Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’hiver

Dieuduciel_solsticehiver_verreBrewer: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, Montreal, QC
Style: Barley Wine
ABV: 10.2%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This beer is part of the brewery’s Momentum Series, which is an annual cycle of twelve seasonal releases. As their winter release, this traditional English-style barley-wine style ale celebrates the winter solstice with a winter warmer.

Tasting Notes: I’m a fan of barley wine, and I considered trying the Solstice d’hiver necessary having sampled the Solstice d’ete not that long ago. But I have to say this particular barley wine was too on the coarse and strong side for me. It’s got the usual notes of dark fruit and sugars and is a shade of brown so deep and opaque that it could easily pass for a stout. But the alcohol in this beer is so potent that it overpowers just about everything else.

Appearance: Dark brown, translucent, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Dark malt, raisins, dates, sugars, strong alcoholic bite
Taste: Strong, coarse malt, hints of dates and raisins, brown sugar, alcoholic bite
Aftertaste: Lingering coarse malt and alcoholic bite
Overall: 7.5/10

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Dieu du Ciel Herbe à Détourne New World Triple

Dieuduciel_HerbeDetourneBrewer: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, Montreal, QC
Style: Triple Ale
ABV: 10.2%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This beer is part of Dieu du Ciel’s Rotation series, a limited-release that is available from January to April. As the name suggests, it is a North American take on the traditional Belgian Tripel, combining American Citra hops with pale malt and Belgian yeast. The beer takes its name from the French Canadian legend of the Herbe à Détourne, which makes one lose their way should they happen upon it.

Tasting Notes: Quite the powerful triple! This beer has a rich malt base and the telltale flavor of candi sugar to boot! This leads to a rich and coarse malt flavor, a yeasty backbone, and some serious alcoholic warmth to finish. The addition of Citra hops also imparts a nice citrus twist.

Appearance: Golden orange, cloudy with sediment, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, candi sugar, strong yeasts, alcoholic bite, citrus
Taste: Strong, coarse malt, sugars, yeasty effervescence, citrus, alcoholic warmth
Aftertaste: Lingering coarse malt, sugars, and alcoholic bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Dieu du Ciel Moralite American IPA

dieuduciel_moraliteBrewer: Dieu du Ciel, St. Jerome, Quebec
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.2%
IBUs: Unlisted (high)

Description: This IPA is one of the breweries year-round offerings, and is the result of a collaborative effort with John Kimmich – the brewmaster of The Alchemist brewery in Waterbury, Vermont. In the American IPA fashion, it is fashioned using a rich malt base and then bittered using an “immoral” amount of Simcoe, Citra and Centennial hops. 

Tasting Notes: This is definitely a classic IPA. Strong in the alcohol department (though not too much), rich in the malt department, and strong and diverse in the hop flavor department. I’ve been a fan of just about everything Dieu du Ciel creates, and I am glad I found this one too.

Appearance: Golden-orange., cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, notes of grass, pine, citrus, floral hops
Taste: Strong malt base, hint of sweetness, citrus, herbs, lemon, pine and resin
Aftertaste: Lingering bitterness, herbal and piney hops
Overall: 8.5/10

Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’été (Summer Solstice) Sour Wheat Ale

Dieuduciel_summerBrewer: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, St-Jerome, Quebec
Style: Sour Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.9%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: This seasonal brew from Dieu du Ciel is inspired by the German-style of wheat sour beer. Wheat malts which are allowed to ferment pre-boil accumulate lactic acid, which is then complemented with the addition of whole raspberries during the fermentation process – creating and acid and fruity summer beer.

Tasting Notes: I was intrigued by the combination of a fruit-infused wheat with a sour twist. The summer fruit does a good job of balancing the acidity a little and providing some sharpness to the wheat malt base. But it was admittedly a bit on the tart side for my taste. There are plenty of notes in this beer, but the lactic acid tends to overpower them. Nevertheless, a good summer beer and another good offering from a great brewery.

Appearance: Deep ruby, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild wheat malt, acidity, yeast, strong fruit esters, raspberries 
Taste: Smooth malt, strong tart burst, lactic acid, mild raspberry flavor finish
Aftertaste: Lingering tartness, raspberry fruit and yeast
Overall: 7.8/10

Dieu du Ciel Corne du Diable IPA

bouteille-biere-corne-du-diableBrewer: Dieu du Ciel, St-Jerome, Quebec
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: Unspecified

Description: This beer, who’s name is French for “Horn of the devil”, is a contemporary interpretation of the classic English India Pale Ale. Combining West Coast and North American IPA styles, the end result is a strong, hoppy offering with plenty of malt flavor and varied bitterness.

Tasting Notes: This was definitely a good take on the North American/West Coast-style of IPA. A smooth malt base, with a mild tang and slight sweetness, are paired with notes of citrus, herbs and pine that create a balanced and strong brew. Another good offering from this Montreal-based brewery!

Appearance: Deep golden, cloudy, sediment, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Good malt base, notes of piney hops, hint of lemon and herbs
Taste: Smooth malt, hint of sweetness, dry hops, notes of pine, citrus, herbs
Aftertaste: Lingering hop bitterness, pine and citrus rind
Overall: 8.5/10

Dieu du Ciel Rigor Mortis ABT

dieuduciel_rigormortisBrewer: Dieu du Ciel Brewery, St. Jerome, QB
Style: Quadruple
Alc/Vol: 10.5%

Description: This Ale Brune Tres Fort (very strong brown ale) is brewed in accordance with the qaudrupel tradition, in honor of the Belgian Trappist monks who invented it. Consistent with this style, the beer is extra strong, very malty, and has a distinct spicy quality due to the type of yeast used in fermentation. It is brewed only once a year and sold in winter from January until stocks run out.

Tasting Notes: This beer was very reminiscent of a barley wine, figgy pudding, and Christmas, all rolled into one. In short, it was a perfect example of an Abbey-style Quadrupel, packing the sugary and slightly coarse malt, the notes of raisins, plums and other dark fruits, the yeasty backbone, and a slightly spicy compliment to finish it all off. Yes, I think its fair to say at this point that I am fast becoming a fan of Dieu du Ciel!

Appearance: Deep ruby-brown, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malts, brown sugar, molasses, hint of allspice
Taste: Sweet and slightly coarse malt, sugars, raisins, plums, yeast, spicy finish
Aftertaste: Lingering coarse malt, sugars and spice
Overall: 9.5/10

Dieu du Ciel Rosée d’hibiscus

dieuduciel_roseeBrewer: Dieu du Ciel Brewery, St. Jerome, QB
Style: Belgian Wit
Alc/Vol: 5.9%

Description: Rosée d’hibiscus (Pink hibiscus) is aptly named, being a wheat ale that is infused with hibiscus leaves that give it a deep pink color and a fruity aroma and taste. First brewed in May of 2006, this beer is available in 341ml bottles year round, but is appropriately marketed as a summer beer.

Tasting Notes: This is my first sampling from the Dieu du Ciel brewery, and one which is frankly overdue considering that many of their products are available here in BC. And it was certainly an interesting intro, one that reminded me of Sorrel – one of Jamaica’s most famous beverages (also brewed from plant leaves). The wit base is certainly there, coming through with smooth, yeasty malts, which are then accented by a mildly acidic, slightly tart and fruity flavor. Certainly an interesting take of a Belgian-style infused wheat beer, and definitely a great accompaniment to the coming summer days!

Appearance: Deep pink/ruby, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Discernible wheat malt, yeasts, hints of cherry fruit and blossoms
Taste: Immediate tartness and tang, yeast and wheat malt, cherry fruit
Aftertaste: Clean finish, lingering traces of tartness and fruit, very refreshing
Overall: 9.5/10