Dirty Horse - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Dirty HorseDirty Horse

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

97 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 639
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: 97 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

100% 1983, on-tap at Ebenezer's. Gigantic thanks to JAHMUR for making this review possible.

A: Cloudy pink-orange body with a minimal ring of fine tan bubbles; practically still, but for a beer that's nearly 30 years old I think it looks quite nice.

S: Rich cherries (shockingly), moderate lactic sourness, some oak, and even more fruit. Just a faint bit of musty, barnyardy funk. Enjoyable, yes, life changing, no.

T: Juicy cherries, vanilla, acetic acid, and lemony tartness. Delicious, clean finish. Very mild + smooth, with rape cherry flavor persisting for an impressively long time. While amazingly delicate and fairly complex, this honestly isn't the best-tasting Kriek I've had.

M: Smooth, soft, velvety. Terrific.

O: I'm not sure which is more amazing to me: the fact that I got the chance to try this beer, the fact that it still has a huge cherry presence, or the fact that it didn't blow me away. I honestly expected this to be the most delicious pour of beer I'd ever had, and it just didn't deliver. I've had it, I've ticked it, and I'm over it.

Cheers!

Photo of tpd975
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Urbain and the guys at Struise for sending this one over gratis for the group to try at the ratebeer winter gathering.

A: Pours a nice brillant red with a small whitish pink head. Lite retention and no lace.

S: Aromas of tart cherry, mild spice, and bretty funk.

T: Light cherry, raspberries, oak, spices, and a mild brett tartness.

M: On the lighter side of medium. Nicely carbonated, lighter and less tart than I expected.

D: Good, a nice little sour beer one I am honored to try as I never thought I would get a shot at it. Cheers to Urbain for being so generous.

Photo of cbutova
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

big thanks goes out to GrumpyOldTroll, jbuddle, Sean9689, SpeedwayJim, AgentZero, dtmets84 for sharing in the greatest day of beer that i have ever been a part of. huge thanks to mike for providing this bit of unobtainium.

notes from 1/12/2013

90/10 blend consumed from a de struise tulip glass.

poured a murky maroon almost brown with a thin foamy head that hung out for a bit. smelled rahter musty and fruity at the same time. apples and old berries...tastes pretty great. tart fruit with must. like overripe berries with must and age. tart. really nice lambic, but this is no don quijote. the mustiness is fairly heavy all around this beer. it is very good for a beer that has some 30 year old beer blended in there and it is extremely drinkable and had some really nice fairly bright fruity flavoring as well.

Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

**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!

Photo of birchstick
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Big thanks to bsuedekum for getting this and sharing!

100% 1983 version

A - pours rustic reddish orange without a head

S - tons of tarts cherries intermingle with a layer of funk; lemony citric lambic is in the mix, along with a little bit of musty blanket and a touch of BO

T - starts off with a boat load of cherries as to be expected. I am surprised just how well the cherries have held up given the age of this beer. The cherries yield to a little bit of sour lambic notes. Ends with a blanket of funk and oddly enough a little bit of grain malt.

M - medium smooth decent carbonation

D - can't believe I had a chance to try this one! Held up fantastically over the years. It's sour, but not Cantillon sour, and the cherries still shine. Thanks again for saving some Blake!

Photo of Jeffo
3.88/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Satchboogie
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of seeswo
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Urbain, a very generous guy.

A - It pours a brilliant color of red; red like fire engine, red like lipstick, red like grenadine, just intensely red. It looks like it'd stain if it was (unconscionably!) spilled on anything. There is a miniscule head, or more accurately, an encircling ring of bubbles, that persists for most of the glass; Lambic isn't about head or retention though, obviously.

S - The nose reveals a striking depth of fruit flavor as well as perfect funk. For the fruit, there is a seeming melange of berry flavors, including cherry, but extending to blackberry, blueberry, et al., and also revealing generally bushy notes suggesting foraged drupes. For the funk, it is equal parts medicine cabinet and band-aids, lactic cheesiness, horse-y barnyard, cobwebs and musty basement, and acetic rotten peaches; something that sounds so bad never smelled so good.

T - The flavor is exquisitely complex, and is comprised of the same balance of delectable fruit melange, led by tart-sweet cherries but accompanied by impressions of bushy drupes, then coalesced with a medicinal-horse-cheese-cobweb-overripe funk. Tartness is moderate; it is not bracingly sour, it is exactly right to sharpen the funk while allowing the individual nuance of the fruit-flavor to shine. The cherry comes through intensely and delectably on the finish, whereas it is mostly sublimely stated during the quaff. This is the best Kriek I've had, hands down.

M - Feels good man. Lighter than medium-bodied, intensely silky, and with enough soft carbonation to keep it lively.

O - A masterpiece. Big thanks to Kristina from WLV, and Bryna and Alex, for the instrumental role they played in making this happen.

Oh, yeah, this is review #1000. A nice wale, every bit as good as hype would suggest.

Photo of alleykatking
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1000. Poured from 750ml bottle. Many thanks to Mark for busting this gem out for shits and giggles. Review from notes...

A- Pours a hazed plum color toward the middle with some light ruby grapefruit color on the outer edges. When held to the light there is some golden yellow hues on the edges of the glass. One and a half finger pink head shows light retention. Pink edges on the top of the beer after everything dies down. Spotty lacing on the glass when taking sips.

S- First thing that comes through on the nose is soured cherries. This is light overall and blends together with musty barnyard funk. I have never really smelled wet leather before in a beer but I did in this one. Wet hay also comes through. There is a nice vinegar like aroma that blends with some oak aging. Hints of soured cherry come back once again with a little more to it than in the front. Alcohol that comes through in the ending is inviting and lightly tingles the nose.

T- Soured cherry in the front of the beer which I expected to be more tart than anything else. This has some vinegar notes in the front as well. Some light barnyard funk with hints of hay toward the middle. This kind of takes over and makes the cherry die down almost completely. Oak comes through on the backend with more cherry bursting through. This gets acidic when it warms a little more toward the ending. Alcohol doesn't really seem to be an issue in the flavor at all. The flavors blend all into each other and make this beer taste wonderful.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Low carbonation on this beer but this is expected considering how old this beer is. Soured cherries, oak, and some light funk are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly acidic cherries, some light oak, and wet leather and hay. Medium alcohol drying on the palate with each sip. No off flavors were present when drinking this beer. Overall this beer was very balanced with and I enjoyed the mix between cherries, oak, and barnyard funk.

D- This beer was very inviting from the sound it made when it opened to the ending of the last sip. I could and would have easily drank this entire bottle by myself but I had to take only my share of it. A nice drink that wasn't harsh on the stomach or on the palate. This is one beer to seek out and I would do it soon before it is gone forever!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Auction bottle # 5/250. Shared at a tasting 6/4/11. This is the 90% 1983/10% 2005 blended version. 5oz. pour from a 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Cantillon oversize wine glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a .5 finger thick, creamy white head with poor retention. Beer is a semi-clear reddish-purple. Lacing is spotty and stringy with poor cling. Pretty standard for the style.

S: Nose is overripe cherry puree mixed with aged smelly cheese. Notes of barnyard and barn animal funk round out the experience. Very robust, deep, and balanced. That the fruit is still so prominent is miraculous after all this time.

T: Opens sweet cherry, band-aid, straw, and a mellow Brett funkiness. Light crisp tartness comes in towards the middle but isn't overwhelming. Finish is a soft cherry sweet tart embedded in a cheese wheel. Big cherry notes in the aftertaste. One of the most balanced and subtle beers I've had to date.

M: Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, smooth and oily in the mouth and soft and mellow going down. Finish is mellow with a soft, pleasantly lingering aftertaste.

O: The hype is real with this one. One of the best fruit lambics I've ever had the pleasure of having. Not over the top and bursting with flavor and nothing outrageous going on here. But incredible balance, incredible feel, and just amazingly mellow and subtle all the way around.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap, 100% 1983, poured into a wine glass at Ebenezer's 7th annual Belgian feast (8/19/11), reviewed from notes. HUGE thanks to Chris & the whole Eb's crew for this surprise night cap!

Pours a very ruddy dark and hazy brown/red with a small light brown head that doesn't hang around - no lacing to speak of.

Nose is tart and funky, that classic old school wet horse blanket but I guess not so surprisingly after near 30 years the nose has mellowed a decent amount.

Wow, the taste on this is super balanced, much more so than any fresh lambics I've had. It's got all the funk, the tartness, and the sour but all together it's very well rounded and smooth which is quite surprising to me. Rhubarb is a flavor that stands out a lot as it lingers.

Mouthfeel is very light, smooth and very rich.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, lots of hype, but it really is amazing, very tasty, mellow, refreshing, and unique, it's certainly something I'd drink all the time if that was an option.

Photo of Brabander
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I NEVER drink a beer when i have to drive in my car...untill yesterday. Who can i blame? The big man himself; Urbain.

As always i take a few Ba's with me on tour when i go the the Saint Sixtus abbey and after that to the Struise Brouwers. This time B0rderman and Claaark13 and his WIFE!! (sorry Sean that i called her your girlfriend) joined me.

Urbain is one of the best hosts you can imagine. He magicly 'found' a 1983 bottle of this heavenly brew. It could be that the bottle was not good enough he told us. without cherries. Boy, were we lucky. This bottle was with cherries and it was superb.

I only drank a little bit of it because i still had to drive my guests safe back to Brussels and Antwerpen but i was very impressed by this beer.

Every sip gave me three different mouthfeels, very edgy and very surprising, i never had this with a beer. The sour was flattened which made this beer very accesible for a non lambic lover.

About the taste you can read enough in the other reviews. I am going to open an elderyhome in the old schoolbuilding for retired BA's. There we can drink his beers all day and get old very easy.

Thanks Urbain from the bottom of my heart for your extraordinary hospitality!!

Nectar of the Gods...

Thijs

Photo of Chico1985
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Woahh, 1983 unblended Dirty Horse, wuddup? Thank you Ebenezer's. Poured from a keg to a sampling glass.

Pours maroon, no head, some flecks. A small white ring is formed with some agitation. Fine considering the age.

Nice scent, big cherries and lemon juice.

Taste brings on pretty intense cherry+lemon sourness, some musty basement funk but it's mostly fruity. Some red grapes/red wine presence there as well. Quite fruity+bright considering the age, impressive.

Good mouthfeel, surprisingly lively and drinkable for the age+ABV.

Happy to finally bite the bullet and try this - though it's not quite world-changing, it's very good and you'd probably never guess it was nearly 30 years old.

Photo of pixieskid
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Urbancaver
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of craytonic
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of CityofBals
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ChrisPro
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of pperez38
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of drseamus
4.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Ebenezer's under the name Vuul Peird

A: Nice red body with a thin white head. I'm a little surprised that there was head.

S: All sour cherries. All good.

T: Intense tartness. It hits hard with cherries followed by continued tartness. It is almost singular in its tartness. This isn't the tartest beer I've had but it's easily top 5. Off hand, the Peach Raspberry Lambic that was served at EBF was more intense but not by much.

M: Light body with an intense puckering character. Finishes with a clean puckering finish. Lots of pucker in this fucker.

D: How do you rate the drinkability of a beer of which only 1 keg exists and cannot be reproduced?

Photo of bschinelli
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Dirty Horse from De Struise Brouwers
99 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.