Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Isseki Nichō – Imperial Dark Saison at 9.5% ABV

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Isseki Nichō Imperial Dark Saison at 9.5% ABV ($3.82 at Bishop’s Cellar, 341ml, bottle date 3-Sep-2014)

Pours nearly solid black with only the faintest hint of colour around the margins, a fat finger of loose beige head diminishing gradually to a thin skim, moderate patchy lacing. (4/5) Nose is sweet dark malt, coffee, leather, citrus, soy?, faint smoke, some funk. (8/10) Taste is mild sweet, moderately strong bitter, some smoke. (8/10) Medium to full body, low carbonation and mildly warming bitter slightly funky finish. (4/5)

What. The. Hell. Is. THAT? Apparently, “Isseki Nichō” means “Two birds, one stone”, which I guess is a reference to this beer being a collaboration between DDC and Shiga Kogen (whom I had never heard of before today, but now seem to make necessary a trip to Japan so I can break my ass skiing in Shigakogen before sampling the local craft beers). Because, if it’s a reference to the style, it should be “Isseki Sanchō” (three birds, one stone) because I’ve never before seen “saison” applied to “imperial” or “dark”. I might be under-ranking this simply because it’s so utterly unlike anything I’ve tried before. I’m gonna think long and hard before I try the other one of these I have in my cellar. That being said, DDC is fast becoming one of my favourite breweries, not because everything they do is a home run, but because they’re willing to do these utterly unique variations. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze

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