Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve | Unibroue

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Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

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

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Ratings: 1,140 |  Reviews: 275
Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zekenyce
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dd43
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Popped a 2012 bottle for a quiet dinner with the family. Poured a pretty opaque muddy brown with a light tan head that faded to nothing. Minimal lacing thereafter. Slightly too turbid for me to call it an attractive looking beer. Aromas of baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. An earthy quality as well, almost gourd like. Flavors added in Belgian candied sugar but not as big as a tripel or quad, less sticky sweet than that. Vanilla and cherry from the oak barrels this was aged in. There was a woody note that sort of dried out the finish, which was nice. I would call this a really good beer, but I'm not jumping on a world class bandwagon. It was well aged at over 4 years but I don't feel like additional time would have added any complexity. No oxidation that I could detect.

 785 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A great ale (2013 vintage) and worth the price (which is high praise coming from a cheapskate like me.)
Looks like a Unibroue dark, full head and persistent bubbles.
Smells like vanilla, but the rest is too complex and too much work to un-pack... so I just enjoyed.
Taste is easier (but still no exegesis): roasted malt whose semi-sweetishness is balanced by 35 IBU.
Feel is full.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 More Beers To Try Before You Die" (published 2013), a sequel to his CAMRA classic. As usual, he gives precise tasting notes and a well-researched review. Protz' also tells me something I did not know: that Unibroue was bought by Sapporo in 2006. Then he tells me something I did know about, perhaps, my favorite North American brewery: there "has not been any diminution of the quality or character of the beers." Certainly true for 17.

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Photo of 6thstreetbrewpub
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PatrickG
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of craigbelly
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sjccmd
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 691 characters

Photo of KGilmour
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of yasky
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MrHolden
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JoLight
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: burnt orange/copper body, lots of bubbles steaming up the glass. Thick, light khaki head that retains very well and leaves nice lacing. (The yeast at the end clouds the color right up.)

Aroma: strong alcohol, black pepper; some kind of dark fruity aroma, like Pinot Noir.

Taste: Dark, heavy malt; a little dark cherries; a little prune or raisin; black pepper; Pinot noir.

Mouthfeel: thick, with some carbonation.

 429 characters

Photo of Ristaccia
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GDawgs34
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VABA
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mademers
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheDoctor
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Service: Bottle
Best before: Dec-8-2017 (consumed Feb-15-2016)

Pours an opaque ruddy brown with a massive, fluffy beige head that sticks around before dropping to a finger or so. Very good retention; lots of rings of lacing. (4.25)

Bright red fruits and some earthy yeast notes. Cherries, warm bread, slightly sweet, slightly tart, some oak coming through earthy berry/cherry aromas. (4.25)

Dark, crusty bread with bing cherries. Basically just cherry juice with some wood and some dirt and some rich crusty flavors thrown in. (4.5)

Fluffy, puffy froth with a nice full body and a slight finish. (4.25)

Really fabulous beer. This is a big one, meant to be sipped and savored. Pours lovely, drinks lovely, smells lovely. Would be hard to not guess that it was Belgian if you didn't know any better. Lots of berry kind of flavors. The wood comes through is a pleasing supportive role. All in all: a great beer. (4.25)

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Photo of siscokid79
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sposter4
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WanderingFool
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CRObighit2
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bcarlos
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Every year for the past few I've cracked open a bottle of Unibroue's Grand Reserve after sitting for a year in my cellar. I'm convinced this beer is meant for aging.

I had the pleasure of touring the Unibroue facility last year in Chambly and was interested to hear the back story to this beer. Originally, it was brewed as an internal-only brew, and grew some legs when the brewer entered it in a regional competition. Within a year, it had made it to the big stage, and took home best Belgian strong ale in the world in 2011 at the World Beer Awards.

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Photo of cgwami
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Haydn-Juby
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: A murky brown topped with a finger of beige head. A bit of lacing and decent retention.

S: Aromas of dark fruits - think apricot and over-ripe banana. A bit of clove and signature Unibroue yeast. Brown sugar.

T: Slightly sweet but very well balanced. Very much like the aroma. It's complex on the palate and delivers notes of caramelized dark fruits. No abrasive alcohol, and the beer drinks incredibly smoothly. A bit of clove. Almost like a fruitcake in beer form. I don't get much oak, except for maybe just a slight toasty note in the finish.

F: Just about perfect but maybe a bit lacking in carbonation. I feel as though just a bit more would help dial back the sweetness. Not syrupy at all despite the high abv.

O: An absolutely fantastic beer. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a truly world class Quad, or anyone looking for a great beer in general. Rarely do you find a beer sitting at 10% with an ABV so well hidden. The oak note is forgettable but the beer overall is extremely complex and something to be relished.

 1,048 characters

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,140 ratings.
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