De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by NoLiberty:
4.2/5 rDev +7.1%
The corked bottle let loose when uncaged from under the cap.
Appearance - Pours a frothy tall head and cloudy golden body. Tiny bubbles take up residence at the bottom of your glass and keep working a nice leathery head through the finish.
Aroma - Flowery and multi-layered. Wild flowers, honeysuckle and sour-sweet like rotting hay.
Taste - Sour front and warm well-balanced middle with strong flavors or wild flowers (honeysuckel, beach rose, yeast) into a clean hop finish.
Mouthfeel - Fills mouth and leaves a clean dry taste at the end with slight film in mouth..
Drinkability - yes, more please.
07-05-2005 21:50:00 | More by NoLiberty
More User Reviews:
3.63/5 rDev -7.4%
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.
03-10-2014 15:35:44 | More by mverity
4.65/5 rDev +18.6%
NOTE: Beware of cork! After removing wire cage, cork begins moving to the top of the 750ml bottle right before your eyes. This magical presentation resulted in a small indentation in my living room wall. Please be careful!
Appearance: Served at cellar temperature into a St Bernardus goblet, the body is a slightly hazed, golden amber. Vigorous carbonation is so prevalent as to be a bit scary. Large and puffy offwhite head has forever retention and settles into a custard meringue at the top of the goblet. Wow! Nice looking.
Aroma: Fruity and musty aromas drench the room as soon as the cork explodes out of the bottle. Overripe peaches, fresh pineapple, watermelon rinds rotting in the garden compost pile, wet wool blanket, musty sleeping bag from twenty years ago, damp hay, freshly dug dandelions, a bouquet of spring flowers, and more funky, fruity, and floral/herbal notes than I can bring myself to envision. Lots going on here, to say the least.
Mouthfeel: Lively effervescent carbonation and a light medium to medium body. Mouthfeel is the most pedestrian character here.
Taste: Whew! So many layers of flavors here that it's difficult to begin a description. First, the 9% abv is nowhere to be found, until I try to type this review. A fruity character comes and goes at random intervals, strawberries, white grapes, pineapple, kiwi fruit, and melon. Hop bitterness is also random, with an assertive dry grassiness. Yeastiness is, by turns, chalky, musty, earthy, and very funky. Maltiness is bready at times, powdery on occasion. Break a twig off the nearest hardwood tree and chew on it for several seconds, and you will get a hint of the woodsy funk going on here. Vague spices come and go, as well. Finishes bittersweet, with a lasting funky hop bitterness. This is one wild ale!
Drinkability: This is the most exciting bottle of beer I've ever sampled. An excellent journey that is long and strange. Enjoy!
09-26-2005 22:39:17 | More by merlin48
4.2/5 rDev +7.1%
Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.
Pours a slightly hazy golden-copper color with a two-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.
Smells of light fruits - pears mostly with hints of bananas - with hints of tropical fruits, including papaya. Lurking in the background are pale malt aromas along with good amounts of funk. As the beer warms the funkiness from the brett intensifies but never overpowers the softer fruit aromas.
Tastes similar to how it smells, although the brett has less of an influence on the flavor profile compared to the nose. Light and sweet malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by ripe pear flavors. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors are tempered by a mild dose of funkiness and even milder dose of leafy hop flavors that then carry through to a solidly bitter ending.
Mouhtfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.
Overall I was impressed with this beer - a mild funk-bomb that I think would be a nice beer to introduce people to brett. Well worth a shot.
04-25-2010 17:56:28 | More by glid02
4.13/5 rDev +5.4%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a light straw yellow body that is crystal clear but gains a bit of cloudiness with each pour. There is a thick white rocky head supported by a slow motion matrix of tiny bubbles gliding toward the surface. The head last for the full beer.
S- The clean smell has notes of smooth mellow barnyard characteristics with a faint natural fabric softener aroma that finishes with a wet straw green herbal quality. The aroma is just faint enough to be mysterious and keep me huffing the glass.
T- The pine bite is a surprise but it has a light white cheese rind note to it with a ice tea note to follow. There is a hop greenness to the finish that is not really bitter but more herbal or vegetable.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a faint alcohol heat in the finish that added a nice depth to the beer.
D- This beer had pretty nice hops which was a shock but it had a nice support by some funk characteristics. The hops were not a typical hop flavor or aroma which was interesting as well and they did work well with the funk.
05-14-2009 21:03:42 | More by rhoadsrage
3.98/5 rDev +1.5%
750ml split and poured into a snifter.
A: Pours a mostly clear golden amber with a full 2 finger puffy dense white head. Tons of little bubbles sprinting to the surface, very carbonated. Leaves a lot of lacing as the head slowly dwindles over a few minutes.
S: Smell of fruits like pineapple and a raisny fig. Yeastyness in there with a touch of funk.
T: You get a strong belgian pale taste upfront with a slight addition of hop. Interesting twist with the Brett yeast. Has a saison like spice to it. Alcohol is well hidden.
M : Real light on the palate, lots of carbonation. Crisp finish that is easy drinking.
Overall a great beer that is very unique. Authentic belgian taste. Want to try some of their other beers that are more sour.
10-10-2012 02:12:52 | More by CloudStrife
4.93/5 rDev +25.8%
Caged corked gives a MASSIVE >pop!!!< upon release.
Pours a hazy apricot juice color with a multitude of bubbles rushing to a soapy, large, extremely well-retained head. Sticky lace strata up and down glass.
The smell is divine. Horse-saddle leather, complete with sweat and all, balanced by rich fruit essences (pear, apple, plum, peach). Fragrant, dirty, earthy, sweet, pungent, and assertive. Pure excellence.
Compared to the Pig Nun version of this one, the Surly Bird seems to be more bitter, obviously a higher hops quotient than the Pig Nun. Otherwise it's just as expected. Fruit and yeast, beauty and beast, battling for control, both coming in first. Well-balanced, complex with nutmeg/coriander spices coming to mind, hiding the high alcohol well, and delivering a flavor that puts the yeast out front in the best way. Finish is dry and sour. A good match for what comes before it. A springy, buoyant, bubbly mouthfeel brings out the exotic sides of the flavor even further.
9% ABV be damned: this is highly drinkable. Seems right for all seasons, and could go with a variety of foods (though I prefer this one as its own stand-alone meal). I wish I could make this my everyday beer. Availability and good-sense dictate otherwise, but man, what a fantastic liquid.
05-11-2006 22:33:26 | More by Metalmonk
3.6/5 rDev -8.2%
A barnyard musty smell greets you. Nice creamy head and pale colour. The taste must be acquired, and I have had better, such as recently in Vermont. Some lemony citrus. It will surely scare off most beginners. Creamy and drinkable. I think this should be had with a meal.
01-01-2006 02:01:07 | More by Sammy
4.6/5 rDev +17.3%
Carefully poured, the "surly bird" delivers a clear yellow-gold body beneath a huge head of rocky bright-white foam. Effervescent bubbles can be seen rising quickly beneath; and the head retention is excellent. Add thick rings of sticky, foamy lace and you've got an impressive looking beer in front of you!
The nose superbly displays Brettanomyces characteristics (mineralish, leathery, acidic, musty, barnyard, definite "horseblanket") over a lightly sweet and fruity, candyish malt.
In the mouth it's light bodied, effervescent, and tingly on the tongue.
Sweet and fruity (berries, cherry, apple, orange), tangy, and candyish malt greets you up front, followed by some wet-hayand its earthy and mineral-like side. It's solid bitterness slices through at mid-palate, and some leafy and grassy - almost minty - hop flavors appear in the stunningly dry, dusty finish. A spritz of lemon rounds it out, and leaves it quite drinkable!
Kind of like a Duvel gone astray, this is very similar to the "Pig Nun", and one of the more accessible of the Flemish Primitive line; yet it still maintains a great Brettanomyces presence like the "Spoon Whacker'; and is, perhaps, the most drinkable of the lot. Superb!!!
08-01-2005 21:59:57 | More by NeroFiddled
4.35/5 rDev +11%
This Surly Bird variation of Flemish Primitive Ale is gold in color. It’s hazy and looks to have a few yeasty particles swimming about. Carbonation definitely looks active. It yields a bone white head that stands about two and a half fingers tall. Looks good. It doesn’t look like it will completely dissipate. Impressive. Lacing was sticky, leaving billows of white lace in its wake.
The nose is good. It isn’t quite as strong as I’d like, but it smells good. It kicks off with a mix of earthy, musky, and funky notes. The funky side of it is relatively modest. I like that about it. It features just enough of that barnyard scent to make things interesting. It features a light fruity scent. Smells like apple or pear. Belgian yeast smells really nice and spicy. Pepper and clove are noted. Hops are more prominent than anticipated. They smell mostly grassy. Alcohol is blended extremely well. Smells good.
The flavor is excellent. The flavor is a great mix of grassy, spicy, and funky flavors. It’s very musky and earthy up front. Barnyard funk follows. It is moderate in strength, but complements the other flavors extremely well. It’s has a slightly acidic twist to it, but it’s mild. Belgian yeast is very flavorful and brings an excellent spicy mix to the table. Pepper and clove are the most notable spices. Hops are very grassy and earthy. There’s a hint of apple or pear on the tail. Alcohol is blended well and doesn’t seem like 9% abv. Finishes earthy, spicy, funky, and a little dry.
Surly Bird has a lighter body. Carbonation is active, but it still feels soft. In classic Belgian fashion, it feels nice and smooth despite its light body and active bubbles. This stuff goes down far too easy.
De Proefbrouwerij has an excellent Belgian Strong Pale Ale in Surly Bird. This stuff is delicious and is strong in all aspects. If you happen to see a bottle, do yourself a favor and grab a bottle. Really good stuff!
12-02-2012 04:03:12 | More by prototypic
4.18/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
05-11-2013 19:11:56 | More by djames
3.5/5 rDev -10.7%
This beer is like Orval, only grown up and ready to kick ass and take names.
We are talkin' some serious brett funk here. It's like drinking a barnyard. The 'wild' in this brew is pretty much wild yeast, not bacteria. Sure, there is a nice crisp finish from the lactic acid bacteria, but man, this beer is anything but clean!
There is also the unwelcome bitterness that others have mentioned. I can't really say I dig it. A 45 IBU wild beer was something best left thought about, not brewed. There is a reason why lambics use old hops and this beer is a showcase for that.
All that said, this is still a pretty drinkable brew. The way it looks man, this is how beer is supposed to look. A beautiful golden body with a head that just won't quit no matter what you do. Wonderful.
The taste is also a wonderful showcase of what Brett can do. I'm not a big fan of brett, but if you like the flavours it produces this is definately the beer for you! Just don't expect any moderation what-so-ever.
Definately a beer worth seeking out. I'm inspired to seek out the rest of the series. A masterfully done beer.
08-04-2006 17:34:59 | More by shbobdb
3.88/5 rDev -1%
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.
09-06-2013 23:21:27 | More by jlisuk
4.78/5 rDev +21.9%
Pours out a slightly chill-hazed bronzed honey with a whipped egg white head that leaves beautiful lace of varying sized bubbles. Nose reminds me a lot of a French dry cider. Lots of apple (of course), mango, peach, apricot, pear, spiciness (in alcohol, hops, and yeast), and a definite funk that gives off hints of petting zoo and fungi. Flavor starts off with bright fruit juices with an accompanying acidity. The acidity drops off a bit in the middle, allowing a fungal brett character to show itself more. Hops come in the finish bringing lots of spiciness and some herbal tones as well as a solid bitterness that meshes well with the acidity and brett characteristics. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is very light bodied and spritzy. Drinkability is really high. Excellent beer. Reminds me of a bigger version of Orval. Goes incredibly well with mole verde.
11-12-2007 04:15:01 | More by goochpunch
4.2/5 rDev +7.1%
Corked & caged 750mL bottle. Printed on cork: FP 3 54
No, not that Surly, this is an entirely different variety. The investigation into this series continues...
I love the label artwork of the series, Dutch master Bosch's surrealism of the highest degree.
High-clarity straw gold tone, with many rivulets of carbonation. A strong pour yields a finger of sudsy, sparkling foam. Bits of lace here and there, but it looks fairly average. From the first sniff of the glass, it's realized that this isn't your ordinary Belgian Pale Ale.
Damp stone, sweet musty hay, possible corncob, and Comté or Swiss cheese. Pretty complex and interesting. Dry, sweet, chalky/tacky aftertaste, similar to an aged Tripel. Mild sweetness that seems to set it apart from others of the series. Carbonation is strong and ever-present, yet perfectly balanced. Brett is the key component here, supplying the requisite barnyard association. It's presence is subdued, yet still renders this ale wild. A little almond and fruit from the yeast.
Enjoyable overall, maybe not the standout of the series, but they are all unique in their own way.
08-05-2007 20:34:04 | More by emerge077
4.05/5 rDev +3.3%
750 ml bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a hazy gold golor with a couple inch frothy white head. Head retention is good, and there's a lot of lacing. Aroma is earthy and fruity, it smells like pears, hay, peppery spice, apples, lemon peel, cloves and some funk. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some bready/grainy malt and light floralness noticeable too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has high but soft carbonation. It's easy to drink, and it sure doesn't seem like a 9% ABV beer as the alcohol is well hidden. I think it's a good overall brew. At $9.99 a bottle, it's certainly worth a try.
12-15-2012 23:09:49 | More by bluejacket74
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.