Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #9
Ranked #2,137
4.18 | pDev: 10.05%
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 539 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rex_4539
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Slightly hazy amber color, two to three finger white head, nice lacing, good carbonation.

S: Belgian yeast, malts, some alcohol.

T: Belgian yeast, slightly malty, sweet-ish. Wow, this is excellent!

F: Full bodied, smooth. Could sip this one all day long.

O: Superb ale. Wasn't expecting much but was blown away.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Mid gold and quite hazy (more sediment left in bottle). Pours with 1Cm snow white head. (ps 15mins later. holds up well and forms mad amounts of lacing).
S- Mild! Somehow I expect a hefty 10% beer to have a punchy smell, here all I get is some mild spice and timber notes.
T- The taste seemed to develop very slowly on my palate, give it time to linger and aerate. I get some spices, and deep/rich roasted fruit notes that remind me of British Xmas pudding in their pungency. Then there is a serious lick across the palate of it's ABV% zing. Though at 10% that's really no surprise.
F- Hefty, some meaty richness, pungent, slow-sipping beer. Great carbonation, both in the glass (masses of lacing) and the mouth.
O- This Easter bunny of a beer packs a heck of a punch, I like it, it doesn't put a foot wrong with any misplaced facets, or a lack of balance between them. Would happily buy and drink again.
330ml bottle BB: Feb-2022. Bought from BelgiumInABox Antwerp/BE for home delivery to me in London/UK

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Photo of Buck89
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap into a tulip glass. A fairly hazy golden-amber color with a medium and long lasting white head. Orange marmalade, banana, and faint clove aroma. Taste followed. Not sweet but with an interesting rich candies fruit flavor balanced with a bigger hop presence than I’ve had in a Belgian. Almost Barleywine-like. Delicious.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cap says BTLD 2018
9% abv.
Opened on 5/16/19

Even a very slow pour produces a mountainous white foam dome. Clumpy, bubbly, sticky and seafoam style head. The active and lively yeast creates big carbonation inside the golden and amber color. Massive sticky lacing.

The nose has a very sweet, Belgian candy and fruity scent. The yeast and malt comes together we'll, as the hops have a very green-leafy and veggie thing happening. Sour banana and spices seem to pop out of the eccentric yeast.

The flavor has that unique Belgian "sweet and sour" thing in maximum effect. A current of sweet jams and spicy Earth coalesce into a very deep and complex flavor profile. The yeast is the big X factor for any traditional Belgian brew. This one has a very complex and interesting charechter. Sour earthy, sweet and tangy but always worth pondering due to the fact I keep finding new flavors as the session goes on.

The Effervescent, snappy, yet smooth texture and full mouth feel is spot-on and one of my favorite features of the real-deal Belgian styles.

Overall: Weird and wonderful!!

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Photo of hman43
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: It pours hazy orange with small little black things floating in it.

Smell: It has moderate earthly elements with a bit of grainy sweetness and a bit of spice. There is a very faint hint of lemon and bread.

Taste: It has moderately strong earthly flavors with a candy like element. The spiciness is moderately strong with some very low bread and very low barnyard.

Feel: It has a moderately full body with a pleasant alcohol warming.

Overall, this is a very flavorful Belgian ale with very pleasant alcohol warming.

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Photo of Avitra
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cask poured (Stout Santa Monica)
Lagery ale with deep finish. Hints of wood,smell of grapefruits. Very malty and velvety and a very easy and pleasant drink. Some citrus. A little boozy due to the high alcohol content but the warm brownness covers it nicely.

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Photo of janubio
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As almost all Dolle beers, be careful when opening because of his big carbonation. Hazy golden colour, big head that lasts forever, great lace.
Aroma of grapes, honey, plums, vanilla, banana, fruits.
Full body, harsh, sticky texture, brutal carbonation.
Taste of honey, grapes, fruits, vanilla, bananas.
Another exceptional beer from De Dolle. Is there something De Dolle makes that is not far above the average?.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been waiting to get my taste buds on this one for a while....although delivered straight from Belgium, pretty adamant this beer is 9% abv and not the 10% quoted.

Appearance, although head retention is a tad on the bank robber end of the scale, with a quick get away, I still think the cloudy body with chunks of sediment like an asteroid field is just what I look for in a beer.

Aroma is a little boozy, bags of ripe fruits, mainly figs and bananas.

Taste is of a sour first hit, but you get accustomed to that in no time, and the flavours really come through.....plumb comes first, followed by a malt infused caramel.

Feel is a touch on the artificial, and I put that down to the high abv, for once in my life I think this would be better at 7.5-8%.....jeeze cannot believe I just said that!!

Aftertaste is lovely, really has you rolling your tongue against the roof of your mouth, a belter!

Overall, certainly worth it's outstanding is a must try beer for you fellow advocates!

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Photo of babaracas
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with billowing white head that slowly settles to a half inch, rings of lace down the glass. Smell: hawaiian roll, cooked apple, soft pear, spicy and medicinal with an odd acetic note. Taste: cooked red apple, ripe pear, spicy and medicinal, with green apple and raw honey closer. Medium-plus bodied, velvety carbonation. Weird beer, not sure if it's a little buggy or what. "MA 2017"

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Photo of ajm5108
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer really gave me more of a Tripel vibe than a Belgian pale - lots of fruity esters leading to those classic banana notes, sweet, some honey flavor. Slick mouthfeel. Good but not what I expected

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Photo of threeviews
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2oz (330ml) bottle (Bottled: March 2017) into a stemmed Charente beer glass.

A - Leaving a majority of the yeast behind (and poured into a separate glass and consumed separately - Belgian tradition), the beer pours a medium gold color with a slight haze. With the beer a bit cooler than normal, a conservative pour (a necessity with all De Dolle beers) produced a full finger+ of a creamy white head with decent retention considering the ABV. (4.75)

S - Ahh, that familiar and juicy De Dolle yeast consisting of Pear, Apple, White Peach and Plum. A dose of sweet vanilla and a twinge of floral hops rounds out the nose. Alcohol goes undetected. (4.75)

T - Taste follows the aroma. Ripe Apple, Pear and Peach pop on the palate followed by some sweet vanilla cake that lingers for a moment. Bitterness is restrained and just enough to keep things finishing pleasantly dry and refreshing. (4.75)

M - Medium mouthfeel and drinks much lighter than the 10% ABV would suggest. Carbonation is prominent which also gives the impression of a lighter bodied beer. Minimal warmth in the chest after each sip is the only indication this is "bier forte." (4.75)

O - Although this is freshest De Dolle beer I have had to date, Boskeun stands to be my favorite thus far and wish I could find it year-round. However, even if its availability was better, the cost for De Dolle beers in The States is just a bummer (~$6/bottle). Still, that does nothing to diminish the quality of their products, especially this. (5.0)

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a massive head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves spotty lacing

S: Some grassy notes and spicy Belgian yeast up front along with some fruitiness and bready malt. Floral notes in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the spicy yeast and bready malt and then goes into some grassy, floral, and fruity notes. On the sweeter side. Finishes with light sweetness and lingering spicy yeast notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A great BSPA that makes a good Easter beer. Very easy to drink despite the 10%. Definitely worth checking out

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Photo of q33jeff
2.95/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


On tap, brick wall, Burlington.

Cloudy yellow brown, small white head.


Touch sour, medicinal.

Full bodied, thick. Ok carbonation.


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Photo of Dzu
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap.
L: Mabercolor with a weak white foam head.
S: Grapefruit, wine, plums.
T: Caramel, plums, light berries.
F: Fullbody and soft carbonation.
O: Great belgian ale.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at La Trappe, San Fran, CA. Served in a Straffe Hendrik branded chalice - 25 cl pour.

Appearance: Golden yellow with the slightest haze. Huge white pillowy head that slowly died back. Lots of fine persistent lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Yeasty, floral, some fruity esters, and a little bit musty.

Taste: Lightly sweet, herbal, floral, just a hint of orange, and that wonderful classic Belgian yeast fruity esters throughout. Finish was lightly bitter, with just a hint of noble hops. Some booziness notable

Mouthfeel: Smooth, powdery, airy carbonation, dry finish with some stickiness on the teeth. An occasional warming alcohol note.

Overall / Drinkability: The alcohol in this is notable, but it's well blended with the rest of the beer. It's more like a gentle warning as you drink - it lets you know you're having a 10% ABV beer, but it's not hitting you over the head with it. Very tasty and if I didn't have to fly the next day, I think I would have asked for another. Very quenching, quite enjoyable, and went well with food (hamburger in this case). Definitely something I will look for again.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.64/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Slightly cloudy golden body, one finger white head, good lacing, light retention. Smells of tart apple, light minerality, yeast minerals, light bubble gum, spices. Flavour is a bit boozy, light bubble gum, apple cider, cereal grain, more yeast. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied, good carbonation. Nothing too crazy, light earthy bitterness on the backend. Big beer, a bit boozy but I don't mind it at this point. It's not a style I'm all that familiar with, and probably takes a little getting used to.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottling at one of my favorite hangouts in Chicago (Local Option). De Dolle's beers age so very well and this one is no exception. Would love to try them on draft to see how they compare when "fresh".

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Photo of keithmurray
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in March 2014

Appearance - hazy, cloudy golden color, soft pour still yielded voluminous white head, lot of sediment floating around

Smell - apple cider, pear, champagne

Taste - whoa! this is quite boozy, apples, pears, bubblegum, honey

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, full carbonation, boozy upfront, followed by the citrus notes, honey in the aftertaste, finish is on the harsh side, flavors don't seem to meld well with this one

Overall - certainly a big beer, lets you know upfront. I found the flavors to be slightly unbalanced and the booze is not well hidden, which makes the mouthfeel a bit unpleasant. Overall, not a bad beer, but Can't say I'd be eager to re-visit this one, unfortunately.

Price Point - $5.99/11.2 oz bottle

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this one night after the Dulle Teve (Mad Bitch) and am honestly not sure if I could tell these two beers apart. I know this as brewed for Easter, but it taste almost the same. Pours a light gold, hazy, with a very big head that leaves lacing. Nose is boozy dough and fruity esters, maybe a little peppery hops. Nice. Taste is...damn strong...and not as nice. An overly strong tripel and not a Belgian strong pale IMHO. Phenols, black pepper, alcohol. What it lacks in drinkability, it gains it "punch your face." Very high carbonation. Overall, a very interesting beer, but I can't say I loved it.

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Photo of Radome
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 330 ml bottle. Cap was stamped "Bottled Mar 2014".

L - Cloudy. Light gold color. Off-white head is thick and active with lots of lace.

S - Delicious aromas are an amazingly complex mix of bready malt, honey, grassy hops, low spices and wine-like alcohol. The impression is clean, subtle and inviting.

T - Like the aromas, the flavors are complex but subtle. Honey, sweet, bready malt, light fruitiness. Sharp spiciness springs up mid-palate and then fades away. Hops present as grassy flavor and moderate bitterness that lingers past the finish.

F - Medium body. Moderate, spritzy carbonation. Moderate hops bitterness. Low alcohol burn.

O - A delicious, sweet and spicy beer that somehow manages to be complex and subtle all at once.

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Photo of NCCIndy
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty in the glass, more viscous than expected. Nose is sweet and mildly floral. I was shocked at the extreme candy-sugar flavor in this. It was nice, but not something I could drink much of.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Edited and re-tasted and re-rated slightly upwards on Easter 2017 on a 2014 bottle. Revised again for Easter 2018 and 2020.
Including this last time, it is easier for me to keep count over at UnTappd.

As interesting as DeDolle's other six beers that I've had (Still Nacht, Oerbier, Arabier, an export stout, Mad B____ and Special Reserve), Bos Keun may be their most interesting and certainly their most consistent...
While it Looks and Smells fine (particularly how the sweetish malt fills my nose with fruit), a balanced Taste (sweet, fruity, and enough spice) wins my higher score. In the mouth, Boskeun (rabbit) is very soft and wins its "interesting" points. So soft, that I almost didn't notice the high alcohol, until I did!

Overall, I'd be blessed to find this ale every Eastertide for as long as I live. Good with most non-spicy foods around Easter.

The Mad Brewers is what DeDolle calls themselves and most seem to agree as their fun extends to their customers. Since they only have tours on Sundays and no taproom, they probably are not on my list to visit. But it is fun to read about them.

MJ's 1999 edition gave it 3 of 4 stars and called it "brassy-coloured, honey-primed."
Reviewed later in his "Great Beers of Belgium", MJ said Boskeun had "an interesting balance between sweetness and dryness." As usual, I could not have said it better myself.

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Photo of crosenkrantz
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A lot of ever-lasting white foam.
Subtle aroma, maybe some honey.
Tastes malty and dry, bitter aftertaste that coverts somb spices, some flowers and even some citric notes. But not many.
Medium/low body.
Too bitter and dry for my taste, doesn't fulfill the expectation.

Happy Easter!

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Photo of Brew_42
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy gold with a huge white fluffy head that leaves heavy lacing.

Smell- sweet and spicy

Taste- candied sugar up front giving way to some tartness. Bitter aftertaste.

MF- heavy carbonation

Overall- fairly refreshing with nice carbonation but I could do without the bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of ThomasKoren
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

very clear pale golden beer with white head, some lacing but not extreme.

Nice fresh smell, very strong carbonation bite, bit tangy mouthfeel.

very nice beer from a good brewery.

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Boskeun from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 539 ratings