Our BrewView on Unibroue’s Terrible (Millésimes 2015 and 2016) was originally published on July 20, 2017.
Brewed since 2002, available for a limited time in Canada and year-round in the US.
In 2002, when the SAQ requested an exclusive new high-end product, Unibroue responded with Terrible. Given its dark colour and 10.5% alcohol content (a first for Unibroue), they knew that this Belgian quadruple-style ale might very well be greeted with reticence.
So they gave it a name that would evoke terror and worry, but also something extraordinary, formidable and awe-inspiring. From here on out, no other beer can ever be called “Terrible”.
STYLE: Unibroue-style Quadrupel ale. 10.5% ABV.
APPEARANCE: Murky dark brown liquid with deep burgundy tones. 3-finger height, light tan colored head is very dense, creamy, and leaves a ton of patchy lacing on the sides of the glass during consumption.
AROMA: Huge notes of Unibroue bready yeast, chocolate, raisins, prunes, dark sugared rum, Trappist fruit cake, cardamom, dates.
FLAVOR: Super rich flavors from the aromas, along with Justino Henriques Madeira – Full Rich, deep caramel notes.
MOUTHFEEL: Moderate carbonation, this powerhouse of a beer is rich, sumptuous, and leaves a long warming finish.
IMPRESSION: This is our favorite Quadrupel. In our opinion, it bests the highest rated Trappist ales from Belgium. We have always said, that Unibroue takes classic Belgian beer styles, puts their own spin on them, and brew beers that best the Belgians. Terrible has won multiple awards in numerous beer competitions over the years.
The top glass and bottle picture of Terrible is vintage 2015, bottled on March 12, 2015. The bottom glass and bottle picture is vintage 2016, bottled on July 22, 2016.
Both versions were absolute treasures to taste. The 2015 version had developed deep intense spicy phenols, and had the hop bitterness had rounded out. The 2016 version was more spicier, with a slight more hop bitterness to it.
Unibroue’s Terrible is one of our go-to quads. Even though Unibroue’s website says the aging potential is 3-5 years, I have enjoyed bottles as old as 10 years with superb results. Grab as many bottles as you can of this world classic, age them and do yearly tastings. Drink with reverence.