Oerbier Special Reserva 2013 (Bottled 2014) | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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Oerbier Special Reserva 2013 (Bottled 2014)Oerbier Special Reserva 2013 (Bottled 2014)
Oerbier Special Reserva 2013 (Bottled 2014)Oerbier Special Reserva 2013 (Bottled 2014)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 43
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a goblet from the bottle here at Cerveceria Esparte.

Appearance: Semi translucent Amber color with medium bubbles to the body. Head is off-white rising.

Smell: Rich whiskey notes whitch compliment the nostrils of wood.

Taste: Sweet and very hard bits of sourness. The barrel aging and whiskey with notes of cherry fruit give this beer a super unique complexity.

Mouth: Sticky and slightly thin bodied. Desser like finish.

Overall: good brew but takes a while for the tongue to get adjusted to it. Almost a sour ale but not, regardless money well spent and definitely an attention grabber. Salud!

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Photo of spoony
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From a 330 ml bottle (label says brewed 2013 but date code on cap is smudged...says something 2015) into a tulip.

A-The beer is attractive for the style. It is brown with nice garnet highlights. It is surprisingly clear, but the dark color makes it hard to see through. A short, tan-grey head fades quickly but a fat collar of foam hangs around for the entire glass. Nice.

S-The aroma is a delicious mixture of woody notes like oak and cedar, wine-like tannins, sweet and tart cherries, balsamic vinegar, and dark caramel. As the beer warms, I sniff a bit of pepper and a cheese-like funk. Quite vinous without smelling grape-heavy.

T-The taste tracks the smell closely. It is perhaps a little more sweet on the tongue, but the flavors are similar: lots of oak, balsamic vinegar tartness, sweet cherries, wine-like tannins, some vanilla, and just a hint of herbal alcohol on the finish, which is long and drying.

M-The body is pretty substantial with a little bit of oiliness. Carbonation is smooth and moderate in volume. Just a little sticky on the finish.

O-Wow. This is one of the best beers I have had in a long time. The oak is very powerful but the flavors are balanced and the beer never overwhelms with any one flavor. I would never guess that this beer is over 10% ABV. This is "sour" beer done right.

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Photo of zac16125
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle into a tulip
Bottled on: April 2015

I know the BA beer title says (bottled 2014) but this is clearly labeled as “Brewed in 2013” and there is a clear bottling date on the cap of APR 2015; I assume this is the correct place for the review.

A: Pours a very dark drown, thats not hazy at all, but is barely translucent due to the darkness of the color; some nice ruby hues when held to light. A small light tan head builds and dissipates down fairly quickly to a thin film. Leaves very little lacing. 4.5

S: Its funkier than I anticipated, pungent cheese is the first aroma I get. Once my nose accommodates to the funk, I next get a big wave of caramel malt followed by significant fruity characters. Its a bit vinous. Tart characters are certainly present, but not prominent. Subtle nutty characters and oak to round it out. Its an exceptionally complex aroma, although the huge funky notes aren’t necessarily my favorite. 4.25

T: Taste is notably different than the aroma. Theres a huge sour kick to it, right from the first sip. Burnt plastic-like funky notes are there in abundance. Nice dark fruit sweetness, and vinous and tannin wine-like characteristic. Caramel malt, and a fair amount of sweetness balance it out. Not nearly the pungent, cheese-like characters that were in the aroma (which is a good thing in my opinion). Very complex, and very delicious. 4.5

M/D: Mouthfeel is full bodied, but with a high carbonation that manages to somehow work well with the style. The higher carbonation and significant sour characters give it a biting character, in a good way. Theres not hint of the huge ABV, which is remarkable. Drinkability is excellent. 4.5

O: Exceptional beer that I will purchase again in a heartbeat, if I ever see it on the shelves again. 4.5

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly murky rich mahogany in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a medium to large sized patch of thin film covering about 75% of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of tart/sour cherries and vinegar with a light aroma of oak.

T: Upfront there are slightly stronger than moderate flavors of tart/sour cherries over the top of light flavors of roasted malts. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of vinegar and a light flavor of oak. Minimal amounts of bitterness are present but there is a lingering amount of tartness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness are present.

O: Very enjoyable and a really nice example of the style with both the sour/tart cherry and vinegar flavors + aromas present. Alcohol is extremely well hidden and this one is pretty easy to drink. Definitely glas I got to try it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased at Oliver's Beverage in Albany, NY.

This pours a dark, nearly blood red, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells wonderful, like tart macerated cherries, heavy duty tannic red wine, tons of oak, caramel, woody spice, and a hint of a chocolate.

This is revelatory. It's the best Flanders Oud Bruin I've had, by far. Up front, it's all sweet and sour cherries and red wine, balanced, without being vinegary, which is usually the downfall for this style for me. The middle section carries a deep maltiness, caramel, chocolate, and wine-soaked cinnamon bread, while the finish is long and intensely oaky, with a deep woody spice. The sourness is mild, but still prominent, adding a really nice counterpoint to all of the other flavors. This is brilliantly complex and thoughtful, while still remaining really drinkable. I think I'm in love.

This is medium bodied, rich, full, and a little viscous- coats the mouth. The carbonation level is lower, but still there enough to prop the beer up.

This is absolutely excellent, and flies under the radar. Now to try Stille Nacht Riserva, any day now I'm sure.

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

Hazy dark reddish-brown color with light brown head. Aroma is typical for an oud bruin. Red, sour wine, dark fruits and some caramel underneath. Taste starts tart but not too intense. It has the specific balsamic vinegar taste but the dark fruits and caramel are also present. Not very acidic like others oud bruins. Medium, soft body and carbonation. The listed ABV seems unbelievable, there is no alcohol burn or taste, just a slight warmth. I wouldn't have guessed it's more than 8%. Overall it's a really well made and easy drinking flanders oud bruin, one of the best I ever had.

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Photo of amano_h
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

75cl bottle, poured into Oerbier Balloon.

Sour cherries hit the nose first as usual. Some classic Oud Bruin notes quickly follow with a nice soft caramel and subtle brown sugar balancing out some of the tart aromas in play. A big whiff of the brew reveals some more cherries, raisins, and something resembling apples and pie crust toward the back end.

This is where the Special Reserva really shines. First sip is reminiscent of a nice robust Merlot, followed by some of that yummy vinegary tart from the sour cherries. Fruit flavors of lemon, plum, grapes, and raisins all shine through very well with a touch of added sweetness, the sour/sweet comparison is like adding a very small teaspoon to a cup of black coffee if it makes sense. A nice balance of tannin, peppers, and toast in the after taste gives the perception of a dry finish.

Medium bodied, with an absolutely smooth, stunningly dry finish. There's a slight tart on the palate which is further accentuated by the light pleasant carbonation. Considering that this is 13% ABV, there is absolutely no alcohol burn whatsoever. Holy crap, I'm in love.

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Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear brownish amber in color (brown when viewed from afar) and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head.
S: Moderate aromas of sour cherries are present in the nose; the smell becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has stronger flavors of sour cherries along with some additional hints of oak. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This oud bruin has nice aromas and flavors of cherries and sourness. What really stands out about this beer is how well it hides all traces of the alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Always love looking to these every year if I can!

Chestnut brown, with a bit of ruby dark grapefruit highlights as well. Creamy head formation but tiny, leaving a light tan but good sized collar around the glass. Noticeable small rising carbonation in the middle and a top little swirl that meets it always coming.

Classic out bruin notes and wonderful aromas. Soft caramel with a low acidity and small cherry like smelling tartness. Soft brown sugar that is much more subtle and refined as well, almost like a slow baked sugar crust. Fruity tartness of cherry, raisin, even some apple pie sneaks in with a nice warmth.

Palate takes a bit of a surprise. Very light bodied and nearly wet a bit, but still supportive of the palates flavors. Washing cherry and mild soft acid tones, a bit of caramel as well. Aftertaste is a little fleeting though. Slight neutral backbone, and less chewy, but clean and interesting oak character that permeates the surface. Fruit smorgasborg, of sharp bittermelon, apples, pears, cherry tones and darker fruits of raisin and dates all over.

Very soild but I seem to wish the palate sprung to life a bit more as the feel seems strangely lacking a bit. Very little to complain about that's for sure.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The holiday season in not really the holiday season until De Dolle's Oerbier Reserva hits the market. With the backbone of that stronger darker Belgian ale of exceptional quality, the long and souring slumber that the beer takes in oaken barrels gives its appreciators a unique, varying and surprising set of complexities every year.

Pouring with a zesty and sprite bubbly turbulence, the ale is chocked full of burgundy and rust hues that's cast against a medium-dense visual haze. While the head character largely collapses under the suspicion of acidity, the nose is captivated with the tart, tangy and juiciness of cherry, berry and grape. Its taste, however is a medley of cider, hard candy and bread toast.

And that is just the start. The ale takes a decidedly wine-like tone as robust merlot dances in and out of a sour framework to provoke and challenge the senses. With slim sweetness in support, fruit flavors of crabapple, lemon, lime plum, prune, grape and raisin all seem to take on a vinegar-soaked character. A balance of oak tannin, pepper and lightly charred toast combat the sourness and provides a peppery-dry taste late.

Medium-bodied and trending drier and drier, the early creaminess of the beer quickly gives way to a highly acidic finish with moderate thinning and astringency that gives as much complication to the taste is its does charm. Perfect for those richer winter dishes, the acidity brightens the palate and highlights its dark fruit influence proudly.

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Photo of dar482
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer has barrel quality and red wine for days. Vinegary tart, tons of oak. Red wine grapes and the beer has hidden alcohol with some sweetness on the back. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

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Photo of josanguapo
1.75/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

From XXXII. In Ikea's pint glass. Playing Bit Evolution. Acid but not overwhelming. However, the acid hides everything else in aroma and taste. Not my kind of beer, more for the people who like wine I suppose. However, I have to recognize that they make an excellent job in hiding the 13% alcohol. I didnt feel it in aroma, taste nor effect.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown color with a thick white head that stays present throughout the entire time I drank this beer. The smell is outstanding, a tart, oaked blend of dark fruits. Taste wise, this is one of the most unique beers I've had. The oak is heavy and that's not a bad thing... Booze is present but not super strong which is an impressive accomplishment for a 13% beer. The oak compliments the slight sourness of the beer very well and along with blackberries, grapes and fig creates a very enjoyable drinking experience which is only enhanced by the mouthfeel of this beer. It has a medium body and is lightly carbonated but it feels so amazing to drink (that's not weird right?) It is amazingly smooth. Overall, this was an expensive beer but it was worth every penny because of how unique and well done it was made. Highly recommended

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Photo of lmaduells
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Forceful! Fantastic! A brewer incredible journey! Having a beer in your mouth like this is a meravela to remember it. A beer reserved for the few, both for herself and for style and price. I was speechless. Really all products from De Dolle are very good. This long remember the pleasantly.

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Photo of Yeastie7
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour dark burgundy red. Lots of tannines, oak, vinous notes, booze, blackberry going on in the nose. Emphasis on oak and red bordeaux wine. More sour batch this year than the previous one, as also confirmed by the brewer. Lots of pediococcus, almost dissapeared Oerbier characteristics, old brown, viscose melassis, some vanilla, red fruit, raspberry and blackberries, wood... Off the hook!

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Oerbier Special Reserva 2013 (Bottled 2014) from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 43 ratings