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Penombre | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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very good
62 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 05-30-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 195
Photo of stephens101
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Body is brown with crimson hues. A tan head stands firm.

Smells of grain and resin out of the chute with black licorice following close behind. Dark fruits and a slight roastiness further back.

Roasted nuts to the tongue with a little pepper and grain, all enveloped in a blanket of earthy hops. All components are finely tuned.

Medium mouth-feel with little alcohol noticed.

A superbly crafted ABA of distinction.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge if the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Toasty, borderline roasty, malt aroma with some hop fume behind it. A bit sweet with notes of cocoa, caramel and brown sugar. Musty dankness emanates from the glass when swirled.

T- There's a fine balance between the roastiness and the hops, neither of which being "in-your-face." The bitterness does start to come out on top after a while but the roasted malt does well keeping everything in check. Super drinkable.

M- Sharp from the hops and slightly oily. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- I don't think I've had a beer by DDC that I haven't given at least a 4 rating and this one will be no exception. That does it: this is officially my favorite Canadian brewery.

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Photo of bobsy
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub in Montreal. A black IPA, which I'm really excited to try.

Russet colour with a smooth off-white head which stays around and laces well. Nice light roast coffee flavours, jiving with floral hops in the aroma. Wow, pretty good...similar to a cross between kostritzer scwharzbier and DDC's top notch house IPA, corne du diable. Some good mocha and caramel flavours balanced out by citrus bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable, as the mixture of smooth maltiness and hops moderates the bitterness and increases the drinkability for me.

Had it on subsequent occasions at Volo a year later, and I still love this beer. Its got a great balance between lightly roasted malts and big juicy hops.

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Photo of nickfl
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - the beer has an opaque, black body which is topped by one and a half fingers of off-white foam. The head settles slowly and leaves very nice, thick lace on the glass.

S - toasty malt with some coffee and dark caramel. Spicy hops and a hint of pine in the background.

T - dark malt up front with some burnt caramel. Coffee and pine hop flavors appear in the middle. The beer finishes with more coffee and some charcoal as well as pine and moderate hop bitterness.

D - much darker and more heavily roasted than most other black ipas I've tried, but it works. The malt character is excellent and while the hop aroma is somewhat lacking, it does well in the flavor department with lots of pungent pine that holds its own against the roasty character.

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Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sampled oct 17+19/08 on cask at volo as part of cask days 2008.

pours deep brown with a bit of haze. some red shows through at the narrowest part of the glass. a ring of large bubbles clings to the edge of the glass and leaves spotty lace on the way down.

aroma is good. dark chocolate and coffee. bit of roast. toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. grapefruit. bit of orange. hint of pine. fresh floral character that seemed more evident on friday than today. touch of alcohol.

taste is great. just over medium bitterness level. bittersweet chocolate. espresso. bit of roast. toasted multi-grain bread. grapefruit and pine, but less noticeable than in the aroma. the bitterness feels more coffee/chocolate/roast derived than hoppy.

mouthfeel is great. low carbonation level works well. just over medium body.

drinkability is good. nice balance. interesting overall. the brewery calls it a "black ipa", and that's a pretty good description. some elements of an american porter, american brown, and american ipa all mixed together. i had a couple samples of this one on friday and went back for another today.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Very dark brown, almost black. The brown head is rather small, but compact. Rather nice lacings.

S: Dark roasted, somewhat sweet malt. Lots of dakr dried fruits, but also dry from the bitterness. Chocolate.

T: Hard roast to the malt, vanilla and some smokyness. Lots of dark dried fruits. Bitterhops and strong black coffee along side with dark chocolate and cacao.

M: Long bitter aftertaste. Medium to full body and rather low carbonation.

O: A nice and well balanced ABA, the dry crisp bitterness is very nice.

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Photo of Derek
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Volo Cask Days 2008.

A: Black with a light tan head; large bubbles, no retention or lacing.

S: Tangerine, apricot and some roasted malt.

T: Grassy, piny, tangerine & grapefruit hops, good bitterness, light roasted flavour, but not a lot of malt. An Imperial Schwarzbier?

M: Well attenuated, moderate body is very dry.

D: This one really grew on me.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with brown tinges around the top ring of the liquid....perhaps even a smidge of red in there too! The head is soapy film in character and isn't very thick but what does show up retains very well! It's much too hard to see any sort of carbonation and the lacing is quite impressive with many tiny patches of bubbly goodness clinging to the side of the glass, with an underlying oily film.....good overall!

S- Heavy charred malts, dark cocoa, french roast coffee, licorice, spices along with syrupy sweetness....this is quite a different smelling brew but very nice actually!

T- This is much different than I expected.....it's a short burst of various flavors and then it's gone. Roast coffee and deep high cocoa content chocolate are noted, along with toasty barley malts are the main flavors and there is a dry Earthy finish, that is complimented by some moderate hop bitterness....nothing major however for a version of IPA. Nice overall!

M/O- Light/medium bodied and smooth yet plentiful carbonation, I would say that this is an enjoyable, and highly drinkable Ale that I would most definitely purchase again....I recommend giving this a try....another good effort by Dieu du Ciel!

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Photo of Rutager
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A HUGE thank you to the most generous montrealbcr89 for this and the rest of the insane box that just showed up out of the blue. Just a top notch BA right here.

Appearance. Pours a deep, dark red-brown with very little light getting through and a finger of lumpy, light tan head that leaves some great lacing.

Smell. Nice citrus and floral hops, bakers chocolate and a little roasty malt and coffee beans.

Taste. Big roasty malts with plenty of coffee and cocoa powder, followed by even bigger grassy hops and bitter dried citrus rinds with a touch of pine. The subsequent sips are dominated by the big hops, but enough of the roasty flavours still come through and don't let you forget what style you're drinking.

Mouthfeel. Medium body and medium+ smooth carbonation.

Overall. A great representation of a style I really enjoy, being the hop-junkie that I am. Would love to try this again, maybe even with a month or two on it to see if more of those great roasty flavours come through. Thanks again Tyler-Andrew!!

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Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo for the DDC tap takeover, into a tulip.

Poured pitch black, with some nice white head. Sticky lace with some solid retention. Nose has some citrus, pine and melon notes. Roasty and chocolate, and a hint of coffee as well. Taste has some bitter citrus and pine as per the nose, also continuing the dark chocolate and coffee that the nose suggested. Great balance between the IPA components and the roasty/chocolate notes. Medium full feel with some bitterness derived from both the hops and coffee/roast notes it seems. Great mix of flavour here, and one of the best 'american black ales' I've come across; more of a distinct IPA leaning than I've tasted before.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark copper, almost becoming dark brown with a medium light tan head. Left some lace behind.

S-Dark roastiness and floral hops...what a nice combination!

T-Much as in the aroma...a nice combination of two loved styles, a hoppy IPA and a nice, roasty porter. Not overly bitter but it does build.

M-Medium body with a nice dryness in the finish.

D-A nice one for sure. Not Stone 11 but good nonetheless. A nice shot at this uncommon experiment.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a true pint, the beer is a dark auburn to black coloring with a foamy, chunky, light tan head. Awesome cling while you drink. The nose is of roasted coffee and wet, fresh hops. The flavor is roasted coffee initially, with wet, aromatic, spiced hops flooding the mid-palate. The beer is smooth and light in mouth. Roasty and chocolate/mocha aftertaste is the perfect ending to this brew. Roasty, hoppy, and light finish. Very smooth and flavorful.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with a minimal off white head. Nice hoppy aroma.

The taste was hop upfront with a limited malt presence, which in my book is the way this style should be. I also would have liked a bit more roasted flavor to accompany the color.

The mouth feel was nice about half way between a classic IPA and a stout.

This beer has a high drinkability a there was almost no alchol present and a great bitter finish.

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Photo of jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been trying to get up to visit this brewery for years, but haven't gotten the chance yet. Finally a new beer from them, can't wait to try it Although typically not my fav style, but we'll see how it goes.

Pop... errr... they're still using screw caps wtf! Pours a decent fluffy off-white little creamy almost 1 finger head with some big bubbles as well, fades semi slowly with nice big lacing, the beer is just about pitch black with hint of mahogany light sneaking through the thin parts.

Nose is really interesting, a mix of hops and dark malts as expected but different than normal and much nicer. A lot going on so let's see if I can pinpoint them all. Some mild cocoa, well more like a touch of baker's chocolate, as well as a nice dark caramel, mild fluffy nougat, and hint of a light coffee, a mild robust porter like dark malt. Hops are not as big as I expected thankfully, a hint of citrus starts but that fades quickly to some mild fruity hops, like a generic fruity slightly stone fruit hop, with touch of a grassy floral component.

Taste starts creamy, with lots of malts out front again, starting with a mild roast like malt, not a big heavy roast, just a touch of a roasty quality with some mild smooth coffee as well. That turns to a little dark chocolate, like a crushed cocoa bean mixed with creamy oats. A nice dark robust porter like flavor with some dark malts, into some nice caramel flavors and a little fluffy nougat again. Then hops, again not super crazy on the hops and not a ton of citrus or pine thankfully. A mild earthy component, into some floral grassy notes, a mild fruity touch as well, hints of tropical fruits but not the citrusy tropical fruits or strong ones either. Finish gets fairly bitter, with a bit more earthy hops and they turn spicy and quite bitter as the beer dries but leaves a little lactose like sticky feel, bit more roast with it's own bitter component, mild coffee as well lingering.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, somewhat creamy as well, pretty good carb for a semi creamy porter like beer.

Overall pretty good, I think they treated this more like a hoppy porter than an IPA with roasted malt, which is why I think I like it. The nice dark malts with mild roast and coffee without the acrid burnt flavors, a hint of dark chocolate and some caramel components, as well as a creamy feel, add nice effects. HOps come through and actually seem to blend nicely, they don't go crazy in bitterness or in tropical fruits or citrus that would just clash with the rest of the beer. Again I really think this is more of a hoppy porter than a black IPA.

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Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Penombre Black IPA
Colour from bottle is a dark brown, blackish in glass with a huge cap of light cream head, very good retention and lacing. 4.25
S – dark bitter coffee, lot of skunky tobacco, earthy with a herbal/musty edge, licorice and molasses notes, some of the black malts really come through and give a roasty bitterness to it. A little syrupy but pretty interesting. 3.75
T – similar dark roasty malts with upfront coffee bitterness, roastiness, chocolate, less tobacco than the smell, there is some sweet molasses, bitter coffee, and very full balanced roasty flavours with enough bitterness to rrally play it up, mostly earthy and slightly herbal/licorice bitterness. Some dark fruit tannis maybe also toward the end. Finish is dark cocoa, dry and clean, with a long full aftertaste. 4.25
M – moderate bodied to start, with a medium carbonation and pleasantly sessionable body, a satisfying creaminess to it with enough of a strong malt heft and astringent bitterness toward the end to dry out the finish nicely. Tasty. 4
A very well crafted example of the style. Has some nice roasty stout like qualities to set it apart from other IPAs but lots of easy drinking bitterness to make for a really pleasant and intriguing beer. I wouldn’t mind trying it with a bit more hops but this is very nice as is. Certainly worth trying, a tasty example of this style that has good qualities to it. Something a bit different to be sure, and it works nicely. 4

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Photo of DaveBar
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 4pk at the LCBO for around $12.00. Served at 6deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a nice head that films out in a minute or two. Super dark.

S- Lots here. Tons of malt. Cinnamon and spice and everything nice.

T- Very good but there is a edge to this beer. Touch bitter and not in a good way. Hops are there and plentiful but the slightly burnt overtone hurts this beer's rating

M- Dry and crisp. Very enjoyable.

O- Pretty good beer. Worthy of 4 but won't go for any more at a later date. Don't get me wrong its a good beer but in the quest for better beers this one and most black IPA's get left behind for me.

Food Pairing

This wonderful beer went well with...... Beer battered fish and chips. Nice and thick batter and twice fried fries. Super nice with a ton of salt


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Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft - my first black IPA

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with a nice size creamy and frothy light brown head. I can't make out much carbonation due to the darkness of the beer, and the lacing was one of the best I have ever seen on a beer. The head lasted for quite a while before it was gone.

Smell - hops, coffee, pine, grapefruit, dark chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer has quite a bit of carbonation and feels light yet creamy. The most noticeable flavours are pine, hops, and grapefruit mixed with chocolate and coffee notes. All of these flavour mix to combine a fantastic beer that I really enjoyed. It finished with a hoppy/coffee flavoured aftertaste.

Drink - The first black IPA I've had and it won't be the last. If you're at the DDC pub be sure to try this beer, it's outstanding.

** had this again in a bottle Jan 2013.. more porter/stout than IPA flavour wise

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large head.
Nose shows sweet chocolate, cocoa, nutty malt and toasty characters along with soft pine.
In contrast the flavours are quite hoppy. Big piny resinous notes with an aggressive bitterness. Some roast and cocoa.
Body could be a bit thicker.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dieu du Ciel! Pénombre ("Twilight") is a good name for a dark beer that isn't entirely pitch-black; this colour is more like that of a black bean in that it actually has, well, some colour (as oppose to those beers that are liquid abysses). It's a classy looking ale and pours with mink lather.

The nose has creamy notes of vanilla, harsher hints of burnt grain and unrefined cocoa as well as a hoppiness that is herbal, dank, and, frankly, stinky. There's plenty of pine and tree resins. I can't say it's missing much of anything. This is simply what a good Black IPA smells like.

This style should always conjure the thought of sipping espresso in a wet forest. Check! The palate is treated to a coffee-and-cream flavour that includes dark chocolate truffles and fudge and a drying, coarsely bitter aftertaste that simulates chewing on dead leaves and tree bark.

Black IPA is the ultimate union of bitter and sweet. It is a mediator's favourite style. It tells both sides of the story. It is a beer that lives on both sides of the fence and the grass is always green (somewhat literally given the very 'green' tastes of grass clippings and ganja).

Dieu du Ciel! has in my book always been, and continues to be, one of the best microbreweries in Canada. There's few others that can match their portfolio in terms of its diversity and quality (not to mention awesome bottle art). Pénombre lives up to every standard you'd expect.

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Photo of Viggo
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mondial, a black IPA.

Pours a hazy dark reddish orange, almost brown, thick off white head forms, settles to a thin layer, lots of lace, great retention. Smell is nice, intense citrus and floral hopping, very aggressive, some roast and chocolate, caramel, strawberries and other fruit, touch of pine, real nice. Taste is caramel, floral, chocolate, caramel and roast, sharp citrus bitterness, solid malts through the middle. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, maybe a bit to high for the body, but enjoyable.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown to black forming a big bubbled beige head. Good retention and tons of lacings left in the glass

S: Roasted malts and flowery hops. Black IPAs are quite weird because they do have this mix of black roasted beers with pale and hoppy beers

T: Roasted and hoppy. Good balance. Roasted malts, notes of dark chocolate. Biscuity. Quite bitter which is a mix of roasted malts and hops bitterness

M: Medium body and carbonation. Roasted and hoppy bitterness aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Great Black IPA. Another Dieu du Ciel! winner

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Photo of SebD
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice deep brown/amber color to it. It has a nice thick beige head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of coffee, roasted malts, some citrus and some chocolate.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has coffee/chocolate, roasted malts, some citrus and a piney bitterness.

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.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear-seeming cola color (looks like old motor oil) with a lovely 2+ inch tan head that holds itself together really well. Excellent retention; loads of luscious lacing. Gorgeous.

Fresh hops, minerals and dirt, some caramel malt notes, too.

"Flat" hoppy/hard water-tasting right up front. This is quickly followed by burnt malt notes, really reminiscent of a porter or stout in this respect, lots of coffee flavors and dirt. Increasingly dry, medicinal hop finish.

Thin and slightly creamy. Just under medium body. Good, complimentary level of carbonation.

Really a lovely beer. I haven't had many Black IPAs, though, so I would be curious to see how it holds up to a wider swath. Really reminds me of a stout or something. Mouthfeel-, taste-, and appearance-wise it almost reminded me of a deranged Guinness.
The only downside in my opinion is that the hop flavor is pretty medicinal (something I find in a lot of their beers). It is good, but it gets to be a bit much in the back of your throat by the time you finish the bottle.
Would have again.
Worth trying.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

341ml bottle. Good to see this brewery jumping on the Pacific-NW bandwagon. The name unfortunately sits a little too close to 'Twilight' in its interpretation, though it's hardly the brewery's fault.

This beer pours a very, very dark reddish brown hue, with loose mahogany basal highlights, and two fingers of silkily puffy, foamy beige head, which leaves leaves some attractive tight garden hedge lace around the glass as it gently recedes.

It smells of bittersweet chocolate, cafe au lait, chastened caramel malt, soft grapefruit and orange fruity pith, and a twinge of pine resin. The taste is zingy generic citrus rind, chalky sweet cocoa, cold coffee, bready, lightly roasted caramel malt, and a trailing forest-floor pine essence.

The carbonation is adequate in its support and otherwise predilection for the shadows, the body a solid medium weight, and tacitly smooth, as the hops swirl about in a meekly threatening manner. It finishes off-dry, the chocolate, neutered coffee, and malt keeping the hops well in check.

An enjoyable rendition of this emerging style, with ample elements from the yin and yang underlying influences, all quite ably balanced, so as to not let any one run rampant. Or conversely, allowing any one to shirk their duties. Anyways, as expected, DDC hits another standing triple with this offering - and that's only because I'm still coming around on the idea of smoking, charring, or otherwise marring a perfectly good IPA.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A: Deep brown color with tinges of reds somewhat hazy. Beige colored head settles into a quarter inch cap. Lacing is spotty.

S: Nutty, unsweetened cocoa, crusty brown bread, bit of molasses. Slight minerality. Hops bring mango and blood orange with a twist of lemon peel and some herbal grassiness.

T: Toasty and crusty up front. Bitter unsweetened cocoa. Black coffee. Nutty. Minerals. Sharp lemony hops interject. Orange zest. Medium-sharp hop bitterness. Loads of pithy and rind-like citrus flavors. Ruby red grapefruit builds in intensity and reaches its crescendo on the back end. Double whammy of bitter dark malt flavors and a punch of grapefruity hops on the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and somewhat silky. Light supporting carbonation. Oily from the hops. Stiff astringency, but not out of control.

O: Everything I look for is there, it's on par with where the style has headed. Well executed. I just pulled a leftover sandwich out of the fridge; it's packed to the gills with salami and capicola. Little salt and pepper sprinkled on it, some banana peppers too. It made for a nice pairing with this beer. Breakfast of champions. Don't ever tell me I don't know how to live.

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Penombre from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.83 out of 5 based on 195 ratings.
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