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Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

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

709 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 709
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 21
Gots: 85 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Rastacouere on 12-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 709 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chugalug06


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

A - Amazing looking brew! Head quickly settles into a nice light brown foamy crown. Head stays as a thin cracker for the entirety. Some nice lacing too.

S - Very grape. Not to much else... Some slight heat, but not sugary. Some deep molasses. Almost smells like lighter fluid.

T - Lots of big smooth flavor. An awesome B-wine! Slightly sweet, but not overly. Not too much heat. Some big grape notes turn out well.

M - Perfect, with only slight bitterness.

O - Phew! This one will take your head-off!!! An awesome brew, but one to let sit and rest for a few years...

09-27-2011 01:18:49 | More by chugalug06
Photo of kawilliams81


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Dark ruby brown with 2 finger tan head and excellent lacing.

S- Tons of malt, dark fruits, leather, tobacco.

T- Sweet amber/roasted malts, get some cocoa near the finish along with a hint of dark fruits. Decent hop finish to balance the malts.

M- Full bodied. Fairly thick and creamy with a semi-dry finish.

O- Taste does not hold up to aroma. It's a good beer but just missing something for me in the taste.

09-10-2011 02:10:04 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

No bottle date, but there's a notch at "0" and between 7 and 8. Tulip glass.

A: Pours very dark amber with about a half finger of light grayish khaki head which mostly disappears within a few minutes. Still, decent retention and some lacing.

S: Loads of caramel, along with malt and fruity esters.

T: Caramel with some chocolate making an appearance, folded over a nice understated hoppy brightness, followed by a hint of some red fruit on the tongue. Alcohol is detectable but in balance; not bad considering it's 10%. Very slight hoppy aftertaste which lends some bitterness. Pretty dry, overall.

M: Medium-light carbonation, medium body. Slight alcohol warmth.

O: An excellent example of an American-style barleywine. I usually prefer English-style, but the hops was nicely integrated and played second fiddle to the malt. This one won't blow you away, but it's very tasty.

09-07-2011 05:00:38 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of smakawhat


3.58/5  rDev -8.7%

Poured from the bottle into a tumbler. Bottled 2008?

A nice sticky small caramel with cloudy dark amber body. Hints of cherry red hues.

Nose is cherry fruit, light nutmeg and dense malt.

Taste is a little too carbonated, but also feels distinctly hop and earth. Dirty palate mixed with soil and tree bark. Not that alcohol boozy either which is nice. Some caramel comes out as the beer gets to room temperature. Slightly wet for a barleywine and texture feels dirty.

Overall a dark wooded sipper if there ever was one. Don't mind it.

09-05-2011 15:34:12 | More by smakawhat
Photo of bluejacket74


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

11.5 ounce bottle, 10.2% ABV. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a cloudy reddish/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. The head went away quickly, but there's a good amount of lacing. Aroma is molasses, brown sugar, yeast, bready malt and caramel. It tastes like caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar, bready malt and some plums. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's somewhat coating and creamy with moderate carbonation. I think it's a decent beer overall, but there's nothing really impressive about this. Maybe it would be better if I had aged it longer, so I might buy another bottle to do just that.

08-27-2011 23:10:20 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of hippityhops85


3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

11.5 oz bottle (I'm surprised Dieu Du Ciel does twist offs?) into a goblet. (Note: my bottle reads 10.2% abv as opposed to the 9.8% quoted on BA)

Thanks to MikeyMikee for the hook up.

Pours a murky brown with reddish highlights. A solid 1 finger off white/eggshell head dissipates to a 1/4 in head that sticks around for the ride.

The nose was the most difficult part of this beer. It is reminiscent of those piles of leaves we get here during the fall except it's like the municipality has forgotten to pick them up and they've slowly started to decay. A really enjoyable mustiness along with a very present sweet and sticky hop aroma. I also pull some flavors like a Belgian quad would impart perhaps? Really looking forward to tasting this.

Hmm... I'm mildly let down actually. The bitterness is almost overwhelming the intricate and delicate flavors I was able to pull off of the nose. It's just a blast of bitterness and booziness.

The mouth feel is pretty typical for a barleywine. Thick and viscous. I have a hard time distinguishing and alcohol burn for carbonation.

All in all a rather solid barleywine. Would I seek it out again? Probably not unless I was going to lay it down for a good 3-5 years as I think this will age nicely and that bitterness will smooth out into a real gem. Recommended.

08-27-2011 02:35:22 | More by hippityhops85
Photo of NEhophead


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

11.5 fl oz brown bottle, served in a snifter.

Alcohol by volume is labeled 10.2%.

Pours a muddy, deep caramel in color beneath a creamy, off-white head that lingers as a thin, intact sheet. Thin lacing with decent strength.

Sweet molasses with notes of brown sugar. Muted, red apple and grape. The sweet malt and aged fruit aromas are both quite reserved. The scotch-tinged alcohol presence is the most noticeable aromatic with touches of peat and vanilla.

Initially, somewhat bland, stiff caramel and molasses flavors that are quickly sweetened by notes of vanilla and nutmeg spices creating a mellow richness. The alcohol presence is young, intense, one-dimensional, and lasting. The middle is earthen and filled with floral hops.

Full in body; slick on the palate on account of the alcohol profile.

A bit disappointing considering my previous experiences with Dieu Du Ciel. Not a bad Barleywine, but nothing to really write home about.

08-23-2011 00:48:35 | More by NEhophead
Photo of jsvt


3.65/5  rDev -6.9%

Bottle poured into snifter.

Pours semi-vigorously carbonated with a 1 inch tan head.

The nose is initially tame for a barley wine, which is good as the alcohol usually can be pretty prevalent amongst the style. Further sniffs reveal hay, molasses and hops amongst other subtle notes of brown sugar and yeast.

On the palate quite seamless. The malt, alcohol and sugars align nicely to provide balance. Notes of toffee, malt and hops align with a great acidity and mouth feel. A nice balance of not being too boozy and/or malt forward like some overproduced barley wines can be.

08-17-2011 02:07:10 | More by jsvt
Photo of Knapp85


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

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


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

as barleywines are a favorite pass time of mine, this blends in. but otherwise a very nice beverage and i do like the label which makes it a plus. plus the yeast is still in there...good boys.

appearance- yeast, mahogany in color with minor head that dissapears quick without lacing

smell - caramel malt, typical english barleywine smell. (brown sugar, caramel, toffee, minor earthy tone)

taste - follows the nose. caramel and toffee doing the dominating

mouthfeel - very nice with a minor alcohol sting at the end. carbonation is light to medium body is medium to full.

08-11-2011 23:55:40 | More by claytong
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor


4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

This appeared at my local Bevmo about 1.5 years ago, so I bought out all the bottles (maybe half a dozen). Just drank my last one.

Dark mahogany, with some clumpy yeast sediment. Yum. Lack luster lacing.

Smells great. Alcohol definitely present. Bready, carmelly.

More carmel and bread with a warming alcohol presence. Something else that I can't quite put my finger on? Vanilla? Special B? Interesting and yummy.

Thick barleywine mouthfeel at it's finest.

Overall a delicious beer from the best microbrew in Canada.

08-04-2011 19:04:04 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.53/5  rDev -9.9%

Big thanks to CruisaC and the hats off to barelywine BIF. bottle says 10.2%.

a - opened the bottle and filled my captain lawrence taster tulip. poured a pretty shiny brown with an almost mahogany tint to it. not much head to speak of...maybe a small ring around the surface at best.

s - very subdued...really needed to dig in. not what i was expecting at all. plum. zesty earth (if that makes any sense at all)...malty, no hop presence at all (not sure of the age on this one).

t - plum and grape candy. malts mostly...hint of some hops on the finish. dark fruit.

m - full and rich. booze really tingles my mouth. finishes pretty bitter.

o - overall, a decent barleywine. hops seem to only be in the finish. kind of boozy.

07-24-2011 02:56:28 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of FanofHefe


4/5  rDev +2%

11.5 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. 7 and 0 notched into the label so I expect this is about a year old. Dark amber body, cloudy with red highlights. A little light getting through around the edges. Nearly one finger eggshell white head that dissipates to a nice cap, but little lacing.

Fairly strong pungent aroma with a solidly strong caramel malt base, blended nicely with dark fruit. A small amount of spiciness comes through, as well.

Definitely a malt bomb, with a dense, malty flavor that combines well with raisin and fig fruit flavors. There is a spicy, pepper bite that seems a little different than the typical Belgian yeast spiciness but works pretty well. Very little note of hops, unlike many of the American varieties.

Medium thickness in the mouthfeel; sippable brew that would be a good, strong winter warmer. Enjoyable.

07-03-2011 19:31:54 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

A: Cloudy almost amber-red colour with quite a creamy foam head that promptly recedes to a blanket.

S: Heavy malts, licorice, butterscotch, caramel, cinnamon, and honey. Quite a lot of pleasing varied aromas.

T: Sweet malts, quite a bit of earthy spice, and a slight smokiness. Dark rich fruits including cherries and plums. Alcohol quite well hidden behind those dark fruits.

M: Average viscosity for the style.

D: Nice barleywine, but was expecting a bit more from the complex smell. Overall a pleasing offer from Dieu du Ciel that I'll likely be revisiting in the future.

07-03-2011 04:36:56 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

11.5 oz bottle split in a Duvel tulip.
9.8% ABV, 0 4 notched on the label.

Thanks to bnieman for sharing this one with me!

A - Almost no head with a ring of retained foam and tiny specks of lace. The color is a hazy brown pond water color.

S - Loads of sweet caramel cube and bready Munich malts offer up a bounty of sweetness with complex fruity ester undertones and incredibly mild alcohol.

T - Dusty dry cocoa overwhelms the sweet malt found in the nose and leaves the flavor earthy and unbalanced. Not nearly as good as the aroma but it's growing on me. Plum and dark cherry fruity esters on the back.

M - Full-bodied and overly dry with a smooth mellow alcohol finish.

O - Good overall but the flavor is a stark, surprising contrast from the aroma. This barleywine has held up very well for it's age though. I'd love to give a fresh bottle a go!

06-19-2011 16:36:23 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of ChadQuest


2.48/5  rDev -36.7%

Dark mahogany body with some yeast floaties within, thick dense cap that looks like you could lay on it.
Aroma isn't very outspoken, even after letting this warm it seems muted and gives off some basic malts as it's only aromatics.
It seems this far in this is a tamer barleywine, there is nothing to scare you away but at the same time not alot to keep you enamored. The flavors present a bit of alcohol, and some toffee which is what i would say the biggest malt character is in this BW that provides the backbone. Weirdest thing here, i am getting something that reminds me of mint chocolate, odd with a bright fresh note, maybe that is just the alcohol mixed with malts playing tricks.

An alright BW, if your into BWs get it for the knowledge and experience of the tick, otherwise dont worry about it much.

06-10-2011 03:14:07 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of fudsquat


4.88/5  rDev +24.5%

From bottle to a snifter. Red-brown color, minimal head, but carbonated enough to be lively in the glass. I have had severe allergies for years, and my sense of smell is almost gone--taste is also affected so I can't discern many of the subtleties that others can, and I apologise for that. However, I can attest to the fact that this is a true malt bomb that has absolutely no cloying sweetness. Alcohol content is not apparent, but two of these and driving would be a bad idea. As a note of comparison, the absolutely best beer of this type that I have ever had was the original Thomas Hardy's Ale, and this is the most worthy successor I have found. Very similar, but more dry, a good thing.

05-27-2011 14:30:17 | More by fudsquat
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.43/5  rDev +13%

Bottle from January 2008, shared by Bobby8405

A - It pours a deep chestnut hue with auburn tinges, and is capped with a wispy off-white head.

S - The nose is really nice; notes of vanilla jump out at me as I pour. Additional notes of sweet dark fruitiness, toffee and burnt sugar are tempered by an appreciable bitterness whose specifics have faded seasons ago.

T - The flavor has a surprisingly smoky note that I find really enjoyable; other than that, it has a solid malt base delivering raisiny buttery cinnamon maple toffee deliciousness, with a hint of vanilla and hefty bitterness on the finish. ALcohol is not prominent. Very delicious.

M - Silky, as ABW should be.

O - I am really stoked on this slightly smoky malt-bomb. Thanks Bob.

05-26-2011 20:45:37 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Deep ruby brown colour, slightly cloudy. Capped by an inch of tight and creamy beige foam. Moderately good retention, but lots of lacing. Nutty brown sugar aroma with spice cake and dried fruit undertones. Picking up quite a bit of booze on the nose, enough that it distracts from the other more pleasant aromatics. Tastes of rich sweet caramel, plump raisins, and cloves. Finishes with a lingering leafy bitterness and some noticeable alcohol, but not as much booze as the aroma would suggest. Medium bodied with low carbonation. A soft, smooth mouthfeel. Leaves a slick, oily sensation on the palate between mouthfuls. Very tasty.

05-12-2011 04:22:47 | More by mintjellie
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

Pours a lovely red-amber hue, with decent clarity for such a deep and heavy brew. Lace seems to form before the head forms, leaving gorgeous patterns down the inside of the glass. The head itself is a filmy affair, but it's very finely bubbled. Body is incredibly thick and full, and it has some of the best static carbonation I've ever seen. Gorgeous.

Nose is really surprisingly weak, with just a peppery yeast note and a slight alcohol whiff. Rather smooth vanilla note and a raw meatiness. Not bad, but I'm really surprised at how insipid it is.

Taste is a bit better, with a sweet caramel basis and a biting acetone finish. It's still extremely mellow and mild, and it's impressive how little this leaves an imprint on the palate given its strength, but I'd really enjoy a bit more complexity and body.

Feel very smooth, which helps the drinkability.

Really, really smooth. So much that it doesn't even feel as though it's hitting the sides. It's a weird experience, but I like my beers to be more complex, and more challenging. This is decent, but far from Dieu Du Ciel's best.

05-12-2011 01:17:53 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of olmatty


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a deep amber color with a very low beige head. Aroma of sherry wine, oak, slight floral spice of hops and lightly phenolic. Flavors are rich, sweet honey, biscuit. sherry wine, oak, prunes, creamy yeast, moderately hot with alcohol and a flat, spicy hop bitterness.

04-27-2011 05:57:25 | More by olmatty
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +2%

Poured into an imperial pint glass. No head of which to speak. Slight reddish brown color to an otherwise almost entirely dark brown beer. Partially translucent, left light through nicely. Unexpected amount of sediment poured from the bottle, so I let it rest. Aroma was slightly sweet and sticky. A bit of spicy, some cloves, but balanced with some lactose/vanilla undertones. Taste was sweet. Slightly fruity, but had banana type tones to keep from getting too sweet. Felt good in the mouth. Coated nicely and not overly carbonated. A tad of bitterness on the toungue detracted slightly. Overall it was a well balanced solid beer. Not overly sweet like some barleywines.

04-25-2011 23:18:06 | More by mountdew1
Photo of

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

Appearance - pours auburn-brown with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly.
The aroma is bourbon-like – rich nad nutty with notes of dates and honey. Alcohol is noticeable, and at 10% I expected it to be. Lingering finish of honey and alcohol. Not dissimilar to mead. A bit heavy for regular consumption, but perfect for cold winter day.

04-20-2011 01:05:59 | More by
Photo of Duckmancgy

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%

330ml Bottle to Snifter.

First barleywine I have tried, so was a little nervous with the tasting.

Pours a nice dark brown with a good finger or two of creamy head.

Smells of dried fruit, slightly spicy, and a hint of alcohol... Make that a smel of alcohol not really a hint.

Tastes more of the fruit and spice, strong alcohol finish. Carbonation is a bit off putting to be honest. Along with the alcohol it becomes quite metallic in the mouth.

It is tasty but I think I will cellar the remaining 3 bottle for a few months to a few years and see how the falvours develop over time.

04-19-2011 02:48:17 | More by Duckmancgy
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

A - hazy deep orange/brown colour, one finger of tan head retained reasonably well, random sticky lacing
S - rich dark fruitiness, brown sugar, light grapes and phenolic smell
T - molasses maltiness and sweetness, raisins/grapes, buttery, and alcohol
M - smooth and creamy, thins out with an alcohol bite
O - rich as tasty with the barley wine flavours I have grown to enjoy, although the alcohol has a bit of a nasal clearing quality, it is very drinkable

04-06-2011 03:52:16 | More by joemcgrath27
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 709 ratings.