RateBeer
overall
99
98
style
Brewed by Dieu du Ciel
Style: Barley Wine
Montreal, Canada
Serve in Snifter

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 122   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.9   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 324   ABV: 10.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This noble brown winter beer with fiery reflections offers a complex aroma of fruit, alcohol and hops. Once tasted, it is slightly sweet with a hint of burnt caramel. Aged in American oak barrels, the bitterness has eased and it has wooden notes topped with a subtle touch of vanilla. A maderisation occurred after maturation in the barrel (aged one year), and the textures and flavors blend, becoming sweeter.


4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tkrjukoff (4020) - SWEDEN - AUG 18, 2012
Bottle @ MMP. Pours clear deep amber mahogany with a small off white head. Aroma is sweet raisins fidges alcohol malty woody. Flavor is oaky malty sweet pungent fruity some acetone notes great bitterness. Finishes seet bitter and malty, so nice.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jtclockwork (7905) - , New Jersey, USA - JUN 8, 2012
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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
rederic (2896) - montréal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 17, 2012
341ml bottle, dark mahogany color, with a thick beige head, mild barley sugar, soft toasted, caramelized, biscuity malty nose, with some toffee, light oak barrel, vanilla accents, and some dried raisin, english pudding, brandy, french toast, brown sugar notes in the aroma follows through on a medium-bodied palate with a nice syrupy warmth, mellow sweet fruitcake, candied dry raisin, fig, date, prune fruitiness, brown chocolate, barley sugar, raisin pie, toffee character with a sponge toffee, graham cracker, caramelized, toasted, biscuity maltiness, oaky backbone, and a faint brandyish liquor, brown sugar, light maple taffy, cream sugar flavors, leading towards a warming, toffee, fruitcake, oaky, barley sugar, sweet maltiness finish.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jbeatty (1014) - New York, USA - JAN 7, 2012
Bottle, tasted 9/14/2011. Thanks to iguenard. Pours muddy brown, nearly still. Really not at all appealing appearance, like someone put chalk dust in my beer. Smell of rich oak, caramel toffee, vanilla, darker fruits, raisins dominant with a hint of cherry, darker bread malts. Taste has dark fruits, caramel, sharp vanilla, molasses with resinous bitter hops, alcoholic heat in the finish. Thick, chewy and smooth, but booze cuts down drinkability. Overall super tasty, complex, and enjoyable once I got past its chalky exterior.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
deyholla (6490) - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA - DEC 23, 2011
Bottle shared by Kyle, thanks! Pours a hazy caramel amber with an off-white head that dissipates to the edges. Aroma has a good amount of bourbon with some backing caramel and sweet cookies. Flavor begins with bread and caramel backed by sweet grains with some backing bourbon.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Glouglouburp (5938) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 21, 2011
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.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
emacgee (3958) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - NOV 14, 2011
Shared by turd. Showing some serious age/oxidation. Pours ruddy brown with no head. Candyish nose with a light bready character. Would have liked it much more fresher.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TURDFERGUSON (3930) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 9, 2011
Bottle thanks to Glouglouburp. Pours a muddy, rusty brown with a medium sized off white head. Solid lacing. Nose shows some mild oxidation, heavy caramel, subdued vanilla, brown sugar, light barrel-like tartness, dark fruits. Its almost quad-like at times. Seems like the aging and barrel have thinned this beer out a bit and made it more drinkable than I remember the un-barreled version being. Flavor is a bit sweeter than the nose, lots of brown sugar and caramel and less dark fruits. Finishes sweet, and lightly metallic. Not a big barley wine fan these days, but this one stands out more than others.

3.5
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
redlight (2316) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 27, 2011
Thanks to godofthunder for sharing. Rich licorice and molasses on the nose. Pours dark amber with a very thin white head. Very rich malty with licorice notes and dark molasses a little boozy with a smooth vanilla finish.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GodOfThunder (1247) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 27, 2011
Thanks to glouglouburp. Pours brown and boozy. Pretty thin, with a slight astringency. Not bad at all.


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