1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

De Dolle Speciaal Brouwsel 20 - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Not Rated.
De Dolle Speciaal Brouwsel 20De Dolle Speciaal Brouwsel 20

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

43 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 15.2%
Wants: 37
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

20th anniversary beer originally released in 2000, and imported into the US in 2001.

(Beer added by: Todd on 10-08-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle acquired in a trade with fatboyjim1, thanks again for sending me this rarity, drank to celebrate my 1400th review and a promotion, split with Dane and Don last night, poured into my Bruery tulip glass, color is a copper with a lot of brown but also a lot of red when I held it up to the light, cannot even measure how big the head because it was so large, four turns on the cage and the corked popped on its own, did not lose much liquid though and was thankful I have learned to point that bottle away from my face when opening bottles like that, some spotty lacing, aroma consists of cherries, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, other sweet malts, candied sugar, tartiness, dirty feet, wet oak, vine, raisins, mustiness, lemon, and a variety of berries, taste starts off mildly tart with a nice crisp feeling right at first, cherries and berries in the middle, finish is pretty subtle and a musty malt presence, also some lingering sourness, lots of caramel and lemon in the background as it warms, flavor is nice and tart but not overly sour, more of a caramel and malty brew you would expect from an aged Flanders of this sort, by the end I got a lot of oak and peaches come up out of no wear and pretty sour as well as sweet, fruity, malty, sweet, tarty, dry, and citrusy mouthfeel, medium bodied that would have been a lot fuller if it was not for the extreme carbonation at first, head wears off and the carbonation is actually pretty soft, works nicely and lets the malt and fruits do their magic, could have drank this bottle and then some, very well hidden alcohol for eight percent, smooth and well rounded taste, goes down easy and can even be refreshing, would want to see what this is like another five years from now, this was brewed in 2000 for their 20th anniversary and still has some room for age, I only had this once before but do not remember it being as good the first time, the malts have really become pronounced and the tart is still there to make things interesting, one of the better De Dolle beers I have had and that is saying a lot with beers like Still Nacht and the various Reservas they offer, would love to drink again but who knows if that will happen, highly recommended

Floydster, Jul 12, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of shapudding
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an iced tea, brownish, and unfiltered looking. Small bubbles in the creamy head. Odd scent in this... makes me think of hot german red cabbage or sourkraut... Very smooth tasting. Biteyness in there from dark citrus and some spiceyness, like a burnt apple cider. Very wonderful!

shapudding, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of rastaman
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite big and flavourful, quite sticky, sweet and sour, tart, slightly refreshing, hints of cherry, quite yeasty, different. The aroma, i found to pungent (although interesting), the palate, wasa a bit more subtle, very tasty stuff.

rastaman, Oct 08, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. The first pour is surprisingly clear (although it has been resting in a cooler at 42F for several months). I can't see my fingerprints, but I can clearly see my fingers through the deep tawny body. In fact, the only thing interupting my view are the dozens of streams of fast rising bubbles. It's appearance is magnificent. The body reveals a multitude of colors: golden, orange, copper and bronze with a small grouping of tiny ruby highlights along the side of the glass. A massive, cottony pillow of off-white foam rises throughout the top several inches of the tall goblet and maintains at least an inch of head throughout the entire glass. As the level of the beer goes down, so does the head - leaving behind some impressive splashes of delicate, fluffy lace as it goes.

The nose appears almost lambic-like as the cork first pops, but it's actually quite different. It's not as sour or "barnyard"; it has a candyish sweetness; and it's quite complex if you give it a chance. It's tart and fruity (apples, pear, kiwi, apricot, mild blueberry and red berries with a hint of background currant); musty; candy-sweet like fruity-salt-water taffy/cotton candy/"air-heads" tangy taffy/"Sweet Tarts"; slightly mineral-like but not quite metallic, softly woody and a touch earthy (mushrooms/damp soil); even lightly catty (or like cat-piss, should I say?). MESMERIZING!

The flavor explodes into the mouth on a wave of gently effervescent but-expanding-as-it-warms-carbonation! It's lightly tingly on the tongue at first, and yet somehow soft and cottony at the same time - light bodied and airy with 'expressed' carbonation. Very odd, and intriguing! It's not necessarily smooth, it just dissipates from the tongue.

In the flavor, boldly tart and sweet fruits (apricot, black cherry, raspberry, red wine) with a bit of earthiness and a metallic edge dominate the palate. But as it warms across the palate, sweeter and more candyish malt comes to the fore. It's almost overwhelming, but once you ride the wave out it finishes with the tart & sweet notes fading to a light, honeyish note as some chalky dryness becomes apparent (yet the bitterness remains subtle).

Quite impressive! Massively rich and complex with a delicate, airy body and exceptional drinkability. As this was a limited release some time ago I'd try to find some now!!!! It's well worth it.

NeroFiddled, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for this one. Flown out all the way from Chicago! 4oz. pour into a Lost Abbey teku. Reviewed from notes 1/12/13.

Pours a thin, fluffy white head with good retention. Stringy, spotty lace with good stick. Beer is a slightly clear light pink brown. Real pretty.

Nose is fresh cut grass, mild vinegar, and a subtle, red fruit tartness. Pretty mellow and vinegary notes are kept at a minimum here which I like.

Opens sweet and tart cherry. Wet wood, peat, mild vinegar, cobwebs. More red fruit in the middle and finish which smooths out nicely right towards the end. Real creamy and soft. Exactly the right balance for me.

Light to medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. Some oxidation is apparent here. Mellow, spritzy in the mouth and tingly and aggressive going down. Messy finish with a quick, lightly lingering aftertaste. Solid.

This beer has really aged wonderfully. The overwhelming vinegar tartness that usually puts me off from this style is not present here. Instead, the sour is well integrated and even creamy at times. One worth going after if you're really into this style.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep hazy and murky orange. Medium off white head.

Smell - Oxidized. Caramel. Apple fruitiness. Slight acidity.

Taste - Lightly tart. Apple fruitiness. Turns into cherry. Caramel. Oxidized sherry and some cardboard. Sweet and sour finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Has just about every flavor a beer can have besides hops.

Alieniloquium, Yesterday at 02:53 AM
Photo of claaark13
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

claaark13, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of SpdKilz
2.5/5  rDev -38.7%

SpdKilz, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of Bardwashrind
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Doodler and Popkas for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

After some white knuckled searching within the cellar of Glendale's best watering hole, we were within the company of this oddity.

The cork escaped with that familiar pop and 'gun slinger' smoke. A slow but steady carbonation forced the liquid out of the bottle. Less than half and oz. lost, not as bad as some other reviews have suggested. The glass was filled with a thick finger's worth of bright bubbles. A dark orange, eerie red tint filled the glass as well as some big chunks of sediment.

Aromas of cranberries, vinegar, saw dust, and stewed fruits filled my senses. A muted sourness crossed with distant char was apparent with each smell. Not at all bad, actually quite complex as the bottle warmed up.

Up to this bottle, I haven't had the best experiences with aged beer. Oxidation is a tricky variable to come in contact with and most of my experiences have not been very favorable.

This will be a bench mark.

The dusty qualities matched with the subtle tart-cherry and cranberry flavors were just wonderful. Bold oak was still apparent as the tannin actually lent a texture to the beer. Great wine comparisons but not at all overly tart or too oak driven, just the right balance of the two. Nuances of ripe plums, cherries and spices all melded together so nicely. A refreshing finish made for a desire for more sips. Great food beer, would be nice at the Thanksgiving table (Hopefully not within the presence of Tofurky).

A wonderful beer. Amazingly drinkable with fruit and tartness still holding thought while the rounded oak balanced each sip. Tasting great with being in a bottle for the last ten years. Could see getting a few more out of it as well. Loads of sediment collecting at the bottom of the glass container, with most ending up in my mouth as I drank like mother's milk straight from the bottle. Couldn't let any of this go to waste.

Bardwashrind, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Masterski for sharing this oddity.

Murky, rusty amber, full of floaties and sediment. It pours with a solid finger of head that retains well.

Funky and oxidized nose, very vinous with notes of tart berries and port wine. Oaky, musty, all-around odd, though not unpleasant. Sort of Fantome-esque.

Very oaky, tannic, drying and oxidized on the palate. Sherry or port, tart berries, soil, mineral, slightly metallic. Hard to describe, reminiscent of iron and smoked hickory in the finish. This is very oxidized now, but I still enjoyed my pour. It was probably quite good 5 years ago.

largadeer, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Rastacouere
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The easiest 5 for appearance. The orange hue just capts the light and begs to be contemplated for its grandiloquent carbonation. It looks like its alive and a good friend of mine. Take my flesh! Gigantic sized off-white head wears a ton of desiments. Big bubbles keep going up and climbing the glass rather than diminishing. It just stays there, admirative and sticks to the glass like crazy glue with a lacing that can’t be matched. The nose is complex and character loaded. Very oaky, smooth like a diplomat. Nice brett suggestions, mild champaign notes. Leafy hops, basement and cobwebs reminiscent yeast. Cork and cask wood notes... just so many elements I adore in belgians. Mouth presence is much more intense than the aroma. It has this gentle tartness that is just so refreshing in the flanders sour ales and a bit of brett to capt anyone’s attention. Bready yeast, farmy hay, barnyardy, sawdust, cedar spruce, wood... will this ever end? I hope not. Complex fruity undertones (apples, intense riped cherry skin, white grapes). Eternal dry finish follows a funky light bitterness. The mouthfeel to carry this plethora of flavors is of course extremely carbonated, but I’ll be damned if this doesn’t work. Smooth like a night by a campfire and spritzy like a night where you fight the fire. 2 thumbs up to De Dolle for this beauty that has held its stick to the fantastic opponent that is time since this is now 4 yr old. It’s truly a shame that the aroma just doesn’t come out a bit more expressive as this would have been my first 5, I still consider it as my favorite beer up to now though. I’m astonished by the pure elegance displayed by this fine specimen that somehow manages to also count among the most rustic beers I’ve ever sampled. Incredible. Thanks a thousand RoyalT!

Rastacouere, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of weeare138
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this one...
Appears a hazy amber with an orange hue. The small white head slowly fades out into a mild cap. Spotty traces of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is slightly oxidized with a hint of cork, and cardboard found upon the first inhales. Other scents include zesty, spicy, citrus, pumelo, and mild cherries.
Taste is of sweet, orange, pumelo, melon, mild spicing, and very light vinegar, with berries.
Mouthfeel is mildly tart, citrusy, medium bodied, corky, with sweet cherries, and vinuous notes on top of ripened fruits.
Unfortunately, this one is on the decline, or so it would appear.

weeare138, May 06, 2008
Photo of jcalabre
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This pours a cloudy orange color with a frothy white head.
Aroma: The schnauzola is musty, definitely something to get used to
Flavor: The taste is sour (surprise!) but finishes cleanly and leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth. There are some hints of sour apple

jcalabre, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of abraxel
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 5, courtesy of sholland119.

There's actually some residue around the cork that seems almost like some beer seeped out and dried... I hope it's still in good shape. And the cork comes out with a pop, followed by gushing foam spraying everywhere! Crap.

A - Very murky reddish-brown. I think I upset all the yeast trying to deal with the unexpected gusher and not get foam everywhere. A lot of head (naturally), but it subsides relatively quickly, leaving some nice lacing. It would be much more attractive if it weren't for all the sediment.

S - A little cherry tartness, maybe, but lots of band-aid funk, as well as some horse-blanket. On the first pour I didn't get much other than the band-aid. Perhaps it's because I was able to let the yeast settle more, but the second glass seemed to open up -- there's still that funkiness, but it's not nearly as dominant. I get some cherry, apple, and Belgian-yeasty esters. The slightest bit of dry sourness makes an appearance and pulls the rest together. The first glass was meh, the second was pretty good... I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and rate by the second glass.

T - Once again, the first and second glasses were pretty different. The first had lots of overpowering band-aid funk, a touch of dry sourness. Pretty sweet, but not much malt flavor. The second glass had a bit more of the sourness, which balanced the funk nicely, and there's some mustiness and green apple and candy sweetness and really interesting complexities that are going over my head. Rather nice.

M - Very smooth, velvety, silky, punctuated by just the right amount of carbonation. It gets increasingly smooth and decadent as I drink more. Awesome.

Overall, I wish I hadn't mixed all the yeast up, because I think the second glass was much tastier because the yeast had settled out a bit more. This seems like a Belgian sour (not an American wild), but I'm at a complete loss as to what.

Non-blind comments: Holy shit, that's a rare one! The 11 years this has been sitting around explains the bit of residue around the cork, as well as why it was so hard to wrap my tastebuds around. Now I'm really kicking myself for kicking that yeast up... sholland119, you outdid yourself! Thank you!

abraxel, May 22, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -26.5%

ygtbsm94, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of faernt
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

...out with a caged cork from the 750. The pour reveals very fine De Dolle bubbles. The head is 2" high and slowly moves to a robust skim. The beer is a beautiful copper color. If it were in my backyard I'd worry that the copper bandits might trespass.

The aroma is bretty and sweaty. The taste starts tart and moves to seriously sweet.Repeated taste reinforces the impression. I opened some Humbolt
Fog aged goat cheese to pair with this and the sweetness and carbonation works well with it.

De Dolle...very reliable and very good.It doesn't taste like a Flanders Red in 2008. Thank you.

faernt, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of hopdog
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle.

Opened to a lout audible pop. I expected a gush after that sound, but it didn't.

Aromas of yeast, cork, a little oxidized, bready, some cherries, earthy, and some wood. Tastes of yeast, cherries, lighter vinegar, and some woodiness. The strong corkiness in the aromas did not show up in the tastes.

Lively body. Sweet with a lighter tart/sour finish. Still a very special treat to have had this one and I'll give it an extra point for being a special beer for a special occasion!

Notes from and tasted on 2/22/08.

hopdog, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of sideshowe
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

sideshowe, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 corked and caged bottle served chilled in a Westmalle goblet. The cork popped of its own accord after the basket was removed.

Appearance: Murky brown liquid topped by a billowy tan head. A big ol' layer of foam was retained and left copious sheets of lace.

Smell: Whackloads of tannins, vinegar, and oaky aromas. Smattering of cherries and pits.

Taste: Über-tart and vinegary cherries. Oaky and woody with buttloads of tannins.

Mouthfeel: Laserlike cleansing of the palate and quite carbonated. Quite light in body.

Drinkability: Nice and tangy, and very drinkable. An incredible Flanders Red beer. Very bretty.

ManekiNeko, Apr 30, 2004
Photo of HopHead84
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8/13/2010

Thanks Alex! Pours red tinged orange with a big white head. The aroma oaky with strong sherry oxidation notes and a moderate acetic quality. I get light DMS notes and a touch of metal, as well as a vinous quality. The flavor is heavily oxidized and sherry-esque. There's a tangy and savory quality that's reminiscent of bbq sauce. Moderately acetic and oaky, the beer displays prominent tannins and a dry finish. The mouthfeel is dry and tannic with moderate carbonation.

HopHead84, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of lackenhauser
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very well carbonated!!!!Once I took the wire bale off the corked popped out on its own.Nice amber color with a slight reddish tint.A huge head that doesnt quit-I can only pour a little out of the bottle at a time as it foams up so much-very creamy head though-almost like cool whip!!!Fruity and sour aroma-very yeasty,some malt.Fruitiness and sourness comes thru the flavor.Nice mouthfeel-somewhat thin but the sourness and slight puckering give it a bit more body.Very enjoyable beer-not my favorite style but I do love this brewery and this is another great product of theirs.

lackenhauser, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

spycow, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +22.5%

HopStoopid120, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of beerguy101
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color. Very large foamy head. Aroma is sour cherries, must and yeast. The cork came out with a small popping sound and without explosion. A medium bodied Flemish Sour Ale. Amazing carbonation, it just hangs around forever and ever. Fruitiness is full and complex; there are tastes of cherries, oranges, apples and cranberries. Moderate yeastiness. Woody and musty with the very distinctive sour and tart taste of a Flemish Sour Red. The tartness, sourness and vinous qualities are not as strong as in Rodenbach or the Duchess and allow the complex fruitiness to shine. An AMAZING beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is sweet and dry. Aftertaste is slightly tart.

beerguy101, Oct 08, 2003
Photo of dtmets84
4/5  rDev -2%

dtmets84, Jan 22, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
De Dolle Speciaal Brouwsel 20 from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
90 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.