Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver
Very Good
946 Ratings
Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 946 |  Reviews: 449
Photo of Hellpop65
1.5/5  rDev -61.6%

Photo of djcreepshow
2/5  rDev -48.8%

Photo of Franck
2/5  rDev -48.8%

Photo of Mosul
2/5  rDev -48.8%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
2.38/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a nice murky light brown color with some slight amber hints. That only show up on on the edges. There is a thin, medium dense, light tan head that recedes quickly.

S - Strong caramel and molasses hints come up strong and linger. The beer is very malty and sweet. Brown sugar notes and some slight pear and apple cider notes in the nose. Not much hops. A bit 1-D.

T & M - Starts off with some nice molasses sweetness and good caramel. Slight burnt caramel notes are present. There is some brown sugar and there is also a slight roast to the beer. There is a slight acrid note to the beer as well. The taste finishes a bit on the burnt side with a slightly overwhelming yeast note that seems to hide the flavors. Not the greatest beer in my opinion. A lighter body for an AB.

O - The beer is underwhelming. The flavors don't seem to blend very well. Not my coup of tee.

 929 characters

Photo of kkipple
2.45/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Brand new bottle to the Columbia market, I grabbed this one from the venerable Charleston Beer Exchange. Let's see how Canadians do barleywines...

A. Pretty dirty-orange, smallish 3cm head, dingy and cloudy. Dark beer. Ok.

S. Very fruity, lots of esters and a wallop of hot booze to boot. Sweet and slick toffee notes, prunes, dates, sweet black bread and... bananas. Odd. Very odd.

T. Oh no. I actually cringed as the first sip of this passed my lips. There's a tremendously harsh, medicinal (think gnawing on a handful of aspirin tablets) and violently unpleasent bitterness here that is all over the palate. Front, mid, and finish; it knocks the rest of the beer down and stamps on its jangly bits. Somewhere in there is hid caramel sweetness, warm alcohol, a bit of black pepper and fruit, but I'll be darned if I could taste it past the aspirin-assault. Not enjoyable and frankly bad tasting.

M. Warm, sweet, a little thin, and boasts a very sharp bitter finish - not sure what happened here or if this brew is best 5 years out, but it's practically undrinkable now. I didn't finish the bottle.

D. No. Alas.

Solstice D'hiver is a real disappointment from a usually fun brewery - this and the peppercorn beer the Crazed Canucks create are two beers that I find personally unpalatable. A real shame, but I'd be curious to try an aged bottle and see if this changes much over time.

 1,390 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
2.47/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark mahogany body with some yeast floaties within, thick dense cap that looks like you could lay on it.
Aroma isn't very outspoken, even after letting this warm it seems muted and gives off some basic malts as it's only aromatics.
It seems this far in this is a tamer barleywine, there is nothing to scare you away but at the same time not alot to keep you enamored. The flavors present a bit of alcohol, and some toffee which is what i would say the biggest malt character is in this BW that provides the backbone. Weirdest thing here, i am getting something that reminds me of mint chocolate, odd with a bright fresh note, maybe that is just the alcohol mixed with malts playing tricks.

An alright BW, if your into BWs get it for the knowledge and experience of the tick, otherwise dont worry about it much.

 811 characters

Photo of Mitchster
2.49/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

$4.99 for a 11.5 oz bottle. 10.2% ABV per the bottle. Pours to a clear dark amber, forming a rocky light tan head with excellent retention and a solid sticky sheet of lace. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is clean and subtle, with dark fruit, resinous hops, carob, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy with a dense body. The taste opens with dark and candied fruits, and is followed by oxidation and fusel alcohols. Definite acetone. Moderate wierd chemical bitterness. ot sweet. The fusels overwhelm the finish. Defiinitely hot.

Not digging this one at all. These guys usually make great beers, but this one kinda stinks. I definitely wouldn't buy it again.

 681 characters

Photo of ThisSeasonsWaifu
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of seeswo
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of KFBR392
2.56/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Muddy brown/very dark red color. Light bubbly head on the pour which dissipated quickly and was not present while drinking. Low active carbonation in the glass while drinking.

Smell: The front is a mossy hop profile with plenty of sweet oak. Cherries and fruit sweetness jump out as well. There honestly is not much more after that. A semi bright barley profile is also picked up but is light.

Taste: An overly sweet oak and barley front hits the palate first. That synthetic, crayon like feeling continues to pile on. Mild barley continues to warm up as the beer does as well. Lingering off tastes which just don't seem to belong stick around for a while. Sweet, really way too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, synthetic, strange oak, and nothing worth wanting this again.

Overall: Disappointed with this one no doubt. Besides Peche, I haven't had another brew from Dieu du Ciel that is really worth continually buying.

 931 characters

Photo of g_rat
2.59/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.75

L: Cloudy opaque brown that fades from a dark chestnut brown up to a lighter amber caramel color. Thin cream head with very little retention & spotty lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malts, bright fruits (grapes, cherries, citrus) toasted bread, new leather, rum, hints of honey & vanilla

T: Starts off with sweet caramel, cream, pecan, honey, and almond, is quickly overwhelmed by strong alcohol taste, the alcohol is quite dry & burns on the way down, floral bitter hops end which mask some of the alcohol, but is not enough & leaves a very dry lingering alcohol taste. Vanilla present throughout. Mellows out as it warms.

F: Medium bodied, lots of alcohol sting, no noticeable carbonation, creamy but no stickiness from the malts

O: This was my 1st barley wine ale so I don't have anything else to compare it to. Overall it looks good & smells delicious, taste is not great because the alcohol overwhelms the entire pallet. Would love to try this with about 8% abv.

 967 characters

Photo of ShanePB
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of jwinship83
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

11.5oz bottle poured into my duvel tulip

A- this one pours a very murky dark brown colored body with a finger of creamy looking khaki colored head. the head becomes no more than a crown after a minute or two and leaves solid rings of lacing behind.

S- the malts are much stronger than the hops in the nose of this american barleywine. lots of caramel and toffee. somewhat fruity as well. plums, figs, and cherries. a strong alcohol presence.

T- the first sip brings a massive amount of medicine and alcohol. like a pill that wont go down after a few sips of water. ouch. after i manage to get over that, the dark fruits come through faintly. cherries, figs, and plums. theres a slight herbal hop bitterness at the end, but nothing like a traditional american barleywine.

M- medium to full bodied with a low level of carbonation. very strong warming from the alcohol in this one.

D- the medicinal taste is way too strong and nothing i ever want to taste again. needless to say, i dont think ill be buying this again. different in a bad way. i say avoid.

 1,060 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
2.78/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a dirty deep ruby with no head to speak of. There was a brief flash of carbonation on the pour that created a little wisp, but it was gone in a flash. Very hazy beer, even with a careful pour.

Aromas of .... soap? I know the glass was beer clean. I get a faint malt aroma, but not much else. As it warms, the soapy aroma turns to more of a caramelly malt. Not sure what is going on here.

First sip is of a mild bitterness, which is interesting, because the label warns of a very bitter beer with aromas of hops. Which hops? Perhaps this is where the soapy aroma comes from, floral hops. Some tobacco, caramel. Perception is a good balance between hop bitterness and malt sweetness, but the overall flavors are not pairing well for me. Not much of an alcohol burn for a 9.8%abv beer.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for a barley wine. Expected more of a big, chewy, malty beer. This is kind of unexciting.

Overall drinkability is not there. I wouldn't seek this out. It is not an exceptional example of a barley wine. Balance is good, but flavors and mouthfeel are off.

 1,097 characters

Photo of Haydn-Juby
2.84/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: A tawny/ruby red color. Visibly viscous with a thick, well retained head. A bit cloudy.

S: Lots of booze. Some sweet caramel malt and a fair bit of oxidation.

T: Initially very harsh. I'm hit by a wave of warm alcohol heat; this is waaay more than I would like. Throughout the drinking experience, it became more tame, revealing dark fruit notes. A faint raisin and oxidised/sherry/port note. A bit of biscuity toasted malt as well. Some faint floral hops as well - but very faint. Mildly sweet but potently bitter.

F: Very thick and creamy. Leaves me with slightly sticky lips. Definitely lingers on the palate.

O: I didn't really like it and wouldn't buy again. It was way too boozy for me, but I could see it aging nicely. Barely wines aren't really my style; take my rating with a grain of salt.

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Photo of TerryW
2.94/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly subdued as a barelywine goes - not nearly as kickass and biting as some others I've had.

Pours a moderate head that settles to a heavy film, but boy, does it ever leave a lot of lace. Red-hued walnut in colour.

Nose is very boozy and sharp edged. Under the alcohol is sweet dark fruit. Tough to pick out what else is in there for the amount of alcohol present. After it has had a chance to breathe out it settle into a fruity, burned caramel and malt aroma that is fairly subdued. Overall profile is sweet.

This is one of those beers that betters as it warms. Initially just booze and sugar. Mellows out into sweet fruit and malts, some dark chocolate. Mouth feel is moderate, just a slight sparkle of carbonation, some stickiness. Lingering bitterness, sticky sweetness.

I'm not a big barleywine fan. The style is probably pretty out there for most folks, but as barleywines go, this is less aggressive than many I've had. Requires the big comfy chair and a period of immobility.

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Photo of Photekut
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of elricorico
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of richbrew
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Kmccabe33
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of frankthetank86
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Danny1217
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -23.3%

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 946 ratings