MilkmanDan (1942) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - DEC 6, 2002
Guh. Wow. Astounding nose. Very vinous and rich. Fruity, lightly peachy, peppery and spicy also. Flavor is both fruity and sour. Tastes like a slightly apricot-flavored gueuze, a nice combo. Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - DEC 3, 2002
If this was just a little bit less sweet, this would be the one. Incredible rocky head, and wonderful malty aroma. I need to find an air freshener that smells like this beer! Like I said, take just a little of the sweetness away and you have a beer for the ages... skortila (6048) - Baarn, NETHERLANDS - DEC 2, 2002
Another superb dolle brew, they are just never disappointing! :) I never have rated a dolle below 4 I believe and this one is gonna end up higher too.
Beautifull head, dark clear colour. Strong spicy and malty aroma. taste is more sour and fruity, bit spicy palate. well balanced lovely beer. caesar (7553) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - DEC 2, 2002
Rerate: I have to recall on my original rate of 3.0. This years batch is not as alcoholic as last years. That definitely improves my drinking pleasure. The typical Dolle taste, with its subtle sour refreshing note, becomes more obvious, and that is definitely something i like!
Original rate: Floating yeast particles everywhere. Malty aroma. Alcoholic taste and palate, as in a lot of Christmas brews. But this one could not enjoy me much. ekarmst (46) - Ames, Iowa, USA - NOV 27, 2002
Belgain Specialty Ales can run the spectrum as far as gravities, aromas, flavors etc. As a belgian specialty ale, Stille Nacht was, well, eye opening. Nothing like Orval, Stille Nacht had a very malty peppery aroma. The flavor was very sweet, not malty, but sweet and had a strong flavor of currants. Some alcohol was noted in the finished, but the beer was overly balanced to the sweet side. While the currant attempted to balance the sweetness, but rather overwhelmed the palate. Not a beer I would buy unless I was really, really wanting a change.
npdempse (935) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - NOV 24, 2002
Possible explanations for some of the bad ratings of this beer:
a)De Dolle changed the recipe and it used to be really crappy; b)old or infected bottles; c)you guys are on crack.
I found this to be an extremely pleasant beer, not at all sour, with a very nice sweetness, hints of spice, a pronounced flavor of apples, and a good bitterness to balance things out. A great Christmas time beer. VA Homebrewer (524) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - OCT 30, 2002
This is one beautiful beer!! Melissa just laughed at me as I sat across the kitchen from our bar with my mouth hanging wide open staring at this beer. Incredibly cloudy orange to copper color with floaties all over the place and a 1 inch tall, rocky, bone-colored head that lasted and lasted. I wanted to take a picture. Nose is pretty subdued, with some apple peel, yeast and acidic qualities. Flavors are incredible. Gala or Fuji apples dipped in caramel with a slight toffee character up front and towards the middle. Finishing with a sweet and spicy quality (cinnamon and ginger?) and hot alcohol. The finish dries out and becomes more astringent as the beer warms, and alcohol becomes a detraction. A wonderful dessert accompaniment except for the hot alcohol. Heck, this could BE your dessert. MOboy (510) - Kansas City, Missouri, USA - OCT 16, 2002
UPDATED: APR 9, 2011 Initial rating 2003: Great googley moogley this is good stuff. Can you say Granny Smith? Nice transparent orange color. This is a very complex beer, and it sure is enjoyable and I guess that is all that really counts. The best offering so far from this brewery 3.8
Rerate 4/9/11. Attractive orange beer with a tightly beaded foam. Yeast, apricot, and orange in the nose. Alcohol, yeast and breadiness comprises the flavor and a mouth filling effervescence helps this stay fairly light. I must say, I really miss the sourness from the old batches and it really affects the rating. MartinT (10240) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 15, 2002
UPDATED: AUG 26, 2013 Scrumpy-like apple funkiness, with wooden inclinations, permeate this strong ale’s doughy yeast and sugary feel...Alcohol imposes its presence amidst the fluffy carbonation and sugary lengths...A stairway to airways high above...Ernest (7980) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 12, 2002
Sometimes though, carbonation disappears, aroma is of unfinished pie, with flour, sweet fruit jelly and all...Flavors are very sweet (maple syrup, mead, canned fruit) but do not blend well with the alcohol bite in the end...Apparently, effervescence is necessary to marry its constituents...Rating above is an average of both experiences...
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2013 2013 bottle from Olbutikken, Copenhagen. Head is initially small, frothy, off-white, mostly lasting.
Body is hazy dark yellow to light amber, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, cookie), lightly hoppy (flowers), lightly to moderately yeasty (cobwebs), with notes of honey, Juicy Fruit gum, dried mango, banana, dried pineapple, alcohol, pepper, mint.
Flavor is heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is moderately sweet, lightly acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium to full body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, moderately to heavily alcoholic.
Been a long long time since I’ve seen a fresh bottle of this, but wow, Kris still has his game on for some of his line up (whereas some like Oerbier and the Export Stout are always infected or dull). This and the Dulle Teve and Arabier are all still quite nice, and this is the best of the three. Candyish but ridiculously complex and attractive...tons of tropical fruits, just insane. Surprisingly balanced in the mouth...I’m used to this being too syrupy sweet in years past, but the finish on this batch is surprisingly crisp and bitter. Quite boozy but tolerable thanks to the rich body. One of the best barleywines out there...and that from a guy that tends to hate barleywines...I certainly never crave sweet boozy beers like this, but if forced to choose one, this might be #1 in the list.