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
93
outstanding

924 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 924
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 99
Gots: 116 | FT: 9
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 924 | Reviews: 507
Photo of woosterbill
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

Photo of bpk59
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into an Ithaca Excelsior! tulip. 2010 bottle. Consumed on January 8, 2013. My first review with the new .25 intervals. Finally, we have some consistency in significant figures! Anyway...

Appearance - I knew I'd need two glasses for this bottle, but foolishly, I was not prepared. Half the glass is a cream head with a variety of bubbles sizes. It settles to a full finger of foam on top of a dark golden body. Chunks flow into the beer about halfway through the bottle. The floaties suspend themselves toward the bottom of the glass, like a freeze frame of shrapnel coming from an explosion in the stem of the tulip.

Smell - Fruits all over the place. Every type of light fruit. Bananas, apples, apricots, pears. Deep malt presence gives it a nice warm smell, if that makes sense. Inviting like a cognac. Definite alcohol presence, like a cognac, as well.

Taste - Ouch, that alcohol comes through with a vengeance here. Esters, fruits, and yeast. Complex flavor, as some of the paler malts make an appearance here, too. Strong alcohol bite is oppressive in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Way overcarbonated. Boozy and astringent. Not an easy beer to drink. I forgive a little bit as it comes with the territory. As it warms, the alcohol eases up and the malts come through for a much more refined finish.

Overall - Kinda like they tried to make an imperial tripel. Harsh finish along with all sorts of yeasty biproducts. It does make for an interesting drink, though.

Photo of macrosmatic
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 11.6 pz bottle into CCB snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy dark gold to flat brown, and white foam settles on top rather then head. Small amount of visible carbonation.

S: Fruity and funky...apple, pear, cider spices, banana, sweet malts, caramelized brown sugar. Lots of fruity esters, and a bit of booze.

T: The elements of the taste follow the nose, but all seem flat, and a bit tinny. The fruitiness fades from what I expected with the aroma. And man, this is hot. The booze overwhelms almost everything else.

M: Medium body, the alcohol is obvious. Lots of good carbonation.

O: Big fat meh for me here. I was very underwhelmed by this one. Not objectionable flavors perhaps, but the alcohol was too much. I've got another bottle to sit on, likely for another year. Will update if it's significantly different.

Photo of Radome
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 33 cl bottle bought in Spain.

A - Beautiful deep golden color building to copper in the depths of the glass. Perfectly clear. Pure white head is restrained during the pour but lingers as thin skin and lacing with large bubbles. Bottle conditioned with a tiny layer of sediment that becomes floating specks when poured into glass.

S – Fresh clean scent is all about malt and yeast. No hops are evident. Very sweet-smelling; fresh bread, cotton candy and bubble gum. A spice note in the background that could be overt spicing (coriander?) or could be yeast influence. Light aroma of sweet alcohol.

T – The tastes follow the nose. Light sweetbread like the Italian loafs eaten at Easter; green raisins; cotton candy; some fresh, restrained spiciness. Alcohol sweetness like a sweet liquor. Amazing depths of flavor.

M – Medium body. Moderate hops bitterness without significant flavor contribution. Light tickle of carbonation. Strong punch of alcohol.

O – A very pleasing, intense and complex beer. Has many of the same characteristics as Bush Blond, but seems to be more smooth and complex overall. It does not hide its alcohol at all, but allows it to remain blatant and blend with the overall sweetness.

Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken last night. 2011 vintage.

A- Poured into a tulip with a fairly cloudy yeast haze. A creamy, whipped looking head forms nicely atop the beer with very fine bubbles and a one finger size. Good retention and nice sheets of lace seem to form webs all around the glass.

S- A nice strong Belgian yeast profile up front. The beer yields a mix of lemon zest, raisin, fig, clove, banana esters and some caramel malt hints. Also some candi sugar sweets, floral and herbal hints.

T- A complex, strong and flavorful taste. Yeast spice is great and lends notes of figs, dark fruit, raisin, banana, cloves and fresh bread. Apple, grape, plum, lemon and orange fruit flavors. Caramel malts, candi sugar, floral and herbal hop hints balance the flavor.

MF- The body is moderately thick and dried out nicely by the yeast. Creamy and silky with high end carbonation, which supports the flavors nicely. Slight spicy bitterness.

Really awesome beer. Glad I finally drank this bottle at the time that I did. Should really stock up on this one next time I see it. Complexity is brilliant here.

Photo of barnzy78
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, 2011
A rusty-golden ale topped with a bubbly white head, tons of carbonation with some yeasty particles suspended within. Foamy lacing is washed away and then reappears with each sip. Aromas are bready yeast, floral, fruity, grape juice, apple juice, booze is non-existent. Flavors do not disappoint: very sweet with honey, apple, white grape juice, pear, peach, bready malt, Belgian yeast, slight spiciness, floral notes as well, buttery, again booze is non-existent other than being warming. Mouth-feel is creamy & rich with plenty of carbonation. Finishes semi-dry and very clean. Only making its second appearance as a Christmas Eve beer for me, but I'll make it a ritual and have it again each year hopefully for many years to come.

Photo of Star80
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle cap dated 2011.

A - Pours out a nice cloudy pale orange color with lingering head. Poured out lightly and left a little dredge at the bottom though I can see a little bits floating around in there. A little yeasty goodness never hurt anybody.

S - Smells slightly floral, yeasty, clovey, and a tad bit spicey.

T - Taste is very complex and quite strong! Got some sweetness and warmth from the alcohol, but also some fruity esters and grassy hops.

M - Mouthfeel is actually much heavier, fuller than expected for such a pale looking beer.

O - Overall a delicious yet somewhat overwhelming beer for me. Been a while since I've had a strong Belgian Pale so my palate is still piecing it all together. Not sure what makes this their Christmas Holiday beer although I detect some spicyness but could simply be from the yeast. I do know it has a nice winter warming effect from the alcohol on a 25 degree day.

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy burnt yellow-orange with tons of floaties tossed around by the high carbonation, like shaking up a snow globe. Small white head with little retention and lacing, but sticks temporarily to the glass.

Banana & clove yeastiness, slight earthiness, a touch of candy surgar and caramel malts. Not super pungent, but plenty going on.

Super sweet, woah. Crazy, sugary, fruity, but with some toasty malts and earthy hops poking in near the end. Fairly dry, but lingers a tad along the same lines. Very unique flavor combo.

Slightly thick, but still pretty crisp with high carbonation.

Not my favorite for the style, but definitely well crafted and a little different. Very enjoyable take.

Photo of spdyfire83
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

249th Review
33cl bottle poured into a snifter
Vintage: 2005

Enjoyed at DHvL in early June 2012. Thanks to kscaldef for sharing this!

A: Medium/light tan-ish brown. 1.5 (off white) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: Smells of oak/wood, fig, dark fruit, and lots of booze. The "heat" takes away from the smell of this beer, but getting past that it smells fairly sweet.

T: Taste follows smell precisely and the booze is present from the start. Beyond the booze, notes of sweet caramel, oak, dark fruit, vanilla, and toffee can be found. Quite enjoyable, but again, the alcohol distracts a bit.

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation.

O: A decent beer (considering the noticeable alcohol presence), but this could stand to age for another 5-10 years. I think it will be even better once it mellows a bit.

Photo of smakawhat
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A nice orange amber body, slightly opaque, yeast added later from the body creates some chunks. Head is off white but not very large, and with not much retention or lacing. Regardless, nice color and some carbonation can be visible, looking good.

Big nose on this beer. Large whiff of apple juice, dry malts and yeast powder, and sweet white wine. Very impressive.

Woah what's going on here. Sweet rush of apple and pear fruits hit the palate, with a sharp carbonation but not tasting gaseous. Crisp finish and drying white wine mixing with a soft almond pastry bread finish. Malt rich sweet thickness in the palate, while warm very controlled for such a high abv.

Overall this beer blurs the line between wine and beer, it's real fascinating, very enjoyable.

Photo of TK5150
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011.

A- Pours a murky orange with numerous yeasty chunks. A two and a half finger off-white head forms and leaves great lacing.

S- Big and sweet with notes of honey graham, caramel, molasses, apricot, peach, pear and other fruit. Fantastic aroma to this one.

T- Sweet caramel malt, honey, and fruity esters. Lots of apricot/peach and pear lingering on the finish. The 12% alcohol is masked very well.

M- Lighter side of full bodied with pretty high carbonation. Smooth.

O- One the best Belgian ales I've had. World class. Will definitely be getting more of this.

Photo of kscaldef
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 bottle at DHL on 6/7/2012

Honey color with some floaties. Thin coating of foam. Smells of plum with a sharp alcohol note. Some caramel and roast. Very rich and sweet, but still quite hot. Good quad-barleywine hybrid, but could still mellow a bit.

Photo of Fux
4.89/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I still never had reviewed this beer, this has to be corrected, and this will be done from a 2005 vintage (7 years old). The review would have been quite similar for other vintages, but aging on this beer definitely sublimates it.

A: Looks hazy, color is between amber and dark copper. The head is small with quite a low retention.

S: The smell is awesome, deep, rich, strong, with loads of fruits, spices, lactiness. I get some apples, pears, citruses, orange peels, raisins, cherries, grapes, figs. Very spicy and yeasty also, a bit sour and woody. Finishes sweet with some chocolate malts.

T: The taste is sweeter than the nose with brown sugars, molasses, toffee and caramel malts. Lots of fruits also : soaked fruits, dark fruits, prune, plum, soaked cherries. The balance between strong sweet malts and fruits make it taste like a Christmas fruit cake. Alcohol is present also with faint Port notes from the oxidation (barely noticeable and perfectly well integrated). Bitter chocolate aftertaste.

M: Thick and solid mouthfeel, unexpected from the style. A bit warming but perfectly refreshing due to a dry finish.

O: This beer is just awesome and I'm not sure there is one better on Earth, at least it's the best barleywine ever. This is the richest, tastiest beer I've ever drunk, it seems even better each time I drink one, and aging works wonders with this brew (I just can't imagine drinking something better than the one from 1987 I had a few weeks ago...)

Photo of shleepy
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Opaque amber, lots of sediment, huge head.

S: Not too fragrant, but I'm picking up some light cherry and candy sugar notes.

T: Just a tiny bit of "spiciness" from the high alcohol content, most apparent in the finish. Otherwise, the taste is dominated by a smooth, sweet maltiness.

M: Heavy body, to be sure, but very smooth and silky texture.

O: Great as a kind of sweet snack, in small quantities (not that you'd be drinking a pint of it, anyway). I feel that it's not as complex as its reputation might entail, but it's a fine beer. I'd probably prefer an Oer- or Arabier on most days, though, and the Oerbier Special Reserva on any day.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the winter 2007 release, which makes this about 4.5-5 years old at this point. I bought this at Chevy Chase back in the day (it's one of the first beers I cellared), and I'm drinking this as a part of the Big Cellar Purge.

Popping the cap causes this to gush slightly into my waiting glass, filling it with a grapefruit-colored mildly hazy liquid capped with a dense, off-white head with rather excellent retention. Lacing is minimal. The nose is rather excellent. Definitely taking on an oxidized character with sherry, honey, and mildly mead-like even, this has aged gracefully (I'm not a fan of this beer fresh). Still spicy, still yeasty, this brings to mind fruit cake, brown sugar spiced candies (a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg?). All told, this is a very fruity and a very sweet smelling beer.

The palate opens pretty big and sweet with honey, brown sugar and some spices. Age has wiped out the nugget hop flavor, muted the bitterness, and has added mild leathery and earthy notes. The alcohol, while well hidden, is fairly obvious, compromising sobriety rather quickly. The mid-palate is where all the complexity is expressed. Honey, stewed fruits (peaches, grapes, pears), some brown sugar as well as come caramel are all present. I'd say this is too sweet but for the leather that tames this just a hair. Medium-full in body with rather high carbonation, this beer has a long, sweet finish, almost saccharine in some ways, along with some spice. Despite that, it's very enjoyable, though best split two ways IMO. Not your prototypical BSPA.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Side-by-side tasting of a 2011 and 2006 bottle.
2011:
Poured into a Gulden Draak tuliip. Pours a light to medium golden amber. Two finger fine white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of light fruit, dominated by apple, Belgian yeast and spicing. Flavor is intense sweet light fruit; orange, pineapple, pear and apple with sweet malt. Finishes with apple, rather dry with a little hop kick. Syrupy, creamy bodied. Delicious.
2006:
Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Pours a light to medium cloudy coppery golden amber. Foamed out of the bottle on opening, but I caught it in time. Half a glass of white foam that dissipated slowly to a half finger head. Active carbonation for the first five minutes. Nice aroma of caramel, sweet malt and light fruit, reminiscent of an English barley wine. Flavor is light fruit; peaches, apples, slightly vinous, light flavor of dried fruit. Caramel malt, vanilla with some oxidation. Medium to heavy bodied and creamy, nice mouth feel. Complex and port-like. Very, very good.
Main review numbers from the 2011 bottle. The 2006 rated:
4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
slightly lower numbers for taste because of the light oxidation, but still a stellar ale.

Photo of brystmar
3.61/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this one at Toronado SD.

Orange pour with cloudy sediment. Nose is medicinal with hints of honey. Smells like a wet rainforest. Denise says it's gypsum that I smell, wish I knew what that was.

Honey is at the forefront here. Reminds me of an English barleywine. Medicinality isn't present in the taste. Would love to try it with 5+ years of age.

Photo of RickS95
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks killer. Coppery gold liquid like a BPA should be. The head is a contrasting white, and never ends. I poured the bottle several minutes ago and it's still a couple fingers thick. Sticky lace as it does eventually fall.

Fruit galore in the nose. Belgian funky yeast. Kind of a green apple/grape/pineapple combo. A little black pepper.

Taste mimics the nose. Yeast, several kinds of sweet, tart fruit. Some pepper and spices. A bit of alcohol.

Different layers and each one is pretty good. Sweet, tangy, tart, spicy. Heat from the alcohol...my lips are still a bit hot. The finish is the most complex. While it's very carbonated, it's sticky and dry at the same time.

One of the best holiday beers I've had. Nothing really distinguishes it as a Christmas beer aside from the name, but as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, it's right up there with the best I've had.

Photo of zonker17
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle cap stamped with 2008.

A - Well settled and refrigerated bottle overflowed on countertop after removal of cap. Poured dark golden color with chunky yeast. Head thin and gone quickly.

S - Light scent of malt and spice.

T - Spice, clove, sweetness from sugar.

M - Well carbonated. A touch of alcohol burn.

O - Trying to be objective and not finding a lot of enjoyment here. Balance of flavors not hitting me right. Maybe the age of the bottle and/or storage are affecting it.

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beermeX2 for sharing this one during a recent tasting! 2008 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with some floaties with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, bread, fruit, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, fruit, dark fruit, bread, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. All aspects of this one were very good and quite inviting. The flavor however was a little above and beyond the rest of the brew. It was really smooth and easy to drink, but still had a nice alcohol sweetness bite on the followthrough. Definitely a must try from this vintage.

Photo of Mar02x
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A golden liquid almost copper like with a white cap. The head turn to fluffy quite soon. And the liquid is clear, but there is a yeast snow storm going on.

S - A prickly yest scent with malt syrup.

T - WOW what a taste explosion, the complexity is huge. Al sorts of flavors are having a party on my palate; candy sugar, malt syrup, cardamom, coriander, hops and some citrus fruits (I believe it is orange peal). One can taste this is a strong beer, but not nearly as strong as 12 percent ABV.

M - The carbonation is medium and pleasant for this beer. It really helps the flavors to evolve. In the end a light bitterness kicks in, but the fluid is much to sweet to have effect.

O - A nice strong ale, a real winter warmer.

Photo of orangesol
3.62/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this bottle at Capone's last year. Bottled in 2009.

A - Pours murky amber orange with a decent one finger tall white head leaving light lace down the glass.

S - Smells of tons of sweetness. Hints of caramel malt, candied sugar, dark fruits, some fruitiness, and plenty of booze. I would say this was the best part of this beer.

T - Starts off with quite a bit of sweetness - mostly candied sugar and sweet caramel malt - slowly giving way to hints of dark fruits, light spice and lots of warming booze. The sweetness is pretty cloying, combining with the booze to leave the pallet coated long after the finish.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, cloying feel that never really goes away. Quite a bit of booze initially only getting stronger over the course of the glass.

O - I have had this one in the past and it was much better than this bottle. I will have to give this one another chance in the future because this bottle did not do it justice.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2000 drank summer 2011. Pours golden orange, mostly transparent with thin off white head. Nose has lots of malt sweetness, caramel, some sweet scotch, with light dark fruits in back. The flavor adds more wood notes and is far sweeter than expected. Full bodied, syrupy and creamy with a well balanced carbonation. A little sweet, interesting scotch notes.

Photo of jrenihan
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2010.

Beer is caramel coloured, a nice golden brown. A huge, frothy white head on top even with a careful pour. This one gushed immediately from the opening. Head dissipates slowly, leaving some lacing.

Smell is full of spice and light fruit - orange, banana, apricot, peach and more that I can't place. Belgian yeast is present as well as caramel. Really a great smell.

Taste is similar to the nose and is also lovely. Apricot, peach, orange mixed with a bunch of spice- nutmeg, pepper, clove. Very well balanced between sweet and bitter. Bready malt. Quite complex and all very well mixed together.

High carbonation - a little more than I like, but not too bad. Otherwise very nice. Has a buttery, creamy feel to it.

Overall, an excellent beer. A real pleasure to drink. A standout from a great brewery.

De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 924 ratings.