RateBeer
overall
97
91
style
Brewed by Dieu du Ciel
Style: Barley Wine
Montreal, Canada
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 848   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.72   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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 4, 2009
11.5oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy caramel brown with a creamy tan head that lingers for quite a while and leaves good lacing. Aroma is lighter and fruity than I expected with some apples up front along with some earthy hops. The caramel malts are in the nose as well but not as prevalent as I would have expected. The taste has a more pronounced hop profile up front with some earthy hops giving way to the toffee and caramel sweetness of the malt backbone. The finish brings back the hops with a pine hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and sticky with both hops and malt sweetness. This is a very good, hopped-up interpretation of a barleywine.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ernest (6749) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 3, 2009
UPDATED: FEB 7, 2014 Bottle. Head is initially small, frothy, light brown, mostly diminishing. Body is hazy dark amber. Aroma is moderately malty (caramel), lightly hoppy (apricot), with light notes of alcohol, plum, toffee, and sherry. Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter. Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, heavily bitter. Medium to full body, syrupy texture, soft/lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic. A fairly plain and ordinary example. Some nice aromatics, but they’re not very strong...quiet nose. Quite sweet to start, but the bitterness in the finish is actually rather harsh.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
rickgordon (3846) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - FEB 3, 2009
Bottled.
Deep, dark ruby colour with big, longlasting off-white head. Aroma is rich with caramel and lots of dried fruit character. A soft honey tone might be there as well. Mouthfeel is very smooth, but there is a hard metallic, bitter and astringent flavour underneath that comes late - from either high alpha hops or black malts. I would think the latter. Very tasty beer if not for that papery bitter finish, that’s really, really hard on the palate. For such a tasty beer, this off flavour is a big letdown.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tomthompson89 (1934) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 2, 2009
wonderful beer, amber brown color, little bit of head not much thoughnose is fruity, like uhhm pineapple??? and sweet malts. flavor is sweet malts some dried fruit, toffee, and booze. well done beer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 1, 2009
Bottle courtesy of gunhaver. Pours a dark cola brown color with a thin white head. Aroma is sweet and malty with notes of vanilla, caramel, nuts, roasted malt, fresh fruit. Flavor is sweet and malty with notes of wood, caramel, floral hops, brown sugar vanilla, some hints of fresh fruit. Generally medium body with a sweet and malty finish.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MJGG (952) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 1, 2009
Bouteille de 341 ml et plusieurs millésimes en fût. Arômes de houblon résineux, de malt caramel et de fruits rouges. Robe rubis, légère mousse et effervescence moyenne. Bien ronde en bouche, le malt caramel légèrement sucré et les fruits rouges mènent à une franche amertume de houblon résineux. L’alcool est bien dissimulé. Très bon.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ibrew2or3 (7511) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - FEB 1, 2009
Bottle courtesy of gunhaver. Pours brown with full tan head lasting a good 60 seconds. The aroma is thick with dark fruity esters that seem a bit musty. They’re mixing with roasty malts, some alcohol heat and malt sweetness. The taste is a rich mix of raisins, prunes and cherries. Toward midway mild notes of sweet malts, roasted malts, sweet caramel and mildly herbal spices encroach on the bold fruity esters and move the experience to the finish. Pretty hot and warming overall. It may benefit from additional aging.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
larsga (6767) - Oslo, NORWAY - FEB 1, 2009
Big brownish lasting head with good cling. Barely translucent dark red body. Fruity alcoholic aroma with herbal bubblegum notes. Surprisingly faint. Sweetish peppery roasty chocolatey taste with minty wooden herbal notes. Taste again a bit subdued. Dry-acidic minty herbal aftertaste with chocolatey coffeeish notes. Faint alcohol, too. Very nice! (0.355l bottle, Systembolaget, Charlottenberg.)

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
aplusbreaks (330) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JAN 31, 2009
12oz pours a murky dark brown with a small off white head. Aromas of caramel, hops, fruity notes and some spice. Flavors the same, semi sweet up front with a decent hop bite in the finish. Medium to full bodied and rather complex. I enjoyed this one.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gr0ve (2177) - Oslo, NORWAY - JAN 31, 2009
341 ml bottle. Brown colour. Hazy appearance. Medium-sized off-white fine-laced head. Fruity nose with hints of banana, but is black pepper that dominates. Hints of dark chocolate. Sharp roasted acidic malt flavours. A lot of dark roasted malts have been used, but there is still quite a lot of residual sugars. The roasted malts and the black pepper play the main role. Soft carbonation. The high alcohol content seem to balance out all the rough edges. Overall a demanding beer that in the end come out complex and quite enjoyable.


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