Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

The Session – Unibroue 16

So tonight’s Session topic was on anniversaries, so I decided to look up if there was anything interesting in history that happened today which would be worth cracking open a special beer for. I decided that for some reason I need to justify drinking an anniversary beer… so here’s my reason.

In regards to the the question in a relationship as to whether “size” matters to a woman, my typical response is as follows:

“It’s not the size of the ship, it’s the motion of the ocean …but you can’t get to England in a rowboat.”

However, I was proven wrong tonight. I was looking up historical things that happened on August 1st and I came across the story of George Samuelson and Frank Harbo, who, in 1894, went from New York City to England – a 3,000 mile journey – in a rowboat. No one has ever repeated the feat of using only an oared vessel to cross the Atlantic. Tonight is the anniversary of their landing in England.

So I’ve been forever proven wrong. You can get to England in a rowboat.

To toast to George and Frank’s incredible journey (can you imagine having to talk to the same person within your boat for 55 days straight?) I open for my readers tonight, a Unibroue 16, their 16th anniversary bottle.

I poured out the beer and found that my first glass had a thick head, I had to wait for it to settle before I could break it in. The smell coming off it was delightfully citrusy, almost orange in nature. The color was a dark copper and the head lingered for quite a while, the carbonation featured big, soda like bubbles.

Officially this is a ‘Belgian Pale Strong Ale” (sounds like an oxymoron, eh?). The taste seemed to me similar to Terrible, but a little bit more complex. It reminds me of a good dubbel, and it has a high alcohol content, but you can’t taste the sting from the alcohol at all – a definite plus. The taste is lovely and spicy, and some of that orange citrus warms in your mouth as you drink it. Its smooth and very pleasant. Worth seeking out, in my opinion, as this is a once-only brewing, and they’ve already come out with the 17th anniversary version.

The beauty of this beer is in its character, and Unibroue is one of my favorite breweries because of the quality of what comes out of their bottles. And, for me, drinking something you may never have again is something to cherish, or perhaps share, which is a great reason to drink one for an anniversary.

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1 Comment

  1. Guillaume

    Hey, cool blog you got. I come from Quebec and about fifteen years ago discovered beer with Unibroue, it opened my mind and my taste to real beers and microbrewery products (in the next decade Quebec would develop many fine beers). For a long time the Maudite and the Fin du Monde were my favorite beers. It’s a shame they got sold to Sleeman, but I guess it was to be expected. They rarely managed to top up their first trio (Blanche de Chambly, Maudite, Fin du Monde), although their Gaillarde and the Trois-Pistoles were really good. I think Unibroue went a wrong route when they tried to make more mainstream beers, such as the Bolduc and the U. You don’t buy a Unibroue product to go mainstream and the Belgian type of beers they make was an original concept. Now I much prefer English types of ales, so I prefer the MacAuslan products (which I strongly recommend) when I get back to Quebec, but I still have a fondness for the Maudite and the Fin du Monde.

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