Solstice D'hiver | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

very good
928 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 928 |  Reviews: 444
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of Lare453
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of BostonBrewins
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of BlackNote
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of bylerteck
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Two finger, pillowy sort of head, tan colour. Dark amber type colour with good carbonation going on. As far as I can tell it's bright but it's almost too dark to tell. Great lacing all around the glass, the stuff doesn't wanna let go.

S - Good sweet malty character with some booziness. Great candy sweet aromas. Reminds of toffee, butterscotch, and caramel. Some dark fruits also.

T - Boozy. Tons of dark fruits. Lot's of alcohol. Alcohol seems really harsh. I honestly can't get anything much beyond the alcohol. Maybe this needs time to mellow.

M - Lot's of carbonation, sort of harsh going down b/c of the alochol. Full bodied.

D - Hard to drink to be honest. I like barleywines but this is boozy, but not warming, just rough. Considering this was bottled 3 months ago I'll try to give this another chance when it's got some more age on it.

Had with 3 years on it, it's lovely. Too bad it took so long to shine.

 924 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a clear dark mahagony reddish brown color with a fluffy 1 finger head that is fairly slow to settle. The aroma is actually pretty subdued with some dark fruit notes along with a ever so slight smokiness. To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of this subdued nose as I think t takes away from the overall experience. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet dark fruit start gives way to semi-bland hop and alcohol notes. Nice lace left on the glass as this goes down. In the spectrum of BW's I think this one is on the muted side with much too sedate flavors for my liking.

 595 characters

Photo of garbercury
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into Maudite snifter...

A---Deep ruby red, lacing is minimal

S---Medicinal, so smell of flowers? Spice?

T--Not real complex, again get a medicinal thing going on, hops are present.

M--Thin, not real impressed.

D--Love this brewery generally speaking, but at 6 bucks a bottle, very let down by this one. Would not go out of my way to drink again...

 359 characters

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 maximum12
3.12/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Located this bottle loitering in the back of the fridge & apprehended it for further questioning. 12 oz. bottle of unknown providence.

Pour comes out a dark rose' right up until the last 1/2", which is chock full of what appears to be congealed french fry grease; wow, floatie city, & whoppers at that. Smell needs to be coaxed from the glass: caramel, toffee, with a spoonful of sweetness.

Solstice d'hiver is cut from the Great Book of Standard Barleywines. Chock full of nice caramel, with a heavy, boozy bite: the alcohol is standing out front with a bare chest. More sweetness than a Lifetime Original Movie, & zero 0 of 5 dentists recommend drinking this beer. Glad I split this with my wife, six ounces is plenty.

Nothing remarkable about this brew. Very simple & without a lot going on. Decent enough, but wouldn't feel the need to put this in my glass again.

 873 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An American BW from Canada, eh? And label states 11.5 - with a twist off top, no less!

Pours a nice opaque mahogany brown, really turns murky when you swirl and add the bottom yeasties. Small, but decent tan head.

Mostly sweet caramel malt in the aroma, scotch ale in nature. Biting and harsh quaff of hot fermented earthy leather. Plenty of hop, not enough malt to make for a balanced Barleywine. Has more cough medicine aspect than expected.

This one was pretty green, and needs another year to age - but if it's on the market, it should be ready.

 553 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.5 oz. bottle tried 22 Feb 2009. Label not notched for a date although there appears to be a space for it.

Poured in 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Moderate 1.5 finger beige head. Medium carbonation. Dark brown with flashes of ruby. Aroma is strong with syrup, burnt caramel, ethanol, dried fruits, currants, dates. Alcohol present right upfront, burns and warms throughout. After this come flavors of burnt sugar, bananas, nutmeg. A strong unpleasant astringency/bitterness at the back of the throat detracts from an otherwise decent beer. Finishes a bit like burned cough syrup (flaming Moe?). Some plum in the aftertaste.

Seems like some improvement as I drink it but this might be a result of numbing tastebuds.

Dissapointing, would not get this again.

 760 characters

Photo of Silke_Neryn
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bubba83
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter at 50 degrees. Appears a dark brown with a one finger width off white head. Good retention here and some nice spiderweb lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.

I get a lot of raisins and caramel in the aroma. Cherry alcohol is apparent too, along with some figs and burnt sugar. Somewhat of a smokiness that I can't quite fathom.

Starts off tasting a lot like I would expect from a barleywine, with lots of caramel up front. Just when I'd expect it to go towards the raisin/fruity/vinous flavors, it doesn't, and instead gets kind of smoky and bitter with some burnt sugar playing around here too. Finishes up with a quick kick of cherry alcohol heat.

Feel is pretty good, medium thick with the right amount of carbonation and an oilyness. It could feel a bit smoother on the tongue though.

Drinkability is impacted negatively by some of the harsh tones I get in the mid-range flavors, as well as finishing a little too warm. Not the most approachable barleywine, but it was certainly decent overall.

 1,029 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.21/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into a stemless wine glass.

The beer pours a deep amber color, burgundy hues, mostly opaque with just a touch of clarity. A soapy, bone colored head sits atop the beer, that has good retention and leaves touches of spotted lacing behind. The aroma is very intense, lots of rich, sweet grain with subtle stone fruit that is countered with piney, spicy hops that really bite hard. Strong, punishing alcohol lingers behind and is quite abrasive. Hops are first on the tongue, very abrasive, piney and sticky and massively bitter that leads to rich dark grain, light stone fruit is detectable at the finish but the rush of sweet burning alcohol mutes any subtlety in this beer. The body is nice and rich, very smooth despite the burning alcohol, coats the mouth well with a warming as it goes down.

Verdict: A harsh barleywine from DDC, and another example of why I'm not a fan of American style Barleywines, just too bitter and abrasive. The grain and fruit really get overshadowed by the hops and alcohol. Hardly enjoyable.

 1,045 characters

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.

 600 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Muddy waste color, 1 finger head.

Honey sweetness in the nose with stings of bourbon, barley, viney aromas.

Lots of dry barley malt followed by toffee sweetness and tons of hot liqueur. Faint suggestions of banana. Slight honey.

Feel is sticky and hot. Lots of parch on the finish.

Overall, a little intense for me. Especially for a usually enjoyable style. It grows increasingly hard to drink. Nah, not again.

 416 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Pours a dark mahogany with a a half inch if off white head that leaves little lace. Smell is brown sugar, molasses, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit. Taste is all of that with brown sugar and molasses dominating and hint of the rest in the finish, plus some warming alcohol. Body is medium, little carbonation, on the dry side, and a slow sipper for sure. This is an o k Barleywine and they got me into craft beers.

 444 characters

Photo of KMcG
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of ebrifan
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Klimm
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of krl2112
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.91 out of 5 based on 928 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.