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De Dolle Oerbier | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

462 Reviews
De Dolle OerbierDe Dolle Oerbier

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Belgium | website

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 462 | Ratings: 949
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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Photo of nomad
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep chestnut color with a strong ruby tone, showing a sudsy foam head that wouldn’t budge once it settled. Had plenty of carbonation that never slowed its furious rush under the head, even for over a half-hour, though it was hard to control on the pour. Lace was a solid wall slow to slip away, with plenty of stain climbing up the glass like ivy. Performed the are feat of having the exact same appearance from first pour to last sip, extending over an hour's time.

Smelled of quality-grade maple sugar, moderate oak, and washed over with spritely esters: thin and wispy, nascently acidic. These esters turned to apple brandy scents in time. Also gave off some soft and sweet spice smells closest to a cooked mix of cinnamon and brown sugar. Honeysuckle notes came up after about forty-five minutes of exposure. Lastly, there were a soft creamy essence softly coating everything, giving a calm, tiny, but supporting texture to everything. Talk about character in a beer!

Tasted first of a kicking mix of alcohol and small and tasty oak, though the latter were not as woody as often is in beer. Had a wonderful darker sort of maple sugar flavor, loads of cherry and orange fruit flavors, moderate-thin in strength of sweetness but strong in creating the character of this beer, which in general was malt textured and with character. Some small butterscotch notes did much to add complexity. Only with some long opening does a small hop finish begin, and it seemed like those typical in trappist varieties. Lastly, a warming alcohol feel at the end. Mouthfeel stareds off like soda because of the exploding carbonation, but settled into a textured moderate feel.

Similar to a dubbel taken up a notch, akin to a St. Bernardus Abt 12, this is a treat. At once very complex and just plain enjoyable.

FYI: Must let this one warm up and get prolonged air exposure for the taste and flavor, and to let the carbonation calm down so your tongue can taste and feel it.

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Photo of saltydog
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

These notes relect the beer when they were still using the Rodenbach yeast. Appearance: Red with some brown. Cloudy. Big, rocky head. Aroma: Big tartness. Mellowing out to malty sweetness. Flavor: Very sour, nice malty sweetness. Good sweet/sour balance with some caramel. Finish: Tart, sour, and nice sweetness. Drinkability: The sweet/sour balance makes for a wonderfully drinkable beer.

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

Poured in a LaTrappe chalice to get a handle on the famed de Dolle foam, still, powers up to 1/2 an inch. Broad lace. Dark nutmeg brown, plenty of sediment. Aroma is first rate, notes of raspberry and vanilla, with scant yeastiness. Very fruity flavor, pear and cherry with ginger and a restrained fizzy mouthfeel. Not overly sweet, fresh fruit astringency and a good amount of hop bitterness at the close. I like it, not nearly so heavy and sugary sweet as I was expecting -- this broke through as bright.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one is very dark and typical of a BSDA. The head it also typical of the style; big and dangerous. Be careful.

Smell – The quality malt aroma comes out first, followed by some dark spices and fruits dipped in sugar. The traditionally dates and plums mated well with the table sugar at the nose.

Taste – This has a very sweet caramel-laced malt body. The dark sweetness comes out much bigger on the tongue as well. There are giant grape and cherry flavors along with some tobacco, a huge plum taste, and subtle notes of alcohol. The spiciness from the nose is pleasant as well, making this one a fine BSDA.

Mouthfeel – Big carbonation and full-bodied. This one is serious and not for the faint of heart.

Drinkability – This was a welcome surprise after tasting a really bad beer that I “oned.” It was on-style yet unique, making for a pleasurable experience.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled January 2004, USA.
Pours a hazy amber-copper color, with a tan head that is made up of largish bubbles. The first aroma I get is of some funky farm-house cheese. This is followed by a sweet brandy-like fruitiness (plum perhaps), and some notes of alcohol. The taste is sweet up front, but is followed immediately by a prickling carbonation that boils the beer on my tongue. Quite fruity tasting with notes of plum, fig, and raisin. A touch of acidity, though not nearly as much as in some of their examples of this beer. There is a definite alcoholic kick in the finish. There is a nice twang in the finish that gives this beer an appetizing character. Some musty-earthy notes are detectable up front, and somehow this beer is quite austere/ vinous in character. Overall this is quite good but I must say that I enjoy getting the bottles that have a bit more acidity in them.

Sampled March 2001, Belgium.
Has a sharp fruity aroma. It tastes nicely sweet with a caramel slightly bitter finish. This is quite good, with a perfect amount of sourness & complexity. When De Dolle is on they are quite good, even one of the best. Unfortunately they can have bottles that are downright off, I am rating this for one of the good bottles, keep on dumping until you find a good one.

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Photo of BierReise
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A murky looking brown ale with a tan head which quickly settled down to a slight creamy dense head. The aroma is sweet, fruity and with a biscuit like aroma. Dates, plumbs and figs come to mind. Creamy mouthfeel and a medium to almost full body finishing with a slight warming sensation. Flavor is malty with a slight tart fruitiness. Overall a very good Belgian

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Photo of beerguy101
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, Very large head. Malty and rich. Robust flavor. Complex taste, nutty, nearly oakey. Somewhat vineous. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Interesting beer. Very complex taste. High alcohol content.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a murky brown with lots of floaties. Like other de Dolle beers, Oerbier presents a big craggy head that's as sticky as flypaper. It smells like a big glass of dessert: raisins, cherries, chocolate, and a hint carmelized sugar. The flavor is wonderfully complex, with ripe fruit and noticeable but not overwhelming alcohol flavor. The mouthfeel is full and satisfyingly appropriate for the smell and taste. It's certainly no session beer, but it is quite drinkable for a 7.5% beer. With all the beer gone, the inside of the glass looks a bit like the the top of a creme brulee.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Murky swamp brown, like natural apple cider gone bad...explosive carbonation forms a nice beige head after a careful pour. Retention is good and lacing is good, helping to save the look of the beer. This is an ugly beer, but that is not what matters. For some people, the natural appearance of this beer may be attractive...but these are the type of people who prefer their women unshaven:) Aroma is mouthwatering...sour green apples, apple cider, sangria, plenty of sourness and belgian funk. Mouthfeel is fizzy at first, then melds into a cloying wet finish with a medium-thin body despite it's obvious strength. Taste begins with lots of green apples and hard apple cider. The candi sugar makes itself very noticeable towards the middle with a ruddiness and some heavy fusel/acetyl alcohols are noted before the finish. The finish is cloying, with a persistant sweetness. Hops are minimal in flavor, aroma or bitterness. It burns as it goes down, and it will give one a decent buzz. This used to be one of my favorite beers of all-time 10 years ago...I remember this beer being more sour, less heavy on the fusels, and infinitely more drinkable. Perhaps the beer changed, but it's more likely that my tastes have changed. Still, it holds a sentimental place in my heart.

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De Dolle Oerbier from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
92 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.
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