Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

415 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 415
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 23
Gots: 36 | 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:
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 added by: francisweizen on 05-02-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 415 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mobyfann
4/5  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
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
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
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
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
2.1/5  rDev -46.2%
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 +2.6%
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
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
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
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
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 +4.6%
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
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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 -16.7%
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
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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
3.93/5  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
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
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
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
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 -12.8%
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
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
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
3.88/5  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.

Photo of cvfish
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a reddish brown color that produced a small fluffy tan head which had good retention and left some lace on the side of the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer were oak, maple, and caramel

T - The taste of this beer was great, nice bit of malts, maple syrup, and some smoked wood flavor, the alcohol on the end was mind but still present

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a smooth, creamy, medium to heavy body with a light amount of carbonation

D - I am a huge fan of BDDC (except the pepper beer), and this was no exception, huge flavor and easy drinking make this dangerous

Photo of Gmann
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an iced tea brown color with a small tan head that leaves a light ring, almost looks flat. The aroma is sweet, a bit vinous, brown sugar, a brown bread malt, and rubbing alcohol. The taste is of rum soaked raisins, vinous, brown sugar, cinnamon raisin bread. The malt is outplayed by the sweetness of the brew, no roasted qualities or smokiness. Way too sweet and boozy. The feel is chewy, a bit sticky, suprisingly not slick, prickly carbonation. Finishes sweet and hot from the ABV. A very disappointing Wee Heavy, not about the malt just about the booze. A very hot brew, sweet flavors; should showcase the malt. Boo. The label indicated that this was 9.5ABV. Great brewery just not digg'n this brew at all.

Photo of taez555
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drunk at cellar temps. The bottle actually reads 9.5%, not 7% ABV.

This beer poured a rather clear brown, ruby, thin coca cola colored body with a small naturally bottle condition type white head.

Nose is mostly warm alcohol. Some gamey dark fruits and a strong sweet malt. Although there's definitely some flavors that are trying to fight there way through, the strong alcohol hides it.

Taste is strong and brown tasting. Surprisingly light body for such a big beer. It's thick, but in a slightly sticky sweet soft maple syrup sort of way, not a milkshake thickness. A nice firm malt base with a strong caramel touch, added with a very warm alcohol and a strong sweetness. Yeast, some wet wood, caramel, plums, figs, raisins and other dark fruits. You can taste the maple syrup, but honestly it's only noticeable cuz it says "maple syrup" on the bottle, I wouldn't notice it otherwise, other than for the sweetness. I honestly don't see this as a scotch ale, it very much tastes more like a Belgian inspired American Brown ale. There's some mild earthy hop touches that give it a nice balance against the malt Ends with a sweet lingering mild hop bitterness and alcohol burn.

An interesting beer. It's a very unique take on a scotch ale, and again I don't think I'd dare call this a true scotch, it's very much a Belgian beer. I like it, not my favorite from the brewery, but good none the less.

Photo of HomeRunBaker
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours an opaque dark amber color. The smell is of oak and maple. Taste is impressive. Maple, oak, and caramel. The alcohol is completely unnoticeable. Extremely smooth and considerably thick--very reminiscent of maple syrup. I'm very impressed and enjoyed this one thoroughly. A very unique beer.

Photo of hopdog
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341ml bottle.

Poured a deeper and cloudy amber color (almost brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of maple syrup, woody, vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Tastes of maple, toffee, caramel, the same woodiness, and some dark fruits. Light to medium alcohol in the finish.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass. Served very close to cellar temp at start, maybe a bit warmer.

Pours a hazy dark copper, bordering on brown, with a fluffy off-white head on top that has nice duration and great lacing.

Nose is quite sweet - toffee, maple syrup, noticeable fruity esters and some boozy alcohol as well. Banana?

Taste is nice - quite sweet up front, more toffee and maple syrup, with a nice balancing cleanness on the finish. Some oak floating around in there as well on the back end, almost smoky but not quite. Really well balanced for being as sweet as it is initially, complex and satisfying. The maple in particular lends a nice complexity, and I freely admit, I love maple syrup. The only thing bringing this one down at all is the very intense sweetness. Almost cloying.

Mouthfeel is fluffy and smooth, almost thick without being syrupy.

Drinkability takes a hit from the richness. This is a really nice beer, but it's a slow sipper despite only being 7% abv, and drinking more than one or two isn't in the cards. Of course, I'm sipping it in the throes of what I would call the first real summer day, so that may have an effect.

Photo of DaftBrew
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First visit to DDC one week ago, and I love the beers already.
Equinoxe du Printemps was no exception. I reviewed this a little late, so Ill write what I remember the most...

A- Reddish, orange almost glowing when held up to direct sunlight. Dense white head on top settled with decent lacing.

T- 7%, so easy! How can I put this, to me, this beer was like liquid candy. The malt, hops and maple infusion blended in harmony. Quite a sweet finish, so be careful if that's not your style.

D- Absolutely delicious, although, the sweetness might deter me from multiple samplings in a row. I will note, I crave this beer only one week later....

Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Équinoxe Du Printemps pours an attractive nut brown color. It's hazy, but when backlit reveals a very attractive scarlet tint. A foamy head sits on top and stands about a finger and a half tall. It quickly receded to a thin layer covering the surface and held there for quite a while. Lacing was thin, but the lined the glass nicely.

The nose is full of caramel malt and toffee aromas. It smells very sweet. There's obviously a bit of maple syrup though it's not overly strong. Much to my surprise, banana seems to have a large role (at least in smell). Oak and wood chip scents are notable. They're more of a secondary feature, but add a nice dimension overall. Alcohol is noted, but isn't overly strong. All in all, it's pretty good. It just seems a little jumbled and results in an above average nose.

The flavor profile is consistent with the nose. If nothing else, it's the most interesting Scotch Ale I've ever had. It's very malt heavy and has a pretty nice, sweet caramel/toffee flavor up front. There's definitely a banana component. It's not bad, but it is out of place and comes across as...well...weird. It features a distinct maple flavor (obviously) that's sweet and adds quite a bit of character. It's unique and works well with its malty character. Oak is easily noted. Honestly, it doesn't really seem to add much, but doesn't negate anything either. Alcohol is noted and runs a little warm. It finishes sweet and a little boozy. It's far from bad, but it's not quite as good as I'd hoped.

Its body is medium and relatively smooth. Carbonation seems a little high and prevents it from accomplishing more. Drinkability is above average, but limited by its (slightly) weird flavor, abv, and warmth. My bottle indicates abv is 9.5%. It's definitely a sipping beer that takes a while to get through.

Équinoxe Du Printemps is a very interesting and unique Scotch Ale. At the end of the day, it's an above average beer that didn't quite live up to my expectations. I like the maple syrup and oak aspects of it. But, I really don't like the banana flavor. It's weird, misplaced, and throws the overall experience a little. That being said, it's pretty good and definitely a unique experience. Worth checking out.

As a side note, I'm curious about the profiles here on the site. This beer has a distinct oak flavor and I'm left wondering if there's really an oak aged version of this beer that's different. I've got a hunch that this is the same beer. My bottle even indicates the abv is even higher on this one. Just throwing that out there. Carry on.

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.