Penombre | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

BA SCORE
86
very good
200 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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PenombrePenombre
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
200
Reviews:
63
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
9.14%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
12
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

C+

 3,244 characters

Photo of Danno48
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of liquorpig
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of jaydoc
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Franck
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rfgetz
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of jooj8
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, citrus zest, and slight char aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, earth, and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop and 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 pretty good beer with lots of char and earth qualities that somewhat dominate over the citrus zest presence I am getting in the smell.

Serving type: bottle.

 647 characters

Photo of kguard
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of slowfade
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of kmarie
5/5  rDev +30.5%

Photo of dcmchew
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black (very dark brown up towards the light), half finger creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a sticky lace.
Nice roasted malt smell, with rich chocolate, faint cappuccino and lots of burnt sugar. The IPA part shines through, with a big leafy character, pine, minty herbs. Licorice, vanilla and some subtle fig and raisin too.
A robust roastiness hits first in the taste, lots of dark malts and dark chocolate, powdered with ground coffee bean and a bit of cream. Licorice and raisin follow, just for a bit, followed by the big green hops, with pine, ribgrass, maple leaf, bitter grass and spruce. Bitterness gets bigger and bigger as the roast and the hops pile up, creating an ashy, dry charcoal, tobacco, rough bitterness that continues into the aftertaste (leafiness and chocolate too, but way too subtle).
Medium to heavy bodied, oily, medium carbonation.
It felt a bit too roasted for me, and the finish gets even rougher as you drink it, cancelling all the tastiness. More balance would've helped.

 1,019 characters

Photo of muskiesman
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of vhmf1978
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Essentially pitch black, maybe just a touch brown, with a moderate amount of tan head comprised of small bubbles. Aroma is decidedly porter-like, nutty chocolate and coffee malts with just enough grapefruit pith and mango to remind you that this is technically a "black IPA". A brown sugar sweetness develops nicely over time. Smells and tastes a tad funky as well, not in a bad way. On the palate I get some dried fruit, dried citrus peel (grapefruit and tangerine), and bitter earthy notes, root cellar and cruciferous salad greens along with wood char, raisins, cacao powder, black coffee, and walnut meat. An almost maple-like or fenugreek sweetness emerges late. A bit prickly and aggressive but I will concede that the malt flavors develop nicely. This is what I imagine those aggressively hopped porters of yore to taste like (see Steele's excellent book on IPAs for details). Tasty but the hops do not shine through as well as in other examples of the style. The malt bill and execution is top notch, however.

 1,051 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of notchucknorris
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours black with a creamy one finger light sandy colored head. Really nice lace left behind after each sip and decent retention.

S: Lots of spruce and pine with a bit of citrus peel, chocolate and earthiness. Sort of a strange smell, but not a turn off.

T: There's a damp piny hop flavor that hits first, then some roasted malt, day old coffee, charred grain husk and some light bittersweet cocoa. A bit of lingering pine resin on the finish with some burnt espresso. Interesting, but I wouldn't say this is one of the better ones I've had from them.

 556 characters

Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

 418 characters

Penombre from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.83 out of 5 based on 200 ratings.
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