Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #7
Ranked #1,774
4.21 | pDev: 10.21%
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Reviews: 513 | Ratings: 1,088 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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REDAMI from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

L - Medium copper pour with a sand colored head which dissipates quickly.

S - Brown bread, salted pretzel, slight fruitiness (plums maybe).

T - Tart cider type flavors fading into bready grains and white wine barrel type notes.

F - Crisp, dry, very fine, faint carbonation.

This was not what I was expecting, seems closer to a Flanders. It's very refreshing and drinkable, quite and interesting surprise.

Aug 08, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 9%. The glass fills completely by a huge beige head, and the brown beer appears only slowly. Intense fruity aroma with berry notes, also some oaky, spicy and vinous notes. The flavour has a powerful malty sweetness and intense vinous notes, warming mouthfeel. Notes of oak and berries again. Awesome beer.

Mar 20, 2021
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clausthaler from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like this more than trappist rochefort 10, perhaps comparing the two isn't fair but this one is just a bit crispier, less sweet and more drinkable than the 10 which is a big sweet bastard. Less fig/raisin/dried fruit notes which I prefer, the dryness makes it a notch better than 10.

Jan 07, 2021
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Dark copper brown pour with ruby highlights. Thick foamy off-white head... lasts forever +1 and leaves great lacing.

S: Dark fruit and malts. Belgian sugars.

T.F: Just like it smells. Semi-sweet up front... strong dark fruit. Raisin, fig, plum, and cherry mixed with Belgian candy sugars and light grains. A bit of yeasty goodness... some esters and spice. Silky smooth... creamy with effervescent carbonation. Complex fruit and yeast finish.

O: An outstanding Belgian Strong Dark. Why did I let this sit in the back of my fridge so long? Where can I get more? Important questions to ask.

Dec 13, 2020
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 VIintage
11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a deep ruby color with a one-finger creamy light khaki head that has great retention long after the pour and leaves some nice lacing behind

S- aroma is fruity up front with aromas of concord grapes, slightly tart red berries, plum & raisin. Belgian candi sugar, caramelized sugars, toffee, damp basement and peppery yeast close it out

T- Fruity notes follow the nose with flavors of grape juice, raisin, plum, red apples, orange peel and even some strawberry. Mid-palate is malty and sweet with notes of caramelized sugar and molasses. The finish is slightly tart with an almost juicy like grape and red berry flavor, lingers of peppery yeast

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- surprisingly not much oxidation, there's a tartness that has set in that I don't remember from trying it fresh, still a sold, fruity beer

Oct 02, 2020
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JudgeRoughneck from Louisiana

4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

AROMA - deep rose, stewed/glazed cherry, deep rich caramel malt with slight musty/sour note

FLAVOR - deep caramel and chocolate malt, well -attenuated, low peppery alcohol has a nice perfume character, herbal hop on the mid palate, baked strawberry, dry, earthy finish,

MF - warming, assertive acidity, medium-full bodied and velvety

OVERALL - deeply malty dark beer with fresh spicy character punctuated by huge hits of cooked fruit. Intense and awesome.

Jul 26, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aug 2016 bottling.

Large tan head. Caramel brown color.

A lot of figs, molasses, plums, caramel, toffee, red apple skins, and spices.

Full bodied and very flavorful. A beautiful beer.

Jul 22, 2020
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sjrider from California

4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle -opaque dark brown with foamy khaki head leaving lots of foamy/bubbly lacing. Nose is sweet malt and dark stone fruit with some yeasty spicy whiffs. Taste follows more or less with a full mouthfeel and significant carbonation on the finish. Really good.

Jul 17, 2020
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From the 330 ml. bottle. Sampled on July 5, 2020.

It pours nicely with its dark brown color and a fading tan head.

The aroma is malt forward with some caramel, molasses, and perhaps a lower profile prune or raisins sensation.

The mouthfeel falls into the medium range.

A sweet, malt forward flavor with a papery sensation and a low profile earthy hop finish. Decently done.

Jul 06, 2020
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada (ON)

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an ominous burgundy with a frothy, medium sized (though shortlived) head. Raisins, fruitcake, dark rum in the nose. Huge, chewy malts, stewed fruits, cherries, allspice, herbal hops all in the mix in the taste. The mouthfeel is full bodied with active, prickly carbonation. Malty, fruity finish with a touch of booziness, but the high ABV is very well masked throughout.

This a is a great Belgian Dark Ale. Massively malty and massively complex. A must try.

Jul 05, 2020
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JonnoWillsteed from England

4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A note of caution. The bottle was very well rested and chilled, and it was opened and poured with due care. Despite that I do not ever recall trying to pour a beer that *immediately* raced to fill and overflow the glass with foam as instantly as this one did. It took at least five minutes of gradual pause+pour to decant it. Be prepared in case the same happens to you!
L- It is a very deep chestnut red/brown. Some haze in the pour plus a 1Cm mid tan pillowy head. Heavy sludge remains on the bottom of the empty bottle, more would have been in the glass if I'd had to put the bottle down during the pour.
S- Quite deep, rich with some toastiness. Fleeting and subtle though, after initial clues I struggle to get much specific from it's smell.
T- Boom! ... 10 seconds later I'm still staring and blinking... It's deep and pungent ,the taste to me is mainly intense rich stewed fruits. It reminds me of the overall flavour impact of a British Xmas pudding, deep/rich/pungent. The latter can be doused in a shot of liquor (IME rum works best!) and ignited, and this beer also packs a solid brushing of liquor-ish ABV% across the palate.
F- Deep, quite rich, pungent, the ABV% reveals itself (but isn't too loud). Wonderful complexity. Nothing to note out of place or balance.
O- This is one of those beers I can't imagine ever growing tired of. That said it's hefty so it's not like it's going to become one of my routine brews. But as an occasional treat => Yes! This would make a superb slow-sipping winter-warmer kind of beer. I'd very happily drink this one again; it's simply superb.
330ml bottle BBE: May-2021. Bought from BelgiumInABox in Antwerp/BE for home delivery to me in London/UK.
ps. I still don't understand quite why this was so tricky to pour. I repeat my caution - Be prepared, handle etc reeeally carefully, be prepared to pour slowly for 5mins+ without putting the bottle down + good luck to you!

------------------------- From the brewery website:

'Oerbier means original, from the source. This beer has been brewed in small scale (5 gallons) at home in a copper wash kettle, by two brothers who were students at the time. They took over an old brewery which was out of business and said: "If we don't bring the brewery back to life, nobody will!". It was also a unique opportunity to create some interesting brews, so why not try it?

Therefore we went ahead. We did the main work ourselves and kept the scale of the brewery as it was. Since then, the brewery and its beers have been an inspiration for a lot of brewers. Oerbier is brewed from all different malts, Poperinge Golding hops in flowers and a special yeast which makes it a little tart, especially with aging. At the brewery we have excellent cellars which have a constant temperature of 8°C allowING Oerbier to age at its best.

After a couple of years Oerbier tastes like it has been blended with wine… Oerbier has been refermented in the bottle and contains a layer of yeast, having vitamins B. NAT en STRAF on the glasses means WET and STRONG, a warning for the 9 vol. alcohol content. The little person on the glasses is the Oerbier man, a simple creature who holds a brewers fork in his right hand, symbolizing the work and science, but looking to the other side, the result of all this, the glass of (Oer)beer. The artwork on the poster is a wallpainting found in Spain (Altamira) and is considered by art lovers as being the best prehistoric art work (30.000 years BC). On the other hand we have Oerbier started in 1980, continuing the tradition.

Since 2000 as the yeast supply ceased, we installed a new yeast propagator. The tart aftertaste is obtained by lactobacterial fermentation (since 2005).'

May 25, 2020
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rex_4539 from Greece

4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Very dark brown color, two finger tan colored head, nice lacing, light carbonation.

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruits, some hint of alcohol.

T: Belgian yeast, dark fruits, plums, alcohol. Very good.

F: Medium to full bodied, full flavored.

O: Excellent Belgian ale. Those plums linger on and on.

May 15, 2020
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OlaB from Norway

4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky dark-brown color with a big top of beige head that dissolves slowly.
Aroma is raisins,dates, cherries, dark fruits, bread, caramel, licorice, burned sugar and spices.
The taste is sweet with notes of dried fruits like raisins and dates and some dark fruits, with nice caramel and bready malt notes lingering in the back. The finish is slightly bitter with some spice notes. Alcohol is masked very well in the flavour. The aftertaste is long and strong.
Creamy and soft mouthfeel with a medium carbonation and a medium body.
A really impressive example of it's style. Very enjoyable.

Apr 12, 2020
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle served cool into a chalice. LCBO purchase for north of $4 CDN. Listed at 9% ABV.

Appearance - Dark red, nearly brown more of a roan color than anything. Huge two fingers of light tan head are poured and rest on top for awhile, slowly dissipating to one finger.

Smell - Treacle, butterscotch and apple skin, dark fruits and toffee. Wonderful medley of rich and sumptuous aromas.

Taste - Lots of fruit, grapes and raisins, prunes and figs initially before a small wave of bitter dark chocolate strides in for a moment and finishes with sweet and fruity with butterscotch, toffee and apple skins to close. Some boozy expressions very evident throughout.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied and expressive carbonation, finishing very dry and quite hot with booze, this definitely is a case of a beer drinking like its listed ABV.

Overall - Top notch dark Belgian brew, Oerbier features a magnificent array of aromas and the tastes almost match it. Not a beer you'd want to drink every day, it's a bit rich and has a special feeling to be a day drinker, but a top notch brew that doesn't fall too short of Rochefort, St. Bernardus, and Chimay in this style.

Apr 07, 2020
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oerbier is one in a lineup of many other strong ales and frankly, it doesn't offer more that they do. Perhaps its nose adds a different element. The beer looks great (as these types do), but it's sweeter than the rest and, for the size, more expensive as well. Get a bottle of St. Bernardus and have your dark Belgian ale kick that way.

Mar 21, 2020
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BGDrock from Canada (ON)

4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Murky medium-brown body, like hazy maple syrup. Aggressive carbonation, forming a frothy, sand coloured head with great retention, several minutes.
Fairly mild nose, holding some dried fruit, raisins in particular. Attractive yeast spice notes.
Loads of flavour, big notes of dried fruit and umami yeast. Spice like a rye whisky. Boozy little number - the alcohol is distinct, lending a balancing heat and a sense of rum given the overripe fruity notes. Though balance isn't quite the right word, the alcohol flavour could be dialed back a bit, as it becomes overpowering over time. Medium body and carbonation is just right. Being unfiltered, it has a slightly fuller, less refined feel, and lingers.

Wishing I could go back to that first sip, when all the flavours were in harmony. Maybe it's just my tastebuds tonight, but the taste of alcohol was too pronounced. That's a new one for me, don't think I've experienced that before. Would try again and recommend, I love a good unfiltered Belgian brew.

Mar 15, 2020
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cratez from Canada (ON)

4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle purchased at the Lakeshore & Browns Line LCBO.

A: Dark ruby brownish hue with two fingers of beige/tan froth. Head & lace linger for duration of beer.

S: Blueberry pancake, Belgian yeast, fresh dates, candy sugar. Some raisin and ethanol, a bit vinous.

T: Largely follows nose, with a balanced sweetness mid-palate and some alcohol warmth going down.

M: Full side of medium mouthfeel, high carbonation, spicy-sweet middle, long warming raisiny finish.

O: An exemplary Belgian Strong Dark Ale that I would happily purchase again.

Feb 16, 2020
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octortus from Canada (ON)

4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 mL Bottle. ABV 9% (Label)/10.6% (Sticker).
Appearance: Chestnut brown, Visible sediment, Low carbonation, Two enormous fingers of creamy/pillowy tan head, Great retention.
Aroma: raisin, Belgian yeast, Bready malt, spice, fig, dried dark fruit, slight caramel,
Mouthfeel: Above medium body, Above medium carbonation until it warms,
Flavour: Bready malt, caramel, dried dark fruit (prune, raisin, fig, plum), Grape, Slight pear, Very slightly boozy.
Overall: fantastic Belgian strong dark ale!

Review: 101

Dec 28, 2019
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travolta from California

4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Very, very dark brown in color, excellent lacing with a big puffy head. Head is a light tan. Head retention is excellent.

Nose: Amazing nose. Raisin, cherry, dark fruits, lots of fig and dark grape juice.

Taste: Carbonation right up front, then dry tobacco, little touch of clove, a little boozy at the finish with some sweet yeasty syrup.

Notes: This is my 700th review/rating on BA and I am very happy to have this hobby and be a part of BeerAdvocate. Charlie is 1 year old and having pesto and grapes for the first time while sitting next to me as I reviewed this beer. Life is good.

Nov 05, 2019
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floyd_pugman from California

4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found on a shelf in San Diego; June 2016 cap date. Pours a medium roast coffee color with a humungous head that sticks around. The nose is initially one of major hops (what you smell when you walk into the local brewery when an IPA is being brewed), which after a minute or two yields to candied brown sugar and funky yeast. The palate is wonderfully complex: brown sugar, fig, tobacco, plum, clove, funky fruit. I had mostly lost interest in non-lambic Belgian styles, but this has me interested again.

Aug 25, 2019
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b11 from New York

4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Right, this is nice. Had this in Bethesda MD (Owens Ordinary). Very yeasty, on the brink of _fungal_, or cheesy. Very slightly tart, and not particularly carbonated, little foam in my glass. The mouth feel is light, not syrupy. Also light on the spices, nothing pronounced there. Little alcohol taste. Slight sweetness, plus the rich malt, a slight bitterness, just a very balanced and pleasing strong ale.

Aug 05, 2019
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle dated Bottled June 2013 - so 6 years old

I found this dusty bottle on a store shelf a few months ago, so not exactly properly cellared. When I popped the cap the bottle gushed quite a bit. I was worried it may have been infected, but it tastes great. clear, dark brown in color, the foamy over carbonation at the pour quickly subsides to a still looking glass. lots of raisin and fig in the aroma - which a touch of leather a pipe tobacco. similar flavors in the taste, moderately sweet. medium bodied, lower carbonation as most of it escaped.

Jun 18, 2019
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npolachek from New York

3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a white head. Dry feel with some hints of raising and cherries. Tastes of booziness. Weakness is very minimal smell to this beer.

May 27, 2019
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Brew_42 from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with a medium off-white head that doesn’t leave much lacing at all.

Aroma is dark fruits with spicy notes.

Taste follows the nose. Dark fruits and clove giving way to a slightly tart, wine-like flavor.

Feel is dry and boozy with some warmth.

Overall a really solid Belgian dark ale. Not remotely surprising given the brewery. Great beer for a cold night.

May 22, 2019
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled June, 2016. Amber-brown color on the pour resulting in a hazy copper-brown color in the glass. A normal pour produced a substantial rocky light-tan head with good staying power. The aroma brought sweet grape juice, raisins, and faint chocolate. The taste was less sweet, thankfully, with a more typical Belgian ester profile. Some clove and some fruity esters, joined with red grape juice on the finish. Caramel and tobacco were also mixed in, especially as it warmed. A dry finish and with lively carbonation. Overall a fantastic beer.

Apr 11, 2019
Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1088 ratings