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Isseki Nicho | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
62 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
62
Ratings:
205
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
15.92%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
32
For Trade:
1
Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Special collaboration between Dieu du Ciel and Shiga Kougen, a Japanese brewery located in Nagano. Hybrid of an imperial stout and a Belgian saison, its color is dark black. Strong bitterness and roasted malt flavours come in first, and are well balanced by a strong alcohol level. Dry and complex finishing provided by the saison yeast.

Added by bobsy on 10-05-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 205
Photo of TheDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SERVICE: Bottle
Bottled On: 09-03-2014


A:
Pours an inpenetrable black with two and a half fingers of rocky tan head that airily settles to a decent film. Okay retention; polka dot lacing. (4)

S:
Fruity chocolate. Cocoa, citrusy tartness, fresh herbal aromas, coffee, leather, pepper. (4)

T:
Rich and boozy. Coffee, dirt, pepper, chocolate. (3.75)

M:
Bubbly, coating, medium plus bodied, lingering warm richness kind of boozy and sticky after a while (especially as it warms). (3.5)

O:
Tasty beer.
As for what makes a good Black Saison, I don't know.
Aroma-wise I felt like fruity hops were what really stuck out, but the rest drinks like a stout/porter. There aren't even discernable yeast flavors that I could pin down. Tasty, but warming and stiff for a cold night. Definitely a sipping beer.
Would have again; worth trying. (4)

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Nearly pitch black with a copious creamy, frothy tan head. Incredibly complex fruit and spice aroma, I am getting fermented apples and pears, cherries, blackberries, black pepper, cranberries, coffee, singed grain, charcoal, a whiff of banana even. Rather unique. The palate leans more toward the darker elements, coffee, char, and burnt crusts, although the berry and orchard fruit notes remain salient and the massive ABV asserts itself admirably, lending the entire package a rum-like smoky barroom sort of vibe. Ashtray and orchard fruit provide an odd juxtaposition in the finish. Heavy bodied, thick, with just enough carbonation to keep this medicine from coming across as flat. I have yet to encounter many black saisons and certainly this evokes the notion: Earthy spicy yeast, a dryish vinous character, robust roasted/toasted malts, a sweeter fruitiness like black cherry juice dancing along the top. Not for the faint of heart but damn good overall.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, earth, chalk, spice, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with more imperial stout than saison qualities in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky black with a bubbly, thick tan head.

S: Aromas of burnt toast, roasted grain, coffee, spicy saison yeast, leather, figs, Medjool dates, prunes, black cherries, and herbs fill the nose.

T: Strong notes of spicy yeast, black peppercorn, black cherry, dates, figs, prunes, rum raisins, and Merlot grapes are underscored by notes of herbs, leather, bitter chocolate, burnt toast, roasted grain, and coffee. The finish is bitter and complex with yeast, dark fruit, herb, and roasted grain flavors.

M: Medium-to-full in body and somewhat slick for the style. Carbonation is firm and supportive. Alcohol warmth is noticeable, but is very mellow. This ale is quite easy to drink despite its strength.

O: This is obviously not a traditional saison/farmhouse ale, but it is still a really nice little ale. This has been one of the better and more interesting North American saisons that I have tried in recent months.

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Photo of CowsandBeer
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 oz bottle poured into a Brasserie de Silly tulip glass.

Appearance: A down the side pour produced a massive three fingers of mocha colored head. Lots of thick lacing with a persistent head. Black ink body.

Aroma: Wow, what an interesting aroma. Up front some soapy hops, some white peper, hay and funk, backbone of roasted malts and coffee. So it goes hoppy, saison, stout. Plenty going on but kind of confusing too.
Taste: The saison yeast seems to dominate over the stout notes here. Lots of white pepper, sea salt, and hay. A weird transition into the stout portion. Dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, but over powered by the saison yeast.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel with prickly, low carbonation. Drying. Some booze.

Overall: A great looking beer but maybe not the best idea overall. The saison yeast overpowers the stout and seems too peppery and salty, almost one dimensional. Towards the finish the hop bitterness from the stout clashes with the yeast and almost makes it hard to drink too. I’d say back to the drawing board for this one.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle notched 0 and 2, at 50 degrees into goblet
Aroma of malt, alcohol, and ???
Head large (5.5 cm), creamy with some rocks, light brown, rapidly diminishing into a 2 cm layer with the center rising like an abbreviated Devil’s Tower
Lacing poor with an occasional clump
Body dark brown to black, opaque
Flavor is primarily malt with some alcohol – it burns when swallowed. No hops, no diacetyl. Fortunately only minimal aftertaste.
Body medium to full, slightly oily, carbonation soft.

I’m at a loss understanding what makes this a saison – the imperial and dark parts are obvious. There are no complex esters apparent, there is no spiceness or fruitiness. Wait – I just went back and reread the judging characteristics for a saison; it seems that anything goes. In the words of Emily Litella – “Never mind”.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from Brewdog's online shop

Poured a dark brown almost black colour... off white head pours big, billowy and meringue like then faded to light layer... very light carbonation drifts slowly to the surface... lots of sticky lacing...

Aroma - Roasted dark malts mixed with lots of juicy fruitiness (apples, grapefruits), strong Belgian yeastiness, black pepper, quite earthy, some licorice, candy sugar sweetness, light biscuity malts, peppery hops, grassy, some hay notes, floral honey...

Taste - Earthy roasted maltiness, cocoa, some tart fruits (apples, pears), light biscuit malts, some clove spiciness, honey sweetness, light coffee, Belgian yeasty notes, peppery hops, grassy...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry when cool but becomes much more mellow when warmed up... quite drinkable - the 9% isn't noticeable at all...

Overall - An excellent dark saison and another fine brew from Dieu di Ciel... recommended...

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a snifter.

Milk chocolate foam builds to four-fingers in width, recedes very slowly, there is still a finger-width of puffy, thick stuff after a few minutes, plastic-y webbed lacing all over. An ominous dark brown body sits heavily in the snifter.

A tangy bouquet meets the nose. The notes are a little roasty, like coffee, a bit of sour cherry, barnyard funk, earthy, smokey, dark chocolate, this miasma of scents is complex and offers something new with each sniff.

The beer starts smokey and tangy with the sour cherry from the nose followed closely by that slight barnyard funk. The finish builds with coffee roast and a nice blast of milky dark chocolate. The hop bitterness is a little surprising, with some good resin quality in the finish as well. The yeast also imparts a chalkiness in the back of the throat. The combo of tanginess, smoke, subtle sweetness, and surprising hop bitterness make this beer loads of fun to sip.

This beer has a solid medium body with a decent dry quality. It is velvety smooth and rolls over the tongue with a little bit of bubbliness.

Isseki Nicho is a quality beer. Dieu du Ciel and Shiga Kougen have created something very special. This dark beer is a complex monstrosity that drinks far too easily for a beer that is 9.5% ABV. I always enjoy the anticipation that comes from trying a style bending beer, and Isseki Nicho did not disappoint! I was debating on whether or not I would pick up a bottle of Dieu du Ciel's Penombre, but after this, debating no longer! Enjoy.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Whenever I hear a type of beer that's dubbed "black" anything that wasn't originally a dark beer (Black IPA, Black Saison...) I have become accustomed to it becoming a Porter with the base beer tendencies. But with the quality I've come to expect from Dieu Du Ciel, I'm expecting different from Isseki Nicho.

And dark brown to its core, the ale pours with a head porter character. Its body is a shade off of black but is opaque due to its shaddowy hues. A creamy ivory head billows to the top of the tulip in true farmhouse fashion. Its long retention and well-defined concentric rings sing praises of well-constructed Saison.

Its nose is surprisingly perfumy and floral. A waft of potpourri washes over the nose with a backbone of honey, orchard fruit and spice. Black peppercorn and a faint scent of charred toast bring a balance to the malt and fruit. Coming up to temperature, the ale continues to reveal mild coffee and walnut notes.

Its malty-dry taste is of cream, baking bread, toasted grain and with supple buckwheat honey. As the sweeter side trails, its fruity and spicy center emerges. Again, with apple, pear, orange and a tinge of tart berries; then a more spicy side balances with cardamom, clove, coriander, peppercorn, dandelion, and flower pedals. As the ale finishes, its timid coffee, char and cocoa note are a bit more pronounced.

Its body is highly effervescent with fine bubbles that give a creamier, rather than zesty impression. Yet, the beer sheds its medium weight late and prefers a dry malt texture that highlights its spicy alcohol and peppery bite. Its dry toast character further elevates the ale's dryness before echoes of that floral bouquet linger in aftertaste.

I'm impressed that the ale shows so much darkness and dryness from roasted malt, but doesn't contribute any porter or stout-like char. I'm also impressed that the ale can retain such dryness as its resists becoming a sweet beer.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color; faint hints of reddish brown are visible near the edges of the glass. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar around the edge and bits of lacing down the sides,
S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts are present in the nose along with notes of yeast.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but seems more like a saison with more spices towards the finish. Noted of licorice are also apparent. No alcohol is detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is really interesting as it has some properties of a Russian Imperial Stout having used its grain bill. It is extremely easy to drink considering its strength.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

What if a Japanese and Québécois brewery got together and made a beer? In this case, you get a black saison. On-tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, on to the beer"

Topping the black body is a tanned head, which retains well and leaves some lacing around the glass. Continuing the good start is the aroma, which offers a spicy rye note, a kiss of cocoa, and lemon wedges. And like that, the good start ends and it becomes....weird. There's a wild citrus flavor throughout the beer, and not even the breaths of cocoa can breathe enough into the beer and get it out of that direction. It's also modestly sour. The taste isn't bad to me; it's just on the singular side and unexpected.

One crazy beer. If you're prepared for a wild ride, Isseki Nicho might be ready for you. If not, shoot for another option. I'm glad that I tried it, but probably not again (more so considering the price).

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Photo of mtomlins
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 341ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: It is dark and opaque and pours to 3+ fingers of dark mocha head, very persistent and thickens as it settles leaving lots of lacing.

S: It has a nice Belgian nose, spicy and some lemon; rich sweet malt with lots of roasted notes and a bit of chocolate.

T: As the nose predicted, the beer has those typical Belgian flavors with lots of chocolate and some deep roasted malt. The finish is long, spicy and dry.

M: Medium-high body and carbonation; very smooth, round yet surprisingly light as a saison should be.

O: A very interesting combination of smells and flavors. Delicious!

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Photo of t420o
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dieu du Ciel! Isseki Nichō

A- pour yields a nice 2-1/2 finger mocha colored head receding to about a finger with good retention and very nice lacing. The beer, as it sits, is black in color 4.5

S- the Saison yeast is on the forefront of the nose with a slight spice and banana character while earthy and robust at the same time. That is perhaps due to the underlying roasted malts giving off a light coffee and chocolate smell. Smells excellent. 4.25

T- wow, I'm liking this a lot. The balance of the Saison yeast, the roasted malts, and the light hops is superb. The bitterness lingers on the back end drawing you back for more. Slightly dry on the backend as well. Excellent. 4.5

M- nice and full mouthfeel with medium carbonation. 4.5

O- I need more of this. Great beer, with good drinkability. 4.5

A+

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours nice and very dark, lots of mocha colored
head. Head is creamy, has lots of retention. Solid
lacing too.

S: It's a dark saison and you couldn't mistake this
for a stout, even though it definitely looks like one.
Lots of funky smells, good amount of hay and some horse
blanket. Some rose petal too. Then, the roasted malts
come alive. Surprisingly quite sweet with chocolate milk,
coffee and caramel. Maybe some ripe mandarine too.
Complex and interesting, but doesn't come together THAT well.

T: The rose petal is quite strong in the taste. Also, second
thing I noticed, it's much less sweet as expected. Still some
hay and horse blanket, but not as much as in the smell. There
is funk, but I find it hard to describe. The mandarine is
definitely there as well as STRONG coffee notes without
sweetness. Complex and interesting, but no synergy at all
between the tastes.

M: Light but sticky at the same time. A bit peppery too.

O: This is an interesting beer, very complex that I think
would be much better after a 6 months aging process (the
same as I like my Péché Mortel, also from DDC). Highly
recommended solely on the fact it's a very different experience
than anything else I had before.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Kinda murky. Big mocha head. Great retention. Thick collar.

Smell - Yeasty and estery. Some bright aromas. Dark chocolate.

Taste - Much more roasty. Dark chocolate. The belgian flavors kick in with some fruity flavors. Yeasty with some bright fruity flavors.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Yeasty. Bitter.

Overall - Pretty good. Complex and unique.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was kindly provided courtesy of papat444.

A: Pours a deep molasses black with 3 fingers of tight microfoam head that is caramel colour.

S: Initial scents of roasted grains together with wet wood, espresso, deep malt or buckwheat honey, slight hints of dark fruit and hoppy presence. Intriguing and contrasting scent profile.

T: Acrid and slightly burnt coffee flavoured with smoke and peat. Deeply toasted grains throughout along with charred wood. Pronounced hop profile. Finishes dry with wet earth and deeply charred wood.

M: Acrid and dry. Despite the active head there is very low to no carbonation. Medium to heavy bodied, coats the tongue. Noticeable alcohol esters linger on the finish.

O: I struggle to see the saison characteristics in this beer, possibly due to burnt flavour profile, low carbonation and the imperial alcohol content. Regardless, this beer is deeply complex, rich and very enjoyable. It would offer a solid compliment to roasted meats.

Thanks again to papat444 for providing us with this beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into tulip 6/5/13 some hoser was nice enough to give me the bottle

A just a thumbnail of cola in a black liquid, three fingers of dark mocha foam has good retention slowly falling to a thick film that leaves lots of random lace on its way down

S charred wood, espresso, bakers chocolate, hit me first followed by a hop blast of grapefruit and tangerine that are much stronger then expected, a little licorice and fudge as it warms with just a hint of the farmhouse yeast and booze

T more dark roast in the mouth but the hops are still strong, the chocolates not quite as dark as what I was smelling and I get a little rind I didn't find on the nose, great mix of hops and dark roast but I think the "Saison" aspects a little hard to find

M not quite as thick as the color would have me guess but still a full bodied beer, has a bitter snap to it, and a long strange mix of coffee and hops on the finish

O even 6 months old this still has a massive hop presence, drinks like a fresh hopped up RIS and that suits me just fine, I was expecting more Belgian influence and I suppose it comes out a little more as it warms but still subtle

I'm pretty happy with whats in my glass and would definitely buy this often if I could get it off the shelf here in Alberta, time will tell I suppose. One of those beers where you want to taste a bottle fresh and with a couple years on it, I'm not sure what if age would do to this one.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

341ml bottle from Broue Haha QC for 12$ for a 4-pack

Appearance - Brown/black colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 1-2 minutes.

Smell - Malts, clove, chocolate, coffee, earthiness

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, anise, and clove. There are also notes of coffee, chocolate and a light smokiness. It ends with an earthy yet spicy herbal aftertaste.

Overall - Lots of taste going on here.. a little something for everyone. Point for originality but not something you'd want to have more than 1 of in a sitting. It will be interesting to see how aging effects this one.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, my thanks to Mike from Artisan Ales (hoser around these parts) for the sample. I very much like the 'kill two birds with one stone' cross-cultural aphorism explanation on the label.

This beer pours a slight caramel tinted black, with no discernible edges, and three healthy fingers of puffy, tight, but thinly foamy beige head, which leaves some sparse gull-wing lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly abates. A whole new kind of saison awaits me here, I'm guessing.

It smells of bittersweet black fruit - the usual suspect plums and prunes, mostly - mildly roasted, and slightly smoked grainy malt, gritty coffee grounds, sharply metallic spices, mint and anise, predominantly, swamped saison-friendly yeast, and a hint of warming alcohol. The taste is roasted bready malt, caramel-heavy coffee, tart dark fruit, dry Belgian yeast set afloat, a dose of baker's chocolate, sassy grapefruit and leafy hops, and some dampened, muddled earthy spices. The big ABV is sneakily obfuscated in the morass.

The bubbles are well active, and quite frothy, the body a sturdy medium weight, smooth amongst a slight grittiness, and actually a tad creamy. It finishes off-dry, the caramel/coffee/cocoa backbone hard to write off, even if the spicy, mildly yeasty and more to the point bitter hoppiness seems to have found its strong second wind.

Well, 'Imperial' and 'Dark' tend to have a specific effect on any base beer - in that they get very stout-like, with only tacit references to the bottom in the affair. Here, the dry yeast and subtle fruitiness gets lost in the maw of the beast, as it were. Not a bad thing, I suppose, but it's quite hard to not stifle a laugh now, looking at the classification, even more so than for some of the headier American Black Ales out there. Tasty, sure, but don't go looking for the pastoral French countryside in this one.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a large dark black color ale with a large deep brown color head with good detention and some pretty good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt notes is quite dominant with some light tart notes and some green citrusy hoppy notes also easily detectable. Taste is also a mix between some huge roasted malt notes with a serious hoppy profile with some citrus notes. Chocolate and light dry coffee notes are also detectable as well as light tart/lemony notes in the aftertaste. Body is full with creamy texture with great carbonation and no alcohol was perceptible. Interesting combination of flavour and totally not what I was expecting but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of ssmack
4.61/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The label says "Imperial Dark Saison". 9.5%

It fills the tulip with total blackness. The is a thin light tan head. Lacing with the tip of the glass.

This has a mysterious aroma. Musty and grainy. Is that the smell of meat? Yes it is. Pork or maybe uncooked beef.

There is tons of favours in the taste. The alcohol is up front. Dark chocolate and burnt toast. The is a burst of sweetness. Bitter orange in the end.

A satisfying, full, slightly oily feel.

Very enjoyable.

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Photo of papat444
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, bottled 11/12.

Appearance: A very dense brown body with a massively huge head, color is medium brown. Really at ease in the glass and leaves gobs of lacing on the sides.

Smell: Plums, strong roasted coffee, mint, jelly. roasted vs. sweet vs. spices. Intriguing and very powerfully good.

Taste: Currants, plums, red wine, roasted coffee, assorted spices, has a cork-like flavor to it, almost port-like.

Mouthfeel: This is one that warms down the throat. Very creamy, sticks in the palate.

Overall: This one does not disappoint. A mesh of flavors and styles that is well pulled off.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled November 2012. Thanks to Papat444 for the bottle!

Beer is black with a large tan head. Good lace, moderate retention.

Nose is very nice and somewhat unusual. A real mix of fruit and malt, with some yeast. I find it remarkably hard to place the scents with any particularity. There is a bit of a cocoa and roasted scent that is reminiscent of a stout, but the fruit (some citrus and tropical fruit, almost some blueberry?) and yeast reveal it to be something else entirely. Some spice as well. Impressive!

Taste is quite good but not quite at the level of the nose for me. Malt gets ramped up- caramel and roasted malt, coupled with a strong dose of yeast, citrus fruit and some spices. Quite interesting. Really a hybrid of styles, but a success.

Medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation. A bit oily.

Overall, really unusual and quite tasty. A winner in my books. Glad they bottled this one and I hope that it sticks around in that format.

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Photo of Rutager
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks for the killer beers, montrealbcr89!

Appearance. Pours a very deep brown, pretty black in the glass with 2 fingers of than head that lasts a while and leaves a bunch of nice lace.

Smell. Spicy saison yeast and grapefruits, dark chocolate, some black licorice and bit of roasty, maybe smokey malt.

Taste. Dark chocolate and big citrusy hops, some spicy yeast, roasty dark malts and black coffee.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. I would call this beast an "Imperial Cascadian Saison". Really nice stuff.

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Photo of 4ster
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large wine glass. Bottle date of 11/12. Imperial Dark Saison. ABV this batch was 9.5%

A - Black brown body, not opaque at all, with an aggressive pour you get a decent 2 fingers of caramel/light brown head...head settles fairly quickly but lots of lacing on top and sticking to the glass.

S - Bittersweet, roasted malt aromas underlying, some other sweet aroma I can't quite put my finger on(almost butter scotch?), but quite fresh with a big blast of fresh hops in this type of glass but I don't get as much spice though on the nose.

T - Upfront, sweet, caramel sugars, roasted coffee malts. As it finishes it is slightly spicy, lots of bitter chocolate taste and slightly floral/grassy hops (which could be actually the yeast coming out a bit)

M - Medium carbonation with some fizz on your tongue, medium-thick body, but not syrupy like a heavy stout, much more dry saison here.

O - Really interesting combo beer here that makes it hard to review, because while it has a saison base it really is styled on a porter/stout flavour profile. That said I'm really enjoying it, very complex, you've got your stout malts, but then some underlying saison bitter/hops/funkiness going on which is nice, and then instead of a sticky mouth it's really quite drying... a relatively recent collaboration beer with Shiga Kougen in Japan, but already off to an amazing start I'd say... perfect for winter, sharing with friends and warming your bones.... highly recommended to give it a try, interested to see where they take this beer or develop it any more. (hard to classify purely as a saison so my review is more reflective of quality, as I'm guessing are others)

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Isseki Nicho from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.