De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2012 (Bottled 2013) | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2012 (Bottled 2013)De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2012 (Bottled 2013)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by emerge077 on 12-16-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 116
Photo of Dope
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2012 batch on the label (bottled September 2013). 6 months old.

A: Pours a nice mahogany with a tall, frothy medium/light brown head. Slowly fading head with great retention overall. Little splotches of lacing.

S: Tart...cherries? Swear I get some grapes too. Dark fruit in general, sort of a sweet and sour fruity aspect overall. Sweetbread-like malt.

T: Whoa. Way more tart than the aroma gives on. Very sour cherries and green apples, lots of lactic sourness in general. LOTS of it. Mouth puckering. Very acidic and bile-like in the finish. Almost exactly like bile in fact. Whew.

M: Medium bodied and no sign of alcohol. I find it almost impossible to believe that this is 13%. Otherwise, very tart and dry as mentioned.

O: Hmph. A must-have for the sour lover. Over the top for me. A beer that tastes like bile is just too much for me. I tried not to kill the scores too much due to bias but I can't exactly give it stellar scores either. I went for the middle.

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Photo of Damian
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 330ml/11.2fl.oz. bottle purchased at Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville, MA
Bottled SEP2013
Served in a tulip

The nearly clear, brilliant crimson-amber liquid was topped by a tight, frothy, three-finger tall, khaki colored head. With each sip, a streaky wall of lacing coated the glass. The crown slowly dropped to a lingering, bubbly cap.

The aroma was crisp and dry initially with a powdery yeastiness. An oaky/woody quality came through as well. With time, the oakiness really intensified. Somewhat tannic. Slightly musty. Sour cherry notes appeared as the beer warmed.

The flavor profile was incredibly wine-like. Super crisp, dry and woody. Red wine vinegar dominated. Tart with noticeable sour cherry and underripe raspberry notes. The intense oaky, wine-y quality was slightly balanced by a touch of caramel malt sweetness. There was a slight mustiness as well. Lots of lemony tartness and rind-like bitterness on the back end and the finish. A strong oaky, barrel character came through as well. Metallic notes lingered in the aftertaste initially, but they dissipated as the beer opened up. A subtle sweetness from the malts became more apparent as the beer warmed.

On the palate, the beer was lighter bodied. Slightly creamy with a large bubbled effervescence. Crisp and lively.

I purchase a bottle of De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva every year thinking that this year's vintage might be different from the last, but it always seems to be a big disappointment. Unlike many Flanders Oud Bruins, this beer lacks both depth and balance. Perhaps the only thing I find notable is how it hides its 13% ABV so well.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled September 2013. $9.99/330 ml. Poured into a tulip.

A fine beer but not outstanding in any characteristic. 3.75

A – Pours brown with reddish tints and an ivory two-finger head. 3.75

S – Sweet and sour, raisins, orange. 3.75

T – Sour, big lactic, oaky, low to no bitterness, some finishing sweetness, clear fruit flavor, all on top of a nice malty base. 3.75

MF – Medium bodied, semi-dry finish, good carbonation, a bit of a pucker. 3.75

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Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to jdiddy for breaking this one out. Pours a dull, hazy, reddish-brown with no head; just a thin band around the shoulders. Nose expresses dull cherry notes and light toasted malts. Flavor profile is very on-point for the style - tobacco, leather, medicinal cherries and some slight lactic notes. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a lively carbonation. Quite good but perhaps still a little young.

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Photo of FLima
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reserva 2012.
Brown color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Quite sour and condiment aroma with a lemony tartness.
Strong sour flavor with funky notes of horse blanket, green grapes acidity, plums, peppery yeast, green apple, balsamic vinegar and wood.
Light body with good carbonation with tiny bubbles. 13% abv is amazingly well hidden.
Excellent beer, very sour and bold, not for beginners.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. Pour is copper with ruby edges and a tight light tan head. Nose is sour cherry, light oak and vanilla, a bit of acetic acid. Taste is quite nice, acetic acid fades away, sour cherries are very well integrated with oak and vanilla. A bit of malt mid to late palate. Well balanced and very tasty, lighter body and very well carbonated.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Wicked Weed snifter. Label says Brewed in 2012.

A- Pours a murky medium brown color with a 1/4 light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of bubbly surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a thick jagged ring behind.

S- Musty aroma of lactic acid, oak, booze and what you could say might be funk but it's so unique I'm not sure if that's what it actually is.

T- Well-balanced flavors of medium-high sourness, oak and dark fruit. At no point would I ever guess this is as strong as 13%.

M- Dry with a solid pucker. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Very good. Would liked to have tried it fresh first, but this is a satisfying Flanders red with a kick to it that you don't sense until you're halfway through.

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Photo of babaracas
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark orange, burgundy in the glass, one finger thick dense cream colored head, settles to a thin ring with couple inches of sheeting. Smell: lactic, brown sugar, soured stone fruit, raisin bread, oaky. Taste: sour and syrupy start...cherry and caramel apple, acetic middle overwhelming some breadiness; tart berry and grapeskin, woody and herbal ending. Well, one way to hide 13% is in a delicious oud bruin... learn something new everyday.

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Photo of Jonada
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle served in a teku glass

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with 3 fingers of a light tan, creamy head with nice retention and lacing. Body is dark amber but relatively clear when held to light. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smell: Green apple, belgian yeast, raisins, vinegar, red grape and sweet bready malt background.

Taste: Starts with a medium acidic sourness which carries through the finish. Most prominent are notes of red grape, sour cherry, oak, brown bread, red apple and a slight booziness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Moderately strong alcohol warming sensation in the back of the throat, but goes down smooth.

Overall: Really good beer. I had a 2010 Reserva a couple months ago and I actually preferred this over the aged beer (Whether that's due to differences in vintage, or just preferring the beer fresh, I don't know). One drawback is that I'm not sure the 13% ABV is really necessary (A complaint I had with the 2010 as well). I think they could tone down the booziness a bit without losing any flavor. With that said though, it's still a great beer that's worth trying.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Tipples here in Gainesville. Date says bottled in September 2013, poured on Jan. 18, 2014. Pours a dark red color, pretty opaque, with a big fluffy off white head that looks creamy and has just a hint of red hue to it. Sour cherry and vinegar aroma, oak presence and even a bit of vanilla. Very nice. Flavor is a big punch of sourness that is a combo between tart cherries and big rich black cherries, vanilla, a punch of very drying oak. Definite vinous notes that gives this a nice warming richness down the throat. Lingering cherries and oak on the palate which starts out big and rich and ends with the lingering dry oak and acidic tartness. This is a really nice treat that I would certainly drink again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As the otherwise mild mannered Oerbier undergoes a major overall, what does in is a gentlemanly and stately stronger, darker Belgian ale. What comes out- is a beast!

Taking on seemingly redder tones, the dark brown ale is now rusty in color, tawny gold at its margins and hazy with yeast and wood spices. As a delicate and dainty creme of froth swirls to the top, its head character soon dissolves, making way for a wine-like appearance as the ale finishes out.

Sharp aromas of sourness dominate the nose- both sour and black cherries, plums, prunes, dates, figs, tart apples, sour red grapes and under-ripened berries all play into the ales tart and fruity scent. But the overwhelming balsamic aroma offers up the savory sourness with minerally brine that keeps the nose coming back. Its light "pickle-juice" nuances weave into an oaken and limey character as the ale ripens.

Similarly its flavor follows suit, especially in the middle. But the early palate is greeted with more sweeter malt character than is expected for sour but is spot-on for dark ale. Pulled candy and a touch of toasted oak and an almost-chocolate tone stands out as the black cherry, plumb and balsamic flavors fold in. A tarter finish invites the citrus rinds, dry cider and acute salty vinegar flavors that sharpens the taste in acidic finish.

The ale is medium-bodied for sour but is light for dark ale. Its early creaminess is quickly cast aside as the beer's acidity chases away the carbonation and malt sweetness- preferring dry merlot to finish, equipped with wood tannin, spicy and vinous-warm textures to finish. The beer has quite a bite from both hop bitterness and surprising 13% strength.

Oerbier Special Reserve is a near flawless ale, but I'm not sure there's a style delineation that fits it. It's artistic, masterful and beautifully crafted. Its balance is impeccable and its complexity is unyielding. Savory, sweet and sour rolled all into one seamless taste.

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Photo of F2brewers
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers returns.

Poured into a HF stemmed glass. Served at cellar temperature (~ 57F today)

A: Rich mahogany-red body with ruby red highlights. Crystal clear. Huge 2+ inch head that is off-white and full of bubbles. Te head dissipated in 4-5 minutes but left a ring of foam around the surface of the beer and moderate lacing in the glass. Swirling regenerates the head to about 1/2 inch.

S: Green apples with a hint of wood and malt. Notes of spice and a touch of alcohol from the Calvados casks. Rich and full.

T: Tart cherry with notes of smoke and leather up front followed by dry, earthy tannic finish. Well balanced with vinous notes and the essence of Calvados. Hints of rich malt and brown sugar. There's an ever so gentle hop bite on the finish as well.

M: Sightly (IMO) overcarbonated, especially for a Flemish Red, but it works in this beer as the bubbles bring out new flavors from the tip of the tongue to the back of the throat. Medium to heavy body that needs carbonation to aid drinkability.

O: This vintage at this point in time is one of the best expressions I've had. Smooth and even throughout, the alcohol is well hidden. So happy to see it back in production.

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Photo of metter98
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is very hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with a short tan head that consistently covered the surface and left bits of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sour cherries and oak are present in the nose. The cherries become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste follows the smell and has additional hints of underlying malts and the oak seems to be more prominent and lingers through the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and tart on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer taste nothing like a 13% abv beer and is incredibly easy to drink considering its strength. If I had to venture a guess, I would say it tastes more like a 7% abv beer. It has plenty of malts and tartness to cover up the alcohol.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to JAHMUR for tossing one my way!

A: Clear deep red-brown body under two fingers of fine tan head. Great retention and lacing for the strength. Excellent.

S: Big, intense red-wine barrel. Tons of oak, tannin, grape, cherry, and lemon. The only downside is that the alcohol and lemon notes combine to form a biting lemon Pledge kind of astringency. It's still pleasantly vibrant, but occasionally off-putting.

T: Wow, that's delicious. The vinous fruit/oak combination is unbelievably delicious - up front it combines mild acidity with sweet cherry, currant, and grape; dry oak overwhelms the finish, and the aftertaste is astonishingly wine-like - it's practically indistinguishable from the aftertaste of an excellent old-world red. One of the best beer/wine combinations I've ever tasted.

M: Soft, creamy medium body; plenty of carbonation. Solid.

O: Fantastic beer. I found last year's version to be overly astringent and boozy, but this one was just delectable. I hope there's more left at the store tomorrow, as I want to stock up.


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Photo of emerge077
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's back baby! After a 2 year hiatus, the Reserva has returned.

Into an Oerbier glass it pours a tawny dark brown, with ample tan foam that fizzles for a couple seconds and settles to a compact surface layer. Creamy texture, minimal spotty lacing in the glass. When backlit it has perfect clarity, and appears mahogany brown.

Woody and slightly funky aroma, tart cherry skins, peppery red wine.

Full bodied with a creamy feel, ample sourness, vinous and woody. Cherry skins, red grapes, cheese rind, sweet balsamic. Dry finish. So complex and layered, it's a real treat to drink this.

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Photo of Oscar_The_Rauch
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into a Piraat tulip glass.

A: Pours a 2 finger off-white head initially that settles in a minute into a little less than a 1 finger head, but retains well. Brickish tawny red color.

N: Full of sour black cherry, barnyard barrel funk, and plenty of earthy/herbal complexity.

T: Full-bodied (13%) but very focused and balanced from start to finish. The beer lacks any "hard edges" or significant off putting heat and has a good amount of acidity. Finishes dry with earthy/herbal complexity... like dried rosemary and tree bark.

O: An excellent example of a Flanders Oud Bruin. I will definitely be picking up a couple more of these if I can get my hands on them!

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Photo of dpool
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

As close to a perfect sour as it can get. This is rich and dry with a great raspberry, green apple sourness. The oak aging cuts the harshness of the sour and lends a well balanced roundness to the beer. Honestly this is one of the best sours I've ever had...and I lived next to Cascade

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Photo of amano_h
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

33cl bottle at De Dolle Brouwers (Esen, Belgium)

Smells like a dream. A wonderful mix of sour cherries, oak, vanilla, apples and Belgian yeast. The cherry gets more and more pronounced and assertive with the passage of time with the woody characters still solidly imprinted in the background. I wish I could smell this all day.

Tastes very much like it smells; tart sour cherries, oak, a dash of vanilla, and a very mild hint of sweetness toward the end. The oak is a bit more resilient on the tongue than it is on the nose, but not at all in an intrusive way. For a split second I kind of wondered if I wasn't drinking a kriek.

There is no way in hell this is 13% ABV because it drinks nowhere close to a beer of that size; light bodied with medium carbonation that spreads evenly over your tongue.

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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2012 (Bottled 2013) from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.25 out of 5 based on 116 ratings.
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