De Dolle Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,051 Ratings
De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille 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.

Added by Todd on 03-25-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,051
Reviews:
515
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
11.89%
 
 
Wants:
118
Gots:
149
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,051 |  Reviews: 515
Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer is amber and hazy. The carbonation level is low and therefore the head is diffuse and broken, gravitates to the edges of the glass. Lacing on the other hand is high. As the beer is drank the lacing keeps getting better and better.

The aroma is a mixture of bitterness and esters. Nice fruity smelling esters matched with strong bitterness like orange peels. The yeasty smell is also there.

The beer is a little sour and has a strong taste that I associate with tripels. The mouthfeel is a little thin and the drinkability is high. There is almost like an apple character to this beer. Beer is quite interesting and it lingers in the back of the mouth for a moment.

 671 characters

Photo of scootny
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 bottling. This is possibly the best holiday ale I've had to date. It really looks like a a BSPA with a light coloring for a dark ale. Light creme headthat fade kinda fast, not much lace. Smell is full of caramel, cookies, vanilla, butterscotch. Light hop florals. Taste is superb smooth sweet maltiness lays down a bed for the light holiday cookie and spice profile. Delicious fruitiness with apples, grapes, bananas and more. Honey drips in. Finish is dry and clean with a slight warming and sweet alcohol that fades to light spice that features nutmeg. Some graham and cookie dough as well. Feel is so beautifully carbonated and supple on the tongue even though it is close to full you just don't notice it. Creamy. Super drinkable, the abv is nowhere to be found as it is so well integrated into the taste. You can go through several if these if you are not careful. Wow! I am going to get a pair of these and cellar them for next year to have with a pair of fresh.

 973 characters

Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poureed from 11.2oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Bottled 2008 on the white bottlecap. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.99.

A: Caramel brown with gusher foamy, bubbled, light beige head with sticky retention and assorted lace formations and spots around the glass.

S: Light fruit soaked in a nutmeg infused, brown sugar liquid is my best stab at the aroma. There are herbal hops and caramel throughout as well.

T: Brown and candy sugar combine with light nutmeg and coriander spicing to yield a dense mally brew. Light herbal hops provide a token counterpoint but the sweetness of the brown sugar-caramel sweetness carries the flavor. Light yeast notes are there too as it is impossible to decant off the yeast.

M: Magically lighter than any other 12% brew I've had. More carbonation than average but I don't know how they did it.

D: Unbelievably drinkable for the ABV. Delicious and complex with a lighter-than-can-be-imagined feel. A really good beer that is best for a cold Christmas night -- I might have to make this an annual excursion.

 1,082 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a decent two finger head into my fluted glass. Nice presentation.

Aroma is full of candi sugar, a hint of grape and plum as well. Very nice aromas coming from this.

Taste is full of grape and citrus, which is quite surprising. Sweet but tart at the same time.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering citrus and grape. Again, very interesting flavors here. Certainly unexpected and they add an interesting depth to this beer.

Definitely worth a shot. You'll be surprised at the contrast of flavors for the style.

 540 characters

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter

A: Pours a orange-brown body with semi-opaqueness under a two-finger white head with mild retention. minimal lacing

S: Smells strongly of fruity esters, alcohol, yeast. Very strong smell, got a whiff as I cracked the top off.

T: wow! I raised my eyebrows as this touched the tip of my tongue. Tons of fruitiness (apples, apricots) lots of alcohol swimming though which pushes the flavors even more. The yeast flavor isn't very strong as is masked partially by strong fruity alcohol. The finish as aftertaste are very sweet. This is a very bold Belgian. I love it.

M&D: Mouthfeel is very thick, I believe this beer is 27plato, which is huge for the style, but I love it. there's also a good amount of carbonation. Drinkability is fairly low in terms of quanitiy, since the flavor is so intense it would be hard to drink two. Drinkability on a single bottle is great though...very enjoyable.

 933 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice style glass.

Pours a hazy burnt-orange in color with abundant dense white foam head. Great head retention and solid lacing all the way down the glass. This is listed as a strong dark Belgian so I was surprised to see that it isn't all that dark in color.

Aromas are malty, sweet, with lots of dark fruit present. Very complex.

Flavors of caramel are up front with that Belgian yeasty taste. Lots of complex dark fruit combines well with a heavy mouth feel and tight abundant carbonation. The finish is long and sweet with lots of warmth from the relatively high alcohol. Overall a very nice experience.

 648 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark oramngish-brown with a thick dirty white head. Head is very thick and very slow to fade. Clings to the sides of the glass.

S - Very malt forward with hints of fresh baked dark bread. Light fruitiness with some peach and grape. Hints of alcohol and a litle earthiness hiding underneath.

T - Fresh apricot up front with a pie spice taste sneaking in. Excellent bready backing but the apricot really carries the show. Alcohol is well masked but begins to come through more late in the drink. Fresh baked apricot pie really comes to mind on this one.

M/D - Very lively feel with excellent carbonation. Easy drinking given how big the alcohol and flavors are.

 666 characters

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 11.2oz bottle dated 2008 and into my Westvleteren challice. A lot lighter in color than I expected. Orange-amberish in color. Huge head at first with creamy-frothy white head. Head dissapears pretty quick but remains at the surface and a solid ring. Smells very sweet with a hint of spiciness. Aroma has booze and grapefruit.
Taste is exceptional right away, carbonated, sweet and spicy leaving way to a very sweet and fruit aftertaste. Great beer...can't wait to age this more!

 495 characters

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

nice head--tigh foam that fades only slowly. decent light amber color with some floaties!

slightly acetic nose teases a fruity lambic. a touch of zesty hop completes the (nasal) picture

heat and a hoppy finish provide the more tactile tasting experience. hop contributions are assertive: very bitter, very hoppy flavor. where is the acidity i smelled? i was looking forward to it. the malt character is fun--nutty finish

spritzy (and i had no idea it was so strong)

smells like a lambic but is not

 501 characters

Photo of richago1
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle dated 2008 on the cap into a Chimay chalice.Very carbonated foamed out of the bottle as soon as the cap was off.

Poured an amber color with a thick white head that I had to let die down before I could pour more than half of the bottle. Smells sweet malty,fruity with some alcohol. Tastes of sweet fruit/malt with some bitterness cutting the sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth and very carbonated almost as much as Duvel. Drinkability is good for a 12% beer, I may have to put it on my list of holiday beers.

 533 characters

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

Just bought bottle, dated 2006. Pours an amber brown with half a finger of crème head. Smell is of a sweet wine. Alcohol is apparent. Brandy soaked plums. A little bit of spice. Taste is malty and caramely and somewhat sweet. A lot of fruit. Some diacetyl. More brandy soaked plums. Maybe pear? Alcohol in the back, going down nice and warm. Mouthfeel is creamy with a good amount of bubbles. Very drinkable for 12%.

 417 characters

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

Poured from the 11.2 oz. bottle that I purchased at Rozi's Wine House in Lakewood, Ohio last week for $5.99 into my Orval Chalice. Stamp directly on top of the white, generic cap announces: BOTTL 2008*

A Dark caramel body with a significant amount of sediment floating around that were actually dark in appearance. Topping all of that is a nice, creamy white head that sticks around for several minutes. Very cool look. 5.0

S Not much smell to me. I do get some distant Belgian yeast, sweet malt but it is a muted smell. 3.5

T Sweet malt, belgian yeast taste but also a kind of unwelcome citrus tartness that is just slightly too much. After repeated sips that sensation decreased and this beer proved to be quite interesting indeed, the tartness decreased (possibly with increased temperature...I enjoyed this beer over a period of 20 minutes). 4.0

M Feel is interesting. When the beer is in your mouth there is a certain carbonation and tartness to it as the bubbles dance on available surfaces. Later the feel smooths out significantly, leaving a nice layer of syrupy goodness. The feel cannot be improved. 5.0

D Fair to good. The initial tartness drove the drinkability down and this beer is certainly a sipper to me but it is so interesting that I would never leave a drop in the glass. 3.5

Notes: My first from De Dolle. This beer is certainly interesting enough to seek more out from De Dolle and I will be doing that at The Beer Engine in the near future.

 1,470 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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 MrHungryMonkey
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle, at de Kulminator, 08.13.09.

Nose is fruity - grape-like - with some tutti fruitti and bubblegum and a floral bouquet over sweet-smelling malt. Smells pretty good.

Pours fairly clear medium straw tangerine with moderate head. Looks good.

Amazing carbonation. Grape, apricot fruits follow the nose. Soft malt - kind of nutty and biscuit. No bright esters as in nose. Minor alcohol notes. Zesty spicy. Mild kiss of malt in finish. Minor chocolate. Nice fruit. Bright spicy carbonation. Tastes good. Feels very good. Good drinkability.

 548 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked this bottle up in January so about 9 months age on it, Poured chilled into my Duvel tulip from the 11.6oz bottle.

A - A hazy apricot shade w/ 2 fingers of ecru that has a rocky appearance and settles to a creamy 1/2 inch of foam. The cap is comprised of tight bead and the clarity improves as it warms. There is plenty of rapidly rising carbonation visible and flecks of yeast settle to the bottom of the glass.

S - Robust apricot and kumquat w/ white pepper and cinnamon notes. notes of pineapple fill the nose w/ a light cherry and mango accent the accent of tobacco is there with sweet earthy qualities. There is an herbal tinge w/ aromatic hops in the background and a high amount of alcohol odors.

M - Acidic w/ spiced textures and mild bitter notes w/ warmth of alcohol and spicy dry finish. The texture is light for the strength with moderately high amount of carbonation and medium high sweetness level.

T - Green and golden apples w/ a tangerine tanginess upfront w/ pineapple and spices galore. The pepper, pine hops and nutmeg astringent qualtiy compliment the fruit elements well. A hint of quince perhaps as the bitterness of the hops and alcohol emerge. A very full fruit taste continues w/ dark plum, and light golden raisins w/ a hint of creamy and vinous notes. the hops are present until the finish with alcohol following into the strong and earthy flavored finish with hints of cinnamon and dried cherries.

D - A great tasting ale, very easy to quaff until you realize how potent this tasty beer is! An easy to drink 12% is a like few others. I can't help but think the 9 months have given this bottle a smoother drinkability but considering the fullness of flavor it could be cellared for several years without problem. An excellent Belgian strong ale.

 1,787 characters

Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I don't know if it's the beer talking, but it is fantastic!

I may be a bit bias. Every time I see a beer by this brewery I think it's going to be good. This time I found this beer in a bargain bin for 2 bucks!

I think when a beer gets to be around 12% it almost needs to be drunk like a wine. I started off this beer at around refrigeration temp and the more it warmed up the better it tasted, until at about room temp (I drank it slowwlllly..) amd that was approximately optimal temperature. The ingredients really stood out at that point. It seemed very floral and spiced on the nose and sweet on the tongue. This was only after it warmed up a bit. At colder temps the alcohol seemed to overpower the ingredients. Almost an apricot look and a little bit of a bubblegum smell. Spicy sweet taste with peppery alcohol. More of a creamy head than foamy.

A+ one of the best beers I have ever had.

 903 characters

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

11.2 oz bottle purchased at Charleston Beer Exchange and poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottle top has a stamp that says Bottle 2008.

A: It was a little bit of a gusher so I had to pour it more quickly than I otherwise would have. So there ended up being a lot of floaties in the beer. It is a orange-brownish color with a very tiny bubble white head with very good retention. It has decent lacing.

S: The aroma is a very appealing mix of fruit and spicing.

T: The few De Dolle beers I have had so far are so flavorful, I can not really put my finger on the components. This one follows suite. A very nice fruity flavor that is nice and sweet like Belgians should be. I really like the flavor until the finish. There is something that is just a bit off for me. However, it does not last long and the flavor is very tasty while in the mouth.

M: It seems a bit thin for me considering the style. There is nice carbonation, but it doesn't seem to make the beer feel smooth or creamy as I would have hoped.

D: It is a bit of a sipper since its such a high ABV and has quite a warming effect.

 1,091 characters

Photo of NewGeneric
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this last night as part of a De Dolle session. Poured an amber color with offwhite head that faded somewhat slowly and left plenty of good lacing. Also had quite a bit of sediment in it. Smelled of dark fruits, yeast, and alcohol (almost brandy-like). Tasted sugary, yeasty, and fruity (dark fruits). Slightly fizzy mouthfeel, but otherwise smooth. The alcohol stung a little bit, bet this one would age nicely.

 415 characters

Photo of damienblack
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a big, bubbly light amber, like a cider. Big puffy head that still has a good 1/4 inch on it an hour later. An absolute ton of yeast floaties, it appears like 50/50 beer and floaties. Really don't taste them, though. Also some appear as black flecks in the head. Aroma is strongly spicy and floral, with a big boozey sense. A lot like it tastes, except it works a lot better on the nose. First of all, this is a slick, floral beer. It also tastes soapy, like you sometimes get in very hoppy beers. This isn't hoppy, but still soapy. Also, it tastes acetic to me. Like vinegar, but I don't get any oxidization, so I don't think it is that. Third, it is spicy. Like crazy spicing, even more than you get normally from Christmas beers. Fourth, it is boozey. A definite sipper, but even then, it is still an adventure. Some burn going down the throat. These flavors tend to dominate. Some pluminess, and a bit of sweetness, but overall these two are subdued by the rest. If this was what the brewers were going for, it is very well made. If not, maybe I have a bad bottle, I don't know. But this is a struggle to get through. It is bubbly and big and carbonated, but all of those other aspects just aren't melding well for me.

 1,228 characters

Photo of VegasBeerFreak
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a 11.6 bottle purchased from 2003. Cellared in my beer fridge since, undisturbed. No date or alc % printed.
Popped off cap with no fizzy surprises. Poured in a british style mug (the widest glass I have, since I'm moving soon all my belgian glasses are packed)

First off I think this beer is past it's prime. Not bad but it does have that syrupy back or finish to it that alot of over-aged malty beers seem to get. Approaching the soy sauce flavor!

Still very complex, fruity, spicy, and floral. Like said before, it's a sipping beer, although the alcohol is not too apparent. The mouthfeel still has a good amount of carbonation and not too dry nor too slick.

It's got HUGE floatie-chunks.
Nothing else really different than the other reviews. I would think this beer is best aged for no more than 4-5 years.

 821 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a nearly opaque light mahogany with tons of light tan head. It smelled like lots of lemons and wild Belgian yeast, with some orange and coriander and earthy caramel malt, and a bit of brown sugar and alcohol. It tasted like zesty lemon and orange hops with wild Belgian yeast and earthy brown sugar, with lots of spices and a bit of alcohol. It was watery with lots of smooth carbonation, and a spicy aftertaste. Overall this was a pretty complex beer with a nice clean taste and great bottle conditioned body. Not quite as dark or malty as I hoped. Alcohol was noticeable, and with such complexity, this is definitely a sipping beer. It took a long time to pour before drinking due to the massive head, and I've heard that this is better aged. So this beer takes a long time to fully enjoy! But it could be worth the wait.

 835 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 HeyItsChili
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours hazy bronze with a large, foamy tan head.

S - Sweet, reminiscent of bubble gum, fruity.

T - Dark, rich, brown Belgian sugars, dark fruits, rubber, with a warm alcohol finish that lingers for a while.

M - Creamy, velvety, smooth, good carbonation.

 309 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.6 ounce bottle, 2008 vintage as stated on botttlecap. Served in a snifter, the beer pours an orange/amber color (with some floaties) and has about an inch off-white head. Head retention is pretty good, lacing is decent. It smells like nutmeg, yeast, honey, pears, plums, and a bit of pepper. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes fruity and spicy, like plums, pepper, yeast, apricots, orange peel and nutmeg. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick but has a little bit too much carbonation for me. But with that being said, it was still easy to drink as it's quite smooth. The carbonation is soft so it doesn't hurt the drinkability too much. The 12% ABV isn't too noticable at all. I enjoyed this beer a lot, I'd buy this again in the future. Recommended.

 760 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This bottle was treated very carefully and exploded upon opening. It was all I could do to not lose the whole thing to foam. Hazy copper with fair sized near white head, leaves to ring. Tight small bubbled thin lace.

S - Juicy Fruit gum all the way.

T - Fruity, esters, Belgian yeast qualities.

M - Creamy, coating, not as carbed at the initial friggin opening. Dense. Good balance.

D - A bit too strong and heavy, plus you lose a good % to foam.

 454 characters

De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,051 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.