changeup45 (1731) - Lake Mary, Florida, USA - FEB 4, 2011
Bottle generously sent to me by Glouglouburp. Thanks Dany! This pours out as a murky dark brown color with just a thin head on top. The aroma consists of plums, raisins, caramel, toffee, wood, and light hop notes. A little more fruit seems to show in the flavor as well as various subtle nuances adding complexity. Plums, raisins, dates, but also a little cherry as well. Smooth, rich, toffee and caramel malt. Incredible soothing barrel notes with some light alcohol warmth that seems as if it’s bourbon. Is this aged in bourbon? The palate is spot on with some sugary sweeter notes, lots of barrel, and very light bitterness from the hops. Everything just works here. Damn, this is really good stuff. I like the regular version but this is on a whole different level. Thanks again, Dany! pushkinwow (2896) - Ottawa, 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! Reimer96 (1778) - Alberta, CANADA - MAR 16, 2013
Pours a hazy brownish amber with a off white head that dissipates into a ring. Aroma od vanilla, wood, bourbon and sweet pale malts. Taste is sweet malts, wood, bourbon, caramel and toffee with a smooth alcohol warming on the finish. Very smooth barrel aged barley wine. daknole (11402) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - APR 28, 2013
Nice brown pour, tan head. Sweet whiskey flavors, nice malty backbone, just enough hops, vanilla, caramel, oak, maple. DAMN GOOD. JoeMcPhee (9553) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 3, 2013
Tap at BarHop. Deep brown pour - thin fast-fading head. The aroma is great. Loads of soft bourbon and a lovely cooked fruit character. A touch of caramel and some toasted vanilla as well. Berry and plum with a nice sweetness (but not cloying). Really tasty brew. Loads of soft malt character and a faint touch of vineous character on the back as well. A kiss of blackberry. Insanely good.
tderoeck (10195) - Gent, BELGIUM - AUG 19, 2016
15/VIII/16 - 341ml bottle from a trade @ home - BB: n/a, bottled: I/2010 (2016-856) Thanks to yourilevesque for the trade!JBPortland (1564) - Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA - OCT 14, 2017
Clear purple brown beer, small creamy beige head, unstable, bit adhesive. Aroma: lots and lots of vanilla, sweet, some caramel, pretty oxidized. MF: soft carbon, full body. Taste: bit sweet and sugary in the start, lots and lots of vanilla, bourbon, pretty oxidized, little sourish. Aftertaste: more oxidation noticeable, sweet, some orange peel, sherry touch, vanilla, very sweet.
Oh man this was everything I expected! 12oz bottle pours dark chestnut brown with small head. Nose and taste are super rich with nutty caramel, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, dark fruit, nice level of sweetness that doesn't overpower, finish is long and complex. Wish I had more! Quevillon (3174) - Boisbriand, Quebec, CANADA - JAN 31, 2010
Drank on tap, at the Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel in Saint Jérôme, on January 30th 2010, for their second anniversary party of their brewery in St. Jerome. Dark amber, small head. Aroma of malted barley, matured fields fruits well spiced. Taste of caramelized fruits well malted, warming alcohol. As exellente as the original. mcberko (18979) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JAN 22, 2011
341mL bottle, sent from Glouglouburp, pours dark dark brown with a reddish hue and small beige head. Aroma of dark fruits, oak, bourbon, and a molasses that lingers. Flavour of molasses, complex dark fruits, oak, vanilla and bourbon, with a smoky sweetness that lingers along with a noticeable alcohol burn. I enjoyed this a lot more than the regular Solstice d’Hiver. Thanks so much for the opportunity to try this, Dany! 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.