Black's Nocturne
Cismontane Brewing Company

Black's NocturneBlack's Nocturne
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #863
ABV:
12%
Score:
93
Ranked #3,444
Avg:
4.19 | pDev: 7.16%
Reviews:
20
Ratings:
95
From:
Cismontane Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  26
Gots
  25
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Black's NocturneBlack's Nocturne
Notes: We took everyone’s favorite Imperial Stout (sans coffee) and aged it for nearly a year in fresh Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels, which we then blended in an attempt to tame the bourbon beastliness. Creamy vanilla and smooth oak on the nose complement and round out the roasted, bitter chocolate characteristics. A kiss of bourbon booziness on the palate provides the perfect finish for this rich and decadent tribute to the dark months ahead. Be prepared…winter is coming.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 95 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by HALB:
Photo of HALB
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of dfernandez77
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Commentary: So I have a couple homebrewing friends who talk about this beer as if they’d give their left testicle for a bottle. If they were regular bottle geeks (rare beer fans who don’t brew) I’d find it quaint, but these guys are both good brewers in their own right. That means labels don’t mean squat – it’s the beer that counts. With that in mind, I bought a bottle when I found it. It’s a barrel aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout.

Appearance 4.0: Black, impenetrable, a liquid eclipse – and not a FiftyFifty Eclipse (it’s better) – in a bottle. Head like the froth on a hot chocolate, dissipates quickly, laces gently.

Aroma 4.5: Bourbon vanilla, Coca Cola syrup, cocoa liquor (pure chocolate in its liquid form), and a touch of maple. A delicate roast like and angel fell in a campfire.
Flavor 4.75: Chocolate ganache, crème brulee caramelized crust, campfire burnt marshmallows.

Mouthfeel 4.75: Full and creamy, slight astringency around the edges from roast in the long (luxurious) finish.

Overall Impression 5.00: An interesting note; my second pour from the bottle had a small pellicle. Like a brown, boogery, loogie, foamy, phlegm, floater. What did I do? I am a brewer and fermentor. I make cheese, spontaneous fermented pickles, eat “stinky” fermented tofu. I fear no floater – it’s from a barrel ferchrisakes, it happens. I found a fork, flung the floater in the sink, and finished the bottle.

So, regarding my aforementioned friends and their testicles. Left, right, whatever – I’d be tempted to trade my own for a bottle. Someone stole the chocolate left on God’s pillow after they turn down his bed, liquefied it, beerified it, bourbon barrelified it, and bottled it. I will take as many of these as you can find – please.

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Photo of jodan
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of bennyman12
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.74/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of zimm421
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mactrail
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gigantic blow torch of an Imperial Stout. Very dark mahogany color in the New Belgium snifter. Quite dark head, it's beyond beige. Spritzy in the mouth with a prickly sharpness that accentuates the booze. Actually not a heavy-bodied brew, for all the massive ingredients. Great aroma of woody vanilla and caramel.

Sweet like a liqueur from the start. A pleasant drying trend takes hold so the sugar doesn't stay on the tongue for long. The sweetness does make a nice introduction as your taste buds are assaulted. Seriously hot with alcohol. The syrupy intensity and vast flavors do distract you while this is sliding down your throat, but I wouldn't say the alcohol is hidden. Dark and charry malt is the big flavor, enlivened by a very smooth bourbon taste.

Satisfying for a small glass after dinner, say. A little too much of a good thing, but I'll be interested in what the barrel fanatics say about this. From the 750 ml bottle purchased at Best Damn in San Diego.

 973 characters

Photo of marine1975
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of mdfb79
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 04/20/13 notes. Thanks to Nugganooch for sending me this one; thanks Dane! 22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of milk chocolate, sweet bourbon, roasted malts, dark chocolate, toasted malts, vanilla, some oak and coconut. Very nice nose. Sweet, with nice bourbon and chocolate mixing together. Not very hot at all.

t - Tastes of milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, toffee, caramel, some dark fruits, oak, coconut, burnt and toasted malts. More vanilla here than the nose, not quite as sweet. A little better than the nose in my opinion.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Body is pretty smooth and not very hot. A little bit thicker and the body would be great.

o - Overall my second beer and stout from Cismontane and I have been impressed with both of them; they were know their stouts. This one is a big stout that has barrel notes, but tastes like it is 8% ABV; really nice. Loads of sweet bourbon and chocolate throughout, and easy to drink. Would really like to have it again.

 1,130 characters

Photo of IpeeA
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Duff27
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of CarolinaKevin
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Better Weather Fest at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cookie dough, wood, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a really nice barrel aged presence.

 575 characters

Photo of jmarsh123
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours jet black with a small cocoa brown head. Surprising retention for a big stout like this with good lacing. Nice looking beer.

Big bourbon and chocolate notes waft up before my nose is even close to the bottle. Roasted malts, vanilla and oak also.

Flavor is similar although the char flavor comes on a big stronger than the aroma. Tons of dark chocolate balanced by charred slightly smoky malt. Vanilla and oak linger in the background. Bourbon provides a lot of warmth on the back end.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Could use maybe a little more body to full reach its potential, but still doesn't detract from the beer. Fairly hot, but I prefer that and the bourbon feels integrated.

Fantastic off my radar beer. Thanks Matt for sending this! Perfect balance between all the flavor components and a great beer to drink on a cold January night.

 864 characters

Photo of injuredreserve
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of inlimbo77
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, fall 2012
5oz mini tasting snifter

A: Pours out nearly pitch black in color. I see some reddish hues around the edges of the glass. There was some sticky tan lacing left no the glass, but there wasn't a lot of head. Alcohol feet are present as we're dealing with a higher ABV.

S: Great nose on this one. Pulling lots of bourbon character here: vanilla, toffee, caramel, etc. Also getting some fudgy chocolate notes as well. Really smells like a pleasant mix, especially when you start to get some of that roast coffee into the mix as well.

T: Taste is also killer here. Just like I smelled you get deep chocolate notes first, meshing with some coffee character. Then you get the barrel treatment, that vanilla and burnt sugar come into play in the mid-palate. It's really smooth. You really don't taste the ABV, even at that high level. Maybe some warming, but that is all. Long finish on this. Flavors come up better as they warm.

M: Full bodied brew. Coats the mouth.

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Photo of IKR
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a fairly generous beige head that gradually fades. Good lacing observed.

Smell: Mild brown sugar, some bitter chocolate aromas, and faint bourbon notes.

Taste: A mix of mild Bourbon, bitter chocolate, and faint tannic oak notes. Some roasted malts/coffee notes were also present. The barrel notes are fairly subtle. I wish there were 0.25 increments for the scoring as I feel it's above the 4 I've given it but I'm not sure I'd give it a 4.5 (score updated on February 14, 2013). I do enjoy the balanced flavor profile.

Mouth-feel:The body is on the light side of Medium- bodied with a good level of carbonation, especially considering the bal-aging.

Overall: The proprietor of the store I purchased this from thought it was similar to Old Rasputin XIV. I agree, though I would take the Old Rasputin Anniversary beer over this, especially if cost wasn't an issue. This is a good bal-aged beer, especially if you take price into consideration.

 969 characters

Photo of jeff1973
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of tbone1384
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%

Black's Nocturne from Cismontane Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 95 ratings