De Dolle Stille Nacht - Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille Nacht

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857 Ratings

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Ratings: 857
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 90
Gots: 100 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

(Beer added by: Todd on 03-25-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 857 | Reviews: 494 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer looked fairly clear on the pour, but I poured a fraction too long and the nasty stuff at the bottom of the bottle entered the glass. Turbid tawny with a multitude of suspended dark bits. The cap is yellowish beige in color, two fingers in thickness and lightly pitting. A slurred, extended collar of lace is the extent of the glass coverage.

The nose is sweet and spicy, like a handful of dried, golden fruits macerated in apricot brandy. Complex and wonderful. Since it doesn't look as if the dark chunks will settle to the bottom of the glass in my lifetime, I'll be forced to ingest them. Here goes...

The flavor is the aroma in liquid form. Sweet, sour, spicy and syrupy, all at the same time. This is a bewitching, multi-layered brew. Fermented apples, peaches and apricots dipped in candi sugar syrup lead the way with a barely noticed contribution from well-integrated alcohol. The body/mouthfeel is smooth, slick and viscous with a small burst of carbonation when beer hits mouth. The bubbles then step aside politely and allow the beer to melt like liquid taffy.

Stille Nacht (Silent Night) is a fine winter warmer of a BSDA with a full flavored, sweet fruitiness that is reminiscent of a Christmas fruitcake aged in brandy. I've been impressed by De Dolle even though I've only had a few of their offerings. The near cloying nature of this beer demands that it be drunk slowly, but it's a journey well worth taking.

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
2.63/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Aged one year:

Poured with little carbonation but there was a nice slick ot white head on top of the beer. The smell was quite sweet; full of molassas, brown sugar, carmalized candi sugar, and very sweet belgian notes. The taste was a little too sweet getting close to cloying. There was too much sweet cherry flavored cough syrup and not enough balance. Even a little bit of alcohol would help. This was vertainly not my favorite beer ever.

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours a deep copper with golden hues and a light fluffy white head that leaves only a slight lace. Aromas make up a mix of yeasty esters along with white grapes and an appley tone. Initial flavors are super sweet up front due to what seems to be a heavy dosage of belgian candi sugars. Following there are hints ofapple and grape like tones but they are just simply overpowered by the sugary notes. The mouthfeel to this beer is slightly gritty and slightly effervesent due to the high carbonation. The finish is a sweet as the beginning which makes it quite hard to put down. Overall an interesting take on a strong belgian ale, but one that I can definetly do without.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The night started in Remington, Hampden’s redneck cousin of a neighborhood. You know, the one who got either kicked in the head as a child, or has been drinking questionable water for years? The idea was to have a few drinks, and then wander over to see the lights of 34th street sparkle.
A four-pack of Stille Nacht makes the trip. A silent night will be had by all, noise notwithstanding…
Small talk erupts and resides in the kitchen. You fiddle with the strange label. Yes, the snowman is interesting. He’s wearing a crown, Mr. King Snow, and makes you happy that there is no snow or ice outside. Official oldness settles in, only old people think that no snow is a good thing. There is no freshness or born on date, you’re not really sure when it was brought into this world. An important fact, since this beer ages, grows, and mellows with age. Do you have the tart young filly, or the malty older sibling? Unlike the photos you’ve seen on the web, your four-pack has a distinct American top label, one with prices for recycling. You continue to fiddle with the label, hoping to find a treasure underneath that will give the age hint.
Pouring the stubby bottle’s contents out, you receive cloudy reddish brown goodness, with a short-lived inch of off-white foam on top. Taking a deep whiff of the tulip glass, you are amazed at the aroma of rum soaked fruits and fudge. You smile, talk, and enjoy the smooth and creamy brew. It is the perfect holiday beer. There are traces of raisins, plums, and cloyingly good caramels and fruit stickiness. Cinnamon, ginger, and the holiday spices do not assault your taste buds.

On the walk over to Hampden, the warmth buoys you. The sticky sugar is gone and your mouth isn’t warmed, but your body is. Your face is red, your cheeks are rosy, and your body tingles with Belgian Xmas delight. What a refined old world treasure, which contrasts sharply to kitschy Christmas goodness. Good conversation, hub cap Xmas trees, creepy moving dolls, and my new favorite winter warmer.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 review:

12oz, 'spec brew 2005' on cap

iirc, this was the last beer before they switched their SN yeast to something funkier/sourer.. still, it's 4-5 years old and in need of some drinking

deep reddish-orange pour, careful to leave yeast behind it's almost semi-opaque. huge bready nose with candied orange peels and the slightest boozy grappa-like tinge. smooth and syrupy, the first taste brings to mind deeply charred creme caramel. with warmth, booze opens up as does some banana'y esters and an amazing yet not cloying depth of fruity sweetness. there is no way you could gulp this beer just like there is no way you could take a mouthful of foie gras. definitely a sipping beer for this cold (52F) portland night.

i had forgotten where this beer was capable of going, especially given its schizophrenia when young. enjoying this one of two last bottles feels like a special event in itself.

2004 review:


this might be the most complex beer i've ever tasted.

the aroma, at first, was turpentiney. this all changed for me after initial consumption.. as the flavors were brought out in the tasting, i could pick them up in the nose. what at first seemed very pungent became a bouquet of wonderful variety.

what scents, you ask? candy sugar, cloves, grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, apricot, fruit, fruit, spice and more spice!!

color is a light amber, with a texture, mouthfeel and taste that fall somewhere between lambic and barleywine. sweet and very tart, without making me ill or sip slowly.

i'm not sure how old this bottle is (last year?) but it also carries an aged taste which reminds me of a whiskey barrel.

i can't say enough positive things about this beer.. i'll be scoring it as one of the higher ones i've reviewed (don't think of me as a '5' whore!) cheers to de dolle!!

Photo of putnam
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It was only Sep. 10 of this year when I last drank this beer. I forgot already. Let me add to it by pointing out this second sample, obtained in a different state of the union, and at least a year younger, features a very dark, muddy orange color and a rather noisy, buttercream-colored foam on top. It is sweet, yet some lovely notes of roasted, fleshy herbs seem to balance it this time. Filled with gushy, juice-flavored fruits. This is the same surprise I experienced on the first taste of 120 Minute -- though otherwise the two beers don't resemble one another. Exhuberant, "progressive," natural-tasting, dense, chewy, pulpy and sweet. No need to change the ratings. This was my first attempt:

For some reason, I survey the ratings for this one before I smell it. I see frequent references to "apricot." It does smell of apricot -- ripe apricot and tobacco. Leather, brandy, chocolate and sweet spices appear.
On the palate it is cloying. The barest touch on one's tongue saturates the sense with pure, concentrated sugar notes. Cedar bark and smoky wood resins lend structure.
A blend of fruit cocktail and fine, old Pedro Ximenez. Plus ashphalt-flavored scars on the finish.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2001 vintage. Opened with a loud hiss and poured into the goblet a chunky golden amber with a volcano of light beige colored, rocky foam. Good, tattered lacing. Lots of particles in suspension. Yeasty, spicy aromas with a solid honey malt backbone. Light fruity esters. Way more fruity in the taste that the aroma. Very clover honey-like sweet, tropical fruitiness like starfruit, muskmelon and guava. Mild esters in the finish is the only let-up from its cloying sweetness. Overall, it's not bad, just a bit too sweet for my liking. I recommend trying older vintages over the fresh ones.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It pours a murky amber with almost no head. It looks still. This makes the bridge between an english barley wine and a belgian christmas ale. Aroma is rather complex, very yeasty and sweet, but also full of fruity esters. The honeyish malt profile is extremely fruity (peaches, apples, vinous grapes, oranges, pears). Aroma is also quite spicy (mint, cloves) and alcoholic, a little less would have been appreciated actually as at times you feel almost like you're having a scotch. A faint bitterness fails from balancing the almost cloying ravaging sweetness. Palate is yeasty, extremely sweet and with more of those fruits dancing on the tongue, well supported by a medium body with low to medium carbonation. No doubt this is complex and full-flavoured, but the balance is just lacking when its so sweet and a bit too much alcoholic for its own good. I must say I feel a bit let down, not only cause I love De Dolle, but also because there are plenty of things going on in this beer, but they don’t seem so well blended while it has a fairly good reputation.

Photo of bensiff
1.75/5  rDev -58%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Unlike other reviews this poured with a thick creamy head with remarkable retention. It has a deep pumpkin pie color and despite my best efforts plenty of yeast came out of the bottle when poured. The aroma reminds me of soy sauce with a high level of sweetness. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, but does not make up with the overly sweet taste as though the brewers were a little too happy with their belgium candy sugar. Overall having to take extra sips of this beer to review it was unpleasurable, the rest I suffered a great tragedy and went down my sink after friends rejected my offer of free beer.

Photo of ybnorml
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber very little head due to next almost no carbonation. The aroma is both sweet and sour at the same time with an interesting spicey peppery background. The alcohol grabs your tongue first and then there is a quick rush of a licorice taste with a slight spicey peppery hop finish. Because of the lack of carbonation it goes down easy. But I would not try to sit around and drink several of these.

Photo of twilight
2.9/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

If there's one thing going for this one, it's that it smells good.

Don't know what vintage this one is, but pours with zero carbonation into a goblet. None. Nada. Zip. So that affects appearance. It's a golden dark honey-orange with small floaties only noticeable when held up to the light. The smell is chewy malt and hints of honey. The taste is thick and sickeningly salty sweet. Not impressed. Not in the least. It kind of tastes like thick fruit with a "soy sauce without the salt" aftertaste. All I can really say is, yucky.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2002 bottle-does this have a "vintage"? Nice hazy amber color-slight head that tends to linger. Malty aroma-fruity,somewhat tart. cranberries? Big malt flavor-almost wine like. Very "grapey" if thats a word. Theres a tartness thats nicely balanced with the prevailing sweetness. A very interesting and well done mix. Great body-deceptively high in alcohol. A great beer-dont know how many I could have but a great dessert or end of the night beer.

Photo of bigbelcher
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not any christmas type spices in it but a great very sweet malty brew. I had it on tap. It poured a cloudy brown color. Lots of yeast in the keg I guess. Very drinkable but you have to like sweet malt flavor over hops. A nice beer to enjoy year round not just at Christmas time.

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep deep orange color with quite a dose of carbonation that produces a large pillow of a head...I almost want to lay myself down on it. Even after 4 days in the fridge and a careful pour, big chunks of yeast drift easily in the bubbles.

Nose is big esters, big fruitiness. Big big big. So big I feel it in the back of my throat. definately get some alcohol too and maybe some fusels?? Warm fermentation?? Definately a very Belgian nose.

Decent Belgian flavors here. Lots of powerful chemicals hitting the tongue and roof of my mouth. Just a tad harsh honestly. But not as bad as the Mad Bitch. I'm getting some tea notes here as well. Nice sweet candy finish.

Mouthfeel is all prickly carbonation at first. I'm sure when it sits out for a sec it will gas out.

Note so sure this is very very drinkable, but not bad either. I've really been finding De Dolle beers fairly harsh recently.

Photo of shapudding
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very big frothy bubbles that gave away almost immediately to a flat surface with no head , only a scant white ring and dime sized dollop of tiny white bubbles in the center. Dark, homemade iced tea scent. Light amber in color.
Man, absolutely filthy looking. Maybe because I am drinking this in August and this was a single bottle only that was sitting by it's lonesome at the DraftingRoom in the beercase? Possibly found somewhere and thrown upstairs to get rid of it because I go there alot and never saw this funky little label back behind the glass before we grabbed it. Wow is there a crapload of pepper-like chunks that fell into the bottom of the tulip, and some that just refuse to settle down. Almost disturbing looking, even though I know it is most likely nothing bad... lol!
The main scent reminds me of some shampoo I used alll throughout highschool but for the life of me I can't remember the name of. Very girly and very fresh scented- very springy.... still can't place it. Oranges and spices, vineous... Insanely high carbination, champagnelike. Bit too much carb for me, too much foaming up in the mouth. Thankfully the chunks that are shooting around in there are not something you can feel, just see! I really am surprised that this tastes as good as it does, after it's appearance. This is almost like a barleywine. Very good flavors that balance so well. Merlot, dark fruits, cherries, cherry brandy, soy sauce, biteyness. You taste tons of alcohol in it, almost burns your tongue. Nice. The carbination makes it almost creamy, yet keeps it bitey. Enjoyed the flavors alot but with the amount of carbination and intensity of flavor it may have a bit too much going on to be more than a sipper -I could not see myself having more than one bottle per night of this.

Photo of SeanChouffe
3.13/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Euro size bottle with 03 marked on the cap.
Pours a red/gold color that?s pretty clear until I dump some yeast chinks into it. Head is an off white with poor retention and sticky lace. Aroma is wine-like, astringent and cidery. Mouthfeel is full bodied and syrupy with some effervescence?intense. Flavor is sweet with some hop bite. Quite one-dimensional. Musta gotten a bad bottle?

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Did my nephew draw this silly cartoon label? No matter. A medium husky orangey and cloudy hued pour from a true 11.6 oz. Belgian sized bottle into a Broyhan Premium tulip. A bit rusty looking with plops of iron ore clunkers. Back up the truck...beep beep beep...this looks downright gross in the bottom with space floaties like a giant scoop from Lake Erie dredged up the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Lightyeasty aroma of pears and hints of pinapples and white grapes. Basic mixed fruit cup blends.

First swigs: Tons of big, pungent frothy awl-kee-hawl esters. Raisins and yeasty complexities overlie ripe apples. Overly sweet n low like sweetness. Awl-kee-hawl almost burns me gullett.

Feels full with huge sudsy foam and champagne bubbles meeting with plenty 'o Karo syrup. A wee bit too sticky and awl-kee-hawl sweet to be drinkable.

Last swigs: Like a barley wine with confectioners sugar. A tacky burner. 8.0 % ABV might be a light estimate. Hops nuggett and 27 degree Plato on the label boasting highest Density of any Belgium. Snaffued from TDR Springhouse. The bartender just made up the $3.00 price due to it being the only one in the coldbox.

Beer is good. Happy strong beering.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured amber golden with a slight orage hue in the chalice, the head was yellow and rocky, lasting to coat the glass.

The aroma was spicy with a definate Belgian yeast character. Intense caramel aromas and spicines dominate. The aroma was very fruity.

The flavor was malty with a slight sweetness and malt complexity. Fruity flavors and high carbonation almost take your breath away. The alcohol was present in the flavor due to the high carbonation.

The finish was dry with Belgian yeast character and alcohol that leaves a warmth long into the aftertaste. The body was medium, but the carbonation was fairly high and left a very light impression.

11.2 ounce bottle.

Photo of kbub6f
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There is no head. I can get a cream-colored film with vigorous pour. It leaves a couple of small spots of lacing. The beer itself is a hazy, dark, peachy-orange. The nose is pure, sweet, fruity ice cream. Quite strong smelling (almost hard sauce). The front comes in extremely sweet, with spice and overripe fruit. It smoothes a little into the middle, taking on a more creamy, fruity, syrupy character. Spicy fruit in the finish doesn't quite hide the big alcohol. It's too sugary and syrupy for me, but there are some nice fruit and spice flavors in there.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 bottle drank in 2004 at Kulminator in Antwerp. Poured a hazy medium brown beer with a super huge head with perfect retention. Carbonation is perfect with bubbles still present 10 minutes after the beer was poured, which is a bit surprising considering the age of this beer. Aroma is a quite strong mix of plums, sugars and roasted malts. The taste of this beer is one of the most wonderful things I had the chance to drink in my lifetime and consisted of a mix of roasted and sweet malt, plums and a sweet bitter finish. Alcohol was well hidden and didn’t break the overall perfect balance of this beer. I know must find more of this since it is so incredible.

Photo of beerinator
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Coppery ruby. Virtually no head. Even a nice glass shaking gives out very little head.

Aroma: Smells grapey with assorted spices. Sour notes. Lambic-y sweet and sour aroma.

Taste: Sweet and sour. Fruity up front with cherry, apricot and plum flavors on your palate. Nice and thick mouthfeel. Finishes pretty sweet with tinges of sour. The lack of carbonation and sweetness leads to a bit of a syrupy feeling on the tongue. But it doesn't reach a cloying level.

Notes: 12 ounces is more than enough. You may want to share this bottle. And be sure to save it for the end of the night on a special occasion. The sweetness may be overpowering for some.

Photo of budgood1
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours out a highly charged up golden amber colour. sediment and assorted other chunks of goodness floating in the glass. huge frothy head. a bit spicy and yeasty in the nose, some fruity notes too. a bit of sour apples. very sweet malt profile; spicy warm alcohol evident right off the bat with a nice hop bitterness to finish. fruity yeasty notes float in and out and meld quite nicely into the taste profile. this is a really nice beer. the prickly carbonation doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of the flavour, and it's really smooth and easily drinkable. make that dangerously drinkable. the peppery alcohol spice really comes out as it warms. yummy stuff.

i've been saving this since december, and i couldn't wait any longer. i should have waited until this coming december; as this fine belgian surely would keep nicely for awhile. i'll revisit this again!

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at RedBones.

Poured a hazy, amber brown color with thin foam that settled flat. The smell was a very nice sweet caramel and dried fruit (figs, raisins) aroma with some malt. The taste was full of dried fruit flavors, with some caramel malt sweetness, some sugar, and a vinous grape flavor. Very nice. The mouthfeel was smooth and sweet with medium body and low carbonation. The sweet fruity flavors lingered on the tongue. This was a very enjoyable beer, great for sipping and savoring.

Photo of jdhilt
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with hardly any head that settles to a white ring. Cloudy amber color. Virtually no carbonation. Medium bodied. Nose is sweet raisins. Starts and finishes sweet almost a little too sweet. The high ABV is not really noticeable. Pricey - $4.85 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Photo of drewbage
4.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Lucky Baldwin's prior to the 2004 Belgian Beer Fest. This was a 6 year old keg that Dave had squirreled away somewhere in his pocket universe devoted to odd ball keg storage.

The beer was poured into a Duvel glass which allowed the aromas to collect, congregate and swirl.

Aroma is clean white sugar just turning to a very potent caramel that's been drizzled over peaches.

Flavor continues the spiced dried peach theme, but this time it adds bananas and pineapples to the mix of carameled fruits.

The finish follows with a flavor that reminds me of the sauce for banana's foster, alcohol, amaretto, buttery slick and caramelized brown sugar.

Astounding! This is dessert in a glass and not your run of the mill, honey let's buy a pie from the grocery store dessert. This is dining at the Ritz, tuxeoded waiters and dishes enflambe type of dessert. A sure rarity, but it points to the possibilities inherent in a well aged De Dolle product (assuming the beer's in the bottle is clean).

De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.