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 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.
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Rick Fenwick, Ph.D.
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