1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

435 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 435
Reviews: 225
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 28
Gots: 37 | FT: 3
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 435 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, hazy tawny hue... head has a yellowish tint to it, and is very short. It was poured quite gently, though, so that could very well be playing into it.

S: Sweet malts... quite a sugary scent. Some notes of vanilla along with the maple come through, though rather modest before a swirl, which made it become far more robust. There's almost a hint of a fruity ester there, though nothing in particular that I can describe it as having a similarity to.

T + M: Quite sweet, and perhaps just a touch too sweet. Rich in malts, and the maple almost gives it a bit of a syrupy quality, both on the palate and in overall mouthfeel. It's a little heavy and sticky. For a style that is already a little rich, the syrup may have been taking it a step too far.

D: The alcohol isn't particularly hidden in that it is quite warming, though the flavour is quite masked. I don't know if I make a point of seeking it out actively, but it's an interesting experience, nonetheless.

Photo of AdamGarcia
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.5oz bottle served in Duvel tulip.

A: Two fingers of head atop a mahogany body. Red and pink highlights in certain lights. Head dissipates to a thin layer after a few minutes and clings to the glass just a little.

S: Sweet carmel and honey. Deep malt scents and maple. Esters linger in the background.

T: Lots of malt. Mostly toffe and carmel, with notes of vanilla and oak. Vague sweetness reminiscent of maple, but I would venture to say that I likely wouldn't be able to indentify it as such if I didn't know it was an ingredient. All is well until the finish, which is solvent-like and a little hot.

M: Good. Carbonation is about right. Maybe lacking in the viscosity department.

D: This beer just isn't very cohesive. It's not something I'd want to drink much of. There are too many other beers in this segment that I would choose before this one.

Photo of jdhilt
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger off-white head that vanishes leaving no lace. Cloudy brown/amber color, with some yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Malty maple nose. Flavor is roasty malt with maple, hints of the higher ABV and is warming. Nice variation of a scotch ale. $5.29 for a 11.5oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 4-pack of 341 ml brown bottles, abv listed as 9.1% on label. Pours out a cloudy opaque brown, russet highlights. Tall spongy and creamy cinnamon coloured head with amazing retention.

Sweet caramel, raisins and maple on the nose, hints of spice and alcohol warmth as well.

Dark toasty malt up front in the flavour, some caramel malt, dates, some molasses, the maple and alcohol character seem to meld together, while the finish and aftertaste is surprisingly hoppy with grassy herbal spicy notes that linger. Mild dry character in aftertaste as well.

Medium-full mouthfeel, a bit rough and sticky in texture, low carbonation.

A nice take on the style, and I dig the addition of maple to it, however I think I've sampled this too young, I have a feeling that it'll round out more in time and smooth out the rougher edges in the process.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this was one extremely difficult beer to review. This beer was nothing short of delightful to drink, however it didn't have many of the characteristics that Scotch Ales tend to have. I did my best but please bear with me.

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass, has a nice orange glow that attempts to go to the amber/brown color, pretty unique. Not much of a head on this beer and no real lacing. Smell is very good, hints of caramel and toffee. Sweet malts, barley, hops and a hint of alcohol, no smokey aroma that tends to be a staple of this style or the maple for that matter. Flavor is excellent, however, doesn't taste much like a scotch ale. Much more like a good barely wine ale or American Strong Ale. It has strong fruity and citrusy characteristics and well hopped. As it warms the flavors intensify. It has some sweet flavors to it, but I really can't taste the maple syrup. All in all a great tasting beer, looses points for not being to the style. The mouthfeel is great, a good sipper. Pretty full bodied but lite enough to be more versatile than just a sipper. The Alcohol warms you up and you can feel it, but it's not too strong. Makes itself known but it's not aggressive. Very drinkable, especially for a 9.5%.

A very good beer, I plan on getting a couple more bottles, maybe drink one in the late fall and maybe let the other age a year or so. I really would have rated it higher, but not that fitting to the style.

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

Pours an orangish-brown colour with a thin strip of white head that doesn't go away. Lots of maple in the smell, with some nuttiness I think. Flavour is great with maple (though, I'm partial to maple), caramel, and dried fruits. Very smooth beer and it hides the alcohol well.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a dark brown-orange with a solid creamy tan head that retained very nicely
S - inticing sweet maple syrup, roasted nutty malts, and some slight grassy hop hints
T - the rich nutty malt flavour start things off, then a tangy hop and alcohol bite, with the maple more subtle than the smell suggested but lingering on the taste buds
M - thins out quickly and the dominant feel is a full sharp bitter and high ABV sensation
D - the flavours work well, but there is a definite bite, no hiding of the 9.1% here, don't think i'd want to attempt more than one or two in a sitting

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased about 6 months prior to opening, in New York, and carried back to Australia to crack open with @thescotdownunder. This was prior to Dieu du Ciel becoming available in Australia, although I'm yet to see this particular beer on Australian shelves.

Pours a thick and heavy, brilliant burnished red colour, with a frothy but fine head of pale beige bubbles. Very good lacing, but minimal carbonation, even when swirled. Still, the body looks very thick. It looks a very nice beer. I love the colour, in particular.

Nose is wonderful. I feared the maple syrup would get lost in fermentation, but there's a big dollop of it here, sweet and slightly resiny, giving a lightly aromatic citrus character like candied lemon peel. Very sweet, but cut through with a lilt of acidity. Smells wonderful. Just delicious.

Taste is much stronger, and much more confronting. Initial welling of boozy phenols threaten to overwhelm the palate, which crescendoes in a great climax, and then recedes, leaving the residual maple character on the back, along with a light roasted bitterness that is in some way imparted by the boozy heat. For all its intensity, it doesn't have a huge amount of body, or depth - there's certainly no subtle layering of flavours on the palate. Mouthfeel is fine, but not as thick as I thought it might be from the look.

Still, a very interesting brew from Dieu du Ciel, who have a habit of coming up with interesting and well-made beers. Not my favourite of theirs, but I'm glad I got to sample it.

Photo of flipper2gv
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Super aggressive pour did give a good off white head, but it had totally no retention. It was gone within 20 seconds. Color is brownish red and there is no lacing.

S: There is a ton of nuts and buttery esters. A lot of caramel malts are there to give a lot of sweetness as well as molasses, brown sugar and, eventually, maple syrup. Dried figs and raisins are there too. Heavy bread/cereal smell present. Boozy.

T: Very strong caramel malts dominate. Strong tastes of caramel, maple syrup, molasses and brown sugar are definitely there. Then there is a good cereal bready taste that somewhat mixes with a tiny bit of tartness. Also the nuts and butter is still there but much less present than in the smell. The fruity tastes are also a bit less present, the dried figs and raisins. Also there is a medium level of earthy hops very reminiscent of what you'd find in a barley wine. Boozy.

M: Heavy feel with low carbonation. Perfect for a malt bomb like this.

D: With the booze, the heavy feel and all the sugar, it somewhat loses here. But, it's well balanced and still go down quite easily.

Photo of popery
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Photo of steve8robin
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like Aphrodite and Peche Mortel from this brewery. Let's check out this brew...

A: Dark iced tea brown flirting with some ruby red highlights. Tiny head that quickly fades to a small lacing atop the brew. Ok.

S: Sweet sugary malts upfront with some boozy burn in the middle and some creamy oak on the backend. Scents of sweet strawberries. The more I smell it, the stronger the sweetness takes over. Hints of maple are starting to shine through now. Smells very good.

T: Sweet caramel apple upfront with hints of maple in the middle and watery grae on the backend. Hints of a creamy booze taste begin to seep through. This is a very sweet brew. Good.

M: Medium bodied. Good carbonation blend. Leaves some sugary malts on the palate. Very good.

D: Once you get through the sugar wall, this goes down easy. Good.

All in all, this brew definitely surprised me. It's better than I expected. Very sweet, boozy, and malty... my type of brew. I'd say if you like a good malty big beer once in a while, then give this one a try. If you're looking for the hops, then avoid this one. Worth hunting down.

Photo of PSUDREW
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
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

Photo of andrenaline
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy brown with a ruby red tinge to it. Nice thumb of light fluffy tan head which sticks to the rim nicely, leaving some thick bubbly lacing. The carbonation is quite noticeable, sending steady streams from the bottom of the glass.

S - Sweet maple and chocolate malts, toasted almonds and a bit of toffee.

T - Quite sweet, as expected. The maple flavour is noticeable right away, brown sugar, and chocolate malts explode in your mouth. The finish is delicious with the maple lingering on your tongue. The alcohol is a little noticeable, but is nicely hidden by the sweet flavours.

M - Very nicely balanced with the perfect amount of carbonation. Goes down quite smoothly, especially for the high ABV.

D - Surprisingly drinkable for something with such a high ABV. Could easily toss back a few of these at a time. The flavours are intense, but still very refreshing. Highly recommended to anyone looking for something bold and sweet.

Photo of Xul
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mostly translucent amberish brown, capped by a one finger pale beige head. Head doesn't last too long but leaves some light lacing down the glass.

S: A fairly sweet overall character to the nose, caramel and maple syrup are the dominant notes, along with brown sugar, plums and figs, and a general booziness lurking in the background.

T: Caramel comes up first, followed by maple syrup that's better defined than on the nose. Some brown sugar comes in before giving way to a strong dark fruit presence - plums and figs again, along with some raisins - leading to a sweet, fruity finish. The alcohol is more subdued than on the nose, although it still feels like a definite sipper.

M: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation, velvety smooth.

D: The ABV rears its head and it's a sipper, but it goes down deceptively easily.

Photo of aasher
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark murky brown, looks like muddy stream water after a good rain, quickly dissipating tan head

Smell: smelled sweet and of candied fruits, raisins/plums, brown sugar

Taste: multifaceted taste/flavor, it is mouthwatering to begin with and very sweet, like brown sugar or molasses, a little smoky, leaves a slight alcohol taste behind

Mouthfeel: very smooth and full bodied, aftertaste lingers

Drinkability: Was average due to the sweetness, it had great flavor but the viscosity and sweetness make this a beer that you can only enjoy one at a sitting

I'd recommend trying it, I really enjoyed it

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

I was careful in pouring this one as the label read "Bottle Conditioned", plus I could see a fair amount of lees in the bottom of the bottle. As such, I produced only wisps on the pour. Color was a deep reddish-amber with NE-quality clarity, another reason not to muddy it up carelessly. Nose was really sugary sweet, definitely a maple syrup base! Mouthfeel was fairly full, not viscous, but close. Man, was I getting a LOT of malty sweetness on the tongue. The finish was awash in maple syrup. I felt like sitting down to a stack of pancakes to perhaps soak up some of the alcohol. This would be the far end of the spectrum from what I would normally drink, but it was bought and paid for, so it made a nice interlude on the afternoon.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle - spring has decided to turtle once again, here in late May, so I drink this ode to it with muffled irony.

This beer pours a murky, dark brownish orange colour, with three fingers of thick, puffy, and creamy beige head, which displays very good retention, leaving some decent sudsy chainlink lace around the glass.

It smells of woody maple, biscuity caramel malt, tanned leather, a further toffee sweetness, an oily nuttiness, reduced brown sugar, and some sedate oaken alcohol. The taste is big caramel/biscuit malt, still isolated hard toffee, semi-sweet maple sap, a hint of vegetal smoke, dark earthy fruit, more gritty leather, ethereal savoury spice, and a heady, but well tethered, enveloping booze warmth.

The carbonation is quite low, and almost invisible at times, the body a prominent medium-heavy weight, thick, viscous, somewhat oily, and creamy - a sledgehammer of pleasure on my palate. It finishes well off-dry, the complex malt offset by the lingering besotted fruitiness, and some late-arriving earthy, leafy, and slightly perfumed hops.

Suffice it to say the emphasis is on the 'heavy' in this wee heavy, Fat Bastard himself would be proud! One smooth-drinking, filling, and cockles-warming elixir, this one is. An appropriate offering for we north of the 49th parallel, as the onset of springtime predicated by the equinox normally still means snow on the ground and sub-zero temps that have overstayed their welcome.

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

Purchased during trip to Montreal, now, to the good stuff...

appearance - pours a dark chestnut brown with a tan head that lingers

smell - maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, malts, bourbon?

flavor - malts, smoke, molasses, bourbon on the back end

mouthfeel - good carbonation, full body, slightest sweetness on the aftertaste

drinkability - this is a smooth beverage at 9.5%, but you likely wouldnt drink more than 1 or 2 in a sitting

Photo of Long813
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dated: 03/10
From: Premier Wine & Spirits, 341ml

A: Dark opaque copper body with two fingers are creamy mocha head. Head retains throughout the entire drink and leaves thick lacing. If I didn't know any better I would have thought this was on nitro.

S: Huge from of maple and caramel and loads of alcohol. Not to sweet, but create a very 'full' aroma. As it warms up I also sense some bubblegum.

T: Just like the aromas, loads of maple and caramel and alcohol. Again, not to sweet, full bodied taste, well balanced and mellow (minus the alcohol).

M: Thick bodied and medium-low carbonation. A very thick and chewy texture with a sticky sweet aftertaste. The alcohol is a a bit hot and could go for some more aging.

D: Amazing beer. I was expecting this to be overly sweet, but it wasn't. The flavours were mellow and complimented each other well. If it aged longer it would be an easier drink. Hats off to DDC yet again for an amazing brew.

Photo of xpatriate
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer many times and never reviewed it.Not being a scottish ale fan,the maple infusion pulls me in every time.
Poured into my Leffe chalice dark and full of carbination.Color is typical off the style.One finger head.Not much maple in the nose.Again,smells like a scottish ale.Taste up front is nutty and wee bits of maple on the back of the tongue as it goes down.Mouthfeel is bubbly like a belgian brew.I would not drink a 6pk of this.It now comes in a 4pk. and that is how many I would drink in a session.So,as far as drinkability goes I would place it right in the middle.
Really happy Dieu Du Ciel bottle this and make it available every year.Hopefully they will bottle the Mea Culpa cream ipa they brew and have on tap from time to time.That beer is god!!!

Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It poured cloudy in color with a thin white head that left nice lacing patterns. A light level of carbonation is visible.
S: There are lots of aromas of maple syrup and caramel in the nose, along with some notes of alcohol.
T: There is a lot of malty sweetness in the taste, along with flavors of maple syrup, caramel and oak.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with some warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: This is a beer that can only really be sipped. I would definitely try this again, particularly if it is available again next spring.

Photo of BostonBrewins
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy brown amber. Tan head dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Nose is very sweet. Maple syrup and brown sugar. Alcohol too.

T - Wow extremely strong maple flavor. It especially comes through in the finish. Very sweet and a bit dry thanks to the maple. Alcohol is apparent.

M - Medium carbonation level, medium body, pretty smooth.

D - Quite possibly the best maple beer I've had. Don't know if I could drink more than or two in a session though.

Photo of elricorico
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
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
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 435 ratings.