Raftman | Unibroue

very good
778 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: 778 |  Reviews: 414
Photo of LittleCreature
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Pours two fingers of loudly fizzing foam over a hazy, deep amber to copper body with very lively carbonation. Poor head retention and no lace.

Smell - 4.5
A sweet and spicy aroma of cake-like pale malt, sticky candy cane, fruity yeast, coriander, cinnamon and a whisp of smoke.

Taste - 4.0
Sweet malt suggest of vanilla spongecake and candy cane moving on to mixed spice, particularly cinnamon, stone fruit (peach), a little bitterness for balance, and finishing with a suggestion of smoky malt whiskey.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Fine and lively carbonation, medium body, a little syrupy.

Drinkability - 4.0
A Unibrou than you can drink a few of in a sitting!

A very good Belgian (not very) pale ale. Impressive complexity for the modest (5.5%) alcohol content, though bordering on over-sweet. The smoked whisky malt is an interesting ingredient, though I wonder how many drinkers could tell it was smoked if they weren't told - I'm not sure I could.

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

The label states "brewed from whisky malt", so I've gotta try it, right?

Poured into a stemmed tulip: a hazy, ciderish golden-brown with a finger of whipped head that retains very well. Lots of tiny, fast bubbles.

Took a few whiffs to put a name to it, but that smell comes through loud & clear: apple sauce. Boiled apples, sugar, just a touch of baking spice. Not at all what I was expecting, & I've never smelled it in a beer before, but who the hell doesn't like apple sauce?!

Taste is sweet & apply up front, then comes in a moderate does of tartness that morphs into a nice, round bread crust flavor. Real pleasant toastiness just comes in & sits on the tongue, very gratifying. Hints of caramel popcorn.

Mouthfeel is just a little sharp without being too challenging. Nice & foamy, too.

I really enjoyed this; it's cool to see something with recognizable traits of a style that have been stretched in different directions to make something unique. Don't really detect anything whisky-ish about it, but machts nicht.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- The colour and clarity of unfiltered homestyle apple juice. The kind of big bubbled head you see fizz away before your very eyes. A bit like a soft drink. Streams of very small bubbles.

S- Smells like malty champagne. Apple cideriness to it. Overall yeast presence. Sweet marshmallow.

T- Great first sip. Something in here reminds me of some sort of a cola. Dark fruit. Clove. Although not overpowering, alcohol is well present. A little bit of a watered down finish. Clove after-taste. Nothing here really reminds me of whisky, not any more than another beer anyways. I feel like I'd take a Chimay Grande Réserve, dilute it with some Perrier and voilà: Raftman. Not an insult... just what comes to mind. A bit sour... gueuzy maybe (don't want to push it...)

M- Felt watery at first but it actually isn't that much. The carbonation makes it immediately real smooth mid-sip. Foams up a lot actually. Not dry.

D- High. You can drink this really quickly if you don't concentrate on taking it slow. I just finished one glass of this 750ml and I feel like it'll be empty in a flash (you know what I mean).

Good. Not much to say. If I feel like a wuss and want some Unibroue I'd go for it but they've got much more interesting things.

EDIT: Let it warm up too room temp hoping to get more flavour. Nope. Really too much water in this. Disappointing but I stand by the rest of my review and rating.

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

12 oz. bottle with no date marked near/below the 'Best Before' stamp on back label.

Pours a gorgeous sunset orange color with brilliant clarity. The fluffy & loose off-white head keeps at a steady 1" tall. Vigorous uprising carbonation is visible.

Fresh scents of delicious soft & bready malts hit my nostrils first. After a few swirls of my stemmed tulip chalice, there's bright ripe tropical fruits of the citrus & melon variety. A zest spiciness is intertwined with in all of these fresh and lush scents.

Talk about a roll reversal! The sweet fruitiness so prevelent in the nose is now a ghost when countered with this dry and semi-sour sexy beast. The (very subtle) smoked whiskey malts are distinguishable because the label says there in here. But, my palate would be hard-pressed to come up with this on it's own. An earthy leather flavor rides somewhere in between the spiciness and the tartness, all with grace I might add.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the lighter side of medium bodied with a boistrous dose of playful carbonation. The finish is dry, prickly and somewhat minerally.

Drinkability is way good. No alcohol warmth or 'in-your-face' charateristics whatsoever.

Overall a very unique and subtle flavorful Belgian style pale ale. I do appreciate the nuance of ever-so-slightly smoked malts, but the spiciness and tartness is what floats my boat. As the beer warms, a bitter nutty (walnut?)flavor is brought out. Complex and delicate with a dry, chalky & clean finish. I do like this beer very much.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice.

A: Hazy brown with a reddish hue in the light. Minimal head that disappeared within a few sips.

S: Dark, ripe fruit, carrot peel, earth, apple cider and light cinnamon on the nose.

T: Pretty much follows the smell but with a little more of the earthy hints shining through on the flavor. Quite a cider-like finish; dry and fades fast.

D: Not really too high for me. This style is not something I could cinsider buying a 4-pack of and drinking.

Value: A little overpriced considering some domestic versions of a Belgian ale that are better and cheaper. (Pranqster)

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

Pours cloudy with abundant yeast bits floating around. Amber color with a light tan head. No lace left behind.
Smell is malty, citrus and yeast.
Taste is malt, citrus, hints of wheat and spice.
Smooth with a medium effervescence. Medium-full body. Notes of spice in aftertaste mostly (clove and cinnamon). Another solid brew from the folks at Unibroue but slightly less than the other offerings of theirs I've had.

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Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a slightly hazy orange colour with a moderate size offwhite head. Head retention is poor.

The aroma is full of Belgian yeast character with spicy cloves, some light, tart fruit and some nice sweet malt characteristics too.

It's interesting. The beer has lots of standard Belgian character yet from the label it appears that this should be a less Belgian brew than most others. I fail to really get the smoked character rather I get some tartish fruit character, some yeast and a touch of alcohol. It isn't bad, it just isn't exactly what I see advertised.

The lightish body and high carbonation are fine creating a crisp, refreshing ale.

Raftman is plenty easy to drink with a refreshing tartness and sufficient flavour to appease me. It simply lacks the smokiness I expected.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass...

Beautiful looking brew. Hazy, brownish-orange in color, with a huge billowing head off-white head that gradually faints to a thin chunk-island with mild sticky lacing.

Smells of bready yeasts, fruits and sweet toffee.

Tastes of sweet roasted toffee, yeasts, spiciness - maybe a hint of pepper, apricot and mildly hoppy and a little sour.

Nicely carbonated, not overly so, but definitely effervescent and crisp.

As far as drinkability goes - this is a highly drinkable brew. Very pleasant to drink, easy going and tasty. Not a "big" brew by any stretch, but has enough balls to make me want about a dozen more of these...

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

The Raftman poured a cider color with yeast coagulating under the bottle cap with a 3-4 finger foam head that dissipated quickly. Poured like a soda. Tight bubbles on the outside of the glass. Murky orange color.

I got a spicy aroma of apples with a sour hint to it. The taste was a little bit of the same spice and to me tasted like a really light version of scotch ale. It was very thin in the mouth and overall I thought it was okay but probably won't taste this one again for some time.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a big, big fan of Unibroue, but their Raftmen has always seemed to be out when I try to pick up a bottle. Until recently that is.

Poured into an oversized wine glass, resulting in a mahogany colored ale with about a finger of head. Steady stream of small bubbles made their way to the surface. Head slowly leveled off to a thin covering on top.

A nice sweet scent is easily detectable, not quite honey, but something similar. Yeast is also detectable.

Initial taste results in an 'ooo' moment. Tiny bubbles provide a nice carbonation. A very pleasant sweetness going on, reminding me of honey and molasses. A little hint of spice and clove. Can't make out the subtle whisky portion, but I do get a hint of smoky character. Yeast lends a slightly bready feel to the end of it. I enjoyed letting it linger in the mouth before each swallow, to take in the various characteristics

Overall this is pretty fantastic. Flavorful, enjoyable,and very light, this is easy to drink over an extended period of time.

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

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a cloudy, caramel color with a light tan fluffy head. Head settles to a lace island with no lacing to speak of.

Brew smells of dark fruits, yeast, vanilla, caramel. Very nice nose.

Brew tastes peppery and a bit carbonated initially. The brew then smooths out. The brew finishes dry with a nice pleasant aftertaste. You can taste the spice; almost a bit of cinnamon; also caramel, yeast and minor alcohol flavor. Very malty almost roasted flavors, can see what they mean by "smoked whisky malt".

This brew is light drinking, but not in a bad way. Very sessionable brew. The only strike against is the lack of a good head/lace. Another fine brew from Unibroue.

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a tulip
Bottled on 9-17-2008

A: Pours hazel with low to moderate clarity. Accompanied by a pearly froth 2-finger head that eventually dissipated to a white cap. Lacing was minimal.

S: Coriander, citrus hop and honey with an ever so slight twinge of alcohol.

T: A large citrus kick entered the palate immediately but gave way to little malt character with hints of whiskey malt. Citrus is apricot with a biting clove hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Highly carbed with a rather thin mouthfeel and a slick finish.

D: Could be a long session beer due to the low alcohol (5.5%) and light flavors.

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

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Deep apricot, with lots and lots of carbonation bubbles. All those bubbles old up a huge and fluffy eggshell cap. Head retention is excellent and patches of lace are left behind.

S: Quite spicy. Coriander and clove dominate the nose. A pear sweetness rides behind them, plus a light sourdough biscuit scent.

T: Starts out with a fruit kissed sweetness that's quickly joined by a biting clove and pepper bitterness that's helped along by the beer's generous carbonation. A sourdough bread flavor arrives just in time for the tart and dry finish.

M: The light body is slightly grainy and has a substantial carbonation tingle that feels about right for this style.

D: This beer is light and goes down easily. The evolving flavors kept me going back for more. A very nice beer.

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Photo of bmwats
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my La Fin du Monde tulip.

A: Dark amber color. A little cloudy. Pours into 3 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly. Looks a little like an ice cream float as it does. Head never really settles completely. Thick beer ring lacing remains as you drink.

S: Wood, nuts, molasses, pecan shells, and maybe a touch of Italian spice. A little soft, and musty

T: Slight sweet and robustly malty. Just a little bitter. Woody and grassy.

M: Light but full. Sweet but dry finish.

D: Light enough to drink through quickly.

Great atmosphere. Really impressive appearance in the right glass. Nose is full and lightly complex. Flavor is simpler, but a nice combination of malt and sweet. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this brew as part of a 4pack sampler. This is a unibroue that I haven't had before.

Deep hazy brown bottle conditioned pour into my chalice.

Starts with a good yeastiness and unibroues proprietary strain being dominant with lots of powerdry chewiness. A bit of an alcohol bite and a real nice spiciness.
Tastes a bit sweet, but also a nice sour vinegar twang to add complexity. It's really a good brew, one of my favorite unibroues that i've had. A bit smokey and meaty, but otherwise pretty damn good. Malty and hoppy come together to form a good balance. Some peppery esters and phenols.

A great brew!

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Photo of whtguitarguy
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Raftman is just delicious. Pours a cloudy amber color and has a yeasty/wheaty aroma that is just excellent. Palette is like a bourbon, likely from the whisky malt, very bubbly. There is a whisky flavor in the background that makes it quite warming. But it is not very strong, it just adds to the character. Very smooth, and a little but very pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of bonkers
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. A hazy amber in appearance, it has a big, sticky white head. The nose is a bit light, toasted grains, sweet notes. The flavors of caramel, and vanilla dominate, lingering sweet finish. The body of this beer is light and flavorful, making it almost too easy to drink.

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

Raftman pours a light amber with a thick white head that lasts and laces very well.
the nose and mouth are very duvel light quite delicious light and fruity without noticeable alcohol.
The mouth is medium to light bodied with aggressive carbonation. All of these result in quite the drinkable package. I will be trying it again soon.

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Photo of jbonapar
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fantastic, Unibroue continues to amaze me with their Beers. I've been waiting to try this for a while now.

Purchased a large bottle under natural carbination.

Smell - sweet and tangy smell with a slight vanilla overtone.
Taste - Cherry vanilla for some reason comes to mind. Tangy, sweet and malty. As it tails off, there is bitterness but very mild and then a crisp finish. Refressing and drinkable. I could buy a six-pack of these and watch the Maple Leafs play on the CBC.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml poured into beer snifter~

Pours a murky, muddy brown color with a nice head that settles to about a finger width. Richly aromatic with a nose of tart fruit, brown sugar, and funky yeast. The flavor is a little less prominent than the nose suggested. Good body, medium weight with nice acidity and very low tannins/hops. Overall a very good brew on the mellow side for this brewery. A good addition to the lineup!

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy medium brown into a snifter, with a finger of white head and good lacing. Smelled woody, roasted malty, nutty, sour plum, and tart cherry. The flavor yielded more tart cherry, brown sugar, vanilla, and smokiness than what was implied by the aroma, but the feel was very thin. I appreciate what the U-brew crew was trying to accomplish with this beer, but the smoky/roasted tart sweetness didn't wow me as much as I thought it would.

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

Unibroue Raftman employs a whiskey malt to pay homage to the canadian lumberjack, coming off from a hard days work to the bar for a shot of whiskey and a beer. Served in a Unibroue snifter from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a ruddy brown in color with a decent head and retention.

Aroma is of bready malts, a whiff of piney hops and some roasted nuts too.

Flavor mimics the nose with a nutty malt profile that is quite enjoyable. A vague roasted flavor is in the background. The whiskey malt added a gritty graininess to the beer, accented by a mild floral/citrus hop profile. Just a hint of alcohol on the back end, overall pretty clean.

Mouthfeel has a zing to it with a good level of carbonation.

This was a nice little find at the bottle shop. A beer with a complex malt profile and an assertive floral hoppyness.

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Photo of degerbah
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely hazy brown. So opaque I can't see moving objects through the glass. The smell reminds me of any other unibroue produc. The taste is great. Reminds me of La Fin du Monde Light. The lower abv makes this a unibroue product with similar quality to La Fin or Maudite but without the higher abv. Love this and would definitely get it again.

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Photo of stewart124
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with nice amber highlights and a slight off white head.

There are smells of whisky and vanilla in the nose with that unibroue funky yeast character.

The taste is silky smooth with a sweet caramel backbone. This finishes bone dry with a twangy belgian note. Super easy to sip on. Spices and bits of fruity esters come through but that whisky and oaky character shine right through.

This is a treat.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Amber, light brown with a thin off white head.

S - Very light aroma, some spicy yeasty aromas, hint of smoke and light fruits.

T - Belgian yeast, spice, the smoked malt is light reminding me of the lingering peat taste when drinking scotch. Fruity.

M - Light body, well carbonated, bubbly.

D - The smoked malt is really very light and adds a nice dimension to the beer.

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Raftman from Unibroue
3.87 out of 5 based on 778 ratings.
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