Raftman | Unibroue

very good
411 Reviews

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 03-06-2001

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Reviews: 411 | Ratings: 766
Photo of haz77
2.4/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a hazy orangey-copper with an inch of off-white head. This quickly fades to a loose, thin layer. Little carbonation.

S - Plasticy phenols, green apple, yeast, honey.

T - Phenolic backbone with a bite of astringency. Becomes more rounded and fruity towards the end. A pleasant smokiness develops in the aftertaste. A little too watery and thin on flavour overall. Disappointing.

M - Light body and prickly carbonation.

D - Not impressed at all. Really lacks flavour and the most positive aspect I can draw from the beer is the aftertaste. A disappointment.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.56/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 6 August 2002. I am writing this review from my notes. For what's supposed to be a smoked beer, I don't taste any smokiness. In fact, this kind of reminds me of a wheat beer(maybe it's just me). Has a nice crisp taste on the tongue. When I think of a smoked beer, I think more of a winter beer. To me, this is definitely a summer brew

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
2.57/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: hazy orange color with thick head that settles to finger thickness and good lacing, small spiral of carbonation flows in the middle
s: mild yeast aromas are overpowered by tart smell reminiscent of strong soap, citrus appears later
t: tart citrus flavor abounds along with appearances of yeast, lots of spice & crisp tart flavor on the finish, faint whisky in there somewhere
m: like a light cream, lots of carbonation from start to finish, very crisp
d: not my cup of beer and would highly recommend most of unibroue's other beers over this one

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Photo of kgs
2.64/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thin-tasting Belgian without a lot to distinguish it. It's not offensive, it's just not memorable or special. I like Belgians that are good food companions and this would fit that definition, but it lacks a distinct style it can call its own. I wonder if the Brothers have tasted this beer since they reviewed it 8 years ago.

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Photo of foamyhead
2.65/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light amber coloured cloudy brew. The foam is relatively firm, although it doesn't stand the test of time.

In the nose I sense a fresh, compact smell of fruit, typical smell of topfermented beer. Maybe a bit of wet, exotic wood?!

The beer has some power in the body, although it is to carbonated for it's style - in my opinion - and after the first impressions of taste it more or less "dissappears" from the palate, leaving a discrete hint of smoke hand in hand with a (very) little hoppiness.

All in all: it promises something, but is not able to live up to it. The body is not harmonic and balanced, and the promised whiskey malt taste is much to discrete, compared to eg French whiskey malt beer 'Adelscott' or the German 'Highlander'.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
2.65/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Based on the reviews below I think I might have gotten a bad beer. Usually the Unibroue line is quite good, but this beer was fairly boring (for them). Pours with a large creamy white head. Clear golden maple color (my wife made me say maple color). Tart fruity smell, cidery and malty. No apricot smell noticed. Doesn't taste as interesting as it smells. Watery, slightly malty sweet, finishes sweet/sour. Not anywhere near as good as their other offerings.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.68/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First time I can recall seeing this beer in the shelves. I loved the label and the name of this beer, so decided to try it out on a whim. No freshness date on this bottle.

Big pop when prying the top off. Pours a light brown with off-white head. Tightly compacted bubbles which face fast leaving a light skimming on the top of the beer.

I smell freshly boiled corn on the nose with a strange wood, like oak in the mix. Maybe that's the rye coming through. White pepper in the mix, too.

The peppery spiciness comes through in the mouth. The carbonation is high in the mouth, much like champagne. Taste is like the nose with the rye and wood characterists coming out as the predominant flavor.

Interesting, but not my cup of tea (or beer).

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I don't know where to start. The color was a hazy medium to dark yellow, with an orange hue. Not much foam and no lace what so ever. The smell had a hint of spice carbination and no much else. The taste had way to much carbination, so much that it kind of masked any spice or fruit taste that might have been. So, to much sour carbination, not a pleasant after taste. This has to be the worst of all the Unibroue Ale I've tasted (12 in all).

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Photo of jasonjlewis
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a huge 3 finger head. Nice light brown semi-cloudy color.

Smell is of whiskey malt, clove and a slight banana phenol

Taste is some whisey malt and some belgian sugar. Nicely balanced. But there is a very seltzery water flavor. It's like soda water and malt. It's not for me. It tastes alright other than that,but it just gets to me too much.

Seltzer water mouthfeel.

This beer is like seltzer water to me. Did I get a bad sample?

Thanks to Matt for the sample.

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Photo of corby112
2.77/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pours a dark cloudy golden brown color with a huge foamy head. Aroma consists of light fruit such as apple, pear and banana as well as a slight maltiness. This beer has an interesting mix of crisp light fruit and whiskey malts. Carbonated with crisp center and dry whiskey-like finish.

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Photo of largadeer
2.79/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid white cap tops a hazy amber-blond body. Intensely spicy and sweet aroma. Clove, dark sugar, bubblegum, toast - very cloying. Similar on the palate, fruity and spicy, bubblegum and clove. Thin body, a little smokey and toasty toward the finish. The smell is off-putting, but it's decent otherwise.

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Photo of 1759Girl
2.82/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Judging from the other reviews, I have to question whether I may have gotten a bad bottle... or if perhaps everyone else is on crack... which I suppose is the likeliest scenario.

Appearance> Pretty much exactly like SF Bay Delta water... hazy warm yellow/brown. lively. Small head dissipates quickly and leaves a whole lot less lacing than I expected.

Smell> more sour than I expected... where is the smokiness and malt?

Taste> Slightly metallic to start, grows into something interesting but quickly moves to being a bit sour and just "meh"

Mouf> Good

Drinkability> Really didn't care for this one.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with a large lasting head.
Nose shows typical Unibroue house yeast with loads of spicy phenols. Some faint apple and sweet clean malt noticeable later.
Flavours include more of that unmistakeable yeast, some spicy notes, and hints of hot alcohol. Not much going on...
Very light body, moderate carbonation. Seems watery.

 337 characters

Photo of Cresant
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Duvel glass. Coded, but no date. The body was a murky dull orange-brown. The tall white head subsided pretty fast, no where near as huge as most Unibroue beers I've tried.

Smell was plain, banana skins. Sweet malts.

Taste was mellow grainy malts. Mild spiciness. Only minimal bitterness, but enough tartness to balance the sweetness. Meh.

Mouthfeel was effervescent, and light to medium in body. No my favorite from this brewery.

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Photo of tesguino
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

carameled like bread crust; one of the unibroue gourmet beers; a canadian brewery it makes the things affluent; this beer is good for cheese, snack, like appetizer, a 750 ml presentation for mexican market, a whisky malt liquor, fruitty and smoked aroma; its high alcohol content is made for the expert drinker.

 311 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.94/5  rDev -24%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really a different ale, looks and pours like cider. Slight yeast taste with smoky overtones. Zero carbonation and head - really wierd. After reading the other reviews I think I got a bad bottle.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Okay never seen this beers before in 4 packs or the large bottles. Got this one in a Unibroue sampler. Don't know what to expect. Here goes:

A: Poured a cloudy amber color. Lots of carbonation, huge head that dissipates quickly.

S: Smelled pretty sweet actually. Yeasty and fruity. Maybe some apple or white grapes.

T: Okay, first taste I get is an overpowering metallic flavor. Hints of whisky from the malt they used. Pretty clean finish. Get some Belgian yeast. Light hints of white grape. Kinda sweet. Just not a whole lot going on here.

M: As with most Unibroue beers, very lively carbonation and easy drinking. Medium to light bodied.

D: This is pretty easy drinking. Not highly drinkable, but its okay. The main thing detracting me from this beer is lack of character and taste.

I found this beer very underwhelming. I just didn't get a lot of flavor here. This is probably my least favorite Unibroue beer. You really have to search your palate to get any nice flavors to come out here. I am no expert on Belgian ales, but I have had enough to know that they pack more flavor punch than this. If you see it give it a try, but don't expect it to rock your world.

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Photo of Jesse13713
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - An exceptionally white head that sits atop a light caramel brown brew. Pretty cloudy and mostly opaque. Average spotty lacing.

Smell - Very yeast-like in the smell. Slight lemon and tart.

Taste - Well it definitely has that Unibroue yeast taste to it. The thing about there other beers, such as Maudite and Ephemere is that they have distinct tastes to set them apart. Raftman just solely tastes like the signature Unibroue taste without anything else added into the equation. It's a good beer, but absolutely Unibroue's worst in the series.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Tart and slightly bitter. Unibroue yeast is present most definitely. I'm trying to distinguish fruits and such; but it jsut tastes like yeast.

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Photo of keithmurray
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330cl bottle poured into chalice

a - pours a dark, cloudy, copper/brown colour with white head dissipated quickly

smell - not very appealing here, picking up some metallic notes, molasses, bready biscuit

taste - metallic up front, weird yeasty funk, green apples

mouthfeel - highly carbonated, medium bodied, metallic aftertaste ruining this experience

drinkability - one is all I have and it would be enough even if I had more

Perhaps this bottle of Raftman wasn't fresh (I can't decipher the freshness code on the bottle, but my guess would be it was bottled in may of 2009, at 5.5%, this probably doesnt age well) This was th efirst Unibroue product i've ever had where I have been less than impressed. I will give them a pass since everything else I've ever had has been outstanding. I'd even be willing to try this again providing it was fresh.

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Photo of Absumaster
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is brewed with whiskeymalt, interesting....

It pours a nice murky orange color, leaving a very thin layer of foam on top after pouring it into my Duvel glass.
Smell is slightly smoky, don't know if I smell this because I know it has whiskeymalt in it, it is not very upfront. I can taste a phenolic beer, like a wheat ale or witbier, with the typical wheat or grainy taste and yeast profile, fresh and fruity. A medium body and faintly bitter. For me a typical wheat beer, no sign of the special malt in the taste. If you promote a beer to be brewed with whiskeymalt, I think it should at least be more apparent!
So, not a bad beer, but not meeting the expectations.

 681 characters

Photo of Lukie
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out pale amber with a white head and minimal lacing. I don't know how fresh this is.

Dry smell. Caramels and smokiness. There was also some sour orange (curucao).

Smokey malt flavours and sour orange round off the beer. I might have to give this another go to be honest.

Overall, I am a bit mixed. There seems to be subtle flavours that I wasn't able to pick out. I might have to pick up another for tasting.

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Photo of waughbrew
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light rust with a fizzy foamy top that quickly settles to a cap. Aroma is pleasant because of the smokiness, which seems more hickory than the peat which I assume was used. Signature Unibroue banana-apple-pepper yeast aromas add their thing with caramelly malt wafting around also. Kind of fizzy and definitely dry, this is a decent flavor profile. The smokiness reminds of ham. Sprinkles of lupulin dust the tongue. The real downer here is the malt flavor - that nice smoke needs something to ride upon besides cheezy caramel, and it doesn't find it here. Nice smoke, yeast, and dryness, but lacking in the malt department.

A good beer, but not impressive by Unibroue standards. I have had this twice on draft in the past, once being at Forquet Forchette, and I will say that the bottled version, while not amazing, is definitely better.

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Photo of hefevice
3.01/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy dark amber with a reasonable large bubble head to start which fairly quickly falls away. Aroma in my case was very attenuated, hard to pick anything in particular out. All I could taste with the first sip was smoke - if you could liquify a bushfire this would be it. Sure there were other flavours present, but I couldn't get past the smoke, which lingered for a long time in the aftertaste. Shouldn't be surprised of a smoky taste in a Smoked Beer style, however this lacked balance. The most disappointing of the Unibroues I have encounted so far. May need to come back and re-rate this as I experience more of this style.

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Photo of TerryW
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Whoa! Pour this one gently of you'll end up with an utterly unmanageable head. It'll settle down quickly enough, but it's a job to tame a bottle full of this into a glass. Head is just off-white and leaves some lace. Amber or cider coloured with a slight haze. Handsome to look at.

Smells of malt, apricots and spice – reminds me of a witbier like Hoegaarden. I couldn't find any smoke.

Yeasty and gently malty in flavour. Finishes up with mild hops. Some sweet caramel. Aggressive carbonation when first poured distracts from the flavours of what the brewer characterizes variously as a "slightly robust" or "subtle" beer. Gotta let it sit just a bit to better appreciate it.

Well done, but not special to my mind.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty sure this wasn't that old - got it loose from a broken-up taster pack. No freshness date. Bottle and label looked unblemished.

Showcase pour, like most Unibroue. Big, thick meringue-like head that slowly melts down to a thin blanket that lingered through.

A few reviews of this describe the color as peachy. Strangely enough, and I didn't read any reviews beforehand, that was exactly the first thing that came to my mind.

When still fairly cold, not much aroma, but it did leave a feeling in my nose like breathing in brisk, cool air. What I did find was hints of butternut/acorn squash and the signature Unibroue yeast(?).

Over a couple stages as it warms, flavors come and go. First, I found something on the back of my tongue and in the aftertaste that I can only describe as the inside of a fresh, cold strawberry. After maybe 20 minutes (how long I would suggest you wait until getting the boldest flavors out of this), I finally tasted the smoked malt - which WAS peeking through timidly for awhile until it burst forth at the right temp.

The overall palate of this beer is real understated - mild, cask-like, and, I hesitate to say, watered down. The complete non-offensiveness makes it quite drinkable, like herbal tea. Make sure your palate is squeaky clean before trying this and perhaps you'll get more from it than I did. Not bad, but not exciting.

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Raftman from Unibroue
3.87 out of 5 based on 766 ratings.
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