De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005 | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005
83 Ratings
De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005

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 TheLongBeachBum on 01-26-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 83 |  Reviews: 54
Photo of DStoked
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of metalgdog
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of JAHMUR
5/5  rDev +22%

5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of mmmbeer
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was starting to think that I would never give a beer all fives. I didn't even realize that I had one worthy of such in my glass until I started rating each facet of the brew. How quickly I then realized that I was sampling, essentially, a flawless beer. The slender 33 cL Belgian bottle is crowed with a yellow cap inked with "bottled AP 2006," and the website declares it is brewed with pale malt and white candi sugar to the highest density of any Belgian beer (27°P). It is boiled for "many hours," with Nugget taking care of the bittering, and they indicate that "some acidity" develops during fermentation. This elixir pours golden amber, perfectly clear (if decanted properly), with loads of carbonation and a thin white cap. There is a light lemony funk to the nose, almost vinous, backed by floral and fruity notes that contribute peaches, apricots, golden raisins and oranges. There might even be some hops in there. Insanely aromatic - I have never had a beer contribute this strong of a bouquet. Even at the end, when there is barely a mouthful left, it is as punchy and wonderful as it was at the start. The flavor is likewise incredibly dense - almost as if it were distilled from a tripel. I find lots of yeasty flavors, mostly orange and spice, but also a light sweetness, a bit of acidity and a light, but distinctive hop flavor. And even though it is pushing five years old, it somehow manages to tastes fresh. All of this sits on top of a light, but ever-increasing body that contributes tingly carbonation and a fruity/spicy finish. Warming, but only mildly so, and the high alcohol in no way hampers its drinkability - one tiny bottle is nowhere near enough for one sitting. Wow. Very well-crafted - a masterpiece is a glass. How they managed to cram this much flavor and aroma into this fluid is beyond me, but I hope they never stop making this beer. I don't know if every vintage is as remarkable as the 2005, but if this bottle is any indication, then everyone needs to hunt down Stille Nacht and revel in all its glory. I have always enjoyed The Mad Brewers offerings, but enjoying this beer is an experience I will never forget.

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Photo of John_M
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is probably as close as I've ever come to drinking a "perfect" beer. I think it helped that the beer was not served too cold, as previously "overly chilled" versions of this beer have not been as excellent.

The apperance of this beer is impressive. It pours a brilliant gold color with a persistent foam head. Excellent lacing, which one would expect from a beer of this quality and abv. The aroma is intoxicating and immediately put me in mind of a well aged, late disgorged, vintage champagne. There were huge aromas of apple, biscuit, toast and yeast... on the palate the beer is almost viscous, and it has that exploding, mouthfilling, mouth coating experience one normally associates with a fine (and I mean very fine) vintage champagne. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, with fabulous flavors of apple, cherry, sweet citrus and toast. The beer has nuances of sweetness, but (unlike the non-reserve version) really there is only a hint of it and the beer is not the least bit cloying. This beer has a long lingering finish, with no heaviness whatsoever. Considering the abv., the beer is amazingly drinkable, though with an abv. of 12%. it goes without saying that one should take one's time.

An absolute beauty. One of the finest beers I have ever tasted.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I once had the 2000 vintage, unfortunately the bottle didn't age gracefully. This is a beer I have looked forward to for a while now. Pours with good head for the ABV, the lacing is outstanding. The color is lighter than expected. The aroma is rich and complex, vanilla, oak and fruit dominate.

This beer tastes more like red wine than any wine-barrel-aged beer I have ever had. I am having trouble separating the beer flavor from the wine flavor. And I should note that I have tasted the regular Stille Nacht only once, it was a 1996 bottle tasted about a year ago. This beer tastes like a wonderful mix of a spiced dark Belgian ale and a rich Bordeaux. The wine notes are dominant, the barrels provide vanilla, and I think much of the spice is coming from the oak.

The mouthfeel is full and refined. I can see the carbonation, but I can only slightly perceive it on my palate now that I am almost finished with my glass. The mouthfeel was more carbonated at first. This beer could only be limited by the acidity provided by the wine barrels and the new sour yeast strain that I think De Dolle used for this beer, but those things won't stop me.

I am not giving a perfect five for taste because I expected a little more complexity, but that may come with age. And though I am fond of aging the right beers, I think this one may be best fresh.

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Photo of ohoh
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of rye726
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Crosling for the chance to try this one.

Pours a golden orange with a silky beige head.

Nose has sweet malts, oak, white wine, honey and and citrus.

Taste is nice, but the wine and oak flavors seem to get in the way of an already amazing beer.

Medium body is well carbonated with a nice dry finish. Really superb stuff.

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Photo of beerpirates
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottel at Kulminator
Whoa. Pours a clear blonde (unclear with the yeast) with a fluffy white head that leaves outstanding lace.
Aroma is funky, a bit sour, some prominent orange peel, tamarind, vanilla extract, orange liquor/Grand Marnier. Very different.
Taste is unreal: rich, buttery, refined rum warming alcohol with tamarind candies,lot's of unfiltered honey, rum raisin gelato.
Very sweet but complex. I’ve never tried anything like this ,
VERY good !!!!

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Photo of emerge077
4.69/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Right out of the bottle, a strong pineapple and brandy combo wafts into the air. Tropical fruit and heady brandy are the focus of the aroma, it's really intense and vivid.

In the Oerbier glass, some lace builds up the sides, but not excessive. Strong ABV keeps the foam from rising too much, but a gentle swirl always brings it back. The body is opaque and tawny orange in tone.

First sip puts your head back, the strength asserts itself, then the flavors flood across the palate. The intense fruit and liqueur-level strength envelop the palate and integrate perfectly. Pear, pineapple at first...brandy soaked plums, some light malt, dryness from the Bordeaux barrel. Whiskey woodiness also makes an appearance.

The small bottle is gone too soon, but it took a good half-hour to savor it. Some age would likely be good for the drinkability of this vintage.

Alongside the Oerbier Reserva, Export Stout, & Dulle Teve, De Dolle is making some of the most unique experimental beers in Belgium...

 999 characters

Photo of Fux
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle at the Kulminator, gracefully poured by Leen!

A: Hazy golden color, small head with quite a good retention. Leaves some lacings in the glass.

S: Strong, consuming, almost obtrusive. Dusty, fruity, tons of yellow fruits and citruses, lemon zest, orange peel, peach, apricot, tangerine, yeasts and wood.

T: The taste follows the nose with tons of yellow fruits plus lactic, acidic notes. Woody, quite sweet. Finishes dry.

M: Nice body with a good carbonation. The mouthfeel makes it easily drinkable.

O: Not the everyday beer, but what a wonderful experience! This beer is a fruity explosion, wrapped into a dusty, woody lactiness. So expressively, intoxicating-ly heady!

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Photo of Crosling
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dirty orange color, with a monstrous head. Phenomenal nose with sweet wild fruits, oak and bordeaux wine. Flavor is absolutely breathtakingly unique, with the oak and the beer pairing so well. On the palate resides a vast array of fruits, an amazing oak character, perfect tartness and complexity. Cheers to the Mad Brewer, Kris Herteleer. What a talented dude.

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Photo of jbeatty
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted 7/22/2011

A: Pours a dark, hazy gold, like burnished copper, with minimal head but ample signs of carbonation, champagne-like bubbles pooling around my glass.

S: Incredible aroma- strong red wine/vinous character leads- rich grapes, slight vinegar character, but not unwelcome. The barrel notes are the real star here and blend seamlessly with rest, into the more familiar elements of the base beer, with spicy yeast, honey, apples and pears.

T: Taste begins with apples, caramel honey, pears, blending into some spiciness on the mid-palate, finishing with dry grapes, barrel notes. Some alcohol warmth, though not overdone.

M: Full in the mouth, just short of creamy, carbonation tickling the tongue. Smooth, it's hard not to gulp this down.

O: This bottle was a real treat and shows how great this beer still is. I had another bottle months earlier which had not held up well, perhaps because of bad storage conditions. So, given the right treatment, this is still really fantastic.

 999 characters

Photo of aasher
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by claaark13. Thanks Sean!

This one pours a light bodied rich polished bronze with a one finger, soft white head with good retention around the glass. The nose is rustic. There is a good amount of old, musty oak with moderate earthy Cab notes. It smells the way I imagine the attic at Cantillon to smell. The flavors too are super earthy. It's dusty, super musty and dry with a moderate amount of slightly sweet red wine character. I can't stop thinking of cobwebs and a dry musty cave. It is REALLY good. I didn't know what to expect but this one is pretty spectacular. The old world Bordeaux barrels really showed well on this one. This was a very interesting beer and well worth your while.

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Photo of YvesB
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HardTarget
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: A slapped on neck label lists “Ale” and redemption values. The body label lists the brewers address, and 11.6 fluid oz. White cap states SPEC BREW 2005, so I guess this is the right place.

Aroma: Mild peach and pomegranate nectar with a spicy white pepper Belgian yeast back.

Appearance: Murky amber orange glass was carefully poured to leave sediment in the bottle. A thin collar and a couple spots of lace might be due to the careful pour. As I work my way down, I notice that the murky aspect is actually thousands of small particles that sit at all levels of the beer.

Flavor: A honey note is quickly joined by a fruit cup; Pears, peach, apple, fig, and banana. Some sweetbread flavor that I have to assume is malt based forms a nice base. There is a hint of hop leaf and a long warming alcohol note.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation gives a small prickle, some mild numbing of the teeth, moderate to heavy body.

Overall Impression: Fruity, Belgian, Good. Enjoyed this on Christmas Eve 2006. I could see it aging out a bit more, the alcohol is still just a touch hot, but as a package, this is good drinking right now.

 1,152 characters

Photo of franksnbeans
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden color with a creamy white head that laces throughout. Smells like fig, spice, dried fruit and a little brown sugar. Taste is buscuit, sweet, a mild tartness and a very smooth finish. Medium in the mouth. ABV is non existant. This doesnt blow you away with flavor but isnt supposed to. A tasty Belgian indeed.

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Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Broke this one out of the cellar tonight for a Xmas eve treat. Pours a cloudy dark orange/auburn color with dark golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy white head. Very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves sporadic spots of lacing behind.

Wonderfully complex aroma. Slightly tart in the nose with hints of peppery spice, caramel apple, brandy and other light fruits. Along with the alcohol sweetness I'm picking up some pear, cherry and banana. There's also some caramel maltiness and a slight leathery presence. The aroma is incredible and I literally spent the first ten minutes just smelling this beer.

Slightly tart, puckering medium body with soft carbonation up front that mellows into a slightly slick, sweet estery flavor mid palate. Very complex with hints of caramel apple, pear and banana along with a sweet caramel malt backbone. The spice from the aroma is evident as well but has faded with time. Slight pepper and cinnamon notes. There is also a very subtle medicinal syrupy feel that is common in holiday beers. I usually hate this characteristic but here it is faint and adds balance and complexity. I'm also picking up some dark fruit especially grape, dark cherry and other berries. Very well balanced and very quaffable considering the ABV. There is still some nice alcohol warmth in the finish but age has done this beer wonders. The tartness becomes more prominet as it warms. Overall, I'm really excited that I got to try this beer. It's holding up very well and I can see it aging for some time still. Excellent and highly recommended!

 1,628 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very fortunate to have pecorasc share this one with me. Poured into a wine glass.

A- Pours a golden, hazy color. While it had some visibility, still cloudy. Produced two fingers width of white head. Decent head retention with mild lacing.

S- Bingo! Absolutely loved this...great blend of sweet and sour. The only way I can describe this is as a musty, vinegar aroma with green table grapes and some green apple.

T- Upfront, a white grape, fruit flavor comes forth. Provides a subtle tartness that sits in on the palate. As you swallow, a sweetness appears and grows and grows until the finish. Little bit of funk in there as well. Surprisingly, a good amount of alcohol in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Perfect amount of viscosity for this beer.

D- Other than the slight alcohol burn in the chest, this was pretty drinkable. My only regret is that I wish I had a bigger serving.

Overall, like the other vintage De Dolle beers, this was simply phenomenal. Really liked the balance between sweetness and tartness. First class all the way!

 1,073 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found at Capone’s in Norristown for $10 a bottle.

De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005 enjoyed May 2007.

Appearance: Pours a partly translucent gold with a white creamy head and little lacing.

Smell: A fruit sour aroma with a cider like attribute touch of honey, and oak woodiness grace the nose.

Taste: The acidity is present but not intense. The sweetness is magnificently balanced with fruity dates grapes and apples, with honey and then a sour apple flavor with a splash of citrus and vanilla. It has an exceptional long lingering sour woody aftertaste smooth and easy.

Mouthfeel: A little alcohol warmth with the spices and sourness make this full bodied beer feel smooth and silky across the tongue.

Drinkability: Incredibly dangerously easy to drink for a 12% ABV. Wow.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 RATE:
I was thrilled to be able to obtain some of this, as I am pretty fascinated with De Dolle in general. When I held the bottle, I noticed the liquid held within looked crystal clear, so I tipped it over (still closed), to find strange spider-webs of slimy trails cascading down. Upon pouring, a huge, pillowy white head refused to dissipate. Almost opaque peachy orange. The aroma was marvelous - winey, sour, peach, and oak, with just alot going on. The flavour was an extension upon the aroma - peach, dough, pineapple, oak, yeast, apples, and...rhubarb! There was a very pleasant sourness, and a long, haunting aftertaste that expressed a deeper sweetness. Mouthfeel was thick. The only reservation I had was that, near the end of the glass, I wanted more carbonation. This was superb; I hope to get ahold of some of the 2000 someday.

2011 RATE:
Pours a clear dark gold/orange with a soapy head. Nose is stewed peaches, baked apple cobbler, a kiss of rich wine, oddly but signature De Dolle funk. Really wild and complex. A lot of really rich stewed apples and peaches in the mouth, with brown sugar, quite pie-like. Wine element is gracefully subdued and expresses with dry oak, lush fruit bouquets. Orange liquor and rum sugar come out as it warms. Each sip an adventure. This beer has gone through peaks and valleys over the years, and is really nice right now at 5+ years.

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Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at the UTOBEER stall, Borough Market, S. London last X'mas. Coming in a 330ml brown bottle, the cap specifies "SPEC BREW 2005" and the front label says "Brouwsel 2005". Served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass, on 24/12/2006.

A: pours a dirty and cloudy, rusty reddish-amber colour; the off-white beer head comes rather creamy, gradually settling to a rimmed foam on top of conastant and gentle carbonation.
S: richly malty, sour-sweet fruity and yeasty... like a bowl of sticky melted crystal sugar, infused with peach flavouring, passion fruits, figs, citrus-peels, coriander seeds, and semi-sharp yeastiness as of Yakult~~ All in one, very dense and rich, but never to the point of being overpowering, as the alc. is held back skilfully.
T: sour-sweet fruitiness like citrus and passion-fruit upfront, hand in hand with a flow of milder pale malts... tart-sweet dried prunes and sultanas quickly lace the mildly bitter and intensifyingly dry and richly spicy (very mixed entry of spices) mid-palate... leaving lots of powdery yeasts lying low on the tastebuds, almost like the aftertaste of herbal tea infused with Chinese tea-smoked prunes. Dry, almost rusty and zesty-tannic finish, with but a soothing stream of alc. felt down the throat--ever-so-soft landing for a heavy bomber!!
M&D: silky smooth on the texture with soothingly spritzy carbonation... The body is much lighter than I'd imagine?! "Surely 12%abv. is wrongly put on the label?", ask my taste-buds... The mildly dryish, chewy aftertaste complementing the creamy, fruity body renders this beer beautifully crafted and surprisingly balanced... not overly rich in maltiness, nor thin-ish sour like some other more yeasty strong Belgian pale ales, with a firm imprint of hops in the aftertaste. Overall, this is a fantastic beer to kick off my X'mas beer-tasting season this winter~~

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Lee - thanks!

Pours a hazy and bright golden color with a half-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with large amounts of red and white grapes, sugar-coated pears, and oak. Also present are hints of bready aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Moderately sweet medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by equal amounts of bread-like and ripe pear flavors. Midway through the sip mild amounts of oak smooth things out further. Near the end of the sip mashed grape flavors with a decidedly vinous quality work their way into things, carrying through to a mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I'd been wanting to try this beer for a while and was happy with the result. However, I think De Dolle has better beers out there. Very much worth a shot but only go looking for this one after you've tried other, more easily accessible, offerings from this brewery.

 1,148 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a De Dolle Balloon at Cafe Kulminator.

I'm not quite sure what was done to Stille Nacht to turn it into the Special Reserva and under what conditions the aging took place, but I'm pretty sure 99 out of 100 people that take a whiff of the beer in front of me right now will describe it first and foremost as "fresh baked bread." Slight hints of balsamic sourness follow, along with hints of fermented grape (cognac?). There's also hints of honey, wet wood, caramel and even more toast toward the end; hinting what kind of barrel / yeast might be in play within the brew.

Honey on toasted bread served on slate of varnished oak is probably the best way I can describe what I'm tasting right now. I'm picking up a hint of dark grapes on the tongue that wasn't as prevalent before on the nose; the caramel and candi sugar that is overwhelming in the regular Stille Nacht also manifest themselves as a kind after thought in the Reserva. Slight biscuit and toffee comprise the final afterthoughts on the palate. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Medium-light bodied, gentle, flat soda-like carbonation. The creaminess that the regular Stille Nacht sports is lost with this one, but I guess that's what 11 years of aging does to a complex BSDA like Stille Nacht. The sweetness and the spice that usually accompanies Stille Nacht has definitely simmered down to a point where you probably couldn't classify this as a "Christmas Beer" anymore.

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De Dolle Stille Nacht Special Reserva 2005 from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 83 ratings
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