Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire

Noire De Chambly / Chambly NoireNoire De Chambly / Chambly Noire
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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #48
Ranked #37,220
3.72 | pDev: 11.29%
Quebec, Canada
Noire De Chambly / Chambly NoireNoire De Chambly / Chambly Noire
Notes: Name changed from Chambly Noire to Noire de Chambly in Aug. 2009.

This dark ale was created in honour of the brave soldiers of the Carignan-Salières Regiment, with their famous black musketeer hats. In 1665, King Louis XIV sent the regiment to New France to defend against the Iroquois. He had a number of strategic forts, including Fort Chambly, built along the Richelieu River, ensuring peace and prosperity for the colony. Many French Canadians are the direct descendants of these intrepid forebears.
Reviews: 648 | Ratings: 901 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.81/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: A 750ml cork and caged brown glass bottle, the type always used by Unibroue. The Chambly Noire label follows the style of others past, a gold edged oval label retaining a very detailed picture of the Carugnan-Salières, a regiment under the direct instruction of King Louis XIV, known by their black musketeer hats and dispatched to New France to settle hostilities (read wipe them out) with the Iroquois. Listed at 6.2% alc./vol. with a Best before Date of 02-22-08.

Appearance: Classic deep rich Belgian Dark Ale looks. Striking smooth tanned head is perfectly formed from a thin carpet of finely tuned bubbles, barely a blemish on the surface after the initial pour. Limited lacing sinks back into the glass and down into the dark mahogany body which has some rubidicious tones and a claret look when backlit.

Nose: Limited aroma, I even let the last half glass warm up to room temperature before writing this part. Feint hints of dark fruits with some biscuit and malt but Bloody Hell do you have to work hard to get it. Limp and almost lifeless!!

Taste: Thankfully the flavors work harder and make much more of an effort to be heard, but they are still very average when all said and done. Has a typical “Unibroue” low key spicy malt aspect throughout which I suspect is squarely down to the yeast involved. Middle is more rewarding but a little pastel, it lacks shine and certainly would benefit from some gloss. Finish is short and promises so much but the light spices suffer from a crushed malt, almost powdery, feel which reminds me of poorly rehydrated Cup-a-Soup. Disappointing all round.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is high and at times almost forceful as it effervesces in the mouth. A full-bodied feel throughout, the smooth carpet texture assists in promoting a satisfying feel for this but the high carbonation can produce some ‘burn’ when mixed with the feisty yeast.

Drinkability: A pleasant enough drink, the 6.2% is evenly spread out but this just fails on so many fronts; a depressing nose, boring tastes and an over carbonated feel all coalesce to produce a brew that will always be third on the podium. The 750ml soon lost its attraction, so much so that I opened another bottle after I mistakenly though I had finished this one, wishful thinking maybe.

Overall: I tried this one on draft at the Mondiale Beer Festival earlier this year whilst in Montreal. It seemed to be just another “run-of-the-mill” dark offering from Unibroue at that time and if anything my detailed analysis wavers the horizontal thumb downwards. It is getting harder to tell some of these new Unibroue beers apart, many taste like “tweaks” of past and previous offerings. The Chambly Noire has Déjà vu flashes to other dull darker Unibroue specials. It comes with some serious promotional baggage but it fails to live up to this. Not bad at all, but it is just average and not great. Like I say, this is just another dark offering from Unibroue. Stark honesty would have me admitting that this is a rather dull and dowdy offering, lackluster, monotonous, one-dimensional, tedious…..I’m running out words now…..Zzzz

Aug 23, 2006
More User Reviews:
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lesdemonsamaporte from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Feb 03, 2014
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Mitchster from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$6.99 for a 750ml bottle at Merchant's, best before 2-22-08. 6.2% ABV. Pours out to a clear very dark brown, near black in the glass, forming a powdery light-tan head which settles down to pancake consistency and very good retention and average lacing. Carbonation is moderate strong. The aroma is instantly recognizable Unibroue, that trademark yeast that gives this abundant phenols, cloves and apples with a very clean ferment. The mouthfeel is powdery and cola-like with a medium-light body and lightly dry finish. The taste begins with the phenols, cloves, and apples followed by a brief kiss of pineapple, lemon and kiwi. There is a cola and slight roasted character in the middle which quickly settles into a leathery aftertaste of roasted grain. Sweetness is less than most other Unibroue beers, which is expected considering their other ales are in the 8-9% ABV range with more fermentable sugars. This one does tend to have a more watery mouthfeel as well. Belches are yeasty.

Overall, quite middle of the road and uninspiring, but still a step ahead of most brewers. They can do such amazing things with this yeast, I'd love to see them brew an authentic dubbel. This is a wanna-be dubbel...maybe. I'd pass on this again and stick with my three buddies Finn, Don, and Maude.

Sep 22, 2006
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waldoiverson from Texas

3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml into tulip

A: dark brown, a bit of a brown, sudsy, and chalky head that dissipated faster than expected,

S: currant, a bit of spicy grain aroma and a bit of an oxidized smell at the end

T: kind of a rye bread flavor that pretty quickly gives way to green apple type sourness

M: surprisingly thin with a lot of sharp carbonation, semi-dry...not that pleasant, actually.

T: The abv is nice but the overall package is just too weak in taste, smell and appearance and the feel is just to intense. it isn't a horrible beer but for unibroue it is a disappointment.

Jul 29, 2010
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StarlightSeraph from North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from as 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, with an off-white thin head that dissipated fairly quickly. Left a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast, some banana aromas. A little bit of cocoa bitterness.

Taste: The typical 'belgian' taste in beer is the most apparent, with very slight coffee/chocolate undertones. A tiny bit of hoppy bitterness at the end, but overall it's very smooth. It's good, but there's really not a whole lot to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and very creamy.

Drinkability: It's a good beer, but there's really not much to it. There's almost no depth of flavor, but it was very easy to drink. If it weren't so high in ABV, it'd be a decent session beer because it's so easy to drink.

Jan 24, 2009
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3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Jul 31, 2012
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Reidrover from Oregon

3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last Unibroue of the night.
Looks nice, dak ale with a gorgeous creme coloured head. Thick head too.
Aroma however is pretty dumbed down..just faint malts and some even fanter spice.
Taste is not so bad actually goodish, strong malt and liquorice, aniseed follwed by a long smokey end very peppery.
Mouthfeel is alright maybe a tad thin but acceptable.
OK to drink actually the best of the 4 I had tonight.
Im still very let down by Unibroue.

Sep 11, 2009
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stephens101 from Oklahoma

3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An exceptionally dark brown brew with a foamy and rolling but quickly fading off-white head. Retention is adequate with little lacing left behind. Some dark fruits such as raisins and grapes float to the nose. Also present are dark chocolates, licorice, spice, robust yeasts, sweet malts and some caramel that all lead to a very complex and pleasing aroma. The taste is not as complex. I get a bit of spice, malts, toffee and some hops, but everything is subdued. Mouth-feel is medium-bodied which leads to a drinkable, but mediocre brew. While Unibroue makes some great beers, this is not one of their top-tier offerings, and is probably a good starter brew for the neophyte, so in that sense it serves it's purpose. Goddamn that sounds arrogant.

Aug 15, 2008
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PDXHops from South Carolina

3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Maudite snifter. Exceedingly dark brown topped with a finger or so of tan foam, but this shrinks to nothing but a thin collar in short order. Little potential for lace, and that potential is fulfilled.

Nose features a pleasingly potent combo of baked apples, molasses, sweetened tobacco and red grape juice. Plentiful malty and fruity sweetness, perhaps a tad much for my liking, but a tangy yeast presence goes a long way toward balancing it out. Dryish finish. The flavor profile really doesn't deliver the complexity I'd hoped for, but it's a decent sipper.

Aug 29, 2012
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Focusf111 from Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +21%

Jan 16, 2013
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Frozensoul327 from Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad offering, but not quite up to par with what I expect from Unibroue. Pours out to a dark black / ruby red color with a small head of white foam. Higher carbonation. Some lace, and medium to medium low carbonation. Aromas are very faint, but traces of malty nuttiness are noted. Maybe some bread in there too. Taste is quite mild compared to other Unibroue beers. Toasty malts, mixed cereal grains, a touch of sour yeast, a hint of hops. Good, but needs to be kicked up a notch. Mouthfeel is nominal, and relatively unimpressive, yet unoffensive. Drinkability is average. Is this what we have to expect in the future from Unibroue? Not bad, but pales in comparison to what their other beers can offer.

May 20, 2006
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guinnessfan from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle purchased at Total Wine, McLean VA, poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Nice rich, dark brown with a 3 finger head that hangs around a little while. Slight lacing from the light tan head.

S: Mild, sweet, dark fruits, light malt.

T: Similar to smell, malt and that familiar yeast, with a slight spice flavor.

M: Highly carbonated yet somewhat creamy creating a medium body.

D: Very good flavor, more mild than expected from a dark Belgian. Good balance makes this another fine offering from Unibroue, as expected.

Mar 21, 2007
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Aenema from Maryland

3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by date of 9/19/09 (aged over a year - from purchase date)
Appearance - Pours a deep black with dark red tinges and a 1/2 inch off-white head. Splotchy lacing.
Smell - Dark fruit (figs and prunes).
Taste - More dark fruit, seems more like raisins and figs, the longer I drink it the more I get an intense, sweet fig-like flavor I get. I didn't particularly care for it eventually.
Mouthfeel - Creamy, moderate body, moderate carbonation.
Drinkability - Easy to drink, but too sweet. I imagine this works much better with food.
Overall - This was fine, but not great. I'll try pairing this one with food next time. Plus I had this aged an extra long time and don't clearly remember the fresh bottle I had a year+ ago.

May 30, 2009
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KrisDLSmith from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev +7.5%

Dec 18, 2013
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crookedhalo from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky chestnut brown with a stacked, fizzy khaki colored head. Aromas of pumpernickel, earl grey and oolong teas, faint kettle hopping, a smidge of raw sugar, and that subtle signature Unibroue spiciness. Initial sip threw me for a loop, because all I could really focus on was the high carbonation level. The aftertaste is kind of lagerish, with notes of some low alpha hops and carbonic acid from the big carbonation. Malt sweetness with hints of roasty husk show up as the beer warms. A slight bit of dusty funk shows up as well, letting the drinker know its Belgian-inspired roots. It's pretty good, kind of like a dark singel or paterbier crossbred with a Munich dunkel crossbred with a dunkelweizen. I think it might be a bit miscategorized; as I feel there is nothing "Strong" about this Belgian-Style Dark Ale.

Apr 19, 2006
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BretSikkink from Mexico

3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a 8-bottle sampler of Unibroue and a Fin du Monde chalice at John's Grocery in Iowa City for 20 bucks plus tax. The sampler didn't include the Noire, so I picked that up on the side, and drank it first to extend the useful life of the sampler. Lots of frothy head leaps up the sides of the glass til the end of the pour, a brownish head and nearly black liquid. Smell is a little fruity, maybe a touch of vanilla. Taste is not mind-blowing, perhaps a little less flavor than could be expected or desired. Good balance though, the malts are nice and unobtrusive. A little coffee or cocoa or even a splash of hops would do something to pep this one up. Mouthfeel is solid, extremely easy to drink. It reminds me of 1554 Black Ale: a serviceable N. American interpretation of a Belgian dark, not necessarily for connoisseurs but a good beer for mainstream tastes, and light enough to have two or three.

Sep 18, 2006
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

2.62/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown almost black color with a thick head that dissolves into a thin lace. Lots of visible carbonation bubbling up in the glass. Arom is very bland with very little of not except subtle dark fruit notes. very sweet and fruity, too carbonated with a very dry finish. i was disappointed.

Dec 02, 2008
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Cpt_Caveman from New York

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Jul 30, 2012
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cbl2 from New York

3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$5.98 750 mL 6.20% Best before 2-22-08 stamped on the back.


Cork explodes forcefully from the caged bottle yielding a completely opaque black brew with 2 inches of finely laced medium tan head.


Notes of rich ripe dark fruit (plum and figs), coupled with a touch of licorice and a sweet malt backbone.


Mouthfeel is slightly coarse carrying with it a mildly sweet, sour cherry/plum flavor. Alcohol is completely masked (this is relatively low ABV from Unibroue). Finish is slightly bitter with a touch of cocoa.

Jul 29, 2006
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 Fl Oz. Bottle>Tulip shaped glass

AP: Dark brown with a purple effect, totally opaque. 1 1/2" thick bubbly head. Dissipated to a thin covering.

Nose: spicey yeast, fruity like grapes and wheaty.

Taste: Fruity-sweet malt, blackberries and grapes with mellow malt and a slight yeastieness.

MF: Very lively, like champagne style...Good bite, light feel on the palate.

DA: very interesting brew, the berries effect was pleasant and I love the classic livelyness of the Unibroue line.

Sep 25, 2006
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TLove from District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Palm snifter.

I found this brew to be quite good. There wasn't the sheer expressive complexity as in the Trois Pistoles, but there was a fantastic balance and nice, caramel flavor that lingered through the finish.

A little mocha/espresso color with some dark fruits coming through in the nose, yet nicely balanced and without the sour and sweetness that comes with the use of dark fruits in a beer. Had a slightly smoked taste of chickpea and currant jam. Not dry. Yeast is present, but not necessarily strong by any means, but adds quite a lot to the flavor without meaning to do.

Dec 10, 2009
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Melomanemusher from Canada (QC)

3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Sep 26, 2012
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rebel1771 from Florida

3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark reddish black color with a decent off white head that sticks around a while.

Sweet malt aroma up front with hints of coriander and lemon zest mixed in.

Wheat flavor jumps out right away along with dark malts with kind of a yeasty flavor kicked in there.

Good brew, not something I would drink very often.

Mar 12, 2008
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roblowther from Texas

4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black color (small wonder) with a tan head with very little retention. Smells of molasses and spices, very subtle. The taste is cocoa and oak, very dry but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is creamy with mild carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. The balanced flavor goes down very easily. Definitely worth ordering a second!

Nov 20, 2007
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mightyjoemoon from Indiana

3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

unibroue is a french canadian micro brewery which specializes in belgian styles and this is ale is a stab at a bottle conditioned belgian dark. its somewhat similar to a rochefort 10 in that it has a very fruity nose reminiscent of currants or rasins. however i found it a bit too rich and treacle-y. not alot of balance here between malts and hops, sweet and bitter. it had a nice head and was pleasantly smooth without being still but i can't really recommend this one. from micro's of this style i can recommend bell's hell hath no fury belgian dark ale. its milder, danker, and more complex.

Dec 01, 2008
Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire from Unibroue
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 901 ratings