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

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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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 64
Photo of benmiliron
2.43/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Paid $5 for a bottle.

A dark, murky brown. Smells like a strong wine with a slight hint of isopropyl alcohol. Taste is complex, but not in a good way. Very fine bubble, like champagne almost. Very sour, heavy alcohol, very very dry. Almost evaporates on your tongue. Flavors of oak are noticeable. Very medicinal.

Yuck. Terrible.

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Photo of meathookjones
2.56/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours out a murky dark brown with a reddish tint and a few inches of beige head. The head has good retention and leaves lacing coating most of the glass. Aroma is spicy, lots of fruity apple notes and plenty of vinous characteristics. Taste starts off with a sharp sweetness and fruitiness of apples and cherries before going overboard with an almost unpalatable sour tartness that is unpleasant. The taste is complex with those flavors as well as plenty of vinous notes and alcohol taste that only adds to the mayhem. Mouthfeel is good and full with a coated feel, which in this case only spreads the unpleasant taste. I would say this is fairly undrinkable in my opinion. I will definitely pick up another bottle in the future to give it a second chance but for now I will stay away.

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Photo of Jason
2.76/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Great head retention with a hazy burgundy brown hue. The woody aromas do nothing to improve and seem out of place.

The vinous character throughout becomes bothersome to my palate at least for me. Both a bit acrid and vaguely medicinal as well. The sourness in the middle is way out of wack as nothing else meshes well with it, the woody notes and higher alcohol just add to the astringency. Just because a beer is 12% does not mean it is going to be a great beer ... I'm glad I did not get my hopes up to high. This beer just goes to show you that one should not mess with the original beer. Not appealing and quite undrinkable.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.78/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Dark, cloudy orange in color with a frothing head that I had to control at the pour. No lacing on this 12.0 ABV ale.

Smell – Dark, giant cookie dough aroma with heavy-duty spices. The nose is very musty and has a big swell of alcohol.

Taste – This one is a mouthfull. The spices and alcohol are way too much, and there’s a big sour note to this ale that drowns out everything else.

Mouthfeel – This one is sour and very alcoholic.

Drinkability – I love big, heavy-hitting BSDAs and I know that this ale has been well-reviewed by others, but I just wasn’t able to appreciate it.

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Photo of nomad
3.18/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wooo - where's the beer? This blood-brown liquid comes out tart like a young Bordeaux and biting with vegetal-leaning hops that inspire a fully floral finish. The alcohol slaps around naked as the day it first fermented, bruising any fruity sense with two-by-fours of oak and acidity. Is this carbonated wine? Almost cedar-like with spice and texture.

Smells a little funky and tart, almost infected in a sense of brettanomyces but is probably just the acidity from the bordeaux casks it cellared in. Opens to burnt sugar notes as the tartness dulls to a soft roar. Feels and tastes highly attenuated, sliding about as brash as it can with hot alcohol.

This beer, like many a Belgian and many a De Dolle brew, is experimentable and I think I may have gotten a less balanced bottle. Went better once I whipped out some cheese and crackers.

Cool experience and really doesn't knock my positive feelings on De Dolle. Still crazy as always.

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Photo of putnam
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I know that smell. It's the smell of soggy old Rioja Gran Reserva - oxidized, spicy, leathery fruits, vanilla, and cellar dust. So if this smells like a wine that might cost, say, $25 a bottle, is that good for a beer?
Also included on the nose is a certain caramel-clad stone note that adds to its arcane charm.
Perky, broth-flavored textures deliver a muscular acidity I did not expect. Broiled, brown sourdough kissed with fig jam lurk behind a woody, austere core of minerals and depleted spices.
This is certainly an interesting beer. Not a party favorite for sure. But worth graduate-level BA study.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Been eying this one in the cellar for a while. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Pours a deep amber. Almost burgundy. Slight bubbles, but it's damn close to flat.

Smell - Astringent and vinous notes. Deep malt. Buttery. Some acidity coming off of this one.

Taste - Incredibly astringent. Getting sour with some oxidation. Still malty and vinous. Red wine notes. Tannic.

Mouthfeel - Dry and not boozy at all. Vinous and have I said astringent? Still a sipper.

Overall - It's interesting, but probably way too old. No way to tell if the age made it interesting or the original beer was interesting.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Murky brown tone with a creamy textured tan head, leaves behind some lacing very nice. Aroma: Tart tones with a warming sweetness and the oak aged cask conditioning is apparent here as well. Taste: Wine like vinous tone with tart grapes and raisins, alcohol tones are coming out. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied high in carbonation. Drinkability: Not bad just not as amazing as I was thinking it was going to be, has a nice flow to it high alcohol wine like tone very warming wouldn't drink too many of these.

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Photo of granger10
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer certainly is a kick in the pants. Pours a burnt bronze color with honey on the sides. Large sticky foamy white head. Good amount of lacing. Aroma is of a cherry liquer, yeasty dryness, and I seriously am getting a woody flavor in the finish. Taste brings lots of complexity and unusual flavors. Starts out apple cider sweet but a big kick of red wine tannins ensues. Lots of sourness and tarty flavors in the middle. Is this brett or lactobasilius? Sharp, intense, pungent flavors. Finish is dry and lingers. Very dry in the finish actually. This is pushing the borders between beer and wine. Alcohol fusels are strong throughout, this almost tastes stronger than 12%. Very unique offering and tasty but I think I could have been done after about halfway through.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium caramel color with good head retention and spotty lace on the glass.
Aroma is dark fruit, hint of scotch, some sour green apple.
Flavor has some cherry notes between the sour notes and an undertone of light caramel with some bread and yeast and a slight peppery spice.
Mouthfeel is like an alcoholic sweet tart. Very tasty but boy it makes you pucker. Light spiciness on the finish cuts just enough of the sourness to make very enjoyable.
Drinkability is good if you like sour beers. I'm not a fan but this one had some very special qualities that made it very good. Hides the alcohol in it extremely well.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown bottle with a maroon cap and silver label. Aged in oak barrels and refermented in the bottle.

Served at room temperature. Poured a giant fluffy light tan head that holds solid, and only after a few sips leaves a thick coating along the glass. Glowing ruby brown liquid with a vortex of carbonation rising from the bottom of the chalice. The aroma is of tart alcoholic apples. The taste is very mild, bits of sour apples and cherries, a little bit of alcohol and an aftertaste that is every so slightly bitter. The body is light and the mouthfeel fairly smooth. A very good strong belgian winter brew.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plummy brown haze in color, more glowing towards the bottom than at the top, medium sized frothy whipped creamy dark beige head, settles slowly if at all to a creamy thick skim; lacing in the stringy thick variety.

Aroma is soft of peppermint-like spicy alcoholic heat mixed with a strange, unidentifable dark citrus melange, graham cracker crust, and a bit of a merlot type of touch with dark red grapes and some ripe plum. Its a very soft nose, even the heat seems soft; nothing overly exciting or strong but it definately has a great subtlety and complexing waft about it.

Taste is a whole nother conceivability in its character from what the aroma leads you to believe. But those little hints of wine-like character do surge forward now. Upon first touching the lips its a delightfully smooth ride, but thats literally swiped away quickly, so quickly in fact its hard to get an overall of what the bier is doing. Why, cuz it gets all crazy with a semi-tart and souring little wine-like character that completely takes over the character. Grapey and plummy with touched with citrus tang of oranges. This settled down in a hurry though as it warmed; and thank goodness for that, when first outta the fridge this was frightening with a souring, off flavor of red grapes and tart lemon/orange. But it resides in its strength as it warms and becomes much more drinkable and enjoyable with more plum aspects floating in and some very light drying off in the finish of vinous qualities mixed with a bit of spicy candied alcohol.

Feel is spicy and boardering a sweet tartness thats bearable and vinous to the point of acceptance and tone for a bier of this nature, which may throw some folks for a loop when first taking a sip. The alcoholic heat and spice is quite warming late, way beyond having a any and all sips. Incredible in that respect. Has about a medium body and has a slight throaty burn that keeps popping through very, very late. Medicinal in a way but not overly so. Lots of yeasty alcoholic action in this stuff the whole trip through.

The first sip was antagonizing, but the last was a wish for more. This reminded me more of some of the English style Old Ales that are tangy and souring sweet. This stuff is all about that, but with more control over the effects of the malt side then those with more of yeasty spiced alcohol and vinous softness around its character that was fun to behold and take in for a night ending sipper.
Thanks to Jason who threw this in a while back in a trade!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two-finger head leaving a good lace. Cloudy amber color. Very good carbonation. Medium bodied. Nose is a tart cherry, starts sweet and sour, very complex, finishes as a sour cherry flavor. The high ABV is not really noticeable. Pricey - $6.25 for a 330ml bottle.

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Photo of Gusler
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer after its resurrection from the 33cl brown bottle pours a totally clouded brown to plum color, the head portly in size, the texture creamy and the color a beauteous light tan with the resultant lace a fine sheet to drape the glass. Nose has a distinct aroma of fusel alcohol along with the over ripe plum scent, sweet malt underneath, slight hint of yeast me thinks, with the start lightly sweet, with a rather light top. Finish is ferine in its tartness, quite dry, past vinous, with a hint of hops and the sweet and sour carries to the tummy warming finish, a unique beer, and quite a “Hoot” .

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Photo of Wildman
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber color and formed a light tan bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An heavy aroma of plum, candy and cookie dough with some malt elements present. The flavor was of malt, plum, a touch of chocolate and a hint of coffee. It had a medium body with a very sprite, yet sweet finish. A very good beer once again from this brewer.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was completely unlike any Belgian Strong Dark I have ever had, but it was very, very good. It poured a cloudy, murky, reddish brown with huge pieces of sediment and two finger thick foamy head that remained for about 90 seconds. The chunks of debris were very appealing to me. Smell was very bizarre for the style, but I enjoyed it immensely. Very vinous and definite presence of alcohol with a touch of chocolate it you're really searching for it. This was like sniffing a glass of pinot noir and a chocolate bar at the same time. Many other subtle aromas presant here such as dark fruits and rich candy. Taste is sour like one of those Flemish sour red ales, but the sourness subsides to sweetness rather quickly and takes on a more familiar form more akin to what this style should be. I suspect the age of this beer coupled with the possiblity that its previous owner may not have stored it properly are what's responsible for these aromas and flavours. I cannot imagine, however, that a 12% Belgian would be ruined after only 4 or 5 years. Enough heat or light exposure, though, and I guess it's possible.
Anyhow, the mouthfeel on this is very smooth with a nice level of CO2. This drinks well, dangerously well, below 12%abv. A nice beer that I am very glad I had the chance to review!

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Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to FooFaa for opening this one up at the Mad-Murren event at Al's of Hampden. Poured into a tasting glass.

A - Pours dark amber with a light film of white head leaving no lacing down the glass at all. A bit under-welming to say the least.

S - Tart cherries dominate from first sip to the last. As it begins to warm, more and more caramel malts come thru. Quite a bit of tartness but it still maintains a very nice balance.

T - Lots of tart cherries up front carry thru the entire glass. They blend very nicely with the rich caramel malt sweetness. Finish is a delicious balance of tart cherries and sweetness. A nearly flawless balance of sweet and sour. One of the best dark ale's I have ever had.

M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. Quite the tart cherrie feel with plenty of lingering tart/malt flavors in the finish.

D - Fairly high. I am not the biggest fan of this style but I still really liked the flavors in this one. I just can't see myself drinking more than one of these at a time as the flavors dominate

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Photo of ark57
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It just looks beautiful with its big fluffy head and dark mahogany color. The aroma is fruit (cherry), with alcohol and slight metallic and woody notes and even a sour like tinge. The maltiness is fruity with a slight tartness. It finishes with vanilla, wood, and lots fo alcohol. It has a great complexity and taste, but it is a bit hot and probably could stand some aging to mellow it out. Still I thoroughly enjoyed it now.

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Photo of BierReise
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears brown and cloudy at first but with light behind looks a beautiful glowing red color. Head is thick and creamy with good lacing. Aroma is a full one of fruit and malt with raspberries and a sourness also. Alcohol is slightly noticible in the aroma. Mouthfeel is highly charged at first with a crisp and steady carbonation. This mellowed a bit as it warmed some more. This ale covers the glass with a thick lace of foam. The high abv is barely noticable in the flavor. Flavor is quite sour like sour fruit. Interesting and almost like a lambic or gueze. Has a puckering dryness at the finish. Overall enjoyable, I wasn't expecting the sourness but does not detract.

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Photo of lou91
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured so perfect,- filling my chimay glass perfectly with a nice head and an elegant amber color. The nose is big and tangy. The taste is absolutely wonderful – rich, ,tart, crisp and an excellent alcohol warmth all cranked up to 10. It is very drinkable – like a great white wine. Got it for 8 bucks at the Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel.

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Photo of Douglas88
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition drank October 2008 with a big thanks to hopdog. I really loved the regular so I was anticipating the reserva for sure. My 800th rating. Pours a a large and thick beige head on top of a reddish-brown body. The aroma was instantly noticed as more sour than the regular version; lots of sour cherries and tons of woody notes. Some light candies and chocolates too. The taste was great; a initial smooth and mellow sour woody and tart cherry flavors. The sweet candy and ripe fruits come out later, especially as it warms. The six years in bottle plus the barrel aging has mellowed this considerably, and the alcohol is only hinted at in a pervasive warmth. A real treat for sure.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

as a fan of prize old ale this i figure is a must. A belgian character to an old ale that runs hot down the throat because of abv and black pepper. A mahogany cherry mild cloudy with a smaller head but it did fizz up a bit when cracked. It also gave off the swell of its nose. A distinct cherry pie and wood followed by a pollen honey sweet nose. This is soon after bombarded with booze. That lingers for a few minutes. But the beer does mild. Palate is a liquid apple with a woody bitterness that is hammered into one dimensional finish of heat and bitter cognac. The beer is a tad burnt clove sweet and mineral based. This is the perfect while spiced, and mildly spicey seitan or particularly pulled pork. The heat sits on the tongue with the wood bitter cognac. The cherry is meaty and the sour apple accentuated by the smoke and aby but still not heavy handed.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear, rich amber in color with a nicely-sized off-white head that eventually settles down to a creamy, persistent top. The aroma is slightly sharp -- a bit vinous, but mellowed by a graceful oaky character.

Strikingly tart on the first sip. Second sip reveals more depth to the flavor, as the tartness develops flavors of maraschino cherry and grape. Malt character emerges stronger as the beer warms, giving the beer a nicer balance. Alcohol lends a discernable spiciness to the finish, but is not at all obtrusive. Woodiness kicks in on the back end and lingers pleasantly. Altogether more vinous than a typical Belgian strong dark ale, more like a oud bruin IMHO, but good, whatever the label.

Moderate and somewhat creamy in mouthfeel due to even carbonation and persistent head. Quite dry in the finish, and warming in the belly. This is a really good beer, and very drinkable for its strength.

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Photo of faernt
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one came highly recommended. The bottle says it was brewed in 2002, aged in oak barrels and refermented in bottle. It poured into a chalice with a fine tight bubbled head that rose to about 3/8" in height before it began to settle down to a skim. It is a rosy copper color with a slight haze.
The smell is sweet, spicy, almost vinous, and very complex. Each time I think I have an aroma captured it changes into something else. The closest thing I can compare this to is balsamic vinegar. My wife just walked through the room and stopped to smell it, then drank some then said that we should have this around. Maybe this beer has special powers?
The taste starts tart then moves to sour. Mouthfeel and taste dance with each other with the taste, texture and where the beer is on my tongue constantly changing. This tastes like a food beer so I grab some salted nuts. After the nuts the beer reveals its oakiness, the tart sourness subsides, and the malt perks up. I'll try this with my wife's hazelnut torte the next time.
The 12%ABV brings this into wine territory so one bottle changes my perspective. This is very drinkable but choose a designated driver before you give in to its charms.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut with garnet highlights. A thick tan head settles to a solid layer. A thick sheeting of lace is left in its wake.
Very complex aromas, much of it just goes over my head, but I'll give it a shot. Vinous aroma, undoubtably attributed to the aging in bordeaux barrells. Dark fruits, raisins, cherries and alcohol are all there.
Tart & warming. Very dry. Winey, grape skins, apple peel, tart cherries.
Medium body with a delicate, pinprick carbonation. Smooth and highly potable. It should just get better with cellar time.

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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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