Another day, another knockout beer from Montreal, Quebec's DIEU DU CIEL - or as they like to call themselves when they get excited, DIEU DU CIEL! This time we're talking about SOLSTICE D'HIVER, a winter seasonal that reached my eyes & ears via a number of channels, both online and off. The talk was that these guys make a ton of great beers, and yet besides the trophy-laden PECHE MORTAL, this was their flat-out best. I'm inclined to agree - this barleywine is totally top-tier stuff.
It comes in a 12-ounce bottle and that's OK cuz it's a big'un - 9.8% alcohol. SOLSTICE D'HIVER is a warming, sweet barleywine, without a lot of the intense hoppiness you'll find in some versions of this style. The taste is burnt sugar, maybe a little pineapple if you can believe it, and that delicious maltiness that gives off quite an aroma. You can smell that it's a high-ABV beer, but not necessarily taste it. Absolutely wanted another glass, and that doesn't happen to often with the big boys. I'm hooked on this outfit's beers, and I'll keep buying them as I see new ones. 8.5/10.