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

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Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)

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4,091 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,091
Reviews: 1,651
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 8.86%
Wants: 557
Gots: 629 | FT: 60
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,091 | Reviews: 1,651 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Anthony1
4.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large light brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong roasted coffee, dark malts, some dark chocolate and a faint touch of alcohol.

T: The taste as expected is very malty and full of black coffee along with some creamy chocolate. It's not as intensely sweet as some other big stouts. There's not much of a hops presence but it's really not needed in this type of beer as it retains a good balance without it. The alcohol is very well-disguised. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean for the style.

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.84/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From the pour it is dark in color just like black coffee.The aroma of coffee is bursting from the seams. I am very shock at this point.

From the taste haven't notice much hops in it cause of the coffee bitterness coming through and a nice dark earthy robust flavor is just pounding on my taste buds with a creamy smooth finish.

This Stout is outstanding and wasn't sure about the whole coffee infuse stouts but this is heaven in a bottle. I like beer and I like coffee what a combo.

Photo of metter98
4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color (a slight bit of red is visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to the light) and has a thin creamy beige head. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of coffee and espresso beans in the nose.
T: Like the smell, flavors of coffee and espresso beans stand out in the taste, which has a slight amount of sweetness and a hint of bitterness. Unlike the bottled version, roasted flavors are not very noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and incredibly smooth and creamy; the smoothness of the beer on-tap really sets it apart from the bottled version.
D: The beer goes down very smooth and tastes like creamy espresso. I could sip this beer all night long and will definitely try this again if I can find it on-tap because it tastes even better than it does in a bottle.

Photo of BeefyMee
3.85/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Pitch black, ok head and good lacing.

S: Huge coffee aroma. A little boozy and medicinal.

T: The coffee profile might be even stronger here. Reminds me of Cafe Patron but carbonated. There's a little sweetness and a slight blood like iron presence. The roastiness builds up as you keep drinking.

M: Syrupy but I think the flavor makes me think it's more so than it really is. Maybe a little too much carbonation.

D: Fairly high drinkability for what it is, but more than one might be too much.

I was somewhat disappointed with this one. A very good beer, but I was hoping for a little more.

Photo of Augustiner719
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass:

Pours a very dark, viscous, yet not syrupy black color with a great 2 finger tan head that leaves nice lacing. Dark as night. The aroma is great. Has a nice fresh pressed coffee aroma, some dark chocolate notes and even some vanilla hints. really pretty. The taste is very good too. Just a touch on the hot side as i can detect some of the high abv on this one. Otherwise, its got a very rich creaminess to it that really sets the tone of this beer. Also has a nougat like malt profile that keeps it light enough to drink easily. really fluffy body, a touch thinner than i thought. Mouthfeel is great as well. Slightly more carbonated than i would have hoped, but still a great feel on the palate. Light weight which keeps this easy to drink. The slight alcohol burn is all that is keeping me from giving this a near perfect score. needs some time in the bottle.

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

Pours rather viscous... brown when thinned out, nearly black in the glass. Next to no head that's basically completely gone before I even drink it.

Smells of coffee, a bit of chocolate, and alcohol. A little cherry / raspberry, maybe.

As soon as it went into my mouth, even before I really tasted it, I got the sense of eating espresso beans. That roasted, gritty-without-the-grit, coffee sensation. It's just like sipping a stout-like cold coffee. Just a bit of dark chocolate. Rich flavour without the rich feel.

Pretty friggin' smooth, really! I expected it to be strong, after smelling it. Not as thick as I expected. Nearly flat... not much carbonation, which suits the coffee flavour. A bit of a bitter finish, just like you'd have from an espresso or something. Leaves your throat a little airy. Good job of hiding the 9.5%!

More drinkable than I would have thought on my own... but also a little over-hyped. Still good, though.

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

Poured into my Stone IRS tulip

A - India ink black with a creamy 1-finger mocha head. Nice, sticky looking lacing.

S - Big blast of coffee followed with dark roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate.

T - More fine-quality coffee and dark roasted malts. Bitter chocolate, vanilla and the slightest bit of smoke round it out. Tastes decadent, like liquid chocolate-coffee cake.

M - Smooth and creamy with a medium-heavy body and lovely prickly carbonation. Like velvet on the tongue.

D - This certainly lives up to the hype, incredibly dark and smooth, with no hints of the ABV. I will definitely be enjoying more of these in the future!

Photo of jacobseyb
3.68/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a golden brown 3 finger head that sticks around pretty well, but laces little. Smell is very bitter with burnt malts, coffee malts and chocolate malts predominate. Taste is quite bitter as well a again tastes heavily of malts. Feel is pretty crisp, with light carbonation and a lingering aftertaste. Overall a good stout but not at the too of my list.

Photo of baggio
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A: Pitch black with a creamy, beige, head and some lacing.

S: Coffegrounds, Malt, Hint of bitterchocolate, Hint of pear.

T: Coffee, Roasted malts, Bitter chocolate, Hint of ashes.

M: Carbonation is quite mild. Taste is smooth with a hint of sweet to it and ends dry and bitter.

I'm not a huge fan of coffeestouts but this one tastes really great and feels quite balanced. Probably one of the best coffeestouts i've tried so far.

Photo of daledeee
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I saw this on the best of list. Sure enough, it was available here.

I poured this and got a medium head; tan in color. Lacing is great and head retention is also forever. Body is black.

Nose is burnt, vanilla, charcoal.

Taste is ultra bitter chocolate and smoked or charcoal. Sweet as well. Very, very good taste profile. The finish is really bitter. Probably one of the most bitter I have ever had regardless of beer type.

Mouth feel is slightly drying, but not a lot.

Drinkability is slightly limited due to strength and hop aftertaste but I like this beer: alot.

Photo of claspada
3.41/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Rattle n Hum NYC along with 3 other Diew Du Ciel beers.

Had this in a flight. Looked and smelled like your typical russian imperial stout. The usual hints of toffee, cocoa, and mainly coffee in this one. Taste amd drinkability were extremely lacking. Highly over-rated beer in my opinion. Too cloying and sweet with no balance in the coffee/malt/hops. Lack of carbonation doesnt help but not typical of style anyway. Worth tasting but not shelling out $8 for 8 oz or even $7 at a store for a 12 oz. Seek out others if you have a choice.

Photo of ptykozoon
3.71/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown. Black if I'm not mistaken. No, dark brown. Ah who knows. Black colored brown. A coffee colored frothy head appears with decent retention and lacing. Outstanding.

Smell is intense and intoxicating. Coffee is everywhere in this one and drowns out the other smells. Picking up scents of chocolate cake, maybe even caramel and raisins, or it could just be my imagination running wild as this beer smells very inviting.

Taste reveals a short list of strong flavors; mostly aforementioned coffee and chocolate, there are hints of other sugary treats, perhaps black licorice, maple syrup. There is a strong dry bitterness that I couldn't smell and is apparent now: roastiness. It adds another layer to the beer, however I'd very much like to age this beer as perhaps it would mellow out a bit. Personally it's a dry/bit bitter for my tastes. Tastes a bit unbalanced. Overrated?

Mouthfeel isn't bad, a bit bitter. Not too thick or thin; very smooth.

Drinkability is not my favorite category to rate as it is usually irrelevant. However this beer isn't too sweet or syrupy and hides the alcohol very well so I suppose I wouldn't mind another bottle..

Photo of wedgie9
4.02/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 11.5oz bottle from Lush Roscoe. I have chosen this beer as my 100th rating. The pour is an opaque deep, dark brown with a big, light brown head that slowly recedes, but never fully leaves. The primary smell on the nose is coffee, but underlying are aromas of molasses, super roasty malts, dark chocolate, and caramelized brown sugar. On the front of the palate, this beer is creamy and features the sweeter creme brulee notes. The roasted bitter coffee and chocolate notes begin to come through on the middle of the palate, and the back is dominated by coffee and dark chocolate bitterness. The body is full and creamy with very lively carbonation and a super-long bitter coffee finish. The alcohol is very well integrated, and this beer is extremely drinkable. I am glad that I chose this beer for my 100th rating. It has lived up to the hype of being one of the best beers in the world.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. The beer pours out jet black, literally no light can go through. The head is quite unique, it's a creamy brown/orange/amber color. I expected it to be darker, but I was very intrigued by the slight orange color in it. Has some decent lacing that sticks around until it warms up. The aroma good, but doesn't smell that much like beer, more like a dessert liquor. Mostly coffee and chocolate when its a little colder but as it warms up it tastes like a dessert liquor or some type of "Irish Coffee." Still smells very good though. The taste is very good. For a 9.5 ABV, there isn't much detection in the taste. Here's where you start to realize it's a beer again. The strongest portion is the bittersweet from the coffee and chocolate, but the malts are very noticeable as well. Hops are a little more difficult to detect, but as it warms up they make themselves known. The Mouthfeel is perfect. It's it's smooth yet finishes clean, certainly a full bodied beer. The beer is very drinkable, dangerous for a beer of this alcohol content. 2nd beer I've had from this brewery 2 for 2!

Photo of tbeckett
3.81/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Hard pour produced a fluffy 2 finger khaki head and very slight carbonation. Very good looking beer.

S - Very faint coffee smell with lot's of chocolate and a slight boozy smell. A touch of roasted malt comes through as well. Not what I expected.

T - Alot like the smell except the booze can be felt alot more. Not alot of coffee in the flavour but lot's of chocolate and roasted malt again.

M - Medium bodied, velvety. Good carbonation.

D - This beer would be alot more drinkable if the alcohol was masked more by the coffee that is supposed to be present.

Photo of zimmerbloke
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to trying this one. 12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Extremely dark and fairly viscous, with a strong half-inch meduim brown head. Very little lacing. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nice.
S: While still cold, roasted coffee is by far the dominant smell. As it warms, the coffee is still strong, but get a few dark sugars and more roasted malt, or maybe it's just the coffee fading.
T: Predominantly strong coffee, in a very good way. Also has a bit of a warming feel and small bit of alcohol flavor, but not offensively so. Balanced; very small amount of oxidation. A little sweet. Not many better coffee stouts.
M: Not as thick as I would like an imperial stout to be. However, the carbonation is strong and prevents any of the flavors from being overly cloying. A pleasant bit of mouth coating, as well.
D: High. Remarkably smooth and quite easy to get through a 12oz bottle without being overpowering. Doesn't leave me overwhelmed with any of it's flavors. Excellent, easy drinking Imperial Stout.

I'll definitely be returning to this beer. Definitely fine to drink alone, but I'm very curious to try pairing the strong espresso flavors with dessert or a full breakfast. Nice to know this beer is easy to find.

Photo of neorunner
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fifth beer from the Blind Beers BIF thanks to SHolland119.

Pour is a jet black with a thin layer of brown slightly creamy head. Aroma is coffee, some more coffee, and a bit of dark chocolate malt. Sharp flavors of bittering hops and cocoa / coffee hit my tongue and the lack of carbonation leave them to linger for awhile. The beer seems to be a bit on the acidic side. Body is fairly light and there is little to no stickiness with the beer.

Photo of SilentBob2u2
3.27/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Espresso Espresso Espresso, slightly chicory, smokiness, chocolate covered espresso beans, burnt sugar, and smokey malt. I'm not huge on coffee or espresso stouts, but this was pretty good. I liked how there is a distinct difference in flavor from regular coffee stouts and this ESPRESSO stout. It was done well, although splitting a 12oz bottle is all I can do.

Photo of Destral
4.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great roasted coffee smell with a very faint sweetness...perhaps chocolate.

I love the bourbon and alcohol smell on this. Bits of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee round out a wonderful smell.

Tons of roasted coffee like the smell. This tastes much more like espresso than beer. There is a bit of bitterness from the coffee, but the alcohol is really hidden well.

The beer is very creamy and smooth but not too heavy. The flavors coat my mouth and linger long after I take a taste.

This was one of the easiest to drink big beers I've had, but the 12 oz bottle was probably just enough for one night.

The only real knock I have against it is that beer borders on being too 1 dimensional with the coffee. While I preferred the GI BCBCS this is more readily available and a great substitute if I'm looking or a coffee fix. Definitely will seek this one out again.

Photo of bebbcorp
4.83/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Upon opening of the bottle smell is of chocolate, maple syrup and rum. Pouring from bottle into my great divide snifter. Pour is jet black with no light coming through with a 1.5 inch creamy brown head which has now receded to a steady 3/8" head which is seeming to last. Nose from the glass is chocolate, rum, and almost a sweet cream smell. Taste is dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness. Taste sticks with you. I am suprised by the taste not being syrupy as it smelled from the bottle. Alcohol is not as apparent from the taste as it was from the smell. Beer is quite nice and alcohol is well hidden Mouthfeel is not nearly as creamy as I expected from the smell either, but is also pleasant. Only my second venture into the espresso-stout style, but I am well glad I bought this beer.

Photo of DNICE555
4.92/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Abbey Armsby in Worcester MA with Jlynn after my uncle's 40th anniversary in NH. It was on the chalkboard but I ordered it and it had kicked. Luckily they had a bottle left! Very excited to try this little treat as I wasn't expecting it at all.

A - Black, two finger dark brown head, nice lacing.

S - Espresso, roasted and glorious. Heavy malts. I didn't have to get my nose anywhere near the glass and the smell was invigorating.

T - A bold coffee taste with a nice bitter backbone. This is what a double coffee stout should taste like. Damn I need to savour this.

M - Smooth, Creamy, Ballsy.

D - 9.5 percent doesn't get any easier than this. I had to exert a lot of willpower to make the glass last 20 minutes. My fiance had an amazing desert that made it smell like Fall next to me. I was very tempted to try some however I didn't want to ruin my palate.

An elite stout would be an understatement. One of the best I've had.

Photo of thehodgie
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Chocolate Black, frothy black head.

S: Chocolate and Espresso, fair trade coffee house mocha smell.

T: Chocolate and Espresso, chocolate dominates this beer but not overly so.

M: Surprisingly smooth,

D: Very Easy, so easy that at 9.5 it's tricky.

Photo of Spica66
4.77/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Completely black in the glass. Brown head, fine lacing.

S: Espresso, espresso and unless I imagined it, a slight hint of espresso.

T: Did I mention espresso? But no bitterness. Incredible...

M: Beautiful, creamy, wonderful.

D: Very, very, very easy to drink. No hint whatsoever that it is 9.5%

I really can't imagine that there could be a better coffee flavored stout than this. It is without a doubt my favorite non-bourbon beer.

Photo of Luk13
4.46/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a medium brown head that fades quickly into a thin layer. Deep rich smell of ground roasted coffe and milk chocolate. Tastes like a cup of espresso coffee with a lactic feel. As it warms, you get more of the chocolatey and rummy flavors. Well balanced alcohol only a slight warmth in the finale. Not one of those imperial stouts you want to put away but fab to drink fresh.

Photo of biegaman
4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For a beer named "Mortal Sin" it is an appropriately stygian, somber, raven-black tone that remains morbidly sunless even when held directly up to the sky. Likewise, its head is equally morose; for the most part it's depressed and hard swirling can only invoke it momentarily (the colour that's revealed, moreover, is a rather gloomy, shadowy dark brown).

I didn't see any coffee beans fall out of the bottle but, from the smell of things, I must have missed them. This thing is an angry, spewing volcano of java and, as much as I appreciate the profusion of flavour and character, I'm left asking 'are you sure there's any beer in this thing?' Notwithstanding, this is one seriously decadent, rich and distinct bouquet.

For me, as a person who appreciates coffee but dislikes drinking it, a rich, well-crafted Imperial Stout brewed with coffee is a little bit like traveling with a friend you don't particularly care much for - you can still take in all the sights and sounds but, truthfully, you know you could appreciate it all and enjoy yourself more if they weren't there with you...

And, like that travel partner, I find I tire of the coffee sooner or later. As most Imperial Stouts warm they reveal nuances and intricate complexities that you might not have picked up on before. When Péché Mortel warms, it only tastes more and more of coffee (and that oily acidity of the beans becomes much more astringent). If you're one to get jittery from caffeine, expect your heart to start bouncing out of your chest cavity.

I'd just assume this is well-suited to long-term aging; this bottle, now a year old, doesn't indicate otherwise. With an imbalance of malt to begin with, however, I'd imagine aging will suit coffee-lovers more than those who aren't (then again, I can't really see anyone but coffee-lovers swept away by the thought of stock-piling the stuff anyhow).

Péché Mortel is about as one-sided as CNN news, but it has a certain indefinable quality that makes it, for my money, one of the most rightly sought after and venerated Imperial Stouts out there. And, despite the overwhelming presence of coffee, it is mystically intricate and notably distinct. The real sin is that these guys can't distribute everywhere!

Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
98 out of 100 based on 4,091 ratings.