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Solstice D'hiver by Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
American Barleywine
9.80 % ABV

Review by everetends on 07/01/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 10 16 4 7 2010
Old Review
12 oz bottle I picked up from Hop City in ATL a few weeks ago. I think it was about 4 bucks and some change. Always glad to try something new from DDC, so when I saw it I grabbed it up. Served up in a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown body out of the bottle. Very dark. At first glance, it appears almost black. Held to the light, it is a nice dark brown with some nice red hues pouring through. You really can't see through the body, except for near the base of the glass. The head was a slow building finger of cinnamon colored foam. The foam is tight and creamy. It slowly falls to a thick ring with wisps going across the top cap. The liquid is pretty syrupy on the glass and this keeps any lace from sticking. It quickly retreats back into the top cap.

S: Wow, very nice. I caught a wiff of this the second I popped the cap. First thing that catches my nose is a wonderful rum aroma. Its a bit spicy but mostly a really big and nice sugar booze smell. Behind that is a good amount of dark fruits. Dates, plums, cherries, grapes and apple skin. Chasing that is a little rich, dark caramel and some brown sugar. This is damn near heavenly to the sense of smell.

T: Ah, damnit. Not quite as good as the aroma, but still quite good. The booze is pretty heavy and brings that alcohol flavor. Very much some rum. Dark and sugary, light spice. Touch of butter. Fruits are here as well with some plum and absolutely some apple meat and skin. Brown sugar is very present along with some caramel and bready malt goodness. Vanilla and pine round this one off. Like I said, its good but its not to the level as that aroma.

M: Full bodied for sure. Has a thick and slight syrupy feel, pretty coating. This is chewy. Carbonation is pretty low and doesn't really bring notice to itself. ABV brings some heat in the throat and belly. Really warms you up. This should be consumed on a cold night, not an Alabama August evening. Aftertaste is some lingering apple, vanilla and rum.

D: Ah very nice and a great experience. This was a bit of a suprise but I usually expect quality from DDC. The aroma is just crazy amazing. It takes a lot to pull my nose from the snifter. Every thing else is good to damn good. This does take time to consume on part of the ABV. This is a bit hot and is slow going for me. Maybe a year or so of rest will cool it off and raise the drinkability score. With that said, I would buy this again whenever I wanted a good barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 08-26-2009 04:56:16

Served In: Snifter

Review by tavernjef on 02/22/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
82 3 10 16 4 8 2010
Very deep mahogany if not entirely black with hints to a black cherry-like liquidity. Soft tan capping of firmly fluffed foam laps up to about a finger high. The foam sifts away to dusty film and lots of thin webby lacing.

Aroma is a bit muted but has lots of complexity of deep dark rummy fruityness. Has a tender and soft roasty chocolate waft with nice confectionary hints of powered sugar french toast, cinnamon, maple syrup, and a side of mango/green raisin jam. Subdued undertow of rum/brandy-like warming.

Taste is a firm standing amount of big roasty malt twisted in with much more of that rummy/brandy hinted warmth and tone to its middle area with some dark grapefruit and orange oil. Holds a cindering finish of burnt raisin toast and earthy dark citric tinted hop oilyness and feathery lasting dryness of twisted piney hops, black licorice, black tea, and the darkest of dark vanilla. Quite firm and complex, just not big nor beefy enough to really make it stand out more then I would like to see out of an American styled BW. Still solid though. Solid.

Body is warmingly slick with a warmth that sinks in right away and lets the subtleties of the roasty malt sift across with a medium ease while laying the ground work for all the fun little hoppy nuances and other spices found later in its smooth delightful finish to gather up and peak the palate with a soft supple tone and easy going character.

Its complexity supersedes its overall length and semi lessened beefier tone, but it sure sits well with its crafty warming texture and drinks down with very little effort. A pretty solid offering by the Dieu Du Ciel crew.

Price: $6.00 Served In: Goblet

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