RateBeer
overall
98
92
style
Brewed by Dieu du Ciel
Style: Barley Wine
Montreal, Canada
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 787   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 306   ABV: 10.2%
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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.


4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bedainedebiere (501) - Terrebonne, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 5, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 9, 2009 A personnal favorite, my favorite beer from Quebec (with Dieu Du Ciel’s ABT Rigor Mortis; I think God is helping this brewer because He likes the monotheistic reference). Aged a year, the one I had last week seemed slightly thicker than the 2009 brew I’m having while re-writing these lines. The very intense citrusy/spicy hopping seems to be striking even more aggressively when fresh but, in both, the caramelized heavily malted base confronts the bitterness to create a perfect divinely balanced harmony, like Ying and Yang. Many subtilties also shine out, some spices and fruits, traces of alchool, and the aftertaste is amazingly long. I remember having stomach aches or acid burns after drinking that but now that I’m doped up on Nexxium, it is much easier to drink... Really, a masterpiece of a beer...

4.8
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
574deadzone (997) - North Central, Indiana, USA - SEP 4, 2012
Bottle from HopCat. Pours a deep dark ruby brown with a slight toffee head that settles to a ring. When held to the light, some deep orange highlights and a fair amount of floating sediment are revealed. Very complex nose includes brown sugar, toasted cinnamon raisin bread, sweet rum and alcohol vapors, dates, fruitcake, cherries and other dark pit fruit, molasses, along with some faint earthy and piney notes and undercurrents of sandalwood and incense. Taste is wonderfully sweet but with plenty of hop bitterness to help balance and just a dash of tartness in there. Palate is warm with alcohol, tingly with hop bitterness, full and round without being heavy or syrupy. A sustaining brew that would be well suited to the depths of winter, but would work well for me anytime. A sight to behold in the glass, amazing aromatics, full flavor, and lots of complexity and warmth on the palate. World class for me. An excellent beer that I will find again.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Quevillon (2452) - Boisbriand, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 31, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 9, 2007 Au maître-brasseur de Dieu du Ciel, tu es un DIEU! Un bon goût de fruit et de caramel brulé. Je jouissais à chaque gorgé!

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DocLock (7731) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 25, 2009
Bottle from Dr. Capone, Ph.D. of Beer. Pours turbid brown with 2-finger creamy, uniform tan head. Nose is malty, with blueberry, elderberry, rock sugar, earthy peaty malt, brown sugar, spirits. Tastes malty, earthy, oaky, hoppy, with nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, whiskey, berries, port, hops, cognac, black pepper, bacon. Palate is very unique, very balanced, and mind-bendingly complex. I consider this a winter warmer, but whether you call it a winter warmer or a barleywine (and it is not a barleywine), this is one of the top 50 beers I have ever quaffed! Outstanding, brother!

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
godofsky (267) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 30, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2010 bottle. drank out of snifter. pours a murky, opaque dark brown with a nice foamy head that gets thin pretty quickly but stays throughtout the beer and leaves lots of sticky lacing. aroma is of sweet malts and nuts, raisins and caramel. starts off sweet, and finishes off with a perfect hops bitternesss. definately a bigger hops presence than most barley wines. a complex, and great beer. dieu du ciel never seems to fail.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
mrhoppy (1284) - Santa Clara, California, USA - JAN 25, 2010
Viscous looking pour from the bottle. Nice woody aroma with a tinge of sour notes. Thin body and big wood flavors with a dry chalky mouth feel. Excellent red copper color. Complex flavors weave in and out. Perfect bitterness and not overly sweet like a lot of barley wines Very dry from beginning to end.

4.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
BLAP (73) - Quebec, CANADA - OCT 16, 2011
Hazy brown color with medium head. Strong hoppy, medium raosty and caramel aromas. Medium bitterness and sweetness. Strong presence of alcohol.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
argo0 (11349) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 30, 2003
(bottle dated 7/00) Hazy red with beige head (plenty of head despite age). Aroma is sweet, caramel, rich and sticky, vanilla, raisin, light chocolate. Taste is rich, malty, moderately sweet, caramel, raisin, some chocolate, light roasty. Full bodied. Fantastic beer, definitely more along the lines on an English-style barleywine.

4.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Pompey (42) - Longmont, Colorado, USA - FEB 12, 2009
Balance and a wonderful hop finish. You’d swear that there were cherries in here at times. One of the best barley wines ever. It’s a dark blackish pour with a moderate head. Lovely carbonation and a fruity, estery aroma, but it’s the mouth feel and finish that grab you. Alcohol is well hidden. wit nice malt-sugar to hop balance. Again, what a finish. I bought all 7 at my local purveyor. Wish he’d get more. Fine effort.

4.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
damienv10 (108) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - APR 27, 2009
When I think about a barley wine, this is what it looks like, even though most do not. Murky brown with a slight red shade and a tan head. Demure nose reminiscent of an abbey quadrupel, plum, apricot, fresh hops. Broad and sticky on the palate, decent acidity, very light carbonation. Massive flavors with lots of depth. Burnt orange peel, toffee, fennel, eucalyptus, clove, on and on. Very biting hops at the end balance the nearly sticky sweetness. This gentlemen, is bad-ass. Greatly underrated in it’s category.


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