Dark Horse Reserva
De Struise Brouwers

Dark Horse ReservaDark Horse Reserva
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De Struise Brouwers
Sour - Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #5
Ranked #3,028
4.28 | pDev: 6.07%
Apr 06, 2022
Mar 11, 2018
Dark Horse ReservaDark Horse Reserva
Notes: Hybrid dark sour ale somewhere between a Dirty Horse and Earthmonk. Spontaneously fermented and aged for 4 years on some of the finest red wine barrels from the Bordeaux area in France.
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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by GreesyFizeek from New York

This one pours a golden dark brown color, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells like herbal funk, port, black cherry, leather, bittersweet molasses, breadiness, and oak.

As with the vast majority of Struise beers, this is wonderfui. My problem with a lot of beers in this style is that often you don't get that malty richness from the base beer - it's often just sour and vinegary, and it covers up that malty goodness that I love. That's not the case here - there's leather, molasses, and dark breadiness, along with a light acidity, an herbal bitterness on the back end, some toasted oak characteristics, and a bit of worn leather.

This is medium bodied, pretty creamy and full bodied for the style, with an excellent soft drinkability, with a very manageable sourness.

This was four years in the barrel, and the four years old in the bottle already when I had it, and it's still really excellent. That's a testament to how great Struise is.

Apr 06, 2022
Photo of BEERchitect
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by BEERchitect from Kentucky

Belgian brewers and French wine makers have always had a most flirtatious relationship with one another. Their neighborly status means that brewers will dip their toe into the wine wold and Struise sees no different path. Spontaneously fermenting an ale and aging them in a blend of wine barrels ensures that their dark horse of a beer has some strong wine-like tendencies.

The ale that emerges from those barrels is a rusty redish brown and muddled foggy appearance. Its zesty cap reveals a host of wild aromatics- cherry, grape, plum and currant with a balsamic twist. To taste, a steely caramel maltiness is laced with sorghum and hard candy with backbone of fortified sweet wine.

As the malt sweetness is dissected by the beer's bracing sourness, the sour taste of robust red wine, cider, balsamic vinegar, lemon and lime to offer a refreshing taste to the stone fruit, pitted fruit and dried fruits of raisin and prune which extend into a deeply earthen character of leather, tobacco and weathered cellar woods.

Sour and trending both peppery and dry, the medium bodied sour ale is as savory as it is sour, retaining remnants of candy and malt and drying to complete refreshment and crispness for an off-clean finish and an afterglow of burlap, basement and nail polish spice that accessorize the short and sour linger.

Dec 28, 2021
4.42 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado on Sep 17, 2021
4.19 by eric5bellies from Australia on May 16, 2021
4.25 by paulish from New York on Dec 27, 2020
Photo of CraigDeMoss
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by CraigDeMoss from Kansas

Damn, this is really good. At a little over two years, bottling of 2/6/2018, this has the appearance of coke/Pepsi with a deep amber hue in the light. Streaming bubbles take over where a slight head fizzles out. Earth, dirt, yeast funk and prune scents. Plum, raisin, coke bottle candy, with a residual taste of dirt that strikes a balance with the dark fruit overtone. Some bitterness, tart and slightly sour, just dry enough, medium-thin bodis. Really impressed with this. Glad I have another to try in a few more years.

Aug 23, 2020
4.1 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois on Jul 13, 2020
4.1 by Chico1985 from Massachusetts on Jun 22, 2020
3.79 by desint from Belgium on Apr 20, 2020
4.35 by ElGallo from New Hampshire on Feb 01, 2020
4.21 by Dazka from Italy on Sep 28, 2019
Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by emerge077 from Illinois

Dark chestnut brown color, good clarity, compact head of tan foam that audibly crackles.
Aroma of apple butter, that's really all I could get from it. Not bad just one dimensional.
Tart flavors of apple butter, cider, mild leather, vinous and medium bodied with a touch too much carb for me personally. Okay, but it could use a bit more depth and complexity.

A bit less character than expected, considering the brewery description that it's somewhere between Aardmonnik and Dirty Horse, and it's high pricetag. Oud Bruin #83

Sep 15, 2019
4.21 by Samnem from Georgia on Aug 31, 2019
4.25 by aasher from Indiana on Aug 18, 2019
Photo of IckyT2012
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by IckyT2012 from Florida

Aged too long in the barrels. Tastes like pennies.

Aug 06, 2019
4.38 by shelby415 from Oregon on Jul 21, 2019
Photo of mynie
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by mynie from Maryland

Absurdly expensive 750 ml bottles were on sale at Max's Tap House in Baltimore, and as it was my birthday, and as I am a big fan of De Struise, I decided what the heck and plopped down 50 bucks for one. Beer-wise, that was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

The pour is beautiful: perfect carbonation, a dark red the color of pressed berries.

The aroma is, likewise, perfect: berries and funk. Soft strawberries, lightly sharp yeast. So, so, so perfectly balanced. Nodes of vanilla icing sneak in there. This smells like strawberry shortcake, but not in a weird contemporary American brewery way where it smells oddly close but still ersatz like a Jellybelly--this manages to smell like strawberry shortcake while also still very distinctly being beer, and in blending those two things De Struise has created something that greatly transcends them both.

Tastes, again, goddamn perfect. Starts sweet and gets gradually dry, kinda like a good wine but also better than any wine I've ever had. It's never super tart until the a few seconds after the sip is swallowed. The start is strawberries, then oakiness and light yeast funk, then strawberry vanilla ice cream, then wonderfully tart and dry yeast with a bit of bourbon tossed in.

Absolute world class.

Jun 23, 2019
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by Alieniloquium from Florida

750 mL bottle. Deep brown body. Smells of strong red wine. Red wine acidity. Heavily fruity wine aromas. Tastes pleasantly tart. Sour vinous notes. Slight malty tones behind it, but finishes with sharp red wine acidity. Well carbonated. It's a beautiful wine flavor, but it's only wine.

Jun 19, 2019
4.5 by YvesB from Belgium on May 07, 2019
Photo of larryi86
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by larryi86 from Delaware

750 ml bottler poured into a tulip

A- A murky reddish brown with a large little brown head.

S- Sour, earthy, cherries, some vinegar, plums, dark fruits, some wine, oak, leather, touch of toffee and sweet malts.

T- Sour, leather, eathy, cherries, some tannis, touch of red wine, oak, touch of toffee, plums/dark fruits.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A very nice sour, nicely balanced and complex. It might have a high price tag, but it is worth it if you enjoy a great and complex Flanders.

May 04, 2019
4.4 by nmann08 from Virginia on Jan 27, 2019
Photo of Stevedore
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by Stevedore from Oregon

750ml bottle. Darker purple reddish body, two finger white head, fair retention and lacing. Smells and tastes like a dubbel; sweet dark fruit and caramel, mild-moderate acetic acidity, a bit of oak and leathery funk, toffee. It's not quite a full blown oud bruin, but really more of a tart dubbel, good complexity, mildly vinous as well. Lighter medium bodied, fairly dry without much on the backend.

Dec 29, 2018
4.14 by Dactrius from Wisconsin on Dec 29, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Beersnake1 from California

Poured from fridge temperature. Pours a nice dark brownish red with very little head. Nose is insane. Sour cherries, rhubarb, a touch of menthol, red grapes, and leather. Taste is interesting. Definitely a mix of sweet and sour, with a touch of bitter. Picking up a lot of sour cherries, tart, red wine, barnyard funk, bark, horse saddle, leather, pine, oak, and citrus peel. This is so complex. Definitely sour, but with so much depth. Mouthfeel is dry and mouth puckering. Overall, this is a fantastic beer - something unlike almost every other beer. It wasn't cheap, but well worth the adventure.

Dec 24, 2018
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by BEERMILER12 from Maine

A: Pours a deep ruby brown color with a tiny head that quickly fades down to a thin ring of lace

S: Lots of earthiness and vinous notes from the Bordeaux barrels along with a light vinegar note and some oaky notes. Plenty of dark fruit in there as well, mostly cherry and plum. Some tannins. Very wine-like yet still distinctly beer

T: Follows the nose, although much more tart to start than the nose lets on. Starts with the funky tartness and earthy, vinous notes and slowly picks up the Bordeaux barrels. Oak and leathery tannins stick out. Some vinegar notes again. Dark fruit helps to round things out. Finishes with lingering oak, tannins, and vinous notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Definitely on the dry side

O: This is really a treat if you're into Flanders beers. Very refined and complex. Definitely a sipping beer. Very much worth the $40 for a bottle

Dec 14, 2018
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Ciocanelu from Romania

Hazy brownish color with tan head. Aroma has toasted malt, balsamic vinegar, wood, funk and some caramel notes. Taste is sour, quite acidic but not very harsh, woody with toasted malt. Medium minus body with medium carbonation. Quite nice with complex flavors.

Dec 07, 2018
4.25 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands on Nov 11, 2018
4.2 by StoutSnob40 from California on Sep 15, 2018
4.05 by 22Blue from Kansas on Aug 20, 2018
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

Draft at The Sovereign. Outstanding!

Jul 26, 2018
4.5 by redfox405 from California on Jul 09, 2018
4.25 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts on Jul 05, 2018
4.32 by Bunuelian from Minnesota on May 20, 2018
4.5 by Keith_R from Georgia on Apr 21, 2018
4.49 by HopBelT from Belgium on Mar 11, 2018
Dark Horse Reserva from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 36 ratings