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Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus | Microbrasserie Charlevoix

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Dominus Vobiscum HibernusDominus Vobiscum Hibernus

Brewed by:
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Quebec, Canada

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rodenbach99 on 12-30-2007

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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 125
Photo of AlexFields
3.03/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a thick dark brown with a large tan-brown head.

Smells floral and a little spicy, like holiday candy, maybe a little sweet. A little meh.

Tastes sweet, boozy, some spices again (cloves), some bright fruit maybe, or fruit cake. Pretty decent but not what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is really nice and creamy, but also pretty boozy.

Pretty good beer, I don't care for the spice thing but the beer is nice otherwise.


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Photo of jrallen34
3.05/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle provided by Alex for our rare Canadian tasting...Pours a light but clear brown, looks a little watery with a decent light tan head...An incredibly spicy aroma that instantly has me thinking Christmas beer. All spice from start to finish, tons of nutmeg, pine tree needles, and alcohol...The taste is more of the same, all spice and needles, I feel as if I walked up to someone's front door and took a bite of their front door wreath. Not a pleasant taste or sensation.

This is a Christmas spice beer that should be avoided unless you LOVE this style of beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.06/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Props to MasterSki for showing up with this one.

A - A very good looking beer. Orangish brown beer with a great looking head on it.

S - Huge spice, smells like Christmas with a lot of nutmeg and maybe a little cinnamon.

T - Also tastes like Christmas. Very much of an eggnog quality without the dairy. Huge spices, nutmeg inparticular. It's sweet and interesting tasting, but so sweet I can't drink much.

M - Rich, full bodied, decent carbonation.

D - So rich, I couldn't drink much.

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Photo of grub
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

yet another courtesy of Viggo. thanks eric!

750ml bottle. 2009 vintage. sampled march 25/2010.

pours crystal clear deep dark red, burgundy with ruby and garnet highlights. the small dense tan head drops slowly and leaves a bit of lace.

aroma is spicy! ginger mostly, with a bit of cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. white bread and cracker. caramel and toffee. bit of honey. touch of alcohol.

taste is spicy too. is this a pumpkin/holiday beer? ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove. caramel and toffee. bit of honey. white bread and cracker. touch of biscuit. some dark fruit too, but mostly obscured by the spices.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is ok... way too much spice for my taste. at least it's not the really perfumey or astringent spicing. it's dominant, but not completely offensive. still, far more than i'd ever like in any beer, let alone a belgian strong dark.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Freud bringing this down for me. Price tag: $14.99 Canadian. Tasted with sleepnbballrlife.

750mL green glass pry-top champagne bottle. 2009 date.

Appearance: Super dark mahogany, cherry-wood color. Tan/khaki head stands up tall, 1.5 inches.

Nose: Tarragon and rosemary jump right out and are followed by nectarine and peaches (props). Mulling spices for cider (props). Cloves come out which is a negative in my book.

Palate: Fat and really carbonated. Lots and lots and lots of spices all over. Rosemary (bitter), tarragon, clove, dark caramel, bittersweet chocolate, wet wool blanket.

Notes: Not as good as I was hoping. SUPER spiced. A little too much in my opinion. I could see some people really digging on it and maybe it would mellow out with time, but not something I'd want to drink regularly.

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Photo of weeare138
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...Thanks to dickinsonbeer for sharing...
Appears a dark, chestnut with amber highlights and a light tan head that slowly fades. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, brown sugar, coriander...perhaps a bit too much spice IMO.
Taste is that of the aromas, which is heavy on the spicing. It's slightly less wild once it's on the palate and you get to absorb the sensory overload, which seemed to be poised to turn me away from the aromas.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with caramel, sugar, and spices seem to be balanced by the time the swallow occurs.

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Photo of Derek
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark caramel, huge tan head, good retention, light lacing.

S: Very spicy, floral, sweet toffee.

T: Sweet & spicy, raspberry buds, bready, alcohol is remarkably well-hidden.

M: Light residual sweetness (a little much for a Belgian), modest carbonation.

D: A decent drinker, though I find it a little sweet.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Had to pour this one slow. The body looks to be a deep ruby brown. On top lies 2 fingers of a light creamy tan colored head. Impressive retention that never does totally settle out. Patchy lacing left behind.

S- Spicy for sure! Ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I also get a strong aroma of banana and bubblegum. It almost smells a little minty to me as well.

T- It's more on the malty & fruity side, which was suprising as I was expecting a blast of spice. The alcohol is covered up extremly well.

M- Creamy & smooth. Slides down with ease and coates the mouth fairly well.

D- The 10% abv really isn't an issue with this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to papat444 for sending this my way. Served in a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of light tan foam that settles to a thin cap leaving behind splotchy fingers of lace. Transparent milk chocolate color.

S - Spruce, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and other Christmas spices, over top of a rum-soaked fruitcake backdrop. As it warms some light solvent alcohol emerges but doesn't seem out of place for a 10% brew. Surprisingly little "Belgian" character in this one.

T - Christmas cake, chocolate malt, light Belgian yeast, a touch of star anise, and less overt spruce and spice character. Less boozy too.

M - Zesty carbonation, and a body that seems a bit light for the listed ABV. Smooth texture, dry finish, and light alcohol warmth.

D - I think Nate and I were the only ones who liked this beer. It's quite odd, as I usually hate spiced beers but found this strangely palatable. Much better than Dark Horse 4 Elf. Probably best suited for Christmas eve by the fireplace!

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 ml capped brown bottle. Pours out a cloudy nearly opaque dark brown, intense garnet highlights when held to light. Capped by a loose creamy light tan head with good retention.

Tart, acidic notes up front on the nose, green apple, dry earthy notes, light berry sweetness. Dark dried fruit and some carob as it reaches room temp.

This stuff is utterly smooth, rounded and sweet, thoroughly enjoyable! Sweet figs, green apple skins, carob, slight tart acidity near the finish with some sweet berries, light coffee in the aftertaste. Faint alcohol warmth down the throat.

Medium-bodied, smooth and velvety texture, moderate carbonation, slightly sticky on the finish.

A flavourful Strong Belgian Dark, more on the mild side and as a result deceptively drinkable. Another fine offering from Charlevoix, although I prefer their Lupulus to this one.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, picked up at Peluso.

Pours a clear burgundy, a very dark almost purplish red, crimson hues, very thick and chunky eggshell head forms, slowly settles down to a thick ring and layer around the glass, some lace chunks stick, looks great.

Smell is neat, very spicy, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, cloves, caramel and honey, candi sugar, lots of ginger, a bit of vanilla, biscuity, some alcohol, light orange peel, some pine needlesl, nice malts, spicy but not overdone. Christmas cake type aroma.

Taste is similar, big spice character up front, nutmeg, cloves, lots of ginger, a bit of alcohol, really nice yeasty spice character, a bit of sweet maltiness through the middle, really neat cocoa notes, some anise, light pine needle, lnice spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, pretty slick, with high carbonation. Maybe a bit more spiced than I would like, but still very well done.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: very dark brown with hint of ruby red; sizzling carbonation, but head burns out to a film in no time

Aroma: sweet figs, dates; touch of blackberry, cassis

Taste & Mouthfeel: very sweet, bordering on cloying; prunes, dates, vanilla, rum; a touch thin, needs better carbonation (have seen this happen a lot with Charlevoix beers, don't know if it's just an effect of how transported to LCBO); the flavour in general is great, but not terribly complex

Overall: more depth of flavour might show if there was even a little hit of hops in the finish, and certainly if there was steady carbonation; as it stands feels like the elements are there, but fall flat

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Photo of bobsy
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polishing off the Canadian Top 25 with this one - I believe Fred sent me the bottle - cheers!

Great appearance, pouring a turbid brown with a good two fingers of toasted meringue head, which takes a long time to drop and leaves some nice lace behind. The aroma instantly reminds me of Christmas, with its heavily spiced backbone, and strong notes of dark fruit. Certainly the grocery list of what I'm picking up sounds like a pudding recipe - dates, raisins, brown sugar, ginger, vanilla, clove, cinnamon. Neat nd powerful, though a little out of place at the end of July.

Intensely spicy flavour backed up by sugar and dark fruit. The spicing is dominated by clove, with cinnamon also peeking through. The sweetness permeates the fruit backing, which has very strong raisin and date notes. Maybe some banana and pumpkin pie too... there seems to be a lot going on when you delve a little deeper. Medium-light body is thickened slightly by a billowy carbonation that's short-lived in the mouth.

Drinking this beer in late July makes for an odd vibe, because its such a strongly spiced BSDA that it seems to belong more to the season of mulled wine than barbecues. Its very well-made, though, even if the spice intensity cuts down on drinkability and makes me glad I'm splitting this with a friend. I get the feeling that if I attempted a whole bottle of this my feeling would be different, and I'd hesitate to recommend it without reservations. Buy it and split it with someone - its worth the effort.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bobsy for so generously sharing this bottle!

Pours a murky dark brown with a generous beige head. Retains nicely with only a slight amount of lace.

Bobsy beat me to the punch when he said it smells like Christmas. Lots of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and all the sorts of things you might expect from pumpkin pike along with figs and prunes and shortbread.

At first blush I would say this could have well been called Spice Wallop as an intense hit of the spices described in the nose make themselves known. Very full flavoured, a bit sweet, with lots of ginger, anise, and a lingering spice in the aftertaste. Nice bready malts and dark dried fruits are met by a piney nibble of bitterness. Mostly this beer is all about Christmas spices which are the star of the show rather than an support player.

It's maybe slightly under attenuated which makes it a bit sweet, but there's a nice amount of carbonation along to compensate.

Overall I found the spice dominating and, while I hate to pigeonhole a beer or stubbornly adhere to seasonal suitability, really, there's no getting around this is a beer best saved for December. Which is in no way a criticism and had no effect on my rating seeing as how Hibernus is Latin for winter, so it was never brewed with July in mind.

Thanks again to bobsy for helping me celebrate Christmas in July and for helping me tick this off my Top 25 Canadian Beers list.

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Photo of Sammy
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ken's botle. very good, and worthy of Charlevoix as world beaters, but not the lupulus. Big bubbly head on dark body. Yeasty aromas of Belgian yeast. Taste of licorish. It is sweet, it is lacey. There is some white pepper, cardomon. It is very drinkable.
lateral tasting at Volo v. Lupulus, and this is the clear winner. Smooth, good taste.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle from Marche Omni QC for $15

Appearance – Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, caramel, all spice, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel/butterscotch, and all spice. There is also some dark fruits, anise, and some herbal notes.

Overall – Kind of a xmas pumpkin beer type of flavour going on here. Lots of flavour but not too sweet. The booze is extremely well hidden, it's almost hard to believe this is %10. As others have mentioned, a good beer to have with a meal.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for around the $10.00 mark for a 750ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high light brown head that lasts forever. Very dark almost brown color.

S- Fig and molasses

T- Sweet. Very sweet. Fig and molasses abound!

M- Lots of sugar

O- Good but sweet. Too sweet for my liking. Almost a quad style brew. Nice but not great

Food Pairing

This pretty good brew went well with..... Liver, bacon and onions


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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a near opaque, dark brown, near black body with a thin, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Spicy, sweetish scent of caramel-coated bread crumbs and nuts with background notes of dried herbs and fruit.

Taste: Toasted caramel maltiness with a mild sweetness. Heavy-handed dose of fresh spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Slight herbal character. A bit of plum and golden raisin fruitiness. Slight nuttiness. Not too terribly much in the way of either hop flavor or bitterness. Small dollop of milk chocolate. Malty, though drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Rather well carbonated, I must say.

Drinkability: This is the most enjoyable French Canadian brew I've had in quite some time. Displays a nice level of complexity while keeping that ABV% safety at bay.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml brought around by eat (Colin), thanks a bunch for cracking this one!

Pours a clear, dark auburn/amber with loads of rocky tan head on top which leaves prodigious amounts of sticky lacing down the glass.... tends to be a trend on Charlevoix beers.

Nose is... holy spice batman! Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice initially drown out all hints of anything else. Then, as it warms, some of the esters from the Charlevoix yeast come through, a touch of the bready malt... just so much spicing!

All that spicing translates into the taste as well, tack on some light anise/black licorice as well. It's not an astringent or harsh spicing, somehow it stays smooth and inviting, reminds me of backing gingerbread men while drinking eggnog - I want to drink this at Christmas! Bready malts underneath, a hint of overripe plums, toffee, honey, light grassy/ pine hops in the finish, faint earthiness, ABV is no where to be seen, creamy mouthfeel which if anything is just a little thin.

This is a really unique beer. So spicy, sweet and creamy, it would work great as a winter/Christmas treat but with all the spicing it hinders drinkability a bit, you only want so much of the overload. Still, somehow they make it work and I enjoyed it's spicy allure. Thanks again Colin!

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Photo of uno99
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks fantastic in my Tripel Karmeliet glass. Head rises quickly atop the chestnut brown beer and leaves nice lacing after it settles down into a halo of off-white foam around the edges.

Smell: suggestions of spices (ginger, pepper...) oak, all shades of fruity esters (apricot, pear, plum), honey, maple. Even at close to fridge temp this tells a story.

Taste: a bit sweeter than the smell suggests. Honey and caramel up front. malt backbone is rich and soothing. Spices and hops gradually pick up during the finish.

Mouthfeel: Perfect medium bodied and medium carbonation for the style.

Overall: A decent beer in this competitive segment (in Quebec terms). Would drink again.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my hotel glass, eh what can you do.

Great red ruby body with dark chestnut colors. A fair amount of cola like carbonation, with a minimal tan head. Manages to keep a nice puck and collar. Some nice ring like lacing here in my glass, I wish I had a tulip for this.

Nose brings faint quinine tonic, pie crust, cinnamon, and some sweet mild brown sugar.

Palate comes with a light body and full taste. Mild raisin and mellow brown sugar sense of malt. Prickly slight carbonation but not detracting. No heat or boozyness either.

Overall just a real solid brew from these guys.

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Photo of papat444
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***2009 Vintage***

Poured from a 750ml. bottle (best before end of 2012) & shared with my wife.

Appearance: Thick tan foam fills the glass up to 4 fingers worth, easily coats the sides and there's a nice plum-red body.

Smell: Spicy, dark fruits and chai tea. Smells like winter.

Taste: Winter spices, plums and elderberries. Felt faded at first but definitely opened up as it warmed. Some spicy chai tea and some sweetness come out.

Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation, warming and fills the palate nicely.

Overall: I found it good and much better as it warmed. Though not my favorite, it grew on me.

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Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared courtesy of dickinsonbeer.

Poured a medium and cloudy amber brownish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of spices, ginger, dark fruits, and bready. Tastes of dark fruits, ginger, spices, and other fruitiness. Light to medium alcohol in the finish.

Notes from: 6/27/08

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy brown purple colors with a copper hue and no visible activity. Frothy beige 1 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, with strong legs.

Aromas of fruity vinous grapes and dark berries. Flavors of dark fruits, oak, grapes, apple, burnt sugar, molasses, herbal spices. Highly vinous but still pleasant having a soft sweetness coating and a nice sharp feel. Woody and slightly earthy.

Slick medium body with prickly carbonation almost champagne like. Well intensified medium strength finish, ending with a slightly spicy, fruity wine like dry but clean feel, and a lingering oaky woody feel.

Overall an excellent craft to savor like a good wine. Complex and rich tasty flavors. Vinous but still fresh. Warming but not too boozy. Well rounded thick body. More suited for cold winter times as an appetizer.

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Photo of kwjd
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brown colour with a nice head and lacing. Lots of spice on the smell, more than expected. I think I was smelling nutmeg, but wasn't able to quite place it. It had a taste of nutmeg and peppercorns, to go along with the Belgian yeast. Some bitterness and caramel sweetness. Very smooth mouthfeel and wouldn't believe it was 10% abv by the way it drank.

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Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus from Microbrasserie Charlevoix
4.1 out of 5 based on 125 ratings.
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