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Review of De Dolle Oerbier

02 Nov
Hello again everyone.  Thanks for checking in with me today.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the De Dolle Oerbier by Brouwerij De Dolle Brouwers located in Esen, Belgium. 

I just picked this bottle up on a whim and don’t know anything about it or the brewer, so I could be in for a surprise either good or bad with this one. 

Let’s see if we can find a description from the website, dedollebrouwers.be.

Oerbier means original, from the source.  This beer has been brewed in small scale (5 gallons) at home in a copper wash kettle, by two brothers who were students at the time.  They took over an old brewery which was out of business and said:  “If we don’t bring the brewery back to life, nobody will!”.  It was also a unique opportunity to create some interesting brews, so why not try it?  Therefore we went ahead.  We did the main work ourselves and kept the scale of the brewery as it was.  Since then, the brewery and its beers have been an inspiration for a lot of brewers.  Oerbier is brewed from all different malts, Poperinge Golding hops in flowers and a special yeast which makes it a little tart, especially with aging.  At the brewery we have excellent cellars which have a constant temperature of 8 degrees C allowing Oerbier to age at its best. 

Whew!!!  That was fairly lengthy and I didn’t even write all that was available.

This beer comes in an 11.6 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 9.0%.

The brew poured a murky, dark brown to burgundy color.  A huge, billowy, rocky, soft, fluffy, light tan head was formed from a relatively easy pour.  The retention time was superb and the lacing was patchy and prevalent.  The collar eventually settled to a thin film on top of the liquid.  It looked pretty good to start I must say.

The aroma generated wonderful hints of ripe fruit.  Cherries, grapes, light banana and mild orange slices.  Dried raisins added some more dark, fruity aspects.  The nose revealed a very, very minor sourness and tartness combined with cloves and other assorted spices.  As the brewed warmed, a yeasty/bready goodness stepped up and brought forth even more pleasant and satisfactory fragrances.  Only a very light alcohol note was detected in the nose.  Very nice.

Within the taste I found smidgens of plum and restrained cherry sweetness.  Very little sourness at all.  The spice seemed a little more forthcoming in regards to some pepper and clove hints.  A light touch of liquorice and chocolate made themselves known throughout the middle of the drink.  Further encounters with that yeasty/bready malt “rounds” the flavor like none other.  Some orange rind was experienced at the very back end.  A small touch of alcohol was noticed for the first few sips, however it completely vanished after a few minutes.  This has an absolutely great flavor.  There is so much going on here.  Very complex, balanced and harmonious.

The mouthfeel was medium, soft, dry and smooth as silk.  Like velvet or something.  A wonderful warmth was left on the back of the throat.  A decent amount flavor was left behind after the swallow too, however I was expecting a bit more.  No matter, the mouthfeel and carbonation were still very good.

Man, this is a great beer.  The longer I sipped, the better it got.  It is ridiculously easy to drink.  I would have never guessed that it was 9.0% ABV.  I would highly recommend trying this beer.  It has an outstanding aroma and a near “world class” taste in my opinion.  I’m going to have to try a few more brews from this brewery to see if they are as good as this one.  I’m so glad that I picked this up.  I nearly passed over it!!!  So, if you happen to see the De Dolle Oerbier sitting on the shelf, pick it up and give it a go.  I don’t think that you will be disappointed.

Thanks to everyone who reads and comments on the blog.  I really, really appreciate it.  Remember, look me up on Twitter (@BeerApprentice or shrews824) and Google+ (Scott Shrewsberry) if you would like. 

Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  4.5 out of 5
Grade:  A        

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4 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Country: Belgium, De Dolle

 

4 responses to “Review of De Dolle Oerbier

  1. Jimmi Adair

    November 3, 2011 at 1:08 am

    After reading your review, it would seem as though the label doesn't do this beverage justice huh? Goes to show you that you can't judge a book (brew) by its cover (label).

     
  2. Jimmi Adair

    November 3, 2011 at 1:08 am

    After reading your review, it would seem as though the label doesn't do this beverage justice huh? Goes to show you that you can't judge a book (brew) by its cover (label).

     
  3. shrews824

    November 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Jimmi,

    Definitely not. Some of the best beers in the world have very “plain” labels. Pliny the Elder has a very bare label and it is widely regarded as one of the best IPA's out there. Not to mention the Westvlederen 12 has no label at all and many regard it to be the best beer in the world regardless of style.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Cheers,
    Scott

     
  4. shrews824

    November 3, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Jimmi,

    Definitely not. Some of the best beers in the world have very “plain” labels. Pliny the Elder has a very bare label and it is widely regarded as one of the best IPA's out there. Not to mention the Westvlederen 12 has no label at all and many regard it to be the best beer in the world regardless of style.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Cheers,
    Scott

     

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