Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Unibroue – Raftman

Knowing the right people, as I’ve said before, is a great way to try new stuff. Lyn from Simley’s in Dover pointed me towards a sampler pack of Unibroue’s beers that I hadn’t had – particularly the Raftman – an “ale on lees” that is brewed with whiskey malts. Smoked whiskey malts. How could I not want to try that?

So I opened up the regular sized bottle (with the silver foil that’s

 annoyingly glued down to the bottle neck and cap) and poured it in a Unibroue glass that I also got from Smiley’s. Its head sprung up immediately and almost overwhelmed my glass. The color was beautiful, a cloudy dark amber with plenty of sediment. The smell was startingly similar to a Fin du Monde or Terrible – and I believe that that has to do with the similar bottle refermentation that use in each of the beers. 
The mouth feel is one that is quite carbonated, and pinches at your tongue on the first sips. The taste itself is complex and deeply malty. I don’t taste the smokiness, but there’s something about this one that’s different. It has a spice, an edge to it that other Unibroue brewings don’t have. It is has a bite almost like a lambic, and has a sweet fermented taste that defies description. This is one that if you try it, you’ll know all that Unibiroue is capable of. I don’t think I could sit and have five of these, but the modest ABV would allow you to if you so desired.
I am unsure about the U.S. distribution for this brew. I got it in a sample pack that also included three other brews of theirs, which I may review at a slightly later date. I would have loved to have reviewed this side by side with other Unibroue brewings, so that I could really pull out what it is that makes this one really strangely different than its cousins. 

An additional note – according to Unibroue’s website, the Raftman was “brewed to commemorate the legendary courage of the forest workers. These hard working men knew when to settle their differences and share their joie de vivre with a beer and a whisky.” This referrs to the loggers who risked their lives rafting the tree trunks they’d cut down the rivers towards the mills. A dangerous profession, and definitley something worthy of a brewing so provocative. 

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1 Comment

  1. The Beer Chick

    Nice article! I haven’t tried the Raftman! Time to call my friendly Unibroue rep! Happy New Year. Thanks so much for being involved in Beer for Chicks! Lets definitely talk about the future! Could I use more exclamation points?!

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