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: 260 | Ratings: 563
Photo of jmbranum
4.92/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Exceptionally good. Bought at The Library in Manhattan, Kansas, but enjoyed back home in Oklahoma.

Incredible maple/malt aroma. Flavor is exactly as described. A full and complex Scotch ale with lots of caramel and toasted malt. The maple works well with it, just an added extra bit of goodness.

Mouthfeel is nice and velvety. Nice alcoholic warmth, but not overpowering. I like this one a lot. I should have bought more than one bottle.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.74/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A wonderful aged maple scotch ale from Dieu Du Ciel. This beer was presented to me with a lovely dark amber colour and almost no head. The aromas were of caramel, chocolate, toffee, coffee, roasted malts and alcohol. The taste was a melange of the above...sweet, rich, satisfying. The mouthfeel was very full, almost chewy...and the drinkability was excellent!
A classic Scotch ale!

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Photo of VbolieuV
4.71/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice brown looking beer with red hues under light and a thin off-white head. Intense caramel smell, with lots of maple syrup aromas and some alcohol is in the nose. In the mouth you get all those caramel flavors rounded with the maple syrup with some nice hops too. Definitely an alcohol taste in this too. It's a heavy beer but it's one of my favorite of all time, always look forward to the spring only for this beer.

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Photo of drumminbrewer
4.69/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opened in honor and memory of ElJoebo - RIP brother, and my deepest sympathies to your family and friends.

Pours a medium brown/ruby/sienna color. Considerable lacing left behind, with a quickly dissipating 1/2 inch head. Unfiltered, but not "chunky".

Nose is rich with caramel, maple syrup, toffee, the slightest hint of boos and tangerines. Dried fruit, but hard to distinguish the exact one.

First sip - wow, maple syrup. I know it was brewed with the aforementioned, but I'm curious how much was used because it is massive at first. Currant, raisin, toffee, candied sugar...I'd swear it was oak aged at least a bit if I didn't know it was brewed with maple syrup.

Medium/Medium Heavy body. Heavy malt is present, in terms of viscosity I'd rate this a 6.5/7 on the scale of 10 being KtG, BCS, Old Viscosity, etc...

Long finish. The fruit shines here...lots of raisins, dates, figs and plums. Maple syrup is present from start to finish.

Overall. A winner, and a unique take on a scotch ale. Highlights all the classic features you'd expect but the maple syrup compliments it without undermining the integrity of the style. Wonderful, another gold star for Dieu Du Ciel.

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Photo of HomeRunBaker
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours an opaque dark amber color. The smell is of oak and maple. Taste is impressive. Maple, oak, and caramel. The alcohol is completely unnoticeable. Extremely smooth and considerably thick--very reminiscent of maple syrup. I'm very impressed and enjoyed this one thoroughly. A very unique beer.

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Photo of jdklks
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours hazy amber on the edges, with a deep brown middle, and a damn near non-existent head. smells of the maltiness typical of a scotch ale, accompanied by a not-so-typical sweetness. alcohol is, well, noticeable, to say the least.

mmm... 5. 5 for a scotch ale, the best ive ever had. a nicely done (i.e., not overpowering) sweetness up front that gives way to sweet roasted malts, and a barely perceptible hop presence in the middle. this is all followed by the best part of the beer: the maple!!! fantastic finish and aftertaste. lots of alcohol, lots of sweet maple syrup and brown sugar.

mouthfeel is syrupy, disgustingly thick and full of sediment. great. drinkability takes a small hit for the beer being so sweet all the way around, but otherwise, it keeps you sipping.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy brown with a ruby red tinge to it. Nice thumb of light fluffy tan head which sticks to the rim nicely, leaving some thick bubbly lacing. The carbonation is quite noticeable, sending steady streams from the bottom of the glass.

S - Sweet maple and chocolate malts, toasted almonds and a bit of toffee.

T - Quite sweet, as expected. The maple flavour is noticeable right away, brown sugar, and chocolate malts explode in your mouth. The finish is delicious with the maple lingering on your tongue. The alcohol is a little noticeable, but is nicely hidden by the sweet flavours.

M - Very nicely balanced with the perfect amount of carbonation. Goes down quite smoothly, especially for the high ABV.

D - Surprisingly drinkable for something with such a high ABV. Could easily toss back a few of these at a time. The flavours are intense, but still very refreshing. Highly recommended to anyone looking for something bold and sweet.

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Photo of Greggio
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really likes this one. Solid head with moderate carbonation.
I could taste some maple and a descent amount of honey in the aftertaste.
The taste was very pleasing and one of my favorites.
Would definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of BBP
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper chestnut with decent head, retention and lacing.

The aroma is full of maple, scotch, and peat. Sweet, but not outrageously sweet. It smells a bit boozy, but that's to be expected from most scotch ales, not to mention a 9.5% one.

What's not expected was the dominance of the maple syrup over the rich malt. Dominance is a strong word, especially when the malt is very evident, but it's as if the foundation is maple. Spicy hops take over after the malt and syrup have taken their course and it rounds itself off after each sip. The aftertaste lingers for a while holding the maple against you.

The body is moderately full and heavy. Carbonation helps it out, but is very subtle how I like it. The finish is mildly dry and sticky.

Overall, this is a very solid Wee Heavy, and a cool example of maple in a beer. After most of a year, the maple is still very evident in this, and it's drinking quite smoothly. I'll probably hold onto my other bottle for another few months or so and see how it is.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Phyl21ca for this beer

This was poured into a big Red wine glass and I must say the beer looked nice with a deep dark orange with a low broken head floating on top. The nose was Belgian and yeasty in form with a biscuity note that smelled like maple syrup pancakes. The taste was kinda like a refined Mcchouffe in that it was a Scotch/Belgium mix. The maple came out on the finish with a bit of residual sweetness which really smoothed the beer out. A very complex beer and wholly original in style.

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Photo of GabrielM
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A - deep amber/caramel color with a quarter-inch off-white head that dissipates somewhat quickly. Looks very refreshing.

S - a fantastic aroma of bourbon sweetness (although there isn't any in this beer), vanilla and maple. A tinge of alcohol is present as well.

T - the first thing to hit the pallet is maple, followed by vanilla and then a slight hop dryness. Carbonation is less than I expected but fits the beer perfectly. At 9.5% I thought there'd be a decent alcohol presence but I was surprisingly mistaken; no burn whatsoever, just a nice warmth as the beer is swallowed down. Very pleasant.

M - the medium body, perfect carbonation and array of flavors are a real treat for the pallet.

D - I could drink this all day! The flavors are incredible, the alcohol taste is minimal, and the semi-sweetness is a welcomed one. Of course, I know the alcohol is in there somewhere, and I'm sure I'd be down for the count after my second or third bottle. Sip slowly and enjoy this beer for as long as you can!

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Aroma is of sweet malts and syrup/honey! Really cool smell, really cool. Taste is warming and malty with some bourbon type taste in the background. The sweetness does a good job of masking the high wee heavy ABV. My first Dieu Du Ciel beer and by no chance will it be my last. Unique, mysterious and intriguing, I couldn't be more excited!

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Photo of buffs9
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, sweet and boozy.

Dark brown with some red in it. Small head w/ tiny bubbles, which fades to a very thin layer as I drink it.

Big, sweet malt flavour with lots of maple and booze flavors. Some dark fruits, get a bit of a light ginger flavor. More dark maple in the end.

Medium-full body with light carbonation. Medium-dry finish.

I really like this beer and bought it after loving the Kaiser Curmudgeon on tap at Founders. This is a decent substitute for KC, which I can't get anymore.

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a very thin amount of head and above average lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, a little grain and the advertised maple syrup.

T: A big flavor of malt, grain, spices, and maple syrup, though the last ingredient never becomes overly cloying. A big, bold taste.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a somewhat slick finish. Medium- to full-bodied. Chewier than most Scotch Ales.

D: An immensely drinkable beer. Good for this time of year.

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Photo of impending
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a ruddy dirty dishwater water with spilt cola. Minimal head lasted briefly, minor lacing.

Aroma is thick, sweet and boozy. The maple is obvious atop unnamed dark fruits. All rather nice!

Thick, creamy and boozy. Very sweet, again the maple but much quieter. Strong malts joined by peat moss, finishes with very minor hop bitterness. The aftertaste evolves significantly, long lasting and very pleasant. Warms well.

Listing maple syrup on the label may raise expectations beyond what is delivered in the taste of maple, perhaps it would be better if left to be discovered.
cool label

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Photo of champ103
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark orange/brown color. A large beige head forms with great retention. Sticky spiderweb lace is left all the way down the glass.
S: Of toasted and sweet caramel malt. Dry wood and dark fruits. Plums, figs, even some banana. A warm boozy character as well. This is amazing.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of toasted malt. Sweet caramel. I can really tastes the maple syrup. It works, but it is almost too sweet. Dry wood with some dark fruity esters again. There is a little burn from the alcohol as well.
M/D: A full body that is incredibly rich, creamy, and decadent. The alcohol is noticeable, and burns a little. Though it is a great beer to sip on through the night.

This is a great beer. I am continually impressed with this brewery. Very unique and highly recommended.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a cloudy red/orange amber. Slight head with slight lacing. Sweet malt, dark fruit and maple sugar aroma. Delicious. Sweet malty Scotch ale with distinct maple flavor. Heavy bodied and almost viscous. A bit sweet, but flavors carry it through. A later tasting with a year old, properly cellared bottle had almost identical characteristics.

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Photo of Siggy125
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hmmm..."scotch ale brewed with maple syrup". Right in one of my sweet spots for beers.

Interesting color, muttled bister with a little sediment. Cream colored head, small amounts of carbonation.

Smells like a classic scotch ale with some extra malty sweetness. Maple not dominant on the nose.

Maple has more strength on the taste. Also get some vanilla and butterscotch but mostly maple. The 9.5 abv shows up nicely as it warms but not stinging. Good scotch ale malted roast taste. very pleasant.

Fairly light in mouthfeel for a sweeter than normal scotch ale. Very pleasant.

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Photo of silentjay
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a murky mahogany brown forms a smallish sand colored head that quickly recedes but leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

aroma is maple at first which is backed up by some brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and honey. this is going to be a sweet one i think.

taste is of molasses out first mixed with the maple. caramel, toffee, honey, and booze are there as well. molasses and maple syrup are the strongest and dominate throughout, its sweet, and its delicious.

syrupy feel on the tongue and it continues well after the swallow and the sticky sweetness lingers on as well. just enough carbonation.

drinks very well. a tad boozy, but could be worse for the style and strength. the maple is well integrated and makes this probably my favorite of the style that I have tried so far.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

$5.49 for a 11.5 oz bottle @ Merchants. 9.5% ABV per the bottle. Bottle conditioned. Brewed with maple syrup from Quebec.

Pours out to a cloudy medium amber, forming a creamy very light tan head with good retention and poor lacing. Carbonation is mild. The aroma is filled with maple syrup, but also roses and flower nectar, figs, and dates. Mouthfeel is very syrupy and very rich with a dense body. The taste is a recap of the aroma and really good, but my GF hates it. It's very syrupy and sweet, definitely a sipper. Bitterness is very mild. Earthy overtones, light molasses, clove, maybe even cardamom. Nearly palette fatiguing, but oh so good in its decadence. Like eating a very rich cheesecake...a little goes a long way.

Very interesting beer. This is one of those pricey beers that I would actually buy again and pull out for a special occasion.

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Photo of stephens101
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Ruby red crowned by a quickly fading tan froth. Has a simple aroma of maple syrup, spice, sweet bread and plum. Tastes of brown bread covered in maple syrup, grain, plum and a hint of black grape. Medium-to-heavy in body with a flick of alcohol at the very end. Sweet all the way through but never cloying and just as balanced as you could wish for.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz into a Vertical Jewbelation glass. Pours a very hazy plum with a tiny head and very noticable carbonation. Obviously not much lace. The smell is super-nice, aside from the maple syrup smell which is a little too up front (distracts from some of the malt stench.) Nice roasted malt smell with an earthy, and slightly alcoholic background. The taste is similar but has more balance between the maple syrup and roasted malts. Well hidden alcohol, roasted caramalts, a bit o' prune and some earthy hops to bitter it up just a tad. Very very nice. Goes down very well.
If you enjoy a good scotch ale, here's one to taste. Not terrible on the price (around $6) and very warming. Just what a scotch ale should be.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy brown with a light white head that is quickly just lacing. Aroma of scotch ale, sweet malt, brown sugar, maple syrup. Slight bit of sediment on the bottom.

Taste is fantastic. There is a slightly boozy touch built in, but it is manageable at a 9.5% and the body of this is nice and viscous for a scotch ale. Deep caramelized sugars really come out as this warms a little and raisins and date flavors are there with the phenolic alcohol flavors.

I wouldn't hesitate to say this is one of the best beers Diel du Ciel puts out, and they have a nice portfolio of high abv beers. Easy drinkability and very smooth.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Appearance: chocolate brown with a red hue; hazy, looking like a Belgian trappist ale

Aroma: sweet & rich, hint of maple and some caramel

Taste & Mouthfeel: finely carbonated, light on the tongue; not overly sweet which is surprising; maple shows up after a few seconds and grows slowly, but never becomes too strong

Overall: reminiscent of a good Belgian ale with a perfect malty flavour; very drinkable. Only fault is that the promised maple is just a bit too subtle

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Photo of mwagner1018
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a rich deep brown burnished orange color, with very little head, but noticeable carbonation on the pour. There is a residual thick viscous caramel/maple/yeast liquid remaining on the bottom of the bottle.

S- Toffee, caramel, vanilla, rum and raisin notes.

A clear line of legs showing the alcohol content appear on the side of the glass following a swift swirl to awaken the aromas.

T- All of the aromas are presented nicely in the taste, with an additional apple pie note on the finish. Maple, toffee, raisin and rum (as well as slight warming alcohol) notes are significant and fantastic. As the beer warms up slightly, the flavors become fully complex and deep with some notes of tobacco and holiday pudding.

M- Soft carbonation, but enough to deliver nicely, filling mouthfeel full bodied mouth coating viscous texture, that is smooth and slightly creamy like a pudding.

D- Perfect as a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, the maple syrup is present enough to add some depth and light sweetness, but in the background so as not to overwhelm the classic Scotch malt notes. Full bodied, nice sipping warming alcohol presence, perfect for a cool evening. (two notes: surprised they are using twist off caps, just an observation, secondly I really like the label art work)

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Équinoxe Du Printemps from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
3.88 out of 5 based on 563 ratings.
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