Équinoxe Du Printemps | Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

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Équinoxe Du PrintempsÉquinoxe Du Printemps

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by francisweizen on 05-02-2003

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Reviews: 262 | Ratings: 569
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.59/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Roguer
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of FBarber
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
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....

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.24/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of stingray
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.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at Dapanneur AS in Montreal for $3.00 for a 341ml bottle. Served at 6deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a tiny 1/4" high light brown head that films out within a minute or two. Very dark brown colour and unfiltered

S- Nice malty character and boozy maple nose

T- Boozy. Some sweet maple syrup notes. Very light maple, very hot scotch ale. Nice overall brew

M- Creamy at first then dries up

O- Very nice brew. Light on maple, heavy on malt. Not bad brew at all

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went very well with...... Pancakes with Yup! You guessed it! More maple syrup!


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Photo of CanadianBacon
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - This beer is a deep cloudy amber-brown color with a finger of offwhite head that fades quickly. Not super carbonated, exactly what I'd expect from a 9.1 percent scotch ale.

Aroma - Extremely sweet smell, maple syrup, toffee, caramel, eathryness.

Taste - The maple isn't as subtle as I would like it to be it stands out above all the whole time and is extremely sweet, I also get brown sugar,caramel malt, eathy hops, floral hops.

Feel - This is a very heavy sticky thick bodied beer with almost no feeling of carbonation.

Overall - It's not horrible and definitely an interesting beer but it's not one I'll buy again,. It's just too sweet, they added a lot of earthy taste to try and balance the extreme sweetness which didn't work either.If you can find a single try it because if you like strong sweet beers this may be for you!

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

11.5oz bottle, 1 and 5 notched on side of the label. Pours hazy reddish amber with a below average sized head; some nice lacing. Smells of mostly caramel and sweet bready malt with some peat and spice; even better after it warms up. The taste follows closely with caramel, malt, peat, rich maple syrup, and some light char and wood; complex. Fairly sweet finish with moderate dryness. Above average body and below average carbonation. Overall, this beer is very well done, complex, and fitting of the style. A fantastic Scotch Ale if you can find it on the shelf.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11.5oz bottle. Pours a dark brown color with an inch of frothy head. Some lacing. The aroma is boozey and peaty with lots of earthy moss, molasses and caramel malts. The taste is some woody with lots of malts and mossy earth. Very light amount of maple syrup sweetness, almost unnoticeable. Finishes with more of the flavors of the typical Scotch Ale. Malty, mossy finish with a mild alcohol presence. Dry, woody mouthfeel. Overall, decent enough Scotch Ale.

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Photo of russpowell
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with a pinky fast falling tan head. Pretty nice head retention and lacing

S: Cakeyness and some iron

T: Cakeyness, maple syrup, smokeyness & a touch of booze & toffee up front. Toffee, a little maple syrup & smokeyness as this warms, some warming booze, faint woody and herbal hop presence as well, starting to show some rough edges. Finishes with pears, figs, a little herbal hop & booze

MF: Fairly chewy, over-aggressive carbonation, somewhat warming

A nice try at the style, was expecting a little more, Just kind of fell apart on me as it warmed A sipper to be sure

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Photo of JayQue
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dull brown color with a fast-fading tan head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is very pleasant, toffee, spices and caramel. Taste is very good. The maple syrup/caramel sweetness is not over done and the maltiness is just right. This beer is rich and smooth. The alcohol is barely noticeable and the carbonation level as you pour is good. A very enjoyable brew, I would have this one again!!!

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Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5oz bottle, 1 and 5 notched on the label
A - thin light brown head forms a foam atop a brown colored ale
S - sweet and malty aroma with maple and brown sugar, grain, earth, peat, earthy hops
T - maple, brown sugar, earthy peat, toasty grain, caramel, vanilla, toffee, tea leaf, faint chocolate
M - full bodied, creamy and smooth with a semi-dry, sweet finish
O - fun to try this one. One is enough because it's quite sweet, but the addition of the maple syrup is great!

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Photo of larryarms847
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rather muddy brown with a quickly fleeting thin layer of light brown foam.

Maple syrup, molasses, toffee, caramel, scotch, and some light booziness.

Boozy scotch bitterness up front, followed by molasses, toffee, and caramel sweetness.

Heavy-bodied, low carbonation, thick, sweet, boozy.

Overall, as a fan of the style I'm a bit disappointed with this, it is decent but definitely missing something.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-10-25 in Columbia, PA from a 11.5 oz bottle

A - Murky brown with a 1-finger tan head that fades quickly leaving little lace.

S - Caramel, maple, fig, toasted brown bread, alcohol.

T - Caramel, toffee, toasted fruit cake, spice, yeast and a fair amount of bitterness. Then the maple flavor becomes apparent and lasts into the sweet and bitter finish.

M - Heavy body and light carbonation. Sticky, thick, luscious.

O - It's pretty sweet but I like the way the maple lasts in the aftertaste. The beer tastes like a sweet, maple-infused cross between a Wee Heavy and an American Barleywine. Glad I tried it but it's not a beer I will seek out for my fridge.

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Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.5 oz bottle served at a temperature of about 50F.

Appearance: The body is hazy with a dark brown color that has reddish highlights. It has a good tan head that soon dies down to a full top coat and leaves decent lacing,

Aroma: dark, yeasty bread,alcohol esters with notes of sweet dark fruits (raisins, blackberry), molasses, and, perhaps, a hint of maple syrup. A bit boozy but in an acceptable way.

Flavor: Like the aroma, it has dark bread, yeast and some dark fruit, including dates More earthy hops here than the aroma suggested. Hints of smoke and maple/toffee sweetness, and grass/hay. Mild bitterness. The complex, lingering aftertaste is a highlight.

Mouthfeel: Full, creamy body with medium-low carbonation but with more heat in the mouth from the alcohol than optimum.

Overall: Initially disappointing, it remained somewhat disappointing but not much, as I adjusted my expectations.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a murky very dark brown with a thin tan cap. Smells of dried apples, red wine, bran and slightly boozy. Tastes of apples, baker's chocolate and maple syrup with a very dry and boozy finish. Subtle lingering hop bitterness. Medium bodied. Tasty, but I'd rather more caramel and cereal flavors rather than the rather fruity flavors of this one.

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Photo of spacecake9
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.
A - Pours dark brown, small head that settles quickly with no lacing.
S - Pleasant aroma of toffee and bread.
T - Smoky, a little sweet and boozy, not much maple flavor.
M - Medium mouth feel.
O - This is a good Scotch Ale, a little sweeter than most due to the maple syrup. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of BeerBrose
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Deep leather brown/red. Thick head that dissipates to a nice lacing.

Smell: Toffee/Caramel and dark fruit booze.

Taste: Sharp booze rumlike sweetness, raisins, caramel. Dark fruit yeast finish.

Feel: Heavy body, sticky and with a small bitterness lingering.

Overall: Very delicious drinkable scotch ale, love its sticky sweetness that has you coming back for more.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a dark, glossy brown color, with a very small head, and not a whole lot in terms of lacing.

Smells like earthy maple, some dark breadiness, a bit of bittersweet caramel, and some slight booziness.

This is probably the driest scotch ale I've ever had. The maple flavor is pretty strong, but bitter and earthy, and not really sweet at all, which is surprising. There's basically no residual sweetness at all in this beer, and it finishes super dry. There's some nice bready maltiness, some smokiness and peat, and a little bit of bitter boozy kick on the finish.

This is medium bodied, with a bready and full mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

A really interesting take a on a scotch ale. Not the best I've ever had, but really interesting nonetheless.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!'s Equinoxe du Printemps, Scotch ale brewed with maple syrup. 9.5% ABV.

A: Almost a finger of slightly tan head. Opaque brown in the glass, with some sediment floating. yellow-brown in the dimple. Slight sheeting; decent lacing.

S: Earthy tree sap with toasted cereal grain. Faint ash note.

T/MF: A bit sweet up front. Slightly sweet char. Earthy. An almost milky sweet quality in the back. Just a ghost of a mushroom note. Actually, the flavor reminds me a lot of that maple water I got from Trader Joes...

I'm not so sure how I feel about this one. It's not great, but has some interesting qualities.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

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Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.89 out of 5 based on 569 ratings.
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