Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
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Ratings: 699 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kkipple:
2.38/5 rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5
Brand new bottle to the Columbia market, I grabbed this one from the venerable Charleston Beer Exchange. Let's see how Canadians do barleywines...
A. Pretty dirty-orange, smallish 3cm head, dingy and cloudy. Dark beer. Ok.
S. Very fruity, lots of esters and a wallop of hot booze to boot. Sweet and slick toffee notes, prunes, dates, sweet black bread and... bananas. Odd. Very odd.
T. Oh no. I actually cringed as the first sip of this passed my lips. There's a tremendously harsh, medicinal (think gnawing on a handful of aspirin tablets) and violently unpleasent bitterness here that is all over the palate. Front, mid, and finish; it knocks the rest of the beer down and stamps on its jangly bits. Somewhere in there is hid caramel sweetness, warm alcohol, a bit of black pepper and fruit, but I'll be darned if I could taste it past the aspirin-assault. Not enjoyable and frankly bad tasting.
M. Warm, sweet, a little thin, and boasts a very sharp bitter finish - not sure what happened here or if this brew is best 5 years out, but it's practically undrinkable now. I didn't finish the bottle.
D. No. Alas.
Solstice D'hiver is a real disappointment from a usually fun brewery - this and the peppercorn beer the Crazed Canucks create are two beers that I find personally unpalatable. A real shame, but I'd be curious to try an aged bottle and see if this changes much over time.
Serving type: bottle
05-11-2009 17:11:55 | More by kkipple
More User Reviews:
4.25/5 rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
one of my favorite barleywines.
A: very dark brown, but when held to light it has a dark ruby red color. not much head, about one finger of tan head, but great retention and lacing.
S: this is the one area where the beer lacked. a little bit of burnt sugar and raisin/fig covering up the slight smell of booze.
T: in my opinion the balance between malts and hops is near perfect. it definitely has a bitter finish, but not overbearing at all. Up front is a good bit of malts, almost no alcohol and some bready notes. next comes a little bit of cherry and caramel, and its finished by a slightest taste of spice and a mild bitter taste that lingers for a good bit. almost no alcohol in the taste, you only recognize it by the heat in the gut and the buzz in the mind!
M: the mouthfeel is also exceptional, i'd say medium, but close to the medium-heavy side. imo, it's a little less heavy than a lot of barleywines. great carbonation for a barleywine as well. it's fairly dry, but not too much.
overall: wow, grab this beer! i'm not sure when this was bottled, but i was told it "had some age to it". the bottle has 1 and 0 marked out of 0-9, 0-9) i've been told in Canada thats a date, but in the US (where i am) it's just a batch number. So i don't know if this is batch 10 or if this is from the first batch. I know they only brew it once a year, so i don't think they are up to batch 10, but who knows? ( can someone clarify?) i recently spent a good bit of time drinking belgian ales, and have been branching out to barleywines lately. So far, this is by far my favorite. The mouthfeel almost reminded me of a belgium, but with a little less carbination. the hops in the finish rounded out the fairly strong malts up front. A+ beer in my book!
Serving type: bottle
06-21-2014 01:43:18 | More by chuckbeaster
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.