Seasonal Specialty Beer, Christmas / Winter Beer.
The prestigious Christmas beer from Esen, as well as the second and last seasonal brews the Dolle Brouwers produce. Stille Nacht translates rather easy and clearly as 'Silent Night'.
A great name for a great festive beer. It has a very long cooking process and makes use of the same Nugget variety of hops that are used in the brewery’s Arabier.
Stille Nacht is entirely brewed with dry-hopped Nugget, this without adding any other, non-dry-hopped varieties as they do with Arabier. The bitterness of these hops is compensated by the highest density of all Belgian beers, being 27 PI. This combination creates a perfect balance between sweet and bitter.
The beer has been called: “one of the ten best Christmas beers in the world” by Stephan Snyder (The Beer Companion).
Stille Nacht (brewed for the first time in 1982) also has had several special editions released, the Reserva 2000 & 2008 and a Special Reserva 2005 to name a couple. As with the Oerbier special editions, these beers are, again, rare and very difficult to get hold of.
Stille Nacht used to be 8% ABV but went up by 4% in recent years; this is simply due to better yeast performance.
Top-fermentation. re-fermented in the bottle, unfiltered, centrifuged or pasteurized.
Water, yeast, pale malt, white candy sugar and dry-hopped Nugget hops.
Colour & Transparency
(Light) opaque amber/honey golden color. Medium cloudy.
10 - 12 C / 50 - 54 F
Dolle Brouwers - or Oerbier glass, even a nice large wine glass.
Character, Tastes & Aromas
Smooth, complex and strong. Very distinctive flavour of hops, malt and alcohol, a sometimes wine-like taste (certainly the case when the beer has had the chance to age for a couple of years).
One will recognise a fruity aroma of pear, some banana, peaches and green apple…with a bit of spice to top it all off. The taste has touches of caramel, honey and vanilla which are a great combination with the aromas of the light fruit.
But be careful, this fantastic beer will compromise your sobriety fast and without hesitation.
Personally we find this beer too rare, complex and great in fact to advise cooking with it. It’s always possible off course, as will it certainly make a difference…
So if you want an opulent dish for Xmas, nothing better than cooking up some venison stew with Stille Nacht. Also fantastic to enjoy with a grilled steak, pepper sauce and hand cut, fresh Belgian fries.
Keeping and Storage
As anybody, who has had the luck of collecting a small, private stash of the regular or Reserva editions of Stille Nacht knows… Unlike most beer this one only gets better by ageing it.
And if not, its qualities and aromas will certainly not diminish. This beer can easily be kept for twenty years or longer, in a cool, dark and dry place.
According to the brewery’s website the beer can when stored correctly, stay drinkable indefinitely.
Beer connaisseurs buy it each year, just to let them lay for a while. Eventually they get to experience and discover the delicate evolution the beer has undertaken during some long years of peace and quiet in a nice (locked and heavily secured) cellar…
Bottle ✔ On Tap ✔
As with Boskeun, the beer is only available once a year at the brewery, Stille Nacht has to be pre-ordered in September.
Once your order has been placed directly with the brewery, your heart warming bottles of winter delight will be ready to pick up at the beginning of December.
You will only be able to obtain it (with a bit of help from “Lady Luck”) via resellers, online beer shops or at your local speciality beer café.