Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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Solstice D'hiverSolstice D'hiver
Very Good
945 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 945 |  Reviews: 448
Photo of DIM
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a: This was a clear, dark coppery mahogany color. It poured with big, sticky, craggy white head that left some lace in it's wake.

s: Wow, I'm not sure where to begin with this one, I've never smelled anything quite like it. There is something here I want to call bubblegum (not in a hefe way), but that isn't quite right. Sweet malty citrus? Maybe that's it. I give up, I'll just call fresh smelling, sugary and fruity.

t: I'm having trouble here as well. The best description I can come up with is a combination of fruit flavors coming from several sources. Malty raisins, hoppy citrus, and yeasty apples. Here again, I want to say bubble gum. The bitterness at the very end is slightly astringent. I don't feel like I did a very good job describing this one.

m: Undercarbonated and a bit watery.

d: This was unique and a real pleasure to try.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 11oz bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a pretty chestnut color with crimson highlights, topped by a small, creamy off-white head. Aroma of sweet, dark malt with a touch of roastiness, a hint of caramel and maple, and just a touch of dark fruit.
Palate is pleasantly balanced up front - rich, sweet malt is offset by some sharply bitter, piney hops. Sweetness comes through after the swallow, with a nice infusion of sublime dark fruit. Dry finish leaves a lingering bitterness and a pleasant warming feeling in the back of the mouth.
Body is creamy and just a touch sticky, very ideal for a barleywine. This is a pleasant, tasty barleywine that has great depth of flavor. I would expect nothing less from Diue du Ciel, one of my favorite new (to me) breweries of 2008.

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Photo of joepais
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into my Sam Adams glass produced a good finger worth of tan head that trailed off to a thick lace. The body was a dark brown in color with lighter reddish highlights at the edges

Aromas of caramel malts and grains are present with a light alcohol aroma as well.
The flavors are some what the same sweet grains and such but with a nice bitterness as well from the hops it is a little different take on a Barleywine but quite refreshing of a change I will grab another bottle to see if the alcohol tames down a bit because right now it is a little warm in that department .It is nice and smooth in the mouth more of a medium feel with a light carbonation on the tongue as well

This is a great winter sipper sitting here up north while it below zero out side. Nice brew like I said I will grab another one to age for next year

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Photo of hopdog
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.5oz bottle.

Poured a medium and muddy brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, a little roasty, lightly woody, and some nuttiness. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, some nuts, and a little earthy. Light to medium alcohol burn in the finish.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a murky thick brown with lighter highlights towards the bottom. off white head

rich candied sugar, apples, pine hops, caramel, malts

smooth malt body followed by candied sugars, molasses, caramel, faint raisins, dry and slightly piney hops

pretty light bodied for a barleywine, with solid malt body and sturdy yet balanced hoppy finish. alcohol is super smooth, definitely warms the body and coats the palate

smooth, balanced, layered, nuanced, really long finish with the caramel malt and dry hops dominating and filling the mouth. candied apples and dry malt work together and endure to create a long lasting taste

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

The colour is dark warm brown; the liquid is almost clear (the beer is bottle conditioned). The brown head slowly sinks down to a thin lid with a ring.

The smell is very malty with the expected notes of Madeira, nuts, marzipan, smoked meat, raisins and dried fruits. Some alcohol but it is not as distinct as one could have expected.

The taste is very... what's the word? Sophisticated? Lots of malt with sweet notes of brown sugar, loaf, raisins, dried apples, toffee and some butter. The aftertaste is bitter with some lingering sweetness, dried fruits, caramel and fruit candy. The rather straightforward background bitterness balances all those sweet notes.

The carbonation is mild, yet the medium sized bubbles are very fresh.

But... well... Not a bad beer in any way, still I think the bitterness was a little too simple for this style.

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Photo of flipper2gv
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very nice looking brown/orange color with a nice lasting off white head.

S: Some malt. Some kind spruce hoppy smell, weird. Some caramel/toffee sweetness. Overall smell is light.

T: Woah! unlike the smell, the taste is very very powerfull. Spruce like hops come up front and dominates the mouth. Then it's all about the very powerful malty taste and the caramel/toffee sweetness. Also, there are some dark fruits there, thx to the high ABV.

M: Full and creamy with just the correct level of carbonation; mid to low. The beer also has an heavy feel to it. Very very pleasing in the mouth.

D: It's good. Even if the odds are against it (powerful taste and very heavy beer), it's still easily drinkable.

P.S.: Got my hands on a weird 10.2 % ABV batch during the fall (before the actual release of the beer). Aged it 7 months and boy it is soooo smoother than the normal version. I won't adjust my score since it could have been a one time thing, but it's HotD smooth.

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Photo of Crosling
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Burgundy colored ale with a filmy, lasting white head. Aroma is the weak spot, but still shows some malt and hop character. Flavor has some depth to it and is very complex, with a nice balance between bold hop and malt notes. Caramel and toffee with spruce-like hops. Very nice mouth feel to this bad boy. Pretty nice barley wine with some nice short term cellar potential.

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

A: Pours a ruddy brown with orange and read highlights. Massive tan head on pouring that doesn't hang on for too long. Some lacing

S: Big caramel malt aromas. Hoppy. Nice red fruits, some bourbon notes as it warms up. Smells pretty good.

T/M: Sweet caramel malt is prominent. Lots of bitter hoppiness on the finish. The red fruit and bourbon notes are there as well. The bitterness is a little much for me, though.

D: A nice sipper, but it wrecks the palate for much else. Pretty high abv. The bottle says 9.8% in contrast ot the 8.5% listed above

Overall, a solid effort. I wasn't a big fan of the bitterness but the caramel and red fruit are nice.

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

Murky tawny colour with coppery edges. A thin cap of fine tan/beige bubbles formed during the pour and ringed the glass with lace. Good head retention, quite sticky. Caramel and sugar in the aroma, along with mild alcohol, herbal hops, a little grassy, sweet fruits. Bready and doughy flavour, lots of malt up front, some caramel, then growing alcohol into the finish. Bitterness was present, but subdued, and balance for the malt was provided more by the alcohol, which had a bit of spiciness to it. Herbal hop notes lingered on the back of my palate long into the finish, sort of minty. A bit of sherry and cherry as it warmed, but less fruit overall than in the aroma. Medium plus bodied, lightish carbonation that was fairly creamy, lots of alcohol warmth. A bit of a different take on a barleywine, seemed appropriate for the holiday season.

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Photo of simonjohansson
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smell: hmm... not too much going on here, surprisingly, malty with caramell, biscuit and dried fruits. The smell isnt big, really.

Taste: again sweet and malty, dried fruits, caramell, plus some american hops. Pretty bitter. I found the taste to be pretty thin, which was a disapointment. Nothing stands out, I'd say. The malt needs more depth. Alcohol is warming and nicely integrated.

Overall: dont know if this one should be characterized as an american or english bw. Hops were american, but the rest was more towards the english type. But smell and taste were, either way, a bit thin and weak.

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Photo of Ch1mpy
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a creamy beige head.

Smell: On the weak side. Malt and coffee flavours.

Taste: Caramel malts, coffee and fudge. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Like draping my tongue in velvet.

Drinkability: Excellent. I might get some more bottles, if they are not out of them already at Systembolaget.

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Photo of Ljunkan
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First Christmas/winter beer for this season... it's gonna be interesting!

Pours a nice dark red color with a large foamy head. Some lacing on the glass. Really nice.

Smell is pretty malty, caramely with notes of some dried fruits. Some hops there too. There also notes of sweet berries... maybe wild strawberriess. Nice.

Taste is more hoppy than expected after smelling this beer. Lots of citrusy hop-notes with a pretty big bitterness. Maybe not as hoppy as an double ipa, nor as the other american styled-barley wine I've had: Bigfoot, but still the hop flavour is dominating. There's also some malty caramel here too. Very well hidden alcohol, though it's still warming and nice.

Mouthfeel is very filling, carbonation is medium and just perfect, fullbodied.

A very nice beer from a very interesting brewery. I hope we will get more beers from Dieu Du Ciel in Sweden.

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

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear dark red, some brown highlights, medium sized off white head forms, drops a ton of lace, settles to a thin ring. Smell is sweet and caramelized, alcohol, cherries, lots of fruit, bread, bit of citrus/mango, rich aroma, nice. Taste is similar, alcohol, sherry, tons of fruit, bit of spiciness, caramel and nuts, woody bite in the finish, solid bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, bit of alcohol heat, sweet body, not bad! I'd put this more in the English barleywine category than American.

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Photo of rodenbach99
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

au fût à la brasserie

barley wine passablement foncé, quelque petit reflet rouge, elle a une belle mousse blanche onctueuse et éapaisse, nez malté, sucré et houblonné goût très prononcé de malt et de houblon, en bouche elle est ronde, longue chaleureuse et durable.

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

Pour from a 22oz Bottle. Thanks Clark! Aroma pours forth as a brandied caramel domain, backed up by apple cores and sweet orange juice. Light heat. A nicely nuanced and subtle aroma. Pours in orange and amber, with a thin rim of off-white. Dense caramel sugar flavor, somewhat middle. Good malt character in sweet milk caramel and toasted grains. Sweet and bready. Hop presence alights towards the back end as a leafy hop cone grass. Nice balance and well built. Nice dense cream malt character on the front end, runs nicely with good alcohol and hop levels. Finishes along a wispy of English toffee candies and nip of espresso.

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Photo of philmath
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First, I have to tell that this was my first Barley Wine ever so my review might be biased (as usual). Second, I drank it on the 7th anniversary of DDC, last year and it was from the 2004 brewing. For the first time of my life, I took some notes...

Appearance : Absolutely crystal clear copper brown
Nose : Cognac-macerated fruit and floral hops
Taste : Juicy cherries and citric hops.

Makes me feel like a young boy eating his first « sucre d'orge » after a long journey playing outside during a snowstorm.

Very drinkable. It was quite interresting! Too bad that this kind of beer isn't very popular in Quebec. I am looking forward for trying another ones of this kind. Sooner than later I hope.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sampled their 2004 version on tap, this one is listed as 9% ABV.

Appearance: Very dark, but with blood red hues when you bring it to the light. Clingy lacing.

Smell: Very, very sweet smell, like cloverleaf honey with a hoppy twist. Impressive.

Taste: Honey sweet, creamy and full. A nice alcohol bite with a strong bitter and malty aftertaste that seems to last and last. Great, great stuff.

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Photo of scottum
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a dark brown with an off-white lacey head. They don't serve this in pints for some reason. Flavor profile is complex. Hops are big, but are very well balanced by some huge malts. Sweet stuff is there, but also deeper bodied malt goodness. The alcohol also comes through in flavor a touch. A very good barleywine.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

In bottle, aged 3 years.
Dark brown body, copper. From a nice 1cm off white head sticking to the glass, it rapidly becomes a thin ring around the glass. Very malty aroma with notes of licorice, toffee, bubble gum. One of Dieu Du Ciel's most complex flavour developments. The hops are still impressively present for a 3 years old beer. Chocolate, burnt caramel, vanilla, also subtle notes of woody hops (never really bitter though). Toffee after taste. One of my favorites from the popular brew-pub.

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 945 ratings