Noire De Chambly / Chambly Noire | Unibroue

645 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 645 | Ratings: 896
Photo of sulldaddy
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I split a 750 at room temp with Stopper. I poured into a snifter. I get a fluffy beige colored head of 2 cm that fades gradually to a sturdy edge layer. The color is very dark almost black. Aroma is toffee and black licorice (anise), cloves, and a bit of molasses. First sip reveals a fine very fizzy carbonation that leaves a tingly felling on my palate.
Flavor is similar to nose with some cloves and caramel and a little anise and molassess in background. I am glad the anise is sublte cause I dont like black licorice. I also get a fairly robust general yeastiness that fills out the flavor.
The beer is very tasty and fairly on the sweeter side. Very easy to drink and smooth finish. A nice malty offering from Unibroue that I enjoy!

 740 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark brown with a large tan foamy head. The smell is light with some smoked wood aromas and abit of a "bisquity" smell. The taste is a crisp bold smoked wood, porter, and some nuttiness like flavors. The m/f is medium with the flavors mixing very well. This is a very good beer that is also some what different and unique. Good job Unibroue.

 354 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge yeasty aroma. That's not a bad thing, it's bread and spicy from fernmentation. There's a small amount of roast malt but most of the aroma is from fermetation and yeast. There are spicy hints.

Very dark black, some red highlights when held to bright light. Thick white head initially but it fades to a solid layer.

First hit is very malty sweet. Later sips bring out the yeasty flavor that's similar to what I get in the aroma. There's some fruity flavors and a lot of toasted bread-type yeast. Some dark roast malt but it's way in the background. Hop biterness is pretty high but there isn't a lot of hop oil flavor.

Medium bodied with nice creamy consitancy. The carbonation level is kind of high.

Pleasant and good but not really what I've come to expect from Unibroue. But I'd recommend it to people who don't like "Dark" beers or heavy beers or anyone who's looking for a flavorful but not "out there" beer.

 929 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've come to appreciate quite a few of the unibroue offerings. I noticed this in a new local store for the first time and thought I'd take a flyer on it.

A - Black with a ruby tinge at the edges. Nice head, quickly dissipates.

S - Malty, ripe fruit.

T - This beer seems to really highlight the unibroue yeast. There's a balance of maltiness to help this brew stand, but it seems to bme to be all about profiling the yeast.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Decent enough brew. I may be getting spoiled by their other brews. Although I would drink this again if offered, it doesn't crack my purchasing rotation.

 615 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is absolutely gorgeous! The liquid is a dark dark brown and the head is off-white but huge and retentive. It’s damn near perfect.

Smell – The nose is subdued here, even as the ale warms. The dark, doughy yeast dominates though, which I always enjoy. There’s a light bananas foster fragrance here as well.

Taste – The yeast comes through at the taste and is almost weizen-like. The malts are a bit darker than I picked up at the smell and there’s a light peachy fruiting to compliment the banana.

Mouthfeel – This was lightly carbonated but the carbs were sprightly and the body in between light and medium.

Drinkability – This is a great drinking BSDA that is really light in the ass, which can be a good thing under some circumstances.

 778 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml corked and capped botle with a best before date of 2-28-08.

Appearance- Pours a pretty good head with good full film retention. Color is a black licorice with highlights of shoe leather. Looks like office coffee.

Smell- It semms that a lot of Unibroue's dark ales have an odd difference in both smell and taste. Its roasted mlats, but with an air of sophistication for lack of a more specific word or description. Smells is The U's roastd malts with hints of licorice and nuts.

Taste- Starts out with some leathery nuts and Euro dark malts roasted and toasted with care. The middle has a lightly sweetened black licorice flavor with hazelnuts and walnuts bringing up the rear.

Mouthfeel- All these dark flavors brought a very comfortable feeling to the palate. With an overall flair for sophisticated taste.

I've never seen this brew on my local shelves before, and seeing that only twenty-one other people have reviewed this beer. I feel special!

 985 characters

Photo of ypsifly
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gold foiled 12oz best by 2-21-08 jetted on the back label. Purchased in a four pack from Bello Vino in Ann Arbor and poured into a Maudite tulip.

Tall head of light tan towering over a deep dark brown. Decent retention with webby lace.

The nose makes me wonder if this is a dunkel made with the Uni house yeast. Reminds me of Bell's Wheats 6 & 8, the yeast takes on a some tart to sour aromas when paired with the dark wheat aromas. Some spice and citrus notes. Interesting.

The taste follows the nose in that this also tastes like a cross between a wheat/wit but with roasted malt. The tart and sour notes are there, but more intense midway through. Dry finish with lingering spice and yeast flavors.

Mouth is a bit thin but the drinkability is good if you're in the mood for this sort of thing. I like this beer as I am in the pro-unibroue house yeast camp, and this beer certainly shows off the house strain. I like the way it played off of the dark wheat flavors.

 979 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 826 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle. Pours a very deep murky brown color with a 3 finger head that falls to a full finger head over top. Solid looking beer, and good retention. Clartiy is hard to discern, as the brew is pretty dark in color. Nose is solid Belgian spicey, with a moderate brown sugary sweetness, overlaying a very solid orange peel and lighter coriander citrusy character. The best descriptor to me would be a dark whit. Flavor is fairly well the same as the aroma. There are light roasted notes, with a lighter brown sugar sweetness, not cloying or anything, but with just a touch of sweetness. There are also lighter notes of citrusy orange. Its tasty. Feel is modrate with a moderate to active carbonation. It works well with the flavor. This one is pretty nice. I've had it a couple of times over the last few months and I have always enjoyed it. Its not anything that really blows my mind, but its something I can see having more of. Its highly enjoyable.

 954 characters

Photo of amicar
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a 4- pack of this recently; something new from my neighbors to the north!

Pours a nice dark color, but not completely opaque. A bit of head that fizzles out to a lacing at a moderate pace. Not a lot that I smell, seems a little fruity, but mostly I'm smelling the "house yeast" character that Unibroue beers have. Taste is nice with bits of chocolate, ?currant, fruit. Seems to not have as much roast character as I thought by looking at it. Carbonation and feel in the mouth are nice. Not too much sweetness. The alcohol makes it easier to drink a few.

Nice beer. A little surprising in that I was thinking I'd get something heavier. It's actually comparatively lighter (well, compared to Le Terrible) and nicely balanced for carbonation, mouthfeel, and alcohol content. However, I didn't find anything really compelling flavor wise.

 845 characters

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

Pour is a dark mixture of brown and red, almost purple. Very little head. If there was such a thing as apple flavored cotton candy, that would be the nose. Taste is black cherry, a smidge of tart apple, and pepper. Absolutely delicious. Mouthfeel is light on the carbonation. Not so in your face or high in alcohol that you couldn't session if you wanted. Also moderate in price. I love this stuff!

 398 characters

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.

 625 characters

Photo of elricorico
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, looking opaque in the glass. A massive beige head formed, despite a careful pour. Makes me wonder if I hit a few bumps on the ride home.

The only smell I get in the beginning is a sour yeasty one, reminding me strongly of other brews from Unibroue, but in this case there doesn't seem to be anything else.

The taste provides much more of interest than the smell did. It seems that some of Maudite's better qualities show up in this one. Yeast still holds a lot of attention, but there is a berry mix of tart and sweet and the finish is dry. Cola makes an appearance just before the finish.

There is a bit of body to this beer, and the carbonation feels right, it makes an impression but isn't coarse.

Better than I expected. It doesn't make me long for another though. I could see it being good as a before dinner drink though.

 864 characters

Photo of funkengruven
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a deep dark brown, almost black with a centimeter thick tan head sitting pretty on top of the brew. Smell is clean, some essence of roasted malt in the nose. Taste is quite nice, very subtle roasted coffee aroma with a refreshingly clean finish with little aftertaste. The carbonation in this brew complements it well and carries the aroma and flavors perfectly. Easy to drink, this carries all the positive qualities that beer should carry. This is a great beer.

 475 characters

Photo of Noxious26
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass. From Collection 2006, a 12 pack variety pack from Unibroue.

Black and opaque. Just a hint of light shows through the edges giving a brown tinge. Big foamy head is light brown and 1 inch on the pour. Recedes to 1/8 inch with good retention.

Aroma is dominated by the traditional Unibroue belgian yeast. Reminds me of a Belgian Quad. Caramel and toasted malt scents combine with the yeast to give this an almost sweet dark fruit smell.

Taste harkens back to the aroma as it is also dominated by the spiciness of the yeast. Toasted malts meander in the undertones lending a bit of sweetness. Bit of a metallic quality in the finish that reminds me of tin foil. Aftertaste is yeasty and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but seems a little thin for the style and presentation. Lots of carbonation in the presence of tiny pin prick bubbles.

Like most Unibroue beers, I find this to be a sipping brew, thus the drinkability is a bit low considering how it tastes. The carbonation tends to fill my stomach with gas which, combined with the dry aftertaste, reduces the urge to drink. All in all, this is a good beer and I'm glad that unlike some strong belgian ales, the alcohol character isn't forefront in this beer. At 6.2% the alcohol is no more noticable than in your average macro. Perhaps the best Unibroue beer I've had to date.

 1,379 characters

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.

 321 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks like a massively carbonated stout when poured. It has a tan big bubbled head that drapes the glass in sheets if lace. Little trails of carbonation are visible clinging to the glass, surrounded by ruby glints. The aroma is of perfumey malts, chocolate powder, roasted barley and cherry stones. The taste is yeasty and fruity like other Unibroue beers but also chocolatey and a tad bitter from the roasted malts. Its like a mix of an English stout and Maudite. The finish is bitter from dark malts rather than hops. The mouthfeel is velvety and thick with fine carbonation bubbles.

A very unique tasting beer. Its the darkest, most roasty Belgian dark ale Ive tried. Though not Unibroue's best, Its definitely a must try if you like the brewery, or stouts for that matter. It could have a little more stout character and less Unibroue house character, thats my only (minor) criticism of this.

 909 characters

Photo of Derek
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At 6.2%, this is just a Belgian Dark, not a strong dark ale.

A: Black with a slight ruby tinge. Pours with some off-white head, no retention, only a hint of lace.

S: Malty, fruity sweetness with a little chocolate. The odours are really nice, but there just isn't a lot of nose.

T: Doesn't seem to have much brown malt... I'm guessing pale/pilsner, with some burnt stuff for colour. There's a little fruityness from the yeast, but it doesn't stand out like some of their brews.

M: Moderate body, moderate to high carbonation, finish is dry.

D: It seems like this one is aimed at the general public. It's a decent brew, unoffensive, but it just doesn't bring me back for more.

I love Unibroue, and I thought the scores might be a little low... but then I tasted it.

 783 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

341 ml foil capped brown bottle, in the 2006 Unibroue Variety Pack. I like the picture on the label. Is this going to be the opposite of Blanche de Chambly?, or the same but a different color?
Pours a very dark black, held up to the light only the slightest amount of light can get through. Thick foamy head, tan/caramel colored, leaves thin lacey strings down the side of the glass.
I was expecting an explosion of smells, but it is not to be. Smell of toasted malts, some spice and yeast. Some smokiness hiding in there too. Taste (and mouthfeel) are a bit thin. Reminds me of their Blanche - somewhat fruity and coriander spice, with yeast and a touch of metalic aftertaste. I guess the dark color throws your perception off a bit. Smooth, but light body. Probably wouldn't search this out again.
Too many differences to really compare against Maudite, or other beer of the style.
I am always curious to find out what the next new offering will be.

 958 characters

Photo of Cwrw
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found in the Unibroue "2006 Collection" 12 pack. Chambly Noire poured jet-black--very dark, no traces of dark brown. The head is a light chocolate brown, very creamy and small bubbled. Fine thick sheets of lacing. Wonderful looking beer. The aroma is quite similar to Maudite. Spicy malts, Unibroue yeast aroma. A little tinge of sourness in the background. A faint nuttiness, and some salinity. Some chocolate and raisins, lightly toasted bread, a little licorice, and prunes and dried plums. Not as complex as some of their other beers, but a delightful aroma nonetheless. A little sweeter than Maudite. The taste is bit of a letdown. I do not think Unibroue intended this one to be a complex, slow-sipper--more of an all-round more versatile beer: something to be had with food. There is just not a much depth here: it starts with some yeasty fruitiness, passes the middle adding a little dark malting, and then leaves with a very subtle aftertaste. Nothing really stands out, and all the flavours are subdued. It IS well-balanced though, and has some tastes of ham, coffee, chocolate, and seasoning salt. Nice creamy mouthfeel, but only medium bodied. An unoffending, unchallenging beer, but highly drinkable, and probably a great starter beer to get someone started on the right road. I could pass a couple of these back effortlessly. By all rights: a great dark beer, but not quite the finest feather in the cap of Unibroue.

 1,430 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a 341 ml foil capped brown bottle, as part of the 2006 Unibroue variety pack. Pours out a densely opaque black hue, practically impermeable to light, displaying only the thinnest nimbus of mahogany around the base of the glass. And capping this liquid midnight is a tall spongey tan head, which leaves thick small sticky patches of lacing.

The aroma however is very mild for such an impressive looking beast. Metallic toasted grains, some berries, hints at spice, and yeast. As it warms it acquires a bit of a smoky character, building on the toasted character of the malt already detected, the initial metallic quality gets replaced by mild wood smoke.

The flavour, while not lacking, also comes across as somewhat subdued. Those toasted metallic grains are back, along with the berries, sweet as opposed to tart, with some ginger, orange peel, and coriander rounding out the finish. Even a bit of juniper along the aftertaste. Almost reminds me of a Belgian version of a bock, or dark lager.

The mouthfeel is also on the lighter side of what Unibroue tends to offer, creamy and smooth, but lacking in weight and body.

I spy a stepping stone beer here folks, a bridge to help the masses acclimatize themselves eventually to the real classic heavy hitters Unibroue has to offer. Or perhaps this is a sign of the Sleeman effect on the new labels coming out from Unibroue: looks great, but the aroma, taste and mouthfeel leave much to be desired. In the end this is a very quaffable ale, would even serve well as a session beer, but lacks the oomph, backbone and character of what we have come to expect from Unibroue. And I'll stick to my Raftman for my session beer from this brewery.

 1,705 characters

Photo of chunkylover53
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this in the 2006 version of Unibroue's Collection Pack.

It pours extrememly black with a big, frothy head and smells, well, like Unibroue.

Tastes a bit smokey, which was a surprise. There's also some anise. I think there might be some whisky malt in there. Reminds me a little of Raftman, only darker.

I'd definitely not turn down another of these.

 363 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got lucky this past week and got to try this as the company rep was feeling very friendly. Poured a dark color with a decent head and left some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was yeasty and citric but also had some hints of darker malts in there. Interesting. The flavor was much like a witbier with just hints of darker malts in there. Some spice and yeasty flavors as well. The mouthfeel was thin and the drinkability was pretty good.

 443 characters

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.

 399 characters

Photo of Beersignal
3.09/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like its namesake, it pours black and opaque with a velvety, generous and frothy head of dark tan foam of respectable staying power. No real lacing but a fine bead rises lazily as is evidenced by the constant bubbling at the surface of the liquid.

Surprisingly, aromas are very (too) subtle. I'm accustomed to big and perfumey Unibroue beers and this one somewhat dissappoints. Nary a note of roastiness for such a dark brew and faint aromas of fruit and spice followed by a trademark yeastiness are the brunt of what I found. And this sample was room temp.!

Flavours are only slightly more complex than the aromas. This is where field berries mingle with ginger and cloves to create a pleasant but faint flavour profile. No real roastiness from the grains which leads me to believe they used a sparing amount of Black Patent for coloration so it would not impart any real flavour to the beer.

All in all, a very average offering from one of my favourite breweries. Maybe it's time for them to issue a saison and break out of the sweetish unbitter beer mould.


 1,078 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.