An Exclusive Taste Session @ Brewery Tavern De Dolle Brouwers
19 Dec. 2004
Roeselarestraat 12b - 8600 Esen - Belgium

Website De Dolle Brouwers

Clicking on the pictures results in a High-Resolution image.

Immediately we noticed that this 1990 version is orange colored.

Orange/golden color. The wet glasses did show some foam retention problems. The dry glass on the right is the one to focus on. Nice creamy head again !

The 75cl bottle was completely poured out till the last drop (including some Rodenbach-yeast sediment)

This beer is so much different as the 1986 one. We did notice some oxidation here. Less sweeter, that much drier, and especially sharper in taste. Rodenbach yeast clearly present again. Port/Sherry notes. Less mushy mouthfeeling as the dark colored SN 1986. It's different, but not less attractive ofcourse. A truely exceptional beer and I'm very thankful I could have tasted a glass of it.


Some close-up of the worn label

Time for the export products !

Special Extra Export Stout
The Dolle Brouwers Special Extra Export Stout has reached it's second batch.
Important is the fact that we Belgians can also buy full 20 bottle crates !! The first batch was completely exported to the US !
It includes a nice drawing of the brewery by Kris Herteleer who is also a marvelous draw - and paint artist.

(Translated from Oerbier Nieuws - March 2004) "Special edition Zythos Beer FestivalAfter frequent insisting of American importer B. United a Stout brewing has been achieved at De Dolle Brouwers. Hence 'Export'.
'Stout' means in the old English: 'Strong', a quality which since WW I and the manifold of tax raises unfortunately disappeared in English beers. 'Strong' is for De Dolle Brewers very normal; The density = 22°PL, alc by vol. = 9%. (In reality it's more like 10 vol%!) (OG 1078) not filtered, not pasteurized, with refermentation in the keg/bottle.
The density of English beers is since 1850 systematically dumbed down by more and more taxes. The rare beers which kept the high densities were for instance Porter and Stout. After WW I the densities decayed too. An exception is Guinness Export Stout, an 8.5% strong stout, specially brewed for the Belgian market, brewed at Dublin and bottled in Antwerp (pasteurized!).
It is the second strongest Guinness in the world after the Nigerian one.
Stout is a new thing for DDB. When Edward Pope, one of the Dolle Dravers, later Dolle Brouwers, broke his leg the doctor found it a virtue he should drink on regular base a bottle of Stout. After that the DDB are very postive on this type of beer.
'Stout' is actually an oer-beer because it was brewed in early days with a lactate fermentation, a part of the sour beer was blended with fresh beer. That lacto acid fermentation is also applied here: 'Special'.
And 'Extra' is due to the use of brown candi-sugar which gives the beer one grade of extra density.
What's also indispensable about stout is the roasted malts, in different gradation, which give the beer a typical coffee taste.
There's also the use of flaked barley which is cooked seperately and only does "stick to" when not constantly stirred. It should perform a much better foam stability but at DDB they don't have any problems with foam retention. The flaked barley will not be used anymore."

The proto-type of the Stout label. A label which has never been used !

Pouring out gave a somewhat explosive head. Alot of carbonation activity in that beer. People, may I warn you that we're dealing with a very deadly beer here. The combination carbonation/high alkohol (10vol%) makes it a beer to handle with upper care. Filip has warned you !!

Special Oerbier Réserva 2002. (11.75 vol%)

The batch we see here is initially brewed for own consumption and also as an experiment. This beer is matured on one French Châteauneuf-du-Pape cask. The cask still contained some 7 à 8 liters of wine ! Refermented with Brettanomyces yeast ! This beer is 'exatly' 11.75 vol% strong ! My taste experience made that beer one of the best of the taste session. So much flavors, tanins, winy, sweet, alkoholic, aroma, woody, malty, yeasty, etc...etc... An experiment that has withstand every failure, and has become a true masterpiece in Belgian brewing.................and a proof that wine and beer can be combined.

The batch of Oerbier Reserva I have at home is completely different! Although the regular Oerbier is dominant present, the side tastes are completely different. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape cask has made that beer much mellower. Also the presence of 7-8 liters Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine gives that beer a very pleasant winy and sweet touch. This beer is remarkable less drier and sweeter than previous Oerbier Reserva. Much more body structure and smelling is bringing you right into Châteauneuf-du-Pape heaven !!

Member HOP Freddy Debels aka "Wacho" holding the glass and bottle.

A closer look to the magnificent bottle.

Hey, what's Jan pouring out there ??

Stille Nacht Réserva 2000 ! (12 vol%)

Commercial Description:
Aged 18 months on first fill Bordeaux casks.

It pours out orange/golden with a nice small longlasting head.

18 months of Bordeaux barrel aging has made it a very winy beer. Wood tanins clearly present and in perfect harmony with the 12 vol% Stille Nacht.

An overall picture shot of the taste table. Most of the people observing the magistral Stille Nacht Réserva 2000

Jan was clearly impressed by the beautiful orange/golden color. Who didn't ?

A somewhat hazy close-up picture from the Stille Nacht Réserva 2000 label.

The closing beer. Lacto-acid Oerbier. Poured straight from the lager tank and therefore hazy.

Tasting the new Oerbier was a very interesting experience.
First and very important, the lacto-acidity is very subtile present (which was my first taste experience some months ago already - yes, it's already my second tasting)
The beer was tapped straight from the lager tanks and way too young to appreciate it fully for 100%.
The nose was fruity and the taste very fruity too. No doubt the same ingrediënts as the regular Oerbier are used but the main difference indeed lays in the yeast that is used ofcourse. This results in a more fruity beer. I don't call it lacto-acid but fruitiness !!
Maybe the lacto-acidity will evolve into more accentuated when the lagering continues.........
Anyway, this beer is already from an outstanding quality !


Many thanks to HOP for the surprise-invitation and many thanks to Kris and Els for the tasting !!