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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

656 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 656
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: 656 | Reviews: 390 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 04:46:51 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 04:32:32 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 14:20:35 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 00:54:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.88/5  rDev -1%
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).

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 06:34:40 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 02:45:35 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 04:21:01 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4/5  rDev +2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 01:24:29 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 00:41:05 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle label image does a good job of making me feel colder than the climate already does...

This beer pours a dark over-steeped 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.

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 will tell.

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!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 02:24:22 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.33/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 01:07:10 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 03:04:28 | More by MasterSki
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 05:18:28 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark amber, almost brown color with a 1/4" offwhite head slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful burnt toffee aroma that's warming yet sweet and inviting. The taste is good. It has a nice hop bite that's complimented by a really awesome toffee flavor. It goes down smooth and finishes warm and earthy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking barleywine. I love the hop and malt character; well done!

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 00:43:17 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle at a recent tasting.

The beer pours a nice brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is heavy on the caramel malts. The alcohol is also very present in the aroma. There is no doubt that this beer is nearly 10 percent ABV. The flavor is a great mix of caramel and chocolate malts. Once again the alcohol is present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 18:30:47 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.25/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 21:05:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date stamps not marked but about a year or so old
A solid pour shows this beer has a ton of carbonation as the beer ends up with four-fingers of amber tinged, tan colored froth. The beer is a dark, concentrated amber color that shows a clear, red-amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of caramelized fruit up front and finishes with a touch of alcohol heat. The fruit notes remind me of sweet plums, raisins some berry like notes and a sweet citrus character that must be coming from the hops. There is a soft spiciness to this brew that reminds me of cloves and perhaps even some more mellow allspice; the spice character melds in quite well with the rich fruitiness.

The beer is fairly dry at first, but then quickly picks up some sweetness that is accentuated by an ample fruit character. The fruit character reminds me of plums, perhaps a touch of raisins, some berry notes and, towards the middle and finish, more of a caramelized citrus zest quality. This finishes with a very firm bitterness that is quite biting in character and even a touch astringent in its aggressive hoppiness. The aggressive hop character is accentuated by some hot alcohol notes as well as a dark grain character that I wouldn't quite call roasted. It is interesting how mellow and balanced each sip starts out, but then it ends up being completely dominated by the aggressive hop bitterness and astringency; it is not so much that the beer is unenjoyable, but it is definitely a bit more than I would like.

I would guess that a fairly characterful yeast was used to brew this beer (at least English in derivation), as there seems to be quite a bit of spice and fruit character to this beer; this adds a nice complexity to this beer, but it is a bit weird that this beer is so hoppy at the same time. A bit more restraint with the hops would pair quite a bit better with the characterful yeast strain. Still I am definitely enjoying this beer and it is a good way to end the night.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 15:54:52 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 20:35:25 | More by Knapp85
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 04:54:16 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.13/5  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 malts...it'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 alcohol...it'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.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 17:44:54 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color with a wispy head. No lace develops.

Smell: big malt sweetness is one dimensional but very nice on the nose.

Taste: big malt profile here. Caramel, soft chocolate tones, prunes, and a nice bitterness is wrapped in a soft earthy tone. Alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth to start, more syrupy late. Very long aftertaste as the malt thickness sticks to the tongue for a while.

Drinkability: due to the strength of this beer it gets knocked down a notch. Slow sipping beer but very warming on a cold evening. Try this one out.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 16:07:09 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 22:44:54 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a fizzy off-white head, average retention.

S: Happy smell of chocolate covered oranges. Direct and pungent. Fruitcake, winter spice.

T: Heavy molasses, sweet brown malt, with a smack of earthy piney hops to finish. Classic barleywine flavours there at the end.

M: Medium-bodied, too much fizzy carbonation, nice smooth ethanol finish though.

D: Quite a tasty barleywine, great label. Glad to see Dieu du Ciel in the States, or CA as it is. Paired well with some Roquefort cheese I had as the denouement to a Christmas dinner.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 21:10:20 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

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

Poured a dark ruby color with good carbonation and dirty white head. Nose is brown sugar, dried fruits, caramel and sweet. Tastes is caramel, toffee, dried fruit and brown sugar. I thought it tasted very good. Mouthfeel was sweet, sticky, syrupy but easy drinking and smooth too. I really dug this barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 00:02:51 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

B-

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 03:45:12 | More by kojevergas
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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.