Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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Stille NachtStille Nacht
BA SCORE
4.18/5
Exceptional
Stille NachtStille Nacht
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Belgium
dedollebrouwers.be

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alcohol has gone from 8% to 12% in recent years due to better yeast performance; according to Kris Kerteler.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,726
Reviews:
528
Ratings:
1,091
pDev:
11.72%
 
 
Wants:
127
Gots:
161
Trade:
5
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 528 | Ratings: 1,091
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out such in interesting color; it's hazy and orange but also tawny and brownish. You can tell this beer is trying its hardest to achieve that typical thick, rocky Belgian head but the high ABV is keeping it from developing to its fullest. Nevertheless, still spectacular. Strong apple juice/ cider dominates the aroma...nothing else comes close to competing for the spotlight in the nose. The same intense apple character appears in the taste as well. Once I got past the apple, more sweet fruits, such as peaches, came through, followed by candy and malt. A definite alcohol burn is present, but it adds a nice spice touch to the beer (adds to the other spice flavors that are present). The heavy carbonation in this beer gives it a light feeling in the mouth.

Pretty awesome beer, but I wish the apple flavor weren't as strong so the other qualities of this beer could come though.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of amano_h
4.81/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2005 vintage, 37.5cl bottle at Cafe Kulminator (Antwerpen, Belgium)

First impression on the nose is cotton candy. A further inquiry reveals some sour apple, estery Belgian yeast goodness and you guessed it, candi sugar.

Dark fruit flavors headline the sweetness overflow, followed by raisins and a ton of mild caramel. Every sip simply screams "sweet" but there's just enough balance to prevent the average drinker from regurgitating it from disgust; if you try really really hard you can still get a hint of bitterness from what hops used to be present.

Thick, syrupy oily consistency, almost as if I'm drinking a bourbon barrel-aged stout. The booziness is well-hidden and there is no booze afterburn to speak of, but any time a drink taste this sweet, you just know it's hiding a massive amount of alcohol. Carbonation is almost non-existent at this point but I am still picking up some tingling on the tongue.

A divinely balanced cotton candy beer would be my one-line description for this beer. Sweet, complex, 12% ABV cotton candy.

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Photo of threeviews
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle (Vintage 2015 stamped on the crown) into a Charente glass.

A - De Dolle beers are known to explode with a massive head and a VERY gentle pour (and leaving most of the dregs behind) yielded a massive 3-finger, eggshell white head that continued to grow!. The beer itself was a hazy golden-orange colour. (4.25)

S - Crazy aromatics on this one. Vanilla, Brandied Fruitcake, Flowers, Honey, fruity esters of Apricot, Rum-soaked Orange and peach all combine with the bready character that is signature of De Dolle's house yeast strain. (4.75)

T - The flavor is a combination of those sweet aromatics and fruity esters dominate the flavor with each sip bringing a different experience. The alcohol is definitely present, but no surprise for being 12%. (4.75)

M - Relatively full mouthfeel with very lively carbonation helping to keeps the alcohol rather subdued but a warming sensation occurs in the chest after each sip. (4.75)

O - Both big and bold beers, Stille Nacht and Dulle Teve are quite similar to my palate, but give the nod to the former. Although I would really enjoy sampling this (as well as Dulle Teve) fresh, Stille Nacht holds up quite well for ~1 year and assume it will develop in the coming years with that "Rummy" profile taking center stage. I enjoy what it currently offers so I will err on the side of consuming now, rather than aging. Price and availability are what make this beer such an infrequent treat. (4.5)

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Photo of Magery
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of heysuz
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Andy_Luft
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dgallina
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.6oz bottle dated 2005.

Poured transparent gold with some floating yeast and light carbonation. No head and little lace. Smells of syrupy caramel, strong whiskey-like alcohol. Caramel flavors up front, building rounded and slightly smoky sweet oak in the center before finishing with very fruity stinging alcoholic warmth. Somewhat more carbonated on the tongue than expected; syrupy and creamy on the palate.

A strong sipping beer. Flavor profile is unusual and very deftly handled.

 491 characters

Photo of koopa
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Caseyk1088
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of doubleipa
3.59/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost no head. Clear, but with some yeaties floating around despite a careful pour. Good aroma of grass, heavy yeast, raisin, pepper, and alcohol. Kind of syrupy with a light carbonation. Long finish. Maybe a little bit too sweet for me, however. Ok, but I don't think I'll pick up any more.

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Photo of brewdogmrb
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew, whose name means "Silent Night" is a Christmas beer which is rated at 12% ABV and the De Dolle website claims that it is "the highest density" of any Belgian Beer. Brewed with a seemingly unreasonable amount of malt and Belgian candy sugar, this brew is extremely strong, while remaining pretty drinkable, all things considered. There is such an enormous complexity to this beer that you should really try to take an hour or so to drink it, as it warms up, it changes so many times that you (almost) don't realize how hot it's getting you. There is fruit, booze, and all kinds of other sweet and tart flavors, with only the slightest hint of bitterness. Sure, my American mouth wants MORE HOPS but really, does it belong in a beer like this? This is one of those bottles that distracts me so much from everything around me that I have to restrain myself from buying it too often. Life is Beautiful, indeed.

 917 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2010.

Beer is caramel coloured, a nice golden brown. A huge, frothy white head on top even with a careful pour. This one gushed immediately from the opening. Head dissipates slowly, leaving some lacing.

Smell is full of spice and light fruit - orange, banana, apricot, peach and more that I can't place. Belgian yeast is present as well as caramel. Really a great smell.

Taste is similar to the nose and is also lovely. Apricot, peach, orange mixed with a bunch of spice- nutmeg, pepper, clove. Very well balanced between sweet and bitter. Bready malt. Quite complex and all very well mixed together.

High carbonation - a little more than I like, but not too bad. Otherwise very nice. Has a buttery, creamy feel to it.

Overall, an excellent beer. A real pleasure to drink. A standout from a great brewery.

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Photo of Beersnake1
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a golden yellow with good head. Retention was good. Nose is orange peel, caramel, and some bread. Taste is sweet upfront - citrus based. A tad bitter - resembling citrus peel - comes in after the initial sweetness. Getting some esters in the form of pear and banana. To be honest, not my favorite for this style. I bit mixed in the balance, and the complexity isn't overly welcoming. Definitely interesting and different. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

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Photo of victory4me
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle at De Dolle Brouwers, poured by Kris himself.

A - Deep reddish-copper color with a large off-white head.

S - Aroma is caramel malt, holiday spices, and candied apples.

T - Lots of caramel and fruity esters, banana, apple, and plum, along with candi sugar, vanilla, dark fruits, and mild citrusy hops. Very complex and very good.

M - Palate fairly full with somewhat high carbonation.

D - It's a sipper and not quite as easy to down as an Arabier or Lichtervelds Blond, but with how tasty it is, it keeps you wanting another sip. They don't all have to be chuggable.

 582 characters

Photo of adkieffer
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of swamiswamu
2.93/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- small head which quickly dissapates, some lacing. Color similar to apple cider
Smell- big yeastlike odor
Taste- somewhat cloying sweetness, I think they went a little overboard with the candy sugar, as it warms the flavor grows malty and round
Not too drinkable, a little too sweet
My least favorite Belgian thus far.

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Photo of UA8
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark and murky copper color with a thin khaki colored with which fades into thick lacing and puddly foam.

S- boozy peach and apricot notes, prominent fruity and spicey yeast, sweet floral honey and caramel.

T- leads with huge juicy and sweet peach, apricot, and fleshy white grapes. Midpalate develops the complex fruity and spicey yeast notes. Finishes with candied fruit schnapps booziness.

M- sweet and syrupy medium body with a coarse moderate carbonation.

D- a big and complex bsda. Run a tad a on the sweet side but it is a holiday beer so compliments the season well with it big abv and spicy flavors. Think I'll buy a couple of these to age seems like the potential for even greater complexity is very good.

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Photo of jz989
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of IronTom
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of PatYoda
2.53/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of every other de Dolle beer I've tried, but this - Ack! Way too damn sweet.

Starts off good - nice hazy gold with a beautiful white head that stays around until I pour it down the drain 45 painful minutes later. Smell is very nice - medicinal qualities stand by a cotton candy and bubble gum like sweetness. But that's only the tip of the iceberg.

The mecinal qualities are there in the taste as well (in fact sometimes it tastes like pepto bismol) but are completely obliterated by the most horribly cloying sweetness you can possibly imagine. Besides the nice apricot flavors, this tastes like Bubble Yum coated with pure sugar. There are some caramel notes in the finish but absolutely nothing there to balance the sweetness which lingers on an on. The only time this beer was enjoyable was on the first sip before the lingering sweetness. I'll give it a 2.0 - bonus points for complexity, but even that seems generous. Mouthfeel is nice and thick and well carbonated, but a little sticky seeming. I was only able to finish a quarter of this in almost an hour.

 1,109 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cap says Bottled 2010xx
Actually brought this back from Portland, OR on my last trip. Guy at Belmont Station said it was awesome and not readily available. Took his advice. We’ll see. Frankly, never looked on the shelf here in Boston, but we have De Dolle.
The head is VERY aggressive. Fills the glass and then stays forever. The head has so much structure that not only did it rise out of my tulip glass, but it seems to be able to curl around the rim and defy gravity. Lightly haze light amber color. Lots of sticky lace. Definitely a good looking beer. Ddoes take 5 plus minutes to pour the bottle..(keeping the sediment in the bottle for later)
The aroma is just absolutely fabulous. Very complex, very fresh, sweet candied sugar, honey, tons of light fruit, maybe some grape. Fantastic!!! (hoping flavor lives up to this!)
The fruit in this beer just explodes in your mouth. Definitely starts with some spiced candied sugar, some ginger and other spices. A touch of yeast and then this juicy fruit flavor. A sense of honey here as well. Nice layers of light toasted malt. The combination of yeast notes and hop bitterness in the finish is great. Very complex. This is where I say, you can play in this glass for quite some time.
Thank God you can spend a good deal of time with this since it’s 12%. ABV is very well hidden, although you get a sense that something is up. Definitely don’t pound this one. I think it would pound you back. I’d love to grab a few more of these and let them cellar. Think I’ll look. Very nice beer.

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Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 1,091 ratings