De Dolle Stille Nacht 2013 Review

De Dolle Brouwers of Esen, Belgium is an old-school brewer using very old equipment bought from an out-of-business brewery in the early 1980s. Their name means “The Mad Brewers.” Stille Nacht is their Christmas beer. I’ll confess, that this is my favorite Christmas beer. I’m reviewing a 2013 bottle aged one year.

The photo shows two bottles of Stille Nacht. If you look closely you can see a few differences in the presentation.

The bottle on the left with the blue spotted bow is sold in the Belgian market. On the right was imported to the United States. It has no bow, but a redemption value notice instead. The white caps on each are marked: Belgian “2013*”, USA “STILLE 2013**”. The labels have different information, but each sport the little yeast guy looking like a snowman.

Stille Nacht is made for aging. The brewery has bottles dating back more than 20 years which continue to taste fantastic. I normally cellar Stille Nacht for a number of years before drinking it, but I decided to try a young one. It pours cloudy golden with a tight white head of foam made of tiny bubbles. It’s unpasteurized and unfiltered. The aroma is candi sugar with apricots, light caramel, banana, and raisins. It tastes clean. There are no spices added but I pick up vanilla, cloves, candi sugar, raisins and a little cherry. It is 12% ABV but not boozy at all. It has a long finish that is more raisins and dried stone fruit than it is sweet.

Stille Nacht means “Silent Night” named after the famous song that is sung in many countries only on Christmas Eve. Cheers!

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    While it’s difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight – for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa’s growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day – Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

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