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De Dolle Stille Nacht - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Not Rated.
De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille Nacht

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

499 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 499
Hads: 934
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 105
Gots: 118 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-25-2001

Alcohol has gone from 8% to 12% in recent years due to better yeast performance; according to Kris Kerteler.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of De Dolle Stille Nacht Alström Bros
Reviews: 499 | Hads: 934
Photo of babaracas
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish orange with fast fading dense white head; streaks of lace on the glass. Smell: pear, buttered toast, caramel, mild spiciness and floral note, dried apricot. Taste: soft pear, white grape, red delicious apple, spice cake and caramel, spicy with sugary pale backing. Fullish bodied, creamy into pillowy carb. Tasty. (334 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has minimal retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium amber which appears as golden, pale amber in the light. Some lacing at the moment. Lacing, overall, is minimal.

Nose- Starts off with a bit of sourness that is almost astringent but turns into raisins and cherries. Some brown bread, brown sugar- this is mostly from the bottle. Some cloves or a vague ashiness from the glass? Small note of peach and banana. Swirling shows a rounded banana with other, general fruit esters.

Taste- Starts off very fruity- mostly raisins. Some brown bread in the background. Bananas as well. Some candied fruit. And a lot of alcohol. Brown sugar. But also, a lot of alcohol. Reminds me a lot of a quad. It only seems to be a pale in color. I can already tell you that this is a beer that needs to be aged as it's rather messy. Some burnt caramel, a little bit of ashiness, some cloves. Some woody bitterness on the finish. Complex with a good amount of presence but it really lacks balance and integration. Some notes of cherries. Both the brash flavors and alcohol start to mellow out but that may only be because the alcohol is numbing my tongue. Lots of promise but I just don't think it's quite there yet. Good beer that seems as if it could be a really good beer.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a lot of syrup and juiciness to the texture. Light carbonation.

Drinkability- Very noticeable heat. Not bad heat, but it won't let you forget. A little messy. 6-7 bucks seems okay for a beer that probably develops well. Fresh, not so much.

Overall- Good beer but very messy. Definitely worth a try but I think you might I agree (if you get it fresh) that it needs some aging. This is the only reason I would buy it again. (1,810 characters)

Photo of PJ60
4.79/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch not dated. It clings nicely to the side of the glass. Almost translucent going into the glass. Aroma is deceivingly faint but very pleasant. Slightly sweet, deliciously malty with subtle yeast back that doesn't linger. Silky smooth going down. Fantastic holiday beverage! (277 characters)

Photo of rangerred
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into a goblet. 2008 vintage.

Pours a brilliantly clear medium brown, at least until I got down to the bottom of the bottle and all the chunks came out, with a one finger white head. Really great head retention.

The aroma is loaded with dark fruits and has a really nice sherried quality. There is some spicy yeastiness along with a touch of vanilla and cherrywood. Very fruity all around.

The flavor is nearly all cherry up front but the other flavors follow quickly behind. More dark fruit supports the cherry along with a slight bit of oxidation. Vanilla and wood undertones along with ever-present alcohol letting you know that you are drinking a very hefty brew. Bitterness is very low with really no hop character to speak of. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth with some light warming after the finish.

Overall, I really love this beer. I wish I had a fresh one to compare but I imagine that age has done wonders on this as it is so smooth. The greatest think is it was already five years old when I bought it for $5. Truly a steal. (1,054 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy, dark amber color with just a film of silk-like foam resting on top. No real retention, nothing to retain. No lace either. Visible yeast/sediment. Nice. Decent light penetration.
Smell is rich, boozy, malty, yeast, spices (clove, pepper & ginger) ,banana and a hint of sour. Great balance and really complex, my nose is on overdrive here.
Taste is malty, sweet, banana, spices, yeast. Sweetness is a little too pronounced but otherwise very good.
Rich, smooth, warming. Light effervescence, nearly full bodied. A solid coating of the upper palate develops quickly. Cloying is the word I want. Only real knock against it. (637 characters)

Photo of cdmillard
4.9/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review is for 2006 vintage, poured into a tulip

Amber colored, with a substantial amount of yeast floating about. Poured with a nice head, which surprised me, which quickly dissipated. The aroma was heavily caramel, which I absolutely fell in love with.

Taste...I think someone else mentioned full and rich. This is dead-on. Wonderful caramel flavors, and prominent alcohol (yeah...she's pretty boozy!) but very smooth after 7 years in the bottle

This is a full bodied sipper. Had this in a restaurant, and had no issue with stretching this one out as long as they would let me sit there.

This may be my favorite beer ever, which is saying a lot. I had a 2008 a few nights ago, which was wonderful, so I had to try the 06 for comparison. It just keeps getting better with age. Highly recommend a try, if you can find it! I was lucky enough to find 4 bottles of 2010 on the way home (a little something for later!). (920 characters)

Photo of thebigredone
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jason for bringing a 2009, 2011, and 2010 Reserva all to the same tasting.

2011:
Pours an effervescent clear gold. Beautiful. Smell and taste are amazingly cider-like. Bright apple, some Belgian yeast, a little acidic zing. Great beer, very bright tasting, something I could easily session. The listed rating is for the 2011.

2009:
Pours a significantly darker amber-brown. Smells like apple pie, and tastes like it too. No cinnamon, but the apples and buttery crust are both there. Not nearly as tasty as the fresher version, but interesting in it's own right. I'd drop the rating on the 2009 down to about a 3.9. (626 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy copper color with very active carbonation. Three fingers of foam forms, which settles to a half finger. Great retention, good lacing.

S: Dried apricots mixed with lemon peel and spicy phenolics. The spice mixes well with the sweetness of the beer to produce a very nice bouquet.

T: Dried fruit is also in the forefront of the flavor. Dried apricots and prunes produce a sweetness that is well balanced by spices and citrus. The age has integrated these flavors well.

M: Medium to thick mouthfeel with strong but smooth carbonation.

O: This beer ages with the best if them. I've had older bottles, which I like even better than these. Either way, age integrates the flavors really well here. The sharpness I get with this beer when fresh is almost completely gone. (818 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle (2012 dated) to Unibroue tulip. Bright murky reddish orange pour with a big frothy head. Aromas of sour tropical fruit, dry oak, very slight vinegar, plums, white grapes, cherries. Flavor is a blast of bittersweet white grape and mango, alcohol heat going down, dryish finish. This is good. The alcohol is present and warm on the finish, but still goes down pretty easy. High carbonation with a medium slick mouthfeel. Very thick and strupy toward the end as it warmed. Unique flavor and somewhere between sour and dark Belgian quad. Really liking this! Would love to try the Reserva, but not gonna do that level of whale hunting. (649 characters)

Photo of dwagner003
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color, with a creamy head. Its aroma is very strong, and I immediately picked up the unmistakable scent of caramel. This was echoed by others at the table. I didn't pick up much beyond that, with the exception of some alcoholic notes.. obviously.. it's 12%.

Hugely sweet Belgian yeast flavors. Full and rich, with more sweet caramel. The booze is subtle, even for a beer as strong as this. I don't taste much in the way of fruit, but it could be there somewhere. Finishes with a wheat bread maltiness. Feels slick, with minimal carbonation on the tongue.

Overall, a great beer that can stand up to some pretty strong flavors during a meal. Full-bodied, but very good drinkability for a beer of its strength.

Had it at a restaurant, and bought it again when I was lucky enough to find it in a store. (820 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle

I forgot how fierce this beer was - the label implies a playful holiday ale, but it's far from that. A huge, potent masterpiece - something of a liquid fruitcake - layered and complex and densely packed. Yeasty, banana, clove, honey, booze, herbal and earthy, spiced bread. Lots of sediment. A classic - nice to try this one again (343 characters)

Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Full-bodied, complex Belgian ale - really enjoyed it the first time, but now just find it too sweet and boozy. Better with age, which dulls the sweetness. (154 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 2010. Gusher bottle upon opening, but I didn’t lose anything. Pours moderately hazy and cloudy orange amber color with a 3 finger dense and fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big apple, pear, orange peel, raisin, grape, honey, caramel, banana, clove, floral, herbal, pepper, candi sugar, bread, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big apple, pear, grape, raisin, fig, caramel, honey, banana, clove, candi sugar, herbal, floral, pepper, bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, honey, banana, clove, candi sugar, floral, herbal, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of fruity/spicy ester notes; with a very balanced malt backbone and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and full bodied; with a slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong pale! Big complexity and balance of malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,390 characters)

Photo of Bisho
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy crap batman!
This is like a souped up version of Cuvée Van De Keizer Rood. It is everything that beer wanted to be and more!
All I can say is pineapple, pineapple, pineapple!!!
If you love pineapple you are going to love this. The wife loved it because the high ABV sweetness masks the piney hop bitterness. I didn't even notice it was 12% (I was on the floor after a couple of these!)
Glorious bier and De Dolle's best. (426 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a relatively clear (speckled by some yeast) amber topped by a fluffy white head with modest lacing and a residual thin blanketing/halo. The nose is sweet and alcoholic, with yeast, honey, and a sun-dried fruitiness to it. The taste is also relatively sweet, slight caramel toastiness, grain, honey, raisin, booze, and a touch of bitter hops in the finish. It's approaching full-bodied, boozy, potently flavorful, gain-sweetness forward, and a bit too boozy to suck down quickly. I'd say this embodies the Belgian strong pale ale with its tremendous sweetness, yeast fruit, potent ethanol, and mild bitterness. This is probably not a repeat bottle for the price. (676 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

33 cL 2010 bottle.

Pours a hazed golden apricot with a foamy white head, thick lace and good retention. Aroma of bubblegum, yeast, peach, booze, banana and bread. Medium thick body, heavy carbonation and a soft body. Flavor is hotter than nose suggested, with a ton of fruit (grape, peach, pear) and bubblegum and bready malt. (327 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

33cl 2012

Appearance. Pours a murky honey-brown with a finger of white head that doesn't last all that long.

Smell. Sweet fruits, mainly fresh pear, but also some orange and a bit of mango, some spicy belgian yeast and just a touch of caramel and grainy light malt.

Taste. Caramel and sweet orchard fruits, some spicy and earthy yeast, a little light grainy malt. Very nice and abv is very well hidden ...too well.

Mouthfeel. On the low side of full bodied, slightly syrupy, fairly soft medium carbonation.

Overall. A very nice beer with dangerously well hidden high abv and lots of nice fruity belgian flavours. (619 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

33cl bottle that is either best by or bottled in 2003. Regardless, poured into an Oerbier oversized wine glass the brew appears a clear mahogany color with a finger of white cap that fades holding in a ring around the perimeter of the glass with a white coloration. Despite a careful pour, the brew has some particulate stuck in suspension. A light swirl revives a finger back to the surface and produces some faint spots of lacing effect on the glass.

The aroma is sweet smelling with a scent of caramel mixed with toffee grains. Right out the gate, some solvent booze character is present. Some fruited quality is noted blending into bready grain that smells mildly like current mixed with raisins or prunes/dates. When swirled, there is a bit of earthy character that emerges reminescent of other de dolle offerings and a mild touch of herbal hops.

The flavor is bready with grain and has quite a bit of caramelized sugary quality which imparts a significant amount of sticky sweetness. However, the perceived sweetness of this brew is short lived once the alcohol comes into play. The alcohol is fairly aggressive and accents fruited flavors like current, raisins, dates and prunes. There is a familiarity about this brew that tastes like belgian candy sugar with a hint of lemon and cardboard-like oxidation across the back.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a moderate to lighter level of carbonation. For being what I believe is a 10 year old bottle, the alcohol has not mellowed all that much in this offering. Regardless, it is a pretty fantastic brew and one I will be sure to purchase more of when I get the opportunity. (1,644 characters)

Photo of MRsojourner
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

aroma of fresh leather, light pilsner and fermented grapes
color is a light copper with a thin head that dissipated quickly leaving a slight film
this drinks more like a mead than your average Belgian pale ale. you get a lot of raisin and blackberries and that special b grainy flavor along with a touch of spice that finishes quickly leaving you with a dry finish and not much of an aftertaste
The alcohol is definitely present and warms you up as this is a sipper and not something you would quaff but a treat to be savored. (526 characters)

Photo of cavedave
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 edition

A lofty, off white head, long lasting and threatening to overflow, tops an extremely yeast-floatie beer of cloudy copper color.

Smell is full of luscious sweet fruit syrup aromas, peach, nectarine, plum join nice spicy and alcohol sweet for a perfume delicious.

Taste is all of the fruits and spice of the nose, plus some really nice vinous components, and the sweet isn't syrupy in the mouth, As it nears room temperature it really starts to shine some herbal and malty complexity, with just a righteous amount of tasty bitter entering into it. Delicious.

Mouthfeel should be cloying and overdone by the sweet fruit flavors, but isn't. Despite look the carb. is med./perfect, the cling is clean, and the finish is just juicy/spicy enough.

Fantastic beer, just superb, really hides the alc., I guessed it at 8%. It's just right in all the ways it tries to be, and they all play well together. Highest recommend. (929 characters)

Photo of Brandywine
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep hazy, golden orange. Poured half a finger of an off white head. Gigantic alcohol legs. A thin film of bubbles stays on top. Big lacing.

Smell: Banana, clove, nutmeg, breadiness, raisins, a baked or sugary aroma.

Taste: Bright yeasty fruitiness. Hard to describe but banana and orange and spices comes to mind. Spices come out more in the middle. Definitely getting clove. Lemon mixes in with the fruit. The breadiness doesn't feel heavy and the high ABV is completely hidden in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Very full but not too chewy, with just enough carbonation.

Overall: An awesome Belgian strong pale ale. Very well balanced between fruit and spice with no booziness. (692 characters)

Photo of Jonada
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage. Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a rusty golden color, with less than a finger of white head. Hazy with quite a bit of sediment floating in the glass.

Smell: Sweet ripe fruits, pear, apple, clove with a spicy powdery Belgian yeast character. No hop presence at all.

Taste: Very sweet from start to finish. Other than that the taste follows the aroma. Lots of juicy apple and pear flavors. Additional notes of white grape, honey, vanilla, clove and spice. The alcohol is masked very well.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the lower end of full. Medium levels of carbonation.

Overall: This is a really interesting beer. You'd think this would be a sipper given the high sweetness and ABV, but it's surprisingly drinkable. I would definitely have this again, and would really like to try the Reserva version. (824 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The mad brewers at De Dolle have reprieved themselves- they must cheer with delight after ushering this beer to market- because there's absolutely nothing to be mad about. This is a superb strong Belgian golden ale that spans the gamut of who's who in Belgian beer flavor; and does so with finesse, balance, and quality.

The Christmas ale pours with a stern honey amber color that trends burnish bronze in the body, but coppery about the thinner edges. The strong ale builds a mousse-textured ivory head that laces with the classic essence of Belgian lace. Its unfiltered appearance yields a yeasty haze that get the beer to glow like a dim nightlight.

Resting just behind the honey-sweet aromas are the tangy tartness of vinous fruit- white grape, wine rot, sugar cookie, sourdough, and orange blossom all play into the stunning and varying aromas. A heightened floral note of honeysuckle and clover decorate the stronger malt and ester notes with a sense of finesse and refinement. Spicy cloves and white pepper tickle the nose... and we haven't even discussed the taste yet!

And it with a honey sweetened upstart with a pep of savory kettle caramelization that the early palate favors a supple sugary introduction. Yet the beer quickly draws in an earthy display of hops that contribute elements of spicy wood and grass notes in balance. Still, an estery complex that's comprised of a plethora of fruits span the taste of pear, apple, peach and apricot. Candied versions of fruit emit with the emulation of lemon drop, "Pez,", and cotton candy. Finishing with the vinous Chardonnay taste of white grape, pepper, alcohol, and racy acidity- the beer covers all the bases and does so with impeccable balance.

Reluctantly full in body, the zesty carbonation of sparkling with rushes across the palate and lifts the bready-rich textures of malt from the mouth. This ushers in a malty-dry middle palate that favors fruity dryness heading into finish. Late dryness seems mostly from high alcohol warmth, but is aided by moderate acidity, wine-like tannin, and receding grain sweetness.

As the beer closes, I don't feel that I have fully explored all of the beers slight nuances or it's powerful complexities. I simply hope that this review has given you a glimpse into the shallow impressions that I gained from this session. Still, a heightened sense of dryness, even at the determent of 10% abv. just might improve it's character. (2,435 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.67/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Double review here, averaging the scores of a back-to-back tasting of 2010 and 1984 vintages. Thanks to Hopstoopid120 for the fresher of the two, and beerpirates for the older - a birthyear beer for me!

2010
A: Clear orange-amber body and a finger of persistant off-white froth that leaves nice lace. Excellent. 4.5

S: Rich, intense candi sugar. Toasty, caramelized almonds and tangerine. Really nice. 4.5

T: Ripe fruit, caramelized sugar, and smooth alcohol. Simple and delicious. 4.5

M: Medium body, lightly sticky with lively carbonation. Good. 4.0

O: Yet another excellent De Dolle offering - distinctive, flavorful, and delectable. 4.5

1984
A: Clear, dark red-brown body with a cap of frothy tan foam. Great carbonation for an ancient brew! Unbelievable. 5.0

S: Ancient indeed. Basement mustiness, sherry, and dark fruit. Crazy old, crazy good. 4.5

T: Follows the nose with the addition of terrific lactic and cherry tartness. Smooth, rich, complex, and wonderful. 5.0

M: Smooth, slick, lightly but creamily carbonated. Couldn't be better. 5.0

O: Wow. This was one of the most spectacularly good cellared beers I've ever tasted, and particularly meaningful since it's as old as I am. 5.0

Cheers! (1,211 characters)

Photo of bpk59
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle from the local good liquor store. Poured into a Tree House tulip.

Appearance: hazy gold with white foam. Some sediment chunks are visible.

Smell: what is this I don't even... ? Green sour apple Jolly Rancher. Wasn't expecting this, among my favorite beer smells. Maybe a little bit of sticky malts and booze, but that apple is just epic.

Taste: Unfortunately, fruity malts are crushed by alcohol. Too bad, very heavily dominated by a boozy bite.

Mouthfeel: astringent and sticky from the booze. Not enough carbonation for my taste.

Overall: That nose writes a check the rest of the beer can't cash. Wouldn't buy again, but would buy a candle smelling like it anytime. (692 characters)

De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
91 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.