De Dolle Stille Nacht | Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers

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De Dolle Stille NachtDe Dolle Stille Nacht
1,068 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,068 |  Reviews: 520
Photo of AnswerInQuestion
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich amber-brown with a light froth at the top. Many tiny pieces of sediment floating in the glass, like dirt or bubbles trapped in hard amber.

S: Sweet tangerine and apricot of the dried and sugared variety. Deeper notes of toffee underneath. mm!

T: Sweet,but not overpoweringly so again with the candied apricot offset by lighter citrus. Deceptively faint alcohol taste for the ABV.

M: Mild carbonation, just enough to accent the flavor rather than mask it. Makes the mouth and throat tingle.

D: Delicious beer, and one I would love to have again. Probably too sweet and too potent to have more than a bottle of.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally (after many years and vintages) getting around to reviewing another ale from perhaps my favorite brewery. Poured from a 330mL bottle into my beloved oerbier tulip. Bottled October, 2009 - so this is a fresh sample:

The body is somewhat cloudy and speckled throughout with tiny motes of yeast bestirred by a perpetual flight of microbubbles. A tangelo gradient glows warmly and supports a finger of pearl colored soft peaks. Amoeba-like lacing dots the shimmering pools of tears.

Sweet doughy yeast scent coupled with cognac syrup, fresh waffles and fruitcake. Slightly medicinal notes suggest a touch of wildflowers and herbs (hyssop?).

Behemoth flavors assert themselves without hesitation. A powerful surge of candi sugar, followed by a tsunami of estery alcohol spirits, completed by an undertow of faintly herbaceous bitterness. The finish is slightly peppery and brings to mind nutmeg with hints of other flavors tasting almost the way that myrrh smells when burned. On the sweet side but not excessively - an excellent after-dinner seasonal, though not so mind-blowing as I remember...

Smooth nearly creamy with a moderate effervesence - the alcohol is quite warming, and with these more recent vintages begins to overwhelm the complexity and reduce the drinkability somewhat.

Though superior to either, this shares some of the qualities of Scaldis and Scaldis Noel, which makes me think some cellar time is essential for these high ABV vintages. So, perhaps I'll be able to add a rating bump/re-review in a few years. Time will tell.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In anticipation of my 200th review (which this is), I had a mini-Beligian fest. Of all the Belgians I had over a several-day span, this one was perhaps my favorite.

G - Duvel tulip

A - Deep amber hue, with sediment, and a large white fluffy head that lasts, with foamy lace clinging to the glass.

S - The aroma is of mango, dried apricot, golden raisins, faint caramel apple and a honey-herbal aromatic. It smells exquisite.

T - The taste is very luxurious. It is fruity as hell, with impressions of everything from fig to apricot to mango to banana to cinnamon-rum-raisin, coupled with a Cognac-like alcohol bite, and ending slightly clove-peppery spicy. There is something of a slight bohemian pilsener malt awareness on the finish, and also a tad of sour apple. This beer is exceptionally rich and about as fully flavored as a brew can get; it is a stunning balance of decadence and complexity.

M - Well-carbonated and very smooth; perhaps smooth to the point of being slick. Anyway, the viscous body makes for a tremendously long staying power in terms of impact of flavor on the palate.

D - This will kick your ass, but I still have to rank anything this fabulous as very drinkable. Y.O.L.O. Live it up...

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

Vintage 2008, printed on the cap. A wisp of smoke is released upon opening, with a good amount of slow rising foam. Bottle poured into oversized tulip glass, leaving a finger of liquid behind that contained a large amount of sediment.

A- Pours a deep and glowing orange with a dense, fluffy, white, foam head. A good amount of haze, but the carbonation is visible as well as the beading caused by the etching in the center of the tulip. A few small pieces of sediment float around. Throws big globs of lacing al around the glass. This looks big, juicy, and just what I'm in the mood for right now.

S- Heavily yeast influenced aroma; almost smells like a freshly opened package of yeast. There is a slight funk that pairs up nicely with some spiciness and a very restrained european hop character. Additionally, a dark fruit aroma is underneath everything, which is confusing given the color of the beer.

T- Alcoholic heat, spicy yeast, and biscuit flavors all hit like a hammer right up front. Yeast, heat, yeast, heat, yeast... Like in the aroma, there is a very restrained hop character. Leaves a light candi sugar sweetness on the back end. This is a big hot beer with tons of character that could probably use another few years to mellow out.

M- Medium bodied, but finishes very dry and has an extremely high level of carbonation. Classically belgian mouthfeel that magically makes a high alcohol beer drinkable.

D- A hot 12%, leaving a pleasant burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and stomach. Moderate drinkability considering the level of alcohol, but more than one would be dangerous.

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Photo of Chambic
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02.02.10 at City Beer

A: why is it a hazy golden color? Don't remember it looking like that.

S: smells sweet and citrusy, and even a little boozy

T: like candied sugar, sweet in the best possible way; a nice, rounded boozy quality

M: rolls around nicely in the mouth, and finishes cleanly

D: too quaffable -- it's so smooth

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.6 oz. bottle as they say, Christmas in late, late January, you still see the odd Christmas decoration about, I feel like playing Christmas carols, a bottle picked up from the Walnut Liquorette, I've had this before, but it's been a long, long time -

A: Nutso gusher at cellar temperature, pours a dark amber, weird since I thought it would be dark, nice white head, yeasties abound.

S: Fermented blood orange with notes of Christmas spice. That De Dolle house character is there in spades.

T: There's some really toasty malt in there, booze is evident with some heat on the back end. Heavy esters and yeast-filled flavours, kumquat and marmalade, dark bread.

M: Tad overcarbonated, nice long finish and aftertaste to keep you warm on an idealistic December night, nice full body.

D: A classic Christmas beer right here, another De Dolle classic, I wish I could try the already legendary 2000 vintage.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle into Leffe gobblet at about 50 degrees.

Boom - gusher out of the bottle... Large, sharp, effervescent head, over top of a deep copper body with the most active carbonation I've ever seen and a bunch of freaky floaties. 5 for entertainment.

Smell is relatively light for the ABV - ripe apricot, and a fair amount of spicy yeast.

Flavor & MF is Uuuge compared to the aroma. Thick with orange peel, barley, and pomegranite. Unique. Tough to categorize this as any style.

The 330ml is plenty - a sipper, no doubt, and worth the time to explore & enjoy.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to piginapen for trading me this bottle.

Pours a slightly murky brownish-yellow with a one finger white head, which stays around until the glass was empty. The aroma is Belgian yeast with bready malts and some unidentifiable fruit. The flavor is alcohol and strawberries. You also get some yeast, caramel malt and some sugary sweetness. The alcohol is very warming. I also got some slight banana notes as the beer warmed but they were faint. The beer gets fruitier as it warms. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this on tap at the Map Room into a De Dolle tulip.

The beer pours a rusty brown with a nice white head, lots of carbonation. The retnetion is good as well as the lacing.

The aroma is malty with spice, honey and star anise.

The taste is nice, doesn't have a ton of the spice but very complex.

Good feel and drinkability.

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Photo of popery
4.66/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #500. I've been coveting this beer for quite some time. San Francisco SOMA Whole Foods has an awesome beer buyer and they just started to stock this gem.

It pours a bright rust color with a fine, foamy white head. It's surprisingly transparent, but I was very careful with the pour as there is quite a mass of yeast sediment lurking in the bottom of the bottle.

The aroma is lovely, dark and deep with the promise of honey, spices and caramel malt. Spiced mead comes to mind. The spice aromas are entirely without the cliched gingerbread houses of lesser winter beers and tend toward good, fruity peppercorns. The malt packs more fruit than a farmer's market, as the beer chimes in with apricots, plums, grapes and bright, sweet lemons.

The malt flavor is fairly sweet, more rich than sugary, with big, dry Belgian yeast notes keeping things in check. There's a marvelous alcohol presence that would be best enjoyed seated by a smoldering hearth late at night.

Perhaps, the name and reputation made me sit and think about this beer more than most, but Stille Nacht has more complexity and soul than nearly any beer I've tried. It's rich and full, just perfect for a frosty night.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. 2008 on white cap. Huge, huge off-white head sits for all of eternity above a murky, gold body. I note some strange flakes sitting in the foam, looks like cinnamon? I have no idea what it is, I'm not concerned. Aroma is pure funkiness, not in a bad way. Taste is a blend of sour, sweet and bitter. Some tart apples, some sweetness from the sugar and the age, slight alcohol taste, extremely minimal noting 12% abv. A delicious amalgam of many, many different flavors.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's a winter classic from Belgium. 2008 Vintage from a 330 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Gusher alert! There's a lot of yeast in the bottle, so I am careful to pour the beer. Orange amber color that shines, not much of a head on this one. The body is on the clean side, though a little sediment floats. I like the aroma. It's not powerful, which I like....rather mellow for its size. Sugary fruits, candied fruit, and more sugar. Also a little touch of alcohol.

Dark sugar is the dominant flavor in this beer. There's also some fruit notes in there as well, though I'm having a tough time identifying what they are. Watermelon? Apples? Not a large presence of yeast notes. The alcohol is buried well in this beer, but you will feel it some. Bubbly in the mouth like a champagne. The aftertaste is slightly sweet with dark sugar, but mostly is dry.

Dry and pleasant. I like it. Good pick for the winter time.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition

330ml bottle served in a Trappist chalice.

WOW! That's what I've thought when I've felt the strong smell of strawberries and grapes in the moment I was pouring it.

A: Very nice hazy amber color. A huge bubbled beige head and many lacings left

S: Fantastic. Peculiar. Black fruits and oak are VERY evident. Moderate alcohol despite the high ABV. Belgium yeasts

T: Again, fantastic. Very peculiar. Fruits and Belgium yeasts are evident. Oak. Sweet upfront (little bit chocolate). Dry aftertaste

M: Heavy body. High carbonation

D: Wonderful beer. Bring me a cask!
2008 Edition (2010.12.28)

0.33l bottle served in a chalice.

A: Very nice hazy orange color. A huge bubbled beige head and many lacings left

S: Strong presence of fruits (plums and peaches) and oak. Moderate alcohol despite the high ABV. Belgium yeasts

T: Again, fantastic. Very peculiar. Fruits and Belgium yeasts are evident. Oak. Very dry aftertaste

M: Heavy body. High carbonation

D: Wonderful beer. This 2008 Edition reminded me a Strong Pale Ale compared with the 2007 version which is darker and smoother
2012 Edition (2012.12.03)

330ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pours a nice orange hazy color. Lots of chucks floating around. Forms a huge bubbled white to yellow head. Good retention and many lacings formed and left

S: Sweet and fruity. Notes of plums, peaches and grapes. Strong notes of oak. Quite winy. Bready Belgian yeasts. Moderate alcohol despite the high ABV

T: Great taste. Very grainy and spicy. Sweet upfront with notes of candy sugar, dark fruits and bready Belgium yeasts. Strong notes of oak. Bittersweet Belgian style

M: Heavy molasses body. Good carbonation. Sweet grains and hoppy bitter aftertaste

O: Great drinkability. Excellent beer

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Photo of Patrick999
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

8% to 12% due to "better yeast performance?" Well damn.

Poured into a Chimay glass. Thin but dense fluffy head, with quite good retention. Body is on the pale side of dark. Or the darker side of pale, take your pick.

Big strawberry preserves in the nose. Just a crapload of esters throwing off strawberry and banana.

Dense taste. Heavy wheat backbone, wheatwine-ish. Following the nose, some sweet strawberry-banana. There is a wave of fruity alcohol and light clove spiciness. The main story is this beer's fruity nature, though.

Thick, rich feel, something akin to a Belgian Barleywine, if there was such a recognized style.

For 12%, this doesn't hurt much at all. The moderate fruity sweetness masks a lot of alcohol, I think. One 12oz bottle isn't much of a problem.

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Photo of berkey
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Trappist 01/13/10

Hazy pale amber in color, fairly light for a BSDA. Head is retained somewhat poorly relative to the style. Leaves some filmy lacing on the sides of the glass.

This is one potent bastard in the aroma department. From spiced apple cider to strawberries to dried apricots and back. Like a lethal blend of several types of Brandy distilled from different fruit.

Very clean on the palate but with spice and strawberries still out front. Nothing like strawberry candy though, more like fresh picked strawberries before they're completely ripe. The apricots from the nose are still a significant part of the flavor while the Belgian yeast character that was kind of crowded out on the aroma is more identifiable.

Body is inhabited my a modest population of very small bubbles. Not as highy carbonated as the bottled De Dolle beers I've tried but it works for this beer. The first small sips I could feel a slight alcohol burn in the mouth and throat but about halfway through I'm no longer getting that.

A delicious but intense brew. I was hoping to get in more reviews at this event but after this monster I have a feeling palate fatigue will set in soon so I'll stop here.

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Photo of Travlr
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught at the source.
A: Cloudy golden with huge white head that lingered, then left excellent lacing.
S: Caramel malty aroma with light spice in the background.
T: Caramel taste with mixed spices, maybe nutmeg and cinnamon, and a chocolate finish. Well-balanced and highly complex.
M: Excellent body.
D: A winner.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.6 fl.oz. bottle > goblet

A beautiful, slightly hazy golden color with some darker amber hues around the edges. a quick-to form, fizzy off-white head sticks around for a a short time, impressive while it lasts! there are some orange colored yeasty its floating in the middle of the head.

A wonderfully sweet light malt and a touch of honey, old belgian candy, dark and light fruits, tropical and earthy yeastie aroma's makes this puppy HELLA complex to the nose!

The semi-sweet belgian candy flavored malt ios simply awesome in this brew, gentle honey balanced out with zippy, zesty, and peppery yeastie notes. Earthy balance that is very righteous, complex as hell, you cannot beat an authentic belgian ale for complexity in the yeast department. Fresh tropical fruits ride in later along with sour wild fruit flavor's of small-wild strawberries and raspberries. A dry, earthy feel, zippy with a classic, smooth belgian medium body. The heat is mild for 12% and is very well hidden although warming in effect. A slightly dry,earthy bitterness with a mildly sweet malt finish. wow.

$5.67 for 11.6 oz. bottle Insanely complex for this style.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of scootny
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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De Dolle Stille Nacht from Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 1,068 ratings
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