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Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

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BA SCORE
87
very good

242 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 242
Hads: 494
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 9.84%
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: 242 | Hads: 494
Photo of byronic
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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 -2.8%
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%
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 -2.8%
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 +3.6%
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 -9.3%
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 -3.1%
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 +6.5%
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 +6.5%
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 -6.2%
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 -4.4%
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 -4.4%
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 +3.1%
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 +6%
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%
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 +3.6%
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%
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 +10.1%
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 +5.7%
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)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
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. (429 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a trade a while back. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled March 2010
Maple Scotch Ale

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, loose, fizzy, off-white, cream colored head with decent retention. Head quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Opaque dark red or burgundy in color with lower levels of carbonation evident. A ring remains but that's about it. Color is fine, but the head is a little lousy.

SMELL: Caramel malts, some raisins, and lots of brown sugar. Red fruits and some maple syrup as well. Quite bold and interesting as well.

TASTE: Caramel, brown sugar and dark fruits. Raisins and dates for sure. Some spicy alcohol and a touch of sweet maple syrup at the swallow. Bold and boozy aftertaste is spicy, caramel sweet, with brown sugar and dark fruit notes. Very flavorful and complex, and nicely balanced as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth, no bite, and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. No heat and enough weight as well. Good feel.

OVERALL: This was really good, with very complex flavors and a nice, well measured touch of maple syrup. A touch boozy perhaps, and head could be a little more impressive, but this is solid beer for sure. Recommended. (1,241 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spring beer, in the late summer? Hey, I don't see it being any worse than breweries purposely releasing their O-fests and pumpkin ales just two weeks ago. It's a scotch ale with a twist; throw in some tit syrup and this sounds appetizing. From the Canadian 341 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Polished ruby brown colored brew with a small bubbly head on top which fizzles to a lace. It makes up the lack of head retention with a showing of some legs. The nose could appetize, but it doesn't quite hit that level of happy. There is a small squirt of maple syrup, and a modest phenolic characterwhich becomes a distractions and cuts off the aroma's potential. With time, the phenols ware off and some sweetness is available to smell, though it's low in intensity.

Has the scotch ale characters that I like, but on a softer scale. The flavors of tobacco smoke, unsweetened chocolate, gingerbread, and prunes show a beer with complexity and potential. A subtle lingering of phenols offer as a minor distraction to the base. The alcohol is hidden well in the beer itself, only freeing itself by heating the throat and stomach. Mouthfeel is medium heavy, paired with soft carbonation. Goes down easy for the style.

Certainly an acceptable Scotch ale. Warrants a try if you're into the style, otherwise you can get Traquair House for a similar price (at least in the US). (1,364 characters)

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a slight orange hue. Head rises upon pour, but goes quickly. Smell has a fig note and there's a trace of maple. The taste goes similarly. Alcohol is present, keeping sips small. The maple isn't as strong as I was expecting and definitely not as strong as I would have liked. Aftertaste is a little odd. I can't pin it, but I really wish it didn't linger like it does. Overall, I would say it's a interesting beer that I don't regret trying, but for the price tag, it isn't exactly the best choice at the store. I do applaud the brewery for their continued creativity, though. (599 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a cloudy red/orange amber. Slight head with slight lacing. Sweet malt, dark fruit and maple sugar aroma. Delicious. Sweet malty Scotch ale with distinct maple flavor. Heavy bodied and almost viscous. A bit sweet, but flavors carry it through. A later tasting with a year old, properly cellared bottle had almost identical characteristics. (409 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with a dense quarter inch beige head that lingers as a thick pool of foam.

Sweet maple, molasses, toffee, and hints of fig comprise the aroma.

Maple, nuts, slightly charred malt, and a bit of tartness form the flavor profile. Alcohol is noticeably present. Notes of chocolate and dark fruits add complexity. Banana esters surface as it warms.

Body is on the heavy side, with minimal carbonation. The finish is fairly smooth.

Overall, a little disappointing. The charred flavor and tangy note don't feel like they belong. (551 characters)

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.