Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve
Unibroue

Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve
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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #7
ABV:
10%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,097
Avg:
4.26 | pDev: 10.56%
Reviews:
292
Ratings:
1,176
From:
Unibroue
 
Quebec, Canada
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  117
Gots
  367
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve
Notes: This French oak aged, bottle refermented dark ale has a remarkable and complex flavor profile. Its Grande Réserve appellation is a fitting endorsement of its exceptional aging qualities.
Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 1,176 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GaryStewart
GaryStewart

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened a 2011 bottle tonight I have been saving. Overall, the best beer I have ever had. Tastes like a brandywine I made called Novacaine. Smooth, crisp, pungent and no bitter aftertaste. Smooth, limited head. The smell is more of a light perfume quality rather than a strong alcohol despite 10% ABV. I really liked this beer a lot. Excellent.

Jan 27, 2020
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TooManyGlasses from Canada

4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Christmas dinner 2019 - 2017 Vintage.
Pours a slightly murky yet somehow bright tawny amber to brown with finger of khaki head.
Aromas of caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar, and date. Notes of oak, leather.
Caramel, toffee notes on the palate with date, raisin, raisin bread, Belgian yeast, and just a touch of licorice.. Boozy but not sharply so.
Medium full mouthfeel - sweetness dominates with brisk carbonation and a smooth warming boozy finish.

Dec 25, 2019
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

(750 ml bottle, 2013 vintage; purchased 2 years ago in vertical pack 2013-15, kept on its side in 55 F fridge... split between two tulip glasses... review embellished upon from notes taken 2 days ago)

Reddish-brown liquid, mostly clear; huge build of silky dense foam, capped with dimpled crest.... immediate on nose: leather, prune, grape fruit rollup; then some black licorice and clove spice as the foam falls... on the palate: much drier than the aromas suggest, relatively vinous; subtly rich med-dark malt and caramel; mellow boozy flare in the finish; just dying/mute, far beyond its prime... subtly suede softness to its light-medium body; remarkable how little alcohol heat/warmth shows; could honestly chug it, so light and smooth...

First few sips reminded me of the Gouden Carolus Noel I'd had a few times recently, but this didn't have the same lasting flavor intensity... wondering if the 2013 is just a bit to dried out and dead at this point... not a bad beer, but its flavor expressions faded rather too quick... the 2014 and '15 still have yet to be uncorked, however... I do recall having a current vintage and it being much more vibrant - will update (1607)

Nov 16, 2019
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RobertFCda from Canada

4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The above numbers are for the 2016. The 2017 would rate somewhat lower.

Recently opened a bottle of the 2016. Compared to when it was first released, it is now a more mature, refined drink.

It poured a deep brown. Clear, with a thick slightly amber, finely laced head. The taste was rich malt with notes of maraschino cherry and black licorice (anise). In the mouth it was thick, coating the palate and with a long finish. Personally, I think it benefitted from cellaring.

The 2017, by comparison, was rougher and less refined. Not really much different from first release. It poured the same colour as the 2016, but was cloudy in the glass. The head was basically the same. Taste was malty, but more watered down than the 2016. There was not the same complexity of flavour, with really no other subtleties. In the mouth it was ver similar to the 2016, but not as pleasant due to the less complex flavour profile.

Jun 03, 2019
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BucBasil from South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the 750mL bottle into a tulip glass. The beer is a cola red color, very dark, with a frothy, creamy tan head that is super thick and sticks around a while.

S: Dark fruit and caramel with brown sugar note. Cherry and a sort of syrupy sweetness. Light spiciness and a roasted/toasted woody note. Complex aroma but not too overpowering. Really nice smell.

T: Cherries and a sweet candy note. Yeast and a roasted malt note. An almost medicinal but not - more like the sweetness in kids medicine that is not unpleasant. Spiced rum and dark fruit really strong in the middle. Alcohol evident but not overpowering. Spices and brown sugar round things out. This is a pretty good one, but can get slightly cloying.

F: A nice creamy feel with light carbonation. Fills the mouth.

Overall: This is a great beer from a great brewery. Really hits the style here, matching some of the true Belgians that are out there. Recommended. I would love to see this with more age on it.

Feb 09, 2019
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cardfan212 from Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2016 750 mL bottle into a goblet.

Look - Pours an opaque chocolatey brown with a thick fluffy sandy tan head, almost like a meringue.

Smell - Light floral and earthy notes with some underlying estery sweetness. Surprisingly mild on the nose for its staunch appearance.

Taste - Lots of sweetness, from chocolatey to bready to a slightly marshmallow type taste. Turns over into a smokey wisp with a slight bit of peppery alcohol bite. Simple yet complex at the same time.

Feel - Medium body with a fairly lively carbonation. Slightly too perky for me, but it's fine.

Overall - A fairly good yet understated Belgian ale. I'd rather have a mild and understated beer than something far overblown though.

Feb 02, 2019
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quadmad from Canada

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber from August 2016 (28 months). $11.00 From the LCBO. Served in a Chimay chalice. Decent head; lacing solid on the glass. While waiting for it to warm I could smell the aroma from three feet away. Taste was a little harsh. Another solid BSDA from Unibroue.

Dec 13, 2018
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Beersnake1 from California

4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle cracked in 2018. The cork was almost impossible to get out, but I was eventually successful. Poured from fridge temp, but allowed to warm. Pours a dark brown color with tan head. Nose is dark fruit, toffee, candy, and a touch of metallic notes. Definitely some Belgian yeast in there as well. Taste is very much downhill from when it was fresh. I waited too long. That said, it still has some nice yeast, dark fruit (cherries especially), and nutty notes. Some oak and toffee, as well as some tree sap are there. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall, this was really good but should be consumed within 5 years.

Dec 13, 2018
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dukeandduke from Illinois

4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12/1/18 (Chicago): Bottle purchased in 2013, best before 2/28/18 on bottle, poured into Chimay chalice. Dark ruby pour, generous puffy off-white head leaves generous lacing as it slowly dissipates. Very nice sweet aroma, spices and fruits. This beer aged very well. Roasted malt, raisins, figs, cherry taste. The whole fruit basket, very well blended, slighly spices offsets well. Extremely mellow and smooth creamy mouth feel, carbonation holds well. Excellent beer, one of my all time favorites, well done once again Unibroue!!!

Dec 01, 2018
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cork'n'cage bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Nearly clear dark, dark mahogany brown pour. Light ruby red around the edges. Massive creamy off-white head leaves fantastic lacing.

S: Dark fruits and Belgian candi sugar. Sweet and spicy.

T/F: Toasted malts, Belgian sugars, and molasses. Light cherry, plum, fig, and raisin. Mild spice... with a bit of clove and nutmeg. Mild hopping for balance. Medium bodied and smooth creamy carbonation. More of the above at the finish.

O: An outstanding Belgian Strong Dark. Outstanding flavor and complexity... probably the best beer I've had from Unibroue, which is an excellent brewery.

Jul 08, 2018
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had Grande Reserve 17 a while ago but I am writing from notes that I took. I thought this was a great beer.

Look: dark brown with a thick tan head

Aroma: Sweet dark bread, chocolate, dark fruits

Taste: Sweet dark bread, chocolate, some coffee, and dark fruits, some bitterness and hints of oak, it's a very nice blend of flavors

Feel: medium to full body.

Jan 03, 2018
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours dark brown with a large foamy light tan head. Nice amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is Belgian yeast, raisins and molasses.

T - The taste is raisins, plums, molasses, caramel, chocolate, dark bread and light vanilla.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouth fell with a soft crisp finish.

O - A very nice Belgian dark ale. The layers of flavor are very inviting and the ABV is nicely hidden.

Dec 23, 2017
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LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled in 2014:
L - Deep opaque brown with a medium tan head that sticks around and leaves some lacing behind. The head is very smooth in appearance almost similar to Guinness.
S - Pretty complex. Sweet yeasty, bready malt, notes of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, dark dried fruits. Notes of oak definitely shine through.
T - Follows the nose and is very complex. Sweet yeasty, bready malt up front followed by notes of caramel and chocolate - the vanilla, dried fruits, and oak really intermingle well with everything. Maybe even some notes of rum. I can't really say any flavor comes on more on the back end or the front - everything is mixed in so effortlessly together.
F - medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very smooth and somewhat thick feeling.
O - This is an amazing Belgian ale. It's incredibly complex and rewarding. The notes of yeasty, bready malt intermixed with vanilla, dried fruits, oak, chocolate, caramel, and everything else I've yet to notice come together so well. This is a must try. Fantastic.

Dec 14, 2017
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bigdeuce from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Jesus is this beer complex. Dark, dark, dark. Light tan head that rivals Duval’s. Lacing everywhere. Scents of roasted duck with an okyness and much pluminess. Tasted like oaked cherries and cranberries. Slight apricot with a bit of tartness which is wiped away by the oak. Perfectly balanced. No alcoholic taste but be careful. Two of these may put one on his/her couch in 2 hours. Great beer!

Dec 01, 2017
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Hat_Fulla_Beer from Canada

4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky copper-brown with three chubby fingers of fluffy tan head that leaves thick spongy lace as it recedes.

Smells of sweet raisins, caramel tarts, spiced rum, butterscotch, cola, dried vanilla, new leather, pipe tobacco, barrel wood and candied figs.

Tastes of gingerbread, spiced raisins, more drizzled caramel desert, cloves, more oaky vanilla, stone fruits and mild herbal hops.

Feels rich and silky. Deceptively medium bodied with pleasant frothy carbonation. Finishes sweet.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. The work of masters.

Aug 27, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into a chalice. The appearance was a nice ruddy brown color with a one finger white foamy head that leaves some nice adequate somewhat clingy lacing. The smell had the Belgian spicy sweetness carrying over into a vast array of dark sugar coated candied fruits such as plums and raisins. The taste was exceptionally sweet through the plums and raisins but the Belgian spices tend to take a back seat here. There is a super long sweet dark fruity aftertaste with a long dark fruity and somewhat sticky finish. On the palate, it sits about a medium to heavy on the body and maintains a mostly sipper sort of fashion about it. The carbonation is very smooth and silky coating my mouth and tongue, although, this could be due to the age of this beer as well. Overall, it's a very nicely done Belgian Strong Dark ale that I could come back to.

Jun 28, 2017
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml bottle, served in a goblet.

Pours a semi-opaque, honey-maple with two fingers of lush, cream coloured foam. The head slowly settles to a thin cap with bubbly islets and a solid sheet of thin lacing that eventually fades to a persistent spiderweb.

Sweet nose of malt syrup and butterscotch with fruity yeast, brandy, tobacco, copper and green leaves.

Taste is tart, sweet and richly malty. Lemon juice and damp wood, cherries and allspice, raisins, molasses, vanilla Coke, Sweet Tarts and leafy herbs. Finishes with tart, fruity stickiness on the palate and some complicated fruity yeast in the sinuses.

Feel is creamy and unctuously malty, medium bodied, adequately carbonated and not as boozy as I had expected.

Overall, a subtle and mellow take on a Belgian dark. Low on booziness and barrel character, high on yeasty, fruity complexity with some detectable hopping. This was an excellent beer to sit and relax with after my morning's work was done and before the kids got home from school.

May 03, 2017
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer features rich malt and yeast aromas including prune, plum, fruit, molasses, brown sugar and a hint of tobacco. It pours dark copper brown filled with very fine bubbles that lazily rise to the surface and replenish a 2" light tan foam cap with a very fine bead. It has a mildly sweet, rich malty palate featuring stone fruit, dark dried fruit, fig, molasses, alcohol, spice, a hint of cola and some oak dryness on the finish. Malt and yeast flavors are high. Hop bitterness and flavors are low. The body is medium and the carbonation is above average. The alcohol is mildly warming but not hot or harsh. This is a good choice for sharing with friends.

Mar 20, 2017
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kevofficiel from Canada

4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve 2015 from Unibroue. Got it from a friend.

Look: Dark, cloudy amber color with 3 fingers of foamy white head.

Smell: Raisin, bubble gum, brown sugar, chocolate, malt, cherry, a touch of vanilla. Wonderful smell.

Taste: Sweet bubble gum, brown sugar, malt, chocolate, dark fruit.

Feel: You definitely know that it is a 10% ABV. It kicks you right from the beginning, but after 2 min it is more smooth. Medium body.

So overall would I recommend it? Absolutely. It is one of the best, no the best but one of the best. I think the Unibroue La Resolution is the best but very nice beer overall.

Feb 28, 2017
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AustinWadkins from Iowa

3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark mahogany with a well carbonated opaque head that sits

Smells of rasin, stone fruits, oak,tobacco, leather, toffee, hint of alc.

Taste is sweet, malt, oak, plum, stone fruits, yeasty bread,

Overall an okay beer, not my favorite

Feb 27, 2017
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ClavisAurea from New York

4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage served cold in a goblet

Classic BDSA/Quad dark brown color with hints of mahogany in there. Tons of carbonation with perfect tiny bubbles. Nose was vanilla, Caribbean rum, Angostura bitters, spice, leather, tobacco, raisins and prunes. Taste follows the nose but added a nice drying finish from the oak tannins. The oak additions really added a nice complexity to the beer. This is world class; enough said!

Feb 22, 2017
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stortore from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. 2013 edition, had 10/7/16.

Had this in Feb 2014 without writing a review, got this bottle for $4 the same day I had it.

Pours a dark, cloudy amber, with a one and a half inch foamy head and a good amount of foamy lacing. Very active carbonation. The smell is Belgian yeast, oak, figs, raisins, cherries, some vanilla and malt, light toffee, light spices- clove, for one. The taste opens more with the malt, then oak, raisins, caramel, figs, some plums, yeast, light vanilla. Still light spices, cloves again, but more than the nose. Smooth, very creamy, a good, medium body, slightly too carbonated.

While this undoubtedly was not at its peak, it still drank like a champ. Really well crafted, well layered flavor and aroma. The oak barrels are very apparent throughout. This one is well worth your money.

Feb 06, 2017
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delta490 from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2015 Bottling) A murky reddish-brown with about a half finger of slightly foamy light tan head. It has decent retention and leaves dribs and drabs of slightly sticky tight head. The aroma is quite enjoyable albeit a little mild. It's got notes of dark fruit, caramel sweetness, and just a little yeasty tang. The taste is much the same. The body is towards the lighter end but it's mostly smooth with just a little carbonation.

Jan 21, 2017
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KarlHungus from Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Unibroue's 17 Grande Reserve (bottled in 2013) pours a nontranslucent brown color. The head is a billowy two inches in height, and recedes slowly leaving chunks of lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is big. It exploded out of the bottle as soon as it was opened. It is full of cherries and strawberries. There are some spices that are well integrated into the fruity notes. Cinnamon, light star anise, allspice. The oak is there too. It is also well integrated, and nicely accentuates the fruit and the spice. The taste is spicier that the aroma with more anise and allspice. The fruit is still there, but it is more of a background note. The oak is more center stage too. It doesn't dominate by any stretch of the imagination, but it does lead. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky texture, and appropriately high carbonation. Overall, this is a great beer. It looks great, and the complexity of the flavor and aroma lead to lots of contemplation.

Sep 11, 2016
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fission523 from Washington

4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2013.

Pours a deep chestnut. Lots of carbonation from the bottom of the glass and a half inch beige head.

Nose is sweet, dried fruit, apricot, hazelnut.

Taste is sweet, smooth - butterscotch and toffee. Aftertaste remains sweet and nutty. Coats the entire mouth in a pleasant smoothness.

Very enjoyable, easy drinking. I would be interested in trying an older aged version to see if the flavors develop further.

Aug 20, 2016
Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 1176 ratings