1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

798 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 798
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 29
Gots: 93 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rastacouere on 12-10-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 798 | Reviews: 403
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.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -23.3%

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!

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.

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.

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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

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.

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).

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
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!

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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 798 ratings.