Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire - Unibroue
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Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
3.63/5 rDev -1.6%
Noire De Chambly isn't quite black ("noire") but it sure is dark; there may be a flicker of colour to the light but I have to stress *maybe* (in the sense that maybe others will see some but I don't). That being said, there's no mistaking this for a stout, if for no other reason than its tall, foamy, distinctly Belgian-esque head.
Unibroue has such a distinctive yeast that it's typically easy to distinguish their beers by smell alone. This beer's bouquet, however, has a slightly different profile: more spicy and, as the name suggests, appreciably 'dark'. It's got black licorice, cocoa powder and so much clove, ginger and anise that I don't know whether to drink it or bake with it.
The taste is relatively mild thanks to a lightly sweet and gently toasted maltiness, but vivid notes of star anise, perfumed clove and fresh-zested ginger continue on the palate and the full extent of their spiciness is felt with a little sting on the finish of each sip. It drinks kind of like a strongly-steeped chai tea (albeit with bold yeast and alcohol overtones).
Despite the sting of spices and bubbles, the mouthfeel falls a little flat. There is nowhere near the depth or richness of malt to induce chocolate or caramel notes - heck, there's hardly enough to evoke raisins even - and, as result, the alcohol overpowers (even at a reasonable 6.2%). The clove, anise and ginger notes go almost unchallenged.
Unibroue is arguably one of the best brewers of Belgian ales outside of Belgium but Noire de Chambly - unlike most of their offerings - doesn't quite live up to the Old-World ales it's been modeled after. It's not a bad recipe by any means, but the monks and time-honed brewers of Walloonia and Flanders make much more graceful and complex ales than this.
01-16-2014 01:16:58 | More by biegaman
3.64/5 rDev -1.4%
From a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.
True to it's name, Noire de Chambly pours almost black with a light two finger head that breaks quickly leaving little in the way of lacing or a cap.
The smell is mild, the Unibroue yeast is prominent and there is a scent of cloves, spices and some very mild dark fruits.
Taste is also mild, the yeast comes through as do the cloves and spices. Further back one gets some grapes or even apple. There is medium carbonation and a light finish on this beer.
Overall, I would have to say that this is a fair beer, and perhaps one that Unibroue could improve. It does not match their other offerings in flavor or texture. I would however recommend this as a good intro beer to the unibroue family.
12-29-2013 18:38:16 | More by polloenfuego
3.66/5 rDev -0.8%
(3.75) A: Dark mahogany red with a modest bubbly head that quickly recedes to a ring. Good patchy lacing.
(4.0) S: Dark fruits (cherries, plums), tropical fruits (mostly banana), cloves, molasses, caramel, and underlying woody smoke. I’m a fan of that general Unibroue aroma and this doesn’t disappoint with added lighter roasted malt qualities as well.
(3.5) T: Belgian-style flavours upfront with cloves and bubblegum, that transitions into some roasted malt flavours, and finishes with molasses and faint caramel. The woody smoke taste is present throughout. Quite dry as well. The overall taste may be a bit confusing/clashing at first but these flavours are growing on me as I drink.
(3.5) M: Lighter bodied with lively carbonation. Slightly viscous but treading on the thin side.
(3.75) D: Not my favourite Unibroue offering but this started to taste better after the initial first few sips. The woody smoke flavour was interesting and different than other smoke tastes I’ve had to date.
11-11-2013 01:49:44 | More by Digimaika2
3.63/5 rDev -1.6%
750 ml bottle with full cage & cork purchased from LCBO for $6.80 CDN. Second Unibroue product I've seen recently in this part of Ontario, so figured it was worth a try, given that i rather enjoyed Blanche de Chambly and of course Unibroue's rep. Served chilled into a pint glass (unfortunately)
Appearance - Poured this out which yielded a dark cola brown beer with a massive 3.5 finger tan head that subsided at a moderate pace. After quite some time was left with a cap that stayed until the very end of the glass. Quite dark, virtually no light seems through. The creamy voluminous head left some trace lacing.
Smell - First things I noticed were the booze, which was not terribly well hidden and some dark fruits. That transitioned into a more defined chocolate & cherries collaboration that smelled rich and filling. Also bready aromas permeate my senses. In all quite Belgian but much more moderated and less intense.
Taste - Similar to the smell, with a dash of smoked flavor up front when the beer is coldest. Again the dark fruits make an appearance, but it is in a more secondary role this time around. In all there wasn't actually much that stood out to be in terms of taste. It was tasty yes, but slightly disappointing given the experience up to this point.
Mouthfeel - Medium / High carbonation gives this a nice creamy feel and there's a moderately light finish. Obviously with the lower ABV there's a limit on the richness of the mouthfeel, but I came away only moderately impressed.
Overall - Not overwhelmed in all by this, but it is a tasty Belgian Dark Ale that you can easily go back for more than two glasses worth, so it's high in terms of drinkability because it won't necessarily cause you to fall over when you stand up.
10-27-2013 03:24:46 | More by DenisKolkin
3.75/5 rDev +1.6%
750 mL corked and caged bottle picked up at the LCBO; bottled Aug 6 2013 . This brew will always have a spot in my memory as the first Unibroue beer I ever had the opportunity to try - I was staying at a friend's place in Banff, and some cougar gave this to me because someone had left a bunch in her fridge, she didn't like the beer and it was 'taking up too much space'. A strong endorsement, to be sure. Served slightly chilled.
Pours a murky, brownish cola colour with amber highlights, generating nearly two fingers' worth of dense, creamy, beige-coloured head. It quickly settles out, leaving a thin film behind on the surface in addition to a modest collar with lacing. The aroma should seem pretty familiar to anyone who's tried the other Unibroue Belgian dark ales - their signature yeast strain has its usual strong contribution, in addition to red apples, pears, and a slight note of banana. Lots of clove too, with a solid dose of dark fruits such as raisin, fig and plum.
Interesting flavour, not just a lighter version of Maudite or Trois Pistoles, and very well-balanced. Dark fruits are quite prominent, with notes of raisin and dark cherry coming through initially - fairly sweet, but with a nice tartness underlying it all. Next up is some toffee sweetness and dark toasted malts, providing a vaguely milk-chocolatey flavour that is quickly pushed aside by red apples and plums. There's an almost wine-like tartness I can't put my finger on; I really like this feature because it offers a break from the yeast and sweetness. Typical Unibroue clove and banana notes finish us off in familiar territory, leaving a lingering yeasty flavour behind on the palate. Medium-bodied, with fine, intense carbonation that prickles the tongue constantly. Dangerously drinkable at 6.2% - this wine bottle is more than enough for me, but if I were splitting it with someone I could see two or three bottles being necessary.
Final Grade: 3.75, a decent B+ grade. To be honest, I don't really remember if I liked Noire de Chambly the first time I tried it all those years ago - I wasn't truly converted over to craft beer at that point, and while it was a nice change-up from the Bow Valley Strong (I just threw up in my mouth a little), I wasn't exactly clamoring for another bottle. Looking at it today, however, I can see that this is without a doubt a quality Belgian-style dark ale. While their strong dark ales (Maudite, La Terrible, etc.) are undeniably better, this is a good substitute if you're in the mood for a Belgian beer you can have a few glasses of without losing your equilibrium. Worth a try.
10-19-2013 15:30:56 | More by thehyperduck
Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire from Unibroue
83 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.