Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

248 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 248
Hads: 523
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 36
Gots: 51 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 248 | Hads: 523
Photo of Greggio
4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really likes this one. Solid head with moderate carbonation.
I could taste some maple and a descent amount of honey in the aftertaste.
The taste was very pleasing and one of my favorites.
Would definitely buy this one again.

 227 characters

Photo of Tone
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%

Pours a hazy, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, sweet malt, slight cherry, hint of syrup, and alcohol. Fits the style of a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, cherry, slight syrup, and a hint of chocolate. Overall, decent aroma and feel, but too much cherry and syrup in the body.

 483 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picking up a bunch of the maple syrup. A solid sweetness. Light on the Scotch ale flavor though.......................................................

 150 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Bottle picked up locally me and enjoyed from a DDC 15th anniversary wine glass.

Brew pours a deep muddy brown with a thin bubbly head that doesn't hang but leaves bubbly lace streaks all over the sides of the glass.

Nose is gooey caramel with some boozy heat.

Taste matches the nose. Fairly lush decadent l,I quid caramel. Brown sugar. Maple syrup.

Fairly full bodied and chewy, but easy drinking.

Overall, a really nice scotch ale and the male syrup fits like a glove. Not quite better half but very well could be if aged on bourbon.

 541 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, earth, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, brown sugar, toffee, wood, and slight maple flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth and wood bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with lots of sweet sugary and earthy characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 682 characters

Photo of mtomlins
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with 1 year of age.

Beautiful copper color with 1-2 fingers of a light tan head with decent retention and some lacing. Nice nose, caramel, toffee, brown sugar. It is very similar on the palate, toasted grain, toffee, caramel with some subtle bitterness in the finish. Nice and round with enough carbonation to keep it drinkable.

 353 characters

Photo of byronic
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours almost opaque brown with hints of amber. A very thin pale head

A nice aroma of malt, toffee and a hint of maple.

Very nice taste, sweet with caramel and some fruit, toasted malt. Really fantastic maple finish that lingers until your next sip.

Smooth and a touch creamy. The alcohol is masked very well

Being a fan of a wee heavy this one took me by surprise. A very nice variation on a wee heavy. The addition of maple really works and the hint of sweet it creates in the finish sets the beer apart. I would definitely like to have a few of these on hand.

 565 characters

Photo of babaracas
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a turbid red tinted brown with zero head, and a few small dots on the glass. Smell: sweet, backed apple, maple syrup (I'm primed by the description; not terribly strong), mild earthiness. Taste: soft cooked red apple, tons of caramel, date bread, mild earthiness, syrup sugariness towards the finish. Medium bodied, mild carbonation with a diluted syrupy feel. Sticky finish. Sweet. Enjoyable, but that's about all.

 421 characters

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.

 366 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle to a snifter.

This beer poured a deep chestnut brown with a thin one finger head that disappeared fast leaving little behind but memories. The smell is toffee and caramels with leather and some spices. The taste is not as aggressive as some wee heavies I've had, and this works. Much of the nose carries over in taste, with maple jumping in and out of the flavor profile. There was a full body and a medium carbonation.

I enjoy a wee heavy. I find them nice sippers and pleasant cold weather beers. I was surprised by this beer and how light it felt compared to others of the style. A nice change. I also like the use of maple in this beer.

 664 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky amber with a creamy beige mousse that recedes quickly. Chunks of yeast are noticeable in the liquid even after the beer settles.

S: Aromas of caramel, toffee, leather, nougat, brown sugar, hazelnuts, almonds, maple syrup, and mild, earthy ale hops are present on the nose.

T: Notes of earthy hops, leather, caramel, toffee, heather honey, maple syrup, hazelnuts, almonds, nougat, praline, brown sugar, dark bread, plums, figs, dates, and raisins blossom on the palate. The finish is long and sweet with pronounced flavors of caramel, nougat, maple syrup, and earthy, herbal hops.

M: Full in body and velvety. Carbonation is firm, active, and prickly, avoiding the stickiness of many ales brewed in the Scottish style. Alcohol is incredibly subdued, making this beer very easy to drink despite its formidable strength.

O: A really solid Scotch ale. I was a bit surprised that the maple syrup merged so well with the sweet, nutty malt flavors the brewers presented so well. I also appreciate the fact that the hops were noticeable, but not overpowering. Unfortunately, many North American brewers seem to be under the impression that Scottish ales should be made hoppier. Though this is not exactly a traditional wee heavy, it is a very good example of a North American take on the style that manages to be quirky and individualistic, but does not break entirely with tradition.

 1,397 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky dark reddish brown with very small yellowish brown head. Aroma of maple, dark fruits, figs, raisins, candy sugar, alcohol. Flavor is maple, brown sugar, fig, and pears. Surprisingly high and prickly carbonation. Medium sticky body. A bit dry. Not my favorite, but not a bad beer. I really like a bit more body to my wee heavy brews, and I find everything thus far from Dieu Du Ciel to be extremely light on the palate for the styles.

 447 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

11.5oz bottle from Five Points Bittle Shop (Athens, GA). Notched 0 and 9 mean nothing to me. I wish they would at least print year/month on their bottles. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours opaque ruddy brown with one finger of pale tan head. Little head.

Smell of toffee and syrup with a slight almost coconut aroma. Not bad but not very complex.

A nice maple sweetness leads the flavor. Maple syrup, caramel malts, slight toffee, brown sugar and a little alcohol.

Medium body with a good deal if carbonation. Typically not my favorite type of feel but it works well for this. Sweet toffee, caramel and maple finish.

Scotch ales rarely wow me but this one is quite good. I like the added complementary sweetness of the maple syrup. I'd certainly drink it again without hesitation.

 796 characters

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mahogany, caramel colored body. Frothy, 1/2 finger head head leaves virtually no lacing. Appears thin but does leave a nice frothy latte-like retention head.

S: This wafts a pungent caramel and toffee blast upfront. A bit of oaky booze. Maple syrup is faint, but definitely there. Dark candies. Cherries. Figs. The nose is really nice.

T: Wow. Toffee and caramel upfront followed with a bit of smoke and sweet figs. Tons of sweet caramel malts. Some chocolate. The maple syrup strengthens as it lingers in the finish. A bit of boozy warmth.

M: Creamy. Boozy. Low carbonation. Full body.

O: Pleasant surprise. My second Dieu Du Ciel experience and both have been stellar. The complexity is awesome. The maple syrup lingers, which is unique to beers brewed w/ maple. I'll buy another to see how it ages.

 817 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a murky medium brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a random pattern of wispy surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Has a Belgian yeast characteristic to it along with the toasty, sweet-smelling malt. Reminds me more of a BSDA than a Scotch ale since there are certainly banana notes discerned.

T- Flavor comes together nicely with notes of vanilla, toffee and caramel. Alcohol is incredibly well concealed as the maple contributes its balancing sweetness. Also picking up notes of brown sugar and fig once it warms.

M- Thick, somewhat silky with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Kind of a Belgian/Scotch ale hybrid in my opinion since the yeast presence can't be ignored. Good for what it is and the complexity within the sweetness is impressive, but it's not representative of DDC's best work in my opinion.

 1,020 characters

Photo of REDAMI
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 11.5oz bottle into Triple Digit half pint glasses.

A - Reddish brown color, thin ivory head, some lacing.

S - Malts, toffee, light woodiness.

T - Burnt sugars, tannins, alcohol bite, roasted barley.

M - Thin with very sharp alcohol.

No hiding the alcohol in this one. Don't taste much in the way of maple. Very grainy bitterness, not a hoppy beer. Certainly not as smooth or sweet as other Scotch ales. Overall a very dry beer, not a thirst quencher. Something to have on occasion when you want to explore unique flavors.

 538 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Peensteen for sending me this one as part of my CANBIF 2013 box. Cheers man!

Appearance. Pours a very deep and opaque ruby-orange with a thin off-white head.

Smell. Caramel, orange zest and dark fruits, brown sugar and maple.

Taste. Caramel and dried dark fruits, some bitter hops and lightly smokey malts, fresh cut wood and some maple syrup that I probably wouldn't have picked up if I didn't read the label.

Mouthfeel. Full body with low+ carbonation.

Overall. A decent Scotch ale with that signature DDC complexity. I doubt I'd buy this one after having tried it, but very glad to have had it once.

 622 characters

Photo of Zachtheporter
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

The most noticeable attribute about this beer is its incredibly low carbonation. When I poured it, not even a slight head formed. The body is very befitting of a beer with such a low carbonation; very smooth and slightly syrupy. Speaking of Syrup, the maple syrup, the sweet maple flavor blends very well with the natural flavors befitting of scotch ales and especially with this one; sweet, caramely, malty, peaty, slightly smokey etc. But overall this beer is sweet. Not overly sweet, but sweet nonetheless. Good beer to try once, but this is something I definitely will not be buying again. Slightly dissapointed, since not only have I heard such amazing things about Dieu du Ciel!, but I also love wee heavies. I've had brown ales flavored with maple syrup before but never any scottish ales. It seems like a great idea and I definitely wouldn't mind trying another one like this in the future.

 898 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a sediment-ridden cloudy sunset red color with a 1/2 inch of head

S: Lightly smoky malts, some woodiness, maple syrup, and a light fruitiness highlight the nose

T: Follows the nose. Very light smoke, woodiness, a light sweetness, maple syrup, and some fruitiness. Finishes with a dry sweetness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid scotch ale with a nice mellow sweetness from the maple syrup. Nothing in your face, but it's decently complex and interesting. The 9.5% is nowhere to be found, and sneaks up on you. Not around for very long as it's only brewed once a year, so get some if you find it

 632 characters

Photo of korguy123
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is something I've had before but didn't review. Glad to get a second chance!
Special thanks to ricochet173 for this.

Light, semi translucent root beer colored pour. Half finger light beige head. Lacing is decent.

Caramel, toffee, with some fresh baked cookies and some maple syrup. This reminds me of cornbread muffins we make warmed with maple syrup. Slightly buttery and decadent.

Caramel, toffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, light roasted coffee, burnt toast.

Light to medium body, slightly syrupy.

 508 characters

Photo of SebD
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed with Kim Lachance. Collaborative review.

Appearance: It has a nice merky orange/amber color to it. It has a nice deep beige head that dies down quite fast and leaves next to no lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet dark fruit (raisins, blackberry), sweet toffee, some maple syrup.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some dark fruit, some maple/toffee sweetness, some grassy notes and a roasty bitterness

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

 599 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: into a large snifter, brown beer with but a brief bubbly head (with a center-pour)

S: sweet maple and caramel malt, suggestions of dark booze

T: syrupy sweet malt forward - almost approaches an English barleywine, but has something vaguely peaty or smoky that cements it as a Scotch ale. Maple and toffee sugars dominate, accompanied by spice-like flavors that remind me of the winter holidays

M: coating, warming, smooth, slick, after-bite of spice and alcohol

O: a nice Scotch ale - I wasn't overly fond of the maple - maybe it made it too maple syrupy for me. I would have like some drier flavors in there (this would probably blossom if aged in whiskey barrels). A solid beer from a great Canadian brewery.

 718 characters

Photo of jaasen64
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into Lawsons snifter.

A- Pours a hazlenut brown that appears a fairly opaque dark brown in the glass with a thin beige head that quickly recedes and leaves some spotty lacing. Fairly minimal carbonation but consistent.

S- Malts, molasses, toffee, lightly sweet, average aroma strength.

T- Light molasses, malts, a little bit bitter, finishes with a bit of a bubble gum taste that lingers for a little bit.

M- Medium bodied, decent carbonation, easy drinking.

O- Decent but not that great. Has a weird sweetness to it, not a huge fan. Probably won't drink again, although I haven't had many I can say there are definitely much better scotch ales out there.

 681 characters

Photo of warrenout330
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle pour into my maudite snifter

A- pours pours murky mahogany color... thin off white head, quickly disappeared to nothing ... minimal to zero lacing

S- sweet caramel malt, hint of chocolate malt... rippened dark fruits... candied and caramelized ... faint smoke.... caramel is all over the place with the strength of the maple syrup

T- very caramel forward... sweet dark fruits .... light peak moss .... there's that maple syrup... all the way in the back

M- thick oily body... smooth and creamy (maybe from the syrup) moderate carbonation .... mild hop bite for balance .... zero % of any alcohol burn any where in the beer,

O- nice take on this Scotch ale... especially with maple syrup .... crazy for the price through ... but still something nice to grab for a change up

 793 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cider-like brownish cloudy brew. No head or lace.

Deep sweet and toasty malt, some toffee in the nose.

Nice rich deep complex brew. Sweet malt up front, with overripe fruit mingling with toasted malt. Stone fruit, and here comes the maple syrup. The syrup works wonderfully, giving it some complexity. Some bitter but not much. No alcohol at all on the palate. Sweet, malty and lightly bitter in the finish.

Fuller bodied, some mouth coating characteristics.

Nice complex beer. Worth trying.

 503 characters

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
87 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.