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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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Ratings: 201 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of gameface23


2.45/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

M: Decent. Medium-bodied.

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

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 13:18:44 | More by gameface23
Photo of Damian


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

Drank from a 1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle purchased at Bauer Wines and Spirits, Boston, MA
Served in a tulip

You have to love the Heironymous Bosch artwork on the bottle label. Even though the beer itself may not be classified as "wild", the packaging certainly is.

As for the beer, it poured a nearly clear, straw yellow color with a rocky, bubbly, bright white, one-finger head. On the second pour, large yeast particles clouded the liquid. Cascading rings of lacing coated the glass with every sip.

The aroma was musty and grassy. Country-ish with a distinct saaz hop quality. As the beer warmed, the mustiness intensified, becoming almost dank by the beer's end.

The taste was clean and crisp. Slightly sour and musty. Biscuity hops came through up front. Hay and lemon notes were noticeable in the center. Grassy, bittering hops appeared on the super dry, slightly funky and tart finish.

The mouthfeel was medium/lighter bodied with a crisp, sprightly effervescence. Smooth, slick and slightly creamy on the palate.

Drinkability was quite good. This is a light and refreshing yet flavorful beer that would make a perfect aperitif.

This is a interesting offering from De Proef. I only wish the funk/brett character were more pronounced.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 15:11:37 | More by Damian
Photo of rpstevens

New Hampshire

2.55/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 23:23:33 | More by rpstevens
Photo of jampics2


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

Bottle @ Buckeye Sour Tasting 2009. Wasn't a sour at all, but one of the many nice wild ales that were available. Overall, my favorite of the 3 we tried - the Pinhead, demon Fish, and this This was just more consistent, balanced, and appealing. Would try again!

A = Straw colored, nice amount of carbonation.

S = Smells like light malt and a serious case of the funks. This one had a bit less wild than the others in the nose. Horsehair and mustiness present.

T = Light, citrus then a bretty malt combo. Holds together well - neither flavor is distinct enough to conflict. Great aftertaste, far better than the other 2.

M = Light but a bit more to it than the others we tried. Seems good for the style.

D = Best of the three we tried. I would have another - not another 750ml, but another pour ;)

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 15:39:41 | More by jampics2
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with synthetic cork printed with FPO100. poured into tulip. tasted in early april 2009

very mild gusher, but all the murky, lumpy yeast thus rises up and into the beer! golden straw color with amber tones. big fluffy white head fades slowly, leaving a meringue in the center, and gradually shrinks to a thin foamy layer. great lacing.

aroma: farmhouse and barn funkiness with overripe apple and pears. hint of white grape. grass and wet hay, then more leathery brett and barn funk. hint of spice and herbs with the gentle phenols. hint of orange peel.

taste: sweet, lightly toasted malts and fruity noes (pear, white grape, touch of citrus), meet with gentle acidity and moderate, hay-like hop bitterness, moving into light phenols, before moderate leather and barn funk, with with a pleasant sweetness to it all, and a off-dry finish with hints of leather and oak.

medium body, smooth, with flash of astringency and faint acidity in the finish. creamy consistency, helped along with the moderate carbonation.

i was apprehensive, after my experience with demon fish, but this is quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 08:04:41 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of rhoadsrage


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 bkett01


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quick pour into a tulip glass creates a healthy foamy 3 finger powder white head. It dies away after about 5 minutes, leaving behind a sticky lacing on the glass. Smell is of wet hay, almost barnyard smelling, which (per the style) is a good thing.

Taste is crisp with a slight sourness that finishes smooth. Carbonation keeps it lively on the tongue and no flavors really dominate. I also detect pear and apple in the finish, which round out the mild sourness nicely.

This is a very drinkable wild ale that doesn't overdo it on the brett. If you see it, it's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 22:58:50 | More by bkett01
Photo of largadeer


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 roadhouse


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

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel glass.

Appears a golden in color with a three-quarter inch white head. It falls to a skim and leaves some spotty lacing.

Aroma has a sweetness most likely from candi sugar, with scents of ripe fruit, leathery brett funk, and tart green apple.

Taste has a spicy zing up front with some funky brett character. Doesn't really have much of a tart component as it did in the aroma. In the finish there is a slight honey-like sweetness that appears for a second before a slight amount of earthy hop character and lingering funk.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, pretty smooth and creamy texture.

I thought this was pretty good but it lacked in overall complexity. I was hoping for more of a sour refreshing type drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 06:00:16 | More by roadhouse
Photo of GClarkage


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
Photo of slayer3604


4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-FIZZY YELLOW BEER ;). Deliberately poured hard to see what this mother was capable of, and the head ripped up the side of the glass. Very nice 3 finger head that fell under a finger in under 2 minutes. nice. I gave it a 4 because the color is 'nice' but nothing special.

S- Funky straw smells, citrus, i can tell this is going to be a little spicy, and there is a sweet honey like flavour in the background that i like very much.

T- A rush of flavor including straw, funk, lemon zest, and a nice carpet of malt backbone, on top of a luxuriously smooth body.

M- Light, slightly refreshing, despite the boom of alcoholic perfume in the finish.

D- I'd drink this all day if i was rich.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 07:22:38 | More by slayer3604
Photo of Fatduck


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

My first Wild ale.

A - Pale, very pale, like a wheat beer. little to no head, but i poured very gently.

S - Smells like a barn, a wonderfully sour, house dung filled barn, brings me to Kentucky.

T - Sour, yet sweet, not like a lambic where its almost over powering, its controlled and well used. This beer is malty and sweet and sour all at the same time.

M - Lively and fresh, lots of carbonation, but not too much.

D - I could easily down the 750ml, but not sure if i could do more than that, its a strong beer, and its a very flavorful beer, but its god damn good.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 03:04:28 | More by Fatduck
Photo of Beerzebub


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to aerozeppl for trading me this one.

Poured in a big wine glass at 58 F/ 14 C.

Hazy golden, thick white head, fine sticky lace.

Big fruity aroma pours out of the glass, stone fruits and apple, with moderate spicy tart leathery cheesy yeasty funk. Mild alpine herbs, clove, and salami. Complex, cohesive, and quite appealing.

Tastes fruity, along the lines of dried apricot and dried apple, and dry, with unmistakable but mild Brett, medium bitterness like green tea, herbs and dried lime peel, and some mild acidity. A savory note creeps in, somewhat like salami. Finishes very dry, with lingering dried fruit, green tea, and stone.

Well controlled fine carbonation, some minerality, and some mild astringency make for an enjoyable texture. Refreshingly dry and highly drinkable.

Great interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2008 06:19:55 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of 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 rye726


4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy medium tan with a silky beige head. Has a huge complex nose. There is lots of damp, musky banyard funk, manure, tart fruits, spicy herbs with faint sweet candy malts.

The taste does not quite have the same undulation found in the aroma. It seems to be missing the tart tropical fruit component. It is quite good however. Bitter earthy flavors with some good oaky funk. The body is full yet crisp and refreshing. A fine brew indeed.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 04:36:13 | More by rye726
Photo of IBUnit63


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 750 into trusty Ommegang chalice.

Natural honey-colored body with thin, yeasty head. Body looks through thin head with mild rose tinge.

Mild cloves and faint sour brett at first. Only distant horse-blanket scent emerges with greater strength after a while. A little sweetness and lemon citrus.

This tastes like something I'd step in at the racetrack stables - now that's a horse blanket - yet it's enjoyable. Carbonation cuts the thickness. There's a little very dry grain - maybe unsalted, unbuttered popcorn...or that wheat puffs cereal your grandmother used to feed you in the 70s...or maybe a rice cake? In it's own funky way this is pretty damn good.

Powerful horse blanket strength with some yeast electricity and strong carbonation. The austerity is awkward yet really enjoyable.

For me, drinkability of this style is inherently a little tough but all in all this is a well-made effort that accomplishes its objectives. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 10:45:40 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My addiction to wild ales grows.

750 caged and corked.

A: Slightly hazy golden copper color. Minimal head. Spotty lacing.

S: Not as powerful a horse blanket as other edition in this series. Make no mistake this is a funkhouse. Some apples and other assorted harvest

T: Starts of with a slight sweetness then goes into the barn and stays there. Hell yes. Is this what being a beer geek ends in? Besides the farm it is a nice belgian pale behind it but the funk really dominated but it is not as strong as some of the other flemish primitive ales.

M: Nice medium body. Low carbonation in my bottle but that worked.

D: So drinkable. No hint of the 9%. Glad these made it into the area so I can always get my wild ale fix.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2008 01:55:53 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of Wasatch


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

750ml Bottle

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 goochpunch


4.78/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a slightly chill-hazed bronzed honey with a whipped egg white head that leaves beautiful lace of varying sized bubbles. Nose reminds me a lot of a French dry cider. Lots of apple (of course), mango, peach, apricot, pear, spiciness (in alcohol, hops, and yeast), and a definite funk that gives off hints of petting zoo and fungi. Flavor starts off with bright fruit juices with an accompanying acidity. The acidity drops off a bit in the middle, allowing a fungal brett character to show itself more. Hops come in the finish bringing lots of spiciness and some herbal tones as well as a solid bitterness that meshes well with the acidity and brett characteristics. Finishes dry. Mouthfeel is very light bodied and spritzy. Drinkability is really high. Excellent beer. Reminds me of a bigger version of Orval. Goes incredibly well with mole verde.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 04:15:01 | More by goochpunch
Photo of NCSUdo


3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle

A: Beautiful clear golden, huge bubbly head

S: Big apple nose but not a sweet apple, some pear, yeast and bread that eventually gives way to a big, big hay/barnyard like aroma, really loses me here

T: Yeast and bread, with a bitter finish, good but nothing to write home about.

M/D: Excellent mouthfeel, light body and low carbonation, drinability is low for me as this beer just did not impress me overall

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2007 00:51:43 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of emerge077


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 northernbrews


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased from Merchant's Fine Wine in Dearborn.

Appearance: Pours beautifully golden with a 1" off-white head. The head hangs around until the last sip. This leaves nice lacing on my DFH snifter.

Smell: Starts with tart strawberries and tropical fruits. There is a touch of oak and gentle hops. There is some rustic brett notes that creap in near the end.

Taste: Initially starts off with slight tartness and the same rustic brett flavors from the nose. This is followed by strawberry and tropical flavors. The flavors are not quite as intense as the aroma. This is one of the most balanced "wild ales" I've had.

Mouthfeel: The slight tartness and strawberry flavors coat my mouth for a bit. These gently fade to make you ready for the next sip.

Drinkability: This goes down very nicely. This has excellently balanced tartness, fruit and hops. My 750 went down way too fast. I wish I had another in the cellar.

Overall: Just an excellent beer overall. Beautifully balanced and slight tartness allow this to go down too smooth.This is a great interpretation of the style and I would recommend this to anyone looking to get into wild ales. Pick this up if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2007 16:14:14 | More by northernbrews
Photo of EPICAC


4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

purchased a 750 mL bottle of this at Downtown Wine & Spirits and served it in one of my Duvel tulip glasses.

Appearance: The cork hit the ceiling when I opened the bottle. Since the yeast is a compact layer on the bottom of the bottle this pours a brilliant, clear golden. The thick, white head fades slowly leaving patches of thick lace.

Smell: Medicinal phenols, Brett aromas, as well as some nice fruitiness, especially sour apples.

Taste: Fruitiness upfront including bananas, sour apples, which are present through the center before they meet a peppery and alcoholic spice. The finish is very strong on the Brett. There's some phenolic character as well as a nice persistent bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, high carbonation with some warming alcohol and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Crisp and very flavorful.

Overall: Very interesting. Fruity with a good dose of Brett.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 07:11:07 | More by EPICAC
Photo of drseamus

New York

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a beautiful golden color with a thick white head. The head has excellent retention and falls like the krausen on my homebrews, very typical of a Belgian. The beer has an excellent sour aroma. The first taste of this beer was the worst one. Initially, it has a sour taste with a very dry aftertaste...almost a dusty taste. The rest of the bottle didn't have that dusty taste. The dry aftertaste remained for the rest of the beer though. I would consider drinking this beer again but I prefer sweeter sour beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 23:02:54 | More by drseamus
Photo of Budlum


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

This ale pours with loads of carbonation that provides copious amounts of foamy, white head. Head retention is excellent to say the least as it never leaves. The body is a glowing, golden yellow. Very attractive.

The aromas of this brew are immediately floral, loaded with iris and hyacynthe. A smooth spice of cinnamon and allspice provide some warmth. Sweet aromas of brown sugar, butter and maple syrup balance the strong spiciness. The wild yeast is well represented by a funky smell at the end of each sniff.

Flavors of apricots and blood oranges start this tasty ale. The real qualities of this beer are in the hoppy and spicy flavors. Hops are very nicely presented throughout each sip. The spice characteristics consist of black pepper, curry, coriander, allspice and cumen. The spice flavors are endless as far as descriptions go and well balanced by sweet malty flavors and the persistent hops. Alcohol warms the mouth and stomach after each sip. Incredibly unique.

Mouthfeel is deliciously viscous and perfectly carbonated. A pleasure to sip.

Drinkability is nothing short of perfect. The price and availability makes this a tough choice for a daily beer. Overall, this is delicious and supremely quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2006 03:25:43 | More by Budlum
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 201 ratings.