Raftman | Unibroue

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Very Good
791 Ratings

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Unibroue introduced Raftman to the Quebec market in March 1995. This coral-hued beer has a unique taste that combines the smooth character of smoked malt whisky with the flavours of fine yeast.

IBU: 15.5

Added by kbub6f on 03-06-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 791 |  Reviews: 419
Photo of beerhunter13
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Mudawg
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Shmantha
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of bunruh
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of GeneralCuster
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Extremely good.

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Photo of Jotora
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Calculat0r
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of jhickman
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of adamk1978
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of ElGallo
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Loki
4.79/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 07/09/03 from a 12oz bottle with a best before date of 11-22-03.

Poured a cloudy clover honey color wiht a huge, froathy white head.

Aromas of very sweet malt with hints of whiskey without the alcohol and wisps of hops.

Tastes of sweet malt with a medium body and high carbonation feel. Tingles on the tongue and finishes with a slight hop taste. Very sweet, yet not overly sweet. A yeasty middle that gives way to the hops. Smooth and goes down very easy. Great, great beer that is different from the norm and the best Unibroue I've had yet.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours energetic hazy tea under a 2” cream colored foam cap that quickly descends to a thick film while gripping the side of the glass.
S: Toasty malt with a hint of smoke, spice, over ripe fruit, a hint of rye, spice.
T: Faint cola, grain, fruit, dark dried fruit, mellow malt.
F: Very creamy soft, overall sweet but finishes dry with a touch of spice astringency, above average carbonation, medium light body.
O: Rich easy to drink Belgian Pale Ale packed with flavor delivered in an incredible texture.

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Photo of mremoquillo
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of guezarka
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of fishguyac
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of jborg
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of adamette
4.73/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Live Review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased at World Wines and Liquor as a part of a "Unibroue tasters pack" (or something similar) which was only $5.99 (It came with 4 beers...good deal!) into my clean, clear Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A Pours a hazy brown orange yellow (like peach color) under a one inch head that dissipated within a minute. I have to say that the label and the name of the beer is one of my favorites. The name is not cute or a pun or rhyming. It is just great. The label is an authentic raftman depiction that honors that activity, does not make it trite. Really excellent.

S Nice sweet malt (Whiskey malt in fact) with only a hint of hops bitterness. I think that the whiskey smell makes it better than good and also creates a better than good level of intrigue.

T This is a GREAT beer! I love the whiskey malt taste against the minimal hops background. It is reasonably light (managable ABV) and really smooth. This really reminds me of another beer whose name escapes me now...I want to say maybe St. Bernardus?! Call me crazy but this is a great beer.

M A nice smoothness carries this essentially light beer past your taste buds not unlike the river that might carry a raftman down current. Really great.

D Excellent. I only had the one 12 oz. bottle but I could easily have drank more.

Notes: I was told (by an employee at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor) that the only way to get this is in the sampler pack. Well, she said that they do not make the raftman in the 750ML bottles anyway. I would love to find 4 or 6 packs of it. It is at the same time a session beer and a fine craft beer. Everyone reading this should try the Raftman. If not, BM me and I will take it off of your hands. This is my favorite Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer departs the bottle a hazy orange color. The nose is not what I expect, but a great orange, spicey belgian nose. I dig it. What a flavor. The smoke and the orange flavor play a beautiful song together. The smokiness is very subdued, and allows the base beer to come through while still reminding me this is a smoked beer. The feel is moderate to thick. Drinkability is excellent as well. I am so sad that this beer is not sold around here anymore. I would try this one if you can find it.

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Photo of Skidz
4.69/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best Before 10-02-02, making this about 2 years past due.

Pours out golden yellow and sits light, cloudy copper in the glass with a large white head.

Aroma pour into your nose and throat like you might imagine it would in a Garfield cartoon. Big floating waves of aroma. It is amazing how much this beer puts forth. Apples (cider-like), pears, caramel, peaches, apricots, you name it, it's there. Lightest hints of applewood in a sweet glaze. Delicious. It's like waking up on a cool fall morning and smelling the freshly fallen leaves as the morning sun begins to warm the forest floor.

Tastes delicately sweet up front, caramel, vanilla and sweet cream. Fruitiness extends with a very light apple flavor along with canned pears and faint sweet oranges. Hop bitterness present and accounted for, fading into the light finsh.

I believed I already used the word delicate, so lets call this...petite in the mouth. Ultra-fine carbonation bubble delight the mouth and ease gracefully down its path. Medium bodied, but feels like a newborn. Age has done this beer wonders.

I would drink this as much and as often as I could, were I able to get it anymore. Maybe two bottles left to purchase. Who knows how much longer they will be around for...?

***EDIT: After picking the fairly considerable amount of yeast, a flashlight could barely shine through the bottom of the bottle, up of the bottom and pouring the remnants into the remainder of the beer, I was treated to a much yeastier (duh) version of the beer. Far more dry, but clinging on to its better qualities. Aroma is muted by the fogginess of the yeast. I'd say it's best served w/o the yeast, that aroma was just top notch and made every dive into the beer that much more enjoyable.

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Photo of John
4.66/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yeah boy, that's what I'm talkin 'bout.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hazy golden amber color with super strong activity. Thick foamy beige 4 finger island head, lasting almost forever, with strong legs.

Pleasant floral and fresh apple nose. Well intensified flavors of apples, pears, grapes, and sweet grains with floral and herbal spices. Balanced fruity sweetness with a sharp crispy fresh grassy and slight coriander feel.

Slick full body with champagne like carbonation. Well intensified finish, ending with a fresh fruity feel and a pleasant honey/maple tongue coat.

Overall an excellent craft offerring delicious complex flavors and great freshness. Visually appealing, well intensified, balanced, and accessible. The only flaw is a slightly metallic feel.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Came in a 6 pack (the first I've ever seen Unibroue put out) that I found in Edmonton. Poured from a 341 ml brown bottle, silver foil around neck with a logo, foil becomes purple at the cap. Appearance is that of a chill hazed marmalade hue, decent carbonation, big creamy white head that eventually settles down to a frothy ring. Aroma contains sweet fruity peaches/apricots, some lively spices, the slightest trace of grain. Flavour contains that fruitiness as well, a faint hint of smoke, a bit of grass and flowers. Full refreshing mouthfeel, this goes down smooth and easy, I think I've found a new favorite. Feels like there is a party going on in my mouth and all the cool kids were invited. This malt whiskey ale is the cat's ass, I paid a small fortune for this 6 pack and it was worth every cent. If this was the reward at the end of every day, then I'd be a lumberjack by trade as well. Raftman is where it's at.

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Photo of Greatheil
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%

Photo of JMS1512
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured hard into a Duvel tulip, then backed off to avoid yeast base and spillage onto counter.

Sight: Pumpkin-like orange, brown hues toward the top underneath the head. Hazy. Head is light, white, whipped- almost egg-flip foam. Vortex of carbonation from bottom of glass when first poured. Lace left is big and patchy, with no recognizable or cool word to describe it.

Aroma: Bready, yeasty wafting off head. A bit of malt and cracker, but very subtle hop presence.

Taste: Perhaps hay-ish start, light malt and yeasty fruit traces. A touch of spice, perhaps due to the hops… who knows. A tiny dose of caramel from the whisky malt. I could have told you, however, that this was of the Belgian school of brewing.

Mouthfeel: Medium minus, but great bubble. Refreshing, glad I got a 750mL and not a 12 oz.
Overall: Great, refreshing brew from my favorite Canadians, eh.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very hazy copper colour with furious, prolific carbonation throughout the brew. A good bubbly head about 2 fingers thick sits as a crowning touch, leaving some pleasant - but thin - lacing behind.

Smell is gorgeous. Very Belgian in style with a lot of jammy, resiny fruit aromas; raisins, apple and cherry bark, and a good hit of spice as well. Very delicate whisky aroma at the back and a healthy woodiness. It's sweet but rustic, and wonderfully balanced.

Taste is slightly resiny at first, with a nice complex palate profile. Hints of figs, raisins and pine, with a really pleasant whisky character on the middle, along with an obligatory booze hit, which is obviously from the particular malt used rather than the relatively low ABV. It's a very welcome flavour, although not accompanied by a burning sensation. Very grainy flavour throughout but with a refreshingly brusque hop spice towards the back, cleans up the palate superbly and leaves a fresh bitterness as a linger. Doesn't leave much of a smokey character, but just a delicate woody touch towards the back.

Feel is dense and foamy, with a lot of bubbling, just a beautiful texture.

This is a supremely drinkable beer: balanced and complex, a lot of great flavours, very clean finish. In the Unibroue universe this is a dwarf, but it's clearly standing on the shoulders of its gargantuan brethren.

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Raftman from Unibroue
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 791 ratings