Cuvée Noire
Brooklyn Brewery

Cuvée NoireCuvée Noire
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
3.93 | pDev: 10.94%
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Cuvée NoireCuvée Noire
Notes: Brooklyn Cuvée Noire starts with a solid base of German malts, builds color and flavor from British and American roasted malts, gains rum notes from Mauritius raw sugar, grabs a hint of citrus from sweet orange peel, and then ferments under the flag of Belgium. Our Belgian house yeast lends the beer a gentle spiciness on a dry, brisk palate displaying notes of chocolate, coffee and citrus. Then follows six months in oak barrels, which marries all the flavors while adding overtones of vanilla, coconut, and flowers. Finally
the beer is bottled completely flat and undergoes a full refermentation in the bottle.

Malts: Weyermann Pilsner, Simpsons Chocolate, Crisp Black, Breiss Black Barley
Additions: Sweet Orange Peel
Hops: German Perle, Slovenian Aurora
Yeast: Our special Belgian strain
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 178 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cork and wire sealed 750 ml bottle with a Q2 2014 date served in a goblet in December (Q4) of 2018.

Pours near black with a fizzy beige head that lasts longer than the fizzy appearance suggests.

Aroma: raisins and other dark dried fruits, bourbon, alcohol esters, bourbon barrel, light coffee and faint spices.

Flavor: dark dried fruits including raisins and dates; bourbon and woody notes from the bourbon barrel; orange peel; faint yeast, chocolate and spices. ... a well balanced and harmonious mix.

Feel: lively, medium body.

Overall: apparently, this has aged very nicely: tasty and complex with minimal alcohol heat given over 10% ABV.

Dec 17, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a black color with a one finger white foamy appearance that dissipated within a good minute. Light foamy edgy lacing strings around the glass nicely. The smell starts off with a sweet sticky milk chocolate, and then a light ample amount of dark chocolate. A little bit of fudge runs in with a slight sticky sweet orange pulpiness to balance it out delicately. The taste was a nice sweet to semi-bitter and somewhat roasty flavor strolling into a sly sticky sweet chocolatey to sweet orange aftertaste. There’s a light sweet to semi-bitter finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping to sessionable sort of feel to it, maybe because it was aged - unsure. If anything, holy wow, what a sessionable sweet smooth feel over my tongue. Overall, for a Double/Imperial Stout, this was done extremely well.

Jun 20, 2017
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CHickman from New York

4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage, it pours pitch black color with a small beige head that faded slowly and left minimal spotty lacing. Thanks to "Boccu" for the bottle share.

Smells of red wine, yeast, mild agave or tequila, syrup, caramel, malt, toffee, orange peel, dark fruits, coffee grinds and cocoa powder. Interesting combo that's malt driven with some minor oaky and earthy notes mixing in for nice complexities.

Tastes like it smells with red wine, chocolate, brown sugar, funky yeast, oaky notes, faint bourbon, citrus notes, orange peel, sweet malt, cocoa powder, coconut water and lingering sweet malt. Really smooth and complex, syrup and caramel trail and seem like candied sugar and give the Belgian essence and more depth. It starts off like a stout but morphs into a unique a bold Belgian style ale.

Apr 27, 2017
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Boccu from New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours blackish brown with nice big brown head with a nice brown head that fades slowly. Aroma is rum tones. Taste is a bit Winnie, rum, light bourbon tone vanilla, coconut and flowers. Not my style but well made.

Apr 27, 2017
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ssm462 from Florida

3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks very toasty dark thick and smells like a black ops. Has a similar Belgium style flavor that makes black ops such a cult classic. Unfortunately it's a little watery and doesn't have that rich creamy flavor you'd expect from its look. Slight head forms that dissapates quickly a rich malty smell with a little sour after taste. Overall was not worth the price tag I payed for it - 25 bucks.

Jul 17, 2016
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

"Once a 'Ghost Bottle' That we only made for ourselves, Brooklyn Cuvee Noire finally journeys beyond our walls. A stout-like blend of German and British pale and dark malts, this beer is fermented with Belgian yeast and then spends more than six months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Dry, brisk, and complex, showing notes of chocolate, coffee, citrus, vanilla and coconut, Cuvee Noire is refermented in this bottle with Champagne yeast. It is a most excellent accompaniment to dinner." Brewed in the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, available in limited release 750 ml. bottles.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of an ecru tan over a very dark brown body. Retention is above average and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Pale, bread malts, caramel grains, chocolate and biscuit build a rich, complex malt aroma. The impact of bourbon is very notable in the aroma, with slight alcohol heat discernible and the subtleties of toasted oak and vanilla creeping through. Spicy and drying yeast nose generates unusual fruity and citrus notes for an unusual spin for both a dark Belgian strong and a stout. Slightly lighter in perceived body than a stout, but moderately potent. 3.75

(Taste) Complex but lightly bodied malt characters of caramel biscuit, bread malts, trace chocolate, pale and light roast with a reserved sweetness and a starkly dry delivery. Bourbon creeps out a bit more boldly than anticipated, with a larger bite of alcohol and lesser oak and vanilla, by this point it only complicates things. Finishes light, dry and peppery spicy with a sharp ethanol pinch. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly creamy, softly tangy, very dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a moderate frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is tangy, acidic, grainy and boozy alcohol over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A highly experimental brew project that may find some appeal, but to me it waffles between styles without really bringing any of them together. Coupled with a flavor imbalance and a very exposed alcohol bite, it doesn't work out well for me. I don't like being disappointed by these expensive bottle reviews, but I can't say this is worth trying in this format. Maybe a sample on draft to see if it's worth it to you. 3.5

Brooklyn Brewery's
Cuvee Noire

May 10, 2016
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uvachief from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Poured into a pilsner glass. Deep purple brown color with a full finger of tan fluffy head that dissipated after a minute or two down to a thin top layer. Smells of roasted malts, citrus and oak but all subtle. Tastes of dark roasted malts, yeast like bread, chocolate, little coffee, sugar but not sweet and maybe oak?..very light but complex beer. Lot of subtle flavors. Mainly oak and roasted malts. Interesting. Not blown away but very easy to drink with no abv burn.

Aug 16, 2015
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BlurryVisi0n from New York

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass from a 25oz. Bottle.

Appearance: Thin brownish black syrup with medium bubbles to the body. One finger's length tan head with a slight uneven lacing.

Smell: Rum scent with notes of fruit. Honestly like soaked raisins in jamaican rum.

Taste: Complex sweet and almost tart like. You feel a rum cask type of taste with a very light bitterness to it. You ask me this is dessert in a glass.

Mouth: Has a bit of sourness to it as it warms up. Full after taste in effect, glass is sitting next to me and I don't need to sip to actually notice how great this grew is. It just likes to linger with you.

Overall: Might be one of Brooklyn Brewery's most prized possessions. You want quality, here it is! Might come at great cost but you will more than likely thank me later. Salud!

Jun 26, 2015
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amdg_dtom82 from Virginia

4.71/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A lot going on here, however at 50degrees it all comes together quite well. Really enjoyed the gentle play of orange and chocolate, with a strong but not overpowering boozy warmth that together with the spice of the yeasts cuts what would be an overly sweet malt presentation. Truly enjoyed this.

May 03, 2015
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scootny from New York

4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tall tower of dark tan foamwith clumps of lace and spots and streaks around the glass. A super dark liquid that earns the name, only the faintest of garnet hues showing through when held up to the light. Smell is luxuriously complex. Candied orange sweetness molasses and chocolate. Notes of coconut, toasted and roasted grains and coffee. Bourbony wrapped alcohol brings a peppery spiciness which brings the orange back and the cycle starts again. Taste is like the nose but better. Raisin and fig sweetness wrap the malt. Vanilla and cherries, along with the mild oak present the dark roasted grains with a mocha character. Finish is mildly bitter and full of mocha and earthy hops. Booze is gently present and very well integrated. It doesn't draw attention while subtly reminding you of the strength of the drink. Feel is lightly carbonated and lightly bodied for a brew of this size. There is a touch of crispness that would generally be out of place in a beer of this type but comes across as well suited to this one. I really like what is going on here. The many components that would create a problem without a unifying part. The bourbon had the potential to overwhelm it but it doesn't. It allows all the players to have their moment while maintaining the integrity of the whole. Well done!

Dec 19, 2014
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ADZA from Australia

4/5  rDev +1.8%

Pours a very dark mahogany brown hue with a so so khaki two finger head and tight lacing, the smell is sweet bourbon, slight oak, slight funk and I mean slight along with a sweet malty presence, feel is spot on full bodied moderate carbonation and taste is lots of caramel but not overdone just balanced with the bourbon nicely and finished with a herbal slash citrus bitterness, overall its pretty tasty but exxy and I cant quite place it but something holds this brew from being great cheers.

Nov 29, 2014
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cvm4 from Mississippi

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blend #2

L - Pours pitch black, doesn't seem oily thick and has a frothy two finger khaki head. Okay lacing and good retention.

S - Good amount of oak, vanilla, bourbon notes all intertwined with roasted malts and bitter orange peel. Interesting to say the least.

T - Semi sweet chocolate at first that develops into orange peel and oak, which end with bourbon and vanilla elements. There's a light tartness throughout.

F - Medium bodied and high carbonation. Has an odd wet/dry finish. There's a hint of alcohol, but at this level it's not like you can hide much.

O - This is probably an underrated beer because of the mix of styles going on. But, it came together really well and was pleasing to my palate.

Nov 20, 2014
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SFC21 from Florida

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

Nice orange zest on the nose. Lots of vanilla and barrel, along with the orange. Finishes a bit boozy. Reminded me of an old fashioned. The flavor really came together more as it warmed. Love how the champagne yeast lightens this.

Nov 19, 2014
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Blend #2

A: Pours a near pitch black color with 2+ fingers of tan head that fades down to a thick cap of streaming bubbles that lasts for a very long time

S: Lightly roasted malts, dark fruits, licorice, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and coffee all lumped into one complex nose. Maybe some dark chocolate in there as well, it's just very complex

T: Follows the nose, with a light vinous tartness added from the champagne yeast. Dark fruits come through first and foremost, followed by the licorice/anise. Bourbon and oak come through mid-palate. Coffee and vanilla somewhat overshadowed by the oak and fruity notes. Finishes with a light bitterness and more fruity and oaky notes

M: Medium bodied with high, bubbly carbonation

O: A little bit of a gusher upon opening, which isn't all that surprising given the champagne yeast. A very complex and interesting brew for sure. Alcohol gets completely lost amongst all of the flavors and the carbonation, which makes it dangerously drinkable. Definitely worth giving a shot even at the $20/750 mL price point

Oct 30, 2014
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TallSaint from New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

October 2nd, 2014

Pours opaque black with a thin but active head that does not dissapate (even at the end of the glass).

Nose is dominated by the bourbon barrel. Lots of oak and vanilla with a touch of coconut. The barrel is the primary player on the nose. Despite this the chocolate-y malt still comes through, this sweetness in the nose is boosted by the sweet orange peel which adds a fruity twist. There are some Belgian phenols here -- a slight medicinal quality -- but you really have to search for it, it's buried under the barrel and the sweet orange/chocolate.

On the palate the sweet chocolate hits first. The midpalate is oaky with a hint of orange but it's still a bit thin on flavor here. The backend is flavor heavy. This beer is weighty in the back. Oaky vanilla melds with the sweet malt. This gives way to a big fruity orange kick (a fruityness likely boosted by some esters thrown off by the yeast but I can't tell, again buried beneath sweetness). Following this the booze says hi in a big way. The finish is hot! The near 11% booze shows here.

It's light on the palate with a gentle but very light carbonation. Mouthfeel is oily.

Oct 03, 2014
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

750 ml caged and corked bottle, Blend #4. Served in a Great Lakes chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stuck around a while. There's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like bourbon, oranges, orange peel, dark fruit (plums, raisins), chocolate, blackberries, vanilla and a sweet sugary flavor that reminds me of brown sugar. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some coffee, wood, peppery spice and coconut. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Pretty easy to drink for being 10.6% ABV, the alcohol is well hidden. I liked this brew a lot, I'm glad I got to try this one. $18.99 a bottle.

Aug 31, 2014
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Karibourgeois from Texas

4/5  rDev +1.8%

Black pour with a tan two-finger head. Strong aroma of rum and oak barrels. Flavor is highly alcoholic with bourbon strong upfront. Full bodied. Can also taste vanilla, light roasted coffee, oak, citrus, plum, mild chocolate and rum. Very complex flavor. Finishes with a hint of alcohol and vanilla.

Aug 30, 2014
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metter98 from New York

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short off white head that has good retention properties and consistenty left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light aromas of rum are present from the Mauritius sugar; these become a bit stronger once the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of rum but is more complex compared to the smell with additional notes of bourbon, dark fruits, dark malts, oak, orange peel, and vanilla. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink considering its strength but has enough complexities to make something you can slowly sip.

Jun 29, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is one of the best beers i have ever had, thanks so much to my brother and brother in law for sharing it. i am convinced there is nothing else like this on the market, and if there is, i need to be made aware of it pronto. jet black, matte finish, viscous, dense and abyssal, with just a short inch of off white thick as cool whip head. complexity is littered in this one. notes of both bitter and sweet orange, both flesh and zest, both dry and fresh, adorn the nose and taste with an almost holiday dinner character, and belgian yeast with all its fruity esters adds to this. the malt is dark and dusty, roasty without much bitterness, blacker than most, but no char appears. there seems to be an added sugar too, but not belgian candy, its something else, more mature and patient than i am used to. do you call this thing a stout? im not sure stylistically what it really even is, its so different from anything out. the oak creeps in about mid palate, with spiced vanilla hints and an earthy unifying element. not quite bourbon, but getting there. the yeast somehow cleans up all thats going on in this, and in combination with what must be oats, gives this beer a rich and creamy texture like no other. its pillow soft, but palate coating and long finishing. the citrus tickle of the orange never fading. it improves as it warms, allowing a little booze to show though. it bothers me zero that this may be more suited to winter than summer, i am floored by its depth and quality. a beer i would kill to drink again, truly one of a kind, and absolutely phenomenal.

Jun 28, 2014
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Brooklyn chalice.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a lot of rising bubbles. Huge three finger light tan head which slowly recedes into a thinner creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A rich, dark, and fairly sweet dark malt driven aroma with big hints of dark chocolate and bourbon. Upfront barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, coconut, and wood. Belgian yeast with some hints of spice. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of dark chocolate, coffee, cream, toast, biscuit, grains, and caramel. Citrus fruit hints of orange peel. Sweet hints of candied sugar. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin, fig, and cherry. A very good and interesting aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a dark roasty and yeasty malt forward taste with big notes of bourbon and dark chocolate. Big upfront barrel presence with nicely boozy notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, wood, and a little coconut. Dark roasted barley malt with good notes of dark chocolate, coffee bean, burnt toast, cream, grains, biscuit, and sweet caramel. Some citrus notes of orange peel come through. Dark fruit undertones of cherry, raisin, and fig. Sweet notes of candied sugar. Subtle floral hops. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Very creamy, silky, and smooth. Alcohol heat is smoothed out very well.

Overall: A very good twist on a Belgian style Imperial Stout. Good whiskey barrel presence with a nice yeasty chocolate dark malt taste.

Jun 27, 2014
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a bubbly dark tan head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a dark opaque black with slight shades of purple.

The beer smell has strong bourbon and vanilla notes. Other notes include a light sweet orange that gets lost in the other notes. However, the orange note gets stronger as the beer warms up. (The result is a much more complex scent.) On closer inspection, the beer also has a slight alcohol smell and roasted malt smell as well as a Belgian sugar smell. After letting the beer warm further, a sweet dark chocolate note emerges.

The taste strongly resembles the smell. Strong bourbon and light vanilla notes with a bit of alcohol burn. The sweet orange peel is stronger than the smell and the roasted malt flavor is accompanied by a Belgian sugary taste. As with the smell, a dark chocolate taste emerges but gets lost in the bourbon flavor.

The mouthfeel is fairly heavy-bodied but smooth and almost slick towards the end of the beer. Biting carbonation. Overall, a decent beer. My main complaint is that the taste is heavily in favor of the bourbon such that it almost mutes out some of the other notes.

After aging, the bourbon note actually softens abd the champagne yeast note becomes a bit more stronger. The other notes also are more noticeable.

Jun 14, 2014
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Thanks to wishuwerebeer for the share on this one. 750ml corked and caged poured into a matching Brooklyn snifter. The brew appears a dark mahogany to brown with clarity seen through the lighter edges wheb held to the light. A tan to khaki head 3 fingers strong appears and fades leaving patchy lace. A swirl revives a finger back to the surface.

The aroma includes notes of raw oak, bourbon and more tangy booze that for the most part is solvent with the faintest amount of roast/chocolate character as a distant afterthought. The flavor is very linear...its thin and boozy with a raw oak aspect and solvent alcohol. Some mild fruity alcohol pokes through when you attempt to take in more character.

This beer is very much in the same vein as what I remember black ops being. However, this seems watered down, thin and boozy. I dont get much (well, really any) of the advertised adjuncts other than barrel and booze. It sounds like a good beer on paper but the execution was pretty bad. This is not worth the sticker all.

Jun 13, 2014
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lurking the shadow of the fabled Black Ops, a similar taste, texture and demeanor emerges. This time straddling the fence of what is imperial stout and what is Belgian dark strong ale, the cleverly devised beer then slumbers in bourbon barrels to further enhance such obscurity.

Billowing with a tall column of foam, the dark brown, easily mistaken for onyx beer greets the nose with tangy fruit, enlivens the palate with toasted sweetness and follows with a short peppercorn balance. Its succulence of simply syrup and faint caramel gives a candied taste early on.

Upon the middle palate, a toastier, drier and dedicated red wine flavor pulls from the sweetness with blackberry, red grape, blackcurrant, blueberry- all seemingly of the grilled, cobbler-like variety. This plays out on the underpinnings of light char, cocoa and walnut and coffee grounds.

Peppercorn and oak round out its finish while beer continues to flash off complex bourbon character- coconut, cashew, vanilla, caramel and wood spices keeps the tastebuds guessing but seducing the palate at the same time. Its malty-sweet finish enhances the beer's sipping character and calms the senses with its rummy warmth and tangy spice of Curacao liquor.

Jun 11, 2014
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. had a dark brown color and a thick, opaque consistency. There was an inch of off white, foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of orange peel, chocolate, yeast, malt, and spices.

T: Tasted of malt, Belgian yeast, chocolate, light, mild hops, some spices, and light coffee (this isn't a big component). The advertised bourbon barrel flavor isn't that evident, but does make an appearance. A well balanced flavor that could stack up against most Belgian-made BSDAs.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: I was surprised by the low-ish scores this beer got. It is a solidly made, tasty brew. Very much a drinkable beer.

Jun 04, 2014
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Gmann from New York

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color with brownish highlights towards the edges. The head is beige and fairly tight, settles into a chunky ring.

Sour oak comes through the strongest in the aroma. The bourbon provides some sweetness. Not much from the malt or the orange peel. Its a nice sour bourbon aroma but lacks a bit of depth.

Big sour oak and a nice bourbon flavor. Not too sour/tart and the bourbon flavor is perfect. The malt is neutral which is a bit disappointing since this is labeled a stout. The Belgian yeast provides some clove and general spice but takes a back seat to the barrel. I don't pick up much of the orange peel, except that there is a subtle hint of fruit. I do get the "rum" pick up from the sugars used even though it is a bourbon barrel. A decent amount of vanilla to go around.

The feel is moderate with prickly carbonation. Sweet and sour on the palate. There is a nice oaky dry finish. Drinks fairly clean for a big beer. The beer could be a little softer.

A nice dry, sour bourbon barreled beer. I wish the malt and yeast popped through a bit more to add some complexity.

May 26, 2014
Cuvée Noire from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 178 ratings