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Penombre - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
PenombrePenombre

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.14%
Wants: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sammy on 05-30-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Explicit cross between an IPA and a porter, enjoyed on-tap at Mondiale 2008. Very fresh. Bubby off-white head on dark scotch-like body, very lacey. Very roasty Above average carbonation that is sharp on the tongue and is mouth-drying. Not as drinkable.

Sammy, May 31, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

nmann08, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

acurtis, May 22, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.91/5  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.

metter98, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap: Poured clear black color ale with a small foamy head with good retention. Aroma of bitter hops with light aromatic notes. Taste is not the most complex with medium bitter notes and a dry caramel malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. OK but not really a style a dig and not the most complex beer from this fine brewer.

Phyl21ca, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Either it’s the toastiest IPA I've ever had or the hoppiest Porter that I've ever had. Regardless, its results are chocked full of the charm that I've grown to love about Dieu du Ciel.

In grand Porter-like fashion, the beer pours dark "bark" brown and basically opaque. The dense looking ale releases a creamy sandy-tan head that whips right up with a gentle swirl of the glass. Its lacy retention coats the glass with intricate patterns.

As hearty as the beer looks, its aromas are just as prominent: cocoa, heavy toast, light coffee, and roasted nuts continue the Porter theme, but the bright and zesty character of IPA chimes in with grapefruit and pine needles. Underlying burnt sugars seem to support the wood and citrus notes with a cream-like sense.

Its full flavors start with the char of toast, fresh ground coffee, burnt walnuts and cocoa. The light background of dry toffee fades at middle palate and makes way for the charge of hops to come. Starting citrusy with white grapefruit and freshly zested oranges, the toast soon fades and leaves the sticky, resiny taste of pine to dry the taste and usher in throat-gripping bitterness to close its taste.

Firm bodied, the beer has full impressions as the mind thinks IPA to start, but the dry toast character keeps the beer light so the turn toward IPA is a bit more manageable in the middle. Finishing toasty-dry, warm, and resinous- the beer has a linger of mild roast astringency and stemmy hop bite.

It really is a tale of two beers- where intrigue takes the tasted buds back and forth from hop to toast and back again. But I would rather it make up its mind. Either relegate the toasted malts to a color-correction role only, or push the sweetness a bit to balance the hops properly.

BEERchitect, May 11, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

GRG1313, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

westcoastbeerlvr, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341ml bottle. Good to see this brewery jumping on the Pacific-NW bandwagon. The name unfortunately sits a little too close to 'Twilight' in its interpretation, though it's hardly the brewery's fault.

This beer pours a very, very dark reddish brown hue, with loose mahogany basal highlights, and two fingers of silkily puffy, foamy beige head, which leaves leaves some attractive tight garden hedge lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, cafe au lait, chastened caramel malt, soft grapefruit and orange fruity pith, and a twinge of pine resin. The taste is zingy generic citrus rind, chalky sweet cocoa, cold coffee, bready, lightly roasted caramel malt, and a trailing forest-floor pine essence.

The carbonation is adequate in its support and otherwise predilection for the shadows, the body a solid medium weight, and tacitly smooth, as the hops swirl about in a meekly threatening manner. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate, neutered coffee, and malt keeping the hops well in check.

An enjoyable rendition of this emerging style, with ample elements from the yin and yang underlying influences, all quite ably balanced, so as to not let any one run rampant. Or conversely, allowing any one to shirk their duties. Anyways, as expected, DDC hits another standing triple with this offering - and that's only because I'm still coming around on the idea of smoking, charring, or otherwise marring a perfectly good IPA.

biboergosum, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

JAHMUR, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/20/2013 at Julian’s in Providence, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, hops and chocolate.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee come in. The hops presence is strong overall but not over-powering creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - the beer has an opaque, black body which is topped by one and a half fingers of off-white foam. The head settles slowly and leaves very nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - toasty malt with some coffee and dark caramel. Spicy hops and a hint of pine in the background.

T - dark malt up front with some burnt caramel. Coffee and pine hop flavors appear in the middle. The beer finishes with more coffee and some charcoal as well as pine and moderate hop bitterness.

D - much darker and more heavily roasted than most other black ipas I've tried, but it works. The malt character is excellent and while the hop aroma is somewhat lacking, it does well in the flavor department with lots of pungent pine that holds its own against the roasty character.

nickfl, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ The Farmhouse (Burlington, VT) on 2/19/11. Served in a wine glass.

Pours black, with some more ruby hues coming out along the bottom, and is topped with a ¼ finger of creamy mocha colored head. This retains with more of a thin wispy look but does keep some heavier bunching on the edges and actually leaves back a good amount of foamy spotty lacing. Malts take control of the aroma initially, with notes of coffee and chocolate giving this a roasty tanginess in the nostrils. Hops are giving off some green floral accents but mostly seem relegated to the back of the nose.

The taste has a hearty crisp bite to it. Not only of green citric bitterness but also roasted malts, which then proceed to separate themselves and spread crunchy dark roast across the back of the profile. Luckily there is no shortage of sweetness present, as notes of cocoa and toffee help soften and balance some of that sharp bitterness out. This finishes very dry and earthy, with a good bit of lingering pithy bitterness (maybe a tad too much so). The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness that really brings all of those hops and roasted malts out to play. I'm picking up no alcohol up here in the body, which keeps this relatively smooth and helps settle the overall presence of this down some.

I found this to be fairly aggressive for the style but it never did quite get too overly so, as the balance and overall ease of the body helped bring things back down just in the nick of time. This is definitely one that I was initially shaky on but it won me over by the bottom of the glass. I'd gladly check this one out again sometime.

Kegatron, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

StonedTrippin, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

jlindros, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

smcolw, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +11%

wrightst, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

biegaman, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

smakawhat, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

DrBier, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mondial, a black IPA.

Pours a hazy dark reddish orange, almost brown, thick off white head forms, settles to a thin layer, lots of lace, great retention. Smell is nice, intense citrus and floral hopping, very aggressive, some roast and chocolate, caramel, strawberries and other fruit, touch of pine, real nice. Taste is caramel, floral, chocolate, caramel and roast, sharp citrus bitterness, solid malts through the middle. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, maybe a bit to high for the body, but enjoyable.

Viggo, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

dmorgan310, Jul 29, 2014
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Penombre from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
86 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.