Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale En Fût De Bourbon
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale En Fût De BourbonSolstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale En Fût De Bourbon
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #33
Ranked #2,904
4.21 | pDev: 8.31%
Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Quebec, Canada
Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale En Fût De BourbonSolstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale En Fût De Bourbon
Notes: 2009 vintage: 67.5% aged in Utopias barrels, 22.5% aged in bourbon barrels, 10% fresh beer.

All subsequent vintages are aged 6-12 months in bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zolotarov
zolotarov from Canada (QC)

4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A turbid dark brown without a head
Smell: Dark stone fruits, malt, molasses, ethanol, woody aromas
Taste: Rich sweetness, plum, cherry and toffee notes
Mouthfeel: Milky smooth with low carbonation
Overall: An excellent barleywine, with dark rich flavours that mask the high alcohol percentage very well

From a November 10, 2020 bottle

Nov 27, 2020
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Drinker-Diary from Canada (QC)

4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Puissant et sucré!
En cette fin de samedi après-midi, j'ouvre cette bouteille de bière sachant ce qui m'attendrait. Une puissance sucrée vient me réconforter dans cette défaite épique que j'ai subie aux charlatans de Belcastel. Je menais pourtant outrageusement au milieu de la partie, mais je me suis fait donner une solide raclée...

Mar 15, 2020
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TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle
Bottled: (Consumed Dec-15)

It pours darker than I remember the non-barrel version being. Murky brown with a nice, finely-bubbled beige cap that leaves subtle lacing. The aroma is pretty noticeable upon cracking the bottle. Filled with dark fruits, some nutty oxidation, caramel, dark bread. The flavor is a nutty, treacley, buttery, caramely, toasty, ever-so-slightly-roasty experience with a touch of vanilla-bourbon notes and some bitterness and alcoholic warmth to finish it off. The feel is nice and dry for as strong as it is with a fluffy feel to the carbonation and a complex, warming finish. This is an incredibly nice beer. Especially coming in out of the cold on a Sunday night, putting on some music and sitting by the tree. As it warms I feel like it things out a bit and gets a bit sharper. This took away a little bit on the flavor and overall. That said, this is a great beer.


Dec 16, 2019
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft, 25cl glass

Hazy dark copper colored, thick tan head. Good head retention. Big bourbon and malty aroma. Similar taste. Medium bodied, super smooth

Jan 06, 2019
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a 12oz bottle, dated 2015-09-25. Served in an over-sized tulip. Mille fois merci to TheDoctor for both the bottle and the glassware - tres gènéreux!

Pours a semi-opaque burnt caramel with cheerful honey highlights and a scant half-finger of head that was gone before I really got a good look at it. Leaves a thin latte collar and a small, wispy island that looks like Papau New Guinea.

Nose of toasted barley, rye whiskey, fig jam and green, leafy herbs.

Sticky date pudding. Tastes of dark, caramelized brown sugar and vanilla cream, with a rich, soul-satisfying, sinus-engulfing bourbon booziness. Cherries, plums, cigar wrappers, and just a kiss of hop bittering on the tongue at the finish.

Feel is smooth and mouth-coating, medium-hefty with no more than enough carbonation to get the job done.

Overall, sweet, merciful Dionysius, that was mighty fine! Not a beer for the faint of heart, it is a full body experience, from the bourbon fogged sinuses to the flaming gullet to the tingling toes and the bruises on the forehead from staggering into doorways.

May 11, 2017
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 1/11/16

A- pours deep brown in color with a ruby hue, one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a thin film floating on top and a ring around the edge

S- very fruity aroma up front with notes of berries, fig & raisin. Fruity notes of are followed by aromas of brown bread, caramel, molasses, brown sugar & toffee. Undertones of oak barrel with adds earthy wood, as well as light coconut and vanilla. Smells very reminiscent of a fruit cake and reminds me of a Belgian Strong Ale

T- sweet caramel and toffee up front mix with fruity notes that follow the nose, with an emphasis of raisin, fig, dried cherry and dried cranberry. Mid-palate gives flavors of fruit cake with a bready yeast and a hint of spice. The finish brings out some barrel character; caramel, vanilla and light bourbon, lingers of more sweet caramel, dark fruit and alcohol

M- medium-heavy body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that finishes slightly viscous and warming

O- nice fruit notes throughout, the barrel character was subtle, but there. a big, boozy, spicy fruit cake

Mar 04, 2017
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! "Solstice d'hiver Bourbon"
on tap at the brewery on 1 Octobre 2014
$5.75 / verre

Notes: Listed at 10%. Hazy deep mahogany body beneath a light tan head that's slightly yellowish. Excellent head retention and lacing. Bourbon and light, soft caramel are found in the nose, followed by much more in the flavor which also includes notes of golden caramel, a touch of nuttiness, some toastiness, toasted coconut, a subtle hint of dark fruit, and a flicker of alcohol. It's sweetish but tempered. It's medium-full in body and creamy smooth and velvety. It gets better as it warms, there's more alcohol but it's also more spread out and warming rather than cutting through, and you get more of the fruitiness. Having tasted the Solstice d'hiver as well, I can definitely say that the Bourbon barrel aging really morphs it into something new. Which one is better I don't know, I'd imagine that goes to personal preference.

Feb 08, 2017
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Derek from Canada (BC)

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015-09-25 @ 10.2%

Murky pour, only a thin ring of head, but it shows some lace.

Sweet, malty aroma... Caramel, figs, raisins... Fruit cake?

Alcohol is fairly assertive, some fruit cake in the flavour, brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, oak, restrained bitterness.

Light residual sweetness, with a drying alcohol finish.

Thanks Vincent!

Jun 08, 2016
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VbolieuV from Canada (QC)

4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Brown and cloudy, not much head but that may be because of my pour/glass. Intense bourbon smell hits you in the nose, there's also aromas of dark fruits, caramel and vanilla. In the mouth you start tasting the dark fruits, lots of caramel and sweet flavors. Then when you swallow you really taste the whiskey with some bitterness from the hops and you get a burning sensation from the alcohol in the throat. Really great bourbon barrel aged beer!

Feb 22, 2016
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Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

341ml bottle.

Deep mahogany with next to no head. Mild bourbon and oak on the nose. Bourbon, sweet toffee, slight vanilla and well integrated alcohol. A little thinner than expected with little to no carbonation. Enjoyable barley wine that I am glad to have tried.

Nov 28, 2015
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Oct 06, 2014
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Feb 03, 2014
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mtomlins from Canada (ON)

4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Dec 17, 2013
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spinrsx from Canada (ON)

4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Nov 24, 2013
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bylerteck from Canada (ON)

4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Sep 16, 2013
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -4%
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.

Jul 01, 2013
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trxxpaxxs from New York

4/5  rDev -5%
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.

Jun 19, 2013
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Lucho from Florida

3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
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

May 22, 2013
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peensteen from Canada (ON)

4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

May 21, 2013
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Etan from Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Apr 15, 2013
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Apr 09, 2013
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jrenihan from Canada (ON)

4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Apr 08, 2013
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Rutager from Canada (BC)

4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Mar 23, 2013
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Holland from Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

Mar 18, 2013
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
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?

Mar 18, 2013
Solstice D'hiver Réserve Spéciale En Fût De Bourbon from Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 126 ratings