Équinoxe Du Printemps - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

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Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

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very good

236 Reviews
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Reviews: 236
Hads: 483
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 35
Gots: 47 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 236 | Hads: 483
Photo of Bendurgin
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a muddy chocolate brown with two fingers of beige head. Good retention that settles to a thick cap of foam with some soapy lace.

The aroma gives off sweet caramel malts with some dark fruits in the background. Hints of maple sweetness in the background. Dark bready malts on the pallet with some hints of mild cocoa and some maple sweetness to round it out. Seems to have a little bit of smokiness in the background.

The body if full and chewy with soft carbonation. Overall this one is tasty. Enjoyable and balanced offering from these guys. (580 characters)

Photo of Kacid
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 2 Finger cream colored/off-white head, almost toasted meringue color; super interesting, body is dark as hell, you can only see through it against the light and even then it's dark

Nose: Dark, fruits, alcohol, caramel, burnt sugar, brown sugar, light amounts of sweet vanilla (must come from maple syrup! yum!)

Taste: Boddy is medium to medium thick, Strong alcohol and bitter burn in the center of the tongue, caramel, sweet dark gruits, sweet rum soaked raisins, ester notes, sweet berries, definitely has maple syrup, which is actually very interesting because it works well with the style.. As it warms up it becomes more like warm whisky butterscotch - due to its malty alcohol, and maple syrup (makes it taste whisky) The maple syrup gives it some beautiful dryness. There is stronger notes of chocolate malt and sweet berry once it is warm; the alcohol also comes out much more, almost like chocolatey creme brulees with stronger notes of vanilla.

Overall very impressed, this is really good if served at the right temperature, maybe about 14 degrees Celcsius - this is amazing and delicious. it would definitelly be worth putting away to cellar. YUM (1,172 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.5 fl oz with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness Goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery, which I've come to admire.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention for the high ABV. Colour is a rather dark ruby. Appealing.

Sm: Heavy maple syrup, dark malts, yeast, wood, and brown sugar. A rather subtle moderate strength aroma.

T: Dark malts form the foundation, with subtle maple syrup atop. I'm surprised at how tame and balanced the maple is; I've had beers built around maple before and it was always overwhelming. Brown sugar adds a tingly dimension to the climax. The scotch ale aspects are pleasant, with well executed caramelization and some nice roasted malt characteristics. All around a pleasant brew, with some layering. Complex enough. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some nice cream. Good thickness. Adequate carbonation. Complements the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. Hides its ABV well. A solid maple syrup beer with a bit too much sweetness but a good all around flavour profile. It's somewhat unique. I'd have it again if I were in the mood. It's not special, but I might recommend it to friends who really enjoy the style. Another success from Dieu Du Ciel.


A decent candidate for aging.

Drank just fine out of me Guinness goblet. (1,580 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours with a mahogany color; not much head appears though there are some squiggles of lace

Smell: Maple syrup and peat, with undertones of caramel and grain

Taste: Maple syrup and caramel, up front, with a growing peat presence; by mid-palate, however, there is a serious phenolic development that also brings fusel alcohol into the forefront; downhill, after the swallow, as the booziness and phenols offset the promising beginning

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Although I purchased this bottle from a new store, I wonder about the age here as "0" and "9" are notched into the label and I haven't seen this elsewhere; I'll try it another time in case I have an off bottle but this doesn't much taste like any Wee Heavy I have encountered before, other than the peat element (which I enjoyed for a brief moment) (855 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky lighting brown color with no head. A little ominous looking.

S: Mainly dark fruit and toffee. Slight traces of maple in there too.

T: Big maltiness upfront with some raisin, plum and something that definitely tastes like scotch. Booziness fades on the finish and a big maple syrup note takes over. Definitely a sipper but really good stuff. (359 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a very cloudy mahogany in color with very little visible head. The little head that the beer had when poured reduced to just a thin off-white patch in the center. No lacing is observed.

S: Pleasantly sweet, not too intense. There is a lot of dark fruit aroma in this beer, primary that of raisins.

T: Very sweet from the sweet caramel malts and the dark fruit (raisin) and some hints of maple. There is also a subtle hint of peat smoke, like a whiskey barrel as well.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

O: A very strong beer and that is something you can tell from the hints of alcohol and the sweetness. Definitely more of a sipping beer but not one that you want a large serving - a little moderation with this is a good thing. I like the flavors in the beer that complement the sweetness. (858 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341 bottle bottled February 2011.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy chestnut brown with 1/4 finger width of beige head.

Smell - Dark fruits (cherry, plum), hint of maple, whiskey, and slight breadiness.

Taste - A kick of maple shines through in this brew, especially in the finish. The dark fruits are also tasted, but there is something about that sticky syrup flavour. There is a spirit quality to this similar to whiskey or scotch (not to be confused with a straight boozy alcohol taste).

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Pleasant smoothness.

Overall - An enjoyable scotch ale. The maple brings a nice twist to a classic flavour; very unique, but was hoping to get more of the aroma. The flavours are quite potent, perhaps due to this bottle being aged from February 2011. Definitely worth a try for those interested in the style. (849 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Appearance: chocolate brown with a red hue; hazy, looking like a Belgian trappist ale

Aroma: sweet & rich, hint of maple and some caramel

Taste & Mouthfeel: finely carbonated, light on the tongue; not overly sweet which is surprising; maple shows up after a few seconds and grows slowly, but never becomes too strong

Overall: reminiscent of a good Belgian ale with a perfect malty flavour; very drinkable. Only fault is that the promised maple is just a bit too subtle (484 characters)

Photo of kjyost
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer I was really looking forward to... Received 02/11 notched 341 mL brown bottle from (IIRC) TheSevenDuffs in trade. Thanks! Served at 6C in a tulip.

A: Hazy brown / ruby edges and quite opaque. Nice tan head that laces well.
S: Very estery nose filled with fruitiness and butter. Alcohol eventually comes to the fore. Some malt sweetness in there too.
T: The alcohol is well hidden in here, with nice malt sweetness coming through along with fruity esters. No substantial bitterness is apparent. Sadly, only once or twice did a faint maple note come through.
M: Finishes sweet, but clean. Decent carbonation.
O: Nice enough beer, though advertising the maple makes me wonder where it is, and dock it a bit in my book. Good beer for a cold Winnipeg night. (758 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a nice brown color with a creamy light tan color head on top. The smell of the beer was malty and sweet. The taste of the beer is pretty powerful, there is a good amount of maple in there too. The mouthfeel of this beer is medium to heavy with a bit of an oily feel to it. Overall it's a pretty good Scotch Ale, I would try it again if I came across it. (379 characters)

Photo of brianjay
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown body, color of a dirty apple cider. Very little head to speak of; starts with a small puff of foam which settles into a ring around the top.

Strong cinnamon and oatmeal aromas erupt as soon as poured. A hint wood-chip hangs in there as well as maple syrup.

Flavor is intense: Taste of toasted almonds with molasses up front and spark of coffee on the finish.

Mouth feel is dominated a thick, syrupy body topped of with a toasted finish.

It's like a breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and coffee. This wood be good to accompany a night by the fire or late-morning brunch.

Cheers! (603 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled in 2010(I think). Pours hazy reddish brown color with a small fairly dense khaki head with good retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap. Some nice bits of lacing cling to the glass as well. Aromas of big caramel, dark fruits, whiskey, spices, molasses, maple syrup, and alcohol. Some nice aromas that are improving a bit as it warms. Taste of big caramel, maple syrup, molasses, whiskey, spices, and a bit of wood. No bitterness noticed on the finish; and lingering notes of maple syrup, caramel, molasses, and some whiskey on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a warming on the finish noticed. Nice smooth drinkability for the level of alcohol, but is still a sipper. Nice balance of flavors. Overall a really nice scotch ale. The maple syrup definitely has a strong presence in this. (928 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a murky chocolate colour with a nice tanned head that reduces to a film slowly

S - Nice yeasty aromas balanced off with nice malt and whskey booze. Similar to The Rochfort 10

T - Up front some nice toffee flavours that give way to a little spiced chocolate and vanilla. The finish is very long with some nice boozy nutmeg flavours. The toffee returns and lingers.

M - Medium to full body and medium carbonation a really nice oily feel.

O - This one is well worth a shot and offers something a little different.Has Quad like qualities. (576 characters)

Photo of BBP
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper chestnut with decent head, retention and lacing.

The aroma is full of maple, scotch, and peat. Sweet, but not outrageously sweet. It smells a bit boozy, but that's to be expected from most scotch ales, not to mention a 9.5% one.

What's not expected was the dominance of the maple syrup over the rich malt. Dominance is a strong word, especially when the malt is very evident, but it's as if the foundation is maple. Spicy hops take over after the malt and syrup have taken their course and it rounds itself off after each sip. The aftertaste lingers for a while holding the maple against you.

The body is moderately full and heavy. Carbonation helps it out, but is very subtle how I like it. The finish is mildly dry and sticky.

Overall, this is a very solid Wee Heavy, and a cool example of maple in a beer. After most of a year, the maple is still very evident in this, and it's drinking quite smoothly. I'll probably hold onto my other bottle for another few months or so and see how it is. (1,020 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich red-brown color with a finger of frothy tannish head atop. The head fades down slowly to a thick ring leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of sweet molasses and maple syrup with a bit more sweetness from some caramel. There is also a bit of brown sugar and booze mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with a big kick of rich sweetness from the maple syrup and the caramel. Through the middle, the sharpness mellows a bit and some more caramel comes through with the brown sugar and a bit of dark fruit. The finish is a mix of sweet maple syrup and caramel with some residual sugar and booze that linger.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and very rich and syrupy with a bit of a warming finish.

D - Pretty drinkable, especially considering the richness and the 9.5% abv. I really like the mix of maple syrup into the scotch ale. It is a bit unbalanced and richly sweet, but I kind of like that. (953 characters)

Photo of Gyle41386
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Been excited about trying this one for a while, so might as well crack it open for review #400. Cheers.

The pour is a brownish orange, or maybe an orangeish brown. It actually kind of looks burnt orange to me, but maybe that's because it's the fall and I've got college football on the brain 24/7. There's just a bit more than a finger of tan foam. Head retention is very good, and there is some thick lacing stuck to the glass.

The nose is a sweet one. I'm smelling apples, molasses, toffee, caramel, brown sugar...one of those could very possibly be maple syrup that I've misidentified. There's a little bit of booze in the nose, but it's certainly not overpowering. Warmth brings out a spicy note, too.

I have to say, I'm surprised that this beer isn't sweeter. That spice that appeared later in the nose provides a little balance, as does a bready kind of flavor. I'm not tasting the apples that I smelled, instead maybe raisins. There's also a touch of smoke, some vanilla, and a bourbon-like flavor that fortunately lacks boozy heat. Maybe a little brown sugar in the finish. There's some light maple flavor, nothing you'd want to pour on your waffles or chug against your fellow highway patrolmen.

Full-bodied with a creamy texture. It took me a while to decide if I was a fan of the mouthfeel. I couldn't decide if I'd rather have a more syrupy texture, but near the end of the glass I was glad it wasn't. The alcohol is only occasionally noticeable in the taste and instead provides a nice lip/tongue numbing effect. This beer became significantly better with warmth. A fairly easy drinker for the style + ABV. (1,660 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Blue Monk last night.Came to the table in a goblet a burnt orange infused chesnut brown with a thin head atop.Brown sugar,dark fruit,maple,and lightly roasted nut in a rich nose.Thick and chewey the mouthfeel is everything you would want in the style.Dark fruit and brown sugar malt flavors with atinge of mable,as it warmed sweet alcohol cameinto play.I really enjoyed this warming wee heavy. (411 characters)

Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking forwards to this one for a while since i have found a new found love for SA/WH's and it pours the deepest mahogany hue which leaves a two finger creamy head and clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is scotch,maple syrup,honey,xmas cake and a touch of brandy,the mouthfeel is silky smooth,medium bodied and warming with tastes of jarrah honey,maple syrup,fruit cake,raisins,caramel and finished with a touch of herbal hops mixed with sweet candy and overall i really like this brew as the high ABV is very well hidden behind the sweetness and i find it hits most of the notes for this style and is definately one of the better examples going around and i would buy again cheers. (688 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up at some point in some store for some reason - oh yeah, because I love maple syrup & really dig scotch ales. Those both seem like excellent reasons to pick this one out of the cooler. Done.

Pours dark firelight red, or that may just be my artfully constructed fire dancing in the northern night. Smell is dulled, like one has a head cold, faint maple syrup & dueling malts, but they could both be easily overlooked.

Equinoxe du Printemps is a beverage best consumed after a suitable period of warm-up; it's on the extreme end of beers that improve as the temperature goes up. Genuine taste of tapped maple trees greets the tongue, & a blah scotch ale when cold gives way to a lovely taste of scotch malts that almost lends the beer a bourbonesque touch. So subtle, so nice. My lips soon turn numb in happiness, or perhaps they've been blistered by the alcohol so readily apparent. Still soothing with a nice knot of wood & sweet malts rounding it out.

A beer that really grew on me as I waded through it, with touches both subtle & overt, a lovely mix. Very good beer, best I've had from this brewery. (1,116 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Equinoxe du Printemps, a Maple Scotch Ale, smells quite a bit like beer mixed lightly with cognac. The toasted grains and clean-but-light hoppiness of an ale are still present, but joined by strong vanillas and maple sugars, and just a hint of oak.

On the tongue, the beer is incredibly complex and bursting with flavors. In fact, it's hard to nail down exactly what's going on, so varied are the flavors that run across the tongue. Maple syrupy sugars are present, yes, but joined by orange notes that would seem more fitting in, say, Cointreau (or a similar orange liqueur). Huge banana and vanilla blasts trumpet the background, as well as a chorus line of bourbon or whisky-like alcoholic high kicks. Many of the main flavors of the brew are actually more liqueur-like than beer-like, and if the ale has one weakness, it's that it possesses an overwhelming alcohol taste that even the 9.5% ABV can't quite explain. Despite this, the brew maintains a relatively light mouthfeel.

Overall, while the taste of alcohol does prove detrimental, Equinoxe is a great beer. I only wish I didn't have to drive to Montreal every time I wanted one. (1,143 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First batch to reach the US, so Spring 2009 I believe. There's some ambiguous notching, but I have no idea what it means. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Pours with a half-finger of tan foam that settles to a partial cap, leaving some small splotches of lace. Hazy dark brown body with some orange transparency at the bottom of the glass.

S - Maple syrup, peat, caramel apples, brown sugar, light alcohol. This has mellowed out a bit in the past two years, but could probably sit even longer. If you told me this was 12% I would believe you. Still, for the style it's quite nice.

T - The taste is less sweet than the nose leads one to believe. There's a nice mixture of maple syrup, Sultana raisins, toasted grains, smoke, and a hint of spicy esters. The aftertaste evokes brown sugar, but never comes off as sweet or cloying. Thankfully there is no alcohol flavor.

M - Feel is full-bodied and weighty, evoking viscous maple syrup. The finish is surprisingly dry, but there is smokey and syrupy tooth-coating residual texture. Some definite warmth in the belly, but not overly hot on the back of the throat.

D - If you have patience (and appropriate cellar conditions) this eventually develops into a very good Scotch ale. It's still a one and done type of beer, but I find myself constantly reaching for another sip. I'm quite curious what the barrel-aged version tastes like. Still - drinks a little bigger than the listed ABV. (1,436 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's, served in a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown with some light at the edge. There is a finger of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Very fruity with lots of banana and maple notes. Bready and caramel malt.

Taste: Quite sweet. Again there are banana and maple notes. There is some bready malt with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild, smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed the combination of flavors in this one and would have it again. (526 characters)

Photo of jmbranum
4.92/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Exceptionally good. Bought at The Library in Manhattan, Kansas, but enjoyed back home in Oklahoma.

Incredible maple/malt aroma. Flavor is exactly as described. A full and complex Scotch ale with lots of caramel and toasted malt. The maple works well with it, just an added extra bit of goodness.

Mouthfeel is nice and velvety. Nice alcoholic warmth, but not overpowering. I like this one a lot. I should have bought more than one bottle. (439 characters)

Photo of Siggy125
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm..."scotch ale brewed with maple syrup". Right in one of my sweet spots for beers.

Interesting color, muttled bister with a little sediment. Cream colored head, small amounts of carbonation.

Smells like a classic scotch ale with some extra malty sweetness. Maple not dominant on the nose.

Maple has more strength on the taste. Also get some vanilla and butterscotch but mostly maple. The 9.5 abv shows up nicely as it warms but not stinging. Good scotch ale malted roast taste. very pleasant.

Fairly light in mouthfeel for a sweeter than normal scotch ale. Very pleasant. (580 characters)

Photo of abuliarose
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, poured into a snifter to reveal mealy brown body under a thin cream-colored head. Some lacing, some bubbles. Looks like a Scotch ale. Smells sweet and malty with nice milk caramel and maple undertones. Slight metallic-ness. Good smells for its type.

Tastes sweet but light. Actually reminds me of a weaker version of Lawson's Maple Tripple. Hints of maple and woody spice. Nice malty backbone. I appreciate the maple addition to this style. It's like a Belgian strong for the summer. Mouthfeel is ticklishly carbonated, adding volume to the medium-thick, grainy body. Very drinkable for the flavor but very flavorful.

Overall a really nice Scotch ale. Probably one of my personal favorites to date. Really hoping to visit their brewpub someday and sample their offerings on tap. (794 characters)

Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
87 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.