Origin: Esen, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
An extreme development of the cult classic ‘Silent Night’ strong, sweet Christmas ale from the eccentric Dolle Brouwers, this wood aged version takes a slighty stronger implementation of the same recipe, generously hopped with Nugget and matured for 18 months in refill Bordeaux barrels. There have been other vintage dated releases since, but I found this beautifully aged 2005 on the lengthy list of mature beers at Kulminator in Antwerpen.
This is an amber beer which poured with a light foamy head. A sweet liqueurish aroma was heavy with estery fruit. The palate had a very sweet, heavy, luxuriouslly peachy broad body with notes of sherry and very ripe — not to mention rotting — fruit, with obvious alcohol and a definite woody note. Oranges, peaches and apricot liqueur emerged in a coating, lingering finish with that slightly honeyed note often found in Dolle beers. There was also a notable and very pleasing touch of acid — the wood ageing would have encouraged this and other reviewers have described more recent versions as funky and ‘bretty’, but the characteristic was relatively restrained on this sample, perhaps mellowed out by age.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/de-dolle-stille-nacht-special-reserva-2005/59477/