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: 768
Photo of Lucaskowalik
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341mL bottle into a tulip.
L- Cloudy sunrise orange liquid with a hazelnut tinge, good carbonation, and a glorious white head.
S- Spicy, citrus, and smoky bacon. Also has a decent alcohol smell even though it doesn't have a high abv.
T- Lemon, maple, grass, oats, bread, spice, pears, smoky bbq, woody.
F- Light and bubbly with a faint, spicy hoppiness.
O- Pretty good introduction to a style of beer I didn't know existed.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It takes years of practice to understand the Belgians and Unibroue does this well and adds its own to this flavorful, smoky, malty ale. For me, I'd appreciate less carbonation... but I'm getting used to it in this style.

This beer is listed in one of my three books comprising my classical beer education.
Michael Jackson's 1999 edition gave this 2.5 of 4 stars and called it "woody, smoky."

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Photo of stevoj
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours initially with towering fluffy head. Dark golden, slightly cloudy, lots of fine, lively carbonation. Aroma of wood smoke and cooked grains, taste is more smoked malt, lightly toasted, light bacon. Some caramel and toffee. Very nicely done.

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Photo of kculrich
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a corked-and-caged 750ml, undated bottle - or, at least, if there's a date code, I can't understand it.
L: Pours a deep, hazy burnt-orange with a vast mound of puffy, dingy-white foam that looks and smells like over-risen bread dough.
S: Belgian yeast, green apples and lemongrass.
T: Sweet, bready malt, spicy, musty, smoky earth, unripe fruit, grass and green tea. A very mild squeezed lemon tang lingers briefly
F: Assertively carbonated and astringent, malty, sticky tongue-coating.
O: Well, first off, if I was supposed to taste any whiskey malt, I totally failed. Unless that was the musty, smoky thing. But it drank like a beer twice it's weight, smooth and satisfying. There will be no leftovers.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The body is a bright golden color with mild copper hues towards the center, its very mildly hazy, in fact its barely noticeable unless you stare and focus for a bit. The head is thick rock and very white and lasts for several minutes without showing signs of thinning out. There’s an extremely dense head that just marks every sip.
Smell: Floral notes, fig, apple and mild lemony aromas do come through.
Taste: Floral and rather musky at first, it then opens up with mild bitter bite towards the corners of your mouth, then the apple and raisin flavors come out. Sweet overall with just a slight taste of alcohol. Lemon zest come out as it warms. The aftertaste is smooth and only slightly bitter and leave you wanting another sip. Spices start to come out after about five minutes.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, rather dull but it envelopes your mouth with that nice alcohol warming feeling and it medium to full bodied.
Overall: This is another great example of a Belgian Ale from Unibroue; Raftman is easy to drink, tastes great.

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Photo of RickS95
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It's very dark for any type of pale ale, even one based on the Belgian style. It's a brown beer that resembles dirty river water. Opaque due to the sheer brown color, it's still fairly clear. The head is very bright white and just over a finger thick. Only moderate retention, after sitting for a couple minutes only a thin creamy look sits up top.

This thing smells brilliant. Not a hint of citrus like Americans, this is all malt and spices. He whiskey malt lays a foundation of earthy sweetness. Not sure of the hop varietals, but it seems to be old school hops.

I like the taste but I don't know exactly how to describe it. That earthiness is present but the spicing is very subdued compared to the nose. No hop presence so all you taste is malt.

It's surprisingly light bodied, with an almost watery feel. The complete opposite of dry or crisp, my mouth feels like it's dripping in between sips. The bottle mentions a lasting aftertaste and there is a little spicy feel to remind you of what you just had.

I wish this had more alcohol and a more aggressive taste profile. It's a good beer but I'm not sure it's any sort of pale ale.

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Photo of mchegash
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance 4/5 - Darker orange brown. Two fingers of light tan head. A lot of carbonation visible rising up the beer.

Smell 3.5/5 - Apples, malts, perhaps hints of roasty/smokiness and spice

Taste 3.75/5 - Belgian yeasty / breadiness. Faint hints of smoke and booze and spices. Overall an okay taste. Nothing special.

Mouthfeel 3.75/5 - Moderate level of carbonation. Moderate level of crispness.

Overall 3.75/5 - Not bad, but nothing special.

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Photo of Radome
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a 750 ml bottle in a snifter.

L - Medium brown color lightened by golden highlights. Very slight haze. Off-white head initially thick and creamy, but soon disappears. Very light lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma of faint smoke, and earthy hops. Some low bready malt. Finish has spicy, phenolic yeast notes. There is a medicinal quality that may be from the yeast or the whisky malt.

T - Flavors start off like a Belgian pale ale, with bready malt and low grassy hops. Later in the palate things get more interesting, with a sharp, medicinal and phenolic kick. Smoke in the aftertaste.

F - Medium to full body. Strong, sharp carbonation. Medium hops bitterness. Off-dry finish.

O - This is a unique beer with complex flavors and aromas.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Weird I have to go to Kansas City to find a beer from Quebec. I've never heard of of seen this before, so pretty cool. On tap at Anton's, a place known for epic steaks. Very dark for a Belgian pale, deer ruby to brick red, not pale at all. Not much head either on it, and some haze. Smells like a Belgian, and tastes like one too. Their classic yeast strain tempered only by the heft of the sweet red malt. Not much hops to speak of, and a disappointing under carbonated mouthfeel. I really like the flavor of the beer very much, but the rest if it seems so much less well put together than the rest if their stuff, maybe the line was dirty or the keg was old or something, I see the potential, but on the whole the beer did not live up to my expectations. A fine companion to a dry aged burger though, cooked medium rare with blue cheese and caramelized onions, in that context it's much better than it is in isolation...

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
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 twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle pours a hazed copper color with a modest cap of tan head that fades surprisingly fast without leaving much lace.

Nose is estery Unibroue yeast with a smoky, earthy malt aspect. Smoked bananas on some peanut butter slathered toast. Mmmmm.

Taste shows much of the same with a bubble-gum yeast and light smoked flavor. A little reminiscent of some Bamburg hefeweissbier, but a little lighter in smokiness. Just a fantastic drinker though that so going to disappear from my glass all too fast. I cant believe it took me this long to try this beer, but as with almost all Unibroue beers, I find myself wondering why I dont buy them more often.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
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 mick303
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very flavourful beer, made with smoked whisky malt. It is a cloudy medium brown colour with attractive head and lace retention.
S - smoky malt, chewy, leather and baked apples with some brown sugar sweetness.
T - solid flavour body with a gentle smoke and maple syrup wafting in, robust malt really carries the flavour, crisp orchard fruit, and a pleasant yeast flavour.
M- full, bready and malty with an assertive carbonation to carry it.
Overall this is a very nice malt forward beer that highlights the nice smoked elements.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Om in New Smyrna Beach.

T: somewhat subdued funk, some sour, hint of caramel, and a suggestion of pepper.
M: This was disappointing and really affected my overall enjoyment of this beer. The body was quite thin and the carbonation was on the light side.
O: The thin body might not have been so objectionable if the flavor profile had been more notable. I'd have this again, but I wouldn't go to a lot of trouble to seek it out. Not one of Unibroue's better offerings.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy iced tea with a thin head. Light worty malt smell hidden under medicinal house yeast phenols. Flavor: caramel amber ale base with spicy yeast - big on apricot and coriander. Medium body and tiny stinging bubbles. Decent beer overall.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 2/23/2015 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, fruit, spice and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with flavors of spice, caramel and tart fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly spicy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly clouded brown/orange body, plenty of eager carbonation, voluminous fine, rich light tan head with great retention, yet little lacing. Bottle label tempts me to pick up the lumberjack life.

S: Piercing sweet malt, a mix of warm caramel and nearly fruity grains-of-paradise. Pretty straightforward, but delicious.

T: Peppery GoP is more prevalent here, with tropical fruit and a sweet malt acting as the base. Not overly done, this is complex without having a lot of parts. Marvelous.

F: Rich and full, surprising from my experience with this style, but welcome. Even the carbonation seems softer than what I saw in my glass.

O: Surprised in a great way! Wasn't expecting such powerful flavor from a lower ABV beer (when will I learn?), but I got great, clearly presented, and natural flavors. Unibroue captures my heart again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served from tap in a tumbler at Firkin.

I remember buying one of those Unibroue mixed packs a few years ago in order to try this stuff. It's been a while, so let's give it another go, eh? It pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of lightly off-cream foam. The nose comprises light Band-Aid, Belgian yeast, a twinge of dry maple syrup, and light biscuit. The taste brings in more of the same, with some light orange zest and a richer, less phenolic smoke (though it's still pretty mild in the grand scheme of this glass's things). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid, lightly-smoked BPA. Good times as usual from Unibroue.

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Photo of LovingCup
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this one was pretty much nothing like advertised on its label. It's rather light, refreshing and quaffable. Not really full bodied per say and hardly leaves an aftertaste. More importantly if you pick this up because you expect a smokey or whiskey like flavor you will be sorely disappointed as I don't detect those flavors at all. It tastes like a Belgian pale ale. Got a bit of that yeasty funk, floral and spicy notes like coriander or clove. Banana, bubblegum. It's session able and would make a great summertime brew. Picked this up in the bargain bin for $3 and its still in date and all. Nothing extrodinary but just drinkable, refreshing, and has a decent amount of flavor without being extremely complex. For what it is its quite good. I give it about the same rating it currently has going for it...87

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The only of the major Unibroue beers I have yet to try. Pretty excited- one beer that I have been seeking for years.

A- Body is a very hazy, somewhat dingy copper color. Pours with a 3-4 finger very foamy white head that eventually fades to <1/2 finger and leaves behind some lacing in the glass.

S- Banana, clove, dishwater, a hint of smoke spicy belgian yeast, apples,bread.

T- Upfront is banana clove, spices, bready yeast, a hint of apple, and smoke overtones. A lot more apple comes through for the finish as well as a hint of caramel. Left to linger is some spices and a hint of apple.

F- Carbonation is medium to heavy with a lightweight body.

O- Overall this is a pretty nice beer. Very complex, especially as it warms. Although it is complex it is still very light bodied and drinkable. Another great brew from Unibroue

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Photo of kevofficiel
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not Raftwoman but Raftman reviewing.
Ok finish with the jokes. Lets get right on the smell. And the smell really surprised me. You that that orange smell coming out. Exactly the same smell than the Hoegaarden. Very impressive so far with lots of carbonation going on inside the class.
The look of it is like a peach color even if it doesn t taste like peach. Not exactly the same look as the Hoegaarden but similar.
Now the taste it is a smoky taste. Orange flavour, not strong at all only 5,5 ABV. Very easy drinking beer. Goes down very smoothy. Now for that type of beer if you drink it while eating a smoked meat or a BBQ smoked meat and you drink that beer the combination is perfect and I would rate this beer a 5/5. But as a regular beer than you would drink on the go I give a 4.
So overall would I recommend it ? For sure. Easy drinking beer. Similar taste and look as the Hoegaarden. Nice combination while eating a smoked meat. But as a regular beer there is nothing to spectacular. I enjoyed more than Hoegaarden than this one. But hey good job Unibroue !

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Moderately hazed orange brown color. Three fingers of foamy white head. Retention is a tad below average and just a hair of lacing is left.

4.25 S: Big peppery spiciness right up in your face. That's just what I want from a beer like this. Bready yeastiness, graham cracker sweetness. Banana notes float a pleasant fruitiness.

3.25 T: Tastes like it smells, but isn't as spectacular as the nose. The bready yeastiness comes to the front. Still lots of pepper, but I was expecting more. Banana notes, cracker malts, hints of melon and clove.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. A bit too much carbonation with each pour, but it becomes a bubbly delight with some swirling. Supremely smooth.

3.25 D: It's a nice every day beer.

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Photo of SvenHayden
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Yeasty (of course. Its "on Lees"). mild banana ester, followed by bready malt. Then a little splash of spicy grass (hops i suppose), followed by a tiny bit of roast caramel. Nice and carbonated, but not too thin & bubbly. A pretty damn well-balanced drinkable, and classy beer.

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Photo of mpedara429
4/5  rDev +3.4%

A: Poured out an amber color, pretty cloudy. A hefty three plus fingers of head with good retention and lacing.

S: Bready yeast, clove, and some dark fruit.

T: Not very sweet. Very bready with spicy clove and some raisin.

M: Medium body with heavy micro bubble carbonation.

O: Simple and refreshing. Thats what makes this one so good. Not super complex but does enough things very well that you want to drink it again.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
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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Raftman from Unibroue
3.87 out of 5 based on 768 ratings.
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