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


on tap

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RATINGS: 828   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.28/5   IBU: 16   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
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 Qubec of the 19th century who finished their day with Ale and Whiskey.

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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Brettsky06 (356) - Manitoba, CANADA - MAR 18, 2017
Pours a light amber color. Taste is very malty and spicy but I dont taste any smoke really.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
DomD (294) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - JAN 1, 2017
Bottle into glass. Malty, very slightly smokey aroma. Pours a cloudy amber with white head. Taste is light sour. Medium bodied. Not bad for a red beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
adamnowek (2383) - Brussels, BELGIUM - DEC 17, 2016
Deep amber with a generous white head. Aroma is malt and spice. Taste is cinnamon, spice, and a light hint of smoke (though not nearly as much as one would expect out of a smoked ale).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rubin77 (1704) - Brussels / Bratislava, SLOVAK REPUBLIC - DEC 15, 2016
F: big, white, good retention. C: dark amber, hazy. A: malt, orange peels, yeast, spicy, floral, fruity, brown sugar. T: malt, peach, banana, metallic tones, yeast, hint of spice, coriander, medium body, high carbonation, not bad but I am missing smoky tones there, 341ml bottle from Christmas market in Brussels.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
kevinsenn (2154) - Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 26, 2016
Bottle. This has all the spicy yeast youd expect from a Unibroue, with a little bit of smoke. Its good if thats your thing.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
kraddel (7449) - some beerplace, BELGIUM - NOV 1, 2016
Pours clear amber. No real head. Smell is plastic, herbal. Taste is Sharp, bit Madeira, dry. Dusty.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
madmitch76 (24173) - , Essex, ENGLAND - OCT 26, 2016
9th October 2016
Postively ancient bottle lurking in the back of my cellar for at least 8 years. Hazy amber beer, good cream colour head. Palate is airy and crisp. Light malts, a little oxidised caramel but not that much. Touch of malt cream. Dried fruits and a little orange peel. Tangy orange finish. Its survived well but it has been pretty cool and dark throughout its long life. No smoke though ...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
MattChiasson (71) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 15, 2016
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!

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
rubyroo (146) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - OCT 9, 2016
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 dont enjoy smoked malts very much.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 9/20
googleimage83 (139) - Ontario, CANADA - SEP 28, 2016
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.

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