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 Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had after 27 months, and its not a bad Belgium, yeasty, less whisky than I originally noted. Probably rated fair at 3.9. Now an incredible selling Onatrio beer.
If you like whisky or scotch, as well as beer, then its an interesting and purposeful cocktail of the two. Original and unique. Refreshing evening drink. Swirl it and fizz settles to a nice orange/brown color.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Newhall Refinery in Newhall, CA.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and very subtle smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, earth, fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smoked malt supposedly used in this one is almost non-existent in the smell or taste.

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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 Knapp85
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a cloudy looking copper color. The head was big and white at first, once it settles it leaves a few spots on top where the bubbles rise to the top of the beer. The smell is yeasty,and a little fruity. The flavor of the beer has a nice apple taste coming off of it. There is also a decent amount of spice in there too. The mouthfeel is well carbonated and is medium bodied. Overall a little different than a typical Belgian pale ale. The fruit sets it apart from the majority. Worth trying.

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Photo of metter98
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellowish brown in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles completely covering the surface.
S: Light- to moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with notes of pale malts. The yeast tastes a little like bananas.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the malts also contribute a slight amount of sweetness and bits of earthiness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: With all of the banana flavors from the yeast, this beer seemed like a cross between a Hefeweizen and a Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed last night at Pazzo's Pizza Pub, Lexington KY (a Pint Night offering). Don't think this beer is actually Belgian Pale, but it's quite a good beer, no matter the style. A very rusty colored, lightly viscous pour delivers a dainty head retention and light, creamy carbonation, which creame resists fading throughout. Moderate aromas of complex malts, aged hops, fruitiness, spicy esters, and a vineous, peat-ey / light smoke, musky scent sets the tone. A strong scent of metal and rust accompanies over-ripe fruits of peaches, dates, figs, grapes, pears, apricots, and mangos. Flavors hit on these same notes, but apply emphasis to a woodsy / musty character, a yeasty / bready flavor and texture; and strong, spicy / fruity esters. The textue is far lighter than the aroamas and flavors suggest; more Witbier-like than Belgian Pale. Very creamy textured, with light, powdery, cooling sensation. Alcohols remain light throughout. Waters a bit toward the end, but reamins very easy to drink.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good tasting beer.. Very heavily carbonated and an interesting/sweet aftertaste, but the taste is what makes it great. A nice woodsy type of taste, I kind of want to say it is almost "manly" tasting. Hardy in a way and it's all well balanced and goes down smooth. Not the best Unibroue I've had but an above average beer for sure.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, in a downtown Montreal hotel room.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium-dark golden amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, and tightly foamy off-white head, which dissipates at a steady rate, leaving a low-lying berm of island-ho lace around the glass.

It smells of peaty, somewhat neutered smoke, that Belgian house yeast, cloves, a bit of muddled bruised drupe fruitiness, and pale grainy malt. The taste is lightly smoked, semi-sweet biscuity pale malt, with a slightly toasted marshmallow essence, some fruity pear and apple pie notes, singed banana chips, coriander, woody vanilla, edgy, spicy yeast, and soft grassy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and mostly just palate-clogging in its frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the yeasty pale malt, middling spice, and smoked woodiness duly lingering.

An interesting enough ode to those in Quebec's history who adhered to the 'one whisky, one beer' policy that I'm also quite fond of. The whisky malt does well to make indeterminate appearances throughout this beer, and overall, it's a unique and approachable offering from Unibroue - a smoked Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a decent head (though a little disappointing for a Belgian style); strands of lacing linger

Smell: Floral and white pepper elements along with a cookie dough aspect

Taste: Opens with a cookie dough flavor that adds an oaky, peppery and floral character by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors dry out considerably, with wheat bread, nutmeg and just a hint of lemon and peat in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; very effervescent

Drinkability: Not as distinctive as I was expecting, this is still a nice lighter Belgian style ale

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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 Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It is supposed to be a smoked brew but I believe the smoke taste could be more present. I would qualify this more as a smoke brew for beginners. Still, very good beer with the disctinct yeast flavor from Unibroue but I frank better brew from Unibroue.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%

5.50% ABV. 750ml brown glass bottle with appealing albeit cliche label art and a branded silver cap over a cork acquired at H-E-B grocery and served into a snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery - which makes some lovely beers. Reviewed as a Peat-smoked whisky malt ale. 15.5 IBU.

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half a finger of white colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. More if you include the floater ring it leaves.

BODY: Body colour is a murky copper of below average vibrance. Has some rotten orange hues. Maybe a dab of caramel colour too.

No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Not real appealing, admittedly. Average looking at best.

AROMA: Raw wort-like malts - the kind of sticky almost malt-extract esque aroma you'd expect to find in a new upstart brewery's amber. A hint of tangerine. I don't pick up on any smokiness. Clove. It has surprising warmth for a beer of average ABV, but that may be some of the whisky malt seeming booziness trickling in. I don't pick up on any actual whisky notes. Belgian pale malts.

It's not all that great an aroma. The rawness coupled with the warm fruit. Inoffensive, but unattractive. Average in strength.

No off-notes are detectable per se.

TASTE: Has some pleasant sour apple. Caramel. Belgian pale malt.

I'm not finding any smokiness or whisky notes at all. Maybe a bit of whisky grain on the backend, but only because I'm searching for it. Loads of spicy esters. Ripe.

Has some mild clove and some muted tangerine.

Fairly well balanced, but ultimately rather simple. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. Not complex or intricate, but cohesive. There isn't much subtlety to this execution, and it's not a gestalt build, but I do like it in a general sense.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, a bit too aggressively carbonated, and lightly smacky on the palate. A biteen acidic.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, gritty, rough, or scratchy on the palate. Overall presence on the palate is average.

This texture suits the taste decently, but doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

OVERALL: It's downable, but surprisingly disappointing for a Unibroue brew. The sour apple note is nice, but I'm not sure what it gains from the whisky malt - if anything. Ultimately, this execution doesn't deliver on the promise of the premise. There's no really smokiness here. I wouldn't buy it again. A rare miss from Unibroue.

Where are Unibroue's signature notes of lees? At the very least, I thought I could always count on that.


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

Here is a beer that I have been wanting to try for a while now, but never found it singly (always with a mix pack). Finally found it as a single and was pretty excited.

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours about a finger of slightly off white head. Head fades down to a thick ring after a bit. Color is a burnt caramel brown with a gold hue to it. Very hazy. Adding the sediment makes the beer very dark and the beer doesn't look as good.

Aroma: This beer smells a lot like the other Unibroue products. Grassy hops up front with cloves and bananas mixed in like a hefeweizen would smell like. Some other spices. The whiskey malt is very faint, but I can tell it is there. It smells a lot like a BPA smells like, but the added whiskey malt really adds a nice touch to it.

Taste: Again, this reminds me of a lot of the other Unibroue products I have had. Bananas, cloves, and spice flavors. Some sweet caramel flavors present. I also get some citrus fruit, maybe some lemons to be exact.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly and crisp. This beer brings a ton of carbonation with it. It has a medium bodied. Ends very malty and a little dry.

Overall, not a bad beer. It was good finally getting to drink this one. I didn't expect all the carbonation. The whiskey malt was subtle but it worked really well with this beer. I recommend this one.

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Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep copper color with medium head that leaves some pretty nice lacing,I really liked the soft malty slightly sweet aroma.The taste is also pretty soft with a light smokiness to it with a good malty backbone and finishes a little fruity.I think this is a highly drinkable beer for the style,pretty well done.

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 3/6/2016. Pours lightly hazy deep orange copper color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big peach, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, caramel, toast, bread, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of apricot, peach, pear, apple, light banana, clove, caramel, toast, bread, light pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of peach, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, caramel, toast, bread, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 5.5%. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian pale ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy (bottle conditioned) amber/orange in color with a full, dense white head that drops but keeps a decent 1/8" of foam and leaves some minor lace. The aroma is fruity (citrusy... lightly lemon, and peach) and quite sweetish (candyish, even) with some noteable yeast character present. Very welcoming. The body is light but enhanced by a very fine and gently effervescent carbonation that gives it a fuller appearance and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is fruity and sweet, but backed by enough underlying bitterness to keep it anchored. There's soft flavors of light & dark fruits (berries, peach, light citrus), a sweet & bready malt not unlike cookie dough, and a light peppery spiciness and some woody & vanilla notes from the yeast. Very nice. It finishes semi-sweet with a lingering sweet & fruity malt note. If smokiness is to be found in this beer, it's in the finish, and quite light. Well brewed. This would make a great apertif, or even a nice after-dinner drink paired with some lightly sweet dessert cookies or raspberry sorbet. Or, this would also make a great beer for a soft, lightly breezy summer evening as the sun goes down. Quite unique, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated 2-26-11 (fresh) served in pint glass. Small amount of accessible sediment in bottom of bottle included in pour.

A - medium honey brown; cloudy; ample and dense tan head; head has good retention.

S - Whisky-tinged Belgian-style ale with fruity yeast aromas. Some disagreeable mustiness and notes reminiscent of soap.

T - Complex, yeasty, and only a little bit smokey. Belgian-style ale with fruity yeast; Whisky seemed more evident in aroma than flavor. More sweet than bitter. Hints of peat, roasted cashews and apples.

M - medium body; smooth; light carbonation

O - Malty and dark for a "pale ale". My rating increased by interest and complexity. Also mostly improved, compared to original rating, by aging in this bottle that was produced and purchased in 2011, and stored under refrigeration until Feb. 2013 -- ratings adjusted only partly in the direction of the recent aged bottle. Clearly another sample is needed :)

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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 ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $6.50 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Lightly hazed, medium-brown body with a slim coating of white fizz from a to-the-top pour.

Smell: Toasted, lightly sweet-scented maltiness with spicy elements smelling of cloves and earthy nutmeg and varied complimentary fruity notes.

Taste: Slightly toothsome taste of brown sugar stirred up with crushed graham crackers, toasted bread crumbs, and ginger snaps. Fruity kick of pears, Golden Delicious apples, bananas, and plums. Underlying but steadfast spiciness. I was informed this was a smoked beer. At best, I get an infinitesimal puff of faint smokiness. At best. Touch of the standard Unibroue house yeast. Not much hop character or bitterness to be found. Sliver of wheatiness. Spice and sweetness intermingled with the varied fruitiness on the well carbonated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Pretty good. Raftman has a good range of tastes, a comparatively low level of alcohol, and a nice crisp effervescence.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy medium golden peach in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint bright yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy off-white head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering about half of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly smoky pale malts, light fruits (apple and pear), and banana from the yeast. Hints of spicy/peppery yeast as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly smoky pale malts with a hint of light fruit sweetness (apple and pear). Light to moderate flavors of banana from the yeast and just a touch of spiciness as well. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish but it does not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp/slightly prickly.

O: I wish the whiskey-like flavors and aromas were slightly more present than they are in this beer. This is a really nice and enjoyable brew with a very traditional Belgian profile.

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Photo of billab914
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Flying Bison tulip glass. Poured a brown, slightly orange color with a modest white frothy head to it. A nice white layer of foam lasted well into drinking the beer.

The aroma has a Belgian yeast spiciness to it with clove and nutmeg spices coming through. Just a hint of some caramel like sweetness comes through but the spices are pretty dominating.

The taste shows more of the sweet, bready malt with some hints of caramel and toffee. The spices are there but thankfully more subdued.

The mouthfeel is a bit above medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Drinkability is decent, I thought the aroma was too spice dominated but the taste had some nice malty flavors to it. Enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick foaming head that slowly drops down to an ample lace over a cloudy glowing orange coloured brew.

Woody aroma with hints of yeast and vanilla, a faint smoke is detected also with a fruitiness of peaches and lemon.

Smooth mouth feel with a large crispness from a somewhat aggressive carbonation. Malty upfront with a toasted sweetness, sizeable yeast twang in the middle. A dash of peppery phenols thrown in for good measure. Slight metallic charred grain husk flavour pulls the dryness further in. Swift yet mild fruitiness pops in with an indistinct peach flavour and faded alcoholic esters. Hops are very light with only a fast gracing of bitterness. Toasted grain lingers far into the finish.

I could have one after the other of this brew, I’ll be buying this by the case ASAP.

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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 mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 07/03/11 notes. Had on tap at The Ginger Man in NYC.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange color with one finger of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of yeast, spices, bananas, cloves, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of spices, bananas, yeast, light bread, cloves, and fruity malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

o - Overall a good beer, but not Unibroue's best. Next time I would just stick with one of their other offerings.

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Ffej for sharing this 750ml. The brew appears a hazed golden with a white thin film atop. Spotty lace sticks to the glass and a light swirl revives the thin cap.

The smell includes plenty of clove spice and Belgian phenols with some bubblegum sweetness. A touch of caramel and butter give way to hints of very mild almost smoked grain.

Tastes mildly fruity with hints of pear/apple skins. Some bubblegum and clove / yeasty spice are present mud-palate into the aftertaste. Fairly clean and crisp, this is an easy drinking offering.

Medium to light feel with a modest level of carbonation. Light and easy drinking. This reminds me of a light dubble but with more depth. The alcohol was well integrated, this is something I wouldnt mind having again sometime.

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