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

Not Rated.
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)

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

234 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 234
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 15
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 06-14-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 234 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarioM
4.66/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

750 ml poured into RR stemmed glass.

A: Darkish yellow, huge white head with great lacing and carbonation. Large boubbles on the base and small smooth boubbles on top towards the center, and lingering for a while. This foam ain't going nowhears.

S: fruity funkiness with some minor tropical news but not much. Slight brettiness but more fruit and funk than the delicate pineapple character coming hrough. Damn though, hella interesting smelling and super excited at this point. It's almost like a super pungent cheese you can't wait to pop in your mouth and just enjoy and embrace the funk.

T: actually mutch more subtle than I would expect at the beginning. The middle has some good funk and ends with that same funkiness lingering with a good sweetness and malt character. Balance is really pleasant, fruit, Brett funk and bitterness are all spot on, damn hella goodness. I get some tropical fruits but not mutch, just enough to get you interested and make things complicated... Also slight musty and also get that traditional Brett horse blanket funk to the mix, really nice... Oh man, too mutch to mutch to contemplate on a single sitting. This brew has errthing going for it. Funky yet drinkable and balanced, YUM

M: Smooth, light and refreshing at the start then finishes dry and you start to get that booziness which remind you that this aints no traditional far worker saison/farmhouse but more of a drunks/lazy farmers' drank. Which would be my choice of drink. Carbonation is on the medium to high side and very traditional to the style.

O: Overall a must have, must buy when seen brew. There's one left at my local bottle shop and I'm now worris that some one else might go and buy this great brew. Definitely one of my new favorite saisons/farmhouse ales fo sho. A must buy if seen locally.

Photo of IPAchris
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of logicerror
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of djames
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not seeing how this is getting some low reviews. Awesome Saison to me! Great hazy straw-colored appearance. Smell is out-of-this-world good, and the taste... to me is up there with the best in this category. Only slight knock for over carbonation. Something I will definitely come back to though.

Photo of Holland
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, MA

A: Pours a cloudy golden orange in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thin film, some very thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pale malts, fruity yeast, and brett funkiness. Light hints of sourness.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts with s strong component of funkiness (not dissimilar to blue cheese). There are lighter notes of light fruit (green apple) yeast and a bit of a briny/salty flavor as well. Quite a bit of funk but very little sourness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of alcohol warming in the finish and significant amounts of dryness.

O: This is a pretty unique beer and definitely one that I am glad I found so that I could try it - interesting but not sure that I would get it again.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy bright yellow/orange with a big fluffy head and nice lace rings.

Yeasty grain and grainy malt, with some spice and funk. Some musty notes in the nose.

Yeast and grain up front, some white pepper bite, some spice, a little funky rot, some mild bitterness, and any sweetness is more grain than fruit. Mild bitterness at the end.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Not bad. I think we have the style wrong here. This feels like a farmhouse brew. Alcohol is so well hidden that the 9% literally kicks you in the ass. You just don't notice it. Drinkable and enjoyable. Not super complex, but enough so that you'll enjoy the whole bottle.

Photo of Ogre
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of YobroitsJoe
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of trevorpost
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of parris
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of bobhits
2.83/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours golden cloudy body with a HUGE white head with some staying power. A lot of lace left even in an absurdly dry beer.

Musty with citrus notes, and hop mixed malt finish.

Wild ale is rather open but I hoped for a bit of sour notes, instead I got a lot of musk, funk, hints of citrus, followed by old sitting funk I dunno. It isn't bad, it's actually decent but not for me. There's just not enough bite from the citrus side for me.

Well carbonated but too hard to finish.

I worthy beer but split multiple ways.

Photo of SourinQns
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Alfaromeo
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of drewone
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and some cardboard aromas. Taste is much the same with a Brett flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that seems to be showing a bit of oxidation compared to the other beers in the series.

Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of thecheapies
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wittyname for throwing this one my way! Cap reads '2061206'. Not sure what that translates to, or if it even refers to dating code.

Pours an earthy gold color with lots of rising bubbles. The head is nearly immaculate and difficult to navigate around during the pour. A big fluffy and frothy bout of white foam that reached nearly four inches height in my tulip. Holds forever. Looks astounding. Gotta hand it to the Belgians, man; do they know how to make a good-looking brew or what?!

Mild, yet subtly sweet, aromas of apple and hay and brettanomyces. A very benign and enjoyable Belgian pale nose that's missing the strength that this beer supposedly carries (9%). Yeasty with fruit, but not overcasting the light funkiness. Quaint. Nice.

Brett-iness churns like cheese with dry, nutty tones. Fruitiness is much more subdued, as this beer is driven by yeasty critters. Still, some light green apple tannic notes. No sourness detected, however. Alcohol stings a bit, now. Strange flavors of pimento-stuffed green olives/brine intrigue me. Kind of like a semi-dirty martini. Bready nature inflates with pale maltiness, and maybe a wheat addition. Very, very dry; especially in the finish.

Body and carbonation are spot-on, but I don't like the too-obvious booziness. Needs some time to mellow out, and maybe thin out the body just a bit. Although, this can't get much drier.

Happy to have tried this one. A complex BSPA with a unique Brett-y twist. Worthy of a snag if you see it on a shelf near you.

Photo of emilylee
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of rdickey
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A gentle pour reveals a beautiful clear golden beer, topped with a fluffy white head. A steady stream of fine bubbles continues to rise from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Enticing – floral notes, a little honey, cut grass and a hint of Brett.

Taste: I’ll admit that it is not quite what I expected, but it’s not an unpleasant surprise. The sweet fruit flavors get run off fairly quickly by the aggressive carbonation, and the beer takes on a bone-dry character that persists to the end. The Brett is quite restrained, and provides more of an interesting accent rather than dominating the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is definitely high, and although it works I can’t help wondering if dialing it down a notch or two would allow more of the subtleties of the beer to come through.

Drinkability: Notwithstanding my musings about the carbonation level, there’s no doubt that it contributes to a very crisp, clean finish, and with the ABV relatively well hidden, this is a highly drinkable beer.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml capped bottle. Acquired in 2012. No dating on the bottle.
Served in a Duvel tulip

A - Clear golden brass body with 3 fingers of moundy white head. Impressive retention, with speckled lacing throughout.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, dried bananas, apples, pears, grassy, cloves, pepper, perfumy lemon, hints of earthy musk.

T - Fruity upfront with white peaches, pears, banana, pineapple, and starfruit. Grainy pale malt creates a nice base, earthy black pepper, cloves, dusty grass, herbal notes and lemon come out more as it warms. The finish starts peppery and turns tart. Finishes dry.

M - Moderate carbonation, prickly at first then smooths out. Medium bodied, glides over the palate.

Awesome looking beer! This is pretty balanced beer. All of the components shine without being overtaken. Funk is there but acts as more of an accent. Good carbonation and mouthfeel as well.

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.