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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 925 |  Reviews: 442
Photo of felixljr
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of BeerBucks
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of socon67
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange\amber pour. Creme colored foam retains well. Slight carbonation noted.

S - Scents of dark fruit, caramel, and a boozy scent of scotch. As it settled a bit of toffee was present.

T - Surprisingly mellow. Initial sweetness of dried fruit. Has a warming burn and qualities of scotch whiskey. Notes a caramel and hearty grain.

M - Very drinkable barleywine. I was amazed how smooth this was. Syrupy thick and with a hearty ABV, but I didn't feel it.

O - Tasty barleywine that I'd happily have again. I'm finding plenty of love for Dieu Du Ciel. Another offering from them that I liked alot.

 602 characters

Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of kbrown
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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

Got this in a trade a while back. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: Pours a smaller, medium looking, fluffy, off-white head with good retention. Opaque burnt umber with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a thin wisp that remains the whole way and leaves some dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Caramel, toffee and pale malts. A touch of piney hops and melon notes as well. Milder, but nice.

TASTE: Caramel, toffee and notes of melon sweetness up front. Some piney hop bittereness and more toffee flavors at the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste with more piney bitterness, sweet malts and some butterscotch as well. A little mild up front, but the flavor comes out really nicely after the swallow.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Enough weight, nicely creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A bit of a scratch at the swallow as well.

OVERALL: Really nice stuff. The nose could be a little bigger, but otherwise, this is a quality American barleywine. This one is definitely worth checking out, so if you happen to see it somewhere, give it a shot. Recommended.

 1,172 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ObiWanKushnobi
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of hiphopj5
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of kjyost
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle date notched 09-2010 received via trade. Could have sworn it was via papat444, but i traded before that date. Thanks to whomever it was. Poured ~6C into a fluted beer glass.

Pours a rich reddish brown and quite clear with next to no head, and thus no lacing. Aroma is quite nice with raisins, dried fruit, peppery spice with a hint of alcohol underneath it all. The beer itself has a solid body with a slight syrupy nature to it with spiciness, some complexity in the malts mainly being levels of dried fruit and caramel notes seemingly from crystal malts. The bitterness is surprisingly noticeable in the beer for such a sweetness, but it keeps the palate cleaner than I had expected. A well put together barley wine, that is really worth having again.

 761 characters

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 soulfly1492
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Huge, bold flavor. Brown sugar, molasses, some moderate dark fruity esters, raisins are prominent. Very malts, but some mild to moderate hop aroma also.

Appearance: Light to medium brown in color, very hazy. Head is light brown with some patchy dark brown throughout. Good retention and lacing. Looks a bit evil and intmidating in my tulip glass.

Taste: If this isn't full flavor then nothing is. Maybe the strongest beer I've had to date and my favorite styles are American Strong Aleas and Quadrupels (Belgian Strong Dark Ales). Huge malt flavor. Raisins and prunes. Alcohol is noticeable. Some nutty flavor in the aftertaste, mostly walnut. Hops are highly floral. Just a touch of black pepper spice. Some earthy molasses in the aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Feels creamy, but it turns the mouth dry leaving a chalky feeling. Almost numbing the tongue and roof of the mouth. Mild and smooth carbonation. Finishes moderately dry.

Overall: I figured this would be bold, but this is extreme. Great stuff. Never harsh, a flavor-explosion. Lots of sugar as expected, but the bitter hops and spicy alcohol balance nicely.

NOTE: Not sure what I was smoking today, but I actually snapped the top of the bottle of when opening with my stainless Spaten bottle opener. Maybe it was the funky Canadian bottle sizes.

 1,342 characters

Photo of Hugues77
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Caterwaul
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of ajs4bd
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of nyrblue2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jondeelee
4.89/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Solstice d’hiver opens with a rich, sugary, syrupy nose that smells immediately like several beers’ worth of concentrated aroma. The notes center especially around gloopy fruit esters, including fig, date, raisin, prune, and black cherry, with lesser (but still quite potent) orange and nectarine touches. There’s also a heaping dose of molasses and brown sugar, as well as pure vanilla extract to add to the sweetness. All of this is balanced by thick, mealy breads, with rising wheat dough and brown toast crust, spent grain loafs, and a near pumpernickel-rye touch. Some anise and pepper spices linger at the edges, as well as ash. There is an overarching alcoholic vapor, which when combined with the dark fruit esters lends the beer a cognac overtone, but this blends nicely. As a whole, the nose is excellent, being everything that a solid Barleywine should aspire to: excellent balance, superb range, enticing aroma. There’s not a thing about this beer I would so far change.

On the tongue, the first notes are deep, dark sugars, including fig, raisin, prune, plum, and black cherry. These are joined quickly by the aforementioned dark bread combo, here especially leaning toward slightly-burnt toast crust and doughy pumpernickel-rye. A good dose of pine resin and grapefruit rinds adds a bitter hop counter that blends nicely with a touch of tangerine from the malts. Molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla add further sugar flavors, and pepper and anise add a spicy touch. Heavily noticeable is an alcoholic burn, which when combined with the burnt toast crust and ash flavors lends the beer a barrel-aged feel, and imparts a rum-soaked raisin addition to the fruits. If held in the mouth long enough, this alcoholic burn with increase in strength as the sugars die off, until it will eventually come quite close to bourbon. The aftertaste is also a strong bourbon-like burn, with lingering sugars, and lasts for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a fantastic Barleywine, and one I would gladly reach for again and again. The fine balance and delicious flavors in here mark a brew crafted by true experts and lovers of the style, and even the heavy alcohol burn is a perfect complement to the dark sugars and ashy notes. I certainly know what I’ll be drinking when the snow comes.

 2,357 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a flute.

Appearance: Dark amber sediments floating throughout the body with light bubbles, head is off-white rising to maybe 1/3" off the body.

Smell: This bee wreaks of greatness, very good and de3op barley scent.

Taste: This is a strong taste, you feel the alcohol the second it hit your lips. Strong barley feel, A notch sweet off taste that is complimented with a caramel feel.

Mouth: Doesn't feel like a beer more like a elixir of greatness. Goes down smooth, soft but hard after feel.

Overall: Try this for yourself and you be the judge I bought this literally on a whim, I give everything a shot and I never head a review before making my own, this beer was money well spent. Salud!

 708 characters

Photo of pumptrick
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of TheHammer
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Murky dark brown with red highlights without a lot of carbonation. The head was practically non-exsistant and thus did not lace or retain.

Smell: Datas and figs are dominant, but it's quite yeasty. Also notes of hop oil can be gleaned in the background, but the spice of the yeasty hides them well.

Taste: Starts out with some rough, dark toffee that turns to a yeasty fruit jumble of figs, dates, a light berry note and grapefruit hops as the hop oil soon takes control and reveals the boozier elements of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Complete lack of head and very low carbonation, although I will give some slack as it is a barley wine. However the hop oil clings to the back of the tongue and the transistioning needs some work. Nice toffee aftertaste though.

Drinkability: A little bit too boozy for my liking, and the lack of carbonation makes it very akin to drinking wine. I dunno, it sits down and it's drinkable, but it's not my cup of tea.

Final Thoughts: It's hard for me to really judge this beer, having only had one other barelywine before. Still, I didn't find it all that enjoyable, so I think it's more of a fault with the style then the beer. I would pass on this in the future though.

 1,213 characters

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 11.5oz poured into a snifter.

A:Reddish brown with a thin off-white almost brown head. Lots of lacing is left in the wake of the vanishing head.

S: Intense, spicy, and fruity. Burnt caramel, alcohol esters, raisin, and raspberries.

T: Spicy alcohol, malt, and dark fruit quickly turns to burnt caramel, hops, and alcohol. There is a liquor quality to this beer.

M: Heavy and thick.

O: This beer is a palate destroyer. Its intense flavors and strong alcohol have more in common with scotch or rum than beer. It does, however, mellow as it warms. Solstice is a sound sipper.

 584 characters

Photo of RockinRaquel
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of tony223366
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A murky dark caramel color. The head is an tan/off-white and very thick and fluffy. Nice head for a barleywine! The color isn't anything fantastic but all in all pretty good.

S: I'm getting tons of caramel and lots of dark fruits. Figs and raisins... mmm! It smells great and just like a barleywine should. Some milk chocolate as well. Not getting the hops that they said were so apparent.

T: I think this beer strikes a good balance between American and English Barleywines. Yes it is bitter and yes there are some citrusy hops but the caramel and fruitiness match nicely. There's even some nice spicy yeast flavors. It strikes a good, if not harsh balance. But it's really the caramel/fruit's show here. Oh yeah and the booze is definitely a star player. This beer desperately needs some time to age and take the edge off.

M: Fair amount of prickly carbonation in this full bodied beer.

O: A good, if not great beer. It's harsh, but lots of young barleywines are. There's definitely tons of potential of this beer being rich and decadent in about 5 years. Tasty.

 1,072 characters

Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.91 out of 5 based on 925 ratings.
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