De Dolle Stille Nacht - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille Nacht

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

499 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 499
Hads: 928
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.05%
Wants: 101
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
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Reviews: 499 | Hads: 928
Photo of Star80
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of gleemonger
4.5/5  rDev +10%
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. (689 characters)

Photo of spdyfire83
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of TK5150
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
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. (252 characters)

Photo of Fux
4.89/5  rDev +19.6%
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...) (1,473 characters)

Photo of shleepy
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (685 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,568 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
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. (1,189 characters)

Photo of brystmar
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (354 characters)

Photo of RickS95
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (867 characters)

Photo of zonker17
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
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. (485 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (837 characters)

Photo of Mar02x
4.13/5  rDev +1%
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. (730 characters)

Photo of orangesol
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (986 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
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. (363 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (821 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber orange pour with a good deal of suspended yeast, mainly since I did not pour very carefully. A half inch of white foam sits atop the brew as well. Aromas a melange of fruit flavors mixed with an earthy yeast tones and some warming spices as well. A hint of vanilla along with toffee, fresh caramels and floral honey. Complex.

First sip brings dense sweet malty goodness overflowing with fruit and spice flavors. Toffee and caramel intertwine along with lots of yeast phenols and some vanilla and honey as well. Slight floral note and earthy accents. Really tons going on here and it all combines together in one really tasty brew!

Mouthfeel is dense and rich with creamy carbonation. It maintains its drinkability without being overly heavy. A tasty winter brew that is worthy of a good celebration :) Well worth seeking out - love me some De Dolle. (862 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Brawley’s in Charlotte. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Hazy light orange brown. Looks like diluted orange juice. Massive bubbly white head. Sticky lacing.

S – Belgian funk, yeast. Pepper and light alcohol.

T – Like the smell it has a Belgian yeast taste that is familiar. Tad on the funky side. Massive fruit taste with grape, lemon and orange. Nice caramel sweetness. Finishes with a nice peppery spiciness and a warming alcohol chaser.

M – Light to medium bodied. This beer is alive on your palate. Tingly.

O – This is a damn fine beer. Complex taste that just comes alive in your mouth. I am amazed that the ABV is so high. It really does not taste like it. (717 characters)

Photo of Cozzatoad
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, bottling date on the cap is almost completely deleted, but i must assume this a 2011 bottling as i bought it just a few days ago

A- After a very gentle pour: dark orange colour (not hazy, as many reported), with lots of bubbles from the carbonation. One-finger, soapy white head that does not show much retention but leaves a very nice amount of lacing on the sides of the glass

S- Strong, and i mean very strong, fruity notes among a sweet malt base.Orange and lemon on the citrus side, raisin and cherries on the dark fruits side. All of this is wonderfully mixed with notes of spiciness (black pepper?) from the alcohol esters and a hint of earthiness from the yeast to bring balance

T- Not exactly what the smell suggested, but still amazingly complex. A delicate, caramel malt base leaves room for an amazing load of fruit notes: dark fruits (fig, a hint of cherries) along with orange and lemon rind, expecially on the tongue, where spiciness kicks in. A distinct yeast presence brings a hint of earthiness and a herbal feel that brings more complexity and balance. A wonderful hint of lactic sourness stays there throughout the whole tasting experience. Nice, extremely persistent, spicy and slightly herbal aftertaste. This beer is always on the point of being cloyingly sweet but somehow never over the top. I don't really know how, but this amazing load of complex flavours feels perfectly balanced: congratulations De Dolle

M- Dense body. High but still extremely fine carbonation, never too strong or prickly. Great, persistent smoothness on both tongue and palate. Alcohol is definitely to be felt but it never feels too strong, it just brings a wonderful warming feel

O- This beer is almost overwhelmingly complex, and maybe this is what prevented me from giving it an even higher score. Still, it is greatly balanced and amazingly drinkable given its character and ABV. A top notch beer (1,920 characters)

Photo of doopydoogle
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy brown straw with visible sediment. The head is thick and foamy, evidenced by the explosive nature of the brew right out of the bottle.

S - Banana, clove, biscuits, bread, cherries, kiwis, apple, gumdrops, melon, aspirin, grapes, sugar, malt

T - Aggressive sticky tart fruity malt explosion out front which lingers in the sweet and sour for some time but yields to an alcoholic dryness that is backed up by a spicy floral taste. Chewy and rich, incredibly complex and contemplative.

M - EXPLOSIVE! Man did this thing want to get out of the bottle. The foam was creeping up out of the bottle even after half had been poured. Sticky and coating with a pleasant tartness.

O - A beer to think about. Not for everyone, but its worth a shot, even at $6 for an 11.2oz bottle. (782 characters)

Photo of IPA35
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy orange. Head is white but disappears quick. But that's because of the glass.

Smells sweet, Belgian yeast, fruits like peach, green apples and citrus. Very nice.

The taste is sweet but the sweetness is balanced by the malts, hops and alcohol. A pleasant balanced taste. Not overly fruity but still rather sweet. As I said, enough hops and grain too. Spice too, and alcohol. Slighly 'raisinish' aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-thin with plenty of carbonation. Not too easy to drink with this kind of ABV.

Overall a very nice beer. (546 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers last year this time, so it has about a year of age on it. Hazy yellow-orange pour with two finger head that fades quickly with excellent lacing. Yeasty, fruity Belgian nose with hints of grass, apricots, orange zest, alcohol, and a bit of lemon. Very bold, tart, yeasty, almost medicinal at first sip. Hints of candied fruit, specifically pineapple, along with cinnamon, phenols, orange zest, raisins, and a touch of pepper. Very complex, well balanced and ever changing as it warms. The carbonation is a bit much for me, but the drinkability is crazy for a 12% ABV. It's a sipper for sure, but there's something about this beer that draws you to it. Normally, this would be too sweet for my palate, but for some reason it's not. Can't wait for next weeks O.B.E.R. Kerstbierfestival to get some more! (867 characters)

Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big but mellow alcohol taste with a warming finish. Hazy orangish reddish colors it pours a big fluffily white head. This is a very good winter warmer as one can easily sit a cold night sipping this in the ice house!

APPERANCE: hazy and orangish red

SMELL: Sweater on the nose then on the taste buds

TASTE: Mellow but bold alcohol taste, with a sweet citrus fruit, slight biter finish. (388 characters)

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