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

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

201 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 201
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.91%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 06-14-2005)
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Ratings: 201 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2006 02:01:07 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 02:59:53 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A satisfyingly loud POP! greeted my ears on cork extraction and was soon followed by the entry of this gorgeous beer into its glassy confines. Surly Bird is yeast-riddled brilliant gold with multiple streams of sparking bubbles hurrying up to a wonderful looking crown of ivory colored foam that is softly sticky, impossibly rocky and deposits thick ropes of lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

To the best of my knowledge, I haven't yet had a beer that contains Brettanomyces. I have had a few that smelled like this one though, so I could be wrong. Bring on the barnyard funk! It isn't hard for me to imagine that I didn't like this sort of aroma the first time that I smelled it, but all that really matters is that I love it now. The usual scents of malt and hops are barely detectable. Beer like this is all about the sour, spicy, off the wall, funktastic yeast.

Whoa, that first mouthful was a real doozy. *Wild* ale is right. This one is going to be a strap yourselves in, hold on tight, keep your eyes wide open, rollicking ride on the funkadelic train to funksville. I wish I could think of more ways to say funk because this is one of the funkiest beers that I've ever had and I funkin' love it.

Thankfully, the 800 lb. gorilla that is the yeast strain doesn't feel a need to crush everything within reach. There's still a fantastic malt-hop stew underneath it all. The semi-sweet blonde maltiness lays down a solid foundation and I can even appreciate the noble elegance of a considerable quantity of peppery, spicy, grassy hops.

There's a huge amount of depth and complexity here. I'm glad that I have 750 ml to become better acquainted with each one of the fascinating facets of funky fabulousness. The intense, sour tanginess of each mouthful is something to behold and dovetails perfectly with the crisp, snappy, ultimately dry finish. I like a little mellow alcohol flavor in my BSPAs... and that is just what De Proef has provided.

The mouthfeel is well within the bounds of the style, although it favors the lighter end of the spectrum. It still manages to be lightly, lushly silky and is an absolute pleasure in the mouth. I don't usually love generously carbonated beer, but this one wouldn't work nearly as well if the bubbles were reined in. The mouth party that is the flavor needs a suitably jazzy mouthfeel.

From the bizarre Hieronymous Bosch painting depicted on the bottle to the beer contained within that bottle, the Surly Bird version of the De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale series is quality personified. I can't wait to drink Pig Nun, Spoon Whacker, et al. The fact that they could all be this good boogles the mind.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 15:35:49 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light honey color with a prodigious head; swathes of lace run down the sides of the chalice

Smell: Smells like blue cheese; very peppery, with some balsa wood and tropical fruit

Taste: Opens bready, with a cheesy, horseblanket flavor, with some sour Brett that builds by mid-palate; underneath, there is the subtle blend of tropical fruit, including mango, apple, strawberry and starfruit; after the swallow, the flavors are joined by the balsa wood elements and a peppery finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation

Drinkability: This is an interesting brew,but I cannot say that I would approach it again as I think the horseblanket yeast element is too dominating

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 18:28:12 | More by brentk56
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

I've stared at this on the shelf for years, wondering about picking it up and giving it a try. Thanks to the Rare Beer Club, though, the choice was made for me in the positive. I'm not gonna argue. It pours a mostly clear gold topped by a finger or so of white foam. The nose comprises mild funk, coriander, wheat, lemon peel, black pepper, clove, cardamom, and a hint of both pine and pineapple in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the funk really melding well with the bitter citrus and heavy spice notes, allowing everything to blend together in a somehow uncluttered melange of Belgian abstract expressionism. Some light notes of green apple and/or pear pop up from time to time before being swallowed by the rumpus. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, an exceptionally enjoyable brew, one that I'm now kicking myself for not picking up sooner.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 18:20:46 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2005 21:59:57 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 20:34:04 | More by emerge077
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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...

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 16:29:17 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 15:53:33 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Served in a snifter, a slightly cloudy golden-yellow with a small cap of foamy white head that retained and laced well. Aroma of Belgian yeast, sour and funky, wet grass, and light citrus. Sweet and tart fruit flavors--citrus zest, apple skin, a bit of pear and maybe cherry--wet grass, cardboard, and some earthy and herbal hop notes. Medium body, pretty crisp and drying, moderate carbonation. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 03:21:37 | More by Rifugium
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 21:03:42 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle
Caged/Corked

Pours a nice cloudy golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, very nice creamy white, about two-fingers plus, lots and lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, very yeasty, with some spices, slight caramel. The taste is mostly yeasty, but with some very nice tones of malt, spices, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, a tasty BSPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 00:38:10 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, dark golden yellow color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that very slowly fades into a thick, lasting ring. Large streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Earthy, funky aroma with a lot of bretty barnyard character along With some zesty spice, pale malt and grassy hops. Not acidic but plenty of funky brett countered by bready yeast and light fruit notes. Smells like a bretted farmhouse/saison.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture and a prominent dry, funky brett presence. Not puckering or sour with a slight tart character and the dry funk complimenting the light fruit and other earthy notes. Hints of grass and straw with some dry, spicy hops followed by hints of bread, apple and pear. Very nice balance of sweetness and dry, earthy funk. The ABV is well masked with only some slight heat in the dry finish, resulting in a highly quaffable beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 05:29:14 | More by corby112
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had to pour VERY gently so as not to agitate the lees. Resulting color was a light golden-yellow with great clarity. Nose ranged, in pour, from light cider to horse-blanket with every variation in between to include light-cider, light-funk and aspirin, to a less-crisp cider. Very different. This is a beer to be shared with others. Do NOT drink this by itself. I started to notice tropical flavors - watermelon rind, mango, pineapple. Wow, was this wild! We got at least six different pours off a single bottle. The finish ranged from powdery aspirin, apple cider, melon rind to lemon zest. A great summer beer with a few friends.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 01:32:52 | More by woodychandler
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty sure this was the beer had on tap at Max's during their Belgian event (the label, I believe, was on the tap handle).

The beer pours a surprisingly light gold color with fair head retention and lacing. The nose is quiite sour and funk filled, but with some nice light vanilla and honey as well. The flavor profile replicates the nsoe, and this beer is definitely a sour funk lovers wet dream of a beer. Nevertheless, the combination of honey, vanilla and sour funk is pretty intriguing and enjoyable, with the mouthfeel suprisingly full (lot of flavor in this one). Alcohol is also a bit noticeable, but it's not over the top. I don't get too much heat or alcholic bite on the finish.

My guess is that this beer is not for everyone, and is not something I'd care to have all that often either. Still, this was another interesting beer to try at Max's Belgian event.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 14:56:49 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enormous white head capped the clear, straw-yellow/light gold beer. There was a lot of long-lasting, clumpy lace throughout. Interesting, complex aroma with funky barnyard elements, lemon, bready yeast, mild spice, and some leather. The first flavour that hit me was sweet tarts, followed closely by a lemony funk. There's some residual sweetness and a grain husk character. Acidic towards the end and it finishes with a slightly aggressive spiciness. Some alcohol warmth. Very high carbonation, light body, creamy texture, off-dry with light astringency. Quite tasty. Split between myself and Wintermute, this was a treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 01:34:32 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 17:56:28 | More by glid02
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy and cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger dense white head with incredible retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice thick foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big pear, tart apple, grape, pepper, lemon, earth, herbal, floral, clove, grass, hay, and light yeast funkiness. Nice aromas with good complexity and decent balance. Taste of pear, tart apple, grape, lemon, pepper, clove, herbal, grass, hay, earth, light funk, and yeast spiciness. Lightly tart earthiness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, clove, grass, herbal, earth, funk, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; nice fruity/peppery flavor balance; zero cloying flavors noticed after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a lightly slick, very crisp, and prickly mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with almost no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian pale wild ale. Nice flavor complexity and balance; very smooth and easy to sip on for 9%. I enjoyed this offering quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 05:28:47 | More by superspak
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2013 22:59:38 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing, Arne. Only finished about half of my notes on this one before I got distracted, so I'll keep this one brief.

Appearance: Golden and semi-clear with three fingers of pure white head. The head settles to a small disc but never disappears.

Smell: Big funky barnyard aroma with a bit of fruitiness noticeable underneath (lemon, pear). Floral, slightly medicinal. Complex and yeasty but not overwhelming. Really nice.

Taste & mouthfeel: Light fruitiness up-front, more on the citrus side and there's not much sweetness present. Slightly medicinal/phenolic mid-palate. The dry, grainy malt backbone is fairly prevalent but this one is more about the complex yeast character. Little bit earthy and rubbery in the finish, and very dry. Would not have guessed this is 9%, it's remarkably light and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 01:17:01 | More by largadeer
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 23:09:49 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Full sized 750ml brown glass Belgium bottle that has a silver cage and black cap restraining its cork. The plain cork only has the code “FP 3 54 e” on it. The main label has the striking 16th Century Gothic art from Hieronymus Bosch. Stark, shocking and symbolic…the Surly Bird label has almost no information on it…adding yet more of a mysterious quality to this strange range of brews from De Proefbrouwerij. Listed at 9% ABV. Cost $9.99.

Appearance: Darkish golden pour has a hazed shredded marmalade golden sunset body like the Pig Nun. Humungous white head rises and rolls ever upwards like the mushroom cloud from an Atomic bomb. Settles to reveal a thick creamy cap which fills my Duvel glass to capacity. The head collapses very slowly to reveal a crusty lacing and a craggy surface. Softly dissolved fine tuned carbonation supports a solid conditioning. Superb presentation!

Smell: This one reminds me of that back-of-the-neck hair-raising experience I had when I first took the deep breath from my first ever Orval. Gorgeous funky Brett character, acidic dry hops, fruity and yet ever-so-delicately sweet. Light horseblanket, but nothing striking, flashes of alcohol and a reflective Cider Apple sharpness.

Taste: Wild Earthy tones run through this organic rural farmyard. Lots of Brettanomyces in this one, in fact several strains are used I believe, the depth of character and fruity bitterness in this one is a little bit more complex in nature from that which I recall in the Pig Nun. Bold bitterness and lots of fruity flavors slickly licks the edges of the horseblanket and yeasty crab apples.

Mouthfeel: Resplendent body, soft, smooth and yet impressively complicated. The texture is unforgettable – luxurious and a sheer pleasure to imbibe.

Drinkability: Exceptionally palatable and supremely brewed. If you have ever had the pleasure of sampling a range of aged Orvals and enjoyed them, then you will love the Surly Bird, it exhibits all the complexity of those Trappist monsters. Edit - References are often made to Duvel in Reviews here I note, this confuses me and is a misplaced reference for Surly Bird is nothing of the sort; this one is a Brother, quite literally, of the Trappist Orval.

Overall: Very little is actually known about the life of Hieronymus Bosch, strange given the striking nature of his paintings. Not much more is known about this brew either except that it is another variant of the Primitive Wild Ale which has 45 IBU’s and extra finishing hops. Striking stuff though!

Highly Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 05:14:10 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: All it took was a little nudge to shoot the cork speedily towards my ceiling, at which time a small, controllable eruption occurred all over my desk. The pour into my snifter produces a big 2" airy meringue like head. It takes quite a bit to settle down and allow my first sip. The beer is a bright golden color, with floaties suspended uniformly throughout, despite my careful pour. Some slight lacing is left behind on the glass.

smell: Killer. The aromas are slight, yet seem to be diverse. I've yet to smell a beer like this. The descriptor "horse blanket" makes complete sense to me now...having just been at the stable earlier today, it is fresh in my mind. Definately a big appley presence...in a cidery kinda way...sour crabapples too. Funk. Mascerated strawberries and kiwi. Overexploited, silty farm soil. The slimy smell of a fresh caught flounder...or just brackish estuarian water. A piece of oxidized iron sitting in an old wooden barn next to a stack of hay. The evaporate from a pile of dead plant matter that was rained on a few days ago, but has begun to dry in the hot sun. Also a nice, considerable hop spiciness. There's much more in there, but I couldn't begin to describe it.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is very very smooth, so smooth that I can't really qualify it...I guess somewhere around the lower end of the high range. The body is on the heavy end of the light range. Very dry.

taste: At first, I get a mix of green apples, sour apples, winey apple cider, and a light grainy malt sweetness. Horse blanket in the aftertaste. Just a slight hop bitterness and flavor. I wish the complexity of the flavor could hold up to that of the aroma.

drinkability: I consumed this bottle over a period of an hour and a half...but for what it is, the drinkability is good. Not a hint of the 9% ABV anywhere...save for the warming and intoxicating effect, of course.

The cork is coded FP 3 54. Been sitting in my cellar at least 4 months.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2006 06:32:22 | More by blackie
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750mL bottle, poured into Watou chalice.

Appearance: Deep orange, hued slightly yellow. Decent head, dissipates quickly to a thin white layer.

Smell: This smells very much like Orval to me. Horse blanket is maybe the correct word...

Taste: Tastes like Orval, but was much more reasonably priced.

Notes: I liked this, and will buy it again. Unfortunately I haven't found this in Columbus, I had to buy it at Cloverleaf in Detroit during a business trip.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 01:58:21 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/12/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Diego, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and synthetic corked. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- A clouded darker golden colored pour. 3/4 inch head on initial pour. Light fluffy white head. Sparce spotty lace left behind.

Smell- Belgian candied sugar, deep sweet caramel malt. Tropical fruit notes, pears and peaches. Light hoppy nose as well.

Taste- Fruity pear flavored taste. Maybe even a bit of gauva in there. Hop bite is fairly heavy finishing with a sweet caramel malted flavor.

Mouthfeel- A tad foamy and well carbonated. Hoppy bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Overall a very good beer. Like the hopped up component. Not my favorite of the series, but better than some. Definite try if seen.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 00:00:52 | More by GClarkage
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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.