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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003) - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Not Rated.
De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003)De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

63 Ratings
THE BROS
65
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 13
Gots: 10 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 11-13-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 63 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by NearerMyBeerToMe:
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fills the tulip glass crowned with an inch of fine, pinkish-brown bubbles that seem to last forever, but cling only moderately. Forceful streams of carbonation pack bubbles into each other at base of head. Murky liquid is the darkest stain of rosewood in color, with almost purplish depths and softly glowing chestnut highlights. Sharp, lactic tartness in aroma becomes extremely vinous with an almost cidery, sour apple finish. With warmth, develops tones of rotting sour fruit, tree bark, piles of leaves in the rain, and wet clay. Piercing, yet non-medicinal nosefeel ends exquisitely dry. Staggering complexity of tastes literally changes sip by sip: tart Macintosh apples, cider, tannins, pomegranate, pinot noir, sour green cherries, sweet black cherries, cinnamon, potpourri, menthol, metallic sourness... morphing without repetition until the last drop. Body is light and highly carbonated with a slight alcoholic numbness, cool and dry upon inhaling. Not a touch of astringency despite the hugely pungent flavors. Sip slowly and the complexity will afford its own form of drinkability. Throw stylistic expectations out the window--this is easily one of the most dynamic beers I have ever tasted. Challenging? No doubt. But drinkers willing to devote their complete attention will discover, within this brew, tiny worlds of perception whose evolution parallels that of a greater reality.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Dark, cloudy orange in color with a frothing head that I had to control at the pour. No lacing on this 12.0 ABV ale.

Smell – Dark, giant cookie dough aroma with heavy-duty spices. The nose is very musty and has a big swell of alcohol.

Taste – This one is a mouthfull. The spices and alcohol are way too much, and there’s a big sour note to this ale that drowns out everything else.

Mouthfeel – This one is sour and very alcoholic.

Drinkability – I love big, heavy-hitting BSDAs and I know that this ale has been well-reviewed by others, but I just wasn’t able to appreciate it.

Photo of Jason
2.76/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Great head retention with a hazy burgundy brown hue. The woody aromas do nothing to improve and seem out of place.

The vinous character throughout becomes bothersome to my palate at least for me. Both a bit acrid and vaguely medicinal as well. The sourness in the middle is way out of wack as nothing else meshes well with it, the woody notes and higher alcohol just add to the astringency. Just because a beer is 12% does not mean it is going to be a great beer ... I'm glad I did not get my hopes up to high. This beer just goes to show you that one should not mess with the original beer. Not appealing and quite undrinkable.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Murky brown tone with a creamy textured tan head, leaves behind some lacing very nice. Aroma: Tart tones with a warming sweetness and the oak aged cask conditioning is apparent here as well. Taste: Wine like vinous tone with tart grapes and raisins, alcohol tones are coming out. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied high in carbonation. Drinkability: Not bad just not as amazing as I was thinking it was going to be, has a nice flow to it high alcohol wine like tone very warming wouldn't drink too many of these.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear crimson and orange accented chestnut body rests seemingly timid beneath a full head of light tan foam that holds well and leaves some short walls and wide splashes of lace about the glass. Streams of tiny bubbles can clearly be seen rising steadily to support its thin cap of foam. The nose is vinous (think Bordeaux), hoppy, spicy (think alcohol, spice, herbs and red pepper seeds), and malty (think cookie dough or chalky hard candy, but the resulting flavor is not sweet....?). It's delicately effervescent on the tongue like a fine Champagne ( - not like sparkling wine), and it's otherwise light bodied and smooth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a touch more tartness to it, and perhaps some more dark grape skins. It has a similar acidity and astringency to a dark, tannic wine, and it lingers in the mouth in the same way except for the addition of some dull, leafy hop notes. The dry, low-key, mineral-like bitterness is similar to that of a Bordeaux as well. Wow! The vinous character is astounding! This is a beer unlike any other beer! And it should probably be sought out and sampled for that reason alone, although you might learn to love it along the way.

Photo of Jon
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant mahogany/brown with deep reddish tints and a rocky, cream-colored head. Beautiful.

Vastly complex, winey nose with whaffs of oak, vanilla, chocolate and minor alcohol.

Vinous flavor is accentuated with hints of raisins, oak, bitter chocolate, and smoked. Possessing a certain minerality, the beer is tart and acidic finishing quite dry. The Bordeaux barrel aging adds such a complex character to the regular Oerbier.

Full, relatively carbonated mouthfeel. Lively acidity and minerality adds depth.

Drinks better than its 12% abv would indicate, though it's a true sipping delight. This beer will continue to improve in the bottle and should be even more enjoyable in the coming years. A remarkable creation from DeDolle.

Photo of DESTRO
4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this baby pours out a cloudy dark golden/brown with an enormous fat rocky head. the nose? grapes. lucious apples. fruit everywhere. brilliant! a bit of alcohol comes through but nothing can touch the scent of fruit running wild. cider anyone? taste....WHOA NELLY. insane. tart apple/cherries and a bit of citrus up front. then comes the wave of alcohol crashing the party. woody and dry, spicey and just flat out intense. finishes a bit puckering and leaves the mouth watering. this is a beer with alot of flavour. the mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly, yet somewhat thick and hearty. a filling brew that goes down like a fine champagne. weighing in at 12% this is a heavyweight. it will slap you around, but in a very civilized, enjoyable manor. one is good enough for me, but i will be back, again and again and again. simply amazing.

$3.99 for 11.2oz

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Been eying this one in the cellar for a while. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber. Almost burgundy. Slight bubbles, but it's damn close to flat.

Smell - Astringent and vinous notes. Deep malt. Buttery. Some acidity coming off of this one.

Taste - Incredibly astringent. Getting sour with some oxidation. Still malty and vinous. Red wine notes. Tannic.

Mouthfeel - Dry and not boozy at all. Vinous and have I said astringent? Still a sipper.

Overall - It's interesting, but probably way too old. No way to tell if the age made it interesting or the original beer was interesting.

Photo of benmiliron
2.43/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Paid $5 for a bottle.

A dark, murky brown. Smells like a strong wine with a slight hint of isopropyl alcohol. Taste is complex, but not in a good way. Very fine bubble, like champagne almost. Very sour, heavy alcohol, very very dry. Almost evaporates on your tongue. Flavors of oak are noticeable. Very medicinal.

Yuck. Terrible.

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium caramel color with good head retention and spotty lace on the glass.
Aroma is dark fruit, hint of scotch, some sour green apple.
Flavor has some cherry notes between the sour notes and an undertone of light caramel with some bread and yeast and a slight peppery spice.
Mouthfeel is like an alcoholic sweet tart. Very tasty but boy it makes you pucker. Light spiciness on the finish cuts just enough of the sourness to make very enjoyable.
Drinkability is good if you like sour beers. I'm not a fan but this one had some very special qualities that made it very good. Hides the alcohol in it extremely well.

Photo of lou91
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured so perfect,- filling my chimay glass perfectly with a nice head and an elegant amber color. The nose is big and tangy. The taste is absolutely wonderful – rich, ,tart, crisp and an excellent alcohol warmth all cranked up to 10. It is very drinkable – like a great white wine. Got it for 8 bucks at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel.

Photo of Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after its resurrection from the 33cl brown bottle pours a totally clouded brown to plum color, the head portly in size, the texture creamy and the color a beauteous light tan with the resultant lace a fine sheet to drape the glass. Nose has a distinct aroma of fusel alcohol along with the over ripe plum scent, sweet malt underneath, slight hint of yeast me thinks, with the start lightly sweet, with a rather light top. Finish is ferine in its tartness, quite dry, past vinous, with a hint of hops and the sweet and sour carries to the tummy warming finish, a unique beer, and quite a “Hoot” .

Photo of Rastacouere
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a pretty respectable rocky head for 12%. Aroma is not quite intense, rather mild actually, far from expectations (I know it's a bad thing to do, but having read some of the reviews here, when I saw reviews with mentions like imperial flemish sour ales, I anticipated this to be in my top 10). Anyway, aroma is light woody cherry, raspberry, automnal (leaves) with slight tart notes. Taste of bilberries, branches, leaves, sour grapes, light apples, oak and coke. Alcohol remarkably hidden. Creamy texture. Very good, but still disappointing unlike hopsrus its provider!

Photo of jedwards
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of mine shared with friends over the holidays.

Pours very dark reddish brown with a thin but pillowy light tan head -- looks quite a bit like fresh Oerbier Reserva. Smells woody, tart, lots of stone fruit/raisin, slight citrus. Taste is phenomenal, vinous and astringent with a perfect candy/fruit sweetness and a creamy, effervescent body.

I've put a hold on drinking any fresh Oerbier Reserva from now on. I wish I had another bottle of this to check in a few years time.

Photo of meathookjones
2.56/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours out a murky dark brown with a reddish tint and a few inches of beige head. The head has good retention and leaves lacing coating most of the glass. Aroma is spicy, lots of fruity apple notes and plenty of vinous characteristics. Taste starts off with a sharp sweetness and fruitiness of apples and cherries before going overboard with an almost unpalatable sour tartness that is unpleasant. The taste is complex with those flavors as well as plenty of vinous notes and alcohol taste that only adds to the mayhem. Mouthfeel is good and full with a coated feel, which in this case only spreads the unpleasant taste. I would say this is fairly undrinkable in my opinion. I will definitely pick up another bottle in the future to give it a second chance but for now I will stay away.

Photo of aracauna
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When I poured this into the glass, my first impression was dull medium brown. After I poured, the color seemed to change from that dull and boring brown to rubies on worn leather. The head is a dense, small-bubbled foam, like melted french vanilla icecream. It also showed no signs of fading. The wine aroma in this one is stronger than I remember the wine being in the Stille Nacht Reserva. Underneath that is a very estery beer. The flavor is sweet, with the wine still dominating. The very vinuous character is reinforced by the tartness in the finish. Melon, green apples dipped in caramel. Extremely tasty. I really wish I had access to regular Oerbier now to see how different this is. The only problem is that I wonder if the wine may have overwhelmed the beer a bit. Then again, many Belgian strong ales are very winey to start with, in which case the bordeaux casks would have only enhanced what is already there. Regardless, all the flavors work very well together and the tartness gives it a bit of a refreshing quality that makes it that much easier to drink.

Photo of Crittervision
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Kulminator on 12 August 2011. €12. Consumed after Vin de Céréale. 

Brown body with a touch of amber. Thinnest off-white cap that turns into a web and a surrounding ring. 

Smells like old orange, sweet cherry, some wood, perfume, vanilla and oak, very soft and sweet with a bit of Belgian yeast. 

In the taste is a bit of acetone, but nothing like the previous beer. Apple skin on the front that moves to unripe peaches plus grappa. The alcohol is very evident. 

Mouthfeel is tart, full, [great? — I can't read that word], and carbonation is on point. 

Quite complex. A pleasure to drink. 

Photo of granger10
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer certainly is a kick in the pants. Pours a burnt bronze color with honey on the sides. Large sticky foamy white head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is of a cherry liquer, yeasty dryness, and I seriously am getting a woody flavor in the finish. Taste brings lots of complexity and unusual flavors. Starts out apple cider sweet but a big kick of red wine tannins ensues. Lots of sourness and tarty flavors in the middle. Is this brett or lactobasilius? Sharp, intense, pungent flavors. Finish is dry and lingers. Very dry in the finish actually. This is pushing the borders between beer and wine. Alcohol fusels are strong throughout, this almost tastes stronger than 12%. Very unique offering and tasty but I think I could have been done after about halfway through.

Photo of faernt
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one came highly recommended. The bottle says it was brewed in 2002, aged in oak barrels and refermented in bottle. It poured into a chalice with a fine tight bubbled head that rose to about 3/8" in height before it began to settle down to a skim. It is a rosy copper color with a slight haze.
The smell is sweet, spicy, almost vinous, and very complex. Each time I think I have an aroma captured it changes into something else. The closest thing I can compare this to is balsamic vinegar. My wife just walked through the room and stopped to smell it, then drank some then said that we should have this around. Maybe this beer has special powers?
The taste starts tart then moves to sour. Mouthfeel and taste dance with each other with the taste, texture and where the beer is on my tongue constantly changing. This tastes like a food beer so I grab some salted nuts. After the nuts the beer reveals its oakiness, the tart sourness subsides, and the malt perks up. I'll try this with my wife's hazelnut torte the next time.
The 12%ABV brings this into wine territory so one bottle changes my perspective. This is very drinkable but choose a designated driver before you give in to its charms.

Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two-finger head leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Very good carbonation. Medium bodied. Nose is a tart cherry, starts sweet and sour, very complex, finishes as a sour cherry flavor. The high ABV is not really noticeable. Pricey - $6.25 for a 330ml bottle.

Photo of Douglas88
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition drank October 2008 with a big thanks to hopdog. I really loved the regular so I was anticipating the reserva for sure. My 800th rating. Pours a a large and thick beige head on top of a reddish-brown body. The aroma was instantly noticed as more sour than the regular version; lots of sour cherries and tons of woody notes. Some light candies and chocolates too. The taste was great; a initial smooth and mellow sour woody and tart cherry flavors. The sweet candy and ripe fruits come out later, especially as it warms. The six years in bottle plus the barrel aging has mellowed this considerably, and the alcohol is only hinted at in a pervasive warmth. A real treat for sure.

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cL bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Gorgeous murky maroon that's akin to some l.b.v. ports I've seen. Just verging on being a tawny port. Topped by a very bubbly off-white head which dissipates to a small layer of foam. This is done faster than it's not wood-aged cousin. However, this leaves some incredible lacing more akin to pantyhose the way the bubbles are so close together.

Smell: Nice aromas of woody oak and less intense red wines. Splashes of pepper and a whole lotta tart cherries and sour fruits. Not quite as complex as Oerbier, but still an incredible scent. Very pungent, too. I can smell it from a few feet away.

Taste: Incredibly sour and tart cherries with oaky wood overtones. Some barnyard funk (for lack of a better phrase) chucked in for good measure. I'm reminded of an oud bruin here. Hints of lighter red wines like pinot noir and beaujolais are caught on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Mildly tannic and lighter in body than Oerbier, most likely from the acidity. Cleanses the palate like nothing else. This sucker calls out for hearty, spicy, and garlicky food. Might also go great with a field green salad with some goat cheese and a vinaigrette dressing.

Drinkability: Certainly not a beer I'd want to have a lot of without food, but quite potable nonetheless. Highly acidic and tart, so it's not everyone's cup of tea. I wouldn't drink this everyday, but I will drink it again if I can find more of it (the remaining bottle in the "cellar" will have to wait for some special occasion).

Photo of mzwolinski
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear, rich amber in color with a nicely-sized off-white head that eventually settles down to a creamy, persistent top. The aroma is slightly sharp -- a bit vinous, but mellowed by a graceful oaky character.

Strikingly tart on the first sip. Second sip reveals more depth to the flavor, as the tartness develops flavors of maraschino cherry and grape. Malt character emerges stronger as the beer warms, giving the beer a nicer balance. Alcohol lends a discernable spiciness to the finish, but is not at all obtrusive. Woodiness kicks in on the back end and lingers pleasantly. Altogether more vinous than a typical Belgian strong dark ale, more like a oud bruin IMHO, but good, whatever the label.

Moderate and somewhat creamy in mouthfeel due to even carbonation and persistent head. Quite dry in the finish, and warming in the belly. This is a really good beer, and very drinkable for its strength.

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown bottle with a maroon cap and silver label. Aged in oak barrels and refermented in the bottle.

Served at room temperature. Poured a giant fluffy light tan head that holds solid, and only after a few sips leaves a thick coating along the glass. Glowing ruby brown liquid with a vortex of carbonation rising from the bottom of the chalice. The aroma is of tart alcoholic apples. The taste is very mild, bits of sour apples and cherries, a little bit of alcohol and an aftertaste that is every so slightly bitter. The body is light and the mouthfeel fairly smooth. A very good strong belgian winter brew.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last enjoyed April, 2012 (Zythos weekend):

Oerbier Special Reserve unrelentingly borrows a lot of qualities of both beer and wine. The 10 year cellared version carries a sharp sherry wine flavor that's layered upon a serious pale malt base with spices and fruits of good red grape must. Rusty garnet with solid burgudy saturation, the lightly creamy foam stance evades the sparkling character of younger versions and favors a delicate creme that reduces to a trace around the rim. The scent emits tart notes of sour cherries, berries, and acidic fruit aromas--somewhat pungent to taste and lightly astringent to texture. Faded hop character lends muted spice and bitterness but better yet evolves into the taste of we tobacco. Soft spices of integrates cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin weave into the fruity-malty complex just as a more savory briny soy-sauce note weaves in. The body is medium to robust as the dissipated carbonation lays flatly on the tongue and coats it evenly with the malty weight for maximum flavor. Lightly powdery late, the finish reminds me of sandalwood, red wine, and sherry.

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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003) from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
91 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.