De Dolle Oerbier - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Not Rated.
De Dolle OerbierDe Dolle Oerbier

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

861 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 861
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%
Wants: 73
Gots: 89 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 861 | Reviews: 455
Photo of Hefe
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 11.6 oz. bottle on 6/16/04

Appearance: Slightly hazy, deep brown/red coulor with a off white almost tan head that is thick and rocky and follows the beer to the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, with subtle nuances of prune, burnt caramel, orange marmalade.

Taste: Wowsers! The flavors meld together so well that trying to distinguish them is almost like picking apart a tight weave. Sour cherry, prune, candied orange, vanilla, allspice and black pepper, earth. Finishes long but clean.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy, with a satisfying dryness.

Drinkability: Even as this beer warms there is no hint of the alcohol. An excellent beer for food pairing.

Photo of Budinetz
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet. No date available on the bottle.

Pours a deep rusted ruby color with a nice off white head that dissipates slowly. Visible lacing around the glass, as well as somewhat decent head retention.

Smells of bready malts, beautiful belgian yeast, and stale dry hops. Really nice nose on this beer.

Tastes amazing! Great malt flavor with a well balanced hop profile to round out the sweetness. Sweet enough to be characteristic of the style but to too overwhelming.

Feels prickly on the palate that rounds out and finishes smooth. Super drinkable for a 9% abv beer. Can definitely sneak up on you.

Overall one of the best belgian Strong ales I have ever had. Picked up 4 bottles of this and will age the other three to drink over the next few years.

Cheers!

Photo of spointon
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from an 11.6oz skinny brown bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice glass.

A= This ale poured a deep cloudy brown color with a slight reddish hint to it as well. The light tan head poured a massive sudsy 2" and slowly settled to a dense and creamy 1/4" cap.

S= Complex aromas of raisins, apples, brown sugar, molasses, and a rich dark fruit tartness. Some of this likely came from the malts but I think a hell of a lot of the aroma was from the yeast. To say the least, this yeast was magic.

T= This ale showed an incredible range of flavors similar to the aroma profile: sweet malts, candi sugar, molasses, tart fruits, and a hard to describe but wonderful figgy spice character that was simply sublime. Alcohol was well hidden.

MF= Medium body with a very crisp carbonation level.

D= This is a world class beer deserved of immense respect. The malts are just right and the yeast is incredible. Despite the abv and huge flavors, this remains a very drinable ale as well. Highly recommended.

Photo of TripelMajor
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another classic from Belgium's "mad brewers."

Perhaps it was because it was a rocky walk home, but when I opened this it wanted to do the geyser thing, so i quickly poured it.

Deep brown, with the typical de dolle haze a nice trail of yeast fell into the glass with the last little bit.

Nose is rich with Belgian spice and sweet dried fruits, similar to the nose of a good double style beer.

Amazing and very unique flavor. Goes down without a hint of the alcohol, unlike dulle teve where I think some of the charm comes from the warm alcohol, this one is almost thirst quenching. It is very rich in flavor dates, toasted walnuts and corriander. Candied malts and subtle hop balance. Delicious. Different than doubles or other Belgian DSA's. If you aren't sure on the first sip, keep going. It's worth it.

Like other De Dolle beers I've had, this one has a pleasantly full mouth feel. That leaves a little coat on your tongue.

Drinks like a session. Dangerous. Smoother than the Grotten Brown, but with much richer flavor.

Photo of faernt
4.76/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife pan fried some filet mignons for supper tonight. She deglazed the cast iron pan with marsala then added butter and garlic and let the resultant sauce reduce. I had a Terrible chilling but then I noticed she'd made a spinach salad with tomatoes, avocados, kalamata olives, green pepper, celery and feta cheese. On top of that she prepared a mustard vinaigrette and served that with the salad. I thought the Terrible might not go with the salad so I pulled out an Oerbier from De Dolle.

Sometimes a beer is best alone and other times a pairing with food is best. The Oerbier poured a translucent molasses color and raised a head of very small bubbles which settled into what looked like a cream floating on top of the beer . It looked like the crema on top of an espresso.

The aroma of the beer was somewhat overshadowed by the food. It offered a slight spicy wine smell. The taste was amazing. It paired with the filet and the marsala sauce. It cleansed my palette and then afterward paired with all the components of the salad.

The pairing was dead on. It was a marriage. The slight tartness of the beer slipped into a spicy sweetness. It's complexity danced around the food and respected all of it. I will add to my stock of this beer. It is one of the best beers I've had. It is very drinkable and a remarkable food beer.

Photo of horndecker
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A luminous honey walnut hue, with a fine tan head which flares with a fast flush of foam (sorry), then fades. A fine haze covers the beer to the bitter end.
The aromas are melon (?), apple, damp earth, bread, toffee. As it warms there is the smell of chocolate over apples. Unusual, but very nice.
The taste is a big syrupy sweet malt with a slight bitterness hiding behind. A spicy tingle of alcohol and esters warms the back of your throat. Then raisins and a dusty hint of cocoa powder. Caramel comes to mind, as does chocolate milk. But it's not just a syrupy sweet candy bar. There is subtlety and depth. Dark flavors float underneath, and the beer changes a great deal as it warms.
In the mouth it's smooth and luscious. (I love this beer) A huge ball of foam gathers with every sip. De Dolle can do no wrong.

Photo of brewsclues
4.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle on 3/10/13 at Paradiso Pizzeria in DC.

What I love about this beer: I call it, "The Tart Malt Sandwich" - and I could't mean this in more of a complimentary fashion. I've never had a beer with such layered, complex and robust flavors in one quaff before. OK, here's how it goes down: big, juicy, dark fruits on the nose that is balanced nicely with a rich plum and grape/malty backbone on the first note. Immediately after, you pick up some of the sour-y, tart-y, citric acids that are almost like someone left 1/8 of a glass of Flemish Sour Red in the glass before pouring. But it's just subtle enough not to scare away those folks that aren't big fans of the Flanders-style brews. But, after that small glimpse of tart-alicious, it's finish is pure rich plum, with a hint of chocolate malt with a touch of coffee and red wine.

Oh man. This kills it. Insanely drinkable and unquestionably an ass-kicker. Just wish this was more accessible in PA. One love: De Dolle

Photo of AdamGarcia
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cl bottle served in Unibroue tulip.

A: Mountainous four fingers of rocky head. The pink sand foam sits on murky brown beer with brilliant bright red highlights, similar to the color of the label. The head is going nowhere, it will take a while to get this one tiny bottle into the glass. Beautiful.

S: Sweet estery aromas abound. A little zesty yeast. Black pepper. Also some fresh, mild scents...spring water, maybe fresh linen? Candied cherry. Anise. Red grape and plum. Very complex, I seem to find something new in every sniff.

T: Easily as complex as the nose. Full of bold dark fruits. Slightly tannic. Sherry-like flavors. Spicy yeast and hops. Herbal at times. A bit of black licorice. Oaky vanilla. Noticeable alcohol warmth feels perfectly appropriate. I would score a 4.75 here if I could. Brilliant.

M: Soft and creamy. The carbonation is high, but never harsh.

D: High. This beer is so interesting you won't want to put it down. Every time I raise the glass I find a slightly different beer.

All I can say is, WOW. It's not often that I gush like this over a beer, but this is truly an amazing brew. I can't think of a beer in this category that I've enjoyed more. It's a little pricey @ about $5 per 33cl bottle, but it isn't terribly difficult to find. If unavailable near you I would recommend trading for it. Well worth a little splurge. Deserving of its lofty rating.

Photo of waughbrew
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The liquid is halfway between the inside meat of a plum and mahogany. Definitely lighter in color than I think of it being. Swirling bubbles and small dark chunks of sediment. Huge perfect head with heavy lacing. Smells of pepper, anise, raisin, and alcohol. Flavor is smooth dark caramel with its sweetness balanced well by not the hop bitterness really, but the spiciness. Warms the mouth like a wine, and seems a little higher than the 7.5% listed. Thick-bodied but highly carbonated too, so together it forms a perfect feel. So damn polished and smooth, head and shoulders above most other Belgians. Glory be giv'n.

Photo of SFLpunk
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I've never posted a review of this. One of my favorites. Cap stamped Bottled MAY2010. 11.6 (?) oz brown glass pry-top bottle.

Starts to gush a little per usual. Pours a dark brown with rich frothy tan head. Aromas of wooly dark caramel, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate covered oranges.

Palate is crisp despite being rich in malt. A little funk seems to hide in the background, no sourness though. Orange rind mixed with earthy dark chocolate nibs and chocolate covered raspberries. Finish is long and somewhat drying. Great carbonation level.

Notes: My favorite De Dolle brew by far and maybe my favorite Belgian beer. FFO Gouden Carolus Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw.

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into an oversized wine-glass. Pours an opaque burgundy with a beautiful bubbly tan head that is two fingers even in this glass. It smells of yeast, cherries and a little like red wine- not a strong smell but very enjoyable and flavor enhancing. It tastes very strongly of sour cherries at first- very similar to Russian River's Consecration wild ale. The cherry persists throughout along with some malt and a hint of alcohol. Like all other De Dolle beers, Oerbier is very strongly carbonated (which personally I love) and not a beer you can drink really quickly. I highly recommend this beer.

Photo of RuudJH
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is great, it seriously surprized me. I had heard of it before, and thought I had to try it now.
I haven't had many Belgian beers this robust.

Chestnut colour with a thick fluffy, darkbeige head.

Smell is light malty, and very much like red wine, oak, dark fruit like figs, and fresh fruits like strawberries and cherries. Leaving it a few minutes there is a herbal hop garden smell that comes to life

In the taste, and the smell, I picked up a little bit of roasted malts and nutts, coffee, chocolate, even tobacco. Pleasantly bittersweet. Good flavour of dark fruits as well. It has slight stout - and a lot of flanders red ale character.
Very interesting developement in this.

Smooth drink, very robust and tough. It really does it's name justice. Clean palate required for this.
First time I tried this, and I would seriously recommend you try it too. Topstuff from Belgium.

Photo of Rudgers73
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

re-review.

I got a bottle that wasn't so old and it was great. It had everything the last bottle had without the stringent alcohol burn. This is a complex, real beer. Strong, bold, and tough. Everything I like in a beer.

I gotta get to this brewery some day...

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cl brown bottle with no dates.

Poured a hazed brown/copper color with a small collar of off-white froth. Very clingy bubbles.

Tart green apple and english toffee up front in the nose. Spicy alcohol, licorice, a hint of toasted bread.

Very sweet up front, fades into smooth, roasty grains. Complex fruity esters pair with bready malts. Finish reminds me of those candies that taste like sweetened coffee with cream. Alcohol is warming, but never assertive, leaves a sharp bite in the back of the mouth. Carbonation seems a little low, judging both from the head and the mouthfeel. Creamy almost to a fault, super smooth.

I was afraid when I first tasted this that it would be too sweet, but the sweetness quickly flows into a great malt taste that leaves me wanting more. Whacky bottle, great beer.

Photo of taigor
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into small glass.

A - Poured cloudy dark amber color with big head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Belgian yeast with dark fruit dominate the nose.

T - Sweet brown sugar and figs, raisins and other dark fruits. This is followed by bready yeasy and slight tartness with a slightly dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O - Excellent BSDA with ABV very well hidden. Even with that it is a sipper. I would highly recommend it.

Photo of SteveB24
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

color is a clear, deep ruby. beer pours spotted lacing, aroma is rich and filled with dark fruit, belgian yeast, biscuit, mild spice. Taste is explosive with white cherries, plum, biscuit and clove. mouthfeel is quite light, but slightly cream, so the contrast is beautiful, carbonation is very low. overall this is an excellent and unique belgian experience.

Photo of cokes
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A masterful brew. De Dolle's best?
Pitches forth a dark brown substance that straddles the threshold between solid and liquid, resting under a subdued tan-gray cap.
Clears the sinuses with a tart, dried fruit cannon. Notes of lime, cherry, and concord grapes. Coupled with chalk, cocoa and liquorice.
Taste treads the same grounds, but in a different path. Intially very jammy and plum-like, fading to prune. Then puckers considerably with lime and near vinegar tones. Cocoa powder enters at this point, layered upon some creamy caramel. Sweetens further with some burnt brown sugar hues. Liquorice hues dominate towards the finale, but a twist is yet to come. Doubles back and turns tart for the finale with intense yeast-cloaked dark cherries.
Delightfully thick and creamed mouthfeel, yet not at all sticky. As heavy as it needs to be, and actually seems beefier than the listed ABV. Ultimately drinkable, regardless.
A stunner. Thanks, Bighuge.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle. Oerbier pours out a murky, dark brown color with a huge, off-white head that slowly fades to a thin layer. Apples and dark fruit in the aroma, along with a strange cheese-like smell lurking in the background. Very malty flavor, but not overly sweet. Dark fruit, lemon, and some spices. Despite the big, malty flavor, this beer is not at all cloying. In fact, it is somewhat refreshing. The abv is fairly well hidden, although certainly noticable. Creamy mouthfeel. Fantastic drinkability. An all-around great beer.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not a very dark brew by Belgian standards, sort of a dark amber or Auburn. Minimal head and lacing but still a solid looking brew. Aroma has lots of honey, rum and bourbon, one of the sweeter dark Belgians I have had. Lots of malt in the taste, bourbon and toffee. It's light on the color and on the tongue, but very rich in the taste. Complex brew here and one of the most unique Belgian darks I have had as my tastes tend toward the lighter Belgian brews. A must try.

Photo of benclimbs
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought at Healthy Spirits in SF (owner said it was one of his top 5 beers he'd ever had)

Pours red-brown opaque with a large head and a bit of lacing that dissipates quickly.

Nose is really interesting, huge pear, pineapple, ripe pungent cherries, and earthy, woody yeasty notes...very much like a california Viognier white wine - amazing and very complex, geared nose.

Taste is like nothing i've ever had in a beer...a bit tart, very ripe fruit driven, pears, more of the cherries, a very nice caramel, brown sugar malt backbone that opens up wonderfully, moves to earthy, corky notes, then finishes dry and bitter with lingering dried fruit and tobacco...gets better as it warms.

mouthfeel is smooth and thick.

An excellent beer like nothing i've ever had, this is the base beer for flemish sours, but i like this better than any flemish sour i've had - way more subtle and complex...very wine-like. This is a very excellent brew...one of the nicest beers i've had in a while.

Photo of AlexJ
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first and hopefully not last beer from De Dolle.

In to my Delirium tulip pours a perfectly clear brew the color of scorched caramel. A thick and creamy head of beige puffs up and retains nicely, leaving gobs of lace everywhere.

The aroma is a powerful and intoxicating perfume of caramel, toffee, dates, figs, yellow raisins, and butterscotch. There's a good sense of yeasty spice and musty cellar funk. Beautiful.

The flavor is equally rich and indulgent. Tons of creamy caramel and toffee sweetness, fig and dates, banana bread, grapey must, and a spicey and floral hop in the finish. Hard to compare to other Belgian strong darks, it almost tastes like a Belgian barleywine.

Mouthfeel is epic, thick and rich with a creamy slickness that just coats your entire palate. A really rich beer that is perfect for dessert, or anytime for that matter.

Photo of patre_tim
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown unfiltered with a reddish tinge, 4 fingers of tan fluffy head, hard to see any carbonation.

S: Dark fruits, floral figs and raisins, and cherries.

T: Awesome balance of dark fruits figs raisins and cherries.

M: Thick, well rounded body that comes and goes wanting another sip. Highly carbonated.

O: This beer is delicious and worthy of tasting. Lonely planet is often wrong but not on this one. Reminds me of Rochefort 8 or 10, but unique in itself. Got in Bruges near beer wall store ‘B2B’, drank Dec 7th, 2013 in Brussels.

Photo of ThaCreep
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Harmonious and complex nose that mixes both the roasted malt and fruity notes and many delicious as the raspberry, blood oranges, grapes and apples.

The mouth, where one feels the presence of sugar candy, is a little alcoholic like a quad style. Body creamy, smooth yet powerful. Her touch reminds vinous barrels of Bordeaux or even a Scotch whiskey.

The fruit is also present and a nice way, making this beverage difficult to categorize. Beer complex.

Photo of jrenihan
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb 2011.

Beer is dark brown with hints of red. A large, frothy off-white head sticks around seemingly forever- great retention.

The most immediate smell coming off the beer is cherry, accompanied by plum, raisin, strawberry, bready malt, yeast. Smells quite sweet. Very nice.

Taste has all of the fruit flavours present in the nose (cherry. strawberry, raisin) but also has some new elements: bitter chocolate, caramel, a bit of vanilla. Quite complex and really excellent. Alcohol is noticeable but not in a negative way - adds a nice edge to the sweet fruit flavours, just as the bitter chocolate flavour does. Lovely.

Pretty highly carbonated - more than I like. Somewhat irritating. Otherwise good. Lighter than expected from such a strong and rich beer, but nice.

Overall, just terrific. A really nice melange of flavours in this one.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 De Dolle Oerbier.

Decided to try the latest two variants side by side.

This is the second of the two.

Presentation: Straight forward red label with the one and only Oerbier Man on it. White neck label with lots of American bollocks on it. However the defining ID for this bottle resides on the white crown cap (previous bottles had metallic red caps) which has the following inkjet code on it:

SPECL
BREW2

No freshness or Best Before Date listed.

Appearance: Clear polished dark brown horse chestnut brown body with a soft but resilient and fast rising vanilla head which fizzes loudly. Middling conditioning with a little Brugse lacing. Solid head retention but it slowly collapses to a thick ring like foam cap. Great looks!

Nose: Softer nose than the previous SPECBREW2005 example. Brown Candi sugar toffees, figs, prunes and dark cherries. Whisky toffees, sugared plums and Lions Butterscotch Tablets mixed with their Poor Bens (guess that’s one for the older Limeys out there!). Hints of sour oak and refined malts with a vinous English Old Ale tweak.

Taste: The entrance has more caramel and toffee, but the oaky alcohol stills rises in the middle. Sourness runs through this like blood through the arteries. The gentle sour tingle on the cheeks after the swallow is a treat. The dark fruits seem to have more of a depth in this one, but the higher sourness and its longevity really add a more complex aspect to this variant. This one is a winner.

Mouthfeel: The second bottle was finished before the first one, and proved to be my favorite of the two that I just tried. Creamy texture with a bold sourness that lends quaffability. Warm caramel alcohols bolster the high end body.

Drinkability: Went extremely well with some freshly baked French Bread and aged Irish Cheddar. The sourness is quiet refreshing in this one.

Overall: SPECLBREW2 variant seems to be a lot more mature in character than the previous SPECBREW2005 which I tried earlier. The sourness is definitely more prevalent in this version. Far from the old Oerbier, that one is long gone for sure (sadly) but I really do think that Kris has returned some De Dolle character to this brew and really improved the Oerbier to a marvelous front line brew once again.

If it's been a while since you tried the Oerbier, my recommendation would be get another few bottles and sample the improvements yourself, but make sure they have the white crown caps!!

De Dolle Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 861 ratings.