Nuevo Noir | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Nuevo NoirNuevo Noir
54 Ratings
Nuevo NoirNuevo Noir

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RootedFool on 07-15-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of OStrungT
4.55/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a copper color, with light red highlights. The head is very thick and creamy. It is very light tan, almost white. It fades slowly, leaving a huge amount of laces. This beer has a spicy, herbal aroma. It has a slight toasted malt aroma. I detect a minimal hop aroma. Mostly I smell cloves. It has a spicy taste also. The cloves are dominant. It has a slight malty taste. I can not detect any hop presence in the flavor. It has a slightly sour taste to it as well. This beer goes down smooth leaving a clovey aftertaste. This beer is medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation. I think this beer would make a great session beer. It is low in alcohol, so that would not be a problem, and the flavor is enjoyable, and not overbearing. I will probably have this beer again. If you see it, you need to try it.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.53/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paid $3.99 for a 22oz bomber. 6.3% ABV, 29.5 IBU, OG=1.076, 2005 edition.

Pours out to a brilliantly clear light mahogany, requiring a hefty pour to achieve a rocky and soapy light khaki head with excellent retention and good sticky lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is delicate with light cloves, soft dark bananas, toasty and nutty amber malts, and green apple esters. The yeast is definitely has that exact same ester profile with a very clean ferment. The mouthfeel is very soft and has a surprisingly medium-dense body which coats the mouth. The carbonation is very soft and makes this VERY easy to drink. The taste is wonderful...the aforementioned cloves, bananas and esters are all there, held in nice balance with a sticky and semi-dense amber malt body. There is a nice amount of toast in the middle with sweet nuts and dark fruits lingering in the finish. The aftertaste is of moist pipe tobacco with a mild to moderate bitterness. Alcohol is imperceptable. As I drink it, I'm starting to notice that it doesn't taste like a Unibroue strain, rather like an Ommegang strain fermented at a much cooler temp that what the boys back home do...(i.e-66-68 and not 78-82)

It seems alot of people have their panties in fits over the style of this brew. Don't expect a Dubble, a Belgian Strong Ale, or even a Belgian Dark Ale. This is kinda like an Belgian Uber-Brown. At any rate, I think this is a wonderful brew. I was taken by surprise that LaGunitas could churn out something completely different than what they normally brew and pull it off. Recommended!

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Photo of RootedFool
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Mudite goblet, the head is nearly three quarter inches tall, off-white (almost tan), lots of pea-sized bubbles on the surface. Retention is decent, reveals a creamy consistency -- a solid but thin sheet sticks to the glass. Body is deep mahogany with slight ruby highlights. Smell: Nice waft of musty yeast, with a spine of orange zest and brown sugar, and simple sugars as well, and some grapefruit juice. Taste: Blunt profile of citrus rind bitterness, backed up by a puckering display if funky yeast and sour malts; aftertaste is an almost chocolate-like sweetness, a little oakiness (some wood for sure, and smoke) with the bitterness slowly receding. Leaves a nice sizzle on my tongue. Mouthfeel: Very wet, not as full as I would expect but this is a summer seasonal afterall; washes down with ease; middling carbonation. Another awesome seasonal offering from Lagunitas.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When poured in the glass it was a reddish walnut color with just a ting of foam. The smell of roasted malts and mild hops filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The taste of roasted malts and hops were evident along with a hint of toffee and hazelnut.

A big beer with out being heavy. Extremely well-balance of roasted malts and aromatic hops. Long clean finish

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.29/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Watermelonman for the hookup! I am sampling a room temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a clear mahogany color with soft fluffy offwhite head of 1 cm that fades to a surface layer quickly.
Aroma is brown sugar, bready yeast, some dark fruit (plums), and cloves. QUite a complex nose that makes me want to take a sip.
Giving in I detect a medium body, very fine fizzy carbonation and silky texture. The flavor is sweet with brown sugar, cloves, and caramel, this rolls to a yeasty bready, dark fruit finish. The beer is ultra fizzy and makes me burp quite a bit. I think general spice and malt sweetness dominate the brew, which I find very enjoyable. Very easy drinker with no hint of ABV. I would buy if I saw in a store or bar.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another in the line of seasonal's i've focused on recently. I've had success with this brewery so this was a welcomed addition to the stable.

Poured into a tulip. light tan head that has a slick but stable retention. The head holds a ring lacing, not sticky, but slowly slides giving it a slick appearance. Fine carbonation, light brown color that is actually quite clear and filtered.

Caramel was there but not strong, I really got an orange/citrus that was pleasant against the strong malt backdrop.

Tasted the typical yeast presence, was surprised by an intense warming for such an average ABV. Chewy mouthfeel. Loved this offering. dry aftertaste lingered and made me want to drink this fast. It was hard to resist. for the price I'll pick up a bunch on the next visit.

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Photo of poluti
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is not a typical brown ale. It somewhat typical until it clears up a bit to a more orange amber color. Very nice lightly tanned head. The smell is a bit floral with a little too much alcohol coming through. It tastes thicker than was led on by the smell. Very sweet beer. It is very prominant on the tip of the tongue but well-balanced on the tongue and not a sour sweet. I enjoyed this beer and will probably have it again.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know, I think this is a slightly misunderstood style because of the bigger brother style. Next to a strong dark ale this seems weak and watery. But this is just supposed to be a dark ale. I think this brew does that job quite well.
Sweet, lightly spicy, a hint of sourness... the one flavor that comes to mind most easily is cherries, or dried cherries. Not a big beer by any means but it's not supposed to be! Still, 6.3% is a respectable amount and you can't taste the alcohol in there. It's bound to sneak up on you. Dries up quite well in the finish.
This falls within the realm of being a "nice" beer. Not great, not life changing, but a pretty tasty, easy to drink beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While not an oud bruin by any stretch, I really enjoyed this beer in and of itself. It poured a clear ruby-chestnut with an average head of khaki that held fairly well and left minor lacing about the glass. The nose was fruity with a light spice; and the body was medium. It was sweetish, fruity (berries), and malty with a twist of tartness in the finish. Hedonistically, I really enjoyed it and felt it had a pretty decent drinkability, but I do have a personal leaning towards the style - not that this is to style at all, but there are some similarities.

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Photo of Billolick
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

They were pouring this one at the Blind Tiger in NYC for the past 10 -14 days. Arrived glistening dark almond in color, almost dark mahogony with just a skimpy and short lived tan head. Only left some minimalist dots of lacing. Sweat and citrusy nose. Subtle, understated and quite complex, with notes of burnt malt, caramel, vanilla, more citrus, candy sugars. NIce stuff, quite drinkable for a BDA. Well worth a try.

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Photo of chance269
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving type: I bought this in Midtown Sacramento in the 22oz bottle...I'm always apt to buy any new Lagunitas beer, and as I can see by the number of reviews, this one is very new...hence the title. Poured into pilsner style glass.

Appearance: Deep amber/brown with a reddish hue. 1/2" head that dissipated fairly quickly...but leaves a decent lacing on the glass following each sip.

Smell: Sugary, fruity tones...for only being 6.3%, a good amount of alcohol smell permeates, but not in a bad way...enhances the hints of sugars and maltiness.

Taste: Some sweet malt tones, fruit zest...very subtle sourness in the aftertaste. Lacks the richness and complexity of similar styles like Trois Pistoles or Maredsous 8.

Mouthfeel: Definitely lacks the carbonation of imported Belgian ales...bubbles are much that respect, it doesn't live up to the style. But I still LOVE all beers by Lagunitas.

Drinkability: Goes down easy enough. I'd say after a 22oz. I'm ready for something else with a little more intensity and mouthfeel, like a Maredsous...but still this beer is a worth a try...

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Photo of Troyone
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a root beer color with a copper hue and a minimal off white head that quickly disappeared with evident carb action.

Has a roasted caramel malt smell with a pine and citrus hops aroma.

Moderately/heavy sweet, moderately acidic, and lightly bitter roasted/burnt caramel malt taste with hints of dark chocolate and molasses. Has a resin and orange hops flavor.

Medium bodied, syrupy almost creamy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a smooth slightly metallic and astringent finish.

A rather pleasant drinking beer, not enough bitterness balance for me and the slight metallic and astringent finish, although smooth, prevents this from being my type of a session beer.

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Photo of weeare138
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a brownish red with a decent tan head that retains decently and leaves little streaks of lacing.
Smell is of malty, nutty, caramel, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the same aromas with a pleasant sugar and nutty bite to it.
Mouthfeel is ok. A bit chewy with sweetness and a borderline sourness that is detected.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark cherry with a mocha tan head that rises to about an inch in thickness. The smell is of strong syrup molasses and bananna nectar. The yeast is nutty and buttery. The taste is a dark molasses covered bannana, hints of clove leaves appear, slight citrus in the end. A great belgian style from a american brewer. Good for anytime, a night time relaxer or perfect with a nice dessert.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep dark ruby amber. Thin buff head with good retention though not the mousy head that is indicative of this style. Though dark, brilliant clarity when held to light.

S: Marriage between sweet malts and fruity esters. Malt is bready. Esters lean towards prunes/raisins. No prominent spicy aromas.

T: Balance of taste leans heavily towards malt. Malt is bready like the smell. Esters add nice compliment to the sweet malt flavor. Esters exhibit characteristics of raisins and fruit candy. Slight bitterness at end.

MF: High carbonation but not enough to be annoying. Medium light body. Moderately filling mouthfeel. Alcohol warming noticeable.

D: A good crack at a Belgian strong ale but not quite complex and rich enough to be top tier. That being said very drinkable.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bready/yeasty aroma. Some sweet malty nose too.

Light brown with a big tan head. Pretty clear.

Lots of sweet malt flavor. Some almond like flavor and hints of honey. Hops provide nice bitterness but otherwise no flavor. Pretty well balanced. Creamy and medium bodied. Light, pleasant carbonation. Not a whole lot of belgian yeast character in the flavor.

I like it. It's nice to drink but would not stand up to a lot of Belgian Browns on the market. Needs either more belgian fermentation character or bigger strength. More like an American brown with a little more heft.

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Photo of jakester
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this bomber at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet.

Pours a hazy burnt orange/red with a one finger head of beige colored foam. Head falls to islands and a ring, with no real lacing.

Aroma is faint Belgian funk, a little spicy, with notes of cloves, coriander, and dark brown sugar. Smells are soft, and you gotta work to get 'em.

Flavor is brown sugar right up front, sweet and a little burnt. The Belgian phenolics are there, but gentle. I can taste cloves, coriander, black pepper, yeast, and caramel candy. Flavors are also muted, but the flavors and aroma improves as the beer warms. Aftertaste is brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, with soft carbonation. It's smooth and creamy, with a sweet finish.

As a seasonal, this works; it's funky, a little spicy, a little yeasty. I couldn't drink alot of this because of the sweetness, but on Christmas morning, it'd be great with corn flakes! Recommended.

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Photo of Zorro
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish brown beer with a light tan head.

Smell a little sweet and a little tart with a good spicy scent. Fruity mostly a tart apple scent. Mostly this beer is VERY spicy in scent.

Taste is malty with a lot of bready flavor. Lots of clove flavor, enough so that it actually numbs the tongue. Flavor of coriander and Oak I think. This very quickly becomes a dry ale dominated by spice and woody dryness.

Mouthfeel is good, but seems a bit heavy.

A drinkable beer but really better to serve with food that would complement the dry and spicy flavor. A good beer to substitute for Cabernet sauvignon.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a deep ruby and brown color with a small head. Lace is minimal.

The smell is good, coming on strong and bringing plenty of dark malt alongside substantial fruit content. The taste is decent, with malt dominating. Caramel and sugars come through too. The mouthfeel is fairly full and it's easy to drink.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1" tan head above the clear dark copper brew. Head fades with large popping bubbles like a ready-to-flip pancake, with average to good lacing. Aroma is effevescent light spices and malt. Taste is also spicy malts, with some bitterness at the close. Mouthfeel continues the trend of "pretty good", but drinkability is quite nice, going down agreeably and leaving you with an empty glass. Not too bad of an offering here, nice to see a special release from them that isn't over the top in one category or another.

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Photo of Crosling
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear auburn color with a soft, filmy head. Subtle aroma overall, yeasty (sweat, must), with cornmeal hints, light chocolate, toffee and dark fruit. Fizzy, bubbly and creamy texture, but still light in body. Earthy flavor all around, with sweaty yeast, toffee, honey sweetness and dark fruit. An easygoing, mild take on a light Belgian dubbel.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't fault the appearance at all. Clear copper with a never ending film of cream colored small bubbled foam that coats the beer and leaves some lacing.

The smell definitely lets you know that a Belgian yeast strain was used due to the peppery yeastiness and medicinal aspects. Other than that, the darker flavors I would normally associate with a Belgian Dark Ale or Brown Ale are missing. I find no dark fruits, no roastiness, no brown sugar. It's not offensive though.

Some sweet caramel malt does show up in the taste to complement the pepper and medicinal flavors, but no other flavors make themselves known, leaving this beer pretty simple tastewise. The flavor is also a bit thin until the beer is almost at room temperature and it almost completely vanishes from the palate after swallowing, despite some pleasant toffee in the finish. However, after this one warms significantly, the flavor opens up quite a bit. I find nothing new in there, but the bright peppery flavors really come out a lot more and satisfy.

I found the mouthfeel to be nice, despite the average flavor. It had some body to it and was very creamy and smooth. This helped the drinkability quite a bit, and I would be able to enjoy several pints of the beer if nothing else more interesting were available.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber with a small speech therapy lesson on the label, plus the usual small stream-of-conscious blurb on the side (looks like this one will end in tears....).

Pours out a clear chestnut hue, tall off-white spongy head, which settles to a thin cap. Toasted malt, wood chips, Belgian yeast and candi sugar can be detected in the aroma, along with spices like black pepper and nutmeg. Very earthy, and nutty. The flavour is predominently sweet, honey and candi sugar, treacle, preserved fruits, some plum, and tends to get more woody, more earthy towards the finish. Indiscernable flavour of nuts on the finish. Sweet raisins and dates on the aftertaste. Excellent mouthfeel, smooth and velvety, has a backbone but is not too thick. A curious ale that is difficult to pinpoint, falls through some cracks and seems to switch and match with a few different styles, but all the more fun and interesting as a result. I could only handle one for an evening, far too sweet for me to go back for seconds in a row, but enjoyable while it lasts. I'd quaff it just for the sensation of that mouthfeel alone.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, an oud bruin, you say? OK then. I thought this was a BSDA, so I'm going to have to wing it here -- not a style I'm familar with.

Appearance: Brown. Seriously, about as straight up brown as I've ever seen, and crystal clear. Carbonation is a bit large, producing a loose, fizzy head where I might expect a dense creamy one. Pretty good retention, and a swirl will bring it right back. No real lace or collar to speak of.

Smell: Very pronounced Belgian yeast spice; very clovey. Rich nose of chocolate malt and a distinct fruitiness, with ripe plum coming to mind.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very, very sweet. Chocolate malts, candi sugar and fruity yeast result in a taste almost like Dr. Pepper mixed with chocolate syrup. Overwhelming and not entirely pleasant. No lactic sourness that I discerned, but that's apparently not a prerequisite of the style, so no points off for that. Still, something to break up the cloying sweetness would have been welcomed. Mouthfeel is medium everything, carbonation, weight, smoothness, etc.

Drinkability: Hard to say, since I don't know the style. Personally, I found the sweetness WAY over the top, and hence, wouldn't drink another. If you want something akin to a Belgian-spiced bock, though, this might be right up your alley.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Festive, scarlet-infused bronze with generous orange peel edges. The beer is capped by a snappy looking dome of firm, pale almond foam that is persistent, but is virtually featureless as it deflates. It falls short in the lace department as well. Close, but no cigar.

The nose is mildly interesting. I get the sense that there's a Belgian yeasty, clove spicy, dark ale in there somewhere, but it's too weak for me to appreciate whatever complexity might be present. Since there's very little head left, there's nothing to come between me and what might have been a pretty good nose if it was stronger.

Nuevo Noir tastes like a softer, sweeter, less clove-intensive Belgian dark ale. Actually, that description sounds pretty good to me (if done right), but the flavor profile doesn't quite come together where this beer is concerned. I've never liked BDAs as much as BSDAs because they seem like weaker, less complex, less interesting versions of the bigger style. That's exactly how this one comes across.

The malt backbone is semi-sturdy, even if it doesn't result in much more than a little sweet cocoa and chocolate. Hops are effectively hidden, so yeast is left to provide a counterpoint to the malt. The Belgian yeast strain that was used isn't wimpy, but neither is it a humdinger. Although this Lagunitas offering is easily identified as a domestic knockoff, it is drinkable if one doesn't expect the moon and the stars.

The body/mouthfeel is strictly medium with a light slickness and an understated amount of carbonation. Nothing too impressive, but then the beer is so easygoing that it almost drinks itself. Sip, gulp, chug, take your pick. I'll stick with the first of those options, thanks.

I'm pleased that Lagunitas decided to break out of the mold and brew something a little off the beaten path. If this is how they intended Nuevo Noir (New Black?) to taste, then I guess my idea of a good BDA doesn't quite jibe with their idea of a good BDA. I'm still glad that I had the chance to try it.

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Nuevo Noir from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 54 ratings