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

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 168   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.96/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 324   ABV: 10.8%
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.

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3.7
riversideAK (6261) - 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
tom10101 (6224) - Quebec, CANADA - FEB 26, 2013
Bottle (341 ml) 2012 vintage. Hazy amber/brown with a small beige head and some lacing. Aroma of bourbon (not too harsh), vanilla, caramel/toffee (a lot!), wood and slight peppery notes. Taste is moderately sweet with bourbon, vanilla, caramel/toffee, wood, slight alcohol, light fruity notes and a subtle bitter finish. Medium to heavy body. A bit chewy. Very good bourbon barrel Barley Wine. In my opinion, it’s better than the regular version. Complex and drinkable for the style.

4.1
Rastacouere (6177) - 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
Glouglouburp (6103) - 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.

4
TimE (6067) - Tokyo, JAPAN - MAR 30, 2013
Med brown color. Tons of bourbon and oak in the nose, with less notes of raisins, coconut everywhere and brown sugar. Moderately sweet, rounded. Full body. Very nice and the bourbon works well with this.

4
Ernesto987 (6050) - Arizona, USA - AUG 6, 2013
Fantasic barrel aging, sweet and caramelly with a slight bit of chocolate, I really like it

4
erickok (6037) - Leuven, BELGIUM - APR 14, 2015
Black body, not typical barley wine. And indeed more roasted, more like an imperial porter. Very nice though. Well aged and lots of bourbon sweetness, but it matches the beer. Excellent brew. Quite classic in appeal (that’s positive here). (Bottle traded with Papou)

4.2
Viper666 (6034) - Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 28, 2013
Bouteille 341ml (version 2012 - viellie 1 an, titrant 10,2 % abv), courtoisie de SlovakSniper. De couleur brune foncée et voilée. Nez de fruits (dattes, moyen de prunes, léger de raisins, traces d’autres petits fruits), de caramel toffee, moyennement boisé (fût de bourbon), léger de mélasse et de vanille avec des notes de malt rôti ainsi que des traces de chocolat et d’alcool. Ronde-moyenne en bouche avec un pétillement doux ainsi qu’une texture riche et moyennement liquoreuse. Goût fruité (dattes, moyen de raisins vineux, notes de cerises, traces de prunes) avec un léger goût de vanille ainsi que des notes épicées (poivre doux) lors de l’entrée en bouche auquel se rajoute un goût de caramel toffee légèrement rôti avec un léger goût de mélasse ainsi que des traces de sirop d’érable, de pain grillé et de chocolat. Parallèlement, l’on retrouve un léger goût d’alcool bien boisé (fût de bourbon) et aux notes réchauffantes jusqu’en finale, où l’on y détecte également une légère présence de houblon herbeux. Post-goût long, légèrement amer d’alcool doux avec un moyen goût boisé et de fruits (moût de raisins, notes de pelures de prunes) ainsi qu’avec des notes de houblon herbeux et quelques traces rôties.

4.5
Marheb (5991) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 20, 2013
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2014 (Embouteillé nov 2012): Je vais commencer par dire que je suis abasourdi par cette cuvée. La buvabilité est formidable, j’avais absolument aucune attente mais je me prosterne devant la divinité de ce nectar. Caramel profond, bourbon, poivre noir, dattes fraîches, amertume parfaitement liée à la sécheresse en fin de bouche. Un des meilleurs barleywine que j’ai croisé sans aucun doute.

3.2
JulienHuxley (5909) - Sherbrooke, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 18, 2010
Bottle at DDC 12th anniversary. Aroma of fermented cherries, wet wood, molasses. Taste is a little bit better. Very woody, caramelized cherries with a subtle hop backbone. Palate is rich and boozy, not too sticky. I couldn’t wait to taste this one and wad very disapointed, especially with the aroma.


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