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Grande Noirceur - Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Not Rated.
Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur

Educational use only; do not reuse.

82 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 82
Hads: 280
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 17.69%
Wants: 21
Gots: 43 | FT: 3
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 Grande Noirceur (Great Darkness) is a dense black beer with robust roasted flavours. 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: 82 | Hads: 280
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight coffee bean and cookie dough aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with rich and tasty roast and cocoa qualities.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev +1%
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!

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Photo of jlindros
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Neat looking DdC beer I found at a random store, and shared with rudzud before our trip up to the brewery in a few days.

Head attempts to arrive but fades instantly, nice legs, pitch black.

Nose is pretty nice, mild Smokey bacon like aroma, lots of smokey aroma, little cocoa and char, and mild roast, but mostly smokey, touch of fluffy nougat.

Taste brings more of the same, lots of smoke, smokey bacon like smoked meat with a brine salty flavor, mild char and roast, and black malts. Faint earthy spicy hops, with decent to heavier bitterness, little cocoa note, and even milk choc creamy. Finish is creamy but drier, write bitter and earthy spicy hop, little char and roast, plenty of smokey bacon.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, creamy, mild booze warmth.

Overall pretty nice, decent stout in general, but not phenomenal.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Dogfish head snifter.

Finally, a beer named for the conservative policies of mid-20th century Quebec. Musta been some fun times, eh? Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger of brown foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, coffee, mild dark cocoa powder, and some earthy greenery milling about the base like moss on a gravestone. The taste brings in more of the same, reminding me that imperial stouts can indeed still stand on their own, lacking the bolster of heavy adjunct additions. It's pretty life-affirming, actually. The body is a light hefty, with a light moderate carbonation and a somehow lithely smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine stout, a portrait of well-crafted simplicity.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this during the later portion of our annual Stout Tasting, enjoyed from the bottle chilled in a tulip.

The color is dark as night with a head that is like cinnamon with lasting retention and fine bead. The smell is very malty with a gentle toasted and dark cocoa complimentary earthy almost anise-like accent. The feel is rich with earthy toasted texture with light spice and moderately high carbonation with slight sweetness with semi-dry finish.

The taste of this stout is good with mild dark cocoa and roasted flavor of dark malt with a slight grainy flavor and mild yeast with plum-type prune accent and slight dark sugar in the back with mix of sweet and spicy while alcohol is noticeable almost raisin type favor in the finish. Overall this is good -1 year age on it I like how the dark cocoa and roasted flavors come out with yeast adding complexity but lots of dried fruit and almost medicinal spice quality as it warms

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Photo of smcolw
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

There's something about the relationship of Québécois beer and telling a story that relates to its region's history. Unibroue does this very well, however Dieu du Ciel has a few blurbs within its profile. Enter the Grande Noirceur, a reference to conservative policies passed in Quebec during the mid-20th Century. With 11.5 ounces to savor, let's take it slow and move on to the beer:

A small mocha tanned head sits atop a body that is shiny obsidian colored. A little bit of lace remains from decent head retention. I smell something attractive. I may be getting ahead of myself, but after my experiences with Péché Mortel and The Aphrodite, two wonderful stouts, Grande Noirceur looks cut from the same cloth. It smells sweet, roasted chocolate, booze, smoke, easy to smell and full of aroma.

Grande Noirceur rolls along the smokey and sweet aspects of a stout. Sweet and smoky throughout, with the smoke leaning towards a woodsy and sometimes astringent flavor. I also get toasted marshmallow and just a splash of booze. The body is fine, showing a medium full texture with small bubbles which gently break from the liquid. It finishes with a somewhat bitter, sweet and smoky aftertaste.

Great Darkness indeed. Suitable for any mild or cold evening.

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Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Roasted coffee nose and flavor is roasted/burnt coffee, hoping for the caramel notes for balance but didn't find them, lingering burnt coffee aftertaste. $5.99 for a 340ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, MA.

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Photo of Tone
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, alcohol, slight sweet malt, hops, slight yeast, hint of licorice, and a hint of syrup. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, roasted malt, slight alcohol, slight hop, hint of yeast, and a hint of syrup. Overall, good appearance, aroma, great feel, great blend, good body, and complexity.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

5oz taster at the DDC tap take over at National Beer Hall 11/24/12 and a few glasses the next day at Beer Revolution

A its a black one alright, even on the little sample glass there's a long lived foam that stick around leaving continuous lace down the glass, not rings but the side I wasn't drinking from was caked

S chocolate fudge meets chocolate cake covered in chocolate syrup, there's a theme developing here, a little char and smoke mix in well, great job in this department

T cold coffee on top of what I smell but not as rich as the nose, very nice but some of the chocolates replaced with an intense dark roasted char

M thick, rich, and creamy with a long roasted finish, you could stand a spoon up in this one and I think a little got stuck in my teeth

O a winner in every area, a meal in a glass and perhaps the highlight of a great evening. well concealed booze and very rich

I could drink myself stupid with this one and I did in fact do just that. I can't wait for this one to reach Alberta in Bottles and I'm hoping it happens soon

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Photo of rudzud
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark hue with a nearly non-existent head that left a thin halo.

S - Aromas of rich smoked malts, super smokey almost meaty. Light chocolate, light roast.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice smoke and charred malts...Light chocolate, good roast. Alcohol hidden nicely, again the char smoke level is nice.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, crisp, smooth, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, nice char and smoke level with some nice chocolate

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of spinrsx
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a dark, deep, black, with a small mocha-colored head, and no lacing.

Smells very, very strongly of roasted malt and roasted coffee beans, with some dark chocolate.

This is a very, very bitter stout, and I love it. It's roasty, verging on charred, with some slight ash, lots of roasted coffee, some piney hops, and some dark, bitter chocolate. It's as dark tasting as the name itself- Grande Noirceur- The Great Darkness. There's a little bit of caramel, but it's mostly bitterness in the best way.

This one is medium bodied, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation. Very drinkable.

This was really delicious, it's nice to see a good imperial stout without heavy levels of sweetness.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, label is notched 0 and 15. I'm super excited to see some fresh Dieu du Ciel beers in the area again - it's been at least a couple of years since they were distributed here.
A - thin, creamy, light brown head quickly fades atop a black colored ale
S - sweet and roasty nose with dark chocolate and coffee
T - roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, faint tobacco leaf, earthy hop
M - full body, finishes with bitter roast and baker's chocolate lingering on the palate
O - very good imperial stout. I might have to grab another and age it a bit to see how it is in a year or so.

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Photo of dar482
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
90 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.