Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version) | Brooklyn Brewery

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very good
61 Reviews
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Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version)Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States | website

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
77
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
11.52%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
3
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 77
Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A strong Belgian dark ale with a pleasant heavy toast character that was not expected.

The beer pours a dark brown color with mohogany/purple-ish strands toward the edges. A dense, froathy head forms on the beer with a heafty blanket and holds firm for the majority of the session. Light lacing. The beer just seems a bit bogged down by its own weight.

Fruity and toasty, the nose has an intricate display of plumbs, grapes, licorice, and figs in contrast to malty sweetness, toasty, toffee richness.

Flavors take the same approach with a lead of sweet caramelized sugars paired with the dark/stone fruits, red grapes and anise. As the sweetness and fruitiness fade into the mid palate, the spicy orange peel, peppery, and alcohol balance the sweetness and allow the toasty robust flavors to add bite, complexity, and dryness in the finish.

Sweetly weighted ealry for a full and robust texture, not quite creamy or malty. Sugary feel hurts early on but is short lived. Drying out nicely, the beer takes on a toasty-dry finish with a mild sugary/fruity linger.

There's a moment in the middle of the beer that has a soft confecionate sweetness with the fruity esters that weave into the toasty notes that is very delicate and complex. But the majority of the beer seems overly sweet and sugary- reminds me of Bell's Hell Hath No Fury, but with a toastier finish.

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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 Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

The pour is quite dark. A nice shade of brown with a long-sitting head that lasts for a bit of time. There is some slight lacing on the sides of my glass; actually, one side of my glass, which has a pretty nice streak of lace all across it. The nose starts out a bit faint with some slight notes of chocolate as well as a light touch of dark fruits. Some mild date and raisin notes are there to fill things out.

The taste brings more roast and is slightly dry. In addition to dates, I get a bit of purple plum alongside some lightly-bitter chocolate. The body is light-to-medium and a bit light for the flavors. Pretty low carbonation and the body is slightly creamy. Pretty interesting a solid brew.

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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 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 TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/15/2010 at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light roasted malts, dark fruit, Belgian yeast, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty roasted malt character. Then some mild sweetness comes in from flavors of dark fruit, some chocolate and some spices. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this a good darker Belgian beer with a lot of flavor and substance making it worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 11/17/10 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a jet black color with almost no head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, fig, and some smokey malts.

t - Taste is smokey, roasted malts again up front, followed by weak dark fruits, raisins and figs, and finally alcohol. Ok but a step down from the smell.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - An OK beer from Brooklyn, but not their finest. I usually am a big fan of their Brewmaster Reserve series beers, but this one didn't really do it for me. Probably wouldn't order again.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer is black / brown and clear at the corners of the snifter, with a wispy brown head that forms a halo and leaves some lacing on the glass, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is quite roasty with a mild sweetness and some ash.

Beer is thinner than expected, strong bitterness from the grains in the back and an ashy finish. There is some mild sweetness in the front palate, I don't know what I expected but I didn't expect this. I would cautiously have it again.

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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 vfgccp
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful, glossy black-plum (the review before me nailed it with "plum", good call) with a lacy cream colored head.

S - Mild and inviting with a light hop character and almost no booze. The absence of alcohol was surprising considering the ABV.

T - Wonderfully complex with smooth transitions between flavors. The malt hangs around throughout the entire flavor profile, and it plays well with the more nuanced flavors. I caught bitter-sweet fruits like kumquat and cranberry, and a bit of almost tanniny-leather.

M - The body was incredibly light, and had a dryness that I wasn't expecting on the first sip, but quickly grew to enjoy.

D - Dangerously drinkable. I ordered a glass on tap with every intention of pairing it with one of my local gastro-pubs great burgers, but wound up finishing it before the food got to the table, and the booze definitely caught up to me.

O- I'm a fairly novice beer drinker, having tried maybe 100 different beers in my life, but I've never had a beer like this before. The appearance, taste and body (particularly the body) evoked more memories of wine's I've had than beers. Not a beer for everyone, but it's one that I really enjoyed.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Hulmeville Inn inside a pint glass. I vow to never miss another brewmaster's reserve after missing Cookie Jar, but that was my fault.

A dark BSDA that looks stoutish from the tap and in the hand but up to the light it comes off deep brown with some red and purpilish tints up towards the heavens. A sparse cap that is barely even a cap if that makes sense, no lace. Smell is the best part. I get some dark fruit, plum action with some vanilla, Slight bready yeasting, Taste is subdued, coming off like a BSDA with some small porter qualities, at least to me. Feel is medium light carbed, kinda watery, not up to par, I drank my pint and that's it.

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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 plaid75
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Waterfront, Brooklyn.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy tan head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light esters and pronounced roasted barley.

The taste consisted of upfront hits of roasted malt and yeast esters. A slowly developing sweetness appeared toward the finish along with some traces of alcohol.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and complex ale.

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

On tap at Rattle n Hum the other night

Very dark brown with reddish highlights. Thin brown head. Nose has earthy English hops, licorice, cocoa, and quite a bit of spicy yeast as well. The palate opens with quite a bit of cocoa and spice with moderate fruit, blend of light and dark fruit. Yeast is moderately expressive, with a little spice and some phenols . The mid-palate is a little watery. The finish is a blend of fruity sweetness and spice, in a way i don't care for too much. Alcohol is well hidden. I'd imagine this would pair quite well with food, but as a standalone beer, I do not care for it too much.

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Photo of claspada
2.66/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are of slight dark malts, mainly chocolate and coffee. But the main smell is of dark, burnt caramel presumably from candy sugar. Slight Belgian yeast as well.

Taste is pretty darn dissapointing. I was expecting a nice Belgian ale but I got a Belgian Stout. I mean I love Belgian Stouts but I was having a flight of stouts and wanted a nice sweet Belgian Dark ale to complement and this did not fulfil my expectations. Belgian stouts are great but are dominated in taste profile compared to American beefed up versions. Maybe this beer would be good on it's own but in a flight with Rogue 2x Chocolate stout and Great Divide Yeti it's flavor is lost.

Maybe I am too harsh on Brooklyn but this beer falls flat for me. I was hoping and expecting much more based on the reviews but I mean as a Belgian Dark ale or a Belgian Stout this beer left me wanting much more.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Taco Mac Metropolis in Atlanta.

Pours a dark purplish-brown color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of neutral dark malts with large amounts of spices - clove with good amounts of brown sugar. Also present are solid amounts of dark fruits - plums and raisins being the standouts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Slightly sweet dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by large amounts of ripe and mildly syrupy dark fruit flavors - plums and raisins as with the aroma but now with hints of tangy figs. Midway through the sip good amounts of spices work their way into things, clove mostly with mild amounts of brown sugar and even milder amounts of cardamom. The spices and malt flavors carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this beer didn't wow me in any way but instead it's another well-balanced beer from Brooklyn. Worth a shot if you see it around.

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Photo of cbutova
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A- Black in a snifter with a nice off white head of about one finger. A creamy ring leaves a nice coat of fine lace.

S- Lots of dark fruit up front, plums and raisins. Figs are there with a nice laid back Belgian yeast and spice influence.

T- Certainly dark fruit (plums, raisin, fig) infused nicely throughout. Refined yeast influence adds to the balance. Some roasty malt makes this "noir". Bread in the finish.

MF- Creamy body characteristic of the style. Smooth moderate carbonation and some warmth.

DB- A balanced and flavorful take on the style. The dark fruit is nice and the yeast works well as it does not overpower. Fairly complex.

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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 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 cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reluctantly picked up a 1/2 growler of this after a tiny taste. I wasn't wild about the sip or two I had but was intrigued still to give it a shot since the Brewer's Reserves seem to be one time only shots and it is a BSDA which I do love.

A - Poured into a snifter a deep dark purple almost black, but something about it tells me I'm seeing purple and not black. Not much head to speak of and what's there is gone quick, but there are trace notes of lacing on the side of the glass. Definitely looks more stout-like than BSDA. 2nd pour had way more of a head, but still looks stouty to me.

S - Dark fruit with some sort of unique nutmeg like thing going on. Definitely a malt monster with a sweet soft almost roasted like quality.

T - Slightly different from that initial taste I had when I picked up the growler the other day. Seems more blended and balanced now and whatever was so odd about it at the taste seems to have chilled out on my pallete. It really is all malt flavored. The suggestion of dark fruits is there, but in reality all I taste is malts. For a BSDA it is not my fav, that being said it is a really good brew and has something very unique about it. I really dig the flavor of the roasted malt and the sweetness isn't overwhelming by any means.

M - Medium bodied and pretty cooling in my mouth. Nothing too wild...leaves a unique aftertaste.

D - Glad I went in for the 32oz. I've missed several of the brewmaster reserves and was bummed about it so I'm glad to give this one a go. It's no Local 2, but seems like a different animal altogether, it's uniqueness would make me revisit it if given the opportunity.

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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 OWSLEY069
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a small white head. In the aroma, cinnamon and licorice. In the taste, cinnamon, anise, roasty malts and a licorice hint. A small spice bite and medium to large bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice and licorice aftertaste. Nice flavor, I bet a bottle would age nicely.

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

Pours a dark brown color with lighter highlights at the edges. The head is big and airy but settles quick into a light ring.

The aroma is of light milk chocolate and cocoa from the malt which is complimented by some medicinal notes from the yeast. Nice aromas of clove and horse blanket give this beer the distinct belgian characteristics.

The taste is much of the same. Milk chocolate, cocoa, and some wood from the malt. However, the yeasty phenols seem to be more hidden within the malt. Some light clove pops through to give the beer a "spice" flavor but its not very distinct. The beers seems to need a shot of candi sugar to get the flavors going. Some green apple sour flavors in the end.

The feel is light with soft to tingly carbonation. It sits sweet on the palate but is balanced by an odd chalky and sour feel.

I am a bit disappointed in this beer. It has some promise but needs a bit of tweaking. Perhaps some more yeasty goodness and more carbonation to give it a bite.

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Brooklyn Cuvee Noire (Old Version) from Brooklyn Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.
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