March 28th

I don’t know what it is that makes me want to collect, fetishize and obsess over things like baseball cards, music or beer. Is it genetics? A primal desire to assert dominance over my fellow-man? Frankly, I’ve stopped asking as the answer is elusive, just like questioning if there is some supreme being or when the Maple Leafs will return to the playoffs. But it’s fair to say that beer has taken over a lot of my life, including my vacations. Any beer geek is probably a beer tourist as well, not only scoping out the finest places to get beers in any city, but also planning trips solely for the sake of drinking. My mind has been abuzz lately with thoughts of foreign lands and plotting out what needs to be done to maximize the number of bottles I can return with. To boost these ideas, I drank my last bottle of beer that wasn’t purchased in Ontario.

The Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver is their annual barley wine and a perfect match for a cold, rainy night. It poured a lovely and slightly translucent mahogany colour with a very thin head. Aromas of caramel, dark fruits, pine and a strong hit of alcohol. There was a lovely complexity that is the sign of a great barley wine. Some sips highlighted the malts (sticky toffee, figs, dark fruits), while the hops came in and out of the finish (pine needles and bitterness). The alcohol was a little too hot and could’ve used some extra cellaring time, meaning this one will probably keep for some time. The mouthfeel was quite heavy and chewy. An excellent beer for fans of barley wines.

And now that my cupboard is bare of non-LCBO purchases, I can set my sights on Washington, D.C. (and hopefully Montreal for this year’s Mondial de la Bière!).

Dieu du Ciel Solstice d’Hiver on Ratebeer

Today: 341mL. Year-to-date: 79.27L.

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