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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.
very good

237 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 237
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.52%
Wants: 16
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 237 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Waste_case69
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of siddhartha
2/5  rDev -49%

Photo of gameface23
2.45/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: From a 750 mL bottle poured into a brandy snifter. It was straw colored, but had a bit more of an amber hue than I was expecting. Chunky yeast sediment was abundant.

S: Not much in the aroma. I was expecting at least a little wild tang, but there was none. I picked up grassy and vegetal notes with some hops.

T: Again, nothing in the tang department. Lackluster, with a bready blanket overshadowing everything else. Pretty bitter finish.

M: Decent. Medium-bodied.

D: I definitely wouldn't buy this again, especially at the price.

Photo of DLSheidy
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of parris
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Photo of rpstevens
2.55/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

The beer looks promising to start, pale straw color with a thin white head that leaves a little lacing. Very active carbonation.

The smell is slightly funky and sour with nice notes of lemon and hay. There is a bit too much malt present in the nose for my taste though.

The bread and malt really take over the taste of the beer. There are some notes of hay, citrus, lemon, grass and there's a mild hop as well, but the bready undertone kind of ruins those flavors. The funk and sour from the nose are also not present in the flavor at all.

There is a slight alcohol burn and sweetness that are not very pleasant. The beer is well carbonated and very light-bodied, but the malty/bready flavor is unpleasant and the aftertaste is awkward and indescribable.

Photo of bronzeside
2.6/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 750 of "Surly Bird" expecting the same type of tasteful yet adventurous experience I've had from the other De Proef Flemish Wild Ale products (Pig Nun, Spoon Whacker, etc.)

A little difficult to get the synthetic cork out--as I poured into a chalice, I found why-- pretty darn flat. Little to no head, like amber water.

Color a dark amber. Massive amounts of sediment as I reached the bottom of the bottle.

Smell was quite tart--before the first sip I braced myself for the sharp bite the Gueuze offerings I've tried--not there, though.

Nor did I catch the smooth dynamic barnyard flavors I expected. Yes, the grass, hay etc. were all there, but with a slightly off slightly sour bend.

Am really wondering, as many of the other reviewers noted a good head on the brew, if I did not get a bad bottle?

Hate to risk my money on another, though, as there are so many great (and consistient) Belgians out there.

Photo of SourinQns
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

Photo of bobhits
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
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 erica
2.85/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This was a strange beer, and my scores might not make sense at first glance, with great aroma and not so great taste, but I can't score it any other way. It'd be a lie. I split a 750ml of this, not really knowing what it would be like, since I'd never heard of it before. But I was willing to try it, as the bartender said it was more sour than he likes... So I thought Oh good, sour. I'll love it!!


Appearance was nice enough, it was a cloudy dark yellow/straw colour, with perhaps a slight tinge of orange. It had a lively white fluffy head that soon diminished into a thin layer of bubbles which coated the entire top the entire time.

It smelled fantastic!! Really great. Very sour like a gueuze (while writing my notes I couldn't figure out the correct way to spell gueuze/geuze/gueze, so I crossed it all out and just put Cantillon. Self-explanatory.) So anyway, it smelled like a Gueuze, mixed with a funky French cider apples and spices too. Very wild and fresh. It got me all excited. And then... the first sip. I actually thought it tasted very good, some sourness, apples, grapes, maybe a bouquet of wildflowers thrown in, along with just a hint of oak in the background. However, after maybe the 2nd or 3rd taste, I began to get more of that bitter Orval-like taste, the brett. I guess it is. And from there on, all I could taste was this overpowering non-hop bitterness. And the aftertaste lingered way too long and didn't disappear even after some big gulps of lemon water. It began to give me a stomach ache, so I ended up dumping about 1/3 of what I had into Francis's glass. I couldn't take it anymore.

So, moving on, mouthfeel was fizzy and light, that was nice. But drinkability, not so nice, considering I couldn't even finish what I had. I would have to say to my fellow beer-drinkers:

If you like Orval, drink it all!
If you're not a fan of Brett, this isn't one to get!

Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of beerinNV
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of koflaherty
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of RBorsato
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of MonkeyBread
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of BikenBeerTwo
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Dweedlebug
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of ptykozoon
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
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 mdfb79
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 06/25/11 notes. Picked this up at a store in NJ, but unsure of the vintage. The place has random Belgian vintages going back to 1991m so I'm guessing this is an older bottle. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a cloudy dark amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet fruit, bready malts, and cardboard. Seems like it may be a bit past its prime.

t - Tastes of sweet fruity malts, cardboard, msuty notes, bready malts. Again, past it's prime.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

o - A bit disappointing as it is definitely a shell of its former self; I'm guessing it is a pretty old bottle. Would like to have fresh sometime.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
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 JasonSiedman
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of IPAchris
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Tittles
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.