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Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

243 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 243
Hads: 501
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 14.47%
Wants: 37
Gots: 49 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: francisweizen on 05-02-2003

Équinoxe du Printemps (French for "spring equinox") is the quintessential marriage of two great traditions: beer brewing in Scotland, and maple syrup production in Quebec. At the first draught, the mouth is overcome by woody, malty flavours, sustained by a discrete touch of sweetness. The aftertaste brings about the flavours of maple, which are sufficiently present to be appreciated, but never overwhelming the typical flavours of a Scotch Ale.

Equinoxe du printemps is brewed only once a year in January. It is aged for two months in order to attain a perfect balance in taste. Then, it is sold starting March 21st, until stocks last.

The Equinoxe du printemps was born in our Montreal brewpub in February 1999.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 501
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.08/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Pours a dirty brown with a small tan head. Aroma of alcohol, banana laffy taffy, medicinal nastiness. Flavor is sweet, definitely syrupy, with more laffy taffy notes as well as sweet caramel. Boozy. Flavor is better than the aroma, but when the aroma is that bad...it's hardly meaningful. Ick.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.5] Deep ruby color to almost brown. The beer pours with a scant head. The bottle lists the ABV 9.5% and there is a notch system. But I am not sure what date it is telling me.

S: [2.25] I hate to say this but I get a strong alcohol smell that comes across like a paint solvent.

T: [2.50] Fortunately this does not follow the nose exactly. It has the peat taste of a Scotch Ale then a weird overly alcoholic taste. I am not getting any of the maple syrup.

M: [2.50] The beer has a strangely over foamy feel that makes it too light on the tongue.

O: [2.50] This beer is all over the place (no of those places is good). I have had 2 other excellent beers from this brewery - but this one is a misfire. The nose is plain bad. The taste is in the ok range and the mouthfeel is also bad. I keep sipping and hoping for a different outcome.

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Photo of IRONRakkasan
2.86/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found I couldn't taste any maple (as labeled) as the brew was intense and somewhat bitter on the tongue.

It's definitely not a session beer, and you'd have to be the type to like brews that hit the tastebuds hard for this one.

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Photo of MatChar
2.96/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Perhaps the most disappointing DDC I've had. Nice reddish dark brown body with decent thick foam which disappears rather quickly. Smell is thin, lacks wee heavy character and maple aromas (gets slightly better as it warms). Taste: at first, balanced roasted caramel with nice residual sugar then, it gets dubious: maple taste emerges as off-tasting, almost wrong/artificial.

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Photo of ccrida
3.01/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle that I've cellared for a few months, poured into my Delirium snifter, Équinoxe Du Printemps is copper with a large off-white head that is very thick, slow to subside, leaving heavy hunks of foamy lace. Impressive, especially for the style. Also, another cool label, I always dig their artwork.

Smell is pretty boozy, some sweet malt, maple.

Taste is pretty fuselly, not much malt character, a little maple comes out as it warms, but this one is really lacking depth for my taste.

Mouthfeel is very dry, medium body.

Drinkability isn't too high. It's a pretty hot beer that's not terribly interesting to drink. While I got it in trade (thx Northyorksammy!), their beers are generally on the pricey side, which certainly doesn't help.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red brown in color. Very cloudy. Poor head retention. Head is tan in color.

Aroma is of toffee and caramel.

Beer tastes very sweet. A little cloying. Some notes of toast. A little bitter in the finish

Full bodied and thick.

Overall an interesting beer, I do not really pick up any of the maple flavor. A little to bitter in the finish, either from roast or hops.

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Photo of albern
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is just too syrupy, too boozy, too sweet, with just a sugary thickness and density that is too much for my tastes. It pours a very heavy and thick syrupy consistency. The beer is slightly orangy brown, maybe like iced tea, with some carbonation and a cloudy appearance. The nose is liqueur boozy, alcohol soaked pineapples, maybe some apple aromas too.

This beer is very thick and is a sipping beer at best. It has a throaty burn from the ABV, which I never appreciate, it has some warming alcohol notes, and a maple sugary consistency and taste. The beer is loaded with sweet malts, some pineapple like flavors, maybe some florals, but it is the ABV which just overwhelms the better qualities of this beer. It lacks the nice smokiness of a Scotch ale. I've had about enough of this beer and away it will go.

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Photo of Benish
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The label stated it's scotch ale brewed with maple syrup. I tasted absolutely no maple syrup, even as it warmed up a little. Did not pick up any complex aromas or additional flavors. To me, it's just another scotch ale.

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Photo of popery
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer has a darkened reddish brown body and a small off-white head. The aroma has lots of caramelized malt, maple syrup and a fair bit of booze. It even smells sweet. The malt smells worty, perhaps a bit under-attenuated, at least for my taste. The beer has a sweet taste, very sweet. It's like a slightly fermented maple syrup mixed with some malt. Actually, I almost really like it, but the booziness hurts things significantly. The maple syrup is interesting, but it's just out of control, in my opinion. Mouthfeel is sticky and cloying. I'm having trouble getting through the 11.5 oz bottle. I could see this beer aging well, but I'm not a fan of this one fresh.

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Photo of Gmann
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an iced tea brown color with a small tan head that leaves a light ring, almost looks flat. The aroma is sweet, a bit vinous, brown sugar, a brown bread malt, and rubbing alcohol. The taste is of rum soaked raisins, vinous, brown sugar, cinnamon raisin bread. The malt is outplayed by the sweetness of the brew, no roasted qualities or smokiness. Way too sweet and boozy. The feel is chewy, a bit sticky, suprisingly not slick, prickly carbonation. Finishes sweet and hot from the ABV. A very disappointing Wee Heavy, not about the malt just about the booze. A very hot brew, sweet flavors; should showcase the malt. Boo. The label indicated that this was 9.5ABV. Great brewery just not digg'n this brew at all.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dull pumpkin orange with a cherry skin blush. An increasingly high-altitude pour did not succeed in creating a crown thicker than one finger. The ecru colored suds fade fairly quickly, leaving nothing on the snifter but a thin rim where beer, glass and air meet.

The most prominent part of the aroma is grain alcohol, which is never a good thing. One could be excused for thinking that a Scotch ale brewed with maple syrup would smell like either one or the other. There is a little dark caramel malt, but it's too little.

Equinoxe Du Printemps tastes better than it smells... but then it would have to. This is one of those 9.5% ales that tastes and feels like every bit of 12.5%. Even at one year of age (2009 release), alcohol dominates the palate. It isn't the flavorful alcohol of a single malt scotch, but the more raw, medicinal, unintegrated alcohol of a low quality blended whisky. Back to beer.

At least it tastes like a Scotch ale. Barleywine and strong ale would work too. Specifics include steely caramel, crumbs of pumpernickel toast, a dash of Angostura bitters, and good ol' ethanol. The maple syrup must have been completely consumed by the yeast because there isn't much sweetness and precious little, if any, maple flavor.

Mouthfeel is a tough call. It's too light by half, yet doesn't feel the least bit thin, has a hint of back end stickiness and is properly bubbled. So why almost no head?

Equinoxe Du Printemps (Spring Equinox) tastes and feels and drinks more like liqueur than beer. I'm usually on-board with that concept, but this brew doesn't have a broad enough or deep enough flavor profile. Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel might impress me one of these days. It hasn't happened yet. Not to mention... $5.49 per single is ridiculous. Bourbon County Stout is cheaper than that.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted on June 7, 2009. My 100th review. Mine is 9.5% ABV. Is this only for the 2009 version?

A: Brownish opaque color. No head... boo. I would say the color is not inviting :P
S: I get mainly sugar from the maple. Very hard to get anything else...
T: Again more sugar and I get the alcohol at the end. I can't taste the malts... I'm overwhelmed by the maple I would guess.
M: Round and medium bodied beer. Nice feeling in the mouth. Good beer to finish the night.
D: One per session... too strong a beer and sweet to have more than one.

Not a bad beer, however this is not my to go beer. After all this is a sipping beer. Good to have one or two per year :)

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Photo of Chico1985
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown with NO head whatsoever except for a very weak ring forms and stays. When held up to the light sediment is seen floating about. Smell is good, cola, caramel, definitely getting the maple. Taste..yeah, now I'm definitely getting the maple. The tastes match the smell for sure, but this thing is way too sweet, it tastes like a thick maple soda. Extremely malty, alcohol definitely makes itself known. Reminds me alot of a doppelbock (not a complaint). I became more used to the taste a little ways down, but sweetness is way too overpowering here. A Scotch ale brewed with maple syrup sounded like a great idea, but this thing is kind of a mess.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.5oz brown glass twist-top. Label has numbers, but none are marked.

Appearance: Rough pour turns up on this off-white head which leaves minimal spotting. Cloudy amber brown.

Nose: Lots of booze up front, reminds me of fine seve or sortilege...and turpentine. Hmmm. That's hard to get passed.

Palate: Paint thinner up front, yikes, but that gives way to rich and luscious scotch malty-smokey goodness and then slides out to the sweet, slick maple syrup finish. Grade B or so. Medium bodied and sweet, low carbonation.

Notes: Well, that turpentine/mineral spirits thing is hard to get passed. If that was gone, this would be a sweet dessert beer. Drinkability suffers big time.

EDIT: After reading other reviews, I agree there's definitely a bananas foster thing going on here. Nice catch.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.5oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a a dark reddish brown with a nice off-white head. 

S- The aroma is very sweet with a lot of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, maple syrup and booze.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out very sweet and malty. Hints of toffee and caramel come in next with a boozy finish. A little on the sweet and boozy side for me, but not bad.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin fizzy carbonation in the finish.

D- Like mentioned above, the sweetness and booziness limit the drinkability of this brew for me.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.5oz bottle into a DT tulip.

A: Pours a rusty, reddish-brown with a nicely creamy, light-tan colored cap of foam. Head retention was decent and after it eventually receded, a thick lace leaving ring was left.

S: Smells syrupy and sweet. Aromas of toasted nuts, figs, cinnamon, a faint whisp of maple, and a shit-ton of booze. Curl your nose hair levels of booze.

T: See above. Too much booze and not nearly enough smoked malt. Maple presence was fleeting at best.

M: Oily and sticky with a spicy booziness that plastered itself to my tongue.

D: I was pretty underwhelmed by this. My least favorite DDC beer so far, by a wide margin.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.27/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.5 oz pours a hazed amber color with a fluffed tan head. Retention is ok and shows average lacing.

Nose is hugely maple with raw, fresh wood aromas. Sugary sweet.

Taste is nutty, sweet and maple-syrupy. Interesting enough, but a little disappointing...very one-dimensionally sweet. A yeasty presence gives this one a praline pie overall taste and feel. Doesnt quite come together for me, not very Scotch Ale-esque and has too much residual sweetness.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No head to speak of on a murky amber body. Aroma is pretty boozy with raisins, caramel and candy sugar. This one is pretty hard to drink at first. Some of the most prevalent toffee notes of any beer I have had. Also fig, raisin, caramel, lots of maple syrup. The malts are strong too. Medium body and light carbonation. This one was too hard to drink for me. Lots of flavor but a little too much of a boozy and sweet combination.

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Photo of qchic
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like murky iced tea with only a shading of head atop. Some sediment from the bottom of the bottle came with the aggressive pour. Smells fruity, malty and nutty with some banana, green apple, maple, and a little alcohol. Tastes unlike any other scotch ale I've had. It's malty and the maple that follows the fruity esters is not cloying or overpowering at all, but rather subtle. This is a hefty beer and the alcohol demands to much attention in the flavor, detracting from drinkability. Glad I killed my curiosity, but won't purchase this again.

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Photo of jsh420
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours clear dark amber brown with a 2 finger head that left little lacing

smell is mostly maple syrup and booze

taste is good - malts fruits booze and oh that maple syrup - very sweet - little too much for me

mouthfeel is heavy and why wouldnt it be - it has maple syrup in it

drinkability - for me not so good - too sweet high abv along with a heavy body makes me not want to buy another - thats not to say its not a good beer because it is

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

(relatively new-looking bottle, notched at 1 and 1 on the label - not sure if this is a bottling date, best by, or batch number)

L: somewhat opaque, reddish-brown liquid... not much head on the (rather soft) pour into a teku glass... does actually leave small strands of lace... this is a twist-off, bottle-conditioned beer?! haven't seen that outside of SN

S: not the least bit potent, surprisingly... caramel cake icing... floral booze squashed underneath... even straining, nose at various points around the glass, not much poking out

T: very thick malt... hard candy, with a nip of spicy black pepper... not all that sweet though - quite dry... mellow booze and yeast bite in the long mid-finish follow through... alcohol is quite well woven in (hidden)... no apparent presence of maple

F: actually, pretty thick mouthfeel - soft texture and flow... tiny bit of heat through the finish... not terribly carbonated, which isn't necessarily a bad thing

O: best drunk at cellar temp, or warmer... yes, it has the requisite foundation of a North American take on the style, however, it comes across extremely dull, whether due to it being old or from a hitch in the bottle-conditioning... I'd be curious to try this again on draft, but I'm not going out of my way to find a bottle

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Photo of Gavage
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear reddish amber in color with a 1" head that slowly falls.

Smell: caramel and brown sugar sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel, big brown sugar sweetness, maple syrup, mild alcohol tones, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, smooth and mildly dry at the finish. The sweetness lingers long in the mouth after swallowing.

Drinkability: this beer was just a bit too sweet for my liking. One glass is enough in a session.

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Photo of PSUDREW
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: ruddy brown/amber color. some head...but not much
S: Malty Maple goodness. Syrup is pretty evident here
T: Strong, malty, syrupy up front. The sweetness smacks you right away. The syrupiness is almost overwhelming. There is some hop presence in the aftertaste....but, not really. Little bit. but yeah. the malt and the syrup overwhelm this brew.
M: Stong, thick, and, well, syrupy.
D: ehhh....more then one is more then enough

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nose: Honey, caramel malt, dried fruit, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, hazel nut, butter and strawberries.
Taste: Brown sugar, caramel malt, coffe, roasted malt, molasses and wood.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Light bitterness.

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Photo of steeltown71
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a nice amber, creamy inch-thick head, good retention.

S: Not far removed from fresh pancake aroma...honey, shortbread cookie, cinnamon, maple syrup.

T: Nice maltiness upfront, gets more interesting on finish with noticeable maple syrup & spice.

M: Medium-bodied, not hugely sticky or viscous given the sweetness, perfect carbonation level.

D: Interesting but there's no chance I would want to session this.

Unique flavor profile makes this worth trying at least once. For the money though I can't imagine reaching for this if Peche Mortel is on the shelf next to it.

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Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.