Isseki Nicho - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

45 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 170
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 3.93%
Wants: 10
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bobsy on 10-05-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 170
Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (737 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (1,874 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (667 characters)

Photo of ssmack
4.61/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (614 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (957 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (553 characters)

Photo of 4ster
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
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) (1,672 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cool collaboration with a Japanese Brew pub. Served in a tulip glass, its nearly totally black with a rocky, cappucinno colored head. The aroma is of cloves, pepper, anise, chocolate. The first sip bursts with all the aforementioned spices and tonnes more. Extremely complex. There's also a subtle roastyness and coffee flavor of a stout that inmeshes seemlessly with the Saison flavors. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with carbonation. Alcohol is impeccably well hidden throughout. The finish is herbal and lightly bitter.

This is a fantastic beer, one of the most interesting ones Ive tried in a while. Very complex and surprisingly representative of both styles. (670 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a very dark brown body, topped bya small head of medium tan foam. The head settles fairly quickly but leaves nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - dark caramel and some molasses with a hint of green hops in the background.

T - brown sugar and toffee up front. Some dark caramel and molasses notes come out in the middle. The beer finishes with cinnamon, clove, and smoky chocolate as well as a lingering licorice note.

M - medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - very complex, with lots of dark sugar and some spicy yeast character in the finish. It could be a bit dryer, but at this strength, done residual sweetness is forgivable even in a saison. (688 characters)

Photo of wisecracka
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer is dark and black. When held to the light, this beer is darker than a coke. A pretty, tan head dissipates quickly. A mild amount of carbonation is present.

S: Dark fruit permeates the smell. The typical saison yeast smell is less prevalent than in normal saisons. The alcohols smell is non-existent for this 9.5% beer.

T: The taste opens with dark fruit and slowly gives to a muted yeast spice. An effervescent roasted chocolate malt blends in with the overall taste at the finish. This beer is not sweet, instead it's deliciously savory. One must hunt for the alcohol taste; it's virtually non-existent.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight, pleasing carbonation. The beer is full bodied. Honestly, this is a great balance of carbonation and body.

D: One couldn't blaze through a 6 pack; but then again, no one would want to blaze through a 6 pack. You could easily have two of these after dinner. (915 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kristina for this and Alex for tracking it down on BA...Darkish brown pour, but a little watery as its semi clear. A light tan head leaves a nice cap, ok lacing...Charred spice aroma, pretty interesting...The taste is nice, not sure how its a saison though with no hop presence. Dark fruits with spice, and a chocolate finish.

Interesting and worth trying. (367 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Kristina. Comes complete with photocopied label affixed via a rubber band. I'm guessing this is the correct beer, as it said Imperial Dark Saison in English and had a bunch of Japanese characters. Served in a wine glass.

A - It's definitely dark, with a semi-transparent dark chocolate body. A dark tan foam settles to a solid cap, leaving behind splotchy lace.

S - Cocoa, burnt and charred malts, spicy yeast, slight anise, and some earthy notes as well.

T - The taste is sweeter than the nose implies, with lots of baker's chocolate and dark fruit character. There is again some light spice character both of the estery variety as well as some star anise.

M - Medium-light body that seems a bit undersized for the alcohol. Very smooth texture, moderate carbonation, with a lightly chewy finish.

D - This was very nice, and a surprise highlight at the surprisingly debaucherous tasting that accompanied Jeppe's visit to Chicago. One or two beers, my ass. In any case, this was a very good beer and a textbook dark saison, but it's probably something you wouldn't want to pound all night. (1,112 characters)

Photo of rarbring
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brew is very black, especially for a saison, the head is brown and leaves good lacing.

The smell is full of caramel malty aromas, burnt toast and coffee beans.

The taste is rather sweet, a bit licorice, dried fruits, figs and dates, strong wine, Madeira and Sherry.

A light carbonation, a bit syrup and alcoholic feeling, but very smooth.

Don't know if their style assignment is correct "Imperial Dark Saison", anyway a very good after-dinner beer. (457 characters)

Photo of wedgie9
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on draft at Lush CBC event. Pours nearly black with a huge brown head. Aromas of dark malt, chocolate, and hops. Flavors of bitter chocolate, bitter hops, and very dark malt. The carbonation is heavy, but the liquid itself is a little less than medium in body with a long bitter finish. Overall, this is a very unique beer that is also very good. (353 characters)

Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on cask at volo on oct 3/09 as part of the DDC launch party. an "imperial dark saison".

pours deep brown with only a sliver of light getting through at the thinnest point in the glass. a small brown head forms, dropping slowly and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is good. definitely a saison. light spice and just a touch of funk, both emblematic of the style. bit of alcohol. whole wheat bread. cracker. bit of earthy and woody character. bit of anise. hints of citrus.

taste is great. a bit of dark fruit. nice saison spice and light funk again. a bit floral but not perfumey. alcohol, more warming on the way down than up front. toasted whole wheat bread, slightly burnt around the edges. just under medium bitterness level. hints of chocolate and coffee. a bit earthy and woody. the light roasty component seems slightly out of place, but it's fairly mellow so it doesn't take much away from the overall appreciation. in talking with the brewer i mentioned that we used dehusked carafa in our black saison to get the colour without the roasty component. he said that he has since tweaked the recipe in the same way and rebrewed this one for exactly that reason.

mouthfeel is good. medium body with a fairly dry finish. medium-low carbonation level. light astringency from the roast.

drinkability is good. an interesting mix of styles and ideas. the alcohol is balanced and hidden pretty well and there's a nice depth to keep you going back for more. good stuff. (1,473 characters)

Photo of mrmanning
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Volo- This was my second favoutire beer of the fest. Dark black ...very schwartzbier looking. Nice mocha cap sits atop. Nose is quite fruity with plum and prune, candi malts, earthy and rustic with tobacco and spices, yeasty and funky. Flavour profile is surprisingly sweet, with good fruit and roasty coffee, almost leathery, with tobacco flavours, floral hops with anise in the finish. As with a lot of beer from this brewer, the ABV is nowhere to be detected. Very good offering. (490 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask remaining two days after DDC night, at Cafe Volo. Cross style one-off callaboration. Black colour, with significant bubbly cask head. Aroma of pepper,malt, roast, and spicey yeast. Above average mouthfeel, particularly for a cask. Some hops, yeast in taste, some astringency on the tongue, roasted barley, some brown rice. A sipper.A unique Belgian stout imperial porter saison.
Had it again at Mondiale 2010 and it was a middling saison and RIS. Noticed dark chocolate, 3/8" bubbly head and above average mouthfeel. (521 characters)

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

On cask at the Volo Dieu du Ciel launch.

Pours a deep and dark reddish black, slightly opaque, medium sized and big bubbled tan head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some solid lacing. Smell is neat, very fruity, some chocolate and a touch of roast, raisin, caramel, lightly funky saison character, hay, wood, earthy, pretty neat, alcohol comes through as well. Taste is nice too, fruity, very smooth light chocolate and roast character, some funk, licorice, alcohol, a bit herbal and grassy, pretty neat. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation, some warmth going down. A pretty cool experiment, great beer. (654 characters)

Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A few half pints at Volo's Dieu du Ciel launch night. Apparently Isseki Nicho means to kill two birds with one stone. This imperial black saison was brewed as a collaborative effort between Dieu du Ciel and the Shiga Kogen brewery in Japan, then fresh hopped with local Nagano hops and cask conditioned. I believe this has been its only appearance on cask.

Pours pitch black with two fingers of dark tan head, which left great lacing as it settled down. Nice aroma - some funk, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, wood and cider. Flavour is a mix of two world's, with a decent roast being slightly edged out by some great saison funk. Its like a cross between their Grande Noirceur and St-Louis Saison. Nice roasted malt base provides flavours of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, which is complimented by a light fruitiness and hints of dates. Big, funky saison yeast wrestles the malt to the ground and leaves you in no doubt what sort of beer this is. A lingering bitterness is appended to a warming alcohol finish. I would have liked to see a bit more dark roast in there, but that would probably have tipped the scales to far in the direction of a Belgian Imperial Stout. The cask gives this a nice smooth body with a light carbonation, but probably also lets the alcohol shine a little too much. In spite of this it remains ridiculously drinkable.

Another fine experiment and a great collaboration! (1,405 characters)

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Isseki Nicho from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
90 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.