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De Dolle Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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510 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

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Reviews: 510 | Ratings: 1,026
Photo of barczar
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Peach, pear, and green apple esters emerge in aroma. There's a hint of earthy hops.

Flavor is very sweet, candy-like, with pear carrying through into a lightly bready backbone. Alcohol is substantial, and both tasted and felt. Green apple and apricot tartness prevent it from becoming cloying. Could use some age to kill the heat.

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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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have a beer friend, whom i have not known for an extraordinarily long time, but who's opinion i respect very much. he regards de dolle as the best brewery in the world, and the stille nacht their best beer. thats high praise from anyone, especially him, so at long last, i finally get to drink one of these. on tap at the bull and bush, a real treat once the server got it right. hazy and quite pale in the glass. not sure why i expected it to be darker, but its cloudy but bright, not thick at all, almost delicate looking, and not that abv ever has a look, but this looks too light for 12% abv. head is thick as shaving cream but not as white, it stands tall like beaten eggs ready to be folded into a cake batter. it smells unexpected as well, hoppy, but only really as far as the belgians ever take it in that regard, less bitter, more leafy grassy, and fully yeasty. it smells tart like good lemonade, but still with that estery belgian yeast fruitiness and complexity. there is a hair in me that thinks this has some wild in it, not pitched bacteria, but some wild strain that got worked in one way or another. very complex, and unique to my nose. the taste is the same, new but enticing, taunting almost. the hype around this one, which is more internal in my circle than external i think, maybe not, had this one highly anticipated, and first sip shows why. that tartness is there in the finish, with even a moderate acidity. usually the strong belgians, especially the tripel types, the pale ones, have tons of sugars added for extra fermentables, or such a high original gravity as to never quite get dried out enough for my tastes. not this one, and that is its immediate success for me. its dry, but its huge, but its delicate and rich, its a bunch of caucophanous juxtapositions that resolve in beautiful synchronicity. splendid. lemon is there, straw, hay, clover, plantain, white pepper, mild brett, even decaying forest floor. this is wonderful beer, not fully understood but entirely appreciated. is it the best beer i have ever had, i dont think so no, but it is something to be revered and treasured, and there is nothing else like it.

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Photo of dar482
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The aroma offers Belgian quality up front with spice, sweet and honeyed breadiness.

The flavor follows with that same Belgian spicy note, surrounded by tiny bubbled carbonation. Then onto caramel sweetness and a bready note.

A touch sweet, but the alcohol is quite well hidden. (2009 vintage).

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Photo of Takahiro
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: opaque, tan/brown, with thin but lasting foam
Smell: Belgian yeast (yogurty), caramel, clovy phenol
Taste: strawberry and tropical fruit punch up front. caramel sweetness. slight bitterness from hops towards middle/finish.
Feel: bit cloying, but not too much
Overall: it's a belgian beer, with lots of fruitiness.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

De Dolle Stille Nacht has a very active, overflowing white head, a murky, gold-gray-yellow, bubbly appearance, and heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of light fruits, candy, white bread, and cream cheese cake frosting. Taste is similar, with low bitterness and noticeable bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and De Dolle Stille Nacht finishes semi-dry and boozy.


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Photo of interzen
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Look: Cloudy yellow with a white head with incredible amounts of staying power. Significant amount of yeast and other floaty bits too. Then again, it's unfiltered, unpasteurised and un-justabout everything else.

Smell: Slightly sour with hints of fruit and spice - quite hard to pin down anything in particular, though. Let it sit for a while and you'll get faint whiffs of alcohol too. It smells strange, but by no means unpleasant.

Taste: It might smell slightly sour, but it certainly doesn't taste sour. Quite sugary-tasting, with malts and yeast to the fore. Slightly bitter and boozy aftertaste. Again, it's quite difficult to pin down any one dominant flavour although I suspect I might have served it a bit too cold.

Feel: As others have noted, this is definitely a sippin' beer - the sweetness gives it a fairly heavy feel and there's not a massive amount of carbonation either. It certainly doesn't drink like something on a par, ABV-wise, with wine ...

Overall: I'm glad this is a winter beer, since if it were available all year round I'd be drinking rather a lot of it and end up pickling myself in the process. It is, I suspect, rather an acquired taste - a sweet tooth certainly helps as it's quite sugary and heavy. That said, it's well worth tracking down and trying if the chance presents itself. Definitely worth taking your time over (especially at 12% ABV!)

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Photo of dcmchew
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden, really cloudy, with a small lasting white head.
Surprisingly weird smelling for a Winter beer, with some big sour notes, not entirely reminding of lambics, but of fermenting white grape, apple and apricot, or more like a rustic-made white wine. Some candi sugar, licorice, clove, orange and lemon lozenges, faint gingerbread, funky yeasts and some warm alcohol.
Monstrously huge sweet (sugary!) malts, somewhat escalating from the front to the aftertaste. So does the alcohol. Hard to discern anything else under the heaviness of the sugary malt and alcohol combo. Some faint apricot, fresh orange peel and apple lingering, dense Belgian yeasts, gingerbread spices (peppercorn shines). Finishes mouth-numbing, somewhat bitter and syrupy.
Thick body, low to medium carbonation. Must sip! Aftertaste has alcohol, candi sugar, some clearer fruitiness manages to settle. In time the semi-dry white wine feel from the smell becomes more apparent in the (after)taste, but there's still so much sugar!
Didn't expect such a BIG beer (tho, 12%). Tasty, but a sweet-tooth is imperative, strong, so take some time with it. Hard to rate.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Hazy amber color with off-white head. Aroma has classic belgian esters but also some zestiness. Taste leans towards sweet with the belgian yeasty character and warming alcohol. Body is not as carbonated as other belgian strong ales but it doesn't help the drinkability too much. The strong alcohol presence is enough to make it a slow sipper.

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Photo of aleigator
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

Bottle from Marlou Genk , bottled 2012. Has a deep, hazy yellow appearance with a yellowish head, which vanishes fast.

Aroma is of strong alcohol, differents spices, including clove and cinnamon, and yeast.

Taste of this brew is complex, alcohol is present from the very beginning and lingers till the end. Very yeasty, lots of spices on my tongue, cinnamon, clove, pepper, burned malt, sugar, honey and a little bitterness at the end, which enhances the sweetness of the sugar. Long aftertaste of mostly sugar and alcohol. In my opinion they push it too far, the beer appears unbalanced to me, sugar and alcohol are too present, they dominate all the other ingredients and interrupt the possible complexity.

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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!

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Photo of Samp01
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy brown amber with a large long lasting white head on the pour. Caramel malt, Belgian yeast, dark fruit notes along with some citrus orange fruity esters. There is some brown sugar and sweet alcohol flavors with mild bitterness. A medium body, a smooth and mild sticky sweet caramel orange bitterness on the palate. Finish is sweet full flavored. Overall a very well made and tasty ale.

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Photo of MarioM
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a SN tulip.

Bottled 2010

A: High carbonation and almost gushed when opened. Head is composed of medium to large bubbles and very off white. Beer is crisp and clear yet has some large particles floating, perhaps yeast but who knows. Interesting non the less.

S: Sweet and lots of brown sugar, malt and caramel. Very extremely malty. Alcohol is there as well, which is no surprise considering its 12% abv tag. A smooth and creamy malt character with this beer.

T: Very sweet and obviously a touch alcoholic. Nice and malty with lots of Belgian yeast character. Foam is surprisingly bitter. Bottle was foaming out of the neck and decided not to waste the foam.

M: Does not feel as carbonated as it may be but sweetness and Belgian yeast spiciness lingers along with a nice warming alcohol bike and nice bitterness.

O: A really good and very strong and flavorful Belgian strong pale ale. I would definitely buy more of this if I came across it again. Its sweet, warming, bitter and interesting.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(last bottle of this in the cooler at Bottle Bar East - poured into a balloon)

A: fairly clear orange liquid, mild sediment haze... not much head wanted to form on the pour - about a 1/2" - falls quick... island of various sized bubbles formed on one edge of the glass

S: light (colored) caramel... taffy, almost like an Airhead... neutral, waxy outer citrus peel... jelly bean innards... any off-putting phenolics or harsh alcohol is non-existent - a bit of perfumy booze creeps in real late

T: bold, mildly-nutty malts and quiet storm booze... mellow, sort of a dense, oily peanut butter energy bar nuance (yeast?) detected right off with a smooth, not quite clove phenolic thread... reduction of candied orange on the edges and through the teeth... alcohol well-hidden - could pass for 2-3% abv lower?... has a core flavor of rich, demarara simple syrup

M: oily-fullish up front... mild cordial-esque syrupy flow enveloped in feathery suds... somewhat bone dry finish, flattens out... for a beer of this strength, love the initial simple syrup like bulky roundness followed by quiet, smooth, humble tidal-wave/afterburner of booze

O: not a ton of the classic De Dolle funk found at the forefront here, but it's a stellar creeper beer... one of the most satisfying simple, malty, strong Belgian beers you'll find... could very well be the Zeus of malt liquors

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Photo of NCalement
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2011, poured into a Sexual Chocolate Teku.

A- A lot of sludge on the bottom. A slow pour ensures no sediment. Copper color, thin, fast head that hold. A little bubbles. Transparent a pretty.

S- Raisin, booze, sweet malts, molasses, vanilla, honey and slight hint of spice. Kinda burns on the nose, but it's a sweet burn. I like it. Not too potent.

T- Sweet malt, booze, dark fruit, honey, maple, vanilla, spice, and raisin. Very good

M- Active carbonation. Boozy burn that's fast on the palate. Very drinkable but this one has 3 years on it nd could use a few more IMO.

O- What an amazing beer. I recommend aging one for a long time and enjoy!! Has a lot to offer, very complex.

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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

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Photo of Lothore
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Gushes out of the bottle and pours a deep, dark orangey hue with a massive, off white head that leaves quite a bit of head.

S- Plum, cherry, apricot, grape. Amazing to just stick your nose in.

T- Grape, cherry, strong alcohol burn, light hop notes.

M- Medium bodied and effervescent.

D- Amazing beer to sip on. Just when I thought I hadn't had a belgian beer in some time that really blew my socks off ...

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Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle.

A: Pours a clear amber with a big fizzy, frothy light tan head. Head fades out slowly with no lacing, although quite good retention instead.

S: Lots of cloves and yeasty bread. Light citrus. Quite a bit of sweet honey. Yum.

T: Oh yeah, honey for sure. Light apples, pears and spicy cloves. Yeasty, bready malt. More honey in the finish. Aftertaste is lightly earthy but mostly spicy. Loads and loads of cloves here with mild black pepper. The honey flavor helps balance it a little. Lingering spices and apples/pears between sips. Kind of a mouth numbing spiciness that I can't quite place, it lingers forever. Did someone put Novocaine in this? No real sign of alcohol, but maybe that's the source of the numbness?

M: Medium-heavy for 12%. Higher carbonation helps lighten it up. Fairly dry too which also helps drinkability.

O: Really nice BSPA. Super high ABV for one in fact, but it doesn't detract much. Doesn't get too syrupy, too heavy or too overpowering. No way would I assume 12% for that matter. I'd say 8-10% tops. Love the honey flavor in this one, even though I'm pretty sure there's no actual honey in it. I really enjoyed this one, one of my all time favorite BSPAs right off the bat.

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*11.6 Bottle Christmas 2013*
Ok, I was at Max's and seen this in the beer fridge. I was stoked! This has been on my radar since my first tasting of Cuvee Van De Keiser Rood (early 2008). Well, I've already bored you with my life's story, now for the "meat and potatoes". I poured this brew in my Chimay Chalice, how classy. Ok I poured this very slowly, so there was not an extravagant sized head. This poured medium amber with heavy sediment parading around my Chalice, the head was a half finger solid bubbly white. Some might say this beer is ugly, I say for the style it's pretty fantastic. I looked around and went in for a whiff. This smells like Belgian Heaven. Huge notes of tart apples and sweet pears. Hints of earthy hops and hints of citric sourness. Hell Yes! I am now dying to sip this MOFO. It is what I expected! First flavors were of tart apple and candied sugar. Sweet pear follows with a faint metallic note. There is hints of honey and crackers. There is a nice dose of Yeasty Funk that I enjoy the most which leads to some spice and berries. There is a nice semi dry bitter finish with a lingering citric sourness (not offensive in any manner, I find it adds depth) The feel on this nectar is Medium to Full body and soft, very soft carbonation that tickles the taste buds and aches for another sip.

Overall: I had to look at the bottle again, there is now way this is 12 percent ABV! This drinks like it is at least 7%. Notice I didn't say there was any booze in the taste. This is very delicious, despite the appearance. Some don't like chunks in their beer but that was not a problem with this guy! I feel this could be a nice dessert beer or paired with a nice Fruit Salad. This refreshed my Love for Belgian Strong Ales. This is my New Favorite BSPA. This brew is Recommended.

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Photo of buzzardman
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: Sweet caramel, slight belgian yeasty funk.

Appearance: Hazy golden amber, nice one finger off white head, some yeast chunks floating because of bottle conditioning.

Flavor: Sweet tart apple, light raisin in middle, with slight funk on finish. As it warms a brown sugar taste starts to come through and the tart apple fades.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, creamy, drying crisp finish, alcohol warming as i drink. Feels too heavy and thick at first but then quickly balances out with the fresh crisp tartness kicks in.

Overall: Very very good, excellent balance of sweet malt and light tartness, with a hint of funky yeast on the finish. This is one of my new favorites. $6.99 for 11.5floz

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottling. Poured into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is very clear and has a lovely coppery-gold color (rather dark for the style). It sports a nice white head of fine foam. Decent retention for such a strong beer. On the nose I get some fruit notes, primarily apples and pears, as well as a little bit of clove.

Medium-full bodied with a nice, creamy feel and a fruity, complex flavor. Up front are loads of rich malty notes, fresh apples, pears, and bananas. At mid-palate I get allspice, ginger, and clove. It doesn't overpower the fruitiness, it just complements it. In the back of the palate is a hint of pepper and a pleasant alcohol warmth, both of which linger nicely.

Oh wow - this is one terrific beer! Rich malt, fresh fruit, baking spices, and warming alcohol all come together perfectly. Anyone who thinks Belgian Strong Pale Ales have to taste like Duvel is in for a shocker if they try this. If I come across another bottle of it, there's not way I'm passing it up. Highly recommended.

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Photo of babaracas
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish orange with fast fading dense white head; streaks of lace on the glass. Smell: pear, buttered toast, caramel, mild spiciness and floral note, dried apricot. Taste: soft pear, white grape, red delicious apple, spice cake and caramel, spicy with sugary pale backing. Fullish bodied, creamy into pillowy carb. Tasty.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up an okay amount of head which has minimal retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium amber which appears as golden, pale amber in the light. Some lacing at the moment. Lacing, overall, is minimal.

Nose- Starts off with a bit of sourness that is almost astringent but turns into raisins and cherries. Some brown bread, brown sugar- this is mostly from the bottle. Some cloves or a vague ashiness from the glass? Small note of peach and banana. Swirling shows a rounded banana with other, general fruit esters.

Taste- Starts off very fruity- mostly raisins. Some brown bread in the background. Bananas as well. Some candied fruit. And a lot of alcohol. Brown sugar. But also, a lot of alcohol. Reminds me a lot of a quad. It only seems to be a pale in color. I can already tell you that this is a beer that needs to be aged as it's rather messy. Some burnt caramel, a little bit of ashiness, some cloves. Some woody bitterness on the finish. Complex with a good amount of presence but it really lacks balance and integration. Some notes of cherries. Both the brash flavors and alcohol start to mellow out but that may only be because the alcohol is numbing my tongue. Lots of promise but I just don't think it's quite there yet. Good beer that seems as if it could be a really good beer.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with a lot of syrup and juiciness to the texture. Light carbonation.

Drinkability- Very noticeable heat. Not bad heat, but it won't let you forget. A little messy. 6-7 bucks seems okay for a beer that probably develops well. Fresh, not so much.

Overall- Good beer but very messy. Definitely worth a try but I think you might I agree (if you get it fresh) that it needs some aging. This is the only reason I would buy it again.

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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!

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Photo of rangerred
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into a goblet. 2008 vintage.

Pours a brilliantly clear medium brown, at least until I got down to the bottom of the bottle and all the chunks came out, with a one finger white head. Really great head retention.

The aroma is loaded with dark fruits and has a really nice sherried quality. There is some spicy yeastiness along with a touch of vanilla and cherrywood. Very fruity all around.

The flavor is nearly all cherry up front but the other flavors follow quickly behind. More dark fruit supports the cherry along with a slight bit of oxidation. Vanilla and wood undertones along with ever-present alcohol letting you know that you are drinking a very hefty brew. Bitterness is very low with really no hop character to speak of. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth with some light warming after the finish.

Overall, I really love this beer. I wish I had a fresh one to compare but I imagine that age has done wonders on this as it is so smooth. The greatest think is it was already five years old when I bought it for $5. Truly a steal.

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De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,026 ratings.
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