Unibroue

UNIBROUE

Unibroue operates out of Quebec, Canada and was founded by André Dion and Serge Racine in the early 1990’s.  They generally produce beers in the same tradition as the Trappist monks do in Belgium and other parts of Europe.

www.unibroue.com

Year-Rounds/Seasonals:

Specialty/Limited Release:

BLANCHE DE CHAMBLY: 89 Points

White Ale

This white ale is available year-round in the U.S. It has an IBU of 10 and an SRM of 4.

Brewer’s Description: “Subtle bouquet of spice, citrus notes, aromas of yeast breads, coriander, and cloves. Wheat and subtle spices blanketed in citrus flavors reminiscent of orange and lemon.”

My Description: This is not one of the best white ales, but it’s worth a try. It has a very bubbly white colored head that disappears almost immediately and leaves no lacing. However, the aroma is nice and mild with some spice notes that smells clean and refreshing. The taste is not the greatest for this style of beer. It is bland, it has some citrus and spice notes but their very weak and not satisfactory. It is smooth and easy drinking but that’s not enough for me to repurchase. At some point it almost tasted like V8, not what you want in a beer. It is best served around 40°F. This would pair well with fish, salads, or fruits.

ABV: 5% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 2/10 Bitterness: 1/10

DON DE DIEU: 90 Points

Don de Dieu (Gift of God)

This is a triple wheat ale with an IBU of 10.5. It is available year round in the United States.

Brewer’s Description: “Complex aromas of vanilla and fruitcake, flowers, and honey. Smooth, complex flavor that is slightly fruity, malty, nutty, and yeasty, with a hint of unfiltered sake.”

My Description: At first pour the head is nice but it really thins down quick and produces very minimal lacing. The aroma is sweet with notes of apricot, some citrus, and yeast. The aroma is actually quite pleasant and welcoming. This beer is smooth and medium bodied. At first taste it opens up with notes of malt and fruit that finishes off with a bread-like flavor accompanied by the hint of fruit. As high as this alcohol content is, you can’t taste it which is nice. Not too bad for a wheat ale, it was refreshing and satisfying. Best served around 45°F and it pairs nice with chicken or sausage.

ABV: 9% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

ÉPHÉMÈRE APPLE: 88 Points

Ephemeral: short lived

This seasonal brew is actually available year-round in the U.S. because of its popularity. It is a white ale with an IBU of 10 and an SRM of 4.

Brewer’s Description: “Mouth-watering bouquet of Granny Smith apples, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon. Delicate balance of fruit and spice, hint of sweetness, hint of tartness, redolent of Granny Smith Apples.”

My Description: This white ale is a terrific example of what apples in beer should taste like. The taste is where this beer shines and not the head; it is sparse and thin which fades fast and leaves no lacing. The aroma has a strong floral bouquet type fragrance with notes of berries and some spice. The aroma is nice and welcoming. At first taste you will experience a floral flavor with some minor berry notes but that quickly gets overtaken by the strong green apple flavor in the aftertaste that is a little tarty. The apple flavor is refreshing and enjoyable and works well with this style of beer. I did not pick up on too many spices in the taste but that doesn’t necessarily bring the beer down. It is extremely smooth and crisp, light to medium bodied, and best served around 40°F. It is best paired with salads, pies, and gourmet cheeses.

ABV: 5.5% Color: Hazy Blond Sweetness: 6/10 Bitterness: 1/10

LA FIN DU MONDE: 92 Points

la fin du monde (the end of the world)

This tripel ale is available in the U.S. year-round. It has an IBU of 19 and a SRM of 5.5.

Brewer’s Description: “Floral bouquet, aromas of honey, spice, coriander, malt, and alcohol. Mildly yeasty with a complex palate of malt, fruit and spice notes followed by a smooth, dry finish.”

My Description: This has a very white and bubbly head that lasts for some time producing decent lacing. The aroma is slightly complex with notes of yeast, spices, malt, with the hint of alcohol. This ale is extremely smooth and crisp with a medium body. If you want to truly experience all the flavors of this beer you need to drink around 50°F. It starts off with some fruit notes mixed with spices that give way to a slightly dry but refreshing aftertaste. This beer tastes great and matches up with the brewer’s description quite well. I suggest pairing with fish, crabs, or white sausage.

ABV: 9% Color: Hazy Gold Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 1/10

MAUDITE: 89 Points

Maudite (damned)

This Dubbel is available year round in the U.S with a shelf life of 5-8 years. It has an IBU of 22 and a SRM of 18.

Brewer’s Description: “Malt, orange, wild spices with fragrances of coriander and cloves and floral hop notes. Characterized by a robust maltiness and spiciness that is counterbalanced by an assertive crisp hop finish.”

My Description: This is a nicely done dubbel. It starts with a dense and foamy beige colored head that slims down considerably but does remain throughout. The lacing is pretty good but its not caked on. The aroma is warming and enticing; it is sweet with notes of malt with some spice and coriander. The taste really matches up nicely with the description. You will initially taste the malt that is accompanied by a nice spice blend. The aftertaste is where you will pick up on the hops but it is not an overpowering bitter flavor but more of a subtle and mild bitterness. This is a nicely done dubbel. I suggest serving this around 50°F. It will pair well with pastas, chocolate desserts, or fine cheeses.

ABV: 8% Color: Reddish Brown Sweetness: 6/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

TROIS PISTOLES: 93 Points

Trois Pistoles (Three Coins)

This Abbey style Dark Ale is available year-round in the U.S. and will age really well for years. It has an IBU of 15.5 and a SRM of 32.2.

Brewer’s Description: “Strong malt flavor, roasted aromas with chocolate, brown rum, and spice. Slightly sweet. Enhanced by accents of roasted malt, cocoa, ripe fruit and dark spices with a smooth finish like an old port.”

My Description: This is a really tasty abbey dark ale. The head fades down quickly but does leave some good lacing. It has a mild fruity aroma with notes of figs and malt. The aroma is really nice, I continued to smell it for a good 2 minutes before I took my first sip. The beer is rather smooth with a medium body. The flavor is sweet with port-like qualities with notes of cacao, spices, and alcohol. The aftertaste is slightly bitter but well balanced and lingers which invites you back for another swig. This beer is best enjoyed around 50°F. This ale pairs nicely with gourmet chesses, chocolate, or steaks.

ABV: 9% Color: Clean Brown Sweetness: 5.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

17 GRANDE RÉSERVE (2011): 98 Points

Ridiculously Good

This Belgian Strong Dark Ale is available in limited quantities in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Complex bouquet of roasted malt, hops and aromatic spice notes with vanilla undertones. Intensely malty, slightly sweet and hoppy with mocha & cocoa accents and a subtle oaky finish.”

My Description: Bottom line, this is damn good. This beer keeps introducing new flavors and aromas as it warms up in your hand; sip and enjoy. It has a bountiful, light beige colored head with an excellent retention level and good lacing. The aroma is complex and warming with notes of raisins, cherries, spices, caramel, sweet malt, and a touch of vanilla. The aroma itself was enough for me to get really excited. This is a full bodied, full flavored ale with a good carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavors are complex and delicious. Up front you should taste raisins and other dark fruits, caramel malt and toffee, spices and some vanilla. The alcohol is apparent but it just adds to the experience and enjoyment of this beer. The aftertaste is mildly bitter with some oak notes and a touch of hop flavor. This is definitely a layered beer so sit back and fall in love. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with filet mignon, rosemary lamb chops, or gourmet cheeses.

ABV: 10% Color: Dark Amber Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

TERRIBLE (2012): 95 Points

Love being terrible

This Belgian Strong Ale is part of their Specialty Series and is released in limited quantities in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Subtle fruit flavors are complemented by rich Madeira wine notes.”

My Description: I drank this beer as soon as I purchased it because I was excited, and it did not disappoint. However, this beer is designed to be aged for several years to really let the beer blossom. It has a big and bubbly, cream colored head with an amazing retention level and really good lacing. The aroma is strong and pungent with fragrant notes of Belgian yeast, dark candy, and dark fruits like dark cherry and figs. The aroma smells amazing and really excites your palate for what’s to come. It is medium/full bodied with a higher carbonation level and a slightly dry finish. The flavors are complex and delicious. You will taste the sweet dark fruits like figs and raisins mixed with a touch of sourness and dark cherry. The finish is slightly sweet with a touch of spice and alcohol that work harmoniously together. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, rosemary lamb-chops, or dark chocolate.

ABV: 10.5%  Color: Very Dark Brown  Sweetness: 4/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

QUELQUE CHOSE: 89 Points

After dinner sipper

This Belgian Kriek/Brown Ale is released in limited quantities in 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Intense redolence of ripe cherries accented by cinnamon, cloves, honey and vanilla. Perfectly balanced sweetness and tartness featuring ripe cherry and spice notes.”

My Description: Interesting enough is that this beer is noted by the brewer to be drank either on the rocks or perhaps in a chalice at approximately 145°F, similar to drinking hot tea. I decided to drink this ale at approximately 50°F. Once poured, this beer shows absolutely no head, which is designed this way because there is very little carbonation in the beer. It is almost as if you are drinking a tart cherry wine because of the lack of carbonation. The aroma is a burst of black cherries accompanied by notes of chocolate and cinnamon. The beer is medium bodied with port-like characteristics and a semi-wet finish. The beer is semi-sweet with an apparent tart addition. There are flavor notes of cherries, cinnamon, clove, and other mulling spices. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and it is very easy drinking. It is almost like drinking Witches Brew. Warm it up and give it a try.

ABV: 8%  Color: Ruby  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10