Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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88
very good
926 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
926
Reviews:
443
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
10.23%
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
115
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 443
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.

 254 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

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.

 602 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

 837 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

 550 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nmann08
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

 522 characters

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!

 1,365 characters

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.

 1,237 characters

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.

 4,076 characters

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.

 453 characters

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.

 491 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.91 out of 5 based on 926 ratings.
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