Brooklyn Cuvée Noire - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Cuvée NoireBrooklyn Cuvée Noire

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

150 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 15
Gots: 43 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-13-2014

Brooklyn Cuvée Noire starts with a solid base of German malts, builds color and flavor from British and American roasted malts, gains rum notes from Mauritius raw sugar, grabs a hint of citrus from sweet orange peel, and then ferments under the flag of Belgium. Our Belgian house yeast lends the beer a gentle spiciness on a dry, brisk palate displaying notes of chocolate, coffee and citrus. Then follows six months in oak barrels, which marries all the flavors while adding overtones of vanilla, coconut, and flowers. Finally
the beer is bottled completely flat and undergoes a full refermentation in the bottle.

Malts: Weyermann Pilsner, Simpsons Chocolate, Crisp Black, Breiss Black Barley
Additions: Sweet Orange Peel
Hops: German Perle, Slovenian Aurora
Yeast: Our special Belgian strain
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 24
Reviews by MattyG85:
Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Brooklyn chalice.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a lot of rising bubbles. Huge three finger light tan head which slowly recedes into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A rich, dark, and fairly sweet dark malt driven aroma with big hints of dark chocolate and bourbon. Upfront barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, coconut, and wood. Belgian yeast with some hints of spice. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, cream, toast, biscuit, grains, and caramel. Citrus fruit hints of orange peel. Sweet hints of candied sugar. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, and cherry. A very good and interesting aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a dark roasty and yeasty malt forward taste with big notes of bourbon and dark chocolate. Big upfront barrel presence with nicely boozy notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, wood, and a little coconut. Dark roasted barley malt with good notes of dark chocolate, coffee bean, burnt toast, cream, grains, biscuit, and sweet caramel. Some citrus notes of orange peel come through. Dark fruit undertones of cherry, raisin, and fig. Sweet notes of candied sugar. Subtle floral hops. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Very creamy, silky, and smooth. Alcohol heat is smoothed out very well.

Overall: A very good twist on a Belgian style Imperial Stout. Good whiskey barrel presence with a nice yeasty chocolate dark malt taste.

More User Reviews:
Photo of therubicon
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boozy, strong bourbon. Undertones of orange and chocolate. The bourbon and boozines really overpowers everything else.

Photo of Gmann
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color with brownish highlights towards the edges. The head is beige and fairly tight, settles into a chunky ring.

Sour oak comes through the strongest in the aroma. The bourbon provides some sweetness. Not much from the malt or the orange peel. Its a nice sour bourbon aroma but lacks a bit of depth.

Big sour oak and a nice bourbon flavor. Not too sour/tart and the bourbon flavor is perfect. The malt is neutral which is a bit disappointing since this is labeled a stout. The Belgian yeast provides some clove and general spice but takes a back seat to the barrel. I don't pick up much of the orange peel, except that there is a subtle hint of fruit. I do get the "rum" pick up from the sugars used even though it is a bourbon barrel. A decent amount of vanilla to go around.

The feel is moderate with prickly carbonation. Sweet and sour on the palate. There is a nice oaky dry finish. Drinks fairly clean for a big beer. The beer could be a little softer.

A nice dry, sour bourbon barreled beer. I wish the malt and yeast popped through a bit more to add some complexity.

Photo of scootny
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tall tower of dark tan foamwith clumps of lace and spots and streaks around the glass. A super dark liquid that earns the name, only the faintest of garnet hues showing through when held up to the light. Smell is luxuriously complex. Candied orange sweetness molasses and chocolate. Notes of coconut, toasted and roasted grains and coffee. Bourbony wrapped alcohol brings a peppery spiciness which brings the orange back and the cycle starts again. Taste is like the nose but better. Raisin and fig sweetness wrap the malt. Vanilla and cherries, along with the mild oak present the dark roasted grains with a mocha character. Finish is mildly bitter and full of mocha and earthy hops. Booze is gently present and very well integrated. It doesn't draw attention while subtly reminding you of the strength of the drink. Feel is lightly carbonated and lightly bodied for a brew of this size. There is a touch of crispness that would generally be out of place in a beer of this type but comes across as well suited to this one. I really like what is going on here. The many components that would create a problem without a unifying part. The bourbon had the potential to overwhelm it but it doesn't. It allows all the players to have their moment while maintaining the integrity of the whole. Well done!

Photo of JamFuel
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Tasted too much of the bourbonbarrels.

Photo of antott0523
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Opaque dark brown with a thick light brown head that leaves some nice lacing. No visible carbonation.

S: A whirlwind of different sweet notes including vanilla, raisins, coffee, and chocolate. There is a lot going on here.

T: A myriad of sweet notes that mirror the nose, such as coffee and chocolate. The booze comes through as rum and vanilla extract. The finish is long with some initial tart notes of burnt sugar and those orange chocolate balls that break when you hit them. Finally, it rolls over into a velvety vanilla flavor.

M: Not too thick, but a velvety mouth feel. Mild carbonation. Some warmth from the alcohol.

D: The beer is relatively complex with a number of different flavors. It is tough to say it does or does not fit the style well, because BB says it does not fit under a particular style. That leaves it to my palate, which is pleased. It's definitely a big beer with a strong boozy presence and a complex flavor profile. It's dark (chocolate and coffee) and light and fluffy (champagne yeast and velvety vanilla) at the same time. I like it. My only criticism is that it is a bit harsh with the booze, and I wonder if it will mellow over time. Probably will head back to pick up another bottle tomorrow for the shelf.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

750 ml caged and corked bottle, Blend #4. Served in a Great Lakes chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stuck around a while. There's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like bourbon, oranges, orange peel, dark fruit (plums, raisins), chocolate, blackberries, vanilla and a sweet sugary flavor that reminds me of brown sugar. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some coffee, wood, peppery spice and coconut. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Pretty easy to drink for being 10.6% ABV, the alcohol is well hidden. I liked this brew a lot, I'm glad I got to try this one. $18.99 a bottle.

Photo of Greywulfken
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: nearly opaque brown pour into a snifter yields a black body of ale, with a fat head of pale foam

S: notes of the bourbon barrels and orange peel merge together atop the dark fruit and cocoa aromas of the malts and yeasts

T: orange peel and figs served up front, bourbon and ethereal vanilla-esque tones slip in quickly; some cocoa and darker but muted fruits beneath, like raisins and plums

M: thin and slick, some carbonated fuzz, some chalky close; slight airs of bourbon barrel vapors and wood

O: I'm very particular when it comes to BSDAs, and while this is a nice beer, it isn't the sort of thing I'd come back to - good for a one and done, and enjoyable enough, but I am not partial to thinner bodied dark ales in general. A nice sipper, 'specially for fans of bourbon barrel aging, dark Belgian ales, and orange (not like orange/citric hops, but rather like orange-dipped-in-chocolate orange, if you know what I mean). Honestly, if the body were fuller and more dense (like an Imperial stout), I'd probably have a better overall review, but the thin body fell a little short for me, and likely affected my overall perception of the beer.

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short off white head that has good retention properties and consistenty left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of rum are present from the Mauritius sugar; these become a bit stronger once the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of rum but is more complex compared to the smell with additional notes of bourbon, dark fruits, dark malts, oak, orange peel, and vanilla. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink considering its strength but has enough complexities to make something you can slowly sip.

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a bubbly dark tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a dark opaque black with shades of purple. The beer smell has strong bourbon and vanilla notes. Other notes include a light sweet orange that gets lost in the other notes. However, the smell gets stronger as the beer warms up. (The result is a much more complex scent.) On closer inspection, the beer also has a slight alcohol smell and roasted malt smell as well as a sugary smell. After letting the beer warm further, a sweet dark chocolate note emerges. The taste strongly resembles the smell. Strong bourbon and light vanilla notes with a bit of alcohol burn. The sweet orange peel is stronger than the smell and the roasted malt flavor is accompanied by a Belgian sugary taste. As with the smell, a dark chocolate taste emerges but gets lost in the bourbon flavor. The mouthfeel is fairly heavy-bodied but smooth and almost slick towards the end of the beer. Biting carbonation. Overall, a decent beer. My main complaint is that the taste is heavily in favor of the bourbon such that it almost mutes out some of the other notes.

Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Black pour with a tan two-finger head. Strong aroma of rum and oak barrels. Flavor is highly alcoholic with bourbon strong upfront. Full bodied. Can also taste vanilla, light roasted coffee, oak, citrus, plum, mild chocolate and rum. Very complex flavor. Finishes with a hint of alcohol and vanilla.

Photo of cvm4
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend #2

L - Pours pitch black, doesn't seem oily thick and has a frothy two finger khaki head. Okay lacing and good retention.

S - Good amount of oak, vanilla, bourbon notes all intertwined with roasted malts and bitter orange peel. Interesting to say the least.

T - Semi sweet chocolate at first that develops into orange peel and oak, which end with bourbon and vanilla elements. There's a light tartness throughout.

F - Medium bodied and high carbonation. Has an odd wet/dry finish. There's a hint of alcohol, but at this level it's not like you can hide much.

O - This is probably an underrated beer because of the mix of styles going on. But, it came together really well and was pleasing to my palate.

Photo of avalon07
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. had a dark brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was an inch of off white, foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of orange peel, chocolate, yeast, malt, and spices.

T: Tasted of malt, Belgian yeast, chocolate, light, mild hops, some spices, and light coffee (this isn't a big component). The advertised bourbon barrel flavor isn't that evident, but does make an appearance. A well balanced flavor that could stack up against most Belgian-made BSDAs.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I was surprised by the low-ish scores this beer got. It is a solidly made, tasty brew. Very much a drinkable beer.

Photo of SFC21
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

Nice orange zest on the nose. Lots of vanilla and barrel, along with the orange. Finishes a bit boozy. Reminded me of an old fashioned. The flavor really came together more as it warmed. Love how the champagne yeast lightens this.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lurking the shadow of the fabled Black Ops, a similar taste, texture and demeanor emerges. This time straddling the fence of what is imperial stout and what is Belgian dark strong ale, the cleverly devised beer then slumbers in bourbon barrels to further enhance such obscurity.

Billowing with a tall column of foam, the dark brown, easily mistaken for onyx beer greets the nose with tangy fruit, enlivens the palate with toasted sweetness and follows with a short peppercorn balance. Its succulence of simply syrup and faint caramel gives a candied taste early on.

Upon the middle palate, a toastier, drier and dedicated red wine flavor pulls from the sweetness with blackberry, red grape, blackcurrant, blueberry- all seemingly of the grilled, cobbler-like variety. This plays out on the underpinnings of light char, cocoa and walnut and coffee grounds.

Peppercorn and oak round out its finish while beer continues to flash off complex bourbon character- coconut, cashew, vanilla, caramel and wood spices keeps the tastebuds guessing but seducing the palate at the same time. Its malty-sweet finish enhances the beer's sipping character and calms the senses with its rummy warmth and tangy spice of Curacao liquor.

Photo of amdg_dtom82
4.71/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A lot going on here, however at 50degrees it all comes together quite well. Really enjoyed the gentle play of orange and chocolate, with a strong but not overpowering boozy warmth that together with the spice of the yeasts cuts what would be an overly sweet malt presentation. Truly enjoyed this.

Photo of stakem
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for the share on this one. 750ml corked and caged poured into a matching Brooklyn snifter. The brew appears a dark mahogany to brown with clarity seen through the lighter edges wheb held to the light. A tan to khaki head 3 fingers strong appears and fades leaving patchy lace. A swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The aroma includes notes of raw oak, bourbon and more tangy booze that for the most part is solvent with the faintest amount of roast/chocolate character as a distant afterthought. The flavor is very linear...its thin and boozy with a raw oak aspect and solvent alcohol. Some mild fruity alcohol pokes through when you attempt to take in more character.

This beer is very much in the same vein as what I remember black ops being. However, this seems watered down, thin and boozy. I dont get much (well, really any) of the advertised adjuncts other than barrel and booze. It sounds like a good beer on paper but the execution was pretty bad. This is not worth the sticker all.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Blend #2

A: Pours a near pitch black color with 2+ fingers of tan head that fades down to a thick cap of streaming bubbles that lasts for a very long time

S: Lightly roasted malts, dark fruits, licorice, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and coffee all lumped into one complex nose. Maybe some dark chocolate in there as well, it's just very complex

T: Follows the nose, with a light vinous tartness added from the champagne yeast. Dark fruits come through first and foremost, followed by the licorice/anise. Bourbon and oak come through mid-palate. Coffee and vanilla somewhat overshadowed by the oak and fruity notes. Finishes with a light bitterness and more fruity and oaky notes

M: Medium bodied with high, bubbly carbonation

O: A little bit of a gusher upon opening, which isn't all that surprising given the champagne yeast. A very complex and interesting brew for sure. Alcohol gets completely lost amongst all of the flavors and the carbonation, which makes it dangerously drinkable. Definitely worth giving a shot even at the $20/750 mL price point

Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a very dark mahogany brown hue with a so so khaki two finger head and tight lacing, the smell is sweet bourbon, slight oak, slight funk and I mean slight along with a sweet malty presence, feel is spot on full bodied moderate carbonation and taste is lots of caramel but not overdone just balanced with the bourbon nicely and finished with a herbal slash citrus bitterness, overall its pretty tasty but exxy and I cant quite place it but something holds this brew from being great cheers.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass from a 25oz. Bottle.

Appearance: Thin brownish black syrup with medium bubbles to the body. One finger's length tan head with a slight uneven lacing.

Smell: Rum scent with notes of fruit. Honestly like soaked raisins in jamaican rum.

Taste: Complex sweet and almost tart like. You feel a rum cask type of taste with a very light bitterness to it. You ask me this is dessert in a glass.

Mouth: Has a bit of sourness to it as it warms up. Full after taste in effect, glass is sitting next to me and I don't need to sip to actually notice how great this grew is. It just likes to linger with you.

Overall: Might be one of Brooklyn Brewery's most prized possessions. You want quality, here it is! Might come at great cost but you will more than likely thank me later. Salud!

Photo of TallSaint
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

October 2nd, 2014

Pours opaque black with a thin but active head that does not dissapate (even at the end of the glass).

Nose is dominated by the bourbon barrel. Lots of oak and vanilla with a touch of coconut. The barrel is the primary player on the nose. Despite this the chocolate-y malt still comes through, this sweetness in the nose is boosted by the sweet orange peel which adds a fruity twist. There are some Belgian phenols here -- a slight medicinal quality -- but you really have to search for it, it's buried under the barrel and the sweet orange/chocolate.

On the palate the sweet chocolate hits first. The midpalate is oaky with a hint of orange but it's still a bit thin on flavor here. The backend is flavor heavy. This beer is weighty in the back. Oaky vanilla melds with the sweet malt. This gives way to a big fruity orange kick (a fruityness likely boosted by some esters thrown off by the yeast but I can't tell, again buried beneath sweetness). Following this the booze says hi in a big way. The finish is hot! The near 11% booze shows here.

It's light on the palate with a gentle but very light carbonation. Mouthfeel is oily.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.68/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is one of the best beers i have ever had, thanks so much to my brother and brother in law for sharing it. i am convinced there is nothing else like this on the market, and if there is, i need to be made aware of it pronto. jet black, matte finish, viscous, dense and abyssal, with just a short inch of off white thick as cool whip head. complexity is littered in this one. notes of both bitter and sweet orange, both flesh and zest, both dry and fresh, adorn the nose and taste with an almost holiday dinner character, and belgian yeast with all its fruity esters adds to this. the malt is dark and dusty, roasty without much bitterness, blacker than most, but no char appears. there seems to be an added sugar too, but not belgian candy, its something else, more mature and patient than i am used to. do you call this thing a stout? im not sure stylistically what it really even is, its so different from anything out. the oak creeps in about mid palate, with spiced vanilla hints and an earthy unifying element. not quite bourbon, but getting there. the yeast somehow cleans up all thats going on in this, and in combination with what must be oats, gives this beer a rich and creamy texture like no other. its pillow soft, but palate coating and long finishing. the citrus tickle of the orange never fading. it improves as it warms, allowing a little booze to show though. it bothers me zero that this may be more suited to winter than summer, i am floored by its depth and quality. a beer i would kill to drink again, truly one of a kind, and absolutely phenomenal.

Photo of rden4654
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

This is an under rated beer I really enjoyed it!!! I would buy again but it is a bit pricy.

Photo of LAND_MINE
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Must be paired. Does not drink as well by itself.

Brooklyn Cuvée Noire from Brooklyn Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.