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: 826   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.


JohnQPublic's rating

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JohnQPublic (387) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - MAR 15, 2009
Pours a dark reddish-brown, with a healthy if quickly dissipating bone-white head. Nose is prickly malt - dark, toasty bordering on roasty with a solid presence of cool hops that really feel like glacier to me. To be honest, I have a huge soft spot for what I tasted as glacier hops, which is why I was totally drawn in by this. Delicious. Taste backs it up. Malt body is dark, integrated into the cool, minty, prickly hop note. A bit toasty with hints of roasty caramel sweetness, bit of cocoa, but all completely intertwined with the minty, cool, prickly hops. Like a billion microscopic, super-cooled needles covered in a toasty caramel imbedding themselves into your tongue. Interesting, and in my eyes, delicious. I could drink this a lot if fresh. Yum. Fluffy carbonation that sits just on the border of fizzy, and really does a nice job of complementing the hops note. Nicely put together beer.


3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
mstrcrwly (369) - New York, USA - JAN 25, 2015
on tap poured into a tulip glass..reddish/brown with a fluffy white head..aroma of caramel,brown sugar,spices..thin tasting..boozy..nothing special.

3.1
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Flyguytruckguy (24) - Quebec, CANADA - JAN 17, 2015
Very complex aroma. Yeasty dough, ginger cookies, maybe allspice and nutmeg. Slightly cloudy appearance. Medium dark reddish brown in color with a frothy off white head. Excellent lacing however the small head was rather not lasting. (Too cold) As it warmed in the glass, it opened up with a nice sweet flavour. Long finish, no burn but the 10.2 percent alcohol is definitely present. Very nice sipping this near the fire on this cold winter night.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Abrakarl (354) - SWEDEN - JAN 10, 2015
Rich almost portwine character in the aroma. Also fudge. Sweet and rich taste similar too the aroma but not as much port wine, at least when it warms up. A bit too sweet for me.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
yourilevesque (62) - Quebec, CANADA - JAN 7, 2015
Bouteille de l’édition 2014. Cette bière présente déjà un caractère explosif malgré son très jeune âge. D’abord, mentionnons qu’elle est superbe! Surmonté d’une belle mousse persistante et généreuse, le liquide est est d’une riche teinte o-burn aux reflets rouges rubis. De toute beauté! Le nez est peu complexe tout et assez discret. Mis à part l’alcool, peu de parfums émanent du verre. En bouche, c’est l’alcool, le malt rôti et l’amertume qui se partagent 95% de tout ce qu’il y a à observer. Bien que je ne trouve rien d’exceptionnel à cette bière, son très (trop?) bas niveau de sucre la rend très originale dans son style et représente à mon humble avis sa principale qualité. Peut-être est-elle beaucoup trop jeune, mais elle manque franchement de rondeur et de souplesse à mon avis.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Mortlach (1037) - Rome, ITALY - DEC 31, 2014
On tap @EurHop (Rome). Pours unclear dark brown color, no head. Aroma is malt, caramel, brown sugar, overripe fruits, raisins, alcol. Flavour is sweet, caramel, candy sugar, warming alcol presence. Full body, low carbonation, texture is oily. Hard to drink.

3.5
   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.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
wolffish (262) - 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...

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
c_lee_burton (136) - 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.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tmongoose (1422) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Flanfl (131) - USA - 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


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