gripweed57 (2460) - Hamilton Square, New Jersey, USA - JUN 17, 2017 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.
From old tasting notes. Hazy Amber gold color. Huge rocky white head. Interesting earthy malt nose reminiscent of fresh mushrooms. Tangy, smoky malt flavor is full bodied and complex. MissAnthropic (68) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - JUN 6, 2017
Mild nose, smoky and iron. The palate is slightly oily with malty nose and a slight smoky exhale. A very light beer without a strong smoke taste. Okay but not mind blowing. BrewWhatIWant (212) - Ontario, CANADA - MAY 8, 2017
Pours a hazy dark amber with a big offwhite head. There are aromas of malt, citrus and woodsmoke. The taste is sweet with notes of caramel, malt, cinnamon, orange and a touch of woodsmoke. It’s light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Smoked ales can be a bit of an acquired taste but this one is mild enough to be a good introduction to the style. It’s a bit too sweet but still good. PictouRx (181) - Ontario, CANADA - MAY 5, 2017
750ml bottle delivered from Quebec to me by friend. Rare bottle with a cork in it, but neat to undue and pour. Cloudy dark amber , good thick white head. Very malty, some sour apple, hint of whisky, very smooth texture, lingering taste apple sour acidic. this is a different beer, not bad! Brettsky06 (444) - Manitoba, CANADA - MAR 18, 2017
Pours a light amber color. Taste is very malty and spicy but I don’t taste any smoke really.
DomD (306) - 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. adamnowek (2709) - 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). Rubin77 (2113) - 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.
kevinsenn (2211) - Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 26, 2016
Bottle. This has all the spicy yeast you’d expect from a Unibroue, with a little bit of smoke. It’s good if that’s your thing. kraddel (8111) - Antwerp, BELGIUM - NOV 1, 2016
Pours clear amber. No real head. Smell is plastic, herbal. Taste is Sharp, bit Madeira, dry. Dusty.