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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
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Ratings: 435 | Reviews: 225 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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