Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver
Liked This Beer
3.92 w/ 929 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: 929 |  Reviews: 445
Photo of Groulxsome
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Quite a dark copper colour with a little hint of red. A really pretty tan coloured head which slowly gave way to a little lacing.

S: Sweet, caramel, with a some nice banana-like esters.

T: Good balance of strong hops to rich body. It starts fruity, middles out malty, and ends with a big hit of hops and alcohol warmth. Plus, its got that Quebec-beer taste which is wonderful and very close to my heart. Something in the water in Quebec!

M: Full, smooth, and chewy. Again, it's got a nice warmth from the alcohol and a long bitter finish.

O: I've got a giant soft spot for Quebec beers and this is no exception. I think this bottle is fairly fresh, so I'd love to try an older one soon to compare. It's a really good Barleywine and it shows the Quebec sense of balance perfectly.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Stocean1
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a two finger head with patchy lacing upon a deep brown body with ruby highlights, decent retention leaving a nice thick collar.

Smell is heavy malt, sweet caramel, earthy hops and booze.

Taste follows the nose with sweet burnt sugar and malt up front with a balanced earthy hops,nutty, the alcohol is pronounced but really pulls it together - ethanol like a fine vodka, warming and adds a nice bitterness, some dark fruit and cocoa notes.

Full bodied with some carbonation, this is a sweet brew, not dry, bitterness throughout but not overpowering.

An excellent barley wine that was a real flavorful sipper.

 618 characters

Photo of Brianito
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kbuzz
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of jwat
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of jskennedy
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany with a very small and quickly disappearing off-tan head.

Nose combines a ridiculously dense malt, akin to a thick slice of cinnamon raisin french toast, with an intense estery fruitiness- aromas of fig, dried blackberry, caramel, overripe apricot and kirsch with a bit cashew butter adding another layer of savory richness.

Palate is, not surprisingly, thick and full bodied with dark flavors of espresso and burnt caramel. It's intense alcohol hits quickly and helps to accentuate the beer's acridness alongside the moderate hoppy bitterness. Finishes a tad sweet with a lingering melange of caramel, alcohol, coffee, slightly burnt bread and a faint bit of black raspberry sauce.

A boozy one that needs some time, but the alcohol isn't over-the-top enough to stop it from being drunk young. I wish I could give the nose a 6, but I also sort of wish that the palate had more of the nose's fruitiness.

 926 characters

Photo of unibroue4ever
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of teromous
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a dark shade of's not quite black. I can see some light through the beer. It has a thin ring of off white head. No real lacing. I'd say it's about average.

S: It is sweet-scented, like caramel, honey, and some clover.

T: I get a lot of malty character and bitterness. It's sweet, but there is light astringency. I pick up very earthy bitter hops. It's biased more towards malt than hops. There's even a light cocoa flavor in the aftertaste.

M: The mouthfeel is big and full; heavy bodied. It doesn't finish quickly. It has a long, bitter end. It's true to the barleywine nature, and is definitely a sipper or slow drinker.

O: Overall I thought it was good...better than the average barleywine, but not the best. It's a sweeter, maltier barleywine, so that is something to consider when deciding to drink this. I would drink it again, and I would recommend it to people who prefer non-super-hopped barleywines.

 939 characters

Photo of dprophet
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of bluntedboywonder
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of jera1350
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009

An amberish brown body with a slight haze and a thin layer of light tan foam covering it. Some nice lacing left behind.

Huge sweet smelling nose. Burnt caramel, brown sugar and some fruity esters. Big and bold smell.

Tons of sweetness in many forms going on. Getting a little vanilla bean behind all of the malty sweetness. Some burnt sugar lingers well into the aftertaste. Light alcohol presence, but mellow.

The carbonation is a bit low, but nothing too bad. Smooth and lightly sticky, but the body feels a touch light.

A delightful little barleywine right here. Nice drinkability for the style. The heavy price tag will probably stop me from picking this one up again however.

 698 characters

Photo of boofda
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: 1.5 in head that kind of dances and swirls on the top, of a cloudy brown beer, great retention and noticeable lacing on the glass

Nose: Apricots, caramel, prunes and toasty sweet malt

Taste: Caramel, prunes and roasted malt, a hint of smoke pops throughout before the brown sugar interjects, all of this followed by a light, citrus/piney bitter hop finish, thats subtle and smooth.

Mouth: Velvetty on the tongue with balanced carbonation for support.

Overall: This is an excellent barley wine, complex yet subtle. I think it could benefit from a few months to a year in the cellar, but certainly not much more because the hop complexity isn't there

 696 characters

Photo of MeisterSmudge
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of OzmanBey
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of PeerlessMark
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at the LCBO for $12.95/ four pack. I've been wanting to try a barley wine for some time now and this is my first so it is going to be my baseline beer.

Poured quite aggressively into a snifter. Colour is a tan almost reddish brown. Not a lot of head - not sure if that's a result of the high alchohol % or the style or both. The head dissipates quite quickly and the pale, off-white bubbles form a thin collar, the lace through the rest of the surface is actually more like a tiny feathery coating after the pour. After a few swirls the head becomes more hazy, the bubbles are that small.

Smells tantalizing promising some sweetness and this is helping me understand the barley and wine part of the style. Hints at sherry or brandy. I can't quite place the rest of the aroma so will try again when I update this review on future tastings.

Taste is a lot hoppier than I was expecting, carbonation in the mouthfeel is more aggressive than I would have thought too. It's boozier than the smell suggested but in a good way.

It is really delicious and while it certainly has spice all over it I struggle to be more specific. It taste is reminiscent of Unibroue's 17 (2011) for the initial experience but finishes more like a stout. To me this is a wonderful combination and I look forward to trying other beers in this style so can better understand what I am tasting here.

I had Mikkeler's Santa's little helper on New Years eve and this is quite reminiscent of that actually but hoppier.

In the mouthfeel department I get the same sensation you do from eating black liquorice (the british style stuff). That kind of cloying bitterness towards the back of your mouth. That's not my favourite but the initial hop effect balances it out.

Overall I'm glad I bought 16 of these because I look forward to drinking more.

 1,826 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Random buy based on the label and the name... I know!

A: in a berleywine, you've gotta do something to impress me. There's so much range in this genre (?) of beer that a dark ruby-brown ale with a thin tan head doesn't mean much to me.

S: nice smelling - some sweets like caramel and toffee, and some sharper hops beneath

T: gets better than it smells - warm and spiced, some bitters, some sugars, some malts and some hops - a very complex and nicely balanced brew

M: syrup up front turns astringent and savory

O: what a delightful beer - a very warming drink for the winter holidays. Well-crafted and interesting. It is a haunting beer that comes to mind quickly when I want to drink a really good beer.

 709 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 521 characters

Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 78.5% out of 100 with 929 ratings
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