Dieu Du Ciel Solstice D’hiver

Here I have what is sure to be an interesting Barleywine from the brewery Dieu Du Ciel from  St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada. I saw this beer on the shelves of The Four Firkins when I was there for the beers you can’t get here tasting and though it was rather pricey for a single 11.5 oz bottle the foreign Barleywine called to me, perhaps it had something to do with the barren tree on the label or the person curdling inside the tree like a womb (and being pleased our surroundings finally don’t look like that). From the description it appears that this beer is only brewed once a year and then aged for 4 to 5 months before distribution. This beer pours a very dark reddish brown that looks almost black until you bring it to light and is incredibly opaque. Head is creme in color but only a couple millimeters fading within a minute or less. Aroma contains quite a bit of alcohol as well as dark pitted fruits and a bit of malt sweetness, though it is less obvious because of the intense alcohol aroma present. Presently this beer is just a bit below room temperature as it has been sitting out for over an hour. Taste isn’t as alcoholic as the aroma though it is still a bit more apparent than I would prefer. Further you can detect dates, plums, cherry and a good deal of malty sweetness though still not nearly enough to hide the alcohol. After three or four sips my palate is starting to get used to the alcohol and the nice balance between gentle pitted fruits and sweet caramely malted barley is becoming more and more apparent.  This really is one tasty brew I just wish the alcohol wasn’t so intense initially even at 9.8% ABV. Some vanilla and sweet cream flavors are present in this beer as well but are much more subtle. Mouthfeel is very smooth and the body is medium for the style. Over all this really is a very tasty brew I just wish the alcohol was a little less apparent, additionally I wonder how it would present itself when poured colder though I’m not sure it would necessarily be “better”. If you are into Barleywines that are obviously brewed with quality ingredients and a good intention you will likely appreciate trying this beer though don’t bother if you can’t get beyond some serious alcohol initially. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Dieu Du Ciel Solstice D'hiver Barleywine

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