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Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale (Vieillie En Fût De Chêne) - Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel

Not Rated.
Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale (Vieillie En Fût De Chêne)Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale (Vieillie En Fût De Chêne)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

31 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 31
Hads: 91
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 35
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: papat444 on 02-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 91
Photo of Jeffo
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from peensteen a while back. Thanks dude!

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled November 2012
Barleywine aged 1 year in bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium-looser looking, foamy, light tan head with good retention. Clear dark brown, kind of a maroon red, with medium levels of carbonation. Head quickly fades to a full cap and creamy ring. A slight wisp and ring remain with dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, sweet vanilla, coconut, toffee and caramel on the nose. The coconut and oak aromas work really nicely together. Bold and aromatic with lots going on. Really good.

TASTE: Oak, bourbon, caramel and alcohol up front. More bourbon at the swallow with a bold finish of oak, coconut, vanilla, toffee and butterscotch sweetness lingering on the palate. The sweet notes, coconut and vanilla mostly, work really well with the oak barrel and the lingering alcohol as well. Really flavorful and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium-lighter body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a burn at the swallow and finishes sticky. Some heat lingers. A touch lighter perhaps, but nicely creamy for the style.

OVERALL: Delicious. The barrel is definitely the star of the show here, but the base barelywine is strong enough to push its way through and play a role as well. Though it might be a touch light in the body, it is definitely creamy and smooth enough, with lots of character and complexity worth pondering. Thanks again peensteen. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium size head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of caramelized barley malty with some vanilla and bourbon notes with light acrid finish which is not the most pleasant. Taste is also dominated with big caramelized malt notes with quite a big of residual sugars with some notes of bourbon and vanilla with an acrid finish. Body is quite full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol notes. Very nice night cap but I could do without some of the acrid notes detected here.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.
Bottle Date: 11/2012; Poured: 12/2013.

A: Pours a deep. Dark brown with a maroon hue with a short bubbly head falling fast to a thin collar with a bit of lacing.

S: Big, boozy bourbon; deep, rich dark fruit (prunes and raisins), very jammy. Rich and spicy.

T: The deep, sweet malts and lots of dried fruit (prunes and raisins) as the nose suggested. A big boozy bourbon with some warm alcohol, the bourbon is present but not overpowering. Some candied fruit and brown sugar? The finish dries out a bit with a pleasant spicy hopiness.

M: Medium-high body and low carbonation; smooth and rich.

O: A delicious example of a well-balanced BS barley wine.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

341ml Bottle from Marche Omni QC for $5 - 2012 edition

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a small size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/butterscotch, dark fruits, bourbon

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, sweet butterscotch/caramel, and dark fruits. There is also some woody/bourbon notes and some mild hops.

Overall - There is a warming feeling after the very first sip. A great winter warmer and the perfect beer to sip on for a while. There is quite a bit of bourbon on the nose, but not as much in the flavour. A great beer that I wish I had a case of.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Zwanze Day/DDC Anniversary party at DDC. From notes.

A - Poured murky brown and a film of white head and spotty lace. Film of retention.

S - Lot's of dark fruit, kool aid, sweet dark fruit, some vanilla.

T - Wood, bourbon, dark fruit, quite sweet but not cloying, lot's of raisins.

M - Good mild carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

O/D - Very nice. Smooth and flavourful. Liked that the bourbon was subtle and complimentary to the overall barleywine character.

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Photo of stakem
4.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'09 bottling care of Kegatron, thanks for sharing Heath! 12oz bottle into a snifter, the brew appears amber with orange clarity around the edges. Some spotty lace sticks to the wall of the glass after the finger of froth dissipates. When held to the light, it shows more ruby through the body and yellowish to orange around the edges.

The aroma containes caramel and toffee. Sticky sweetness smells quite sugary before some bourbon-like booze starts to shine through. There is a mild oakiness present somewhat smelling like cinnamon. As it warms, it becomes increasingly boozy and slightly solvent.

The flavor has caramel, toffee, maple, vanilla and oak all well represented in equal parts. A light amount of cardboard-like oxidation and warming to tangy bourbon accent isnpresent mid-pallet. As it warms up, it gets a bit of fruity alcohol note which is enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is boozy, complex and enjoyable. It has been quite awhile since I drank the base version but from what I remember, this is a pleasant upgrade. Worth checking out.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tom10101 for this bottle...

A: Pours a super deep brown with about a half of a finger of light tan head. The foam fades fairly quickly, leaving a thin layer of bubbles across the top of the beer and along the edges of the glass.

S: The nose is sweet of caramel and bourbon, some vanilla, a touch of yeast, and a bit of seaweed.

T: It starts out with sweet caramel malt and seaweed. The are some vanilla/oak notes that begin to shine towards the middle. I get a full on melange of flavors with malt, caramel, vanilla, seaweed, bourbon, char, and hop bitters. As it moves to the back end I get that stinging American Barleywine hop presence, barrel treatment, and alcohol.

M: Full bodied. This version (with the barrel treatment) is syrup and cloying from first sip to the last. It coats the palate and refuses to leave, even after the beer is long gone.

O: Again, this beer is decent but it isn't stellar. The hops are still too bitter, the seaweed notes are off-putting, and it's super sticky this time around. All that being said... the barrel character adds to the beer nicely, the malt base is still delicious, and the caramel and vanilla notes really shine in the middle. I would dink this again, but I doubt I'll ever seek it out in the future.

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Photo of Lucho
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to montrealbcr89 for this trade. Cheers!

A: pours a dark cherry brown with a slight hazy character. forms a lovely two finger off white date brown thick head. good retention and lacing.

S: caramelized sugar and a light plum smell. not getting much barrels but maybe as it warms it will open up. there is a scent of booze on the nose.

T: bourbon soaked caramelized sugarcane. not very sweet though. There is not the amount of dark fruits that I am fond of in my b-wines. There is a nice mild bourbon character that imparts the usual vanilla flavors. This brew is surprisingly drinkable considering the almost 11%

M: medium to heavy bodied with light carbonation on the tongue, very nice.

Overall this is a good beer. not the best of the style but one worth seeking out. Cheers

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Photo of peensteen
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rutager for sending me this!

Deep brown colour, ring of off white head here, with a few spots of lace. Smell is a great mix of bourbon, oak and dark malts, lots of vanilla with brown sugar, dark breads with a bit of a sweetness throughout. Taste is of vanilla and bourbon, oak with brown sugar and toasted dark breads, medium sweetness with more oak and bourbon in the finish as well. Light-medium carbonation, fairly full body. Amazing stuff here, a well executed use of bourbon barrel and barleywine, very drinkable and highly recomended.

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Photo of Etan
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz sent by tom10101. Thanks! The label says (translated from French): "Special Reserve - aged 1 year in a bourbon cask".

A: Pours a sediment-filled dark brown body with some maple hues. Small light khaki head.

S: Heavy tannic bourbon, maple, figs, brown sugar, vanilla and caramel, cooked raisins. Very rich aroma.

T: The taste brings more dark fruit, tannic sweetness, plenty of oak, marshamallow, mild caramelized grain, a bit of lingering hoppiness. There's a slightly astringent bitterness here - not sure if it's from the oak or the old hops but the beer would be better off without it.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: This was quite a nice beer (especially the aroma), but the out-of-place bitterness in the taste lowers the score a bit for me.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to David for this bottle! Bottled on 11/12.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Very dark murky brown with a thin layer of tan coloured head.

S - Bourbon, vanilla and toasted oak up front with caramel, toffee and raisin aromas in the background.

T - The barrel characteristics are not nearly as prominent as the nose suggested and a play a secondary role in the palate. Sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar flavours are dominant in the palate with more subtle vanilla, toasted oak and bourbon in the background. The barrel notes and the base beer flavours integrate very well together.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled November 2012. Huge thanks to Papat444 for this one.

Beer is very dark brown with a moderately-sized tan head. Head fades at a steady pace, leaving just a bit of film.

Smell is big and rich. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, toffee, some dark fruits. Quite a lot happening. Very nice. Great invitation to taste this beer!

Bourbon is upfront flavourwise, along with lots of vanilla and a good dose of oak. Underneath that is toffee, brown sugar, a bit of molasses, caramel, earthy flavours, a bit of fruit and a noticeable (but not unpleasant) amount of booze. Quite sweet but a woody finish lends a bit of dryness. Really good.

Full bodied, moderate to low carbonation level. A bit astringent, quite smooth.

Overall, really good. A significant improvement over the regular version, in my view.

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Photo of Rutager
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A huge thank thank you to the awesome traders Jayhoop and Montrealbcr for hooking me up. Cheers to you guys!!

Appearance. Pours a murky brown that's a little amber-orange when held to the light. Topped with a thin off-white head.

Smell. Big woody bourbon and vanilla, oranges and caramel, and a little sweet spice, tobacco, and molasses.

Taste. Caramel and oak, bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, oranges, and a bit of molasses and spice. Lingering bitter wood and bourbon in the finish. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel. Full bodied. So sweet and thick I'd expect some stickiness, but no, it's amazing. Very smooth low carbonation with some nice warmth in the back of the throat.

Overall. A fantastic barleywine that benefited immensely from its time in the barrel ...not that the base is anything to sneeze at.

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Photo of Holland
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to tom10101 for this beauty!

A: pour an opaque dark brown with some cloudiness visible along the edges, a small one finger head, and some lacing on the wall of the glass with a thin layer of fine foam on top. The head is surprisingly light compared to the darkness of the beer.

S: sweet malts, toffee, raisin, dates, figs, and molasses come to mind.

T: this is where the deliciousness lies. It's very dark fruit forward, with hints of barrel flavor throughout. No lack of taste at all. Some alcohol is present, though I drank it at 55 or 60 Fahrenheit. Some bitterness balances it nicely for an after dinner beer.

M: thick but not syrupy because of the nice medium carbonation and a bit of alcohol that gives it a lift.

O: wish I had purchased the regular version to compare. This is no doubt a nice barleywine, but I would like to see how different it is from the original and discern what the bourbon barrels did for it. Delicious overall beer. Glad I was able to try it. Thanks, Tommy!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz glass, at the first ever DDC tap takeover in Edmonton - wheee!

This beer appears a hazy, dark ruddy brownish hue, with one finger of bubbly, weakly foamy beige head, which leaves a low-lying band of spectral lace around the glass as it somewhat hastily recedes.

It smells of rye whisky-sodden wood, musty caramel/toffee malt, dark fleshy fruit, a hint of yeast, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more rather musty, dusty caramel, like a Zellers candy aisle blowout, spicy, grainy, pungent, yet neutered rye whisky barrel essence, dusty black fruit, singed brown sugar, vanilla, and a sneaky as shit alcohol warming.

The carbonation is more or less underwhelming, and we're a-ok with that, here, the body a hefty medium weight, and weirdly thin at the same time, though I suspect the woodiness for this perceived defect. It finishes just on the sweet side, the barrel notes lingering, in concert with the fruit, sugar, and booze, in a weirdly satfisfying medley of the seasonally damned.

A more than agreeable application of the wood to an already stellar barleywine - subtle, mostly, and just edgy enough to warn potential imbibers not to exactly overdo it, mais oui?

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Photo of vande
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one seems to have Barleywine written all over it from the pour... a frothy, somewhat dirty looking head layered atop a thicker looking, murky off colored orangish-brown colored pour...smells of sugar, bit of oakiness, some booziness is definitely present, with dashes of vanilla... initially, reminded me of an 07 Lagunitas Gnarleywine via the nose.. Tasted somewhat like the nose predicted to be honest..add the initial aromatic hints with some breadiness and brown sugar, giving it a bit of a "coppery" field and you've got a pretty darn good barleywine here.. I believe the bottle we popped tonight may of had a year on it...and I've got a twin in my cellar.. Although I'm not the largest Barleywine constituent, this was a pretty tasty sipper..

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Photo of MasterSki
4.22/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to papat444 for sending this my way. Served in a Darkness glass.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a bit of wispy bubbles on-top and spotty lace. The body is a murky brown color.

S - Brown and burnt sugars, sharp oak, light oxidation, maple, and some booze and bourbon(?) flavor that grows as this warms up. Bottle says "oak barrels" but is vague about their origin - doesn't taste like virgin oak in any case.

T - This is surprisingly mellow, with a hefty amount of bread, brown sugar, dark fruits, caramel, toffee, sharp oak, vanilla, and better hidden booze than in the aroma.

M - Smooth, creamy, chewy texture, with lower carbonation, some moderate warming alcohol, and light tannic dryness in the finish.

D - Quite good, and a marked improvement over the base beer. Alcohol is quite well-hidden once you get past the aroma. I'd happily have this one again, and I now want to seek out the Oak-Aged Equinoxe Du Printemps.

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Photo of seeswo
4.49/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks for this Levi! Enjoyed with the standard version sided-by-side. Pours a lightish brown color, like caramel, with a really small tan head. Looks fine. The nose is really nice - toffee, caramel, vanilla, wood, brown sugar, coconut. Wow, this smells really good, but not obnoxious like a really sweet English barleywine. The taste is like the nose - a fantastic integration of toffee, caramel, vanilla, wood, brown sugar and coconut. Sweet, but not too much so. Consider me stunned that this taste is world class given my dislike for the weak flavor from the base beer. Good body - smooth with a medium low carbonation and medium body. Overall, I thought this beer was fantastic, and caught me by surprise. The base beer gives you no clue in my opinion of how good this one is.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.13/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I received the barrel aged version from a generous Canadian Ba, thanks! Murky brown color, scant head. Smell is barrel and BOOZE! Taste us booze, oxidation, booze, alcohol, wood, very little barleywine. Overall I was glad to try this but unimpressed and unlikely to pick up the regular version.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very much the same as the normal Solstice d'Hiver. Hazy orange-ish brown color. Not much head, retention or lacing. 1.5

S: This is FAR FAR from your typical Solstice d’Hiver. Where the usual version boast strong piny hops (even when aged quite a bit) and smells dry and aggressive, this is full on sweet, English style barleywine. Very strong toffee, caramel, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Almost old ale ish. Some leather, oak tannins and nuts. There are definitive fruits in this: over ripe red apples, dried figs, dried dates. Doesn’t smell cloying. The smell just isn’t strong enough for the perfect score. 4.5

T: Very much like the smell, while I’m used to the aggressive nature of the piny hops in the normal version, this is sweet and smooth. You get very strong toffee, caramel, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Again, this is very old ale-ish. Leather, oak tannins and nuts. Again, the fruits in the smell are there in the taste: dried figs and dates mostly but a faint acidity and rich sweetness that blends together to give a over ripe red apple kind of taste. While it does taste very sweet, it is nowhere near cloying. One of the best barleywines I’ve ever had. 5

M: Medium to heavy. Much less sticky than the “normal” version while being much smoother too. 4

O: Great brew. Don’t know what went sooo right with this batch, but this thing is wonderful. Honestly, the true first very good barleywine made in Quebec. This cannot be the same recipe as the original, it is radically different. Great stuff. 4.5

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Bottle shared by Javier at Oakquinox 2011, thanks! 2009 batch aged in oak barrels.

A: Reddish brown with a diminutive beige head.

S: Rich caramel melds with oak and evident toffee. There's a touch of graceful oxidation. Lots of brown sugar with evident vanilla. I know this says it was aged in oak barrels, but I get a big bourbon aroma from this beer. It smells excellent, so I'm not sure where that's coming from, unless this was actually aged in bourbon barrels. Excellent stuff.

T: Bourbon is strong again (unless it's my imagination) and goes well with the powerful caramel and toffee. Vanilla is well integrated and oak is evident. Rich and delicious. Sweet and long finish.

M: Upper medium in body with lower moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky, smooth, and creamy.

Overs: Really delicious. I'd love to have this again. This smells and tastes like it was aged in bourbon barrels, yet everything I read says it was aged in dispirited (unspirited?) oak. Very strange. Regardless, a very tasty beverage.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Javier. Thanks, Javi.

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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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of after4ever over on the other site, ratebeer. Thanks Tom. Pours amber with some haze and thin off white head. The aroma is smooth oak, vanilla, sweet dark fruitiness and mild bourbon boozy heat. The taste is nice and sweet with rich dark fruitiness quickly moving seamlessly into vanilla, oak, bourbon and chocolate. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of bobsy
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank alongside the regular version, and the difference cannot be understated.

Rich mahogany body with a scant tan head that quickly drops to a film in true barleywine style. Some lace spots left behind. Delicious nose has oak in spades, with vanilla and spice coming to the fore. Lots of caramel and peppery alcohol too. Neat flavour has a night and day contrast when compared to the slightly lacklustre regular version. The caramel, dark fruit and spicy alcohol is all there, but its now joined by vanilla, a strong barrel character and chocolate. Medium body works well, but could be a bit bigger to become truly world class.

Exceptional effort. Its transformed an okay beer into something magnificent. I hope their experiments with barrel aging continue.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle that bobsy brought over, been wanting to try this one so - thanks! Had side by side with this year's regular Solstice.

Caramel cherrywood color, thin head. Nose is sublime, massive vanilla notes, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits - melds to form almost a maple syrup character. Rich and big.

This is a fantastic barleywine, the barrel did a real number on this one because I don't find their regular offering all that inspiring. Rich toffee and vanilla, toast and caramel malt, a hint of cocoa, rich and sweet, mouthfeel could use a little oomph yet. Hint of earthy wood, molasses, raisins. Wish they would do this one again!

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Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale (Vieillie En Fût De Chêne) from Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel
91 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.