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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

699 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 21
Gots: 82 | 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: 699 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 02:56:28 | More by cosmicevan
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 04:36:56 | More by Digimaika2
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 16:36:23 | More by BeerFMAndy
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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Hampshire

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Alberta (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 03:52:16 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of petacutlasaurus


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a draft of Corne Du Diable, I grabbed a bottle of this over at ChurchKey. Despite the markup, I'm glad I did. Great from the pour, dark and murky with a tiny bit of head. Sweet malty smell with a bit of darker fruit and some alcohol-soaked wood. On drinking, almost as thick as it looks, but pretty smooth, too. The oak element comes in pretty quick, but so does the bittersweet raisin-y side. Together they're pretty great, and make for a very warming, savory beer. The carbonation and the bitterness really save this one from being too syrupy. Would love to try it on draft.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 19:50:39 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of madvermin


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

Pours a dark brown with some slight maroon hints and orange. Head is two-finges, dissipates to a half-finger cap and leaves spotty lace on a slightly wet glass. Cap remains for the duration of the drink.

Dark fruit and some cookie-like breadiness come out first in the nose with slight spice. Woody bubblegum hops take over from there and lead to slightly boozy finish.

Tastes of sweet, dark fruit at the start, with figs and plums coming to mind. Lots of dryness and a hint of citrus add a lot to the beer, and make the woody booze finish better than it would've been by itself. Solid, if not exceptional taste.

Mouthfeel moves from full and thick to dry and clean to boozy - it may be more than it had to be, but it's good nonetheless. Drinkability is ok but could have better if it was simplified a bit, as it currently gets a tiny bit messy in the middle. Good barleywine though.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 04:43:04 | More by madvermin
Photo of russpowell


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 DovaliHops


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

ABV is 10.2. Pours a dark, ruby-brown color with a very small off-white head. Scent is heavy caramel malt with some booze. I also get some lovely dark fruits. Taste is hoppier than nose leads. Taste is a nice blend of hops and caramel malt. I also get some burnt malt with dark fruits and a bit of warming booze. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, but well-carbonated at the same time. Drinkability is fairly high, as I am a big fan of barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 08:14:12 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of FosterJM


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

291st review on BA
bottle to snifter
11.2 oz
bottle code marked with 0 & 4. Have no idea what they do with label dates. Dieu De Ciel confuses me.

App- Very light hazy brown with some red highlights and under currents. No head. Just some swirl marks. No lacing really.

Smell- Big barleywine smells. A ton of malt, roasty with a small hop kick on the back of a big whiff.

Taste- A nice level of sweet malts and some nice layers of malt on it. Following the nose with a small hop kick. Not a bold barleywine but tasty.

Mouth- A bit thin with a higher carb level. As mentioned a bit sweet with a nice malty kick.

Drink- I liked the other two beers I have had from DDC. This was good but doesn't match the other two. Probably won't have this one again except if I saw it on tap.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 03:22:21 | More by FosterJM
Photo of rarbring


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is clear dark brown, an off-white head that leaves some lacing and has curtains.

The smell has some malty nuances, sweet dried fruits, some sour feelings, vinegar and bitter peeling.

The taste is very sweet, sugar, dried fruits, some strong wine and bitter seeds.

A light carbonation, a complex body, soft initially, then dry.

A, as the style is, rather hoppy barley wine. Sampled at a beer tasting at De Klomp, Linköping, Sweden.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 20:59:52 | More by rarbring
Photo of ngeunit1


4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown color with some red hints on the edges with a half-finger of tan head. The head fairly quickly reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Aroma is full of sweet dark fruit (raisin and plum). There is also some spiciness and some booze mixed in as well. Little bit of carmel malt breaks through.

T - Starts off with some deep dark fruit flavors, with lots of raison flavor. Also some booze flavor from the start. Little bit of carmel malt in the background. Through the middle there is some bitterness that breaks through more of the fruity flavors. The finish has a blend of the dark fruit flavors and some booze flavor and a touch of bitterness that lingers.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. The booze is apparent all the way through the beer and overall fairly sharp, especially in the finish.

D - Fairly drinkable. Definitely, a big sipping beer, but there is a lot to enjoy here. The booze flavor is a bit strong, but works alongside the other really big flavors. The hop mixed in is really excellent.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 04:04:22 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Schreibeers

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: average +. nice dark brown color with some deep red highlights. No head, no lacing.

S: This beer does smell nice. Smooth comes to mind as I am confronted with a round smooth maltiness mixed with just the right amount of booze and some slight bitter sweetness. Overall very nice.

T: Good. At first I am confronted with some sweetness, round and effervescent with some booze leaking through all the time. Some bitterness seems to be apparent, but booze and caramel malts seems to take the main stage. As with most barley wines this beer continues to get better as it goes.

M: medium body. Has some staying power and some nice complexity as the flavors continue to ask me to just try one more sip

D: Compared to other barelywines, seems well balanced and quite enjoyable. I like this beer and highly recommend picking this up if you do see it.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 00:11:56 | More by Schreibeers
Photo of Kegatron


3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2011 17:45:10 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Brent


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

The brewery achieved a surpisingly throrough maturation with the relatively short aging of the beer. Poured a deep chestnut, bordering on cola. Appropirately sweet malty character, with all of the rough edges smoothed out. No boozyness from the alcohol. Predominant flavor was brown sugar and caramel. Sweetness was a bit too forefront and the beer seemed to reach for something else that it never quite found. Good, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 15:01:07 | More by Brent
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.