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overall
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style
Brewed by Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada

bottled
common

on tap
unknown

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 814   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.84   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Inspired by the great Belgian brewing tradition of Trappist monks established over the centuries, Unibroue 17 was first brewed in 2007 to celebrate our brewery’s 17th anniversary. However, the overwhelming success of this specialty brew made it obvious that we could not let such a great ale slip into the anonymity of retirement.

As testimony to its remarkable flair profile which increases in complexity as it ages, the original batch bottled in 2007 was awarded an international platinum medal three years in a row, and the prestigious title of "World’s Best Dark Ale" when it was well past three years in the bottle!

So in 2011, we proudly brought back this French Oak aged, bottle refermented dark ale, with the "Grande Réserve" appellation as a fitting endorsement of it’s exceptional quality for aging. Brewed only once a year, in limited quantities, and individually numbered "brasseur" bottles, this is truly a flavorful delight for the specialty beer enthusiast.


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - APR 24, 2008
Brick red with a dense tan head. Bread yeast, alcohol, toasted malt, CO2, plum, spicy hops in the aroma. Complex flavors, smoke, cherry, sour malt, tart plum. Relatively low alcohol presence. Mellow spicy hop flavor but low bitterness.Leaves a strange tangy tannic flavor on the tongue. The body is good, the carbonation slightly high, giving a bit of an acidic bite. All in all a pleasure.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - APR 23, 2008
UPDATED: APR 28, 2008 Corked bottle.
Pours a lush, dense, and sweatty mahogany-infused amber. Mine nose doth detect cranberry bread dough, with hints of plumb, nutmeg, and a touch of raisin. The aroma is spikey from the immense alcohol rush that attacks the olfactory like the KISS Army at a Terre Haute, IN radio station. Nice beige lacing clings to the glass to the final moment, its fingernail indentions leaving a delicate latticework of satiny lingirie strips around the Maudite tulip glass into which it was poured. A rush of floral cherry bombards the taste buds, leaving orange peel and cinnamon in its wake. The alcohol is noticeable, but never overpowering. In fact, it serves to accentuate the delicate balance of flavors in this brew. As the beer warms, a touch of cedar emerges and settles nicely on the tongue. Thick, velvety mouthfeel. Wonderful beer.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
1FastSTi (3336) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - APR 22, 2008
Pours to a murky dark brown/ruby body with a tall lasting dense foamy light tan head. The aroma is fruity, yeasty, oatnut bread, baked bananas, light cinnamon, wood. The flavor is quite yeasty with lots of phenols. A strong oatnut bread malt with yeasty undertones and baked bananas with a slight dusty component. There’s lots of earthy things going on in this with lots of generic wood. The palate is very dry and has a light alcoholic bite. The beer is medium bodied with a yeasty texture.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DavidP (1747) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - APR 22, 2008
Bottle shared by Blake. Hazy brown body under a dense foamy tan head. Acidic nose: cherries, lactic acid, and cake frosting. The flavor has caramelly coffee cake over peaty wood and muted cherry. The finish leaves a bit of peppery alcohol and a dry earthiness. Much more dry and unestery than most of their beers - like it.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - APR 21, 2008
750 ml bottle from Richmond Beverage in Richmond, VT (April 2007), served at cellar temperature from a Maudite glass. Stable lightly caramel-inflected off-white foam near-fills the glass above the tawny opaque umber body, lacing fitfully as it very slowly decays…..sweet nose, brown sugar and light figginess, trademark faint dry yeastiness is there but even more muted than usual.....on the tongue, chocolate mixes with a light sour cherry flavor, a tartness upfront that’s strange and quite interesting; at first the mouthfeel is a bit thin but it softens and deepens with a bit of warmth; alcohol is as hidden as I’ve experienced in a 10% brew, I would have guessed 7% if I didn’t know better...malts are firm and hold up the complex mix of sourness and bitter/sweet chocolates; the finish is effervescent and ephemeral. Could use a touch of bitterness perhaps, and just a bit less carbonation, but this is a fun beer and one I’ll no doubt be trying again.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MartinT (7811) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 20, 2008
My Bottom Line:
Tart cherry fruitiness and chocolate maltiness waltz into raisiny territory in this intelligently spicy and rich Belgian-style Strong Ale. Another gem of the BSA style by Unibroue!

Further Personal Perceptions:
-A sticky head of foam protects the dark brown.
-The yeasty touch is eloquent and works wonders with the maltiness.
-Expressive carbonation is detached at first, but a little breathing gets it back in line.
-That tart fruitiness evolves into salient black grapes.
-Mild alcohol brushes against the palate.
-Caramel sweetness protrudes from the chocolatey grain bill.
-This almost tastes like a Sour Ale was blended in a bigger Dark Belgian-style Strong Ale, in 20/80 proportions. Whatever the method used, the result is fantastic.

Bottle.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hayduke (3375) - Eureka, California, USA - APR 20, 2008
From the usual C&C bottle you have come to expect from Unibroue this poured a very muddy brown with a very thick tan head that left decent lacing. Nose was of ripe fruit, like raisins and figs. Rich mouthfeel. Flavor again shows the rich fruit and there is a distinct bitter finish. Very interesting and tasty beer.

3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NobleSquirrel (3437) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 20, 2008
Nose is distinct bananas. taste comparable to tremens. Dinstinct fruitiness and sweetness like marshmallow, with a hint of roastiness. Very nice.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
joshuabarclay (21) - CANADA - APR 19, 2008
Poured from the 750ml into a snifter. Cloudy woody brown appearance with a head that’s quite large at first, but dissipates rather rapidly into a small one that will remain for the duration. Smells of dark fruit, tastes the same. It’s VERY sweet, and the finish is actually quite spicy. There’s too much of something here. Overall, not my favourite from Unibroue, but not bad. I must admit I was a bit let down as this was my first Unibroue Annual. I thought they’d give it a bit of a better try than this to celebrate their own birthday. Still, not too bad, just not something I’d prefer over their others. ’Til next year!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bhensonb (11095) - Woodland, California, USA - APR 18, 2008
750 ml bottle: corked & caged. Deep, vinous, dark fruit aromas - but not overly rich. A tart, citrus, component as the glass approaches the lips. Hazy dark brown color with a decent beige head. Medium to full bodied with fizzy/creamy carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable. Yeast, spice, and then the alcohol gets in the way. Eventually touches of chocolate, dark fruit, nuts and candi can be discerned, but I had to work for it. The finish is more sweet than dry, and there’s definitely bitter. But it’s more of a oak wood bitter than hop. Chocolate note pops up again. It’s interesting, but I think the alcohol should be more suppressed.


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