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Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version) - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version)Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version)

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

76 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 76
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 7
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: palma on 10-13-2010)
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Ratings: 76 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/12/11
*From notes

A: 1/2 finger head and minimal lacing. It's dark and intriguing, with little to no light seeping through this one.

S: Funky Belgium yeast on the nose. Baker's chocolate follows.

T: Grassy, herbaceous up front. Earthy yeast on the mid palate and charred chocolate malt on the finish. It's also easy to detect a boozy undertone on this one.

M: Robust and heavy. It's got a good amount of kick to it, though there feels to be a slight lack of carbonation - probably from the growler.

O: Ahh, something different. Was it awesome? Not really. Was it amazing? Not quite. Was it off the beaten path? Yes.

I've always appreciated what Mr. Oliver and Brooklyn Brewery come up with, as even if it's not game changing, it's always a breath of fresh, crafty air.

Serving type: growler

02-16-2011 22:44:44 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brooklyn Cuvee Noire is dark brown with a solid, heavy-looking brown head. Lacing and retention are both good.

The aroma mixes an aggressive malt profile with big yeast notes. All kinds of dark fruit including figs and grapes, a long with a hint of anise and some peppery phenolics. The malt is lightly roasted, with hints of chocolate and toffee.

Cuvee Noire leads off with a hefty dose of fruit. All kinds of dark fruits with more figs and grapes, mixed with a sugary sweetness. Next the phenols take over, and they are much more powerful than in the aroma. Anise, coriander and general peppery flavors make up this portion of the beer. Next comes an assertive malt profile that has roasted malts, charred sugar, toffee and a little bit of chocolate. The malt, fruit and spiciness are all fairly well balanced, with the fruit perhaps winning by a nose.

Pretty heavy feel in the mouth, but the finish manages to be dry and pleasant.

The sweetness and the fruity flavors a bit overwhelming the more you sip this beer. Pretty good flavor, but not something that I can drink a ton of.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 01:43:22 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of xnicknj


3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a heavy dark color, almost black, with a one finger high tanned head. Retains for a bit while leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

A mix of dark fruit with raisins and figs. Some sweet malty scents with a light dose of caramel.

Plenty of malt up front which is quickly turned around by a wave of dark fruit sweetness. It's not overly sweet, but the raisin/date flavor adds a familiar flavor from other belgian dark ales. Some lighter touches of syrupy molasses. Finishes with a slight flair of boozy warmth.

Somewhat thinner medium body, slightly sticky on the palate. The alcohol is masked pretty well, although I wasn't really into the flavors on this one. Not something I'd get again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2011 01:47:57 | More by xnicknj
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Blue Monk, in Buffalo.

Cuvee Noire looks like one big chocolate-covered raisin. Head on, it's indeed black. But with the encouragement of a little light it discloses traces of prune-like purple and even a little dark scarlet. I'm inclined to think it's transparent even though I can't actually see through it. Flotsam of foam, the wreckage of a once solid head, leave lacing that looks like veins.

The brewery doesn't specify what exact style they were going for - and it's not for certain, doubtful even, that they were going for any particular set style at all - but going on aroma I'd say this is something reminiscent of a Belgian stout. Belgian because it uses Belgian yeast, and stout because it uses a good amount of dark malts. How intuitive, I know.

That fragmentary ingredients list - no specifics were ever disclosed - amounts to smells of dark cocoa, bitter chocolate, pipe tobacco, tart cherries and whole cast of other esters and phenolics. In the taste, however, dark fruits (raisin, plum) dominate and leave a distinctly red wine-like grapiness that happens to be accentuated by a good dose of anise.

A note of pine serum, not the hoppy kind but the cleaning product kind, gives the beer a sharp and alcoholic punch. It fails to pillage anything, however, because there's enough coffee-like roast, brown sugar sweetness, anise-y spice and distinctly Belgian esters to hold down the fort. It is a bit thin, but then again it's a bit of everything.

Brooklyn Cuvee Noire is every bit as intriguing as it sounds. Whatever it is exactly doesn't matter - it's good. And it's only served to make me more jealous that I don't live in an area that sees this brewery's limited releases on a consistent basis (or any basis for that matter). With any luck we'll see this again some day in one of those sleek, corked bottles.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2011 22:58:33 | More by biegaman
Photo of MbpBugeye


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bodega. much nicer looking than I expected, despite the blasted shaker pint. Dense lacing on top of an oatmeal stout black beer. Big nose of belgian dark fruits with some coffee roast. The taste is very fruity with a nice roasty finish. Like an oatmeal stout done up with belgian yeast.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2011 04:26:54 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of ngeunit1


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of tan-brown head. The head faded fairly quickly and left behind some lacing.

S - Strong deep roasted malt aroma. In addition, some nice sweet toffee/caramel notes blended in. Touch of chocolate and dark fruit also mixed in.

T - Starts off with a nice roasted malt flavor with a touch of sweetness and a touch of hop flavor and dark fruit in the background. The deep roasted malts really explode in the middle, again with the perfect amount of sweetness to blend. The finish is a nice sweetness from the dark fruit with just a tinge of alcohol flavor, and these elements linger for a while. Very well balanced beer.

M - Medium to medium-heavy bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly smooth and a touch creamy. The finish is a bit dry and gives the beer a crisp finish.

D - Fairly drinkable. Fairly sweet, which compliments the heavy malt flavors well. The alcohol is fairly well hidden for the fairly high level (8.7% abv).

Serving type: growler

01-19-2011 21:57:54 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of benz08

New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Every description I read about this beer defined it as undefinable. And they were all 100% correct. This beer pours out a deep dark black with a nice creamy, foamy head. To a casual observer the first thing that comes to mind is stout. There is a nice roasted malt smell, but also a good hoppy smell that confuses you. Upon the first sip you're completely dumbfounded. It has a rich hop profile of the best imperial IPA, the roasted malty flavor of a nut brown ale, the sweetness of a belgian, and the creamy smoothness of a stout. This beer is incredibly complex and dangerously drinkable at 8.7% ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2011 06:34:58 | More by benz08
Photo of PBoegel

New York

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Brewery tap room. This beer is NOT a Belgian Strong Dark, that is an entirely incorrect label. Strong Stout or Imperial Stout brewed with Brooklyn's Belgian Yeast house strain is what describes it best.

Poured into tap room serving cups (they are plastic so it made that appearance a bit difficult to completely ascertain) very dark black with some red highlights touches of deep woody brown tones, with a mocha colored head, which looks good, hard for it to sit up in the cup. Poured relatively cold as well.

Aromas are rich dark fruit, plums, blackberry, blueberry pie. Some slight roastiness and touches of peppery yeast phenols, but the nose is dominated by fruit. No detection of alcohol in the nose, well fermented.

Tastes are complex mix of tart dark cherries, blackberries, some touches of roasted coffee and cocoa powder, yeasty phenols played low in the mix, could have been the cool temperature of the pour. Again alcohol is extremely well hidden. Nice bitterness in the finish.

Medium body led by fruitiness vs. grainy and ashen character that accompanies stouts, no dark roasted astringency, a bit less full than I might have anticipated based on the appearance. Finish is a bit sweet.

Very drinkable the yeast and malt character interplay nicely, the alcohol is deeply hidden and the flavor and particularly the aromas are very inviting. A very tasty dark ale with wonderful fruit character, would be fantastic contrast to sweet and salty dishes such as a glazed ham and certainly would pair well with fruit based desserts from Cherry Pie to tarts and blintzes.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 15:12:14 | More by PBoegel
Photo of shirfan

New York

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler fill poured into a 22oz Perfect Pint.

Black, black, black... just a few hints of ruby at the thinnest parts of the glass. Light tan head with some decent lacing.

Aroma of prunes, plums, brown sugar... and a bit of floral perfume. Lillies?

Taste: Sweet malts take center stage and never leave. More dried fruit, raisins and prunes, brown sugar, and a hint of molasses. I don't feel that this beer is overly sweet, but it does have a very low bitterness. I don't get many estery, Belgian-esque flavors either.

Mouthfeel is acutally a bit light and drinkable, ABV is well hidden.

I'd describe this as something like a scotch ale with dopplebock malts, not a dark saison. Good, but weird.

Serving type: growler

01-09-2011 01:37:30 | More by shirfan
Photo of emerge077


3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into a tapered pub glass it has plenty of sticky tan foam that laces in concentric rings. Dark in color, almost black with a rusty glint of red in the light. Billed as a "dark saison" on the beer list at Owen & Engine, but i'd disagree with that categorization.

Sweet nose, dark fruit, plum and mild cocoa. First few sips it comes off as more earthy with some raw roasted grains up against the fruitiness of the Belgian yeast. Some residual herbal bitterness, fairly well integrated. Pretty sweet and estery, not especially my cup of tea. Could be a bit more dry and bitter in that sense. Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Overall it's not well defined as a saison, but it's a solid Belgian style ale regardless of style. A bit too sweet and sticky to be a saison, as a BSDA it's just ok.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 02:37:56 | More by emerge077
Photo of blackie


3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: served in a brooklyn snifter, essentially black in color, with a well retained layer of carbonation

s: darker chocolate and black malt flavors, sweet but not over the line, dark fruits, spicy yeast profile, enjoyable and with reasonable balance

m: carbonation lighter but smooth, body on the heavier end of medium

t: a little on the sweet side with chocolate and black malts, some darker fruits, subtler yeast profile, papery hop flavors, more smooth than darkly "roasty"

d: no problems here, seen a few examples of this sub-style go terribly wrong, so this one's something of a relief, the abv doesn't show anywhere

draft at Tyler's, Durham

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2011 03:12:13 | More by blackie
Photo of biglite351


2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - considerable orange around the edges. Creamy near white head.

S - typical sweet Belgian. Molasses, fruit and ... soap?

T - sweet mixed fruit and molasses with Belgian yeast.

M - medium coating with a tingle on front sides of tongue.

D - maybe just one, not really my thing.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2010 02:39:32 | More by biglite351
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at "Founding Farmers" in DC on Christmas Eve.

A: Poured abysmally dark, with about a two finger dark brown head that when it withered away, looked like sawdust on top of hardwood. The lacing was ridiculous!

S: Upfront bittersweetness, with tons of prunes, raisons, dates, molasses, brown sugar, and little more than a hint of chocolate.

T: It was almost as if some sick brewmaster poured a fresh bag of candy sugar into the brew at every stage of its production. The dark fruit, molasses hit the palate hard and didn't let go. It finished about the same way it started - intensely sugar glazed!

M: Syrupy and very icky. The carbonation was moderate, but it couldn't compete with this candied malt bomb.

D: When I ordered this, the bartender told me it was a stout. After a few sips I began to suspect that something else was up. The was nothing "dark roasty" about this. I appreciate it and respect it (as I do all of Brooklyn's stuff), but I honestly didn't care much for it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2010 00:52:12 | More by Chaney
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Relatively recently at Rattle 'N Hum, NYC. Poured a dark reddish-orange, modestly cloudy, with one finger of white that didn't retain or lace very well. Smelled of apricot, raisin, plum, and alcohol. No new insight came from the taste, other than a very sweet, alcoholic finish. A little on the thick side, with nearly no carbonation. Didn't taste bad, but didn't knock my socks off either.

Btw, after reading some of the other reviews, it sounds like I may have been mis-served, as my description sounds nothing like the rest. My apologies. Just another strike against RNH.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2010 00:03:07 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of megahurts4


3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn Cuvee Noire on tap at The Avenue Pub, New Orleans, LA

Appearance: dark brown/black, small to no head, and a little lacing.

Smell: wheat, yeast, and licorice.

Taste: wheat sourness and slight grain.

Mouthfeel: medium.

A nice wheat. It isn't extremely complex, but still retains a great deal of flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2010 20:44:28 | More by megahurts4
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with lighter highlights at the edges. The head is big and airy but settles quick into a light ring.

The aroma is of light milk chocolate and cocoa from the malt which is complimented by some medicinal notes from the yeast. Nice aromas of clove and horse blanket give this beer the distinct belgian characteristics.

The taste is much of the same. Milk chocolate, cocoa, and some wood from the malt. However, the yeasty phenols seem to be more hidden within the malt. Some light clove pops through to give the beer a "spice" flavor but its not very distinct. The beers seems to need a shot of candi sugar to get the flavors going. Some green apple sour flavors in the end.

The feel is light with soft to tingly carbonation. It sits sweet on the palate but is balanced by an odd chalky and sour feel.

I am a bit disappointed in this beer. It has some promise but needs a bit of tweaking. Perhaps some more yeasty goodness and more carbonation to give it a bite.

Serving type: growler

12-23-2010 02:51:42 | More by Gmann
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A black with garner highlights when held up to the light a half
Finger of white head some lacing.

S the nose is a little tight some roast and.chocolate but not much else

T reminds.me of a more complex.version. of allagash black lots of toast and.sweetness from the yeast is going strong but everything else is meh

M very light for.the style carbonatio is a little.high

D easy drinking but not enough.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2010 23:28:21 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of jsanford


3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA on 12/11/10

A - Pours a very dark shade of brown with a thin ring of ivory head. Leaves no lacing.
S - Dark malt, chocolate, banana, clove and coffee. There's a lot going on in this one.
T - Very close to the nose and then some. Basically a dark, roasty stout with a Belgian yeast strain, this one reminds me a lot of Stone VE 09-09-09. Very well-balanced.
M - Smooth and silky medium body with moderate carbonation.
D - Pretty drinkable, the nice carbonation and the complexities of the yeast help this from being too heavy or sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 04:27:48 | More by jsanford
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bocktown this evening

A- Body is a slightly translucent nearly completely black hue. Served with a thin off-white head that remains pretty well but leaves no lacing behind in the glass.

S- Nose is mild to moderate in strength. It offers a lot of plum, a hint of cherry and Belgian sugar sweetness and a hint of smoke.

T- Flavor is similar to the nose and mild to moderate in strength. Plum and a hint fo cherry upfront initially with a nice mild spiced backbone. Finish is similar to the initial flavor but the spiciness intensifies and a hint of smmoke is added-but other than that is clean with nothing but a very mild alcohol heat lingering.

M- Medium carbonation and a quite drinkable medium weight body.

D- This brew has BSDA written all over it and makes a nice holiday brew with the hint of cherry and spices. The overall character to this is mild and it is somewhat complex-but not nearly as complex as its Belgian counterparts. Overall this is a pretty good brew and well done by Brooklyn.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2010 01:57:25 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a small white head. In the aroma, cinnamon and licorice. In the taste, cinnamon, anise, roasty malts and a licorice hint. A small spice bite and medium to large bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice and licorice aftertaste. Nice flavor, I bet a bottle would age nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2010 19:53:52 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter shade of brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is bizarre, a mixture of lavender and soap, with some chalkiness, herbal hops, a little roast and fruity belgian esters. The flavor also has a weird medicinal vibe, with funky esters, lavender, soap and a bit of roastiness and dark fruit, along with spices and an alcohol bite. The mouthfeel is light and drinkability is decent. This gets much better as it warms, but it's still a bit of a dissapointment as the belgian yeast and spicing are just not meshing in this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2010 01:27:08 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of danielplainview


4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice tan head with great lacing.

I thought the smell was quite amazing. So complex with fruit aroma's but a beefy malty backbone.

Tastes like it smells. Complex with more fig coming across with all the chocolate/mocha/coffee stuff going on that you would expect.

Mouthfeel is cleaner than I expected with this style. I like it as it portends to greater drinkability for me personally.
It drinks great and I don't get any booziness from this one. I drinks almost too well. I had two over sized glasses and i was feeling it. But its truly a great beer. One of my new favorites from my favorite brewery. I hope they put this in 750 ML's and keep it around.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2010 15:13:51 | More by danielplainview
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Fat Head's in Pittsburgh. Pours almost black with a wispy ring of tan head. Smell is light, but fruity--reminiscent of some good BSDAs. Clove, dark fruit, some maltiness to it too. Flavor profile is nice... all the flavors are well-balanced. Nothing takes over. Dark fruits intermingle with some more roasty flavors with all overlay some subtle yeast notes of clove and banana. Body is slightly light, good drink. A nice one here from Brooklyn.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 03:54:14 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm


4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 28 November 2010, on tap at the Tap & Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Served in a 10oz snifter upon request, appears a light chocolate brown in the light, 1-finger head literally overflowing in the glass, head is beige, head reduces to a permanent thin film with rich initial lacing that turned out to be a little runny, and then later down the glass the lacing looked like carefully woven drapes.

Taste is spectacular. I'm not typically a fan of Belgian styles, but this beer puts out on the first date and I'm quite impressed. Reminds me of a tripel, although I'm no expert yet with Belgians. I don't get any tastes of raspberry except for the aftertaste, which is sooo mysterious.

WHAT THE HELL? There is no raspberry but it's telling my brain that there is some. I don't get it....whatever.... there you go, high marks. The Belgian yeasts overwhelm the nose while lightly toasted malts and a touch of chocolate flirt with the palate. Slightly bitter coffee tones hang out with the palate between sips. This beer renewed my faith in Belgian styles. I would love to try this again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2010 02:41:44 | More by ToAzwethinkweizm
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black in color with a 1 finger creamy tan head that faded quickly and left very good lacing sticking all over the glass and a ring or cream around the top - looks like a stout.

Smells of roasted malt, toasted grains, cocoa, caramel, molasses, burnt wood or like it was barrel aged, maybe a hint of nut and light yeast; very light yeast aroma considering this is a Belgian style ale.

Tastes like it smells, with smoky malts, toasted grains, liqorice, dark fruit like date, caramel, syrup, vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, burnt wood and mild yeast; it had the funky penny taste from the yeast at the end. Overall smoky robust flavor that is complex and well balanced.

Mouthfeel is thin with light carbonation, a medium body and a metallic finish on the dry side. The beer and experience of it gets better as it warms, and I would definitely have this again. Recommend trying this nice offering from Brooklyn, which has a good kick to it that you can feel after one beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2010 06:01:14 | More by CHickman
Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version) from Brooklyn Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.