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De Dolle Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

505 Reviews
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De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille Nacht

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alcohol has gone from 8% to 12% in recent years due to better yeast performance; according to Kris Kerteler.

Added by Todd on 03-25-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 505 | Ratings: 1,009
Photo of ElGuapo
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark pour with a small lacing on top that died pretty quickly. Aromas of fruit and spice hit the nose first along with a blast of alcohol. It has a very sweet aroma overall, but the spices do their job.

This is one strange beer. It had a lot of earthiness at first with spices and vegetable flavors. Alcohol came in large gusts. A few sips later, it was very sweet with minimal spiciness. A few other swigs had it tasting like brandy. The complexity was nice, but it really didn't all go together that well. I usually like something new and strange to me, but this one just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of erica
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet! Stille Nacht is soooo sweet, maybe the sweetest beer I ever had. However, I like sweet so I liked it. It was a pretty orangey amber color with a big head, smelled like honey and wine, and spiced apples in there too. It tasted pretty much the same as it smelled, with that sweetened honey flavour predominating. I liked it but it was almost syrupy- a bit too thick for my liking- and I definintely wouldn't want to drink more than one glass of this stuff. I might try it again in a year, I'll be due for another by then.

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Photo of Joss
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 2005 - rated November 2003.

Raisins and peaches in the aroma.

Brown color, flakes of yeast, big fluffy head.

Flavor: Raisins, sweet brown sugar and
a slight citric aftertaste.

Very warming - the perfect winter beer.

This bottle was a little bit too sweet - aging will probably do a lot to this beer.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.6 oz bottle served chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet. I took the glass held by the happy snowman on the label to be my guide here.

Appearance: Translucent orange with lotsa little floaties in it (mmm... floaties). Huge, thick, and creamy offwhite head that diminished to a layer of foam a few minutes later. This layer stuck around for the rest of the glass. Not as much lacing as I was hoping for given the fantastical head and retention, but still pretty good.

Smell: Intensely fruity smell. I got peaches, strawberries, pears, apples, and oranges. If I ate more tropical fruit, I'd probably be able to identify some others. Very yeasty with some faintly herbal hops. Quite the sniffer, I'd say.

Taste: Damn is this a fruity and tasty beer. Peach flavor is the strongest, but you can easily (and happily) detect the other fruits mentioned previously. A whole lot of candi sugar must have gone into this, it's so sweet. Subtle alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Substantial in body, almost syrupy, but still refreshing.

Drinkability: You'd better have a sweet tooth for this one. If it weren't for the mouthfeel and the lack of tartness, I'd have thought I was given a peche lambic. Overall, it can be a bit cloying, so more than one in a sitting might be a bit much. I think I know what some people might be getting for Xmas...

Other: Quaffed in honor of the pumpkin sculpture I made for my workplace's 2nd annual pumpkin decorating contest. I took three small white pumpkins of different sizes, hollowed one out, and then made a snowman out of it. Pictures available upon request.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I don't know what to think of this beer. In some ways it's really schizophrenic. Pours an orange-light amber with an enormous white, frothy head that has pretty good staying power.

Smells enormously of apple. The first thought that came to mind was Mott's apple juice. Other than that, it has a little spice, alcohol, and loaded with malts.

Taste is so damned complex. Initially you taste the alcohol. Then you begin to taste the fruit - again the apple with some other unidentified fruit. This immediately moves to a huge syrupy sweetness that's almost too much to handle. (Reminds me of Gulden Draak.) This is why drinkability suffers. Finishes on the dry side. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

I really don't know what to make of this, and I'm absolutely confused.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Big head that I controlled with a moderate pour. The body is classic, cloudy-orange Belgian.

Smell – There’s the BSPA aroma. The toasted malt scents mix with the fruity aroma of apricots, banana (my favorite), melons, cherries from the jar, and yellow watermelon.

Taste – Oh, this is nice. The fruits are out here in force. The malt backbone is present, but the fruits steal the show. You’ve got all the tastes from the nose then a big banana-cherry-melon fruit juice that tastes like concentrate. I mean, this stuff is strong!

You’ve also got some nice spicing to this one as well. Coriander makes the rounds here as well as cinnamon and a dash of salt.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated for the style. This is not a mouthful with each sip as one would think. Nice.

Drinkability – This is almost like an aperitif wine. It is very fruity, smooth, clean, sweet, and inviting.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep golden color, with amber notes to it. Pours with hardly any head at all. It looks quite thick as it is poured into the glass, and is very lightly carbonated. Smells of honey and a general fruitiness. Tastes thick, complex, sweet, with a strong honey note to it. This beer is also lightly sour which balances wonderfully with the sweetness. This is a world-class beer, and is incredibly well balanced.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Solid PSSSSSHTT blows the cap off. A gentle pour produces a head of overflowing foam with half of it frantically going down the sink despite my foam-chugging. Eventually a thin layer of liquid emerges in the bottom of the glass, forming spiral streamers of intensely carbonated amber brew. The head peaks 3" out of the glass and is beige in color with a sea-foam consistency and amazing retention (in a bad kinda way because the damn head won't go away) and solid sheets of sticky lacing. Aroma is tart with apple cider vinegar, abundant alcohol, tons of candi sugar, wheat malt, orange blossom honey and a hint of oranges and cloves. Reminds me of the candied fruits in fruitcake. Taste is much the same with little obvious sour funk and intense sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-thin, yet cloying and obnoxiously syrupy, especially at cold temps. Carbonation is intense and alcohol feels and tastes perceptably stronger than 8.0%, more akin to a syrupy sweet port. A definite after dinner sipper...high quality but too alcoholic for my tastes.

Don't even bother drinking this cold. 65 degrees is perfect. Adding the yeast rounds out the mouthfeel a tinge.

$5.49 for a 330ml bottle at Big-10 in Lansing (A tremendous rip-off from the guys who automatically mark up any Belgian beer 300%.)

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Photo of beerguy101
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep eclipse orange (Can't see thru) color. Enormous white frothy head. Aroma is fruity, oranges and apples, and a little yeasty. Big candied fruit and yeast flavor that is so typical of Belgian ales. Flavor is apple-ish and spicy.Sweet and tart. Very intense flavor and carbonation. The 9% alcohol is very evident, but it sort of blends together with all the other stuff going on here. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is a little yeasty with an pronounced alcohol bite.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden orange color, with microscopic floatules (what I'm calling them these days) buzzing around the edge of the glass, and a most impressive head that took up 3/4 of the Duvel glass the brew was poured into and then still wanted to bubble over: large and lasting, solid, but creamy.
I put my nose in this soft, enticing foam and was exulted: fresh, fruity, dazzling, sugary...I'm thinking "tripel" but I know that there's more in store...slightly spicy, light, elegant, ethereal, divine.
Taste has a zing and a zip and dazzles with intense fruit flavors (orange, peach), so rich, juicy, and tangible that I can nearly taste the pit and the seeds!
I'm put into heaven here...it's simply sublime...malt is huge with sweetness and fruit, perhaps too much so, and there's not a nod from Mr. Hops. A pity for that would have provided sufficient balance and given an extra dimension to this ale.
As it is, it's still amazing. Ah, there's nowhere to go from here...a perfect nightcap... a suffficient summation of goodness in a glass.
Thanks so much to JohnnyDuvel for this one!

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Photo of Indybeer
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz euro bottle. Poured a hazy orange color with a massive head that slowly receded. Aroma of malt and fruit. Taste is a complex blend of sweet, with some fruitiness, and a bitter finish. It is rather hard to describe. More like a barleywine in the complex flavors. This one is hard to place. Not bad but not something I'd have again soon.

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Photo of hotstuff
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was THE biggest head on a beer that I have witnessed since I started rating beers!! WOW!! The head was off-white with medium bubbles. The nose was that of clove, fruits and some sweetness. The carbonation was fizzy and the lacing was excellent with this beer. The taste was that of alcohol. This is definitely a beer to be sipped and enjoyed due to the presence of the alcohol. The body was murky and the hue was pale orange. The mouthfeel was a burning sensation in my throat as well as a warm sensation as it was digested. All in all, a good brew that I really enjoyed having the experience of drinking and rating.

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Photo of granger10
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very complex belgian. It improved as it warmed a little. Thick, dense head. But the taste and appearance of the beer proved it to be rather lighter than many belgians. The initial note is of a honey flavor coming forth followed by a spicyness that seemed a little too strong for my liking. A fruity sweetness came forth next to offset the spicyness. The beer finished with a yeasty dryness that left me wanting more. All in all a very good beer but probably not worth the price.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The bottle has a small label on the neck that reads "Bottled in 1996". Carefully poured it's a slightly hazy orange-ish color. The addition of the yeast sediment leaves it cloudy and more copperish with a bit of a reddish cast. The initially foamy ivory colored head settles to a short creamy cap and remains throughout the entire goblet leaving some transient lace as it goes. The nose is astounding! It's intense and quite complex with notes of ripe fruit (raisin, prune, plum, mild citrus, orange peel), vanilla wafers, honey, sour candies, cookie dough and lightly toasted bread. It's silky smooth and quite creamy across the palate due to a medium body and very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. The flavor starts with dripping, juicy fruit flavor. It's rich and sweet with raisins, plums, and even a bit of raspberry. It's almost enough to overwhelm the tastebuds! A touch of citrus follows, immediately coat-tailed by some background bitterness; both of which keep it from becoming cloyingly sweet. Some mustiness and low-level earthy hop flavor emerge in the finish along with some caramelish and bready malt and a very light, cinnamon/nutmeg-like spiciness. At times the long-lasting malty sweetness appears like a spiced fruit danish or jelly donut. And yet, it finishes surprisingly dry finish considering the amount of juicy and sugary fruit sweetness found upfront. Absolutely amazing! A complex, rich, sweet, and fruity beer that could easily replace a barleywine for sipping after-dinner. It would be equally at home on a cold winter's night as it would a cool summer evening. Most enjoyable!

I'm not sure if the vintage and aging have anything to do with it, but I'm certainly going to enjoy a few more of these!

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Photo of aracauna
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Remember kids, don't chill a beer, let it warm up and then open it, especially a highly carbonated Belgian like this. Large misshapen head is out of control. Peach, lemon zest, salty. Alcohol a little too noticeable and the sweetness is a bit cloying. Surprisingly bitter finish.

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Photo of goz
3.22/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour created a monsterous white head that wouldn't quit, far too much for my liking (80% of the pour was head, and that was only 1/4 of the bottle).
Cloudy amber, lots of tiny bits floating about, and millions of tiny bubbles racing to the top. Aroma is big and fruity, apple and pear mostly, some alcohol showing, too. Flavor is super sweet, mostly apple, ends with the alcohol poking through. Medium body, alcohol becomes more and more prominent towards the middle and end of the bottle.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes: 2002 reserve 12% alcohol by volume. This beer pours a hazy orange/peach-ish colour with a hughe frothy head to it. It smells wonderfully of sugar, hops, malts, and fruits. The taste is all over the place but it is a bit too sweet an on the fruity side for my liking. The flavors that you can find in this beer are peaches, nectarines, tangerines, candi sugar, hops, malts, and a general sweetness. The mouthfeel on this beer is like peach syrup in a can and the drinkability is hurt because of this factor and because this beer is just a little too sweet. Maybe at a warmer temperature this would be an excellent brew. Never-the-less this is not a beer...it is an experience! Warmer this is about a 4. I've since learned that old Stille Nacht, that has been layed down for a while is quite a treat to behold. Lay some of this shit down for 5-10 years and than revisit its awesomeness!

1996 Vintage. At the Kulminator (where else?) Less sweet than the 2002 (obviously). This has really improved with age. Some lambic-like yeast funkiness, and some sour red/oud bruin characteristics are beginning to show through at this point. Fruity, without the fruit, and so balanced that it doesnt even matter. Not syrupy at all and very drinkable...excellent. I'd rate this at a 4.5 or better...

1982 Vintage (First Year). 10 euros at the Kulminator, and personally selected by Dirk and Leen as are "final beer in Belgium". A deep amber-ish colour with a frothy white head of foam. The aromas are excellent and consist of cotton candy, funky belgian yeast, sweet candied fruits, alcohol, red wine, and more. The taste is so freaking complex, that it is hard to describe. cherries, belgian lambic funk, sour red qualities, sugar, fruity, non-fruit sweetness, bubble gum, other various spices and fruits and more...The mouthfeel is perfect and the drinkability is excellent as well. I'd probably rate this vintage at a perfect 5!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage is unknown, but believed to be in the 2000-2001 area.

Pours a murky looking dirty amber color. Huge, bubbly, white head. Fizzy and efferfescent. Great retention. Aroma is sweet and fruity to say the least. Melons, mango, grape skin, apricot. Pretty nice though. The flavors of this definitely tip the scale on the sweet side. In a Harvest Ale sort of way though. Sweet passion fruit and dark cherry rise up. A hint of alcohol. Maybe some spicing like orange curacao, nutmeg, ginger or corriander. I do notice a slight bitterness on the aftertaste. All in all, pretty nice.

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Photo of cokes
2.16/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I stand as a man divided in terms of this beer. Half of me wants to dump it down the drain, the other half keeps drinking it.

Beautiful golden-amber that isn't so much murky as it is obstructed by sizeable yeast chunks. Gigantic, undulating beige head. Very impressive looking.

First off. DO NOT drink this cold unless you want to find the very definition of cloying.
Nose of overripe apricots caked in cream cheese that has been left on the counter overnight. Throw in some tangerines too.
Taste is an exercise in fruity excess. The apricots and tangerines from the nose are flaunted mercilessly. Some juicy tart apples and sour grapes enter. Buttery toffee attempts to provide a base. Waves of nutrasweet and brown sugar overwhelm the tastebuds, and will prompt a morning call to the dentist. No hops to speak of. Alcohol pops up late, in a Kero syrup fashion. This rides out obnoxiously sweet, with a few hints of grain.
The mouthfeel is actually very solid. If I could just get this to dry a bit, it would be pretty good. Clinging, sickly sweetness hurts here too.
As it stands, this is more of an experience than a decent beer.

Update: I've had this twice more. And dumped it twice. Hugely sweet and much boozier that I recall. Thicker and hotter and stickier. Are recent vintages 12%? (as I believe I saw stated on the label.)
Whatever, I can't deal with this one.

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Photo of cretemixer
2.98/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I could smell this brew even before I poured it. Cloudy deep amber with a beautiful head. Champagne like carbonation keeps the head alive long after the pour. I see some floaties hovering around inside the glass. Smells sweet like a wine. Hints of pineapple? My first sip sets me back. Pineapple and apricot flavors jump out at me followed by an alcohol warmth. No hoppiness to speak of, just sweet and fruity. Very creamy and thick on my tounge. I'm not sure what to make of this beer, I like the appearance and mouthfeel but it is just too sweet & tart for me.

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Photo of Wildman
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a copper amber color and formed an off white bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. A heavy aroma of malt and fruit with almost wine like aspects to the aroma. The flavor was of malt and fruit and an interesting finish. I have trouble figuring this beer out because it seems to be trying to be an dessert wine more than a beer. I would consider this a night cap kind of beer.

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Photo of MJR
2.92/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Underneath a foaming, pillowy head that would almost make Duvel jealous, sits a cloudy, orange-amber body. The liquid almost has a glow to it...one of the most visually exciting brews I've ever laid eyes on.

Smell: I pick up on wheat, fruit, and a complex spiciness. A touch of earthy character too. It's actually somewhat difficult to get a strong aroma through the massive head!

Taste: Wow...this is the sweetest brew I've ever encountered! Tons of fruit flavor: pear, apricot, apple, and orange. There's a bit of spiciness in there as well, but it gets trampled to death by the cloying sweetness. Plenty of caramel and toffee too. There's some alcohol on the tail end.

Mouthfeel: Very thick and syrupy, with an oily mouthfeel. Insanely carbonated...I've never heard such a loud 'pphhttt' when opening a bottle. It went on for almost two seconds! Great mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Scores high on appearance and mouthfeel, but falls way short in the most important area: taste. It's way too sweet, even for one bottle. If they dialed down the sweetness, and let the other flavors in there assert themselves a bit more, this brew would be a real winner.

This is first beer I've reviewed where the scores varied so much!

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Photo of Amdahl
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second review of a de dolle beer. The beer is a beautiful cloudy brown. In great similarity to the ara bier, Stille Nacht has a ton of head that seemingly never reduces into a rich, thick, white head. Lace is very nice all the way down to the bottom. The aroma is malty with hints of fruit. The taste is dominated by apricot but still manages to be just a little sweet, with a hint of bitterness. I get a very hittle hint of hops in the beer. This is a medium-bodied beer that finishes a little dry. Defiantly a warming feeling on the way down. I would recommend to anyone.

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Photo of StevieW
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. slender brown bottle. Goofy snowman holding a beer on the label. I believe this is a Christmas beer.
Cloudy golden color. Despite my best efforts, a huge explosive head erupts from the bottle. Head is rocky and lasts forever, full bubbly and beige. Full of sweet citrus aroamas, grapefruit, slight orange peel and subtle spices. Taste is at first full of citrus, and rich yeasty taste. Very typical of a belgian pale ale. (Not a dark, but that's what it says.) As the subtle yeast flavors fade, an overwhelming sweet candied fruit taste slides by an finishes the beer. Complex flavor combinations confuse the taste buds, but the sweetness is striking and overbearing. Very slick but not syrupy. Super sweet finish lingers. Harder to handle as it warms. Turns into a slow sipping beer, and at 8 % it probably is meant to be a night cap. A very interesting, complex and tasty beer, just a bit to sweet to be really outstanding.

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Photo of jmatthew
2.95/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A unique brew that demands a lot. Attractive depth of color and powerful head retention, definite alcohol presence in the nose. Sweet as the dickens at first sip, rounded of slightly by some hops somewhere in the distant background and some muddled yeastiness. If the sweetness isn't enough to floor you, the alcoholic content kicks in on the follow-up. Lots of candy sugars are right there in the moderately full mouthfeel together with a good warmth, followed by a finish that either leaves you gasping for air or gasping for more. Although quite impressive, perhaps a bit too sweet for me, I'll have to give it another shot when my taste buds deteriorate. Not a beer for the weak-hearted.

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De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
92 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.