1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

De Dolle Oerbier - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Not Rated.
De Dolle OerbierDe Dolle Oerbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

837 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 837
Reviews: 454
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 73
Gots: 85 | FT: 2
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 837 | Reviews: 454
Photo of tendermorsel
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of Wildman
3.62/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Photo of Freethyhops
4.18/5  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.

Photo of ATPete
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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.

Photo of thepeter
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of Nick3
3.41/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
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.
Cheers.

Photo of brdc
3.73/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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!

Photo of redneckchugger
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of NewGeneric
3.73/5  rDev -11%
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

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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.

Photo of jrallen34
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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.

Photo of Ior
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of lhaqq
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a goblet. Dark mahogany body; semi-translucent but pretty dark. Large, thick, creamy tan head with amazing retention. Sits at about 2-3cm. Lots of carbonation visible up close--would be like a Duvel if it were lighter.
S: After opening, first smells are of Belgian yeast and caramel. Also the salty part of a standard malt backbone, a bit like somewhat sweet salt water.
T: Starts off almost like a Flemish ale, but without the sour twang. But the taste is still a mix between sour and bitter, though slightly toward the latter. Some alcohol, prunes, and sugar also present.
M: Fairly light for the abv, high carbonation.
D: Not bad for the style, though probably wouldn't want more than one at a time.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 33cl bottle (9%) with very little life left according to the top.

Teak reddy-brown colour and with a little haziness, my own fault, the huge tanned head that appeared as I poured suprised me and i took my eyes off the bottle and some of the sediment got out and into the glass.

The aroma is so Belgian, the yeast smells just ride over you.

Spicey, alcoholic and not very hoppy, just like the style is supposed to be.

Rich and fairly smooth for a Belgian Ale, no bad traits at all.

Very drinkable, but remember the 9% alcohol content before you go crazy on it.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought this on the recommendation of the guy from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco.

Pours a lovely, slightly hazy refined mahogany brown colour, with an initially fluffy head of yellow-white bubbles. Carbonation is pretty enthusiastic, and the lacing is good. Head collapses after a while, despite the warning that this would be a gusher, but otherwise it's a very nice looking beer.

Very pleasant vinous notes on the nose, lots of red wine cork, a little carbonic acidity and a light sweaty leather character. Even a hiding note of smoke at the very back. Pleasant. Not huge, but very pleasant.

Nice notes of roasted grains and a little dark alcohol on the palate. Lots of wine notes again, a hidden undertone of pepper-and-berries shiraz. A very long palate, without any type of drying out; it stays pretty luscious throughout. Mouthfeel is unfortunately overly carbonated, it leaves it very bloating.

A nice enough Belgian; plenty of pleasant characters to it. The 9% is hidden very well. It really doesn't have a huge profile, but it is quite drinkable.

Photo of Freddyboucher
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this one on my last trip to New York 6 months ago at New beer Distributors.

Pours a caramel brown color. Hazy with yeast deposit floting around (poured it in, love the proteins!). Nice beige foam building up, to leave a very fine bubble lacing around the glass rim after a couple minutes.

Right from the aroma you can predict the sweetness in this beer. It is indeed sweet but to overly. For me...just enough. A smooth carbonation lingers on the tongue and the sweetness on the back of the mouth.

A very nice beer.

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown color with a towering tan head that took five minutes to settle down. I did chill it quickly so the sudden change probably had something to do with that. The head slowly settles into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of slightly tart cherries, along with sweet dried black cherries and plums. As it warms it becomes sweeter and Belgian candi sugar aromas waft out, along with slight amounts of alcohol.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the tartness is almost completely gone. Sweet dried dark fruit flavors up front segue into a sweet malty flavor that carries through until a mild but surprising bitter ending. The alcohol is not noticeable save for a slight warming effect.

Mouthfeel is great. This has a really great thickness with carbonation that's all over the place without being obtrusive.

Drinkability is great. I will have no problem finishing the bottle and could easily have a few more - though probably to my detriment.

Overall this is a very good beer and I've become an official fan of De Dolle. Definitely worth a shot.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
De Dolle Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 837 ratings.