Grande Noirceur - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

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Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

72 Reviews
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Reviews: 72
Hads: 250
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 3.42%
Wants: 17
Gots: 37 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 250
Photo of TheBrewLady
3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The label art on this one is quite possibly the least subtle metaphor I've ever seen, but it will look excellent in my collection. Despite being inspired by what I'm sure was some serious political upheaval, I can't help think of Canada as a cold paradise where healthcare if free and moose's run rampant.

Appearance: Dark black, opaque. Thin, dark tan head with clumpy lacing. Mysterious.

Smell: Not much really. There's some malty hints, a bit of ashy smoke and vanilla, maybe a dark fruit, but nothing strong enough to stand out. It smells like the remnants of a great beer after you've drained the glass.

Taste: Mmmm, smoky. While not for everyone, I tend to love the smokiness of a bitter stout. Definitely more bitter than sweet, there are very subtle vanilla and caramel undertones. Hops have zero presence whatsoever, typical of this style. Bitter, charcoal smoke is dominant. There is a notable absence of the usually dominate chocolate/coffee flavours of an Imperial stout, but it doesn't really need them. With the outrageous bitterness of this one, any competing flavours are overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel: Typical chewy stout. Thick and creamy, it coats the mouth with stickiness. Unusually high carbonation for an Imperial stout.

The Verdict: A smoky, bitter, moody brew. I may reach for this when I feeling particularly pessimistic on a rainy day in the middle of winter. I've found the beer version of emo poetry. (1,428 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (1,733 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Small, beige head that settles quickly to rim bubbles. Some spots for lace. The color is deep brown. Light does not shine through.

Smells of rich fudge. More sweet than burnt. In fact, I'd describe it more as toasty.

The flavor is quite burnt in contrast to the smell. Strong coffee (black) flavor. Bitter finish, a bit harsh. The body is elevated from the usual RIS, but it is not rich or cloy. Good carbonation. (415 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Brothers Beer Bistro. From notes. Bottled November 2012. Wicked label.

A - Black pour with half a finger of mocha brown head. Mild carbonation. Virtually no retention and only a spotty alcohol lace.

S - Lot's of roast, coffee, chocolate. Nice.

T - Roast, chocolate, dark fruit, cola, burnt toast, leather. Pleasant, yet straightforward and sorta plain.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, dark fruit and roast to finish.

O/D - Sort of a weak effort from DDC. I'm torn on this. It was OK but certainly nothing that impressed. Nothing in it really jumped out as outside the box. Pretty typical of the style, but not overly original for this day and age of the style. However, that is not to say that it was bad, just expected more from DDC this go around. (771 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a one finger khaki colored head that settles at about a half finger. Light spots of lace after each sip.

S: Not especially robust. Medium coffee and some roasted malt. Maybe just a hint of dark chocolate as well.

T: Sort of a muddled blend of day old coffee and roasted malt. Nothing really stands out though. Light bits of toffee, dark chocolate and maybe even a hint of mint. Lingering roasted malt bitterness on the finish. Good, but definitely not Aphrodite or Peche Mortel level. (506 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slow easy rising caramel colored foamy head. Brew is thick and black. Nice lacing, no legs.

Tons of dark, dark chocolate, yet nicely milky. Airy, and robust.

Thick, dark, chewy, creamy, full-bodied, chalky, dry, bitter, slight harshness. Carbonation is light and delicious. Flavors are much different than aroma. Flavors are somewhat unblended while nose is very nice a smooth. Kinda choppy. Lots of dark biting chocolate with tons of dry bitterness. Strange sweetness.

This is a strange, but soild brew for sure. It wants to go many different ways, but doesn't quite know where. It's recommended as a thick hearty stout, but not for drinkability. It's a one-and-done. Price point is decent @ ~$7/12oz. Give me a Narwal. (726 characters)

Photo of JMScowcroft
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel - Grande Noirceur, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a high viscosity motor oil dark brown-black with a small foamy mocha head that dissipates quickly. Spotty lacing.

Smell - Roasted malts and some creamy chocolate, some cola notes.

Taste - Taste is unmistakably roasted malts, slight creaminess makes way for bitterness. Robust.

Mouthfeel - Heavy-medium bodied with high carbonation. Rests hyper bitter roasted and sticky. Warm boozy. OK/good drinkability.

Overall - Super robust, a bit too much for me but it's respectably quality. Could use some smoothing out. (603 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

341 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black with a decent sized creamy cafe latte colored head of around two fingers height. This is indeed a dark and roasted morass of potent alcohol, charred grain, baker's cacao, molasses, toffee, oak, and plum, with the dry roast trumping the sweeter elements. Nose is sweeter than the taste. Some brown spice flavors late. Quite smooth and creamy from a mouth feel standpoint, almost milk stout like in this regard, although this does NOT convey a milk stout flavor profile. Too much alcohol and roasted malts, although there is a fair degree of sweetness. Pleasantly warming and rich, although perhaps a little coarse and astringent in the finish. All in all, a respectable take on the style. (740 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from notes taken on vacation in montreal 5.16.2010.

served in a tulip glass. the chalkboard in the brewpub and the website both list this as 9.0% abv.

color is a pretty standard dark brown to black. what isn't standard is the thick, 2 finger, creamy, light brown head that lasts longer than the beer does and coats the entire inside of the glass! probably the most impressive head i have ever seen on a beer.

smell is roasty and chocolatey with some piney hops. also has a weird gingery, spicy character that seems a bit off. taste follows with roasted malts, molasses, strong hop bitterness and a weird cola like flavor. reminds me a bit of dr. pepper. as with the other high abv dieu du ciel beers, the alcohol content is well hidden.

fuller in body but not as heavy as i had expected. incredibly smooth and creamy with a slight alcohol warming.

very drinkable for a 9% beer. i really wanted to like this one more, but the spicy/cola quality seems to not fit well with the style. certainly worth trying though. (1,017 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (674 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (953 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 25cL glass at Mikkeller bar. From notes. Reviewed 14 October 2014.

4.75A: Gorgeous dark with slowly rising and falling head. Opaque and creamy.

3.5 Muted. Light roastiness.

3.75T/4.5M: Tasty, creamy, unexceptional. Lightly roasted, milky, more milk stout than RIS. Pleasant smooth and drinkable. What Guinness tasted like in my pre-boozing imagination.

4O: Solid but unremarkable. Glad I tried it, still love Dieu Du Ciel, but probably won't have this particular beer again for a while. Especially if Peche Mortel is anywhere nearby. (551 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a fine imperial stout, bit its simple, like a lot of the du ciel beers, it lacks a distinguishing character. maybe thats not completely fair to say, this is great beer, but in a crowded stout market, i need just a little more nuance. as close to black a sit gets, i love the politics, and the smell, which is about as dark as this thing looks. bitter and decadent, linear, cleanly busy, groovy. taste is dominated by bitter dark roast, but the smell shows vanilla and cocoa just like the aphrodisiac stout carries through in taste. i like that is cereal malt driven, plain, and still so damn good, theres not a lot of beer like this, and the ale yeast is somehow specifically eastern canadian, which if you have not been there, is a diverse yet culturally one of a kind place. rich in texture and feel, just barley enough carbonation. an A on most scales, a high B+ on mine, but only because i have a compulsion to be unnecessarily critical. this is elite, well made, different enough, and clean with still sweet chocolate overtones. not too many pull that off like this. in the context of a million beers, or of every beer i have ever consumed, its good, in the context of my first beer in several weeks, its incredible. (1,221 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.5 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, dark brown head. Settles fairly quickly, leaving a substantial foam blanket, and a thick beer ring. Fair, spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malt grains and espresso beans and a little licorice and plum.

T: Coffee and black licorice. Hints of bitter unsweetened dark chocolate and booze.

M: Syrupy thick, hearty, and a little boozy. Bitter finish.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is really nice. Dark, thick head, and fair yet persistent lacing. Roasted grains and coffee are prominent. Thick and boozy combination of roasted components and bitter accentuates. Overall, this is a really good quaff. (673 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (496 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (890 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Very black. Mocha head with great retention.

S: Sweet malts. A bit of cocoa and coffee.

T: Far less bitter then I thought it would be. I'm assuming a fair bit of crystal malt was thrown into this brew. Roasty but not acrid. Coffee is definitely there along with some mildly bitter bakers chocolate.

M: Thick. Perhaps a bit too syrupy for my liking but it still good.

O: Great beer. The mouth feel held it back a bit but overall pretty good. (447 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013? bottle of Grande Noirceur with 9% ABV listed.

Essentially black colored body with a semi-durable tan head and decent lacing.

Aroma: slightly sweet, medium and dark malts with hints of smoke and dark chocolate. Milder than expected, especially after tasting it.

The flavor is dominated by dark roasted grains with a bit of char and smoke. Hints of bitter chocolate and expresso in the aftertaste. Appropriately bold for style with partially hidden alcohol. Approaches 4.25.

O: relatively dark-roasted version of the style that's certainly worth a try. (566 characters)

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice dark head. Smells roasty, bitter chocolate, maybe some vanilla, maybe a very tiny hint of alcohol. Has some nice sweetness in the taste fairly early on. Having a hard time pinpointing the flavors, but it's good. Roasty. Vanilla. I'm not getting the typical black coffee/dark chocolate, maybe they're just blending together very well. Very bitter on the end; this has to be one of the most bitter stouts I've ever tasted. Not insanely bitter or anything, just a lot for a stout. (482 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a dark black color with a small tan head.

The aroma is aggressive roast, hints of smoke, molasses, and licorice.

The flavor follows. This is a very robust stout that will put hair on your chest. It's has bitter licorice, smoke, anise, and heavy bitter roasted qualities on the back end. The mouthfeel is medium to medium plus with touches of alcohol throughout. (381 characters)

Photo of brianmandell
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 03 - Dark, black pour with a thin tan head and clumpy lacing.

Pleasant aroma of sweet malt, marshmallow, vanilla and ash.

Taste is big on charred, roasty malt partially offset by a pleasant marshmallow sweetness. There are hints of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. The finish is rather bitter and ashy - while not unpleasant due to the sweetness and creamy texture, the charred malts become a little overbearing (queue the illustration) and overshadow the finer details.

The viscous texture combined with the creamy carbonation does well for the mouthfeel.

This stout is big on flavor but relatively straightforward. Not that different from other simple, well made imperial stouts such as Founders FIS or PT5 but the mouthfeel does make for a nice experience. The beer went down surprisingly quick. However, I won't be quick to revisit given the emphasis on the charred, roasty malt character. (902 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong enough to satisfy the taste but still making me want something more, Dieu Du Ciel's Grande Noirceur teases the palate with roast, bitterness and smoothness.

The deviant ale pours with a viscous darkness that amounts to an ominous black body and a creamy tan head that caps the snifter with a rich lather. Its head is steadfast through the session, regenerating easily with a gentle swirl. Its lace is broken and scattered as it decorates the glass evenly, right down to the last sip.

Rich and robust aromas fill the nose with dark-roast coffee, dark chocolate, burnt barley sugars that lead to toffee or molasses-type sweeter notes, charred toast and malted milk candies. Its earthy charred taste bridge into peppery alcohol, light licorice and burnt fruit.

To taste, its the overtones of espresso and cocoa that take center stage while the sweeter toffee and malty flavors act in support. Burnt toast, roasted walnuts and a light campfire taste of burnt embers provide peripheral layers of complexity. A late charge of roasted grapes, currants and plumbs rise as the beer warms and so does the spicy rum-like alcohol and sturdy hop bitterness. When the spice and fruit culminate, its finish is mildly of aniseed, resinous bitterness which leave final impressions upon the palate.

Full bodied, yet not intimidatingly so. Its creamy richness offers a moderate marshmallowy effect on the palate. But once the carbonation begins to pull from the sweetness, the beer begins to dry and trend roasty, acidic, powdery and mildly astringent.

While error-free and strongly flavored, the ale's light complexities remind me of how Imperial Stouts were built ten years ago. Its a very stately and gentlemanly ale that's as comfortable as it is bold. (1,759 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
4.01/5  rDev -2%
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.. (738 characters)

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Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
90 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.