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De Dolle Speciaal Brouwsel 20

Formerly brewed at De Dolle Brouwers
Style: Sour Red/Brown
Diksmuide, Belgium
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler


on tap


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RATINGS: 199   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.06/5   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
The 20th anniversary ale of the renowned De Dolle Brouwery.

Not to be confused with De Dolle Speciaal Brouwsel 1-Malig Verjaardag from 1980/1982 (that you probably had at Kulminator).


FlacoAlto's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 14, 2004
Sampled 5th of January 2004
This beer is very well carbonated, it tries to leap out of the bottle. The beer produces a prodigious tan head which sits atop a pretty dark copper lightly hazy brew. The aroma is sour and musty with notes of apple, earth and a general fruitiness. The taste is lightly sweet and is followed immediately by a soft fruity acidity. Definite notes of sour-apple, and some plum and lemon as well. This is a pretty soft beer, with no real harsh elements in it. There is no real bitterness, but the acidity balances the sweetness and fruitiness almost perfectly. This is a very good beer that I am very thankful to be able to try. The acid character is just about perfect, it is a very soft acidity. This is a damn good beer at this age, and probably will get better for quite some time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Damico (3003) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 13, 2014
Pours unclear orange amber with a creamy white head. Aroma is lighter bringing woody and light sweet boozy notes, wild yeast dominating g there though. The flavor is much better than the nose for me, bringing sweet and fruity yeast with pleasant unique subtle tart notes that settle smooth in the palate.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
HonusWagner (1872) - Florida, USA - SEP 22, 2014
Something like a flemish red/oud bruin more than what is usually a "Sour Ale" on this site. Cherry and vinegar and sweet maltiness like caramel, but really a restrained vinegar character that makes the beer much more drinkable than Iíd expected. Very good, thanks for the share SoFla crew!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
50belair (3083) - Florida, USA - SEP 21, 2014
Bottle shared at Zwanze Day. Murky copper brown pour with a white head. Vinegar and sour cherry aromas. So tasty. A bit sweet with sour cherry, vinegar, and luscious caramel malt notes. Orange, vanilla, and oak lowlights. Great body and mouthfeel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Prufrockstar (1643) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 8, 2014
Many thanks to Carl for sharing this gem. Pours murky amber (as best I can tell with my iphone light here in the dark) with a few bubbles hanging around. Aroma: soy sauce; honey; cotton candy thatís partially transformed into balsamic (ISO: cotton-candy flavored vinegar). Taste brings plums, musty basement full of cardboard boxes holding forgotten treasures. Thereís this sort of barley wine (sherry; honey; dark fruit; caramel) meets dark sour quality thatís really cool. Itís tart, but not aggressively so. Raisins, vinegar, caramelized sugar. Palate: medium body, slick texture. Overall: the more I drink of this the more I enjoy it. It would get destroyed in a 2oz pour at a tasting, but with a nice night and half a bottle it shows well. This is a tasty old sweet dark sour. Iím really enjoying the sweetness in this. Gets better and better. Thanks again for sharing this, Carl!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
OldMrCrow (2212) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 8, 2014
Bottle shared with Chris on a cool Seattle summer night. I probably shouldnít have let this one sit in the cellar so long but I didnít want to drink it alone nor break it into 2oz portions at a large tasting.

The 14-year-old bottle opens with the tiniest hiss. It pours cloudy brown with a small if short-lived head -- itís not completely flat. The nose surprises what for the intensity of the sherry and caramel recalling an aged-barleywine; this overshadows the softer acetic vinegar sourness. Plenty of mustiness. Caramel and what Chris nicely describes as de Dolle cotton candy, a lot sweeter than I expected. Wood, a bit of whatever that is that characterizes the duchess. Cherry. Complexity recalling the various special release de Dolle beers: the sourness is there, but the beer is not all about that. Rather, the tartness is just a minor element going on with this one. It shows its age, for sure, a bit of cardboard and flab, but hasnít altogether fallen apart. Indeed Iíd say it has held up better than the other de Dolle beers I have had at a decade plus. A special bottle even if it falls short of masterpiece status at this age.

tl;dr summary good but not 100th percentile unless you can taste the .rar

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CanIHave4Beers (3676) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - AUG 6, 2014
This beer here, my 3,200th rating, this beer I had @ the Grand Tasting... Compliments of stlwill, sheesh thanks Will!
Pours a sort oaf orange color, very much still alive with a bubbles rising from the glass and a decent head and lacing on the glass.

The aroma is funky with some sawdust, some vanilla, some damp basement & cobweb type aromas.

The flavor is decidedly sherry like, but not in a terribly unpleasant way. Itís got some mild booziness, but retains a lively tart, lemony, and oaky presence. Everything is fairly well balanced and decently nuanced particularly considering the age of the bottle. The vinegar character is mild but ever lurking.

The beer is surprisingly prickly and champagne like on the tongue.

One of those... never in my wildest dreams, beers. It was, truly remarkable to get the chance to try it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
vtafro (5254) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JUL 15, 2014
(backlog) RBSG í11 GT Bottle. Brown hazy pour with tan head. Dark fruit, sweet malt, spice and some wild aromas. Flavors are fruit, spice, touch of tartness, and wild tones, only a hint of oxidation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
anders37 (20445) - MalmŲ, SWEDEN - JUL 8, 2014
Bottle @ RBSG Grand Tasting. Pours a hazy amber color with a small off-white head. Has a fruity malty dusty slightly sour funky aroma. Fruity malty spicy yeasty slightly sour flavor with hints of caramel. Has a fruity malty dusty yeasty sour finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
brokensail (14042) - San Leandro, California, USA - JUL 5, 2014
Bottle @ RBSG 2014 Grand Tasting. Huge thanks to Will for sharing this. Hazy amber colored pour with a white head. Definitely some cork on the nose. Cherry, vinegar, and a bit of caramel. Some musty, basement like funk. Good acidity to the flavor. Lots of sour cherry, green apple, and red wine vinegar. Slight cork and musty funk. Mild caramel malt and vanilla sweetness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu (8006) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 30, 2014
Bottle shared by STLWill at the RBSG Grand Tasting - thanks again, Will! Pours a hazy orange with an off-white head. Notes of cork, brown sugar, toast, funk, leaves, earth, leather, fruits (dried, and some tart), grass, and a bit of cardboard. Medium carbonation. Funky and dry. Really interesting. Thanks for sharing this retired gem!

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