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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

243 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 510
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 14.47%
Wants: 36
Gots: 50 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 243 | Hads: 510
Photo of barczar
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with a dense quarter inch beige head that lingers as a thick pool of foam.

Sweet maple, molasses, toffee, and hints of fig comprise the aroma.

Maple, nuts, slightly charred malt, and a bit of tartness form the flavor profile. Alcohol is noticeably present. Notes of chocolate and dark fruits add complexity. Banana esters surface as it warms.

Body is on the heavy side, with minimal carbonation. The finish is fairly smooth.

Overall, a little disappointing. The charred flavor and tangy note don't feel like they belong.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The emergence from winter becons for a beer full of spirit, ambition, and warmth. All that is delivered in Dieu du Ciel's spring seasonal, although enjoyed on a warm summer night.

The Wee Heavy pours with a malty-rich appearance of medium brown to bronze with a mild haze. A dense froth caps the beer like a thick blanket across the glass. Light lacing gives a glimpse into the formidable beer to be enjoyed.

Sweet and spicy to start, the aromas of hearty malt is evedent with deeply caramelized toffee and maple with a background note of peat, smoky plastics, and fresh cracked peppercorn. Low on hops, there's a woody scent that replaces any noteworthy hop balance and prefers the complexity of its own malt development to shine.

Flavors capture the caramel and bready sweetness from malt and share a fruitcake-like menage of rum, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Interestingly, the beer's sweetness is somewhat understated when up against the acidic and dry malt flavors that follow up the initial sweetness. In masculine fashion, the slight smoky wood flavors, peppercorn bite, and slight fruit notes of applewood and white grapes round out the finish with a hearty and refined memory.

Medium-full in texture, it's the dry malt taste that circumvents the residual sweetness and blends with the oddly compelling acidic note that's not normally found in strong Scottish ales. But the creamy carbonation buffers against the acidic fruit notes and finishes with a light powdery texture and alcohol warmth.

Though truly masculine in taste, the beer is not without refinement. The combination creates a gentlemanly approach that challenges the palate with each sip but also comforts the taste buds charm and strength.

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Photo of bamadog
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this bottle for about 2.5 years, so I figured it's about that time. Pretty pumped about drinking another one from this brewery - if it's anywhere nearly as good as the other one I've had from them, it should be far from disappointing. Review is from notes taken on 7/19/2012 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark, caramel color -- reminds me of old rust, but not in a bad way or anything; starts with a one finger head that is a light tan in color, and it fades quickly to a nearly complete, yet uneven head; body is pretty murky, and there seems to be a few floaties around the edges bubbling around with what looks to be still solid carbonation; just a few strands of web-like lacing linger on the sides.

Smell: Lots of caramel malt, a touch of wood and some peat malt, and then a lot of sweet, sweet maple in there; for being just under 10% ABV, the alcohol is completely buried in there; not a ton going on here, but what there is, I'm in love with -- smells fantastic and it's making my mouth water.

Taste: Moment of truth -- this beer is fantastic, and I'm surprised that its average isn't higher. It tastes like candied maple and butterscotch with just a touch, and I mean, JUST a touch, of an earthy bitterness, perhaps a very light coffee ground like flavor that has a touch of acidity to it; alcohol, while invisible in the nose, is certainly present in the taste, but not overwhelmingly so, but more "right sized" - provides a decent burn and it helps balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Body is a tad over medium, approaching heavy; carbonation is solid, still bubbling and foamy and lively; gums and belly are left warm and tingly from the carbonation and warming alcohol; a thin and very sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth, and the teeth feel a touch gritty; solid overall, and it really lets you know you're drinking something with some substance behind it.

Overall: I think it's great, and I hope this review and score helps bring up the average on it. Great flavors, and would make for a solid dessert on its own. Definitely a sipper, but hey, with everything going for it, I'll sip it all night.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kind of a weird beer. Somewhat murky light brown with a small cream-colored head that settles down to a thin white band on top. Patchy lacing. Malty and somewhat sweet aroma with very subtle maple character; some dark fruity notes, vaguely peaty and smoky.

Flavor seemed to lack much maple character; what was there was much subtler than I’d hoped. Would have liked more sweetness and a bigger dose of maple syrup overall. Instead it was a fairly straightforward and pretty good wee heavy, with a strong caramel maltiness, some very lightly smoked peat notes, and raisin, date, and fig flavors. Booze is noticed somewhat but remains pretty pleasant.

Medium bodied and carbonated; I would have liked a slightly fuller body. Decent creaminess, fairly dry in the finish. Not bad but didn’t delver the maple I was looking for.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.5 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark brown with a medium off-white head, minor lace.

S: Maple and brown sugar syrup, heavy malt component.

T: Toffee and caramel malt with an undercurrent of maple.

M: Full-bodied, rich, does become cloying a bit in the finish, never really boozy.

O: A solid scotch ale with a nice twist. I enjoyed this effort from Dieu Du Ciel, but the QPR isn't really there in the end.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour delivered two fingers of light tan head. Body is a deep chestnut brown, and seems to let light through very begrudgingly. The head fades down in a few minutes to a ring and dust, and lacing tries to cling but slowly and inevitably falls back in.

Smells like delicious caramel malt, candy sugar, a hint of dark fruits and maple syrup. A faint woody booze note is detected after a couple of whiffs.

Caramel malt, a bit of toffee and candy sugar make up the bulk of the flavor. Maple syrup makes a good note in there, but when the woodiness kicks in its too much. Good booze flavor too, it's not overwhelming, it adds its own pleasant depth to the beer.

This beer is medium to heavy bodied. Carbonation just barely nips at the tongue, and the beer feels a little thicker. This is a sipper, and I would say is best enjoyed on a slightly chillier spring day over the warmer day I am experiencing.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled March 2011. Part of me suspects this is actually supposed to be March 2012, as it appeared to be new when I picked it up in Montreal in April.

Beer is a very dark brown with a moderately sized beige head. Moderate retention, fades to a film before too long.

Smell consists of toffee, candied dark fruit, maple syrup.

Taste is like the nose. Toffee, maple syrup, dark fruit, a bit of alcohol heat (but not all that much, given the 9.1% abv). That's about it- pretty integrated and surprisingly mellow. Finish has a sweet kick from the syrup.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, syrupy and some alcohol heat.

Overall, pretty good. As somebody who is neither a big of Scotch ales nor maple syrup, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Kacid
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
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

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
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)

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of leaddog
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
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

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Photo of kjyost
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of brianjay
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
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.


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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of BBP
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.91/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
87 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.