Équinoxe Du Printemps
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #74
Ranked #12,954
3.93 | pDev: 9.92%
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada
Very Good
Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps
Notes: Équinoxe du Printemps (French for "spring equinox") is the quintessential marriage of two great traditions: beer brewing in Scotland, and maple syrup production in Quebec. At the first draught, the mouth is overcome by woody, malty flavours, sustained by a discrete touch of sweetness. The aftertaste brings about the flavours of maple, which are sufficiently present to be appreciated, but never overwhelming the typical flavours of a Scotch Ale.

Equinoxe du printemps is brewed only once a year in January. It is aged for two months in order to attain a perfect balance in taste. Then, it is sold starting March 21st, until stocks last.

The Equinoxe du printemps was born in our Montreal brewpub in February 1999.
Reviews: 276 | Ratings: 611 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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ZenAgnostic from Texas

4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

11.5oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Picked it up from the liquor store for around $5-6 bucks I think. Bottled on: 2016-01-08 printed in white box on bottom left of back label. So it's been aged 4 years 9.5 months. The bottle does say it has aging potential.

Appearance - Pours small light brown head with irregular consistency ranging from a tight thing and velvety to clusters of large bubbles. Half a pour gave a hazy mahogany body but putting in another quarter of the bottle made it nearly opaque, even with a backlight only faint light mahogany shining around the edges of the tulip, in addition to some large and small chunks of yeast sediment floating immobile in suspension. The head is fairly disappointing for the style. But perhaps that's due to the aging? I suppose it's fine or an aged beer. 4

Smell - Dark fruit. Tobacco. Somewhat vinegar and soysauce.

Taste - Powerful. Tobacco. Chocolate. Some faint vinegar in the aftertaste. But actually pretty. After a few sips there is a bit of a bitterness that builds up in the aftertaste. Smoother and less harsh than other scotches I've had. 4.75

Mouthfeel - A little bold up front but is actually pretty smooth on the whole with more balance that I was expecting from that first hit up front. Actually probably a little smoother and less astringent than other examples of the style I've had. The aging may have increased drinkability? 4.75

Overall - Smoother and more drinkable than other Scotch Ales. And actually priced fairly comparably too given that it's an aged beer. 4.75

Oct 27, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5oz twist off bottle labeled 2016-01-08 (4 years old) poured into a Duvel glass at just above fridge temp 9.1% ABV. The beer pours mostly bright light browb with some yeast sediment on a vigorous pour. The head is light khaki in color and recedes to fat ring leaving a few spots of lacing. The aroma is sweet malt, brown sugar, dark dried fruits and slight maple. The taste is rich burnt sugar caramel, raisin, plum, cherry and earthy maple. Slight bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with just less than medium carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, excellent. This is very, very tasty and was just purchased at room temperature a month ago. Bottle conditioning must have kept the oxidation at bay.

Feb 21, 2020
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've wanted to try this one for a while... A lopsided head and collar of a light khaki color... Color is a muddy brown... Significant floaties within... An unusually appealing mix of cherries and muskiness... Peat... Maple syrup... Very light chocolate notes... A touch of bitterness.. On the fuller side of medium bodied... Limited carbonation... A touch of chalkiness on the finish... A very easy drinking 9.1% ABV... Overall, a bit more than the sum of its parts...

Oct 26, 2019
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Beersnake1 from California

4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from just under fridge temp. Pours very dark brown with little head. Nose is maple, toffee, licorice, tobacco, coffee grinds, charred malts, and earth. Taste nicely follows the nose. Toffee and licorice blend together, and the maple adds such a nice element. This is really good stuff. Roasted malts, grass, leather, and wood. Mouthfeel is robust and somewhat creamy. Overall, another winner!

Oct 05, 2019
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57md from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brown color with copper and honey edges and a thin layer of head. The nose has faint bready notes. This offering has a solid malt backbone with touches of sweetness that likely come from the maple syrup. The finish is a touch dry with a trace of smoke.

Mar 11, 2019
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Compared to Péché Mortel this beer is quite lackluster. Sweetness is rather absent and has mostly peat and wart flavors with mild smoke. Maple process a rather dry experience. Would not get again. Bottle a touch old has some floaties.

Feb 12, 2019
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TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2 year old bottle - pours a murky reddish brown with 1 finger tawny head. Aroma sweet caramel malt, maple, vanilla, dark fruits, molasses.
Taste starts strongly sweet bready malt, maple, a bit of date, raisin, toffee but with the initial sweetness there is a surprisingly bitter oaky finish.
Carbonation is muted but appropriate with a moderately thick full mouthfeel. Bittersweet oaky maple sensation lingers.

Sept 11/2020 A bit more age - tastes has smoothed out with less bitterness which does well for it! Very good.

Jan 31, 2019
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josanguapo from Spain

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing Avernum 2. Plenty of delicious caramel with a touch of what i suppose is maple syrup. A bit of alcohol warming but not in a bad sense but improving it

May 12, 2018
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TheSixthRing from California

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aged nearly a year. Bottled 01/27/17

Appearance - Pours murky and ruddy brown with a light tan, near finger width head. Good retention before dissolving to a thin, broken layer of suds and a thicker ring around the edge of the glass. Not much for lacing aside from the odd small spot here or there.

Smell - Sweet aroma consisting of caramel and maple, with lesser booze and hints of oak and earth.

Taste - Well, the back of the bottle really says it all too perfectly. Lots of caramel and maple flavor upfront and throughout with lesser, woody oak. Lightly fruity undertone; red apple and fig. Slightly grassy and twiggy bitterness emerges in the back end, cutting through the sweetness and adding some much needed balance to an otherwise sweet brew. Aftertaste adds some boozy heat to the mix.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with low carbonation. Thick, creamy texture; a surprising and welcome lack of syrupy character. Dry, slightly boozy finish.

Overall - A caramel bomb lover's dream. This is like Rogue Dead Guy on steroids. I will keep an eye out for this year's release, as I'd like to try a fresh sample, though aging seems like it could do no harm.

Jan 03, 2018
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superspak from Ohio

4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.5 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 1/27/2017. Pours murky reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, maple syrup, wood, herbal, grass, and pepper; with lighter notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, apple, peat smoke, toffee, molasses, chocolate, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, maple syrup, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, maple syrup, wood, herbal, grass, and pepper; with lighter notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, apricot, apple, peat smoke, toffee, molasses, chocolate, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Mild herbal, woody, grassy, spicy bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, maple syrup, wood, herbal, grass, pepper, dark fruit, peat smoke, toffee, molasses, chocolate, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, maple syrup, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slightly increasing dryness from bitterness. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and slightly slick/sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 9.1%. Overall this is an excellent Scotch ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, maple syrup, and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. Very rich English malt complexity with great maple syrup presence; mild earthy hop balance and restrained fruity English yeast character in the background. A very enjoyable offering, and spot on style example.

Dec 16, 2017
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flagmantho from Washington

3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into my Val-Dieu goblet.

Appearance: cloudy, rich brown hue with a thin finger of frothy tan foam. A very respectable Scotch-ale look.

Smell: extremely malty, which is nice, but a bit of a biscuity character comes through along with a fair dose of alcoholic heat. Not bad, but it could be a little cleaner.

Taste: richly malty, which is really what the style calls for. Plenty of caramelization to the wort. Bitterness is not crazy, but it's enough to stand up to the malt. There's quite a lot of alcohol heat, but you can't really avoid that in the style.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: I like this Scotch ale. It's a little bit different than the smooth Scottish classic, but I think this is a good interpretation.

Nov 18, 2017
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HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Written a day after having had it (also, it was capped after having had it five days before). Got it for $2.50 on sale at Randall's.

Pretty amazing Scotch ale. Nothing that stood out about it's appearance, yet it had a really nice aroma & great flavor (including some bourbon notes). It's one of the best Scotch ales I have had, and I would be happy to drink it again. It would be interesting to see how it would do in a side-by-side with Founder's Backwoods Bastard.

Nov 09, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fitting to drink a spring beer on the first day of summer.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Newcastle glass.

Aroma is an extremly dark brown with little to no head.

Taste is thin and sweet malt maybe a hint of maple.

Jun 22, 2017
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woemad from Washington

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.5oz bottle purchased at Total Wine in Spokane Valley for. $4.99. According to the rear label it was bottled in 2016, either on January 8 or August 1, depending on how hardcore their Quebecois-ism is.

Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was a rather sedimentary shade of brown, somewhere between caramel and russett. A large tan head with a yellowish cast formed, and receded somewhat quickly but did not altogether vanish. Things became quite opaque after the pour, and the somewhat large flakes of sediment visible upon the pour became more difficult to see.

Initially the aroma was of sweet, toffeeish dark malts. As it warmed, the maple syrup scent emerges. Not like supermarket, heavily sweetened so-called maple syrup, this smells like the real thing. There's also a little bit of an oakey, vanilla aroma lurking in the background, though there is no claim of any barrel aging on the label.

The flavor is a bit of a letdown, I'm afraid. The taste starts off with a mixture of maple and toffee sweetness and bitter, roasty dark maltiness that doesn't really gel that well. The middle sees the addition of some vanilla, oakeyoakey and cherry notes that smooth things out a bit, along with a warming booziness way in the back. The finish is surprisingly dry for what's gone before. It's not a bad beer, but the strangely disharmonious opening sort of cripples things from the outset.

Fairly full bodied, with a sticky, coating mouthfeel.

A decent, nightcap sort of beer, but one that didn't measure up to my expectations. It's very close to getting there, but the roastiness is just too out of proportion with the sweetness.

Jun 18, 2017
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ChicagoJ from Illinois

3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

5/10/17 (Atomic Liquors, Downtown Las Vegas, NV). 9.1% ABV, 8 Oz draft pour into tulip glass. Dark brown pour, slight tan head. Aroma negligible. Scotch the predominant flavor. Light rye and maple noted but not overwhelming. Thin texture. Overall OK beer, nice but too light.

May 28, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.5 oz. bottle

Pours cloudy opaque dark maroon brown with a creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like maple syrup, oak, rich dried fruits, dark fruits, raisins, fig, cherry, plum, banana, tobacco, nutty toasted bready caramel malts, dark molasses, brown sugar, sweet spice, mild smoke, with floral woody earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like maple syrup, oak, rich dried fruits, dark fruits, big raisins, fig, black cherry, plum, mild banana, tobacco, nutty toasted bready caramel malts, dark molasses, brown sugar, sweet spice, some smoke, with floral woody earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice Scotch ale with maple syrup.

Apr 07, 2017
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown color, nice fluffy tan head but a fair amount of yeast clumps. Aroma has tons of German malt, good amount of phenol bringing raisin cake and black forest berry, some oak as well. Taste is good but a little wimpy, you get some caramel malt and some rum / fig from the phenol, spicey esters, faint peat and a whisper of sweetness from the maple. Reminiscent more of a dopplebock or weizenbock than a scotch ale, but a good brew all the same. Mouthfeel is very oily and slick.

Apr 06, 2017
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Roguer from Georgia

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brew; small head with poor retention.

Huge fruity aroma: raisins, figs, spicy Belgian yeast. Sugary caramel notes that lean toward molasses. Restrained woodiness. Really smells like a Belgian Dubbel more than a Scotch ale.

Where a Dubbel is typically dry and spicy, this brew carries a typical Scotch ale sweetness right to the front. Brown sugar, prunes, raisins, and a bit of bubblegum. There's a very pleasant woody and restrained maple presence, most notably on the back half.

Thick and creamy.

Dec 27, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

anything maple is going to get favorable scores from me, but this is a tremendous bottle of beer. not sure i have seen the maple syrup used in a scotch ale as a base, i love the innovation and i love the execution. paler than i thought it would be in color, deep copper orangey, but not brown or red. the head is tall and thick, the beer is bubbly and mostly clear, and the aroma is enticing. sweet maple right away, a little bit of dried fruit, maybe apricot, and some sort of yeast i was not expecting, almost belgian on the nose. the flavor shows plenty of maple, they were smart to lighten up the malts a little bit from the scotch ale norm to let this awesome element show so prominently. bready cereal malts, slight caramelization, fall spice (odd in a spring release i know, but there is an appreciable spice complex, likely from the yeast, on the back end here), wet wood, maybe even a little smoke. the alcohol shows through only a little bit, enough to warm me up but not enough to slow me down drinking it. its rich in the middle but fairly dry by the end, the malts and the maple go amazingly well together, and i remain intrigued by this yeast strain and process of fermentation. impressive beer overall, i have always thought these guys were a bit under appreciated by the masses. nothing but quality top to bottom in their portfolio.

Aug 04, 2016
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FBarber from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a burgundy tinged brown with a thin white head. Head dissipates leaving a white oily like streak on the beer. Nothing particularly outstanding in the appearance, but it looks about right for a scotch ale.

Smell has aromas of caramel, toffee, plum, dark stone fruits, and some alcohol notes. Maybe a subtle sweetness that is perhaps the maple syrup? but there isn't really a distinct

Taste follows the nose with a robust array of flavors - caramel, toffee, biscuit malts, and some plums. Not mush in the way of maple syrup up front. Some rich molasses like sweetness that betrays the addition of the maple syrup. Pretty strong booze on the finish - you can taste all 9.5%.

Feel is light, smooth, buttery. Medium carbonation. Surprisingly boozy translates to a bit of a boozy feel. Nice for a scotch ale though - the warming sensation in the face and mouth is great for the style.

Overall a nice Scotch Ale from Dieu du Ciel. I was a bit disappointed that the maple syrup wasn't more prominent, but still a very nice beer. However, the price for a single just isn't worth it - there are better scotch ales for cheaper. I probably won't drink this one again for that reason alone.

Jul 20, 2016
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 1/2016:
Pours clear rusty brown, leaning towards the latter. Head is a light rusty beige, and after a medium buildup, fades to a thick ring with some surface coverage; minimal lacing.

Nose is syrup sweet, with a hint of banana esters. Reminds me more of a banana fosters dessert than a banana pancake with syrup. The hint of oak I think leads me to a spirit more than anything leading me to the breadiness of a pancake.

Taste also has the banana overtone, but has the malt profile of a good scotch ale. Light peat, and a hint of alcohol and a definite sweetness yield more of a wee heavy impression. The presumed yeast influence throws this off a tad, but does not derail it. A light burn at the end is nice, and the maple joins this before it fades to let the maple come through. The ending maple stays short of cloying.

Full bodied but medium heft on my palate. Ticklingly flat - a slightly odd feeling. Light burn/spice bite near end.

The yeast notes throw this off for me, keeping it from being more enjoyed. The malt/sweet profile is just about perfect, as it never seems too sweet. For me a hint of bitterness and a cleaner yeast influence and it might be world class. I'll have to settle for highly enjoyable.

Jun 25, 2016
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.5 fluid ounce bottle into a snifter. Where'd that other half ounce go?

Pours a deep brown and amber...in the glass it's brown. Head is a bit thin, but sudsy and oatmeal-colored. A healthy pool of lace settles over the body. 4.25

Quite the sweet monster we have here. Tons of sweet bready malt that remind me of a doppelbock and the added sweetness of a tangy, fruity maple syrup. It's interesting how the maple has all of these dimensions of fruit to it. On top of all this I note some brown sugar, floral bouquet, and caramel. It's pretty rich all around. 4.25

I'll again remark how much fruitiness this scotch ale has. I'm finding a citrusy element that's pretty foreign to me as far as scotch ales but it's a great attribute here. Of course, this is big on the malts and they show their stripes with a dark bread flavor like a dunkel, some caramel and butterscotch, and occasional hints of brown sugar. A floral taste makes a subtle entrance close to the finish too. 4.25

Initially I was a bit disappointed in the body, finding it thin. But this beer gets progressively more smooth, sticky, and caramel-like. There are moments of fruitiness approaching citrus and floral qualities to boot, both of which I don't expect in a scotch ale but welcome openly here. 4.25

This beer exemplifies all that is good in the world. A shelf turd of a beer sitting in a liquor store in Los Angeles that I eagerly picked up (we don't see anything Shelton) and it's just great. It was the best of times....

May 16, 2016
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Dark brown pour with some haze. Head settles almost instantly. Light, wispy lacing.

S: Raw honey, maple candy, caramel chews, brown cocoa, sugar dates, hints of bread crust, mild whiff of alcohol, mellow woody and earthy undercurrents.

T: Toasty bread crust, brown cocoa, earthy. Honey and maple sort of sweetness rides up shortly. Woody and earthy notes. Peat. Spike of alcohol. Stewed fruits and caramelized sugars. Sugar dates. Hop bitterness for balance. Dries toward the back and finishes with toasty and earthy flavors.

M: Full and thick body. Slightly syrupy and coating. Chewy. Warming alcohol. Some tingling carbonation lift the malt textures just a bit.

O: The maple syrup is done perfectly. It actually adds more of a woody terroir sort of influence than it does sweetness, though the sugary-sweet aspect still comes through a bit. Although other areas of the country may not be aware, spring marks the beginning of maple season here in the Northeast states and Canada. For us, maple beers work well as spring seasonals. This one is done well and built perfectly for those early days of spring, when there's still a bit of a nip in the air. Awesome with ham, Canadian bacon, or a hearty pancake breakfast.

May 11, 2016
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – The beer was murky brown in appearance as though a dust storm were occurring in the beer.

Smell – The malty comes to the front and its profile is generally sweet.

Taste – With the malt, the maple becomes immediately noticeable. The sweetness does not go overboard and compliments the malt. There are some hints that are a little medicinal. I notice a little bit of oak toward the back which offsets the sweetness. In the aftertaste, the sweetness is present though not as intense.

Mouthfeel – The sweetness has staying power, partially due to low carbonation. I would hesitant to call this thick, but it is certainly not thin.

Overall – This beer surprised me. I enjoyed the sweeter take on the style.

Apr 19, 2016
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stingray from Wisconsin

3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into a snifter at cellar temp. Have to estimate this one at a year old, no year or month marking but the day is 21, presumably March.
Pretty good. Nice and smoky. The maple syrup is readily apparent. 9.5% isn't all that high but it drinks like 8%. Extremely turbid, a reddish brown with little head or carbonation. Pleasant malty smell but nothing all that interesting. Overall, a nice wee heavy but I definitely over payed at $7.

Apr 15, 2016
Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 611 ratings