I received a 2010 vintage 341ml bottle in a trade with a blogger in Quebec (thanks, Marc!). I poured it into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Black as night body with a brown, soapy head which is fairly
quick to dissipate, but does leave a bit of lacing and never completely
Smell: Black licorice and black coffee dominate the nose. Interesting
synergy of sweetness and bitterness. A hint of bourbon sweetness and
smoke as well.
Taste: A lot of craft beer enthusiasts hate the "trend" of bourbon
barrel aged imperial stouts. But if the result is a beer that tastes
this great I don’t see a problem. I liked but didn’t love the original
Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, but now it’s at least a candidate for
conversation for contention with Hall of Famers like Founders KBS and
Firestone Walker Parabola. Massive coffee flavor and accompanying
bitterness right from the start, plus an underlying taste of black
licorice which imparts both a confectionary sweetness and a touch of
astringency. Dark chocolate begins to emerge after a few sips and
becomes so prominent that the beer would be better classified as a mocha
stout than a coffee stout.
The bourbon character is noticeable, though. There’s a subtle vanilla
flavor that emerges on the second half along with a burst of straight up
boozy heat and rubbing alcohol taste right as it finishes. You can call
it distracting, but I’d consider it part of the character (it’s easily
tolerated). The aftertaste contains a faint coffee bitterness and a
slightly sticky/cloying black licorice taste. But despite all that it’s
actually relatively clean considering what’s in the beer. A delicious
and impressive palate all around - but I’m not quite sure it was worth
the equivalent of $33 I spent on it in an international trade.
Drinkability: Any barrel aged imperial stout is something to handle with
care, and while Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel Bourbon Barrel Aged is far
from the strongest beer I’ve ever had at 9.5% ABV, it’s still quite
strong after two years in the bottle. There’s definitely a noticeable
alcohol presence in the palate and an accompanying warmth in the throat
after each swig. The carbonation is low enough to make it go down
smooth, but it’s far from tepid, too. A fantastic beer for a special
occasion considering how rare and expensive it is.