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

very good
64 Ratings
Read the review
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:
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 53
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 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 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 NearerMyBeerToMe
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fills the tulip glass crowned with an inch of fine, pinkish-brown bubbles that seem to last forever, but cling only moderately. Forceful streams of carbonation pack bubbles into each other at base of head. Murky liquid is the darkest stain of rosewood in color, with almost purplish depths and softly glowing chestnut highlights. Sharp, lactic tartness in aroma becomes extremely vinous with an almost cidery, sour apple finish. With warmth, develops tones of rotting sour fruit, tree bark, piles of leaves in the rain, and wet clay. Piercing, yet non-medicinal nosefeel ends exquisitely dry. Staggering complexity of tastes literally changes sip by sip: tart Macintosh apples, cider, tannins, pomegranate, pinot noir, sour green cherries, sweet black cherries, cinnamon, potpourri, menthol, metallic sourness... morphing without repetition until the last drop. Body is light and highly carbonated with a slight alcoholic numbness, cool and dry upon inhaling. Not a touch of astringency despite the hugely pungent flavors. Sip slowly and the complexity will afford its own form of drinkability. Throw stylistic expectations out the window--this is easily one of the most dynamic beers I have ever tasted. Challenging? No doubt. But drinkers willing to devote their complete attention will discover, within this brew, tiny worlds of perception whose evolution parallels that of a greater reality.

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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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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 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 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 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 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 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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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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