Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve | Unibroue

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
266 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 1,112
Photo of AgentMunky
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Number 2011-109047. Best before 12 December 2016.

A: Significantly foamy head (great retention) tops a mahogany opaque beer.

S: Musty fruit...a touch of tobacco (stale yeast? lees?). This earthiness might actually be oak.

T/M: Mmm! Excellent. Smooth, full, round, and quite tasty. Lightly tart dark fruit (prunes), spicy Belgian yeast. Creamy, but reserved (no pun here) with a robust, dry finish. Spices added are obvious, but not obtrusive...clove and coriander mayhap? The juxtaposition between sharp and smooth, fruity and spicy is just great.

O: A pretty great beer. Way better than I thought it would be. Highly recommended. Want to have again. If you can find it, buy it.

 739 characters

Photo of txbrewer
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice dark brown that you can barely see through (only on the edges). No real lacing from the light tan head.

S - Malty - good malty - delightful malty. Did I mention that nice malty smell. A very mild hop could be found hiding underneath. Some chocolate notes were hiding out in the back with the mild hops.

T - The nose and taste matched. That wonderful malt comes up and is backed by a almost chocolate like bittersweet that I really enjoyed. The hops take a back seat (way back) and that is just fine by me for this malty goodness.

M - Not too thick, not too thin. It is all around and floats throughout quite happily. The lower bitterness with the full frontal malty, cereal sweetness makes this all the much better in the hot summer days.

D - Yes, and then again, and then once more because you found out there was still some more in the bottle. Sipped on this gem while prepping food in the kitchen. Made the time go by so easily.

I asked the 'Beer Guy' at the store about it and he said smooth Chimay Blue that has been oak aged. He is quite knowledgeable on what he sells and he was dead on with this one. The fact that it was also on sale made even that much better of a find. I am going to try and get another bottle or two just to put up in the back of the fridge.

 1,284 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. No. 2011-117741.

Served at slightly cooler than cellar temp into a goblet.

Grande Reserve is a beautiful red amber color with less than perfect clarity. The head is thick at first but settles to just a thin layer. No lacing is left behind.

Aroma is sweet, oaky, and complex. It has dark fruits and spice notes with vanilla elements from the oak aging.

Flavor is intense and complex as well. Cherries and plums mix with pepper and clove. Oak seems to bring vanilla, tannins, and a red wine character as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and strongly carbonated. Alcohol is certainly there but it doesn't seem all that strong for such a young beer.

Overall another fantastic offering from Unibroue. I wouldn't expect anything less from this brewery.

 766 characters

Photo of Sharkophile
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a goblet from a 750ml bottle split with a friend. Opaque brown color with a small tan head that dissipates but leaves some lacing and residual foam. Reminds me of Rochefort...

S: Absolutely amazing nose. Fruit, roasted flavor, with some yeast spiciness, oak and alcohol. Complex.

T: Woah. Opens up with an onslaught of Unibroue's signature fruity (fig, raisin) and spicy (cinnamon) characteristics. Roasted flavors (chocolate) are there as well and add to the complexity, and the finish is fruit again and subtly oaky with spicy and vanilla-esque flavors with a bit of spicy alcohol. Dry.

M: Good mouthfeel, creamy and carbonation lends to the finish (I think).

O: A ridiculously complex, delicious beer. Very very happy I got to try this.

 758 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up during a trade with misterb303 while in Denver! Bottle #2011-118242. Cloudy mahogany pour with a creamy two finger head with decent retention and great lacing. Wonderful woody, spicy, complex nose. Lots of oak along with hints of dark fruit, toffee, caramel, vanilla, and just a touch of banana. The taste is just as big and just as complex. The oak is once again the star, with hints of nuts, raisins, black cherries, figs, tobacco, maple, vanilla, and brown sugar, with just a bit of cocoa, cinnamon, and booze. The mouthfeel starts off with moderate carbonation, but as it comes to temp, it becomes slightly chewy with a great subtle alcohol warming. Don't drink this too cold. This beer definitely lives up to the hype and I'd love to get my hands on another and leave it in the cellar for a while.

 817 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I poured this out slowly resulting in only a thin finger of head and minimal lacing. The colour is a deep mahogany, mostly clear except for a little suspended sediment.

S: Up front over ripe dark fruits, raisins, cherries and prunes. Scents of dried fruits soaked in bourbon rum, and smooth bourbon vanilla. Bread and yeast mingles giving hints of fresh banana bread. Finishes with a slight hint of alcohol.

T: Sweet dark cherries and prunes mingle again with smooth bourbon vanilla, probably as a result of the oak aging. Mid palate there are some rich smooth coffee notes, and finish with a slight hint of warm alcohol.

M: Medium bodied, an excellent mix of carbonation and thin syrup coating. Enough left on the palate to insist on more.

O: The dark fruits paired with the oak aging creates depth and richness in both the flavour and on the nose. Unibroue proves once again that it can tip the scales from great brew to excellent. It's well worth picking up a few bottles, sniff, sip and enjoy.

 1,008 characters

Photo of 4balance
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No. 2011-101432 (best before 12-12-2016)

750ml bottle poured into an Ommegang glass. Dark cloudy amber color with 2" tan foamy head with nice lacing.

Distinctive Belgian yeast along with musty wood, spices, dark fruit and alcohol. Reminds me of a wet forest to some degree.

Tastes like the inside of a wet musty oak barrel, belgian yeast prevails with tons of spices, clove, cinnamon, cracked pepper, touch of salt, dried dark fruits; fig, dates, raisins, slight amount of chocolate in the background, roasted malts and alcohol. Plethora of flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little bit of creaminess, nicely carbonated with slight alcohol burn, flavors linger quite a while.

Overall I am really glad I tried this one, mighty tasty. Unibroue never disappoints, if you haven't tried this I would highly recommend it. Would like to see how this one ages.

 865 characters

Photo of arizcards
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from Total Wine in late August for $12.99. Bottled in 2012, best before 12-18-17.

Beer poured garnet with a beautiful white head that is leaving lacing.

Nose is classic Belgian yeast and dark fruits.

Taste is dark fruits, a hint of vanilla oak, a bit of cocoa.

Mouthfeel is classic Belgian yeast strain, medium bodied yet light on the palate and smooth.

Overall this brew is superb. Alcohol is well hidden, taste is delicious and very smooth. Unibroue has this style nailed down stone cold!

 521 characters

Photo of impending
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A

750ml into a tulip. Pours a copper cola, in the glass a dingy dark dishwater, towering dense brownish head is slow to recede, nice lacing.

Aroma is rich deep spicy vinous complex unmistakably Unibroue.

Mildly sweet, lots of dark fruits. Tiny dry kick begins the delicious aftertaste till tomorrow. Very little bitter, no phenolic kick. Indeed subtle oak. Full bodied creamy mouthfeel. Approaching quad territory.

unmistakably Unibroue
cheers
jd

 450 characters

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For our second Unibroue beer, we tried their Grande Reserve 17 ("GR17") in a caged and corked 750 ml bottle purchased from the LCBO. I read the production date on the bottle as May 26, 2011, and GR17 is a healthy 10% alcohol by volume.

Pouring GR17 produced a 1.5" creamy beige coloured head with a beautiful convex cap. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before fading to a thin film and collar of foam, leaving moderate spotting and lacing down the glass. The beer itself was a dark brown colour, which lightened a few shades around the edges of the glass when backlit. Its aroma was of sweet malts, chocolate and alcohol, with hops in the background. As the beer warmed the alcohol aroma became more noticeable and a strong candied fruit smell arose. The taste began with a sweet chocolate flavour, giving way to candied fruit, with a mild (and not at all unpleasant) alcohol burn, finishing with a mild hop bitterness. A mild bitter aftertaste was evident, but balanced the initial sweetness of the beer nicely and did not overstay its welcome. GR17 is best described as a rich, full bodied beer, with just the right level of carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. The 750 ml bottle is best shared with a friend..I would have struggled to finish the bottle alone, as much as I enjoyed the beer. Overall, a wonderful brew from the good folks at Unibroue...I can understand why GR17 has won several international awards. My only knock against the beer is its $9.95 price tag which holds it back on the "value for money" factor and puts it into my "occasional treat" category. Assuming I have the discipline, I plan to save my second bottle for a few years to see how it develops with cellaring.

 1,695 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue Grand Reserve 17

Appearance: light red, large fluffy head, and good lacing.

Smell: yeasty grain and light hop.

Taste: lots of yeast and wheat with a light malt finish.

Mouthfeel: medium and smooth.

Overall:
This is a nice brew. It was brewed in 2011 with a best by date of 12-12-16. I drank this on 11-23-12 and it is nice and smooth.

 352 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2011-103402

This pours a raisiny cloudy color with tan cocoa foam. The aroma has a hint of vanilla and stone fruit along with a buttery note and a hint of tobacco.

It tastes smoothly mellow, giving off hints of stone fruit, raisin, and a leathery vanillin whisper. It’s smooth, mellow, sweet and pleasing. It hides the ABV well.

 339 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.4/5  rDev +4%

Bottled in 2013. Mahogany color with a massive amount of khaki head. Smells of dark fruits, spices, some cocoa, and caramel malt. Delicious tasting with caramel malt, dark fruits, spices, yeast, light chocolate, and a bit of oak in the finish. Has some alcohol warming to it. Medium body with high carbonation. Another great beer by Unibroue.

 348 characters

Photo of wogreen
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - a dark, nutty brown with a hint of caramel red, nice foamy cream colored head
S - sugary sweet smell, almost chocalatey.
T - the strength of the beer isnt masked from the offset, however it doesnt have an overly alcoholic flavor. this definitely has a hearty flavor, that i could see doing better with age
M - effervescent and full of life
O - a very nice belgian and while the potency isn't masked like many higher ABV brews ive become accustomed to, the sugary offset is a pleasing balance

 497 characters

Photo of ikantspel
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a duvel tulip

pours a chestnut brown with an enormous foamy head.

the amazing nose has hints of dark fruit, heavy on the spices, and some heavy wood to finish it. smells like the best of the trappists

sweet taste start off with the dark fruit and banana, the candy sugar creeps in and settles into a clove like spice. finishes dry with the oak.

this was pretty well balanced. i got exactly what i expected. cant wait to see how the other 3 bottles age

 467 characters

Photo of soupyman10
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color with an off-white head that dissipates to a thin layer. Good lacing as the beer drains. Nose is big Belgian malt. Chocolaty, candy aromas, a touch of spiciness. Really nice. Flavor is likewise. Really nice, big Belgian malt, some hoppy dirtiness. Dried fruit, prunes or something in that ballpark. Body is really phenomenal. Silky, creamy, somehow with really busy carbonation. Excellent beer, another delicious Unibroue.

 441 characters

Photo of SebD
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy dark brown/amber colour to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down slowly and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of yeast, banana, dark fruit and spices.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice fruitiness (banana and dark fruit), a nice spiciness, some yeast, and hints of vanilla and caramel. Very nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel: It has a light/medium carbonation with a very nice balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas. Another great from Unibroue!

 584 characters

Photo of DonDirkA
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells like banana bread with walnuts in it. Crazy. Theres a lot of yeasty breadiness maybe some raisins. The taste is hotter than expected but its very malty and slightly sweet. It said that its made to age and I agree. Id like to get another one to keep for 1.5-2 years. But probably wont, can always hope.

 308 characters

Photo of Stocean1
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a two finger off white head upon a deep chestnut body - fine lacing - not a lot of retention - nice collar

Smell is dark fruit, sour, bananas, malty

Taste follows the nose with white grapes, milk, chocolate hard candy, nice floral hops

Mouth is medium to full bodied with average carbonation (low for the brewer), smooth, lots of alcohol warming, nice bitterness, sour

Overall a really complex and tasty brew - definitely unique

 439 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy brown color with a 2 finger light tan head, with good retention and nice lacing. The aroma has pears, figs, spices, brown sugar, yeast, and oak.

Tastes much the same as it smells with pears, figs, apples, brown sugar, spices, yeast, pepper, and oak. Has a mildly sweet flavor, and some of the sweetness is balanced out by the pepper. The flavor profile of this beer is very nice. As usual, Unibroue does not disappoint.

Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Smooth, and easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden for 10.00 % abv. This is another well made beer by Unibroue.

 590 characters

Photo of seand
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly translucent dark brown amber, with a large amount of dense tan head. Great retention, with a solid blanket lasting nearly through the end of the glass, and leaves thick clumps of lacing.

S: Thick and sweet, with some tones of freshly cut wood. There is also a blend of spices, with notes of clove.

T: Sweet, with a light toasted note. Very thick through the mid palate, with a long lasting sticky finish. The booze is quite well hidden.

M: Very full bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall, quite nice. Solidly executed, and very enjoyable to drink.

 569 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in 2011, aged for a little over a year. Open opening champagne-style cork, foam overflowed out of bottle. Inauspicious start. Poured into tulip glass.

A) Big head, about 4 fingers, with very good retention. After 15 minutes, it reduces to a small cap and rings with very little lacing. More amber than brown. Quite a bit of carbonation.

S) Wonderful. Sweet malts, candied fruits, cinnamon & nutmeg, A little bit of yeast, but not much. Expected wood, not getting any - could be from aging.

T) Sweet malt, some spice. Not very yeasty. Very well-balanced, almost to the point where some of the individual flavors present in the nose don't seem to come through in taste.

M) Full-bodied, builds to a bit of alcohol heat that could be better balanced, but not too bad. Very carbonated, which is normal for Unibroue but definitely deducts from experience.

Definitely a major-league beer; wish I had tried the 2011 without aging for comparison. For me, melding and mellowing of flavors plus carbonation cuts score a bit, but this is very, very good.

 1,058 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours dark mahogany with crimson edgework in the hips of the glass with a two-plus inch head of whipped, bone froth. A dense, thick coating remained on the surface for the duration along with solid sheets of lacing. A beauty to the eye.

Aromatics lead off with candied figs, clove-studded apples, licorice, dark rum, grape bubblegum, and schezuan peppercorns.
Ripe fruit and spicey phenols abound with hints of vineousity and oak.

Medium bodied with a soft, lush mouthfeel. Velvety and lively.

Plump, juicy malt with rum-steeped candied apples and pepper dust starts the palate. Hints of oaky tannins and red wine mingle with star anise, peppercorns, coriander, and grape jam.

Finishes with spice-rubbed apples, dark rum, and a mild throat burn.

Great beer with some cellar potential. Very smooth now but I would give it maybe a year or two for the light heat to mellow.

 890 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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)



A:
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)

S:
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)

T:
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)

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

O:
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)

 960 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage Bottle no. 101329
750ml served in a snifter.

A - Dark brown body with a creamy 2 finger head that settles into a tightly knit cap.

S - Earthy and slightly funky yeast and wood, coriander, apple brandy, vanilla, pears, old bubblegum.

T - Robust caramel malt, toasted brown sugar, coriander, clove, oak wood is present but stays on the edges. Apples, vanilla, candied pears, and hints of toasted banana and cotton candy sweetness. Finishes spicy with fruit and woody overtones.

M - Medium carbonation, creamy feel, full bodied.

I started out drinking this at cellar temp but it's way better room temperature. The yeast dominates and the oak is light but gives it a rustic edge. Very complex. Can't wait to pop open my other bottle in about 5 years or so.

 771 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe