Isseki Nicho | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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very good
65 Reviews
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Isseki NichoIsseki Nicho
BEER INFO

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

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:
211
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
15.46%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
33
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 211
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 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 stortore
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +3.2%
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 +3.5%
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 +1.2%
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 +2.2%
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 -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 Derek
4.21/5  rDev +5%
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 -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 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 superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.5 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/10/2015. Pours pitch black color with a 2-3 finger fairly dense and fluffy tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, fig, blackberry, date, pear, apple, apricot, orange zest, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, peppercorn, clove, licorice, toasted dark bread, char, herbal, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, roast/bready malt, and citrus/earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, fig, blackberry, date, pear, apple, apricot, orange zest, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, peppercorn, clove, licorice, toasted dark bread, char, herbal, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Good amount of roast/char bitterness and peppery yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, pear, apple, apricot, orange zest, peppercorn, clove, licorice, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, char, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, roast/bready malt, and citrus/earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from hop/roasted bitterness as well. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial dark saison style! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, roast/bready malt, and citrus/earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel 'Isseki Nicho' @ 9.5% , served from a 341 ml bottle purchased for $3.95
A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to a near black in the glass with a medium size tan head leaving a fine streaky lace along the tulip
S-boozey , imperial stout meets saison
T-so smooth , big ABV is well hidden
MF-ok carbonation , big full body
Ov-good beer , great imperial saison , will definately buy & try again
prost LampertLand

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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 ksimons
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-almost black in color with a fingers worth of medium tan head that leaves a layer of lace around the top

S-roasted malt, chocolate, roasted coffee

T-taste is more saison like than the smell suggests, still has a roasted backbone but with more spices than in teh smell

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, roasted and somewhat dry aftertaste

Overall like a cross between an imperial stout and a dark saison, which actually works pretty well

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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 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 VbolieuV
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pitch black beer with a big nice creamy head. Smell of roasted malts, there a nice coffee smell too. There's also a nice fresh hop odor that's really pleasant. Tastes really good. You get a strong dark chocolate and sweet taste followed by the hops and the bitterness that are a really good complement to the beer. As it goes down you also get a slightly noticeable burn from the alcohol. Really nice and interesting, I can't believe I have never tried it before!

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Photo of constantine_272
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet black with a thick billowy fluffy dark tan head. Smells of thick rich dark roasted grain with a brown rye bread. Smells of cold brew coffee followed up with a cool clean vanilla. Tastes slightly sweet with dainty biscuit notes at first. The cold espresso coffee flavor rushes over the palate. Dry cocoa powder finishes. As the brew warms up from fridge temps a herbal licorice and earthy honey aftertaste starts to come forward. Mouthfeel is overal fairly dry but surprisingly thin and light. With all this grain and roast I expected a thicker viscosity. The dryness matches well with the cold coffee. It cleanses the palete well. This beer is weird. Weird in that I've never had anything like it and I don't really know how to categorize this. It's like a CDA mixed with a triple mixed with a stout. I like it purely for how innovative this is. A fascinating deviation from the usual stout.

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Photo of Tone
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, strong yeast, wood, hint of chocolate, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, hops, slight sweet malt, slight alcohol, hint of wood, yeast, and a hint of chocolate. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend.

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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.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 09.14

A - Pours black of course. Good mocha head at 2 and a half thick creamy fingers. Good carbonation. Good retention with a full finger and great lace rings.

S - Coffee, Belgian yeast, some funk,

T - Huge wallop of Belgian yeast and funk. Lot's of dark malt, coffee and nuttiness. Lot's of fruit and some booze.

M - A good yeasty, funky finish with some fruit, good carbonation and a nice full body.

O/D - Definitely an interesting beer. Wacky and new for sure. The bending of style guidelines works well here and the yeast really drives the malt profile in a new and interesting direction. Worth a shot for sure.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.5 ounce bottle. Served in a tulip, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. I like the aroma, the brew smells like roasted malt, lemon peel, apricots, coffee, bittersweet and milk chocolate, burnt/charred malt and a bit of blueberry. The brew tastes like roasted/charred/burnt malt, blueberries, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, citrus peel, peppery spice, blackberries, herbalness, apricots and a bit of grainy/bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and a bit creamy, and also has a good amount of carbonation. I think this is a good and interesting brew. For some reason the flavor reminds me of Dark Horse's Tres Blueberry Stout, even though there isn't any blueberry in this beer (that I'm aware of anyway). The label says it's a hybrid between an imperial stout and a saison, and I'd agree with that even though I think it leans more towards a stout. If you come across a bottle of this, pick it up! $5.19 a bottle.

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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 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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Isseki Nicho from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
4.01 out of 5 based on 211 ratings.
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