De Dolle Oerbier | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

470 Reviews
De Dolle OerbierDe Dolle Oerbier

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 470 | Ratings: 980
Photo of Nick3
3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured into my Kapittel Watou chalice. Beer is a gorgeous burnt orange color, with a pillowy head that won't quit. Carbonation is ferocious in this bad boy. Smell is rather muted with yeast, fruits, and some fig. Taste is more akin to a tripel from my taste. Alcohol punishes this beer in a bad way. Light on the palate but a bit astringent, not sure if I got a bad bottle or what but this definitely wasn't what I was hoping for.

 435 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A fairly average beer, and one I could not finish. It went along with dinner, but maybe its the coriander and burnt toffee and orange and melon, pepper, usually a potent turnoff for my sensitive palate. Very much like a brown ale to me, and would be slightly above average if that's what it is.

 294 characters

Photo of corby112
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish- brown color with a nice sized foamy, off-white head. Fruity aroma with hints of sour cherry, oak and apple. Tart, slightly puckering fruit flavor with crisp light fruit notes and a very dry finish. Taste a little bit like a Sweettart.

 256 characters

Photo of paceyourself
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The dark chestnut color was hidden by a thin white head that mostly faded and left some chunky lace as consumed. Lots of sediment clouded this brew but the active carbonation still managed to work its way thru it quickly. Maple and sour cherry dominated the aroma. The fruity tastes of cherrys and plums are strong but don't hide the alcohol very well. Altough i enjoyed this brew it did take awhile to drink.

 409 characters

Photo of tjthresh
3.44/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Quite spicy with candy sugar and alcoholic notes. Really mirky brown, with a large head that faded quickly. Tastes life fruit cake with lots of spicy yeast character. Goes down kindof harsh with carbonation and alcohol. I thought it was a nice drink, but it needs to condition.

 277 characters

Photo of Filosoof
3.44/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After reading all the positive stuff about De Dolle Brouwers I was happy to find this beer.

Not specifically liking Belgian Strong Dark Ale (preferring the blonds and tripels) I hoped this one would turn me over.

From this view this Oerbier was a bit of a disappointment.

A: Great. Bronze with a big, lasting golden top.
S: caramel; I especially didn't find all the things others have described; quite bare.
T: ripe apples, medicinal, liquoricel, quite sweat, alomst no sour.
M: good carbonation, almost too much
O: I'm missing the point why this would we one of the best BSDA's.

 583 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a slight haze and a massive tan head.

S: Initially there are some tart fruit aromas followed swiftly by a blend of spices and sweet malts. Lots of caramel, candi sugar, and dark stone fruits.

T: Lots and lots of sweet dark fruit flavors immediately hit the palate--plums, raisins, and figs, to be more detailed. Some mild nutmeg flavor along with a sugary sweetness. Quite a bit of alcohol comes through as well.

M: The body is excellent and the carbonation is that wonderful intensely effervescent kind that has a light creaminess.

D: Great nose on this beer but the alcohol presence knocks down the enjoyment of this one. Might be better with some age.

 697 characters

Photo of crnipeter
3.46/5  rDev -16.6%
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)

 1,028 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.46/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour is rusty brown, heavily carbonated. Smell is a malt bomb of atomic proportions, taste is the same. Taste and smell of brown bread, brown sugar, honey, sweet molasses (not blackstrap), and dark fruits (figs, dates, prunes, and raisins). Some caramel, toffee, cinnamon, and cloves in there also. Big beer with lots of malts, nothing worth trying again.

 355 characters

Photo of mexikrainian
3.47/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle poured into Ommegang chalice.

Appearance: dark amber brown with bubbly, thick tan head and patchy lacing.

Aroma: dark fruits, molasses, figs and sweet malts.

Flavor: depressing given the aroma. less than robust for a BDSA. belgian spices, malty, prune, sour and tart.

Mouthfeel: fizzy medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: i love BDSAs and this was disappointing. it tastes more like a dubbel-flemish sour ale hybrid.

 454 characters

Photo of optiontwo
3.47/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2006
11.2oz. poured into tulip

Appearance: Murky reddish brown with a one inch white head that dissipate quickly.

Smell: Brown sugar, obvious alcohol, notes of red wine grapes, and tart cherry.

Taste: Lots of tart cherry with a deep caramelized sugar flavor. The alcohol is detectable but not too hot.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated, almost too much. Bubbles sting the tongue. Slightly syrupy with some alcohol heat in the finish.

Drinkability: I could conceivably drink another but probably wouldn't.

Overall: Interesting Belgian strong dark ale but I've had others that I liked more. Maybe I would like a fresh one better.

 635 characters

Photo of ABCJiugui
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into large tulip (note- this bottle was VERY dusty when bought, from a store I know never really moves their product very well, so it probably has a good couple YEARS on it, let alone months) Wish there were a freshness date.

A- Reddish brown, tawny colored. Sediment floating throughout, despite the fact yeast had compacted on bottom of bottle. Pours like an aged bottle of jwlees- that is to say, damn near flat with a thin amount of foam surrounding the edge, with no head retention at all. No lacing to speak of.

S- like a young port wine, candy sugar, dried figs, dates, somewhat dubbel like from the sugar component.

T- sweet, but not overly so, again, like a young port- candy sugar, dates. No hops or bitterness that I can really detect until the VERY end, lightly astringent on the tongue on the finish. No alcohol comes thru as things have really mellowed.

M- subtle, slight carbonation but otherwise unbelievably smooth, almost still, with full, soft body.

This was an odd beer. My experience with De dolle up to now is limited and = painfully carbonic/fizzy (still nacht). I was expecting the same here, but the fact that this bottle is either mistreated or just old, really changes the perception and overall flavor profile. It's not particularly complex at this point, and I gather a fresh bottle yields a completely different experience. That being said, this particular bottle I had wasn't bad, and will compel me to find another bottle to try once again. At this point, it's a sipper to be sure.

 1,526 characters

Photo of ByTor2112
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this beer marked down as a store was closing and moving to a new location. Poured a light brown that was almost cloudy with a few hues of red as I held it to the light. Very thick head that hung around and dissipated slowly. Aroma was not powerful but had a sweet malty smell. I immediately tasted sweet tea with citrus notes. I frothed it in my mouth vigorously and it literally exploded with additoional notes of orange and malty sweetness and other sugary characteristics that I have never tasted before. Almost fruity but more like raisins.Hops were almost non-existant as the alchhol was present but not dominating. Very hard to describe, but I loved it and it was very drinkable.

 691 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle in Kansas City, MO.

Aroma: Leathery funk with some sour cherry and dark fruit

Appearance: Murky brown, big tan fluffy head that lasts long and laces hard.

Flavor: Soft leather that I think is a yeast characteristic, muted sour, hints of plum and other dark rum soaked fruits

Mouthfeel: Soft, fluffy, creamy, carbonation took a while to settle down.

Overall Impression: Package works well together, very Belgian, good craftsmanship, but it just didn’t inspire me.

 498 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured an opaque mahogany with a good amount of light tan head.
S: It smelled like coriander and lemon zest and wild yeast, with some light caramel and wild honey and floral hops.
T: It tasted like brown sugar and earthy caramel and floral hops, with coriander and wild yeast and honey and cocoa powder. The aftertaste was dry and mostly bitter with some alcohol warming.
M: It was somewhat thick with tons of carbonation.
D: This was a decent dark Belgian ale with delicate and complex flavors, but it honestly wasn't very delicious. The body was too carbonated for me, which detracted from the delicate taste. The alcohol was also pretty noticeable, so I had to sip carefully. Not a bad brew, but not impressive either.

 729 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer upon its pour from the 330ml brown bottle sets in the glass a muddy brown color with the head bubbly and off white in color, the size minimal, lace is patchy. Nose is spicy over ripe apples with a tart sweetness, start is sweet and sour, the top light in feel. Finish is mildly acidic with the hops benign, sour aftertaste with hints of alcohol, a belly warmer for sure.

 379 characters

Photo of aforbes10
3.54/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle from city wide in south bend. Pours brown with a red hue. Foams up massively and tqakes a while to settle to a quarter inch light brown head. Smells of oak, dried cherries, figs, smeels quite tasty...nots of dark chocolate, run, raspberry syrup. Taste is tinny, with malt and alcohol. Metallic flavor quite pronounced and not particularly welcome. Tannin bitterness. Chalk. As it warms, the metal flavors reduce somewhat (though not totally) and it gets more fruity. Fairly full bodied and approaching creamy. Not sure how i feel about this overall. Its interesting and complex, but has some distinctly unpalatable flavors like tin or stell that turn me off. So i suppose overall im ambivalent

 700 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

11.6 oz (!) bottle. Cap reads May 2010, so this is a little over a year old.

Uber-carbonation, glass fills up with off-white head on the slightest pour, but eventually some beer is visible, an odd shade of light reddish-brown with pink highlights. Retains well at a half finger.

Pretty good smell, reminds me of figs and fruitcake drizzled with caramel. Some brown sugar and spices.

Taste is a change compared to the nose but not bad. Unexpected tartness up front with flavors of apple and red wine, lots of yeast, caramel, licorice, slight hop presence, some warming alcohol. Some toasty bread on the finish.

Not a big fan of the mouthfeel. Feels a bit thin and too carbonated for a 9%, detracts from the flavors. A bit on the boozy side.

I think I'd like it alot more if the mouthfeel was improved, definitely not one of my favorite BSDA's but good overall.

 864 characters

Photo of aleigator
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Oerbier '13 vintage, consumed 151228

Pours a dark brown color with ember hints in it, revealing a giant, spongy head.

Smells of spicy wheat, wood bark and rock sugar. Although it inherits a gentle sweetness, the beer got an earthy, almost oaken balance to it, featuring ripe red grapes and tart dextrose.

Has a higher, lively carbonation to it, wrapping up the sweetness with a bubbly, metallic carbonation.

Tastes of older, caramel soaked malts, topped off by fermented grapes, a decent sourness and rock sugar on top. Toffee turns more profound among the bubbly carbonation, coming up after the swallow, thinning the profound earthiness a bit, while maintaining its balance. Finishes clean, with a sour note among rock sugar and caramel, while the carbonation dies down to a likeable minimum.

While it certainly features a well pronounced maltiness, the beers sweetness defines the overall taste of this beer. It doesn't turn cloyingly sweet, due to the beers convincing balance, while it certainly lacks an appealipng depth of flavors to me, prevented by the omnipresent sweetness.

 1,090 characters

Photo of radioscooter
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Started talking to another BA'er about this and then found it the same day.

Beautiful frothy 4 finger head with an aggressive pour.
Appearance is a bit cloudy, amber, iced tea middle color.

Froth settles into nice foam.

Nose is fairly typical. Lots of Belgian yeast, candi sugar, citrus mixed with fruit and a hint of moss.

Taste is a bit maltier than expected. Lots of Earthy, yeasty bread overtones. Some phenolic banana, and hints of fig. As it oxidizes I'm getting some cloying sourness.

Finish and aftertaste is a little dry, sour.

Feels syrupy and fairly high carbonation.

Not as "hot" as many fresh Belgians. Aging could mellow it a bit, but it doesn't seem carbonated enough to last more than a year or two before going full-on treacle.

Not bad. Would like to taste their version of a Quad.

 809 characters

Photo of MCain04
3.59/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, very unclear bottling date but seems to be pre 2010. Poured into Speigelau tulip.

Pours a dark cloudy amber brown with a thick creamy head of light tan color and great retention.

Smells slightly musty with dark and light fruit aromas. White grapes and citrus fruits, green apple jolly rancher, cherries.

Taste is fruity along the nose, white grapes being predominant. A little thin and watery. A little must and funk to this. Somewhat stale. very little alcohol

Mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation and prickly on the tongue. Sticky finish.

Overall not my favorite brew although my first from De Dolle. Might just be an old bottle improperly stored. Would give it another chance but wouldnt seek it out.

 732 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Belgian strong dark ale.

A: Pours a hazy dark cranberry color with a huge frothy 3 finger cherry-tan head that was persistent throughout the whole drink.

S: There's a nice fresh fruitiness on the nose of cherries.

T: For flavor there are sour cherries along with some astringent alcohol notes. The beer is very acidic with heavy carbonation. The malting is warm caramel providing a deep rich bite complimenting the sourness of the beer. There is some dark fruits, and licorice as well detected. The beer is very tart and at 9%abv is very noticeable producing a very warming alcohol presence going down. The palate is vinous. There is a very acidic and vinegar like presence in back of the throat after the swallow along with some medicinal notes.

M: vinous, sour with a strong carbonation and lots of alcohol warming.

D: A good Belgian but a tad heavy on the fusels.The beer is sour, with a vinous palate and vinegar like flavor in the aftertaste and I could not imagine trying to drink more then one at a time.

 1,020 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on draft at the brewery in Esen, Belgium.


Pale to rich malts provide a buttery and caramel maltiness but a more elaborate ripe fruitiness is more prominent, providing notes of plum, banana and clove.

Rich, full of depth, yeasty as hell and full of fruit notes; mainly apple and pear.

 308 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into my new De Struise glass. Bottled February 2011.

Appearance - I popped the cap and watched as the foam slowly rose up the neck of the bottle. The pour foamed all the way to the top of my glass very quickly. Had to pour the rest into a secondary glass. Nearly eternal retention and, by the way, it looks like a Belgian dark.

Smell - Immediate vinous notes. Somewhat acidic. Fruits abound. I guess I'd call it cherry and something like plums. Boozy, too.

Taste - Again, slightly acidic, but not sour. The cherry flavor is more dramatic as well as the vinous character. The malt flavor is all fruit, save a shade of earthiness in the very end as the acidity dies down a bit. I say it dies down, but only after it peaks to something that I might even call sour.

Mouthfeel - Very highly carbonated and very dry. Like the yeast has been working since this was bottled. Maybe too much. So much carbonation and dryness that I'm missing some of the deeper flavors that I expected to find here.

Overall - I'm not quite sure what to think. I really wonder what it would taste like fresh, but I never see it down here. Next time I do, I'll pick it up and crack it open. I fear that age has just dried it out until it's nothing but yeast bi-products and the malt is having a difficult time shining through. I have to say, though, I'm still quite enjoying it, whatever it is.

 1,391 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.62/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a dark brown red color with a nice, but gushing beige head which seems to be the norm for De Dolle beers. Aroma of roasted malts, hops, some esters (apples), caramels and spices. Flavors of roasted malts, caramels, apples, walnuts, liquorices, Belgian candy and spices. Good carbonation throughout and provides an interesting balance between sweet, bitter and sour palates along with a dry finish. This was an interesting and complex beer to drink. I believe this can age well.

 526 characters

De Dolle Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.15 out of 5 based on 980 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.