JoeMcPhee (8168) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 3, 2013
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Tap at BarHop. Deep brown pour - thin fast-fading head. The aroma is great. Loads of soft bourbon and a lovely cooked fruit character. A touch of caramel and some toasted vanilla as well. Berry and plum with a nice sweetness (but not cloying). Really tasty brew. Loads of soft malt character and a faint touch of vineous character on the back as well. A kiss of blackberry. Insanely good.
Sammy (8024) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 21, 2013
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black and thick looking with a bubbly head. Above average mouthfeel. Bourbon aroma. Boozy.
A sipper. Thanks Josh.
BMan1113VR (7773) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 25, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle "Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver Reserve Speciale, 2009 Vielle en fut de chene" (2009) shared by someone at Oakquinox. Pours with a hazed amber body and an off-white head. Aromas of raisins, dark fruits, esters, oak, caramel and bourbon. Flavors are sweet, raisins, cereal, brown sugar, maple, oak tannins, and brandy. Creamy and warming. Very good!
GT2 (7716) - Carlsbad, California, USA - DEC 22, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
341mL or whatever courtesy of CaptainCougar. Pours a hazy brune with a medium tan head. Aroma of vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon. Taste is sweet, brown sugar abounding, some marshmallow, caramel, spicy alcohol, toffee, prunes, raisins. Excellent creamy, rich palate.
JorisPPattyn (7678) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - AUG 7, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Small yellowish, fine-bubbled head over hazy reddish dark-brown beer. Faraminous nose of wood-lagered spirit, Bourbon and vanilla aromas. Alcohol, and a touch of curry spice. Sweet, liqueurish, liqueurcake with raisins, plums, dried bananas an dried cherries. Again loots of vanilla, crème Anglaise. Too much liquorice, warmin up, however. Quite spritzy, remarkably lively for an oak-lagered beer. Well-bodied, very slick, even alcoholic-viscous, warming. Sweet, strong and rather satisfying. However, if this has a " a subtle touch of vanilla ", then I wonder about the full punch. Sucking vanilla pods? Merci, Fred!
MartinT (7482) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 9, 2010
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2013 My Bottom Line:
This luxurious Barrel-Aged Barley Wine lathers licorice, dates and black cherries atop caramelized cereals and vanilla, leading to a warm and classy alcohol finish.
Further Personal Perceptions:
-A sheet of foam floats atop the purple-tinged deep burgundy.
-The lively effervescence and generous residual sugars are perfectly balanced to create a rich but never heavy mouthfeel.
-The alcohol heat is important in the finish, emboldened by the barrel presence, tagging along resinous hops and their aftertaste.
-The barrel character and grain bill flavors are in unison. Tastes like this brew was meant to be aged in these barrels exactly.
jtclockwork (6914) - , New Jersey, USA - JUN 8, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle thanks to Dany. Pours dark brown with off white head. Nose/taste of dark fruits, soft raisins, toffee, oak, grape skin, caramel and vanilla. Hints of oaky alcohol in finish. Medium body.
j12601 (6585) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - FEB 28, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at Ryan’s hotel room after EBF’s Night of the Barrels. Pours a hazy brown with a thin white head. Boozy right up front with some vanilla and sweet caramel. Malty, more vanilla and chocolate. Finishes with a bit more warming alcohol and some more thick caramel. Pretty tasty now, but I can imagine this one developing a bit more.
Ibrew2or3 (6440) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - MAY 29, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy of after4ever. Thanks Tom. Pours amber with some haze and thin off white head. The aroma is smooth oak, vanilla, sweet dark fruitiness and mild bourbon boozy heat. The taste is nice and sweet with rich dark fruitiness quickly moving seamlessly into vanilla, oak, bourbon and chocolate. Tasty stuff.
Rastacouere (6106) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 2, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hazy dark brown pour covered by an impressive, initially large-bubbled beige foam which recedes to a tight, uniform cover with traces remaining all along the sides. Adorable toastiness from the malts remains a standout despite the obvious bourbon notes. Highly cakey nature, a spongey chocolate cake with maple icing. This has kept its rich consistency and more carbonation than most oak-aged offerings. From what I’ve heard, it would be the result of a 3:1 blend with the oaked version: standard version since the oaked alone felt a little too much to the owners. I can certainly see their point in terms of mouthfeel and in terms of keeping the best parts of the standard. The result is that this is just as complex as the regular Solstive d’hiver, but less forward on the beautiful grapey/fruity vinousness, less forward on the serious hop dosage and thus seemingly a bit sweeter, very ripe with an enhanced oak, smoke, butterscotch and vanilla flavour range. Combined with the aging, there is not much hop character left, but its borderline roasty character provides a sense of balance. This is quite the treat and my favourite new sweet beer in a long time.