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

53 Reviews
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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
Belgium | website

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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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 64
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 counselor
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I let this baby warm a while from the fridge as I did not want the aromas and flavors dulled by the cold. It poured a dark, glistening mahogany with a wonderful head that suprised me given the 12% abv. The carbonation was right on and allowed me to recreate a head at will with a little swirl of the tulip glass. The aromas were peppery spice, apple cider, overripe pear and a very mild hop/alcohol dryness. The mouthfeel was wonderfully balanced between the carbonation and the moderate viscosity of the malt. the taste was wonderful, I think I could pick de dolle beers blindly from the others, their yeast being so distinctly warming and flavorful (imho). Oh this is a beer that has layers of flavors from the dark plum,cherry,fig flavors to the light airy peach & apple to the port/sherry finish. I will be returning for more of this offering from my adult beverage supplier.

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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 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 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 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 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 Gueuzedude
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
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 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 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 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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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.

 1,204 characters

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 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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De Dolle Oerbier Special Reserva 2002 (Bottled 2003) from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
91 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.
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