Noir De Dottignies | Brouwerij De Ranke

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Noir De DottigniesNoir De Dottignies

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Ranke

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The heaviest ale on our menu with a very rich taste, coming from the six different kinds of malt we use. These malts also give it that rich, dark, nearly black colour. The royal doses of Challenger and Saaz hops bring the typical balance between sweet and bitter.bitter.

Added by tempest on 04-06-2009

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 266
Photo of Mindcrime1000
2.57/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a single-serve bottle.

Look--One of the darkest dark-strongs I've sampled. Little of the hallmark burgundy/red color often seen in this style--much more of a straight brown. An initial finger and a half head that quickly dissipates to a faint but persistent lacing.

Smell--A very forward sweet smell, trending to molasses, with the typical dried fruit smells more subdued. A little unbalanced in this respect.

Taste--I tend to love the malty goodness of dark strongs, but this iteration lends too much "brown sugar" or "molasses" for this drinker's liking. It lacks the balance of other takes--it lacks the dark chocolate or other bitter complexity that might even things out. Given the ABV, one would think there would be a "booziness" element to balance the sweetness, but even that is fairly overwhelmed.

Feel--Not heavy--but not inspirational either. The sweetness carries through to the mouthfeel, resulting in an oily, sticky, and disappointingly heavy impression. Dark strongs are inherently full bodied and often sticky, but the sweetness is sufficiently cloying that it drags this version down.

Overall--Notwithstanding a unique look, and an intriguing initial smell, this take on the style is an average one at best. There are others in the same price range that will provide more balance and complexity. Not offensive, but not one I would recommend, and not one I will likely try again, unless I'm feeling charitable for a re-review.

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Photo of Dzu
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pored into goblet.
L: Beautiful very dark brown with medium bige foam head.
S: Tart wine notes, plums, chocolate.
T: Good balanced with well aftertaste. Dark fruits, raisin some spices and weak bitterness.
F: Oily body, medium carbonation.
O: Great representative of belgian dark. Will be pleasure to try it again.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at The Sovereign, Washington, DC

Nothing pops for me. Another beer where the mouthfeel takes away from the taste. 3.25

A - 4

S - Sedate aroma of molasses. 3.75

T - Figs, raisins, and definitely molasses sweetness. 3.5

MF - If this beer had a sharper brighter MF it would be totally different. 2.75

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, Beergium - Pours dark cloudy brown with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - yeasty, bready, roasted malts. Taste - Sweet foretaste , roasted malty finish with a little bitter and alcoholic feel. Easy drinking strong ale.

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Photo of drmeto
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-pours a cloudy mahogany with a medium,frothy,beige head
-roasty,nutty,cherries,spicy,black bread,raisins,plums,nougat,toasty finish
-high bitterniss for the style
-medium to high carbonation
-medium body
-faint alcohol note
Differs quite a lot from your usual Belgian Dark Ales.
The Description of "somehwhere between Barleywine and Stout" is definitely right.
Great overall

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Photo of cjgiant
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle with no obvious dating:
Pours a deep mahogany. Head forms nicely but messy, but settles in amazingly: a creamy puck stays atop the pour as I let it "breathe".

Nose is on point, cola and dark fruit, maybe a light tartness with a hint of spice. Rather complex nose, if a tad weak.

Taste doesn't seem to fit the style listed here. Taste is a little raw and fairly woody. This beer is actually somewhat hop-forward, with a light burnt toast opening taste. This is followed by twig-like woody notes - green wood. There is a hint of muted mint-like taste at the end, maybe could be light pine against a hiddne maltiness.

Feel is a tad thin, but nicely carbonated.

This beer has a lot more in common with a porter that a Belgian Strong Ale, at least with this bottle. As a beer ignoring style, it seems okay, but for the style it seems off. With no idea on date, I can't tell if age could end up a factor, although I'm not sure age should be too big a deal for the style.
So, overall, not entirely sure on this one, but I don't see it being something worth buying again unless I otherwise something different about this beer.

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Photo of chinchill
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle of very dark brown ale that pours with a fine head. A layer of dark sediment remained on the bottom of the bottle after a complete pour.

The rich, moderately complex flavor is dominated by dark fruits and dark roasted malts. Traces of smoke, hints of black coffee, bitter chocolate and toffee. Everything, including bitter/sweet, seems in perfect balance.

O: Highly recommended.

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Photo of shigg85
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an absolutely beautiful dubbel with nice, creamy froth thick and delicious with a fruity, strong ale flavor that makes every sip just as pleasing as the last.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

from the bottle in a st. bernardus glass

A: brown and cola colored, little to no head
S:very fragrant beer, very much like a stout, intensely malty (roasted malt) with notes of dark fruit as well, also after a while the malt smell mixes with the sweet fruit and candy sugar to create an almost cotton candy smell, very pleasant
T: very malty, mildly hoppy (could be a little less hoppy, I know this is De Ranke's MO but still) ,just a little more so than is common for the style, sweetness moves in given some time, enriches the experience
M: watery, a little oily but not much
O: Malty and bitter, not bad, but nothing to write home about, doesn't really add anything to the BSDA conversation. If you have never had a BSDA do not let this be your first, not because it is bad but because it is not the best, (not that this is the best either but delirium nocturnum is better and easier to find) however cold you think you should have it, have it just a tad warmer than that, tastes oddly like a good imperial stout, might benefit from letting the malt do a little bit less work, or maybe less roasted malt. This is definitely worth a try, I would recommend sipping it slow, not because it is relatively heavy but because the flavors will unfold better given a little bit of time.

Side note: though not nearly as good and I want to stress that, bears a subtle similarity to aventinus eisbock

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mahogany color with a creamy, inch plus head that recedes fairl, evenly. Scattered sheeting on the glass is left behind with a film atop.
Smell is rich, malty, fruity (mostly cherries & plums) with a detectable hop presence. Terrific balance.
Taste is malt, fruit (again, cherries, plums, some fig), hint of sherry, hops and habit of nut. Love the balance here, too.
Medium-full body, lighter effervescence. Warming. Good stuff.

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Photo of Slack
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark red/brown with a lot of head, >1 inch. No lacing visible.
Smell is fruit, bread, and sugar.
Taste is abundantly sweet with the same fruit notes. Am also picking up significant yeast.
Mouthful is medium to light with a fair amount of carbonation.
This beer fell short for me and I am unsure if maybe it was the draft or it just didn't agree with my palate. I was looking for something a bit more complex and all I got was a lot of sugar. Worth trying again at a later date.

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Photo of Sathanas
4.66/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Big notes of dark sugar, anise, roasted malts, coffee, and dark fruits. No alcohol taste as the palate is overrun by the sweet, dark goodness that is this beer. This is an excellent example of a Belgian dark ale. Highly recommend tracking this big beauty down. Cheers!

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Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Kinda different for the style. Less sweet and more bitter hoppy to balance. You'd think this was American made with NW hops added to a Belgian dark.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It comes out of the bottle a little bit "gushy". The beer color is dark brown, almost black, however some ruby color on the edge. Nice fine bubbles and creamy head. The aroma shows presence of dark fruit some notes of chocolate. Brown sugar too. The taste is sugary, some dark fruits. In the mouth, very effervescent. Complex. Some dark cacao bitterness on the finish.

Overall, this is a pretty decent beer.
Cheers all!

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.25/5  rDev +9%

A fantastic Belgian dark strong ale poured from a 11.2 oz bottle. Ale pours a nice deep dark
brown with a nice light tan head and great lacing. Nose of Belgian candy sugar, raisins, sweet
fresh bread, hints of licorice, and a dash of cocoa. Taste is phenomenal with a great candy
malt profile on the back and sides with candy sugars reigning supreme with flavors of plums,
raisins, and cocoa leaving an earthy malty sweet aftertaste. Lively mouthfeel makes this one
highly drinkable despite the strong ABV which remains somewhat hidden till the warmth kicks
in. Personally would desire this one on tap, it is simply phenomenal.
A new favorite.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Strong Dark Ale from Belgium. Of a dark brown color and a big and dense yellowish foam.
Smell is full of chocolate notes, is malty and a bit hoppy. Some bread notes too.
Taste is similar, the maltiness balances quite well the alcoholic level. It's more refreshing that it seems.
Medium body and great carbonation.

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Photo of FLima
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black brownish color with a thick caramel head with good retention and leaving some laces.
Malty aroma with notes of licorice, coffee, cocoa, toffee and at a relative lower degree of dark fruits.
Bold and delicious flavor also quite malty with notes of roasted malts, caramels, cocoa powder, pepper, earthy and grassy hops, coffee, prunes and licorice. Dry aftertaste with a lingering roasted note and some tannin.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 9% abv is dangerously hidden. Sticky sensation.
Interesting take of a BSDA with a greater focus on roasted malts.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None on bottle
Glass: Tulip

De Ranke's Noir de Dottignies is a fairly interesting and unique Belgian strong dark ale, with focus on roasted malt flavors more than others in the style. A refreshing take on the style, one that I wouldn't mind drinking again at some point, though a bottle is expensive enough to have this only be an occasional purchase.

Pours ~3cm tall head, made up of beige-colored, small bubbles, yielding a frothy appearance. Retention is above average, the foam lasting several minutes in a gradual decline to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is good, with a moderate amount of fairly large blotches clinging to the sides of the glass. Body is a dark brown to black color, with light bringing out dark amber-brown hues around the edges of the beer. Carbonation visible along the sides of the glass, high in number and activity.

Aroma of amber Belgian candy sugar (sweet, dark caramel syrup), cocoa, toasted bread crusts, and low raisin and grape ester. In general, the scents are more roasted and less grape ester, prunes and raisins than your typical BSDA, though the latter are still there in a minor capacity. Unique and pleasing.

Overall flavor is of smooth, noticeable roasted cocoa joined to toasted bread, slight grape ester, and mild bitterness. Front of palate tastes amber candy sugar sweetness with mild cocoa, marshmallow, and toasted bread qualities. Mid-palate of creamy, smooth roasted malt that brings in something akin to dark chocolate or cocoa with marshmallow cream, a bit of vanilla, and slight ethanol. Back of palate tastes cocoa, toasted bread, raisins, prunes, grape ester, and yeast. Aftertaste is of bitterness from roasted malts and hops, a bit of bitter cocoa, Belgian candy sugar (sweet, dark caramel syrup), and toasted bread.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a highly foamy mouthfeel that suits the beer fairly well, the style similarly, though perhaps could benefit from a bit of creamy smoothness to encourage slower sipping. Ethanol detectable only as a slight burn on the back of the throat at the close of each sip; in general, fairly well-hidden. Closes dry, with medium-heavy stickiness clinging to the palate.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Best before 10/2015

(A)- Pours such a dark brown; it looks black. Produced a giant tan frothy head that stuck around for awhile. Minimal lacing.

(S)- A dry bready yeast meets prune, raisin, and biscuit. Subtle dark toasted background.

(T)- Just mountains of raisin and prune and plum. The yeast is so striking that it comes off like a chocoalte creme thing in there slapped onto a loaf of freshly baked bread.

(M)- A lively zesty carbonation level. Very low bitterness amidst a rich and yeasty body, but quite smooth and fruity too.

(O)- This has that surprising chocolate character to the yeast that really creates something special in the glass for the style. This bottle clearly has a year or two of time on it and it drank excellently.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown ale with a creamy head, which settles into a velvet layer on the side of the glass.

The smell of candisugar and dark malts, which offer a dark bread crust and raisiny smell. The dark malts are a little more roasted and dark crystal-like than the usual dark ale. The yeast seems to add a slightly fruity, red fruit smell.

The taste is dark, full of candisugar and dark malts, a bready, raisiny and light roasted taste. The name Noir suggested a porter or stout to me and although this is more a belgian strong, it is more roasted than the style. There is an edge of roast, which adds a maltbitterness and a depth of dark chocolate and roast in general. The mouthfeel is sticky, yet a bit lacking in complexity.

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Photo of Erbayd
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 11.2 oz bottle from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, and poured into a Firestone Walker Proprietor's Series Glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown with about an inch of beige foam. Not very clear, but when I hold it up to the light I can see that it's got a great ruby color to it.

S: Complex and enjoyable, with an immediate strong belgian yeast scent along with molasses, roasted malt, candi sugar, dates, and cloves. Definitely my favorite aspect of this beer.

T: What first really stood out to me about this beer is its roasty and smokey character. Bitter and slightly smokey in the beginning with a moderate sweet caramel flavor and warming alcohol presence revealed later on. Dry finish with an earthy aftertaste.

M: pretty light with low levels of carbonation. Very easy to drink.

O: A great beer, but if I was choosing between this and other Belgian Strong Dark Ales I'd be tempted to grab something else. Personally I found it to be too heavy on the toasted malt flavor and I would prefer more of the dark fruit flavors typically associated with beers of this style.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled and possibly bottle conditioned
Pours a jet black body with big foaming tobacco stained head
Aroma is big liquorice
Flavour is blackcurrently liquorice

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Small bottle. Pours a dark brown with pretty nice off white head. Though the foam diminished and couldn't be resurrected.

Aroma is dark fruit, plum and some light molasses. Hints of candied apples and roasted malt.

Flavor has a bit of a tannin to plum skins, maybe overripe apple skin. dark caramel and sweet fruit. Most of the sugar is on the end. Quick flash of leather in the middle. Bit of a light feel to it, some booze on the aftertaste.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 10/2015. Slow gusher upon opening. Pours slightly cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2-3 finger dense and fluffy khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, apple, pear, caramel, toast, toffee, dark candi sugar, floral, pepper, clove, brown bread, light chocolate, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with dark malts; and good strength. Taste of raisin, pear, apple, caramel, toast, toffee, pepper, clove, dark candi sugar, floral, brown bread, light chocolate, light roast, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark and light fruits, caramel, toast, toffee, dark candi sugar, brown bread, pepper, light chocolate, light roast, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity ester and dark malt flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around nice balance and complexity of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: bananas, dark fruits, and sweet maltiness

Taste: bitter dry hops with sweet dark fruits, bitters, oak, mild banana notes, with subtle milk chocolate, and brown sugar

Unfortunately, I didn't pair this with anything this time but would imagine it tasting pretty good with honey baked ham. Sorry I can't help out this time around

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Noir De Dottignies from Brouwerij De Ranke
3.9 out of 5 based on 266 ratings.
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