Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve | Unibroue

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Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Unibroue
Quebec, Canada
unibroue.com

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
Ratings:
1,142
Reviews:
276
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
10.85%
 
 
Wants:
103
Gots:
366
For Trade:
19
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,142 |  Reviews: 276
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 269 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dried fruit, dark fruit, spice, wood, earth, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly tart malt, dark fruit, spice, vanilla, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a nice mix of malt, fruit, and earth qualities all around.

 667 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

these guys can do no wrong in my opinion, so this beer is obviously fantastic. it came at what i thought was a reasonable price at under 13 bucks for a big boy. it pours a rich mahogany maroon color with a very excited head rising to as tall as three inches in my tulip glass. it smells very oaky, and has notes of dark fruit, dried cherries, sauvignon grapes, and vanilla. the flavor is rich and fit for a king, with the fruit and yeast combining in a way that only unibroue can pull off. its deep and complex, lots of fruit but not too much sweet. the alcohol is very well hidden behind the curtain of autumnal flavors and oak. the wood in this beer is perfectly complimentary to the other flavors, its awesome. feel is heavier in body but somehow airy, partially due to the effervescent head. i like this a lot, and would have probably paid another four or five dollars for this bottle. id like to get another and cellar it just to see what happens, if i can be patient enough...

 982 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish brown in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige colored head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits and maty sweetness are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of dark fruits-prunes seem to stand out in particular-along with notes of Belgian yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an incredibly complex taste that makes it a pleasant to sip, although its also very drinkable since it hides its alcohol very well from the taste.

Note: Bottled in 2011

 692 characters

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

The super spicy and toasty fruit character that Unibroue celebrates best are all on display in this 17 Grand Reserve. Few breweries achieve such character and drinkability, even the most highly regarded ones from Belgium.

The strong dark ale pours with a hazy appearance of brown rust with copper highlights. The highly effervescent beer shows a lot of zest as it releases a dense and creamy slight tanish head that stops shy of rocky proportions. Along with tremendous staying power, the foam laces the glass in sheets. ...very impressive!

Perfumy aromas wrap around a strong herbal component of lavender, rosemary, and chamomile. A ton of these spices, whether additions or derived by yeast, are the decorations that bring life to the underpinning of toasted malts, vinous wines, charred fruits, and freshly cracked black peppercorns.

The spicy dominance also plays out in taste as the medium malt richness and sweetness is quickly surplanted with grilled apples, dates, figs, and chestnuts. Sharper flavors of peppercorn, toast char, and alcohol gain intensity as the beer moves across mid palate and into finish. The spices continue to play on the flavor spread in a somewhat smoky and soapy way.

Medium bodied throughout, the beer's creamy malt texture is aided by carbonation that lightens the body but not in the highly effervescent champagne kind of way that I expect. Instead, the malty rich textures develop into a highly peppery, spicy, and alcohol warmth that dries the beer as the malty-dry mid palate digresses.

Even the tannin woods play on the flavor profile with a spicy oak taste and a somewhat dryish astringency that creates a slight powdery texture to accompany wood spice and sweetness. This Grand Reserve is a masterful beer that deserves much praise- certainly in the upper echelon of the Unibroue staple.

 1,836 characters

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

750ml caged and corked bottle, 2011 edition. A crazy-ass offering to find at the local liquor store monopoly concern, but, I guess I shouldn't complain. Ok, I will, but with a slight sidestep - what is it with these pseudo Champagne corks lately? I don't remember having to break out the pliers and corkscrew so often, and not that long ago. So get the hell off my lawn too, while I'm at it.

This beer pours a cloudy, dark ruby amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, silken, and foamy beige head, which leaves a pockmarked wall of painted lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away. Nice.

It smells of dark, juicy fruit - bruised banana, wet raisins, fig - Belgian yeast with that French Canadian twist, caramel malt, somewhat boozy vanilla, a bit of astringent woody phenols, and earthy, musty hops. The taste is most certainly Christmas cake-like - caramel and vanilla, a bit of sweet breadiness, soft baker's yeast, figs, raisins, apple and cherry chunks strewn throughout - all doused in a nice red wine essence, with the oaken woodiness and tannic astringency balancing out the underlying sugary notes beautifully. Sigh, more please.

The bubbles are present, functional, and quite knowledgeable about right of way, the body a hefty medium weight, and smooth enough amongst some minor yeasty and boozy tugging. It finishes rather sweet, the bready caramel malt, attendant spices, and fruit still holding sway, with the understated barrel character contributing just enough to help, and not overwhelm.

Erm, well, WOW! Barrel (maybe?) treatment with a subtle touch, for my favorite (thus and by far) of Unibroue's anniversary offerings. What's not to like? Smooth, subtle, and beguiling, and in one of my favourite styles. Zut alors - je vous aime, je veux être avec vous pour toujours!

 1,801 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Expectations are high given its current ratings and the brewery - which I usually like. Bottled in 2011. ABV confirmed as 10.00%. Best before date 12-12-2016. Reviewed live. Acquired at Red Carpet Liquor in Glendale, California. I don't recall the cost.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I used pliers to remove the cork, yielding a satisfying pop indicative of solid carbonation.

A: Pours a four finger head of beige colour, nice cream, nice thickness, and incredible retention for the high ABV - at least five minutes. Colour is a semitransparent dark amber. Fairly translucent.

Sm: Quite yeasty, with noticeable oak, dry white wine, a vague hint of what might be peach, spice, vanilla, and clean malts. A masterfully subtle, mild strength aroma.

T: A clean malt foundation backed by a nice oak tone, with lees and yeast at the forefront. Spices aid the balance. Some vanilla - especially on the climax, and hints of cacao about the climax and finish. No alcohol comes through in the taste - which is quite an accomplishment. No white wine; I may have been mistaken about that note. Light cream on the open. Reminds me of a witbier somehow. The yeast is delightfully layered, with some earthy, some spicy, and some biscuity. Masterfully subtle and quite complex. Exceptionally well balanced. I like it, but it's a touch too sweet, lessening the drinkability.

Mf: Fizzy, slightly coarse, and wet. Too thick. Adequately carbonated. Something's off about the mouthfeel, preventing it from complementing the flavours well. It just doesn't feel right. Light on the palate.

Dr: Absurdly drinkable for the high ABV, but it'll be difficult to kill this bottle. The sweetness wears away on me, and I find myself getting tired of the beer over time. I doubt I'd get it again. If I had it again, I'd want an aged version. Best consumed in smaller quantities. Not Unibroue's best beer by any means, but enjoyable.

B-

 2,182 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 723 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A beautiful pour, with a three-fingered ecru head; the auburn liquid is just a shade too dark to see through but the head leaves a curtain of lace

Smell: Caramel malt, dried fruit (dates and figs), brown sugar, apple, oak and spice cake flavors

Taste: Up front, the caramel, dried fruit and spice cake flavors blend nicely with a slightly vinous character adding complexity, in the middle; the finish displays some tart flavors, though the sweet tones that dominated the aroma and presented themselves, up front, linger underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A nice take on the BSDA style by Unibroue; the tartness in the middle is an intriguing twist

 713 characters

Photo of oline73
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

The beer pours a murky mahogany color with a finger of fluffy off white head. The head sticks around nicely. The small and taste are both super oaky. It's like drinking a dark Belgian ale in a workshop. There are some sweet sugar and dark fruit undertones in the smell. The flavor is more balanced, but still dominated by the oak. There is a nice dark fruit component and just a slight sweetness. There is a mild Belgian spice in the finish. The abv is not at all apparent. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side and the carbonation is quite smooth. The finish isn't as dry as I would expect given the oak level.

 659 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dmorgan310
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of superspak
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 12/12/2011. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, apple, pear, molasses, brown sugar, toast, toffee, caramel, herbal, banana, pepper, clove, cinnamon, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big complexity and great balance of malt and fruity esters. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, toast, herbal, banana, pepper, clove, cinnamon, light oak, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, toast, toffee, herbal, banana, pepper, clove, cinnamon, oak, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark malt, spice, and fruity esters; with zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, earthy, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight warming noticed well after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Belgian strong dark ale! Big complexity and balance of malt and fruity esters; and dangerously smooth to sip on. An absolutely top notch offering all around.

 1,416 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,142 ratings.
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