I was going to make this a dubbel review, since I had a bottle of Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde on hand when I opened this bottle of their Great Reserve 17; after trying this though it deserves it’s own review so I’ll only bore you with raves and accolades for the Great Reserve.
This is a Belgian Ale, something I’m partial to – I don’t know, something about monks and beer seems comforting to me – and it does not disappoint at all. I grabbed a bottle because of my familiarity with Unibroue via the La Fin du Monde and I’m glad I did.
This ale goes down so smoothly you quickly and easily forget it’s a trippel with 10% ABV. The beer pours dark, brown and rich and stays that way from the top of the bottle to the bottom. No single flavor struck me as overpowering, it’s just a well-balanced ale that packs a lot of flavor and a lot of fun. The ale is so rich it almost begs a candlelight dinner for two all by itself.
If anything stands out it’s a slight sweetness that is probably behind a lack of aftertaste that makes you want to sip again. I purposely took the picture after pouring because it took forever to get the head to settle down.
Usually in a brew of 10% I’d expect a stronger feeling of “alcohol” in the taste but this one manages to stay away from that. The brewers have done a great job making the flavor of the ale itself be the predominant flavor on the tongue.
After about half the bottle I decided to do a little research and found that this is an annual release from Unibroue. They first bottled it up for us in 2007 as a celebration of their 17th anniversary, and it was so successful they decided to keep it coming.
I’m really glad they did. I think you will be as well.