Raftman | Unibroue

very good
776 Ratings

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 776 |  Reviews: 412
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 beertunes
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a semi-cloudy orangeish gold with just a thin cap of white head that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was nicely spicy and yeasty, with a solid grain base. The flavors were very similar and blended together very well. The spice lingered with a nice tickle at the back of the tongue.

The body was crisp and dry. Drinkability was very good, I could easily have several of these brews. Overall, another nice job from what I consider to be the best brewery in Canadia.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear copper/amber color with 4 fingers of head that slowly recedes. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is quite interesting, yeast, toasted malt, fruitiness, hints of smoke and some caramels/dark fruits are evident immediately.

Taste is bready, fruity malts and yeast. There is apricot, light smoked malt, earthiness, lots of yeast character and hints of wood. The finish is mildly tart and leaves a lingering fruity/yeasty flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/high carbonation.

Overall this beer has the distinct Unibroue yeast character and some interesting malt flavors and a very restrained smoked flavor. It was enjoyable to drink but not my favorite.

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Photo of legalpete19340
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Came to the table with a thick but short head that dissipated to a thin skim. Vibrant orangish brown and cloudy.

S: Strong sweet malt and yeast. Wood, orange, and mild lemon.

T: Sweet toasted malt with noticeable caramel and toffee. Yeast and wheat come flying out in the middle and hangs on with a bit of bite and sourness. Some light black pepper, apricot/peach and then ends with barley.

M: Very thick and creamy but not heavy. Good carbonation.

O: Surprised by this one. Turned out to be complex and interesting to drink. Sweetness didnt overwhelm me. Drank two and never wanted for anything.

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Photo of akorsak
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, MD.

A: The pale ale has an orange glow, a bright golden hue that is opaque. A thin white head came with the pour and progressively got smaller with each sip.

S: The nose has the distinct Unibroue house yeast, fruity sweet, overtop a full caramel malt base. The fullness of the nose reminds me of more subtle wee heavies.

T: More scotch ale flavors, not the smoked peaty flavors thourgh. Instead, the ale offers full caramel malts, a thick bready base that is a worthy foe for the yeast strain. Pears and green grapes are prevalent, a testament to Unibroue's terroir. The fullness, paired with sweet fruits, isn't heavy though, staying light with each sip.

M: A chewy ale that hasn't shaken its sweet side. I was glad for the opportunity (it's been many years), however my rose-tinted din of my memory recalls more of a peaty presence.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden brownish body in a Unibroue tulip with around a finger of whitish, fine head that laces nicely.

Belgian sourness on the nose, faint lemon and a bit of the malt, maybe caramel.

Taste is caramely and rich with plenty of malt, but a bit of sourness... which sounds weird but works.

Mouthfeel is okay, but needs to be either thicker or creamier to work with the taste-- as is, it's just a tad watery.

It's quite nice; I set the bar really high for Unibroue, and the description sounded ideal to my taste. It ended up not quite living up to my expectation in a bottle, but was better from a growler. Unibroue just doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of John_M
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a honey amber color with pretty good head retention and fairly good lacing. The smells is pretty sweet, and I can't say I'm getting a whole lot of whiskey barrel aroma. There's some orange citrus, lemon and cherry that is attractive though. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in what tastes like a cross between an amber ale and a scotch ale. There's a bit of underlying spice as well, and there's enough hoppy bitterness to keep the beer from coming across as too sweet. Mouthfeel is decidedly medium bodied, with a fair decent finish. Drinkability is good in this beer, and I appreciate how much flavor I'm getting considering the abv.

Nice enough beer, but nothing to really get excited about either. Also, as the beer warmed, and after a couple of sips of ruination, I did notice some light smoke and whiskey in this beer as well.

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Photo of chickenm
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle. Pours a cloudy orange/brown color with minimal head and no lacing. Smell is of yeast, spices and fruits. Taste has the typical Unibroue yeast taste, spice, and malt. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. This is a good easy drinking beer, though I wish Unibroue would try using different yeast once in a while!

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341mL bottle brought back from a recent trip to Montreal. Always nice to run into a Unibroue offering I haven't tried yet. (For those Canucks in the audience, this label greatly reminded me of the CNFB "Log Driver's Waltz" film from the 70s. How Canadian can you get?)

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Pale amber-copper, slightly opaque with that yeasty sediment. About an inch of fluffy head quickly recedes into a thin, but sturdy ring. Lacing when the glass is tilted.

The nose is that distinctive Unibroue yeast, peach, apple, vanilla, and I guess you could call it smoke, but really it's probably my nose playing off the beer description because it isn't very strong. Still, a nice smell to it.

Tastes like the typically good Unibroue fare, although I was a bit underwhelmed. Nothing really stood out for me in this brew - the smoky, whisky flavors I was anticipating just weren't there, and if they were, they were so well hidden I can't really say I'm being honest about them. Still, a not-so-fantastic Unibroue is still fantastic. Easy to sip on a cold, dreary afternoon.

Slight sediment to the mouth, crisp carbonation, thicker bodied.

This log driver's waltz won't please the beer folks completely, but it still was a decent beer. A low ABV would make for a great session brew. It's of the kind I like to drink so it's hard to knock it, but when I see Unibroue's website describe Raftman as a "a peat smoked whisky malt ale", I was expecting a great deal more than what was there.

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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 Shadman
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Zor Prime for this..will certainly hit up Trackside here in Medicine Hat and see if it can be brought here for others to enjoy.

Pours a very cloudy peach amber gold. NIce head and lacing. Super aggressive carbonation as per Unibroue.

I found it had a woody, slightly spicy aroma. Spicy again being a real Unibroue calling card.

Well, for a Belgian style ale, it is quaffable. Found it had much in comon with it's aroma, just a lot richer. Smooth, sweet malts, a slight woody, almost oakiness in terms of how dry yet earthy it was. Hops are only there to provide just a slight, yet right amount of bitter/dryness.

Initially crisp from from active Unibroue carbonation, but overall quite nice and even bodied

Nice Ale...well worth seeking out or in my case, trading for

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Photo of chiccabeer
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decent tasting beer. It a smooth beer with an easy finish. I got a taste of pears, and you can definitely taste the yeast. This would be a good beer with dinner. A very light tasting beer, so if you are looking for something with a lot of flavor I would look elsewhere.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber color with a sizeable foam head.

S: Full of malt with a hint of lemon and pepper mixed in. Some of that Unibroue yeast as well.

T: Whiskey malt gives it kind of a rough edge but is slightly sweet and balances well with the yeast. No real bitterness to speak of. Kind of lost my interest by the end of it. Not bad though.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice one finger head of rich off white foam, leaving a moderate clinging lace. Color is a 17 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is complex, aromas of peach, melon, wheat, and barley. Taste is much much good. Flavors of black pepper, honey, peach, melon, apricot, and a rich malt come through atop other complex flavors. Good creamy and full body in the mouth feel category. This is a good beer to sit and relax and watch the world go by.

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Photo of Fnord
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Opaque amber with a dense white head that lasts.

Smell and Taste - Apple, alcohol, maple, and a little grapefruit. The characteristic Unibroue yeast taste is in the finish. There is a touch of smoke about it, but I may not have noticed it if it hadn't been mentioned on the bottle.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and high carbonation. Fairly crisp.

Notes - This is a beautifully balanced Belgian Pale Ale, the best I've had. Low ABV yet complex, I wish there were more beers like it. Once again, Unibroue makes a superior product. I just wish it were easier to find.

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

Bottle is dated October 17th 2008, with a best before date that is... missing? blank? eaten? Well let's see how this turns our for a Belgian Pale Ale.

Into a tulip glass Raftman pours a very cloudy/muddy river brown body and a fizzy head that goes fairly quickly. It is very white and tight though and makes a lot of snap pop noise. The bubbles on this rock tight head are all uniform and the same size no matter how you pour it.

Smell is quite interesting, a clean sharp sour fruit, but also some hints of spiced butter and sweet honey. Feels like a crisp saison is coming but something better.

Taste is quite nice, airy clean snap of faint sweet cherry fruit, and somewhat caramel and carbonated bubbles. Finish is actually buttery but a little wet. This combination almost makes for a baked cherry pie taste, very nice! Low ABV easy drinking also, piece of cake.

I really like this but if it had a little more body and wasn't so carbonated it would be for me spectacular. It's a very good brew no question and I would have it again.

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Photo of curasowa
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber color with 1 finger of head that fades quickly to a thin cap

Aroma: Sweet/sour, almost like apple cider with some funky yeast mixing in

Taste: An initial sweet flash upfront before becoming dry and tart, almost champagne-like, then a sweet, light malt flavor on the way out with a clean finish

The Rest: Body is medium with a lot of carbonation and drinkability is pretty good. This beer reminds me somewhat of a Saison, but with some nice sweet flavor that captures that whiskey profile well. Overall, I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz foil topped bottle dated best before 2-26-11.

Served cold into a pint glass, Raftman is a hazy copper color with fizzy short-lived head. The lees mostly stay in the bottle but a few bits escape into the glass.

Aroma is slightly sweet with a mild tropical fruit undertone. The yeast character is also subtle but noticible for it's Belgian qualities.

The flavor is very nice and luckily more bold than the aroma. There is a sweet, malty backbone with caramel and orchard fruit. There is a healthy dose of spice, either from the yeast or the hops, I'm not sure. A good balance start to finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and well-carbonated. A little more than I prefer but appropriate for the style.

Overall a very good example of a Belgian pale ale but probably not something I would buy a six-pack of, even if it was available here.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass is this lovely beer from our friends at Unibroue. This beer boasts a beautiful honey colour and a luscious inch of spring fed, long lasting head. A good quarter inch of fluff sustains itself through the entirety of the drinking session. The nose is distinctly house Unibroue with Belgian yeasty undertones and a sweet, somewhat spicy aroma on top. Smells wild and inviting. The taste is fresh and light with spiced caramel apple skin and chalky yeast tones and some crusty breadiness. The use of whiskey malt does not show up as an overtly conspicuous component nor does it create a definite uniqueness beyond the other equally great Unibroue offerings. If it weren't noted upon the bottle, this ingredient would likely not be identified by most palates. "Whiskey flavour" is generally a product of whiskey barrels, and this brew is bottle fermented not barrel aged in whiskey casks. You can imagine it if you like. At any rate, this brew has a great flavour. The mouthfeel ranges in around medium with the ample carbonation lending itself to a great consistency. The drinkability is good as this brew flows smoothly and is without any offensive or overpowing elements in the flavour profile. As well, the alcohol content is within a moderate range that would allow for extended samplings without threat of inebriation. Well crafted.

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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 BeerDawgs
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A cloudy orange hue. Decent amount of head. Small lace on the glass.

S - Orange and sour apple smell. Yeast prevalent.

T - Whisky malt is apparent. It has a crisp bite. Maybe a sour apple finish. Very good.

M - Pretty high carbonation. Crisp mouthful

D - Very good. I would like another one.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy, orangish, light brown colour. Medium carbonation and a one finger white head. Yeast streaks present also.

S - Yeast, orange and lemon citrus. Mild smokiness.

T - Much more smoke in the taste backed up by that Belgian character they're trying to create with the yeast and fruitiness. Quite different.

M - Medium bodied with carbonation where it should be - not too strong but just enough to keep it moving.

D - I could session this. Smokiness is nice and low but still noticable. When combined with the other elements it makes for a nice beer.

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Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Darkness glass...Pours very light but settles a dark clear copper. Nice full tope head with great retention and lacing. Color is a little weird but great head...The aroma is distinctly Belgian, lots of yeast, pale malt notes, very light hint of whiskey on the finish, like that but too much yeast dominating...The taste is surprisingly sweet, still a light backbone of yeast, but its not front and center anymore. The whisky notes come in again, very light but its very cool as its subtle.

Interesting and worth a shot.

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Photo of Swedes21
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 ml served in a chilled glass

Apperance - beer pours with a nice full bodied head, about 2-3 fingers. It lingers around for quite some time. The beer is a dark orange/amber in appearance and its hard to tell the carbonation levels.

Smell - the smell is nice and smooth, i can pick up some hints of orange, lemon and mild hops.

Taste - nice tasting beer! I can actually taste some sweetness along with the citrus tones. The beer is full bodied without an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Nice mouthfeel, full bodied and lots of carbonation. I can pick up hints of banana as well in the mouthfeel. All the comments in taste remain the same, very nice beer.

Drinkability - I am very happy i was able to try this beer and really enjoyed it. Nice tasting beer that offers the mouth so much, will find and stock again!

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Photo of johnwarne
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A beer haiku for you:

"Canadian ale;
It's really not your fault that...
"Brewed with whisky malt"

Sometimes these things work out well, sometimes they are a little 'flat'. This is not a bad beer at all--quite respectable--but it falls short of some other representatives of the Belgian Pale family. Good ale, but not the best in the Unibroue stable.


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Raftman from Unibroue
3.87 out of 5 based on 776 ratings.
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