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De Dolle Oerbier - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Not Rated.
De Dolle OerbierDe Dolle Oerbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
Reviews: 445
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 63
Gots: 67 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 767 | Reviews: 445 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a lot of foam at first but after giving it time to settle down, ends up with lacing and a one-finger head in my fluted tulip. Mild brownish-red color.

Aroma is full of raisin and plum with a definite hint of spice and alcohol warmth in the nose. Seems about right for the style.

Taste is full of plum and cherry with a load of alcohol warmth dominating the palate along with spice from the yeast. Bold flavors that coat the mouth.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering plum and cherry along with spice. Alcohol heat also lingers and carbonation settles and it seems rather high as a result.

An interesting take on the style that surely is delicious. Probably not my favorite for the style but it's quite drinkable fresh and with some aging, may become even more impressive.

Brad007, Dec 03, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light brown in color, huge head, high carbonation, cloudy

Smell: sour apple and funk

Taste: earth, milk chocolate, dark fruit, some sour and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: bitter-sour, medium bodied, high carbonation

Drinkability: The chocolate malt/dark fruit taste is very good. The sour is extremely sour. A good beer I will get again, but one per sitting.

tigg924, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky medim brown body. Looks like unfired apple cider.

S- Sells of apple, fig and dried fruits, warm alcohol and dark sugars.

T - Tangy and mildly sweet, the taste is of apples, citrus, and has a predominant caramel/fig finish. This has a huge complexity and depth on the tongue. Some warming alcohol is present.

M - Medium carbonation and a medium body with characteristics of the unfiltered beer. This one is a dynamic and complex experience on the palate.

D - With 9.5%, consuming several of these would not be suggested, although with the huge flavor, doing such would be a delicious departure from sobriety. Caution - savor this brew with each sip, allowing the complexity and huge flavor to be fully realized.

Notes - A buddy and I bought this one on a whim, partly due to the cartoonish, indistinguishable label complete with no mention of the brewery and a picture of a yellow marshmallow man holding an electric mixer beater and wearing a homecoming sash. A new favorite.

BeerForMuscle, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3/4 of the bottle geysered out; lucky I saw what was happening and put the bottle in a large measuring cup!

Poured a dark brown with a light tan head.

Pleasant nose of cooked fruit, spice, carmel and toffee.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with light and almost an elegant carbonation.

Flavors were a sour fruit, lightly sour carmel/toffee with hints of sugared coffee and belgian fruit. A lightly sour/bitter carmel overall character. A prune character and got much more layered and complex after a few minutes in the glass.

Finish of bitter light coffee.

Complex and may or may not be good with food. One might want to experiement with this one.

GRG1313, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of eljefe21
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Stream of foam rises out of the bottle. Pours to a cloudy, dark brown color with a thick three-finger head. Constant stream of bubbles feeds the head.

S: Spicy, sour rock candy smells. A complete heady mixture of intrigue.

T: Perfectly sweet rock candy flavors. Almost a chocolaty hint of malt. Plum, and other dark fruit like flavors. The taste is all over and it's all good.

M: Sharp lifting carbonation strikes the tongue first. Medium body coats the tongue and lingers through the finish.

D: With the refreshing carbonation does not drink like the 9.0% ABV. Alcohol hits enough to warm, but also feels light enough to cool when warm. Can't think of a place this wouldn't work.

Served: in a tulip glass.

Review from notes taken on: 10/20/09.

eljefe21, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of tendermorsel
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had this beer many times over the years including many different vintages. This review is from a relatively new bottle (2008?)poured into a tulip glass.

Redish brown in color. Very light puffy head. Head does not last long and minimal lacing. Veru distinct color. Quite a contrast between the darkish beer and the light colored head. I like the way this beer looks.

Great nose. Smells of dried fruits are tempered by something different... a slight funky smell.

I love the taste of this beer. Perfect balance of the sweet malts but yet slightly lactic and sour. All of the great components of a great old ale and a great Flemish sour red. Everything I am looking for in a beer!

It is a relatively high ABV which would limit the total number of these I could have without getting wasted but this is extremely drinkable and very thirst quenching.

This is truly a world classic. One of my favorite all time beers. Consistantly good.
This review is for a fresh bottle but some of the vintage bottles I have had have been even better. This ages with the best of them. God forbid that you get your hands on a bottle of this with the old yeast that De Dolle used back in the 1990's. I had a very old bottle in Belgium with the old yeast that could have ruined all further beers for me. It was that good.

tendermorsel, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of Wildman
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another beer that foams too much for me which spoils any hope of a good visual appearance. Belgian beers that do this the minute I open the bottle don't interest me. I am drinking a beer not Champagne. What beer I got in the glass formed a huge foamy head that left latticed lace as it slowly subsided. It was an very dark amber color with very little light getting through. An aroma of malt and spices. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and cherries. The body was medium light and the finish rather sweet.

Wildman, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of Freethyhops
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a chalice

A- pours a dark ruby color that illuminates nicely when held to light. produces a 2 finger cream colored. head superb head retention.

S- smells of sweet dark fruits and belgian yeast. not too much going on here, but I'm never blown away by Strong Belgian aromas, so good for the style.

T- quite a spicy brew. I'm not too familiar with exact spices, so I won't even guess, but I'm really digging on what it adds to the beer. The usual dark fruits used in most belgians play mostly a backround role in the beer. A little more bitter than I expected or maybe it's not as sweet as I expected. This is definitely one of the most unique Strong Darks I've tasted it and I like it.

M- the thing that stands out in this dept. is the excess carbonation. it kind of took away from some of the great flavors in the beer. a nice viscosity, though.

D- Definitely goes down smooth for the style. Not the best but it isn't really a sipper. At 9% I didn't expect an especially strong hard to drink beer. I like the percentage for the style, sometimes 11ish % can be a little much.

Freethyhops, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of ATPete
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle
2+ years in the cellar

Pours a deep brown orange color with a small fizzy brownish head that lasts and lasts. Super sweet nose, cherry, red licorice, green apple tartness, rum, raison very layered, very complex. Coating, port like and semi tart on the back end. Tongue foaming carbonation prohibits a large quaff. Rich, sweet and very pleasant, nothing off here. A drying wave of alcohol swoons in late on the sip cleaning up the experience. An incredible beer when fresher, as with most De Dolle beers this one evolves into something special with some age as well.

ATPete, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of macpapi
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a single 11.2 oz bottle.

De Dolle Oerbier presents as a very dark brown color with hints of reddish-amber. A very, very full tannish head helps fill out the chalice. There is quite a bit of foamy lace with this one.

Smell is dominated by lots of dark fruits. There is also quite a bit of tartness present. I can detect the aroma of figs, raisins and cherries. There is also the presence of Belgian yeast strains to complete the aroma.

Taste is very full, malty and fruity. There are hints of sourness here as well. Added to the warming notes of alcohol, this all leads to a pretty balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel is very full. This beer has quite a presence, best defined by its robust malt and stinging alcohol bite.

On the whole, this is a nice, flavorful and drinkable beer. Though it is a bit of a sipper, its potency conjoined with overall pleasantness make it a bit dangerous.

macpapi, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of thepeter
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown, very little light shines through at the top of the beer to reveal a faint hue of yellow. The head lasted most of the beer and was a nice fluffy even pillow.

S - Sweet and sour candy sugar, dark raisin Bread, that's spicy and yeasty with a touch of sour at the end.

T - Raisin Bread, dark fruits, yeast, toffee, roasted malt, pepper, coriander and some slight acidity that balances everything out perfectly and left my palette refreshed and my mouth salivating for more. Full of flavor and a very unique beer, one of the few that brings you on a trip through a range of wonderful flavors.

M &D - Light to Medium bodied and quite effervescent. Soft on the tongue and very easy to drink. I know the alcohol is there but it did not affect the drinkability at all. Could drink this all night.

thepeter, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of Nick3
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured into my Kapittel Watou chalice. Beer is a gorgeous burnt orange color, with a pillowy head that won't quit. Carbonation is ferocious in this bad boy. Smell is rather muted with yeast, fruits, and some fig. Taste is more akin to a tripel from my taste. Alcohol punishes this beer in a bad way. Light on the palate but a bit astringent, not sure if I got a bad bottle or what but this definitely wasn't what I was hoping for.

Nick3, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definately a dessert beer. It's sweet. The smell is almost plum like with alchohol overtones. The taste is less sweet than the smell would imply with a bit of tartness to it.

This is definately a belgium brune beer. And a delicious one at that. I have a feeling the warmer this beer gets the better.

The head is a bit thin on this beer, which is consistent with some of the other belgium brunes I've had.

The good brunes (like this one) are more comparable to fine brandys that beer.

OttoPeeWee, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from City Beer in SF.

A - Gusher alert! This thing exploded all over my kitchen, almost ruining my phone. Drank the 4-5 ounces that were left. Dark brown color with a large tan head.

S - Dark fruits, spices, and yeast.

T - Sweet malt, caramel, raisin, fig, spices, and mild hops on the finish. Some considerable fruity tartness balances the malty sweetness.

M - Fairly full, smooth palate, high carbonation.

D - Less drinkable than some of De Dolle's other offerings, but still no slouch in this category.

nickd717, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Always dug the silly little character on this label. Looks like someone tried for about 3 seconds to think of a funny character, which looks like a human version of a marshmallow peep, and all that's charming nonetheless. Only real problem with the bottle is us Yanks don't get the cute bow-tie on the neck label -- we just get boring redemption value information. Anyway, poured into a Moinette goblet and got a burnt sienna liquid sporting a thick, fluffy, sticky head, with lace the clings tightly and thickly to the glass. Gorgeous stuff.

The metallic essence in the nose is off-putting, but balanced by succulent plum, raisin, cocoa, graham cracker and faint citrus rind character. A bit of yeast funk comes in and reminds you just what country you're dealing with.

The flavor is absolutely wonderful. While it still has that metallic element, it's more of an earthy mineral thing than the aluminum siding found in the aroma. It's the vinous character the wins out and makes this one of the more unique beers of its style. This enhanced grape-iness wraps itself around cocoa powder, plum, fig, grapefruit and alcohol, the latter which provides a firm but polite enough warmth. Lesser beers of the style have that alcoholic element all out of whack, but not this one.

Mouthfeel is just about perfect. Only medium-bodied, it's smooth, slick and even has an airiness about yet, yet there's enough carbonation to keep it tap-dancing on the tongue.

BUT...BUT...here's the rub: I'm kind of sick of De Dolle beers always gushing on me. I've had more 12 oz. De Dolle bottles explode all over the place more often than not. I know how to serve beer, the best temp to store and serve them at, etc., and I do all that. And I don't shake the things up before opening. So, as much as I absolutely love this brewery and its beers, I avoid them half the time because of the hassle and potential unpleasantness of the experience. Proceed with caution, but if it DOES gush on you, don't say I didn't warn you (as if anyone's read this far). Whatever occurs, what you do have left in your glass of choice is still going to be some of the finest nectar on the planet.

Metalmonk, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serves as a reminder for darker, stronger, more complex beers:
Must let this warm must let this warm mustletthiswarmmustletthiswarm
When too cold the raisin flavors were very one note and not terribly enjoyable. Upon warming the raisin character is still there but with more of a back story to it. Different sorts of dark fruit flavors chime in; someone recently reviewed it as "plummy" and that fits. Some of the bitter notes remind me of nectarine flavors.
The sight and scent of the beer don't impress quite the same way as more talked about members of the style but to the palate it holds up as a solid member of its kind.
Alcohol is well masked. This is begging to be served with the right cake or chocolate. A stinky cheese or a bloody steak would make a fine companion as well.

ommegangpbr, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of brdc
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small capped bottle poured into a tulip.

Dark brown, voluminous and long lasting tan head, bubbly, with good lacing.
Aroma is quite unusual, and so is the flavor. Funkiness, spiciness, fruitiness greet the nose.
Acid and fruity on the palate, nice carbonation, no alcohol to be found.
Figs and plums, lots of raisins, mustiness. A vinous characteristic makes it even stranger, and although pleasant, it is weird before it is tasty; not very well integrated. Perhaps it is too hot today.

brdc, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pekoe tea with 2 inch thick small bubble head, leaves slow. Lace blankety and small bubbled.

S - Smell tropical fruit, alcohol heat and meaty barley.

T - What a rush. Beautiful complex fruit and barley flavors, bittering quite nicely at end.

M- Medium bodied, good small bubble carb, great balance.

D - Each taste is a party. Nice one!

srandycarter, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of redneckchugger
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a duvel tulip. Decent head, but its fizzy, and doesn't last that long, really not what i expect from a Belgian, but what the hell, not a big deal really.
The nose is plum driver, with some dark dried fruits, like raisin and plums , also some heat in the back, decent nose.
The taste is like squeezing a plum into your mouth, its that "plummy". Lots of raisin and prune action in the back as well, and a sweetness that reminds me of dark brown sugar or back-strap molasses even, a really dark sweetness.
Interesting mouth-feel, fairly thick coats the mouth well, but very carbonated, i really like the combination.
Very very good beer in my opinion, i wish i had bought several of these instead of just the one.

redneckchugger, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of NewGeneric
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one last night as part of a De Dolle session. Poured a burgundy color with thick, slightly offwhite head that faded slowly and left good, solid lacing. Smelled of fruits, yeast, cinnamon, spices, and alcohol. Tasted of dark fruits, sugar, yeast, and roasted malt. Smooth, but slightly fizzy and dry. Could have another

NewGeneric, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly clear light brown color with some reddish highlights. Not much head on here, but what is there is light brown and fades to nothing pretty quick, leaving it quite port-ish looking.

Has a nice nose on it with some bready yeast and lighter fruit notes, sweet cherries come to mind. Candy-esque taffy smell is plenty evident, as well as plenty of alcohol...similar to a rum or sherry aroma.

Prickly carbonation and heavy rum-like alcohol flavors make this beer a good candidate for aging. Raisins, figs, tobacco and wood flavors intermingle and make it taste almost as if it was stored in rum barrels. The beer does nothing to hide the decently high ABV, it even seems to flaunt it a bit. Its a very complex beer and as it warms, more of the malty sweetness comes out. Adding the yeast from the bottle is a nice treat and adds a cinnamon roll doughiness to the brew. This is an excellent beer and I wish I had more to lay down for a few years. A sipper for sure, the drinkability is only hindered by the high ABV. Went well with some white cheddar.

twiggamortis420, Jul 31, 2009
Photo of JoeMayo
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a very dark brown with amber hues at the edges when held to the light. Lively carbonation with a big, rocky head.

S- Dark fruits and fruity esters. Mild alcohol presence in the nose, which is somehow less noticeable as it warms. Dark and golden raisins, figs, cherries, cocoa, and a faint hint of green grape.

T- Complex and mildly alcoholic. Fruity with notes of golden raisins, figs, cherries, cocoa, and cinnamon.

M- Medium body with active carbonation and a dry finish.

D- The alcohol presence is noteable, but the beer becomes fruitier and more drinkable as it warms.

JoeMayo, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of jrallen34
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank from a bottle and into a chalice.

The beer pours a dark brown with a white creamy head. There is a decent amount of lacing.

It smells like sweet chocolate, nuts, and malt.

It tastes sweet, hints of chocolate and wood. Not a great beer, but ok.

jrallen34, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of Bubba83
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank at 55 fahrenheit in a snifter.

Had to pour this very slowly. It took a while to pour even still because of the immense head. The head is light tan in color, pillowy, airy, and somewhat sticky. Eventually mellows into a one finger width ring that leaves spiderweb lacing all the way down the glass. The body of the beer is a dark amber, with shades of brown and orange depending where you look.

Smell is very close to perfect. Tons going on here, tart cherries, belgian funk, peppery spice, caramel, sugar, raspberry, red grapes, and raisins.

Not quite as sweet as I had expected when I took the first sip. Instead of getting general candy sugar sweetness like I do with many beers of this style, I get the fruity flavors first. Basically the same kinds of fruity flavors that were in the smell. Ripe berries, grapes, raisins, and finally tart cherries as the beer begins to hit the sour receptors. This is a really fun beer to keep on the front of your palate because of all the awesome fruity flavors and complexities. Definitely some tartness there too, but this bottle isn't aged much so it's not outright sourness. Once you swish it to the back, it dries out quickly with all kinds of funk and spice from the yeast and hops, and even a little mellow roastyness.

What a great mouthfeel! Just the right thickness for the style, smooth, not too prickly carbonation, but certainly still lively.

A rare treat for me, easily in the top 5 belgians I have had all time. The finish is a little more peppery/dry than I would like for drinkability, but I'm just nitpicking. Maybe I'll get another and see how a few years treats it. Go to all lengths possible to get yourself one of these beers.

Bubba83, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of Ior
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large wine glass. Deep brownish red colour, huge beige foam that quickly sinks into a 1 centimeter head with good retention.

Smell is tart and sweet, reminiscent of sour cherries. Dark dried fruits in the background, notes of muscovado sugar. Nice!

Taste is nicely balanced between sweet and sour. Lots of dark fruits, slightly burnt malts. Dry, woody and somewhat harsh background. No alcohol whatsoever.

Carbonation is a bit too high initially, but swirling the glass a bit yields a nice, smooth and slightly slick moutfeel. Medium bodied.

Drinkability is high, considering the abv and the style. This is due to the balanced taste, the comparatively light body and the hidden alcohol.

Ior, Jun 13, 2009
De Dolle Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.