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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

423 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 423
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 26
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 423 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsh420
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pours clear dark amber brown with a 2 finger head that left little lacing

smell is mostly maple syrup and booze

taste is good - malts fruits booze and oh that maple syrup - very sweet - little too much for me

mouthfeel is heavy and why wouldnt it be - it has maple syrup in it

drinkability - for me not so good - too sweet high abv along with a heavy body makes me not want to buy another - thats not to say its not a good beer because it is

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

Poured a dark and dirty amber with a touch of ruby highlights. The head was very thin and quickly became a little soap ring.

A huge sweet bready malty smell with a big blast of maple and molasses along with some alcohol and cedar.

The initial taste is sweet and maplely with a nice bready malt base and some funky musty yeast. A big blast of juniper and mint hops slowly makes its way through the malt blast. The alcohol while evident in the nose is very well in hidden in the flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily with long lingering dry flavor.

Easy to drink for a beer this big, The maple is a nice touch giving this beer a unique flavor.

Photo of jdklks
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours hazy amber on the edges, with a deep brown middle, and a damn near non-existent head. smells of the maltiness typical of a scotch ale, accompanied by a not-so-typical sweetness. alcohol is, well, noticeable, to say the least.

mmm... 5. 5 for a scotch ale, the best ive ever had. a nicely done (i.e., not overpowering) sweetness up front that gives way to sweet roasted malts, and a barely perceptible hop presence in the middle. this is all followed by the best part of the beer: the maple!!! fantastic finish and aftertaste. lots of alcohol, lots of sweet maple syrup and brown sugar.

mouthfeel is syrupy, disgustingly thick and full of sediment. great. drinkability takes a small hit for the beer being so sweet all the way around, but otherwise, it keeps you sipping.

Photo of WesWes
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a thin offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has an alcohol filled scent that boasts of burnt toffee and maple notes. The taste is good. It has a smooth burnt toffee flavor that goes down slow and warm with a touch of sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very nice Scotch ale. It has a killer warmth to it with loads of caramel malt and maple character.

Photo of steeltown71
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a nice amber, creamy inch-thick head, good retention.

S: Not far removed from fresh pancake aroma...honey, shortbread cookie, cinnamon, maple syrup.

T: Nice maltiness upfront, gets more interesting on finish with noticeable maple syrup & spice.

M: Medium-bodied, not hugely sticky or viscous given the sweetness, perfect carbonation level.

D: Interesting but there's no chance I would want to session this.

Unique flavor profile makes this worth trying at least once. For the money though I can't imagine reaching for this if Peche Mortel is on the shelf next to it.

Photo of qchic
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like murky iced tea with only a shading of head atop. Some sediment from the bottom of the bottle came with the aggressive pour. Smells fruity, malty and nutty with some banana, green apple, maple, and a little alcohol. Tastes unlike any other scotch ale I've had. It's malty and the maple that follows the fruity esters is not cloying or overpowering at all, but rather subtle. This is a hefty beer and the alcohol demands to much attention in the flavor, detracting from drinkability. Glad I killed my curiosity, but won't purchase this again.

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.5oz bottle, hard to distinguish the freshness date, since it's not etched into the numbers on the label.

Poured into nonic pint glass - good lookin, with 3f of fluffy, tan head on top of an opaque orange-brown body, and good lacing.

Banana candy hit me right off the bat with some high-end single barrel rum. As it warmed, also got some tropical / pineapple hoppiness, and just a wee hint o' tha maple.

Taste matched the complexity of the smell. Plenty of flavors fighting for your attention, including the aforementioned sweet banana, some tangerine (yes, I said tangerine), and maple syrup.

Mouthfeel was a little hot from the alcohol - probably the low point of this beer was its inability to hide this. But overall, it was not thick or cloying.

This was a wee heavy in every sense... great complexity, richer than a Scottish Ale, but a wee bit hot. I could have two of these over a couple of hours, cause I dig the style.

Would love to cellar a couple of these and see how they fare 1-2 years down the line.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.5 ounce bottle, 9.5% ABV. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a cloudy reddish/brown color with a very small off-white head that went away pretty quickly. Lacing is OK. The aroma is sweet, it smells like maple syrup, toffee, bananas, wood and booze. It tastes like maple, apple brandy, bananas and toffee. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit rich and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it's not hard to drink at all. It would be much easier to drink if the booze taste wasn't so noticable. I probably should have aged this a bit longer as it's still hot. Overall, I think it's a decent brew that I would try again. However, it's not one of the better Dieu Du Ciel beers I've tried.

Photo of mobyfann
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $2.99 for a single from Ludlow Wines in Clifton...

The beer pours a muddy brown base with a moderate sized head, limited retention, and minimal lacing. The aroma is maple syrup sweet with malt tones.

The taste is subtle of grainy malts and sweet caramel and maple syrup tones, similar to the smell; hardly and carbonation and thin feeling on the palette... very smooth in the mouth, my bottle boasts a 9.5% abv and no alcohol was to be noticed.

Final Thought: A great concept that falls a tad short of greatness, a pricey beer that is fairly two-dimensional.

Photo of cjgator3
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.5oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a a dark reddish brown with a nice off-white head. 

S- The aroma is very sweet with a lot of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, maple syrup and booze.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out very sweet and malty. Hints of toffee and caramel come in next with a boozy finish. A little on the sweet and boozy side for me, but not bad.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a thin fizzy carbonation in the finish.

D- Like mentioned above, the sweetness and booziness limit the drinkability of this brew for me.

Photo of nrbw23
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a reddish brown color with pretty much no head at all. What head there is a tannish color and leaves very spotty lacing.

S- Overall, I thought this one smelled a little sweet. Toffee, maple syrup, fruity esters and some boozy alcohol as well. I think just a little too sweet for the style.

T- Taste is again very sweet with a malt heavy taste going on. Quite a bit of toffee flavor up front. Also as the bottle states maple syrup flavor is here. A bit of alcohol here as well.

M- Medium in body and carbonation maybe a little bit high.

D- A sipper for sure at 9.5%. Easy to drink with just a different spin to keep things interesting.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.08/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Pours a dirty brown with a small tan head. Aroma of alcohol, banana laffy taffy, medicinal nastiness. Flavor is sweet, definitely syrupy, with more laffy taffy notes as well as sweet caramel. Boozy. Flavor is better than the aroma, but when the aroma is that bad...it's hardly meaningful. Ick.

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Snojerk321! Pours rusty copper with a creamy beige head.

The aroma is quite unique. Notes of ripe green apples are apparent, as well as caramel and candied sugar. Lots of booze is noticeable. The syrupy maple sugar is a really nice touch. Caramel apple maple sugar. That sounds pretty fantastic.

The flavor is very, very sweet, with apple brandy notes. The taste has notes of maple syrup and caramel. This is quite boozy, and almost desert-like.

Overall, a nice and sweet caramel maple syrup beer.

Photo of champ103
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark orange/brown color. A large beige head forms with great retention. Sticky spiderweb lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Of toasted and sweet caramel malt. Dry wood and dark fruits. Plums, figs, even some banana. A warm boozy character as well. This is amazing.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of toasted malt. Sweet caramel. I can really tastes the maple syrup. It works, but it is almost too sweet. Dry wood with some dark fruity esters again. There is a little burn from the alcohol as well.
M/D: A full body that is incredibly rich, creamy, and decadent. The alcohol is noticeable, and burns a little. Though it is a great beer to sip on through the night.

This is a great beer. I am continually impressed with this brewery. Very unique and highly recommended.

Photo of cratez
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 341ml bottle into a snifter. Cinnamon tan body with an off-white head, which quickly fades away. Bad retention and no lace. Smell consists of fruity esters, pungent alcohol, and maple. Lots of yeast, with hints of brown sugar. Taste is bittersweet whisky malt, prunes, alcohol, and dryly malted wheat. Boozy and clean, but too big! This beer is overly dry and the alcohol is far too prominent. Also, I would have liked more maple flavour in the taste. Not very drinkable.

EDIT: tried a second bottle at the DDC! Meet & Greet at Chancey Smith's and it was tasting much better. The head lasted longer, I got some nice floral, resinous aromas on the nose, and the maple came through a lot more in the flavour. It was also far less boozy than my first sample. I've upped the score accordingly.

Photo of dogger6253
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The head fell apart almost instantly. It was a light, tannish color while it was around though. The body of this beer is gorgeous. It's a muddy brown with bits of red and orange swirled in.

The nose is pretty sweet, sort of citrus combined with maple and brown sugar and a little bit of alcohol behind it all. The taste is even sweeter. There is a strong maple flavor, very sugary. There is a dark fruit medley involved within the flavor as well. I guess I'd pick out figs, apricots, orange zest and caramel to be the forerunners in the flavor department. The booze hits you with a nice warmth and all-in-all this beer is sweet, thick and warming. A fabulous combination. All of this gets balanced out with a sharp bitterness at the end of each sip. I liked this stuff a lot.

Photo of Brad007
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish-red color with a one-finger head into my fluted tulip. Nice presentation.

Aroma is strong and smokey with a bit of booziness and faint maple in the nose.

Taste is boozy and smokey with raisin and maple flavors standing out the most. A bit "hot" but still drinkable.

Mouthfeel is full of raisin and maple flavors that linger along with alcohol heat, which cools down a bit towards the back of the throat. Maple is very nice and shows through very well towards the back of the throat.

A very nice example of the style. Perhaps a bit too boozy but it will definitely mellow out. Still quite drinkable at this stage.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.5oz brown glass twist-top. Label has numbers, but none are marked.

Appearance: Rough pour turns up on this off-white head which leaves minimal spotting. Cloudy amber brown.

Nose: Lots of booze up front, reminds me of fine seve or sortilege...and turpentine. Hmmm. That's hard to get passed.

Palate: Paint thinner up front, yikes, but that gives way to rich and luscious scotch malty-smokey goodness and then slides out to the sweet, slick maple syrup finish. Grade B or so. Medium bodied and sweet, low carbonation.

Notes: Well, that turpentine/mineral spirits thing is hard to get passed. If that was gone, this would be a sweet dessert beer. Drinkability suffers big time.

EDIT: After reading other reviews, I agree there's definitely a bananas foster thing going on here. Nice catch.

Photo of grayburn
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lighter than expected ruddy brown with a swirl of head that wants to be bigger, sitting on top. Lacing is moderate.

The smell is dominated by bannanas foster...alcohol, sugar, and bannana...nice...a bit too much alcohol though.

The bannana starts the taste off as well, but is quickly complimented by some sugary sweetness that leads into a maple sweetness. This beer is vermont.

The mouthfeel is big and thick with a good amount of carbonation. Adds up to a nice drinkable product, good beer...expensive, but good.

Photo of GClarkage
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

06/21/09- Purchased at K&L Wine Cellars in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 11.5oz bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip. Has a date strip that is notched, but can't figure it out.

Appearance- Deep amber-brownish colored pour with a 3/4 inch quick fading head. Leaves some light spots of lacing behind.

Smell- A bit of very deep burnt caramel malt, a light touch of a woodsy barrel nose and a touch of alcohol.

Taste- Quite malty, in fact pretty much dead on to style. A wee bit smokey with a good level of noticable alcohol. Barrel flavors come into play nicely, but the caramel-toffee roasted malt steals the show.

Mouthfeel- Definitely a bit high in the carbonation level. Thick and chewy, even when consumed right out of the fridge.

Drinkability- Overall on the the top wee heavy's I've had. A style that I really haven't grasped yet, nor even like that much...but this one was quite tasty.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.24/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted on June 7, 2009. My 100th review. Mine is 9.5% ABV. Is this only for the 2009 version?

A: Brownish opaque color. No head... boo. I would say the color is not inviting :P
S: I get mainly sugar from the maple. Very hard to get anything else...
T: Again more sugar and I get the alcohol at the end. I can't taste the malts... I'm overwhelmed by the maple I would guess.
M: Round and medium bodied beer. Nice feeling in the mouth. Good beer to finish the night.
D: One per session... too strong a beer and sweet to have more than one.

Not a bad beer, however this is not my to go beer. After all this is a sipping beer. Good to have one or two per year :)

Photo of GbVDave
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.5oz bottle into a DT tulip.

A: Pours a rusty, reddish-brown with a nicely creamy, light-tan colored cap of foam. Head retention was decent and after it eventually receded, a thick lace leaving ring was left.

S: Smells syrupy and sweet. Aromas of toasted nuts, figs, cinnamon, a faint whisp of maple, and a shit-ton of booze. Curl your nose hair levels of booze.

T: See above. Too much booze and not nearly enough smoked malt. Maple presence was fleeting at best.

M: Oily and sticky with a spicy booziness that plastered itself to my tongue.

D: I was pretty underwhelmed by this. My least favorite DDC beer so far, by a wide margin.

Photo of oakbluff
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle via Glouglouburp- pours a murky chestnut with a lively beige head. Nose- Sweetness from the syrup and malt is predominant. Taste- nutty, cookie dough malt, with extra kick of maple sweetness and brown sugar. Finish dries out and is quite boozy. HInt of smoke and oak on the finish as well.

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

Pours a dark chestnut with a clumpy head. There was lacing when I started drinking it but by the end it was mostly gone.

The aroma reminds me of toffee apples with hints of maple syrup, ripe banana, oak and a slightly noticeable alcohol.

The taste is the same with a sweet caramel and the taste of a toffee apple that has turned slightly brown, with mashed ripe banana and plum, spice, followed by a warming alcohol. I was expecting more of a roasted malt to this which I think would add a little more complexity. As it is it's mostly sweetness and alcohol. And there's maple but you have to really look for it.

Medium mouthfeel that is somewhat lacking in carbonation.

At 9.5% and a noticeable alcohol content, it's a sipper and probably one would be enough for me.

Oh yeah, got this from notdan through CanBIF. Thanks Dan! :)

Photo of theghost3
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep copper with a 1-finger beige head that quickly dissapates. Minimal lacing.

Smell is yeast, caramel, and maple. The taste is a lot like scotch--sweet malts, caramel, figs, wood, and some yeast. The maple syrup is in there at the end. Mouthfeel kind of burns like liquor & there's a good amount of carbonation. Thickness is medium.

This is a drinkable scotch ale, but watch the ABV. I was a little dissappointed in the fact that the maple flavor was a bit week.

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.