Dirty Horse
De Struise Brouwers

Dirty HorseDirty Horse
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Style:
Belgian Lambic
ABV:
7%
Score:
98
Avg:
4.59 | pDev: 8.06%
Reviews:
69
Ratings:
100
From:
De Struise Brouwers
 
Belgium
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  633
Gots
  7
SCORE
98
World-Class
Dirty HorseDirty Horse
Notes: Starting with a Lambic grist bill composed of 70% barley malt and 30% unmalted wheat. No yeast was artificially added to the wort, but was exposed for two days to the open air in one of our plastic tunnels at the Noordhoek Ostrich Farm. First fermentation took place in second hand sherry oak casks for six weeks. 200 grams of Northern cherries per litre and the Roeseleire yeast strain were added after six months, provoking a new fermentation process. Eight months later, we pumped over the young ale to oak casks and let it mature for another 3 years. This project was realized after a tasting of the same recipe Urbain once made 20 years ago and was barrel aging in his garage in De Panne ever since and while he was in Africa and forgot all about it. As this is a very limited version, this ale will not be suitable for export but rather for sale at the farm when available.
Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 100 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by SpencerDB:
Photo of SpencerDB
3.87/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tarheels86 for sharing this one at the DC epic tasting. Auction bottle 00X(was a single digit but forgot which bottle)/250. This was a blend of the 83 and newer Dirty Horse and not the unblended 83.

Poured a ruby red color with a light frothy pink head. Nose is beautiful with heavy cherries that is very pleasant. Definitely has the fresh cherry pie on the windowsill effect going on.

Sadly, the taste doesn’t follow through. Should be a kriek, but the mouthfeel is so lacking. Hardly anything to note for the palate as it’s so thin. Taste is just light cherry, cough drops, hardly sour.

It was pleasant to drink, but nothing close to the level of the other great brews we sampled that day.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of HopHead84
4.63/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

8/13/2010

Huge thanks to Michael (Nerd) for opening this rarity at our tasting the night before the Toronado Anniversary party. This is one of my long time wants and I'm overjoyed to have finally tried it. Brewed in 1983, this is the oldest beer I've ever tried.

This is a blend of 1983 (90%) and 2005 (10%) vintages. It appears vibrant deep ruby red with a large frothy one finger off white head.

The aroma is funky and musty, with horsey notes accompanying wet hay, wet leather, and ephemeral blacksmith's bastard. The aroma is lightly tannic with evident oak and a moderate acetic quality. The cherries are strong, but not too strong, they have a nice flair to them, tending toward authenticity rather than artificiality. On the whole, the aroma is reminiscent of a fine Cantillon, with a similar funk profile.

The flavor is fantastic, boasting a nice restrained acetic quality with a tantalizing cherry sweet and tart combination. There's a moderate oak presence that has a slight buttery quality to it. The beer is moderately tart with a distinct lactic character. The fruit is more apparent in the flavor than the aroma, and cherry tartness lingers in the complex finish.

The mouthfeel is sticky and lightly tannic with prickly carbonation.

Overall, this was incredibly drinkable, much better than I expected, and something I would happily drink daily if I had the chance. A beer worthy of its accolades.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review 1001 (it's all better from here?). 100% 1983 unblended version, bottle 96 of 100. Shared by craytonic. This review is going to be a little short since BA ate my previous attempt to enter it. Thanks!!!

Pours a murky, tawny brown with minimal ruby tinges and zero head. Flavor and aroma are mild and subtle with less sour or acidity than expected. Wet earth, bready malt, sherry and tart cherry dominate. Slight oxidization but nothing out of the ordinary for something this age. Medium thick, soft chewy body with trace carbonation. This and V005 were our most anticipated beers of the tasting. This bottle of Dirty Horse was an amazing experience, but was a little past its prime and the blend is probably a safer bet at this point.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Urbain for making this happen. After missing Dirty Horse on two(!) separate occasions at the farm all is now right in the world. Served in a tasting snifter. This was bottle #002, a blend of 1983 (90%) and 2005 (10%) vintages.

A - Pours with two fingers of eggshell foam that eventually settles to a thin collar and leaves some light haze as well as a few spots of lace. The body is a gorgeous golden ruby color with slight haziness. Hard to rate this to style, as it's not really unblended lambic, but it's also not really Kriek. Whatever it is, it's quite good looking.

S - Plenty of funk, horseblanket, barnyard and hay, but balanced by delightful vinous notes, cherries, graham cracker, acetic acid, and a touch of oaky vanilla. Takes the best elements of lambic and Flanders Red and combines them into something special.

T - The taste is initially tart and sour, with unsweetened cherry juice flavors balancing things out. The funk is more restrained here, and this grows more and more acetic as I work my way through the glass. There is no perceptible alcohol at all.

M - Lower but effervescent carbonation, and a body that is very light and refreshing. This finishes quite dry, with a light residual fruit juice texture. I might complain that it was too thin for 7%, but since I can't taste the alcohol it's not much of a complaint.

D - This is probably my perfect session beer. I can see why Urbain serves this in a giant decanter as I'd be reaching for refills all night. I could literally have consumed all 750ml on my own, although my digestive track might be unhappy the next day.

This beer is now at the 27 year mark, and it popped and sparkled with the complexity of flavor of a beer only days old. This might have been better appreciated had it not been consumed next to some significantly heavier, stronger, and more palate-busting beers. That being said, I think this bottle was the quickest to empty amongst the stellar lineup we had.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to Trey and Dan for sharing this this past weekend. Bottle #94/100, 100% 1983 version, best by 2015

Still deep copper/amber with a thin ring for a head, this has a real nice color. The nose is fantastic. Musty with apple cider and cherries, this is rich and deep. Dark honey with some floral aromatics, the sourness is mildly acetic with some oxidation - some sherry is definitely present. Vinous, this is a very delicate and well-rounded beer. There's also just a hint of molasses present. This brings to mind the 1982 Goudenband I had recently. Ultimately, though, the blend of the honey, mildly musty and cider is what makes this beer unique.

The palate opens with honey, a mild sourness that's cherries with a touch of vinegar and some cherry. The honey character is rich and deep, very complex, not quite buckwheat honey, but darker than, say, orange blossom honey. Rich and vinous on the palate, the mouthfeel is sublime, like an exceptionally smooth wine. A little musty, the funk is mild, and there's some grass and hay present. Wood character is noticeable but is very well integrated, with the honey tempering the tannins. Cidery on the finish with a little cherry, this beer is medium in body and has a very low level of carbonation. The molasses and honey character grow as this beer breathes. A beer of remarkable balance and finesse, I'm very glad I got to try it.

A couple of observations: one, there seems to be significant bottle variation here. At least one review from a different 100% mentions high carbonation and a drying finish, neither of which mirrored my experience. Two, it's remarkable that this beer hasn't turned into vinegar. Acetobacter isn't a forgiving souring agent, and I'm surprised that the oxygen that's enabled the sherry note to develop hasn't negatively affected this brew. Three, I wish I get to try the blended version, 'cos I can only imagine that will be brighter and have a more pronounced cherry character - not that this beer needs either, but simply because it'd be interesting to try. Very well done, Urbain, those ostriches of yours showed remarkable restraint in not drinking all of this!

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Photo of illidurit
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Blue Palms during RBSG 2012. Pours a dark berry-amber color. Tart raspberry and cherry throughout, not terribly sour but with a solid lactic presence. Funky citric, leather, brett, lots of complexity. Well deserving of its prized status.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.09/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes, sample from an auction bottle opened at Ebeneezer's summer 2010, thanks for the opportunity Chris!
Pours a lightly hazed light red color with a smallish pink and white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of cherry pie, leather, funk, a bit of lemon and raspberry with a hint of acetic. The flavor is tart with a nice fruity edge to it. Lemons cherries and raspberries meld nicely with a hint of vinegar some leather, oak, and funk. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a tart puckering mouthfeel. Very nice kriek, it seems to have held up very nicely.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.89/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There are so many people to thank for helping/allowing Trey and me to procure this bottle. To Masterski for alerting Urbain, thanks, Alex! And to Urbain, for his incredible generosity, there aren't quite words enough to express my gratitude.

Auction bottle 94/100, 100% 1983 vintage, sent from Urbain himself. The centerpiece of the tasting, this was 2nd on the 2nd day, and 8th overall.

The bottle opens with a slight hiss, but generally, there isn't much carbonation left in this one. The body of the beer is a clear brownish garnet, highlighted by ruby hues in the presence of light. Touches of bubbles as a result of the pour (like you would find if you added water to your glass), but nothing there from carbonation.

The aroma is one of the most complex I have experienced in any style. This is going to be a fun one to pick apart. Immediately, there are tart apples, cherries, and a drying funk. There is a light lactic sourness as well, though it is far from as sour as other reviewers here have mentioned...I wonder if the latest batch is more sour. Oaky tannic notes from the eternity that this spent aging while it was forgotten, but there are no vanilla notes, due to the old and seasoned oak. This aroma is earthy as all hell, too.

I usually smush the aroma and flavor into one paragraph, but doing so would just be a disservice to this beautifully crafted brew. The flavor opens with apples, much as the aroma did, but it leads into a wild and gamey but sweet honey flavor. Completely unexpected, and wow, what a great bit of character to add. Earthy tannins and a touch of dark molasses in the mid-palate are also extremely evident. There is a touch of vinegary acetic character that comes along with sherry-like notes of oxidation...how has the oxygen not let the acetobacter take off??? Everything in this flavor is perfectly balanced and subtle, but at the same time, very intense and concentrated. The finish is sweet and complex with apple cider and candied apples. There is another wave of funk and honey that make another appearance before the beer is gone.

The mouthfeel is still with just a hint of absorbed CO2 that comes through only on the palate. Looking at the beer, you would expect the carbonation level of tap water. Completely integrated, well rounded, and perfectly textured. This is by far the most delicate and subtle beer that I have ever enjoyed. Insanely nuanced and balanced, this beer is a true testament to Urbain's craftsmanship. Truly a world class offering, and I hope that I am able to try the new batch to be able to compare my experiences.

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Photo of treyrab
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Video of this beer being poured at our testing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEAyazwUE3M&feature=related

First, I have to thank Urbain for sending this beer to Nittanybeerfan and I. By a stroke of luck, Urbain was having a tasting with Tod Mott while brewing the most recent batch of Kabert over in Oostvleteren, Belgium. Thus, the timing worked out perfectly that he wanted some rare American beers and as such he parted with two bottles of Dirty Horse. We cannot thank him enough for his generosity. He is a true advocate to the beer community.

100% 1983 Unblended Version. Bottle Number 94/100.

The bottle looks very antiquated, but with a new label. The beer was originally unlabeled in 1983, but Urbain subsequently printed a few labels for the 1983 version for the few that he sent out. The bottle has been laying on its side for over 28 years in his personal cellar, and even with a trip across the Atlantic, the yeast sediment was caked onto the side of the bottle. Even after the rigor of that trip, and standing upright for six months before drinking, the sediment never moved from the side. It is permanently glued to the side of the bottle.

The beer was the second beer of the main tasting day on March 26, 2010.

A: The most anticipated beer for most of us popped with a slight hiss with a ever so slight ghostly smoke that crept out of the neck. After 28 years, the carbonation was slight on this, but that was expected. Dirty Horse poured into our glasses a beautiful, clear, brick, mahogany, crimson red with a very slight eggshell white head. The pour was slightly rigorous, and even then, the head was only slight. Apparent carbonation, but just a touch. Held to the light this was more of a glowing orange with some peach hues and grapefruit tones. The yeast caked on the side of the bottle never budged, and was still there after the pour, thus we did not get much yeast in our glasses.

S: The smell was unlike any beer (lambic or other) that I have tried. It starts with an intense earthy, leathery, and tobacco scent. The dry leather then morphs into a pungent, sour maraschino cherry. But the cherry scent is intriguing as it is sweet smelling as well, as if dipped in clover honey. The honey aspect was very nice and blended well with the cherry sourness, leather earth, and hint of lactic sourness. I also get a slight hint of cocoa, and upon swirling, a nice red wine vinegar.

T: The delicacy of this beer is unparalleled. So many intricate flavors, but none of which are overpowering nor do they clash to beat out one another. All the flavors blend so well together into a delightful beer. Starts with the sour cherries, then blends nicely with the earth, slight mushroom soil, and sweet honey. Not mouth puckering sour, but the lactic lemons are apparent, but just enough to let the other flavours shine. Swirling this around the palate, it really coats the mouth from having a very slight carbonation, and you can really pick out all the delicate nuances of the beer. One of the most interesting, and well balanced lambics I have had. The fact that this is unblended, 28 years old, and is this complex, is remarkable.

M: As noted, the carbonation is light from sitting on its side in Urbain's cellar for 28 years. But it complements the beer nicely as it lets the beer really coat your tongue so you can get the full effect of the complexity of the flavours in the beer.

O: Overall, we were all very impressed with this. One of the most interesting and complex unblended lambics ever. The fact that it has had time for all the flavours to meld together over 28 years has really made this beer stand apart. From the taste of this now, and for being 28 years old already, this one definitely has some more time to get more interesting.

We have to thank Urbain one more time for this one!

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Photo of birchstick
4.09/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. Big thanks to bsuedekum for getting this and sharing!

100% 1983 version

A - pours rustic reddish orange without a head

S - tons of tarts cherries intermingle with a layer of funk; lemony citric lambic is in the mix, along with a little bit of musty blanket and a touch of BO

T - starts off with a boat load of cherries as to be expected. I am surprised just how well the cherries have held up given the age of this beer. The cherries yield to a little bit of sour lambic notes. Ends with a blanket of funk and oddly enough a little bit of grain malt.

M - medium smooth decent carbonation

D - can't believe I had a chance to try this one! Held up fantastically over the years. It's sour, but not Cantillon sour, and the cherries still shine. Thanks again for saving some Blake!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by craytonic, this legendary beer kicked off the tasting yesterday. Thanks a lot Matt!

100% 1983
Auction bottle 96/100

The beer appears a rusty orange color with no head whatsoever. What do you expect from a nearly 30 year old unblended lambic?

The aroma offers caramel candies, cherry juice, a hint of chocolate. Not as big and bold as I was expecting, but definitely an inviting scent.

The flavor takes it up a notch. Cherry flavor is surprisingly present, with a lightly sweet caramel character. Not sour or acetic like I was expecting.

Silky smooth feel. Wow. This beer goes down so easily. Light without being thin. Like drinking old cherry juice from the barrel.

What a joy to sip this seemingly mythical beer.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of claaark13
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Urbain for sharing. The bottle was without a label, and "yeast burn" was on one side. It was also great to share with the people at the sampling, cheers to you all. Thijs this wouldn't have been possible without you! Ok, thanks to Urbain too!

A - Dark ruby. The head retained, but it was poured at a distance so its hard to say if it would've retained the head if poured closely. Great color though, looks like a good Flanders red.

S - Some sour aromas mixed with honey and cherry. It seems that this will be much more sour than the taste provides. Very interesting and impressive aroma for something this old.

T - There is some sort of honey and sour mixture up front. The sour is faint, as the age has mellowed this one out. There is no dominance between the two, as the years have merged them well. Then, cherries kick in. The entire last 2/3 of the flavor develops with the cherries. They fit so well. Upon the second third sip, they really appear as the dominant flavors. After the first sip, the cherries stick to the lounge. It's not like a Kriek, its not like a lambic, ts not quite like a Flemish Red. Well, I guess if I guess if I had to compare it to something, it would be like a 25 year old Earthmonk but less sour. Just to think about it makes me want a bottle right now.

M - At first I had this lower, but I boosted it to a 5. Each sip is thicker than the last and it cakes onto the lounge. I mean the cherry flavor was there until my next beer almost 20 minutes later. There is almost not carbonation on the tongue. It's a lot like a brandy on the tongue as far as feel, but without the burn. Considering the age, quite impressive. Also, considering the amount yeast caked to the side of that bottle, I bet the body was thicker in the past.

O - I'm not sure what else to say. I could literally drink bottles of this one. I know its a hyped beer due to the availability, but its great in reality. If I had a bigger tasting group, I would seek this one out. During my trip to Belgium, this was the best beer I had. Damn, this is a beer. It seems Urbain has been doing it right for longer than most of us know. Cheers to you, my friend.

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Photo of Romulux
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of mikey711
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle graciously shared by Jim.

A: Deep red, near purple pour with good clarity with a mild carbonation of prickly white head

S: Someone at the tasting put it in the elegant terms "Garbage has never smelt so good." I would say that is a fair description, it reeked of funk with notes of hay and stinky old cheese, but there is still a nice fruit aspect which was a big surprise to me

T: Very prominent cherry notes followed by some hay and earthy barn yard notes. The flavor profile was very mellow and delicate, but still had lots of cheesy and cherry notes

M: Extremely mellow, very little acidity or vinegar quality, each sip was refreshing as i found myself trying to savor it over a long period of time

D: What impressed me the most about this beer was the fruitiness that was still present after such a long period of time. Overall just a very nice lambic

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Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of ToasterChef
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from my notes. I was provided a small goblet of this beer by Chris Lively, who cracked open a large decanter of this beer for my wife and I when we visited Ebenezer's on fine Sunday afternoon. He called the beer Dirty Horse 40/60, as it was actually a blend of the 28 year old batch and 3 year old. I was very honored to get to try this great white whale. It is one of those beers I never thought I'd ever get to try.

The beer has a great deep plum color. There is some carbonation clinging to the sides of my glass. A tiny ring of white bubbles encircles the beer like a halo.

The aroma was not what I was expecting. It has a good fruit character, with lots of cherries, but not nearly the amount of funk and sour that I was expecting. It did smell a bit musty and old. So perhaps it is the inclusion of a 28 year old lambic that tones down the funk; I don't believe I've ever had a blend with such an aged component. I found it to be very nice.

It tastes like a cry kriek at first. It is truly awesome. It tastes slightly chalky, but not powdery. It is very acidic (Chris says this is compliments of the 28 year old lambic). It finishes with an odd, out of place but very welcome peach flavor.

I find the beer to be slightly puckering, but it is hard to judge what kind of physical effect the beer has because of the giant smile I have on my face. It is tart all the way through. There is some coating that possesses a tiny amount of sweetness. No real carbonation to speak of. To me, this is what a fine sour beer should feel like.

This beer is exceptionally drinkable. Sure, it's tart and sour, but it goes down so well. Plus, I don't think anyone would be able to try a glass of this brew if they didn't love sour beers. I only got a small pour, but every drop is worth savoring. [Perhaps you know how great the food is at Ebenezer's; I let my lunch get cold so I could fully enjoy this beer] I am so glad I was able to have this beer.

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Photo of BucketBoy
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Bottle 94 of 100, vintage 1983 unblended generously shared by Trey and Dan 3-26-11. Thank you gentlemen!

L - Brilliant clear copper that looks to suck in light and then let it back out. As I gaze into my swirling glass, strokes of alcohol glide around, hoping to give way to aroma and flavor.

S - Apple and apple cider vinegar immediately jump out of the glass, followed by sweet yet faint maraschino cherries. Deep clover honey happily joins the party, with seemingly long strands of dark raw sugar that pulls the entire package into one. The subtlety of funk and acetic acid interact with a simple, light wooden cask to bring the aroma together.

T - Delicate apple skin and cider meets with a sherry and light oak up front. Dark clover honey and light molasses make the flavors pop. Perfect bland of acetic acid, the restraint really is majestic and the gentle funk, touch of mineral, and green vegetal flavors finish the structure perfectly.

M - Essentially imperceptible carbonation makes the smooth liquid just break over the tongue. Glides like a blanket of satin into my throat.

O - Truly a thing of beauty for something this old! I am thrilled and thankful to have drunk this masterful homebrew (twice).

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Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You’re the best, Jer!

Pours a hazed cherry red color with a small head. Nose is sweet cherry pie with a nice lactic tartness underneath. A bit of musty wood, grass, apples, and berries. The flavor is nicely tart, mostly lactic with just a hint of red wine vinegar. Musty oak along with lots of cherry flavor. A hint of red fruit (berries?), some leather, and a definite citrus zest quality. Was not expecting this to be that good, but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Bardwashrind
4.92/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes taken after Popkas's initial Summer sour tasting (10/2010).

Thanks so very much to the genius of Popkas and his unreal dedication. I almost didn't believe that this was real when seeing the fuzzy horse on the bottle from across the room.

Bottle 012/250 from the 90% '83- 10% '05 blend.

A monolith of a bottle. Even among the other incredible beers had, this was the one where silence filled the room and only gasps were to be found. The top was covered in an almost bomb proof thick layer of a black plaster/concrete. Fragments fell to the ground and the luscious liquid was released from the imprisoning vessel.

Firm layer of crisp bubbles atop the dark ruby color didn't give was to the actual age of the beer. The initial aroma came Immediate as it was being poured. Cherries, leaves, dried tea, cranberries, spices, wood and some leather unraveled themselves before us. There wasn't as much dusty/damp aromas as I thought, more vibrant with tartness coming across and quite a bit of earthiness. This smelled unlike any other beer. So many high notes and yet there was the leather depth that just made it a pleasure to contemplate.

Finally tasting Dirty Horse nearly made my eyes only see black and white. Such a focus of sourness but such a fundamental balance to the oak driven center of the beer. Unreal. It had aged notes, but not of oxidation. There was a great deal of tart cherry and funky hay, but it still had refinement. SIp after sip and the beer kept persisting with a range of truly lovely complexities. Just when the flavor seemed as if it was to be comprehended, things changed and more subtleties came to light.

Some Lambic comparisons were made but that was almost too easy. This didn't have the Rodenbach chewiness nor the distinct lemon juice flavors of a Lambic. This was unique and utterly baffling with it's rounded intensity. Truly delicious and an experience of a beer that will most likely rarely be equaled.

I feel fortunate to have gotten a chance to share a taste of this liquid. Seeming like this couldn't have been made by the hands of a mere mortal, but then again, Struise is not a typical brewery. Believe what has been spoken, it's that good and worth a cellar in obtaining a bottle.

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Photo of Travlr
4.95/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of Urbain at the schoolhouse brewery in Oost-Vleteren. Urbain brewed it in 1983 and bottled it in 1988. "It's our calling card."
A: Deep copper color with a few large bubbles. Bottle had significant diesel marks.
S: Aroma of dark sour cherries with notes of vanilla, a hint of anise, and musty earth.
T: Incredible deep sourness, dark fruits, bits of dust and must. Amazingly complex and totally unique.
M: Body is slightly lighter than expected, but still rich.
D: What can I say? Urbain said it best: "Life sucks...but not here!!"

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Photo of drowland
4.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yeah... got a sample of this at RBWG 2010 because of fata... and I couldn’t believe it - what a great guy! Wow. Nice red pour with a small pinkish head. Awesome cherry and sour going on in this stuff. Just enough malt in there to balance it out. Really good, but you knew that.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of 100% 1983 Dirty Horse courtesy of craytonic. Bottle 96/100. This beer gets me back to 100/100 on the top 100. Served in a Struise cervoise.

Pours a murky red-tawny color with no head and nothing in the way of lacing or even bubbles. Given that this beer is older than me, I'll give it some slack and go with the standard 4.

The nose brings some malt with a bit of oxidized bread and brown sugar with a touch of caramel, flowing into a nice base of cherry and earth, plus a touch of vanilla in the background. The flavor boosts the complexity level was a nice earthy cherry flavor plus heavy sherry notes. Faint oak in the background. Average duration on the palate with moderate acidity and light-medium funk.

The body is medium and a bit chewy with a bit of sherry-like creaminess. Obviously no carbonation, but this leads to a smooth, semi-acidic finish.

Overall, a beer that's obviously past its prime at this point, though still quite fantastic. I'd love to eventually try the blended version, which others have said has a bit more bite and complexity. Either way, fantastic work, and I'm glad Urbain started this experiment nearly 30 years ago.

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Dirty Horse from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 100 ratings