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Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

418 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 418
Hads: 862
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 14.58%
Wants: 37
Gots: 106 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

Style | ABV
American Barleywine | 10.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rastacouere on 12-10-2003

This noble winter beer is brown in colour with flaming red highlights. It has a complex aroma of fruits, alcohol and hops. Its taste is delicately sweet and liquor-like with a hint of burnt caramel. It is a very bitter beer with aromas and flavours reminiscent of red fruit. The aftertaste is accentuated by the wonderful flavour of hops.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 418 | Hads: 862
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a opaque, muddled, toffee brown coloring with no head. Aromas of booze first and foremost, with a rich, solid follow of toffee, caramel, molasses, vanilla, apple, date, raisins, brown sugar,and earthy notes. Very rich, but balanced. Flavors are rich and creamy smooth forward, heavy on apple, caramel, toffee, date, raisins, and woody and earthy highlights. Very layered and dynamic palate, with lots of earthy characteristics providing depth to the flavor profiles. Smooth, rich, creamy body, with a slow building warmth as you drink. The aftertaste is more of the old world fruit characteristics, with a boozy component, and subtle vanilla highlights. Smooth, rich, slow finish, with a solid boozy and richly sweet linger. Very solid representation of the style.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a very murky dark Amber color. It had a tan color head that disappeared almost instantly. The nose is sweet, caramel and alcohol, with a bit of floral from the hops. The flavor is very malt forward with a caramel taste giving it sweetness but you do get a slight bitter bite before it finishes boozy. The feel is medium with decent carbonation and a little thickness to it. This is an easier drinking barley wine. I was expecting more alcohol flavor but glad I was wrong.

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Photo of stortore
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a fairly dark amber, cloudy, with a small head. A thin foamy ring rode down the glass. Smell brings malt, purple grapes, plums, figs, dates, a little caramel and molasses. Slight smoky aroma. Taste gives up malt, plums, figs, less grapes and more caramel than the nose. Some bitterness throughout, light alcohol. Smooth, good level of carbonation. Lighty body than most in style, but more than substantial enough to support the ABV.

Grape aroma and taste give this a different twist for a barleywine. Lots of flavors, hops are well integrated and complimentary. Well worth a purchase.

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty tasty little barleywine. It pours nice enough with a dark brown body with ruby highlights and a thickish little tan head. The aroma is not super strong but is caramely and slightly boozy with some toasted malt. The flavor is similar. It is a lot less harsh tasting than other barleywines I have had. Layers of thick malt flavor (toast, grains, nuts, toffee, caramel) and some leathery booze flavor with a strong herbal/medicinal hop kick that really comes through as it warms.
Fine beer overall. Would have again.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany color with light brown head. Aroma is very floral, makes me think of white roses. I can't tell if it's from the yeast or the hops. Taste is also floral and yeasty at first with some caramel notes but gets bitter and roasty on the finish. Lingers bitter and perfumey in the aftertaste. Body and carbonation are medium. Very fragrant barleywine. Also quite bitter, making it easy to drink.

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Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very cloudy mahogany amber with a medium head that poofs. nose; sugar, booze, fig & hops. taste; caramel malt, raisin, burnt sugar, bitter earthy hops & dark cherry. some slight wood spiciness as well. medium carbonation and medium+ mouthfeel. the 10.2% shows a touch in heat & sting, but not overly - pleasant and warming. not very complex, but an easy drink if barleywines are your thing. :)

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Photo of Boto
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draught @ Eulogy: This one pours a clear dark brown color. There was a small off white head that left lots of lacing. Good nose. Lots of caramel malts, some earthiness, perhaps some dark fruits and faint spices. The taste is very good. Some sweetness, dark fruits, malts, spices, as well as a touch of roastiness and smoke.

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Photo of Haydn-Juby
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: A tawny/ruby red color. Visibly viscous with a thick, well retained head. A bit cloudy.

S: Lots of booze. Some sweet caramel malt and a fair bit of oxidation.

T: Initially very harsh. I'm hit by a wave of warm alcohol heat; this is waaay more than I would like. Throughout the drinking experience, it became more tame, revealing dark fruit notes. A faint raisin and oxidised/sherry/port note. A bit of biscuity toasted malt as well. Some faint floral hops as well - but very faint. Mildly sweet but potently bitter.

F: Very thick and creamy. Leaves me with slightly sticky lips. Definitely lingers on the palate.

O: I didn't really like it and wouldn't buy again. It was way too boozy for me, but I could see it aging nicely. Barely wines aren't really my style; take my rating with a grain of salt.

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Photo of CanadianBacon
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - This beer pours a cloudy brown color with a small bit of mocha head, the head fades fast and carbonation doesnt seem all that lively.

Aroma - Aromas of alcohol, toffee, caramel,vanilla and oak.

Taste - the flavor profile is fairly complex, It starts off with a boozyness from the alcohol, this is not offputting more of a warming feeling you get from it, next up is toffee some burnt caramel, vanilla and oak, followed by some floral hoppy bitterness on the end.

Feel - medium-full body, some light pricks on the tongue from the carbonation, bitter finish.

Overall - This is my first barley wine and I enjoyed it, looking forward to trying more over the winter. Cheers!

Feel -

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Photo of VbolieuV
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber/brown in color with a small white head that disappear quickly, with some carbonation visible. The nose is dominated by dark fruits with hints of sweetness from the alcohol and really subtle smell of hops. Really nice taste, you get roasted malts first with some dark fruits (mostly black cherries) and a small alcohol burn. There's quite a big hops presence for a Barleywine, nice bitterness to finish it off. Really a good winter beer, the warmer the beer gets the better it is.

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Photo of Beejay
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: A murky brown with a small tan head that comes out from the body of the beer, only to fade back into a ring.

S: Caramel and brown sugar sweetness overlay a bit of roasty malt, and perhaps a touch of smoke. Slight vanilla and oak aromas.

T: Roasted malt, burnt caramel, earthy bitterness, and a dark fruit sweetness. The finish is long, slightly burnt and bitter.

M: Medium thick in body, moderate to low carbonation, a slick cling in the finish.

O: Overall quite an odd brew.. tons of sweetness up front, but a long lingering bitterness counteracts it.

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Photo of Tilly
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Translucent brown with aa slight creamy beige head.
A: Caramel, malt, sloe plum, cherry with a bit of hops.
T: Black cherry, sloe plum, sweetness, alcohol, earthy and mildly hoppy.
M: Slick, a pleasant bitterness. Nice thick after taste. Chocolate cherry. Interesting.
O: This is a great barley wine from a great Canadian brewery!

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Photo of Roguer
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, nutty brown, topped by a modest cream-colored head with good retention.

Aroma is dark and malty, with a dose of piney and earthy hops lurking just behind strong waves of dark fruit and caramel. Just a hint of chocolate. Smells big, boozy, strong, sweet, and inviting.

Flavor follows: big and bold malty brew. It tastes the way wort smells during the brewing process. Caramel grains come through with big bread and toffee notes. Dark fruit tinges on the outside of the flavor envelope provide prunes and raisins, a big stronger on the back half. A touch of darkened brown sugar, akin to blackstrap molasses, lends a slight sweetness.

Hops are grassy and green and earthy, lending far more overall bitterness - quite a bit - than any individual flavors. Bitter, dark cocoa on the back end, building in strength. The back end is accompanied by noticeable oxidation, a slight touch of booze, and massive bitterness.

Full-bodied flavor, but more of a medium bodied feel; slick and lively, with a sting that stays well below the threshold of annoyance. Slightly sticky on the finish, while the alcohol has a competing drying effect.

This is as good an American barleywine as you're likely to find. Darker and maltier than Bigfoot (arguably the standard bearer in the style), but with a subdued sweetness and excessive bitterness that keeps it distanced from the English style.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 10/2014 served at cellar Temps in a tulip glass.

Appearance: love the bottle art. The crown cap was the twisty off type which surprised me. The beer poured with medium body and had a thick and sticky tan head. The color is murky deep ruby red.

Nose: classic Barleywine Dark fruits and malty backbone. No hops at all.

Taste: There's the hops. Warming alcohol lends to a strong hop bitterness, malty sweetness is just strong enough to do combat with the hops in this beer. Wine like tannins mingle with the hops and create a vinous character. The boozy alcohol presence tastes and feels a lot like a beer that has been aged in spirit Barrels but without the oak character. Slight medicinal note, herbal, unripe plums, baking cherries. There is no hiding the 10.2% ABV, hot and solvent alcohol esters. The mouthfeel is rich and thick like a Barleywine should be.

Overall: Holy crap this beer is still young at 8 months old! Boozy! This one needs some more time in the cellar. It's definitely an American Barleywine and not an English one; the hops are way too strong to be from the UK. It's nice but truly a sipping beer. I'll check in on my other bottle in a year or so and see if things have settled down. The score will probably go up when those hop and boozy alcohol esters are converted and tamed.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours murky brown with a very thin tan cap
S: A somewhat muted nose with traces of fruit and slight hint of roast.
T: Big and malty with flavors suggestive of an Imperial Stout blended with a Barleywine. Dark dried fruit. Some molasses and sherry flavors as it warms.
F: Medium to medium full, medium carbonation.
O: This is OK but I am having trouble understanding how this rates as high as it does.

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Photo of draheim
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL ("2" and "3" notches cut in the label, not sure exactly what that indicates) into a tulip. Pours a deep mahogany amber w/ a thin off-white head.

Aroma is faintly floral, fruity, sweet. Brown sugar, caramel, touch of vanilla.

Taste follows nose. Nice balance of sweet, fruity, floral, and bitter. No single element dominates.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, medium to heavy body.

Overall a really nice, well balanced American barleywine.

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Photo of HowardTheDuck
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice malt-forward English-style barleywine with slight notes leftover from the earthy/grassy hops used. Only 10.2% but very boozy on the finish. Great toffee flavors as well.

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Photo of thebeers
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Murky cherry brown with tiny head. Big aroma of fig, raisins, brown sugar and a hint of hops. Syrupy, creamy mouthfeel. Hops prevalent up front in the taste, then some slight cherry sweetness and pronounced bitterness in the aftertaste. I know this is an American barleywine, but the mix isn't doing it for me.

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Photo of jellikit
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Amber. Thin head. Clear.
Smell: light caramel. Light cherry. Caramel.
Taste: dates, raisin. Cherry. Light alcohol.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation. Big body. Sweet.
Overall: Great beer. Well balanced. Was waiting for more hops, but I guess I'm used to NW Barleywine. Tasty. Will buy again.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2015-02-15 in Columbia, PA

A - Almost opaque, caramel-brown with a 3/4-finger light-tan head that fades quickly; leaving very mild lace.

S - Primarily caramel and toffee, raisin bread and a bit of hop perfume/floral. Pleasant but not magnificent.

T - Malt forward with plenty of caramel and toffee, toasted raisin bread and candied orange. The orange flavor morphs into orange zest with a goodly amount of medicinal bitterness, which lingers quite awhile but is moderated by some residual sweetness.

M - Thick body and light carbonation. Substantial and syrupy, which is how I like big Barleywines.

O - Definitely an American Barleywine, which fairly far to the bitter side. Not as balanced as their magnificent Péché Mortel but an enjoyable treat on this bitter cold day in Pennsylvania.

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Photo of pjkelley82
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 11.5oz bottle into a small snifter. 9.8 ABV $5 and some change for the bottle.

A - Pours transparent leather brown in color. Almost like a tootsie roll in color but a little lighter. Slightly hazy. A disappointing 1/4in mocha colored head appears that was prominent around the edges and more of a thick skin in the middle where the beer was still visible The head did not last long at all. Almost all disappears within a few seconds leaving the tiniest speckle of a ring around the edge. Supremely sparce lacing but a little bit of legs from the alcohol.

S - Starts off with your typical American barleywine citrus(pineapple,grapefruit skin, sugared grapefruit), then the malt starts to come in and caramel, and dark fruits. Lots of raisins and a fig element in there as well.

T - Taste follows the smell. Nice alcohol warmth at the end and bitter finish. Really nicely put together in the taste category. The bitterness stays and lingers but it's such a malty, dark fruit tasting beer that they are both fighting for dominance.

M/F - Another shining moment for this beer. Creamy, medium with light characteristics, heavy. Low carbonation. A touch dry.

O - One hard beer to score. I've had plenty a better Barleywine but I tend to lean towards the English style. This is a great example of an American Barleywine but shows some glimmers of the English style. Matter of fact, strong glimmers... The appearance was really lackluster to me and definitely stopped this one from being outstanding. The smell was par for the course so really it's only half great. If this was blind it would way up there.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that left good lacing and sheeting throughout. The body was a dark, ruddy brown.
S - cinnamon, chocolate, toffee, booze, raisins.
T - same as above with the booze and raisins dominating.
M - creamy and slick.
O - nice and complex, very drinkable.

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Photo of barczar
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%

Sweet caramel malt aroma, lots of melanoidins, flavor is similar, with raisins and dates, and the finish is excessively bitter. Good malt depth, but not quite to barleywine level.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into Dogfish Head snifter. Very dark reddish brown. A decent sized tan ring stays around for the whole ride

Aroma - Smells like a typical English barley. Dark fruits, sugar, caramel/toffee. Also fair amount of alcohol. Almost sweet rum like

Taste - Hidden surprise here. Some hops that I did not notice in the smell. Everything else followed suit to the nose. Carmalized sugar, and lots of deep malt flavor stand out along with the alcohol burn that stings the nostrils a bit.

Feel - Very smooth. Despite some hoppyness, it feels much like an English style. I would say medium bodied with a little bite in the follow through.

Overall - Excellent beer. I wasnt expecting it to be an American style, but it is more of a hybrid. I would say it actually may lean toward English. The flavors could be a little more pronounced. I would probably score it a little better as and English version. I think this would age really well though.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

huge barleywine here, right between the english and american styles, how canadian! its copper to honey colored and thick. the head holds on a little while before fading to ring lacing in my globe. the nose is pretty hoppy, but more bitterness than flavor. the grain is big and flavorful, but not particularly layered or dynamic or nuanced, its pretty one dimensional, despite its size, it doesnt seem real diverse to me. thats fine because the hop finish is insanely big, its super bitter and punchy and long lasting. when it warms, it clashes just a bit with the booze, which until now was more mellow. im floored by its effect on me, from relatively sober to relatively blasted in twelve ounces. not easy to do! a well made brew, but less enthralling than most of their others. i might like it more in the dead of winter than i do now.

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
88 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.