Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version) | Brooklyn Brewery

very good
77 Ratings
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Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version)Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version)

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by palma on 10-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 77
Photo of thagr81us
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from growler into a Green Man snifter. Poured a massively dark brown with a two finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, subtle roasted malt, dark fruit, bread, and fruit. The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, dark fruit, bread, subtle chocolate, and grape. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. There was a really nice complexity to this brew that made it very enjoyable and easy to drink for me. Not sure where the grape aspect came from on the flavor, but it really blended in pretty well with the rest of the brew. Glad I got the chance to try this one via a counter pressure filled growler. I suggest you get this one your palate as well.

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Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, muddy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Smelled of yeast, malt, dark fruits, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, raisins, plums, malt, and a hint of chocolate. An incredibly focused and robust flavor. Never overpowering, but certainly tasty.

M: A highly-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of the better examples of an American version of a BSDA. Very well made.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pigs Fly Pizzeria.

The beer was a coca cola color with a small tan head.

Mostly a dark fruit aroma. Some roasted malt and a little bit of herbal hops.

Raisin and plum taste. Chocolate, tiny bit of coffee. Hint of hops.

Very smooth. Medium-bodied.

Nice beer.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass. This one pours a dark mahogany with a thin layer of biege foam.

Caramel is noticable with a rich and deep malt body with a little bit of grapes and plumbs lingering in the background. Rich milk chocolate is a dominant flavor on the pallet. Very sweet and actually not to much going on otherwise. There is a faint fruity character to the finsh but mostly this seems chocolatey.

A little bit lighter on the body than one would expect. The carbonation is subtle. Overall not bad. A little one dimensional, but that doesn't mean it's not tasty.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazy reddish tinted mahogany colored brown with a big three finger high head of foamy and sticky off white colored lace on the top. nestled into a bed of just thin brownish lace and a nice layer of foam across the top.

. The first assault came from a deep rooted spiciness with hints of fig very predominant here. As it started to come through a little clearer lots of dark fruity like smells started to emerge and take over. A nice amount of plums, pears, raisins and even a touch of grape were easily picked up among a nice backbone of cereal grains and a touch of grassy like freshness in the back. Now this was not terribly strong, however it did have a lot of raisin like flavor in it that almost becoming a little too much as it went on. There were hints of plum and fig as well as some earthy tones in the back but the majority of this was a plum raisin spice medium bodied and somewhat of a grain like consistency to it.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this on tap at Novar'e Res in Portland.

This beer was very complex and went through quite a few phases as I worked through the glass. The tulip glass came with a finger of light tan head that had very fine bubbles and decent retention. A slight touch of lace remains. The beers was a dull dark brown color, but when held to the light there are some burgundy tones.

Aroma was pretty deep, some roasted malt, a touch of grape and a hint of chocolate. The yeast notes provide some depth to the aroma here.

As mentioned above, quite complex. At first there was a light cocoa/chocolate flavor. This gave way to some herbaceous notes and then some dark fruit. At times there was a distinct almond flavor as well. The Belgian yeast acts in the flavor much as it does in the aroma. Provides a subtle complexity and depth.

Smooth and silky with tiny pin prick carbonation. Medium bodied.

I really enjoyed drinking this and spent quite a while working through the glass and all of it's changes. As I went to post this, I was quite shocked that it was an overall B+... Wow, I think it's quite a bit better than that.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a shaker pint at Bodega on 1/16/11

Ruby-brown color. Dark, but far from black. 1/4th inch head thins quickly yet leaves a good amount of drippy lace. Wispy retention.

The nose offers a full plate of aromatics - Belgian-style yeast with a bubblegum penchant and hints of spice, roasted dark malts and grains, citric nips of orange and boozy overtones. Dark fruits become strong as it warms.

As potent to taste; quite an in-you-face sort of thing. The yeast uses the malts as a base to launch an assault of spicy fruit and cotton candy notions. That causes the hops to burst forth in a cavalcade of pine and citric bitterness; enough so to be surprising. Notes of raisin, plum, brown sugar, grain and roastiness. Not too boozy.

I'd clock it at a notch or two under full-bodied. Carbonation is vigorous, making this a lively, crackling beer. Slight granular feel underneath. The finish is quick and crisp, sporting jabs of residual hops and spice. Swirling calms the carbonation and roasted notes emerge.

I had been excited to try this for a while and had no idea what to expect approaching this one. There are certainly lots of interesting things going on. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler fill from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. $6.99 for 32 ounces.

Pours is darkest of browns, long lasting mocha head, goes to the anticipated tiny bubble film and leaves a modest sample of bits of lacing.

Dark malt nose, some bourbon, smoke, raisins and a hint of funk in the nose.

Complex and tasty BSDA, flavors mentioned above carry through onto the palate. Musty raisins come to mind, pumpernickel bread, ripe dark fruits, dregs of a whiskey barrel. A wee bit thin, lacking the depth of flavor of some of the heavy hitter of the genre. For me that only adds to the drinkability and the ability to have more then one ...or two..well done, nice job here..not an easy style to pull off with grace and this one hits the note...

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tyler's Taproom in Carrboro.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep dark chocolate brown with a thinner but well sustained beige colored head,wrong glassware so its hard to judge the looks of the beer,it did have a nice color and a tight head.Dark fruit and light phenols mainly in the nose,not to strong but pleasant.A mix of dark chocolate and candied fruit on the palate,not overly sweet and or phenolic,a bit of a drying dark toast in the finish.A pretty good Belgian strong dark not overly sweet and the yeast is under control.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

02/13/11- Had this one on-tap at Dirty Franks in Columbus.
A: Murky black, with a carbonation that looks like spit.
S: Not strong, with a floral and almost peppery saison chamomille and a roast like milk chocolate.
T: Saison-like, Earl Grey tea, diet root beer, and a roast like chocolate.
M: Slightly thicker with a soda carbonation.
D: OK.

I wasn't too impressed with this one. It's worth a try, but it's bordering a mess.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From growler to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/12/11
*From notes

A: 1/2 finger head and minimal lacing. It's dark and intriguing, with little to no light seeping through this one.

S: Funky Belgium yeast on the nose. Baker's chocolate follows.

T: Grassy, herbaceous up front. Earthy yeast on the mid palate and charred chocolate malt on the finish. It's also easy to detect a boozy undertone on this one.

M: Robust and heavy. It's got a good amount of kick to it, though there feels to be a slight lack of carbonation - probably from the growler.

O: Ahh, something different. Was it awesome? Not really. Was it amazing? Not quite. Was it off the beaten path? Yes.

I've always appreciated what Mr. Oliver and Brooklyn Brewery come up with, as even if it's not game changing, it's always a breath of fresh, crafty air.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brooklyn Cuvee Noire is dark brown with a solid, heavy-looking brown head. Lacing and retention are both good.

The aroma mixes an aggressive malt profile with big yeast notes. All kinds of dark fruit including figs and grapes, a long with a hint of anise and some peppery phenolics. The malt is lightly roasted, with hints of chocolate and toffee.

Cuvee Noire leads off with a hefty dose of fruit. All kinds of dark fruits with more figs and grapes, mixed with a sugary sweetness. Next the phenols take over, and they are much more powerful than in the aroma. Anise, coriander and general peppery flavors make up this portion of the beer. Next comes an assertive malt profile that has roasted malts, charred sugar, toffee and a little bit of chocolate. The malt, fruit and spiciness are all fairly well balanced, with the fruit perhaps winning by a nose.

Pretty heavy feel in the mouth, but the finish manages to be dry and pleasant.

The sweetness and the fruity flavors a bit overwhelming the more you sip this beer. Pretty good flavor, but not something that I can drink a ton of.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a heavy dark color, almost black, with a one finger high tanned head. Retains for a bit while leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

A mix of dark fruit with raisins and figs. Some sweet malty scents with a light dose of caramel.

Plenty of malt up front which is quickly turned around by a wave of dark fruit sweetness. It's not overly sweet, but the raisin/date flavor adds a familiar flavor from other belgian dark ales. Some lighter touches of syrupy molasses. Finishes with a slight flair of boozy warmth.

Somewhat thinner medium body, slightly sticky on the palate. The alcohol is masked pretty well, although I wasn't really into the flavors on this one. Not something I'd get again.

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Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Blue Monk, in Buffalo.

Cuvee Noire looks like one big chocolate-covered raisin. Head on, it's indeed black. But with the encouragement of a little light it discloses traces of prune-like purple and even a little dark scarlet. I'm inclined to think it's transparent even though I can't actually see through it. Flotsam of foam, the wreckage of a once solid head, leave lacing that looks like veins.

The brewery doesn't specify what exact style they were going for - and it's not for certain, doubtful even, that they were going for any particular set style at all - but going on aroma I'd say this is something reminiscent of a Belgian stout. Belgian because it uses Belgian yeast, and stout because it uses a good amount of dark malts. How intuitive, I know.

That fragmentary ingredients list - no specifics were ever disclosed - amounts to smells of dark cocoa, bitter chocolate, pipe tobacco, tart cherries and whole cast of other esters and phenolics. In the taste, however, dark fruits (raisin, plum) dominate and leave a distinctly red wine-like grapiness that happens to be accentuated by a good dose of anise.

A note of pine serum, not the hoppy kind but the cleaning product kind, gives the beer a sharp and alcoholic punch. It fails to pillage anything, however, because there's enough coffee-like roast, brown sugar sweetness, anise-y spice and distinctly Belgian esters to hold down the fort. It is a bit thin, but then again it's a bit of everything.

Brooklyn Cuvee Noire is every bit as intriguing as it sounds. Whatever it is exactly doesn't matter - it's good. And it's only served to make me more jealous that I don't live in an area that sees this brewery's limited releases on a consistent basis (or any basis for that matter). With any luck we'll see this again some day in one of those sleek, corked bottles.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bodega. much nicer looking than I expected, despite the blasted shaker pint. Dense lacing on top of an oatmeal stout black beer. Big nose of belgian dark fruits with some coffee roast. The taste is very fruity with a nice roasty finish. Like an oatmeal stout done up with belgian yeast.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black color with a finger of tan-brown head. The head faded fairly quickly and left behind some lacing.

S - Strong deep roasted malt aroma. In addition, some nice sweet toffee/caramel notes blended in. Touch of chocolate and dark fruit also mixed in.

T - Starts off with a nice roasted malt flavor with a touch of sweetness and a touch of hop flavor and dark fruit in the background. The deep roasted malts really explode in the middle, again with the perfect amount of sweetness to blend. The finish is a nice sweetness from the dark fruit with just a tinge of alcohol flavor, and these elements linger for a while. Very well balanced beer.

M - Medium to medium-heavy bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly smooth and a touch creamy. The finish is a bit dry and gives the beer a crisp finish.

D - Fairly drinkable. Fairly sweet, which compliments the heavy malt flavors well. The alcohol is fairly well hidden for the fairly high level (8.7% abv).

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Photo of benz08
4.87/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Every description I read about this beer defined it as undefinable. And they were all 100% correct. This beer pours out a deep dark black with a nice creamy, foamy head. To a casual observer the first thing that comes to mind is stout. There is a nice roasted malt smell, but also a good hoppy smell that confuses you. Upon the first sip you're completely dumbfounded. It has a rich hop profile of the best imperial IPA, the roasted malty flavor of a nut brown ale, the sweetness of a belgian, and the creamy smoothness of a stout. This beer is incredibly complex and dangerously drinkable at 8.7% ABV.

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Photo of PBoegel
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Brewery tap room. This beer is NOT a Belgian Strong Dark, that is an entirely incorrect label. Strong Stout or Imperial Stout brewed with Brooklyn's Belgian Yeast house strain is what describes it best.

Poured into tap room serving cups (they are plastic so it made that appearance a bit difficult to completely ascertain) very dark black with some red highlights touches of deep woody brown tones, with a mocha colored head, which looks good, hard for it to sit up in the cup. Poured relatively cold as well.

Aromas are rich dark fruit, plums, blackberry, blueberry pie. Some slight roastiness and touches of peppery yeast phenols, but the nose is dominated by fruit. No detection of alcohol in the nose, well fermented.

Tastes are complex mix of tart dark cherries, blackberries, some touches of roasted coffee and cocoa powder, yeasty phenols played low in the mix, could have been the cool temperature of the pour. Again alcohol is extremely well hidden. Nice bitterness in the finish.

Medium body led by fruitiness vs. grainy and ashen character that accompanies stouts, no dark roasted astringency, a bit less full than I might have anticipated based on the appearance. Finish is a bit sweet.

Very drinkable the yeast and malt character interplay nicely, the alcohol is deeply hidden and the flavor and particularly the aromas are very inviting. A very tasty dark ale with wonderful fruit character, would be fantastic contrast to sweet and salty dishes such as a glazed ham and certainly would pair well with fruit based desserts from Cherry Pie to tarts and blintzes.

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Photo of shirfan
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler fill poured into a 22oz Perfect Pint.

Black, black, black... just a few hints of ruby at the thinnest parts of the glass. Light tan head with some decent lacing.

Aroma of prunes, plums, brown sugar... and a bit of floral perfume. Lillies?

Taste: Sweet malts take center stage and never leave. More dried fruit, raisins and prunes, brown sugar, and a hint of molasses. I don't feel that this beer is overly sweet, but it does have a very low bitterness. I don't get many estery, Belgian-esque flavors either.

Mouthfeel is acutally a bit light and drinkable, ABV is well hidden.

I'd describe this as something like a scotch ale with dopplebock malts, not a dark saison. Good, but weird.

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into a tapered pub glass it has plenty of sticky tan foam that laces in concentric rings. Dark in color, almost black with a rusty glint of red in the light. Billed as a "dark saison" on the beer list at Owen & Engine, but i'd disagree with that categorization.

Sweet nose, dark fruit, plum and mild cocoa. First few sips it comes off as more earthy with some raw roasted grains up against the fruitiness of the Belgian yeast. Some residual herbal bitterness, fairly well integrated. Pretty sweet and estery, not especially my cup of tea. Could be a bit more dry and bitter in that sense. Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

Overall it's not well defined as a saison, but it's a solid Belgian style ale regardless of style. A bit too sweet and sticky to be a saison, as a BSDA it's just ok.

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Photo of blackie
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: served in a brooklyn snifter, essentially black in color, with a well retained layer of carbonation

s: darker chocolate and black malt flavors, sweet but not over the line, dark fruits, spicy yeast profile, enjoyable and with reasonable balance

m: carbonation lighter but smooth, body on the heavier end of medium

t: a little on the sweet side with chocolate and black malts, some darker fruits, subtler yeast profile, papery hop flavors, more smooth than darkly "roasty"

d: no problems here, seen a few examples of this sub-style go terribly wrong, so this one's something of a relief, the abv doesn't show anywhere

draft at Tyler's, Durham

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Photo of biglite351
2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - considerable orange around the edges. Creamy near white head.

S - typical sweet Belgian. Molasses, fruit and ... soap?

T - sweet mixed fruit and molasses with Belgian yeast.

M - medium coating with a tingle on front sides of tongue.

D - maybe just one, not really my thing.

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Photo of Chaney
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at "Founding Farmers" in DC on Christmas Eve.

A: Poured abysmally dark, with about a two finger dark brown head that when it withered away, looked like sawdust on top of hardwood. The lacing was ridiculous!

S: Upfront bittersweetness, with tons of prunes, raisons, dates, molasses, brown sugar, and little more than a hint of chocolate.

T: It was almost as if some sick brewmaster poured a fresh bag of candy sugar into the brew at every stage of its production. The dark fruit, molasses hit the palate hard and didn't let go. It finished about the same way it started - intensely sugar glazed!

M: Syrupy and very icky. The carbonation was moderate, but it couldn't compete with this candied malt bomb.

D: When I ordered this, the bartender told me it was a stout. After a few sips I began to suspect that something else was up. The was nothing "dark roasty" about this. I appreciate it and respect it (as I do all of Brooklyn's stuff), but I honestly didn't care much for it.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Relatively recently at Rattle 'N Hum, NYC. Poured a dark reddish-orange, modestly cloudy, with one finger of white that didn't retain or lace very well. Smelled of apricot, raisin, plum, and alcohol. No new insight came from the taste, other than a very sweet, alcoholic finish. A little on the thick side, with nearly no carbonation. Didn't taste bad, but didn't knock my socks off either.

Btw, after reading some of the other reviews, it sounds like I may have been mis-served, as my description sounds nothing like the rest. My apologies. Just another strike against RNH.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn Cuvee Noire on tap at The Avenue Pub, New Orleans, LA

Appearance: dark brown/black, small to no head, and a little lacing.

Smell: wheat, yeast, and licorice.

Taste: wheat sourness and slight grain.

Mouthfeel: medium.

A nice wheat. It isn't extremely complex, but still retains a great deal of flavor.

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Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version) from Brooklyn Brewery
3.82 out of 5 based on 77 ratings.
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