1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

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

718 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 718
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 22
Gots: 88 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 718 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of moustasa
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Found bottle at Groppi's. It is a strong old barley wine. I did not know what the style was, it had an unexpected level of boldness. Not very smooth, because of the high alcohol. It was good, I would try another type from this French Canadian brewery.

moustasa, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of biglobo8971
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from bottle into tulip. This beer has regular distro in my area, never tried it before I received it in a trade.
lools solid, seems particular dark, almost porter ish. No head at all, very slim lacing that clings to outer rim, does not follow down the glass. Very faint in the nose, small hints of sweetness, not much else. Taste is solid, slight malt sweetness, very little hop flavor. The mouthfeel is ok, not spectacular, flavors still resonate longer than it should. Overall, solid beer, not outstanding, just solid.

biglobo8971, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of capeannbass36
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A rough pour into a tulip glass produced a hazy, honey brown with slightly red highlights around the edges, topped by a 1 finger light tan head that dissapated in 2 minutes. Very light lacing left behind.

S- The typical sweet malty barley wine scent.

T- Malt. Brown sugar. Dark fruit. Caramel. Slightly hoppy.

M- Medium light carbonation. Slightly warm.

O- Not bad. Would prefer this to be just a tad sweeter. Still like it a lot. Huge fan of Dieu Du Ceil. Would love to take a trip to Montreal and have some of their brews on tap.

capeannbass36, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of mikehblack
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my snifter a brownish honey color. Some orange on the edges. Very little head and apparent carbonation. Smells of sweet sugars and caramel, bit of alcohol. Taste brings forth some hop bitterness at the front. Continues with those caramel notes. Fairly balanced hop and malt flavors but it's leaving me with desire for more complexity. I can taste the 10.2% but it isn't overwhelming. Medium bodied with pretty good carbonation that wasn't as noticeable on the pour. Overall a decent American barleywine but the depth and balance just isn't quite there for me.

mikehblack, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of ronniebruner
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Upon first pour you notice a wonderful aroma of barley and sugar. The beer pours a honey cream color with a decent amount of head and minimal carbonation. The high ABV is countered by a sugary sweet note of citrus fruit, followed by a nice aftertaste that leaves a warm tinge on the tongue. A very good brew indeed.

ronniebruner, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of StlHopHead77
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10.2% ABV.No idea of actual vintage.

A-Pours out a dark brownish/crimson body with only a touch of haze.One inch of dense but quickly dissipating tawny foam that left thin and slick islands of lacing on the glass.

S-Baked red apple,plum,date,burnt sugars,Barbera grapes and mild tobacco.

T-Very smooth,well integrated flavors of dark fruit(fig and plum),dark caramel,earthy hops,leather and mild,aromatic pipe tobacco.

M-Medium/full body with some residual sugary sweetness and alcohol warmth but overall exceptionally smooth.Sweet and slightly rich but not cloying.

O-I found this to be an extremely enjoyable barleywine and I'm anxious to figure out the actual vintage on this one.

StlHopHead77, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of JoEBoBpr
2.33/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice murky light brown color with some slight amber hints. That only show up on on the edges. There is a thin, medium dense, light tan head that recedes quickly.

S - Strong caramel and molasses hints come up strong and linger. The beer is very malty and sweet. Brown sugar notes and some slight pear and apple cider notes in the nose. Not much hops. A bit 1-D.

T & M - Starts off with some nice molasses sweetness and good caramel. Slight burnt caramel notes are present. There is some brown sugar and there is also a slight roast to the beer. There is a slight acrid note to the beer as well. The taste finishes a bit on the burnt side with a slightly overwhelming yeast note that seems to hide the flavors. Not the greatest beer in my opinion. A lighter body for an AB.

O - The beer is underwhelming. The flavors don't seem to blend very well. Not my coup of tee.

JoEBoBpr, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: Hazy dark reddish-brown with a light creamy brown head that dissipates. Big bubbles predominate.

Smell: The aroma is of heavy malts and a light liquor smell. I pick up hints of cacao, pepper, clove, tart cherry.

Taste: Heavy dark roasted malt flavor with hints of cacao and vanilla. A tart burbon quality and some tight bitterness blend remarkably well together. The finish is quick.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and full bodied. Light enough to quaff down but strong enough in alcohol content to be a sipper. It's drinkable but dangerous. Slightly on the heavy side and not as crisp as the insanely drinkable bigfoot ale. I like this ale on a cold and rainy. fall evening such as this one

Overall: A good effort. Nice flavors. Not expensive but also not cheap. I'll revisit this one and I am definitely interested in this breweries other ales.

BerkeleyBeerMan, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Wildman
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a dark hazy amber color and formed a light brown foam head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation and sediment was present. An aroma of malt, caramel, chocolate, anise and pepper. The flavor was of malt, candy, caramel and spices. The body was medium light and the finish bittersweet.

Wildman, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of chugalug06
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

chugalug06, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of kawilliams81
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

kawilliams81, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of pmarlowe
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

pmarlowe, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

smakawhat, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

bluejacket74, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of hippityhops85
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

hippityhops85, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

NEhophead, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of jsvt
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

jsvt, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
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.

Knapp85, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of claytong
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

claytong, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

AWolfAtTheDoor, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

cosmicevan, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

FanofHefe, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of Digimaika2
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Digimaika2, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

BeerFMAndy, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of ChadQuest
2.48/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

ChadQuest, Jun 10, 2011
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.