KyotoLefty (6188) - Kyoto, JAPAN - APR 1, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled. Huge barrel in the nose, vanilla, wood, lovely clear amber color with lace. Big vanilla flavor, yogurt, creamy, fruity, very deep malts. Great.
Rastacouere (6123) - 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.
after4ever (6093) - Brier, Washington, USA - APR 16, 2010
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
12 oz. thanks dany! pours clear medium amber with bright golden highlights. slim gray rim. huge rich bourbon and oak nose. creamy, sticky, thick body. vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel, raisins, dates, and figs on the mid palate. long sticky warm finish. amazing and delicious.
HogTownHarry (6063) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUL 15, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
341ml bottle shared by blankboy with me and biegaman. Pours orange-brown with an average diminishing off-white head. Lovely oak/vanilla aroma, quite restrained - a bit boozy, light fruit and nice caramel toastiness. Taste - alcohol, deep roast nougat malt with yeast, vanilla/oak resin, a bit dry from the alcohol - not over the top. Slick, somewhat still mouthfeel, finishes quickly and leaves a pleasant light resin and sweet caramel
mcberko (6047) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 22, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
341mL bottle, sent from Glouglouburp, pours dark dark brown with a reddish hue and small beige head. Aroma of dark fruits, oak, bourbon, and a molasses that lingers. Flavour of molasses, complex dark fruits, oak, vanilla and bourbon, with a smoky sweetness that lingers along with a noticeable alcohol burn. I enjoyed this a lot more than the regular Solstice d’Hiver. Thanks so much for the opportunity to try this, Dany!
drowland (5981) - Valdosta, Georgia, USA - APR 7, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sampled at RBWG 2010. The aroma sells this for me... wonderful barleywine and oak character here. Good stuff.
blankboy (5979) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 10, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
My bottle [341ml] shared with HogTownHarry & biegaman -- c/o Fred82. Pours a deep amber-brown with an average size diminishing tan head. Awesome aroma of dark fruit, hops, brown sugar, oak and alcohol. Flavour of dark fruit, brown sugar, chocolate, hops and oak -- delicious! I love that the barrel-aging isn’t over the top. Pleasant warm finish. Medium bodied. Awesome stuff.
Glouglouburp (5960) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 21, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
In short: A rich, complex a fruity big beer with a restrained bourbon barrel presence. Similar to AleSmith Barrel Aged Old Numbskull and almost as good.
How: Many times, from fresh on tap the day of release and bottles at various age until now 1.5 year after the beer release
The look: Opaque brown body topped by a medium beige head with medium retention leaving lots of lacings on the glass
In long: Nose is toasted sweet malts, lots of raisins and moderate bourbon notes. Because of its strong fruity character this is a bourbon barrel aged barley wine that smells a bit like an Abt aged for a short period of time in bourbon barrels, and as such it very much reminds me of AleSmith Barrel Aged Old Numbskull. Taste is rich caramelized malts, wood chips sensation, raisins, some other dark fruits, cherry pit, vanilla, raisin bread. Some hops resin remains despite the barrel aging. A bit of alcohol in the finish. I could go on and on listing flavour elements in this beer, this is one hell of a complex beer. Again, I cannot help but to compare this 1.5 year old bottle to the Barrel Aged Old Numbskull that I had a few days before. A lot more similarities than differences between the two. I slightly preferred the Alesmith but not by much. This Solstice d’Hiver Réserve Spéciale is truly an underrated beer, probably because it comes in a 12oz bottles and it is not from an American brewery. Call me a Quebec homer if you want but I really believe this beer is one of the best barrel aged Barley Wine ever made. That’s my opinion and I don’t care what the rest of the world says, anyway I lost respect for the world ever since I heard world music.
douglas88 (5841) - Portland, Oregon, USA - OCT 2, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Awesome beer shared by footbalm. Pours a dark brown color with a small white head. A sweet malty, fruit nose, some rich vanilla and notes akin to bourbon. A fruity caramel mix, some wood, hot, vanilla. Very damn good. Gotta love those BA BWs.
riversideAK (5595) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - APR 16, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tons of dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla on the nose. Some alcohol heat as well. Sweet, fruity, and alcoholic, oh yeah. Copper pour, creamy head. Nice looking beer. Vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, alcohol. Sweet and boozy. Solid barrel notes, a little.