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Charbonniere - Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 99
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 16.36%
Wants: 15
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-03-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 99
Photo of rudzud
2.66/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Split with JLindros, roughly one year old.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great a crystal clear mahogany hue with a thin head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of smokey malts, campfire, smoked gouda, light caramel.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very smokey sweet malts. Not assertive campfire, bit just in your face smoke. Loads of smoked gouda cheese.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, that and the smoke makes this really oppressive.

O - Overall this beer was a huge disappointment. The smoke is rather awful with that cheese aspect.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of spinrsx
3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - medium brown, decent size foamy off white head, can't see much carbonation. A fair amount of lacing.

Smell - well, smoked malts.. caramel, hops. Saw someone else compare this to a camp fire smell - I couldn't agree more.

Taste & Mouth - really smoked tasting.. for some reason its comes through as meaty to me. Almost like a piece of smoked brisket. Also fruitiness, coffee beans, and a slightly bitter hop finish. Also something musty, call me crazy but do I taste blue cheese?

Drink - This is definitely an interesting beer, but not my sort of thing. Points for originality, but lacks drinkability. 1 is more than enough.

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Photo of SilentBob2u2
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


My buddy brought this back from Montreal for me and buddies to try. We had never heard of the beer nor the brewery before, it was all in french except "smoked malt beverage", which I think is why he picked it up...

C - deep brown amber, not cloudy at all and crisp for the color.

S - Smoke from a campfire and coffee.

M - should be heavier that it is. It's got a light feel to it, almost crisp. The viscosity of a pale ale with the backside of a heavier cream ale.

T - it taste's of smoke and coffee. My taste buds fight over which flavor they will hang onto in the after-taste. the coffee and smoke don't exactly go well together for the after taste, that's why I say they are fighting over which flavor will linger. However, for a craft brewer to do this is very much a skill, which is commendable.

D - my buddy says he could drink 3, however, I I know I can only handle one. It's not heavy but I think the smoke coffee flavor just isn't my cup of tea so to speak.

I have to give it credit by saying that they tackled this beer really well for what it is. It's damn close to being really good, but falls just a tad short.

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Photo of StephenRich
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Charbonniere is French for "Coal Woman", and while this beer tastes very little like a woman, it is reminiscent of coal. Really what it is, is a smoke beer. Before kilning and indirect heating was used to dry and malt barley grains, they were smoked over direct fires creating a very distinct and smoky beer. Eventually when maltsters mastered indirect heating, brewers were able to use unsmoked malted barley creating a cleaner, more elegant beer capable of taking on a new variety of flavors.

The old smoked ales though do still exist. They are most famous in Bamberg, the venerable smoke beer capital of the world. Dieu Du Ciel's Charbonniere uses smoked malts hailing from Bamberg to recreate a soft smoky flavor in the beer with a rich malt backbone. It has been brewed since 1999 at Dieu Du Ciel's brewpub and fits perfectly with the astonish lineup of beer's they offer.

The Charbonniere comes in 355ml bottles at 5% abv, and as far as I have seen, they are only available in Quebec. I opened it up cool around 8C (45F) and poured it into a tall tulip glass. The pour was big and frothy forming a lush 2 inch tan brown head with streak of bobbles and a pillowy, creamy cap. The beer stood and amber maroon with glimmers of deep red garnet, purple and hints of gold. It was slightly opaque, and very close to black, showing great dark brick browns. Great depth of color and intensity drew me into this beer.

The nose is classic rauchbier with smooth smoky notes of BBQ, smoked sausage, char and firewood. The smoke is not overpowering and lends into some warm malt sweetness getting close to toffee, but more like slightly burnt brown sugar. No hops are noticeable here, but it does smell fresh and quenching. You should never dismiss a rauchbier from being supremely quenching, they can refresh your palate with the best of pale ales!

A nice big gulp of the Charbonniere reveals smooth and silky smoke flavors guided along by light caramel malts, hints of spice and pepper, and a clean very dry hop finish. The beer is elegant and delicate, and not all showy and blunt. The smoke is soft and smooth gliding over your tongue just glancing at wood fires, and then moves into your cheeks showing off smooth and softly rich flavors of BBQ, char and smoked meat. Hints of pepper and spice make their way along the sides of your tongue and tickle the back of your throat.

Malt does play the primary role here and is the spine and nervous system of this beer. It is smooth and lightly sweet with soft biscuit and caramel on the palate, but an overall dry, slightly sweet feeling. Hops show soft herbal bitterness that touches in at the back of the beer and rounds it out nicely. It is not nearly as potent as the majority of rauchbiers that I have had, but does exemplify great flavors in a delicate and quenching soft smoke beer.

A clean and crisp finish makes the Charbonniere a very easy drinking beer and would pair perfectly with anything off the grill, or even a smooth cigar.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich mahogany with a healthy, frothy white head that laces nicely.

It smells like my clothes the morning after a night spent sitting around a campfire.

It tastes like a century's old woodland cabin that has been heated by a wood burning stove. Very smokey, like charred driftwood in that it has a very dry, wooden smokey lingering aftertaste. Somewhat reminiscent of maple smoked ham. A nice beer for those who like smokey tastes, but it's lacking a strong malt presence that would take the edge off of the bitterness and smoke, which is most of what I get from this.

Mouthfeel is light, it's well attenuated, but there's a lack of residual sweetness that would take the edge off the bitter smokiness.

Not a bad beer and I won't trash it. I suspect that those who like bitter smokey beers will love this. I'm just not sure I'm one of them.

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Photo of chinchill
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared bottle at RBWG-2015.

This has a rather smoky aroma with an even smokier flavor. There are also some dark fruit notes .

Feel: Nice smooth body.

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Photo of Foudebiere
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poor from a 341ml bottle.

A: Nice brown beer with almost not head, I didn't have time to taste it.
S: Smoke, smoke, smoke!!!
T: Of course the primary taste is smoke, but it's not overbearing like the smell could let us think. It's a little sweet at the end.
MF: It seems that I have ashes in my mouth, but surprisingly, it's good!

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Photo of Long813
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dated: 02/11
From: Premier Wine & Spirits, 341ml

A: Opaque dark brown body with one finger of slightly off-white head. Head dissipates quickly into a thin ring and leaves blotchy lacing

S: Burnt wood, smoked meat and hints a caramel. This is weaker on the smoked meats than any other smoked beer I've tried. All the aromas in general don't come off that strong.

T: Caramel and burnt wood and some smoked meat follows. Flavours are also quite weak, but pleasant. Some nice bitterness at that end.

M: Medium-light bodied and lots of carbonation. Water like texture and leaves a distinct wood-like dry finish.

D: This definitely takes a different approach on the style. It's much easier to drink than the other because it's not as strong, but I feel like it's a little to weak. Good beer to try, but nothing else.

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Photo of icormier
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Broue Ha Ha in Gatineau, Qc. Well, it's smoked beer! I find it a little tricky to know what to say about it other than that. Happy to drink the 4 that came in the pack, not sure I'd pick this again over other standard DDC offerings. Could be very interesting with the right food pairings.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of their most regular beers

Very inspiring light brown/red color. Good bouquet that doesnt quite reveal what you're going to taste, spices, forest. As the commercial description says : "The smoky taste is quite dominant at each new draught". We'd regret the smoky taste for long if it'd ever quit the mouth. and while it's so long-lasting, it remains comfortable and light with slight hints of salmon in the finish. This remains rather retrained for the smoke lover I am and imo not exactly Dieu Du Ciel's best take at the famous Bamberg style

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnished brown colour with lacklustre beige head. Lace is something else - spectacular, letting me know this coal lady has a great body (what coal lady doesn't?), but head could stick around a bit more. I prefer my coal ladies to have heads. Body is clear with no real bead. Overall decent.

Smell is smoke-tastic. A lot of charred meat, bacon and just good old wood smoke on there. Slight cheesiness to it. Not a lot else, maybe a slight fruity tang, but yeah lots of meaty smoke. Simple but good.

Taste is quite charry. Has a slight spice at the front with mild caramel malt character. Smoke doesn't hit you until the mid-palate but then it's there, woody and meaty, with lots of that charcoaly, ashy, peaty flavour coming through on the back. Really cuts through that glazed meat character to leave a smokey bitterness that is surprisingly refreshing. I think I'm getting to the stage where I've tried enough smoked beers to "get it" and they need to offer me something special. This is a very decent example, well constructed palate.

Mouthfeel is a bit harsh around the edges but nice amount of body. Goes down roughly, but overall makes me feel alright.

Definitely couldn't slam a smoked beer at the best of times. This is okay, but drinkable is not the word that springs to mind.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz glass at the brewpub. I've had a few rauchbiers before, and this purports to be made in the same vein - oh boy.

This beer appears a clear, dark red-brick amber hue, with one skinny finger of surprisingly dense and foamy beige head, which leaves a bit of streaky landform lace around the glass as things slowly subside.

It smells very much of moist smoked wood, the sort just used in smoking salmon and pork, a further campfire astringency, and some generally subdued bready caramel malt. The taste is more meaty, smoky charred woodiness, wet ash, duly roasted semi-sweet grainy caramel malt, a touch of singed dark fruit, and ethereal leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, barely a blip on the frothy front, the body a solid medium weight, a tad oily, and maybe a bit cloying, but without much in the way of that airborne ashy character I might have been expecting. It finishes just a smidge off-dry, as that smoke in the throat, palate, and nasal passages is still rather hard to ignore.

I'm not entirely sure why this isn't classified as a Rauchbier, as the otherwise heady maltiness is quite thoroughly overshadowed by the ingrained meaty smokiness - does it have something to do with protected place names, or some other such nonsense?

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Photo of oakbluff
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub. I wias looking forward to this one. Standard amber colour with good clarity and white head. You can definitely pick up the wisp of smoke in the nose. Just like a recently snuffed out campfire. Taste is more moderate than I thought it would be. The smoke is definitely there, but not in your face or harsh. I don’t pick up much in the hop department, just a mildly smokey, easy driking amber ale. Would have been nice to spend more time there and settle into a couple of these.

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Photo of drinklocalbeer1
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark copper, almost maple taffee colour. 1/2" head that lasted a couple minutes. Very distinct rings as the volume went down.
Smell: Smoked malt and caramel
Taste: Smoke and caramel
Feel: Acidity and carbonation cut through the smoke. Quite long and not unpleasant.

Overall; My first smoked beer. I didn't think I would like it, but I did.

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Photo of Rutager
3.64/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thank you to SebD for this and all the others in a great recent CANBIF box. Cheers dude!

Appearance. Pours a deep amber with some nice red hues, and a finger of creamy light-khaki head. So far so good!

Smell. Meaty, thick smoke. Almost has a salty fried pork fat thing going on. Just a bit of grainy caramel in behind.

Taste. Nice smoke, not too strong and not meaty like the smell. A bit of light sweet caramel malt and even a bit of herby hops in there ...maybe not, but there's a slight bitterness for sure.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice for the style. The smoke is in check which is always nice and the beer comes through. Thanks again SebD!

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Photo of ADZA
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby hue which leaves a two finger head that dissapates to leave an outer rim of lacing that also coats the sides of the glass,the smell is smoked ham,roasty malts and a touch of herbal hops,the mouthfeel is light bodied and has tastes of smoked malts,stonefruits,a touch of cherry,caramel and is finished with a spicy dryness and overall this is a nice smoked beer that lets the other flavours shine through but for me i like a little more smoke and in saying that this would be a nice crossover for the person who doesnt like a full smokey SB cheers.

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Photo of leaddog
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a chestnut brown with a finger of bubbly head.

Smell - smoked malts, smoked meat aromas, campfire smoke.

Taste - Dominated by the smoked malts followed by a hint of smoked meat and campfire aromas.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with a lingering smokiness.

Overall - A smoked beer that has the elements in place. However, I feel they weren't used to their full capacity. The aroma I felt was far superior to the taste.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First foray into smoked beers.

Pours a reddish brown color with plenty of head. Plenty of lacing left as well.

Nice smoky scent.

Taste is of more smoke, with some minor malt characteristics. Fairly straightforward. Finish is a bit dry, with the smokiness lingering.

Very interesting overall, but I probably wouldn't have more than one in a sitting. Best use would be as an accompaniment for food, such as stew or chili. Better yet, as an additive for making food, such as part of a marinade for the grill, or as part of a stir fry (which I used it in this evening).

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dirty-white consistant head. Liquid is a very dark reddish amber with lots of bubbles throughout. Looks like heady coke. Lacing is great.

S- Wet wood ashes.

T- Smoke. A little sour. Also tastes like water and smoke so the smell isn't that far off. I wish there was more. I had this at room temperature and didn't find anything special.

M- Thin and carbonated. I guess it works well to ease off the smokiness but it makes it feel a little cheap though it does foam up nicely in mouth.

D- I've had a few smoked beers but never find them too drinkable. I guess this is one of the better ones.

EDIT: Since my review, I've downed a four pack of this and am really starting to enjoy it. I never wanted to buy smoked beers before and I just might be starting a craving for them. This is good beer.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours brown with a large lasting head.
Immediately noticeable in the aroma is smoked ham, campfire and bacon in large quantities. Underneath is some barely noticeable caramel.
The smoky character is nor as overpowering as a flavour, allowing sweet caramel, nutty malt and a soft roasty character to come into play.
Carbonation is a little full on.
Got nothing on Aecht Schlenkerla, but nice stuff none the less.

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Photo of ludachris
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The body is sludge brown with murky orange highlights peaking through. Quite hazy with miniscule bits of suspended sediment revealing themselves around the edges of the beer, where the light shines through. A good finger's worth of cream coloured head retains nicely and leaves brush strokes of patchy lace behind.

For a 5.4% beer, this one really packs a punch. Strong notes of pork, hickory, charred wood, sublte toasted malts and light caramel pour out of the glass. The meaty character is quite pronounced and borders being sweet. The caramel notes, subtle as they may be, play very well with the rest of the beer.

The sweetness from the caramel and toasted malts come in more forcefully, nearly eqaulling the beer's meaty base. Pork and hickory make their presence known towards the end with a welcomed smokey edge that asserts its presence for some time after the finish.

The mouthfeel seemed to be lacking most, taking away from what could have been a hefty and satisfying smoked beer by being both thin and watery with an underwhelming amount of carbonation. Easy to drink? Sure, but a fuller body would have made it a real pleasure to do so.

DDC would sit comfortably in my top 8 Canadian breweries but this beer doesn't do much for its position there. It seems to be one of those cases where a great beer was turned into a good beer by lacking in just one aspect; the mouthfeel. If making a fuller body entails increasing the alcohol content, I'd say it's more than worth it. This one's worth a try but can't contend with many other DDC offerings.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Sean for this one. Served in a snifter.

A - White foam settles to a thin collar, wisps, and minimal lace. Very dark brown body that's transparent when held to the light. Could use more head volume, but otherwise quite attractive.

S - Smoked malts, honey-drizzled ham, a bit of cocoa. Not particularly complex, but on point for the style.

T - The taste isn't quite as good, as the balancing malt sweetness is a bit overwhelmed by char, smoke, and burnt malt flavors. Gets a tad bitter and astringent after a while, although it's still in the acceptable range for a smoked beer.

M - Zesty carbonation, dry texture with lingering smoke on the palate. Medium body, and predictably no alcohol warmth.

D - A decent smoked beer. I'd drink it again if there were limited options available, but I can think of plenty of smoked beers or Dieu du Ciel offerings I'd much prefer. Appreciate the lower ABV.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%

BOTTLED ON: 09/06/14

Pours a clear ruddy brown with a finger or so of fairly thick looking beige head that never amounts to much. Meh retention; chicken pox spots of lacing. (3.5)

Sweet and woody. Smoky with some think caramel smells and a touch of astringency. (3.75)

Clean and malty. Caramel, wood, hard water, brittle astringency, lingering campfire feel/smell/taste in my sinuses. (3.75)

Thin and coating with a lingering aromatic finish and a light body. (3.5)

Pretty decent beer.
I find smoked beers to be a bit hit-or-miss, but was curious to try this one when it showed up at the store I go to.
It looks alright, but won't win any beauty contests. The aroma is good (Slim Jim's). Oh yeah... It is a pretty drinkable beer and has a nice aromatic quality to the taste. Neither the best nor worst (either from DDC or when looking at smoked beers in general).
Would have it again if offered; if you randomly come across it, go nuts, otherwise don't sweat it. (3.75)

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Photo of eat
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Charbonniere is an opaque, dark brown and maintains a good cover of bubbly cream-white head. Decent lacing.

Smells of smoked sausage, campfire, cardboard and dark malt with German hops and dark, fermenting fruit in the background. Fairly similar to Aecht Schlenkerla, though not as powerful or as well balanced. Still, quite nice.

Again, there are similarities to Aecht Schlenkerla in the flavour but it's not pulled off quite as well. Up front there is a good amount of campfire smoke, though it's pretty smoothed out. Other than the decent smokiness, there's not much of interest. Some dark malt which, again, could be increased. Dark, earthy German hops on the finish, along with a good kick of alcohol, which is too present for the ABV, feeling every bit of its 5.4%.

The feel is acceptable but plain. Your standard medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter finish, though not drying. Nothing special.

This could be even more drinkable than Aecht Schlenkerla, in spite of being a lesser beer overall. Especially drinkable as a smoked beer, I could session this if I felt like something smoky. This would actually be great to drink a bunch of while sitting around a fire on a cool summer evening.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian Dark Ale or Raunchbier?

Brownish, reddish beer who is quite limpid abords a great nice foamy head that kept itself long enought.

Smell of of smoked malt, smoked bbq flavours, smoke and woods with a shy hoppy and yeasty finish.

Tastw wise, the smoked flavours hits you but are quite balanced betweem the smokiness, hops and yeasty spicy flavours. Shy BBQ flavours such as hickory. Well balanced

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Charbonniere from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
85 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.