Brewed by Dieu du Ciel
Style: Barley Wine
Montreal, Canada
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 840   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - DEC 30, 2014
11.5 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. A: Pours a dark, murky brown color. There’s about two fingers of mocha-colored head. It features an excellent texture and good retention. A LOT of lacing is left behind on the glass. This is pretty attractive in its own way. S: This seems to have a fairly boozy aroma, primarily. In spite of all the booze, there are other (fairly prevalent) elements - most notably chocolate, raisins, figs, brown sugar, and caramel. I kind of wish it was less boozy and more everything else, to be honest. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad aroma, just that it could have/should have been better. T: Immediately, I notice its subtle stout-y elements: there’s a slight initial flavor of chocolate, and the finish is faintly roasted. They really add to the archetypal (’Murican) barleywine notes of candy-coated hops and booze admirably. There are also some tangy fruit flavors (think cherries, maybe even apricots) popping up in spurts. It’s layered so that the alcoholic flavors die down as more is consumed. Seemingly, it’s replaced with a strong, earthy toffee flavor. It still remains a fairly alcoholic ordeal, typical of the style. M: Rather slender in feel, which doesn’t do this beer many favors in terms of decadence. When combined with the fine carbonation and moderately hidden booze, it means this is pretty easy to drink for the style. Still, I can’t help but wish this was a bit more substantial feeling. O: Nice one. It gets somewhat harsh in places - then again, so do most barleywines. Rather, it’s a bit harsher than some of the really great examples out there. Still, I can’t think of a better aging candidate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
wolffish (327) - Saint-Donat, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 20, 2014
Forte présence d’alcool, de levure et de grains grillés. C’est vraiment très amer (presque désagréable pour le style). C’est aussi vraiment moins sucré que je ne l’aurais cru...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
c_lee_burton (178) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - DEC 17, 2014
Bottle. Pours a cloudy crimson tinged brown with a light tan head with some lacing. Smells of sweet malt, plums, and figs. The levels of flavor start withsmooth caramel sweetness. Its followed by hop bitterness then the fruit flavors come through with cherry, fig, and apricot. Then the hops come back and linger on the tongue. Overall a dense, yet creamy body that has a slightly dry finish. Excellent brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tmongoose (1600) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 16, 2014
bottle from 2012 I believe. poured a darkish brown color with red highlights. with a off white head that just lingers. nice lacing all around the glass. the aroma is deep rich malts with plenty of caramel notes with some alcohol on the end. the flavor is smack your momma delicious, deep rich sweetness of the malts and an over abundance of caramels notes with a nice alcohol burn but not over bearing. even the hiccup is tasty. evenly balanced from start to finish and oh so good. don’t see how you can do any better with this beer...excellent winter brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Flanfl (177) - Bordeaux, FRANCE - DEC 15, 2014
Bottle. Brown color with a good lasting white head. Aroma of caramel matl and dark fruits. Flavour of caramel, plum and alcohol. Sweet at first then the bitterness comes in. Medium bitter finish. Great christmass beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
manuelMTL (224) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 13, 2014
Pours a murky brown with a tiny off-white ring of foam. Nose is malty with dark fruits. Prune aromas and some sugary caramel notes. In the mouth, the prune flavors are accompanied by dark roasted malt notes with a long finishing bitterness and candy sweetness. Perfect beer for a cold winter evening!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mikeyo1 (380) - Linköping, SWEDEN - DEC 12, 2014
Bottles @ home.
2009 edition, BF 2014-01: Brown clear color with amber notes, with a small tan head. Sweet aroma vinous raisins, dates, deep caramel, vanilla, bread, some citrus, red fruits, oak, hints of roasted malt and cocoa. Big sweet mouth feel, low smooth carbonation. Long lasting taste of raisins, red fruits, bread, well balanced vinous dates (and raisins), vanilla, oak, some leather. hints of milk chocolate. Warming alcohol notes in mid taste followed by a bit drier but still sweet finish with increasing notes of lemon, oranges & herbs. And also chocolate. Balanced and lasting bitterness.

Vertical tasting of edition 2013 (aged one year): Has (as expected) more head than the 2009 edition, which is notably darker.Aroma is clearly herbal. Sweet but clearly drier than 2009. There are some vinous notes of raisins but light in comparison. Also caramel, oranges, spruce needles, dark bread, toffee. Fresh big mouth feel with medium to high carbonation for a BW. Sweet flavor with oranges, lemon, herbs, spruces, red fruits, bread, biscuits, sticky alcohol, caramel, toffee, some milk chocolate. Assertive, zest-like, and lasting bitterness.

Two different beers, i definitely prefer the overall smooth complexity developed in the aged 2009 edition. Score refers to the 2009 edition.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
arkurzynski (1716) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 11, 2014
Deep murky brown/amber-red. Nose of lightly aged herbal citrus hops, caramel-covered fruit, cherry, raisin, and baked bread. Flavor is herbal citrus bitterness with acidic dark fruit, smooth caramel malt, and mikd sweet biscuit. Slick, but well-attenuated. Lingering fruit and hops. Almost a faint Belgian character.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stoned99 (400) - Quebec, CANADA - DEC 6, 2014
UPDATED: APR 30, 2015 Aroma: caramel, dark fruits, raisin, alcohol. App: brown with small beige head. Taste and palate: light body, medium to high carbonation, smooth in mouth with light long bitter and big alcohol finish. Overall: another great product from DDC. This one is definitely a dessert beer, heavy but really good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jdb288 (584) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - DEC 4, 2014
Bottle. Date unknown. Lots of fruit in the nose - i get peach and apple distinctly. Spicy...even some black pepper notes on the tongue. Warming alcohol presence and some astringency towards the finish. Solid.

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