Grande Noirceur
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #255
ABV:
9%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,894
Avg:
4.09 | pDev: 8.56%
Reviews:
139
Ratings:
447
From:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
 
Quebec, Canada
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  25
Gots
  73
SCORE
91
Outstanding
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: 139 | Ratings: 447 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Hopyard57:
Photo of Hopyard57
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of Poljazz22
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016-10-13 abv 9% about $3.50 Can from Peluso
Really dark! Opaque with a tan foamy head that melts to a thin ring of foam.
Smoke, espresso coffee,
Coffee, dark malt, molasses, some alcohol warmth.
Very well balanced between smoky darkness, caramel smoothness and dark unsweetened chocolate. Perfect carbonation and no cloying sugar feel, the hop blend keeps the final really dry.
Just a great IS.
Works really well with a slow cooked pork roast and red cabbage.

 464 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Ran me $5 USD at a beer store in Chicago. 11.5 fl oz format. Brown glass. Branded black twist-off crown cap. Fun label design. Bottled 2015-10-29.

9% ABV. Stout.

Served chilled into a snifter and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: ~1-2cm in height. Tan colour with a nice shining complexion and a rich robust consistency. Retention is below average - ~1 minute. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque jet black. No yeast/lees are visible within.

Appears aptly carbonated, which is to say it seems on the lower side in terms of carbonation - just right for a rich stout.

Not a unique or special appearance for a stout, but certainly right on the money in terms of style conventions.

AROMA: Subtle roasted barley intermingles with rich creamy chocolate to good effect (probably from chocolate malt; it lacks the expressiveness of true chocolate/cacao nibs), a blip of dark fruit (faint plum, maybe dates), and heavy dark malt sweetness. Cream. Thick caramel and molasses round out the high sweetness and malt backbone, but the roasted barley bitterness - while less pungent than would be ideal - keeps this beer balanced at least in terms of aroma.

Some additional bitterness-lending elements like coffee, char, or burnt malts would be nice, but overall this aroma is pleasant, suggesting an enjoyable dessert stout of adequate complexity. No off-notes, overt hoppy notes, or overt yeasty notes are present.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Creamy, silky, and soft, with ideal carbonation and a pleasantly smooth, wet mouthfeel that plays well to the sleek milky chocolate notes and creamy dark malts. Robust and dessert-like in its sweetness, but there is a balancing roasted barley bitterness that works well (and would work volumes better were there still more roasted barley flavour). As the aroma suggested, the beer lacks adequate bitterness-contributing flavours like burnt malts, charred sugars, coffee, et al.

Adequately complex, with flourishes of subtle dark fruit (mainly plum and date) accentuating the creamy chocolate tone that is at the heart of this build.

No alcohol heat or off-flavours at all, and no style inappropriate overt hoppy or yeasty notes. Well-balanced, with nice depth of flavour. Flavour duration and intensity are above average (just right for the style).

OVERALL: The near ideal texture is the highlight here, but the classic flavour profile is right on the money in terms of style conventions. The 11.5% ABV is dangerously well concealed; this drinks more like a 8-9% imperial stout and the silky feel of the beer makes it slide down easily in spite of its higher than normal viscosity.

It's another commendable brew from one of North America's finest stout producers, but many U.S.A. drinkers will find its $5 price a bit tough to swallow given the ubiquity of better-priced beers of comparable quality like North Coast's Old Rasputin and Victory's Storm King. Price has no bearing on my rating, but even in terms of Dieu du Ciel's own lineup I'd much sooner reach for their more interesting adjunct stouts and porters if only because they feature more interesting flavours of coffee and maple syrup.

Fans of classic Russian imperial stouts will adore this beer, but discerning drinkers seeking the apex of intricacy, depth, and subtlety of flavour in their imperial stouts may find this somewhat wanting - undoubtedly well executed though it remains. Absolutely worth trying at least once, and a beer that would prove interesting when aged.

More solid work from what is possibly Canada's best brewery.

Low B (3.55) / GOOD

 3,646 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Small, beige head that settles quickly to rim bubbles. Some spots for lace. The color is deep brown. Light does not shine through.

Smells of rich fudge. More sweet than burnt. In fact, I'd describe it more as toasty.

The flavor is quite burnt in contrast to the smell. Strong coffee (black) flavor. Bitter finish, a bit harsh. The body is elevated from the usual RIS, but it is not rich or cloy. Good carbonation.

 415 characters

Photo of Eric908
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DrJay
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Yeti1979
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of deg
4.76/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The beer is very dark. Thick head. The head is coffee with cream color. I can't smell much, but there is something nice there. Excellent taste. Fig, roasted malt, a little coffee like aftertaste. The beer feels a little thin for my tastes for an Imperial Stout, but that's the only complaint I have about this beer.

 321 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep almost black with a thin head. The smell is a lovely roast and chocolate combination. Taste follows the nose with roasts dominating, bitter chocolate and a touch of leather. Feel is very nice, medium with medium carbonation. There is no alcohol burn. This is a winner from DDC on my part. A perfect winter beer.

 326 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ohiobeer29
2/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Average stout drinkable though give it a try

44 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong enough to satisfy the taste but still making me want something more, Dieu Du Ciel's Grande Noirceur teases the palate with roast, bitterness and smoothness.

The deviant ale pours with a viscous darkness that amounts to an ominous black body and a creamy tan head that caps the snifter with a rich lather. Its head is steadfast through the session, regenerating easily with a gentle swirl. Its lace is broken and scattered as it decorates the glass evenly, right down to the last sip.

Rich and robust aromas fill the nose with dark-roast coffee, dark chocolate, burnt barley sugars that lead to toffee or molasses-type sweeter notes, charred toast and malted milk candies. Its earthy charred taste bridge into peppery alcohol, light licorice and burnt fruit.

To taste, its the overtones of espresso and cocoa that take center stage while the sweeter toffee and malty flavors act in support. Burnt toast, roasted walnuts and a light campfire taste of burnt embers provide peripheral layers of complexity. A late charge of roasted grapes, currants and plumbs rise as the beer warms and so does the spicy rum-like alcohol and sturdy hop bitterness. When the spice and fruit culminate, its finish is mildly of aniseed, resinous bitterness which leave final impressions upon the palate.

Full bodied, yet not intimidatingly so. Its creamy richness offers a moderate marshmallowy effect on the palate. But once the carbonation begins to pull from the sweetness, the beer begins to dry and trend roasty, acidic, powdery and mildly astringent.

While error-free and strongly flavored, the ale's light complexities remind me of how Imperial Stouts were built ten years ago. Its a very stately and gentlemanly ale that's as comfortable as it is bold.

 1,759 characters

Photo of Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dieu du Ciel! doesn't disappoint....again. Even though stouts are not my favourite, the best Canadian brewery manages to make one that is smooth, yet authentic. Again, this is not Peche Mortel, as nothing compares to that, but as a Russian Imperial Stout, this is superb. Get it, drink it, love it.

 298 characters

Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 9/28/2015

Pours a thin head, shows some leg. Port-like alcohol aroma is enveloped in roast. Flavours of black strap molasses, licorice and espresso. Light acidity, full body, slightly drying finish, but the alcohol is subtle in flavour and finish.

 257 characters

Photo of yancot
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of SFLpunk
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from recent trip to the Montreal Dieu du Ciel brewpub. (6/9/09)

6 month old release.

Totally black and opaque. Thinner tan head with sheeting on glass. Nose is sweet rum and green grass. Palate is bright, sharp and very sweet. Demerara sugar, rum, grass, minerals and stone fruits. Long fruity finish.

 309 characters

Photo of JohnnieNepal
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of philmath
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Took that one at the 7th anniversary of DDC! Powerful cacao smell. Body is dark as my soul when i'm feeling depressed. I cannot see through the glass; which is perfect for this kind of beer IMO. Makes me feel warm. It reminds me the Papua New Guinea coffee I took that morning. A perfect drink when you are feeling lonely and melancholic (even if I was with two buddies... but who cares!?). Very reminiscent of the Bieropholie Imperial Stout. Great Job DDC!

 457 characters

Photo of Noyt
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of JandJMD
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid stout. Nice roasted malt, little cocoa and a little heavier on the hop bitterness.

88 characters

Photo of beeragent
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a HS Teku (0 and 3 notched on the label [Botthom/Top])

A: Pitch black with the thinnest dark mocha head. It really just gets you excited to try it.
S: Smells like some of the best RIS/stouts that I've had. Rich, sweet malts with a tinge of coffee roast. You also get some vanilla. I will say that it seems there is the slightest veil over this and it doesn't pop like say a Black Tuesday, but that may just be due to age.
T: Goes great with some of the Easter chocolate hanging around the house. It still has a great flavor by itself. Nice bit of coffee roast that lingers on the palate. Chocolate is on the attack.
M: Light bit of carbonation that seems to clash a bit with the beer, but I'm on the fence with it. I was hoping it to be a bit more viscous and silky. Needs more body to it.
O: Not sure where I place this in relation to Aphrodite and Peche Mortel, but I'd probably put it in 3rd behind Aphrodite.

 953 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes the title says it all: Grande Noirceur ("great darkness") is absolutely right! Place this glass next to a sample of crude oil and see if you can tell the difference (I'm assuming the cappuccino-coloured suds would give it away, but you get the idea). They don't get much bigger, badder looking than this.

Grande Noirceur is not bourbon barrel-aged and, frankly, it doesn't need to be; it already has all the qualities it could possibly stand to gain. And that includes bourbon flavour - swirl the glass and you'll note the big fat vanilla pod, the dry, splintery wood shavings, the pinch of cinnamon spice...

And let's not forget well-integrated but incredibly distinctive notes of unrefined cocoa and darkest roast coffee. Taken altogether, this is an especially intense, intricate and impressive imperial stout. Powerful though it is fresh, there's really no need to cellar (though it does make an excellent candidate).

Some imperial stouts are difficult to drink until they've mellowed out - this is not one of those. Sure it's awfully heavy (and sinfully rich) but that's the idea; if I have dessert I want decadence and satiation. Serve this with the last course and no one will even touch their spoon or fork.

Like its brothers Péché Mortel and Aphrodisiaque, Grande Noirceur is a near perfect receipe in every detail. In fact, it resembles a blend of the two, marrying the rich coffee intensity of the former with the lush vanilla and cocoa flavours of the latter. It is yet another flashy jewel in DDC's ridiculously big crown.

 1,557 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a dark, deep, black, with a small mocha-colored head, and no lacing.

Smells very, very strongly of roasted malt and roasted coffee beans, with some dark chocolate.

This is a very, very bitter stout, and I love it. It's roasty, verging on charred, with some slight ash, lots of roasted coffee, some piney hops, and some dark, bitter chocolate. It's as dark tasting as the name itself- Grande Noirceur- The Great Darkness. There's a little bit of caramel, but it's mostly bitterness in the best way.

This one is medium bodied, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation. Very drinkable.

This was really delicious, it's nice to see a good imperial stout without heavy levels of sweetness.

 786 characters

Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 447 ratings