Grande Noirceur
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #265
Ranked #4,122
4.09 | pDev: 8.56%
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada
Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur
Notes: The Grande Noirceur (Great Darkness) is a dense black beer with robust roasted flavours. Its imposing bitterness is balanced by the presence of complex malted, caramel notes. It takes its name from the conservative policies of mid-century Quebec. The Grande Noirceur was born at our Montreal brewpub in March of 2004.
Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 453 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of micada
micada from New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Almost 5 years old Dieu du Ceil Grande Noirceur Imperial Stout.

October 2015 bottle poured cool and fast to a tulip glass. Very fragrant chocolate upon opening the bottle. Pours a dark cola brown, with just a thin persistent ring. It has a very prominent roastiness, teetering on the flavor of a rauschbier, thought not THAT strong. Maybe a tiny, faint hoppiness on the very tip of it, but that gives way to a huge 80% cacao malty backbone with more roastiness all around. Its 9% ABV is no slouch, and it tastes even bigger than that...very hot presence, but not distracting. It’s a dominant flavor made for sipping. I took one big mouthful, and it is a bully. It lacks finesse, but oozes a confident stout core.

I don’t think there are any adjuncts in this, and I don’t think it has any barrel aging. I might be wrong. It’s very solid as is.

Sep 26, 2020
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metter98 from New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of licorice are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and is mostly dominated by flavors of black licorice and has notes of dark and roasted malts. There is a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This Russian Imperial Stout is has a lot of licorice in it and is quite dry and bitter.

Serving type: bottle

Apr 14, 2020
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2015-10-29.
Pours tar black with light film of a tan head.
Malt, coffee, hop bitterness, dark fruits in the nose.
Taste follows the nose. Baker’s chocolate, black licorice, roasty bitterness, caramel, dark fruits, burnt marshmallow. Great roasty taste!
Oily, medium mouthfeel.
Worth the wait!

Apr 10, 2020
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lmaduells from Spain

4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer that I liked. The brewery that makes this product seems to be served with high quality. And this is an example. I liked the balance of beer, complying with the style standards. L label and the name, an enchantment.

Sep 12, 2019
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avalon07 from South Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was a thin, tan-colored, creamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Not much lacing here.

S: An oddly mild aroma of roasted malt, coffee, char, dark fruit, chocolate, and caramel.

T: Tasted of a bit of dark chocolate (less than expected), a whole lot of roasted malt (the dominant element here), a good amount of char, light caramel, a hint of dark fruit (raisins, in particular), and a little coffee. Like the aroma, the flavor is much milder than expected. Not bad, but needs a little boost.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a dry, smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An uneven beer, but it has some good qualities. Worth a look.

Aug 01, 2019
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mikeinportc from New York

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated 2015/10/29

Dark cola-brown, with very slight tan head.

Smell is roasty malt, plus a little black coffee & bitter chocolate.

Taste is char, roasted malt, and dark chocolate, similar to chocolate liqueur , but not sweet. There is just a touch of sweetness mid-taste. Finishes with light lingering bitterness.

Feel is medium oily, with light, very fine carbonation.

Overall, quite good. l would like to try it at a younger age, but it is just fine at 3+ years old.

Feb 18, 2019
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours jet black in color with a one-finger creamy dark tan head that has good retention after the pour

S- robust roasted and charred malt aromas give notes of burnt coffee and dark chocolate, as well as undertones of graham cracker, anise, burnt brown sugar & faded herbal hops

T- bold roasted malt follows the nose with immediate notes of char, coffee roast, molasses, dark fruits & anise. Mid-palate brings out some caramel sweetness, the finish gives more bitter roast and charred malt notes

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky, slightly warming finish

O- bold, bitter & roasty, just as a RIS should be

Sep 06, 2018
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin brown head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted and biscuit malt with light char, light chocolate and coffee, a bit boozy with an odd isopropyl note. Flavor is dark toasted malt, quality coffee, dark and mild chocolate, hints of caramel and vanilla. Lingering dark malt, chocolate and vanilla, nice. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. A flavorful, full bodied Russian imperial stout with great coffee and chocolate flavors. Balanced and robust throughout the taste. I'm really happy to find Dieu Du Ciel brews back on our market. It is one of my early experiences with big beers and I've always been a fan of their stouts, Scotch ales and big Belgians. Glad to get to try this one and I'll be back have this again.

Jun 22, 2018
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Inky black with a finger of brown head that settles out in a short time. Spotty lacing.

S: Dark and dense fudge, German chocolate cake, brownie batter, dark chocolate truffles. Roasty. Dark roast coffee. Hints of black currant and plum.

T: Roasty up front with a lot of French roast coffee, char, and smoke. Bitter dark chocolate abounds. Dark chocolate fudge and double chocolate cake. Very slight hints of darkfruit at its core. Lingering roasty finish.

M: Thick and heavy in the mouth. Full bodied, coating, and chewy as hell. You could cut this with a fork and knife. Fine but stiff carbonation has a firm prickling feel on the tongue and scrubs a bit.

O: Russian Imperial Stouts really don't get any better than this. This is textbook, and absolutely delicious! This brewery is so under the radar it isn't even funny. Peche Mortel may get some good praise, but there are several beers they make that I'd personally put ahead of it, and this is one. If you're a style purist, this is your nirvana.

Jun 05, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black with a copper hue near the edge when held to the light. Topped with a cherry red foam.

Smells of dark toasted malts, bananas, black liquorice, vanilla, chocolate liquor, and umami soy sauce.

Tastes sweet, with dark toasted, chocolate notes, tar, and a soft char on the finish. Cherries and fruitiness are all through it, and floral notes as well.

Medium, smooth and foamy body. Covers the alcohol well.

Got this in Barrie, ON, drinking it in Northern Ontario Nov 30th, 2017. Very good brew. Even not being my favourite style, I love the brewery, and really enjoy the smoothness of this brew.

Nov 30, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a nice looking dark brown color coming close to black with a thin cap of a little dark eggshell white foamy head that slid off at a mild pace. Just a little bit of some concave lace ran here and there.
The aroma shaped a wonderful blend of milk to dark chocolate sweet to bitter and refined roasty bliss. Light amount of some dark fruity sweetness and a touch of dried black licorice (the sweet side of it).
The flavor lead with the roastiness covering a little bit of the spicy part of the "black licorice" and pulled in a dry bitter dark chocolate edge that seemed to add a bit of dark bread/toast to dryly meet in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation was a bit under, but I think this was an aged bottle. ABV did feel as projected. Lots of roasty grip beating at my tongue super dry, but I didn't mind too much.
Overall, it's a very nicely done imperial stout that I would love to have again.

Nov 17, 2017
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eberesford from Canada (ON)

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with reddish highlights ar the edge of the glass. The .5cm head dissipates rather quickly leaving a thinnish irregular film that leaves modetate lacing. Aromas: liquorice, dark chocolate, dark fruit; especially prune, some toffee. Flavour: black coffee, burnt toast, could do with a touch more sweetness on the palate. No intrusive alcohol warmth despite the abv. Decent legth, medium bodied so a little on the light side for style. Still very interesting - very drinkable.

Nov 10, 2017
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threeviews from Florida

4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 11.5oz (330ml) bottle with a twist-off crown(!) into a Teku 2.0 stemmed glass.

A - With the exception of some deep mahogany colors seeping through at the edges of the glass, the beer pours pitch black with a coffee colored head approaching 1-finger with minor retention. (4.25)

S - Baker's chocolate, Burndt Coffee, Molasses and a hint of dark fruit (raisin and prune). Not terribly complex, but a Russian Imperial Stout with all the trimmings. No alcohol in the nose (4.5)

T - Big coffee roast dominates with some baker's chocolate and some treacle rounding things out. Dark fruit sweeetness is countered quite handidly by the roasted malt bitterness. Like the nose, no alcohol infiltrates the palate. (4.75)

M - 9% ABV is not the most burly for an Imperial Stout and it is felt most prominently in the mouth. It features a medium body and with the heavy helping of roasted malts intensifies the bitterness and increases its drinkability. The carbonation also helps to scrub any residual sweetness from the palate and inviting another sip. (4.5)

O - At ~$4.50 a bottle, the value/flavor profile is pretty good and have no problem with that pricepoint here in The States. This is a well conceived beer and sports enough complexity to make it interesting. However, the mouthfeel is a bit thin leaving me a little abandoned. However, the heavy dose of roasted malt and residual bitterness makes this an enjoyable Imperial Stout. That said, I will still prefer the over-the-top flavor profile of Peche Mortel. (4.5)

Nov 05, 2017
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josanguapo from Spain

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Bierkraft. In Teku glass. Watching Stranger Things 2x03. With caña lomo. Very roasted and bitter, with light sweetness and light notes of licorice and metal, but in general very well balanced and pleasant.

Nov 05, 2017
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

341 mL bottle from an LCBO 4-pack that I purchased in late winter/early spring; dated Oct 5 2016 and served barely chilled.

This utterly opaque, jet black stout comes complete with a half-inch of frothy, tan-coloured foam that persists upon the surface for more than ten minutes. A smooth, thick coat of lacing is deposited as it slowly recedes at its seemingly infinitesimal pace; this looks fantastic to me. I'm getting molasses, licorice, fig, prune and plenty of rich, roasted malts on the nose - cocoa, dark chocolate, mocha coffee and perhaps a hint of burnt wood. Buried amidst it all is a faintly noticeable whiff of ethanol.

Borderline hedonistic; this imperial stout makes for an undeniably pleasurable quaff as its flavours of dark fruit, roasted malts and molasses sweetness sweep across the taste buds with each sip. Baker's chocolate and coffee grounds are quite prominent, while notes of plum, fig and date blend more into the background. A hint of vanilla is also discernable, with subtle suggestions of smoke and charred wood; altogether considered, it might seem surprising to learn that this stout never saw the inside of any sort of spirit barrel. The sip concludes with bitter cocoa, herbal licorice and a touch of alcohol; the latter facet also warms the throat a bit as you make your way through the glass. Full-bodied, with very mild carbonation that weakly agitates the palate's surface; it feels slick, smooth, and satisfying as you sip it.

Final Grade: 4.31, an astounding A grade. Dieu du Ciel's Grande Noirceur is everything that a Russian Imperial Stout should be, with an intense, roasted malt-driven front end, succeeded by a firm, moderately bitter back end that includes a slight alcohol burn. This is an imperial stout that looks, smells, feels, and tastes the part, checking all of the boxes while avoiding any pitfalls worth noting. I would not hesitate to purchase another 4-pack of this, and would encourage all stout-loving BAs to treat it in a similar fashion.

Oct 14, 2017
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hanuswalrus from Illinois

4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on date is 10/24/16. Pitch black in appearance. Not quite motor oil consistency, but looks relatively thick on the pour. Nice brown head. Aroma is a lot of roast, with some leather, tobacco, bitter chocolate and coffee as well. Flavor is much of the same that the nose has. A very roasty, bitter beer with some charred, ashy flavors. Has a nice lingering bitterness that sits on the tongue. Mouthfeel is nice. Not chewy, but satisfying for an Imperial Stout. Just enough sweetness to keep it from becoming acrid. I like this beer quite a bit.

Sep 26, 2017
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TheBierdimpfe from Canada (QC)

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Aged around 8 months: Opaque black. Creamy brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with strong lacing but not much legs nor swirl effect. Flavors of dark grains, walnuts, wood, raisins, plums, coffee, cocoa, toffee, vanilla, and herbal hops. Silky light creamy medium body with a light crisp. Strong strength finish, impressive barrel aging effect, with some rauch style smoked hops. A bit leathery with a moderate earthy feel, some brown sugar and cinnamon. Lightly sour from the aging process although manageable. The smell is highly alcoholic but hidden in the mouthfeel, though a highly warming brew that is not overly dry nor lacking much freshness. Rich and densely flavorful, superb balance and intensity, deep complexity although shy in the smell department. Makes a really nice appetizer, yet easy to drink in big quantities. Overall superb quality craft.

Sep 14, 2017
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(11.5 oz bottle, bottled on 2016-10-24... poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: chocolate-milk brown, tight, tall pad of foam, with random craters strewn about... pretty much opaque black liquid... bottle was a twist-off, which I only noticed while in the process of prying off the crown the a bottle opener... the foam did fall slowly, scattered webs of lace

S: thin chocolate syrup/ganache with a mild highlight of charcoal-y roast, lightly-burnt wood grain... with underlying dessert-sweet tones, its malty constitution projects to be dense and layered... not very much boozy or hop notes, if any... overall, intense malt awaits?

T: good bit of bold, ashy char and crazy potent roasty bitterness in the finish, with a very delicate dark bitter cocoa note lingering... as expected, dense malty backbone, but any outstanding flavor mostly confined to a narrow spectrum of high-order crystal malt - toasty raisin and currant, extra dry

F: light-medium bodied - compact muscle, but lacking roundness... mildly scraping finish with some peppery heat simmering across the palate - allows/begs some rest between sips... damn dry...

O: one of the more intensely roasty/bitter porter/stout I've ever had - sort of reminds me of a less-nuanced, more-bracing Sinebrychoff... this begs for some sweet, rich, dark-fruit filled chocolate candy to balance/fill out its relatively rough, one-note punch

Aug 01, 2017
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Amguerra305 from Florida

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours almost like a cross between motor oil and syrup and no head lingers in the glass. Smell is toasty with a little bit of chocolate, coffee, and just a bit of sweetness coming across as vanilla for some reason. Pretty spot on for the style with the added nuance of vanilla. The taste is more roast forward than the smell would suggest. There is a bit of sweetness in the nose that is altogether lost in the taste. More burnt acrid RIS than sweet and smooth. It starts strong and bold but it tapers off at the end. Feel is thick with not much carbonation which increases the silky feel. Overall this is a solid and good RIS but not stellar for my tastes.

Jun 27, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau stout glass.

Look is pitch black with a tan head.

Aroma is roasted malt with a slight astringency.

Taste is thick and bitter roast malt.

For a beer with a bit of age on it this beer has held up incredibly well.

Jun 18, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.5 oz. bottle dated 10-24-2016

Pours black with a creamy tan brown foam head. Smells like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, smoky roasted toasted bready malts, caramel, brown sugar, dark molasses, espresso coffee, some dark fruits, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like dry dark bitter baking chocolate, vanilla, smoky roasted toasted bready malts, caramel, brown sugar, dark molasses, black espresso coffee, some dark fruits, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice imperial stout.

Apr 11, 2017
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355 ml bottle served cool into a chalice. Purchased from the LCBO for $13.80 CDN for a 4 pack or $3.45 CDN per bottle.

Appearance - black, inky colored beer with a small half finger of tan head. Immense darkness so no details about carbonation and haze levels. Certainly ominous.

Smell - Cacao nibs, hints of licorice blended in with dark chocolate. Subtle sweetness, but mostly on the more bitter malty side. Lots of treacle and molasses perhaps.

Taste - Big an malty, blend of burnt malts, some coffee, dark chocolate, but a little more licorice and anise profile than others in the style. Completely up my alley and one of the best tasting imperial stouts out there. Plenty of smoke for good measure.

Mouthfeel -Smooth and velvety, body is medium-heavy, carbonation is robust and the finish is dry.

Overall - An amazing imperial stout that stacks up nicely with some of the best south of the border. Definitely worth the expenditure of a 4 pack, and I'm thinking about picking up some more to enjoy in the warmer weather, when the odd cool night hits.

Apr 10, 2017
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an inky black color with no head.

Aromas of soy sauce and rotten smoked meats. Light aromas of chocolate behind that.

Flavor is extremely hoppy for the style, I can basically taste the bittering hops used, and behind that some heavy roast and smoke, light coffee and dry cooca. Some of the soy sauce element comes out to play as well.

Heavily carbonated for the style which helps the drinkability but doesn't do much for retaining thickness. Dry, acidic and bitter finish.

Overall, it's a stout I'll definitely pass on from now on. Not a big fan at all.

Mar 30, 2017
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GuitarIPA from Connecticut

4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle at Armsby Abbey in Worcester, Mass. The description on the bottle is pretty accurate. Gorgeous dark, frothy head - dark roastedbflavor and a great balance

Mar 18, 2017
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oberon from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 10/24/2016.Pours into a goblet black with a creamy mocha colored head atop that is quick to fade.Molasses and cherry wood aromas,I know know wood was used in this beer but I get that quality.'Meaty' upfront on the palate with sweeter molasses and caramel notes,underlying coffee roast is there but the sweetness is bigger,alcohol creeps as it warms.A fuller almost creamy feel makes it even better.

Mar 15, 2017
Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 453 ratings