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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 820   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 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ungstrup (29850) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - SEP 26, 2007
Draft at Stockholm Beer Festival 2007. An amber beer with a thick tan head. The aroma has notes of spices, caramel, and malt. The flavor is sweet malty iwth strong notes of caramel as well as notes of alcohol and fruit. The body is thick.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Svesse (6296) - Hässelby, SWEDEN - SEP 25, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 22, 2007 (Draught at Stockholm Beer Festival, 22 Sep 2007) Dark brown colour, rather hazy, with pale brown head. Malty, spicy nose with chocolate, nuts and orange peel. Malty taste with notes of dried fruit, spicy hints of clove and cardamom. Vinous, slightly fiery finish. Very nice balance between the chocolatey malt, spicy flavours and the warming alcohol bite. (7/4/8/4/15=3.8) RERATE: (Draught at Oliver Twist, Stockholm) Very dark brown colour with ruby notes, brief beige head. Malty nose with notes of dried fruit, prunes, coffee and hints of oak wood. Full, malty taste with dark fruit, wild berries, herbs and prunes. Slightly vinous. Rather sweet, but not too much. Full body, smooth rounded mouthfeel. Powerful and majestic. It actually gives me some Rochefort vibes. Lovely stuff!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rlgk (11527) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - SEP 23, 2007
(Stockholm Beer Festival 2007) Cask. Amber/copper color, small head. Malty, nutty aroma, vinous, raisins, fgis, chocolate and vanilla notes. Malty, nutty flavor, vinous and with some chocolate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
aerosol999 (113) - Quebec, CANADA - SEP 18, 2007
9mo aged cask at the brewpub, DDC 9th anniversary Appearance: Russet orange no head. Aroma: Vinous with malt, alcohol and strong caramel nose. Flavour: Sweet and very smooth with a strong winey alcohol character. Caramel and butterscotch all over. Mouthfeel: Light carbonation smooth mouthfeel but quite alcoholic. Overall: Warmong with some strong butterscotch and caramel to balance out the malty sweetness. Alcohol character is vinous and warming. Give it a bit more anging and could be quite promising. Probably suffers from being too young.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DuffMan (7037) - the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta, CANADA - JUL 3, 2007
On tap at the brewpub, visited June 23 2007 with a big group of friends (no fellow rateberrieans though). Deep bronzy amber, hazy, thin off-white head, a little chunkiness to it. Woody caramel aroma, maybe a little scotchy even. Sweet palate with caramel, figgy fruit, earthy/leafy notes-- complex! Full bodied and silky smooth. A terrific sipper!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - APR 27, 2007
From a 22oz Bottle. Transparent, ruddy amber colored pour with a thin layer of wispy off-white head laying lazily on top. A little bit of sharp varnishy alcohols grab me by the nose right away, taking me by a bit of a surprise. Moving onward, lots of caramelized raisins and toasted pecan pralines create a satisfying enough malt base. A touch of brandy and lightly toasted coconut husks come forth as well. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Sweet toasted caramel flavors with some drier macadamia nut flavors. A flavor wave of vanilla and freshly shaved coconut add some creaminess to the nutty malt base. Lots of dry bitter hops lurking on the backend. Could really stand to use a bit more carbonation to give the malt flavors more chewiness, creamy texture, and liven up the palate a bit. Thanks for sharing, Clark!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 18, 2007
660mL bottle, bottling number 62, if I remember correctly (probably don’t), with some 9 months of age on it, I believe. Shared at PP 12 hour fest on 3/24/07
Encouraging head is medium-dark beige and initially two fingers high. I’d had less than stellar retention/formation with an even fresher bottle of their double IPA, so it’s good to see the carbonation hold up readily in this one. Body is a bright auburn-mahogany with some dark cola tints and a high clarity. Light lacing produced as well.
Lovely nose reminiscent of English barleywines. Rich nougat and sweet toffee provide a unique experience in place of the usual caramel and pale malt dominance. Almost a hint of hazelnut, with sweet raisins and dates adding more interesting malt character. Very clean and polished, and with a gentle warming character on the end. Light vanilla and more rich nougat emerge with warming, with a surprising surge of cherry esters that pleasantly balance this strong, but enjoyable maltiness.
These arent bottle conditioned, to my knowledge, but are bottled more or less unfiltered. The carbonation levels are definitely low, though for an English-style barleywine, it’s not too big a problem. Lots of nuttiness at first, is unexpected, with a more dry feel overall. Creamy pale malt sugars and finally some of the toffee/nougat seen from the nose build up on the finish, but it’s just a touch too dry/thinned out in the middle, thanks to a lot of doppelbock-like breadiness. Kind of confusing and takes away from the softness and chewiness of the texture, I think. Additional notes of light vanilla, with the toffee still lingering on the end, sweetly. Some minor alcohol apparency and minor fruitiness. Smooth, rather neutral texture could stand to have a bit more to sink your teeth in to, but at least the beer never cloys or becomes syrupy, despite the low carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
auerbrau (3179) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - MAR 31, 2007
UPDATED: APR 20, 2012 Pour from a 22oz Bottle. Thanks Clark! Aroma pours forh as a brandied caramel domain, backed up by apple cores and sweet orange juice. Light heat. A nicely nuanced and subtle aroma. Pours in orange and amber, with a thin rim of off-white. Dense caramel sugar flavor, somewhat middle. Good malt character in sweet milk caramel and toasted grains. Sweet and bready. Hop presence alights towards the backend as a leafy hop cone grass. Nice balance and well built. Nice dense cream malt character on the front end, runs nicely with good alcohol and hop levels. Finishes along a wispy of English toffee candies and nip of espresso. Thanks a million Clark.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GRM (3084) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 11, 2007
Sampler, draught, savoured on site on December 28 2006; eye: dark brown with caramel reflections, tiny ring of white foam around the glass, no effervescence; nose: malt,alcohol, caramel; mouth: caramelized malt, alcohol, light bitterness, finale in a big fat caramelized malt with a hint of pepper and and underlay of alcohol, alcoholic texture, full body, lots of alcohol, mildly sweet, bitter and carboanted FRANÇAIS Échantillon, en fût, savourée sur place le 28 décembre 2006; oeil : brune foncée, légèrement voilée avec des reflets caramel, petit anneau de mousse blanc, pas d’effervescence; nez : malt, alcool, caramel; bouche : malt caramélisé, alcool, légère amertume, finale en gros malt caramélisé avec une pointe de poivre et une sous-couche d’alcool, texture alcoolique, corsée, assez alcoolisée, moyennement sucrée, amère et carbonatée

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beanmedic (347) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 4, 2007
brown with maybe a hint of amber when the light shines through. strong malt flavours - caramel, etc. interesting beer.

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