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Dirty Horse - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Dirty HorseDirty Horse

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 632
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Lambic - Unblended |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Starting with a Lambic grist bill composed of 70% barley malt and 30% unmalted wheat. No yeast was artificially added to the wort, but was exposed for two days to the open air in one of our plastic tunnels at the Noordhoek Ostrich Farm. First fermentation took place in second hand sherry oak casks for six weeks. 200 grams of Northern cherries per litre and the Roeseleire yeast strain were added after six months, provoking a new fermentation process. Eight months later, we pumped over the young ale to oak casks and let it mature for another 3 years. This project was realized after a tasting of the same recipe Urbain once made 20 years ago and was barrel aging in his garage in De Panne eversince and while he was in Africa and forgot all about it. As this is a very limited version, this ale will not be suitable for export but rather for sale at the farm when available.

(Beer added by: ggaughan on 09-19-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mistakebythelake
mistakebythelake

Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +5.3%

1983 Unblended version.

Finally able to ride this Dirty Horse. Pours a hazy reddish/brownish color into the Cantillon sherry tasting glass. Little to no head on the pour. A nice cherry, musty, and leathery aroma wafted from my glass that I greatly enjoyed. The taste combined some sour cherries, with a slight lactic souring. Red jammy and dark fruit also present in the taste. Mouthfeel was medium to thin, very smooth and I was surprised at how the carbonation held up. Very drinkable and I was glad I tried this gem. Would like to see how the blended bottle versions are tasting right now for some comparison.

08-28-2012 00:58:24 | More by mistakebythelake
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.48/5  rDev -1.8%

100% 1983
Pours a slightly clouded reddish color with little head. The nose is slightly musty with sour cherries and a big of barrel. Smell is really nice. The taste shockingly still has a solid presence of cherries. Vinous and slightly sour/funky. Very nice flavor. Age has treated this one well. The mouthfeel is light and low carb. Drinks very easy. Overall, this is a very good one to have tried. The effort at this point might be a little much to justify, but it is a really good beer.

08-27-2012 17:16:05 | More by seeswo
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev -1.8%

100% Unblended 1983 keg, finally ponied up and got some this year at Ebenezers.

In small plastic sample cup. Great ruby red with some stuff floating around but not too murky. No head or lace at all.

Aroma has some musty hints like my tent after being in the basement for many months. Big cherries that are nice and sour but seem fresh somehow. Some oak and fruit peels.

Very fruity and vinous. Shows no age to me here besides a hint of cellar must. Oak, cherries, wine, grapes and some acetic as well.

Thinned out most likely from age with low carbs from the keg. Tartness builds nicely to a very good level of acidity combined with the vinegar aspect.

Not overly funky at all but it certainly shows up with some barnyard horse funk. Outstanding and impressive fruit flavors for its age.

08-27-2012 14:37:17 | More by cbutova
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +3.1%

1983 unblended 100% version On tap...
Pours a dark hazy reddish maroon. Looks like an old kreik. A touch of bubbly head that dissipates almost immediately.
Smells really nice, tons of cherry aroma with a kick of tart sourness on the nose.
Tastes very tart, a bit of funky. Very mellow while still being acidic. Amazingly not oxidized for a 29 year old beer.
Nice light carbonation, sits very nicely on the tongue. Overall, a stellar beer. Worth what it costs? Well, maybe not. But well worth the experience

08-25-2012 21:43:29 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of pperez38
pperez38

California

5/5  rDev +9.6%

08-17-2012 14:27:24 | More by pperez38
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.43/5  rDev -2.9%

Bottle shared at Blue Palms during RBSG 2012. Pours a dark berry-amber color. Tart raspberry and cherry throughout, not terribly sour but with a solid lactic presence. Funky citric, leather, brett, lots of complexity. Well deserving of its prized status.

08-16-2012 05:50:35 | More by illidurit
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.43/5  rDev -2.9%

You’re the best, Jer!

Pours a hazed cherry red color with a small head. Nose is sweet cherry pie with a nice lactic tartness underneath. A bit of musty wood, grass, apples, and berries. The flavor is nicely tart, mostly lactic with just a hint of red wine vinegar. Musty oak along with lots of cherry flavor. A hint of red fruit (berries?), some leather, and a definite citrus zest quality. Was not expecting this to be that good, but I really enjoyed it.

08-07-2012 16:22:11 | More by womencantsail
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -12.3%

From notes from July 4th 2011. Big thanks to Urbain for sharing this with us as well as purchasing a grill so we americans were able to bbq on the 4th. Offered us both the unblended '83 version as well as the unblended '05 version side by side. Score is the higher one.

We'll start with the '83. Pour is a dark copper with orange edges and thin bit of light tan head. Nose is pretty solid for how old it is. Some leather brett like notes up front with accompanying cherries. Some dusty cob webb and lactic acid notes behind. The taste has dry, dusty cobwebs with a leathery note behind. The cherries are nicely blended with some vanilla and lactic notes behind. Very faint sourness in this. The body is light and creamy with a gentle carbonation and fairly dry finish. Solid beer for the age, held up well. Flavors are a bit muted, not very bright, but well integrated and deep character. 747415.

Now the '05. Pour is dark ruby red with light pink head. Nose is dusty, dry brett, light leather, brighter tart cherry and some low pleasant acidity. Taste is well integrated cob webb funk and leathery brett blended with very tart cherry and assertive sourness. Lactic notes in back. Body is light and soft with a gentle carbonation balancing enough and a very dry finish. 848416

07-20-2012 15:03:31 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -5%

**Review #1200**

FINALLY!

"THE" Chicago Crew's 3rd Annual Mega Tasting aka Epic Tres. 750ml bottle bottle brought by Alex (Masterski). 90% 1983, 10% 2005 purchased at auction some time go. Poured into Narke tulip.

A - Pours an rusty orange/yellow/brown color, white head.

S - Fruity & funky, nice tartness, musty, berries, light acidity, and oak. The balance is amazing...perfect amount of fruity & tartness. Nothing too sharp or acidic as well as nothing too sweet. Just right.

T - While the nose is really nice, the taste is even better. It's more fruit-forward then I was expecting, but in subtle nuances. It doesn't scream "fruit", but the tartness and sweetness work together to create it. I would say mostly tart berries & sour cherries, with a light jammy character. The oak helps balance the tart & sweet notes. Finish is tart fruit.

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - Well, I really wasn't sure what to think of this beer because I've never been totally "wowed" by Struise. This one lives up to the hype and stood tall amongst a mountain of super-rare beer that we opened on 6/23. I hope Urbain releases some more, because I want a bottle all to myself! :D

Thank you, Alex, for sharing! You're a super-generous dude!

06-28-2012 14:31:42 | More by Sean9689
Photo of spdyfire83
spdyfire83

Ireland

4.98/5  rDev +9.2%

226th Review
On-tap at the Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2012 (highlight of the event and worth the trip to Denmark alone)
Poured in a CBC taster
Enjoyed on 11/12 May 2012

Vintage: 1983 100% unblended

A: Deep cherry red (almost maroon, but not quite). Single (off-white) fingernail head fades slowly.

S: Smells of soft sour cherry, oak, and faded mixed berries. Touch of funk and must, but not terribly pronounced. Hint of lemon, spice, and vanilla fade to aged, worn leather. Definitely old, but soft earthiness makes this quite appealing. The complexity of the nose is very inviting!

T: Wow - this beer is quite deep, rounded, and complex considering its age! Loads of soft cherry tartness up-front followed by touch of lemon zest, vanilla, oak, and plum. Mixed berries follow along with soft yeast and mild spice. Sourness and funk is smooth and slightly faded, but very enjoyable nonetheless. The complexity, yet simplicity, is what makes this beer amazing and so tasty!

M: Medium body with almost no carbonation. Soft, crisp, and dry. Very smooth and easy to drink!

O: What can I say...this beer lived up to the hype for me and I thought it was absolutely stellar. I was happy to enjoy multiple pours of this each day at CBC and think the character, fullness, and depth is brilliant. I'd be curious to see how this holds up in the bottle. Superb beer that is worthy of the hype! Urbain doesn't disappoint and neither does this beer. Standing ovation!

06-25-2012 08:55:04 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3/5  rDev -34.2%

06-15-2012 08:01:00 | More by GRG1313
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4/5  rDev -12.3%

05-30-2012 14:27:36 | More by pixieskid
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.88/5  rDev -14.9%

The illusive Dirty Horse. Got a chance to try a sample of this at The Copenhagen Beer Celebration this past weekend. Cheers to Urbain and the gang for bringing this one to the festival as part of the mind-boggling thirty beer collection. For some reason I thought Urbain was going to bring the 2005 version only, so I was thrilled to see the 1983 starting at me in the face. This was definitely a highlight for many of us.

Tap into a tasting glass
100% 1983

APPEARANCE: Pours a medium sized, tight, rose-white head with great retention. Kind of a maroon or burnt umber brown, hazy, with no visible carbonation. Head eventually fades to a nice wisp that remains the whole way and leaves some nice dots of lacing down the glass. Hard to imagine that this is almost thirty years old.

SMELL: Somewhat mild at this point, but you can tell it's old. Some funky notes with some sweet fruit on the nose. Some sweet melon and lemon, but the red fruits are still there. The cherry is not the star of the show, but it blends well with the other components. Mild, yet well-integrated.

TASTE: Sweet-sour up front with funky yeast notes, lemon, citrus and some sweet melon flavors. Nice tart red fruit component with a definite cherry backbone still. More prominent than the nose had advertised. Mild yet lingering finish of tart red fruits and a touch of bitterness as well. It is obvious that this is quite old and not as bold as it probably once was, but it is very nicely balanced with just the right amount of tart sourness to work with the fruit flavors. This is quite enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky.

OVERALL: This was a real treat. Dirty Horse has aged very gracefully after almost thirty years, but you can tell it's starting to get old. Consequently, while drinking this was a wonderful experience, is was probably not as memorable and impressive a beer as it would have been years ago. That said, this was very well balanced and the flavors mellow enough to drink is mass quantities. The cherry flavors, while muted after so long, still provide a nice, tart flavor to go with the funky sourness and light bitterness. It was great to finally try this beer, and I look forward to trying the 2005 batch at some point in the future. Thanks again for bringing this one to Copenhagen gents!

05-18-2012 12:56:47 | More by Jeffo
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev -1.8%

I had the 1983 version on-tap at the Copenhagen Beer Celebration. I was extremely excited to get to try this rarity. Served in a tasting tulip.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber color with a layer of off white head that fades to a thick ring around the pour.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with some tart red fruit notes. I'm also getting some vinegar and a hint of cranberries.

Taste: The tartness is a bit stronger than the malt sweetness in the flavor. The vinegar and red berry notes are both here. The finish is tart but extremely smooth. There is no real bite to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Getting to try this beer was a real treat. Very smooth and I loved the level or sourness compared to the other flavors. I would love to have it again, but who knows if that will be possible.

05-13-2012 18:33:25 | More by oline73
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

Bottle at the DC Lambic & Sour Tasting on April 14, 2012. From Notes. 100% 1983 version.

Appearance: pour is a murky dark plum/raisin, not particularly impressive.

Smell: Heavy malt, caramel, toffee, brandy, slightly sweet with some oxidation. Not particularly sour or funky.

Taste: Similar to the smell, slightly sweet with malt, caramel, toffee, brandy, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: a bit chewy, little-to-no carbonation

Overall: On my beer bucket list, but a bit past its prime.

04-30-2012 19:24:21 | More by craytonic
Photo of mrsdrabmuh
mrsdrabmuh

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

04-19-2012 05:06:44 | More by mrsdrabmuh
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev -6.1%

Review 1001 (it's all better from here?). 100% 1983 unblended version, bottle 96 of 100. Shared by craytonic. This review is going to be a little short since BA ate my previous attempt to enter it. Thanks!!!

Pours a murky, tawny brown with minimal ruby tinges and zero head. Flavor and aroma are mild and subtle with less sour or acidity than expected. Wet earth, bready malt, sherry and tart cherry dominate. Slight oxidization but nothing out of the ordinary for something this age. Medium thick, soft chewy body with trace carbonation. This and V005 were our most anticipated beers of the tasting. This bottle of Dirty Horse was an amazing experience, but was a little past its prime and the blend is probably a safer bet at this point.

04-19-2012 01:40:35 | More by yourefragile
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -3.9%

Bottle of 100% 1983 Dirty Horse courtesy of craytonic. Bottle 96/100. This beer gets me back to 100/100 on the top 100. Served in a Struise cervoise.

Pours a murky red-tawny color with no head and nothing in the way of lacing or even bubbles. Given that this beer is older than me, I'll give it some slack and go with the standard 4.

The nose brings some malt with a bit of oxidized bread and brown sugar with a touch of caramel, flowing into a nice base of cherry and earth, plus a touch of vanilla in the background. The flavor boosts the complexity level was a nice earthy cherry flavor plus heavy sherry notes. Faint oak in the background. Average duration on the palate with moderate acidity and light-medium funk.

The body is medium and a bit chewy with a bit of sherry-like creaminess. Obviously no carbonation, but this leads to a smooth, semi-acidic finish.

Overall, a beer that's obviously past its prime at this point, though still quite fantastic. I'd love to eventually try the blended version, which others have said has a bit more bite and complexity. Either way, fantastic work, and I'm glad Urbain started this experiment nearly 30 years ago.

04-17-2012 10:29:39 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev -10.1%

From 04/14/12 notes.

1983 vintage, 100% unblended auction bottle 96/100. Huge thanks to craytonic for sharing this one; never thought I'd be trying this one.

a - Pours a hazy dark reddish brown color with a few off white bubbles and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells a bit musty, grapes, light cherries, light funk, earthy notes, and light vanilla. Nice but not overly funky or sour at all; a little weak.

t - Tastes of grapes, earthy notes, oak, bready malts, cherries and dark fruits, light funk, earthy musty notes. A little stronger then the nose but still a bit weak.

m - Medium body and no real carbonation, makes it very smooth and creamy. Crazy easy to drink and a great mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a good beer, but not great, and no where near deserving the hype. Very easy to drink and great mouthfeel, but the nose and taste are a bit old, musty, and weak; I think the beer is a bit past its prime at this point. Very fun and happy I got to try this, but not something worth the hype or what it takes to land.

04-17-2012 00:14:35 | More by mdfb79
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev -14.5%

100% 1983 Dirty Horse supplied by craytonic at the DC Sour beer tasting, served in a Struise Cervoise glass because I am not a cave man. Thanks! At the time of this review, not only is this beer on the "Top Beers - Popular" list on beeradvocate (#17), as well as the "Top Beers - Belgium" list (#3), it is also #1 on the "Top Beers - Lambic - Unblended" list, and since this is an unblended version of this beer I guess I agree with that categorization. Another "best beer" for a style review for me, creeping ever so much closer to the impossible goal.

Beer is reddish / brown and completely hazy with a thin off white head of small brown bubbles nearly no retention at all, looks pretty good for a 30 year old beer.

Aroma is odd, it has a very weak aroma, it is a little sweet, a little musky, mild oak and funky, a little basement.

Beer is super creamy in body, great mouthfeel, wonderful finish, great great beer, chuggable, no hint of alcohol, perfect on the mouthfeel. I keep going on and on about the mouthfeel because it was the best part of the beer. The beer itself was a little bland, flat and mildly fruity with a musky oaky finish. I'm not saying it was bad but it is not the best "unblended" lambic I've ever had. I'd be interested in trying the blended version. I'm glad to have the experience but it wasn't nearly as good as it could have been.

04-16-2012 01:42:01 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev -2.9%

Shared by craytonic, this legendary beer kicked off the tasting yesterday. Thanks a lot Matt!

100% 1983
Auction bottle 96/100

The beer appears a rusty orange color with no head whatsoever. What do you expect from a nearly 30 year old unblended lambic?

The aroma offers caramel candies, cherry juice, a hint of chocolate. Not as big and bold as I was expecting, but definitely an inviting scent.

The flavor takes it up a notch. Cherry flavor is surprisingly present, with a lightly sweet caramel character. Not sour or acetic like I was expecting.

Silky smooth feel. Wow. This beer goes down so easily. Light without being thin. Like drinking old cherry juice from the barrel.

What a joy to sip this seemingly mythical beer.

04-15-2012 23:24:04 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of JamesOtey
JamesOtey


5/5  rDev +9.6%

Bottle 001/250. 100% unblended 1983, hand signed- thanks Urbain!!! Drank with my Dad, Carl, Jamie, and Chris. After about 5 minutes at chipping away at the bombproof wax job, I am finally able to see a cap. Upon prying it off, I am met with some mild gushing. After a proper lambic pour by Chris, I am met with a gorgeous brownish tinted garnet body and a robust off white head. The aroma is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. A huge old must character gives way to sour cherries, geuze cellar, leather, and the most profound funk profile I’ve ever encountered. The flavor holds tons more old must with a beautifully balanced cherry acidity that gives way to a mouth puckering finish. The mouthfeel is ultra dry and ultra crisp. My mouth felt just as dry even 10 minutes after finishing my last sip. Easily the best example of sour beer I’ve ever encountered. I don’t know how beer could get any better.

04-06-2012 06:38:57 | More by JamesOtey
Photo of drowland
drowland

Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +5.3%

Yeah... got a sample of this at RBWG 2010 because of fata... and I couldn’t believe it - what a great guy! Wow. Nice red pour with a small pinkish head. Awesome cherry and sour going on in this stuff. Just enough malt in there to balance it out. Really good, but you knew that.

02-05-2012 21:24:45 | More by drowland
Photo of Doodler
Doodler

Colorado

5/5  rDev +9.6%

12-28-2011 05:20:45 | More by Doodler
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +9.6%

12-25-2011 00:58:03 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Dirty Horse from De Struise Brouwers
99 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.