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

bottled
available

on tap
available

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 127   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91   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.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Glouglouburp (6104) - 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 (4134) - 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 (3969) - 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 (2317) - 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 (1248) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 27, 2011
Thanks to glouglouburp. Pours brown and boozy. Pretty thin, with a slight astringency. Not bad at all.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jrallen34 (3483) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 3, 2011
bottle... dark brown with a light tan head... nice whopperish malt with some smooth oak, smells pretty good... wow this tastes really good, lots of smooth light bourbon with caramel and oak... this is great

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MaltOMeal (1092) - Land of Sugar, Texas, USA - AUG 8, 2011
bottle thanks to Glouglouburp. Pours dark brown with a tan head which dissipated. Nose is of oak, toffee, vanilla and raisins. Taste is of caramel, molasses and brown sugar. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is sweet and creamy with some alcohol warmth. This was a very good brew. Much better than the regular version. Glad I got to try this.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
pushkinwow (2098) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 5, 2011
341ml bottle from Ian. Light brown with a light tan head. Sweet plum, some booze, wood, raisins, bit of caramel/toffee and smoke. Medium bodied, starts sweet but some bitterness so that its not overwhelming, good carbonation, with a great finish that keeps on giving - plum, raisins, hint of booze that gives everything a bite. Was told this was aged in Utopias but regardless its delicious and if you can get one make sure to try it!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
BMan1113VR (7868) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 25, 2011
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!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
brokensail (11528) - Orange County, California, USA - APR 21, 2011
A: The pour is a dark amber color with a pronounced turbidity and a small and short lived khaki head. S: Big time bourbon and oak aromas. Sweet vanilla, caramel, and toffee all the way through with a little bit of brown sugar and maple syrup. Bread and sweet dark fruits round the bouquet out. T: Tons of sweet maple syrup flavor along with caramel and toffee. Sweet vanilla and bourbon flavor with only a mild oak flavor. Some of the dark fruits are there as well. M: Medium in body with a smooth, medium body. O: I thought the regular version of this was decent, but not great. This however, was outstanding.


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