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Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

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Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

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very good

444 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 228
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 28
Gots: 40 | 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
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Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 228
Photo of Chico1985
3.24/5  rDev -16.7%
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
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
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
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
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
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
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
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Damian
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Drank from an 11.5 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Served in a thistle glass

The beer poured a hazy, reddish-amber color with a creamy, smooth, light tan, three-finger head that slowly faded to a thin film. A thick sheet of lacing blanketed the glass.

The aroma was sweet and pleasant yet a bit restrained initially. Rich carmel malts were noticeable. Maple, vanilla and toffee notes appeared as well. Somewhat candy-like and a bit yeasty. Boozy. As the beer warmed, both the maple and the vanilla notes crescendoed.

The taste was sweet and malty. Caramelized malts were apparent. Maple syrup was instantly recognizable. Super oaky and bourbony. The woody, tannic finish was boozy and a bit harsh. As the beer warmed, the alcohol presence dominated the finish.

The mouthfeel was soft, smooth and supple. A bit syrupy yet thinner than I would have anticipated for a 9.5% ABV beer.

Drinkability was somewhat poor. The booziness became nearly unbearable by the drink's end. Furthermore, the dry and woody flavors in this beer were rather overbearling. This could definitely benefit from more time in the cellar.

Photo of ccrida
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle that I've cellared for a few months, poured into my Delirium snifter, Équinoxe Du Printemps is copper with a large off-white head that is very thick, slow to subside, leaving heavy hunks of foamy lace. Impressive, especially for the style. Also, another cool label, I always dig their artwork.

Smell is pretty boozy, some sweet malt, maple.

Taste is pretty fuselly, not much malt character, a little maple comes out as it warms, but this one is really lacking depth for my taste.

Mouthfeel is very dry, medium body.

Drinkability isn't too high. It's a pretty hot beer that's not terribly interesting to drink. While I got it in trade (thx Northyorksammy!), their beers are generally on the pricey side, which certainly doesn't help.

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

11.5 oz. bottle.

Slightly cloudy, rusty-brown body. Small, wispy, light khaki head. No lacing. Very malty nose. Big caramel, toffee, and maple syrup notes. Hints of bubble gum, cola, and peat.

Taste starts off with a flash of toasted malts before big sweet maltiness takes over. Caramel and overripe fruits swell, with lots of sweetness. Slight earthy edge, and hints of bubble gum (ester?). Light herbal notes come in near the finish, but the big story is how the maple syrup pours on big-time. It almost tastes like maple syrup was added after bottling! Lingering maple syrup sweetness. Full-bodied, with a syrupy feel. A little sweet for these taste buds, but very interesting. If you like maple syrup, this beer is for you.

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

poured into a snifter,nice head but not much lacing.nose has a big whiff of maple syrup,caramel,and alcohol.

nice maple and caramel notes interwoven with dark fruit esters, some bready malt comes through. slightly nutty as well. overall pretty nice. definitely a different twist on the wee heavy.

pretty full bodied, moderate carbonation doesn't detract from the beer.worth a shot.

Photo of Gavage
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: clear reddish amber in color with a 1" head that slowly falls.

Smell: caramel and brown sugar sweetness is easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel, big brown sugar sweetness, maple syrup, mild alcohol tones, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, smooth and mildly dry at the finish. The sweetness lingers long in the mouth after swallowing.

Drinkability: this beer was just a bit too sweet for my liking. One glass is enough in a session.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Aroma is of sweet malts and syrup/honey! Really cool smell, really cool. Taste is warming and malty with some bourbon type taste in the background. The sweetness does a good job of masking the high wee heavy ABV. My first Dieu Du Ciel beer and by no chance will it be my last. Unique, mysterious and intriguing, I couldn't be more excited!

Photo of Wasatch
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Sebletitje for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice cloudy amberish color, some carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some minimal sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice spice notes, slight dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is malty, sweet (maple syrup), some dark fruits, spices, caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, really liken this one tonight, very tasty. So far every brew I've have from this brewery is pretty awesome.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy caramel color with a finger full of loose light tan foam that fades to stringy patterns of lacing. Really enjoying the aggressive malty sweet complex vanilla toffee aroma. Full flavored, a sweet maple syrup leads a vanilla bourbon character that lingers nicely. The lightly carbonated mouth feel reveals the tangy nature of a light-medium bodied barleywine. A really fine drinker, the 9.5% ABV is integrated well. Highly recommended.

Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a light brown head on top of a red-brown body with good clarity. Low retention and decent lace.

S - Floral with fruit syrup notes. Blackberry and toffee as well as smoky toasted malt.

T - Sweet, syrupy malt with lots of toffee. Moderate, spicy hop flavors and balancing bitterness. Notes of vanilla, smoke, caramel, brown sugar, and spicy alcohol.

M - Thick, smooth body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is an unusual scotch ale that breaks the normal boundaries of the style, but does so successfully. There is a lot of complexity, mostly from the sugar and malt notes, and it is well balanced. A nice sipping beer.

Photo of peabody
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy dark ice tea color with two fingers of off-white suds. Bubbles slide off the rim of the glass.
Smell is strong malt and sugar with clove and pepper hints. Mabey a fruit like raisin or plum. Slightly bready too and the alcohol comes through quite a bit.
Taste is real sweet. Bourbon and sugar caramel malts. Slightly dirty taste towards the end.
Mouthfeel is a little sticky at first then the alcohol hits the back of the throat and it finishes with just a slight bitterness.
Drinkability for me is not quite that good. The alcohol is a bit much here but this is a great drink for the winter months coming up.

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

Poured into Smokestack Chalice.

Pours a small ¼ finger slightly tan head that fades down quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. Not very much lace. Color is a robust caramel brown, somewhat hazy.

Aroma: Wood/oak, vanilla, lots of malts, maple syrup in the background, sweet sugar, and a hint of alcohol.

Taste: Big vanilla flavors with some oak to follow along. A lot of malts which is normal for a scotch. Alcohol and ends with maple syrup. They maple syrup is good, but it brings a lot of heat with it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little crisp, and hot. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a pretty clean aftertaste.

Overall, a decent beer. I am not for sure, but I am guessing all the sugar in the maple syrup had something to do with all the alcohol in this beer. I think it would be a lot better if the abv was able to be toned down a bit. I do like it that I can taste the maple syrup, however. An interesting brew, maybe not worth the price tag.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle pours a nice deep hazy mahogany, thin head with little staying power but a subsequent stir agitates some bubbles.

Nose is sweet. Caramel, toffee, dark fruits, hints of maple, peat.

Full body and taste. Lots of maple tries to make friendly with the traditional scotch ale: peat, toffee, earth, caramel, raisins, hints of cherry, bread, whiskey-like warming alcohol evident in the finish. Makes for a sometimes unwieldy marriage, one sip maple wins, another scotch ale. A little too sweet for my liking, maple wins. Medium body, smooth/light carb, pretty drinkable.

Not sure how I feel about this: not bad, though not perhaps at par for what I would expect from DDC. Nonethless, enjoyed drinking it though, probably, with all the selection from DDC, wouldn't choose it again.

Photo of Patrick999
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow, big-ass beer here. Let's crack it open...

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Slightly murky brown, though I did make it a point to pour in the sediment. Short head, but easily roused with some swirls.

Maybe it's the power of suggestion, but it kinda smells like a Belgian Strong Dark, a really malty one. Huge banana and raisin, huge sweetbread. Nose just screams "crazy big beer."

Massive banana bread taste, with maple indeed bringing up the rear in the aftertaste. Indeed, this is a veritable malt showcase, with bready, banana-rum flavors everywhere. Full bodied.

This is an intense flavor bomb. So much that I find it really tough to drink that much of it. I want to drink it again....and split it with 4 people. It is a bit much for one saison-lover like me to handle.

I am finding that this brewery is especially given over to intense flavor bombs...

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

Reviewed 9/24/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16 oz Harp glass. Firm pour yields the thinnest of heads the evaporates very quickly. Very spotty light lace. Color is interesting, almost cider like, a very murky, clouded light brown.

Nose- Sour, sweet, and malty. Sour, almost rotting green apples. Interesting as I thought the maple syrup would come through.

Taste- Wow. Very different then the nose. Some dark fruits, cherries and dates, apple pie. Lots of firm malty caramel backing. Burnt caramelized sugar, a pleasant maple finish. Very warming in finish.

Mouthfeel- Thin and dry but not cloying

Drinkability- Very nice but strong, and I am only half way through.

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

Pours cloudy red-brown with a slight creamy tan head.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, a touch of maple, apple and a vague spices.

Taste is malty as the nose suggested. Bready caramel and toffee, along with a define oaky vanilla, and dry cedar wood character. A touch of peaty smoke. Finish is boozy dark fruit and lingering alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Thick and chewy.

A very tasty and smooth Scotch ale. Malty and sweet, but big alcohol and interesting woody, earthy quality brings balance.

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.

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Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.