Isseki Nicho
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho
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Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #505
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #8,689
Avg:
3.97 | pDev: 8.56%
Reviews:
80
Ratings:
246
From:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
 
Quebec, Canada
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  16
Gots
  39
SCORE
89
Very Good
Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 246 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TooManyGlasses
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full disclosure - this beer is dated 2015. Pours a solid black with active carbonation and a creamy brown head that happily reappears with a little agitation.
Aroma is spicy yet notes of tart citrus, chocolate, coffee, and some cherry.
Taste aggressively bitter - dark chocolate, roasty caramel, coffee, grapefruit rind, and funky tartness.
Amazingly creamy full mouthfeel yet briskly carbonated; leaves a funky lingering bitterness - begs for another sip. Difficult beer to pin down - I think I really liked it....

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Photo of BucBasil
3.81/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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Photo of Sigmund
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of dave_ackbar
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of EMH73
3.97/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.41/5  rDev -14.1%
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

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Photo of TheHammer
3.1/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Shadman
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a crazy combination in my opinion but then again I'm not a brewer so..

surprise it looks like a stout..great head retentention though

smells like a stout,

honestly, for my semi-refined palate, I found it difficult to pick out much Saisson out of the Imperial Stout here,,

Smooth, given the ABV

An interesting but ( IMO ) a wasted effort

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Photo of dabeerbuddha
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap. Poured into a tulip.
Pours jet black with tan head that fades and results in nice lacing.
Sweet aroma of cherries, chocolate and malt. Taste is mild coffee, dark cherries, charred malts and spices. Hides it's ABV well. Light body. Relatively dry finish. Overall a fun beer to drink.

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Photo of Poljazz22
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016-09-07 $can 3.50 11.5 oz poured into a belgian tulip glass at about 16 deg C
Totally opaque black. Very little head and the smallest ring of foam ever.
Belgian yeast and season ale.
A mix of season and stout. Lots of belgian spiciness with added roasted malt. A phenomenal amount of various flavors fight it out inside my mouth. Lots of spice, mint with a faint sugar final. Licorice and apples.
The carbonation is very champagne like. And the 95.% abv is totally hidden till you've swallowed.
An unusual ale. I bought a 4 pack and will wait for it to age to drink the rest.
This beer followed a bottle of grande noirceur (a really good IS from the same brewers ) so perhaps not the best of circumstances. And I admit I am a newbie with season ales. Still worth a try.
Had another bottle 6 months later! June 25th 2017
Much more balanced and a really interesting brew! I am glad I have 2 more to try. Can"t wait till x-mas for bottle no 3 of 4.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color with mocha head. Aroma has dark malts, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruits and some spices. Taste starts with some liquorice, chocolate, roasted malt, quite bitter, especially on the finish and lingering very long on the aftertaste with roasted chocolate malt. Body is quite light with a good amount of carbonation. Overall it's an interesting spicy beer with a very well hidden ABV but a bit unbalanced for my taste.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black color with lots of glass clinging activity. Frothy and creamy brown 3 finger head, lasting around 15-20 minutes, with a bit of lacing. Flavors of dark grains, dark fruits like prunes, cocoa, coffee, belgian yeast, nuts, black liquorice, and herbal spices. Molassy sugars with a balanced bitter earthy and leathery feel. Creamy full body with crispy carbonation. Strong finish, a little dry and vinous that ends quite fast , lingering roasted malts, earthy spices, cappuccino, dark fruity yeast, and notes oak and walnuts. An imperial stout with saison elements, but I wouldn't call this a Saison. Low freshness from a strong alcoholic feel and slightly metallic...would serve this as an appetizer. A little too strong but still pleasant and very warming. Nice flavors, lots of them, making a complex brew. Overall very good quality craft.

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Photo of stortore
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.5 ounce bottle into a tulip glass

Pours near black and opaque, with a thick one and a half inch darker head, lots of foamy lacing. A good start. Smell is roasted malt, yeast. black pepper, a little straw and chocolate, light hops, a general spiciness- maybe some cloves? Taste also leads with the malt- not as roasted, yeast, some chocolate, some biscuit or bread, some caramel and raisins. Light hop bitterness. Smooth, creamy, dry, solid body, well carbonated.

Damn, I like this one. More like a stout, but the Belgian aspects are close to even. Definitely get the saison here, as well. It's not quite unique, but it is different, complex and extremely well executed. Give this one a try, it's well worth a purchase.

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Photo of smcolw
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown where no light through. Some streaks for lace from the modest beige head.

The smell is more stout than saison. Chalky and chocolatey smell. I also get a bit of black cherries and currants.

The taste is as I expected from the smell. I don't get much sourness at all, except briefly in the swallow. Very little burnt elements and even the chocolate is semisweet. The mouthfeel is middle of the road all around. Unsweetened cocoa is the aftertaste.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Dapanneur AS in Montreal for $3.50 for a 341ml bottle. Served at 6deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high brown head that lasted nearly 5mins before film out. Very dark almost black colour to it. Can't tell if it's filtered or not

S- Lots of chocolate and roasted malt. Just a wonderful scent

T- Chocolate and roasted malt. Very hoppy at the end when you let the chocolate and such come out. Rather complex and enjoyable.

M- Dry and tart

O- Very good brew. Glad I tried one and will buy again if I see it. Nice break from the every day and rather complex blend of ingredients. I like this brew

Food Pairing

This wonderful little brew went well with......... Brazed lamb shank on a bed of creamy potato infused with garlic and thyme.

Enjoy

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Photo of Chico1985
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

341ml bottled on 9-10-15. Label also lists aging potential as: yes. So there.

A - Pour to a tulip is just about black, big ol tan head forms. Eventually it drops to about a half-finger and retains as such, nice retention and lacing.

S - A pretty striking blend of stout+saison that leans a bit more in the way of stout. Definitely potent chocolate and roast, coffee, some dark fruit and licorice, a grape/spicy yeast/straw feel. Definitely a bit peppery with some warmth.

T - Grape, saison yeast, licorice and clove+pepper spice are more amped up here, more obvious saison elements coming through but still quite the roasty toasty cocoa backbone.

M - Feel a bit on the hefty side, somewhat chewy with nice highish carbonation, a bit boozy. Finishes quite dry with a lil spicy kick. Somewhat easy-drinking all things considered but it's a bit of a beast for sure.

O - Usually a bit wary when it comes to the whole dark saison thing, but this is quite a shining example. Great flavors coming from both imperial stout and saison, pretty complex, love the spiciness and licorice vibe going on for xtra fun.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a super interesting beer with a really gorgeous label. Normally I don't pay attention to the label but I dig the one on this beer.

Pours jet black with a coffee and cream head that lasts for a while and leaves slight lacing.

Smells of roasted malts and coffee. A little chocolate. There is a hint of floral and grassy notes that really do make it seem like a saison.

Taste-Char, coffee, chocolate, eventually give way to a hint of floral and berry tartness. It really is part saison. I would say its almost 50/50 stout and saison. It's a harmonious mixture too. The alcohol is well hidden. Good beer for sure.

Mouthfeel-More stout than saison here. Medium to full body with low carbonation.

Overall-I was intrigued by the idea of this beer so I bought it. I was kind of expecting to be disappointed because the concept seemed strange. I was wrong. It is a good beer. I don't think I could drink a ton, which is for the best given the 9.5 ABV. Definitely worth a try and I'll definitely be giving this brewery a few more tries.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: jet black with a solid 1-finger tan head. Void of light. When poured, the beer doesn't appear as heavy as an imperial stout, otherwise, this beer would easily pass as such.

Aroma: bitter, roast - black patent? - sweet malt and bittersweet chocolate.

Flavor: bitter from the roast malt. This beer is more imperial stout than saison, but very little hoppiness. There is light licorice/anise in the taste.

Mouthfeel: light-medium. Surprisingly light being 9.5%.

Overall: Meh! There are no off flavors in this beer, but it is far from possessing the "wow" factor. Try Dieu du Ciel's other beers before this one.

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Photo of Derek
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More saison than imperial stout? A bit odd... Enticing aroma, the roasted flavours are consumed by the saison yeast byproducts... More "Belgian" than many so-called Belgian stouts.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at CBX in Charleston for $5.50. Pours a dark cola color with a 1finger brown foam head that quickly fades. Aroma of char, saison yeast, coffee. Taste is similar, the burnt wood taste to me is very strong with the saison yeast bringing up the rear with some pepper. Mouthfeel is not silky smooth with the carbonation kicking in. Hybrid brew is okay and would not seek again as the char flavor is too much for me.

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Isseki Nicho from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 246 ratings