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Isseki Nicho | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
65 Reviews
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Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

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.

Added by bobsy on 10-05-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
210
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
15.46%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
32
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 210
Photo of Ozzylizard
2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle notched 0 and 2, at 50 degrees into goblet
Aroma of malt, alcohol, and ???
Head large (5.5 cm), creamy with some rocks, light brown, rapidly diminishing into a 2 cm layer with the center rising like an abbreviated Devil’s Tower
Lacing poor with an occasional clump
Body dark brown to black, opaque
Flavor is primarily malt with some alcohol – it burns when swallowed. No hops, no diacetyl. Fortunately only minimal aftertaste.
Body medium to full, slightly oily, carbonation soft.

I’m at a loss understanding what makes this a saison – the imperial and dark parts are obvious. There are no complex esters apparent, there is no spiceness or fruitiness. Wait – I just went back and reread the judging characteristics for a saison; it seems that anything goes. In the words of Emily Litella – “Never mind”.

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Photo of jlindros
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

picked up in Montreal, split with rudzud

Big oversized fluffy thick head fades slowly with tons of lacing, super dark just about pitch black beer.

Nose mild roast and dark caramel, toasty wheat, fruity esters that don't blend nicely, little orange zest, apple thing and perfumey phenols, choc malt note.

Taste creamy malts, little choc, roasty dark caramel, burnt roast and smoke like, bitter roast, peppery phenols and perfumey chemical notes, bitter spicy hops that don't blend at all, citrus rind, yeasty over attenuated weird, bitter, etc. Finish sticky dry phenols orange cleaner, bitter earthy hops.

Mouth is way over carbonated, med bod, little syrupy sticky.

Overall this was a mess, nothing went together well, too many different flavors messing with each other and nothing came through nicely without being effected by something else.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
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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Photo of rudzud
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hue with a fat two finger mocha head that fades to leave sticky lacing and fat blanket.

s - Aromas of wheat, darker malts, light saison notes, very subtle funk.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, light roast malts, light chocolate, decent funk, nice toasty malts. Rather yeast and over attenuated.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, almost too much.

O - Overall this beer started decent but quickly became yeasty and over attenuated. Really just mediocre.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

What if a Japanese and Québécois brewery got together and made a beer? In this case, you get a black saison. On-tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, on to the beer"

Topping the black body is a tanned head, which retains well and leaves some lacing around the glass. Continuing the good start is the aroma, which offers a spicy rye note, a kiss of cocoa, and lemon wedges. And like that, the good start ends and it becomes....weird. There's a wild citrus flavor throughout the beer, and not even the breaths of cocoa can breathe enough into the beer and get it out of that direction. It's also modestly sour. The taste isn't bad to me; it's just on the singular side and unexpected.

One crazy beer. If you're prepared for a wild ride, Isseki Nicho might be ready for you. If not, shoot for another option. I'm glad that I tried it, but probably not again (more so considering the price).

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Photo of CowsandBeer
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 oz bottle poured into a Brasserie de Silly tulip glass.

Appearance: A down the side pour produced a massive three fingers of mocha colored head. Lots of thick lacing with a persistent head. Black ink body.

Aroma: Wow, what an interesting aroma. Up front some soapy hops, some white peper, hay and funk, backbone of roasted malts and coffee. So it goes hoppy, saison, stout. Plenty going on but kind of confusing too.
Taste: The saison yeast seems to dominate over the stout notes here. Lots of white pepper, sea salt, and hay. A weird transition into the stout portion. Dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, but over powered by the saison yeast.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel with prickly, low carbonation. Drying. Some booze.

Overall: A great looking beer but maybe not the best idea overall. The saison yeast overpowers the stout and seems too peppery and salty, almost one dimensional. Towards the finish the hop bitterness from the stout clashes with the yeast and almost makes it hard to drink too. I’d say back to the drawing board for this one.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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 Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask remaining two days after DDC night, at Cafe Volo. Cross style one-off callaboration. Black colour, with significant bubbly cask head. Aroma of pepper,malt, roast, and spicey yeast. Above average mouthfeel, particularly for a cask. Some hops, yeast in taste, some astringency on the tongue, roasted barley, some brown rice. A sipper.A unique Belgian stout imperial porter saison.
Had it again at Mondiale 2010 and it was a middling saison and RIS. Noticed dark chocolate, 3/8" bubbly head and above average mouthfeel.

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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 spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

341ml bottle from Broue Haha QC for 12$ for a 4-pack

Appearance - Brown/black colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 1-2 minutes.

Smell - Malts, clove, chocolate, coffee, earthiness

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, anise, and clove. There are also notes of coffee, chocolate and a light smokiness. It ends with an earthy yet spicy herbal aftertaste.

Overall - Lots of taste going on here.. a little something for everyone. Point for originality but not something you'd want to have more than 1 of in a sitting. It will be interesting to see how aging effects this one.

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Photo of babaracas
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a mostly clear very dark brown with one finger of light brown foam that settles to a thin ring, spray of lace on the glass. Smell: toast, french roast, a little char, dark chocolate note, compote... figs, blackberries. Taste: spiciness and plum and berry tartness clashes a bit with dark chocolate and charred toast, but a punch of caramel mid sip helps everything meld pretty nicely. The feel is the first place where this is more identifiable as a saison than a stout... space-filling carbonation, pillowy feel, finishing drying and peppery.

This comes of as a stout with saison characteristics, vs. the black/dark saison interpretations that I usually find successful and that take a saison and add a caramel or dark fruit emphasis. That said, it seems like there's a really good stout in here and even if the saison elements aren't perfectly harmonious, it's still a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a large dark black color ale with a large deep brown color head with good detention and some pretty good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt notes is quite dominant with some light tart notes and some green citrusy hoppy notes also easily detectable. Taste is also a mix between some huge roasted malt notes with a serious hoppy profile with some citrus notes. Chocolate and light dry coffee notes are also detectable as well as light tart/lemony notes in the aftertaste. Body is full with creamy texture with great carbonation and no alcohol was perceptible. Interesting combination of flavour and totally not what I was expecting but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -5%

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, earth, chalk, spice, and char aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with more imperial stout than saison qualities in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of SebD
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
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

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Photo of mrmanning
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Volo- This was my second favoutire beer of the fest. Dark black ...very schwartzbier looking. Nice mocha cap sits atop. Nose is quite fruity with plum and prune, candi malts, earthy and rustic with tobacco and spices, yeasty and funky. Flavour profile is surprisingly sweet, with good fruit and roasty coffee, almost leathery, with tobacco flavours, floral hops with anise in the finish. As with a lot of beer from this brewer, the ABV is nowhere to be detected. Very good offering.

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours nice and very dark, lots of mocha colored
head. Head is creamy, has lots of retention. Solid
lacing too.

S: It's a dark saison and you couldn't mistake this
for a stout, even though it definitely looks like one.
Lots of funky smells, good amount of hay and some horse
blanket. Some rose petal too. Then, the roasted malts
come alive. Surprisingly quite sweet with chocolate milk,
coffee and caramel. Maybe some ripe mandarine too.
Complex and interesting, but doesn't come together THAT well.

T: The rose petal is quite strong in the taste. Also, second
thing I noticed, it's much less sweet as expected. Still some
hay and horse blanket, but not as much as in the smell. There
is funk, but I find it hard to describe. The mandarine is
definitely there as well as STRONG coffee notes without
sweetness. Complex and interesting, but no synergy at all
between the tastes.

M: Light but sticky at the same time. A bit peppery too.

O: This is an interesting beer, very complex that I think
would be much better after a 6 months aging process (the
same as I like my Péché Mortel, also from DDC). Highly
recommended solely on the fact it's a very different experience
than anything else I had before.

 1,214 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SERVICE: Bottle
Bottled On: 09-03-2014


A:
Pours an inpenetrable black with two and a half fingers of rocky tan head that airily settles to a decent film. Okay retention; polka dot lacing. (4)

S:
Fruity chocolate. Cocoa, citrusy tartness, fresh herbal aromas, coffee, leather, pepper. (4)

T:
Rich and boozy. Coffee, dirt, pepper, chocolate. (3.75)

M:
Bubbly, coating, medium plus bodied, lingering warm richness kind of boozy and sticky after a while (especially as it warms). (3.5)

O:
Tasty beer.
As for what makes a good Black Saison, I don't know.
Aroma-wise I felt like fruity hops were what really stuck out, but the rest drinks like a stout/porter. There aren't even discernable yeast flavors that I could pin down. Tasty, but warming and stiff for a cold night. Definitely a sipping beer.
Would have again; worth trying. (4)

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Photo of wedgie9
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on draft at Lush CBC event. Pours nearly black with a huge brown head. Aromas of dark malt, chocolate, and hops. Flavors of bitter chocolate, bitter hops, and very dark malt. The carbonation is heavy, but the liquid itself is a little less than medium in body with a long bitter finish. Overall, this is a very unique beer that is also very good.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is black with lots of dark tan head and leaves a ton of lacing. Nose has a fair bit of roasted malt, moderate green olive note, mild dark fruit sweetness, faint peppery spice. Flavor follows suit, assertive olive, lighter roasty malt, subtle dark fruits and a peppery spice that hasn't been in some of the other stouts. Very dry finish, assertive carb, medium body, fairly smooth.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
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 ludachris
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A hefty three finger mocha head has a thick foamy density to it, really helping it to stay afloat. Swirls of stringly lace follow the head downwards. Its deep cola brown body barely lets light through. A sturdy looking Saison.

The nose is filled with fruity Belgian esters. Ripe apricot and pear drop mix with an overlay of spices and phenols. Sweet alcohol is laced in, amplifying its aroma. As it warms, I also get a musty earthiness with bits of raisins and chocolate.

Its ABV gives it a sharpness and clarity that really enlivens the palate. Dark fruit and chocolate sit on the middle of the tongue. Its fruitiness is mixed in but fleeting. A touch of rounded roast leads into the finish.

The body sits between medium and heavy. Its zingy kick of alcohol makes this a sipper. Its carbonation level is on par for the style. It finishes dry, partly due to the roast.

I love to see that DDC still has a sense of adventure distributing this imperial black Saison. This seems to be a great candidate for the cellar. I'd love to try this again with the alcohol more rounded. Although this isn't my favorite from DDC, it's unique enough and great for this unruly winter coming up.

 1,182 characters

Photo of barczar
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

Aroma is roasty and vinous, with Belgian yeast esters and coffee surfacing. Flavor reveals medicinal phenols at the base, along with roast and dark chocolate. There's a tart character in the background, which adds intrigue. Wish the phenols were less prevalent.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from Brewdog's online shop

Poured a dark brown almost black colour... off white head pours big, billowy and meringue like then faded to light layer... very light carbonation drifts slowly to the surface... lots of sticky lacing...

Aroma - Roasted dark malts mixed with lots of juicy fruitiness (apples, grapefruits), strong Belgian yeastiness, black pepper, quite earthy, some licorice, candy sugar sweetness, light biscuity malts, peppery hops, grassy, some hay notes, floral honey...

Taste - Earthy roasted maltiness, cocoa, some tart fruits (apples, pears), light biscuit malts, some clove spiciness, honey sweetness, light coffee, Belgian yeasty notes, peppery hops, grassy...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry when cool but becomes much more mellow when warmed up... quite drinkable - the 9% isn't noticeable at all...

Overall - An excellent dark saison and another fine brew from Dieu di Ciel... recommended...

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Photo of Letrom
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/14.

First time having this style, in fact, I had never come across it before so I don't have much to compare it to.

Appearance: Very black, almost no light can pass through it. About as dark as the darkest stouts. A nearly 3 fingers thick light tan head that persists for several minutes, slowly dying to no head. Leaves a little lacing. Good carbonation.

Smell: I did not get an intense smell, but what I got was mostly coffee, chocolate and a hint of Belgium yeast.

Taste: It took a few sips to get into this beer but then it come on good and tasty. Very stout like, coffee and chocolate seemed to dominate for me, but then some fruitiness. Perhaps my bottle was a bit old? At ten months maybe some of the saison qualities have taken a back seat to the stout qualities? Mine didn't taste much like a saison, but it was there, behind the stout, like an afterthought. At 9.5%, I was impressed that the alcohol was very well hidden, just a hint coming through.

Feel: Very nice drinking beer. Medium + Very smooth, good carbonation.

Overall: I like this beer. It is an interesting blending of two of my favorite styles. It was difficult to rate based on not having this style before, but it grew on me with each sip. I would like to have a fresher one sometime and see if the saison qualities are more pronounced. Worth checking out.

 1,373 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Kinda murky. Big mocha head. Great retention. Thick collar.

Smell - Yeasty and estery. Some bright aromas. Dark chocolate.

Taste - Much more roasty. Dark chocolate. The belgian flavors kick in with some fruity flavors. Yeasty with some bright fruity flavors.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Yeasty. Bitter.

Overall - Pretty good. Complex and unique.

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Isseki Nicho from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
89 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.
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