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
89
very good

108 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 108
Hads: 246
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.94%
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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Reviews: 108 | Hads: 246
Photo of goochpunch
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
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. (855 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
3.44/5  rDev -14.4%
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 (424 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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. (1,122 characters)

Photo of northernbrews
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (1,198 characters)

Photo of EPICAC
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
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. (896 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of Budlum
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
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. (1,234 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very foamy blond beer, has a sweet-sour nose that reminds me of Zoetzuur, from the same brewery.

taste resembles the nose, cloyingly hop-dry and sweet taste, hint of sourness in the back of it, really somewhat odd in a blond ale. this dries out some and there is some offsetting bitterness as well, the two match well together.

hard to describe such an atypical product as this. I do like Surly bird, though my favorite has to be spoon-thumper. (451 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy horseblanket!

This beer is like Orval, only grown up and ready to kick ass and take names.

Whew!

We are talkin' some serious brett funk here. It's like drinking a barnyard. The 'wild' in this brew is pretty much wild yeast, not bacteria. Sure, there is a nice crisp finish from the lactic acid bacteria, but man, this beer is anything but clean!

There is also the unwelcome bitterness that others have mentioned. I can't really say I dig it. A 45 IBU wild beer was something best left thought about, not brewed. There is a reason why lambics use old hops and this beer is a showcase for that.

All that said, this is still a pretty drinkable brew. The way it looks man, this is how beer is supposed to look. A beautiful golden body with a head that just won't quit no matter what you do. Wonderful.

The taste is also a wonderful showcase of what Brett can do. I'm not a big fan of brett, but if you like the flavours it produces this is definately the beer for you! Just don't expect any moderation what-so-ever.

Definately a beer worth seeking out. I'm inspired to seek out the rest of the series. A masterfully done beer. (1,148 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (2,662 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.92/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Caged corked gives a MASSIVE >pop!!!< upon release.

Pours a hazy apricot juice color with a multitude of bubbles rushing to a soapy, large, extremely well-retained head. Sticky lace strata up and down glass.

The smell is divine. Horse-saddle leather, complete with sweat and all, balanced by rich fruit essences (pear, apple, plum, peach). Fragrant, dirty, earthy, sweet, pungent, and assertive. Pure excellence.

Compared to the Pig Nun version of this one, the Surly Bird seems to be more bitter, obviously a higher hops quotient than the Pig Nun. Otherwise it's just as expected. Fruit and yeast, beauty and beast, battling for control, both coming in first. Well-balanced, complex with nutmeg/coriander spices coming to mind, hiding the high alcohol well, and delivering a flavor that puts the yeast out front in the best way. Finish is dry and sour. A good match for what comes before it. A springy, buoyant, bubbly mouthfeel brings out the exotic sides of the flavor even further.

9% ABV be damned: this is highly drinkable. Seems right for all seasons, and could go with a variety of foods (though I prefer this one as its own stand-alone meal). I wish I could make this my everyday beer. Availability and good-sense dictate otherwise, but man, what a fantastic liquid. (1,293 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - a full finger of rocky white head atop a dark yellow straw colored brew, with moderate carbonation

S - first thought, smells like Duvel, sweet 'n' spicy, like a citrus flavored honey with a meld of ginger interwoven

T - very smooth, an orange zest flavor, with the same sweetness and ginger from the aroma, it has a great bitter finish to it

M - smooth with the aforementioned bitter finish, well balanced and easy to swallow, very pleasant

D - high, a great Belgian, nive medium bodied (502 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hazed golden with a large white head that sticks around.
mango, apricot, citrus, soft banana bread and slight pineapple aromas dominate. there's some good'n funky hay-like, but relatively mild, qualities mixed with a slight ocean air (good). wow, this smells delicous. a strawberry cream aroma develops with significant warmth.
the taste has a lot more banana than the smell, with it hijacking the middle completely and part of the finish. the tangy fruits are all here from the aroma with the addition of bubblegum, vanilla wood, and a more musty funk than originally expected from the aroma which was more barnyard less basement. reverse that here in the taste. a little and i do mean little bit of booze in this one, which i haven't noticed in the series so far.
slightly heavier side of medium bodied with active sharp carbonation.
very good drinkability. good lord i've been nothing but very impressed with all these beers, get out there and grab any of these that you can find. (987 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of pons
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at American Beer Distributing on Court St.

It is hard to review a beer like this and not let bias get in the way too much. This beer is unlike any belgian blond I've had. The first time I tried Surly Bird from Proefbrouwerij the only other blond I had tried was Duvel; it is far and wide the most genuine beer I'll had.

Surly Bird's strength is in the combination of high alcohol content and a piquant taste. For another person the taste may be too acrid upon intial smel/sip. However, there are citrus aftertastes, semi-sweet and overipe yet dry. the wild yeast used certainly lends its own funk to the beer which finishs rather smoothly for such a powerful brew. The malt is characterstic of a blonde, which is great, yet there is noticable hoppiness to this beer. It certianly has more hop character than the Pig Nun variety, of which it's very similar.

When opening, the cork is easy to come off, and opens quite forcefully. There's quite a lot in the way of carbonation which yields a great head that lingers throughout drinking. It looks quite sexy in the proper glassware.

Overall it is worth it to try this one, especially if you're craving a more exotic tasting beer. It's sure to compliment more funky cheeses if you want to be really adventurous. (1,279 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very highly carbonated. Definitely a beer to open and pour over the sink. Thankfully I was forewarned. Poured this nicely over a few minutes. Amazing smell, hard to describe. It ranges from citrusy fruit one moment to sour yeast the next.

Mouthfeel: Let the carbonation slow down and it's a very almost light bodied easy to drink beer.

Taste: This one almost defies description. A fruity character comes and goes at random intervals intertwined with a likeable and agreable sourness. Unlike most beers I'm used to, this one does not nicely proceed through the flavor spectrum as it comes up to room temp from the cellar. It's almost like the beer wrestles with your tastebuds and berates you for not keeping up. Flavors come and go so quickly, one minute it's sourness, the next its hints of strawberry, apricot, citrus. It keeps you coming back for more.

Drinkability: This a very wonderful beer. I would highly recommend anyone try it. It's not for the faint of heart! (980 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (1,979 characters)

Photo of numenor1
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First wild ale i've had.

Pours a hazy golen orange with a towering rocky head, laces in clumps an never fully disappears. Quite beautiful. Smells metallic, mineraly and with an unmistakable smack of banana pudding. Initially candy sweet estery fruits, banana, passionfruit, starfruit, with an undertone of acidic sourness. Then beautiful earthy spicy bitterness slowly wipes everything away. Ponderous. Mouthfeel is medium light, with effervescent carbonation. Very drinkable. Magnificent. (492 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (271 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Is this any different from the Pig Nun version? I don't get it. I'm assuming the different labels mean slightly different versions, but I'm not sure. Had this one the other night at the Public House. Tasted pretty damn similar, and pretty damn amazing. This could be my new favorite beer, or perhaps just an affair from my first obsession, which would be Fantome. I'm not going to get too into it, because I feel like it is almost identical to the other version Pig Nun, which I already reviewed. But, it's incredibly floral, fruity, and slightly tart, yet still keeping an excellent light and airy dry mouthfeel. So good. So drinkable. So unique. I've check out a few other beers by this brewery (De Proef), and this guy, apparently a mad scientist/brewer, knows the deal. I have a bottle of the Spoon Whacker in the fridge which I plan on drinking later, and hopefully that will help me figure out if these beers are different or not. [Or, if you're one of those nice people who knows what they're talking about, maybe you'll beer mail me and clear this one up for me.] Either way, regardless of the painting on the label, this is up there with the best of the best in my opinion. Go get surly. (1,196 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in late summer 2005 in southern California for approximately $8.99; reviewed and enjoyed in November 2005.

Pours a moderate golden color with a huge pillowy head that is fed by a strong, steady stream of bubbles from the bottom of my Duvel glass. Quite attractive.

Aroma is very yeasty, with very slight sweetness (orange fruit), but this is about yeast. To be honest, the aroma isn't as strong and distinctive as I remember the other Flemish Primitive I had (the Pig Nun). It's pleasant, but not anything that I can grab onto.

Now the flavor, that's a whole 'nother story. Spicy in several directions- black pepper, mustard seed, caroway, with a distinct wild tartness that is the main characteristic. Hops? Not that I can tell. Malt/Bread? Nope. But lots of interesting spices (I wish I was better at describing them).

Mouthfeel is quite nice, although there is a bit of an alcohol burn at the back of the throat that detracts from the overall presentation.

Quite a nice beer- I like it! (1,016 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750 without dates poured into a tulip. This was the loudest pop ever! Soon as the caged was unwound, I had a mini howitzer in my hands. I have guns that are quieter than this bottle.

Clear apple juice supporting a couple fingers of white that is a bit noisy. Good retention, minimal lace.

The nose sez, "Hello my name is Brett!" An old barnyard that is littered with apples fallen from the tree and just starting to rot. So earthy and funkalicious. There's an old box of nails in here. Fruits underneath including the already mentioned apples and some dark charries and a few plums. Very, very interesting.

Starts off briefly acidic and tart, but this is quickly balanced by the dark fruits that come through just enough. The earthy nature of this beer follows with some hay and dusted yeast. Slight alcoholic pepper way in the back towards the end. Bitter hops are paired with the tangy fruits in a lingering dry/bitter/earthy finish. Damn....

The mouth is almost killed by the acidic to tart qualities, but there's enough maltiness to give it a body that isn't eroded by the brett or the carbonation. So interesting I could drink a lot until the abv got on top of me. (1,198 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recieved in trade from AlexJ. Thanks, man. Into a tulip it goes, the yeast staying at the bottom of the bottle. I swirled the bottle as soon as I made some room. The body is a cloudy golden yellow, with seemingly endless creamy looking foam. The aroma invites me to jump in. Funky, sweet and sour yeast. Earthiness.

The taste is complex and refreshing, no hint of the 9%ABV. Yeast driven light fruit, maybe kiwi-strawberry. A slightly sour, but definitely tart flavor comes next. Finishes crisp and clean, with a faint bitterness on the tongue. I am trying so hard not to guzzle.

Mouthfeel is of carbonated silk. Drinkability is a five. If you are't extremely disciplined, you'll have a bottle drained in half an hour, tops. (733 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

NOTE: Beware of cork! After removing wire cage, cork begins moving to the top of the 750ml bottle right before your eyes. This magical presentation resulted in a small indentation in my living room wall. Please be careful!
Appearance: Served at cellar temperature into a St Bernardus goblet, the body is a slightly hazed, golden amber. Vigorous carbonation is so prevalent as to be a bit scary. Large and puffy offwhite head has forever retention and settles into a custard meringue at the top of the goblet. Wow! Nice looking.

Aroma: Fruity and musty aromas drench the room as soon as the cork explodes out of the bottle. Overripe peaches, fresh pineapple, watermelon rinds rotting in the garden compost pile, wet wool blanket, musty sleeping bag from twenty years ago, damp hay, freshly dug dandelions, a bouquet of spring flowers, and more funky, fruity, and floral/herbal notes than I can bring myself to envision. Lots going on here, to say the least.

Mouthfeel: Lively effervescent carbonation and a light medium to medium body. Mouthfeel is the most pedestrian character here.

Taste: Whew! So many layers of flavors here that it's difficult to begin a description. First, the 9% abv is nowhere to be found, until I try to type this review. A fruity character comes and goes at random intervals, strawberries, white grapes, pineapple, kiwi fruit, and melon. Hop bitterness is also random, with an assertive dry grassiness. Yeastiness is, by turns, chalky, musty, earthy, and very funky. Maltiness is bready at times, powdery on occasion. Break a twig off the nearest hardwood tree and chew on it for several seconds, and you will get a hint of the woodsy funk going on here. Vague spices come and go, as well. Finishes bittersweet, with a lasting funky hop bitterness. This is one wild ale!

Drinkability: This is the most exciting bottle of beer I've ever sampled. An excellent journey that is long and strange. Enjoy! (1,938 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear pale golden straw with a huge white frothy head which was large bubbled and lasted well to slowly lace the glass as it retreated back to the surface. The cork tried to oust itself from the bottle over time as the bottle sat warming with the bail removed.

The aroma was earthy with an acidic bite. The farmhouse Belgian yeast was present in grand fashion with and estery profile and a dose of Brett. A light citrus aroma emerged as the head fell back.

The flavor was very interesting and complex. Was predicting a sour acidity and that was not the case at all. The flavor was fruity with a light citrus and a nice earthy hop presence which was nicely bittered and kept the malt at bay. There was a light Belgian yeast spice that included a peppery flavor and a Brett yeast character which was complex and well done.

The finish was dry with a lasting light peppery and earthy hop flavor and a light citrus very plesantly into the aftertaste. The body was medium and creamy with the carbonation level. A great beer!

750 ml corked and bailed bottle purchase at Sam's in Durham, NC. Looked for this beast for months and finally it shows up all over NC. Will wonders never cease! 45 IBU according to Shelon Bros site and extra finishing hops. (1,295 characters)

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
89 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.