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Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

655 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 655
Reviews: 390
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.46%


Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Rastacouere on 12-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 655 | Reviews: 390 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a copper color with a finger of tan colored head. The head has a light level of retention, fading to leave a light level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a caramel smell mixed with some aromas of caramel molasses and some dark fruits of fig and raisin. Along with these smells are some nice rum like aromas as well as a bit of a spice smell of licorice. Some lighter hop aromas of a pine nature mix with the rest as well as a little bit of a chocolate smell.

Taste – The taste with hints of chocolate mixed with a moderately strong flavor of caramel and brown sugar. Some darker fruits are present right from the start with some cherry, plum and raisin as well as some more brown bread flavors. Some booziness comes to the tongue toward the middle of the taste but remains art a relatively constant level never really overpowering the malt and the sweet taste of the brew like in many barley wines. All the while a nice moderately strong pine and earthy hop flavor come to the tongue balancing the sweet rather nicely. The chocolate flavors fade out from the taste at this point with a light amount of a almost tannin like flavor coming to the tongue at the very end, mixing with the rest of the flavors to leave a nicely blended sweet and malty flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. While not quite as thick and chewy as I would have liked overall the thickness and lower carbonation were rather nice for the flavor and style of the brew making for a rather enjoyable sipper

verall – A rather nice drinking barley wine. It is big in flavor without being both too dry and boozy or too overly sweet. A nice easier drinking one.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 01:23:23 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.5 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a tulip glass
9.8% abv as opposed to the 10.2% listing
Purchased in August of 2012. Not sure when it was bottled.

A - It is rust colored with burnt orange highlights. A more aggressive than normal pour yielded an inch of tan head. There is some yeast particles and chunks suspended within the beverage.

S - The aroma is full of sweet caramel and dark fruit. I get some figs and dates. Some graham cracker and molasses is in there, as well.

T - It starts out sweet with the taste of caramelized sugar and some dark fruit. I can taste the ghost of a distant hops presence.

M - Medium.

O - It is a sweet barleywine. After reading the bottle it seems that it was meant to be a hoppy barleywine. I wish I would have had a fresh one to compare it to. I think it was already aged when I bought it. This beer is not bad, but towards the bottom of the beers I have tried from this brewery thus far.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 00:11:50 | More by buschbeer
Photo of Caveworm
Caveworm

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solstice D'hiver was recommended to me at my local craft brew shop for my first barelywine. The employee's advice has been useful to me in the past, so I purchased a single.

I really like the illustration on the bottle, it is very sombre and bleak complimentary to its name. As a fan of extreme music, this is great to enjoy while listening to some atmospheric black metal. It poured a shimmering black body with a very dark amber head. I was surprised to see a head period, as it kind of reminded me of the consistency of a cola of all things. But in a good way.

The few scents I DID notice were anise and dark licorice.

The taste to me was that of Guiness and Yuengling original lager combined in the very best way possible. You get that kind of malt sweetness with the retention of raisins and coffee, as well as smoothness and drinkability that comes with quality lagers.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp for this being my first barelywine. I kind of expecting the lingering fumes that come with "wine" wine. The high ABV is virtually unnoticeable.

All in all, for my first barelywine, I feel that this was a wonderful choice. Based on this experience, I will now also recommend this to fellow "newbies".

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 22:34:36 | More by Caveworm
Photo of Everything_Belgium
Everything_Belgium

Florida

4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most excellent find.

Poured into a tulip glass. Nice pour with about a 1 inch head. Very nice color. Hazy.

Smell is superb. Sweet with floral accents.

The taste is killer. Sweet but not too sweet. Just how I like it. I bit of alcohol taste. Just the right amount.

Overall I would buy this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 00:46:35 | More by Everything_Belgium
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A dark caramel brown murky brew with about two fingers of tan head, poured into a goblet. I like huge beers as much as the next craft nerd but I have to be in a particular mood to really "get" a barleywine, to truly appreciate the experience. The aroma here is great, redolent with toffee and rum notes, orchard fruit, pine-like hop resins and another nonspecific tangy spice note. Smells hot, earthy, and woody but with an overarching malty sweetness. The palate is initially rich and malty, burnt brown sugar and molasses, leather and walnuts. Things then get fruity for a moment, candied cherries, raisins and prunes, almost floral almond extract, something that recalls coconut, only to have these flavors disappear underneath hot spicy alcohols and oak. Reasonably thick and syrupy with a dry bitter finish, all hop resins and nutshells. This one is a tad pungent, rather woody and medicinal, and I think some aging might do it good. I do appreciate the aggressive hopping and roasted flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 22:56:50 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-brown color with hints of ruby, smallish tan head with some lacing

F-toasted malt, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruit, slight nuttiness

T-dark fruit, toffee, toasted malt, nutty, little spice

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth, some alcohol comes through

O-solid, if not, spectacular Barleywine, nice sipping

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 01:22:27 | More by MDDMD
Photo of CowsandBeer
CowsandBeer

Kansas

4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Bling Tiger Brewery snifter. No bottled on date that I could find except for some notches on the side at 01/07. I’m assuming this is a few years old though since Dieu du Ciel hasn’t been around KS for several years.

Appearance: Poured down the middle produces two fingers of light tan head; creamy, thick and solid. Dark brown/walnut body. Lots of thin, webbed lacing stuck around.

Aroma: Lots of boozy, almost vinous dried fruit up front. Peanut brittle and toffee in the middle. Finishes with a leathery oxidized note. Heady booze for sure but loving the nutty malts and leathery notes that older barleywines sometimes get.

Taste: The first thing you notice is more of those booze soaked fruits. Like a rum fruitcake or something. Very sweet treacle like malts with a lingering hop bitterness. A nice nutty toffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and floral alcohol that warms your face. It’s not hot, but very mellow and works well with the syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall: I was worried this bottle had sat around for too long but it’s doing great. It could probably sit for a few more years and develop more in the bottle. Overall it’s a warming, fruity, very sweet and nutty winter ale for the coldest of nights. I’d love to see some barrel variations of this one, as an oaky vanilla or oaky vinous sweetness could really compliment the beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 02:33:39 | More by CowsandBeer
Photo of Noxious26
Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

341ml brown bottle poured in a pint glass. Purchased from Zyn in Calgary.

Dark brown, kinda cola in colour. Very little head recedes to a very thin ring around the edge.

Aroma reminds me of fruit cake with rum. Light and spicy alcohol notes are in behind a rich and complex melding of perserved fruit or mincemeat and banana bread.

Flavour is largely bowled over by the alcohol. Some fruitiness and yeast spiciness punch through the alcohol. Definitely a sipper.

Full bodied with minimal carbonation. What little carbonation exists is little pin pricks on your tongue. The alcohol side gives a little harsh mouthfeel.

Great winter warmer on a cold day. Alcohol is a little more agressive than I typically like, but it's not bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 00:55:32 | More by Noxious26
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Chez Clem's and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : reddish brown color with tan foamy head.
Smell : malty and spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : roasted malty flavors, with alcohol presence in the finish.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the style Barley wine.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 19:18:34 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama

Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a glass

Muddy, ruddy brown liquid creates a taupe thin foam layer with decent lacings.

Aroma of Deep rich fruits. Figs and raisins. Sweet caramel malts.

An explosion of deep rich flavor. Biscuity and sweet malts. Alcohol on the finish, slight bitterness on the aftertaste. Full weight on the tongue. Good as a winter warmer for a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 02:15:20 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps

Missouri

3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This came highly recommended per the woman at the liquor store.
The pour is a little lighter than I expected, but not a whole lot. Almost kind of muddy. Small off-white head dissipates fairly quickly. The lacing is more patchy than lacy.
I'm not getting too much on the nose. A lot of light grains, which is not really what I want to be the overwhelming smell from my barleywines. Raw threshed grains give way to a bready-ness. My excitement level for this beer is dropping. Faint brown sugar, but really really lacking in the olfactory department.
Wow. Umm... while the nose was a huge let down, the taste is at least attempting to make a case for itself. While the nose was all graintower, the taste takes the reigns and directs us in a much more vegetal direction. There is a fairly intense hop bitterness that accompanies the traditional barleywine flavours of boozy soaked raisins and brown sugar. A distinct ribbon of caramel comes through at the end, and that 10.2 makes its presence known as well. There is still a sidetaste of those grains, though they mercifully take a back seat to the more pronounced malts and hops.
Medium sized body, and good carbonation level, the finish is decidedly hoppy (though the fact that this was brewed about two weeks ago probably helps them to be so pronounced).

As it is I'd consider it a middle of the road BW, but I'll probably pick up one more to lay down for a year or two and see how it matures.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 03:25:02 | More by kemoarps
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This had a murky brown color with crimson highlights. The head was a creamy lace of thick brown foam.

The aromas had chocolate and marshmallow with big hints of prune, date and raisin. I detect almost no booze in the nose but more tangy dried fruit.

The flavor is a nice mix of chocolate and caramel sweetness with a tangy dried fruit. The overall maltiness is, for the most part, absent but I enjoyed the green Apple tartness along with prune, date, fig and raisin.

The feel is very light with a seeming absence of carbonation. This is very tangy on the tongue and if you drink it too fast the booziness becomes apparent.

I found this to be a very good example of the style that was simply begging for some small refinements.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2014 15:45:26 | More by KYGunner
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

11.5 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a dark, murky brown color. There's about two fingers of mocha-colored head. It features an excellent texture and good retention. A LOT of lacing is left behind on the glass. This is pretty attractive in its own way.

S: This seems to have a fairly boozy aroma, primarily. In spite of all the booze, there are other (fairly prevalent) elements - most notably chocolate, raisins, figs, brown sugar, and caramel. I kind of wish it was less boozy and more everything else, to be honest. That doesn't mean it's a bad aroma, just that it could have/should have been better.

T: Immediately, I notice its subtle stout-y elements: there's a slight initial flavor of chocolate, and the finish is faintly roasted. They really add to the archetypal ('Murican) barleywine notes of candy-coated hops and booze admirably. There are also some tangy fruit flavors (think cherries, maybe even apricots) popping up in spurts. It's layered so that the alcoholic flavors die down as more is consumed. Seemingly, it's replaced with a strong, earthy toffee flavor. It still remains a fairly alcoholic ordeal, typical of the style.

M: Rather slender in feel, which doesn't do this beer many favors in terms of decadence. When combined with the fine carbonation and moderately hidden booze, it means this is pretty easy to drink for the style. Still, I can't help but wish this was a bit more substantial feeling.

O: Nice one. It gets somewhat harsh in places - then again, so do most barleywines. Rather, it's a bit harsher than some of the really great examples out there. Still, I can't think of a better aging candidate.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 00:32:41 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of MacQ32
MacQ32

South Carolina

3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage.

A - Pours a very mudied brown with a hint of red, great finger of dense darker tan colored head. fantastic lacing and still ~1/4 finger of head remains 5 minutes later.

S - Faint booze aromas, some dark fruits (cherries and dates) - tons of cherries. Very faint overall

T - Initially a bit boozy, followed by cherry and tannis, more booze and maybe a hint of bitterness from the hops. Finish has a bit of sweeter caramel malt.

M - Pretty decently carbonated, quite carbonated but not too much so, not smooth but kind of - if that makes sense. Nicely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 04:11:09 | More by MacQ32
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HattedClassic

Virginia

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours very little head and what little head forms is an off-white color and creamy. The beer itself is a very dark and opaque ruby reddish plum with hints of brown. The smell is interesting. The caramel and toffee smells come out very strongly in the beer. The malt smell is very sweet and hints of the alcohol. The combined smells make it appear to be fruity in a candy kind of way.

The beer taste is fairly different from the beer smell. The taste has a stronger emphasis on the malts than the other flavors. The malts taste sweet and roasted as well as caramel. The bitter hops make an appearance towards the end and linger a bit in the aftertaste. The beer retains the combination of the alcohol and sweetness from the swell, which gives it a bit of a medicine taste for a little bit. Technically, the beer tastes like one of the fruit shaped candies with the hard shell and gooey outside but with a hint of alcohol. While the beer might be difficult to drink at first, the beer taste significantly improves as it warms up because the hops become more noticeable and begin to balance out the sweetness.

The mouthfeel is smooth with very little carbonation. Overall, not the best and not the worst. The taste is certainly different from most barleywines and was what the brewer was probably going for.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 00:22:44 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pour into a snifter is dark reddish brown and just barely translucent. A beige head retains at about a half-finger most of the time eventually reducing to a thick ring.

Very strong earthy and grassy scent with some toffee, grains, bread and alcohol there as well.

Taste brings on earthy and grapefruit hops though the earthiness is toned down from the scent. Malts also come through a bit more - caramel, dark fruits, and some chocolate noticeable, though they seem to lack the potency for a barleywine. Quite a bit of alcohol warmth as well.

Mouthfeel has a somewhat hefty and malty feel to it with low-ish carbonation. Decent balance of hops+malts but the alcohol deters for sure.

Not bad, the scent kinda throws me off/doesn't really resemble a barleywine, the taste is an improvement but is kinda bland and boozy. It's decent for a winter warmer-type beer though, it will be nice to be able to pull these out of the cellar for the next few winters at least.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2013 00:58:23 | More by Chico1985
Photo of ssmack
ssmack

Ontario (Canada)

3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Muddy dark brown. Half inch beige head that becomes a ring and the slick is all gone at the half way mark. Lots of streams of carbonation.

Smells of alcohol and dark fruit - prunes and raisins.

Taste of semi-sweet chocolate and burnt coffee with fruit underneath. Herby bitterness throughout. This is like toffee soaked in alcohol.

A full mouthfeel and not oily like some barleywines.

This beer deserves respect and demands to be sipped. This is liquid warmth on a wintry night.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 02:44:33 | More by ssmack
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Total Wine in NoVA.

Appearance: Very dark, but clear amber. Very thin, wispy off white head with poor retention and just some spots of lacing.

Smell: Cherry and some raisin. Very earthy hops aromas. Caramel malt aroma is a bit steely and slightly burnt. Not real boozy for a big barleywine, not all that interesting either.

Taste: As with the smell, there is quite a cherry presence, and some more dried fruit flavors as well. Hops impart significant bitterness. The estery flavors are a signature of the English ale yeast used. Again, not very boozy tasting.

Mouthfeel: Lacks the heavy, sticky mouthfeel I expected. Carbonation is appropriate. Finish is drier than I'd like.

Overall: This is a decent beer that is better than the sum of its parts. Its actually very easy drinking for the ABV and has some interesting flavor combinations, but it just isnt as good as a really good big barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 02:30:56 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of wiscokid920
wiscokid920

Maryland

3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle Poured into Snifter

A- Pours dark brown in color with nice reddish hues in the light. A nice tan sticky head that fades to a ring around the glass.

S- A nice warming booze starts things off followed by dark fruit, figs, and a nice caramel sweetness.

T- A lot of nice flavors. Starts off with a warming sweetness of caramel that fades into a nice dark fruit which helps offset the sweetness. Just as the sweetness subsides a big booze heat enters and mingles with a nice earthy hop bitterness.

M- Nice carbonation, medium chewy body with heat

O- Not overly complex but features nice highlights that run true to the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 04:39:57 | More by wiscokid920
Photo of KFBR392
KFBR392

Illinois

2.51/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Muddy brown/very dark red color. Light bubbly head on the pour which dissipated quickly and was not present while drinking. Low active carbonation in the glass while drinking.

Smell: The front is a mossy hop profile with plenty of sweet oak. Cherries and fruit sweetness jump out as well. There honestly is not much more after that. A semi bright barley profile is also picked up but is light.

Taste: An overly sweet oak and barley front hits the palate first. That synthetic, crayon like feeling continues to pile on. Mild barley continues to warm up as the beer does as well. Lingering off tastes which just don't seem to belong stick around for a while. Sweet, really way too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, synthetic, strange oak, and nothing worth wanting this again.

Overall: Disappointed with this one no doubt. Besides Peche, I haven't had another brew from Dieu du Ciel that is really worth continually buying.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 07:25:41 | More by KFBR392
Photo of MarkJBurch
MarkJBurch

New York

4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twist off cap. Pours a dark, murky brown. Reddish and rusty in color with a tan head that resides quickly to a ring around the glass.

Aroma is sweet, booze laden, fig, dates or some other dark fruit. Caramel-vanilla almost, oak.

Wow, a lot of flavor. Somehow sweeter on the back end of the tongue with caramel and slight fruit. Similar to the nose in many aspects, but no vanilla. Wood like, slightly astringent tannin draws the sweetness out of your mouth, leaving you vulnerable for the big booze punch that follows. There is some earthy, hop oil, resin bitterness. Not very well balanced but enjoyable nonetheless. Would like a little more going on in the beginning of the sip.

Carbonation is on the lower end of the spectrum, but it's fine really. Completely appropriate for the style in my opinion, however quick to leave the beer. By the time this warms to my liking it'll likely be flat in the glass.

Overall this beer wasn't terribly complex, the highlight for me being the nose. I would like perhaps a little more balance and a cleaner aftertaste. Interested to know how age will effect the progression of this beer. Given the twist off bottle cap, oxygen will do it's work faster, and a year might be enough time to turn this into something completely different.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 22:22:47 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Located this bottle loitering in the back of the fridge & apprehended it for further questioning. 12 oz. bottle of unknown providence.

Pour comes out a dark rose' right up until the last 1/2", which is chock full of what appears to be congealed french fry grease; wow, floatie city, & whoppers at that. Smell needs to be coaxed from the glass: caramel, toffee, with a spoonful of sweetness.

Solstice d'hiver is cut from the Great Book of Standard Barleywines. Chock full of nice caramel, with a heavy, boozy bite: the alcohol is standing out front with a bare chest. More sweetness than a Lifetime Original Movie, & zero 0 of 5 dentists recommend drinking this beer. Glad I split this with my wife, six ounces is plenty.

Nothing remarkable about this brew. Very simple & without a lot going on. Decent enough, but wouldn't feel the need to put this in my glass again.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 04:23:17 | More by maximum12
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87

Arizona

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - 4.0 - The color is a murky dark brown with a nice off white head that leaves good lacing.
s - 4.0 - Really boozy, molasses, caramel, honey, plums, spicy hops.
T - 4.0 - Also really boozy, plums, figs, molasses, caramel, honey, spicy hops. Lots of maltiness.
M - 4.0 - Medium-heavy mouthfeel, tons of alcohol, maybe a little too much. Aftertaste is plums, alcohol, some spiciness from the hops.
O - 4.0 - It's alright, not the best, not the worst. Little too boozy for 10.2 percent. Reminds more of the belgian strong darks than an american barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2013 03:29:59 | More by ISmith87
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a deep amber pour, cloudy, finger of head which quickly dissipated. smells of tons of barley, caramel malt, molasses, honey. the flavor is pretty boozy overall buy you get TONS of plum, raisins, fig, dates, lots of bready caramel malt, barley, honey. a nice warmth grows in the chest from this full bodied beer - slow sipper with low amount of carbonation.

this was a pleasant experience. one of the first beers i threw into my cellar, so this is one is from 2011. i do suggest aging one for yourself.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 02:20:26 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of artoolemomo
artoolemomo

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up about a finger's worth of head which doesn't last long- not surprising for a barleywine. The head is a light, creamy beige while the body is a muddy, almost chocolate brown that shows maroon and garnet when held up to the light. A thin line of sheeting is left above the surface of the beer. Some lacing above that.

Nose- Nice, inviting, fairly typical barleywine nose. Starts off with lots of caramel which gives off hints of coconut but moves quickly to vanilla and toffee. Slight hints of raisins and cherries. Minimal notes of chocolate and cocoa. Very well balanced. Swirling displays a messier quality- replete with oak and alcohol that I didn't get before.

Taste- Starts with caramel and quickly moves into oak and coconut. Heat is noticeable but so far seems to jive with the flavor profile. Brown sugar and molasses are notable. Very oaky with touches of vanilla. The heat is undeniable which is interesting for a beer that seems to have been released at the end of last year. This is definitely a candidate for aging and I might have to grab another one to do just that. Don't mind the heat; it just seems a little too oaky for me. A tiny bit of thinness and maybe a little too hot at the moment. A good beer nonetheless. Perhaps in more in the average range in relation to all the really good barleywines I've had but still enjoyable. It certainly doesn't lack in presence or complexity but could use the balance and integration that aging would bring. Really holds up when I do a deeper tasting of holding it my mouth for an extended period of time as the oak begins to fade and mellow. This is really opening up and developing well. Some of the complexity fades but this beer has become more and more drinkable as I continue. Is that the heat kicking in? Some spice- suggestion of cinnamon perhaps?

Mouthfeel- Between medium to heavy bodied with ample carbonation for a barleywine. Works well. Has a good feel of creaminess as well.

Drinkability- The oak is a little bit of an obstacle. It is my biggest complaint about this beer. The price seems reasonable for an import of this style. There are cheaper and better barleywines but no real complaints.

Overall- Above average to good. Almost solid. Its progression and mouthfeel justify the price for me for the most part. Worth a try. If you don't like it, you might want to try aging it. I think it will benefit. I might try this as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 02:29:57 | More by artoolemomo
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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 655 ratings.