De Dolle Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

511 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: 511 | Ratings: 1,038
Photo of mickeymac
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Being a fan of de Dolle, I was really looking forward to trying Stille Nacht. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to expectations. Served from the trademark 11.2 oz Belgian brown bottle, it's a nice-looking copper with good-sized chunks of floating yeast despite a careful pour. The head disappears almost immediately. The smell is funky Belgian yeast and sugary sweetness. However, the sweet smell is not adequate preparation for the overwhelming sweetness of the taste. It's sticky sweet and reminiscent of a cherry soda. No hop bitterness or trace of sourness balances the mouth-coating effect of sugar-soaked cherries that makes this beer a labor to finish. Oh well, no brewery is perfect.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle pours a dark amber color. I could not produce much of a head on this beer. What was present disappeared quickly. Almost no lacing on my glass as I drank.Smells of sweet malt, and alcohol presence. This beer tastes very sweet, a touch caramel and butterscotch. This beer does a have a good medium body to it. I could taste the alcohol presence. This is an interesting beer. This is a good beer for the holidays to enjoy slowly. I will look for this again next year.

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Photo of filabrazilia
2.44/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer exploded out of the bottle due to excessive carbonation. The head absolutely dominated the beer making me wonder if this was a bad brew (I don't think it should be since I just bought it, but who knows how long it wason the shelf).

The aroma was pleasant with citrus notes (lemon, orange) and reminded me of a Saison.

The citrus flavors were present but overwhelmed by a strong alcohol finish. The alcohol content is rated at 8% but it felt like it was much higher. My eyes burned after each sip. I don't want to say this was awful--it was interesting.

This beer was so sharp I thought it was going to draw blood. I could feel the beer in my sinuses it was so strong--ouch. After the burn, there is a dry finish.

I could not drink this beer or recommend it to anyone. I really wanted to like it and tried with each drink to convince myself it was good. Unfortunately, I could not get myself to like this beer. I'm not sure this was what they intended, but it is disappointing.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy copper-amber pour. Thin, fizzy, nearly pristine white head hangs in as a ring with minimal lace.
Smell: Yeasty, slightly musty/earthy, sweet malt, butter, rum, vanilla.
Taste: Start is intensley sweet like caramel malt fortified with rock candy, yet it's not cloying. Notes of vanilla, nutmeg, and other christmas-ey eggnoggy tones (butterscotch, rum, etc). Biscuity with a yeast tang at the top. Sweet citrus attempts to dry the finish along with a smoothly subsiding alcohol warmth. Unique in my tastings to date.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied creamy malt, gentle carbonation, and a very pleasing alcohol warmth.
Drinkability: This selection will be on my Christmas-time sipper list.

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Photo of moulefrite
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A strange bird, but nice and warming! If this is supposed to be a strong dark ale-it ain't much in the color department, and a big zero in the headage department-zilch. Aromas, flavors, and textures are big, rich and syrupy in nature. In fact the beer almost looks like maple syrup coming out of the bottle. This is more of a dessert, or kick back in bed and read a book while sipping beer, than anything else. The flavors favor gooey malt extract, that come off in a big fruit cocktail like style. I will say, that while I am sipping this brew, we are having a snow storm out the window, and this is quite the comforting beverage. Simply expect this to be a hedonistic fruit driven over the top drink and you'l dig it!

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Photo of counselor
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't particularly enjoy belgian beers, but this beer confirms my reasons for trying (and reviewing) styles I don't enjoy. I really enjoyed this beer!

Upon pouring, I was not terribly hopeful because of the light muddy color and thin head. Despite the brackish appearance, as I drew the glass to my lips, I was greeted by the sweet smell of sweet apples, pears and hyacinth. These delicate, springlike aromas continued nicely as I enjoyed this beer while preparing dinner. Each mouthful brought with it candy apple sweet, tangy, fruity flavors that melted away into a clear, but mild citrusy hop aftertaste.

I went back to the bottle to check the yeast and was lucky to see a shot sized mixture of beery sediment which I promptly downed - wow a concentrated shot of the estery clementine hop beer that I have been drinking!

As I drew near the end of the glass I wished that I had another, but alas, I did not. This beer is why I review styles I do not care for, so that I can better appreciate all styles and come to know variations within each style. This is especially true with Belgians that are so broad ranging.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark pour with a small lacing on top that died pretty quickly. Aromas of fruit and spice hit the nose first along with a blast of alcohol. It has a very sweet aroma overall, but the spices do their job.

This is one strange beer. It had a lot of earthiness at first with spices and vegetable flavors. Alcohol came in large gusts. A few sips later, it was very sweet with minimal spiciness. A few other swigs had it tasting like brandy. The complexity was nice, but it really didn't all go together that well. I usually like something new and strange to me, but this one just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of erica
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet! Stille Nacht is soooo sweet, maybe the sweetest beer I ever had. However, I like sweet so I liked it. It was a pretty orangey amber color with a big head, smelled like honey and wine, and spiced apples in there too. It tasted pretty much the same as it smelled, with that sweetened honey flavour predominating. I liked it but it was almost syrupy- a bit too thick for my liking- and I definintely wouldn't want to drink more than one glass of this stuff. I might try it again in a year, I'll be due for another by then.

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Photo of Joss
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 2005 - rated November 2003.

Raisins and peaches in the aroma.

Brown color, flakes of yeast, big fluffy head.

Flavor: Raisins, sweet brown sugar and
a slight citric aftertaste.

Very warming - the perfect winter beer.

This bottle was a little bit too sweet - aging will probably do a lot to this beer.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.6 oz bottle served chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet. I took the glass held by the happy snowman on the label to be my guide here.

Appearance: Translucent orange with lotsa little floaties in it (mmm... floaties). Huge, thick, and creamy offwhite head that diminished to a layer of foam a few minutes later. This layer stuck around for the rest of the glass. Not as much lacing as I was hoping for given the fantastical head and retention, but still pretty good.

Smell: Intensely fruity smell. I got peaches, strawberries, pears, apples, and oranges. If I ate more tropical fruit, I'd probably be able to identify some others. Very yeasty with some faintly herbal hops. Quite the sniffer, I'd say.

Taste: Damn is this a fruity and tasty beer. Peach flavor is the strongest, but you can easily (and happily) detect the other fruits mentioned previously. A whole lot of candi sugar must have gone into this, it's so sweet. Subtle alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Substantial in body, almost syrupy, but still refreshing.

Drinkability: You'd better have a sweet tooth for this one. If it weren't for the mouthfeel and the lack of tartness, I'd have thought I was given a peche lambic. Overall, it can be a bit cloying, so more than one in a sitting might be a bit much. I think I know what some people might be getting for Xmas...

Other: Quaffed in honor of the pumpkin sculpture I made for my workplace's 2nd annual pumpkin decorating contest. I took three small white pumpkins of different sizes, hollowed one out, and then made a snowman out of it. Pictures available upon request.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I don't know what to think of this beer. In some ways it's really schizophrenic. Pours an orange-light amber with an enormous white, frothy head that has pretty good staying power.

Smells enormously of apple. The first thought that came to mind was Mott's apple juice. Other than that, it has a little spice, alcohol, and loaded with malts.

Taste is so damned complex. Initially you taste the alcohol. Then you begin to taste the fruit - again the apple with some other unidentified fruit. This immediately moves to a huge syrupy sweetness that's almost too much to handle. (Reminds me of Gulden Draak.) This is why drinkability suffers. Finishes on the dry side. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

I really don't know what to make of this, and I'm absolutely confused.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Big head that I controlled with a moderate pour. The body is classic, cloudy-orange Belgian.

Smell – There’s the BSPA aroma. The toasted malt scents mix with the fruity aroma of apricots, banana (my favorite), melons, cherries from the jar, and yellow watermelon.

Taste – Oh, this is nice. The fruits are out here in force. The malt backbone is present, but the fruits steal the show. You’ve got all the tastes from the nose then a big banana-cherry-melon fruit juice that tastes like concentrate. I mean, this stuff is strong!

You’ve also got some nice spicing to this one as well. Coriander makes the rounds here as well as cinnamon and a dash of salt.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated for the style. This is not a mouthful with each sip as one would think. Nice.

Drinkability – This is almost like an aperitif wine. It is very fruity, smooth, clean, sweet, and inviting.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep golden color, with amber notes to it. Pours with hardly any head at all. It looks quite thick as it is poured into the glass, and is very lightly carbonated. Smells of honey and a general fruitiness. Tastes thick, complex, sweet, with a strong honey note to it. This beer is also lightly sour which balances wonderfully with the sweetness. This is a world-class beer, and is incredibly well balanced.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Solid PSSSSSHTT blows the cap off. A gentle pour produces a head of overflowing foam with half of it frantically going down the sink despite my foam-chugging. Eventually a thin layer of liquid emerges in the bottom of the glass, forming spiral streamers of intensely carbonated amber brew. The head peaks 3" out of the glass and is beige in color with a sea-foam consistency and amazing retention (in a bad kinda way because the damn head won't go away) and solid sheets of sticky lacing. Aroma is tart with apple cider vinegar, abundant alcohol, tons of candi sugar, wheat malt, orange blossom honey and a hint of oranges and cloves. Reminds me of the candied fruits in fruitcake. Taste is much the same with little obvious sour funk and intense sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium-thin, yet cloying and obnoxiously syrupy, especially at cold temps. Carbonation is intense and alcohol feels and tastes perceptably stronger than 8.0%, more akin to a syrupy sweet port. A definite after dinner sipper...high quality but too alcoholic for my tastes.

Don't even bother drinking this cold. 65 degrees is perfect. Adding the yeast rounds out the mouthfeel a tinge.

$5.49 for a 330ml bottle at Big-10 in Lansing (A tremendous rip-off from the guys who automatically mark up any Belgian beer 300%.)

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Photo of beerguy101
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep eclipse orange (Can't see thru) color. Enormous white frothy head. Aroma is fruity, oranges and apples, and a little yeasty. Big candied fruit and yeast flavor that is so typical of Belgian ales. Flavor is apple-ish and spicy.Sweet and tart. Very intense flavor and carbonation. The 9% alcohol is very evident, but it sort of blends together with all the other stuff going on here. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is a little yeasty with an pronounced alcohol bite.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden orange color, with microscopic floatules (what I'm calling them these days) buzzing around the edge of the glass, and a most impressive head that took up 3/4 of the Duvel glass the brew was poured into and then still wanted to bubble over: large and lasting, solid, but creamy.
I put my nose in this soft, enticing foam and was exulted: fresh, fruity, dazzling, sugary...I'm thinking "tripel" but I know that there's more in store...slightly spicy, light, elegant, ethereal, divine.
Taste has a zing and a zip and dazzles with intense fruit flavors (orange, peach), so rich, juicy, and tangible that I can nearly taste the pit and the seeds!
I'm put into heaven's simply sublime...malt is huge with sweetness and fruit, perhaps too much so, and there's not a nod from Mr. Hops. A pity for that would have provided sufficient balance and given an extra dimension to this ale.
As it is, it's still amazing. Ah, there's nowhere to go from here...a perfect nightcap... a suffficient summation of goodness in a glass.
Thanks so much to JohnnyDuvel for this one!

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Photo of Indybeer
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz euro bottle. Poured a hazy orange color with a massive head that slowly receded. Aroma of malt and fruit. Taste is a complex blend of sweet, with some fruitiness, and a bitter finish. It is rather hard to describe. More like a barleywine in the complex flavors. This one is hard to place. Not bad but not something I'd have again soon.

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Photo of hotstuff
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was THE biggest head on a beer that I have witnessed since I started rating beers!! WOW!! The head was off-white with medium bubbles. The nose was that of clove, fruits and some sweetness. The carbonation was fizzy and the lacing was excellent with this beer. The taste was that of alcohol. This is definitely a beer to be sipped and enjoyed due to the presence of the alcohol. The body was murky and the hue was pale orange. The mouthfeel was a burning sensation in my throat as well as a warm sensation as it was digested. All in all, a good brew that I really enjoyed having the experience of drinking and rating.

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Photo of granger10
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very complex belgian. It improved as it warmed a little. Thick, dense head. But the taste and appearance of the beer proved it to be rather lighter than many belgians. The initial note is of a honey flavor coming forth followed by a spicyness that seemed a little too strong for my liking. A fruity sweetness came forth next to offset the spicyness. The beer finished with a yeasty dryness that left me wanting more. All in all a very good beer but probably not worth the price.

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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!

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Photo of aracauna
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Remember kids, don't chill a beer, let it warm up and then open it, especially a highly carbonated Belgian like this. Large misshapen head is out of control. Peach, lemon zest, salty. Alcohol a little too noticeable and the sweetness is a bit cloying. Surprisingly bitter finish.

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Photo of goz
3.22/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour created a monsterous white head that wouldn't quit, far too much for my liking (80% of the pour was head, and that was only 1/4 of the bottle).
Cloudy amber, lots of tiny bits floating about, and millions of tiny bubbles racing to the top. Aroma is big and fruity, apple and pear mostly, some alcohol showing, too. Flavor is super sweet, mostly apple, ends with the alcohol poking through. Medium body, alcohol becomes more and more prominent towards the middle and end of the bottle.

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

Notes: 2002 reserve 12% alcohol by volume. This beer pours a hazy orange/peach-ish colour with a hughe frothy head to it. It smells wonderfully of sugar, hops, malts, and fruits. The taste is all over the place but it is a bit too sweet an on the fruity side for my liking. The flavors that you can find in this beer are peaches, nectarines, tangerines, candi sugar, hops, malts, and a general sweetness. The mouthfeel on this beer is like peach syrup in a can and the drinkability is hurt because of this factor and because this beer is just a little too sweet. Maybe at a warmer temperature this would be an excellent brew. Never-the-less this is not a is an experience! Warmer this is about a 4. I've since learned that old Stille Nacht, that has been layed down for a while is quite a treat to behold. Lay some of this shit down for 5-10 years and than revisit its awesomeness!

1996 Vintage. At the Kulminator (where else?) Less sweet than the 2002 (obviously). This has really improved with age. Some lambic-like yeast funkiness, and some sour red/oud bruin characteristics are beginning to show through at this point. Fruity, without the fruit, and so balanced that it doesnt even matter. Not syrupy at all and very drinkable...excellent. I'd rate this at a 4.5 or better...

1982 Vintage (First Year). 10 euros at the Kulminator, and personally selected by Dirk and Leen as are "final beer in Belgium". A deep amber-ish colour with a frothy white head of foam. The aromas are excellent and consist of cotton candy, funky belgian yeast, sweet candied fruits, alcohol, red wine, and more. The taste is so freaking complex, that it is hard to describe. cherries, belgian lambic funk, sour red qualities, sugar, fruity, non-fruit sweetness, bubble gum, other various spices and fruits and more...The mouthfeel is perfect and the drinkability is excellent as well. I'd probably rate this vintage at a perfect 5!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage is unknown, but believed to be in the 2000-2001 area.

Pours a murky looking dirty amber color. Huge, bubbly, white head. Fizzy and efferfescent. Great retention. Aroma is sweet and fruity to say the least. Melons, mango, grape skin, apricot. Pretty nice though. The flavors of this definitely tip the scale on the sweet side. In a Harvest Ale sort of way though. Sweet passion fruit and dark cherry rise up. A hint of alcohol. Maybe some spicing like orange curacao, nutmeg, ginger or corriander. I do notice a slight bitterness on the aftertaste. All in all, pretty nice.

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Photo of cokes
2.16/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I stand as a man divided in terms of this beer. Half of me wants to dump it down the drain, the other half keeps drinking it.

Beautiful golden-amber that isn't so much murky as it is obstructed by sizeable yeast chunks. Gigantic, undulating beige head. Very impressive looking.

First off. DO NOT drink this cold unless you want to find the very definition of cloying.
Nose of overripe apricots caked in cream cheese that has been left on the counter overnight. Throw in some tangerines too.
Taste is an exercise in fruity excess. The apricots and tangerines from the nose are flaunted mercilessly. Some juicy tart apples and sour grapes enter. Buttery toffee attempts to provide a base. Waves of nutrasweet and brown sugar overwhelm the tastebuds, and will prompt a morning call to the dentist. No hops to speak of. Alcohol pops up late, in a Kero syrup fashion. This rides out obnoxiously sweet, with a few hints of grain.
The mouthfeel is actually very solid. If I could just get this to dry a bit, it would be pretty good. Clinging, sickly sweetness hurts here too.
As it stands, this is more of an experience than a decent beer.

Update: I've had this twice more. And dumped it twice. Hugely sweet and much boozier that I recall. Thicker and hotter and stickier. Are recent vintages 12%? (as I believe I saw stated on the label.)
Whatever, I can't deal with this one.

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De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,038 ratings.
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