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Grande Noirceur - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

232 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 232
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 14
Gots: 34 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rastacouere on 03-15-2004

The Grand Noirceur (Great Darkness). Is a dense black beer with robust roasted flavors. Its imposing bitterness is balanced by the presence of complex malted, caramel notes. It takes its name from the conservative policies of mid-century Quebec. The Grande Noirceur was born at our Montreal brewpub in March of 2004.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 232 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by evil_liver:
More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz glass at the Underground in YEGDT, DDC TTO.

This beer appears a solid black abyss, with subtle mahogany highlights, and one finger of dense, somewhat bubbly light brown head, which leaves a solid, thick band of painted lace around the glass as it lazily bleeds away, and notably persists through the subsequent 'glass more or less half empty' experience.

It smells of roasted, kind of meaty caramel/toffee malt, musty ash, bittersweet cocoa icing, herbal, leafy hops, and a twinge of metallic alcohol. The taste is grainy, sweet baker's chocolate, bready caramel malt, edgy dark fruit, wet ash, mild day-old coffee, a hint of earthy, musty hops, and some underlying warming booze.

The carbonation is present, but pretty well understated, the body a solid medium weight, and generally smooth, a certain creaminess lingering from the ingrained chocolate notes. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa powder and BBQ-charred caramel still contending with the offsetting fruit, coffee, and liquor essences.

An agreeable enough RIS, almost restrained to a certain degree, though. I'd like to try this anew in a less heady and busy environment - I'm not refuting the purported 17-proof booze, as everything else does well to keep the inherent imperial nature a benevolent one. Oh, hey Mike!

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great smooth pleasing imperial stout. A bit of sourness Russian style but overwhelmed by chocolate malts and fruity taste. Coffee and vanilla notes, roastiness. Suitable understated carbonation. Chocolate coffee aftertaste. Opaque black. Very satisfying.

Photo of MrElPechor
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9% 2013 bottle

A : Deep Black with thick brown head, very good lacing

S: Intese espresso coffee nose

T: Roasted barley, coffee , bittering hop long final with a slightly alcojol after taste

m: Full body with light carbonation

O: a very good stout hope to taste it in bourbon cask one day

Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask, via hand pump @ The Farmhouse (Burlington, VT) on 2/19/11. Served in a wine glass. Did this side by side with cask Pech Mortel, as this is the base for that beer.

Pours black in the glass, topped with just a thin ring of creamy mocha head. Very little head retention here, with this leaving a tiny bit of spotty lacing back but it does throw a good bit of brown oily goo down up onto the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of roast and some darker fruit flavors. This is pretty bitter feeling in the nose overall but some sweeter notes of chocolate and caramel does soften this up on the edges a bit. Unfortunately, that posted 8.9% ABV is felt here in the form of some underlying sharp warmth.

The taste is bitter chocolate and sweet toffee, with a LOT of dark pithy feeling fruit at the core of this. This is all wrapped up in a sharply bitter blanket of dark roast which is giving off a lot of zippy feeling espresso character. This finishes with a good bit of dry roast and some lingering spicy alcohol notes. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied and while it possesses a soft mellow crispness on top, there is definitely also a more flat and chewy feel underneath. Much like the nose, this is showing some heat, which only aids in accentuating the strength of the roast and bitterness here.

I've found that big Stouts on cask can sometimes be a mixed bag and this one was no different. While I liked what I saw from the flavors here, the cask conditioning unleashed some of the more forceful aspects a bit too much. This was still quite decent for what it was but I will be seeking this out on draft next time, as I think that it definitely has the goods to warrant some of the top grades that it has received so far.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I asked one of the waiters for what offering should be next and thats what he suggested.

A- Very close to perfect. I was going to say perfect but I think this could look better. Completely black. Beautiful almost uniform light brown head. Head seems to last forever. Its been 15 minutes and nothing has budged.

S- Slightly sour Guinness-like malty smell. Doesn't seem like much but I havent taken a sip yet. Warmer now. Getting lots of anise and generic roasted malt. Dark fruit now that it's at room temp. Brown sugar and alcohol now that it's really warmed up.

T- A lot like the smell but more scotch, more fruit, and a little more alcohol. once it got to room temp the hops came out. Discrete american but they're there.. all the flavors spell great but the sum is just good.

M- Wow so creamy. Low but sufficient carbonation. One of the lightest full mouthfeel beers I've ever had.

D- Very high for how deep, complex and alcoholized it is.

This was great. Not mind blowing but having brewed this I'd be damn proud. A grand beer. Not world class though.

Photo of ohiobeer29
2/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Average stout drinkable though give it a try

Photo of KYGunner
4.36/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

As this black pearl stout oozed into a snifter I knew this was special. Despite it not being a nitro tap it had a growing and billowing cloud of carbonation along the edges as if it were alive. These bubbles churned along the edges until a neat and tidy creamy froth stacked along the top. The lacing was a sheet of thick film that caked around the edge. I've never given a 5 in appearance but this was worth it.

The aroma is full with deep char, smoky embers, burnt toffee, roasted caramel malt, coffee roast and toasted walnut.

The flavor holds more of the smoky elements with deep char and campfire embers. The sweet toffee and caramel is more or less absent but the roast, toast and coffee char seem far more frontal.

This drinks with ease, dryness and a start to creamy.

This was an absolute joy to discover as I found it on a whim. If you like deeply roasted and smoky char than this is your kind of stout.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a HS Teku (0 and 3 notched on the label [Botthom/Top])

A: Pitch black with the thinnest dark mocha head. It really just gets you excited to try it.
S: Smells like some of the best RIS/stouts that I've had. Rich, sweet malts with a tinge of coffee roast. You also get some vanilla. I will say that it seems there is the slightest veil over this and it doesn't pop like say a Black Tuesday, but that may just be due to age.
T: Goes great with some of the Easter chocolate hanging around the house. It still has a great flavor by itself. Nice bit of coffee roast that lingers on the palate. Chocolate is on the attack.
M: Light bit of carbonation that seems to clash a bit with the beer, but I'm on the fence with it. I was hoping it to be a bit more viscous and silky. Needs more body to it.
O: Not sure where I place this in relation to Aphrodite and Peche Mortel, but I'd probably put it in 3rd behind Aphrodite.

Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks papat444!! Poured into a glass. :-P

Appearance. Pours thick and black with two+ fingers of thick, dark tan head that leaves some pretty lace behind.

Smell. Dark roasted malts, molasses, and lots of dark chocolate.

Taste. Dark roasted malts and lightly sweetened black coffee, a little bit of smoke and some cocoa as well as those dark malts in the lightly bitter and dry finish.

Mouthfeel. Pretty full body with lower carbonation.

Overall. A nice big stout. Tons of flavour and would probably age well.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at the Mondiale 2005: Poured a pitch black color stout with no head or carbonation. Aroma of roasted malt with strong coffee also easily recognisable. Taste is totally dominated by coffee with some subtle vanilla note. Body is quite full and alcohol is well hidden. Nice though DDC can do much better.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled in 11/2012.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Deep black with a thin layer of espresso coloured head.

S - Roast, semi-sweet chocolate, smoke and light espresso notes.

T - A big bitter roast profile with semi-sweet chocolate, espresso, smoke and licorice. Some molasses sweetness in the middle.

M - Medium, almost full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A deep thick black walnut body is presented. Very opaque. Large thick whipped up tan to dark cocoa head on the pour. Little retention but lots of speckled and snaked stream like lacing. Very aggresive and impressive appearance.

Great nose. Large charring roast but not bitter. Good mix of coffee earth qualities and smoke richness. Hints also even some leafy tobacco and dank hop qualities. Real inviting and enjoyable.

Palte comes nicely but finishes just a tad harsh. Good dark chocolate bitterness on first sip, and sharp burnt charcoal aromas. Controlled but very lingering. Sharp large hop bitterness with a pine and earth finish. Good balance of strong hop and roast mix on the finish. Palate feel hits nicely between subtle warmth and good thick coating quality.

Overall its large on the roast but luckily not overkilled. Aggressive but not booming like a classic barrel aged stout. If Sexual Chocolate could be redifned and better it would taste like this beer.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My bottle says its 9% abv, not 8.5%. First bottled version was higher in ABV? maybe...

This is a 2012 bottle.

My tasting notes says:

The color is black, very dark. Nice brown head on top of it. Creamy looking, dense and sticky. Nice looking beer. Almost perfect. Very nice smell... its delicious. Coffee, chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is dominated by chocolate with a nice bitterness of espresso coffee. Wow. The taste lingers for so long, its amazing. DDC knows how to do Stout! Voluptuous in the mouth, quite complex and big too.

The alcohol is so well hidden, its crazy! So well done but so dangerous. You want to drink more than one, but you will be toasted! :)

As it warms up, the alcohol will make its presence. The beer is a true sipper... winter warmer for those cold nights. Wish we could get this one all winter long.

Well balanced. Some citrusy hops in the back.

Overall: Very good. Awesome.

Photo of Immortale25
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Notches on label next to 0 and 3.

A- Pours an ominously opaque black color with a 3/4 inch frothy brown head that retains very well before slowly diminishing to a thick bubbly ring around the edge of the glass and random splotches of surface foam. Thick, resilient lacing slowly trickles down the glass.

S- Dark roast creates a chocolaty aroma with a bit of musty hops coming through as well.

T- Heavy dark roast brings about notes of black licorice, coffee and molasses. Slightly charry and a dark chocolate aftertaste. Alcohol is pretty well masked for how strong this beer is. Moderate hop bitterness.

M- Very thick and robust with medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- This is a non barrel-aged stout that packs one hell of a flavor punch.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from J.A. Moisan Epicier (Quebec City). 2.79. I know this was bottled in 11/12 but you wouldn't know it from their obscure notched 0&1 (out of two sets of 0 to 9?!). Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours black with a little under a quarter finger deep tan head. Head recedes to the edges and leaves a good deal of spotty lace.

Smells of earthy roast, dark fruit, faint coffee and a bit of campfire. Opens up with more sweet fruits as it warms.

Bitter roast malts hit the palate first followed by coffee, blackened plums, smoked wood, licorice, anise, cherry pits, mild vanilla and a bite of alcohol. The alcohol is certainly present but never seems too hot or out of balance with the roasty dark fruits.

Medium full body with plenty of carbonation. Dry, sharp, long bitttersweet roasty aftertaste.

The more I try from Dieu du Ciel the more impressed I am. This is a nicely done and easily quaffable classic imperial stout. I wish I could have bought a six or four pack on vacation but was happy to find a store that still at least had this single bottle left. I hope to drink this again someday and with any luck have a few to lay down for a year or two.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black, not totally opaque with a cm perfectly laced and sticking to the glass coffee coloured head (nitrogen). A rather subtle nose for an imperial stout, chocolatey and cofeeish. Milky palate with a strong coffee aftertaste (cappucino, espresso, they're all there). Not as sweet as the nose lent me to believe, more coffeeish and and reminiscent of a coffee crisp. 8.5%, where? Hops presence appear restrained, but bitterness coats the tongue sides after a few sips. What I prefer about it has got the be the mouthfeel, very comfortable and pleasant medium-full with just the right carbonation. A big glass of flavourful cream with vanilla notes, velvety if not too complex. The comparison to Bièropholie's imperial stout is mandatory..

Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz, bottled Nov. 2012.

A: Pours a thick brownish-black with a nice cap of chocolate-colored head.

S: Coffee, lightly burnt grain, sweet lactose, cocoa, substantial piney hop notes.

T: Charred grain, roasty, light caramelized sweetness, subtle citric hoppiness, more roasted malt.

M: Thick-bodied with light yet ample carbonation.

O: A nice roasty imperial stout.

Photo of papat444
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ABV 8.2% posted on the chalkboard @ DDC.

Appearance: This body lives up to its name. Jet black with a frothy, whipped mocha head that has the cascading effect going on. The lacing is so thick it's like a sheet that i can barely see the glass through.

Smell: Licorice, oats and some charcoal.

Taste: Some charcoal, oatmeal, coffee beans and semi-sweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Starts creamy, middle is mildly abrasive, ends smooth and the aftertaste has a nice lingering bitterness. Never heavy and no alcohol felt.

Overall: I would have preferred not having it on nitro as it hides the flavors a bit but this goes down so easy. Could easily have had another or two. A sessionable stout?!

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Huge thanks to papat444 for delivering this exceptional beer in an in person trade at DDC in Montreal.

A: Pours a black-brown with 3-4 fingers of huge fluffy espresso crema head which slowly settles leaving clumps of lacing surrounding the glass.

S: Initial scents of cocoa powder with sweet roasted malts, molasses and strong dark coffee. Some earthiness is present in the background along with notes of chocolate essence.

T: Taste follows the smell although the bitterness of both the coffee and the cocoa come through on the tongue which were not detected on the nose. Finishes with sweet malts and molasses.

M: Thick, oily and creamy with little to no detectable carbonation or alcohol.

O: Another amazing offering from DDC who in my view can do no wrong. This is a solid RIS that is a great nighttime sipper.

Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml Bottle part of a 4-pack for 9.99+tax at Broue Haha QC

Appearance - Black/Brown colour with with an above average size fizzy/frothy brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, roasted nuts

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some roasted/toasted nuts. There is also some light coffee flavour and some vanilla. It ends with a sooth chocolatey aftertaste but after a second or two a lingering bitterness kicks in.

Overall - Wow, another winner from DDC. The mouthfeel is a little flat but that adds to the creaminess on the palate. The booze is very well hidden and the beer is very drinkable. I think it would be tough for me to find another RIS of this quality for such a great price. Seek this one out.

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shoutout to Pino for this bottle, November 2012 bottling.

Inky black, dark brown head atop with some decent lacing and only moderate retention. Nose holds quite a bit of fresh coffee beans, some roasted grains and hop character. Taste is a bit thinner, some sour coffee grains, toasty/roasty grains, dark chocolate, and only a slight malt sweetness. Dry finish, with moderate amounts of alcohol. Medium heavy body, and medium low carbonation. Decent but the palate was a step down from the nose.

Photo of hoser
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great Russian Imperial Stout and really to top their own Peche Mortel is a tough task. My fourth big ABV beer of the night, maybe the last. I would like this Russian Imperial Stout to be a little more roasty, a little more bitter, a little more nasty and a little more North Coast.

I know these guys will nail it, I look forward to it and I will rerate when I try the next version.

Brewed 15 months before I drank it. The Flames are losing.

Photo of uno99
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So I had this on Tap at Volo for their DDC Party.

A: Amazing looking beer. perfect tan head that lasts forever, and laces beautifully.

S: very balanced coffee and chocolate maltiness.

T: This is very similar to Peche' Mortel, and I was not surprised to learn it is the base for that beer. So essentially this is Peche' without the coffee, which is actually not a bad thing.

M: Big heavy body, a little sticky but carbonation lifts the body quite well.

D: I didn't put my glass down once when I was drinking this. At %8.5, It's not so over the top that you cant have a few either.

Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Notes from DDC last night, had this before I finished off the night with the classic Peche Mortel.

A- Black as the night with light mocha head. Very nice retention, size and a great coat of lace.

S- Again, a certain grain note along with a big roast barley profile and dark cocoa powder hints.

T- Opens up here with more complexity. Biggest difference is a dark fruit raisin presence which is quite strong, must be yeast strain. Cocoa, coffee and caramel brown sugar sweets balance it out.

MF- Low carbonation, slighty watery feel. Cocoa bitters and slightly warm from alcohol.

Fruit and roasty RIS, not as rich and flavorful as the great examples but still quite nice.

Photo of SebD
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick mocha head that dies down slowly and leaves some great lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark roasted malts, some coffee/espresso, caramel, definite chocolate and a slight smokiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some nice roasted malts, the coffee/espresso really comes out, dark chocolate, some sweet caramel and an earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
89 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.