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Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

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very good

422 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 422
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 25
Gots: 35 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 422 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of eat
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
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
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
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
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
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
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
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
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
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
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
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
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
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
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
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
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.