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:
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 53
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 erica
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
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 +8.4%
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 mickeymac
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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 +4.6%
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 Jon
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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 +1.2%
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 +3.6%
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 +3.4%
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 BierReise
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
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 -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 HappyHourHero
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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 aracauna
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When I poured this into the glass, my first impression was dull medium brown. After I poured, the color seemed to change from that dull and boring brown to rubies on worn leather. The head is a dense, small-bubbled foam, like melted french vanilla icecream. It also showed no signs of fading. The wine aroma in this one is stronger than I remember the wine being in the Stille Nacht Reserva. Underneath that is a very estery beer. The flavor is sweet, with the wine still dominating. The very vinuous character is reinforced by the tartness in the finish. Melon, green apples dipped in caramel. Extremely tasty. I really wish I had access to regular Oerbier now to see how different this is. The only problem is that I wonder if the wine may have overwhelmed the beer a bit. Then again, many Belgian strong ales are very winey to start with, in which case the bordeaux casks would have only enhanced what is already there. Regardless, all the flavors work very well together and the tartness gives it a bit of a refreshing quality that makes it that much easier to drink.

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Photo of yen157
4.67/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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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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