Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire | Unibroue

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Noire De Chambly / Chambly NoireNoire De Chambly / Chambly Noire

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Name changed from Chambly Noire to Noire de Chambly in Aug. 2009.

Added by Beersignal on 09-29-2005

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Reviews: 645 | Ratings: 896
Photo of Sammy
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Highly carbonated black beer, common style found in lineups in Quebec, just like English traditional pubs have a brown. A bit of molasses in nose. Minimal taste and a small amount was all I needed. Standard Unibroue yeast and astringent finsh. Little exitement from this brewery, a sign of the Sleemanization of Unibroue.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Best before 2/22/08.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, caramel, and toffee aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit and slight cardboard flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is definitely showing signs of oxidation but still is pretty decent.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

for some reason i remember this being much much darker, nearly black, and thick, and scary. i was maybe too young to know any better, but i remember this being too much for me as a young craft beer drinker. revisited again and it seemed so basic, not intimidating at all, dont know what the younger me was thinking. the pour is dark dark brown, but letting some light through. inch or two of tan head rests lazily on top. the nose is more german than belgian to me, like a dark lager or schwarzbier. i smell a similar malt bill with similar roasty properties, and the belgian yeast is very understated. the yeast comes out more in the taste, where the dark malts give way to some sweeter notes and the spice surge of the yeast, but this still tastes to me like a german dark lager. it finishes oddly quick and dry, which to me wass a knock against this beer, i like the richness of the malt to linger on awhile. full bodied and brightly carbonated the feel is nice. i could drink several of these, but i must admit it was somewhat disappointing from what i had remembered of this deep dark mysterious liquid. maybe the recipe has changed, maybe my palate has matured, but this is still a great beer by any measure.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out looking very similar to a Delirium Nocturnum to me. The color was dark brown and had just a bit of clarity to it. The head didn't last very long and hadn't left any really noticeable lacing. The smell was kind of roasted but livened up by some fruity aromas in there. The taste of the beer had a light rusty taste to it along with a sweetness and a bit of a boozey heat to it. The mouthfeel was a little thin but could tell that from when I poured it out. Overall i personally like it more than the Nocturnum, but it's still just about an average brew to me.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark brown (near black) in color and poured with a two finger high beige head that slowly died down but never completely faded away. A light to moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: There are flavors of dark fruits and notes of malty sweetness in the overall taste along with some hints of spices in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer goes down smoothly and is extremely easy to drink. I would definitely try this again given its high drinkability.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Belgian dark ale review...

Not too bad here. Pours a dark brown/black, and the first thing I notice is a very high amount of carbonation. Not much for lacing in this one though. Taste is of some dark fruits.. I detect some raisins/dates and is a very non-bitter beer. Goes down very smooth with a nice mouthfeel. I felt the taste was a bit subdued and lackluster and while it was a good beer, I had a bit higher expectations.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little boldness and riskiness comming from Unibroue. Takes on Dunkle Weizen characters, but with a good Belgian kick. Dark brown, typical look for Belgian Strong Darks, with good retention and lacing (but not great). Smells boldly of toastedness, yeast, wheat, and some estery qualities (citrus, clove, bananna). Belgian yeast shows a tart, spicy kick on top of the barley. The sweetness level seems to be quite low, allowing the tosted boldness to show through. There seems to be lower, if any, belgian candy sugars added. This helps the beer; keeps it from becomming cloying or cotton candy like. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep dark brown hue, almost black in the low light of an evening patio, with cola edges, and a little beige head, that leaves no discernible lace. It smells of Unibroue spicy yeast, clove, banana ester, white grain, and citrus. The taste is light roasted malt, clove, banana, orange, and yeast, with a bit of booze warming. The carbonation is moderate, the body smooth, syrupy, and a little cloying, and it finishes dry, fruity and yeasty. This beer has the prototypical flavour that takes me back to my first experience with Unibroue in university lo those many years ago.

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Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a tan head that displays good retention and leaves a bit of lace around the chalice

Smell: A dried fruit aroma, but without the sweetness one would normally expect; a bit lemony, in fact

Taste: A rather bready flavor up front; after the swallow, I pick up some of the trademark Unibroue yeast flavor, along with some subtle dried fruit and vague chocolate

Mouthfeel: Rather light bodied and fizzy

Drinkability: I was really looking forward to this, but it was rather disappointing; pleasant enough to drink but totally unremarkable

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Photo of largadeer
3.21/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another delightful Unibroue tick, wahoo.

Cola-like appearance with a tall crackly beige head that rapidly settles to a thin film.

I was expecting the worst after trying a couple of rather awful Unibroue beers before this, but this one is surprisingly decent. Spicy and yeasty with a plum-like fruitiness, I can't help but think of cola when I smell this. The spiciness is reminiscent of nutmeg or possibly coriander.

The palate is good, dark malts wrapped in fruity esters and spices. Plums and dates, earthy malts and spices lead into a light cola-like finish. The mouthfeel is thin and effervescent, very crisp but perhaps watery. Not bad overall, but I wouldn't reach for this again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a huge foamy off-white head with great retention. Aroma of caramel malt and signature Unibroue yeast is easily detectable. The medium caramel malt and the usual Unibroue yeast signature also dominate taste. Body is a bit thin and overall this is not a very complex beer. Overall, this is not bad but not close to some of the great beers from this brewery.

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Photo of zeff80
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black hue with a foamy, caramel-colored, three-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled strongly of roasted malt and some dried fruit.

T - A nicely balanced taste. It has a good dose of malt mixed with a little hop spice. The fruit flavor seems to be plum.

M - It was crisp, sharp and somwhat dry. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good representation of the style. It is a nice dark brew.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Duvel tulip

A: Very dark, root-beer-colored pour with a minimal light-tan head.

S: Sweet smell with dark fruits. I'm smelling mostly raisins; maybe a little bit of dates.

T: Creamy and on the sweeter side. Tastes much like it smells.

M: Not a lot of carbonation; goes down smooth.

D: Quite drinkable for the style. It's a little on the lighter side.

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Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Color is dark chocolate. Light tan head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is very sweet. I can't put my nose on it.
Taste is similar. Very sweet, something similar to dry fruit.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. I could let it linger in my mouth all day (well kind of). Carbonation level is just perfect.

This beer is very easy to drink and it hardly feels to be dark. I would definitely give this beer a shot.

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Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of an opaque, dark brown body. The head settles down fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - Light caramel notes with some fruity yeast notes of red apple and plum in the background.

T - Caramel and toasted malt come out up front with just a hint of fruity yeast. Notes of plum and sweet red apple appear in the middle with some toffee. Things finish up sweet and malty with some nice yeast character and just a little bit of toast.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a fairly sweet finish.

D - Pretty nice, this beer doesn't taste as dark as it looks but it does have enough character malt to add some interest. The yeast is prevalent throughout with lots of dark fruit that work very well with the caramel and toffee notes. Very well done.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazed dark brown with some floaties and chukies into a chalice,a thinner wispy beige colored head atop.Spiced phenols in the nose along with caramel toffee and light roast,it was a little lackluster.Roasted nuts and caramel-like sweetness come thru upfront on the palate, again lightly spiced phenols as well as a hint of raisin.This beer could beer could be really good but it seems to lack a big punch,there is something missing here.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best by 4/2/2010. Pours slightly cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a foamy 1-2 finger light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a very thin cap that lingers for a bit. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big prune, plum, caramel, apple, pear, molasses, clove, earth, tobacco, toast, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of caramel, toffee, apple, pear, toast, clove, molasses, prune, tobacco, earth, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of caramel, toffee, pear, apple, molasses, prune, clove, toast, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of malty and fruity sweetness with spiciness; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed at all after the finish. Overall this is a damn good Belgian dark ale. Extremely nice flavor balance and complexity; very smooth and enjoyable stuff. Very well done.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have to admit that I find the Chambly Noire kind of dull. I don't think that the dark malt adds anything to it, and in fact, I think it detracts from what could otherwise be a great beer because it masks some of the delicate flavors underneath.

Now, normally, I'll review a beer the first or second time I've had it, but as I'm quite a fan of the Unibroue line, I've given this one quite a few go rounds, and each time I find myself looking for something that's not there. This one just falls short.

It looks good in the glass, and that's great; and the nose isn't bad at all, it's just that there's not much there (some mild spice, a touch of lemon rind, some apple or orange-gold fruit and the yeast). The mouthfeel is good, just like the appearance, that's hard to hurt. But the flavor should offer more, and it doesn't. There's some darkish, wheaty malt but it's non-descript... there's no cocoa or chocolate or roastiness to it, and it doesn't really lend to adding any dark-fruit flavors. (Perhaps it just doesn't have the sweetness behind it that would usually bring that type of malt flavor round, it is a kind of light and dry style anyway). And it's lightly spicy, but I think that's kind of covered up too. I don't get the differentiation between the cloviness and the more black-pepper spiciness that I find in the regular Blanche De Chambly. And it's yeasty. I think that the regular might benefit from a little less yeast as well, but within the confines of this beer, I think it really hurts. Either the dark malts have muddled the yeastiness, or the yeastiness is blanketing the darkness. I don't know. It finishes powdery dry with some residual, low key malt and subtle yeasty spice.

Final analysis... muddled.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best by Feb. 2011, so more than a year past this, but a higher ABV beer properly stored, bottle refermented, and with no signs of deterioration in the pour. aroma or flavor. A good bit of sediment left on the bottom of the bottle, some of which was added mid-taste. Served in a Unibroue snifter.

A: Very dark brown; a vigorous pour raised a creamy but short-lived tan head. Lasting partial top coat and ring.

S: Sweet smell, mainly of dark fruits (cooked raisins and a bit of dates and prunes) and cognac.

T: Plenty of dark fruit flavor with prunes and raisins dominant. A yeasty dark bread flavor as a base. Hints of vanilla, cooked peaches, white pepper and cognac. A touch of tartness keeps the sweetness in control.

M: Very good, medium-low carbonation; creamy smooth; slight dryness in the finish.

O: Another fine, complex and unique beer from Unibroue. Not one of my favorites from them but easily recommended.

UPDATE: ages well, based on a Best Before 2009 bottle consumed in Jan. 2013.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, chocolate, roasted malts, some dark fruit and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty with mildly sweet flavors of chocolate, spices and dark fruit. There's a strong and bready Belgian yeast back ground and a mild but complementary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it's a decent Belgian beer with some substance that is worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of mactrail
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was glad to try this on tap, as it has a nice fresh and uncomplicated flavor. Sharp on the tongue with some burnt malt flavors, toffee, and a touch of smoke. Watery but pleasing mouthfeel. Tastes like Schwatrzbier with very little hoppiness, and a very modest amount of Belgian character compared to some other Unibroue concoctions.

A decent quaff with an interesting touch of spicy yeast and a hint of burnt raisins. At Ritual Tavern in San Diego.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a fizzy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of dark caramel, toasted nuts, some coffee, some spice, and dried fruits.

Taste: Nutty dark caramel with some mild coffee and a dash of RC cola with a medium sweetness. Taste of raisins with a juicy acidity. Very slight spicy hop bittneress. Touch of yeast. Drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation that makes for a sparkling mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Very drinkable Belgian ale from Unibroue that I found to be pretty tasty.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pecan brown that is actually dark crimson with bright orange trim when held up to my sunlit front window. The golden beige cap is much better looking than the usual Unibroue lid. It may not have the rocky magnificence of a true Belgian, but it has some character and deposits an acceptable amount of spidery lace.

There's more than a little yeastiness in the nose. Other than bruised banana sprinkled with clove, I can't appreciate much. Where's the dark maltiness that any dark ale worth its salt ought to possess? Here's hoping the flavor goes in a different direction.

Chambly Noire is decent beer. It's even mildly enjoyable beer. It just isn't great beer. With a few exceptions, most of the ales from Unibroue are too light for my tastes. The lack of malt results in a predictable lack of depth. The flavors just skate along on top of the taste buds and are then washed away before they're able to make much of an impact.

The flavor profile consists of caramelized apples and figs that have had most of their sugar removed. There's no roastedness, no chocolate and no molasses. Hop bitterness devoid of almost all hop flavor is present, as is the same clove spiciness that I appreciated in the nose. If the flavors that are present could be concentrated somehow, made more bold, this would be a much better beer.

Simply put, the mouthfeel is too insubstantial. If it contained the perfect amount of volumizing carbonation, as most good Belgian ales do, I wouldn't mind nearly as much. In addition, the initially energetic bubbles have lost most of their energy, making the mouthfeel less than wonderful.

Chambly Noire is in dire need of an overhaul. Trouble is, given the rest of their lineup, I'm betting that it's exactly as the brewers intended. I think I've finally figured out why I'm not blown away by most Unibroue beer. They brew aperitifs, while I prefer digestifs.

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD of 2-22-08 Pours chestnut/mahogany with a 1" tan head. A little lacing & head retention

S: Oak woody notes, then some sour notes as it warms

T: Oaky notes then fruittyness. Choclate & lactic flavors surface as it warms. Finishes with slight lactic sourness, fruittyness & some woddy/oaky hints

MF: Medium bodied, under carbonated & okay blalance

Drinks good, just expected more from this. Maybe with aging this would improve, I kind of doubt it. Still not a bad offering

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Photo of billab914
3.09/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Flying Bison tulip glass. Poured a dark brown, almost black in color with a thin head clinging to the edges of the glass. Pretty good head retention to it though. A very nice looking beer overall.

The aroma has a Belgian yeast spiciness to it with some brown sugar sweetness coming through. It has a bit of a fruity, apple or pear like quality to it as well.

The taste shows more of the crisp, slightly tart, fruit like quality to it that was found in the nose. The spices come out a bit too but are more subtle in the taste then they were in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it has some nice flavors to it. Overall a decent beer but it falls short of a lot of the better ones in the style.

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Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire from Unibroue
3.69 out of 5 based on 896 ratings.
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