Isseki Nicho | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#11,486
Reviews:
79
Ratings:
243
pDev:
8.59%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
38
Trade:
1
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 243
Reviews by TheHammer:
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

More User Reviews:
Photo of jrenihan
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled November 2012. Thanks to Papat444 for the bottle!

Beer is black with a large tan head. Good lace, moderate retention.

Nose is very nice and somewhat unusual. A real mix of fruit and malt, with some yeast. I find it remarkably hard to place the scents with any particularity. There is a bit of a cocoa and roasted scent that is reminiscent of a stout, but the fruit (some citrus and tropical fruit, almost some blueberry?) and yeast reveal it to be something else entirely. Some spice as well. Impressive!

Taste is quite good but not quite at the level of the nose for me. Malt gets ramped up- caramel and roasted malt, coupled with a strong dose of yeast, citrus fruit and some spices. Quite interesting. Really a hybrid of styles, but a success.

Medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation. A bit oily.

Overall, really unusual and quite tasty. A winner in my books. Glad they bottled this one and I hope that it sticks around in that format.

 957 characters

Photo of SebD
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick creamy tan head that dies down moderately slow and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts, light coffee and chocolate, some lemon zest, Belgian yeast, some peppery spices and a slight earthiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has alot of roasted malts upfront, some coffee and chocolate, an earthy bitterness, some lemon and Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: It has a med/high carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas. The only disappointing thing about this beer was the lack of Saison characteristics. They were there but seemed overpowered by all that roastiness. Nevertheless, this is still a solid offering from Dieu du ciel.

Serving type: bottle

 856 characters

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

Photo of stephenlee
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mantissa
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of LoveStout
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of baybum
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of ssmack
4.61/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The label says "Imperial Dark Saison". 9.5%

It fills the tulip with total blackness. The is a thin light tan head. Lacing with the tip of the glass.

This has a mysterious aroma. Musty and grainy. Is that the smell of meat? Yes it is. Pork or maybe uncooked beef.

There is tons of favours in the taste. The alcohol is up front. Dark chocolate and burnt toast. The is a burst of sweetness. Bitter orange in the end.

A satisfying, full, slightly oily feel.

Very enjoyable.

 474 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Boozecamel
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of bigred89
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

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

Photo of muskiesman
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of KeKeKumba
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of polishkaz
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of stortore
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

 732 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a snifter.

Milk chocolate foam builds to four-fingers in width, recedes very slowly, there is still a finger-width of puffy, thick stuff after a few minutes, plastic-y webbed lacing all over. An ominous dark brown body sits heavily in the snifter.

A tangy bouquet meets the nose. The notes are a little roasty, like coffee, a bit of sour cherry, barnyard funk, earthy, smokey, dark chocolate, this miasma of scents is complex and offers something new with each sniff.

The beer starts smokey and tangy with the sour cherry from the nose followed closely by that slight barnyard funk. The finish builds with coffee roast and a nice blast of milky dark chocolate. The hop bitterness is a little surprising, with some good resin quality in the finish as well. The yeast also imparts a chalkiness in the back of the throat. The combo of tanginess, smoke, subtle sweetness, and surprising hop bitterness make this beer loads of fun to sip.

This beer has a solid medium body with a decent dry quality. It is velvety smooth and rolls over the tongue with a little bit of bubbliness.

Isseki Nicho is a quality beer. Dieu du Ciel and Shiga Kougen have created something very special. This dark beer is a complex monstrosity that drinks far too easily for a beer that is 9.5% ABV. I always enjoy the anticipation that comes from trying a style bending beer, and Isseki Nicho did not disappoint! I was debating on whether or not I would pick up a bottle of Dieu du Ciel's Penombre, but after this, debating no longer! Enjoy.

 1,540 characters

Photo of jmvogel512
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of thegerm87
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of unclejazz
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of montrealbcr89
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

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