Penombre - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
PenombrePenombre

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

185 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 4
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sammy on 05-30-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 62
Photo of beergoot
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Unique label information: two sets of 0-9 numbers with notches on the 1s (not sure how that translates into brewing or bottling dates).

Opaque, brown body; thick, chunky, creamy textured, light tan colored head. Deep, roasted grain aroma with mild hints of cocoa powder. Rich, malty flavor; milk chocolate; keen bitterness arising at the finish. Medium-heavy body; smooth and silky on the tongue.

This beer does the style justice. The appearance is top notch -- dark and alluring, with a dense, creamy head and sticky sheets of foam lingering on the glass' side. The smell is somewhat subdued yet highlights roasted, chocolate and (perhaps) brown malts used to create this beer. The flavor boasts a nice balance of mildly sweet graininess with a slightly charred undertone and a tasty hop bitterness that enhances the complexity and depth of things.

Photo of DaveBar
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 4pk at the LCBO for around $12.00. Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a nice head that films out in a minute or two. Super dark.

S- Lots here. Tons of malt. Cinnamon and spice and everything nice.

T- Very good but there is a edge to this beer. Touch bitter and not in a good way. Hops are there and plentiful but the slightly burnt overtone hurts this beer's rating

M- Dry and crisp. Very enjoyable.

O- Pretty good beer. Worthy of 4 but won't go for any more at a later date. Don't get me wrong its a good beer but in the quest for better beers this one and most black IPA's get left behind for me.

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with...... Beer battered fish and chips. Nice and thick batter and twice fried fries. Super nice with a ton of salt

Enjoy

Photo of Ryry10
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A nice tasting beer with a thick aftertaste. Not for the occasional beet drinker defenitely an acquired taste

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

11.5 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black twist-off cap and appealing label art purchased at a CO bottle shop and served cold into a nonical pint glass at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO.

Reviewed live as a Black IPA per the label. 6.5% ABV. 2014 vintage (First notch at '0', second notch at '9'). Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Pale khaki colour. Nicely creamy and thick, with a gorgeous rolling soft consistency and shining complexion. Retention is pretty good - ~8-9 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Deep dark amber-black. Nontransparent. A biteen translucent. No yeast or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance for a Black IPA, but is far from unique or special. The head is well above average.

AROMA: Spruce and evergreen hop notes dominate, with a bit of subsidiary pine and resinous character. A kiss of roasted barley lurks beneath the surface, alongside subdued dark malts. Sticky and sappy.

The key thing I look for in a Black IPA is balance, and so many examples of the style have a fundamental imbalance because the dark malts clash with the hops. That does not appear to be the case here, so I'm hopeful this will be one of the better Black IPAs.

Aromatic intensity is above average. This aroma exhibits no off-notes or overt alcohol, and is suggestive of a deep, multifaceted brew.

TASTE: Hm. It's got a surprisingly brief flavour duration, and the flavour intensity is merely average. It takes me a while to acclimate to the flavour profile as a result.

Once I do, I notice its simplicity and overt plainness. It's not boring or shallow, but there isn't a whole lot going on here, and unfortunately it does suffer from the abovementioned clash of dark malts and hops - though to nowhere near the extent that most beers in the style do.

The predictable dark malt base does harbor some buried roast - which just isn't evocative enough for my tastes, and the hop profile bears notes of spruce and evergreen, with some subsidiary resins and even a hint of candied and bubblegum notes. No pine is here to be found, but it would likely help.

I don't dislike it, but it's rather pedestrian.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied and creamy, with a porter-like smoothness and wetness that suits it well. Thickness is apt. It has a coating mouthfeel and a nice overall presence on the palate.

While this texture complements the taste nicely enough, it doesn't elevate the beer or accentuate its flavours. Generally well-executed, but not custom-tailored specifically to this unique taste.

OVERALL: It's one of the less imbalanced Black IPAs I've come across, but I still think this is the product of a style that's still in its infancy and hasn't quite found its legs. This is easily one of Dieu Du Ciel's weaker offerings, and I wouldn't pick it up a second time. Drinkable, but forgettable, with no stand-out characteristics. Oddly, I find myself noticing now that the best Black IPAs I've had are all brewed outside the U.S. I think this succeeds largely because the hop bitterness is very toned down compared to American attempts at the style; it basically drinks like an overhopped porter.

C+

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -6%

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, citrus zest, and slight char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, earth, and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop and 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 pretty good beer with lots of char and earth qualities that somewhat dominate over the citrus zest presence I am getting in the smell.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of dcmchew
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black (very dark brown up towards the light), half finger creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a sticky lace.
Nice roasted malt smell, with rich chocolate, faint cappuccino and lots of burnt sugar. The IPA part shines through, with a big leafy character, pine, minty herbs. Licorice, vanilla and some subtle fig and raisin too.
A robust roastiness hits first in the taste, lots of dark malts and dark chocolate, powdered with ground coffee bean and a bit of cream. Licorice and raisin follow, just for a bit, followed by the big green hops, with pine, ribgrass, maple leaf, bitter grass and spruce. Bitterness gets bigger and bigger as the roast and the hops pile up, creating an ashy, dry charcoal, tobacco, rough bitterness that continues into the aftertaste (leafiness and chocolate too, but way too subtle).
Medium to heavy bodied, oily, medium carbonation.
It felt a bit too roasted for me, and the finish gets even rougher as you drink it, cancelling all the tastiness. More balance would've helped.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Essentially pitch black, maybe just a touch brown, with a moderate amount of tan head comprised of small bubbles. Aroma is decidedly porter-like, nutty chocolate and coffee malts with just enough grapefruit pith and mango to remind you that this is technically a "black IPA". A brown sugar sweetness develops nicely over time. Smells and tastes a tad funky as well, not in a bad way. On the palate I get some dried fruit, dried citrus peel (grapefruit and tangerine), and bitter earthy notes, root cellar and cruciferous salad greens along with wood char, raisins, cacao powder, black coffee, and walnut meat. An almost maple-like or fenugreek sweetness emerges late. A bit prickly and aggressive but I will concede that the malt flavors develop nicely. This is what I imagine those aggressively hopped porters of yore to taste like (see Steele's excellent book on IPAs for details). Tasty but the hops do not shine through as well as in other examples of the style. The malt bill and execution is top notch, however.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a creamy one finger light sandy colored head. Really nice lace left behind after each sip and decent retention.

S: Lots of spruce and pine with a bit of citrus peel, chocolate and earthiness. Sort of a strange smell, but not a turn off.

T: There's a damp piny hop flavor that hits first, then some roasted malt, day old coffee, charred grain husk and some light bittersweet cocoa. A bit of lingering pine resin on the finish with some burnt espresso. Interesting, but I wouldn't say this is one of the better ones I've had from them.

Photo of stephens101
4.46/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Body is brown with crimson hues. A tan head stands firm.

Smells of grain and resin out of the chute with black licorice following close behind. Dark fruits and a slight roastiness further back.

Roasted nuts to the tongue with a little pepper and grain, all enveloped in a blanket of earthy hops. All components are finely tuned.

Medium mouth-feel with little alcohol noticed.

A superbly crafted ABA of distinction.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Deep brown color with tinges of reds somewhat hazy. Beige colored head settles into a quarter inch cap. Lacing is spotty.

S: Nutty, unsweetened cocoa, crusty brown bread, bit of molasses. Slight minerality. Hops bring mango and blood orange with a twist of lemon peel and some herbal grassiness.

T: Toasty and crusty up front. Bitter unsweetened cocoa. Black coffee. Nutty. Minerals. Sharp lemony hops interject. Orange zest. Medium-sharp hop bitterness. Loads of pithy and rind-like citrus flavors. Ruby red grapefruit builds in intensity and reaches its crescendo on the back end. Double whammy of bitter dark malt flavors and a punch of grapefruity hops on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and somewhat silky. Light supporting carbonation. Oily from the hops. Stiff astringency, but not out of control.

O: Everything I look for is there, it's on par with where the style has headed. Well executed. I just pulled a leftover sandwich out of the fridge; it's packed to the gills with salami and capicola. Little salt and pepper sprinkled on it, some banana peppers too. It made for a nice pairing with this beer. Breakfast of champions. Don't ever tell me I don't know how to live.

Photo of flyingpig
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

341ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.80):
Black with a 1cm, creamy looking head that is a ligh, tan brown & holds pretty well, showing no initial signs of reducing in size.

Dark & malty with some chocolate & roasted barely. Seem more like a porter than a black IPA, with coffee coming through as well. The hop presence is minimal & further cocoa with light caramel round things off.

Toasted malts, barley & chocolate that mirrors the nose. Slightly more hops than in the nose but again it seems like a push to call this on a black IPA rather than a lightly hopped porter. There was some bitterness around the middle & sweet caramel right at the end.

Medium to full with a smooth feel & light medium carbonation. Very easy to drink with a alcohol well hidden & some sweetness towards the end. A light medium bitterness was noticeable throughout, more so when the beer had time to settle a little & the finish was a dry one.

Quite a good beer, although it was nothing like I was expecting after reading the label on the bottle. It is described as a black IPA on the bottle but in truth it was definitely leaning more towards the porter side of things with a lot of darker malts and toasted flavours coming through but still very nice.

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Looks great in the glass. Porter like in appearance with about a finger of darkish tan head. Ruby red highlights when placed in the light.

S: Slightly roasted malts maybe just a bit of hops but not enough that i could easily pick out any variety.

T: A bit of a let down honestly. I didn't get too much hops at all. Bitterness is solid. The roast character is nice and gives some slightly coffeeish notes but its not overwhelming.

M: A thin body but its nice and drinkable the way an IPA should be IMO.

O: It felt more like a porter to me honestly. It was a good beer but I wouldn't call it a black IPA. If someone gave me one without telling me i'd probably call it a robust porter.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

no doubt a quality brew, but i have a bit of a hard time calling it a black ipa. it drinks quite a bit more like a brown ale slightly accentuated by bittering hops. i dont get the dark enough bitter barley roast, and i certainly dont get much hop flavoring aside from the bitterness. that said though, i like this beer quite a bit. rich and grain driven, dark chocolate brown in color and frothy, but not much head ever lasts here. its got a chocolate malt nose too, with some darker hints, but it never takes off into full dark ale mode for me. the hops, oh the hops, i wish they added some pine notes to this, it would really pop off. instead, its pure bitterness, not aggressive, but enough to cancel the grain sweetness and leave an odd drying feeling on my palate. flavorful beer and quite tasty, but short of what the style dictates, at least to me. gentle but abundant carbonation and a full body. a good fall and winter ale that i quite enjoy, but an amendment to the hopping here could make this world class. excuse me please for being a gung-ho american hophead always looking for more.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.39/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 1 1 at 42 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of toasted malt
Head large (6.5 cm), light brown, creamy, mostly diminishing to a center hill with a partial 3 mm layer.
Lacing good
Body dark amber with slight haze
Flavor begins moderately bitter with some maltyness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Flavor ends bitter
Palate light to medium, watery, carbonation soft

An unremarkable beer, supposedly a dark IPA, but with no discernable hops input, just some toasted malt bitterness

Photo of FLima
3.66/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown color with a thin head with low retention but keeping a constant ring and some laces.
Aroma of coca cola, coffee and chocolate.
Flavor with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, mint, some grapefruit, caramel, apple, earthy and herbal hops. Dry, bitter and roast aftertaste that won't go away.
Creamy medium body with low carbonation.
No sudden punch in the face here, a very smooth and tasty beer.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into a snifter. The alchemy inspired artwork is inspirational! Penombre means "Twilight" in French, by the way.

Penombre pours into the glass an opaque, dark brown with a tawny film that barely manages pencil-width before receding to a ring.

This black ipa has a sweet nose: white bread drizzled with honey, slight coriander spiciness. It is hard to pick anything else out. Where are the hops?

The palate reiterates that white bread sweetness throughout the drink, however a roasted malt also joins the fray, helping to smooth out the sweet. As the beer warms this opens up a bit and resembles dark chocolate. Hops are only noticeable at the finish where a growing resin-y, aspirin-like bitterness slowly grows, meshes well with the roasty and sweet malt. The lack of any other kind of hop flavoring makes for a let down.

Penombre pleases with medium-bodied heft and bubbly carbonation on the tongue. Once that long, bitter finish takes hold though, the beer dives to dryness.

Penombre comes across a bit like a one-trick pony. The hops exists only to bitter up the finish; the malts coalesce with a big and roasty blast to compliment the hops. The nose could use some tweaking, far too sweet for how the beer turns out, and faint. I wanted to really like this beer, but this is a less than inspirational bipa.

Photo of smakawhat
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A nice dark walnut brown with just a hint of red to it for the body, complete with a two finger creamy very light cocoa brown and tan top. Creamy head settles to about a finger nice and slowly, not large but seems to be hanging around well.

Aroma is chocolate milk, and whoppers candy. Soft sweetness, and some nice dry husky soft grains. Milky, hints of lactose, but not very hop forward or discernable or obvious on that front. Hints more of porter and milk stout.

Palate brings the ale, and the character changes quite dramatically. Sweetness replaced with very noticeable dry roasting malts. Finish is very noticeable hop bitterness of pine and sharp dry earth. Very bitter and sharp. Body hints at a little creamy character, but sort of gives some light pale alt airy malt, backbone subdued with some tight carbonation.

It's a bit misleading at first, quite aggressive on the palate, but also in control. An unexpected hop blast but not quite IPA territory either. An interesting style blur, but drinkable and fun.

Photo of smcolw
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Good beige head that leaves a lot of streaming lace. Dark brown color, but light does pass through the center of the glass

Surprisingly mild smell. I do detect the burnt malts and the peppery hop. Perhaps a bit of cream.

The taste starts mild, but slowly shifts to a variety of flavors--the strongest being the burnt malt. Strong toast element. The body is a bit watery but the carbonation is low. So, it seems balanced. I sense alcohol, but given abv and flavor, that seems odd to me.

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large head.
Nose shows sweet chocolate, cocoa, nutty malt and toasty characters along with soft pine.
In contrast the flavours are quite hoppy. Big piny resinous notes with an aggressive bitterness. Some roast and cocoa.
Body could be a bit thicker.

Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penombre Black IPA
Colour from bottle is a dark brown, blackish in glass with a huge cap of light cream head, very good retention and lacing. 4.25
S – dark bitter coffee, lot of skunky tobacco, earthy with a herbal/musty edge, licorice and molasses notes, some of the black malts really come through and give a roasty bitterness to it. A little syrupy but pretty interesting. 3.75
T – similar dark roasty malts with upfront coffee bitterness, roastiness, chocolate, less tobacco than the smell, there is some sweet molasses, bitter coffee, and very full balanced roasty flavours with enough bitterness to rrally play it up, mostly earthy and slightly herbal/licorice bitterness. Some dark fruit tannis maybe also toward the end. Finish is dark cocoa, dry and clean, with a long full aftertaste. 4.25
M – moderate bodied to start, with a medium carbonation and pleasantly sessionable body, a satisfying creaminess to it with enough of a strong malt heft and astringent bitterness toward the end to dry out the finish nicely. Tasty. 4
A very well crafted example of the style. Has some nice roasty stout like qualities to set it apart from other IPAs but lots of easy drinking bitterness to make for a really pleasant and intriguing beer. I wouldn’t mind trying it with a bit more hops but this is very nice as is. Certainly worth trying, a tasty example of this style that has good qualities to it. Something a bit different to be sure, and it works nicely. 4

Photo of jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been trying to get up to visit this brewery for years, but haven't gotten the chance yet. Finally a new beer from them, can't wait to try it Although typically not my fav style, but we'll see how it goes.

Pop... errr... they're still using screw caps wtf! Pours a decent fluffy off-white little creamy almost 1 finger head with some big bubbles as well, fades semi slowly with nice big lacing, the beer is just about pitch black with hint of mahogany light sneaking through the thin parts.

Nose is really interesting, a mix of hops and dark malts as expected but different than normal and much nicer. A lot going on so let's see if I can pinpoint them all. Some mild cocoa, well more like a touch of baker's chocolate, as well as a nice dark caramel, mild fluffy nougat, and hint of a light coffee, a mild robust porter like dark malt. Hops are not as big as I expected thankfully, a hint of citrus starts but that fades quickly to some mild fruity hops, like a generic fruity slightly stone fruit hop, with touch of a grassy floral component.

Taste starts creamy, with lots of malts out front again, starting with a mild roast like malt, not a big heavy roast, just a touch of a roasty quality with some mild smooth coffee as well. That turns to a little dark chocolate, like a crushed cocoa bean mixed with creamy oats. A nice dark robust porter like flavor with some dark malts, into some nice caramel flavors and a little fluffy nougat again. Then hops, again not super crazy on the hops and not a ton of citrus or pine thankfully. A mild earthy component, into some floral grassy notes, a mild fruity touch as well, hints of tropical fruits but not the citrusy tropical fruits or strong ones either. Finish gets fairly bitter, with a bit more earthy hops and they turn spicy and quite bitter as the beer dries but leaves a little lactose like sticky feel, bit more roast with it's own bitter component, mild coffee as well lingering.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, somewhat creamy as well, pretty good carb for a semi creamy porter like beer.

Overall pretty good, I think they treated this more like a hoppy porter than an IPA with roasted malt, which is why I think I like it. The nice dark malts with mild roast and coffee without the acrid burnt flavors, a hint of dark chocolate and some caramel components, as well as a creamy feel, add nice effects. HOps come through and actually seem to blend nicely, they don't go crazy in bitterness or in tropical fruits or citrus that would just clash with the rest of the beer. Again I really think this is more of a hoppy porter than a black IPA.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is black when viewed from afar and the edges are dark reddish brown in color when the glass is held up to a bright light. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving only a patch of large bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose along with hints of resinous hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of roasted malts and has subtle notes of resin from the hops, the latter of which also contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of charred ash and dark chocolate are also perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a pretty nice Black IPA if you like something that focuses on the roasted malts.

Photo of Noxious26
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

341ml brown bottle poured in a pint glass. Purchased from Zyn in Calgary on Remembrance Day weekend.

Pitch black with just a hint of cola coloured highlights when held up to the light. Big foamy beige head is about 1.5 inches on the pour. So thick it looks like you could stand on it. Recedes to a thick cap.

Burnt malt with a coffee aroma and hints of herbal hops.

Lots of burnt flavour. Kind of like a stout rather than a Black IPA. The hops come through in a long finish to add a bitter hops effect to the bitter burnt flavour coating the tongue.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The burnt quality is a little harsh.

Not really to style. Way to much burnt malt for a black IPA. Hops are almost imperceptible. This would be a decent stout, but it's not a very good version of the style they're labelling it.

Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge if the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Toasty, borderline roasty, malt aroma with some hop fume behind it. A bit sweet with notes of cocoa, caramel and brown sugar. Musty dankness emanates from the glass when swirled.

T- There's a fine balance between the roastiness and the hops, neither of which being "in-your-face." The bitterness does start to come out on top after a while but the roasted malt does well keeping everything in check. Super drinkable.

M- Sharp from the hops and slightly oily. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- I don't think I've had a beer by DDC that I haven't given at least a 4 rating and this one will be no exception. That does it: this is officially my favorite Canadian brewery.

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dieu du Ciel! Pénombre ("Twilight") is a good name for a dark beer that isn't entirely pitch-black; this colour is more like that of a black bean in that it actually has, well, some colour (as oppose to those beers that are liquid abysses). It's a classy looking ale and pours with mink lather.

The nose has creamy notes of vanilla, harsher hints of burnt grain and unrefined cocoa as well as a hoppiness that is herbal, dank, and, frankly, stinky. There's plenty of pine and tree resins. I can't say it's missing much of anything. This is simply what a good Black IPA smells like.

This style should always conjure the thought of sipping espresso in a wet forest. Check! The palate is treated to a coffee-and-cream flavour that includes dark chocolate truffles and fudge and a drying, coarsely bitter aftertaste that simulates chewing on dead leaves and tree bark.

Black IPA is the ultimate union of bitter and sweet. It is a mediator's favourite style. It tells both sides of the story. It is a beer that lives on both sides of the fence and the grass is always green (somewhat literally given the very 'green' tastes of grass clippings and ganja).

Dieu du Ciel! has in my book always been, and continues to be, one of the best microbreweries in Canada. There's few others that can match their portfolio in terms of its diversity and quality (not to mention awesome bottle art). Pénombre lives up to every standard you'd expect.

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Penombre from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
86 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.