Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
947 Ratings
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada
dieuduciel.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This noble winter beer is brown in colour with flaming red highlights. It has a complex aroma of fruits, alcohol and hops. Its taste is delicately sweet and liquor-like with a hint of burnt caramel. It is a very bitter beer with aromas and flavours reminiscent of red fruit. The aftertaste is accentuated by the wonderful flavour of hops.

Added by Rastacouere on 12-10-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#12,695
Reviews:
450
Ratings:
947
pDev:
9.97%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
119
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 947 |  Reviews: 450
Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with no discernable date, except a 1 and a 5 knicked on the side. Poured into a snifter at about 65f.

Pours a very deep mahogany color, with intense ruby red highlights and sheen. Looks almost black from the right angle, quite clear, but a slight cloud to it. Lively, loud, fizzy tan head dissipates in seconds, leaving a micro collar, and some streaming bubbles.

Nose is deep, deep, lightly toasty malt, evoking a feeling of caramel, toffee, maple syrup, milk chocolate, rich coffee, molasses, ultra light char, and some very light English style hopping. A little booze on the nose.

Palate is rich, sweet, toasted malt that immediately brings to mind maple bourbon barrel age. A big rich syrupy sweetness, with a vanilla, woody, maple character front and center. This honestly reminds me a little of Curmudgeon's Better Half. This has a little more smoky char, and hop influence, but it's big and smooth and sweet. Maple, toffee, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, oak, earth, and a nice backing of dark fruit notes like raisin, cherry, and currant. A smoky, charry, slightly hoppy bitter finish awaits after the initial sweetness, charry being the prevailing characteristic. Finishes mildly bitter, but the lingering sweetness reduces the bitter quite nicely.

Mouthfeel is full, slightly thick, bit not quite viscous - round, soft, and very lightly carbonated. Perfect for a winter sipper, but flavor, nor feel fall so much in any direction that you NEED to sip it. It's smooth and drinkable, but not something you want to gulp down. Savor it.

Overall, I see some negative reviews, and I do not understand them. Maybe I have an old bottle that has aged very nicely? I don't know, but I find this to be a beautiful creation of sweet, rich, smoky, woody, warming and welcoming. A delightful winter treat on this freezing night.

 1,848 characters

Photo of Suds
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a twelve ounce bottle. this brew is a murky brown color. Limited head. The head is slim and clingy. The aroma has more fruit than I would expect from the style....fresh and resiny scents. The taste is dryish and warming. Good beer, but not exceptional.

 262 characters

Photo of Jibs
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of generallee
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jroof1
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of masondixon
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mikexw
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of patre_tim
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Deep copper brown and slightly hazy, with a little fine bubbled carbonation. Topped with 3 fingers of beige head.

Smells of caramel, toffee, stinky foot, and fresh toasted dark bread.

Tastes of caramel, stinky foot, honey, toasted bread, then a big, dull, bitter finish.

Medium, thick body with little carbonation. Definitely smooth and totally covers the ABV.

Got in Gatineau, QC, drinking in Muskoka, April 22nd, 2018. Well done for the style.

 451 characters

Photo of Dutchcraftbeergeek
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of stephenlee
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JOhn_Molson
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hayley_86
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jhrozek
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of safaricook
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of josanguapo
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Watching Taken 3. Roasted caramel, children sweets, noticeable alcohol warmth yet not much bothering. A bit unidimensional

 162 characters

Photo of Gchevy
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the pour it does not hold its head retention for long, as I feel a barley wine should not. Color is a magnificent dark amber when held to light. Carbonation is up a little more than I would have imagined but nonetheless I am not disappointed. Initial take flavors show the dark malt characteristics and sweet smokiness. It is a heavy hitter at 10.2 and you can taste it for sure, heavy body. Strong overtones of grassy hopiness on the aftertaste as it washes down. Not sure how I feel about that personally, but that comes with a lot of hopped barleywines. Enjoy!

 566 characters

Photo of beaulabauve
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Samact
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of redbarnbikes
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of snowmageddon
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aged around 6 months : Deep murky dark brown color with a copper hue and lots of activity. Light creamy and bubbly beige 1-2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with poor legs but strong lacing yet wild swirl effect. Flavors of walnuts, dark berries, prunes, liquorice, vanilla, toffee, cinnamon, dark grains dominant barley, and herbal hops. Slick and oily medium body with a light crisp. Strong strength finish, quite alcoholic and whiskey like with a slightly leathery feel. Thick ester fruits, leafy and earthy. Very lightly sour from the aging, so it did age well, it's not really vinous but more boozy and less fruity. Rich and powerful, yet the balance is good, ending with a nice barrel feel. It's the bold type of barleywine for real cold times. Could easy fit as an appetizer but would really appreciate a big portion for warming sessions. Easy to down and still highly enjoyable. Overall high quality craft.

 924 characters

Photo of HopBelT
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark caramel-brown with a finger of fast-dissipating tan head. Rather murky. The lacing is excellent, but this is not the prettiest brew you will find.

The aroma is very strong and very complex. Sweet malty aromas on the front end, though not bready. Dark fruits (fig and date) and diacetyl and molasses, with a touch of burnt sugar all join the party. However, this isn't a malt bomb. There is plenty of hoppiness lurking nearby. I echo other commenters--this smells and looks more like a barleywine from the other side of the pond. There is a lot going on here, and it's all good.

The flavor is pretty darn solid and down the middle--for an english barleywine. Strong malts are again in the leadoff role, this time with some brown sugar added to the caramel and dark fruits from the nose. However, the hops and booze are there to balance things out, along with tobacco, leather, and oak. I don't usually comment on other ratings but I didn't have the "hot" "bitter" or "burning" experience others did. I think that is because this bottle has about two years of age on it. There is maybe just a hint of oxidation going on, though the booze makes it difficult to tell. In any event, this is definitely a brew that needs some maturity. If this had been a "freshie" I can see how the hops and booze might have ripped my head off. As it is, the hops may be just a shade strong, but I can't really complain about that.

The mouthfeel is pretty heavy and almost--but not quite--sticky. The carbonation could be just a shade stronger, which might have helped.

Overall, this brew is kind of all over the place. It looks "meh." It smells great and tastes pretty good--but it ends up being a little cloying at the end. Still, a solid BW.

 1,761 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Much more like an English style barley wine than an american one.

L - Dark brown with no head but a really thin white lacing

S - very nice complexity, rum soaked raisin cake, figs, dates, balanced smell, some molasses, some grain, some toffee in the backend

T - A bit less balanced with a strong bitterness, some citrus, some grain, some chocolate, vinous

M - Low carbonation, astringent

O - All right barleywine, but it's more of an english barleywine than an american one

 479 characters

Photo of StormAles
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 947 ratings