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Isseki Nicho | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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Very Good
243 Ratings
Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Special collaboration between Dieu du Ciel and Shiga Kougen, a Japanese brewery located in Nagano. Hybrid of an imperial stout and a Belgian saison, its color is dark black. Strong bitterness and roasted malt flavours come in first, and are well balanced by a strong alcohol level. Dry and complex finishing provided by the saison yeast.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 243 |  Reviews: 79
Photo of stephenlee
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BucBasil
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the 330mL bottle into a tulip glass. The beer is a pure black color with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Chocolate and some slight citrus and dark fruit flavors. This is a really unique aroma combination with some competing notes. Creamy vanilla and cola characteristics in there. Some spices.

T: Gingerbread and dark chocolate. Spices. Finishes slightly sweet and quite hoppy with a hint of dry alcohol burn.

Overall: What a strange beer, with lots of competing flavors and aromas that come together in unexpected ways. A good challenge for the palate and a fun one to try, but not one that I would probably pick up again.

 649 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pleasantly unusual beer! Dark saison, but some porter and black ale characteristics.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Beautiful deep dark brown color with a thick creamy beige head and great lacing. Surprisingly refreshing smell. Spicy saison taste with dark chocolate and coffee. Love it!

 300 characters

Photo of goalie35
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StormAles
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jibs
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sigmund
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

341 ml bottle, from Vinmonopolet, Nettbutikken. ABV is 9.5%. Black colour, large tan head. Very nice roasty and spicy aroma. High level of carbonation. Roasty and spicy flavour too, notes of coffee, dark chocolate and black pepper, distinct bittering hops. Excellent beer.

 272 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Playing Avernum 3. More a black IPA than a black saison, and fairly good at that, but didnt find any funk notes reminding a saison. Very foamy, requiring 2 pours. High drinkability, abv well concealed

 240 characters

Photo of mpenske
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ChrisCage
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- This one pours a nice dark brown color that is slightly of motor oil and contains a two finger thick foam head, that is kamikaze short stack brown (as per my uncle)! It retains very well, starting out fizzy and ending as a half finger thick puffy caramel colored layer over the brew! Nice thick lacing coats the side of my glass and of course the carbonation is much too hard to see.

S- This is interesting with primary aromas of citrus rind, cocoa powder, sweet almond/hazelnut nuttiness, slight black licorice, burnt oakiness/char, hints of smoked salami, heavily roasted dark barley malts and the finish is dry and Earthy.

T- Wow....heavily smoky flavoring/smoked meat (think Landjager sausage), malty charred licorice, essence of Postum, dark yeast/biscuit, hints of Marmite, burnt nuts, burnt toffee/caramel, light orange zest, dark chocolate powder, yeasty funk and an Earthy/root like finish that is dry yet palatable!

M/O- Medium-ish body and the carbonation is quite aggressive, allowing different flavors to burst on the palate. The alcohol is well hidden and the drinkability is very high! Pairs well with a dark chocolate, which adds a certain creaminess and I think would also pair well with a beef stew! Another winner from Dieu du Ciel!

 1,264 characters

Photo of Samact
3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.5 oz bottle. No bottling date; I bought it on sale a couple of months ago.

This was NOT what I was expecting it to be. It's classified as a Saison, and I thought it would be more like a Belgian strong dark (BSD), but it's more of a marriage between a Belgian and a Russian imperial stout (RIS).

Right off, it pours very dark brown, with a thick, creamy head that lasts.

Smells like a RIS with a big of dark fruits in the mix -- Wonderful.

Taste up front is is more like an RIS (and I love it), but the finish is more like a BSD (not bad).

Mouth-feel is somewhat creamy, and medium to heavy.

Overall: This is a very unusual, and damn good, beer.

This beer reminds me somewhat of Boulevard's Dark Truth stout.

I rated this beer for what I liked about it, and not based on what I think a Saison, or Belgian strong dark should taste like, as this is clearly an animal of a different sort.

 896 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Simon212
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of dave_ackbar
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look. Dark rich and nice 1/2 inch head.
Smell. Smokey, with a hint of a typical saison smell.
Taste. Oh so yummy, not really much to compare it to since it’s a hybrid. Smooth, with a nice after tastes.
Feel. Nice smooth and for a dark p, refreshing.
Overall. Definitely a great beer, might have to go back to get another glass or 2.

 334 characters

Photo of rugene
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of EMH73
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An incredibly unique beer to me. Bottle 8/2015. Pours black with a huge dark beige head that was well retained but left very little lacing. Smells of roasted malts and dark fruits. Taste is where it becomes unique where saison meets stout. Tastes of roasted malts, char, coffee, dark fruits, licorice, citrus and spices along with a bit of farm house funk. Finishes moderately bitter with a creamy mouth feel, lightly carbonated.

 429 characters

Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

L: This beer is beautiful a dark pitch black pour, with a large head

S: Dark fruit, grapes, very malty, a malt bomb

T: Dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee, sweetness, a major maltiness that's overwhelming and made me pour it down the drain. I don't know when the beer was brewed but it tasted very funky and not in a good way. I'm a huge fan of Black IPA's and dark beers in general but when something is overly malty I can't take it. The flavors were drowned out and I was left with a terrible infected beer taste in my mouth. Similar to one of the previous reviews, I admire the brewers innovation but don't know if it really works. I don't think the darker styles work with the farmhouse style of brewing and for that reason, "I'm out"

F: Very carbonated

O: Not my cup of tea/beer

 784 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TheHammer
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Poured with two fingers of head that boasted very aggressive carbonation, and excessive carbonation on the pour. It retained fairly well, and laced like crazy. The body, is as advertised, black as a stout.

Smell: Smokey burnt malt is the primary smell, but there is a mix of several well balanced undertones. Notes of dark chocolate, orange citrus, black licorice, tea and even a bit of a kelp like note to it. Warming brings out the already ample profile on this one, so more points here.

Taste: Slightly smoked malt up front with a bit of citrus, that loses itself to a mixed bitter note as black licorice, bitter herbal and earthy hops and excessively strong coffee, that occasional gets saved by a sweet hint of citrus and apple, but is frankly drowned out.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation helps out the entire beer, which would be good if I liked the taste, but isn't the case for me. It's a jump off the cliff as far as transistioning as the initial mild aspect just gets annhilated by the middle of the beer. It also has a clingy mixed bitter aftertaste with a hint of metal dryness that builds as the beer goes on.

Drinkability: Well it's very light for most dark beers I've had, and easy on the system, but refreshing it is not. The carbonation settles down well enough but the flavour and mouthfeel, I just can't get over.

Final Thoughts: I applaud the brewer(s) for pioneering a dark saison, but I'm honestly confused as to why and what they were going for here. I expected a light porter, or mild dark with a focus on the fruiter saison notes and smokiness. What I got though was a bitterness that most Black IPA's can't boast, only here the bitterness isn't caused soley by excessive hoping it seems. It's not my cup of tea, but this is more because the flavours didn't appeal to me then it being a lack of craftsmanship. If you are in to Black IPA and want something a bit different, this is probably down your alley.

 1,945 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Essentially a hoppy black saison with quite a bit of umami and smoke to it. Pours a darker black body, one finger white head, short retention, good lacing character. Smell is light smoke, herbal hop aromas, light milk chocolate, touch of funk, light leather, and a bit of a game-y umami smell to it. Flavour also demonstrates a game-like umami smell on the background of herbal hop aromas and a touch of smoke, there is a bit of milk chocolate and graininess as well. Mouthfeel is medium lighter bodied, good carbonation, with a distinct soy-umami flavour on the finish.

 570 characters

Photo of yasky
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Samallison
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Isseki Nicho from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 243 ratings