De Dolle Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

514 Reviews
De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille Nacht

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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.

Added by Todd on 03-25-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 514 | Ratings: 1,040
Photo of SassieCassie
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Served in a tulip glass

Appearance: Dark golden brown/ hazy color little head retention which was concerning at first...
Nose: The nose displays a nice burnt caramel/ malt flavor with a subtle hint of ethanol and that Belgium flare
Taste: Appropriate carbonation. Thick, creamy, and slightly sweet (like a thicker version of a hardy brown ale) with subtle earthy hops at the end that play with the sweetness. I was expecting more of an ethanol flavor because of the high ABV, but was surprised to find it balanced and hidden.

What a beautiful Belgium beer!

 563 characters

Photo of ryanms3030
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me preface this by saying that I am reviewing a 3 yr aged bottle in particular. In general, I've always regarded Stille Nacht as a good example of a Belgian beer but never one of my favorites. This weekend my friend broke out a bottle that he had aged in his cellar for 3 yrs. It did get much better with age. It was noticeably sweeter then usual. I'm not usualy a fan of beer that is too sweet but with the probable increase in alcohol this had a nice mellow blend. I recomend it for aging , if that's your thing

 517 characters

Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big but mellow alcohol taste with a warming finish. Hazy orangish reddish colors it pours a big fluffily white head. This is a very good winter warmer as one can easily sit a cold night sipping this in the ice house!

APPERANCE: hazy and orangish red

SMELL: Sweater on the nose then on the taste buds

TASTE: Mellow but bold alcohol taste, with a sweet citrus fruit, slight biter finish.

 388 characters

Photo of Crittervision
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't remember the last time I was so head over heels about a beer. 

Two bottles from 1999 on two separate occasions at Kulminator. The first on 12 August 2011. The second on 19 August 2011. 

First bottle pours dark amber with a thin blanket and thick ring. 

Smell is so luscious. So sweet. Sugary prunes. Indescribable sweetness. Nutty caramel. Dessert wine. 

Taste is sweet as well. Very mildly vegetal. Dry tobacco, port or sherry. Slightly tart, but sweetness dominates. Dessert. Woody. Sweet syrupy dust (hmm?). More porto. 

Appropriately creamy mouthfeel. Mind-blowing. 

Would gladly drink an other. 

So one week later Leen would pick this one out for me from a list I gave her. Chosen over, among others, 2004 Westvleteren 12. Stille Nacht was what I wanted anyway and she had forgotten I'd already tried it. Lucky me. 

And there is bottle variation. "With taste evolution." Thank the lord for this beer. 

Appearance is a bit different. As every thing will be. A body like brown glass under a half-finger width white head. "Stille Nacht" on the label is bled magenta. 1999! God I can't wait to drink you. 

Smells like whipped eggs and sugar, a buttery vanilla cakey sweetness, with an alcoholic spiciness. 

The taste. Where to begin. I'm glad I'm more sober this time. Heaven. An absolute explosion of only good shit. Root beer, pipe smoke in a basement (old Westmalle Dubbel), cinnamon butter toast, brown sugar cinnamon concentrate, buttered raisin rum macerate, cola. Vegetal flavors (again) make up the most negligible per cent of the taste. Never mind them. Honey and sweet green grapes on the last sip. Good. God. 

Creamy, fluffy, divine. Soft, friendly, comforting. Who is this beer. 

Reading through my notes makes me afraid to try this beer again. I'd be so disappointed to not find god again in a glass of Stille Nacht. 

 1,866 characters

Photo of shortsqueeze
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Could be the finest beer I've had this year. Near perfection. My only complaint is the lack of sustained head, otherwise it's a perfect 100 points.

2009 Bottling

A: Gorgeous burnt orange with a lacy white head that dissipated quickly after pouring. Yeast visible.

S: Sublime. Orange zest and figs.

T: Complexity beyond comprehension and reason. Honey, caramel, brown sugar then orange zest and candied orange peel. Figs, apricots and other dark fruits. The perfect harmony of bitter and sweet. An amazingly long finish I could still taste it hours later.

M: If you could imagine liquid silk, or cashmere. Perfect viscosity neither cloying nor thin in the mouth.

D: You know you are drinking something enormous and you want to savor every last drop. The alcohol plays its role beautifully and in perfect balance with every other component. I'm not sure I'd pair this with food. It should be enjoyed on a stage by itself.

 925 characters

Photo of waughbrew
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle circa 1997. Very light rusty color, pretty clear until the chunky yeast pour, big off-white head with rather good retention, not much lacing. Funky sourness attracts my attention right away. The aroma has dark fruits like plums and raisins in the front, with some bubble gum riding above a sweet caramel apple cider. Flavor is a sforzando of sweetness that decrescendos almost into a balance. Finishes with a sweet citrusy twang. A whole bunch of goodness in there - some vinegar, spices, earthiness, mustiness. Much like a complex liquid tart candied apple. Feel is rather thick, a bit syrupy with sweetness, but in no way annoying to me. Good medium carbonation that is very pleasant.

This beer is the nightcap that I am looking for every time that I open a barleywine or strong ale and am slightly disappointed. This has a complexity and godliness that most of those beers are missing. This beer is like no other I have ever had. And that is unfortunate, because it is incredible.

Many thanks to Paquette for this gift.

 1,035 characters

Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Beautifull brown color with a perfaect tan head. Nice retention and lacing.

Belgian herbs and pepper with a nice caramel maltiness. Sweet honey and citrus fruits.

Lots of sweet tropical fruits. A mixture of oranges, peaches, mango and apples and more. Powerfull, complex, and sweet malt structure.

Perfect, full body and well carbonated. Passes smoothly over the palate.

Wow, so well balanced and drinkable for a beer this big. A near perfect example of the style.

 476 characters

Photo of drewbage
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Lucky Baldwin's prior to the 2004 Belgian Beer Fest. This was a 6 year old keg that Dave had squirreled away somewhere in his pocket universe devoted to odd ball keg storage.

The beer was poured into a Duvel glass which allowed the aromas to collect, congregate and swirl.

Aroma is clean white sugar just turning to a very potent caramel that's been drizzled over peaches.

Flavor continues the spiced dried peach theme, but this time it adds bananas and pineapples to the mix of carameled fruits.

The finish follows with a flavor that reminds me of the sauce for banana's foster, alcohol, amaretto, buttery slick and caramelized brown sugar.

Astounding! This is dessert in a glass and not your run of the mill, honey let's buy a pie from the grocery store dessert. This is dining at the Ritz, tuxeoded waiters and dishes enflambe type of dessert. A sure rarity, but it points to the possibilities inherent in a well aged De Dolle product (assuming the beer's in the bottle is clean).

 1,012 characters

Photo of HellSludge
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great brew from De Dolle Brouwers. I was blown away at the beers consistency and lack of boredom. Every sip was so interesting. I would have liked to drink this slower, but my taste buds would not let me. This got a beautiful 5/5 from me. Go get one!

A - Beautiful

S - Gorgeous

T - So GOOD! Perfect

M - Smooth, consistent, full

 343 characters

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A repost of a previous review for the wrong beer. The label is damn near exactly like that of the 2000 Special Reserva.

Now that I look like an asshole – sorry Matt, my bad – here it is.

A: Pours a murky goldish orange. Pure white head of 3/8" that fades fairly quickly, but leaves a nice ring around the peak of the glass.

S: If I could leave the smell description at one word, it would be – Damn. Peachy and sweet, with a wild grain back drop. I hope it tastes even half as good as it smells.

T: Oh God, this beer is good. Vibrant fruity sweetness with the perfect balance of acid. Bitterness is apparent in touches of spice, not hops, but this shares a small second stage with the alcohol. Pretty much the same grainy aspects that Bos Keun is built on, but amped up with residual fruit and spice notes.

M: Perfect again. Lively and active bubbles carry the flavor across without stealing the stage.

D: For a 12% beer, this is amazingly drinkable. It's a good thing I only bought one. But, when I clear the store of every last one of these beers, it'll be harder to hold on to them. Without question, one of the best beers I have ever tasted.

 1,154 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The bottle has a small label on the neck that reads "Bottled in 1996". Carefully poured it's a slightly hazy orange-ish color. The addition of the yeast sediment leaves it cloudy and more copperish with a bit of a reddish cast. The initially foamy ivory colored head settles to a short creamy cap and remains throughout the entire goblet leaving some transient lace as it goes. The nose is astounding! It's intense and quite complex with notes of ripe fruit (raisin, prune, plum, mild citrus, orange peel), vanilla wafers, honey, sour candies, cookie dough and lightly toasted bread. It's silky smooth and quite creamy across the palate due to a medium body and very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning. The flavor starts with dripping, juicy fruit flavor. It's rich and sweet with raisins, plums, and even a bit of raspberry. It's almost enough to overwhelm the tastebuds! A touch of citrus follows, immediately coat-tailed by some background bitterness; both of which keep it from becoming cloyingly sweet. Some mustiness and low-level earthy hop flavor emerge in the finish along with some caramelish and bready malt and a very light, cinnamon/nutmeg-like spiciness. At times the long-lasting malty sweetness appears like a spiced fruit danish or jelly donut. And yet, it finishes surprisingly dry finish considering the amount of juicy and sugary fruit sweetness found upfront. Absolutely amazing! A complex, rich, sweet, and fruity beer that could easily replace a barleywine for sipping after-dinner. It would be equally at home on a cold winter's night as it would a cool summer evening. Most enjoyable!

I'm not sure if the vintage and aging have anything to do with it, but I'm certainly going to enjoy a few more of these!

 1,750 characters

Photo of cdmillard
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review is for 2006 vintage, poured into a tulip

Amber colored, with a substantial amount of yeast floating about. Poured with a nice head, which surprised me, which quickly dissipated. The aroma was heavily caramel, which I absolutely fell in love with.

Taste...I think someone else mentioned full and rich. This is dead-on. Wonderful caramel flavors, and prominent alcohol (yeah...she's pretty boozy!) but very smooth after 7 years in the bottle

This is a full bodied sipper. Had this in a restaurant, and had no issue with stretching this one out as long as they would let me sit there.

This may be my favorite beer ever, which is saying a lot. I had a 2008 a few nights ago, which was wonderful, so I had to try the 06 for comparison. It just keeps getting better with age. Highly recommend a try, if you can find it! I was lucky enough to find 4 bottles of 2010 on the way home (a little something for later!).

 920 characters

Photo of abriggs1
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice carbonation for such a heady brew. The smell is a combination of mead and madiera with some orange. Somehow, i don't smell a lot of boose even with it being 12%. The taste is very madeira-like more than anything else, which is right up my alley. Taking my first few sips, i guessed the alcohol content was maybe around 8-9%; 10% at the most. I was surprised to see that it was 12%. The taste of the boose is there, but it's extremely well balanced against the hops and the malt. This beer is way too drinkable for how strong it is. I know I should sip it carefully with my pinky stuck out, but I can't help but take one big sip after another. This is truly a magical beer, even by De Dolle's standards.

 707 characters

Photo of Fux
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I still never had reviewed this beer, this has to be corrected, and this will be done from a 2005 vintage (7 years old). The review would have been quite similar for other vintages, but aging on this beer definitely sublimates it.

A: Looks hazy, color is between amber and dark copper. The head is small with quite a low retention.

S: The smell is awesome, deep, rich, strong, with loads of fruits, spices, lactiness. I get some apples, pears, citruses, orange peels, raisins, cherries, grapes, figs. Very spicy and yeasty also, a bit sour and woody. Finishes sweet with some chocolate malts.

T: The taste is sweeter than the nose with brown sugars, molasses, toffee and caramel malts. Lots of fruits also : soaked fruits, dark fruits, prune, plum, soaked cherries. The balance between strong sweet malts and fruits make it taste like a Christmas fruit cake. Alcohol is present also with faint Port notes from the oxidation (barely noticeable and perfectly well integrated). Bitter chocolate aftertaste.

M: Thick and solid mouthfeel, unexpected from the style. A bit warming but perfectly refreshing due to a dry finish.

O: This beer is just awesome and I'm not sure there is one better on Earth, at least it's the best barleywine ever. This is the richest, tastiest beer I've ever drunk, it seems even better each time I drink one, and aging works wonders with this brew (I just can't imagine drinking something better than the one from 1987 I had a few weeks ago...)

 1,473 characters

Photo of grayburn
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yeah, my words will do this beer no justice. The beer pours a surprisingly light coppery color...with a freaking massive head. Freaking massive I tell you. Wow, it fades to a strong ring that laces like a hockey skate.

The smell is amazing, but a bit subdued when playing with such an amazing flavor. A touch of sourness plays well with a caramelly sweetness and some light and dark fruits. Wow.

The mouthfeel is as smooth as can be. excellent drinkability. One of the best beers I have had the luxury of experiencing, thanks guys.

 534 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 bottle drank in 2004 at Kulminator in Antwerp. Poured a hazy medium brown beer with a super huge head with perfect retention. Carbonation is perfect with bubbles still present 10 minutes after the beer was poured, which is a bit surprising considering the age of this beer. Aroma is a quite strong mix of plums, sugars and roasted malts. The taste of this beer is one of the most wonderful things I had the chance to drink in my lifetime and consisted of a mix of roasted and sweet malt, plums and a sweet bitter finish. Alcohol was well hidden and didn’t break the overall perfect balance of this beer. I know must find more of this since it is so incredible.

 666 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(Oct 2009 bottle)
I did it, I went and spent about 20 minutes trying to find this bottle in a shelf of singles because I had seen a list saying it was there somewhere. I can happily say that the search was entirely worth it. This is a fantastic BSPA and I may have to say my favorite yet of the style.

Pours a hazy very light amber. nearly a 60 lovibond color over, healthy white head with heavy white lacing around the edges after 30 mins.

Smell of orange rind, light fig and raisins, plum and dough

Taste was amazing. There was a thick body to this with belgian doughy yeast, light plum, white raisins, a slight booziness to it and an amazing fig presence. Oranges, caramel, very sweet and barleywine in flavor without the hop presence seen in american barleywines. This is a fantastic brew and if I could have found more on the shelf where I found this, I would head back to pick up more. Well done De Dolle, well done.

Light carbonation as it should be for the style with a medium mouthfeel. highly drinkable for the abv that this clocks in at. Easily recommendable to try

 1,082 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased and drank at Novare Res in Portland, ME.

This one pours a hazy golden orange, with a small head, and just a bit of lacing.

Smells like honey, orange, peach, apricot, candy sugar, and caramelized sugar.

This has completely redefined my idea of this style- a style that's nearly never excited me before now. It's nearly flawless, and suprisingly dry/balanced for being a whopping 12% ABV. The alcohol does not show itself, really at all. It's got a great fruit flavor, without any fruit added, a sort of peach creamsicle thing, some apricot, soft sugar coated pear, earthy and not so sweet honey. There's a bit of sweet caramel, and some slight grassy hoppiness. This is so complex, and so astonishingly good. It made my night that much better.

This has light feel to it, the perfect level of carbonation, light, but present, and propping everything up- keeping this from being syrupy.

This is hands down one of the best beers I've ever had. It's unbelievable.

 980 characters

Photo of Radome
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from 33 cl bottle bought in Spain.

A - Beautiful deep golden color building to copper in the depths of the glass. Perfectly clear. Pure white head is restrained during the pour but lingers as thin skin and lacing with large bubbles. Bottle conditioned with a tiny layer of sediment that becomes floating specks when poured into glass.

S – Fresh clean scent is all about malt and yeast. No hops are evident. Very sweet-smelling; fresh bread, cotton candy and bubble gum. A spice note in the background that could be overt spicing (coriander?) or could be yeast influence. Light aroma of sweet alcohol.

T – The tastes follow the nose. Light sweetbread like the Italian loafs eaten at Easter; green raisins; cotton candy; some fresh, restrained spiciness. Alcohol sweetness like a sweet liquor. Amazing depths of flavor.

M – Medium body. Moderate hops bitterness without significant flavor contribution. Light tickle of carbonation. Strong punch of alcohol.

O – A very pleasing, intense and complex beer. Has many of the same characteristics as Bush Blond, but seems to be more smooth and complex overall. It does not hide its alcohol at all, but allows it to remain blatant and blend with the overall sweetness.

 1,230 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

 1,041 characters

Photo of drumrboy22
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this one when a local store was cleaning out their back cooler. Managed to find 6 bottles. No idea on the age. I bought it a year ago and it's probably at least two years old by now. Served at cellar temperature.

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a De Dolle chalice. Beer is a clear, orange color with an off-white, silky, creamy head. Big carbonation and moderate lacing.

Aroma was tart apples, grapes and mild funk.

Taste was complex, mixing notes of tart apples, raisins and apricots with bread and grains. Very sweet and slightly tart.

This is really an amazing beer. By far, my favorite xmas seasonal. This is a tough one for me to track down in Colorado, so I'm decided to homebrew a clone this year. I can only hope it comes out half as good as the real thing.

The Mad Brewers don't make a bad beer, but this is probably their best.

 854 characters

Photo of hero27
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.6 oz bottle.

Glowing apricot...some flakes of sediment floating about.
Fizzy head that actually holds up really well.
Very spicy aroma as soon as I pop the cap...cloves, coriander, orange peel, tangerine, and a touch of alcohol. Intriguing..
Sweet & fruity up-front..sticky mouthfeel. Fresh fruit nectar, lingering floral hops, and a sugary, candied syrup mixture. The spices are very bold yet somehow remain tolerable. Fantastic.
I let this warm to room temp and it gets even more smooth & the flavors just seem to jump out with every sip. Complex, rich, and endlessly way this is, i'd guess MAYBE 8-9 at the high end. The drinkability is superb if this is indeed 12%.

There seem to be kind of mixed reviews of this beer, but personally I think this stuff is incredible. Don't hesitate to try it.

 827 characters

Photo of pat61
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a hazy copper gold with a persistent very creamy and stiff, fluffy and lumpy 1 ½” foam collar that mounds up over the top of the glass.
S: Yeasty, fruit, over ripe fruit, bread, spice.
T: Big fruit flavors suggesting a blend of apricot, peach, citrus and something tropical sweetened with light caramel. There are big hops in the background but every thing else is big so it balances.
M: Highly carbonated, luxuriously creamy, satiating, medium full body.
O: An extravagant beer that hides its alcohol well.

 523 characters

Photo of PJ60
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch not dated. It clings nicely to the side of the glass. Almost translucent going into the glass. Aroma is deceivingly faint but very pleasant. Slightly sweet, deliciously malty with subtle yeast back that doesn't linger. Silky smooth going down. Fantastic holiday beverage!

 277 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review refers to a bottle from 2006.
Poured the color of rust, with a huge head that left a sticky ring of Belgian lace, and did not dissipate until the last sip.
Smells of dried and candied fruit, especially apricot and fig.
Peppery, champagne-like carbonation tickles the back of the throat. Big warming alcohol hides behind fruitcake flavors, banana, allspice, and earthy undertones. The back palate is surprisingly dry, with flavors of grain and mature yeast. A strange, faint note of vegetable water, like when you boil broccoli. Barely perceptible, but definitely there. One of my favorite Belgian Christmas ales.

 627 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,040 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.