Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve | Unibroue

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Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Unibroue
Quebec, Canada | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by MasterSki on 12-30-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
266
Ratings:
1,112
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
22.46%
 
 
Wants:
98
Gots:
351
For Trade:
21
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 1,112
Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent brown/hazel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Superior head retention & above average lacing

S: Pears, Figs & a touch of treaclely booze. Some phenolic notes once warm

T: Follows the nose, some apricot as well, much dryness & a touch of dark candi-sugar up front. Smokey/peaty notes as this warms, figs, a bit of boozey raisin & a touch of brown sugar. Finishes, dry, warming, figgy & with a touch of treacle, nutmeg, cinnamon & raisin

MF: Fairly chewy, light carbonation. Carbonation picks up as this warms, along a general warming feel, but also thins out a bit

A ponderous beer, says it's best before 12-12-2016, I'm sure this will age nicely, not too shabby as it is now, but I was hoping for given its Grande Reserve handle...

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Photo of ajm5108
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 bottle. Very spicey brew. The aroma has lots of clove, with some mesquite bbq and oak. The clove follows through to the taste, along with some black cherry, fig and currant. Lots of dark fruit all around with heavy spice and cola. Inky feel but smooth, not much carbonation but mouthfeel is fine. One of the spiciest brews I have had.

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Photo of Flickerdart
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle labelled as "bottled in 2014," judging from the "best before" label in December. This makes the beer aged a year and a half.

Pours an opaque dark brown with a tan two-finger head. Nose is roasted malts and oak. Taste is very woody, with notes of bitterness - there is none of the sweetness I see in other aged beers. The texture is on the chewy side, and there is noticeable carbonation.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled 2011.

The beer pours a nice dark brown with crimson and near purple tints in it, very interesting. The head is a nice bubbly off white to almost tan head. Pretty.

The smell has a nice dose of sugary and spiced dark fruits,cinnamon and apples. Nutmeg and a touch of malty alcohol as well. Figs and sugar coated raisins. Not overly aromatic or unique.

The taste is nice and follows the smell very nicely, with some definite Belgian style yeast notes to it along with the dark dried fruits and toffee, some really cool underlaying spice. Some bitter notes too, interestingly in a fruity way once again. Taste doesn't explode with flavor as I'd hoped, but it is nice and pretty in line with most unibroue beers.

The feel is ok, more bubbly than I'd like and sort of thinner too. Way too prickly!

Good, but I'd prefer much easier and cheaper beers from unibroue better too. Maybe it's too young yet, it's hard to tell.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage, No. 2013-084791. Poured into a goblet. Haven't had a Unibroue in a while and I am rather stoked. A murky root beer brown brew with around five fingers of rich beige head, holding its form well. Aroma is malt-forward and spicy, prunes and raisins, toffee, rum, and strong bready yeast. Good old Unibroue yeast, a fungus that doesn't play around, grabbing your olfactory bulbs and tongue to show you who's boss. Flavor profile includes brown bread, cinnamon and nutmeg, sassafras, coriander seed, applesauce, dry parchment, and a tiny nip of chocolate. There's a decent earthy hop note and the tannic oak dries things out ... Rather hot and woody, I bet this would age well. Fortunately, the sweet and spicy flavors are not overpowered by the wood and aromatic alcohol. Moderately chewy body with fairly aggressive carbonation. Finishes quite dry, with some sour fruit and earthy spice lingering in a most pleasant fashion. I love the laundry list of phenolic flavors one can find in these beers. A wonderful Belgian strong with great yeast character, as expected from this brewery. My own tastes might dictate some additional aging next time.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy brown color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Dark fruit nose and flavor is semi-sweet dark fruit and oak. Some yeastiness in finish. High ABV is hidden. Good dark ale but Unibroue's Trois Pistoles is better and cheaper. $11.99 for a caged and corked 750ml bottle from The Meat House Pembroke, NH.

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Photo of mmapes
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage traded from Andrew (thanks!), drunk in November 2012.

Pours dark reddish brown, hazy -- kinda ugly, actually, but who cares? Good fizzy head.

Smells of dried fruits and malt, maybe even a little vinous.

First sip is not too sweet, even bready. Has either high acidity or effervescence. The finish has lots of dried fruit like plum or raisin.

Second sip is rounder, sweeter, fruitier up front. Toasted malts add a "baked" flavor, but it isn't smoky. Maybe a hint of brown sugar.

There must be some hops in there, but they don't stand out -- appropriate to the style.

Tasty. A bold, sweet, strong sipper. Right up my alley. Would buy again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 Derek
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought the original 17 Anniversary was a bit spicy, this one was the same, but not quite as phenolic.

Very bubbly, pours with a huge head. Good retention, leaves a bit of lace.

Spicy, boozy aroma prepares you for the taste. Alcohol is very forward. I think this one could definitely benefit from some age.

Well-attenuated, highly carbonated, dry finish.

It'd be interesting with some age on it, or back-to-back with the original for comparison.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium dark brown color with a slight haze and a faint red orange highlight when held to light. Good sized tightly bubbled off white head persists forever. Smells of raisins, dark sugar, caramel, clove, banana, and a bit of ethanol. Lightly spicy with a bit of red wine and vanilla. Nice nose. Taste is mostly sweet with a bit of sugary and caramel interspersed with lots of dark dried fruits. Spicy yeasty phenolics mix with a bit of warming alcohol to form a long lingering sweet finish. Over the top level of carbonation, medium body with a bubbly sweet mouthfeel. Nice tasty beer but has that signature Unibroue sameness. Caramel and dark dried fruit with too much carbonation that tries to ruin the mouthfeel. Glad I tried it, I don't think I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of Strix
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky reddish-brown with a good head.

Smells of the typical unibroue yeast, plus clove, cinnamon and sort of a leathery note.

Typical unibroue yeast and dark fruits, but heavy spice notes, including clove, black pepper and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel carbonated and slick.

Overspiced for me on this one. I have high expectations for Unibroue, so this one was a bit of a disappointment. Just wasn't feeling the flavor profile.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, a Belgian like a wine. Well and complex malting. Not too sweet, very drinkable. Though not spicy, it has a richness of taste that was a mealin itself. Light chocolate, decent yeastability, better than Unibroue I have had.Dark thick brown, above average mouthfeel.

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the PRF BBQ tasting soiree, full pour into a tasting glass. Thanks to Marsupialized for the generous heavy pour early in the evening, and Peppers/EmpireStateTroopers for hosting!

Appears a murky mahogany brown, turbid with yeast, with cappucino stained foam.

Nutty malty aromas, dried fruit - raisin, currant, dates, some vanilla and oak traces. Flavors follow suit with a low level amount of oak in the background, dominant Belgian yeast lending clove and spice, candi sugar stickiness, and some residual dried fruit in the aftertaste. Full bodied, though it comes off a little thin in the finish. It does seem well suited for cellaring a year or two. A tasty BSDA, and it was nice to get a chance to try it.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage finally available at anbl. Yes! Poured into an Orval tulip. Who cares.

A - pours a light brown, dark caramel colour. Little carbonation, little lace around the edges.

S - boozy, musty red wine, dark fruits, dates, very sour smelling.

T - sweet and sour candy, booze, more winey dark fruits. Tastes linger and are complex but I can't put my tongue on distinct flavours too well. Classic Unibroue belgian taste.

M - fizzy yet smooth, love the warming alcohol as it goes down.

Overall, not the greatest BSDA I've ever had, but I do enjoy the balance of sweet and sour. I'd probably take a Chimay Blue over it, but considering I can't get that in NB, this is a great alternative (though it is $13 a bottle, compared to Unibroue's other $5.88 bottles,

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1" tan coloured head over brownish/amber liquid.

S: Yeast, pears and figs.

T: Oak, yeast, figs, pears and caramel.

M: Medium to full viscosity and a high level of carbonation, with some drying from the alcohol.

O: More on the bitter side than sweet, this Belgian Strong Dark Ale is quite complex. For my money, though, I prefer Terrible.

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Photo of sjccmd
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Savory malts, rich, and sweet in the aroma. Coriander, fruit cake, cinnamon, honey. Hints of french toast, perhaps some diacetyl. Dark fruit aroma increases as it warms. Oak and vanilla become apparent as well.

Dark brown with amber highlights. Light tan head. Good lacing and retention.

Rich sweet malts, dark fruit, some bitter chocolate. Vanilla oak character. The oak seems to mellow the fruit I typically find in Unibroue beers.

Medium body, high carbonation. The oak seems to add body. Somewhat silky, but bright and spritzy as well.

With the oak mellowing the fruit character, I feel like I'm missing one of the things I like about Unibroue. Still great, complex, but not cloying.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

According to the brewery's website, this is the exact same beer as Unibroue 17 and I have put in a request for the two entries to be merged. However, since I had this out of a bottle labeled as Grande Reserve, I am entering the rating under this entry.

The beer pours a brownish color with a white head. The aroma has a ton of dark fruit in it, as well as a little bit of toffee. The flavor is a little more complex, with some oak and cherry notes complimenting the cherry and alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

This bottle was drank alongside an original Unibroue 17, which had developed more dark fruit and yeast components during its aging period.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done belgian dark . . . Didn't expect anything less from Unibroue. Honestly though, I had concerns about the the carbonation issue I've heard about. Fortunately, my bottle wasn't affected by this problem. Although far from my favorite offering in this style, Grand Reserve 17 is still solid, delicious, satisfying and I'm glad I picked it up. Aromas of dark fruits as well a touch of apple butter. The oak barrel aging complements this style very well . . . Nice oak flavor and barrel character. Feel is smooth and buttery for a Belgian. That's my take on it.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Pours a red-tinted chestnut brown colour. Nose offers sweet notes of sweet, dark dried fruit and baking spice. Taste is similar with notes of cinnamon, raisins, booze and Belgian yeast spice. A big sipper for cold evenings.

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Photo of Intrinsic
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle No. 2011-52013

17 pours a dark reddish-brown with a nice thick head that lasts forever.

Smells of sour cherry and raisins with a little spice thrown in for good measure. Lots of malts. The taste is similar, with a strong sweetness showing through up front. Quite complex. It's quite fizzy as well, with a dry finish. Overall, I would buy more of these if they were easier to find. Damn good beer.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours hazy brown with a good amount of creme head. Good retention and lacing.

S: Very nutty upfront with lots of the usual Unibroue spices: cloves, pepper, cinnamon. Then, a good amount of dark fruits and raisin bread.

T: Starts off with the maltiness with notes of brown sugar, maple. Then the dark fruits come with the figs, raisins, plums. Wraps up with the spicy notes as well as the tannins from the oak that brings a light earthiness.

M: Light and fluffy like all Unibroue beers. Lots of carbonation and pretty light body.

O: This is a pretty good beer, but I'm definitely sure it would benefit from being aged a bit.

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Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 version, consumed on 8/13/16, so it's nearly 5 years old.

A: Poured from the 750 ml, caged-and-corked bottle (which took a lot of work to open - the cork wouldn't budget and then we broke it off before using a corkscrew to open it) into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is chestnut amber, then a bit orangey-amber when backlit. Small khaki-colored head on top.

S: Some brown sugar, ripe apple and hints of plummy raisins.

T: First impression: ripe apples and raisins. Some prune. Tannins and vanilla from the oak too. Oddly enough, the 10% ABV is completely not noticeable, though I do get a drying feel at the end of the sip.

M: Very smooth and mellow. Carbonation lacking; it's almost flat.

O: Good. Curious as to how it would've tasted when younger, but it's clearly aged just fine.

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Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with some ruby showing through the edges under a small thick tan head that leaves no lacing.

Aroma is dark and fruity but has more spices than I was expecting with some peppery notes and Belgian yeast. Also some clean fresh oak. The fruits are booze-soaked raisins and figs.

The taste starts wih the dark fruits but has an interesting toasty character to the malt profile. Then the fruity esters take over and some figs, raisins and spicy oak. The finish is a combo of sweet fruit and dry peppery spices.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated with lots of dry oak on the palate as well as brown sugar and molasses sweetness.

This is a really nice Belgian beer from Unibroue though not one of my favorites from them. Big, complex and woody.

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Photo of jburley2
4/5  rDev -5.4%

2013 Bottle 750 mL
A: Somewhere between a dark amber and a pale brown
S: Figs with a little bit heat
T: Abundant sweetness with figs, oak and a little bit of boozy heat at the end
B: Thin body with nice carbonation
O: More subdued than expected but not to a fault, would drink again

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked/caged bottle poured into a pair of large snifters

Pours dark nearly opaque brown. Medium head, slight accumulation of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Smell is fruity and sweet with a slight yeast and alcohol odor.

Taste is dark fruity and mildly sweet -- some dates and black licorice. Some yeastiness in there, too. Some slight tartness. Maybe some plums.

Mouthfeel is airy and light. Overall, this is nice to drink.

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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
94 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.
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