De Dolle Oerbier | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

471 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

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Reviews: 471 | Ratings: 984
Photo of NClifestyle
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark ruby red, a huge head of creamy tan foam, very cloudy appearance.
smells of cherrys or raisans soaked in alcohol. a hint of breat or wheat as well.
taste is amazing, and almost too complex to describe. tastes of ripe fruit, similar to the smell, and maybe citrus. becomes somewhat sour, in a good way, after the first few sips. a totally unique flavor from this beer.
creamy feel, smooth, and wonderful. just glides away.
i would love to have more of these beers. the alcohol seems stronger than it smells, definitely more than it tastes.


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Photo of gmcfarre
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle purchased at John's Grocery in Iowa City. Had crooked (they all are for some reason) US top label (not bowtie like picture).

A - Poured into Chimay chalice and noticed... no head?! Who stole my carbonation? Beer was a dark chestnut, noticed some little yeasties floating here and there

S - Dark malt, lots of dark fruit, cherries, grapes, alcohol

T - Tart and sharp, licorice, lots of alcohol, cherries, grapes, malt

M - Full, oily, but still smooth.

D - Feels like more alcohol than 7.5%. I better drink some water before class starts in an hour.

Overall, an interesting brew but I obviously missed out not having much carbonation. Alcohol really stood out without it. Transported from Iowa to Indiana and stored in fridge for 2 weeks, not sure what happened...

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Photo of Fish113d
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass, it pours a hazy mahogony color with a condensed thin white surface layer.

Aroma is of grapes or cherries (reminds me of a lambic). Aroma also reminds me of wine. Not much else doing here, but a nice aroma none the less.

Sipping, it is very tart! Sour grapes/cherries come to mind up front with a malt body and a sweet plum finish. Great flavor! Aftertaste reminds me of grape Kool-Aid!!! My fiancee says it reminds her of a merlot wine.

Carbonation is stingy on my tongue, body is thin and the finish is a bit drying and of some oak flavors.

Easy to drink, fun and refreshing, but I would bet this is a dangerous one at larger amounts of consumption.

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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.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This goes into a tulip with lots of sediment. It is a cherrybrownish color. An inch of creamy head crowns the beer. The nose is of malty spices, and maybe some yeast or earthiness.

My first sips of this at cellar temperature were not pleasant. From reading the reviews, I know that the tart, somewhat sour flavor is normal. I just don't care for it. I could actually say that I like this as it nears room temperature. The sourness is gone, although it is still tart. The flavor is refreshing, and complex. I can taste the Belgian yeast, maybe some sour apples, biscuity malt, and grassy hops.

The mouthfeel is thick without being syrupy in the slightest. The drinkability is low, not because I don't like this, but the flavors would become cloying. I could probably have another one, though. IMO, pop this at cellar temperature just to taste it in that state. As for me, the next time I will start drinking this one at a warmer temperature. This has quite the finish.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

300ml bottle bought from

Poured a dark red, burgundy colour... Head was off white and pours quite big. This dissappeared very quickly...

Aroma - Very fruity, raisin, liqourice, blackcurrent cordial...

Taste – Dark fruits - mainly blackcurrent, spicy notes, banana...

Feel - Fairly sharp with quite a lot of carbonation.

Overall - A great example of a Belgian dark ale... highly recommended...

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 20 oz De Dolle Oerbier glass, on tap.

Poured a lovely ruby red with a thick head that dissipated fairly rapidly. It made for a beautiful presentation in its own brand-specific glass.

Aroma is rather fruity, almost berry-like. Very sweet smelling, reminding me in a (good) way of the old "Malt Duck", believe it or not. It was hard to get a handle on how one would expect this beer to taste based on the aroma.

And even more hard to get an idea of what it was supposed to taste like after actually tasting it. It's very hard to describe the flavor, really. Fruity, sour, balanced, bitter without being bitter... there's a lingering sourness in the aftertastes that carries on for several seconds, refusing to admit you've already swallowed that last sip. There's not a lot of malt flavor, yet you know there's a firm barley backbone in there somewhere. The entire beer seems to be one long contradiction. It's A without being A, B without being B, etc. It's almost playful in the way it teases you with hints of various flavors, then yanks them away before you can get a grasp on just what it was.

Mouthfeel is oily, but certainly not thick. It's remarkably easy to drink.

This is a very unique brew, and quite drinkable. It's not all that easy to find on tap (I got mine in Joplin, Missouri), but well worth seeking out. Overall, I'd highly recommend this.

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Photo of sacfly
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown. Some chunks of yeast in suspension. With out even putting my nose to the glass, I am already picking up a strong odor of ripe cherries. When I put my nose to the glass I get more cherries, and just a touch of alcohol. Taste is tart cherries… This tastes very much like the tart cherries used to make pie. It smells like I just picked them from the yard. Taste is like a Belgian double with some tart cherries thrown in. Very unique and great flavor. Definitely no where near a lambic in tartness, but there is no mistaking it is there. Aftertaste is similar to drinking a dry red wine. My tongue is tingling just a bit. This is an awesomely unique brew. Can’t wait to get more.

Edit: I just saw that my review averaged out to a 4.25... I'm going to stand by the numbers I gave it, but it seems like it should rate much higher. I like it better than a few beers I have rated over a 4.5.

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Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky brown with a much thinner head than expected almost non existent,the aromas more than made for the appearance big juicy fruit and dark brown suger with some alcohol dipped raisins.Wow this is one rich tasting ale dark fruit everywhere,plum and raisin really stick out with an underlying brown suger-like sweetness and the alcohol really shows itself as it warms.Nice big,thick mouthfeel coats the mouth.This seems bigger than 7.50% to me more of a night sipper,delicious.

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Photo of hefevice
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Mmmm...this stuff is good! Cloudy dark amber (OK, I couldn't hold the yeast back) with plenty of fine creamy light tan head which laced prolifically and stuck around all the way through. Caramelised banana malted milkshake aroma with an almost indescribable spicy backbone. Sweet caramel/toffee start with hints of raisins and a touch of banana, spicy middle with a dry and sublty hoppy finish with a little warmth from the very well hidden alcohol. Mouth feel is perfection (my first 5), soft and creamy right the way through. YUM!

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Photo of AlexJ
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first and hopefully not last beer from De Dolle.

In to my Delirium tulip pours a perfectly clear brew the color of scorched caramel. A thick and creamy head of beige puffs up and retains nicely, leaving gobs of lace everywhere.

The aroma is a powerful and intoxicating perfume of caramel, toffee, dates, figs, yellow raisins, and butterscotch. There's a good sense of yeasty spice and musty cellar funk. Beautiful.

The flavor is equally rich and indulgent. Tons of creamy caramel and toffee sweetness, fig and dates, banana bread, grapey must, and a spicey and floral hop in the finish. Hard to compare to other Belgian strong darks, it almost tastes like a Belgian barleywine.

Mouthfeel is epic, thick and rich with a creamy slickness that just coats your entire palate. A really rich beer that is perfect for dessert, or anytime for that matter.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cl brown bottle with no dates.

Poured a hazed brown/copper color with a small collar of off-white froth. Very clingy bubbles.

Tart green apple and english toffee up front in the nose. Spicy alcohol, licorice, a hint of toasted bread.

Very sweet up front, fades into smooth, roasty grains. Complex fruity esters pair with bready malts. Finish reminds me of those candies that taste like sweetened coffee with cream. Alcohol is warming, but never assertive, leaves a sharp bite in the back of the mouth. Carbonation seems a little low, judging both from the head and the mouthfeel. Creamy almost to a fault, super smooth.

I was afraid when I first tasted this that it would be too sweet, but the sweetness quickly flows into a great malt taste that leaves me wanting more. Whacky bottle, great beer.

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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.

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Photo of horndecker
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A luminous honey walnut hue, with a fine tan head which flares with a fast flush of foam (sorry), then fades. A fine haze covers the beer to the bitter end.
The aromas are melon (?), apple, damp earth, bread, toffee. As it warms there is the smell of chocolate over apples. Unusual, but very nice.
The taste is a big syrupy sweet malt with a slight bitterness hiding behind. A spicy tingle of alcohol and esters warms the back of your throat. Then raisins and a dusty hint of cocoa powder. Caramel comes to mind, as does chocolate milk. But it's not just a syrupy sweet candy bar. There is subtlety and depth. Dark flavors float underneath, and the beer changes a great deal as it warms.
In the mouth it's smooth and luscious. (I love this beer) A huge ball of foam gathers with every sip. De Dolle can do no wrong.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was recommended to me by my favorite beer supplier, and he said "this brewery can do nothing wrong."

Although this is not my favorite type of beer, I can definitely see the merits in it, and understand why is has such a high rating. Pours a deep brown-red color with a minimal head. Smell is very pungent, although of what is hard to say... there are definitely some fruits in there, especially apricots and peaches. The taste is the same way, with a deluge of flavor making it hard to clearly point out tastes. Much different than other beers from this brewery, which tend to take more time with their taste. If it had to be described, the taste is like the smell... fruity, with a good amount of sugar and sweets joined in.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poors in with good yellowbrown head and a darkbrown beercolor with lots of particles in it giving it a yellow mist. Smell is of the best I ever had. Very much fruityness from orange/pear notes and that with a caramellic malt; just magnificent.
Taste is complex a full to making you enjoy at least 10-15 seconds from every sip. Starting with maltyness, litle sweet carramel floating into alcohol that warms before going to a clean but heavy bitterness. Great brew that most of the time is just splendid to me.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany pour with a sticky frothy beige 1/2" head cap, thin beading carbonation bubbles rise up and sticky lace in the tulip.

Aromas of a curous nature...creamy sweet and organic.

Attacking malt hard candy lollipop but the good kind, not the crappy ones that your dentist gives out. As this warms it becomes hot in the awl-kee-hawl dept. Rock candy lip smacker rootbeer. Lingering aftertatste.

Golden smoothness feel. Frothy if it sits for a second.

Last swigs: Butered pancakes with maple syrup. Deliciously sweet sugar hot. Enjoyed at TRIA for $8 a little 11.2 oz bottle, 33 cL. The highlight of this brew is the appearance and the smooth character.

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Photo of guinnessman
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours with a wonderful head that retains well. aroma of cherries, raisons and alcohol. the beer looks as good as it tastes with a ruby huge. mouth feel is grainy but smooth. washed over and coats the tongue. leaves a great aftertaste of fruit. Also, at first it seams like the alcohol is going to overpower but it is quickly halted by the other flavors of the beer.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Early 2004 bottling...

Appearance: ruddy brown with reddish highlights, somewhat hazy, poor head development (i.e.- hardly any)

Aroma: sweet alcohol, biscuity maltiness, rum cake, oak, preserved cherries, pineapple, slight sherry-like oxidation

Flavor: confectionary sweetness (an overcooked fairground caramel?), sherry, zesty alcohol, big spicy phenols, dark mesquite honey, finishes semisweet with a caramelly/malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: fullish body, pin-pricks of carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth

Other comments: This bottle was from a case I bought at the brewery in May 2004. It has aged nicely so far. The head on this sample was pretty disappointing though, but I've had this beer before when there was copious amounts of foam. A testament to the variability of De Dolle's beers. That being said, I've never had a bad one. On the cap is printed "10% < MAO6", whatever that means.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The liquid is halfway between the inside meat of a plum and mahogany. Definitely lighter in color than I think of it being. Swirling bubbles and small dark chunks of sediment. Huge perfect head with heavy lacing. Smells of pepper, anise, raisin, and alcohol. Flavor is smooth dark caramel with its sweetness balanced well by not the hop bitterness really, but the spiciness. Warms the mouth like a wine, and seems a little higher than the 7.5% listed. Thick-bodied but highly carbonated too, so together it forms a perfect feel. So damn polished and smooth, head and shoulders above most other Belgians. Glory be giv'n.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle with red & black label with the De Dolle yellow man

Appearance: A semi-cloudy tea brown color with a very thin head that barely covers the beer. Not all that impressive.

Aroma: Lightly sweet malty with toffee and caramel. Earthiness too. Pleasant enough, but doesn’t have that wow factor.

Flavor: Honey, sweet mixed with a peppery spiciness and the alcohol at the end (which is usually too much for me) actually fits the flavor profile.
Mouthfeel: Heavy, rich, syrupy. Very nice in the winter time, not sure it would be as exciting when it’s hot out.

Drinkability: This is a once in a while beer.

Overall: I really like this. The first time or two, it didn’t grab me. Reminds me of a lighter, less spiced version of the Stille Nacht.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark color ale with a huge bubbly dark head with average retention. Aroma is quite complex and includes some smoky notes with some alcohol (scotch?). From what I could gather from the taste there is quite a mix in there: I can only describe this as a mix between a scotch ale (Mchouffe) with some smoke malt thrown in there. Alcohol is not easily detectable but can be felt on the tongue. Very different from what I’ve tasted before, I’m curious to try the other bottle in my cellar.

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Photo of NEhophead
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.6 fl oz brown bottle.

Fizzy, slightly tan head with not much retention. A bit of thin lacing with average durability. Murky brown in color with lots of sediment floating around.

Milk chocolate; ripe cherry. Candied sweet maltiness along with a moderate tartness: cherry, grape, sour apple.

Moderate tartness at first: cherry and apple. This is soon joined with a creamy coffee, caramel, and chocolate wave. A big burst of carbonation followed by a sharp sour quality. The aftertaste is again mellow caramel and chocolate. Complex in flavor and wonderfully balanced.

Medium bodied; very fizzy on the palate but well balanced.

A lot of flavors going on here. Although the abv% is well hidden in terms of flavor, it sneaks up on you if you're not paying attention. A solid version of the style and definitely worth a try. One I will be revisiting in the future.

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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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle, no freshness dating. Pours a clear copper color with a bubbly light beige head. Notes of muted dark malts and vinous, citrus rind; a bit perfumy and lightly hoppy, too. Spicing seems evident, although not likely so, probably a unique yeast strain. First sip is caramel-like; dark cherry-malty and smooth with a bit of botanical astringency and faint sourness in the finish. Very clean tasting; I'd recommend this to a red wine lover. Buttery, slick mouthfeel. Sadly, sulfites and I don't get along, I get headaches from the sulfites added to aid the fermentation of red wine, so I haven't had a glass of red wine in years. But this beer does seem to have some red wine qualities if I recall. Smoothness is impeccable. Drying on the palate long after the sip. We're getting this beer in stock at the pub where I work, so I've found my perfect substitute if I feel like in a red wine mood. 50 lashes if I sound like a wino; I've always preferred beer, but this beer's awesome in those instances when a substitute for a wine other than wine is in order (red meats and the like...).

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De Dolle Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.15 out of 5 based on 984 ratings.
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