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.
MattChiasson (51) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Out of the bottle, poured a deep copper, cloudy, with a persistent white head. On the nose I am getting yeasty, wheat malt notes, some tart lemon and coriander. Perhaps a bit of caramel but not picking up a lot of smoke in the aroma. On the palate, smoked notes come through a bit more - some caramel, bacon, clove and banana reminiscent of a dunkelweizen. Refreshing but with a slight off-dry finish. Enjoyed it!
rubyroo (75) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 9, 2016
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours an orangey brown. With a finger of white foam. Smells like yeast, smoke and Carmel. Taste is smoke, bacon, Carmel, toast, pepper, yeast. Palate is medium-thin with above average carbonation. Overall- O.K. I might be somewhat biased because I don’t enjoy smoked malts very much.
googleimage83 (68) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 28, 2016
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 9/20
Aroma is yeasty, bready, light banana; pour is cloudy brown with fizzy head. Has both the look and aroma of a dunkel. Flavor is wheat, yeast, banana - smoke is subtle but becomes more noticeable as the beer warms. Has a rather strong metallic note in the finish that kind of kills it for me. Has many qualities of a good dunkel, but that poor finish makes this a weaker offering from Unibroue.
thedm (5776) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - MAY 17, 2016
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This corked and caged bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a large sized head of foamy finely sized off-white colored bubbles that were very long lasting and left behind a strongly carbonated transparent golden brown colored body and a thick foamy lacing. The mild aroma was spicy and musty. The sharp mouth feel was tingly at the start and at the finish with a mellow spicy aftertaste. The sharp flavor contained notes of mild ale mild spice crisp breads hops and malt. A decent one that I would consider drinking again.
Bierdimpfe (490) - Quebec, CANADA - APR 13, 2016
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Hazy golden amber color with super strong activity. Thick foamy beige 4 finger island head, lasting almost forever, with strong legs.
Pleasant floral and fresh apple nose. Well intensified flavors of apples, pears, grapes, and sweet grains with floral and herbal spices. Balanced fruity sweetness with a sharp crispy fresh grassy and slight coriander feel.
Slick full body with champagne like carbonation. Well intensified finish, ending with a fresh fruity feel and a pleasant honey/maple tongue coat.
Overall an excellent craft offerring delicious complex flavors and great freshness. Visually appealing, well intensified, balanced, and accessible. The only flaw is a slightly metallic feel.
AleRider78 (682) - Winchester, Ontario, CANADA - APR 6, 2016
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours an insane amount of frothy off-white head and has a dark amber appearance. Quite excessive carbonation. Aromas of barley malts, toasty malts, hints of caramel and Belgian yeast. Flavours are mainly dry type fruits, kinda like raisins and plums. Some strong Belgian yeast notes as well as earthy hops. Not quite as smokey as I was expecting. Good retention. Fizzy and drying mouthfeel. No bad but probably one of my least favourite from Unibroue.
HopsandBolts (258) - Ontario, CANADA - APR 3, 2016
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
750 ml bottle from a dépanneur in Alymer.
Appearance: Pours a
cloudy light copper color with lots of creamy white head which makes a crackling sound as it disipates. Medium retention and sight lacing.
Yeast, malt, bread.
Rye, yeast, malt, cereal, very slight smokiness.
Average viscosity with a bit higher carbonation which is typical with Unibroue beers.
Overall: Decent beer and I can pick up a bit of the smokiness in the flavour but not in the aroma. It has a bit more complexity than I expected and is quite easy to drink.
melush (2932) - SPAIN - MAR 23, 2016
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle 34,1cl / Botella 34,1cl.
@ Cerveceria Internacional, Sevilla, España.
A: Brown / Marron.
T/S: Roasted malt, sweet, slightly yeasty / Malta tostada, dulce, ligeramente a levadura.
nybol (1454) - DENMARK - MAR 13, 2016
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
En let smag i den. Jeg kan ikke smage at der skulle være brugt whiskey malt, måske kun at den er let røget. Den lugter godt, men den er noget anerledes i smagen. Lidt gær i eftersmagen også.
hauxe (441) - Butzbach, Hesse, GERMANY - FEB 11, 2016
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Rated from old notes. Brewed with whiskey malt, this medium bodied beer has something of a whiskey taste, but not the warmth due to the low ABV. Still, an interesting diversion.