Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 923 |  Reviews: 441
Photo of chanokokoro
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.5 oz. bottle into a short-stemmed tulip/snifter. Enjoyed on 12/21/12, the winter solstice

Pours a dark amber with copper highlights. Cream colored two finger head. Average retention the leaves behind a bit of splotchy lacing. Caramel, ripe fruit, and phenol alcohol on the nose. Caramel throughout, mixed fruit: apple peel, date, cherry, hints of cocoa. Finishes with candied but lightly bitter citrus rind. Syrupy, slick full body, low carbonation. A very solid barleywine-style brew that seems to be a hybrid containing aspects of both the English and American styles (and is brewed by a Canadian brewery).

 626 characters

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

First time I’ve seen this beer, but it intrigued me enough to buy it. Plus, it’s Dieu du Ciel, so I know I’ve most likely got something good here.

A: Smooth beige head over a translucent, dark topaz body that shines beautifully in the light. No lacing and only a dusting of retention.

S: This nose is quite mild, showing just a little bit of vanilla cola and sweet, buttery aromas of roasted dates. Some maple syrup, eggnog, and bubblegum notes play around in the middle, too, but that’s really it.

T: Peppery, hoppy, and alcoholic to a heavy degree, this palate shows intensity in every area. Stings with the tastes of black pepper, hibiscus, and bitter lime rind; it’s a complex hoppiness that’s almost salty in its character. Malts exhibit tastes of burnt caramel, biscuit, apple butter, and the soft, dark sweetness of dates or honey. A dark, brooding winter beer. The aftertaste is pretty damn spicy, too; this beer is just all bitterness.

M: Bubbly and light; it definitely doesn’t feel like 10%+ alcohol. Thin-bodied yet warm on the first few drinks down.

O: Weird beer? Sure, but it’s strangely delicious. Sometimes, odd combinations of flavors work – this is one of those times.

 1,210 characters

Photo of MrJolly
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of MoonpieCCSD
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark burnt tan. Not much of a head, some sticky lacing.

Smell - Caramel, rasin, plum, fig, molasses, brown sugar, roasted malts, cherry, apple, grapes.

Taste - Malty smokey note up front with some dark fruit, sugars and plenty of alcohol. Sweetness of sugars at first, then bitter sour grapes mixed with warm alcohol comes in. A decent wood/smoked flavor is present.

Mouthfeel - Tounge gets malts, dark fruits and sugars. Palate gets more smokey malts, caramel, bitter fruits and booze. Aftertaste is alcohol, bitter fruits and smokey malts.

Overall - Not bad, plenty of flavor, a big warm and a real bitter finish. I enjoy the wood/smoked flavor this has. Would like to age for a year to see the alcohol die down and let some more malts come out. Would be a great barrel aged beer. Worth a drink but way, way overpriced.

 862 characters

Photo of JohnK17
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of shagal
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Auror
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an old bottle. At least 2 years, probably 3 or more. Batch code has 0 and 8 notched, how I wish DDC made it more clear when the batches were from on US bottles. As a barleywine, I'd expect this to hold up fairly well though.

Poured into my Kate the Great snifter.

Appearance- Pours a dark muddy, reddish-brown. One finger head diminishes quickly to a slight ring. Carbonation bubbles are evident, a good sign considering this bottle's age. Mild lacing.

Smell- Chocolate, fruity malt, strawberry, wood, damp leaves.

Taste- Some malt sweetness upfront reminiscent of cherries. A little bit of a chalky flavor in the middle (oxidation?). Finishes with a tingling, lingering bitterness. Hops might have been prevalent once, but now only the bitterness remains. No alcohol present.

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly sharp carbonation. Medium feel.

Overall- I'm only guessing here, but from reading other reviews this beer has lost a lot of flavor. In exchange for that, the 10% alcohol is just non-existent.

 1,008 characters

Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of KalanM
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of IPAchris
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BPudd
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with no head. Thick looking with some slow rising bubbles.

Cherry wood, toasted malt, some alcohol, dark fruit in the nose.

Nice rich sweet malt up front. Some burnt nuts, over-ripe bruised stone fruit, a little vanilla, brown bread, and mild bitterness. Nice complexity. booze is hardly noticeable.

Full bodied. Good chewy brew.

Nice version of the style. This was a dusty bottle, so the age on this took off any edges that may have existed at bottling.

 477 characters

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

341ml bottle poured into a goblet. ABV 10.2%.

A - Poured a murky dark brown with copper highlights. Thin head was quickly gone. Not much lacing.

S - Dark fruit, brown sugar, hint of dark dark chocolate, burnt coffee, some pine in the background. Alcohol is only slightly noticeable after the drink warms up a bit.

T - Brown sugar, some whole wheat bread, dark fruit, hint of burnt toast, hint of citrus, some pine in the finish. It's more complex than I can describe it.

M - Medium-heavy body, medium carbonation, slick, syrupy, sticky, slight burn in the finish.

O - My first barley wine. Found it pretty good. That ABV is well hidden.

 641 characters

Photo of andthevolcano
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of TheBishopco
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of aasher
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a medium bodied hazelnut brown in color with amber highlights and a slight off white lacing around the glass. The nose is both rich and sweet. It features a bouquet of molasses, sorghum, slight cherry, and a touch of oak. Nice nose for a barleywine, and smooth. The flavors too, full and sweet. It features candied sugar, molasses, brown sugar, light oak, a light bitterness, with a touch of cream in the finish. Well rounded flavor as well. For being 10.2%, there isn't any alcohol at all. It drinks pretty full in body with plenty of residual sugar. It is big but isn't overpowering in one facet or another. It's just a well rounded barleywine. I recommend it. It's barleywine season, and this was a nice way to start it off! If only Dieu Du Ciel would barrel aged this!

 788 characters

Photo of HungarianCount
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of thegerm87
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Googs
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pours reddish brown with a creamy off-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin cap. Plenty of lace clings to the glass. Lots of malt sweetness in the nose. Prunes, caramel, sherbet, toast and herbal, green tea notes in the back. Peaty whiskey notes in the taste. Dried apricots and cranberries mix with fruit compote, banana and stern, warming alcohol. Hops provide the requisite bitter ballast to the malt assault, but not much more. The mouthfeel is full bodied and sparsely carbonated with a numbing feeling from the booze. The finish is long and sweet with an accompanying alcohol burn.

This is a decent malt-centric barley wine. Tons of malt complexity going on, just a bit too much alcohol flavor, even for the immense ABV.

 740 characters

Photo of jegross2
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel out of Montreal in Canada.
Score: 83

Unknown vintage bottle with the 1 and 0 ticked on the side of the label. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 10/16/12.

Appearance: Pours two fingers of beige foamy head that slowly recedes to a thick layer atop the glass. Crazy lacing and retention. The beer is a deep mahogany color with a blood-red halo around the glass. Not quite opaque. 4.5/5

Smell: Vanilla, toffee and malty caramel. Faint, musty hops. Light plum, raisin and pine. Yum! 4/5

Taste: Sadly, the taste does not live up to the inviting appeal of the nose. Malty caramel, faint dark fruit and ample stale hops. There is a hint of vanilla upfront, but it is very very faint. There is a slight nuttiness too. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-light carbonation. Super malty, slightly creamy. 3.5/5

Overall: Taste is a mediocre, unincorporated mess of flavors and stale hops, but the aroma was nice.

Recommendation: Definitely not worth the price tag.

Pairings: Spicy Pad Thai.

Cost: $5 for a 12 oz bottle.

 1,092 characters

Photo of felixljr
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.91 out of 5 based on 923 ratings.
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