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Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver

overall
97
90
style
Brewed by Dieu du Ciel
Style: Barley Wine
Montreal, Canada
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 895   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This noble winter beer is brown in colour with flaming red highlights. Its taste is delicately sweet and liquor-like with a hint of burnt caramel coming from the malt and a prolonged boiling time. It is a very bitter beer with aromas of hops and alcohol, and flavours reminiscent of red fruit brought by the English-type yeast we use to ferment it. The aftertaste is accentuated by the wonderful flavour of hops. Solstice d’Hiver is brewed only once a year, and is then aged for 4 to 5 months before being sold. This aging process is necessary to achieve an ideal equilibrium between the sharp bitterness and the other flavours in the beer. After aging, it is then sold starting mid-December of each year, until stocks last.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
harrisoni (16927) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - JUL 11, 2016
Bottle drunk at home a present from MartinT, thanks a lot. Very dark brown black beer with lasting tan head. Sweetish aroma, malty. Sweetish malt in mouth, some spice. some dryness on the finish. I rather like it. Good condition, in fact I really do quite like it. A bit spicy but apart from that it really is very drinkable. Hides ABV well.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
CaptainTilven (154) - Nancy, FRANCE - JUL 9, 2016
Dégustée à température de 14,2°C à 17,3°C. Corps acajou sombre, opaque, couronné d’une mousse beige doré fine qui fond très vite pour laisser une écume permanente. Arômes de pruneau à l’eau de vie, fruits secs, fruits noirs, tourbe; alcool très présent; capiteux, épicé, une pointe d’acidité. Saveurs similaires avec en plus le café et le malt. L’amertume soutient bien le tout et donne beaucoup de longueur. Très bon équilibre, finesse extraordinaire pour une bière aussi capiteuse et riche. Très bien avec du chocolat noir aux amandes et airelles ou fourré à la pâte d’amandes.

2.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
linusb (716) - SWEDEN - JUN 25, 2016
A: Deep brown with a hint of red. One finger white head. N: Apricot, caramel, cherry, hint of marzipan. T: Zest, caramel, bitter hoppiness. O: Heavy bitterness and a bit boozy.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bulk_Carrier (3539) - Lake Champlain, Vermont, USA - JUN 22, 2016
Might be a little aged, but this was poured into a mini-snifter, here are my thoughts: The appearance had a light brown color with a decent transparency about it. Carbonation could be seen rising at a moderate pace. A filmy white head started and dissipated at a nice pace. Filmy lacing winds around the glass nicely. The smell starts off with sweet toffee, light breadiness, subtle toast, caramel malts. The flavor takes previously mentioned aromas and adds a subtle "dry" tobacco edge trying to slide into the aftertaste. Quick semi-sweet/dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body, yeah, just a tad lighter on the body than what I expected for a barleywine (could be a bit "aged" that could be doing it). Overall, for a barleywine, I’d say it works for the most part, yes, I did have this a little bit later than I probably should have, but in my opinion, I believe I did it’s due respect. I’d have again.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Turtles (1730) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - MAY 28, 2016
341ml bottle from Systembolaget, vintage 2015. Deep mahogany, medium size off-white head, only some lacing. Sweet, malty, spicy aroma, cinnamon, caramel, dark dried fruit and oak barrels. Soft and sweet mouthfeel, mildly carbonated, medium bodied. Sweet malty taste, caramel and toffee, woody notes, sweet dried fruit and spicy, cinnamon and nutmeg. Warming finish with pine bitterness and earthy hops.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maakun (3391) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 27, 2016
Bottle at THT. Hazy reddish brown with beige head. Raisins, figs, lots of alcohol, sweet grains and soft chocolate. Medium sweet with strong alcoholic bitter finish. Over medium bodied. Bit too alcoholic.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sjogro (2265) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - MAY 27, 2016
Sampled from bottle at THT May. Near clear amber. White head. Sweet caramel malts, boozy. Over medium sweet, medium bitter. Medium body. Low carbonation.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Alengrin (4329) - BELGIUM - MAY 22, 2016
Barley wine from this renowned Canadian brewery, shared by Jan. Thin, egg-white, lightly lacing head over a deep warm amberish copper coloured beer, lightly hazy. Aroma of caramel, honey, cognac, cream, tulips, toffee, marmelade, gingerbread, dried flowers, pear, toasted bread. Candied orange sweetness in the mouth but not cloying, some residual white candi sugar balanced by a soft, basic sourishness, soft carbo, vinous and smooth, thick mouthfeel as befits a barley wine, thick caramelly malt sweetness with a softly bittering toasted edge, bit resinous, spicy hop accent in the finish with warming, brandy-like and slightly wry alcohol. Not the most complex or refined barley wine, but certainly a decent and flawless example of the style; yet, seen other experiences with Dieu du Ciel, I cannot help having expected a bit more from this.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ryecatcher (1304) - Bridgeport, Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 21, 2016
Bottle. Deep amber pour with a creamy off-white head, very nice retention. Nose is dried fruit (prunes, figs, dates), caramel, vanilla, candy sugar, chewy pumpernickel bread. Mouth is medium-full, creamy, relatively sweet but not cloying, balancing bitterness underpinning the malt, chock full of the dried fruit evident in the nose, vanilla toffee toasty bread finish is accompanied by a pleasant warmth from the ABV. Sacre bleu, tabernac!

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Kauge (1525) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - MAY 15, 2016
Bottle (24.09.2015) at beerbistro in Toronto. Coppery brown/red, translucent, with tiny, scattered off-white head. The nose is candi sugar and toffee, sweet dark fruits. Tastes really full, dark fruit sweet with loads of aniseedy dark toffee (the licorice toffee candies Kalev made when I was a child). The alcohol is not all too well hidden, it’s pretty boozy and harsh even while taking into account it’s 10.2%. Overall... unbalanced, rough, not exactly enjoyable. I imagine it’ll get better as it ages. So far it’s among the most disappointing BW-s I’ve had.

Too fckn bad their (cellar menu listed) 2006 Thomas Hardy was finished and I had to settle with this underachiever...


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