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. Dickinsonbeer (5074) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 23, 2010
Multiple 12 oz bottles shared by Glouglouburp! Thanks Dany. Apparently blended 3 Utopias barrels and 1 bourbon barrel then cut/blended with 10% unaged Solstice d’Hiver to cut the bourbon and oakiness. Appearance is dark woody hazelnut amber brown with a nice foamy beige head. Aroma is very big with caramel, big toasted malts, dried shriveled fruits- raisin, dates, etc, moderate oak and wood tones, toast, light bourbon caramel, toasted wood, light sherry oxidation with fruity esters, - barrel aging is noticed but not over-done. Flavor is more fruity and big caramelized malts and oak, big toast, some molasses hints of maple, vanilla, brown sugar, dark crystal malts, sherry hint, soy hint, wood, oak, light bourbon and a very smooth finish- even though there is a lot of sweetness all around- it does not get sugary or cloying- it fades a bit in the end and lingers in the mouth just a bit. Very nice Barleywine. MJGG (952) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 6, 2010
Bouteille de 12 oz, achetée à la brasserie de St-Jérôme. Arômes envoûtants de caramel brûlé, de chocolat, de vanille et de chêne. Robe brune et trouble, effervescence assez faible et peu de mousse. Très complexe en bouche, on retrouve beaucoup de caramel foncé, de chocolat, de fruits mûrs. Le fût de chêne est bien intégré, avec une belle présence de vanille et de tanins boisé. Le houblon est essentiellement disparu. Finale longue et alcoolisée. Une excellente version de ce classique. 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. RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 15, 2010
Big vanilla aroma along with dark caramel and woody hops. Rich mouthfeel, but just short of superb. Nice baking spices come through along with the vanilla.
NoiZe (2322) - Zeist, NETHERLANDS - NOV 20, 2010
Dark brown, copper colored brew. Aroma has oak, bourbon tones, dark fruits and vanilla, great. Flavor has vanilla, raisins, apricot, plums, some oak, bourbon and hops. Blended together very nice. Very enjoyable. MaltOMeal (1094) - 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. rederic (3341) - 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. jtclockwork (17070) - , 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. lesifflebiere (1928) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 27, 2013
Sans dire qu’elle surpasse la presque parfaite version originale, cette Solstice d’Hiver a des qualités parfois supérieures à celle-ci : extrêmement invitante au nez, bourbon bien balancé avec les céréales, côté résineux et notes de fruits confits et raisins secs tous en harmonie. Si on fait la somme de ses caractéristiques, elle est bonne deuxième derrière la mouture "straight", mais elle est une glorieuse réussite, qui ne peut que faire l’envie de ses concurrentes du même acabit.