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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Reviews: 439 | Ratings: 919
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blind BIF Beer #6

Not a sour. Hooray. Regular 12 oz bottle.

Dark murky red appearance.

Old ale raisin smell.

Stale old ale taste. Slight battery acid finish.

So far the beers had been from all over the place. I had no idea what this was.

Reveal. Barleywine?

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Photo of Chico1985
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pour into a snifter is dark reddish brown and just barely translucent. A beige head retains at about a half-finger most of the time eventually reducing to a thick ring.

Very strong earthy and grassy scent with some toffee, grains, bread and alcohol there as well.

Taste brings on earthy and grapefruit hops though the earthiness is toned down from the scent. Malts also come through a bit more - caramel, dark fruits, and some chocolate noticeable, though they seem to lack the potency for a barleywine. Quite a bit of alcohol warmth as well.

Mouthfeel has a somewhat hefty and malty feel to it with low-ish carbonation. Decent balance of hops+malts but the alcohol deters for sure.

Not bad, the scent kinda throws me off/doesn't really resemble a barleywine, the taste is an improvement but is kinda bland and boozy. It's decent for a winter warmer-type beer though, it will be nice to be able to pull these out of the cellar for the next few winters at least.

1/10/17 -- Currently sipping on a 2013 and tried a 2015 last week as well. Definitely enjoyed this more with age, the hop presence seems to have dropped quite a bit with just some herbal+earthy tones throughout. Not the most exciting/nuanced barleywine, but certainly enjoyable as a thick and warming sipper on a cold hiver night.

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Photo of taez555
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a ruby body with a decent white head.

Nose is very subtle, with an almost cleaning fluid type smell at first. Very odd.

Taste is full bodied with at first a subtle malt taste that is immediately overtaken with a huge hop bitterness. Very interesting. Medicinal, detergent, cleaning fluid, but with loads of big malt flavors. Loads of citrus, grapefruit peel and some astringent flavors. What an interesting beer. It's a combination of American Barleywine and Belgian dark ale. Cool beer. It ends with a lingering hop bitterness.

What an interesting beer. It sort of has an identity crisis, it's not sure if it wants to be a barleywine or a belgian. I dig it none the less.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.5 fl oz brown bottle, served in a snifter.

Alcohol by volume is labeled 10.2%.

Pours a muddy, deep caramel in color beneath a creamy, off-white head that lingers as a thin, intact sheet. Thin lacing with decent strength.

Sweet molasses with notes of brown sugar. Muted, red apple and grape. The sweet malt and aged fruit aromas are both quite reserved. The scotch-tinged alcohol presence is the most noticeable aromatic with touches of peat and vanilla.

Initially, somewhat bland, stiff caramel and molasses flavors that are quickly sweetened by notes of vanilla and nutmeg spices creating a mellow richness. The alcohol presence is young, intense, one-dimensional, and lasting. The middle is earthen and filled with floral hops.

Full in body; slick on the palate on account of the alcohol profile.

A bit disappointing considering my previous experiences with Dieu Du Ciel. Not a bad Barleywine, but nothing to really write home about.

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Photo of DawnL
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a muddy brown resembling the highlights in Coca-Cola. Little head and no lacing.

Burnt sugar/caramel - but more like the topping on creme brulee. has a strong alcohol presence on the nose and something almost peaty underneath the bruleed sugar.

Bitter upfront with red fruits rounding out the palate and an alcohol finish that really burns! Flavor is balanced, but alcohol is off the charts. Bitter orange comes through in the palate - almost like drinking Cointreau.

It's a good, well-crafted Barleywine. It's heavy and the mouthfeel is semi-cloying and very alcoholic. This is a full-flavored brew that I would have with cheese.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

huge barleywine here, right between the english and american styles, how canadian! its copper to honey colored and thick. the head holds on a little while before fading to ring lacing in my globe. the nose is pretty hoppy, but more bitterness than flavor. the grain is big and flavorful, but not particularly layered or dynamic or nuanced, its pretty one dimensional, despite its size, it doesnt seem real diverse to me. thats fine because the hop finish is insanely big, its super bitter and punchy and long lasting. when it warms, it clashes just a bit with the booze, which until now was more mellow. im floored by its effect on me, from relatively sober to relatively blasted in twelve ounces. not easy to do! a well made brew, but less enthralling than most of their others. i might like it more in the dead of winter than i do now.

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Photo of techcommdood
3.52/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 11.5oz bottle into a snifter, this beer poured thick and heavy. A deep earthy brown with some faint crimson highlights when held up to the light, this is quite a menacing looking beer. Not much head to speak of, though some visible carbonation, which I thought odd for a barleywine. Decent lacing for the style as well, which means there are hops to counter the excessive malt.

Very thick whiff of malted grain and caramel. Spicy hops dance on the nose as hints of plum and dried apricot poke in here and there.

Cane sugar sweetness with a mouthful of bittering hops. Strong alcohol presence as well as some charcoal coming in. Not what I was expecting at all, but a welcome change to the style!

Not as thick feeling as the pour led me to believe, though this is quite a carbonated barleywine. Very dry finishing due to the prominent alcohol vapors.

This is definitely a sipping beer (he says as he notices his snifter is half empty). This is not what I would consider a session barleywine (yes, I've done that many a time). There is just too much of an alcohol presence, almost like vodka, in this beer. The bubbles don't help that burn, either.

Well, despite the burning bubbles, I'm impressed. This is definitely unique for the style, from the color to the charcoal flavors. Though I was hoping for more of a sticky sweetness to mask the ABV, I'm still enjoying this one, though not enough to make me run out and buy a case (even at the low low price of $5.50/bottle).

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Photo of russpowell
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Goebel's in Wichita, zero & then a seven notched for what that's worth...

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a finger of tan head. Nice viscious look to this above average acing & head retention

S: Dark fruit & not much else, a touch of booze as this finished up

T: Figs, plums, a touch of caramel & oaky boozeyness up front. Raisins, figs, dryness & a hint of brown sugar, plus woody hops as this warms. Finishes dry, fruitty with faint woody hops

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation & warming sensations as this warms

Drinks easy enough, makes me think ENGLISH BW, nice enough. This was over 50 cents an ounce, Sooo I consider this a one & done, mostly on the cost basis...

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to CruisaC and the hats off to barelywine BIF. bottle says 10.2%.

a - opened the bottle and filled my captain lawrence taster tulip. poured a pretty shiny brown with an almost mahogany tint to it. not much head to speak of...maybe a small ring around the surface at best.

s - very subdued...really needed to dig in. not what i was expecting at all. plum. zesty earth (if that makes any sense at all)...malty, no hop presence at all (not sure of the age on this one).

t - plum and grape candy. malts mostly...hint of some hops on the finish. dark fruit.

m - full and rich. booze really tingles my mouth. finishes pretty bitter.

o - overall, a decent barleywine. hops seem to only be in the finish. kind of boozy.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - extremely dark brown and murky. About a finger's worth of head that dissipates slowly.

Smell - Fairly sweet in smell with a hint of spices. The sweetness may come from the burnt caramel hints noted on the label.

Taste - Liquor-like in taste. Caramel taste comes out more in the taste, and helps to balance out the bitterness. The bitterness is stronger in the aftertaste. The red fruit hinted at on the label might be some sort of pomegranate. Fairly well-balanced in texture, only very slightly toward the watery side. Not as creamy as I would have thought it to be.

Drinkability - Complex brew, and not a bad example for the brew type. Bitterness is a little powerful, but managable. Very decent brew.

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Photo of heebes
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341 ml bottle
Part of the Winter Warmers from the LCBO.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with very little head. The nose is phenol, cherries, malted barley. Taste is pretty smooth, a strong alcohol presence which warms in the finish. Light moughtfeel, a sipper / one bottle per session. Overall a kind of bland offering but good to try. Put two more bottles in the cellar to perhaps revist and rereview.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

this pours either a dark brown, or a very very cloudy brown. Can't really tell, but I think it's very cloudy. Small head, seems to retain on average.
I get a caramel/dark chocolate faint aroma. A pinch of raisin and anise. Bitter is what comes to mind as it breaks up the caramel.
A smooth taste and feel. A quick burst of dark chocolate bitternees in the middle of the tongue, then levels off for a well rounded, caramel and lightly toasted bread.
Alcohol is well hidden. A bit thin and not as complex as I like ABWs.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Dark ruby color with brown hues. Head sputters out very quickly. Small spots of lacing.

S: Rich malty aroma redolent of caramel and brown bread. Toasted crust. Very subtle vanilla. Slight brown cocoa. Bruised apple and fig. Faint whiff of alcohol spice. Suggestion of earthy hops.

T: Rich caramel and lots of toasted crust. A little nutty, hints of brown cocoa and leather. Spicy alcohol butts in on the mid palate with a stiff jab that wakes the palate. A whisper of chocolate covered raspberry. Fig. Very mild pine and earthy hops. Drying bready finish, alcohol rides it out as well.

M: Big and thick-bodied. Very chewy, slightly syrupy. Mouth coating with some silky creaminess. Little to n o carbonation. Hot in the alcohol department.

O: This is fairly boozy. Time in the cellar will iron that out, but even then there's nothing that really makes this beer stand out from the pack. The price point won't help it either. I can see this being a perennial slow seller.

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Photo of northaustin
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a very hazy dark copper/purple. slight white head which has little retention and leaves no lacing.

smell is very fruity/tart with alchohol present.

taste: i am getting alot of green apple, some sweet malts, very earthy hops and alchohol. good, but this one needs some age.

mouthfeel: left with a slight alchohol dryness.

drinkability: a tad harsh when fresh, this is not a session beer by any means. interesting barley wine for sure though. thanks to JDV for this one.

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Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown 11.5oz bottle with a twist-off cap. This is either an '08 bottle or a best by '08, I can't really tell. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed color of brown. When held to the light, it shows ruby clarity through the body and some orange hints towards the edges. A creamy tan cap appears and quickly dissolves holding with a lacing pattern across the top of the brew. A light swirl revives a finger of yellowish stained froth and produces some spotty lacing effect on the glassware.

The smell is sweet with hints of toffee and caramel. An indication of fruit like raisins is present before a warmth of alcohol is noticed. More smells reveal a greater focus on the alcohol which integrates very well with the fruity raisin character and sweetness of toasty grain. The more I smell this brew, the more I pick up on some light notes of citrus hops, herbal quality and more sweetness like brown sugar. All in all, this is a very good smelling brew.

The taste of this brew is not blended together as well as the aroma would leave you to believe. Toasty, almost musty grain is noticed upfront with a solid warmth of alcohol. The flavor of the alcohol is a bit solvent and mixes with a bit of mineral flavoring and citrus to herbal hops. There is a minor amount of sweetness present, but not hardly as much as you would expect based off of the aroma. Towards the back, the toasty grain gets increasingly more musty with a bitter element that is somewhat piney and clashing.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall it wasn't bad but it just didn't totally come together for me. I have no doubt this brew could have sat for another year or so as the alcohol character is not hiding at all. However, I don't see the musty quality of the grain going away which I didn't find particular enjoyable either.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with a foamy 1/2 inch khaki head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark fruit, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, malt, and alcohol. Taste is of sweet malt, burnt caramel, brown sugar, and some fruity flavors. There is also some herbal hop bitterness that lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a full bodied and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine but I am enjoying the smell on this one more than the taste.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tumbler. Bottled 2008?

A nice sticky small caramel with cloudy dark amber body. Hints of cherry red hues.

Nose is cherry fruit, light nutmeg and dense malt.

Taste is a little too carbonated, but also feels distinctly hop and earth. Dirty palate mixed with soil and tree bark. Not that alcohol boozy either which is nice. Some caramel comes out as the beer gets to room temperature. Slightly wet for a barleywine and texture feels dirty.

Overall a dark wooded sipper if there ever was one. Don't mind it.

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Photo of jsvt
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into snifter.

Pours semi-vigorously carbonated with a 1 inch tan head.

The nose is initially tame for a barley wine, which is good as the alcohol usually can be pretty prevalent amongst the style. Further sniffs reveal hay, molasses and hops amongst other subtle notes of brown sugar and yeast.

On the palate quite seamless. The malt, alcohol and sugars align nicely to provide balance. Notes of toffee, malt and hops align with a great acidity and mouth feel. A nice balance of not being too boozy and/or malt forward like some overproduced barley wines can be.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a super dark ruby red, a little red winey. The highlights are a totally cool blood. Spicey hops, sweet toasted candy-like malts, and warm alcohol. The front of the palate is syrupy and candy sweet. The hops balance out the malty sweetness while the alcohol warms and has a som astrigent qualities. The finish is long and lingering boozey taste and feel. retty sippable, but too much booze.

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Photo of Pencible
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like dark fruit and honey wheat, with earthy caramel and fig and copper.
T: It tasted like bitter copper and resin and waxy hops, with sweet sugary caramel and honey wheat and dark fruits. It had a very bitter aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This had a nice scent, but surprisingly sharp taste. The body was good, but it was pretty hot with a harsh finish. So it wasn't the easiest beer to drink. Age would probably help mellow and sweeten. Not recommended fresh.

(Bottle was marked "1,0" whatever that means.)

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Photo of
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours auburn-brown with a thin off-white head that dissipates quickly.
The aroma is bourbon-like – rich nad nutty with notes of dates and honey. Alcohol is noticeable, and at 10% I expected it to be. Lingering finish of honey and alcohol. Not dissimilar to mead. A bit heavy for regular consumption, but perfect for cold winter day.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes: 3/25/09
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
Solstice d'hiver
12 oz. bottle in NB snifter

Appearance= Vigorous pour into snifter yields 1 3/4 finger head. Black in color. Minimal lacing on glass. Tanish head.

Smell= Very nice smell. I can't pick out anything specific though. Typical B-wine.

Taste= Nice malt backbone. Nice flavor. Caramel? Coffee?

Mouthfeel= Thickish mouthfeel for a b-wine. Not bad though.

Drinkability= A sipper for sure. W/ the Abv. @ damn near 10% and the thickish mouthfeel, it's not a quaffer.

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Photo of DrAtomik
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Version 2011, 10,2% abv, bottled in October 2011
Snifter glass

Appearance; Pours a dark mahogany with a thin head and a good lacing. OK

Smell; Malty smell, burnt caramel, some fruit, like dates or figues. Subtle spices too, something like cloves. Little bit of alcool.

Taste; Sweet, but no very for a barleywine. Burnt flavor. A bit acridness that mix with the bitterness, maybe a litle too much. Long final, but not that pleasant.

Mouthfeel;Maybe a little thin for a barleywine. Light carbonation.

Overall; OK, probably a little too young. I remembered the laste versions to be better.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a murky brown with red highlights. A thin cap of light tan head that quickly recedes into a thin ring of bubbles forms from a moderate pour.

S- starts off with aromas of burnt caramel, toasty malt and dry fruitiness from the yeast. Very leafy hops blend in with notes of sweet herbs and woody roots. Finishes with a liquor like heady alchohol.

T- rich sticky toasty malt and burnt caramel flavors kick things off. A big kick of hop bitterness with notes of wood and leafy herbs balance outhe initial sweetness leaving some dry red fruit on the palate. Finishes with a bit off a alchohol burn and liquor like tones.

MF- sticky slick mouthfeel with a medium body and fine carbonation.

D- a sipper with some heat and a lot of bitterness.

Overall a good beer that needs a bit more time in the cellar to show its true potential.

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

Reviewed 04/01/09

Poured from an 11.5oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour evokes a scant head that fizzles out very quickly. Head is a light tan in color and leaves and uneven lace. Color is a dark and cloudy apple cider in color.

Nose- Sweet over ripe apple in the nose. Some cinnemon. Not getting much else.

taste- Plenty of sweet rich over ripe apple on the palate. Robust vanilla, like an oaked chardonney. Slight sweetness about it. Rich and Creamy on the tongue. Pronounced and prolonged bitterness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Oily, rich, creamy and Dry

Drinkablity- Very rich, and complex. Strong Truely a sipper.

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Solstice D'hiver from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.91 out of 5 based on 919 ratings.
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