Dieu Du Ciel! Cet Hiver

Fall has arrived and gone, or rather fall never really came around, the colours of the trees were less vibrant, the weather a lot warmer and yet the tress still decided to tease us and undress themselves. Reminding us like Game of Thrones, Winter Is Coming. Suddenly one morning you wake up to the very cold -1°C and you realize fall weather isn’t coming this year. Awaiting the impending doom ahead of us for the next five to six months, our worries and fears are starting to come back like they do every year. This would be the part of the year almost all of us dread, however, regardless of the impending doom ahead there are still some great things to look forward to. December is Dieu Du Ciel’s Momentum release of Solstice D’hiver, a brilliant barley wine from Quebec and a great style to keep you warm in the wintery cold weather. Remember it is only released during the month of December, and winter goes till like April. So if you want this goodness from Dieu Du Ciel throughout the wintery cold, stock up in December!

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During January last year I was able to travel to Saint Jerome for their anniversary bottle release and was able to pick up a sixer of their Solstice D’Hiver aged in bourbon barrels. Although it was a rough release it was well worth the intense suffrage to get my hands on these bad boys. I hope that next year they can manage a better one and I can revisit them again for some more goodies and at Dieu Du Ciel a little bit of money can go a long way! $100 can get you a decent amount of beer as compared to other brewery bottle releases. That is the speciality about Dieu Du Ciel, they make world class beers at a affordable price. $4 for a barrel aged barley wine? Uhh f**k yaaasss, ill have six please. In this article I’ve decided to compare the 2015 regular momentum with the 2015 barrel aged special release. At the start of my craft beer graduation from IPAs, barley wines were really appealing to me. I’m not sure if it was the name of the style or a description I read, but something about it really called to me. After having consumed a few barley wines it’s safe to say it is not my most favourite style. But some barley wines I’ve had are absolutely spectacular. They can be very delicate and elegant in flavour and the different flavours of dates, malts, and bitterness dance and sway gently in unison. Just like an orchid they take a lot of care to keep them vibrant and alive. And when done right they can tantalize your sense beyond your perception.

Dieu Du Ciel Solstice D’Hiver

Barley Wine || ABV: 10.2% || IBU: 65
Bottled: September 17 2015 || Drank: June 25 2016

At first I was a bit hesitant to try such a high ABV beer. What does one do? Consume one and then it’s game over? Well not exactly, but if you consume two or three of theses bad boys in one sitting, I’m sure you wont need any more to comfortably knock you out. So here I am in the wintery cold, Birra Bar is having their opening and one of the casks is Solstice D’hiver. Ready to get warmed up after walking in the cold, I dropped into the bar where I was meeting another blogger friend La Tête Dans Le Fût and together we shared a good laugh and a glass of Solstice D’hiver.

And what a delicious beer it truly was. Sends aromas of dates and raisins sharply through your nose. The taste is reminiscent of my wife’s date cake, a very nice mellow malty sweetness with a bit of a kick. It’s a very bold beer to digest and consume but a very fantastic one at that! Ill suffer the pain of a full flavour in my mouth for this delicious barley wine.

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Even though I now realize that maybe barley wines aren’t my thing, this one is actually one of my favourite barley wines in the Quebec market and overall from what I’ve tasted from other countries. What I tend to dislike about barley wines is the malty sweetness and date flavour. Which I’m not a huge fan of. I can enjoy this during the cold winter, or a nice mellow fall, or heck even a hot summer day. It definitely does keep you warm, I’m breaking a sweat with this 10% ABV. So really I’m burning calories whilst I’m drinking beer, doesn’t get better than that does it?

4/5

Dieu Du Ciel Solstice D’Hiver Bourbon Barrel Aged

Barley Wine || ABV: 10.2% || IBU: 65
Bottled: September 17 2015 || Drank: June 25 2016

Think about taking an already full bodied, heavy beer and lets say dump it in some Bourbon barrels and age it. Heck yes! Barrel ageing has been a craze for the past few years, and deservedly so. It adds such a great complexity to the beer that the characteristics are either completely different or when done right enhanced with a touch of something special. This barrel aged version is only released at the brewery on special release days like the winter anniversary bottle release which takes place in January and at other special releases throughout the year. Aroma is a lot more boozy as compared to the regular version. The bourbon is strong and overpowering the aroma but yum, flavour wise it adds an amazing texture and complexity. Much better than the regular version in my opinion because it numbs down the flavour of dates and really brings out the strong notes of the bourbon and a great woodyness along with the barley wine characteristics mixed in. Even with the added intensity of the bourbon, it has such a great drink ability. Can’t wait to get my hands on more of these bottles!

4.25/5

Dieu Du Ciel is one beer that rarely disappoints in terms of crafty flavourful beers, it is really sought after in USA and known worldwide. With my ongoing experiments with Dieu Du Ciel, I can safely say that they sure do deserve it. If you are interested in some more offerings from Dieu Du Ciel you can click this Link to see the other momentum release offerings as well as their year round and rotation series. My suggestion to you for November, go and grab some Grand Noirceur, it is an amazing stout from Dieu Du Ciel which I feel often gets hidden by Péché Mortel.

An Article by Hopcitizen. Photography by Hopcitizen.

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Your Ordinary Beer
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4 thoughts on “Dieu Du Ciel! Cet Hiver

    1. Awesome!! Its released once a year at the brewery on their anniversary January every year! They will have the next anniversary release next month sometime, keep posted on their fb page for details!

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  1. If I ever write a book about the excuses I make to have a beer, “I’m breaking a sweat with this 10% ABV. So really I’m burning calories whilst I’m drinking beer” will be in the top 10! That is, if you don’t mind me borrowing it from time to time.

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