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Noir Black Belgian Barleywine - Sand Creek Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Noir Black Belgian BarleywineNoir Black Belgian Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

31 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 31
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 17.17%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: WastingFreetime on 01-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 11
Reviews by brentk56:
Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Looks rather like a Stout, with black liquid capped by a rocky tan head that leaves a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Barley, pine and charcoal

Taste: Just a hint of caramel sweetness in the front, and then the pine and char flavors burst forward in the middle; a real tug of war, after the swallow, with just a smidge of dark fruit peaking through; the finish was dominated by the char

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation; quite a bit of warmth in the gullet

Overall: An interesting idea but not very well executed, I am afraid; the flavors really clash and the Belgian element, other than in the mouthfeel is really missing

Thanks, joshuaseresse, for the opportunity

More User Reviews:
Photo of NilocRellim
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of richkrull
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of jdkitchi
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 4 pack from Woodman's and tried one right away. I assume this was very fresh.

This poured jet black with an excellent head and kept a thick creamy lacing.

The smell was mostly American hop forward, slight amount of dark malt and even slighter Belgian yeast smell.

The mouth feel was thick and creamy. The taste is similar to the smell. Very much pine/citrus hop taste, a slight dark malt taste, the Belgian yeast is just perceptible and at 10% ABV, the alcohol is perceived also.

Overall a good beer but a little more hoppy than expected. I would rather have had the dark malts and Belgian yeast flavors come through more. This beer would probably be better aged. I'm going to cellar the other 3 bottles for a while before I try this again.

Photo of kbuzz
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz botte into a snifter. Couldn't find a date of any kind. Big ups to atone315 for this bottle!

A: doesn't much look like a barleywine...pours very, very dark...not quite black and is almost fizzy looking at first...then the head settles to a more puffy, creamy looking head that actually sticks around. Good bit of lacing. Although not what I'd expect from a barleywine, this is still a pretty beer.

S: Now I know it's a barleywine...getting figs, plums, raisins...brown sugar, molasses...a touch of toffee and a smidge of char...mostly confectionary sweetness. No hop profile - def an English style version (athough the label says Belgian). Nice aroma overall.

T/M: Taste follows the nose, but is more muted - the dark fruits and sticky sweetness are there, but are unpronounced and not all that complex...a little thin...low carbonation which is appropriate.

O: Not a bad beer at all, but not overly exciting. Couldn't quite pick up on anything especially "Belgian"...seems to be just an average version of an English Barleywine, with just a touch more char than you normally get. I dug it.

Photo of Rutager
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a dark brown, close to black in the glass with half a finger of dark khaki, thick head that fades to a collar pretty quickly.

S. Bourbon, caramel and toffee, some sweet smelling (candied?) hops with pine and citrus rinds, and some milk chocolate.

T. Caramel and bourbon, some sweetness but not sugary or anything, citrus rinds with some oily bitterness that kind of builds.

M. Pretty full body, medium low carbonation.

O. Thinking this might improve with age, let the hops fade a bit more and it might be great.

Photo of CWhite
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of Troville1990
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of martyl1000
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A deep mahogany pour that turns opaque and black as the glass fills. Small tan head, with lots of lacing.

Surprising sweet cocoa in the aroma.

Drinks like a black IPA: very roasty, with a delicious hop bitterness. Reminds me of Lakefront IBA, though bigger.

Totally not getting the barley wine angle, certainly not from the flavors in the mouth. Nor the Belgian angle. If they'd called this a black IPA, I'd have scored it higher.

Carbonation is too sharp and high for a BW. Though definitely drinkable, especially for 10% abv.

Certainly a tasty brew. Nice to have this kind of experimentation to mix things up.

Photo of coz
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of AmandaSchaefer
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of Tinkerm
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of Duff27
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Noir is called a "Black Belgian Barleywine Style Ale" on the label, which at first glance seems like a recipe for a lot of style clashing... lets see how well it tastes.
Vintage 2011 (end of year release)

A. Just a tiny shade browner than the blackness of a Guiness in color, one finger of a tan colored barleywine-styled fizzy soda head that collapses to a surface slick in about a minute, minimal lacing.

S. The aroma is very much foremost all about the Belgian spectrum, with nearly *too* much Fruit Stripe bubblegum aroma front and center. It takes some effort to get behind all the fruity ester smell and find some milk stout malt aroma lurking around in the background. I can't seem to find any hopping emphasis to the aroma in there at all. Smells as though it would taste cloyingly sweet, I'm hoping it doesn't. If the beer were to be adjusted to my personal fantasy of what a 'Black Barleywine' ought to smell like, it would need the roasted and/or bittering aromas in the nose boosted to about 160% of what it currently is. But that's just my tastes, and YMMV, etc.

T. Taste is a lot more balanced than the nose would suggest, but still leans somewhat too far into sweetness for me. There are definite strong profiles of a milk stout in here blended together with elements seemingly plucked from richer sweeter doppelbocks, and I can't really find even the slightest amount of booziness in there at all. Bittering elements are indeed present in the flavor, similar to what I find in an American Black Ale...but never really combines with the thinly present black malt burnt bitterness to produce what I would consider appropriate for a Barleywine as young as this bottle is. Instead I get more Belgian prunes and figs on brown sugar watering down my roastiness and bittering.

M. Lighter medium body, no oiliness, does really well at avoiding alcoholic booziness....has the same oxymoron "thin-yet-creamy" texture I often get out of the lactose in milk stouts. I have no idea if lactose has actually been used in this brew....but it sure tastes and feels as though it has been.

In summary, this one seems to be a really interesting idea marred by less than perfect execution. With just a little bit of tweaking and adjustment, this one could be something really special next time it gets released!

Photo of Fluffmeister
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of uwmgdman
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours nearly black with a faint garnet hue when held to a bright light. The head is khaki colored and diminished to just a thin skim. The aroma is dominated by spicy/fruity esters, bittersweet chocolate and a bit of booze, pretty inviting. The flavor is initially bittersweet chocolate malt and esters/phenols with some booze. The finish is rather dry, slightly tart, but pleasantly so with a lingering malt presence. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, carbonation moderate, bordering on moderate/high. Overall a tasty beer, that defies a traditional classification, worth picking up a 4 pack.

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes December 11 2011.

I bought this because I have never heard of or tried a belgian barlywine.

Pours a nice black color. Almost no head.

Smell is faint, a little chocolate and alcohol.

Taste is really nice kind of chocolate, nice malt, a good hop bite, no alchohol to speak of. You get a nice belgian flavor aswell that works well.

Mouthfeel is nice.

I would reccommend this if you can get this in your area. I called the brewer who informed me it was around 10% and good for cellaring incase you are interested.

Photo of kawilliams81
2.09/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a D'Achouffe tulip.

A- Pours near black with 2 finger mocha head, and lacing that stays on the the glass.

S- Faint roasted malts, some sweetness, and booze.

T- Just a mess! Some roasted/chocolate malts, some bitterness but the middle and finish just tastes terrible. Lots of off flavors, metallic, soap. No real Belgian characteristics to this beer.

M- Medium body with a higher carbonation. Off flavors make this near impossible to drink.

O- No idea how this is rated above a 3! Whatever they were trying to achieve just didn't work and this beer should have not been released!

Photo of livingtodie
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of drpimento
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this at a good temperature with a huge, foamy, frothy, billowy, light tan head that lasts forever and some lace. Color is a clear mahoganey with a few bubble trails. Aroma is hop, malt, roast, fruit, hint of licorice. Flavor is similar to nose, very smooth, on the mild side, fairly dry up front, then bitter, fruity, and a little carbonic tang. Body & carbonation are good. Finish alternates bitter/sweet, long and boozy. Fairly drinkable except, I suspect the strength.

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Noir Black Belgian Barleywine from Sand Creek Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.