Solstice D'hiver - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

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very good

760 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 760
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 25
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Rastacouere on 12-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 760 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
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

Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of veinless
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
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...

Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of FosterJM
3.83/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of rarbring
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Schreibeers
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of kbutler1
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a clear dark mahagony reddish brown color with a fluffy 1 finger head that is fairly slow to settle. The aroma is actually pretty subdued with some dark fruit notes along with a ever so slight smokiness. To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of this subdued nose as I think t takes away from the overall experience. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet dark fruit start gives way to semi-bland hop and alcohol notes. Nice lace left on the glass as this goes down. In the spectrum of BW's I think this one is on the muted side with much too sedate flavors for my liking.

Photo of papat444
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

***2009 Vintage***

Shared with my wife last night.

Poured from a 341ml. bottle, bottled Oct. 2009.

Appearance: A solid brown body with blood red hues and a 2 finger tan head. Nice enough.

Smell: Best feature IMO. Spices, dried fruit, brown sugar and plums. Very heady and boozy in a good way.

Taste: Quite sweet, maybe a tad too much? Plums are what i get first followed by assorted dried fruits. A slight metallic edge. Some strong spices near the finish. Good but not great.

Mouthfeel: Strong body but lacks a little especially conidering then style and ABV. Carbonation a bit too strong also.

Drinkability: A sipper for sure but i found it a bit of a chore even for two. Maybe better when fresh?

Overall: I was somewhat disappointed with this one especially considering it's DDC. While you still get a decent barleywine here, i expected more and have had better.

Photo of Brad007
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful burgundy color with a one-finger head into my glass. Wow, I'm amazed. No plain jane brown here!

Aroma is full of raisin and plum-like qualities from the malt. Not much of a surprise here.

The mouth is greeted with raisin, plum and a lot of alcohol warmth. Wait a minute? Alcohol warmth? It stings the throat going down.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering raisin, plum and alcohol warmth. Difficult to truly enjoy in this state. Needs aging.

As I mentioned, this beer needs to be aged. It's incredibly strong and difficult at this point.

Photo of biboergosum
3.4/5  rDev -13%
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 MoreThanWine
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very reluctant 1/8" head which dissipated to a trace. Dark burnt umber color. Almost no smell at all. Not particularly thick bodied for a barleywine, I'd just call it medium. Classic dark beer flavors of chocolate malt, barley, caramel, and coffee. Good but I agree with some other reviewers it's a little harsh, so not great.

Photo of tbeckett
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Two finger, pillowy sort of head, tan colour. Dark amber type colour with good carbonation going on. As far as I can tell it's bright but it's almost too dark to tell. Great lacing all around the glass, the stuff doesn't wanna let go.

S - Good sweet malty character with some booziness. Great candy sweet aromas. Reminds of toffee, butterscotch, and caramel. Some dark fruits also.

T - Boozy. Tons of dark fruits. Lot's of alcohol. Alcohol seems really harsh. I honestly can't get anything much beyond the alcohol. Maybe this needs time to mellow.

M - Lot's of carbonation, sort of harsh going down b/c of the alochol. Full bodied.

D - Hard to drink to be honest. I like barleywines but this is boozy, but not warming, just rough. Considering this was bottled 3 months ago I'll try to give this another chance when it's got some more age on it.

Had with 3 years on it, it's lovely. Too bad it took so long to shine.

Photo of TerryW
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly subdued as a barelywine goes - not nearly as kickass and biting as some others I've had.

Pours a moderate head that settles to a heavy film, but boy, does it ever leave a lot of lace. Red-hued walnut in colour.

Nose is very boozy and sharp edged. Under the alcohol is sweet dark fruit. Tough to pick out what else is in there for the amount of alcohol present. After it has had a chance to breathe out it settle into a fruity, burned caramel and malt aroma that is fairly subdued. Overall profile is sweet.

This is one of those beers that betters as it warms. Initially just booze and sugar. Mellows out into sweet fruit and malts, some dark chocolate. Mouth feel is moderate, just a slight sparkle of carbonation, some stickiness. Lingering bitterness, sticky sweetness.

I'm not a big barleywine fan. The style is probably pretty out there for most folks, but as barleywines go, this is less aggressive than many I've had. Requires the big comfy chair and a period of immobility.

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep caramel color, not the most head or retention ever, but some. Smell was pretty boozy, and a very sweet sweet malt. Though the alcohol was a bit overwhelming I actually didnt have a problem with that for some reason. There is a lot of alcohol so why hide it? Taste was good. A nice mix of sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit and some spice. Mouthfeel was a little thin but nothing offensive or anything. Warming sensation as it goes down. Overall a great beer and I thought it was a good example of this style.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Poured a hazy brown with a thin off white head. Big malty carmelized sugar aroma, not a lot of hops. Big malt body. Dark malt flavors, some fruit and enough hops to balance out the sweetness. Some lingering hop bitterness. Nice English style barleywine, bordering on Old Ale. Good balance.

Photo of homebrew311
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark mahagoney, some light passes through, no head or lacing

S: dark candi sugar up front along with deep malts and molasses, lots of sweet character in here that seems to be well restrained from becoming overpowering. Notes of dark cherries in there as well.

T: some sweetness up front with a big malty finish, a touch of hop bitterness, nice balance, good barleywine

MF: medium body, low carbonation

D: great example of the style. Nice balance.

Photo of movingtrain
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5 ounce bottle sampled from a large snifter. Bottle reads that the ABV is at 10.2%. Barleywine as a Winter beer...perfect.

Pours a reddish-brown--clean-looking but not clear. There was a somewhat strong head with a less than aggressive pour, but that has faded away to only limited bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

Smells of tart fruit, caramel, apples, cinnamon, plum, brown candy sugar, and warm sweetbread.

The alcohol presence can certainly be felt with the first sip...right in the nose, and all the way down. There are hints of cinnamon hard candy (like the stuff around Christmas), apples, cranberries, caramel, and maybe some light notes of vanilla in the background.

Man, this is a truly warming beer...the alcohol is hot and sticks around a good long while.

This is a decent representation of the style, more along the lines of the English style than the more hoppy American version. The alcohol content makes the beer an excellent Winter warmer, perfect for January in Ohio temperatures. Another really good offering from Dieu du Ciel.

Photo of andrenaline
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is only my second Barleywine, with the first being rather disappointing.

A - Pours a dark murky swamp water, finger of head with decent retention, settling to islands with no real lacing.

S - Caramel and coffee, leafy hops and dark fruits.

T - Quite complex and difficult to decipher the various flavours. Fruity flavours (plums, cherries and apricots) with caramel and roasted coffee. ABV is easily detectable, but not offensive. A sweeter offering for sure.

M - Medium bodied, but a bit chewy, which goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of alcohol heat.

D - I was pleasantly surprised with this barley wine, and was able to confirm that the my first dabble into barley wines was simply an unfortunate one. I'm looking forward to experimenting with this newly discovered style! Highly recommended to any barley wine fan, and another solid offering from DDC.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep brown with off-white head. Nose is musty, dusty woody, with a hint of grandpa-like cologne. Very figgy on taste, sour cherries, and a little chalky. Incredibly long finish and easy drinking as far as barleywines go. Flavors much more rich as it warms to room temperature.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours murky brown with a small off-white thick head. Dissipates into rich lacings.

S: Sweet malt, roasted caramell. Dark dried fruit. Faint chocolate.

T: Sweet roasted caramell malt, acctually malt galore! Dark dried fruits.

M: Fullbodied and lowcarbonated (GREAT!). Aftertaste is rather short and holds mostly sweetness.

D: This is a very nice Barleywine. I love this brewery! Still I've not tasted a beer that wasn't great from them.
In Sweden - this is marketed as a X-mas beer. I feel that's quite unfair - this is a much better product than any X-maxbeer. My only regret is that I didn't buy a whole case and put it in my beercellar...

Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 760 ratings.