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 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.

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Photo of LutherBrau
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%

Appearance: Deep Brown color with Ruby Highlights. Strong degree of opacity. Off-white/tan finger’s-worth of lacy head that does not dissipate and clings well to the sides of the glass. No visible carbonation

Smell: Rich and bready, subtle roasted malt notes balance well with cocoa tones.

Taste: Rich sweetness all over the tongue but not cloyingly so. Just enough hop bitterness to add dimension to the malt character.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied. Coats the tongue like a cool blanket. No tactile presence of carbonation and slight alcohol warming on the back of the palate.

Overall: I purchased this bottle to celebrate tasting my 500th different brew and the boys up North sure didn’t disappoint. This ale is brewed once yearly and this particular example was bottled in 2013. Past awards include 68 Gold and 8 Platinum Awards in International Judging. This is a beer that deserves to speak for itself. Hunt one down and save it for a quiet, reflective night.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - less then optimal pour produced a thick full three finger creamy white head. Body is a dark mahogany brown. Very hard to see through. The contrast from dark body to brilliant light head is interesting. It is essentially opaque, with ruby hues when held to the light. The head is lingering so long, I am anxious to get a good nose, patience is a virtue. Upon finishing the first class there was ample lacing left behind, great looking brew.

S - intense fruity aroma dominates the nose. whether the yeast or alcohol it all comes together in a raisin prune with slight banana fruit character. Spicyness rounding also to me has tobacco leaf notes. Also pick up a nice dark malt aroma, some roast, lots of sweet barley.

T - Pulled from the beer cellar and drank at cellar temp, giving me an immediate portrait of this beer's beautiful flavor nuances. Very complex and intense flavor, sort of melds all together. Lots of sweet malt, loads of fruit, raisins and plum. Finish is amazing, hop bitterness, alcohol quench, toasty tobacco like the aroma when you toast the foot on your cigar. that taste. I think i get some oak notes but they are subtle if at all there.

M - perfect 10% belgian, has loads of flavor and slow sipping but at the same time a forgiving mouthfeel that isnt too full. Slight quench of alcohol in the finish but by no means harsh. Ample carbonation to almost over carbed.

O - Over all this is a great brew. I think I say that about ever beer I review. But hey, it still is. The taste is on par with most BSDA examples but is less in your face, more subdued, more refined, I would go as far to say elegant. Oak aging must have done that, it does little for the taste in regards to a noticeable BA taste, but it does wonders for the overall beer to produce a mellow, well balanced, delicious big beer.

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Photo of videofrog
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork & caged bottle into a Duvel Tulip. Poured carefully to avoid disturbing yeast sediment. Bottled in 2011. Best by 12-12-16. Served at cellar temp.

A: Dark reddish brown. Cream head that leaves soapy lacing down the glass.

S: Gets more complex as it warms up. Vinous notes, oak, vanilla, bready malt, a spiciness, and some brown sugar in the background.

T: Many fruit notes. Bready malt there again. Very slight hop bitterness. Oak strong in the finish. Banana there as well. Lingering aftertaste has slight tartness with an apple tone.

M: On the thick side of medium. Carbonation tingles the gums a bit.

O: Alcohol still fairly well hidden for a brew meant to mellow with age. One of Unibroue's better offerings, which says a lot. Really wish I had the patience to cellar one of these.

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Photo of acevenom
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours dark toffee brown with a biege colored head that retreats pretty slowly. Some bubbles can be seen meeting the underside of the head. Some lacing is left on the side of the glass as the head retreats. I pick up some apple, grape, cherry, and maybe raisin aroma up front with some spiciness, some of those malt aromas, sweetness, some alcohol, and some of that wood. The taste follows the nose. The fruity aromas I detected like the apple, grape, cherry, and raisin are there. I pick up some of those spices, toffee, dark malt, oak, and some barely detectable alcohol heat. The body is medium with strong carbonation, which is to be expected from a bottle conditioned beer. The finish is sweet, but also clean. This is excellent and absolutely worth the price.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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Photo of jar2574
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass. Nice thick head over cloudy brown beer. Smell is delicious yeast and spices and molasses.

Taste is absolutely phenomenal both out of the fridge and later as it gets closer to room temperature. Sweet spiced malts upfront, maybe a hint of citrus hops to balance it out. A little bit of Belgian yeastiness. Brown sugar and plums. Flavor profile is a little bit like a good rum. A dry, quick finish.

Excellent mouthfeel. Above average thickness and carbonation but it's lighter and easier to drink than you'd think. You could drink it quickly despite the 10 ABV, or you could sip it slow and steady. I could drink this all day and night and will be on the lookout for more of it.

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Photo of avalon07
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a mahogany brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of off white, creamy, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of spices, dark fruit, malt, and yeast.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, raisins, a little fig, spices (cloves, perhaps), malt, and brown sugar. A robust, complex, and well rounded flavor. Everything you expect from BSDA.

M: A high amount of carbonation with a smooth, prickly, lively finish. Medium- to heavy-bodied.

O: Definitely one of the best beers of the style, certainly one of the best to be found outside Belgium. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of geauxnctigers
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Ranz
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: In my whisky snifter, this 2011 vintage poured a deep, verdant brown that created a nice finger of head after a slightly vigorous pour.

S: Clove, apple, hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and thick bready malt from the yeast create an intoxicating aroma. Wow: the refermentation did this some good.

T: A strain of sharp, charred oak makes itself immediately present before sugary fruit flavors--including plum, cherry, slight citrus, and fig--come to the fore. Unbelievably complex, this beer boasts some unique and nuanced flavors. Lovely to sip.

M: Incredibly thick and heavy on the tongue, the mouthfeel does the waltz, slowly, around your mouth when lesser beers would try to move too quickly and stumble around. This beer has the maturity and poise to sit comfortably restful.

O: I love a good dark Belgian, and this may take the top spot as a new favorite. Once again, Unibroue fails to disappoint. Excellent job, chaps.

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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 Svyturys30
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jul_dredd
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of KensWorld
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2012. Outstanding smell, feel and taste! 4.6

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Photo of DaveBar
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

WOW what a beer! Flavour upon flavor. Excellent.

A- Wonderfully dark and cloudy. Tons of head as usual from this company

S- Pungent. Blended well, nothing outrageously stands out. Belgium all the way

T- OUTSTANDING! First sip at 8deg C in a freshly washed and dried tumbler. Malt, complex, expert brewing for sure. Alcohol is completely hidden for this 10% abv. This is a serious beer.

M- Silky smooth. Dry way later on but that should be expected from a hot beer, super pleasant.

O- Wonderful. Everyone should try at least one in their lives. I bought 5 more for the cellar. Only the price keeps the rating from being higher

Thx for reading

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Photo of bshefftz
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of KarlHungus
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of Converge
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet. 2011 vintage.

A - Pours a deep, murky brown hue with ruby highlights. A short-lived tan head of bubbles that quickly settles to a thin skiff of foam. Bits of sticky lace spot the glass, though nothing much. Cloudy, and full of yeasty haze. And as always, I appreciate the nice packaging and presentation.

S - Extremely complex. Distinct Unibroue house yeast is immediately identifiable, spicy, fruity and full of aromatic esters. Dried plum, figs, and lots of medjool dates up front. Even a bit chocolatey, with some caramel as well. Vanilla is coming through strong, and it smells incredible, and is only complimented further by the French Oak and vinous character. There's so much going on it's hard to put into words. A beautiful mix of Belgian spice, Unibroue yeast, oak, fruits, and tons of rich sweetness. No alcohol coming through at all.

T - A remarkable barrage of sweet, spicy, and yeasty. Big sweetness coming from some caramelized sugar notes, complimented by rich vanilla and the complex, estery Unibroue house yeast I've come to love. There's definitely a vinous quality coming through that helps balance the profile, along with resinous oak flavors, almost smokey. Slight cherry notes, along with medjool dates, figs, raisins, and dried plums. Finishes quite crisp and dry, with vinous oak qualities lingering away. Endless complexity. I always appreciate Belgian brews that give me the expected profile with a unique twist thrown in, and for me that comes through with this one in the vanilla/wine/oak flavors. Very nice.

M - Smooth and mild on the palate. For such a rich and sweet brew, it doesn't feel cloying. Fairly heavy on the tongue, with full body and thorough carbonation of fine bubbles, like many Unibroue BSDAs. Crisp, sticky, dry, but minimal alcohol heat.

D - A BSDA with something to say about the style. It seems most European craft beer is rooted in tradition, while American craft is about pushing boundaries. This North American take on a Belgian classic both satisfies my thirst for traditional Belgian ale and gives me something I haven't tasted before. Just another reason why Unibroue is the best brewery in Canada, bar none.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fills a PBGC Aromatic Glass with a clear, old copper (SRM 17-20) beer. The creamy head reaches one inch before depositing a fine coating of khaki lace.

The aroma is a complex mix of spices (mace, clove, cinnamon, ginger) evocative of holiday memories. Dark fruits are also present, including raisins, dates, figs, and dried cherries. A light oak aroma accentuates the spices which dominate as it warms.

The flavor profile follows the nose while emphasizing the fruit. There is a nice, sweet/acidic balance with light bitterness. A lingering finish taunts one to take another sip.

Warming alcohol tends to lighten the body from medium to light while vigorous carbonation roughens a silky texture.

This is an exquisite new world rendition of the style. It elevates the experience of reading or quiet conversation on a cold Autumn day while watching leaves rustle and fall. Bottle number 2012-12623.

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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 kevofficiel
4.58/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Props to andrenaline for including this 2011 vintage in a trade back in the winter. I had planned to age it, then I came across it in a store at home last week, so i'll consume my new purchase and continue to age the trade bottle for at least a year

No. 2011-46532

A - a swampy dark amber brown, thumb of tan head dissipated to a thin covering with significant lacing all around
S - banana, raisin, pear, grains, light molasses and wood, rounded out by booze
T - toffee malt, oakey vanilla, fruity notes of sour apple, cherry, raisin, spice and yeasty esters round out the finish, very complex and layered
M - big body, creamy carbonation, velvety smooth, there is no bite to the high alcohol but a noticeable pleasant warmth from mouth to stomach
O - I don't hand out 5's lightly but this deserves it overall, super complex, easy drinking, just a pleasure every time I take a sip

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No. 2011-146259
Pours out a nice dark murky brown and amber color, very little lights gets through and its topped off with a nice thick khaki head that just created a nice plain of bubbles, and the lacing is awesome. The smell is filled with dark fruit, spices, raisin, coriander (very, very mild) fig and faint strawberry and vanilla come through too. Crisp on the tongue, its slightly bitter overall, but filled with sweet dark fruits and fig flavors. Its got a medium mouth feel and the alcohol come out just a bit in its aftertaste. This one good beer

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Photo of Immortale25
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Honored for this to be my 400th review. Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Label says Best Before 12-12-2016.

A- Pours a murky dark brown color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that bears great retention time before eventually fading to an 1/8 inch head and a thick ring of lacing. Resilient bubbles slide slowly down the glass when swirled.

S- Delightful aroma that's spicy, yeasty and floral with exceptional balance between the three. Slightly soapy, but with a sweetness that's very complimentary. The spices end up being the main component with some faint alcohol trailing behind.

T- Tastes like your usual BSDA but with extra flavor all around. More yeast, enhanced Belgian candy sugar and an assertive but refined alcohol character. There's a light solvent-like rubberiness in the back that ends up tying the whole profile together better than one might expect. The spices are a bit less involved than in the aroma.

M- Very creamy and somewhat sharp from the spice and alcohol combined with high carbonation making for a superb feel. Full-ish body.

O- What a knockout. Definitely the best dark offering I've ever had from Unibroue. If you're a fan of the Belgians, you've gotta try this.

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Photo of ndaniels3
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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