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 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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Photo of SeanChouffe
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A mahogany color, transparent, with copious carbonation and a full rocky head. Head retention is good and the lacing is slippery. Aroma is tart, wine-like with malt, fruity and spices. Taste has a sweet start (cherries), tart middle and a dry astringent finish. Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied and smooth with an effervescent and peppery finish.
An interesting and complex beer.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.97/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer poured deep amber brown with a slight haze in the chalice. The head was off white and fell slowly in fine bubble fashion to the edges of the surface to eventually coat the glass.

The aroma was complex with malty sourness, toffee and a spicy complexity. The aroma was filled with fruitiness as well.

The flavor was as promised with a caramel maltiness balanced with a slight spice and a complexity of an oud bruin sourness mixed in. Fruitiness, cherries most notably, shined through in the flavor.

The finish was dry with caramel, fruit flavors and a slight complex sour flavor lasting through the aftertaste. The body was medium.

11.2 ounce bottle. This is a beer that intrigues me and has been a longtime favorite. I think it is one of the most complex and interesting beers on the planet and rated it as such.

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

An active, attractive, sticky, beige top over copper/mud-colored liquid.

The aromas suggest whole, over-ripe tangerine, strawberry jam, coffee, oatmeal and floor polish. Lots of candied, dried fruits and raw, sweet spices appear after it warms.
On the palate it offers meaty, chewy, buttery fat textures before uncurling notes of vanilla, oranges, braised meats and bitter tropical woods. Let's just assume this was raised in heavily, heavily toasted barrels. "Neat" say's slackie. Slackie likes the taste of heavily toasted oak barrels.

After a dry patch of B. United and Belgian beers I must say, this was a pleasant surprise!

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Photo of 99bottles
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is dark brownish red and has a small head of tan that quickly subsides to a thin lace. Taken from a goblet, the smell is very sweet and rich with hints of toffee, carmel and ginger. The taste is intense, to say the least. There are some light buttery notes which are complexed by a ton of spice, which soon subsides to leave a very strong taste of gingerbread. VERY strong. The aftertaste lingers on and on and is actually quite annoying. I couldn't detect much else, though the thick mouthfeel indicates this has some alcohol to it. I wasn't very impressed, and I couldn't have more than one even if I wanted to. Whew! The little crazy gingerbread man on the label is a telling sign of the one-dimensional liquified cookie inside.

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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.

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Photo of truthbrew
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Really a wonderful brew. Mine was a slightly murky copper-brown, yeast wasn't quite settled. Fabulous malt body and deep earthy notes. Finish had a very familiar taste, but couldn't put my finger on what it was, very pleasant though. One i'd buy time and time again. Mad Brewers keep them coming!

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

Pours cloudy. thick maber with brown hints. Big thick crabonation bubbles in a dense off-white head. Leaves piles of lace on the goblet.
Aroma of caramel malt, Belgian candi malt and very spicy yeast.
Flavor of caramel, toffee, candy sugar, coriander and other spices and some grain. Slight hint of diacetyl notes and some green apple.
Mouthfeel was very sweet to start progressing to a heavily spiced and effervescent finish.
Drinkability was very nice. Great mix of malt and spice. Beautiful beer.

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Photo of Hefe
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 11.6 oz. bottle on 6/16/04

Appearance: Slightly hazy, deep brown/red coulor with a off white almost tan head that is thick and rocky and follows the beer to the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, with subtle nuances of prune, burnt caramel, orange marmalade.

Taste: Wowsers! The flavors meld together so well that trying to distinguish them is almost like picking apart a tight weave. Sour cherry, prune, candied orange, vanilla, allspice and black pepper, earth. Finishes long but clean.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy, with a satisfying dryness.

Drinkability: Even as this beer warms there is no hint of the alcohol. An excellent beer for food pairing.

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Photo of faernt
4.76/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife pan fried some filet mignons for supper tonight. She deglazed the cast iron pan with marsala then added butter and garlic and let the resultant sauce reduce. I had a Terrible chilling but then I noticed she'd made a spinach salad with tomatoes, avocados, kalamata olives, green pepper, celery and feta cheese. On top of that she prepared a mustard vinaigrette and served that with the salad. I thought the Terrible might not go with the salad so I pulled out an Oerbier from De Dolle.

Sometimes a beer is best alone and other times a pairing with food is best. The Oerbier poured a translucent molasses color and raised a head of very small bubbles which settled into what looked like a cream floating on top of the beer . It looked like the crema on top of an espresso.

The aroma of the beer was somewhat overshadowed by the food. It offered a slight spicy wine smell. The taste was amazing. It paired with the filet and the marsala sauce. It cleansed my palette and then afterward paired with all the components of the salad.

The pairing was dead on. It was a marriage. The slight tartness of the beer slipped into a spicy sweetness. It's complexity danced around the food and respected all of it. I will add to my stock of this beer. It is one of the best beers I've had. It is very drinkable and a remarkable food beer.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6yr old bottle. Muddy brown with initially big light brown head, myseriously fading into a 1cm foam, which sticks well. Nose is vinous with vinegar and oak-aged oud bruin suggestions. As the pour had indicated, there's plenty of yeast in there, but also a profound malt depth of apples, lactic cherry yogurt, blood oranges and a sweetness closing to milk chocolate. Appealing complexity already, but further sniffs have even more to offer with hints of earth, oak and saw dust. Medium bodied and sparkling, initially cherry/apple sweet, but balanced by more sourness than expected. Aftertaste can't hide the age of the sample, a little off-flavour of something alike cement or dirty grass distracts a bit from the enjoyment. I'm gonna try a fresher sample soon and make up conclusions on this aspect, but besides this, it is obviously a radious beer that fits my personal tastes with great class.

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

This came out of the bottle a dense reddish brown color, topped with a thick, hearty head. Its pleasing sweet aroma hints at that characteristic Belgian flavor, without giving too much away. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with earthy lactose undertones. This is a filling beer, falling somewhere between Maudite and a stout. This waited in my fridge for at least a month or so, and now I'm asking myself why I didn't try it earlier.

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Photo of ark57
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a cloudy borwn with some reddish tinit to it and a tan head that dissipated fairly fast for me. The aroma is fruity, malty, peppery and somewhat medicinal. It has a soft, yet prickly carbonation. There is plenty of fruity sweet malts with some cherry, prune, and raisin notes and some spicy phenols. There is some bitterness that helps round out the sweetness. It finishes with some fusel alcohol and a peppery spiciness. Another great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When the three brothers that became the De Dolle Brewers rescued an old brewery from closure in 1980, this Scottish-style ale (by their designation) was the first beer they produced. Things have changed, namely the yeast, and this isn't quite the brilliant beer I remember so fondly.

Carefully poured from a longstanding bottle, the body is a clear, orange-tinted chestnut beneath a full head of rocky off-white foam. A few small particles are churned about at the base of the goblet as tiny bubbles stream to the surface. The head retention is excellent, no doubt buoyed by its natural, effervescent carbonation; yet it leaves only transient lace. It's maltiness is evident in the nose, suggesting sugary candy, caramel, dried dark fruit, mustiness and soil as well as a splash of alcohol. The body is medium-full, and it's natural, effervescent carbonation foams up upon entering the mouth and lends a tingle to the tongue. It's rich, fruity malt dominates the flavor but some hops are able to slip through lending it a bit of a licorice note. Dark dried fruits (raisins, prunes), some yeasty phenolics, and a clear note of alcohol give it depth. It's backed by a solid bitterness that balances its maltiness and leads to a short dry finish with a touch of dark fruit and lingering phenolic.

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

Gorgeous deep dark rosey brown color thats nice and syrupy thick, a gigantor speckled marshmellowy thick head that looks a bit like pureed bananas sits tall and mighty. Its slower than slow to settle, if ya can call it that, it takes an awful long time to move, but once it stops it stops at just under a finger high and maintains a murky frappacchino crown the whole glass down. The lacing sticks all over the place in thick patchy curtains; the pinnacle of a great looking beer!

Aroma has a considerately yeast filled, softly spiced top with an underlying dulled dark citrus and tropical fruitiness with some banana, pear, and a bit of lemon. Alcohol presents itself at first as well but seems to dissapate as it warms where the yeasty spicyness really becomes dominate bringing out some gingerbread and corriander.

Fantastic structure of fairly strong and pleasant flavors with a super fine showmanship of soft, well rounded fruitiness up front bringing a small brigade of banana, lemon, red apple, and fig. Fairly smooth with a stable maltyness and calming fuzzy full roundness in the front. In the middle some soft caramel sneaks around the corners as it begins to fade off towards the finish the spices and yeast kick in with a bit of singe on the back of the throat and some hop bite adds some dryness floating off late with wood and spice. I really liked the way it starts soft and fruity and takes its time to build into the spicy finish, very nice.

Feel has a good fuzzy/fluffy carbonation and texture that comes across the whole way through. Has a bit of crispness and dryness in parts just before the finish, but mostly the malts surge in a gradual smoothness as it goes down with yeasty spices grabbing around the edges; considerably exquisite drinkability with this first-rate ale. Yum! I think I'll have another thank you.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL bottle served at cellarish temperatures in a Westmalle goblet.

Appearance: Ruby twinged brown topped by a thick off-white head of tiny bubbles. Max height is about an inch. It eventually fades away to a small layer of foam that remains throughout consumption. I have seen better lacing from beers of this general style, but there's definitely enough to legitimately call it lace.

Smell: Vibrant pepper and coriander with sweet candi sugars and toasted bready malts. Undertones of lemony sourness and maple syrup. A nice sniffer, to be sure. Rather pungent, too.

Taste: A hearty, complex flavor composed of the elements mentioned in the nose. Everything meshes together in a quite pleasing manner. Mild peppery hops and alcohol tastes on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body with great carbonation and a slight warming sensation from the al-keel-haul.

Drinkability: A damn fine benchmark for this style, albeit a very peppery and (Belgian) hoppy one. This is a beer that seems to be emulated on the American continent quite frequently. For the money, I'll take Maudite, though.

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

I found this beer somewhat unusual. Poured a murky brown with a nice white head and loads of white sediment. Aroma was of apples, other tart fruits, and alcohol. Flavor was sour above all - a rather nice and refreshing sour however. Unfortunately, I didn't get much else from the taste. Except some alcohol and fruity malt. Mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth, but very slightly prickly. Fairly refreshing brew.

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

poured an ugly murkey, muddy brown, but with a fabulous thick, tall, rocky head. Smelled of fermenting tropical fruits, apricots, pears, bannanas with a hint of alcohol. Taste was the same, fruity, overripe apple and sweet & sour flavors, winding up with an alcohol flavor at the end. It had some sweet dryness to the finish that didn't leave me with a sickly sweet aftertaste or an alcohol flavor. The beer was quite enjoyable to drink, easy to quaff.

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Photo of budgood1
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pour out a mega murky, monsterous foamy amber colour. sediment worked up and poured in also. did i mention the huge rocky and foamy head? lots of lace. sour yeast aroma...did i expect anything less from this belgian bombshell? fizzy, carbonated mouthfeel gives way to a fruity, alcohol burn. too many of these and you might really start seeing the cute cartoonish characters on the labels of these de dolle brews. medium bodied. spicy, peppery alcohol aftertaste. no messing around here. a brutal bruiser of a brew.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark brown pour an enormous tan head that holds up nicely. Very nice long stemmed glass.

Smell: Sweetish nose. Hints dark fruits, especially plum and raisin.

Taste: Semi-sweet and smooth palate. Light chocolate notes and a raisiny sweetness. Noticeable alcohol warmth on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent beer. I fully enjoyed this one and could make it a regular in my cellar...if i could actually find one in Canada.

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Photo of stcules
3.26/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good appearance, great hed, creamy, with a beautiful hat.
Burgundy colour, with a lot of floaters, with a strange effect of waves and turbidity.
The nose is sweet, light caramel, sugar, honey. Maybe a little too sweet for our taste. Chewing gum. Alcoholic.
At the taste instead the sweet is more covered. It is possible to feel a sharp bitter, and a warm alcohol. More balanced than the smell. Maybe just a little too high point of alcohol.
Medium body, with an aftertaste that is a mixture of bitter and alcohol.

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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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