49degrees (49) - British Columbia, - JAN 17, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(341ml capped bottle) One of the more obscure offerings from Quebec brewery Unibroue, Raftman, a smoked whiskey malt-based Belgian Pale Ale is amongst the lightest and lowest alcohol count ales offered from this brewing giant. Strangely enough, while Unibroue is a Canadian brewery I've yet to see the Raftman sold by single bottles (341ml or 750ml) in British Columbia, but regularly come across this one in several shops in Washington and Oregon.
While Raftman lacks the hearty punch and deep bountiful character that most of the other Unibroue offerings provide, it does have, like all of their other beers, in unique character onto its own right.
It pours similar to that of La Fin du Monde, a medium, slightly cloudy copper tone with decent size, thick foamy head. The glass gathers considerable lacing despite the head giving way to a thin flat foamy, but consistent surface texture with a good size collar.
Aroma wise, it offers up an intriguing balance of hops and malts, a heavy reliance on yeast, with hints similar to that of some Hefeweizens, plus a special touch of pepper, fruit and the slightest hint of smoke. (I had some initial reservations on this beer from reading the label. When it said smoked, it brought back the fear I had when ikes Aecht Schlenkerla Marzen Rauchbier, which unlike most other reviewers, I highly disliked and poured 2 bottles down the drain.) Raftman however was a pleasant surprise and its slightest hints of smokiness in both aroma and taste were an interesting and enjoyable touch.
While most of the Unibroue ales offer up incredibly strong taste, overwhelming characteristics and perfect blends of malt, hops and loving care, this one doesn't have quite the same body. It has a very enjoyable taste that tends to be a little more reliant on yeast, its offers a nice familiar fruity blend, slight bite of hops, and the relaxing malt effect. This is a fairly carbonated beer, but not nearly as fizzy as Unibroue's 1837. The smoked whiskey malt, which is the base of this beer, along with the carbonation does give this a little bit more edge compared to most other ales from Unibroue.
All in all, a very enjoyable beer, that's certainly worth a closer look. And, unlike the heavy alcohol content of all of Unibroue's other offerings, this one at 5.5% is pretty calm, which makes it an enjoyable beer to have more than one of in any single sitting.
stevoj (2090) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 25, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours initially with towering fluffy head. Dark golden, slightly cloudy, lots of fine, lively carbonation. Aroma of wood smoke and cooked grains, taste is more smoked malt, lightly toasted, light bacon. Some caramel and toffee. Very nicely done.
Stephane_Houle (110) - - AUG 23, 2014
2.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Apparence: D?une couleur caramel translucide, elle est coiffée d?une bonne mousse d?une bonne durée. Effervescence très présente avec des bulles de petite taille.
Arômes: Au nez, ce sont des légers arômes de malt caramélisé et de whisky.
Saveurs: En bouche, c’est un corps léger. Au goût, c’est des légères saveurs de malt caramélisé avec un arrière goût de whisky. De durée moyenne, il y a une légère effervescence et aucune amertume.
Format: 341 ml
Taux d?alcool : 5,5%
Darkover (1513) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 21, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Dark orange with a big beige head. Aroma of Unibroue yeast and malt. Taste is lightly sweet and a little sour. Only a slight smokiness. Ok.
cheap (4015) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 19, 2014
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Darker and more cloudy than a pale ale. Looks like lighter iced tea. Typical uni yeasty smell. Odd leather taste but its better than most of the uni’s I’ve had, yes much more well behaved. Quite easy on the buds and now that I see its a smoked, its probably one of the better smoked beers I’ve tasted my friend. I almost enjoy this stuff. Yes, so well behaved you would never know this is a smokey. I’m glad to have tasted this brew thank you magic tree.
Bricktop86 (562) - Moore, Oklahoma, USA - AUG 16, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours hazy copper with a white head. Aroma of wheat and blegian yeast. Taste is sweet, spicy and bready.
Darkmagus82 (978) - - AUG 4, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured from bottle into a tulip glass
Appearance – The beer pours a deep hazy orange-amber color with a one finger head of billowy white foam. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a fruity nature consisting mainly of apple and pear as well as a nice banana smell. Along with these aromas are some yeasty smells as well as a nice big and bold smoky smell. A lighter whiskey and roasted bread smell are there as well, overall producing a rather toasty and fruity smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a lightly toasted malt flavor along a hint of the fruitiness of apple and pear that was detected in the nose. A little bit of smoke is present upfront with it growing slightly stronger more toward the middle of the flavor profile. Like the smoke, a yeasty flavor also develops more and more as the flavor advances with it bringing a little bit of banana and orange. The yeast and smoke kick it up more toward the end of the taste, with the fruits that were present initially fading a bit. In the end, with a little bit of grass and hay coming to the tongue, one is left with a semi-sweet but somewhat lighter malted but rather smoked and yeasty flavor to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner and lighter side with a carbonation level that is full of tons of little prickly carbonation bubbles. For the lighter fruit and yeasty flavors, the carbonation is fantastic, really nice complementing them. The smoky flavors however, are at a loss to some extent due to the high carbonation and thin body, so overall the feel is just OK.
Overall – Now don’t get me wrong. This is a good brew, but it falls a little short of the other Unibroue beers I have had thus far. Certainly a worthy beer to take down (as it really does out compete most in the class) although I feel my expectations were a bit too high and hence I was slightly disappointed.
kaser (2625) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 18, 2014
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Orange cloudy pour from tap at Longroom. White head peach and orange sweet taste. Very fruity. Decent for a style I don't like
Christpuncher (1110) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 18, 2014
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Fruity belgium beer. Nothing fancy and pours orange incolor. Fruity finish and smells fruity had at te long room.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
b3shine (5335) - Indiana, USA - JUL 18, 2014
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft to taster at Ei8ht Ball. Looks solid; a slightly hazy dark golden orange with white head that steadily dissipates into lacing. Smells of Belgian yeast and related spices with some mild citrus hop notes; I don’t get smoke though. Tastes like it smells with an average mouthfeel. This is more of a Belgian Pale Ale than a smoked beer; I get no smoke whatsoever (and it’s classified in the database as a Smoked).
crossovert (7302) - Illinois, USA - JUL 14, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Draft. Unique beer that is mostly odminated by the Unibroue yeast. Lots of esters, some light smoke/toastines form the malt.