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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.
very good

201 Ratings
no score

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

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)
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Photo of BDIMike


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 01:41:45 | More by BDIMike
Photo of DavoleBomb


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 01:27:50 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 02:12:52 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of TMoney2591


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 BeerLover99


4.15/5  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.


Serving type: bottle

09-28-2012 20:25:37 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of mwilbur


4.03/5  rDev +2%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 03:10:08 | More by mwilbur
Photo of codsmith


4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 04:08:26 | More by codsmith
Photo of KDawg


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2012 05:44:26 | More by KDawg
Photo of ChugginOil


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2012 06:18:22 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of mynie


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 03:56:15 | More by mynie
Photo of TenHornsProud


3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 23:15:52 | More by TenHornsProud
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 19:38:39 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of bbeane


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 14:50:33 | More by bbeane
Photo of sweemzander


3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 18:42:05 | More by sweemzander
Photo of falloutsnow


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Binny's Beverage Depot in Schaumburg, IL.
No freshness date on the bottle, but likely from 2011 as it was not present in the summer, last time I was in the store.
Poured into a pint glass with a stout glass column.

I tried a glass of this with and without the yeast and found that I enjoyed it more when yeast was added (flavor was more robust and complex).

The beer can pour a fairly large head, though not particularly dense, made up of smallish and medium-sized bubbles. Mostly white in color, could argue off-white as well if desired. Fades rather quickly to a thin cap atop the body, but leaves quite a bit of lacing and spots of residual foam as it does so. This is augmented with each swirl and sip. Beer's body is a fairly bright, hazy (from sediment) yellow gold color out of light. When placed near a lamp, the beer is pale orange yellow. Very visible and active carbonation. I have not seen a better light-colored Belgian ale than this.

Dominant aroma (funk) from the beer is a product of the so-called wild fermentation, from whichever Brettanomyces strain was used, which gives off a moderately strong burnt electrical wire meets sawdust scent (tempered acidity). Mild sweetness in the background alongside some olde-type farm scents (true, dry compost and horses), you could also suggest that white pepper is noticeable.

Taste opens with a complex meld between Brettanomyces-influenced burnt electrical wire with sawdust sourness, vinegar-ness and bright malt sweetness. Midpoint is bright and fruity, esters dominate, take your pick of apples, pears, light-fleshed plums, pineapple and maybe even slight nectarines. Ethanol begins to be detectable in the last 1/3 of taste, both on the tongue and in the nasal cavity. Fade out is brightly, weirdly sweet with even more esters, then ethanol "warmth" and return of Brettanomyces-inspired flavors. Aftertaste is gently sour and bitter, like the taste in one's mouth hours after regurgitating, with enough residual sweetness to make this tolerable. If someone said this beer was akin to drinking the sour, vinegary, fruity, sweet, carbonated vomit of a god, then s/he would be in agreement with myself. I sometimes ask myself how I consider what is palatable to actually be palatable.

Beer's body is about medium in weight, with carbonation levels that are a bit excessive for this heaviness. Mouthfeel is rather aggressively prickly. The result is a beer, with quite high alcohol content, that does not linger in the palate, but is rather quickly gulped down. Finish is dry, pleasing. Overall, a bit disappointing for mouthfeel.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer and thought it was an interesting, continued foray into wild ales. If you let it sit for a while, the carbonation is even less of an issue. Would I get it again? Sure, if I was in the mood for a Brettanomyces-forward wild, but sweet BSPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 20:07:06 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of corby112


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 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 crossovert


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

750ml bottle.

Upon uncorking it is a slow gusher. It pours a murky gold with a TON of sediment. It appears to be yeast particles. The head is ivory white and holds surprisingly well though it doesn't give much lacing.

This one has a definite must to it, along with Jolly Pumpkin's Lambicus Dexteris, this is one of the funkiest intentionally funky beers I have smelled. Candied vomit anyone? At any rate is smells both highly acidic and sweet and the same time with some funk to make it "primitive" so to speak.

The flavor is much less funky than the nose. It has a nice yeast blend in it though. It has a mild tartness and some definite bretty character. The hops are surprisingly noticeable adding a nice little bitter note. The malts are really noticeable here, they are very-honey graham cracker-like.

It is a nice ale with a lot of depth, but it is a bit sweet for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 06:17:49 | More by crossovert
Photo of mmmbeer


3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL Belgian bottle, with F0108 on the synthetic cork. Pours a lightly-chilled medium gold, with lots of carbonation and an inch of ivory head that leaves nice lacing. It has a strong aroma, with phenols, orange, pear, light hops, a bit of acidity, and some earthy/funky yeast notes. Tastes of oranges, pale malt, floral noble hops which impart a medium bitterness, and a touch of sweetness. This is all pierced by strongly phenolic yeast and an alcohol pungency. Light, a little tingly, dry with a long spicy finish. Drinks like a big and pungent saison, and it's a bit harsh when cold, but mellows a bit as it warms. An interesting beer for sure, but this could use a few more years in the cellar I think.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 12:41:40 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of radshoesbro


3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tripel karmeliet glass from a 750 ml bottle. Split this with my wife over a few pieces of pizza.

Smells of mixed fruits. Big papaya notes with pineapple and brett. This is very fruity smellinh, and quite appealing. No sour smells.

Taste is dry, but overwhelmingly so. Fruit characters dance on the tounge. Yet they are slightly muddled up and very difficult to pick out. A small bit of something almost crab apple tasting.

Mouthfeel is alright. there is a good deal of dry characters on the back of the throat.

Drinkable, but sort of heavy in the stomach.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 04:58:55 | More by radshoesbro
Photo of glid02


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 darklordlager


3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Blue Max three or four months ago. Second De Proef beer of the week--this brewery really puts out some good stuff.

A: Pulled from the cellar, popped open, and thrown into a snifter. Pours a gorgeous clear-golden colour with a volumptious 1" slighty off-white head. Marks the sides as it dies down a bit. Looks great. Second pour is a bit more hazy, with some floaties--despite my efforts to decant it (or balance decanting with wasting as little as possible).

S: Funk, hay, barnyard. Lots of fruit--apple, pear, grape. Smells very acidic.

T: Funky, but not nearly as sour as I was expecting it to be. More of an acidic funk to it. Lighter fruits lead in, with a bit of hay/earthy barnyard flavour. Smooth for a beer of this style. Dry, not tart at all, or sour (like I was kind of expecting). Earthy/peppery flavour lingers on the tongue. Slightly chalky. Even more earthy with the second pour, with a slightly intensified tartness.

M: Light-to medium with high carbonation.

D: While good, this one had me wanting a little bit more. A solid wild beer, but not something I would drop the cash on again. A bit too earthy without a sour/tart element.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 04:53:10 | More by darklordlager
Photo of woodychandler


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 bronzeside


2.6/5  rDev -34.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 00:34:20 | More by bronzeside
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

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

Bottle purchased from Buyrite Liquors in South Plainfield NJ around October of 2008. Bottle has been kept in a cellared/temperature control environment until today. Cork is marked FP0108. Bottle opens with a loud pop and foams uncontrollably after I had stood it up for about 15 minutes prior to pouring. Must be the bottle refermenting.

Appearance: Hazy dirty orange with honey corners and a 2 finger frothy white crown that displays loads of renetion and lacing!

Smell: muted orange, bready malt, light whisps of barnyard, light candied quality, and a touch of mineral presence.

Taste: Bready malt and muted orange up front with hints of coriander and lemon rind rounding it out as the brett steals the stage in the finishing act.

Mouthfeel: About as creamy but not syrupy and substantial but not thick as you can get. Absolutely perfect. The year of extended bottle conditioning has done this brew justice.

Drinkability: Well put together flavors and a wonderful mouthfeel work for the drinkability of this brew. The undetectable 9% abv works against it.

A year of cellaring has muted this one out rather quickly. Its drinking like a 3 year old Unibroue already.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 17:58:48 | More by koopa
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.