Solstice D’hiver

Solstice D’hiver
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
American Barleywine
9.8% ABV

Appearance
Poured from 11.5oz bottle into a snifter, this beer poured thick and heavy. A deep earthy brown with some faint crimson highlights when held up to the light, this is quite a menacing looking beer. Not much head to speak of, though some visible carbonation, which I thought odd for a barleywine. Decent lacing for the style as well, which means there are hops to counter the excessive malt.

Smell
Very thick whiff of malted grain and caramel. Spicy hops dance on the nose as hints of plum and dried apricot poke in here and there.

Taste
Cane sugar sweetness with a mouthful of bittering hops. Strong alcohol presence as well as some charcoal coming in. Not what I was expecting at all, but a welcome change to the style!

Mouthfeel
Not as thick feeling as the pour led me to believe, though this is quite a carbonated barleywine. Very dry finishing due to the prominent alcohol vapors.

Drinkability
This is definitely a sipping beer (he says as he notices his snifter is half empty). This is not what I would consider a session barleywine (yes, I’ve done that many a time). There is just too much of an alcohol presence, almost like vodka, in this beer. The bubbles don’t help that burn, either.

Overall
Well, despite the burning bubbles, I’m impressed. This is definitely unique for the style, from the color to the charcoal flavors. Though I was hoping for more of a sticky sweetness to mask the ABV, I’m still enjoying this one, though not enough to make me run out and buy a case (even at the low low price of $5.50/bottle). I give it a B.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: