Charbonniere
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

CharbonniereCharbonniere
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Smoke Beer
Ranked #57
ABV:
5.4%
Score:
85
Ranked #25,307
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 13.68%
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
110
From:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
 
Quebec, Canada
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  18
Gots
  9
SCORE
85
Very Good
CharbonniereCharbonniere
Notes: Inspired by the German Rauchbier – smoked beers from the Bamberg region – Charbonnière is a dark amber beer with a distinctly smokey aroma, obtained by the use of wood-smoked malt during the brewing process. It is sustained by a slightly sweet malt backbone, permitting the smoked malt to express itself freely with every sip.
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 110 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by dragonWhale:
Photo of dragonWhale
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the depths of the fouled cellar..bottled 3/10. It is time to drink this!
Pours brown, dark amber highlights, a creamy head, and the bbq pit leaps out at me. Some brilliant lace trails. Smells brilliant, the smoke is big but there's some sweet malt poking out.
Excellent taste, too. Peaty, smoky, but not overpowering, not caustic in the throat. Sweet malt fades into the smoke, leaving a pleasant smoky aftertaste. This is a really nice beer. First time I've had it and with the year on it, it's really held up well. Now to seek it out fresh..the new chore upon me.

 571 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of eat
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Charbonniere is an opaque, dark brown and maintains a good cover of bubbly cream-white head. Decent lacing.

Smells of smoked sausage, campfire, cardboard and dark malt with German hops and dark, fermenting fruit in the background. Fairly similar to Aecht Schlenkerla, though not as powerful or as well balanced. Still, quite nice.

Again, there are similarities to Aecht Schlenkerla in the flavour but it's not pulled off quite as well. Up front there is a good amount of campfire smoke, though it's pretty smoothed out. Other than the decent smokiness, there's not much of interest. Some dark malt which, again, could be increased. Dark, earthy German hops on the finish, along with a good kick of alcohol, which is too present for the ABV, feeling every bit of its 5.4%.

The feel is acceptable but plain. Your standard medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitter finish, though not drying. Nothing special.

This could be even more drinkable than Aecht Schlenkerla, in spite of being a lesser beer overall. Especially drinkable as a smoked beer, I could session this if I felt like something smoky. This would actually be great to drink a bunch of while sitting around a fire on a cool summer evening.

 1,226 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby hue which leaves a two finger head that dissapates to leave an outer rim of lacing that also coats the sides of the glass,the smell is smoked ham,roasty malts and a touch of herbal hops,the mouthfeel is light bodied and has tastes of smoked malts,stonefruits,a touch of cherry,caramel and is finished with a spicy dryness and overall this is a nice smoked beer that lets the other flavours shine through but for me i like a little more smoke and in saying that this would be a nice crossover for the person who doesnt like a full smokey SB cheers.

 565 characters

Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dirty-white consistant head. Liquid is a very dark reddish amber with lots of bubbles throughout. Looks like heady coke. Lacing is great.

S- Wet wood ashes.

T- Smoke. A little sour. Also tastes like water and smoke so the smell isn't that far off. I wish there was more. I had this at room temperature and didn't find anything special.

M- Thin and carbonated. I guess it works well to ease off the smokiness but it makes it feel a little cheap though it does foam up nicely in mouth.

D- I've had a few smoked beers but never find them too drinkable. I guess this is one of the better ones.

EDIT: Since my review, I've downed a four pack of this and am really starting to enjoy it. I never wanted to buy smoked beers before and I just might be starting a craving for them. This is good beer.

 799 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of freud, bottled March 2011. Into a tulip, thanks Fred! Love me some smoke.

Pours a deep violet/burgundy, creamy offwhite cap that laces well. Nose is a rich meaty and woody smokiness, with some faint underlying sweetness. Taste is a slight change of pace as smoke and rich caramel notes present themselves in unison, taking turns presenting themselves on the palate. Great malt flavour. Smooth mouthfeel, with moderate lingering smoke and caramel sweetness. Heavy medium in body and a lower medium carbonation. Very drinkable and solid, if on the sweeter side, smoked offering.

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Photo of Long813
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dated: 02/11
From: Premier Wine & Spirits, 341ml

A: Opaque dark brown body with one finger of slightly off-white head. Head dissipates quickly into a thin ring and leaves blotchy lacing

S: Burnt wood, smoked meat and hints a caramel. This is weaker on the smoked meats than any other smoked beer I've tried. All the aromas in general don't come off that strong.

T: Caramel and burnt wood and some smoked meat follows. Flavours are also quite weak, but pleasant. Some nice bitterness at that end.

M: Medium-light bodied and lots of carbonation. Water like texture and leaves a distinct wood-like dry finish.

D: This definitely takes a different approach on the style. It's much easier to drink than the other because it's not as strong, but I feel like it's a little to weak. Good beer to try, but nothing else.

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Photo of VbolieuV
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper-red in color with a small carbonation and little head. Intense smell of smoke, bbq, firepit, bacon even. Nice smoky flavour too. For me it's not as good as the Aecht Schlenkerla but it's still really good.

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Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of zhooker
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From tap to a 12oz white wine glass. Dark amber and opaque, with a clean filtered look. Healthy head that dissipated quickly, but left some pretty lacing.

The smell is, well, unmistakeably a rauchbier aroma. The following comment may seem sacrilegious, and it definitely reveals my former teenage snack food preferences -- but the first thing that always comes to mind when I whiff a rauchbier is the classic Slim Jim. Fortunately this is not accompanied by a screaming Macho Man Randy Savage. Back to the aroma -- smoky, meaty, a little sour.

The smoke owns the flavors here. Not nearly as strong or forward as the great Bamberg Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, but definitely thick and meaty.

Smooth mouthfeel, surprisingly crisp on the tongue.

This was my first from Dieu du Ciel, and I was overall impressed. I would much prefer this to the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, which is a little too overwhelming to enjoy an entire bottle of. However, the smokiness is still very much more pronounced than something like Stone's Smoked Porter, or other beers where the smoke flavor is just an addition (opposed to the centerpiece). Would only recommend to those familiar with rauchbiers, but because of its mildness, serves as an excellent introduction to the style.

 1,262 characters

Photo of Agold
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a trip to montreal. Completely different beer now from the frist time I had it. The beer is almost porter-like in how dark it is. It has a nice dense white head which lingers and leaves a bit of lacing. This beer smells like eating bacon and beef jerky at a campfire. There is a little bit of grainyness and nuttiness but really it is all about the smoke here. The taste just has more and more hickory bacon smokiness with a mild nutty sweetness to lend a bit of balance. The mouthfeel is a little light and is also lacking a bit of carbonation. Would definitely benefit from a bit more. Overall, this beer is an experience more than anything else. Huge smokiness when fresh. I would love to see something like this as a bigger beer, but I would be afraid I couldn't handle any more smoke.

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Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of valianes
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of peensteen
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown, ring of white head, some lace. Smell is smokey, meaty with lots of BBQ and campfire aromas, faint touch of peat, more or less a malty smokey affair all the way through. Taste is like the nose, smoke and malt, BBQ and meaty flavours, just a touch of lightly salty peat, more campfire aftertaste. Medium carbonation, medium body, good feel. Solid and worth drinking again, basically a second rate Schlenkerla which is quite the compliment for this style.

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Photo of Exeter
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rudzud
2.66/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Split with JLindros, roughly one year old.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great a crystal clear mahogany hue with a thin head that fades to leave light wisps.

S - Aromas of smokey malts, campfire, smoked gouda, light caramel.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very smokey sweet malts. Not assertive campfire, bit just in your face smoke. Loads of smoked gouda cheese.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, that and the smoke makes this really oppressive.

O - Overall this beer was a huge disappointment. The smoke is rather awful with that cheese aspect.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Howlader
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spinrsx
3.04/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - medium brown, decent size foamy off white head, can't see much carbonation. A fair amount of lacing.

Smell - well, smoked malts.. caramel, hops. Saw someone else compare this to a camp fire smell - I couldn't agree more.

Taste & Mouth - really smoked tasting.. for some reason its comes through as meaty to me. Almost like a piece of smoked brisket. Also fruitiness, coffee beans, and a slightly bitter hop finish. Also something musty, call me crazy but do I taste blue cheese?

Drink - This is definitely an interesting beer, but not my sort of thing. Points for originality, but lacks drinkability. 1 is more than enough.

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Photo of StephenRich
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Charbonniere is French for "Coal Woman", and while this beer tastes very little like a woman, it is reminiscent of coal. Really what it is, is a smoke beer. Before kilning and indirect heating was used to dry and malt barley grains, they were smoked over direct fires creating a very distinct and smoky beer. Eventually when maltsters mastered indirect heating, brewers were able to use unsmoked malted barley creating a cleaner, more elegant beer capable of taking on a new variety of flavors.

The old smoked ales though do still exist. They are most famous in Bamberg, the venerable smoke beer capital of the world. Dieu Du Ciel's Charbonniere uses smoked malts hailing from Bamberg to recreate a soft smoky flavor in the beer with a rich malt backbone. It has been brewed since 1999 at Dieu Du Ciel's brewpub and fits perfectly with the astonish lineup of beer's they offer.

The Charbonniere comes in 355ml bottles at 5% abv, and as far as I have seen, they are only available in Quebec. I opened it up cool around 8C (45F) and poured it into a tall tulip glass. The pour was big and frothy forming a lush 2 inch tan brown head with streak of bobbles and a pillowy, creamy cap. The beer stood and amber maroon with glimmers of deep red garnet, purple and hints of gold. It was slightly opaque, and very close to black, showing great dark brick browns. Great depth of color and intensity drew me into this beer.

The nose is classic rauchbier with smooth smoky notes of BBQ, smoked sausage, char and firewood. The smoke is not overpowering and lends into some warm malt sweetness getting close to toffee, but more like slightly burnt brown sugar. No hops are noticeable here, but it does smell fresh and quenching. You should never dismiss a rauchbier from being supremely quenching, they can refresh your palate with the best of pale ales!

A nice big gulp of the Charbonniere reveals smooth and silky smoke flavors guided along by light caramel malts, hints of spice and pepper, and a clean very dry hop finish. The beer is elegant and delicate, and not all showy and blunt. The smoke is soft and smooth gliding over your tongue just glancing at wood fires, and then moves into your cheeks showing off smooth and softly rich flavors of BBQ, char and smoked meat. Hints of pepper and spice make their way along the sides of your tongue and tickle the back of your throat.

Malt does play the primary role here and is the spine and nervous system of this beer. It is smooth and lightly sweet with soft biscuit and caramel on the palate, but an overall dry, slightly sweet feeling. Hops show soft herbal bitterness that touches in at the back of the beer and rounds it out nicely. It is not nearly as potent as the majority of rauchbiers that I have had, but does exemplify great flavors in a delicate and quenching soft smoke beer.

A clean and crisp finish makes the Charbonniere a very easy drinking beer and would pair perfectly with anything off the grill, or even a smooth cigar.

 2,988 characters

Photo of fostachild
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Rutager
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big thank you to SebD for this and all the others in a great recent CANBIF box. Cheers dude!

Appearance. Pours a deep amber with some nice red hues, and a finger of creamy light-khaki head. So far so good!

Smell. Meaty, thick smoke. Almost has a salty fried pork fat thing going on. Just a bit of grainy caramel in behind.

Taste. Nice smoke, not too strong and not meaty like the smell. A bit of light sweet caramel malt and even a bit of herby hops in there ...maybe not, but there's a slight bitterness for sure.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice for the style. The smoke is in check which is always nice and the beer comes through. Thanks again SebD!

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Photo of tom10101
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of jrenihan
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled April 2011. Older than I expected- hope its OK!

Beer is a very dark caramel colour, brown but with orange elements. A small beige head.

Smell is quite smokey and peaty. Hard to get beneath, but there seems to be some caramel malt, a bit of a toffee scent. All of the reviews that mention smoked ham or bacon are pretty accurate.

The smokey peat is very prominent in the taste, but is more willing to share than the nose is. Accompanied by caramel, some dark fruit, a bit of a grassy flavour. Finish, like the start, is quite smokey.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Quite smooth.

Overall, nice stuff. The taste is not as overwhelmingly smokey as the nose suggests. Still pretty intense, but more balanced and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of SebD
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice dark ruby/brown color to it. It has a nice creamy beige head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of smoke (mix of campfire & smoked bacon), perhaps some caramel and toffee but it's hard to tell with all the smokiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet caramelly malts upfront followed by tons of smoke and some faint dark fruit notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

 606 characters

Photo of cburns48
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of djcreepshow
1/5  rDev -73.7%

Charbonniere from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 110 ratings