RateBeer
overall
74
52
style
Brewed by Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Smoked
Chambly, Canada

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 782   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.28   IBU: 16   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Gold medal winner in 1995 at the Chicago Beverage Testing Institute. It is brewed with whiskey malt in honour of the raftmen, rivermen and lumberjacks of Québec of the 19th century who finished their day with Ale and Whiskey.


49degrees' rating

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
49degrees (49) - British Columbia, - JAN 17, 2003
(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.


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rumproasts (2946) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - OCT 20, 2014
Tap. Amber with small head. Lightly sweet. Medium malt. Light Belgian spice and some mild smoke.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
jennawood79 (367) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 18, 2014
Without the yeast it was a sharp and prickly golden style ale with a mild smokiness to it. With the yeast it was like converting it into a light Belgian. The yeast flavor was outstanding.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mathieuc (1393) - Québec, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 14, 2014
Pours a hazy golden with a medium white head that leaves good lacing. Nose is of fruity esters, light wheat flour and even lighter smoke. Taste is that of a standard belgian pale ale, fruity and malty. It isn’t cloying, though, and lightly bitter. Bananas and pears. Some metallic notes. Body is medium, carbonation medium-high. Mouthfeel is slightly thin at times but nothing disturbing. Overall a fair belgian ale, but where is the smoke?!

2.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
rondphoto (2084) - Lakeside Park, Kentucky, USA - OCT 5, 2014
on tap @ Party Town / Florence KY --- Hazy amber brown, head that reduces to little wisps, no lace. Taste is carbonation edged malt, just a bit of smoke, and a bit of bourbon. All moves straight to a watery short finish. A little too understated to qualify as Unibroue. Not recommended.

2.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
slowrunner77 (5944) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 30, 2014
"to say the smoke is light would be an understatement. i don’t know if i could tell it was there if A)i didn’t know ahead of time, and B)wasn’t looking for it. this is just an average belgian ale other than that...but I gotta dock it a little extra for claiming to be something it isn’t.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
deyholla (6713) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - SEP 12, 2014
Bottle. Pours a cloudy earthy amber brown with a near white head that dissipates to the edges. Aroma has has notes of bread and grain with a slight smokey note underlying. Flavor has a bit more smoke but is mainly bread and grains as well as a bit thin.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Maxbier (316) - Maryland, USA - SEP 12, 2014
Dark brownish hazy golden with big off-white head. Bready yeasty spicy aroma. Lemon zest, malt, spicy yeasty notes, hint of earthy funk and smoke. Mild grassy earthy hop with medium bitter finish.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (6586) - Sacramento, California, USA - SEP 3, 2014
On tap at Capitol Beer & Tap Room. Pours cloudy amber with a rich beige head and a fruity aroma. There is a sweet and slightly sour caramel malt flavor with a smoky finish.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beachmaster (145) - Oklahoma, USA - SEP 1, 2014
Bomber into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber, with a huge white head that slowly fades into a disc on the surface, leaving good lacing. Nose is faint yeast and smoky notes, and the taste is malt and caramel, with a nice whiskey flavor on the end. Finish is long and smooth. Well-made, but not my favorite Unibroue.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
stevoj (2235) - Boise, Idaho, USA - AUG 25, 2014
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.


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