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overall
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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: 138   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
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
blankboy (6364) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 10, 2010
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.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ferris (6340) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 16, 2013
Draft - Bourbon barrelled - Bourbon oak and vanilla as expected. Cloudy mahogany with a thick small brown head. Boozy as all hell and a bit of acidity. Just order a bourbon, nothing beyond the barrel. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
alexsdad06 (6307) - Ohio, USA - JAN 18, 2015
11.2 oz bottle shared with the group. Pours a clear dark caramel brown color with a small off white head/film. The aroma has sweet caramel malts, oak, bourbon notes whether it was there or not, dark fruits, prunes, oxidation. The flavor is very smooth, sweet caramel, maple syrup, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, some alcohol, good sipper.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TaktikMTL (6177) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 18, 2014
En fût. Verre de dégustation chez EtOH (Montréal, QC) au coût de 2,50$. Arôme: Odeur de vanille avec une pointe de caramel. Apparence: La couleur est brune-noirâtre. Présence d’un moyen col beige mousseux et d’une large dentelle sur le verre. Saveur: Goût de vanille et d’alcool avec une pointe de caramel. Durée moyenne de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est moyen. Aucune effervescence en bouche. Légère présence d’alcool en a arrière goût. (Rating #5761)

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HogTownHarry (6150) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUL 15, 2010
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

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rastacouere (6145) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 2, 2010
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.

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.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
riversideAK (5697) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - APR 16, 2010
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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - MAR 7, 2010
Bottle. Pours a mahogany body with a white head. Sweet bourbon warming, vanilla and oak accents. A hint of maple and a subtle warming. Vinous with dark fruit tones dates, fig and a warm chewy oak y warming. A nice Barrel aged BW.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
nimbleprop (5347) - SouthWest, Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 28, 2010
12oz bottle pours a translucent, deep brown with a thin, white head. Nose is sweet, malty, brandy, apples. Flavor is malty, brown sugar, apples, lightly bitter, wine, brandy. Full bodied, smooth finish.


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