Home > Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Strong Ale > De Dolle Stille Nacht (335 of 1001)

De Dolle Stille Nacht (335 of 1001)

Rating: 4.4

Translating as ‘Silent Night’, this one is my second beer from De Dolle and follows on from their Arabier that I reviewed here back in August of 2014, with that particular beer being another of the four beers from the brewery that features in the 1001 beers list. Originally a dark Belgian ale when launched in 1980, the recipe was completely changed two years later and it’s now a Belgian strong pale ale. The beer underwent another change in the year 2000 when the Rodenbach brewery stopped supplying De Dolle with the yeast strain they were using to brew this one through the 1990’s so since then the yeast being used is a stronger, less complex one but the beer is still held in every high regard. This bottle is one that I stumbled upon during a recent trip to Whole Foods Market in Giffnock and it was one I almost passed on grabbing before I realised it was a beer from the 1001 beers list, the reason for this being that I’ve still got quite a few stronger beers to get through and with this one coming in at 12% abv. I felt it could potentially take a while for me to crack the bottle open but as it’s a pale offering and features on the 1001 beers list I thought I’d open it sooner rather than later after getting it home. The beer will also bring my total from the 1001 beers list to a semi-respectable 335, meaning I’m just over a third of the way there; it’s taken me a lot longer than expected given the amount of times I get side tracked but it’s progress at least.

De Dolle Stille Nacht

Appearance (5/5): Quite a cloudy looking beer, this one is a dark amber colour that has a few bits of sediment floating about the beer with more of a build up nearer the bottom of the glass. There was a fluffy, two and a half centimetre tall head on top that was an off-white colour that had excellent retention in the early going and it left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass too, no easy feat for a 12% beer.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a strong nose in the early going, there was a bit of yeast and some orange notes alongside touches of peach to start things off. I managed to detect some grapes and a little pear on the nose with some spice and fainter citrus notes not too far behind. It’s definitely a varied aroma initially with some honey sweetness and a bit of malt towards the end that ushers in some sourness and faint alcohol grain.
Taste (9/10): Again quite a yeasty beer opening up, there was some faint sourness that carried on from the nose and I got a bit of spice coming through too. The beer was fresh with a solid citrus base and some nice orange flavours before the pear and apple from the nose showed itself. There was plenty of sugars throughout this one with an almost candy sweetness and a lighter bitterness towards the end; there was some cloves and a few malts around this point too and overall it was an excellent tasting beer.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite fluffy, this one was a fresh beer that seemed warming and very slightly boozy, mainly at the end but for the most part the alcohol content of the beer was quite well hidden. It was a dry, balanced and varied offering with some spice and a strong sweetness nearer the end.

Overall (18/20): This one was an excellent beer from De Dolle and came through with almost everything that I’ve come to expect from big, bold Belgian beers. There was a lot of flavour packed into this one and some good spice as well with a combination of yeast and citrus flavours opening things up and rich fruits following them up. It was a very well-balanced and easy to drink beer despite its strength and it’s definitely up there with some of the best the country brews; great stuff.

Brewed In: Diksmuide, West Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: De Dolle Brouwers
First Brewed: 1980
Type: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Abv: 12.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Whole Foods Market (Giffnock)
Price: £4.36

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  1. November 4, 2016 at 08:10

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