Raftman | Unibroue

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Very Good
789 Ratings

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Unibroue introduced Raftman to the Quebec market in March 1995. This coral-hued beer has a unique taste that combines the smooth character of smoked malt whisky with the flavours of fine yeast.

IBU: 15.5

Added by kbub6f on 03-06-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 789 |  Reviews: 419
Photo of floraday
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle best before 02-26-11 into snifter

A: Maple brown with two finger foamy head that dissipates quickly into a gentle foam crown. Light carbonation.

S: Nice crystallized malts upfront. Lots of gingerbread. Light banana yeast towards the end. Awesome smelling brew!

T: Earthy and rather smokey upfront. Lots of nutmeg which seems rather tannic on the palate. Slight banana on the back.

M: Lots of carbonation! Tannins come across the palate which is rather interesting! Slight metallic.

D: Very nice brew! Great in the nose. Fades slightly on the palate. Lots of tannins on this brew. A perfect food beer.

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Photo of impending
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip. Pours a hazy orange amber.

Aroma is spiced smooth mellow nectarines, not striking.

A simple mellow belgian pale ale. No part projects itself while all the parts are competent.

A witbier is often a gateway into belgians as it's not too surprising to the uninitiated as many of the bigger belgian brews sometimes are. This too is an exceptional gateway brew as it is inexpensive, has many basic restrained belgian notes competently performed, no surprises but a lure perhaps for a stronger version of a particular note they may like.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before February 26, 2011 - poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Upon pouring, I wonder if this classification isn't wrong - as this appears to be somewhere betwen a Belgian Amber and a Scotch Ale:

Redwood body with a hefty dense finger of beige supported by an uproar of carbonation. Cloudy with burnt sienna highlights. Average sandy lacing, slight legs.

Melanoidin and caramel enriched malt, faint almost peaty smoke, barley and wheat, and a hint of pale malt comprise the nose.

Biscuity, English-like malt, faint whisky notes, and pleasing winter fruit esters on the palate. Tart carmelized grain in the finish - an interesting blend with a yeasty spine. Vague butterscotch element (not necessarily diacetyl) as well...

Medium to medium-light bodied with a creamy effervescence.

An unusual brew, rustic and not made to a particular style per se - reminds me of a superior home-brew really...

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: robust, overflowing head; semicloudy copper color
S: wheaty, sweet; the fragrance is nice
T: peppery and musky overtones enhance the overall presentation of a classic Unibroue and its signature, the tang behind their double fermentation.
M: watery, but offset by good carbonation
D: the pungency of the beer makes it an unlikely return for me.

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Photo of Snamnoum
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - dull hazy honey amber with one finger of off white head. Some stick lace clung to my tulip.

Smell - Smokey dried fruit and esters, alcohol, wheat, floral yeast

Taste - much like it smells, smokey dried fruit and esters upfront. Then sweet crackerish malt and interestingly metallic charcoal-like phenols. Love 95% of this beer but just don't like the metallic tart finish. It just doesn't seem to mesh with the rest of this beer and ultimately holds it back from a much better score.

Mouthfeel - on the heavier end of medium bodied, aggressive carbonation, bready/ chewy feel.

Drinkability - not a style I partake in often but this is a very good one. I particularily enjoyed its rich feel and robust toasty malt.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before 2-26-11

Pours a dark amber with an off white head

Sweetunibroue smell of yeast and grapes

Taste is crisp, dry and lightly smokey

Good mouthfeel but very good drinkability. Similarities to other unibroue offerings butstill very different.

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Photo of dcook11
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- dark amber with a soft white head. looks like a chimay blue. maybe also like dfh 90

s- malt, grape, smells like cimay blue. good

t- grape malt,....maybe whiskey? a little bit of whiskey at the finish


nothing too good, but pleasent

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Photo of 1759Girl
2.82/5  rDev -26.9%
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 Haybeerman
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruddy copper/amber color. Poured a 1 finger fizzy white head that dissipated to a broken skim. Lazily decanted. No lacing. Small amount of sediment.

S: Light fruit and spices; pear, apple, clove and pepper. Caramel malt and candi sugar. Earth and smokey peat in the foiundation.

T: Mild flavors consistent with aroma, but in a different order. Spice was up front; clove, pepper, earth and smokey peat. Light fruits; pear, apple and grapes. Lightly bitter in the finish. I liked the light smoke (not over-bearing.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation. Zesty and crisp; almost sharp from the carbonation. It does a lot to clean the finish.

D: Tasty and, though mild, pretty complex. Very easy to drink except the carbonations makes it a bit filling.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on on 12/28/09

Murky, medium-hued brown; akin to pond water. Highlights of pale orange. Yeast sediment drifting about. Poured a fluffy two finger head that holds up nicely. Impressive retention, though it does thin. Lacing isn't too great though.

The nose offers a decent amount of spiciness & light fruits: clove; apple; pear & a touch of orange peel. Swaths of vanilla throughout. Hints of sugars & candied malts. Yeasty aroma. Overtones of smoked malt & peat.

Quite a bit of spiciness upfront with a touch of bitterness. Clove & earthy flavors. Light fruits - apple, pear & maybe grapes. Possibly coriander, too. Yeast & dry, toasted malt. Peat notes throughout with a hint of smokiness; not as much as I'd expect (more apparent as it warms).

Medium body. Ample carbonation is rather sharp. Crisp, overall. Hints of peat, yeast & spices on the finish but it's mostly clean.

Pretty good, though not as complex as I had hoped for. Tasty enough, it's undeniably Unibroue. I'm glad I tried it, but it isn't a beer I would drink regularly.

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Photo of climax
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Raftman pours a a solid walnut brown with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. It left some slight recession marks on the snifter as it receded.

The nose was nice and balanced, heavy and light. Brighter hints of peach, and coriander were meet with maltier cocoa, brown sugar and ripe cherries.

The flavor kept with the same bloodline as the smell. More bitter notes from the hops were evident. The alcohol was well-masked but still distinguishable. Wine-like grape qualities as well as ripe cherries, was the initial taste. A splash of the peat moss and whiskey, as the beer suggests, were all evident as it warmed.

The body was bright yet robust and the feel was very interesting. Heavy carbonation kept a sharp bite throughout, while the finish was numbingly dry with a wine-like tannin feel.

Very good offering from a very good brewery.

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Photo of monkeylovebeer
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Raftman pours with a generous tight eggshell-colored head, dissipating pretty quickly leaving little or no lacing behind. Made with whisky malt, this amber ale takes on the smoky fragrance and a hint of flavor of a nice highland Scotch trending to tart green apple and grass notes as it warms. That this beer is so crisp and lively on the tongue owes to the Belgian styles that Quebec's Unibroue is known for, a deadly combination if there ever was one. Luckily, Raftman is only 5.5% alcohol, making it a very sessionable brew.

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Photo of blackc5
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz silver-foiled bottle into a tulip at about 46F.

A - Nice light amber, clear. Thin white head of small bubbles that fades quickly. No lacing. Left the yeast sediment in the bottle.

S - Unibroue yeast is prominent with a hint of peaty smoke. Some sweetness and fruit.

T - Fairly mild in flavor, it has the typical Unibroue yeast profile with a bit of malt sweetness, and good overall spiciness - clove and pepper come to mind. Some apple and pear.

M - Nice and crisp. Spritzy. Highly carbonated with a dry finish.

D - A bit on the thin side, both in feel and flavor, but a good overall brew and it finished easy enough. Refreshing.

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Perfectly translucent copper brew. Big frothy white head but doesn't stay very long, stays as a thin layer for a good time though. A bit lacing is present.

S: This is one very spicy beer. Lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and pepper are present. Also seems to be pretty sweet with good amounts of brown sugar and light honey. Some strong malty and bready characteristics here. Also quite fruity with nice amounts of lemon, clementine and green apple. Typical Unibroue, typical greatness.

T: see above, literally the same but not nearly as well presented or as strong. Thin tasting would be a good way to describe it.

M: Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation (I think it's just this bottle though). Would have preferred more carbonation. Makes me think of Perrier a bit.

D: very easy to drink, good refreshing beer.

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Photo of kgs
2.64/5  rDev -31.6%
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 Rudgers73
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked this up from my friend John (that's curasowa to you BA's) after his trip to Montreal. He had never seen this in the states so he was nice enough to give me one of his 6 purchased.

Pours with a kind of gross dark iced tea color and a surprisingly white head. I see some lees churning around in the standard Unibroue chunky fashion. It looks a little murky as I look through the glass. It has the nose of a traditional Belgian Abbey dubbel. Light and smooth with a hint of candi sugar. Faint malt, and complex yeasty smells. I smell sweet apples, grain husk, and a little acidity or tartness. It's a little dry smelling. The taste is very mellow and smooth. It doesn't have that citrus punch that most of Unibroue's beers have. Instead it has a sessionable ABV and a more subtle and tame style. The mouthfeel is very thick for the ABV because of the body being so full. The aftertaste shows a little bit of neutral hops that add an attempt at balance, but don't quite get there. This is definitely a predominantly malty beer, but doesn't wear on you like an english brown ale can with the sugary-sweet aftertaste some tend to have. I think I could have 3 of these.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served into a mini--unibroue tulip at Unibroue's Fourquet Fourchette in Chambly. Unfiltered looking, golden body. Off-white head. Fruity, Belgianny, yeasty smell with green apples dominating. Some candi sugar/malty sweetness noted. Whisky malt used to create this delicious sweet malty taste. Particularly easy to drink.

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Photo of Eastman2009
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light amber poured into a chalice. Two fingers of head that dissipated and left no lacing.

Scents of sweet apple, light citrus, and fresh baked cookies lead into a very malty treat. The light esters wash over the tongue and there's no real hop smarting to be found here. Finished sweet with a lingering faint tartness on the back of the tongue.

This is one drinkable beer, if it didn't smell so sweet you could easily dive into several in a row enjoyably.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Beer is brown and pretty hazy. Forms a thick white head of small bubbles that falls away leaving no lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low. Looks OK.

Aroma is sweet and lactic acid like but overall mild. Some esters but really not much at all. Smells OK.

Beer is medium bodied and pretty sweet. There are some caramel notes to the beer and it finishes nicely. The body is good with some carbonation on the palate, overall its a pretty drinkable beer. Not my favorite beer by them but its solid. Yeah, highly drinkable but just an OK beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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 Long813
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dated: NA
From: Premier Wine & Spirits, 341 ml

A: Cloudy dark amber body with two fingers of fluffy white head. Good retention and leaves decent lacing.

S: Basic belgian yeast, notes of whiskey and some fruity aromas. Pretty weak I must say.

T: Following the smell, belgian yeast and fruits are dominant, a bit of cloves. No sense of whiskey at all.

M: Light bodied and medium carbonation. Very watery and thin body. Leaves almost no aftertaste.

D: It's east to drink, not off putting in any sense, but it's very weak and doesn't live up to it's siblings.

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Photo of Daniell
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: cloudy, mangoey, like a hefe. 3.5

S: dry citrusy, lemony Unibroue yeast. Lemon rinds, orange rinds. Not bad really. 4

T: mangoey unibroue yeast. 3.5

M: the mouthfeel on this one's really good I gotta say. 4.5

D: Quite high also. Nice level of alcohol and very drinkable. Giving 4 is still being generous though considering the ridiculous price in Australia. 4

This is actually nice but it still falls into the Unibroue habit of being terribly middle of the road for me. It's like a poor man's Duvel, which is ironic because I'm pretty sure you can actually buy Duvel for less in Sydney. It's certainly loads better than la fin du monde though. I think Unibroue's reputation may be partly based on the fact it might be a good value alternative to Belgians in the US. Except over here it works out as costing about the same as Belgians.

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Photo of AdamMY
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

The appearance was quite nice with a large head, and a slightly foggy amber color.

The aroma has the slight hint of the peat smoked. There are hints of caramel and apples.

The flavor is caramel apple, with hints of toffee. It actually does not have the typical Belgian yeast flavor from the other Belgian and Belgian style beers. The finish is rather empty and non existent.

The mouth feel is incredibly creamy. and smooth. I like it but somehow I do not want to keep drinking it.

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Photo of tone77
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy brown color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of spices and fruits. Taste is good, a considerable amount of spices as well as some dark fruits. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a good quality brew.

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Raftman from Unibroue
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 789 ratings