No.1 travel guide for Belgium. Discover Belgian beer and food in Ostend.

Dolle Brouwers Tasting in Cafe Botteltje


Email  •  Print

Author: Jim Deschepper / Published: 2013-02-01 10:36:09 +0100 / Last Updated: almost 3 years ago

Cafe Botteltje © BeerTourism.com


OSTEND - We have been waxing lyrical, okay perhaps once too often about Stille Nacht (Silent Night), the (in our humble opinion) superb Christmas beer from the Dolle Brouwers in Esen, Diksmuide (not to be confused with Essen near Antwerp). However, as we had forgotten to place our order this year we arranged a Stille Nacht tasting in Café Botteltje in Ostend.

With over 400 beers on its rather robust menu, which, truth be told, is more like a beer bible, Botteltje is a dedicated beer café. Every beer lover will adore this venue; the menu is plentiful and includes various dishes with beer as a main ingredient. Also, the café owns its own hotel, “Marion”, right next door, convenient.


Café Bottletje © BeerTourism.com


Enough about the location; let’s return to the beer. Dolle Brouwers’ beers enjoy international fame and are exported far and wide. Kris Herteleer has been brewing for several decades and knows his trade well. With support from local beer promoter Ive Mostry from Beershop 't Koelschip and beer lover Glenn Rotsaert from café Manuscript, we started tasting Dolle Brouwers’ six active brews. Our general ratings of each individual beer, as well as the history and background of the brewery, can be found on our detailed “Belgian beer” and “Breweries” pages.

As mentioned, t’Botteltje has an extensive choice of beers. However, even we were surprised to learn that the selection is so huge that, when ordering, we were given the choice between Stille Nacht 2011 and Stille Nacht 2012.

Enterprising and curious as we are, we obviously plumped for both options. After all, you have to be well informed and able to make a comparison before judging. Both brews arrived perfectly served in an Oerbier glass. (Admittedly, we have no idea if there is a dedicated glass available for Stille Nacht). We then embarked on our self-imposed tasting mission.


Café Bottletje © BeerTourism.com


Stille Nacht was first produced in 1982. It’s a dark blond beer, almost honey-coloured, with an ABV of no less than 12%. We were lucky to have a designated teetotal driver (bob/victim) at our disposal and of course, we started our tasting with the 2012 Stille Nacht. Our first impression of the aromas was unanimous: you can smell instantly that this is an exceptional beer with a rich palette. It has a strong fruity aroma reminiscent of sweet pear, green apple and even peach.

Brewed with the same Nugget variety of hops used for Arabier, this beer has a pronounced taste of hops, complemented with light touches of vanilla and caramel. You can taste the high alcohol content but it is not overpowering. This really is a beautiful, balanced but complex beer with a delicious aftertaste.

We were already pretty convinced that this beer was streets ahead of anything else produced by the Dolle Brouwers. However, there’s no arguing about taste and colour but some of our readers may find this beer slightly too strong or too heavy.

Having made our first acquaintance of Stille Nacht, it was time to taste the 2011 edition. We could tell the difference immediately, the taste of hops was somewhat less pronounced, the fruity aroma came across as milder; normal traits when the beer has been “rested”. We have not yet been awarded the honour of tasting this beer’s “Special Reserva” editions but we totally get the underlying concept of leaving it to mature for just that little bit longer.

Whatever age it’s at, we can highly recommend this brew. It will be a perfect addition to your beer cellar and will ripen beautifully. We’ll make sure to place our orders in plenty of time for next year.


Dolle Brouwers Information

De Dolle Brouwers
Roeselarestraat 12 B
8600 Esen (Diksmuide)

Tel: +32 (0) 51 51 91 46


Botteltje Information

Café Botteltje - Hotel Marion
Louisastraat 19
8400
Oostende

Phone: +32 (0) 59 70 09 28


Ostend Blog Posts

North Sea Beer Festival’s second successful showing
OSTEND - For the last weekend of August, Ostend moves its location to the shores of the ‘beer sea’ as Belgian breweries, local restaurants and food trucks pull out all the stops for the annual North S ... [ read more ]
First North Sea Beer Festival attracts 5,000 visitors
OSTEND - A cosy, relaxed atmosphere and happy expressions on the faces of beer lovers from all around the world greet me. This is, above all else, what strikes me when I visit the first ever North Sea ... [ read more ]
Belgian North Sea Beer PoppoLou officially launched
OSTEND/OOSTENDE - We witnessed it with our own eyes. There was more than just one solitary message in a bottle washed up on Ostend beach. Far more than that... an entire armada of bottles came ashore, ... [ read more ]
Eetkaffee Poseidon in Ostend celebrates a new beer menu
OSTEND – The queen of Belgian seaside resorts does not have an immediate association with beer as far as your average beer lover and tourist are concerned. Nevertheless, it was in this city that ‘De ... [ read more ]
The Memory Returns, as 'CATS' comes to the Kursaal Ostend
OSTEND - Ostend is one of those places that keeps having to reinvent itself. Blame those tides. Not those plying the beach, though – those of history. © CATS ... [ read more ]

Comments


You must be logged in to leave a comment


SHARE:
 



BLOG

POSTS
Brussels Beer Challenge 2018 - The results!

MECHELEN - The historic city of Mechelen, halfway between Brussels and Antwerp, is truly a hidden gem. The presence of the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled here in the late middle ages, still permeates the ancient city centr... [ more ]

Best of Belgium Beer & Bites pops up at Brussels Airport

BRUSSELS/ZAVENTEM - This year Brussels Airport is 60 years young! The airport is planning to mark this milestone by showcasing the very best of Belgian produce, which would not be complete without ... [ more ]

Trappist beer meets whisky, Chimay Grande Réserve Fermentée en Barriques 2018

At the BeerLovers’ Café just behind Liège’s City Hall we get together to taste the limited edition Chimay Grande Réserve Fermentée en Barriques 2018, a Trappist beer aged in whisky barrels. T... [ more ]

Palm and Rodenbach - now under the banner of Swinkels Family Brewers

LIESHOUT/STEENHUFFEL - Since 2016 the Palm, De Hoorn and Rodenbach breweries have been owned by Bavaria, a Dutch-based brewer. Two years after the takeover, Bavaria has been re-named Swinkels Family ... [ more ]

The Brewers Of Europe Forum 2018

BRUSSELS - To be authentic is not a competition and neither is it a fashionable attitude. You either are an authentic brewer or you are not. You are driven, you make great beers that have a soul, you have a good story to... [ more ]

Grotten_sant%c3%a9_225

More Beer

Grottenbier, or ‘cave beer’ was created many years ago by one of the greatest Belgian brewers, the (late) Pierre Celis, the legendary founder of...Hoegaarden. His idea achieved ... [ more ]

Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup

Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.

Name:
Email:
TWITTER
    FACEBOOK