Brewed by Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Smoked
Chambly, Canada


on tap

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RATINGS: 794   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.28   IBU: 16   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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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

   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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Franckg (196) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 15, 2015
Liquide jaunâtre trouble pas très invitant. Arônes de levures Unibroue, lime, banane et coriandre. Le goût est légèrement acidulé avec une pointe sucrée venant du malt de whisky ainsi qu?un côté rapellant le bois mouillé et l’herbe et un peu d’effluves sucrées. Les levures sont encore présentent et sont les élements principaux de la finale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
chucklemation (625) - Pontiac, Michigan, USA - FEB 2, 2015
Pours a brown color with a foamy white head. Aroma is fruity and malty, with hints of Belgian yeast (I don’t know if that was the yeast strain used, though). Flavor is sweet fruit and spice, which gives it a very slight Whiskey character. I don’t get any smoked flavor or aroma, so I’m surprised this is categorized as a Smoked beer. Still, this is pretty good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
97hill (69) - - JAN 22, 2015
Nice twist , tastes great. The whiskey malt is a great flavour hit, like it for sure.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tmoreau (2682) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - JAN 20, 2015
Shared 750 ml. bottle dispensed to snifters, showing a hazed, amber color, with a fingers width of soft white head foam that reduced to a lasting film, a thick ring, and dots & dashes of lacing. The nose was pleasantly tropical, with mango, plantain, dried fruit, and spice, with no noticeable smoke, but some subtle peat. The taste was similar notes in a light to medium body, with lively, spritzy, carbonation successfully conveying the flavor, but again, no real smoky hints. Quite tasty nonetheless.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
UXO (518) - CANADA - JAN 14, 2015
Pours clear deep gold with two fingers of dense ivory head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, spotty lacing. (4/5) Nose is clove and banana, caramel malt, light smoke. (6/10) Taste is moderate sweet, moderate bitter, mild peppery spice. (6/10) Medium body, prickly to moderate carbonation, off-dry bitter finish. (4/5) A robust, Belg-ish pale ale with just a hint of mild smokiness. The body was perhaps a little light for the flavour and ABV, but at least the smoked whisky malt doesn’t come across as peaty. Decent, if not particularly interesting. (14/20)

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Flyguytruckguy (38) - Quebec, CANADA - DEC 24, 2014
Cloudy amber colour. Foamy off whit head that dissipates not to quickly . Mild spicy and light yeast flavours. Nice pallet with a dry spicy and bitter aftertaste. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dogbrick (8895) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Sample at Beverage Source. The beer is a cloudy dark amber color with a medium thick foamy white head that recedes gradually. Small patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of fruit, grain and spices. Light to medium body with flavors of herbal yeast, smoked malt and fruit. The finish is peat malt and fruity yeast. Decent overall.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ttoadee (782) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Cloudy light brown pour, finger of white head. Nose is slightly smokey and yeasty. Lightly bitter. Middle is medium roasted malt with a touch of cedar smoke. Finish plays the smoke again. Nice, but...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Fantomasus (253) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 21, 2014
Pours a cloudy straw copper with a just off white head. Aroma is faint but fresh: caramel, hay, floral hops, herbs, basement aromas, banana, butterscotch, and clove. Medium body thin feel, lively carbonation, with a lingering bitter finish. It’s good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
cargo150 (846) - Quebec City, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 8, 2014
Couleur ambrée légèrement voilée avec une faible mousse blanche qui se dissipe rapidement. Aromes d’agrumes,bananes,épices,céréales... Correct

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