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Inspired by the great Belgian brewing tradition of Trappist monks established over the centuries, Unibroue 17 was first brewed in 2007 to celebrate our brewery’s 17th anniversary. However, the overwhelming success of this specialty brew made it obvious that we could not let such a great ale slip into the anonymity of retirement.
As testimony to its remarkable flair profile which increases in complexity as it ages, the original batch bottled in 2007 was awarded an international platinum medal three years in a row, and the prestigious title of "World’s Best Dark Ale" when it was well past three years in the bottle!
So in 2011, we proudly brought back this French Oak aged, bottle refermented dark ale, with the "Grande Réserve" appellation as a fitting endorsement of it’s exceptional quality for aging. Brewed only once a year, in limited quantities, and individually numbered "brasseur" bottles, this is truly a flavorful delight for the specialty beer enthusiast.
Bottled in 2013
Dark Ale on Lees
Ale brewed with spices, aged with French Oak, and natural flavors added
Style Extra strong dark ale
Color Dark amber color with spirited effervescence and cream-colored lacework
Head Rich lacy beige foam
Bubbles Fine, moderate
Nose Complex bouquet of roasted malt, hops and aromatic spice notes with vanilla undertones
Flavor Intensely malty, slightly sweet and hoppy with mocha & cocoa accents and a subtle oaky finish
Aftertaste Pleasantly lingers on
Suggested serving temperature 12º - 14º
Suggested glass Chalice or tulip
5 to 8 years.
Like good wine, Unibroue’s fine beers have flavors that develop with age. Over time they become smoother, sometimes revealing notes of honey and candied fruit and developing a more assertive and lasting flavor. This phenomenon is known as “maderization” and is similar to the aging process of dessert wines like port.
Oxygen is the mortal enemy of beer because oxidation creates a stale, flat flavor. The yeast added to the bottle of Unibroue products triggers natural fermentation, consuming excess oxygen and preventing the beer’s CO2 from oxidizing. This enhances the beer’s aging potential. The high alcohol content of certain Unibroue products also lends itself well to aging by acting as a natural preservative.
Store bottles upright in a cool dark place at a stable temperature between 46ºF and 61ºF.
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