De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003) | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

very good
64 Ratings
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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003)De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 11-13-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of rhinos00
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Part 3 of rhinos00 vintage beer night. Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a snifter.

A- One of the best looking beers I have seen in a while. Pours a semi-clear amber/cider. Strings of CO2 bubbles rose up on all sides of the glass. Produced two fingers width of vanilla colored head. Amazing head retention and some lacing as the beer was consumed.

S- Hot damn! Reminded me of childhood sipping on a cup of apple juice. Caramelized apples, little bit of citrus, lots of sweet malts. Imagine apple juice with a tinge of sourness. Very solid indeed.

T- Flanders on steroids. What I mean by that is that it was not as sweet as a traditional flanders, but more restrained with a wild side that produced a sour profile. Vinegar with sour apples and cherries upfront. Some fruit in between with a strong sour finish. What I loved is that everything was so balanced, yet different. This tasted like a flanders, but didn't have a huge vinegar flavor and wasn't as sweet. The finish was that of a big sour, yet wasn't so sour that it caused your mouth to pucker. This beer blew my mind!

M- After 6 years this beer had tremendous carbonation. Very full, but medium bodied mouthfeel. The carbonated bubbles just seemed to explode on the palate, but not take away from the flavor.

D- Simple, yet perfect in every aspect. I could drink this one all day.

This was one of the best beers I have ever had. To tell you the truth, the only thing keeping this beer from being a perfect 5 was the lack of complexity in the taste. If you have this beer, drink it now.

EDIT: I had to go back for another one. I take back everything I said about the lack of complexity. This is one of those special beers that just tastes better and better as it warms. The flavors and mouthfeel were just ridiculous. This will be my first 5. Honestly, if you have one, drink it.

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Photo of amano_h
4.82/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

33cl bottle at Café Kulminator (Antwerpen, Belgium)

Aggressive aged Bourgogne wine on the nose. Holy crap the oak hits you really, really hard. Lots of malt, cherry, and faint hints of citrus and stone fruits.

Sour cherries. I can taste a little oxidation at first but it goes away after letting it sit for a few minutes. Wine-like acetic characteristics take over by the end, with the malt rearing its mild head around the same time.

Surprisingly light-bodied but still with a discernible amount of carbonation. It does finish a little boozy near the end, but it's by no means unpleasant.

Overall extremely complex, unlike anything I've ever tasted before. I wish my palate was better equipped to fully express all the nuances in this amazing beer.

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Photo of marburg
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of the rare instances where I literally had no idea what to expect in terms of the taste and feel of a beer. I knew only that it was some sort of dark Belgian ale, which doesn't say a whole lot considering the variety of possibilities for Belgian beers.

So imagine my surprise when this absolutely kicked ass. Lucky me.

Acidic vinous aromatics highlighted by a expectation-driving sour cherry and mixed spice fragrance. Mellowed Rodenbach meets red wine meets a complex, alcohol-driven Belgian ale. What on earth is going on here? Bits of grape-skin dance with cherry and snappy pepper pricks. A near perfect balance between any residual sweetness and the dominant but subdued and delicate sourness. And 12%? Where the hell is it? It doesn't even show up at room temperature. Amazing.

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Photo of rye726
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to rhinos00 for the tip on this one.

Pours a woody brown with a silky tan head. Light lacing as well.

Nose has caramel, ripe cherries, plums, leather, oak, vanilla, tart citrus, musty funk, manure and red wine.

Taste is equally complex. Sour cherries, wild figs, sweet caramel malts, wine, subtle whiskey, funky yeast, mold ridden wood and horse blanket.

Big, fruity body has a subtle, yet crisp and refreshing carbonation.

One of the best beers I have ever had. Huge thanks to the guys at Bull and Bush for making this available.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A 330ml bottle that was nearly completely hidden inside a large wooden crate in the local beer store where I purchased it. Only the metallic dark scarlet red crown cap was evident. On the desk its most noticeable feature is an 'out-of-place' black & white 180° neck label that has all the US blurb & bollocks regarding it CA Redemption Value. Apart from this, the 11.2 fluid ounce brown glass bottle has a single obverse silver colored label. The Label does not have any of the fancy looking cartoon-like labels of other De Dolle beers. Only the white ‘Oerbier Chap’ looks familiar, he is in the upper left hand corner and as someone else mentioned, he bears an uncanny resemblance to the Michelin ‘Bibendum’ Man. Labeled as “Oerbier Special Reserva Brewed in 2002 and Bottled by De Dolle Brouwers”. It also states that this offering is “Aged in Oak Barrels, Refermented in the Bottle, 12% Alc/Vol”.

Appearance: A strong “phussst” was emitted as the crown cap was removed. It had been in the fridge for some time, so the lively carbonation bodes well for future cellaring, and somewhat hints that this may well have been imbibed young. Who cares I’m impatient and have one more bottle to cellar. The body of the beer has a graded color in my Lop-Lop tall Goblet, it has a marvelous aged russet red shade that has some chestnut tones at the top and fades to a light amber color at the base. The head forms quickly from the inherent carbonation and evolves into a thick looking ½” off-white head that lasts. Some large bubbles populate the otherwise smooth looking surface. Permanent smattered lacing forms as you drink and swirl the beer. Light conditioning levels but a well carbonated Ale nevertheless.

Nose: Strong sour-mash vinous nose that has a powerful oak aroma that really comes through. The nose is gorgeous, like a 10 year old aged bruin mixed with an aged but fruity wine/port aroma. Powerful and impressive, a nose which has a sweet-sour feel and a hint of matured oak-aged ethanol like this is not so much not created, as developed over time.

Taste: Very Impressive. The oak-aging is particularly evident from the off. It starts with an incredible sour Flanders bruin entrance that is complex, strong, vinous, yet smooth and powerful with a classy feel. Dark fruits rise through the warming alcoholic finish. Rich and decadent. A winner.

Mouthfeel: Rich and Creamy, Sour and Powerful, Crisp and Tart, this is one seriously impressive Ale, which even after only one year has an incredible mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Highly impressive, this will only get better. It may be 12%, but right now after 12 months it is already a smooth slick SOaB that does not fail to impress. Drinks like an expensive Port or Brandy, yet it’s half the price.

Overall: It’s not often you come across beers like this. Get this and try it now so that you can fully appreciate why you’re going to Cellar your other bottles. I hope to have one of these in 15 years time when I celebrate my 50th Birthday at the Kulminator in Antwerp; it might just be right at its peak then.

I can't wait to revisit this one!

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Photo of yen157
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fine, offwhite foamy head, great lasting power. I’ve made it to the bottom of the wine glass and there is still a thin layer of foam on the walls of the glass and beer‘s surface. The nose is wonderful. Seriously, it’s great. A good amount of oak, but not like some cheap, gooey, California chardonnay. The wood shows through a tart nose filled with tropical fruit and lemon zest (oil). Some malt surfaces along with ripe fruit here and there as the beer goes from cellar to room temperature. Much continuity from the nose to the taste. Tart up front followed by oak (of course), mild dark fruit, and hints of toastiness long into the finish. Soft wood resonates and couples with lingering tartness encouraging another sip. Carbonation is great. It’s not under carbonated, but it’s completely unnoticeable. It’s provides a wonderful creaminess to the brew.

A quick work about the tartness. It reminds me much of grapefruit. If this were dry hopped with cascades it would be like drinking a glass of grapefruit juice … and then there’s the wood. The big deal about these beers is that they spent time in barrels. This could have been a disaster, but the odds were against that happening since the Stille Nacht turned out so nicely. In short, the oak aging provides very good balance to the acidity as well as a little bit more complexity to contemplate.

Job well done from the folks at De Dolle.
[Afterthought: Not that anyone would, but be careful not to drink this one too cold. Besides the tartness, it's a very subtle beer and much would be lost if drank cold.]

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Photo of Boto
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330ml. bottle: This one poured a rich, cloudy mahogany color. There was a decent amount of head to it, which lingered nicely. The aroma was both sweet and sour. Definite fruits (cherries and apples) in there also. The taste was also fruity, having both sweet and sour notes. The apples are slightly on top of the other flavors. Maybe a hint of caramel, but nothing at all like some of the other Belgians. Some alcohol coming through also. This is a wonderful beer.

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Photo of DESTRO
4.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this baby pours out a cloudy dark golden/brown with an enormous fat rocky head. the nose? grapes. lucious apples. fruit everywhere. brilliant! a bit of alcohol comes through but nothing can touch the scent of fruit running wild. cider anyone? taste....WHOA NELLY. insane. tart apple/cherries and a bit of citrus up front. then comes the wave of alcohol crashing the party. woody and dry, spicey and just flat out intense. finishes a bit puckering and leaves the mouth watering. this is a beer with alot of flavour. the mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly, yet somewhat thick and hearty. a filling brew that goes down like a fine champagne. weighing in at 12% this is a heavyweight. it will slap you around, but in a very civilized, enjoyable manor. one is good enough for me, but i will be back, again and again and again. simply amazing.

$3.99 for 11.2oz

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured clear deep auburn amber with a almost tan/yellow head that rose slowly and fell the same way to lace the glass. Not a large head, very compact and small bubbles.

The aroma was deeply complex with some slight sour notes, oak, caramel, and a winelike character of deep red wine.

The flavor was vinous with a slight sourness and complexity of shiraz or syrah and beer mixed. (I assume this is aged in wine casks).

The finish was dry with a lingering deep fruit flavor from the wine. The body was medium and the carbonation was just right. Exceptionally easy to drink and not a hint of the 12%ABV.

11.2 ounce bottle. Not as much of a favorite as normal Oerbier, but deep and complex and would please most any wine gourmet.

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Photo of jedwards
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of mine shared with friends over the holidays.

Pours very dark reddish brown with a thin but pillowy light tan head -- looks quite a bit like fresh Oerbier Reserva. Smells woody, tart, lots of stone fruit/raisin, slight citrus. Taste is phenomenal, vinous and astringent with a perfect candy/fruit sweetness and a creamy, effervescent body.

I've put a hold on drinking any fresh Oerbier Reserva from now on. I wish I had another bottle of this to check in a few years time.

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Photo of erica
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This tasted like red wine with a bit of beer mixed in! However, i like red wine so it went down well. A dark reddish brown with a lasting off-white head... I only got to sample this beer over an hour after it was opened and there was still a head on there. It smelled spicy, definitely grapey, and sweet. It tasted great, I really liked it and wish I could've had more than a small taste. Spicy, yeasty wine. Aged in bordeaux barrels.. No, really??!!? But I thought it worked, even though that flavour kind of overpowered the beer flavour. Mouthfeel was good, maybe a bit thick, drinkability would be good if I could get my hands on some more... I could probably spend a whole night with this one. :)

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clear crimson and orange accented chestnut body rests seemingly timid beneath a full head of light tan foam that holds well and leaves some short walls and wide splashes of lace about the glass. Streams of tiny bubbles can clearly be seen rising steadily to support its thin cap of foam. The nose is vinous (think Bordeaux), hoppy, spicy (think alcohol, spice, herbs and red pepper seeds), and malty (think cookie dough or chalky hard candy, but the resulting flavor is not sweet....?). It's delicately effervescent on the tongue like a fine Champagne ( - not like sparkling wine), and it's otherwise light bodied and smooth. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a touch more tartness to it, and perhaps some more dark grape skins. It has a similar acidity and astringency to a dark, tannic wine, and it lingers in the mouth in the same way except for the addition of some dull, leafy hop notes. The dry, low-key, mineral-like bitterness is similar to that of a Bordeaux as well. Wow! The vinous character is astounding! This is a beer unlike any other beer! And it should probably be sought out and sampled for that reason alone, although you might learn to love it along the way.

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Photo of Jon
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant mahogany/brown with deep reddish tints and a rocky, cream-colored head. Beautiful.

Vastly complex, winey nose with whaffs of oak, vanilla, chocolate and minor alcohol.

Vinous flavor is accentuated with hints of raisins, oak, bitter chocolate, and smoked. Possessing a certain minerality, the beer is tart and acidic finishing quite dry. The Bordeaux barrel aging adds such a complex character to the regular Oerbier.

Full, relatively carbonated mouthfeel. Lively acidity and minerality adds depth.

Drinks better than its 12% abv would indicate, though it's a true sipping delight. This beer will continue to improve in the bottle and should be even more enjoyable in the coming years. A remarkable creation from DeDolle.

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Photo of zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mickeymac
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After being disappointed in Stille Nacht, I was happy to return to another de Dolle beer that knocked my socks off. It's in the usual de Dolle 12 oz bottle, but the label is subdued by dD standards. The little guy who looks like the Michelin Man is on the label, but he's lurking in the top left corner of an otherwise unassuming silver label with black lettering. Has dD gone serious on us?

What's inside is seriously good beer. It pours a deep garnet with very active carbonation. Little bubbles start to settle into a thick off-white head that sticks to everything it touches. This stuff leaves lace from top to bottom. In fact, the head is almost like a nice little layer of pudding on top of the beer. The smell is simply amazing. Funky, dark fruit is complimented by the strong smell of oak from the barrel. The smell of oak with a pronounced alcohol smell is reminiscent of bourbon.

The taste is a perplexing mix of sweet, sour, oak, yeast, and alcohol. The taste may leave you looking for cherry stones and skins. Despite the noticeable alcohol presence, it doesn't taste like 12%. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, filling the mouth at every sip. If you're lucky enough to run across this beer, don't pass it up. I'd love to try to age this for a year or two, but I know it won't last that long.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark red, muddy brown brew with a small off-white/beige-ish head of foam. This brew starts off god enough, with an excellent aroma. I smell sherry, oak, deep cabernet wine grapes, spicy alcohol, belgian yeast, candy sugar, and caramel-ish malts. The taste is comprised of heavy bordeaux-like red wine and oak notes, as well as the sweet and sour lactic notes that are usually associated with a flanders red or old brown ale. The original sweet chocolate and caramel malt notes of the original oerbier is kind of lost here as is the majority of the belgian candy sugar and yeast notes. The mouthfeel is super creamy and easy going down, infact this is much fuller in the mouth than the original Oerbier is. The drinkability you ask? Simply excellent. This is completely different than the original Oerbier, but it is just as good!

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Photo of tom10101
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle "Oerbier Reserva 2002".

This dark ale poured a clear, deep chestnut color with creamy, white foam that settled but clung to the glass. The smell was a wonderfully rich, fruity aroma with notes of grapes, figs, wine, oak, and sugar. The taste was light on the tongue: vinous, fruity, malty, oaky, with a hint of alcohol and an underlying tartness.. The mouthfeel was smooth and airy with medium body and good carbonation. This was a wonderful Belgian strong dark ale, and I really want to have more.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich dark copper body, with a steady bubble stream, topped by a hearty, foamy two finger just-off-white head of microbubbles. Quickly settles into a topper. A bit of lacing. Aromas of candy, peach, perhaps a bit of orange, and a dose of alcohol at the end. Taste starts with malt, then a different sweet: candy and fruits, both light and dark. There's an earthy, woody quality there too, wrapping the fruitiness. Hops arise eventually, enough to pull the sweetness back far enough to the middle to avoid cloying. A nice smooth finish, with a small alcohol nip as the beer fades away, a good warm feeling all around. Smooth and full in the mouth. The alcohol is well integrated, another nice character of the beer, not an aspect that overwhelms or detracts. This exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cL bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Gorgeous murky maroon that's akin to some l.b.v. ports I've seen. Just verging on being a tawny port. Topped by a very bubbly off-white head which dissipates to a small layer of foam. This is done faster than it's not wood-aged cousin. However, this leaves some incredible lacing more akin to pantyhose the way the bubbles are so close together.

Smell: Nice aromas of woody oak and less intense red wines. Splashes of pepper and a whole lotta tart cherries and sour fruits. Not quite as complex as Oerbier, but still an incredible scent. Very pungent, too. I can smell it from a few feet away.

Taste: Incredibly sour and tart cherries with oaky wood overtones. Some barnyard funk (for lack of a better phrase) chucked in for good measure. I'm reminded of an oud bruin here. Hints of lighter red wines like pinot noir and beaujolais are caught on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Mildly tannic and lighter in body than Oerbier, most likely from the acidity. Cleanses the palate like nothing else. This sucker calls out for hearty, spicy, and garlicky food. Might also go great with a field green salad with some goat cheese and a vinaigrette dressing.

Drinkability: Certainly not a beer I'd want to have a lot of without food, but quite potable nonetheless. Highly acidic and tart, so it's not everyone's cup of tea. I wouldn't drink this everyday, but I will drink it again if I can find more of it (the remaining bottle in the "cellar" will have to wait for some special occasion).

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a pretty respectable rocky head for 12%. Aroma is not quite intense, rather mild actually, far from expectations (I know it's a bad thing to do, but having read some of the reviews here, when I saw reviews with mentions like imperial flemish sour ales, I anticipated this to be in my top 10). Anyway, aroma is light woody cherry, raspberry, automnal (leaves) with slight tart notes. Taste of bilberries, branches, leaves, sour grapes, light apples, oak and coke. Alcohol remarkably hidden. Creamy texture. Very good, but still disappointing unlike hopsrus its provider!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last enjoyed April, 2012 (Zythos weekend):

Oerbier Special Reserve unrelentingly borrows a lot of qualities of both beer and wine. The 10 year cellared version carries a sharp sherry wine flavor that's layered upon a serious pale malt base with spices and fruits of good red grape must. Rusty garnet with solid burgudy saturation, the lightly creamy foam stance evades the sparkling character of younger versions and favors a delicate creme that reduces to a trace around the rim. The scent emits tart notes of sour cherries, berries, and acidic fruit aromas--somewhat pungent to taste and lightly astringent to texture. Faded hop character lends muted spice and bitterness but better yet evolves into the taste of we tobacco. Soft spices of integrates cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin weave into the fruity-malty complex just as a more savory briny soy-sauce note weaves in. The body is medium to robust as the dissipated carbonation lays flatly on the tongue and coats it evenly with the malty weight for maximum flavor. Lightly powdery late, the finish reminds me of sandalwood, red wine, and sherry.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color. Medium head. Aroma is spicy, fruity (raisin and cherries), and malts. A medium bodied Belgian Ale. This is a beer of contrasts. It balances and contrasts many beer aspects. There is a nice balance of tart/sour to sweet. The fruitiness (raisins, cherries and orange) is balanced by some tones of wood and smoke. The carbonation is lively and spritzy, yet soft and full. It balanced the dry aspects with a very soft and full mouthfeel. It hides the 12% alcohol very well. I will enjoy tasting the other bottle of this I have in a year or so. Mouthfeel is full. Round and soft. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with a very slightly alcohol bite.

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Photo of Crosling
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Red.

Captivating aroma of red apples, sweet malts, slight tartness, wood, red wine, pears and cherries.

Complex, cidery, slightly sour flavor with notes of dark fruits, pears, apples, wood and raisins. Dry and lingering finish. I wish there were ore "double" flemish sours out there!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a murky brown, forming a small beige head with minimal retention and absent lacing. Looks like raw dark apple cider. Carbonation is moderate...less so than previous versions I've had with explosive carbonation. Aroma is intense with apple cider, yeast, and a touch of alcohol. Smells exactly like hard cider. No hops. As it warms, cloves emerge. Mouthfeel is still spritzy with a warming sensation down the gullet. Medium bodied but packing a punch. Starts out nicely sour and tart, balanced by apple cider sweetness, phenolic esters, followed by a peppery warm wave of alcohol, fennel and anise. LOTS of oak in the tart and vinously dry finish. Bitterness is ruddy and very mild, giving a faint suggestion of burning rubber. Grape-skin astrigency.

An excellent brew, but I was wishing for a little more malt sweetness. The oak aging really makes this beer quite dry compared to the standard version. I love the kick-in-the-pants tartness. This is an very good brew, but hardly worth the $4.99 I paid for the 330ml bottle. Give it a try!

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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003) from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.14 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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