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Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

789 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 789
Reviews: 403
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 29
Gots: 91 | 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
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Ratings: 789 | Reviews: 403 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: 1.5 in head that kind of dances and swirls on the top, of a cloudy brown beer, great retention and noticeable lacing on the glass

Nose: Apricots, caramel, prunes and toasty sweet malt

Taste: Caramel, prunes and roasted malt, a hint of smoke pops throughout before the brown sugar interjects, all of this followed by a light, citrus/piney bitter hop finish, thats subtle and smooth.

Mouth: Velvetty on the tongue with balanced carbonation for support.

Overall: This is an excellent barley wine, complex yet subtle. I think it could benefit from a few months to a year in the cellar, but certainly not much more because the hop complexity isn't there

Photo of MeisterSmudge
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of PeerlessMark
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at the LCBO for $12.95/ four pack. I've been wanting to try a barley wine for some time now and this is my first so it is going to be my baseline beer.

Poured quite aggressively into a snifter. Colour is a tan almost reddish brown. Not a lot of head - not sure if that's a result of the high alchohol % or the style or both. The head dissipates quite quickly and the pale, off-white bubbles form a thin collar, the lace through the rest of the surface is actually more like a tiny feathery coating after the pour. After a few swirls the head becomes more hazy, the bubbles are that small.

Smells tantalizing promising some sweetness and this is helping me understand the barley and wine part of the style. Hints at sherry or brandy. I can't quite place the rest of the aroma so will try again when I update this review on future tastings.

Taste is a lot hoppier than I was expecting, carbonation in the mouthfeel is more aggressive than I would have thought too. It's boozier than the smell suggested but in a good way.

It is really delicious and while it certainly has spice all over it I struggle to be more specific. It taste is reminiscent of Unibroue's 17 (2011) for the initial experience but finishes more like a stout. To me this is a wonderful combination and I look forward to trying other beers in this style so can better understand what I am tasting here.

I had Mikkeler's Santa's little helper on New Years eve and this is quite reminiscent of that actually but hoppier.

In the mouthfeel department I get the same sensation you do from eating black liquorice (the british style stuff). That kind of cloying bitterness towards the back of your mouth. That's not my favourite but the initial hop effect balances it out.

Overall I'm glad I bought 16 of these because I look forward to drinking more.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Random buy based on the label and the name... I know!

A: in a berleywine, you've gotta do something to impress me. There's so much range in this genre (?) of beer that a dark ruby-brown ale with a thin tan head doesn't mean much to me.

S: nice smelling - some sweets like caramel and toffee, and some sharper hops beneath

T: gets better than it smells - warm and spiced, some bitters, some sugars, some malts and some hops - a very complex and nicely balanced brew

M: syrup up front turns astringent and savory

O: what a delightful beer - a very warming drink for the winter holidays. Well-crafted and interesting. It is a haunting beer that comes to mind quickly when I want to drink a really good beer.

Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured with a small head of off white foam on a hazy, amber body. The head settles quickly and leaves thick lace.

S - brown sugar, spicy alcohol and a touch of toffee.

T - dark sugar and some cherry up front. Spicy notes of alcohol, plum, and clove in the middle. Vintages with dark bread notes as well as figs, clove, and fairly strong bitterness.

M - medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - a robust, sugary barleywine that doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the alcoholic bite.

Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of peensteen
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2010, ABV 10.2%

Murky ruby brown colour, eing of white head, not much retention and no lace. Smell is quite malty, sweet dark sugar scents, cherry, dark bread, still a decent hop profile left and light alcohol notes. Taste follows the nose, lots of malt and lightly sweet, cherry, fairly bitter with a good amount of hop bite, citrus and alcohol in the aftertaste, caramel and toffee as well as some earthy points. Light-med carbonation, syrupy and quite sticky, full body, med-full weight. Solid barleywine, not too sweet or too hoppy and quite balanced, not a standout favorite but still very good.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is rather sweet, with clove, apple, caramel and honey notes. It pours a slightly hazy mahogany with a rather typical light tan head that leaves minimal lacing. Lip-smacking flavor has caramel, apple, clove and malt notes, as well as an undertone of hoppy bitterness that offsets the honey sweetness. Smooth texture has average body and just a little fizz, but it persists.

Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown 11.5oz bottle with a twist-off cap. This is either an '08 bottle or a best by '08, I can't really tell. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed color of brown. When held to the light, it shows ruby clarity through the body and some orange hints towards the edges. A creamy tan cap appears and quickly dissolves holding with a lacing pattern across the top of the brew. A light swirl revives a finger of yellowish stained froth and produces some spotty lacing effect on the glassware.

The smell is sweet with hints of toffee and caramel. An indication of fruit like raisins is present before a warmth of alcohol is noticed. More smells reveal a greater focus on the alcohol which integrates very well with the fruity raisin character and sweetness of toasty grain. The more I smell this brew, the more I pick up on some light notes of citrus hops, herbal quality and more sweetness like brown sugar. All in all, this is a very good smelling brew.

The taste of this brew is not blended together as well as the aroma would leave you to believe. Toasty, almost musty grain is noticed upfront with a solid warmth of alcohol. The flavor of the alcohol is a bit solvent and mixes with a bit of mineral flavoring and citrus to herbal hops. There is a minor amount of sweetness present, but not hardly as much as you would expect based off of the aroma. Towards the back, the toasty grain gets increasingly more musty with a bitter element that is somewhat piney and clashing.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall it wasn't bad but it just didn't totally come together for me. I have no doubt this brew could have sat for another year or so as the alcohol character is not hiding at all. However, I don't see the musty quality of the grain going away which I didn't find particular enjoyable either.

Photo of DrAtomik
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Version 2011, 10,2% abv, bottled in October 2011
Snifter glass

Appearance; Pours a dark mahogany with a thin head and a good lacing. OK

Smell; Malty smell, burnt caramel, some fruit, like dates or figues. Subtle spices too, something like cloves. Little bit of alcool.

Taste; Sweet, but no very for a barleywine. Burnt flavor. A bit acridness that mix with the bitterness, maybe a litle too much. Long final, but not that pleasant.

Mouthfeel;Maybe a little thin for a barleywine. Light carbonation.

Overall; OK, probably a little too young. I remembered the laste versions to be better.

Photo of Naugros
3.32/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Really dark reddish brown or dark copper, if you will. Rose more of a head than I'm used to from barleywines with the remnants of it being a good ring with a top film. That ring leaves some lacing.

Smell: Cocoa, tobacco, oak and dark fruits without the alcoholic bite I usually get in a barleywine's smell. A sweet, malty aroma backs it all up.

Taste: Disappointed that the taste didn't follow the smell so much. Phenols (cloves) seem to take over the flavor and have a hand in lowering the mouthfeel score as well. Get past them and the sweet malts are there as well as the cocoa. I'm thinking that the tobacco I got in the nose was due to the phenolic presence.

Mouthfeel; See above. The cloves get really strong and even engage my gag reflex. Not good. I'm going to let it warm and see if it improves. I waited it did, but just a little.

This brewery has some major hits...Peche Mortel of course and Aphrodite, but this I put in the category with their attempt at an IPA (Corne du Diable)...a miss.

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle brought back from trip to New Orleans, after a visit to Stein's Market on Magazine Street.

Dark cola brown in appearance with a film layer of cream head on top throughout the sitting. A moderate to heavy dose of spicy floral hops greet the nose along with sweet caramel malts, vanilla, spice, and a warm oak like presence - slightly boozy. Smells amazing & taste gets the same score with a bitter caramel dark chocolate lead off that turns toffee, slight brown sugar, and highly hopped throughout. Solid & fairly complex American Barleywine! Damn, this is good stuff! Couldnt ask for a more spot on body here, with a slight warming out back, but oh so drinkable.

Photo of duracell
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poored from a 341mL bottle in an oversized wine glass. Bottled in October 2011.

A - Dark brown, cloudy, with a very thin head disappearing almost instantly. The carbonation doesn't seem to be very abundant.

S - Very gentle smell with dark fruits. I can distinguish raisins, notes of caramel and biscuits, with some herbal and spicy aromas.

T - Wow, what a taste! The first notes confirm the smell, adding a strong note of liquorice, very strong one! The caramel is present, the whole thing makes me think about a candy. After a while spicy notes appear, followed by a strong bitterness which reminds you that you're drinking a beer with a generous amount of hop. According to me, the bitterness might be a bit too present, but at the same time it creates a good balance with the other aromas.

M - In my opinion, the mouthfeel is certainly a great success! Very thick body, liquorous, a perfect carbonation.

O - Just excellent! The only downfall I can find is the bitterness, just slightly too present. But this beer is a great experience you will never regret! I would drink it all night long!

Photo of notchucknorris
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color with a thin cream colored head. Pretty decent retention.

S: Lots of roasted malt, caramel, burnt toffee and a bit of wood.

T: Some smooth roasted malt and burnt caramel upfront followed by some notes of dark fruit, wood and a bit of rye bread. Finish has some lingering hop bitterness. A really solid barleywine.

Photo of seasonsix
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really fun and different barley wine.

A - dark dark brown, nearly black with basically no head.

S - dark malt characters, sweet syrup.

T - very cool taste. almost like a porter with the roasted character dialed all the way back. dark malts shine through here with velvety molasses settling in.

M - well balanced carbonation - subtle, yet present so that the potent flavors dont just sit on your tongue and overstay their welcome.

O - enjoyable and worth your while. This isn't a boozy barley wine which I really appreciate - while sweet, it's also balanced. It's not aggressive and unlike many barley wines enjoyed the full 8oz pour. Would certainly check this one out again.

Photo of Rizalini
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

A - Pours a hazy ruby red color with a 1 finger tan head that leaves some slight lacing as it fades.

S - Has a fruity bubblegum aroma, almost like Juicy Fruit.

T/M - Taste matches the smell really well. Slightly sweet fruity, bubblegum flavor. Medium heavy mouthfeel bordering on syrupy.

O - It's a descent barleywine, but nothing extraordinary,

Photo of jeff1973
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a murky brown with red highlights. A thin cap of light tan head that quickly recedes into a thin ring of bubbles forms from a moderate pour.

S- starts off with aromas of burnt caramel, toasty malt and dry fruitiness from the yeast. Very leafy hops blend in with notes of sweet herbs and woody roots. Finishes with a liquor like heady alchohol.

T- rich sticky toasty malt and burnt caramel flavors kick things off. A big kick of hop bitterness with notes of wood and leafy herbs balance outhe initial sweetness leaving some dry red fruit on the palate. Finishes with a bit off a alchohol burn and liquor like tones.

MF- sticky slick mouthfeel with a medium body and fine carbonation.

D- a sipper with some heat and a lot of bitterness.

Overall a good beer that needs a bit more time in the cellar to show its true potential.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle says 10.2% ABV

A - dark mahogany with "flaming red" highlights, a half finger of tan head, scant carbonatio and plenty of suspended sediment

S - toffee and caramel dark buttery sweetness hit me first, some dark fruits follow, then a sharp alcohol note at the end

T - hops come out of nowhere to start the taste off, they fade into a superior blend of hops and the toffee/caramel sweetness, the taste finishes with an analagous alcohol twinge

M&D - smooth at first, kind of a sharp finish, but not off putting, a fine barleywine, held up great after a year in the cellar

Photo of BuffaloBill12
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 789 ratings.