Unibroue Grande Reserve 17 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale) Review

In Search of the Holy Ale

I remember a couple of years ago reading a magazine on craft beer and seeing an add for a special black ale brewed by Unibroue in Canada that was advertised as the “World’s Best Dark Ale.” It was awarded an international platinum medal three years in a row. This got my attention since I like black ales and it was a bold statement to claim to be the “World’s Best Dark Ale.”Every time I would go on a “beer run,” I would look for this special ale and had even asked some of my favorite stores about it. I had checked in several states without any luck. I was able to find other beers brewed by Unibroue, but not the Grand Reserve 17. I finally found it at the Discount Drinks store on 12 Mile Road in Farmington. This store had a great selection of craft beers and they are listed online and updated frequently.

Unibroue_bottle (2)

Unibroue states the Grand Reserve 17 is an “ale brewed with spices, aged with French oak and with natural flavors added.” It is a Belgian-style extra strong dark ale. It is sold in a 25 oz. bottle and is attractively packaged. The one I found was $12.99, which is at the higher end for craft beers.

I liked the Grand Reserve 17 and it would rate it fairly high on my list of beers. It tasted like a black ale with an aftertaste that comes with Belgian style brewing and hops. I’m not big on Belgian style brewing but this beer was an exception. I had really high expectations about the beer since I waited so long to try it. I would have rated it higher if it had been brewed from a different style. I would purchase it again.

Rick Fenwick, Ph.D.


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Rick Fenwick

Rick is a consultant in training and development at Fenwick Koller Associates and a college professor in Industrial and organizational psychology. He likes following the local professional sports teams.

Rick Fenwick, Ph.D.

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