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Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

413 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 413
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 24
Gots: 37 | 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:
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 added by: francisweizen on 05-02-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 413 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elricorico
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange brown, practically opaque in the glass. Three fingers of foamy beige head formed, and is taking its time in settling, never getting slimmer than half a finger. Sticky lacing left behind as it falls.

There is a licorice sweetness to the nose, along with a bit of boozy scotch impression. Some toffee and just the faintest suggestion of smoke.

Mix of licorice and maple sweetness up front, creating a bit of an odd combination. Licorice overtakes the middle, then tries to hold on as alcohol heat kicks in at the end. The alcohol settles as the beer warms and flavours seem to come together and become sweet and smooth with a touch of caramel and nuts in the finish. Alcohol never totally hides, but becomes more and more subtle.

Mouthfeel is fairly full with lowish carbonation. Chewy and smooth at once.

The alcohol in this one pushes the flavour around just a bit too frequently to make this a very drinkable beer. That said, there are some great flavours to it, and it is worth trying out to see if it is your thing.

Photo of Seanstoppable
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprised to find that Premier Wine and Spirits was stocking this, given that it is a seasonal, but who am I to complain?

Pours an extremely dark brown, almost to the point of being black. Very little head, which quickly disappears to a little crown.

Scent is of a thicker syrupy caramel.

Woo! You can definitely taste some alcohol here. Some flavor that I have come to equate with oak aged barrels is present. Some sweet caramel malts in the end as well.

It is good stuff, but I wouldn't call it a sessionable beer. One feels good for a cold evening, but probably a good idea to switch to something else after that one glass.

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter: Translucent russet body with amber highlights, a thin collar of head & lots of nucleation.

Smell is restrained caramel, subtle "cool" fruitiness (like pear), & a little alcohol.

Taste follows with the smell, with a little heat from booze, a mild woodiness, & a kind of raisiny spice character. There's a kind of twist at the very end of the finish where it sweetens a little more, just a little maple kick.

Medium-bodied, some heat. If this makes sense, it's a little "grainy," like the sugars reconvene in your mouth. Sweet feeling, thick in my spit.

Can't say I'm a huge fan of this one. One is nice enough, glad I tried it, etc. The flavors are a bit muddled overall, even in their "restrained" state, & the alcohol doesn't justify itself. After this & the Rosee de Hibiscus, I'm starting to realize that some of BDdC!'s descriptions are more appetizing than the product.

Photo of eat
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I've had this once on tap at the brewery and was not impressed at all. All I can remember about what I thought of it was that it was very sweet and smelled exactly like nail polish. I'm glad to have another go at this one...

Bottled March of 2010. I don't think I've ever seen a beer this colour before. It's a mahogany/copper/amber and pretty much opaque. An initial cream-white head settles down to a thin covering and ring around the glass, and then completely disappears. No lacing or retention. 3.5 only for the great colour and viscous looking pour.

I'm not sure what was up with this stuff when I had it on tap last year; this smells nothing like nail polish. Quite a nice smell actually: bread, yeast (with maybe even a hint of Belgian character), caramel, milk chocolate, spicy hops, dark malt, light alcohol, overripe banana and some subtle but noticeable maple. Smells like maple chocolate chip banana bread, which isn't something I've ever tried but sure sounds delicious now that I think of it!

Now I remember... It didn't smell like nail polish, it tasted like nail polish smells! I'm definitely getting that here again. The alcohol is pretty hot and comes off a little solvent-like. Mixed with the sweetness and maple, everything comes together to remind me a little of nail polish. While I was really put off by this last year, it's not too distracting here. What does detract from this otherwise pretty great scotch ale, however, is the solventy alcohol. I can't say I'm into it. Seems like maybe it needs some more age on it? It's also on the sweet side of things for my liking; not cloying but half way there anyway. The maple is appropriately subtle and the hop character is really nice, although I'd like even more of it. The finish is all of sweet, wet and dry at once, leaving traces of ethanol and maple.

The feel is alright: slightly chewy medium body with very light carbonation.

I don't find this to be too drinkable. I'd only buy this again in order to see how it ages. If some more age smoothed out the alcohol, I could see myself enjoying this. As is I'm having a hard time getting through this 341ml bottle. This is not one of the better DDC beers I've had.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Some chill staffer bought it for me at the brewpub. 9.5 instead of 9.1 in bottled form.

A- Dark red brown. Nice thin head that disappears but comes right back with a swirl.

S- So sweet. Maple syrup, yeast and malt.

T- Maple syrup is so much stronger, or rather noticeable than in bottled form. Still similar to the bottled serving. See my other review for details.

M- Almost full. Medium carbonation which I'd consider high for the style.
It got much lower during the hour it took me to drink this though.

D- Low. This tastes very good but just drinks slow. I love the taste but am just not very eager to take another sip.

Good quality beer.

Photo of Fugazme
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Beertopia in Omaha...

The pour is good... head dissipates quickly and is gone... a dull brownish beer remains. Little lacing or hint of of a cap.

Aroma is quite nice... maple for sure... tons of malty sweetness and rum... can tell it has a higher ABV.

Definite alcohol presence when tasting... quite sweet with some molasses notes... bit of heat and cinnamon... nice.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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

12 oz. Dark caramel/amber pour with minimal cream colored head. Recedes to a ring. Does seem to stick to the glass rather nicely.

Rather sweet malt, caramel and maple aroma. A little booziness.

Taste is pretty sweet, caramel, toffee and maple. Pancakes and waffles with above on them. There is some yeast character to it, not sure what they used, there is a hint of bananna in there.

Mouthfeel is almost syrupy, but the carbonation cuts it pretty well. Almost could have used less carbonation, but still ok.

There is a warming there, but it goes down smooth. Not sure I would really want to drink more than one of these though.

Maple does work well with this, similar to the Sappy Slappy Bastard from Founders.

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

been hanging onto this one for awhile, don't even recall where it's from, but the first noticeably springlike weekend seems to be the right fit

a: flared snifter, light head recedes to near absence, the beer a murky maple syrup brown in color

s: full toffee malt nose with a strong maple influence - really rich with dark, complex sugars, date and pseudo-chocolate, very smooth and almost dessert-like, alcohol levels are complimentary

m: carbonation low, slick full body

t: dark sugary malt body, lots of woody toffee with a noticeable but balanced maple presence, raisin and date, good booze, sweet but appropriately so, dries partially with some heavier toffee flavors clinging to the palate, mildly hopped, the maple is all-around a great fit to the scotch ale style

d: a bit strong for heavy drinking, but a pleasant sipping beer

Photo of wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into DDC tulip mar30 2010

A murky dark brown with a fast falling fingers worth of head that left no lace

S lots of bruised banana with a little molasses, some apple and some very mild chocolate and booze

T I had this a few days ago and got very little maple, this time around I get a fair bit to go along with what I pick up on the nose. a rather unique beer I can`t think of anything to compare it to, and that`s usually a good thing and this is no exception

M a decent amount of bubbles give it a slightly feel and the flavors linger for a while

D great beer for this chilly evening warming me up in just the right way

being almost April I`m over a week late for the Equinoxe de Printemp but here in Calgary spring is quite often late anyways so I may be just on time

Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice maple Scotch ale.

Presentation: 11.5 oz bottle. Fantasy-middle ages retro design with the image of a fairy-mother nature female representation holding a giant egg from which a tree breaks out. Short front description and brief side narrative generally noting main ingredients and intent. Does shows date of bottling (there seems to be a side numbered calendar with the faintest of scratches on 1 and 2 or 3 but it is not clear), and shows Alc. by Vol. (9,5%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep amber to amber brown pour, rather short head, minimal retention and lacing.

S - Sweet malty range, caramel and toffee, distinct maple, and small fruity touch.

T - Taste elevates the nose, and actually fits very closely what the label describes. There is a very rich malty range, with a touch of wood, distant note of vanilla even, and that sweetness is picked up by the maple profile in a nice sync with the malt. Burnt toffee and a nicely integrated boozy note close it.

M - Full to medium body with soft and nice carbonation. Smooth and creamy feel.

D - Nice sipper, great on one´s own or to share.

Notes: Very rich brew, probably a good candidate for some aging although it is great in this form. Pity that it is fairly uncommon to find these around.

Photo of movingtrain
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.5 ounce bottle poured into a Caracole glass.

Pours an amber-red with light carbonation and very little head.

Smell is reminiscent of a red ale...lots of malt aroma, some brown sugar, caramel, black peppercorn. The aroma is pleasant, but smells fairly ordinary.

Hints of caramel, bitter apple, cinnamon, and peppercorn again in the taste. There is a bit of creaminess to this beer, and a lot of bite. I'm not getting the maple syrup that the bottle notes as one of the key ingredients. Instead, I am tasting more fruity notes, especially those of red grapes and apple. There are some biscuity notes here, as well, given from the high malty profile.

Overall, this beer is fine, as are most other beers I have sampled from this brewery. It's up there in alcohol, which is masked relatively well in the flavor profile. It is a sweet ale, with some bitter notes on the edges of the tongue, allowing the flavors to stand out and really pack a punch.

Photo of avocadoz
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber/orange.. very cloudy. Smells of maple, bananas, honey and loads of alcohol. The taste is more that of maple and alcohol.. don't pick up on bananas or honey, but unfortunately lots of alcohol. Despite this, its a great session brew, but doubt i could have two. Enjoy the maple sweetness and bet this would be excellent with dessert.

Photo of sullenbee
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Chestnut and cloudy, head quickly faded to a faint ring. Unrelated to the actual beer, I really rather like the artwork on Dieu Du Ciel beers. Look forward to collecting/trying different beers for that reason alone.

S-Ripe bananas and maple syrup. When I say ripe, I mean bananas that aren't going to last another day. Very strong, needing to be put into bread. Brown sugar and caramel.

T-Strong maple flavor, not a surprise. Not overwhelming, but simple and sweet. A reminder of breakfast, sort of put me in the mood for bacon at 12:00 o'clock at night. Woodsy flavor also made me think this would be a good beer to sit around a campfire with. Kind of an outdoorsy feel to it, even though I enjoyed it during a Michigan winter. Put me in the mood to look forward to warmer weather, and outdoor breakfast meals.

M-Warming, dry, slightly syrupy.

D-Very easy to go down, with the high ABV this one may be a sneaky heavy hitter.

Looking forward to tasting some of this breweries selections on tap in May, when I head to Montreal for a music festival.

Photo of bob3701
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip style glass. Pours a cloudy brown with orange highlights. Creamy beige head quickly goes into a thin film with very good lacing. Heavy malt and alcohol aromas with a slight maple syrup aroma as it warms. No mistaking this style its a Scotch ale all the way. Heavy malted sweetness and strong alcohol prescences. A bit of a maple after taste. Alcohol burn on the tongue and lips a bit sticky. A beer to sink your teeth in but not having too many in a sitting.

Photo of ksimons
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark brown with carbonation bubbles present, thin layer of head

S-Very sweet, a little malt sneaks through

T-A very big, rich taste, sweet with lots of malt and alcohol present

M-Carbonation is present but not overpowering, a very rich feel, alcohol is very present and leaves a tiny burning sensation

My first from this brewery, a very good beer but could be a little too sweet to have more than one.

Photo of kegger22
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dieu du Ciel! Équinoxe du Printemps Scotch Ale was a cloudy brown in color with a finely bubbled, one finger cream head. The beer also displayed good head retention.

The aroma was very sweet and distinctly reminded me of Juicy Fruit chewing gum.

The taste was sweet Juicy Fruit too, albeit a highly alcoholic one. I also got some banana flavoring out of it, but did not notice much maple taste. This one was all malt with no noticeable hop presence.

The mouth feel was a solid, medium body with minimal carbonation, and oily.

Drinkability was about what you would expect from a tasty, high ABV beverage.

I was quite taken by everything but the price. At five and a half bucks per little bottle, it would have to be as good as its big sister, Péché Mortel, to be taken seriously; and it is not quite there.

Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest head that dies to a thin film--leaves spotty lace that slides down the glass. The color is light brown and very cloudy.

Sugary malt aroma; the maple syrup really shows up here.

Sweet crystal malt and maple syrup flavor. Enough hop to provide interest and keep the Scotch Ale true to form. There's a touch of smokiness and molasses. Rich body as expected. I wouldn't describe this as a quaffing beer, but like others from Dieu du Ciel, it is complex and interesting.

Photo of avalon07
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a very thin amount of head and above average lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, a little grain and the advertised maple syrup.

T: A big flavor of malt, grain, spices, and maple syrup, though the last ingredient never becomes overly cloying. A big, bold taste.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium- to full-bodied. Chewier than most Scotch Ales.

D: An immensely drinkable beer. Good for this time of year.

Photo of Chico1985
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

Photo of alcstradamus
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a reddish hue and a half finger of head. Smell is extremely sweet maltiness with lots of maple. I'm reminded of a stack of pancakes layered with banana slices and topped with a pool of syrup. The alcohol is very noticeable as well.

The taste brings a lot of the maple sweetness as well as what seems to be a bit of oak. The rich malts are somewhat overpowered by the maple, which is good at first but starts to get cloying as the time goes by.

The mouthfeel is medium to full with good carbonation, overall pretty spot on for the style. Drinkability is a bit low due to the lack of balance, I'd rather have a richer and heavier wee heavy than one that is this sweet.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

interesting one, for sure.

A - a beautiful vibrant deep orange, with a head that flared up nicely, but didn't last very long. Doesn't have much hanging around for lace, but a thin collar around the surface and a few filmy patches.

N - Smells wonderful. Almost the aroma of a deep belgian brown ale, only without as much characteristic belgian doughy yeast. Scotch ale by form, with lots of deep dank malts, but really swelling in sweet syrupy goodness. Kind of like home-made maple syrup - dense and complex.

T - Scotch ale at first, with some dry peaty grains and a nice smooth depth with some mild coarseness. Sweetness rolls in toward the middle and rides out through the finish, kind of swerving away from scotch character into something entirely different, though very pleasantly so. Nowhere near cloying, and despite all its syrupy quality, it's not too sweet or heavy in this department.

F - Not bad. Kinda weak at times, with only mild carbonation to liven it up. Thickens some with the sweetness, but still somehow surprisingly empty at times. Washes clean except for a patchy sticky residue. Most of the body seems to be in a syrupy sense, with the beer falling somewhat thin otherwise. Slightly more carbonation might give it just a little more life.

D - Very drinkable, very pleasant. Somehow rather characteristically and paradoxically like and unlike scotch ale, but the maple in here really compliments the scotch's dense sweetness. I actually really like this quite a bit, and would enjoy having it around, especially on cold days for sitting by the fire, after dinner, or holed up in the snow reading a good book.

Photo of Lldeegan
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep rusty copper with a scarce off white head that leaves substantial lace as it recedes. The smell is sweet malt up front, similar to a dopplebock, some licorice, then the maple comes through with notes of chocolate and orange peel as it warms. The taste is similar to the smell with some nut and sweet orange but is nothing too bold. It's a pretty full-bodied beer, with carbonation that gives a good bite and leads to a dry, sweet finish. It's a very tasty beer, pretty right on with the maple syrup without being too cloying or leaving a bad taste in your mouth after you've drank it. This beer has great timing on the palate with nice flavors being delivered, but leaving crisply without overstaying their welcome and only leaving behind some lingering sweetness and some stick in the mouth. Subtle flavors and high alcohol make for a nice sipping beer.

Photo of albern
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

This one pours a nice golden amber color. It has a very thin, surface covering, head. The lacing is medium size and slightly sticky.

The nose is full of a butterey rich maltiness. There are hints of oak, caramel, toffees and a mild bozziness. It has a very nice touch of maple. Mild yeasty presence.

The maltiness is not quite as 'big' as I like in a scotch ale, but it may be getting weighed down but the maple sweetness. It's not cloying or anything, but the sweetness is definitely here. Caramel, dark fruit notes, toffee and brown sugar. The maple is an interesting addition to the style. There is a nice earthy, woody, nuttiness to it that provides balance and helps bring a touch of dryness to the long finish.

This has a nice medium-to-full body on it. It has a medium level of carbonation. Very smooth, with a slight touch of creaminess.

Very good to throw into the mix, as an occasion beer or just something to break up the same old routine. A little too much for everyday drinking though, which is not a bad thing.

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
88 out of 100 based on 413 ratings.