Penombre | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Liked This Beer
3.83 w/ 203 Ratings

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 203 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of ThickNStout
2.21/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from La Duchesse D'Aiguillon (Quebec City). 2.39. I can't decipher to the notched 0&1 mean. Served in a Microbrasseri Charlevoix goblet.

Pours near black with a quarter finger light tan head. Small bits of lace.

Smells of coffee, roast malts and just a whisp of pine.

Tastes of burnt coffee, smoked malt, char, bark and traces of flower pedal. In the back therw is also a hint of something "off".

Lightish body with moderately high carbonation. Long roasty finish.

Deinately the weakest link I've found in Dieu du Ciel's otherwise strong line up. Drinks much more like a garden variety stout than an ABA, with almost no hop character to speak of. I have to assume/ hope that I got an infected, old or bad bottle. I just can't believe that my experience is what the brewers intended.

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Photo of byronic
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Hultkrantz
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of Ryry10
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A nice tasting beer with a thick aftertaste. Not for the occasional beet drinker defenitely an acquired taste

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Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

11.5 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black twist-off cap and appealing label art purchased at a CO bottle shop and served cold into a nonical pint glass at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO.

Reviewed live as a Black IPA per the label. 6.5% ABV. 2014 vintage (First notch at '0', second notch at '9'). Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 2 fingers wide. Pale khaki colour. Nicely creamy and thick, with a gorgeous rolling soft consistency and shining complexion. Retention is pretty good - ~8-9 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Deep dark amber-black. Nontransparent. A biteen translucent. No yeast or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance for a Black IPA, but is far from unique or special. The head is well above average.

AROMA: Spruce and evergreen hop notes dominate, with a bit of subsidiary pine and resinous character. A kiss of roasted barley lurks beneath the surface, alongside subdued dark malts. Sticky and sappy.

The key thing I look for in a Black IPA is balance, and so many examples of the style have a fundamental imbalance because the dark malts clash with the hops. That does not appear to be the case here, so I'm hopeful this will be one of the better Black IPAs.

Aromatic intensity is above average. This aroma exhibits no off-notes or overt alcohol, and is suggestive of a deep, multifaceted brew.

TASTE: Hm. It's got a surprisingly brief flavour duration, and the flavour intensity is merely average. It takes me a while to acclimate to the flavour profile as a result.

Once I do, I notice its simplicity and overt plainness. It's not boring or shallow, but there isn't a whole lot going on here, and unfortunately it does suffer from the abovementioned clash of dark malts and hops - though to nowhere near the extent that most beers in the style do.

The predictable dark malt base does harbor some buried roast - which just isn't evocative enough for my tastes, and the hop profile bears notes of spruce and evergreen, with some subsidiary resins and even a hint of candied and bubblegum notes. No pine is here to be found, but it would likely help.

I don't dislike it, but it's rather pedestrian.

TEXTURE: Full-bodied and creamy, with a porter-like smoothness and wetness that suits it well. Thickness is apt. It has a coating mouthfeel and a nice overall presence on the palate.

While this texture complements the taste nicely enough, it doesn't elevate the beer or accentuate its flavours. Generally well-executed, but not custom-tailored specifically to this unique taste.

OVERALL: It's one of the less imbalanced Black IPAs I've come across, but I still think this is the product of a style that's still in its infancy and hasn't quite found its legs. This is easily one of Dieu Du Ciel's weaker offerings, and I wouldn't pick it up a second time. Drinkable, but forgettable, with no stand-out characteristics. Oddly, I find myself noticing now that the best Black IPAs I've had are all brewed outside the U.S. I think this succeeds largely because the hop bitterness is very toned down compared to American attempts at the style; it basically drinks like an overhopped porter.


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Photo of Noxious26
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

341ml brown bottle poured in a pint glass. Purchased from Zyn in Calgary on Remembrance Day weekend.

Pitch black with just a hint of cola coloured highlights when held up to the light. Big foamy beige head is about 1.5 inches on the pour. So thick it looks like you could stand on it. Recedes to a thick cap.

Burnt malt with a coffee aroma and hints of herbal hops.

Lots of burnt flavour. Kind of like a stout rather than a Black IPA. The hops come through in a long finish to add a bitter hops effect to the bitter burnt flavour coating the tongue.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The burnt quality is a little harsh.

Not really to style. Way to much burnt malt for a black IPA. Hops are almost imperceptible. This would be a decent stout, but it's not a very good version of the style they're labelling it.

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Photo of misterkew
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of mdillon86
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of marct
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of steve8robin
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of slowfade
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of THECPJ
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of ladle69
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of rugene
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 1 1 at 42 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of toasted malt
Head large (6.5 cm), light brown, creamy, mostly diminishing to a center hill with a partial 3 mm layer.
Lacing good
Body dark amber with slight haze
Flavor begins moderately bitter with some maltyness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Flavor ends bitter
Palate light to medium, watery, carbonation soft

An unremarkable beer, supposedly a dark IPA, but with no discernable hops input, just some toasted malt bitterness

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Photo of 4ster
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a large wine glass. Brewed date 12/12.

A: Pours opaque, very dark brown, verging on black. Light milky brown head that settles into a decent froth with large bubbles. Retention eventually dies down.

S: Very faint hop smell, but not getting much else out of this glass. Light to almost non existant on the nose.

T: Quite similar to the smell. Not much hitting up front in the way of malts...there are hints of coffee towards the end which follows up with a fairly bitter hop aftertaste, but that is about it.

M: Pretty smooth beer off the start, medium carbonation but I get a burning alcohol at the back of my throat on the finish. Had this beer with food so I will caution for now that it could have been emphasizing some spice or something in the food, not entirely sure.

O: For starters, being from the West Coast I am used to some pretty amazing Cascade Darks (similar style to this) and as such am fairly disappointed in this brew. Add to the fact it comes from DDC makes me wanting more. It was dark but just not much else. The dark just overpowers the IPA hop profiles and not in a good complex malt way... To note, this is I believe the first time they have offered this beer in bottle form and not having tried it on tap, perhaps it has just lost something in the translation. Either way it needs some work. It s drinkable but not much more.

 1,367 characters

Photo of kwkdmk
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap: Poured clear black color ale with a small foamy head with good retention. Aroma of bitter hops with light aromatic notes. Taste is not the most complex with medium bitter notes and a dry caramel malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. OK but not really a style a dig and not the most complex beer from this fine brewer.

 341 characters

Photo of papat444
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, bottled 12/12.

Appearance: A dense brown body, easily 3-4 fingers worth of a nice chocolate milk colored head. Lasts a good while, rocky foam that climbs well onto the glass.

Smell: Hoppy a bit, mild roasted notes, some grapefruit, mild coffee.tame

Taste: Flavors surprisingly tame, milky coffee mixes with some hops which are a cross between grapefruit & wood.

Mouthfeel: First thing i notice is the smoothness of the body, not rugged but creamy. Bitterness is an afterthought.

Overall: A subdued IPA , not a real hoppy one. Good but i've yet to see one beat Dunham's.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into a snifter. The alchemy inspired artwork is inspirational! Penombre means "Twilight" in French, by the way.

Penombre pours into the glass an opaque, dark brown with a tawny film that barely manages pencil-width before receding to a ring.

This black ipa has a sweet nose: white bread drizzled with honey, slight coriander spiciness. It is hard to pick anything else out. Where are the hops?

The palate reiterates that white bread sweetness throughout the drink, however a roasted malt also joins the fray, helping to smooth out the sweet. As the beer warms this opens up a bit and resembles dark chocolate. Hops are only noticeable at the finish where a growing resin-y, aspirin-like bitterness slowly grows, meshes well with the roasty and sweet malt. The lack of any other kind of hop flavoring makes for a let down.

Penombre pleases with medium-bodied heft and bubbly carbonation on the tongue. Once that long, bitter finish takes hold though, the beer dives to dryness.

Penombre comes across a bit like a one-trick pony. The hops exists only to bitter up the finish; the malts coalesce with a big and roasty blast to compliment the hops. The nose could use some tweaking, far too sweet for how the beer turns out, and faint. I wanted to really like this beer, but this is a less than inspirational bipa.

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Penombre from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 72.4% out of 100 with 203 ratings
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