Penombre | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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

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Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 196
Photo of Digimaika2
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(4.0) A: Near black with a caramel tinge and a tall and creamy dirty beige head. Lengthy retention and commendable lacing.

(4.0) S: Hops (some citrus and herbal qualities) along with lighter roasted malt (mainly dark chocolate). Licorice, root beer, caramel, and vanilla can also be detected to varying degrees.

(3.75) T: Similar to aroma with hops and roasted malt both sharing the taste profile. Citrus, dark cocoa, caramel, and herbal qualities. Modestly bitter with some dryness but more caramel sweetness.

(3.75) M: Medium bodied with med-low carbonation. Creamy and slick texture.

(3.75) D: This is great to see in Ontario considering the lack of black IPA’s available (hopefully that will change) and it's just great to see DDC products period.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark brown, almost opaque and black in a dimly lit bar.

S: Strong notes of cocoa powder and dark coffee grinds, a bitter note in the background.

T: Very similar to the nose. Semisweet chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans. Roasty, but not overly malty, hence the Black IPA characteristics for a bitterness from the hops to cut through. Black IPAs are a tightrope walk, and this one goes across with a slight leaning into chocolate territory, which not many Black IPAs can successfully do.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation, giving way to a very, very smooth finish.

O/D: Taking the bitterness and acidity of good cacao, and matching with similar hops makes for a fantastic match. I can't tell if I enjoy the heavy chocolate notes, but it's certainly an interesting and flavorful take on the Black IPA, or whatever name we're calling the style today.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 9/20/2013 at Julian’s in Providence, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, hops and chocolate.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of chocolate and coffee come in. The hops presence is strong overall but not over-powering creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 341 ml bottle into a pint glass

A: cola colored with a two fingered head that gives way quickly to leave a small froth.

S: the coffee and chocolate come through strongly on this one.

T: the taste follows the nose and there is a hop profile as well.

M: thin feel with a medium carbonation.

O: not a bad beer. I am not a huge fan of DDC, but I think this one is my favorite of theirs to this point.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Served in a footed glass at the Mikkeller bar in SF.

A: Dark. Opaque. Little head.

S: hops and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

T: bittersweet. Interesting and worthwhile. At the end of the day though, a hoppy-malty mishmash.

M: solid but unexceptional.

O: I liked this beer a whole bunch. I love Dieu du Ciel, so...biased. Still. Recommended.

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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 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 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 joemcgrath27
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - almost impenetrable black, thumb of tan head receded slowly leaving plenty of sticky lacing
S - big roasty notes, hint of earthiness, touch of cola
T - cola and roasty malts, more mild earthy and grassy hops, more subtle pine and charcoal, but generally malt dominant
M medium body with a nice carbonation kick, full with a gentle hop bitter
O - its definitely tasty and goes down nicely, its a little heavy on malt relative to hops for my taste but that's more of a preference than a knock on it

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Either it’s the toastiest IPA I've ever had or the hoppiest Porter that I've ever had. Regardless, its results are chocked full of the charm that I've grown to love about Dieu du Ciel.

In grand Porter-like fashion, the beer pours dark "bark" brown and basically opaque. The dense looking ale releases a creamy sandy-tan head that whips right up with a gentle swirl of the glass. Its lacy retention coats the glass with intricate patterns.

As hearty as the beer looks, its aromas are just as prominent: cocoa, heavy toast, light coffee, and roasted nuts continue the Porter theme, but the bright and zesty character of IPA chimes in with grapefruit and pine needles. Underlying burnt sugars seem to support the wood and citrus notes with a cream-like sense.

Its full flavors start with the char of toast, fresh ground coffee, burnt walnuts and cocoa. The light background of dry toffee fades at middle palate and makes way for the charge of hops to come. Starting citrusy with white grapefruit and freshly zested oranges, the toast soon fades and leaves the sticky, resiny taste of pine to dry the taste and usher in throat-gripping bitterness to close its taste.

Firm bodied, the beer has full impressions as the mind thinks IPA to start, but the dry toast character keeps the beer light so the turn toward IPA is a bit more manageable in the middle. Finishing toasty-dry, warm, and resinous- the beer has a linger of mild roast astringency and stemmy hop bite.

It really is a tale of two beers- where intrigue takes the tasted buds back and forth from hop to toast and back again. But I would rather it make up its mind. Either relegate the toasted malts to a color-correction role only, or push the sweetness a bit to balance the hops properly.

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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 leaddog
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with a finger of bubbly, creamy beige head. Nice lacing left on the glass.

Smell - Chocolate, coffee bean, hint of piney hops.

Taste - Chocolate, coffee bean and bitter hop flavour, similar to grapefruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A tasty American Black IPA by Dieu du Ciel. One of the first beers I've had from them where the aroma has completely thrown me off - lacking the level of hops for the style. Thankfully, the taste came through as being more reminiscent of the style.

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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 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 wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into tulip 6/2/13

A near black with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam has decent retention and leaves several partial rings of lace

S coco, cold coffee and some citric hops, faint pine some grapefruit and orange peel, the hops could be stronger this reminds me of a hoppy porter

T some char I didn't smell and there's more hops in the mouth, more pine and citrus then the smell and the roast's darker too, its like the nose but stronger and better

M a little bitter bite and slick after the fact, nice mix of char and rind on the finish lingers for ages

O smells a little faint but its a minor issue, I suppose some more hops would work but I could say that about almost every beer I drink

I doubt I'll have any issues with the remainder of my 6 pack, it went down pretty fast and I'm pleased were getting another DDC brew here in Alberta

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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 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.

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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 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 jrenihan
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black/slightly brown, with a frothy tan head. Great retention, head does not go away.

Smell is quite malty, with some juicy citrus hops.

Taste is similar. Roasted malt with juicy citrus, perhaps lemon. Moderately bitter.

Medium bodied, moderate to low carbonation. A bit oily. Nice cask feel.

Overall, a nice black IPA, nice on cask.

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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 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 schlimenhaumer
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brasserie Dieu du Ciel.

A: Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a garnet hue when held to light. Creamy one-finger off-white head with a fair amount of retention and quite a lot of lacing.

S: Coffee and chocolate notes up front with some floral hoppy notes to follow. Overall, very sweet smelling.

T: Very strong roasted malt flavors up front with a finish that tastes just like black coffee. Not too hoppy, but nonetheless there's a fair amount of bitterness from the coffee in the finish.

M: Full-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel, but the dry finish entices you to take the next sip.

D: Goes down as smooth as many of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. From notes.

A - Poured a black colour with red around the edges. Two finger fluffy tan head. Good visible carbonation. Half finger of retention throughout and good lacing.

S - Roasted at first then right to juicy citrus. Some licorice and bread there also. Very inviting.

T - Roasty and chocolatey then flowing to licorice and citrus with a grapefruit finish. Very different from the aroma. Not blended as well.

M - Good carbonation and a medium body but alot less bitter than expected.

O/D - Not bad for a Black IPA. Very drinkable and flavourful, just off on some points. But good nonetheless.

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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.

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Penombre from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.83 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
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