Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,693 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,693
Hads: 4,438
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 606
Gots: 747 | FT: 70
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Popsinc on 06-09-2003

Péché Mortel (French for "Mortal Sin") is an intensely black and dense beer with very pronounced roasted flavours. Fair trade coffee is infused during the brewing process, intensifying the bitterness of the beer and giving it a powerful coffee taste. Péché mortel is brewed to be savored; we invite you to drink it in moderation.

This stout style, high in alcohol and bitterness in order to favour preservation, was historically brewed to support the long and arduous voyage necessary to export the beer from England to Russia. The word Imperial comes from the fact that the beer was specially brewed for the Russian tsar’s court.

The Péché Mortel was born in our Montreal brewpub in October 2001.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,693 | Hads: 4,438
Photo of dirtylou
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz single for $4.49, Barriques on PD

been on the want list for quite some time and was stunned to see it at Barriques while stopping in for a sandwich and espresso

appearance: sweet label...poured into a snifter, big robust brown body with a huge chocolate foam cap and thick lacing/retention. this beer has true sex appeal

smell: potent medium roast fair trade coffee beans, bittersweet dark chocolate, dark fruity esters and a noticeable booze presence, light green hop aromas underneath the huge roasted malts

taste: big espresso flavours right up front, black coffee, high bitterness levels throughout, incredibly creamy and milky feel, dark chocolate, severely roasted malts, light green hopleaf, mild alcohol bite...a very nice treat this one is, try it with some belgian chocolate

mouthfeel: super creamy, dark and roasty

drinkability: pretty good, given the bitterness and abv (896 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a slow pour a black brew with hues of ruby is topped off by a thin dark tan head that fades fairly quickly with some jagged and clingy lacing left behind. Plenty of complex aromas here with deep roasted malts and burnt wood up front, roasted almonds, cigar smoke and dark chocolates in the middle, and some caramel and a bit of breadiness in the back. The taste is incredibly smooth yet complex and fulfilling with big roasted malts up front that are mixed in with dark and sweet chocolates, coffee, some dark fruits, and a sweet and spicy middle. The palate is left with a nice lingering essence of hops and maybe a slight bit of cream for the coffee. Mouth-feel is full bodied yet drinkable despite the alcohol content and somewhat crisp at times despite the aforementioned creamy quality. Carbonation is active more so than most stouts of this magnitude. This is a brew is one to be savored and respected. (914 characters)

Photo of bainard
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into wide-mouth glass, like most everyone else.

Let me start off by saying that this is a wonderful beer, and I have very little to say in the realm of criticism against it. However, it really did nothing for me beyond the level of "very good" to take it to the level of "outstanding".

A - The beer looks wonderful. Deep black with a fetching mocha head. Lacing is present but not overwhelming.

S - Coffee and roastiness, are the dominant aromas, but nothing is too overwhelming here. It certainly doesn't smell like it's a beer, or a cup of coffee, even. Extremely mild aromas overall. Couldn't quite figure out what was going on.

T - Stout sweetness prevails here, with coffee bitterness being the main complimentary flavor. Very pleasant, but nothing like FBS, BCS, DL, or other imperial stouts that I've fallen in love with. There's chocolate, maybe a little caramel or molasses here.

M&D - Thick, but not as thick as something like ST's Choklat or Dark Lord. Certainly not thin, either, but with a decent amount of carbonation. I'd compare it to Left Hand's Milk Stout as far as overall body goes. This is certainly a drinkable beer, but if I'm in the midst of a night of fine beer sampling, I don't know if I wouldn't want to try something else instead of having another go at this. Again, a mighty fine beer, but nothing that I would place in the highest echelons of beerdom, or stoutdom. (1,407 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.06/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from JoeyBeerBelly, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black that lets no light through. Has a large fluffy mocha/tan head that subsides quickly, but laces the glass on the way down. Aroma is roasted coffee with some flowery hops distant in the background. Taste is heavy on the coffee, with some mocha hiding in there as well. A roasted bitterness consumes your mouth after each sip. Carbonation is a bit high for the style, but lends to a creaminess that offsets the bitter coffee. You need to like coffee flavors to like this one because that flavor is intense here. I enjoyed drinking this. (620 characters)

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.11/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.5 oz bottle

Pours a rich black color with a thick, creamy, brown head. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is rather sharp and initially smells like burned coffee. Gives way to a large herbal hop smell and some lesser roasted malt and chocolate tones.

Huge bitterness upfront, both from the hops and coffee astringency. Lots of herbal hops and coffee and only a hint of the roated malts. Bitterness rages to the finish and well beyond.

Full body, mild carbonation.

I'm wondeirng why this beer is so well regarded. Extreme excess of both hops and coffee, no balance whatsoever. (581 characters)

Photo of errantnight
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's always a shame when you feel disappointed by a beer that you supremely enjoy... but alas, that's my experience with Peche Mortel, a fantastic, well-crafted strong coffee stout that compares favorably with Founders... and yet seems nothing at all like a beer worthy of discussion as among the top 25 or 50 beers in the world, let alone number 14 (where it resides at the time of my tasting).

It is, perhaps, the best looking Imperial Stout I've ever seen... not shying away from an assertive carbonation that lifts a few gorgeous fingers of deep creamy head over a pitch black and viscous brew.

The aroma is a pungent lift of coffee with a mocha twist... but it manages to meld a nice roasted malt character that seems like a blessed combination, and not like a cheap trick.

The taste is very good, but not wowing. There's a sharp mineral character that reminds me of cold brewed coffee... and it seems to push itself in front of the malt character and hold off the beer for a moment. It's a character I was intrigued but ultimately put off by in Founders KBS in a similar manner... so I suppose it's something others latch onto and appreciate, but it seems out of touch with the rest of the beer.

Conversely, that same mineral (almost... a freezer burn, or stale refrigerator) flavor imparts an impressive drinkability onto the beer... almost in the same way bitterness does in an IPA. You just want to keep drinking to stay on top of it, and get to the base beer underneath.

As you can see from the score... I still very much enjoyed this... the higher carbonation didn't seem to make the beer spritzy, or unduly heavy or thin.... it aided in the creaminess, to my tastes. But I think they should reign that mineral quality in just a tad. (1,749 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pour resulted in a very dark brown liquid with a very heavy tan head. The lacing was very clingy.

S- Sweet coffee smell, almost like going to a coffee ship.

T- Sweet chocolate taste. Its very much like a nice brewed coffee.

M- Its very thick and creamy. I can see why this is such a great beer.

D- Easy to drink, nice and smooth. (339 characters)

Photo of gregc
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured in a snifter.

Poured a pitch black coffee color, with a beautiful looking 1 1/2 finger dark brown head
Aroma was intense and wonderful...freshly roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, roasted malts and the smallest amount of cream.
Taste was amazing, bitter roasted coffee dominates the taste, with some undertones of dark chocolate, roasted malt, some cream and a small amount of alcohol.
I had tried this a few months ago and was not impressed at all, but im glad i gave this another chance, it was wonderful. One of the best coffee stouts out there. (574 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to ph2001 for this opportunity.

Pours an opaque darkness with better than a finger deep foamy dark tan head that fades fairly quickly, leaving spotty patterns of lacing. The smell is amazing deep dark gooey chocolate, roasted malt, a bitter coffee and some of the alcohol in the form of a cherry-vanilla. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is silky smooth, medium bodied. The flavor is big and chocolaty java. The coffee bitterness lingers along with the kiss of vanilla from the 9.5% ABV. Nicely done. A little lighter than i expected. Highly Recommended. (571 characters)

Photo of Buebie
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Heritage Liquore in St. Paul MN

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a 16 oz merlot glass. No bottling date.
Black as might in color with zero transparency. Head is 2 fingers thick, of dark brown. Big thicks clumps of lace line all around my glass.
Big head retention with 1/2 a finger that doesnt seem to go away.

Smell is primarily of fresh brewed esspersso, some malty sweatness, cream, bitter chocolate.

T&M Very thick rich and cramy. Excellent balance of esspresso and sweet malt. The coffee is not over powering at all. At the swallow the coffee really comes around, with a nutty character as well. At the swallow, a zing of carbonation, a little too much carbonation in my oppinion. The finish is creamy coffee, sweet malt and the fading of sweat into a dry hoppy/ coffee overtone, that lingers for a good amount of time.

Wow, delicious beer. One of the best coffee infused beers I have had. No alcahol warming to be found, which is not a suprise. As this is one full bodied, full flavored beer. I'm glad I still have another bottle. Gonna let this celler for a few years and update the review. (1,119 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thick tan/brown head. Thought about saying -.5 pts for the weird screw top, but the cool label makes up for it.

S: Coffee, roast, licorice and chocolate aromas are excellent.

T: The taste follows the smell. The chocolate seems more noticeable as the brew warms. The finish is bitter.

M: Full and creamy with a carbonation bite.

D: Velvety delicious. This should be a sipping beer, but is so flavorful...I had to use restraint. (446 characters)

Photo of BgThang
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle, pours a nice dark to opaque color. Has a huge head of tiny fine bubbles. Has a mocha brownish head also

Aroma is pure roasted coffe with hint of sweetness and choclate. I also got some raisin and dark fruits in there.

Body is pretty full to me with some nice carbonation

Taste is rich and silky. Maybe some oatmeal in there for that. After the initial taste as it rolls on the back of the palate you start to get the dark fruits and hops to come through.

This is a nice coffee stout. Thanks to jonathan for sharing this.

Serving type: bottle (563 characters)

Photo of daftafne
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle to a Unibroue Tulip glass. Pour looked like cola - dark brown/black and completely opaque. A finger of head supported by perfect, fine bubbles which formed such a neat order they looked like stacks of pearl necklaces. Smelled like it tastes - fine quality coffee and roasted malts. The hops come out and linger after the initial coffee and roast flavors subside. I can feel the warmth of the etoh only slightly. A little syrupy on the tongue but can still feel the mild carbonation. Has a bit of a bitter bite. Definitely a beer to be sipped - would probably only want to have one due to high alcohol content and fairly big flavor. Delicious. (665 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.5 fl oz bottle into a Meantime snifter (listed at 9.5% ABV).

Pours darker than a moonless night, a pitch black hue with a finger's width of dark tan head that quickly recedes to a thin cap of foam. Thick rings of large bubbles bound to the glass' edge. The aroma is heavenly: rich espresso, a surprising amount of earthy hops, and dark, roasted chocolate malts.

Tremendous coffee and dark chocolate notes lash at the palate upon the first sip, and continue until the very last. Balancing the onslaught are notes of gooey caramel, dark rum, and raisin. A well-carbonated finish of warming booze and hops round out the velvety-smooth, thick body. Peche Mortel leaves a sweet, bitter coffee aftertaste in its wake, although the body is a touch on the over-carbonated side. All in all, this is a heavenly beer, and well worth the $5.00 price-tag. *kicks hisself for only buying three bottles* (894 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.5 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, it pours dark brown/black with about an inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is great, it smells like roasted malt, coffee/espresso and a bit of chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma, the roasted coffee/espresso taste is strongest, but bittersweet and milk chocolate are noticable too. There's also a lingering bitter coffee aftertaste. The alcohol is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is medium/full, it's rich and silky with average carbonation. It's also very smooth, which along with the taste makes the drinkability very good. I think this is an excellent beer. I definitely recommend this to others to try, especially if you like coffee. (715 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.5 oz bottle served slightly chilled into a snifter. Pours dark and opaque with an impressive brown head that disperses some sheets of satiny lace.

Aroma is somewhat subtle but very inviting. Dark roasted malts evince some coffee bean and bittersweet chocolate notes but the smell of fresh black currants really sets off the nose.

Body is medium full with an ideal soft but prickly carbonation.

Taste is quite rich. Coffee dominates here but with plenty of bittersweet chocolate. Currants show up here too, lending a leasant fruity berry note. Alcohol is well hidden. Seems like there is some oatmeal underneath as this has an incredible smoothness.

Excellent! Certainly one of the better coffee stouts around. (717 characters)

Photo of jdubjacket
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Spotted a few bottle of these at Green's at Buford Highway, and went ahead and picked one up. Poured into my Stella Artois chalice. Pours a deep brown, nearly black color. Milk chocolate head that leaves just a little residue along the side of the glass. Smells like roasted coffee beans and tastes like a deep, rich espresso. Some chocolate undertones come out as well. Mouthfeel is silky smooth going down. Overall, I wish I had picked up more than one. This is an outstanding beer. (484 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this brew on my Wants List for quite some time but I never really sought it out. Now..thanks to tayner and Yamar18, I get to drink a few bottles.;^) Thanks Dana and Kevin!

I pour this slightly chilled bottle and I get a near pitch black liquid; there's some reddish brown hues in there, especially at the bottom of my glass. The tan head is a good 2 fingers and this puppy is loaded with lacing. Great looking brew!

The smell is a bit on the light side for me. I'm getting some coffee and chocolate and some fruit but I really have to sniff hard for them to register.

The taste, now *that's* another matter entirely. Mmmm, big notes of roasted coffee, providing some bitterness. Nice milk chocolate sweetness that doesn't try to dominate but rather takes some edge off the bitterness. Some toffee, some dark fruit, the latter of which adds just the right touch of tartness and...I'm just starting to notice a bit of smoke.or am I? It sure seems like it. Wow. Medium mouthfeel that's just a hair away from being thick. So drinkable...yeah, where's the 9%abv? lol. Don't tell me!

All this time drinking and the head is still a solid inch in my glass. Is this some fine stuff or what?

Bottom line: This is a world class example of the style and I'm super happy that I got to try it and....I have a few more bottles so I can revisit at my leisure. A must try for anyone that's a fan of the style! (1,406 characters)

Photo of sleazo
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.5oz bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors

A_This is how I would like all my stouts to appear. Rich thick and black looking, this delivers. The huge cafe au lait head resmebles the crater ridden surface of the moon as it is dotted with the remnants of big bubbles from down below. As I sit here admiring the beauty, it is taking a long time to recede, from the sides at first leaving an Ayers Rock like appendage from the charred liquid below. The sides of the glass are laced with brown clouds of foam.

S_The aroma that wafts up at me is boozy at first and slightly acidic. This is followed by a megadose of coffee, much like in a Manhattan Espresso Soda. The coffee lingers in the nostrils even as the mug is placed back on the table.

T_The first sip is very good, much like a shot of espresso. This is followed by a bittersweet chocolate richness. The acidity that is shown in the nose lurks ever so slightly in the background here as well. The aftertaste is a mixture of espresso like caffeine and a creamlike sweetness. The alcohol is less ecident in the taste as in the aroma.

M_On the thicker side but not too much. There is actually some restraint here for the style as it does not venture into the chewy category. The carbonation is soft but present enough to push the liquid around the mouth.

D_I am generally somewhat skeptical of the high intensity stouts that are rated so high on BA. To me it almost seems as if anything big gets rated highly and a sort of cult of personality following takes over. As this was my mindset going in, I have to say this delivered the goods. A wonderfully full bodied stout redolent of coffee flavour. At $5.35 a single, it is a bit pricey, but to me well worth it. I am glad a bought a few more. (1,753 characters)

Photo of philberinghele
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This and Founder's Breakfast Stout are the top two coffee/imperial stouts in my opinion. Founder's has a thicker body that lends itself more to winter drinking, while this one is a bit thinner and more suitable for the humid chicago summer day i enjoyed it.

An espresso-crema head quickly dissipated but left a remarkable lacing on my brandy snifter throughout the rather long period of time it took me to finish this. As it warmed the coffee became more evident and the beer continued to shock me in its complexity.

This is a definite example of perfection in its style. (574 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This was jet-black, no highlights. It poured with a huge, creamy, dark mocha colored head. Decent retention and lots of sticky lace.

s: Surprisingly mild, but enticing nonetheless. This smells like a mocha latte with the addition of some moderate alcoholic warmth.

t: Interesting transitions here. Upfront, this tastes like a mocha latte. Raw, unsweetened cocoa flavors come next before yielding to some strongly bitter, but damn delicious, coffee flavors. The bitter tingle lingers while the gentle warmth of alcohol closes things out.

m: Great body on this one, but the carbonation is more readily seen than felt. Minor flaws seem all the more glaring in such a fantastic brew.

d: Big, big thanks to abankovich for the chance to try this one. Comes in a notch below Founder's Breakfast Stout, but it is still one of the best I've tried. (845 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

200th BA review.

12 ounce bottle with freshness dates notched '0,0' poured into a tulip yields an inky opaque body impervious to even direct sunlight. Not even any highlights that I can see... anyway, it's brown-black with an excellent sticky, creamy mocha head of two fingers with excellent retention that leaves sheets and rings of sticky lacing despite the substantial ABV.

Smell is rich dark-roasted espresso with a silky tinge of dark chocolate that persists despite all the smoky, winey, burnt, roasty coffee notes.

Flavors? Well, well. No surprises here, except how well the potent alcohol is hidden. Black French Roast coffee with a twang of Columbian coffee-light, plus an oily Italian espresso note with a hint of Seattle mocha make no quibble about what flavor is in charge of this beer. Bittersweet chocolate raises its head, no doubt, but is bitchslapped into stunned silence by a bold roasty note of Arabica. Caramel peeps out, probably looking for help, or maybe trying to escape, but is stomped flat by a big black rip of Kenya AA.

Smooth, rich, and full-bodied... I'm a coffee lover, a stout lover, and a big fan of beer for breakfast. This is the one for me. If only I could get my Braun to dispense this in the morning instead of Maxwell House... well, Hell, I'd never leave home!

Beer. It's not just for breakfast any more. (1,348 characters)

Photo of amiles
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack one of these newly aquired bottles to start off the weekend.

Poured into a snifter, jet black with an attractive medium pillowy brown head, and chunky lacing. Smell is strong espresso, touches of chocolate, and thought I even picked up some banana in there for a minute. Taste is very much espresso, and dark chocolate, backed by a little bit of a alcohol burn in the throat. Mouthfeel is slick and not too heavy, espresso lingers. Drinkability is nice, but I'll savour this one for a while, or atleast I'll try.

Reminds me of Founders BS. (558 characters)

Photo of Atron67
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to ph2001 for this in a trade!

A- poured a thick black oil that looks pretty delicious, and a milk chocolate head on top that built up huge and left huge lacing and solid retention as well. pretty damn solid

S- actually a slightly sweet scent to it which surprized me, strong malty characteristics that are nice, actually reminds me of a milk stout, however it is very tastey smelling, the coffee scents are kept to a minimum actually, much lighter than i was expecting.

T- huge black roasted characteristics, the maltyness and roasted characteristics are really nice, an expresso flavor is present, and the slight lactose flavor is present as well. as the beer moves on in the mouth the coffee flavors really come out giving a great smoothness and roundedness to the beer. the coffee lingers forever which is really nice and gives a great all around characteristic. i love the way the slight sweetness and coffee work together

m- thick low carbonation, and again the coffee lingers forever

D- awesome sipper, thanks for the trade (1,042 characters)

Photo of tdrshayden
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black with wonderfu lacing.
Heavy aromas of coffee with some chocolate
Flavor begin with sweet coffee and finishes with a flavorful bitterness. I could have drank many more of these. Very drinkable and smooth.
Will be very difficult to cellar the remaining case. (280 characters)

Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
97 out of 100 based on 1,693 ratings.