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 emerge077
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage bottle shared by Jay23, courtesy of Tony. Thanks!

Transparent tawny brown in the glass. Initially a couple fingers of head that settles down to a ring around the glass. Sweet caramel, earthy belgian yeast aroma.

Malty caramel flavor, a little nutty, but also flat and subdued. A light sweetness from candi sugar. Mellow feel, easy enough to drink, but not especially impressive.

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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 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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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 GClarkage
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

07-17-05- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no dating. Poured into my Orleans pils style glass.

Appearance- Dark copper colored pour with a decent 3/4 inch head and minor lacing.

Smell- Lots of dark caramel malt and maybe smells like there may be a touch of sourness in the scent.

Taste- Hmmmm, I'm wondering if one of us (I or the first reviewer) got a bad bottle or maybe a different batch. Mine had no sourness whatsoever. In fact, it's very much on the sweeter side. Lots of roasted caramel and a decent amount of brown sugar. In fact, it's kinda like a real weak version of their Brown Sugga. Decent amount of hops as well.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, a bit fuller mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Went down pretty easy. A good beer, but at least from the bottle I got, I would put in under a catagory that doesn't exist. Something like an imperial brown ale. Or a cross between a strong ale and a brown ale.

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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 Gueuzedude
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled April 2007
Notes of toasted chocolate, and browned bread crust greet my nose as I pour this beer. This is quite a bit more aromatic than I was expecting and, without yet inspecting the aroma, seems to even have a lightly funky edge to it. The beer pours with a two-finger thick, amber-tinged, tan colored head and the beer is a brilliantly clear, concentrated amber color that is quite pretty to look at in the light. Upon further inspection, the aroma is quite a bit more fruit focused; notes of caramelized raisins and figs are quite prominent. Underneath the fruitiness is that initial note of malt. Really the aroma is quite sticky, and a bit too fruity smelling for me.

Lightly sweet up front, it picks up more sweetness as it moves across the palate. The sweetness makes me think I am drinking something like raisin, or even prune juice. Underneath this fruit character are notes of caramel malts, lightly toasted grain and a browned crusty bread character; This malt character is not really noticeable enough to balance the over the top sweet and fruity notes though.

This beer certainly mimics many Belgian beers, it just happens these are the ones I don't like. They are too sweet and syrupy for me, and they are lacking in the yeast-derived complexity of the truly great Belgian Ales.

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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 harpus
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

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 RoyalT
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – This Lagunitas poured a light brown in color with a fine, small head.

Smell – The big, brown yeast doesn’t fit the Appearance. It is just huge and smells like a monster BSDA. There are some light darkish spices in here along with some confident toasted malts and a light but dark sweetness.

Taste – This BDA kind of falls apart at the taste. The big toasty malts and live yeast are here, but they lose the complexity that they showed at the Smell.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied with some good carbonation, but the flavors just don’t round out in the mouth like they should.

Drinkability – This was a clumsy effort at the style although it had some strong points. It is very inconsistant but a good beer by any measure.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah new seasonal from one of my favourite breweries!
22 oz bomber.
Very attractive burnt brown coloured ale with a smallish "coffee'n'creme" coloured head..great lacing down the glass.
The aroma is rather curious though..I certainlly can sense what they were trying to accomplish, but what no doubt is meant to be Belgian style spicy aroma comes off as dry roasted peanuts after a while..there is howeever some estery aromas that show through nicelly.
mmm nice Belgian spicy taste up front almost over whelming the caramel malts ..nice then it sort of breaks down near the end of the mouthful and goes bitter.
the mouthfeel was very velvety and pleasantly smooth.
Over all a really odd beer a brown ale with belgian hints..its taken me a half hour to decide ..yes I like this beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Snapped up off the shelves at Hollingshead Delicatessen, like all of the new Lagunitas Seasonal Releases I will always try them. The usual cartridge paper main label has the typical Lagunitas look. Labelled as “Lagunitas Nuevo Noir Ale”, small italic script underneath has the phrase “Say; “no-WAY-vo no-WAR”” a very clever play on words that may be missed by many that don’t look close enough or even get it. The main label proudly states that this is “A Belgium Style Brown Ale” and that it is 6.3% ABV.

Appearance: Chestnut brown superbly polished body which has an intense crystal clarity. Lovely soft carbonation has an average level but the foamy head retains its presence, the off-white dirty head sits proudly above the body of the beer and it has some serious testicles and stays around with an intense longevity.

Nose: Caramel fused malts start the ride but sweetness rises in the centre. The ending reveals some sweaty sock Clovis like Belgian spices and a dark wheaty feel in the nasal passage.

Taste: Starts with a malty ensemble of caramel and dark wholemeal breads. The middle is classic Brown with some light spices and a dry finish. Spicy lingering ending with some rising alcohol feel which warms a little.

Mouthfeel: Thin start which prejudices any expectation of a Belgian Style Brune somehow. The spicy malts and dark sugars lend some credence to the mouth, yet the feel is somehow lacking something special, it reminds me of sub-par Bruin/Brune found in many a new wave Belgian Brew Pub.

Drinkability: Not that bad, but I found the whole beer to be rather flaccid to be honest. Lacking in appeal and underwhelming.

Overall: Listed as a ‘Flanders Oud Bruin”, naahhh, mee thinx not, this is a standard run-of-the-mill Brown at worst, a Belgium Dark Ale at best, the Belgian influence is there but it feels more like that from a Wit and/or Dubbel. In fact the whole brew has a Belgian spicy Brune cum Weizenbock feel to it.

Not bad, but not one of my favorite Lagunitas brews.
Barely above Average at best.

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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 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 CRJMellor
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep chestnut brown with flecks of maroon and gold. Fomay almost cream like head is very impressive and has some staying power.
Aroma of caramel, brown sugar, dark wheat bread and some dark fruits with a hint of musty yeastiness.
Flavor is actually rather bland with mainly dark malts on the palate. No sourness, maybe a tick and a slightly yeasty dry bread crumg finish. Short and lacluster flavors. come to expect more from Lagunitas.
Mouthfeel is thin and watery and never gets anywhere style purported to be. False advertising aside it's not a badly constructed beer, just somewhat bland and innocuous. Darker fruit and malts are OK, again just average though
Drinkability is allright. Serious lack of effort to style but not a bad tasting beer. Underimpressed and Belgians don't se to fit with Lagunitas' usual kick ass West coast thing anyway. Skip this one, I wish I had.

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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 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 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 magictrokini
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leather-brown and red pour, but clear. Almost no head out of the bottle. Aroma is baked apple with some spice. Taste is very good; malty with background of spice, raisins, and brown sugar. Finish is clean, not sticky sweet. A nice understated Belgian.

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Photo of taez555
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark yet clear reddish brown body with a small white tan head.

Nose had a very sweet, classic Belgian, yeast, dark fruit, sugary smell.

Taste was medium to full bodied. Very malty with an almost biscuit note. Hints of spice. Surprisingly water. Yeast, caramel and mild fruit. There’s a nice even bitterness, not overly done, just there.

Stylistically I thought this beer reminded me more of an America Pale Ale mixed with a Belgian Brown. A decent session beer, but not really a Belgian brown.

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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 mattcrill
2.96/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to Crotor and BIF 16 for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear ruby color fading to light carmel on the edges. A dishwater sudsy white head develops and quickly disappears.

Smell: Belgian tripel yeasty funk, wheat bread, rye, and some cloves. Not particularly inviting to me.

Taste: Light cloves, Belgian yeast, a touch of sweet carmel, finishing again with strong cloves and a touch of ginger. Reminds me of a winter warmer.

Mouthfeel: Thin and almost watery. The spices leave a presence on the palate but that's about it.

Drinkability: I can't imagine re-visiting this. An interesting twist on a style but kind of misses the mark for me. Oh well.

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Photo of rowew
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber. ABV, pronounciation guide, phone number, and a novella are all included on the label, but date information is excluded.

Appearance: Pours reddish brown with no haze, and a white head of small bubbles that fades quickly.

Smell: Sweet belgian yeast, maybe a hint of candy sugar. Slight banana aroma - very belgian smelling.

Taste: The most noticable taste aspect is the yeasty finish. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, carbonation level is low. Other than that the flavor seems a bit lacking.

Overall impression: This one has all the pieces in place, but the sum is a bit less than stellar. Nothing particularly wrong with it, it just doesn't add up to a great beer.

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