Several years ago Unibroue Raftman was available in NC and then it disappeared. That was before our law changed to allow higher alcohol, but Raftman has never been a big beer, it rings in at 5.5% abv. A few weeks ago I grabbed a bottle when I saw it on the shelf and last night I decided to try my old friend once again. I must say the smoke character I remembered was more restrained and refined than it once was. Smoke was never at a high level, but it was medium-low back in the day and now it is part of the flavor which adds complexity rather than a main ingredient. I really enjoyed this beer because it is sessionable and yet has a nice complex flavor and aroma with spices and malt and lions and tigers and bears. I still have the empty bottle on the shelf from years ago when I was sampling everything I could find from Unibroue. Nothing has changed in that regard, but the flavor of the beer now, even restrained, is no slouch. If you see this somewhere bring it home and drain the bottle.

raftman

 

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