Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

very good
428 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Rastacouere on 12-10-2003

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 428 | Ratings: 892
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an attractive medium brown, with a lasting whitish middle. Barleywine aroma. The mouthfeel is above average, a smooth barleywine with a lovely drinkable caramel. Nice balance, satisfying, although boozy. Thanks for bringing me back a bottle, Derek.

 254 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a foamy 1/2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark fruit, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, malt, and alcohol. Taste is of sweet malt, burnt caramel, brown sugar, and some fruity flavors. There is also some herbal hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a full bodied and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but I am enjoying the smell on this one more than the taste.

 602 characters

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.

 837 characters

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured mahogany brown with minimal head and delicate lacing on the surface.
S: There's an aroma of alcohol, fruits and hops.
T: The flavor is a well-balanced mix of alcohol, cherries and other dark fruits, sweet caramel malt, and hops, the latter of which also prominently stands out in the finish.
M: The beer feels medium- to heavy bodied on the palate and the carbonation takes away most of the syrupy taste.
D: This is one to sip slowly and end the night with, although it's surprisingly drinkable for a barleywine.

 522 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep red color, almost brown. The head was thin and really didn't go anywhere with the lacing in my opinion. The smell of the beer has a boozy sweetness to it. The taste of caramel upfront that fades into a warming tingle in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer was thick a little oily and smooth. Overall the alcohol comes through in the back end kind of on the strong side. Since it's a Winter brew and a Barley Wine it kind of makes sense. I guess I just prefer a more hoppy Barley Wine. But this one wasn't too bad.

 550 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Insane beer that has been sitting in the wake for way too long.

The pour into the glass brings a deep mohogany, ruby hue with some haze and a rusty overall appearance. Light on head formation but long on retention and fair on lacing- pretty standard of Barleywines.

Aromas are fantastic and bring on the presence of raisons, dates, figs, grapes, plumbs, anise, apples, cherries, and rum- all encompased with a blanket of molassas, toffee, and sorgum sweetened malts. Somewhat Brittish in it's breadiness and sweetness. I could sit and smell this beer for days.

First of all, don't get me wrong- the flavors are great but not on the same pedistal as the aroma. Much more balance between the maltiness and bitterness. The esters are there but don't dominate the beer as they do in the aroma. The sweetness has turned to a well-attenuated maltiness and leaves behind the syrupy sweetness that the nose suggested. Still more bready than shortcake and more hoppy in the taste than smell.

Body is rich, round, and malty; but also well consumed by the yeast leaving the beer malty and dry but not sweet; creamy and bready but not cloying. Bitter and clean in the finish for such complex and depth in a beer.

For an American Barleywine, I expected much more hop aroma and flavor. But as an richer English Barleywine, that aroma in insanely good.

Thanks CosmoHopHead!

 1,365 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy amber color ale with a large foamy head with quite good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry fruits and toffee/caramel malt with a light hoppy finish. Taste is also dominated by a nice caramel malt base with notes of toffee and a light fruity ester finish. Hops are present and though not dominating I could have done without them, which would have brought this closer to an English style barleywine. Well done nonetheless.

 453 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle - the label image does a good job of making me feel colder than the climate already does, yeah?

This beer pours a dark, over-steeped black tea colour, with two fingers of puffy beige head, which leaves a consistent pattern of looped lace around the glass as it evenly settles.

It smells of big sugary caramel/toffee malt, mild dark complex fruit, and somewhat acrid booze. The taste is quite strongly stewed butterscotch malt, dark fruit liqueur, and further drying edgy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and a bit on the high side for the style, the body pretty hefty, smooth, but noticeable for its lack of stickiness. It finishes mostly in kind - a lingering caramel sweetness, smacked right down by booze and bitter hops. Wow - after reading the product description in French on the side label - looks like I was bang on: alcohol, fruit, and bitter hops - c'est vrai!

I sure don't mind the hops and strength in barleywines, but this one is just too astringently boozy for my liking - probably my own fault, as it was bottled less than 3 months ago. It would be interesting to match this against the new release of my local concern's barleywine - Alley Kat's 2010 Old Deuteronomy. Time may very well tell.

 1,237 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark brown color with a pillowy, off-white, small head. It left soapy lace residue on the glass.

S - It smelled of raisin, sweet caramel malt and some subtle floral notes.

T - It tasted very sweet. The raisin detected in the aroma was very mild. It had a light caramel flavor with some roasted qualities.

M - It sticky and a a little chewy. A medium to full bodied barleywine.

D - This smelled great and tasted pretty good, too. It is certainly worth picking up.

 491 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

10.2% ABV confirmed. Acquired for $1.00 in SoCal - probably the best deal I've ever gotten on a beer. 11.5 fl oz brown glass with branded standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I'm a big fan of. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. There are notches in the "1" and "0" slots, but I don't know what date that indicates.

Served after a brief period of rest following its removal from the fridge and allowed to warm further over the course of consumption; I prefer my barleywines just slightly chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention - which isn't actually bad for the high ABV. Body colour is a hazy caramel-amber brown; very typical of a refined barleywine. Nontranslucent. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible, if only because it's opaque. This is definitely unfiltered. No bubble show. It's what I'd expect from a good barleywine; I'm not blown away but I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Rich caramel, toffee, malty sweetness, light toasted malt, grains and sugars, burnt bread crust. Redolent of old brown leather. Some fig fruit and other stonefruit. Raisin. A touch of earthiness - in a good sense. Light vanilla. Candied fruit. A light dark spice. A bit of fennel. Candied green apple. A complex aroma of moderate to fairly high strength. Alcohol's there, but it's well concealed. An evocative aroma that affirms complexity to come, but doesn't come off horribly balanced. I can't wait to find out.

T: Dominant caramel. A bit of toffee. The sweetness is certainly there, but it's well balanced by more refined notes. I'm sure it'd be better with more age, all the same. The sweetness would fade a bit. Light fig and mild candied apple fruit come through, adding pleasant dimensions. Biscuit malt and brown malts aid the body. Some raisin. A bit of lurking alcohol, but I wouldn't call it hot or boozy. Little yeast comes through, if any. Hopping is generic and floral - and certainly minimal. Malts are the star of this show, and as well they should be. The dominant note is redolent of those caramel-apple sticks you'd get at a fair. Light burnt bread crust isn't as deep here as I'd like; it's there in traces but that flavour is the highlight for me. I could do without the fennel/light licorice, but that's just personal taste. A nicely balanced little barleywine, but one that seems like it'd be a lot better with 2-3 years of age on it. Pretty good balance, for the most part.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thick - like it needs to be for the style. It's got definite presence on the palate, but I wouldn't say it's too heavy. Firm and punchy. Good carbonation. Complements the flavour profile pretty well, and in some ways it seems like it's tailored to it - but the execution doesn't come off incredibly. Solidly done, but not great.

Dr*: It's not a great barleywine, but it's rather solid. I wouldn't pay the full $6.00 import price for it, but I love the $1.00 price tag I paid. I'm glad I picked up 5 others; this is far better stuff than Bigfoot (at least fresh Bigfoot). Another solid brew from Dieu du Ciel, but I did expect a little more given their usual quality. Worth picking up at the right price, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Like it, don't love it. It is quite drinkable for the ABV though. I could have more than one of these in the same night and I wouldn't mind.


Definitely a beer that'd be better with age. 2-5 years for this one methinks.

I regret I was forced to drink this one from a pint glass. By all means, use a snifter or tulip if you've got one. Hell, even a wine glass would be better than a conical pint glass.

*I had to play with the overall score to get the letter grade that was appropriate. This keeps my reviews fair and consistent. Please see my profile for more information.

 4,076 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blind BIF Beer #6

Not a sour. Hooray. Regular 12 oz bottle.

Dark murky red appearance.

Old ale raisin smell.

Stale old ale taste. Slight battery acid finish.

So far the beers had been from all over the place. I had no idea what this was.

Reveal. Barleywine?

 263 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurry black cherry that looks more like dark caramel with tangerine accents when not backlit. One smooth pour enabled the entire bottle to fit into the snifter, with a lovely looking crown of khaki colored foam cresting the rim. The suds last impressively long, leaving quite a bit of lace when they eventually melt.

The aroma is underpowered, at least in the early going. It's brown malty, somewhat earthy, and has just a hint of alcohol, although no more than most beer of this ABV. Hopefully, warming will bring something new and different to the party.

Solstice d'hiver is my type of barleywine (dark malty rather than pale malty), but it isn't knocking my socks off. Once the starting chill is lost, it does open up a bit and begin to complexify. The aroma still isn't impressive, however.

Flavors include dark caramel, ripe figs, blackberries, chocolate shavings, bitter black tea leaves and a wee dram of Absolut Citron. I had originally thought this bottle was from winter '08-'09, but now believe it's from this past winter. There's still quite a bit of hop bitterness goin' on.

The mouthfeel barely squeeks out the score seen above. It could be more full and more creamy, but satisfies well enough in the end. Drinking quickly is no trouble at all. On the other hand, drinking 9.8% ale rapidly might lead to serious trouble, depending on the circumstances.

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Solstice d'hiver is a good North American barleywine that doesn't quite come together well enough to be considered a great North American barleywine. It's still an easy recommendation since a 12 ounce single shouldn't break the bank.

 1,629 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 521 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

 1,423 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have picked some winners lately and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I did not really know much of what to expect out of this one, but was more then pleasantly surprised by the results. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 09/15/2009.

The pour was nice, rich dark brown in color with a nice inch and a half of off white head on the top. Rich looking to say the least. Lots of candied sugar, hints of caramel and light toffee as well. A light note of alcohol as it warms, but very solid and not much in the way of hops, at least initially on the nose. Smooth, subtle flavor really builds. Caramel malts, hints of boozy notes, light toffee all coming through very well. Nice feel to it, heavy but not overbearing with great carbonation. A bit hefty, but I honestly found it very well received.

Overall solid. I would not mind having this one again, and was actually quite pleasantly surprised by how well it pulled together. Would grab another off the shelf if I saw it for sure.

 1,027 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Bullock's in Marietta, Georgia. Let's D'hive right in, shall we?

Appearance: Pours out an opaque, murky-looking, dark brick-colored body with a whipped, frothy, light beige head.

Smell: Malty nose smelling of toasted bread crusts and sweet-scented notes of toffee and caramel accented by some wafting alcoholic aromatics. Additional whiffs of wood chips, juicy cherries, light spice, and a nearby snifter of room-temp brandy.

Taste: Begins with a bold maltiness that has a chewy breadiness about it with a rich toffee taste and lighter hints of semi-sweet chocolate and brown sugar. It's sweet, but not overly sweet. There's a pervasive earthiness to it and a snap of seasoned wood and spice. It's bitter, but not overly bitter. Fair amount of fruitiness present, but sweet cherries, for me, are the most prominent. Splash of brandy. Light, lingering bitterness and some warming alcoholic heat on the otherwise smooth malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Tasty, enjoyable barleywine with a nice, inviting warmth to it that suits me just fine as I watch the recent snow melt away. It's not nearly as sweet as many English version and it's not nearly as bitter as many American iterations of the style, though, admittedly, I'm not entirely sure as to the age of this particular bottle I purchased last night. Why not just pick a bottle and find out for yourself.

 1,459 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A pour from the 12 oz bottle into a snifter is a cloudy copper color with little to no head.

S: A very citrusy, hoppy aroma. A lot of grapefruit hops to go with a nice caramel aroma. There is also a fair amount of alcohol.

T: The flavors are fairly similar to the nose, but a bit improved. The front end of the sip is sweet and toffee like. The back end has a very pungent grapefruit flavor with a mild bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with a fairly low level of carbonation.

D: The alcohol does not really come through on the palate. The mild bitterness helps to keep things from getting too sweet (although, I don't think it would be a problem when fresh anyway).

 676 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled into an oversized snifter.

A - Deep bronze w/ garnet hues. The ale has good clarity. An impressive 3 finger ecru tips the barleywine which has a rocky surface and the lace clings and holds. The bead is pin sized and the beer looks like a dark caramel apple in the glass

S - a mild biscuit, fruity aroma w/ a spicy and slightly alcohol enhanced aroma. There is a yeasty ester which is apple scented and has berry notes

M - The feel is bitter at first then caramel and sweet w/ a light yeasty tang w/ sugary tip. There is light astringency w/ a moderate level of carbonation and a lingering bitter finish

T - The malty caramel and dry biscuit notes combine w/ a slight alcohol flavored fruit taste. A candied apple flavor w/ bitter citrus peel and mild raisin flavor w/ a hint of pine and chocolate. The slight toffee-like buttery qualities are subdued and there is more of a bitter green herbal flavor from the hops in the finish.

D - A tasty barleywine, big hoppiness as expected and the malt is deep w/ yeast interplay creating a tasty light/shade effect. I would definitely want a chance to savor this again, perhaps with some age on it to see how it changes and smoothes out the hop bitterness, a very good barleywine.

 1,242 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a dense 1 finger light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, caramel, toast, bread, earth, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of big raisin, prune, toast, roasted malt, molasses, bread, caramel, earth, oak, and herbal spiciness. Fair amount of spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, toast, earth, oak, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of spicy hop flavors with the fruity malt backbone; with good complexity and no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very nice creamy, thick, and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barleywine. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,107 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Goebel's in Wichita, zero & then a seven notched for what that's worth...

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of tan head. Nice viscious look to this above average acing & head retention

S: Dark fruit & not much else, a touch of booze as this finished up

T: Figs, plums, a touch of caramel & oaky boozeyness up front. Raisins, figs, dryness & a hint of brown sugar, plus woody hops as this warms. Finishes dry, fruitty with faint woody hops

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation & warming sensations as this warms

Drinks easy enough, makes me think ENGLISH BW, nice enough. This was over 50 cents an ounce, Sooo I consider this a one & done, mostly on the cost basis...

 700 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two-finger head that leaves ring lace on the glass after each sip. The color is dark brown with a decent amount of light passing through. Cloudy.

Earthy aroma with a definitive alcohol kick.

Rich, thick brew that positively qualifies as a Barley Wine. Not sweet, but definitely malty. The hop shows up in the swallow, but the alcohol is the main feature after that. Very warming. Good for sipping.

 399 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe that the label reads this is best by 2011?

Pours quite dark brown and fairly foggy with a thick crème head that's going nowhere. Nose is quite fruit toned. Apricots, perfume, floral edges. If you really focus on the fragrance, that apricot shows through beautifully. Flavor is a bit boozy. Grainy malts. Subdued fruits, figs, but the alcohol is present. Feel is smooth on liquid, appropriately lower on carbonation. This is still young. I say give it three or four more years and this is going to be golden. Lots of potential, but not at its peak right now.

 570 characters

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

Deep ruby chestnut body light caramel tan head, nose is filled with equally impressive big fruit and caramel's a Canadian hop bomb of a barleywine. Sharp acidic notes with leafy herbal hops playing a big role in it, roasted nuts and caramelized sugars collide to equate to the aromatics of the beer. Flavor is harsh bitterness all day, bitingly bitter big and bad with warming's a rough sultry barleywine meant for the cooler months, don't ask me why I chose to crack the bottle in the warm rainy spring weather that we are having today. Big fruit ride the wave of harsh bitterness, yeast nuttiness, plum soaked in brandy, this is a big beer all day with lingering waves of earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a warming alcohol effect taking over in the first few sips, if this is their winter beer it's meant to be this way for a reason to keep you warm when you are walking from pub to pub in the dead of winter up in the Quebec province of Canada. Overall very pleased it's like an exotic version of Bigfoot and I'm sure it's appreciated and held on to every year during it's release to experience something like this so big yet so quaffable.

 1,182 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brasserie Dieu de Ciel Solstice d'Hiver

Dark brown, Bright crimson highlights, numerous "floaties" about, very small head.

Sweet and spicy aroma, fierce and roasty, brandy-like notes, dark fruit, cherries, plumetc., leather, dark rum, smoke...deep and powerful.

In the mouth, deep, rich, plenty flavorful, rich caramel malt flavors lead into those same sensations noted from the nose. Very reminiscent of the best English barleywines. Sweet, tasty, beautifully balanced, wonderful match of hops and malt. Bursting with deliciousness. Sharp, bright, then a smooth finish. mmm, mmm.

This is my kind of winter ale! I'm going back for more!

 640 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared a bottle of this with my wife, who's a big barleywine fan. Served in my FOBAB mini-pint glass.

A - A half-finger of quick-dissipating light tan foam with excellent lacing. Hazy light brown raisin-y color - I can almost see the logo on the other side of the glass. Pretty much spot-on for a high-gravity barleywine.

S - This is seriously boozy smelling - reminds me a little of brandy, but with a healthy does of burnt caramel, apple, berries. There is just too much alcohol coming out to let the other smells emerge - perhaps this needs another 6 months?

T - The apple flavor is really present - it's almost as if I bit into a caramel-covered gala apple doused in alcohol. There's also a little bit of citrus hoppiness still present. The aftertaste is kind of unpleasant with some sourness to it.

M - Full-bodied, light carbonation, very smooth and creamy, with some alcohol warmth. It's definitely appropriate to the style but nothing out of the ordinary.

D - I've had a few drinks tonight which might have compounded matters a bit, but it's going to be a struggle to get through my 6oz pour. Just way too boozy and sour for me to do anything more than occasionally sip.

Dieu du Ciel is a funny brewery - I love Péché Mortel, but have been somewhat disappointed with their other bottled offerings. I'm hoping their other big guns (Chaman, l'Aphrodisiaque, Déesse Nocturne) that are only on=tap live up to the hype.

 1,431 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
88 out of 100 based on 428 ratings.