Grande Noirceur | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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118 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
118
Ratings:
386
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
9%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
70
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 386
Photo of TMoney2591
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Dogfish head snifter.

Finally, a beer named for the conservative policies of mid-20th century Quebec. Musta been some fun times, eh? Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger of brown foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, coffee, mild dark cocoa powder, and some earthy greenery milling about the base like moss on a gravestone. The taste brings in more of the same, reminding me that imperial stouts can indeed still stand on their own, lacking the bolster of heavy adjunct additions. It's pretty life-affirming, actually. The body is a light hefty, with a light moderate carbonation and a somehow lithely smooth feel. Overall, a damn fine stout, a portrait of well-crafted simplicity.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, label is notched 0 and 15. I'm super excited to see some fresh Dieu du Ciel beers in the area again - it's been at least a couple of years since they were distributed here.
A - thin, creamy, light brown head quickly fades atop a black colored ale
S - sweet and roasty nose with dark chocolate and coffee
T - roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, faint tobacco leaf, earthy hop
M - full body, finishes with bitter roast and baker's chocolate lingering on the palate
O - very good imperial stout. I might have to grab another and age it a bit to see how it is in a year or so.

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

Appearance: midnight black, one finger chocolate-brown head, lacing lets me know where each sip began

Aroma: dark chocolate, roasted chocolate, rich, raisin

Taste: same as aroma - gorgeous, rich, roasted caramel-chocolate, dark cocoa bitterness amd a hint of sweetness

Feel: thick, creamy

Overall: really dig this stuff. Feels like a straightforward imperial stout except with wonderful balance and big roasted flavor

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Photo of champ103
4.57/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours an opaque black color. No light gets through at all. A dense two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Roast, dark bakers chocolate, baked bread and coffee all intermingle. A perfect balance between the roasted malt aromas. Maybe just a touch of earthy hops in the finish. Excellent.
T: Like the nose, this has incredible balance. Roasted malts, coffee, dark bakers chocolate. Some toffee, light dark fruits, and a touch of hops in the background.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. So smooth and velvety. Not overly viscous at all. Really enjoyable to drink. Just a bit of warming alcohol that makes for an incredible sipper. That being said, this is gone in no time, and I wish the bottle would never end.

An amazing Imperial Stout. Nothing added, no barrel aging. Just all around amazing. Incredible balance, and very moreish. Another near perfect beer from this brewery.

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

Bottle poured with 2.5 years of age (2013 vintage).

Pours deep black with a short bubbly tan head with short retention and decent lacing. Nice big nose, deep roasted grains, unsweetened chocolate, raisins, cocoa nibs. The taste also features a big deep roasted grain profile, lots of char, over-brewed coffee, unsweetened chocolate and a long dry, aggressive bittering hop finish. Nice full body, round but a bit has from the bitterness.

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Photo of zhivago373
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%

enjoyed from bottles and on tap at the brewpub.

pours jet black with a creamy brown heady that lingers on the glass but dissipates quickly.

smells of rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, bitter espresso and slightly sweet caramel.

the taste follows suit: bitter dark chocolate/espresso notes on the back of the tongue, some sweeter notes hit the middle, definitely a slight smokeyness/char coming through. thick mouthfeel.

this is a great stout. i prefer it to Peche Mortel. worth trying.

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Photo of rudzud
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark hue with a nearly non-existent head that left a thin halo.

S - Aromas of rich smoked malts, super smokey almost meaty. Light chocolate, light roast.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice smoke and charred malts...Light chocolate, good roast. Alcohol hidden nicely, again the char smoke level is nice.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, crisp, smooth, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, nice char and smoke level with some nice chocolate

Serving Type: Bottle

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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.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

SERVICE: Bottle
Bottled On: 10-05-2014


A:
Pours a viscous, inpentrable black with a nice three fingers of airy tan head that sticks around for a few minutes then stays a healthy film. Good retention; thick, sticky lacing. (4)

S:
Bready cocoa. Smoked meat, bitter chocolate, coffee (3.75)

T:
Rich and shifting dark flavors. Roast flavors, coffee, dried dark fruit, baker's chocolate, licorice, smoke. (4.25)

M:
Thick, coating, substantive, faint alcohol warmth after a while. Full body and very filling, noticeable (but unobtrusive) alcohol. (4)

O:
Very good RIS.
This is a hearty and well-made beer for a cold night.
It pours nice with an aggressive pour and has a dry, bitter smell to it. The taste is more varied and is at once sweet and bitter, astringent and sating. Fairly coffee- and bitter chocolate-heavy. Really nice in the mouth, with a coating lingering roasty flavor.
Will have again; worth seeking out. (4.25)

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

341 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pitch black with a decent sized creamy cafe latte colored head of around two fingers height. This is indeed a dark and roasted morass of potent alcohol, charred grain, baker's cacao, molasses, toffee, oak, and plum, with the dry roast trumping the sweeter elements. Nose is sweeter than the taste. Some brown spice flavors late. Quite smooth and creamy from a mouth feel standpoint, almost milk stout like in this regard, although this does NOT convey a milk stout flavor profile. Too much alcohol and roasted malts, although there is a fair degree of sweetness. Pleasantly warming and rich, although perhaps a little coarse and astringent in the finish. All in all, a respectable take on the style.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 25cL glass at Mikkeller bar. From notes. Reviewed 14 October 2014.

4.75A: Gorgeous dark with slowly rising and falling head. Opaque and creamy.

3.5 Muted. Light roastiness.

3.75T/4.5M: Tasty, creamy, unexceptional. Lightly roasted, milky, more milk stout than RIS. Pleasant smooth and drinkable. What Guinness tasted like in my pre-boozing imagination.

4O: Solid but unremarkable. Glad I tried it, still love Dieu Du Ciel, but probably won't have this particular beer again for a while. Especially if Peche Mortel is anywhere nearby.

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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 abriggs1
4.79/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is just about the perfect Russian Imperial Stout. Roasty with a nice balance of caramel and chocolate malt flavors. The appearance is of a chocolate cake with beer-laced butter for a frosting; Beer porn.

The mouthfeel is silky and smooth, and has a good amount of that Peche Mortel oiliness that took the beer world by storm a decade ago. But that silkiness is even creamier, and comes to the front with a sarsaparilla and root beer smoothness that's out of this world.

The taste is everything you can imagine in a stout; coconut, chocolate, molasses, cola, root beer, a hint of cherry, and vanilla right up the ass. Not as much coffee and bourbon flavors as most stouts, and they're not missed in this one.

Dieu De Ciel is possibly the greatest brewery on planet earth. Who else can produce beers like this? I've had some crazy good Russian Imperial Stouts in my day from places like Hill Farmstead, North Coast, Sierra Nevada, Stone, New England Brewing Company, Cigar City, and many others. This may just be my favorite stout.

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Photo of dar482
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a dark black color with a small tan head.

The aroma is aggressive roast, hints of smoke, molasses, and licorice.

The flavor follows. This is a very robust stout that will put hair on your chest. It's has bitter licorice, smoke, anise, and heavy bitter roasted qualities on the back end. The mouthfeel is medium to medium plus with touches of alcohol throughout.

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Photo of TheBrewLady
3.2/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The label art on this one is quite possibly the least subtle metaphor I've ever seen, but it will look excellent in my collection. Despite being inspired by what I'm sure was some serious political upheaval, I can't help think of Canada as a cold paradise where healthcare if free and moose's run rampant.

Appearance: Dark black, opaque. Thin, dark tan head with clumpy lacing. Mysterious.

Smell: Not much really. There's some malty hints, a bit of ashy smoke and vanilla, maybe a dark fruit, but nothing strong enough to stand out. It smells like the remnants of a great beer after you've drained the glass.

Taste: Mmmm, smoky. While not for everyone, I tend to love the smokiness of a bitter stout. Definitely more bitter than sweet, there are very subtle vanilla and caramel undertones. Hops have zero presence whatsoever, typical of this style. Bitter, charcoal smoke is dominant. There is a notable absence of the usually dominate chocolate/coffee flavours of an Imperial stout, but it doesn't really need them. With the outrageous bitterness of this one, any competing flavours are overwhelmed.

Mouthfeel: Typical chewy stout. Thick and creamy, it coats the mouth with stickiness. Unusually high carbonation for an Imperial stout.

The Verdict: A smoky, bitter, moody brew. I may reach for this when I feeling particularly pessimistic on a rainy day in the middle of winter. I've found the beer version of emo poetry.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a one finger khaki colored head that settles at about a half finger. Light spots of lace after each sip.

S: Not especially robust. Medium coffee and some roasted malt. Maybe just a hint of dark chocolate as well.

T: Sort of a muddled blend of day old coffee and roasted malt. Nothing really stands out though. Light bits of toffee, dark chocolate and maybe even a hint of mint. Lingering roasted malt bitterness on the finish. Good, but definitely not Aphrodite or Peche Mortel level.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle was poured into a tulip.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of bubbles coming up the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasty, chocolate, molasses, toffee, caramel, and a little booze.

Taste: Roasted coffee, char, toffee, caramel, bitter chocolate, bitterness, and a little booze in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, a little booze, low to medium carbonation, and slight bitterness.

Overall: This beer got better as it warmed. I am starting to run out of options for this brewery here in Boston. Not too many bottles left to choose from.

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

Nice dark head. Smells roasty, bitter chocolate, maybe some vanilla, maybe a very tiny hint of alcohol. Has some nice sweetness in the taste fairly early on. Having a hard time pinpointing the flavors, but it's good. Roasty. Vanilla. I'm not getting the typical black coffee/dark chocolate, maybe they're just blending together very well. Very bitter on the end; this has to be one of the most bitter stouts I've ever tasted. Not insanely bitter or anything, just a lot for a stout.

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

Batch 03 - Dark, black pour with a thin tan head and clumpy lacing.

Pleasant aroma of sweet malt, marshmallow, vanilla and ash.

Taste is big on charred, roasty malt partially offset by a pleasant marshmallow sweetness. There are hints of coffee, vanilla, and chocolate. The finish is rather bitter and ashy - while not unpleasant due to the sweetness and creamy texture, the charred malts become a little overbearing (queue the illustration) and overshadow the finer details.

The viscous texture combined with the creamy carbonation does well for the mouthfeel.

This stout is big on flavor but relatively straightforward. Not that different from other simple, well made imperial stouts such as Founders FIS or PT5 but the mouthfeel does make for a nice experience. The beer went down surprisingly quick. However, I won't be quick to revisit given the emphasis on the charred, roasty malt character.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

A deep thick black walnut body is presented. Very opaque. Large thick whipped up tan to dark cocoa head on the pour. Little retention but lots of speckled and snaked stream like lacing. Very aggresive and impressive appearance.

Great nose. Large charring roast but not bitter. Good mix of coffee earth qualities and smoke richness. Hints also even some leafy tobacco and dank hop qualities. Real inviting and enjoyable.

Palte comes nicely but finishes just a tad harsh. Good dark chocolate bitterness on first sip, and sharp burnt charcoal aromas. Controlled but very lingering. Sharp large hop bitterness with a pine and earth finish. Good balance of strong hop and roast mix on the finish. Palate feel hits nicely between subtle warmth and good thick coating quality.

Overall its large on the roast but luckily not overkilled. Aggressive but not booming like a classic barrel aged stout. If Sexual Chocolate could be redifned and better it would taste like this beer.

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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 Misanthropy_Sipping
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A bottle found in Denver again... somewhere... maybe Argonaut? Sounds right. I've had several bees from this brewer and have never been disappointed. I was pretty excited to see one I'd not had before.

The appearance is spot on and just plain great. Definitely earns it's 'darkness' reference. This beer is black. Pours out relatively thick with a milk chocolate head that slowly dissipates into a good latte toned skim. I really like the way it looks.

The smell is not hugely robust but definitely puts off a charred wood and malt smell. A very aggressive coffee smell as well. Very roasty. It has a slight sweetness to the nose, a sweetness one may get from smelling dark chocolate... and yeah... speaking of chocolate. There is a cocoa nib scent. A tad citrusy in a strange way.

There is a lot going on in this imperial stout taste wise. The full on robust taste of dark chocolate and coffee swing in at the forefront and then gradually wind down into a blend of toasted malts and charred wood... intermingling with a tannin like tartness that would be reminiscent of high acid coffee. There is also a sense of dried cherries I get from this beer. I also cannot avoid mentioning the unusual citrus hops that must be used in this. They really give the beer a strange, bitter, and extra dry dimension. A tint of vanilla... but all quite dry and with little sweetness.

Mouthfeel is velvety and pretty dense, which is good. It is not like drinking syrup. It just has weight, which I appreciate a lot. It is quite dry... very dry. Also quite bitter. The bitterness lingers quite well with the tannic coffee sort of deal going on. The finish and reverberation through the mouth reminds me a lot of a great cup of black coffee.

Overall, I am quite pleased in the beer. It is unusual, but it has a lot of complexity going for it. I would gladly pick up another given the chance. The same could be said of all of their beers though. Just an overall great brewery.

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Photo of bmwats
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.5 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, dark brown head. Settles fairly quickly, leaving a substantial foam blanket, and a thick beer ring. Fair, spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malt grains and espresso beans and a little licorice and plum.

T: Coffee and black licorice. Hints of bitter unsweetened dark chocolate and booze.

M: Syrupy thick, hearty, and a little boozy. Bitter finish.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is really nice. Dark, thick head, and fair yet persistent lacing. Roasted grains and coffee are prominent. Thick and boozy combination of roasted components and bitter accentuates. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

As this black pearl stout oozed into a snifter I knew this was special. Despite it not being a nitro tap it had a growing and billowing cloud of carbonation along the edges as if it were alive. These bubbles churned along the edges until a neat and tidy creamy froth stacked along the top. The lacing was a sheet of thick film that caked around the edge. I've never given a 5 in appearance but this was worth it.

The aroma is full with deep char, smoky embers, burnt toffee, roasted caramel malt, coffee roast and toasted walnut.

The flavor holds more of the smoky elements with deep char and campfire embers. The sweet toffee and caramel is more or less absent but the roast, toast and coffee char seem far more frontal.

This drinks with ease, dryness and a start to creamy.

This was an absolute joy to discover as I found it on a whim. If you like deeply roasted and smoky char than this is your kind of stout.

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Grande Noirceur from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
4.11 out of 5 based on 386 ratings.
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