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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 53
Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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 DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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 ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Jason
2.76/5  rDev -33.5%
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 Alieniloquium
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
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 orangesol
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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 WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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 JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled 22nd of December, 2003
Aromas of plum and raisin waft from the glass as I pour the beer. It is a hazy amber color, and the beer forms a tan head when roused. Aromas of alcohol, sherry and dark fruit in the nose, and perhaps a hint of sourness. The aroma reminds me of a fruit cocktail.

The taste is lightly sour and has a tannic back bone to it akin to an oaky wine. There is a bit of buttery-vanilla taste in the finish, that is quite persistent though fairly subtle. Ah, I see on the bottle that it was aged in oak, so the oak presence certainly makes sense. The tannins and the acidity really dry this beer out, though there is a bit of sweetness that pokes through the dryness.<br><br>

As I sniff the the aroma again I can definitely pick out the oak here as well. Not nearly as fruity in the taste as it was in the initial aroma. There is some definite funky Belgian yeast character here, but the oak is the dominant flavor.

I am glad I have another bottle of this, I think that this will be awesome in 2007. At this point the oak character is disproportionally large compared to the beer character. Like a fine wine though, I have a feeling this one will age very well. Thus my rating is based on the potential of this beer. If I had to rate it on only this bottle I would give it a 3.8

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Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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%
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 bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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 RoyalT
2.78/5  rDev -33%
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 tom10101
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Boto
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
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 TheLongBeachBum
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
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 zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
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 Mitchster
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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 beerguy101
4.4/5  rDev +6%
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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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003) from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 64 ratings
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