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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

692 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 692
Reviews: 392
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 21
Gots: 81 | 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: 692 | Reviews: 392 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of THORN


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.5 Fl. oz bottle poured into pint glass. Allowed to warm up to around 55 F.
A: Dark red brown. Pours very thin head, little to no retention. Hops settling along bottom of glass.
S: Dark toasted malts are followed by coffee and toffee. Slight alcohol noticeable.
T: Bitter start transitions into toasted caramel filled malts. Resiny hops are apparent but don't stand out. Alcohol taste is very apparent.
M: Not very light on tongue, but smoother than expected for a barleywine.
D: Alcohol is apparent, but it is matched by thick flavor-filled body. A little surprising that it is as bitter as it is without much hop character.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 04:26:38 | More by THORN
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Rich and murky earthy brown body with a short, creamy, tan cap. Not a whole lot of retention: heads sits as a tight halo for most of the session. Lots of suspended sediment can be seen when the beer is held to light, and the color changes from earthy brown to bright reddish copper. Light lacing.

Smell: Tree bark (mainly pine), sweet and juicy grapefruit, red currants, and sweet esters. Holiday spices and caramel become more apparent as I really dig into the beer, but all in all there ain't a whole lot goin' on in the smell department.

Taste: Pretty hefty alcohol greets the palate initially. As I became acclimated to the ABV, burnt caramel, pine, cinnamon, and other spices came to the forefront. Not my favorite take on a barley wine, but it does seem to fit the season.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, syrupy, lightly carbonated, dry, and warm. ABV feels a little higher than I think it should. Meh...

Drinkability: While this certainly isn't a bad barley wine, I find it to be both dull and forgettable. I won't be buying it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 03:24:42 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of Yesac


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown color. Off-white/khaki head that fades to a neat ring around the glass. Smooth lacing on the glass.

S- Figs, cherries, bourbony booze, sweet molasses, malt.

T- Not as pleasing as the smell. The alcohol and carbonation are not mixing well. The ABV is simply to overbearing and is like rubbing alcohol. The molassas, figs and caramel are lingering but are hard to enjoy because of the ABV burn.

M/D - Medium bodied and low/medium carbonation. Pretty sticky on the palate. This gets hard to drink after it warms. This went downhill quickly.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 05:34:49 | More by Yesac
Photo of Maction


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solstice d'Hiver

A: Brown, but very dark amber when held up to light.  Very fine bubbles,  thin filmy blonde head.

S: Brown sugar, raisins, port wine.

T: Molasses, grape juice, caramel, Port, a little bitter, but clean, clove finish.

M: Chewy mouthfeel, dancing carbonation, just a little syrupy.

D: Like a Belgian quad and an American barleywine had a lovely baby girl.  

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 02:44:37 | More by Maction
Photo of brownbeer


4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a creamy, white sand head.

Prune, liqueur filled chocolates, ruby port, hops in the backdrop but not overdone. Fairly entertaining.

This has a fruity English yeast character that plays a big role in the flavor. Has sweeter caramel notes with a well hopped, slighty salty finish. It's full bodied with light carbonation, a bit chalky.

English-style all the way and a good one at that.
A solid winter treat from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 00:08:28 | More by brownbeer
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark honey brown with a small yet tight khaki colored head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is bready and fruity, honey and some fusel alcohol as well. The taste is bready, toasted malt with a berry like fruitiness, a fairly bold stale grassy hop and some noticable booziness in the end. Moderate feel with tingly carbonation, slightly sticky but any sweetness on the palate is crushed by the grassy hop bitterness. I appreciate that this barleywine is not a sticky syrupy sweet bomb. While the ABV is present, the earthy grassy hops keeps this brew drinkable. Not my favorite style by a mile but this is well made.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 20:00:33 | More by Gmann
Photo of dolemite77


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, rich brown, with red highlights... aroma is heavy with fruit, and old hops... as a holiday beer, this is top notch... boozy and warm... the taste is complex, but clean... not overpoweringly sweet like some BWs are... very well rounded, and just the right amount of carbonation... it would be easy to drink a few of these, although it might not be recommended to do so.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 22:16:52 | More by dolemite77
Photo of KickbacksSteve


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Unibroue tulip from 11.5 ounce bottle. Head is gone quickly and lacing is soapy and slides away also with a quickness. Aroma is toasty, malty, sweet and spicy. Taste is big and bold, caramel, honey, roasted malts and some slight hop bitterness, alcohol is present and warming but its rough edges are rounded by the aging of the beer that the brewery does I'm sure. I also assume that this bottle is from last years batch since I purchased it in November and apparently this one isn't on shelves until December. Unique and delicious beer as expected from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 08:22:36 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of drpimento


4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

MMmm - MM! Good cracker!! Great barleywine. Poured wth a very nice off-white head that lasts and some lace. Color is a slightly hazy deep medium to dark amber. Aroma is super rich and typical of an american bw. Flavor's the same and much more full and intense. Great bittersweet character. Full body and great carbonation. Nice finish. bit rich for a session.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 00:20:14 | More by drpimento
Photo of aubuc1


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a pretty dark brown with a thin light tan head.

Smell is a mellow sweet fruity that is very well balanced.

Taste is sort of tart, hoppy, chalky, and a slightly boozy finish.

Mouthfeel is nice. Considering the abv, the drinkability is quite nice. Very well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 01:24:31 | More by aubuc1
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At Volo on tap- A deep mahogany, with spotty lace and a beige frothy cap. Caramel aromas with toffee, earthy piney hops, stewed prunes and other pit fruits. Sweet caramel and deep rooted fruit flavours, some treacle, piney grapefruity hops, floral, with some vanilla. AN excellent balance has been acheived with this BW. Very drinkable and very soft for its weight.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2009 11:32:07 | More by mrmanning
Photo of coldmeat23


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a deep, dark, amber color with hints of garnet. A thin, tan, layer of foam sits on top. It lingers for a long time. The lacing is abundant and quite sticky.

Big, sweet, maltiness comes flowing out of the glass, from about 18 inches away. The nose is filled with raisin and fig notes. Light hints of dates and maraschino cherries. Mild touches of spices and nuttiness. Notes of candi sugar sweetness.

Not nearly as sweet as the nose would lead you to believe. This is very earthy. The maltiness is here, but very subdued. A vague sense of dark fruits, but nothing specific. Hints of raw nuts. Mild hops bite in the dry finish.

Medium-to-full bodied, with a mild level of carbonation. Very smooth and slightly creamy.

It's not bad, but I'd rather have John Barleycorn or Arctic Devil or Mirror Mirror etc. Just a touch too dry for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2009 04:19:45 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge


3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of gunhaver. Pours brown with full tan head lasting a good 60 seconds. The aroma is thick with dark fruity esters that seem a bit musty. They're mixing with roasty malts, some alcohol heat and malt sweetness. The taste is a rich mix of raisins, prunes and cherries. Toward midway mild notes of sweet malts, roasted malts, sweet caramel and mildly herbal spices encroach on the bold fruity esters and move the experience to the finish. Pretty hot and warming overall. It may benefit from additional aging.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 14:07:13 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

On tap at Volo's awesome Dieu du Ciel launch party. 2009 version. In hindsight, a half pint of barley wine probably isn't the best thing to follow up a half pint of imperial saison, and a half pint of imperial stout.

Pours a great ruby with a finger of white head that quickly drops down to a wispy cap, and leaves limited lacing. Pretty standard for a barleywine, though I love the intensity of the colour. Sweet aroma - toffee, caramel, brown sugar, sherry, with some underlying woodiness and biscuit. Limited hop presence in the nose. At this point more English than American in style.

Typical b-wine mouthfeel - somewhat chewy, but with enough carbonation to alleviate any potential stickiness. Sweet toffee flavour with brown sugar, pine, notes of sherry and raisin. Not as bitter as I expected, but its still there, and reminiscent of an aged Bigfoot. Alcohol is a bit noticeable in the finish, which brings an otherwise excellent barleywine down a notch, but as this is the 2009 version I think its acceptable for this to be a bit young and brash.

I think I'll be seeking out a couple bottles to cellar.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2009 13:10:29 | More by bobsy
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 version on tap at Volo's DDC launch - good times. Pours a deep, rich amber toffee with just a thin collar of bubbles. No lacing.

Nose is sweet and caramelly, bread, raisin, toffee, brown sugar.

Certainly, as some others have said, more in line with an English Barleywine, lots of caramel malt with little to no hop presence. Lots of raisin, hints of cherry, hint of peat/earth, brown sugar, nice alcohol warming down the throat. Body is a bit syrupy, pretty sweet brew though not too much so as to stick in the mouth - goes down too easily for the 10% it is.

A touch rough around the edges, a bit too sweet for my liking, but a really well-made brew nonetheless. Enjoyed it, glad I got to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2009 17:50:18 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

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

sampled on tap at volo as part of the DDC launch party oct 3/09.

pours deep red with just a touch of haze, possibly chill haze. when held to the light the great ruby and garnet hues really come out, lightening a bit to orange at the bottom of the glass. a thin layer of very fine white head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving only a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. rich caramel. bit of toffee. light fruity character too, almost makes me think of candied fruit. whole wheat bread and cracker. bit of biscuit. light alcohol. bit earthy and woody. some dark fruit too. this doesn't smell like an american barleywine, definitely seems more english and even leaning slightly toward some belgian character.

taste is good. caramel and toffee again. lightly warming alcohol. earthy and slightly woody. bit of dark fruit. less candy character and sweetness than in the aroma. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. medium bitterness level. again, this definitely seems to plant itself more in english barleywine realm, still drawing in some dark belgian character too.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium carbonation level. drinkability is good. nice balance. good depth. this is no american barleywine, but it's still tasty and it works.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2009 16:54:06 | More by grub
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have picked some winners lately and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I did not really know much of what to expect out of this one, but was more then pleasantly surprised by the results. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 09/15/2009.

The pour was nice, rich dark brown in color with a nice inch and a half of off white head on the top. Rich looking to say the least. Lots of candied sugar, hints of caramel and light toffee as well. A light note of alcohol as it warms, but very solid and not much in the way of hops, at least initially on the nose. Smooth, subtle flavor really builds. Caramel malts, hints of boozy notes, light toffee all coming through very well. Nice feel to it, heavy but not overbearing with great carbonation. A bit hefty, but I honestly found it very well received.

Overall solid. I would not mind having this one again, and was actually quite pleasantly surprised by how well it pulled together. Would grab another off the shelf if I saw it for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2009 00:54:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of mhatters


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12oz bottle at State Line in Elkton - love DDC and Barleywines, so I thought a perfect combination. Man, I was right.

Pours a deep red-brown, almost oddly maroon color, with a real thin off-white head

The nose is impressive, rum, molasses, toffee - all good. Upon further investigation, a sweet malt base and a hint of bitterness appears

The flavor is quite consistent with the nose, the thick sweetness dried with a hint of spice - cinnamon - a really fun, immpressive beer

Medium bodied, crisp, clean and a load of fun

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 01:10:48 | More by mhatters
Photo of almychristopher

New York

4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer has aged wonderfully. the crystal clear dark brown color with the off white head that rescindes it's place at the top leaving a bit of lace around edge of the glass. the aroma brings a nice amount of toffee and dark fruit to the party, just complimenting the malt that they started with. the taste is wonderfully fruity with a bit of alcohol warmth at the end. the full body and good carbonation make this a wonderfully drinkable barley wine.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 00:53:06 | More by almychristopher
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber, almost brown color with a 1/4" offwhite head slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful burnt toffee aroma that's warming yet sweet and inviting. The taste is good. It has a nice hop bite that's complimented by a really awesome toffee flavor. It goes down smooth and finishes warm and earthy. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking barleywine. I love the hop and malt character; well done!

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 00:43:17 | More by WesWes
Photo of everetends


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle I picked up from Hop City in ATL a few weeks ago. I think it was about 4 bucks and some change. Always glad to try something new from DDC, so when I saw it I grabbed it up. Served up in a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown body out of the bottle. Very dark. At first glance, it appears almost black. Held to the light, it is a nice dark brown with some nice red hues pouring through. You really can't see through the body, except for near the base of the glass. The head was a slow building finger of cinnamon colored foam. The foam is tight and creamy. It slowly falls to a thick ring with wisps going across the top cap. The liquid is pretty syrupy on the glass and this keeps any lace from sticking. It quickly retreats back into the top cap.

S: Wow, very nice. I caught a wiff of this the second I popped the cap. First thing that catches my nose is a wonderful rum aroma. Its a bit spicy but mostly a really big and nice sugar booze smell. Behind that is a good amount of dark fruits. Dates, plums, cherries, grapes and apple skin. Chasing that is a little rich, dark caramel and some brown sugar. This is damn near heavenly to the sense of smell.

T: Ah, damnit. Not quite as good as the aroma, but still quite good. The booze is pretty heavy and brings that alcohol flavor. Very much some rum. Dark and sugary, light spice. Touch of butter. Fruits are here as well with some plum and absolutely some apple meat and skin. Brown sugar is very present along with some caramel and bready malt goodness. Vanilla and pine round this one off. Like I said, its good but its not to the level as that aroma.

M: Full bodied for sure. Has a thick and slight syrupy feel, pretty coating. This is chewy. Carbonation is pretty low and doesn't really bring notice to itself. ABV brings some heat in the throat and belly. Really warms you up. This should be consumed on a cold night, not an Alabama August evening. Aftertaste is some lingering apple, vanilla and rum.

D: Ah very nice and a great experience. This was a bit of a suprise but I usually expect quality from DDC. The aroma is just crazy amazing. It takes a lot to pull my nose from the snifter. Every thing else is good to damn good. This does take time to consume on part of the ABV. This is a bit hot and is slow going for me. Maybe a year or so of rest will cool it off and raise the drinkability score. With that said, I would buy this again whenever I wanted a good barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 04:56:16 | More by everetends
Photo of Thur123


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into val dieu snifter

This beer looks so good. Pours a dark plum red with a kind of reddish brown head that builds nicely and fading quickly leaving just a bit of head behind. The nose is sweet and sticky with a faint but noticeable booze smell. I also smell dried cherrys and dates, with grapes too.

glug glug glug

Whoa, very complex and ends with a toasty warming feeling from the booze flavor. There is a slightly bitter coffee taste at the front which fades into dried cherries with perhaps some dried peach and dates. It tastes very sweet ,almost fruit cake like, with a boozey kick from the 9.8%. There is also what seems like a brown sugar taste as well.
Mouthfeel is think, warm, and lingering.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 01:14:18 | More by Thur123
Photo of cjgator3


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a light tan colored head that leaves a ring of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma features a lot of malt and dark alcohol soaked fruits.

T- The taste starts out incredibly smooth with a lot of malt and dark fruits. There is a good dose of hops in the finish which balances out the sweetness perfectly! I love a good hoppy barleywine and this is definitely one of them. Good stuff!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a really tasty barleywine!There is a lot of booze with this one, so I do think it would benefit from a couple years aging but it is still very good fresh. This is really good stuff! Highly Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 01:23:19 | More by cjgator3
Photo of Tomas77


4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A gift from Jay. Thanks.

Appearance-Deep mahogany with ruby red highlights. Two finger foam head that sticks to the sides of the glass throughout.Good clarity with a tight dense head.
Aroma-Strong sweet carmel notes up front almost sugar daddy like. This is followed by a burnt sugary orange marmalade aroma. Alcohol is evident but hangs out in the background as to not interfere with all the other nuances going on inside the glass. Later as the beer warms I noticed some cake batter notes to add more complexity.
Flavor-Big carmel malt sweetness with a strong alcohol presense. A spicy hop feeling mid-palate. All three malt/hop/alcohol balance very well. Light fruit flavors(pears especially) from esters maybe, come through later on to linger. Dry finish.

Very good.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 21:11:04 | More by Tomas77
Photo of atigerlife


4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown. Very creamy medium brown head taht lasts and lasts and lasts. Very good lacing. Amazing to look at.

Aroma of dark malts, caramel, dark fruits. Nothing really jumped out at me.

Taste is of dark fruits (raisins predominantly), alcohol, dark malts, molasses and vanilla coffee. Again, somewhat hard to get a grasp on the flavors.

Mouthfeel was on the heavy side, cleansing and dry at the end.

Overall, very nice beer. Very drinkable for the style. Wonderful sipper.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 15:50:46 | More by atigerlife
Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 692 ratings.