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Grande Noirceur - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

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Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur

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75 Reviews
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Reviews: 75
Hads: 262
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 19
Gots: 43 | 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: 75 | Hads: 262
Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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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 ThickNStout
4.15/5  rDev +2%
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.

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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 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.

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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 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 jrenihan
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled November 2012. ABV is 9%. Big thanks to Papat444 for this!

Beer is jet black with a large tan head. Good retention, lots of lacing.

Nose contains anise, chocolate, some roast malt and grassy hops. Nice smell, the anise is surprisingly strong but good.

Taste contains chocolate up front, with roast malt and anise right behind. Moderately bitter, with a grassy flavour. Some coffee. Tasty indeed.

Full bodied, moderate to low carbonation level. Smooth and a bit creamy.

Overall, very nice. I am a big fan of Dieu du Ciel! and this one does not disappoint.

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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 cbutova
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of papat444
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
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?!

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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 hoser
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of peensteen
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on tap at Volo at the DDC party.

Jet black with a creamy tan brown head that lasted quite a while.
Smells of chocolate with a firm coffee presence. The taste is very forward with an earthy chocolate and a subtle coffee in there, the alcohol is nowhere to be found on the palate. Nice thick mouthfeel but still came off a little milky. This is insanely drinkable, very well balanced. This gives Peche Mortel a run for its money, and I love Peche. I wouldn't say I like this more but I would have some trouble deciding between the two.

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Photo of uno99
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from recent trip to the Montreal Dieu du Ciel brewpub. (6/9/09)

6 month old release.

Totally black and opaque. Thinner tan head with sheeting on glass. Nose is sweet rum and green grass. Palate is bright, sharp and very sweet. Demerara sugar, rum, grass, minerals and stone fruits. Long fruity finish.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Man, this one is really gorgeous. Deep black color with a nice mid strong off white head. Head looks very very creamy, kinda like a Guinness, surprising...

S: Wasn't very strong. But the casual smells were here: coffee, dark fruits, raisins, chocolate, brown sugar.

T: Pretty much like the smell actually. Starts off with a very nice and balanced coffee flavor/roasted malts. Dark chocolate sweetness kicks in right after. Ends up with a very nice dark fruits, raisins and brown sugar sweetness. Alcohol is very well hidden. Nothing extraordinary, but so well built and very balanced.

M: Now that's the interesting part. Remind what I said about the head? Well this brew is just as creamy as a Guinness, but with taste. It is also much much bigger in the feel than a generic guinness and it has a nice syrupy feel to it. Carbonation is low, perfect.

D: Really high, I could easily get several of these back to back with only myself getting boozed up to slow me down.

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Photo of bobsy
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy shit...its the best looking beer I've ever seen! Jet black transcending to chocolate as the bubbles slowly settle into a majestic silky smooth giant beige head. A match for the péché mortel in every respect, so it comes as no suprise that this is the base beer for that finest of Canadian brews. Roasted coffee beans, chocolate and vanilla in the nose. Imperial stout all the way. A sublime marriage of coffee with chocolate and dark fruit. Rich, huge flavour and feel.

Here's the differences from its more renowned offspring - the péché obviously has a more pronounced coffee flavour from the addition of some joe to the brew, but it also has an added creaminess to balance it out and prevent it from becoming overpowering like the Mikeller take on this style. While the base flavour of the noirceur really is superb, the added coffee and cream notes in the péché give it a slight edge in the aroma, which you can't help but recall as you raise the noirceur to your lips. Of course this is probably a slightly lesser equivalent of saying Abyss is no Darklord, so make of that what you will. What a fantastic brew though, and it deserves to have a reputation up with the greats. Enjoy this draft only secret if you come across it at the pub in Montreal and rejoice that you are one of the fortunate few.

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Photo of philmath
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Took that one at the 7th anniversary of DDC! Powerful cacao smell. Body is dark as my soul when i'm feeling depressed. I cannot see through the glass; which is perfect for this kind of beer IMO. Makes me feel warm. It reminds me the Papua New Guinea coffee I took that morning. A perfect drink when you are feeling lonely and melancholic (even if I was with two buddies... but who cares!?). Very reminiscent of the Bieropholie Imperial Stout. Great Job DDC!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap @ Le Mondial 2005. Dark, pretty much opaque black with a nice head of dark khaki/tan foam that lasts and leaves nice lacing. Aromas are strong imperial stout notes very similar to the famous Peche Mortel which this is the base beer for, iirc. I pick up dark roasty malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, maybe a hint of vanilla, and sweet spice, and a bit more. Taste follows suit and is very heavy and big. Maybe a hint of dark fruit, some good dark chocolate, some good dark coffee (but not espresso like in the PM) and more. Mouthfeel is thick and coating and drinkability is very, very good for a beer of this size. I mean c'mon an Imperial stout from DDC, obviously it rocks my socks off. Still the PM is better, and it proves it again and again. This is still @ contender though!...

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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 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 Rastacouere
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
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..

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Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
90 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.