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Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
431 Reviews
THE BROS
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Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada | website

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
Reviews:
431
Ratings:
897
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
14.83%
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
110
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 431 | Ratings: 897
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an attractive medium brown, with a lasting whitish middle. Barleywine aroma. The mouthfeel is above average, a smooth barleywine with a lovely drinkable caramel. Nice balance, satisfying, although boozy. Thanks for bringing me back a bottle, Derek.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a foamy 1/2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark fruit, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, malt, and alcohol. Taste is of sweet malt, burnt caramel, brown sugar, and some fruity flavors. There is also some herbal hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a full bodied and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but I am enjoying the smell on this one more than the taste.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

huge barleywine here, right between the english and american styles, how canadian! its copper to honey colored and thick. the head holds on a little while before fading to ring lacing in my globe. the nose is pretty hoppy, but more bitterness than flavor. the grain is big and flavorful, but not particularly layered or dynamic or nuanced, its pretty one dimensional, despite its size, it doesnt seem real diverse to me. thats fine because the hop finish is insanely big, its super bitter and punchy and long lasting. when it warms, it clashes just a bit with the booze, which until now was more mellow. im floored by its effect on me, from relatively sober to relatively blasted in twelve ounces. not easy to do! a well made brew, but less enthralling than most of their others. i might like it more in the dead of winter than i do now.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep red color, almost brown. The head was thin and really didn't go anywhere with the lacing in my opinion. The smell of the beer has a boozy sweetness to it. The taste of caramel upfront that fades into a warming tingle in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer was thick a little oily and smooth. Overall the alcohol comes through in the back end kind of on the strong side. Since it's a Winter brew and a Barley Wine it kind of makes sense. I guess I just prefer a more hoppy Barley Wine. But this one wasn't too bad.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured mahogany brown with minimal head and delicate lacing on the surface.
S: There's an aroma of alcohol, fruits and hops.
T: The flavor is a well-balanced mix of alcohol, cherries and other dark fruits, sweet caramel malt, and hops, the latter of which also prominently stands out in the finish.
M: The beer feels medium- to heavy bodied on the palate and the carbonation takes away most of the syrupy taste.
D: This is one to sip slowly and end the night with, although it's surprisingly drinkable for a barleywine.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Insane beer that has been sitting in the wake for way too long.

The pour into the glass brings a deep mohogany, ruby hue with some haze and a rusty overall appearance. Light on head formation but long on retention and fair on lacing- pretty standard of Barleywines.

Aromas are fantastic and bring on the presence of raisons, dates, figs, grapes, plumbs, anise, apples, cherries, and rum- all encompased with a blanket of molassas, toffee, and sorgum sweetened malts. Somewhat Brittish in it's breadiness and sweetness. I could sit and smell this beer for days.

First of all, don't get me wrong- the flavors are great but not on the same pedistal as the aroma. Much more balance between the maltiness and bitterness. The esters are there but don't dominate the beer as they do in the aroma. The sweetness has turned to a well-attenuated maltiness and leaves behind the syrupy sweetness that the nose suggested. Still more bready than shortcake and more hoppy in the taste than smell.

Body is rich, round, and malty; but also well consumed by the yeast leaving the beer malty and dry but not sweet; creamy and bready but not cloying. Bitter and clean in the finish for such complex and depth in a beer.

For an American Barleywine, I expected much more hop aroma and flavor. But as an richer English Barleywine, that aroma in insanely good.

Thanks CosmoHopHead!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy amber color ale with a large foamy head with quite good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry fruits and toffee/caramel malt with a light hoppy finish. Taste is also dominated by a nice caramel malt base with notes of toffee and a light fruity ester finish. Hops are present and though not dominating I could have done without them, which would have brought this closer to an English style barleywine. Well done nonetheless.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.41/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341ml bottle - the label image does a good job of making me feel colder than the climate already does, yeah?

This beer pours a dark, over-steeped black tea colour, with two fingers of puffy beige head, which leaves a consistent pattern of looped lace around the glass as it evenly settles.

It smells of big sugary caramel/toffee malt, mild dark complex fruit, and somewhat acrid booze. The taste is quite strongly stewed butterscotch malt, dark fruit liqueur, and further drying edgy, earthy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, and a bit on the high side for the style, the body pretty hefty, smooth, but noticeable for its lack of stickiness. It finishes mostly in kind - a lingering caramel sweetness, smacked right down by booze and bitter hops. Wow - after reading the product description in French on the side label - looks like I was bang on: alcohol, fruit, and bitter hops - c'est vrai!

I sure don't mind the hops and strength in barleywines, but this one is just too astringently boozy for my liking - probably my own fault, as it was bottled less than 3 months ago. It would be interesting to match this against the new release of my local concern's barleywine - Alley Kat's 2010 Old Deuteronomy. Time may very well tell.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.39/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

10.2% ABV confirmed. Acquired for $1.00 in SoCal - probably the best deal I've ever gotten on a beer. 11.5 fl oz brown glass with branded standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery, which makes some beers I'm a big fan of. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. There are notches in the "1" and "0" slots, but I don't know what date that indicates.

Served after a brief period of rest following its removal from the fridge and allowed to warm further over the course of consumption; I prefer my barleywines just slightly chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention - which isn't actually bad for the high ABV. Body colour is a hazy caramel-amber brown; very typical of a refined barleywine. Nontranslucent. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible, if only because it's opaque. This is definitely unfiltered. No bubble show. It's what I'd expect from a good barleywine; I'm not blown away but I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Rich caramel, toffee, malty sweetness, light toasted malt, grains and sugars, burnt bread crust. Redolent of old brown leather. Some fig fruit and other stonefruit. Raisin. A touch of earthiness - in a good sense. Light vanilla. Candied fruit. A light dark spice. A bit of fennel. Candied green apple. A complex aroma of moderate to fairly high strength. Alcohol's there, but it's well concealed. An evocative aroma that affirms complexity to come, but doesn't come off horribly balanced. I can't wait to find out.

T: Dominant caramel. A bit of toffee. The sweetness is certainly there, but it's well balanced by more refined notes. I'm sure it'd be better with more age, all the same. The sweetness would fade a bit. Light fig and mild candied apple fruit come through, adding pleasant dimensions. Biscuit malt and brown malts aid the body. Some raisin. A bit of lurking alcohol, but I wouldn't call it hot or boozy. Little yeast comes through, if any. Hopping is generic and floral - and certainly minimal. Malts are the star of this show, and as well they should be. The dominant note is redolent of those caramel-apple sticks you'd get at a fair. Light burnt bread crust isn't as deep here as I'd like; it's there in traces but that flavour is the highlight for me. I could do without the fennel/light licorice, but that's just personal taste. A nicely balanced little barleywine, but one that seems like it'd be a lot better with 2-3 years of age on it. Pretty good balance, for the most part.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Thick - like it needs to be for the style. It's got definite presence on the palate, but I wouldn't say it's too heavy. Firm and punchy. Good carbonation. Complements the flavour profile pretty well, and in some ways it seems like it's tailored to it - but the execution doesn't come off incredibly. Solidly done, but not great.

Dr*: It's not a great barleywine, but it's rather solid. I wouldn't pay the full $6.00 import price for it, but I love the $1.00 price tag I paid. I'm glad I picked up 5 others; this is far better stuff than Bigfoot (at least fresh Bigfoot). Another solid brew from Dieu du Ciel, but I did expect a little more given their usual quality. Worth picking up at the right price, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Like it, don't love it. It is quite drinkable for the ABV though. I could have more than one of these in the same night and I wouldn't mind.

B-

Definitely a beer that'd be better with age. 2-5 years for this one methinks.

I regret I was forced to drink this one from a pint glass. By all means, use a snifter or tulip if you've got one. Hell, even a wine glass would be better than a conical pint glass.

*I had to play with the overall score to get the letter grade that was appropriate. This keeps my reviews fair and consistent. Please see my profile for more information.

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Photo of zeff80
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark brown color with a pillowy, off-white, small head. It left soapy lace residue on the glass.

S - It smelled of raisin, sweet caramel malt and some subtle floral notes.

T - It tasted very sweet. The raisin detected in the aroma was very mild. It had a light caramel flavor with some roasted qualities.

M - It sticky and a a little chewy. A medium to full bodied barleywine.

D - This smelled great and tasted pretty good, too. It is certainly worth picking up.

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Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured with a small head of off white foam on a hazy, amber body. The head settles quickly and leaves thick lace.

S - brown sugar, spicy alcohol and a touch of toffee.

T - dark sugar and some cherry up front. Spicy notes of alcohol, plum, and clove in the middle. Vintages with dark bread notes as well as figs, clove, and fairly strong bitterness.

M - medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - a robust, sugary barleywine that doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the alcoholic bite.

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

Blind BIF Beer #6

Not a sour. Hooray. Regular 12 oz bottle.

Dark murky red appearance.

Old ale raisin smell.

Stale old ale taste. Slight battery acid finish.

So far the beers had been from all over the place. I had no idea what this was.

Reveal. Barleywine?

 263 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurry black cherry that looks more like dark caramel with tangerine accents when not backlit. One smooth pour enabled the entire bottle to fit into the snifter, with a lovely looking crown of khaki colored foam cresting the rim. The suds last impressively long, leaving quite a bit of lace when they eventually melt.

The aroma is underpowered, at least in the early going. It's brown malty, somewhat earthy, and has just a hint of alcohol, although no more than most beer of this ABV. Hopefully, warming will bring something new and different to the party.

Solstice d'hiver is my type of barleywine (dark malty rather than pale malty), but it isn't knocking my socks off. Once the starting chill is lost, it does open up a bit and begin to complexify. The aroma still isn't impressive, however.

Flavors include dark caramel, ripe figs, blackberries, chocolate shavings, bitter black tea leaves and a wee dram of Absolut Citron. I had originally thought this bottle was from winter '08-'09, but now believe it's from this past winter. There's still quite a bit of hop bitterness goin' on.

The mouthfeel barely squeeks out the score seen above. It could be more full and more creamy, but satisfies well enough in the end. Drinking quickly is no trouble at all. On the other hand, drinking 9.8% ale rapidly might lead to serious trouble, depending on the circumstances.

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Solstice d'hiver is a good North American barleywine that doesn't quite come together well enough to be considered a great North American barleywine. It's still an easy recommendation since a 12 ounce single shouldn't break the bank.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ The Farmhouse (Burlington, VT) on 2/19/11. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby, with a ½ finger head of off-white froth. This retains with a mostly thin and creamy look, with some richness on the edges that throws a think coating of lace up onto the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of sweet toffee and bright citric fruit, although I think I'm picking up a touch of some other dark fruitiness at work here as well. Some roast creeps in along the back and alcohol adds some extra sweetness and light spicy notes to this as well.

The taste has a thick maltiness to it of caramel and roasted brown sugars, with bitter citric fruit and pine giving this some sharpness. Dark fruit and spice add to the complexity, as alcohol warmth really dries the finish on this out. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a big fizzy carbonation on this that expands out into the mouth and remains quite sharp the whole way through. That ABV is definitely present here but it's not overly hot, as this possesses more of a beefy warmth that heats things up a bit. Overall though, I'd say that this stays a pretty smooth sipper and carries its big ABV rather well.

I liked this. A big Barleywine with some flavor and complexity that drank well for its size. This was only a half pour but it left me wanting to investigate it further. I have some bottles at home in cellar. I think it's about time to break one out.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Bullock's in Marietta, Georgia. Let's D'hive right in, shall we?

Appearance: Pours out an opaque, murky-looking, dark brick-colored body with a whipped, frothy, light beige head.

Smell: Malty nose smelling of toasted bread crusts and sweet-scented notes of toffee and caramel accented by some wafting alcoholic aromatics. Additional whiffs of wood chips, juicy cherries, light spice, and a nearby snifter of room-temp brandy.

Taste: Begins with a bold maltiness that has a chewy breadiness about it with a rich toffee taste and lighter hints of semi-sweet chocolate and brown sugar. It's sweet, but not overly sweet. There's a pervasive earthiness to it and a snap of seasoned wood and spice. It's bitter, but not overly bitter. Fair amount of fruitiness present, but sweet cherries, for me, are the most prominent. Splash of brandy. Light, lingering bitterness and some warming alcoholic heat on the otherwise smooth malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Tasty, enjoyable barleywine with a nice, inviting warmth to it that suits me just fine as I watch the recent snow melt away. It's not nearly as sweet as many English version and it's not nearly as bitter as many American iterations of the style, though, admittedly, I'm not entirely sure as to the age of this particular bottle I purchased last night. Why not just pick a bottle and find out for yourself.

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

I have picked some winners lately and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I did not really know much of what to expect out of this one, but was more then pleasantly surprised by the results. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 09/15/2009.



The pour was nice, rich dark brown in color with a nice inch and a half of off white head on the top. Rich looking to say the least. Lots of candied sugar, hints of caramel and light toffee as well. A light note of alcohol as it warms, but very solid and not much in the way of hops, at least initially on the nose. Smooth, subtle flavor really builds. Caramel malts, hints of boozy notes, light toffee all coming through very well. Nice feel to it, heavy but not overbearing with great carbonation. A bit hefty, but I honestly found it very well received.



Overall solid. I would not mind having this one again, and was actually quite pleasantly surprised by how well it pulled together. Would grab another off the shelf if I saw it for sure.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.5 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a dense 1 finger light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Good spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, molasses, caramel, toast, bread, earth, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of big raisin, prune, toast, roasted malt, molasses, bread, caramel, earth, oak, and herbal spiciness. Fair amount of spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, toast, earth, oak, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of spicy hop flavors with the fruity malt backbone; with good complexity and no cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very nice creamy, thick, and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barleywine. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A pour from the 12 oz bottle into a snifter is a cloudy copper color with little to no head.

S: A very citrusy, hoppy aroma. A lot of grapefruit hops to go with a nice caramel aroma. There is also a fair amount of alcohol.

T: The flavors are fairly similar to the nose, but a bit improved. The front end of the sip is sweet and toffee like. The back end has a very pungent grapefruit flavor with a mild bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with a fairly low level of carbonation.

D: The alcohol does not really come through on the palate. The mild bitterness helps to keep things from getting too sweet (although, I don't think it would be a problem when fresh anyway).

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Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled into an oversized snifter.

A - Deep bronze w/ garnet hues. The ale has good clarity. An impressive 3 finger ecru tips the barleywine which has a rocky surface and the lace clings and holds. The bead is pin sized and the beer looks like a dark caramel apple in the glass

S - a mild biscuit, fruity aroma w/ a spicy and slightly alcohol enhanced aroma. There is a yeasty ester which is apple scented and has berry notes

M - The feel is bitter at first then caramel and sweet w/ a light yeasty tang w/ sugary tip. There is light astringency w/ a moderate level of carbonation and a lingering bitter finish

T - The malty caramel and dry biscuit notes combine w/ a slight alcohol flavored fruit taste. A candied apple flavor w/ bitter citrus peel and mild raisin flavor w/ a hint of pine and chocolate. The slight toffee-like buttery qualities are subdued and there is more of a bitter green herbal flavor from the hops in the finish.

D - A tasty barleywine, big hoppiness as expected and the malt is deep w/ yeast interplay creating a tasty light/shade effect. I would definitely want a chance to savor this again, perhaps with some age on it to see how it changes and smoothes out the hop bitterness, a very good barleywine.

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Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Goebel's in Wichita, zero & then a seven notched for what that's worth...

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of tan head. Nice viscious look to this above average acing & head retention

S: Dark fruit & not much else, a touch of booze as this finished up

T: Figs, plums, a touch of caramel & oaky boozeyness up front. Raisins, figs, dryness & a hint of brown sugar, plus woody hops as this warms. Finishes dry, fruitty with faint woody hops

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation & warming sensations as this warms

Drinks easy enough, makes me think ENGLISH BW, nice enough. This was over 50 cents an ounce, Sooo I consider this a one & done, mostly on the cost basis...

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Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two-finger head that leaves ring lace on the glass after each sip. The color is dark brown with a decent amount of light passing through. Cloudy.

Earthy aroma with a definitive alcohol kick.

Rich, thick brew that positively qualifies as a Barley Wine. Not sweet, but definitely malty. The hop shows up in the swallow, but the alcohol is the main feature after that. Very warming. Good for sipping.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby chestnut body light caramel tan head, nose is filled with equally impressive big fruit and caramel malts...it's a Canadian hop bomb of a barleywine. Sharp acidic notes with leafy herbal hops playing a big role in it, roasted nuts and caramelized sugars collide to equate to the aromatics of the beer. Flavor is harsh bitterness all day, bitingly bitter big and bad with warming alcohol...it's a rough sultry barleywine meant for the cooler months, don't ask me why I chose to crack the bottle in the warm rainy spring weather that we are having today. Big fruit ride the wave of harsh bitterness, yeast nuttiness, plum soaked in brandy, this is a big beer all day with lingering waves of earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a warming alcohol effect taking over in the first few sips, if this is their winter beer it's meant to be this way for a reason to keep you warm when you are walking from pub to pub in the dead of winter up in the Quebec province of Canada. Overall very pleased it's like an exotic version of Bigfoot and I'm sure it's appreciated and held on to every year during it's release to experience something like this so big yet so quaffable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe that the label reads this is best by 2011?

Pours quite dark brown and fairly foggy with a thick crème head that's going nowhere. Nose is quite fruit toned. Apricots, perfume, floral edges. If you really focus on the fragrance, that apricot shows through beautifully. Flavor is a bit boozy. Grainy malts. Subdued fruits, figs, but the alcohol is present. Feel is smooth on liquid, appropriately lower on carbonation. This is still young. I say give it three or four more years and this is going to be golden. Lots of potential, but not at its peak right now.

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Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown 11.5oz bottle with a twist-off cap. This is either an '08 bottle or a best by '08, I can't really tell. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed color of brown. When held to the light, it shows ruby clarity through the body and some orange hints towards the edges. A creamy tan cap appears and quickly dissolves holding with a lacing pattern across the top of the brew. A light swirl revives a finger of yellowish stained froth and produces some spotty lacing effect on the glassware.

The smell is sweet with hints of toffee and caramel. An indication of fruit like raisins is present before a warmth of alcohol is noticed. More smells reveal a greater focus on the alcohol which integrates very well with the fruity raisin character and sweetness of toasty grain. The more I smell this brew, the more I pick up on some light notes of citrus hops, herbal quality and more sweetness like brown sugar. All in all, this is a very good smelling brew.

The taste of this brew is not blended together as well as the aroma would leave you to believe. Toasty, almost musty grain is noticed upfront with a solid warmth of alcohol. The flavor of the alcohol is a bit solvent and mixes with a bit of mineral flavoring and citrus to herbal hops. There is a minor amount of sweetness present, but not hardly as much as you would expect based off of the aroma. Towards the back, the toasty grain gets increasingly more musty with a bitter element that is somewhat piney and clashing.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall it wasn't bad but it just didn't totally come together for me. I have no doubt this brew could have sat for another year or so as the alcohol character is not hiding at all. However, I don't see the musty quality of the grain going away which I didn't find particular enjoyable either.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My last of Nouvelle Bière d'Hiver Dimanche aka New Beer Sunday (Week 574) & none too soon! It has been a real roller coaster of a day between spiced & non-spiced, big & smaller, et al. This bottle came from Hunger 'n' Thirst and while I have others from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!, they are just going to have to wait.

From the bottle: "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 coming from the malt and a prolonged boiling time. It is a very bitter beer with aromas of hops and alcohol, and flavours reminiscent of red fruit brought by the English-type yeast we use to ferment it. The aftertaste is accentuated by the wonderful flavour of hops."; "Illustration: [email protected]"; "Unfiltered".

I have grown to realize that as soon as I see "Unfiltered" anywhere on the label of the bottle or CAN, a gentle pour/Glug is on order. I Pop!ped the cap & did exactly that, resulting in a brief finger of foamy, light-tan head with extremely limited retention. Even a swirl in the glass failed to raise anything more than that. It should also be noted that this came in a screw-top bottle for some inexplicable reason. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a brandy-like quality, very much of dried, dark fruits like cherries, raisins and prunes, but with a strong fusel alcohol heat. My sinuses opened right up! Mouthfeel was big, thick, viscous & solid and laid on my tongue like a blanket. It had a pronounced heat, followed by a rich, dark fruitiness. I really tasted cherries, like Kirsch, in my mouth. Warming, it had an earthiness that reminded me more of an English Barleywine than an American one. I want to research this one a bit further when I finish. Speaking of the finish, it was dry, very hot, like it could have spent even longer in the bottle, cooling to leave a dark fruitiness in its wake. This was a great beer to have as a nightcap. I would cellar one if I see it again. There is no doubt in mind that aging will improve its sharp edges.

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
88 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.
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