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

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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

246 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 246
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 16
Gots: 20 | 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: 246 | Reviews: 112
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of prototypic
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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!

Photo of fdig23
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of BDIMike
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great looking bright, golden color. There is a slight haze to the beer along with a lot of carbonation creating a huge fluffy white head.
Aroma has the usual great Belgian nose. Strong floral hops and sugary, sweet malts. Nice fruitiness as well.
Taste has a strong fruity and floral hop shot. The hop tastes are cut short by a good dry shot of golden malts.
Mouthfeel is very nice. Refreshing at first, but then a very strong dryness takes over. It is a good dryness that leaves the pallet wanting for another sip.
Drinkability is awesome on this beer. A very nicely balanced Belgian strong that has a lot of nice tastes that hide a 9% ABV. Great selection.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. I had Pinhead when I was in Baltimore about three years ago and really liked it. This is the first time I've seen a Flemsih Primitive since then so I had to buy it. Hopefully this one is as good as the artwork.

3.5 A: Lightly hazed golden yellow color. I needed several pours due to the overabundance of head formation. Several minutes later I found three fingers of foamy white head. Retention is about average, but a lot of it sticks.

4.0 S: This smells just as good as I would have remembered it if I could. Bold bretty aroma with peppery spiciness stands out immediately. Lots of apple, some pear and orange fruits. Pithy woodiness funk to go along with musty basement and musky outdoors. Lemongrass, hay, citrusy and floral hoppiness, and corriander. Very nice.

4.0 T: Taste is just as good. A little less funky that I was expecting, but well rounded and well balanced. Pepper and corriander spice. Lots of apple again, but this time pear might be even stronger. Generalized citrusy undertones. Hay, dry dusty wood, grass, apple orchard, and musty basement funk. Mild to moderate bitterness with a floral hoppy flavor. Bitter orange peel and an earthy tobacco to round it out. Booze is so well hidden I almost forgot to mention it.

4.0 M: Medium body. A bit overcarbonated, but a few good whirls and that is taken care of. Otherwise, nice spritziness and super smooth. No complaints here.

4.0 D: Well rounded, tasty brett beer. No major faults, good complexity, and well integrated flavors.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cloudy/marmalade, 2 finger fluffy pillow, splendid lacing

S: wild yeast, lemon peel/grassy, pine, mild sweet candy

T: lemon peel, sweet candy, belgian yeast, grassy/pine floral finish

M: med body, smooth mouth

O: Another fine Belgian gem! It is the law of Belgian
for them to make mighty fine beers? Would buy again
and highly recommend.

DELICIOUS, TREAT YOURSELF + WORTHY FRIENDS!

Photo of mwilbur
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Brewed early July 2012.
A: Pours a slightly hazed pale golden lemon (hint of green hue about the edges) with high carbonation producing a 2+ inch bubbly white head. Excellent retention. Faint lacing.
S: Astringent citrus hops, soft melon, honey (emerges more with warming), white pepper, with just a hint of brett and a hint of belgian spice. Some fruity yeast notes. A splash of malt.
T: Funky and musty brett notes up front, a quick whiff of peach and melon, spicy and slightly funky hops, and all throughout there is a very interesting and definitely prominent note of leather (kind of a funky leather tobacco mix).
M: Carbonation tingle and sweety soft up front. Turning more astringent and bitter with a slight alcohol burn toward the finish.
D: The leathery funk is strong in this one...which certainly lends an interesting twist. A solid brew from an outstanding brewer. Honestly not one of his best, but his standards are quite high. I like the idea behind this series...would be great to have them all lined up at a tasting.

2/27/14: This one has held up very well over time. It has remained mostly intact. With aging, the mouthfeel has really softened (less carbonation, bitterness, and alcohol burn). Still produces a nice 2+ inch head. Ratings now would be 4.25/4/4/3.5/3.75

Photo of codsmith
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Huge and thick cream white foam head that is long-lasting. Dark yellow, but very hazy and no clarity. Should be clear throughout.

S: Heavy fruit esters that are very pronounced. Pear dominates off the nose, but very well balanced.

T: Pear, spice and slight malt character that are all rolled into one. It finishes off with a slight bitterness.

M: Heavy carbonation with a light-to-medium mouthfeel.

O: Very tasty and well developed. The only true negative would be lack of clarity.

Photo of KDawg
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a tulip. Pours a clear gold color with a very foamy head.

Extremely funky aromas. It's dominated by funk and yeast with aromas of tart oranges, sour apples, and bruised citrus tones.

Good depth with real good notes of tart oranges, sour apples and a lot of funk. The finish is slightly clipped though.

A great wild ale. One has to like funk aromas and flavors in their beer though.

Photo of Giggy
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love to dry different beers and different styles. This is really and different beer.

A: clear light golden with a white, light head

S: very barnyard, hay, grass, wet dog, earthy

T: very dry...band aid, Bannana, sour, pepper or coriander

M: medium body, soft carbonation.

O: nice & light

Photo of ChugginOil
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Shwaa for the awesome b-day gift.

Pours almost crystal clear and ends up a light hay color. There is an inch of white head that seems sticky as it sits for quit a while. There is a decent amount of wavy lace.

Then nose has some light fruity esters, light "band-aid" aromas, light tartness, and barnyard horse saddle.

The taste is similar to the nose. There is that strangely pleasant taste of band-aid with flavors of fruity esters, Belgian yeast, and an earthy/mineral taste. A barnyard funkiness is really working and I just can't put my finger on the exact resemblance but this one is funky as hell. There is a very subtle tartness that quickly fades into a bitterness. The 9% alcohol by volume is completely hidden underneath the strange and tasty flavors.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with ample carbonation. There is a smooth. There is a prickly feel that comes with the carbonation.

Overall, pretty impressed by this unusual brew. This is unlike any other wild ale I've had because it really brings out the barnyard qualities. Very funky and strange, yet delightfully drinkable and tasty.

Photo of mynie
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

That, my friends, is some bottle art. Wild ales from Europe should not come wrapped in cartoons, and nor should they evince the contemptibly measured boldness of a so-called "edgy" brewery's logo. They should look like a scene out of Hitler's nightmares.

Aside from that, pours a lightly hazy gold with a really nice head. Much more similar to a BSPA than a wild. Actually, it don't look or smell nothing like a wild--just, crap, is this just a Belgian Pale?

Not that there's anything wrong with that, aside from that fact that in today's age of 15 dollar bombers, I kind of like to know what I'm paying for...

So, okay, it's a BPA. And it's a pretty one. But it smells a little too soft. Nothing at all is offputting--light citrus fruit, light pepper, and a real light yeasty sourness. But you notice there were three "lights" in the last sentence.

Tastes much more firm. Sweet citrus and berries run into nodes of mineral water and black pepper. This odd melange gives way to a more traditional, grassy finish that's similar to a good, light saison. There is just a teeny tiny little hint of brett in the back end, so maybe this is indeed a wild--only it way more resembles a BPA than a wild, so whatever.

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw yellow with a huge, white rocky head, almost Orval like.

Smells of some funk, diacetyl butteryness, and notes of brett barnyard.

Taste is up front green apple, sweet, with earthy funk that goes into a more bitter middle and ends on a slightly metallic, sharp, floral, and funky end. Surprisingly bitter but balanced. Still, somewhat one dimensional and boring.

Lighter to medium body with medium to high carbonation. Alcohol is surprisingly well masked.

A hoppy, somewhat fruity and floral funky beer that lacks something, maybe more malt or more funk would help. This WOULD be great with some slightly spiced/herbal food though.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, poured into a tulip

Pours a pale golden yellow with a foamy one+ finger white cap. The cap settled rather quickly to a thin layer. Mild visible carbonation.

The aroma is of medicinal/herbal hops, overripe fruit, and an underlying funkiness. The funk is most reminiscent of band-aids and horses with a damp muskiness lurking.

On the palate, the flavor profile flips itself from the aroma. The aroma was more fruity, herbal with the funk laying low. On the palate, the funk is much more prominent while the fruity, medicinal feel takes a backseat.

Band-aid and horse funkiness with a damp must are prominent, while overripe fruit and herbal hops come in on the back end. The hops are biting and spicy, cutting through the funk for a herbal hop finish with a minor touch of funk.

The feel is on the lighter side of medium, with a touch of prickly carbonation that accentuates the biting, spicy hops in the finish.

This is a nice little BSPA. I wasn't expecting the funk, but it was a welcome surprise. I will be seeking this out again. Solid on all fronts.

Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of bbeane
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into DFH chalice... starts with big white head with great lacing and nice retention. Beer has a crisp golden color with a bit of yeasty sediment floating around -4.5

Has a light funk aroma with some bready and sweet malt notes -4

Has a light sweetness present from start to finish with some light funk and a bit of spice -4

Pretty light bodied with light carbonation

Not as funky as I prefer from a wild ale, but a good tasting beer none the less

Photo of sweemzander
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a goldenrod color. Produced a nice tall cap of white froth. Great retention and lace.

(S)- A bone dry horseblanket, earth, clay, and a lemon-Brett funk. Bits of biscuit and tartness at the end. Quite nice and funky.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A heavy Brett funk with lots of earth, clay, and spice. Far more Brett than the smell led me to believe actually.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A decent balance, though very Brett-forward with earthy bits. Not a whole lot else taste-wise.

(D)- Its easy to enjoy well enough, though nothing to write home about. The Brett is just too dominating for me to get more out of this than just a Brett funk. The smell was quite nice though.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of DCon
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Thirsty Monk (Belgian bar in basement) in Asheville, NC for $6.50. Tapped from a Dark colored tap handle w/ the Surly Bird on it into a 16oz La Moneuse Blaugies Tulip Glass.

Aroma- Extremely sweet on the nose with a light sour background (only hints) and very complexed. Finishes with a ton of musk though... Appreciated the first part of the aroma but didn't care for the muskiness.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger head that had average retention. Has a dark amber colored body and left good lacing behind.

Flavor- The flavor is sweet with light, artificial cherries. The backend is sour and very complexed. No hops or bitterness involved.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, and has a light sour finish on the palate.

Overall Impression- I'm not too sure of the style but enjoyed it! Wish there was more flavor and body instead of the musky aroma and finishing flavor. I have this in bottle and interested to see how it ages. VERY easy going beer.

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

Had this on tap at the Holy Grale in Louisville, KY.

A- Pale, semi-translucent golden yellow with a big, white head.

S- At first smell, I got a strange astringent smell, but after a few seconds all I got was fruit salad... No sourness detected after the fruit salad took over.

T- How is this 9%??? Amalgamation of fruit… yet not overpoweringly fruity. I was expecting this to be a bit sourer; however, it was nice and earthy/funky. I got a slight ‘hoppyness’ near the end. All-in-all it seemed more like a bready saison, yet not.

M- Medium bodied brew with a dry, clean finish. Carbonation was nice for the style, providing a nice crispness.

O- Interesting brew, but different than what I expected. It was a nice surprise to find this during the winter months.

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.