Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus - Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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Dominus Vobiscum HibernusDominus Vobiscum Hibernus

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.58%
Wants: 12
Gots: 24 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rodenbach99 on 12-30-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 62
Photo of Sammy
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ken's botle. very good, and worthy of Charlevoix as world beaters, but not the lupulus. Big bubbly head on dark body. Yeasty aromas of Belgian yeast. Taste of licorish. It is sweet, it is lacey. There is some white pepper, cardomon. It is very drinkable.
lateral tasting at Volo v. Lupulus, and this is the clear winner. Smooth, good taste.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear brown color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and some nice lacing. Aroma of spices (anis) with great Belgian malt touch with some light sweet notes also noticeable. Taste is dominated by anis with some creamy sweet caramel Belgian malt some light spicy notes. Full body with great creamy texture and some perfect carbonation with no apparent alcohol. The only negative point that I could notice is that spices tends to be too heavy at some point but apart from that everything is perfect.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tan colored head reached skyward to a eight that easily surpassed the top of the glass. Good thing this pour was into a 24oz glass. Nice, opaque brown color was evident from the start with a rich looking hazelnut tone to it. The head finally calmed down after about twenty minutes but still dropped tons of foam and lace along the glass.

The aroma was very nice, a little bit ruddy at first. Hints of chcoalte and caramel, rich belgian spice and a wonderful bit of dark fruit all dancing around wonderfully inside of it. But it was once I took a sip that everything really came together for me. A wave of cascading brown sugar and tart apples just rolled across the tongue. Enormously rich and vigorous, this was just a wonderful thing to behold. Nice touches of chocolate and rich toffee like notes were all balanced well in advance of a lovely dark fruit tone that led the charge once the yeast kicked in. Nice notes of prunes and rasins, hints of plums and dark cherries were all very much evident in the profile. The carbonation was spot on, as the rich, velvet like bubbles converged on the tongue and added to the prickly pepper like spices that lasted long into the finish.

Photo of biboergosum
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Sainte-Reserve, a patently awesome find on Alberta beer store shelves.

This beer pours a mostly clear dark reddish amber hue, with a handful's worth of puffy, thickly foamy wan beige head, which leaves some relatively sparse patchy, sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly, slowly, (did I mention slowly?) recedes.

It smells of sweet, soda-shop banana sundaes, field honey, bready caramel malt, salty toffee, earthy spices - mostly clove, ginger, and nutmeg - gritty Belgian-style yeast, dark fleshy fruit - wet raisins, prunes, and soused cherries - and a very soft herbal tincture alcohol warming. The taste is a veritable reprise of the same, and yet not quite amped up - spicy gingerbread, aerated toffee, dry sandwich honey, wet brown sugar, dark fruit - very ripe banana, plum, and red grape must - some mild earthy yeast, indistinct, yet peppy savory spices, and a pleasantly embedded alcohol warmth.

The carbonation is very mild, barely more than a playful frothiness, the body hardly anything other than full, creamy, and smooth like whipped butter. It finishes still pretty sweet, the crackery breadiness, strong dark fruit, lingering yeast, and burgeoning alcohol all starting to write a new history for this offering.

OMFG - what a BSDA (for all you acronym wonks out there)! This is one balanced, smooth, full-flavoured, sweet and savoury strong dark Belgian-style ale. It has it all over even the finest Unibroue equivalent (no, he didddn't!), through the subtly influential yeast component alone. The 10 points of booze are pretty much totally integrated, and barely noticeable, until of course, you get to the 'bottle half empty' stage. Bravissimo, with slow, non-sarcastic slow claps, once again, Charlevoix.

Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mike for sending this one my way.

A: Pours a dark amber color with a tall khaki head to go with it.

S: First thing I pick up is some tart cherry. There's a nice fruit character overall with some raisins and plums in there. A big yeastiness and a really green aroma. I seem to get some grass, rosemary, and anise.

T: A big red grape and fruit flavor provides a nice sweetness. There are some good dark sugar and malt flavors, too. Fairly herbaceous, but in a good way--not medicinal. A really nice spiciness that I didn't get on the nose. Lots of all-spice with a little bit of nutmeg and anise.

M: Medium in body with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: Really complex beer with plenty of great flavors.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a near opaque, dark brown, near black body with a thin, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Spicy, sweetish scent of caramel-coated bread crumbs and nuts with background notes of dried herbs and fruit.

Taste: Toasted caramel maltiness with a mild sweetness. Heavy-handed dose of fresh spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Slight herbal character. A bit of plum and golden raisin fruitiness. Slight nuttiness. Not too terribly much in the way of either hop flavor or bitterness. Small dollop of milk chocolate. Malty, though drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Rather well carbonated, I must say.

Drinkability: This is the most enjoyable French Canadian brew I've had in quite some time. Displays a nice level of complexity while keeping that ABV% safety at bay.

Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to papat444 for sending this my way. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of light tan foam that settles to a thin cap leaving behind splotchy fingers of lace. Transparent milk chocolate color.

S - Spruce, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and other Christmas spices, over top of a rum-soaked fruitcake backdrop. As it warms some light solvent alcohol emerges but doesn't seem out of place for a 10% brew. Surprisingly little "Belgian" character in this one.

T - Christmas cake, chocolate malt, light Belgian yeast, a touch of star anise, and less overt spruce and spice character. Less boozy too.

M - Zesty carbonation, and a body that seems a bit light for the listed ABV. Smooth texture, dry finish, and light alcohol warmth.

D - I think Nate and I were the only ones who liked this beer. It's quite odd, as I usually hate spiced beers but found this strangely palatable. Much better than Dark Horse 4 Elf. Probably best suited for Christmas eve by the fireplace!

Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my hotel glass, eh what can you do.

Great red ruby body with dark chestnut colors. A fair amount of cola like carbonation, with a minimal tan head. Manages to keep a nice puck and collar. Some nice ring like lacing here in my glass, I wish I had a tulip for this.

Nose brings faint quinine tonic, pie crust, cinnamon, and some sweet mild brown sugar.

Palate comes with a light body and full taste. Mild raisin and mellow brown sugar sense of malt. Prickly slight carbonation but not detracting. No heat or boozyness either.

Overall just a real solid brew from these guys.

Photo of weeare138
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...Thanks to dickinsonbeer for sharing...
Appears a dark, chestnut with amber highlights and a light tan head that slowly fades. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, brown sugar, coriander...perhaps a bit too much spice IMO.
Taste is that of the aromas, which is heavy on the spicing. It's slightly less wild once it's on the palate and you get to absorb the sensory overload, which seemed to be poised to turn me away from the aromas.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with caramel, sugar, and spices seem to be balanced by the time the swallow occurs.

Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 8/28/09 and poured into a snifter. The beer pours dark brown, appearing lighter near the edges. The big beige head exhibits good retention and leaves some lacing.

The nose is full of spices: nutmeg, all spice, cinnamon, and ginger. Dark fruits are evident, as well as caramel and some breadiness.

The flavor is rich caramel with cinnamon, nutmeg, and some toffee. Notes of plum are apparent as well as other dark fruits I can't put my finger on. The finish is sweet with a little alcohol.

The beer is full bodied with medium carbonation and a creamy, full mouthfeel.

This was an interesting and spicy Belgian Strong Dark beer that was consumed at the very end of a long night and was a nice nightcap.

Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hibernus' fig coloured liquid is snowed-in beneath an avalanche of off-white powder - how appropriate for a winter seasonal. In all seriousness, the tint of its head does actually like dirty snow, the lacing of which turns the glass into a snow-globe, and the dark beer's tone is emblematic of those long December nights.

The aroma is sweet as jam and smacks of raspberry preserves and chocolate fondue. Belgian Strong Dark Ales tend to be yeast-powered and, while complex, very predictable; this bouquet, however, is unexpectedly rich malt-wise while still brimming with those spicy, savoury, fruity elements of the yeast. I wish I had seven nostrils with which to appreciate all of it.

To say that this drinks like plum pudding on steroids would be in a way accurate, but it would also downplay the beer's complexity and richness. It's distinctive enough that I don't feel it fair to liken it to anything else - beer, dessert, or otherwise. This flavour offers notes of raisin, dried cherries, chocolate-covered raspberries, dark caramel, and sticky toffee pudding and they're all doused in citrus zest, mace, clove and nutmeg.

Hibernus has a sweet port-like complex, citrus zest, and savoury spiciness that make it perfectly suited to the holiday season. It also has the substantial, hearty maltiness and warming effect (9.5%, though you'll never taste it) that drinking it all winter long is certainly appropriate too. Surprising for its strength, it is soft as a teddy-bear and approachable to everyone.

As far as winter seasonals go, Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus is the full package - and has the price tag to show for it. Despite its stellar reputation - and Microbrasserie Charlevoix's tremendous track record - I put off buying a second bottle until I could try things for myself - now I'm going back to buy up the whole store. The Quebecois know how to do winter right.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to David for this bottle. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Dark brown with a very slight bright amber glow around the edges of the glass, but otherwise opaque. One finger of light brown head.

S - Big Belgian yeast and clove aroma up front. Some roast, chocolate and spice are also present along with a lighter banana aroma.

T - Spice and roast up front. Raisins, chocolate, cloves, dark fruit enter in the middle. The finish has dark cherry and some tea-like flavours. Very complex with the various flavors well integrated and no one flavour dominating.

M - Medium body with a huge chew. Smooth and silky. Light carbonation.

Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark caramel, huge tan head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Very spicy, floral, sweet toffee.

T: Sweet & spicy, raspberry buds, bready, alcohol is remarkably well-hidden.

M: Light residual sweetness (a little much for a Belgian), modest carbonation.

D: A decent drinker, though I find it a little sweet.

Photo of AlexFields
3.03/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a thick dark brown with a large tan-brown head.

Smells floral and a little spicy, like holiday candy, maybe a little sweet. A little meh.

Tastes sweet, boozy, some spices again (cloves), some bright fruit maybe, or fruit cake. Pretty decent but not what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is really nice and creamy, but also pretty boozy.

Pretty good beer, I don't care for the spice thing but the beer is nice otherwise.

6.2/10

Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, picked up at Peluso.

Pours a clear burgundy, a very dark almost purplish red, crimson hues, very thick and chunky eggshell head forms, slowly settles down to a thick ring and layer around the glass, some lace chunks stick, looks great.

Smell is neat, very spicy, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, cloves, caramel and honey, candi sugar, lots of ginger, a bit of vanilla, biscuity, some alcohol, light orange peel, some pine needlesl, nice malts, spicy but not overdone. Christmas cake type aroma.

Taste is similar, big spice character up front, nutmeg, cloves, lots of ginger, a bit of alcohol, really nice yeasty spice character, a bit of sweet maltiness through the middle, really neat cocoa notes, some anise, light pine needle, lnice spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, pretty slick, with high carbonation. Maybe a bit more spiced than I would like, but still very well done.

Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into corsendonk chalice mar24 2010

A when held to a light it has a ruby red glow, other then the crazy amount of bubbles its clear enough to read these words through it. a large beige head had pretty good retention slowly falling to a thin film but only left a few patches of lace

S lots going on here a fair bit of brown sugar some molasses, raisin, cherry, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little honey with some booze but not the 10% I see printed on the bottle

T not far from the smell I may pick on just a little bit of yeast but for the most part it's a winter warmer on steroids. its sweet but well within my range for enjoyment, not what I was expecting but not at all disappointed
edit: as it warms I ended up with a fair bit of licorice, enough that I felt a edit was needed

M not as thick as I thought it would be but not thin by any means almost syrupy and decent carbonation works well for it, a smooth beer is never a bad thing

D no issues drinking this beer for a strong ale it goes down pretty fast.

man I love this brewery just great beer after great beer, I'm not sure I've had a bad one or even a B+ for that matter. I must admit I don't like paying 17$ a bottle for this one but I'm still going to buy another to see how it ages

Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from Marche Omni QC for $15

Appearance – Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, caramel, all spice, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel/butterscotch, and all spice. There is also some dark fruits, anise, and some herbal notes.

Overall – Kind of a xmas pumpkin beer type of flavour going on here. Lots of flavour but not too sweet. The booze is extremely well hidden, it's almost hard to believe this is %10. As others have mentioned, a good beer to have with a meal.

Photo of jrallen34
3.05/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle provided by Alex for our rare Canadian tasting...Pours a light but clear brown, looks a little watery with a decent light tan head...An incredibly spicy aroma that instantly has me thinking Christmas beer. All spice from start to finish, tons of nutmeg, pine tree needles, and alcohol...The taste is more of the same, all spice and needles, I feel as if I walked up to someone's front door and took a bite of their front door wreath. Not a pleasant taste or sensation.

This is a Christmas spice beer that should be avoided unless you LOVE this style of beer.

Photo of AgentZero
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Props to MasterSki for showing up with this one.

A - A very good looking beer. Orangish brown beer with a great looking head on it.

S - Huge spice, smells like Christmas with a lot of nutmeg and maybe a little cinnamon.

T - Also tastes like Christmas. Very much of an eggnog quality without the dairy. Huge spices, nutmeg inparticular. It's sweet and interesting tasting, but so sweet I can't drink much.

M - Rich, full bodied, decent carbonation.

D - So rich, I couldn't drink much.

Photo of gford217
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired from Phyl21ca many moons ago poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark mahogany that shows through as a clear deep copper when held up to light. The head was a massive off-white crown that lingered as a one0inch cap for the duration leaving tons of lacing.

The aroma was very surprising and dominated by spices and a yeasty sweetness - definitely some coriander, ginger and a candi apple sweetness. There is bits of dark fruit with figs and some caramel, but the spiciness was the most striking feature.

The taste follows the aroma and has the interesting spicy yeast flavor that dominates with figs and red apples playing a part as well. There was lots of caramel malts underpinning everything else but the melding of the spices with the Belgian yeast and fruit sweetness was very good.

The mouthfeel is unbelievably creamy with lots of carbonation and completely coats the palate.

This is one of the more interesting BSDAs I've ever tasted and the spiciness made it very complex and very original. The alcohol was nearly non-existent so drinkability is pretty high given the size of the beer. Worth a try if you can find it.

Photo of Rutager
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Deadbolt82!!

Appearance. Pours a deep orange-brown with a massive, almost 5 fingers of billowy, pale orange/off-white head.

Smell. Fruity belgian yeast, light floral spices, and some sweet caramel malts.

Taste. Some really nice sweet caramel and brown sugar (not in a thick, sugary way though), some light fruits and a little complimenting spices - licorice root, ginger, maybe some allspice and rosemary. Interesting stuff and very nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with quite low carbonation. Just a little sticky, and I would prefer a little more carbonation.

Overall. The amount of all of the flavours going on really speaks to the brewer's skill and knowledge when using these (I'm asuming) interesting spices. Spices are so easily overdone. Everything is ballanced so nicely and it goes down easy considering the sweetness.

Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared courtesy of dickinsonbeer.

Poured a medium and cloudy amber brownish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of spices, ginger, dark fruits, and bready. Tastes of dark fruits, ginger, spices, and other fruitiness. Light to medium alcohol in the finish.

Notes from: 6/27/08

Photo of andrenaline
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to joemcgrath27 for sharing this one with me!

A - Pours a nice dark ruby red colour, two thumbs of big bubbled head with solid retention, leaving some small sporadic lacing.

S - The higher ABV is quite apparent on the nose, but the fruity esters begin to shine through with some peaches and sour apples. Scent also has the spice undertones with cloves and nutmeg.

T - The flavour is much more complex than implied by the nose, with the spices taking precedence; cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. The fruit flavours also come through with pineapple and apples on the finish. The high ABV is actually very nicely hidden, adding a touch of sweetness and no burn. This is a complex, but very tasty, dark Belgian offering.

M - Nice medium bodied ale with the perfect amount of body carbonation, goes down smooth and finishes with a little bit of dryness. Very nice.

D - A tasty treat and definitely a winter warmer of sorts. The ABV is well hidden making it relatively drinkable, though the complexity of the flavours may overwhelm your palette, so be prepared! Very worthy offering to any dark Belgian fan, with a nice mix of spices and fruits. A great beer for sharing!

Photo of kwjd
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brown colour with a nice head and lacing. Lots of spice on the smell, more than expected. I think I was smelling nutmeg, but wasn't able to quite place it. It had a taste of nutmeg and peppercorns, to go along with the Belgian yeast. Some bitterness and caramel sweetness. Very smooth mouthfeel and wouldn't believe it was 10% abv by the way it drank.

Photo of jrenihan
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage.

Beer is dark chestnut brown with a substantial light tan head. Lots of activity in the head. Head recedes relatively quickly and settles into a film, leaving a fair bit of lacing.

Smell is full of cherry, spices, raisin and nice, sweet malt scents. In addition to the cherry, I start to pick up some other berry scents. Belgian yeast as well. Very good.

Taste is lovely. Lots of cherry as well as some juicy raspberry, red grape, and raisin. The fruit flavours are mixed with spices and sweet malt. Alcohol is very well hidden. Great.

Fairly high carbonation level, a little too much. Full bodied, juicy.

Overall, another fantastic beer from Charlevoix. Definitely one of my favourite Canadian breweries. A really nice take on the BSDA. Not sure how it is fresh, but with 2+ years on it, this beer is drinking really nicely.

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Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
91 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.