MartinT (7307) - 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.
Rastacouere (6103) - 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.
Quevillon (2341) - Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 31, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Drank on tap, at the Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel in Saint Jérôme, on January 30th 2010, for their second anniversary party of their brewery in St. Jerome. Dark amber, small head. Aroma of malted barley, matured fields fruits well spiced. Taste of caramelized fruits well malted, warming alcohol. As exellente as the original.