Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #9
Ranked #1,695
4.21 | pDev: 10.21%
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Reviews: 511 | Ratings: 1,078 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Artjsantos:
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Artjsantos from Ohio

4/5  rDev -5%

Jun 13, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 11.6 oz slender brown bottle with no freshness date found. Cute ,though in an odd way a little bit demented, yellow oerbier mascot on the front label. Oerbier means "Original Beer".

Appearance: Deep tawny brown colour with amber hues, creamy tiny bubbled lace to boot … seems to stick around for the duration without a problem.

Smell: Granny smith apples and tart berries in the nose, almost a sweet tart vinous (lemon) aroma with grain and earthy hops in the back. Alcohol is apparent with hints of pine spiciness and liquorice.

Taste: Silky smooth beyond belief, slick creamy mouth feel that glides over the tongue with perfection. Fullish body cradles the delicate malt mass, sweetness from the malt is soft yet dominant with a mild clinging tart almost winey flavour on its back. Fruitiness with a liking to ripe blood oranges and earthy currants meld well with the wine like tartness. Hops are veiled though a touch of leaf and mint is noticeable. Malt flavour seems to hold a vague similarity to a tangy raw honey and a chicory finish. Some residuals are leftover in the end with a touch of grassy medicinal phenolic.

Notes: Certainly one of the better beers to come out of Belgium though it is definitely one of the best beers in the world. Lively with the vinous flavours, fruity and sweet with a beefy yet a fragile malt … hops are lucid and are to flavour the brew. A marvelous brew.

My oh my this beer brought me to my knees, last had this one in a beer bar in Brussels called La Porte Noire (sp?) which is located in an 1800's brick cellar. Nice to see that we can get it in the states now.

Oct 19, 2001
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marcobrau from Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this beer in a long time and it's nice to revisit it. The name translates to strong and wet which certaintly is true, but this beer is so much more than that. The aroma is complex suggesting dried fruits such as figs and raisins along with a very tawny character remiscent of port wine. There's even a hint of smoke. This smooth malt and sugar bomb has a tawny port character that carries through the taste of this beer along with some marzipan sweetness and a boozy finish. This is a beer I should have been drinking all winter. I may have to go back and get some more.

Apr 22, 2014
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sjccmd from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The aroma leads with rich dark fruits. Figs and raisins. This is followed with damp earth and a subtle, somewhat cheesy funk. Chocolate covered cherries, nutmeg, cinnamon. Dried fruits and graham cracker.

Pours slightly murky chestnut brown with a light tan head. Good retention and decent lacing.

The flavor follows the palate but blooms with much more depth than expected adding fresh baked cookies, vanilla, and a touch of roast. Fig jam, rum, and french toast. Wet wood and musty basement creep up in the surprisingly dry finish.

Full body with medium high carbonation. Silky, and almost chewy without seeming too thick or cloying. Spices and figs linger on the palate.

More rustic and layered than many of the same style. Though it's based on zero facts, I can pretend this is the way a lot of these beers tasted in the past.

Nov 03, 2016
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TallGuyCM from California

3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jun 30, 2020
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gushov from Germany

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Jan 06, 2012
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Brabander from Netherlands

3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer in Café the Beer Circus in Brussels. I met the Allstrom Bros and UncleJimbo there and we drank a few beers together.

Poured in the original glass this beer looks very nice. Light to darkbrown with a broken white head.

Spice, wheat and fruits come in my nose. Burned caramel.

Good taste and a very enjoyable beer. This is my second beer from this brewery and a good one!

Sep 05, 2010
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Farnswurth from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

May 12, 2015
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Epiktetos from Czech Republic

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

Jun 26, 2017
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HopHead84 from California

4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stone.

A: Dark brownish red with a small head.

S: Baked bread, clove, banana, plum, dark cherry, and grape. Strong esters and a rich malt profile with toast and caramel. Increasingly spicy as it warms. Really nice malt profile.

T: Rich malt imparts notes of caramel and baked bread. Upper moderate sweetness with a little candied sugar. Dark fruits are pervasive, reminiscent of plum, grape, and prune. Mildly spicy, with subtle clove-like phenols. Alcohol is soft and deftly hidden.

M: Upper medium in body with upper low draft carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth with much alcohol warming.

Overall: A very nice Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Good stuff.

Feb 28, 2011
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dbellizzi from California

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Jan 11, 2012
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anteater from Oregon

3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 27, 2016
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toscanoigor from Brazil

4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jun 14, 2016
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Lothore from California

3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a deep, ruddy brown hue with a huge, 3 finger off white head that leaves lots of lacing on the way down.

S- Sweet apple, plum, grape

T- Raisin, fig, sweet plum, lots of residual sweetness on the back end.

M- Medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

D- Seemed too sweet and too effervescent for me. Maybe some time on this one helps it come together.

Apr 19, 2014
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Mudpuppet from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours from a 33cl bottle into a snifter glass. This is a VERY carbonated beer with a thick head that forms about a 1/2". There are bubbles running up through this very hazy brown beer. This resembles apple cider.

S- The nose on this beer is not very dark as you may expect. It is mostly apples, pears and peaches that I get on this. There is some coca-cola sweetness that comes though also. Nice complex nose.

D- Wow there is a lot going on in this. Coconut is the first flavor I got. Not one I would expect but it is there and it works. I almost miss some of the flavors for the carbonation but here is my list coffee, apples, caramel, peach, 'old coffee grounds', chocolate and there are more but they are fleeting. I like this brew but it is overwhelming almost.

M- Okay I understand that Belgian beers have a lot of carbonation but this is out of control. I am going to wait for this to warm up and the carbonation to come out. It gives you that expanding feeling in your mouth that you get when you drink something with a ton of carbonation.

D- This is a great beer. I have had the Reserva though so this pales in comparison to that. I miss the sour/funk of the Reserva. Great brew overall though. I just hope the carbonation works itself out a bit.

Aug 05, 2008
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've Had all 7 of DeDolle's beers that make it to Chicago; but am finally reviewing their most famous after several tastings.
This one I aged in my cellar for over a year and I have to believe it is best aged. Either I am maturing and appreciate the gentle sour more, or aging this beer is the only way I can fully enjoy this masterpiece.

Reviewed by MJ in his "Great Beers of Belgium", he defends the brewers as not mad at all; but he does put De Dolle in the chapter entitled "Passionate Pints." Oerbier is reviewed first and he says it "reminded me of a Scottish wee heavy. It had a remarkable smooth, creamy texture; and a sweetish palate with fruity and winey undertones. Over the years, the winey character has come to the fore. Today, it is somewhere between an English Old Ale and a west Flanders sour."
Personally, I get that. Much preferring Old Ales as a style, Oerbier is how I like my Flanders sours. Subtle.
Oerbier is also reviewed in the "1001" and deserves to be on the list. Consider that its debut in 1980 could mark a new era.

Apr 23, 2016
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crnipeter from Slovenia

3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Re-rated 05-21-2011. Although classed here as Belgian Strong Dark, IMO Oerbier is Flanders Oud Bruin rather than BSDA.
Effervescent, deep coppery body with good clarity and streams of uprising bubbles that support the thick beige, dense head that holds extremely well and clings to the walls with each swirl. The nose is utterly complex with malt of caramel and toast-like character, unrefined sugar, mild red wine-like sourness, plum-like and raisiny esters, apple, minor spicy phenols and a whiff alcohol. Some sherry notes in the background indicating the beer has undergone some aging.
Flavor is a bit overpowering alcohol warmth, followed by caramel-sweet malt, fruity tartness with vinous notes and towards the medium-dry finish pronounced bitterness with earthy overtones, probably derived from usage of Golding hops. The medium-light body tends to foam in the mouth due to its high effervescence.
Overall, too alcoholic and overly carbonated to be given top-scores. (330 ml, bottled Oct 2010, BB Oct 2012, into tulip)

Jan 14, 2010
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elNopalero from California

5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for sharing this one.

Bottled February 2011. Drank in February 2012. One year old.
This pours a ruddy brown color with tight lacing and thick, tiny bubbles. It has a velvety appearance because of this. Looks fantastic.

Incredible aroma, tart and sour. Some lacto, perhaps, and hints of tannic notes.

Tastes fantastic. The effervescence coats the mouth and the tart, sharp flavors linger for days. The malt gives it some sweetness to contrast with the sour notes. Warms well, with an apparent alcohol warmth to it at 9%. This is an excellent beer.

Feb 13, 2012
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groleau from Canada (QC)

4/5  rDev -5%

Feb 08, 2014
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JZMeldon from District of Columbia

4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

May 01, 2016
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JoeyBeerBelly from New York

4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer from AlexFields. Thanks Alex!

33cl bottle served in a chalice.

L - murky brown color with a fizzy beige head that remained as a cloud on top of my bier.

S - dark fruit and Belgian yeast, everything it's supposed to be.

T - dates, figs and raisins with a smooth yeasty background. No hint of alcohol at all.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth feel.

O - a fine example of the style.

May 08, 2011
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chrispoint from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -5%

Feb 18, 2012
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GRUUMSH from Belgium

4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Oct 25, 2012
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Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jun 25, 2018
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Todd from California

4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one at t'Brugs Beertje, here's my notes: dark ripe fruits, some dextrin sweetness, semi-sour, vinous qualities, very raisiny with slight burnt characters. Now that was day 3 in Belgium and after many (MANY) beers. I do remember it being one of the best that I tried. All of De Dolle's brew are.

Mar 23, 2001
Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1078 ratings