Sunday, December 7, 2014

Unibroue Raftman (7/10)

Raftman is an ale brewed with whiskey malt and spices, refermented in the bottle.  It comes from the Canadian brewery Unibroue, which also makes La Fin Du Monde, Trois Pistoles, and many other Belgian-style and Belgian-influenced beers.

Raftman pours a hazy and effervescent amber with a thick beige head that lasts quite a while.

The aroma has a floral note to it, with some peppery elements and a kind of yeasty funk to it.

The flavor starts with malt, a mild tartness like Granny Smith apples, and a minimal hops presence.  It's a beer that's definitely all about the malt, and doesn't disappoint on that promise.  There seems to be some rye in it, but it's not heavy-handed.  It's subtle and works well with the barley.  There's a very mild bitterness in the aftertaste, but it isn't unpleasant.  A smoky element is in there, too, but it's incredibly subtle.

The folks at RateBeer give Raftman a 74/100 overall.  Beer Advocate's "The Bros" give it a 99/100 or world-class ranking, while the others give it only an 87 or "very good" rating.  I'm giving it a solid 7 out of 10, though it's probably better than some beers I've rated a 7.  I just didn't enjoy it quite as much as the ones I've rated an 8.

This beer isn't easy to find.  I believe I picked up this particular bottle at Weiland's Gourmet Market or Kenny Road Market a couple of months ago.

Flavor Profile:
Sweet, Malty, Dry, Bitter, or Sour:  Malty and tart
Spice Level:  Low
Hops Level:  Very Low
Dominant Flavors:  Malt, a citrus-like tartness, a touch of rye
ABV: 5.5%
IBU:  16
My Rating: 7/10
Retail Price:  not recorded, but estimated in the $8-10 range as pictured

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