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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Not Rated.
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

243 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 243
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 16
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 06-14-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 243 | Reviews: 112
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weird, funky ma non troppo... not quite a sour. Thin body, watery finish but killer drinkability

Photo of founddrama
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting flavor here. That from the brettanomyces co-fermentation? Definitely reading like Belgian strong golden. (Which it is.)

Photo of cujocon
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ML Brown Bottle $12 State Street Northampton MA
Appearance: Golden with champagne bubbles and Giant Foamy head like meringue
Smell: funk like fruity mushrooms
Flavor: surprise - not at all tart or sour, little to no bitter up front, some in the aftertaste
Like a really mild beer. No alcohol flavor at 9% Not a lot of any flavor except that bitter aftertaste threatening
Overall: 3/5 Incredibly drinkable, like an Intro To Beer class.

Photo of helios7
3.4/5  rDev -13%

VERY funky. Savory.

Photo of Tone
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours a clear, orange color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight hop, Belgian yeast, sourness, hint of hop, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, strong Belgian yeast, sourness, hint of hop, hint of alcohol, and slight hop. Overall, weak appearance, complex aroma, good feel and body.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 10.99/25.4 oz bottle at Vintage estates in Boardman. OH
Bottle at 50 degrees into snifter
Aroma spicey
Head large (6 cm), off white, frothy, slowly diminishing to 1.5 cm central island – each pour causes massive foaming
Lacing fair – a couple of large thick reefs and some small ones
Body light gold, hazy
Flavor spicey and yeast phenolics; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4.0625

Photo of barczar
3.91/5  rDev 0%

Great sour aroma, lightly floral. Flavor is moderately sour, slightly dry, with a touch of spice.

Photo of BobbyDigitali
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Don't really taste much 'wild ale' in this brew. Just a really good Belgian strong pale.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

SAmpling a cellar temp 750 ml bottle with my friend Stopper. Bottle has been cellared for 3-4 years. The beer is poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a very hazy copper hue with minimal eggshell white head that foams up about1 cm and fades to a wispy edge layer and a large island.
Aroma is funky wet blanket, musty straw and a little band-aid phenol. The last part worries me a little, but it is very mild.
The first sip reveals an average body and very fine carbonation. The carbonation rolls across my palate with a gentle action.
Flavor is actually not as funky as I anticipated from the nose. SOMe tart notes show through with a little grain and some wet straw husky notes. Finish is a little dry and I dont get any hints of the booze on this one.
The beer is interesting but I find myself thinking that I am glad to be splitting it and not consuming a full bottle on my own. I wouldnt try this one again, but that is personal preference, I suspect many folks would love the beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ripped straight out of the pages of history, I can easily imagine a day when the individual flavors found in this Primitive Ale would have been as good as it gets. Equipped with a plethora of refinement, raw, rustic and clumsy pieces and parts. But together, a beautiful medley of accidental chemistry and microbiology come alive to entice and satisfy the tastebuds.

Inside its surprisingly pale gold hues lie an earthen-sweet wisp of fruit, grain and pungency. As honey, raw barley, hay, melon and apple greet the olfactory senses, a distinctive collection of earthiness evolves- opening up to sweat, briny parmesan, horse hair, and stale bread.

Its tangy zinfindale flavors open up on the tongue, highlighting the fruitiness of green apple, lemondrop, honeydew, cantaloupe, white grape and orange peels. Its countering taste is of dull peppercorn, cumin, mild clove and sandalwood. Its curious melange of flavors is moderately spicy to add tepid balance to the beer's doughy sweetness.

Despite such brine, acidity and peppery quality; a grainy-sweet taste keeps the lead even in its modestly warming finish. Certainly, the beer's wild side shows but those sour tendencies, drier spice and earthen complexity typically frames the final impressions of a beer- not so much in this case.

Photo of ptykozoon
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Hazy yellow, sticky head and lacing.

Orange peel, unripe fruit, barnyard funk.

Taste is mostly floral, grass and dry straw. Very light fruit.

A lot of sediment, not a lot of sourness.

Perhaps a good representation of the style but not my favorite beer in the world.

Photo of mverity
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Proof. Pours a golden straw color with an inch and a half of bubbly white head. Sticky lacing from the very beginning. Head settles into a thick collar of differing size bubbles, clumps of head across the surface, and thin head where the clumps aren't present. Aroma is apple and grape sweetness, lots of yeast funk, and lots of dry grass. Taste is the grass and funk playing fairly well together. Light carbonation and medium body, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a very unique beer, mainly for how downright weird the yeast is, but i appreciate it for what it is, even though it isnt my favorite wild ale. the color is pale yellow, still bright, but washed out just a bit. a ton of chunky yeast tears around in the glass under a multiple inch pure white head brought on by active carbonation. its nose is one of the weirder in beer for me, a combination of sweaty girl, covered in some sort of floral lotion, and dry dog food. i know it sounds weird, but both are unmistakable smells, and both are strong in the aromatic profile of this beer. the sweaty chick part fades off after a few minutes, but the dog food feature remains. it didnt turn me off enough to not want to drink it, but i could see some people having that reaction once they identify what they smell. the taste is better though, still wild as anything and yeast driven, funky and not sour at all, like sourdough bread going just off, it has that five to it. it also has some decent hops, which brighten it up and are welcomed. the malt bill is light and simple, and doesnt add much more than fermentables here. an old world style beer, expressive in feel and one of a kind, but not a beer i am overly enthusiastic about drinking again. something about the nose...

Photo of confer
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks great in a glass. A little darker than pale yellow. Big white creamy head, Big time carbonation. Plenty of sediment.
Smells like a big old sour with a sweet touch.
Taste seems to be missing something, That sour smell isn't there in the taste . The alcohol is completely hidden. The funkiness is there all throughout.
Very light almost champagne like lost of bubbles.
I guess I expected a little more wild in the wild ale. Not bad though.

Photo of jlisuk
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale yellow, slight head, some small bubbles. Smell is AMAZING! Cloves, other spices, fruit- first smell is the best. Taste is somewhat of a let down- still good, but does not live up to my impression of the smell. Lots of funk, very slightly sour. Almost medicinal. Enjoyable, complex, and weird. Very slightly sour. Allot to think about. I like this, but cannot help but be let down by the amazing first smell.

Photo of ikenney87
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle. No date shown. Purchased in ND.

This has to be my favorite wild ale. However, this is the only version of Flemish Primitive that I can get my hands on; would love to try the rest of them.

In my experience, you have to let the ale warm up a bit, and swirl it around to release the carbonation, in order to get the best characteristics. I taste and smell lots of brettanomyces, including leather and some musty tropical fruits. There are both dry hay and fresh grass sensations. Like many wild ales, I pick up an undertone of what I can only describe as green olive or green olive juice. All of these smells and flavors are on a foundation of either Kix or Honeycomb cereal. I can't determine if this is caused primarily by the malt bill or if it is a combination of malt, hops, and yeast.
Even though the beer is amazing to drink, my favorite part is smelling the inside of my glass after taking the last sip. This is what dreams are made of, kids.

Photo of MarioM
4.66/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750 ml poured into RR stemmed glass.

A: Darkish yellow, huge white head with great lacing and carbonation. Large boubbles on the base and small smooth boubbles on top towards the center, and lingering for a while. This foam ain't going nowhears.

S: fruity funkiness with some minor tropical news but not much. Slight brettiness but more fruit and funk than the delicate pineapple character coming hrough. Damn though, hella interesting smelling and super excited at this point. It's almost like a super pungent cheese you can't wait to pop in your mouth and just enjoy and embrace the funk.

T: actually mutch more subtle than I would expect at the beginning. The middle has some good funk and ends with that same funkiness lingering with a good sweetness and malt character. Balance is really pleasant, fruit, Brett funk and bitterness are all spot on, damn hella goodness. I get some tropical fruits but not mutch, just enough to get you interested and make things complicated... Also slight musty and also get that traditional Brett horse blanket funk to the mix, really nice... Oh man, too mutch to mutch to contemplate on a single sitting. This brew has errthing going for it. Funky yet drinkable and balanced, YUM

M: Smooth, light and refreshing at the start then finishes dry and you start to get that booziness which remind you that this aints no traditional far worker saison/farmhouse but more of a drunks/lazy farmers' drank. Which would be my choice of drink. Carbonation is on the medium to high side and very traditional to the style.

O: Overall a must have, must buy when seen brew. There's one left at my local bottle shop and I'm now worris that some one else might go and buy this great brew. Definitely one of my new favorite saisons/farmhouse ales fo sho. A must buy if seen locally.

Photo of djames
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not seeing how this is getting some low reviews. Awesome Saison to me! Great hazy straw-colored appearance. Smell is out-of-this-world good, and the taste... to me is up there with the best in this category. Only slight knock for over carbonation. Something I will definitely come back to though.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film, some very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pale malts, fruity yeast, and brett funkiness. Light hints of sourness.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts with s strong component of funkiness (not dissimilar to blue cheese). There are lighter notes of light fruit (green apple) yeast and a bit of a briny/salty flavor as well. Quite a bit of funk but very little sourness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of alcohol warming in the finish and significant amounts of dryness.

O: This is a pretty unique beer and definitely one that I am glad I found so that I could try it - interesting but not sure that I would get it again.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy bright yellow/orange with a big fluffy head and nice lace rings.

Yeasty grain and grainy malt, with some spice and funk. Some musty notes in the nose.

Yeast and grain up front, some white pepper bite, some spice, a little funky rot, some mild bitterness, and any sweetness is more grain than fruit. Mild bitterness at the end.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Not bad. I think we have the style wrong here. This feels like a farmhouse brew. Alcohol is so well hidden that the 9% literally kicks you in the ass. You just don't notice it. Drinkable and enjoyable. Not super complex, but enough so that you'll enjoy the whole bottle.

Photo of bobhits
2.89/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours golden cloudy body with a HUGE white head with some staying power. A lot of lace left even in an absurdly dry beer.

Musty with citrus notes, and hop mixed malt finish.

Wild ale is rather open but I hoped for a bit of sour notes, instead I got a lot of musk, funk, hints of citrus, followed by old sitting funk I dunno. It isn't bad, it's actually decent but not for me. There's just not enough bite from the citrus side for me.

Well carbonated but too hard to finish.

I worthy beer but split multiple ways.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and some cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with a Brett flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that seems to be showing a bit of oxidation compared to the other beers in the series.

Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wittyname for throwing this one my way! Cap reads '2061206'. Not sure what that translates to, or if it even refers to dating code.

Pours an earthy gold color with lots of rising bubbles. The head is nearly immaculate and difficult to navigate around during the pour. A big fluffy and frothy bout of white foam that reached nearly four inches height in my tulip. Holds forever. Looks astounding. Gotta hand it to the Belgians, man; do they know how to make a good-looking brew or what?!

Mild, yet subtly sweet, aromas of apple and hay and brettanomyces. A very benign and enjoyable Belgian pale nose that's missing the strength that this beer supposedly carries (9%). Yeasty with fruit, but not overcasting the light funkiness. Quaint. Nice.

Brett-iness churns like cheese with dry, nutty tones. Fruitiness is much more subdued, as this beer is driven by yeasty critters. Still, some light green apple tannic notes. No sourness detected, however. Alcohol stings a bit, now. Strange flavors of pimento-stuffed green olives/brine intrigue me. Kind of like a semi-dirty martini. Bready nature inflates with pale maltiness, and maybe a wheat addition. Very, very dry; especially in the finish.

Body and carbonation are spot-on, but I don't like the too-obvious booziness. Needs some time to mellow out, and maybe thin out the body just a bit. Although, this can't get much drier.

Happy to have tried this one. A complex BSPA with a unique Brett-y twist. Worthy of a snag if you see it on a shelf near you.

Photo of rdickey
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A gentle pour reveals a beautiful clear golden beer, topped with a fluffy white head. A steady stream of fine bubbles continues to rise from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Enticing – floral notes, a little honey, cut grass and a hint of Brett.

Taste: I’ll admit that it is not quite what I expected, but it’s not an unpleasant surprise. The sweet fruit flavors get run off fairly quickly by the aggressive carbonation, and the beer takes on a bone-dry character that persists to the end. The Brett is quite restrained, and provides more of an interesting accent rather than dominating the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is definitely high, and although it works I can’t help wondering if dialing it down a notch or two would allow more of the subtleties of the beer to come through.

Drinkability: Notwithstanding my musings about the carbonation level, there’s no doubt that it contributes to a very crisp, clean finish, and with the ABV relatively well hidden, this is a highly drinkable beer.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml capped bottle. Acquired in 2012. No dating on the bottle.
Served in a Duvel tulip

A - Clear golden brass body with 3 fingers of moundy white head. Impressive retention, with speckled lacing throughout.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, dried bananas, apples, pears, grassy, cloves, pepper, perfumy lemon, hints of earthy musk.

T - Fruity upfront with white peaches, pears, banana, pineapple, and starfruit. Grainy pale malt creates a nice base, earthy black pepper, cloves, dusty grass, herbal notes and lemon come out more as it warms. The finish starts peppery and turns tart. Finishes dry.

M - Moderate carbonation, prickly at first then smooths out. Medium bodied, glides over the palate.

Awesome looking beer! This is pretty balanced beer. All of the components shine without being overtaken. Funk is there but acts as more of an accent. Good carbonation and mouthfeel as well.

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.