Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve | Unibroue

Unibroue 17 Grande RéserveUnibroue 17 Grande Réserve
BA SCORE
4.22/5
1,147 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#994
Reviews:
277
Ratings:
1,147
pDev:
10.9%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
104
Gots:
370
Trade:
19
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,147 |  Reviews: 277
Photo of bigred89
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Eziel
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Derek
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aug 2017:

The elusive 2015, purchased in a 3 pack with 13/14 in Alberta. Some nice dark fruit, but still a bit hot. Wish I gave it some age, but the 2014 was so good last year! 4.4ish.

Nov 2016 vertical:

2013 - dried cork, lost some carbonation and a bit oxidized. Still better than some vintages fresh. 4+

2014 - really in its prime right now. 4.5ish

2016 - fresh and tasty. Fruitier than it has been in the past, still spicy, but more balanced. 4.25ish


Original review 3.95:

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.

 940 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.2%
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 eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of sd123
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of puboflyons
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 750 ml. bottle, 2011 batch dated 12-12-2016. Sampled on June 15, 2012. It pours an incredibly dark amber with red hues and a slightly cloudy appearance too. The soft, supple, off-white head lingers the whole time. The aroma is wonderful with its merger of Belgian yeast, Belgian candied sugar, dark malts, molasses, dark fruits, and maybe even a slight smoky note. The body is slick and in the medium to bold range. The taste is upfront candy sweet and malty with a quickly rising hop bitterness that lingers and becomes dry. An outstanding beer that was easily worth the $14 that I paid for it.

 604 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a twany brown with decent head on top of a dark and tropical fruit aroma, some very noticeable yeast along with sugary goodness and that touch of orange/citric spice along with spices. Smooth, semi-creamy medium body that has a fuller mouthfeel thanks to that distinct yeast. This beer has a crackle to it thanks to some lively spices that are peppery and clove-like and there are plenty of fruit flavors. There's an easy to spot orange/banana like citric taste, as well as some black cherry or figs for a dark fruit taste and then there's fruits across the board like apple and grape that I pick up here and there. Well-balanced between this fruits and some spicy and sweet malty goodness, the beer has a lively finish thanks to some good carbonation as well and is a very enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This bottle is a 2011 Vintage.

A - Pours a deep garnet amber color with a billowy head and really nice lacing retention when the glass is swirled.

S - Oak, some musty dankness, vanilla, figs, prunes, dried dark fruit, light toasted brown sugar and caramel, all the ingredients play very well together and makes for a satisfying experience for the nose. Not strong or overpowering, just eloquent and satisfying.

T - Oak and vanilla surface immediately from the beginning while the vanilla eventually fades the oak stays for the duration, dark fruit, prunes, and figs. Finishes with subtle oak and lingering spicy bitterness.

M - Medium body, gentle and velvety carbonation on the tongue.

O - Superbly done and ranks as one of the top Belgian Dark Ales I've experienced so far. Seek this one out, buy extras, enjoy one now and cellar the others. This 2011 bottle is stamped with a "Best By" of 12-12-16. Would love to have a bottle to try each year as it moves closer to that Best By date.

 993 characters

Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of spinrsx
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $9.95

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a large size beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, clove, apples, an earthiness

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and dark fruits. There is also a bit of vanilla, apple, and a yeasty spiciness. I can also pick up on the oak and a bit of a burnt/charred flavour.

Overall - Really complex and something that is pretty different from the other beers in the Unibroue lineup. I have a few bottles tucked away and can't wait to see how they taste aged.

 754 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed brown ale with a small tan colored head.

Smells sweet and spicy with a scent of coriander and ginger with some brown sugar. Molasses and some cardamom.

Starts out sweet and fruity with an apple butter preserves flavor. Apple, cinnamon, ginger and some clove in the flavor. Slight whiskey flavor and faint vanilla taste.

Mouthfeel is full.

Tasty beer, I was actually expecting a Strong Pale Ale. Solid beer.

 423 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve is perfectly clear, a fact hard to appreciate given the beer's dark, prune-like colour. Hold it into the light, however, and it reveals itself to be practically tie-dyed with all shades of purple and ruby. There's no black here. If looking for head, all you'll find is whatever foam made its way safely to the outskirts.

The bouquet is perfumed like a rose and has a coriander-like air, rich molasses sweetness and just a hint of ash from the French oak barrels. I detect a dried orange peel pithiness, though the beer's fruitiness might better be described by raisin, plum, dried cherry, fig or prune - take your pick. There's no wrong answer. Just add brown sugar.

The toasty flavor is almost truffle-like in both its meatiness and earthiness. The beer essentially drinks like a roasted Portobello burger, or at least would if not for the sweet-savory tastes of plum pudding and rum-raisin that share the flavor. There's no overlooking the dark fruits, molasses sweetness, and peppery, clove-like spice.

For all the caramelized sugar and syrup-like qualities, it's a wonder the beer never becomes cloying. This is even more astounding once you factor in the 10% alcohol. The fact that this is so approachable, even once losing its chill, is a testament to a generously malted, super enticing flavor profile that is as balanced as it is complex.

The aftertaste is underscored by a cola-like sweetness that sticks like the underlining of a wet bathing suit. It is thick but lush with floral features like honey. The peppery spice is impossible to overlook, despite all the dark rum sweetness, but is made more palatable by the a dry oak wood finish and remnant flavors of plum and grape.

Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve, like the best examples of Belgian strong dark ales, has a complexity that even Stephen Hawking would have trouble getting his head around. It is somehow simultaneously sweet, spicy, savory and fruity. Strong yet easy to drink. Like so many Unibroue products, this can hold its own with any of the heavyweights in Belgium.

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Photo of fredmugs
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of epyon396
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sweemzander
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours a deeper mahogany color with a good head of off-white froth that stuck around for awhile.
(S)- Some deep spiced raisin. Almost rum-like with some coconut and pecan.
(T)- Lots of dark fruits (plum, raisin, cassis, prune). Met with a light cinnamon/coriander spice.
(M)- A good carbonation level. I like the feel this has; almost like a mulled spice wine but more on the fruit end of it.
(O)- I like the play on flavors with this one

 495 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer features rich malt and yeast aromas including prune, plum, fruit, molasses, brown sugar and a hint of tobacco. It pours dark copper brown filled with very fine bubbles that lazily rise to the surface and replenish a 2" light tan foam cap with a very fine bead. It has a mildly sweet, rich malty palate featuring stone fruit, dark dried fruit, fig, molasses, alcohol, spice, a hint of cola and some oak dryness on the finish. Malt and yeast flavors are high. Hop bitterness and flavors are low. The body is medium and the carbonation is above average. The alcohol is mildly warming but not hot or harsh. This is a good choice for sharing with friends.

 659 characters

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Raziel313
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 1/5/12 thanks liamt07 for the bottle

A dark drown with dark amber highlights when held to the light, two fingers of tan foam has great retention and leaves some random lace

S brown sugar both crystal and burnt, woody yeast, raisin, faint booze but not 10%, there's some over-ripe candied banana and some fortified wine on a deep whiff, smells great with a nice sweet malty complexity with the wood and yeast adding to it even further

T a little more fruity then the nose with slightly more booze but still well concealed for the strength, woody finish and slightly spicy, still everything I smell with less candied banana

M creams up the instant it enters your mouth without being foam, not much heat but there's just a little, impressive all things considered, long finish of wet wood and brown sugar

O I don't have a whole lot to complain about while I'm drinking this one, its drinking great today and I'm sure it would age well too

Unibroue continues to impress me with this brew, great complexity, well concealed liquor, and it smells and tastes great. I preferred this to the aged original 17 I just had last week. It's my understanding that this on will come to Alberta in the future and I'll be buying several to age if it dose, for now I'm thanking liamt07 yet again for the opportunity

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Photo of avalon07
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 650 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
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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Unibroue 17 Grande Réserve from Unibroue
Beer rating: 4.22 out of 5 with 1,147 ratings
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