Grande Noirceur | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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398 Ratings
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Grande NoirceurGrande Noirceur
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada
dieuduciel.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Rastacouere on 03-15-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
398
Reviews:
121
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
9%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
68
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 398 |  Reviews: 121
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great smooth pleasing imperial stout. A bit of sourness Russian style but overwhelmed by chocolate malts and fruity taste. Coffee and vanilla notes, roastiness. Suitable understated carbonation. Chocolate coffee aftertaste. Opaque black. Very satisfying.

 256 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.91/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight coffee bean and cookie dough aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and slight smoke flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with rich and tasty roast and cocoa qualities.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a fine imperial stout, bit its simple, like a lot of the du ciel beers, it lacks a distinguishing character. maybe thats not completely fair to say, this is great beer, but in a crowded stout market, i need just a little more nuance. as close to black a sit gets, i love the politics, and the smell, which is about as dark as this thing looks. bitter and decadent, linear, cleanly busy, groovy. taste is dominated by bitter dark roast, but the smell shows vanilla and cocoa just like the aphrodisiac stout carries through in taste. i like that is cereal malt driven, plain, and still so damn good, theres not a lot of beer like this, and the ale yeast is somehow specifically eastern canadian, which if you have not been there, is a diverse yet culturally one of a kind place. rich in texture and feel, just barley enough carbonation. an A on most scales, a high B+ on mine, but only because i have a compulsion to be unnecessarily critical. this is elite, well made, different enough, and clean with still sweet chocolate overtones. not too many pull that off like this. in the context of a million beers, or of every beer i have ever consumed, its good, in the context of my first beer in several weeks, its incredible.

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

Photo of Knapp85
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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 biboergosum
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz glass at the Underground in YEGDT, DDC TTO.

This beer appears a solid black abyss, with subtle mahogany highlights, and one finger of dense, somewhat bubbly light brown head, which leaves a solid, thick band of painted lace around the glass as it lazily bleeds away, and notably persists through the subsequent 'glass more or less half empty' experience.

It smells of roasted, kind of meaty caramel/toffee malt, musty ash, bittersweet cocoa icing, herbal, leafy hops, and a twinge of metallic alcohol. The taste is grainy, sweet baker's chocolate, bready caramel malt, edgy dark fruit, wet ash, mild day-old coffee, a hint of earthy, musty hops, and some underlying warming booze.

The carbonation is present, but pretty well understated, the body a solid medium weight, and generally smooth, a certain creaminess lingering from the ingrained chocolate notes. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa powder and BBQ-charred caramel still contending with the offsetting fruit, coffee, and liquor essences.

An agreeable enough RIS, almost restrained to a certain degree, though. I'd like to try this anew in a less heady and busy environment - I'm not refuting the purported 17-proof booze, as everything else does well to keep the inherent imperial nature a benevolent one. Oh, hey Mike!

 1,285 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at the Mondiale 2005: Poured a pitch black color stout with no head or carbonation. Aroma of roasted malt with strong coffee also easily recognisable. Taste is totally dominated by coffee with some subtle vanilla note. Body is quite full and alcohol is well hidden. Nice though DDC can do much better.

 308 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/29/2015. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, raisin, plum, fig, and date; with lighter notes of licorice, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, and roast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, raisin, plum, fig, and date; with lighter notes of licorice, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, and roast/toasted earthiness. Moderate herbal/pine hop and roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, caramel, toffee, toasted dark bread, dark fruit, light smoke/char, leather, tobacco, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a great roast/hop bitter/sweet balance and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from roast/hop bitterness that increases through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/silky, and sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Russian imperial stout! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,838 characters

Photo of mothman
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan head. Black color. Thick.

Initial reaction is expedition with more roast. Roasted, smooth, chocolaty. Rich. Molasses and coffee.

Full bodied. Nice carbonation. Ends a little dry, but overall pretty clean.

Solid stuff.

 225 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +1%
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.

 409 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Neat looking DdC beer I found at a random store, and shared with rudzud before our trip up to the brewery in a few days.

Head attempts to arrive but fades instantly, nice legs, pitch black.

Nose is pretty nice, mild Smokey bacon like aroma, lots of smokey aroma, little cocoa and char, and mild roast, but mostly smokey, touch of fluffy nougat.

Taste brings more of the same, lots of smoke, smokey bacon like smoked meat with a brine salty flavor, mild char and roast, and black malts. Faint earthy spicy hops, with decent to heavier bitterness, little cocoa note, and even milk choc creamy. Finish is creamy but drier, write bitter and earthy spicy hop, little char and roast, plenty of smokey bacon.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, creamy, mild booze warmth.

Overall pretty nice, decent stout in general, but not phenomenal.

 843 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013? bottle of Grande Noirceur with 9% ABV listed.

Essentially black colored body with a semi-durable tan head and decent lacing.

Aroma: slightly sweet, medium and dark malts with hints of smoke and dark chocolate. Milder than expected, especially after tasting it.

The flavor is dominated by dark roasted grains with a bit of char and smoke. Hints of bitter chocolate and expresso in the aftertaste. Appropriately bold for style with partially hidden alcohol. Approaches 4.25.

O: relatively dark-roasted version of the style that's certainly worth a try.

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Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
4.11 out of 5 based on 398 ratings.
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