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Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

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

655 Ratings
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 KYGunner


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 socon67

New York

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange\amber pour. Creme colored foam retains well. Slight carbonation noted.

S - Scents of dark fruit, caramel, and a boozy scent of scotch. As it settled a bit of toffee was present.

T - Surprisingly mellow. Initial sweetness of dried fruit. Has a warming burn and qualities of scotch whiskey. Notes a caramel and hearty grain.

M - Very drinkable barleywine. I was amazed how smooth this was. Syrupy thick and with a hearty ABV, but I didn't feel it.

O - Tasty barleywine that I'd happily have again. I'm finding plenty of love for Dieu Du Ciel. Another offering from them that I liked alot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2012 15:07:57 | More by socon67
Photo of nickfl


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

A - poured with a small head of off white foam on a hazy, amber body. The head settles quickly and leaves thick lace.

S - brown sugar, spicy alcohol and a touch of toffee.

T - dark sugar and some cherry up front. Spicy notes of alcohol, plum, and clove in the middle. Vintages with dark bread notes as well as figs, clove, and fairly strong bitterness.

M - medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - a robust, sugary barleywine that doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the alcoholic bite.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 22:43:49 | More by nickfl
Photo of seasonsix

New York

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really fun and different barley wine.

A - dark dark brown, nearly black with basically no head.

S - dark malt characters, sweet syrup.

T - very cool taste. almost like a porter with the roasted character dialed all the way back. dark malts shine through here with velvety molasses settling in.

M - well balanced carbonation - subtle, yet present so that the potent flavors dont just sit on your tongue and overstay their welcome.

O - enjoyable and worth your while. This isn't a boozy barley wine which I really appreciate - while sweet, it's also balanced. It's not aggressive and unlike many barley wines enjoyed the full 8oz pour. Would certainly check this one out again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2011 19:20:59 | More by seasonsix
Photo of Kegatron


3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ The Farmhouse (Burlington, VT) on 2/19/11. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with a ½ finger head of off-white froth. This retains with a mostly thin and creamy look, with some richness on the edges that throws a think coating of lace up onto the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of sweet toffee and bright citric fruit, although I think I'm picking up a touch of some other dark fruitiness at work here as well. Some roast creeps in along the back and alcohol adds some extra sweetness and light spicy notes to this as well.

The taste has a thick maltiness to it of caramel and roasted brown sugars, with bitter citric fruit and pine giving this some sharpness. Dark fruit and spice add to the complexity, as alcohol warmth really dries the finish on this out. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a big fizzy carbonation on this that expands out into the mouth and remains quite sharp the whole way through. That ABV is definitely present here but it's not overly hot, as this possesses more of a beefy warmth that heats things up a bit. Overall though, I'd say that this stays a pretty smooth sipper and carries its big ABV rather well.

I liked this. A big Barleywine with some flavor and complexity that drank well for its size. This was only a half pour but it left me wanting to investigate it further. I have some bottles at home in cellar. I think it's about time to break one out.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2011 17:45:10 | More by Kegatron
Photo of wampahoofus


4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick dark brown, aproaching the darkness and thickness of a stout. Nice creamy tan head with thick lacing.

Smell is nutty and a bit boozy but well balanced. Bits of carmel and vanilla mixed in.

Taste is a deep strong ale with a powerful malted backbone. Lots of vanilla and a touch of oak. This is a nice treat compared to the hoppy American barley wines that have been popping up.

Mouuthfeel is smooth and creamy. It is a bit like a stout. This is a wonderful take on the beer style.

Ah. After one of these wonderful ales, I could have gone back for more! However the 10% ABV made that hard to do. I will remember this barleywine for its dark, malty, creamy nature. It is well worth it!

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2010 02:55:41 | More by wampahoofus
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Volo on tap- A deep mahogany, with spotty lace and a beige frothy cap. Caramel aromas with toffee, earthy piney hops, stewed prunes and other pit fruits. Sweet caramel and deep rooted fruit flavours, some treacle, piney grapefruity hops, floral, with some vanilla. AN excellent balance has been acheived with this BW. Very drinkable and very soft for its weight.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2009 11:32:07 | More by mrmanning
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

On tap at Volo's awesome Dieu du Ciel launch party. 2009 version. In hindsight, a half pint of barley wine probably isn't the best thing to follow up a half pint of imperial saison, and a half pint of imperial stout.

Pours a great ruby with a finger of white head that quickly drops down to a wispy cap, and leaves limited lacing. Pretty standard for a barleywine, though I love the intensity of the colour. Sweet aroma - toffee, caramel, brown sugar, sherry, with some underlying woodiness and biscuit. Limited hop presence in the nose. At this point more English than American in style.

Typical b-wine mouthfeel - somewhat chewy, but with enough carbonation to alleviate any potential stickiness. Sweet toffee flavour with brown sugar, pine, notes of sherry and raisin. Not as bitter as I expected, but its still there, and reminiscent of an aged Bigfoot. Alcohol is a bit noticeable in the finish, which brings an otherwise excellent barleywine down a notch, but as this is the 2009 version I think its acceptable for this to be a bit young and brash.

I think I'll be seeking out a couple bottles to cellar.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2009 13:10:29 | More by bobsy
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 version on tap at Volo's DDC launch - good times. Pours a deep, rich amber toffee with just a thin collar of bubbles. No lacing.

Nose is sweet and caramelly, bread, raisin, toffee, brown sugar.

Certainly, as some others have said, more in line with an English Barleywine, lots of caramel malt with little to no hop presence. Lots of raisin, hints of cherry, hint of peat/earth, brown sugar, nice alcohol warming down the throat. Body is a bit syrupy, pretty sweet brew though not too much so as to stick in the mouth - goes down too easily for the 10% it is.

A touch rough around the edges, a bit too sweet for my liking, but a really well-made brew nonetheless. Enjoyed it, glad I got to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2009 17:50:18 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

sampled on tap at volo as part of the DDC launch party oct 3/09.

pours deep red with just a touch of haze, possibly chill haze. when held to the light the great ruby and garnet hues really come out, lightening a bit to orange at the bottom of the glass. a thin layer of very fine white head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving only a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. rich caramel. bit of toffee. light fruity character too, almost makes me think of candied fruit. whole wheat bread and cracker. bit of biscuit. light alcohol. bit earthy and woody. some dark fruit too. this doesn't smell like an american barleywine, definitely seems more english and even leaning slightly toward some belgian character.

taste is good. caramel and toffee again. lightly warming alcohol. earthy and slightly woody. bit of dark fruit. less candy character and sweetness than in the aroma. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. medium bitterness level. again, this definitely seems to plant itself more in english barleywine realm, still drawing in some dark belgian character too.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level. drinkability is good. nice balance. good depth. this is no american barleywine, but it's still tasty and it works.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2009 16:54:06 | More by grub
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear dark red, some brown highlights, medium sized off white head forms, drops a ton of lace, settles to a thin ring. Smell is sweet and caramelized, alcohol, cherries, lots of fruit, bread, bit of citrus/mango, rich aroma, nice. Taste is similar, alcohol, sherry, tons of fruit, bit of spiciness, caramel and nuts, woody bite in the finish, solid bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, bit of alcohol heat, sweet body, not bad! I'd put this more in the English barleywine category than American.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2008 18:52:13 | More by Viggo
Photo of rodenbach99

Quebec (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

au fût à la brasserie

barley wine passablement foncé, quelque petit reflet rouge, elle a une belle mousse blanche onctueuse et éapaisse, nez malté, sucré et houblonné goût très prononcé de malt et de houblon, en bouche elle est ronde, longue chaleureuse et durable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2007 02:04:12 | More by rodenbach99
Photo of philmath

Quebec (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First, I have to tell that this was my first Barley Wine ever so my review might be biased (as usual). Second, I drank it on the 7th anniversary of DDC, last year and it was from the 2004 brewing. For the first time of my life, I took some notes...

Appearance : Absolutely crystal clear copper brown
Nose : Cognac-macerated fruit and floral hops
Taste : Juicy cherries and citric hops.

Makes me feel like a young boy eating his first « sucre d'orge » after a long journey playing outside during a snowstorm.

Very drinkable. It was quite interresting! Too bad that this kind of beer isn't very popular in Quebec. I am looking forward for trying another ones of this kind. Sooner than later I hope.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2006 05:58:12 | More by philmath
Photo of Goldorak

Quebec (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled their 2004 version on tap, this one is listed as 9% ABV.

Appearance: Very dark, but with blood red hues when you bring it to the light. Clingy lacing.

Smell: Very, very sweet smell, like cloverleaf honey with a hoppy twist. Impressive.

Taste: Honey sweet, creamy and full. A nice alcohol bite with a strong bitter and malty aftertaste that seems to last and last. Great, great stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2004 14:48:46 | More by Goldorak
Photo of scottum


4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a dark brown with an off-white lacey head. They don't serve this in pints for some reason. Flavor profile is complex. Hops are big, but are very well balanced by some huge malts. Sweet stuff is there, but also deeper bodied malt goodness. The alcohol also comes through in flavor a touch. A very good barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2004 03:11:37 | More by scottum
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

In bottle, aged 3 years.
Dark brown body, copper. From a nice 1cm off white head sticking to the glass, it rapidly becomes a thin ring around the glass. Very malty aroma with notes of licorice, toffee, bubble gum. One of Dieu Du Ciel's most complex flavour developments. The hops are still impressively present for a 3 years old beer. Chocolate, burnt caramel, vanilla, also subtle notes of woody hops (never really bitter though). Toffee after taste. One of my favorites from the popular brew-pub.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2003 15:56:55 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Darkmagus82


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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
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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 655 ratings.