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Monday, September 5, 2011

Unibroue Terrible

Unibroue Terrible is anything but. In my mind, it is Unibroue's best offering. Actually, I had Unibroue 17 a few years ago at the Philly Craft Beer Fest and thought it was pretty spectacular, but Terrible truly achieves what seems to be just out of reach for most of the rest of their stable.  Honestly, I've been up and down with Unibroue's beers because to my tastebuds they seem yeast heavy.  The flavors don't shine through and the body seems to be artificially inflated with yeast rather than the malts.  I tend to like their brews but not love them.  However...

Unibroue emulates Belgian style fairly flawlessly with Terrible. The 10.5% abv is barely noticeable as it dances among the dark fruit flavors and caramel sweetness. I'm also getting a hint of cream soda and a bit of cork...not like a funky wine with a rotten cork... But a slightly woody, earthy plant-like cork.

Terrible has a rich, dark, raisiny color and swirling sea-foam head like a barleywine but the yeast profile and Belgian sweetness remind me of Chimay Grande Reserve (though it would be hard to compare any beer to the 1999 Millennium edition Chimay Grande Reserve I got to sample at the BBC10 "Night of Many Bottles"). There are tons of dark fruit aromas in there, so serve this big brew in a chalice; that's my recommendation.  Stick your honker in there and really inhale the aromas before, during, and after the sip.

This broue is complex and divine.  Read more about  UNIBROUE TERRIBLE at their website.
picture "liberated" from Unibroue's site

Terrible in a Chimay chalice
One of the most important parts of enjoying a big beer like Terrible is the sharing of it.  Now, I'd done no such thing on this particular occasion.  I began my journey through the 750ml bottle on the Saturday night of Hurricane Irene.  Rather than passing out, spilling my drink, forgetting about the balance of the bottle, and hating myself in the morning, I decided to stop up the bottle after one glass and store the Terrible in the fridge for Sunday.  Those airtight stoppers work quite well.  Sunday arrived and my brew was fresh as a daisy.  Needless to say, I didn't tempt fate a second time.  I polished it off while reading a good book on a beautiful day.  Windows open, Irene gone, and Terrible in hand.  Yes, it was a good day, thank you.  Remind me to write a review of those cool little stoppers.
taken with my Blackberry


Dan On Tap said...

Dude, you totally nailed this one. I feel the exact same way about it.

Owen McCuen said...

Thanks, Dan! I've had Terrible on tap as well, which is pretty awesome, though over the years I've realized that some brews were bottled on purpose and are designed to age as such. Big fan!

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