flouride from the yeast, raisons, cherrys, grapes, dark fruits, little bits of roasted malts and chocolate off the intial pour. a pleasent nose.

nice complex taste as well. dark fruits, cherry, boozy alcohol, a little sour, tart like taste. grape like wine taste. a little breadiness from the yeast.

big heavy mouthfeel, nice fine carbonation. a little astringincy in the mouthfeel however. tart mouthfeel. pretty boozy, reminds me of a baltic porter in a way. not much belgium characteristics, but very good non the less.

 833 characters

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

A very powerful brew. Pops with some serious secondary carbonation. Pours nicely into a chalice- very dark. Sweet smell of raisins and other dried fruit. As with most beers or this strength and complexity, it becomes better as is warms- rich tasting- notes of plums and coffee. A big burly beer, best to drink on cold nights. You will need to sleep after it.

 358 characters

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.

 804 characters

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

Muddy brown body, expansive and frothy tan head. Sheet of lace. Sweet, brandy-like boozy aroma with notes lavender. Sweet brown sugar upfront with notes of candied fruit. I am either too overwhelmed, or too lazy to list all of the flavors I am experiencing here...let's just call it complex. Boozy and full-bodied. Reminds me of an English Barleywine with Belgian yeast. The Unibroue Anniversary ales hit the mark every time. Recommended.

 438 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$8.29 for a 750ml corked and caged bottle. 10% ABV. Pours to a cloudy dark brown, forming a thick light tan meringue like head with awesome retention and a solid sheet of lace. Finely carbonated, like champagne. The aroma hits me first with rotting apples, pineapples, mango, melon, and spices...cloves and nutmeg. The mouthfeel is lightly spritzy with a big body. The taste is a recap of the aromas with suggestions of figs and dates, cedar, and kiwi. The alcohol hits me with some fusels, something I haven't ever tasted in a Unibroue product, which historically have been exceptionally clean ferments. Bitterness is very mild and phenols linger in the aftertaste.

Overall, I'm disappointed in this, but I hold Unibroue to much higher standards because they do such an exceptional job. The fusels are abundant and ruin the drinkability for me. This would be an otherwise exceptional beer. Something went wrong with this one. Considering the amount of malt in this brew and the ABV, it likely wasn't controlled and fermented hot. At this point, it tastes closer to Ommegang, which I'm not a fan of.

 1,100 characters

Photo of BigJim5021
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a gigantic head that basically never goes away. Thirty minutes in and it's still a quarter inch thick. Big chunks of lacing too. Just a damn good looking beer.

Aroma is vinous. Booze and grapes with some malt thrown in to boot.

The flavor is all over the place. It starts sweet, spicy and fruity but some nicely roasted malts show up with a bit of coffee-like bitterness. I'm also picking up some oak and vanilla, almost as if the beer was aged in bourbon barrels. And as is the case with most of the Unibroue beers, alcohol is dangerously hidden.

The mouthfeel is beyond medium with good carbonation. It's not prickly, but it's not shy either. It's slightly slick and finishes dry.

This might be the most complex brew I've had from Unibroue. There's nothing about it that I don't like. And while it's not even my favorite Strong Dark that they make, it's still one of the best Strong Darks I've ever had.

 939 characters

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

750ml corked and caged pours into my tulip a dark dark mahogany with a good 2 plus fingers of dense, faintly speckled tan/brown foam. Amazing retention, a nice head throughout and copious amounts of lacing down the glass.

Nose is heavy on the spices, some light esters coming through, a faint earthiness and even a faint touch of ethanol.

I was kind of expecting this to taste a little more like some of the other Unibroue's I've had (Maudite, Trois Pistoles), and while it still certainly had some similar yeast notes, it took a new direction. Lots of spiciness off the bat, raisins, brown sugar - all this with a distinct earthiness that played well off the spice. Alcohol is present but doesn't hinder the smoothness of the body, just a light bite at the end. The eager carbonation that is typical of Unibroue is not overly aggressive in this one.

The more you work your way into this one the more you dig it, at least for me. I can see how with age this would be a fantastic beer worthy of a slightly higher score. As is, a very nice beer.

 1,047 characters

Photo of wheatman106
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear, reddish Mahogany/Maple color, similar to maple syrup. Formed a tight, light brown/beige, 2F head which lasted quite long.

S: Aged/fermented grape aromas, dark fruit, molasses, figs, and moderate alcohol in the background.

T: Maple/sugary opening, moderate alcohol noted throughout. Spiciness and yeast flavor comes through the middle, with spice and alcohol carrying through the middle to finish.

M: Middle to finish was thick and slightly heavy on the tongue and palate. Bubbly crisp carbonation, but not overpowering, comes in at the end giving an exciting finish. Slightly malty and with limited to no hop bitterness.

D: A favorite of mine, this beer provides an exciting experience: complex, but easily enjoyable if you don't want to search out all the flavors.

 788 characters

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip and enjoyed with smoked ham

A: poured dark mahogany and thick like maple syrup, color was deep reddish. 3 finger creamy white head that dissipated rather quickly but left a thick lacing that really stuck around for the tasting.

S: Sweet dark overripe grapes, belgian yeast, sugary molasses, and strong alcoholic overtones.

T: This brew starts off sweet and sugary, setting the stage for what's to come. The middle is spicy and the Belgian yeast flavor coats the mouth. This beer is really creamy throughout until the end where there is a tinge of hops and a hint of courseness, almost reminding you of its 10% abv.

M: Medium to deep. The creaminess here is really unbelievable and really contrasts with the alcoholic finish and aftertaste.

D: This is a good one. Sweet and warming, it really begs you to take more and more sips in order to decipher the complex flavors present and you oblige because it really is that good.

 959 characters

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

750ml bomber: The cork comes out of the bottle with a loud "pop". This one pours an almost opaque dark amber color. There is quite the large beige head on it. It leaves quite a bit of lacing. Nice nose to this one. Caramel, brown sugar, yeastiness and earthiness are the main components. The taste is very good. It is a complex taste, with only a few flavors distinctly coming out on top. Slightly sweet and spicy with a hint of dryness to the finish. Another winner.

 467 characters

Photo of mrmanning
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle- A deep murky brown/orangey pour, with a frothy and thick mocha cap. Good lace left behind. The nose is just incredible on this beer. Huge on yeasty esters, loads of perfume and banana. Like banana cream pie, with nutty malts and deep dark pit fruits. The flavour profile is sweet but balanced. Loads of banana, berries, floral hops and tart yeast. Heaps of spices round it out. This is creamy and very drinkable for the weight. A complete surprise and a real treat. Like banana cream pie in a glass.

 507 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.