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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)

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

225 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 225
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 14
Gots: 18 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 06-14-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 225 | Reviews: 107 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

trevorpost, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of parris
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

parris, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of bobhits
2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

bobhits, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of SourinQns
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

SourinQns, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

drgonzo2k2, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of Alfaromeo
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Alfaromeo, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

2GOOFY, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of drewone
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

drewone, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Tucquan, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of thecheapies
3.99/5  rDev +2%
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.

thecheapies, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of emilylee
4/5  rDev +2.3%

emilylee, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

DmanGTR, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of rdickey
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

rdickey, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of StaveHooks
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

StaveHooks, Jan 19, 2013
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle to tulip.
$17 for the single. Sampled 18JAN13

[A] Even a slow pour is beautiful. The glass fills with a bright golden yellow beer with a pristinely white, fluffy head growing on top. The result is 3 fingers of dense foam. Retention is superb. Deflation is uneven but the rocky nature of the cap is quite endearing. Thick clumps of lace grab the glass in a scattered and carefree way.

[S] The nose has an overlying rustic theme which is accentuated by the unmistakable aroma of brett. Accents of lemon zest and orange flesh plus a backdrop of hay, grass and flowers. A nice bed of sweet grain comes through on deeper inhales. Straightforward, honest, and well executed. I like the nose more and more with each sniff.

[T] Some of the nuance is lost in between the nose and the palate, mainly because of the abrasive bubbles, but also because of the dryness. For a bretted BSGA, it's exactly what one would expect, but the depth of flavor does suffer as a result. It seems that the brett has absolutely pillaged the remaining sugars.

[M] Arid desert dry with more than enough carbonation to wipe the tongue entirely clean. The bubbles have a coarse texture but, a quick swirl of the glass can bring the effervescence back into check.

[O] I like this beer a lot but it is a little finnicky in the mouthfeel department. And that affects the taste in a negative way. But the bones are good. And once the carbonation is within your comfort zone, than the Surly Bird is a pretty remarkable beer. I'd be happy to have it again if the price were a little lower.

FeDUBBELFIST, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Taylor_Nychole
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Taylor_Nychole, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

bluejacket74, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly cloudy gold with big poof of white foam. Scent leads with musty dirt and grain, tart green apple and pear, light citrus. Tast follows suit, apple notes well developed and play with the musty and earthy yeast profile, cleaner citrus and tropical notes on the end with breadyness. Medium bodied, bubbly yet cream, dry. Solid offering, was expecting more from the brett.

rfgetz, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of prototypic
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

prototypic, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of tripledbrew
4/5  rDev +2.3%

tripledbrew, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of GeoffreyM
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

GeoffreyM, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of fdig23
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Station Taproom in Downingtown.

Appearance: Bright shimmering golden color with a small fluffy white head

Nose: Nothing at first, but after a few swirls a very vibrant nose of apple juice, over-ripe pear, and wet basement funk came through.

Taste: Immediately apple juice comes to mind, followed by a funky baked apple, wet moldy concrete basement flavor. Finishes with a hint of amaretto and piney hops.

Mouthfeel: Light and slick with decent carbonation, nothing too exciting here.

Overall: Great wild ale with some of the underlying belgian golden ale characteristics still shining through the wild yeasts. The funk is definitely there but its perfectly in balance and never overwhelming. Very quaff-able for both a wild fermented and a 9% abv brew.

fdig23, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of sludgegnome
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

sludgegnome, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of manaconn
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

manaconn, Nov 21, 2012
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.