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 TheDoctor
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky butterscotch color. If there isn't light behind it, it almost looks swampy green. It has a light two-inch head that thins out to leave an adequate coating of tiny bubbles. Decent retention; a touch of lacing.

Smells really dank and earthy. It does have a sweet yeasty musk to it as well (as seems to be the case in most of their beers), but is mainly a smell of fresh cut grass with some citrus aromas.

Comes onto the tongue pretty crisp and delicious. There is definitely a smoky, whiskey presence to the taste, but nothing that shocked me. Nice complete, well-balanced flavor.

Some nice grassy, smoky notes and a really great (high) level of carbonation (champagne-like) . Short aftertaste. Unobtrusive and refreshing without being reduced to being "thin."

This is one fine brew! I really enjoyed every aspect of drinking it. It was really well-balanced, neither too sweet nor too bitter. It also wasn't super yeasty (like some other beers they put out--not that yeast is bad or anything). Really refreshing, too. In this respect it also benefits from not having a super high alcohol content like other Belgians. I would have it again. And again. I'd even tell my friends.

EDIT (July)
In all truthfulness, this is my favorite of their beers. I mean, it is a beer that has a solid gimmick (brewed with whiskey malt because lumberjacks were fans of the old "beer and a shot") and pulls it off. The beer is actually better for it. It is the most 'different' in comparison to their other beers (that I have had, obviously), but is not to be missed.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured into tulip.

A - pours a dark orange/light brown colour. One finger head.
S - typical Unibroue Belgian smell, sweet, fruity, bit of spice, whiskey.
T - sweet, belgian spice, some orange, bittersweet smooth finish, some whisky hints, smoke lingers.
M - heavy carbonation, tingle stays on the palate long after.
O - I'm not a huge Belgian guy nor whisky guy, but this is interesting nonetheless. The whisky and smoke flavours are pretty subtle. Smell was't all that distinct from other Unibroue. Surprisingly, this is only 5.5%, making it near sessionable territory. I would drink this again, probably wouldn't pick it over some other Unibroue's though.

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Photo of zachary80
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Corsendonk glass (looks like image on back of bottle). From this seasons gift set / variety pack, not sure the date. Area after "Best Before" is blank.

Pours with a large white head, fades, some retention. Hazy light brown body with golden highlights. Low lacing.

Sweet, somewhat tart aroma. Soft.

Mild but interesting BPA. Fruity finish. Yeastiness lingers.

Good mouthfeel and carbonation.

Overall this is one of my favorite BPA. Nothing outstanding about it, I just really enjoy it.

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

Pours a fairly hazy orangey-brown colour, one finger of white head and some lace on the glass. Smell is a nice mix of belgian yeast, fruit and dark sugars, a bit of smokey malt comes across as well, well spiced as well. Taste is quite yeasty, with a good amount of spice, bits of banana and bubble gum, some ripe fruit flavours, light sweetness with a spicy finish. Medium-hig carbonation, on the lighter end of medium bodied, decent overall feel. Solid and really drinkable, like that this has a low ABV, something I could drink a few of in one sitting for sure.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue has yet to disappoint, and I doubt they ever will. Sure, the yeast strain seems to be about the same for each beer, and it kind of shows. But hey, they're consistently pulling off Belgian styles that are produced en masse. And that works for me.

This one is pretty easy to drink and the character is good. Ripe fruit on this one with the dark ale character you'd expect. Was surprised to see it on tap and glad to be able to try it.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Gigs in London. They listed it as a smoked ale but I didn't detect too much in smoke flavours. It definately has the typical Unibroue Belgian yeast taste to this, but its not as strong as the other beers in their lineup. Theres some spiceyness in the taste with faint fruit flavours like apple and grapes in there as well. Definately another quality belgian brew from Unibroue.

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

Appearance: It has a nice orange/amber color to it. It came with no head but has a white ring around the glass that leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints spices, wheat, citrus and belgian yeast.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice spice presence (cloves, maybe coriander) with some wheat notes, citrus and yeast.

Mouthfeel: It has a high carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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

Beer is dark gold in colour with a moderate white head. Good retention.

Smell consists of malty grains, wheat and some spice.

Taste is surprisingly dominated by bubblegum. Quite potent. Also present are clove, cinnamon and crisp wheat flavours. A hint of banana. Belgian yeast present as well.

Over-carbonated, I found the feel irritating. Medium bodied.

Overall, pretty tasty. Not what I was expecting. To me, this is a modified hefeweizen.

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

A: Cloudy golden copper in colour with 3 fingers of head that dissipated to a thin hint of lacing around the edge

S: Unibroue yeast is forefront followed musky wet wood and ripe bananas and apricots. Something about the smell reminds me of fresh cream, or fresh milk biscuits. At the end you might get a little pepper too.

T: Carbonation pops on the top, then opens to apricot, caramel and vanilla. The Unibroue yeast reminds me of under developed bread dough, but you'll also taste a whisp of whiskey too.

M: Lighter and more carbonated than most Unibroues. It's dry and crisp and refreshening.

O: Overall it's smooth but refreshing, bubbly but can be taken seriously. The flavours run from crisp fruits to smooth butter to a dry finish. At first I didn't like this Unibroue as much as the others, but on second tasting I'm finding it more complex and interesting. Definitely worth a second try.

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Photo of leaddog
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a murky golden brown with a finger width of foamy, dense white head.

Smell - Bananas, clove, spices, hint of citrus.

Taste - Very pleasant spice palate that is well balanced. There is a nice toastiness that comes through in the whiskey malts, both in the finish and the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit of fluffiness to the body.

Overall - A nice Belgian pale ale by Unibroue. The warm spice palate is very well balanced with the other flavours and does not overpower the beer. Smooth and refreshing. Worth a try.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at 1702, Tucson; August 2011
The beer arrives from the tap with a one-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a light amber color that shows a lightly hazed, amber-gold hue when held up to the light. Up front the aroma has an earthy, yeast driven spiciness that reminds me of grassy coriander and a touch of something herbal like thyme perhaps. This is backed by a soft, pear like fruitiness that has touches of green apple to it. After a bit of time some musty yeast aromatics join with the general spicy notes. I am having a hard time smelling any smoke influence in the nose, but if I dig a whole lot there seems to be a richness in the malt character that could be contributed by the peat smoked malt.

Fairly dry tasting up front, but there is a substantial fruitiness that reminds me of pears and ripe sweet-plums that adds a perceived sweetness to the finish. The finish has a touch of phenolic character to it as well, some of this is clove character from the yeast, but there also seems to be a touch of something earthier and richer that might be peat smoke. The malt character in the finish is also quite rich and almost umami laden; it is sort of toasted, but really just rich and malty (but no grain sweetness) and this has to be boosted by the smoked malt. The body of this is light enough to be downright quaffable, but still has enough texture to not seem thin. When paired with my slice of pizza some plastic like notes are brought out in the finish as is a soft tartness.

The smoked malt in this is extremely subtle; I have a feeling this is for the best given their characterful house yeast and the fact that it is peat smoked malt, but I still feel like I am missing out on a more pungent smoke character. Interestingly enough the house yeast dominates the profile of this beer, so if you like that, then this beer is pretty enjoyable; I just wish something else came through a bit more.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with a best-by date just a couple of weeks away, poured into a Maudite tulip. I can get down with the murky brown body, but the fizzy, short-lived head and lack of lacing leave something to be desired.

Big yeasty and fruity aromas- apricots, candied apples- with light woody and peppery background notes. The peppery presence comes to life afloat abundant carbonation, cutting through a robust malty mix of honey, toasty, toffee and caramel. Yeast and tangy fruit abound. It's quite complex; a sipper, really, even at this modest ABV. Quite satisfying.

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

750 mL corked and caged bottle purchased at the MLCC. Poured ~4C into a tulip.

Hazy copper body with a big fluffy white head that laces well. Tons of Belgian esters on the nose along with pepper and apple juice. The body is spicy with an odd numbing aftertaste on the tongue. The lack of smokiness is distressing to me, as I was hoping for a stronger presence. Even knowing that it's there, I find it hard to discern. A real nice belgian beer, but sadly not what I thought it would be.

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Photo of Dawkfan
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Towering white effervescent head atop a nearly clear(second pour was much cloudier) copper orange body. Retention was very good, lacing mediocore.

S- I had to look at the style listing again because upon first whiff I instantly thought this was a Hefe. Further sniffing around reveals some light fruit and the Unibroue yeast strain becomes more prevalent as it warms.

T- Flavors are light but long lasting , which is definitely a changeup considering the brewers other offerings, but somehow seems fitting here. Apples, pears, slightly spicy yet earthy. It's sweet, tart and drying all at the same time.

M- Love the mouthfeel, light with just the right amount of carbonation.

O- The beer itself was good but I'm not really sure what style it fits in. I guess BPA is the most suitable. There's no trace of the smoked malt whiskey. This might be Unibroue's most drinkable beer.

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Photo of Smurf2055
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap and poured into jar-like pint at Chuck’s 85th. Aroma is enjoyable. It smells somewhat close to a wheat beer. Mild sweetness. Appearance was murky, honey blond with minimal head. Taste was great at first, but sort of just fades away to something a bit bland. There’s nothing overpowering about this. Very slight bitterness, slight citrus, slight sweetness. It’s just all around a very subtle drink. Palate was smooth and bubbly. Very drinkable. Overall, it wasn’t anything special, but still worth trying at least.

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

From notes... Another score from joemcgrath27... A brew from Unibroue that I've been itching to get my hands on.

A - Pours a slightly hazy copper brown colour, finger of big bubbled head that turns into fine soapy head, solid retention adn sporadic lacing.

S - Musty yeast esters, leafy and earthy, lemon citrus, toffee and a hint of leather.

T - Sweet bready yeast flavours complemented by cloves and nutmeg, a unique bitterness that brings citrus notes, wooden flavours also come through with oak and a hint of peat.

M - Heavy carbonation gives this a lighter body than I would've liked, but nothing overly offensive. Goes down smooth and finishes wet.

O - A tasty, easy drinking Belgian Pale Ale that would make for a great session beer from Unibroue. Would be nice to be able to get 6-ers of this. Definitely worth a grab and will certainly quench your thirst.

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

served in tulip...

BA here describes this as a BPA, though I've seen it elsewhere as a rauchbier and the unibroue website describes it as a peat-smoked beer (a seemingly sui generis category). So, it's probably

look -- pours a rich medium amber. The head is a bit of a letdown: white, while it came up to about two fingers, and falling quickly without lacing to a swirling film. Hazy (not truly opaque, nor clear).

smell -- the smell is full of the unibroue ale yeast (maybe a bit more peppery than usual) with some interesting malts in the background. I get the scotch-like peat smoked malt aroma, but it's really quite weak and in the background behind the yeast that comes along with an aroma of rich dark bread. No real hop aroma

taste -- essentially, the same as the aroma, but a the taste is a little better balanced between the yeast and the malt than the nose. The malt character is still similar to rich dark bread with a hint of sweetness in there (which struck me as almost similar to a liquor chocolate). There really isn't all that much in the way of smokiness (at least compared to a rauchbier, which I have seen this brew listed as). Any smokiness there is is carried off with the pepperiness of the yeast and the breadiness of the malt. No real hop flavor, but a bit of bitterness on the finish.

feel -- lighter body than I would have expected, good carbonation. No alcohol warmth. Some spiciness played well with the effervescent finish.

Overall, a decent brew. Pretty tasty, though maybe not the most drinkable (to be frank, I think it could have taken a higher ABV). I like having it with greasy and gravy soaked food.

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Photo of CrazyMike
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy brown appearance with bubbly white head that slowly settles down leaving little retention. Smell consists of citrus, roasted malt, various spices and yeast.

Taste consists of various fruit (banana's, apples and peach), spicy, bread, smoke, yeast and roasted malt. Very flavorful and smooth, but only picked up a faint hint of whiskey, similar texture. Medium bodied with high carbonation. Has a dry and boozy finish.

Unibroue never fails to impress, refreshing to drink and good blend of fruits and flavors. Would definitely recommend picking up a bottle or case.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1" cream coloured head over hazy brownish amber liquid.

S: Yeast, smoke, citrus and malt.

T: Citrus up front with a yeasty and somewhat smoky finish.

M: Medium viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation.

O: Very refreshing and drinkable Belgian Pale Ale.

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

On tap last night at Meadhall in Cambridge. Served in a Unibroue tulip glass. Hazy orange colored body, with a creamy white head. Minimal lacing. Smell was a bit sugary and earthy. Taste was good, as I enjoyed the balance between the sweet malt and the tart Belgian yeast. The one thing that let me down was the real absence of the smoked character that I was looking for. The beer promises smoked malt, but it's not upfront. Instead, it's hidden way back in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was smooth and easy to drink. Raftman was a great Belgian style pale ale, but I thought it let me down on the smoked aspect. A really smoky BPA sounds like a good idea, but this isn't it.

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Photo of ozmodium
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours murky copper orange, with a bountiful eggshell head which quickly disipates down to about 1/2" but stays there. Lots of little bubbles rising from the etched marking at the bottom of my oversized Stella tulip. Not much in the way of lacing.
S: cloves, peach, sweet smoked roasted malts, pepper, medicinal esters at the end. Very interesting!
T: smoky dryness and peachy fruits. Yeasty, bready and peppery. Deliciously refreshing and interesting.
M: abundantly but not overly carbonated, and a lower than expected ABV make this a highly drinkable brew.
O: I'm a big fan of unibroue beers and this does not disappoint. It adds an interesting twist on their theme that has worked for years. Will definitely buy again.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a swampy burnt orange brown, very tall head dissipated slowly leaving random lacing
S - big fruity and spicy yeast aroma, mild citrus and some toasty malt
T - yeasty esters of banana and pear with clove and pepper, mild leafy hops and orange zest, grainy malt with faint whiskey caramel sweetness
M - big carbonation kick, prickly full feel with mild dry
O - its a big beer for sure, lots of Belgian character with pale ale accents, the whiskey malt is very subtle but a nice touch, merits a repeat purchase

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Photo of Crossmd
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 55 degrees Fahrenheit into a tulip glass. No born date.

Pours a hazy/milky orange-brown with a fluffy, quickly dissipating three finger offwhite head.

Smells of Belgian yeast and the slightest hint of charcoal. Not really well projected.

Taste consists of a smooth, clearly Belgian layering of yeast spice and just the slightest hint of smoke. I really expected something more robust in terms of whiskey flavor. Expecting it to really be unique or interesting, it's nice, but not something that I really have a lot of love for. Finish is relatively long and very dry, turning just slightly bitter at the end.

Mouthfeel is plush, like all Unibroues, pillowy, soft, and delicious.

Overall, a good offering,maybe great with food, but not quite as inspired as I would like. Would probably pick up again if I could find it cheaply.


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Photo of adam42381
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/8/11.

Poured on draft into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium golden caramel with a 1/2 finger off-white head. Very little lacing.

Smell: Wheat and Belgian yeast. I don't detect any smoke or whisky.

Taste: Sweet citrus up front followed by Belgian yeast in the middle before ending with a touch of bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is bittersweet. Again, I didn't find any smoke or whisky.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. Goes down smooth enough that you could drink a few.

Overall: Pretty good beer overall. I wish that the smokiness that was supposed to be present had shown up. That said, it's still a solid beer. It just isn't up to the standards of most other Unibroue beers.

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Raftman from Unibroue
3.87 out of 5 based on 768 ratings.
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