De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead) - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by falloutsnow:
3.8/5 rDev -5%
From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None on bottle
Glass: New Belgium globe glass
De Proef's Pinhead Primitive Ale is a complex mixture of sweet, savory, and bitter flavors, all from the mixture of Brettanomyces in toffee-colored wort. While to me these are winter beers to me, I could drink it in the spring or fall as well. Though I enjoyed this less than the Surly Bird version (at least how I remember it), it's still a very good beer for those wanting a bit more Brettanomyces presence in their Belgian ales. I wish the series was more widely available, as I'd certainly pick one of these up every so often.
The beer pours a 1cm tall head of off-white bubbles, not particularly dense, made up of medium to large-sized bubbles. Retention is rather poor, fading rather quickly to a thin ring around the glass, and leaves modest lacing in its descent, mostly a few dots and lines scattered haphazardly. Beer's body is a fairly bright orange-red color, hazy from sediment, with light bringing out brighter orange-gold tones. Carbonation is visible, though limited in number and quite sluggish.
Aroma is brettanomyces heavy at first, opening up with some burnt electrical wires or scorched plastic; moving into musty basement, wet hay, slightly gamy, mushroom and white potato scents; but then becoming somewhat sweet, with light brown sugar and fruit esters in the close. Very complex and well done, it's surprising that the combination of these scents aren't off-putting.
Front of palate picks up modest burnt electrical wires or scorched plastic with mild brown sugar or toffee sweetness. Mid-palate finds continued Brettanomyces-influenced burnt electrical wire flavors combined with a surprising savory herbal component (faint bay leaf, rosemary, ginger? reminds me at times of a gruit), basement must, and a base of sweet brown sugar or toffee-like malt. Back of palate finds modest bitterness with Brettanomyces-influenced burnt electrical wiring and wet hay, brown sugar sweetness, and a bit of ethanol. Leaves an aftertaste of fairly bitter, Brettanomyces-influenced must, wet hay, burnt electrical wires, and hops(?).
Beer is medium bodied, with medium-low levels of carbonation, creating a fairly smooth beer, capable of being sipped or drunk more quickly depending on one's mood. It is a bit undercarbonated, though, resulting in a somewhat stagnant feel throughout the drinking session. Closes semi-dry, with mild stickiness lingering across the palate.
01-25-2013 03:33:07 | More by falloutsnow
More User Reviews:
3.93/5 rDev -1.8%
This bottle had some age on it, at least a year.
I didn't really care for the way this one looked. It had a lot of yeast chunks and it looked like murky cider. Everything else, though, was right on.
Funky yeast nose with a ton of sweet fruits. Pear and peach were most notable with heritage apples.
The taste didn't really have any suprises after the nose, though banana became increasingly apparent after it warmed. Pineapple, peach, pear, basically fresh tropical fruit.
Pretty solid, though not outstanding, funky Belgian.
03-10-2010 01:26:51 | More by brownbeer
4.13/5 rDev +3.3%
750 bottle poured into a la fin glass
A: great hazy pale body, fluffy bright white head
S: light and soft, very little of the horse blanket wild yeast funk that the others posses in spades. some tangy citrus quality, clove.
T/M: again light and soft. great coating of the mouth but gentle, balanced by the aggresive spice on the finish. like the nose, only hints of the funk found in the other Primitiv's. Still some hay and horse musk. lemon and orange zest that is very refreshing and clean, dries on the finish spicy with lots of clove, some cinnamon.
D: much more approachable than the others, though I prefer the funk of the wild yeast. an awesome cheese beer, both soft and hard but I think this would go especially nice with some aged hard cheese, cheddar, gouda, etc...that has had some time to dry. rock.
04-27-2006 03:21:49 | More by kaimcm
4.72/5 rDev +18%
Large bottle, caged and corked, w/o freshness or bottling info. The rear label does shed some light on this interesting artisinal creation. Moderate carbonation upon opening the bottle, pours medium golden amber, clear, off white creamy head, world class retention, extensive lacing and sticky sheeting, tons of tiny bubbles continue to rise to the top. Nose is full of sweet/sour, smoke, funk and yeasty wierdness. This is quite simply one of the tastiest, most complex Belgians I've had the good fortune to try, yeast glorious yeast, slight smokeyness, some sour, some funky/mustyness. Hop bite here, as noted by other reviewers is quite agressive, which is fine with me, it adds to the complexity and depth of flavors of this fine stuff. I'd love to try this with some BBQ or other hearty foods, would be great with some stinky cheese as well...go get some and enjoy, looking foward to trying the other varieties of this special stuff...back to Half Time I go!
05-21-2006 13:44:22 | More by Billolick
4.63/5 rDev +15.8%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a very slightly hazy golden yellow body with a sea of microbubbles gliding to a thick meniscus of snow white foam that last long after the glass is empty.
S- There is a bright floral horsey sweetness with pear blossoms and overripe pineapple aromas. The smell of beeswax comes through in the finish.
T- The smooth soft sweet hint of malt gives way to a soft white cheese flavor and a softly sweet honey malt flavor with notes of lightly toasted grain in the background. There are some soft mango notes that linger in the aftertaste a bit.
M- The light mouthfeel is almost airy with a tight cleaning fizz in the finish.
D- This beer is very floral and fruity with no real sour qualities at all. The wild fun flavors are still present and work well together with the sweeter qualities. Just amazing.
04-28-2009 14:57:46 | More by rhoadsrage
4.63/5 rDev +15.8%
I can never wait to raise a glass of this fine stuff. The previous 3 labels/varieties I've had have been pretty similar with only minor differences. Let's see what this bad boy offers...
The head is relatively "loud"...it pops and crackles and makes a loud entrance right out of the bottle and while settling...a somewhat rocky surface, good retention, tons of bubble activity too, as if they were starving for release. Color is a orange-golden with extreme clarity...if it weren't for all the rioting bubbles. (second pour brought some sediment haze with it, giving it a whole different look.) Seriously one of the bubbliest beers I've ever seen, but the head is not ridiculous (a la Duvel).
Aroma is fresh juicy fruits (apple, pear, cherry), spices (clove, cinnamon, white pepper), and that huge hit of leather/horse-blanket that I remember so well from previous versions. Takes on a lot of interesting subtleties as it warms. Would be almost worth the price for the aroma alone.
Leathery pungency hits the back of the mouth immediately, and after that chills a bit there's ample fruits and spices, nothing too dominant, all of it mingling really well. Very similar to some saisons, Belgian and otherwise, and probably the most saison-like of the ones I've tried so far. Not as husky and raw, not as sour either. Mint and pineapple come into the picture as it warms. There is a slight sensation of oxidation, so I'm holding back from giving it a 5. Will have to try another bottle sometime. Twist my arm.
Mouthfeel is buoyant and crisp, and the finish leaves a generous yeast dirtiness on the tongue, which will draw love-it or hate-it reactions. I love it.
This is exceptional. Probably a little less wild than some of its counterparts, but so what, it achieves complexity and satisfaction and is a joy to experience. I will continue to give DeProef my money if this is what they'll continue to offer.
[Addendum: Seems this beer pairs well with music, judging from all the music mentioned in its reviews: Bauhaus, Morbid Angel, Black Sabbath. For me, it was working really well with Deadboy & The Elephantmen.]
01-22-2007 22:56:11 | More by Metalmonk
4.45/5 rDev +11.3%
Corked and caged 750ml. After I popped the synthetic cork, it poured a golden orange with a nice and sticky white head that sticks all over the glass. The aroma is fruity and peppery with that is just a bit sour with nice funky wild yeast. This is a wonderfully complex aroma! Makes me drool just smelling it! Taste starts out a bit fruity that make room for a nice peppery and bitter finish. Wow! What an excellent brew. If you really enjoy the funky Belgian brews like I do, you will surely enjoy this.
09-06-2006 03:17:10 | More by cjgator3
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
The aroma holds bannna, cream and a tart mash of white fruits. The bosy is yellow with a creamy, diminishing white head. The fore holds a funky chinese baby corn flavor that underlines the wildness the label alleges. Medium bitterness and sharp carbonation. Tart white fruits again and a mellow funkiness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Pretty enjoyable.
04-10-2006 07:27:49 | More by Jredner
4.28/5 rDev +7%
750 ml bottle with my favorite 14th century (or is it 15th?) artist once again proudly on display (H. Bosch). $9.99 at La Bodega in Riverside, CA.
Pours a pretty slighty hazy yellow with golden highlights and a medium-large fluffy head in my Corsendonk chalice. Aroma off the head is sharp, slightly organic/farmyard (but only a moderate amount, not overpowering), sharp that's begging me to drink it.
Flavor- well it's sharper and harsher than the previous rounds- must be that additional hops. At first taste, it's a little too much. Even though there is a syrupy/honey-like texture to the mouthfeel (it's not sweet, but it's the consistency of the beer). Kind of the flavors and sweetness of unripe fruit- it has sweetness, but it's not sweet. Pineapple tartness. Pepper. At first I thought the heat in my mouth was from dinner, but now I realize that it's a black pepper from the beer. Wow. Definite sharp hops at the end of the swallow. No indication of the alcohol anywhere in the taste or mouthfeel (and that is doing it right!). With the others, the flavor improves with warmth.
Overall very tasty, and the drinkability is amazing. It totally ignores the alcohol, and it's easy to drink this in record time. I have another in the cellar- should I? Nah, I shouldn't! Not tonight, at least.
I am really enjoying this series, and can't wait for what's next!
06-27-2006 01:56:14 | More by Dukeofearl
4.2/5 rDev +5%
Dark golden in color, with a full white head that disappeared quickly.
Lots of belgian funk in the nose. Sweet fruitiness as well.
A little tart, but still quite mellow for the first taste. The yeast really comes through and is very enjoyable, gives a nice, fairly smooth mouthfeel. Some fruit/raisin in the back, along with some tart apple.
Overall a good flemish sour, definitely worth checking out.
05-10-2007 01:50:10 | More by tboom29
4.03/5 rDev +0.8%
From a caged/synthetic cork, 750ml. brown bottle pours a beautiful amber-gold ale with a slight yeasty haze and a perfectly white 1/2" of foamy head. Some nice spiraling carbonation and a fair bit of sticky lace add to the appearance.
Sweet, fruity malt nose with a funky yeast and some peppery spice give this elixer a typical Belgian signiture aroma that I have certainly become fond of.
Tastes as it smells with some alcohol beaming through, adding to the complexity. Starts sweet but rapidly turns tangy and spicy, then a bit warming onto the yeasty, dry finish. Very well balanced with a smooth, full mouthfeel, yet medium in the body...damn good stuff here.
Another quality and tasty strong brew from Belgium that's a must, if you like this stuff...I sure do, cheers.
09-18-2006 05:54:56 | More by scottoale
3.9/5 rDev -2.5%
This was my first taste of the De Proef Brouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium. Obtained at Mahars Public Bar in Albany, NY this drink surprised me with the price tag of $20.00. The bottle had an artsy look to it which scared me a little at first because I consider myself to be somewhat of a newbie when it comes to flavorful beer.
This is my first review so I will attempt to make it comparible to some that I have read so far. The beer appeared surprisingly light colored to me considering most belgium beers I have had are cloudy wheat beers. The aroma was very bitter or sour but the taste was surprisingly not. The smooth texture blended into an aftertaste that had a faint berry essence.
The only part of this drink that I did not like on a personal level had to do with the alcohol content. At 9% this beer tasted almost like the beginnings of a barley wine. Seeing as I am not fond of barley wines this beer did not hit me as one I will drink often but I did find it pleasantly surprising.
Overall "The Prof" (brewer) performed a feat when he made an english ale guy like myself enjoy this beer.
11-24-2005 02:06:51 | More by Hoves
4.47/5 rDev +11.8%
Poured into a tulip.
4.0 A: Opaque glowing golden straw color. Some particulates. One finger of creamy white head with average retention and plenty of lacing.
4.5 S: Nose is full of sour over-ripe fruit including peach, pear, and green apple. Tangy and pungent hops. Bit hit of Belgian yeastiness.
4.5 T: This is one damn tasty brew. Slight clove and pepper from the yeast, but it's minimal. The brett comes through and mixes well with the base beer. There a hay and grassiness to it as well. Good hop bitterness and some pungent flavor. Peachy fruitiness to cap it off.
4.5 M: Medium body. Mix of smooth and biting carbonation. Creamy and smooth.
4.5 D: I can't imagine this is 9%. It drinks like a 4% brew. Complex and won't get boring.
08-28-2009 03:45:25 | More by DavoleBomb
4.13/5 rDev +3.3%
750 corked and caged; synthetic cork says FP0108. Nice strong pop; into Ommegang chalice.
Pours with greater viscosity than expected - translucent eggshell head goes quickly. There's definitely some haze and some floaties in there.
Awesome ginger-spiced yeast electricity. At first, brett sourness is a little quiet but that hay and horse blanket character is welcome. Brightly spiced with a little pine hoppiness.
Let this one warm. At first, the funk is light, yet it's still dominant, with faint esters of coriander, clove ginger and orange peel. The horse blanket texture is quite huge for this one even though it is not overbearing. Well done.
I like the palate on this - the barnyard essence gives off a certain huskiness while the citrus acidity keeps it in balance.
Not an inherently drinkable style but this one works quite well. From what I've encountered of the De Proef Flemish Primitive series so far, it's been a positive experience.
02-12-2009 15:16:53 | More by IBUnit63
3.33/5 rDev -16.8%
Nearly opaque marigold color with near a fingers width head after pouring. All foam is fizzled out after a few minutes.
Floral spring field in sunshine smell - chamomille and ginger spice in beer lingo I guess. Wet hay and a Bretty sweet tang.
Aroma was the highlight of this beer. Tastes like watered down ginger ale and wet hay.
06-26-2012 10:09:46 | More by donkeyrunner
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
Pours cloudy yellow with a thick white head that settles to a lasting cover. Trailing lacing sticks to glass.
The smell is of sour apple and sweet banana. Bready yeast in the back.
The taste is of sweet banana, orange and appleish sour. Candy sweetness with a spicy yeast background. Sweettart, dry finish.
Effervescent in a light to medium body.
Smooth and drinkable, especially for abv level, which is well-hidden in the taste (but creeps in afterwards). Nice - not as "wild" as I thought it would be.
06-10-2007 05:06:29 | More by jwc215
4.83/5 rDev +20.8%
Wowzers. Alright, there definitely is something unique about this one compared to the others I've tried. Now I've got a great excuse to go back and revisit each beer and try them back to back, checking out the differences. This one is pretty noticable in my opinion. I was also hipped to the Shelton Brothers' website which has a few things to say about these amazing beers. This one has the highest IBU count of the bunch, so far.
Appears an orangy golden brass color, full of light, with a healthy snow white head that just will not die. Nice. This beer is so full of flavor it's rediculous. Flowers everywhere, fresh grass, funky barnyard hay and dirty crab apples picked up off the ground. Amazingly fresh, natural, and wild. This would be a great beer to take on a cliche sort of picnic, out in a field somewhere, with little rats and bird people running around doing obscene things. [Ok maybe scratch that last part. But I will say I love the Hieronymous Bosch paintings on the labels.] This one, as compared to the others, does indeed have a more pronounced hop content. While the others I've had were more floral, this one has a really juicy, oily, resinous, bitter twang to it on top of everything else that's going on in this beer. Excellent floaty, airy mouthfeel, and uber drinkable. A treat. Now I have to go back and try them all again, which certainly will not be a problem. Follow up notes coming soon, maybe... But in the meantime, go drink this beer, people.
03-01-2006 19:24:21 | More by twelvsies
4.38/5 rDev +9.5%
light slightly hazed gold, with a thick forthy white head.
big floral smell that actually smells like wildflowers, wow. funky barnyard horseblanket smell beneath that. followed up by crab apple, not just apples but definitely crab apples, so strange, but very good, faint pineapple after that. some of the floral aspects seem to come from the hop family. i have never smelled something that brought about such strong farm/barnyard imagery, that was not in fact a barnyard. it becomes sort of grainy as it warms. some almost candy-like sweet aromas come out too, that almost remind me of those strawberry hard candies, that are wrapped like strawberries.
the taste is somewhat surprising after smelling this. the fruit is much more pronounced here with tangy apple and pineapple, and mild sweet pear. somewhat peppery and spicy, though this doesn't seem to be due to the alcohol. it has a lot less wild funk than expected, with it really only playing a minor role here unlike in the aroma. some of that horseblanket flavor is here too. there are some yeasty bread-like flavors in here too. with warmth the flavor of those hard candies come out too.
fullish medium body with fizzy carbonation, that feels very natrual to this beer. nice and dry too.
if this kinda beer is your type of thing, and it is mine. drinkability could not be higher.
a VERY interesting beer that is more than worth the 10 bucks to give a try. one of the more unique beers i've had the priviledge to try.
03-07-2006 00:57:31 | More by kmo1030
3.85/5 rDev -3.8%
This beer pours a light, golden color with a thick, off-white head that slowly falls from 3 fingers to one and leaves a lot of lacing. The aroma is sweet, a little grassy, earthy, even. The flavor is sweet, slightly funky with a definite spicy punch. I detect slight hints of ginger and cucumber in the finish. Thankfully, no raw fish... The mouthfeel is respectable for this big of a bear and one sip requires another due to a crisp, drying effect on the tongue. Despite the 9% ABV, this beer is surprisingly drinkable. I may change my mind about that once I stand up, but for now, I'm sticking to that thought.
12-20-2006 23:22:23 | More by bucko
4.28/5 rDev +7%
Appearance: golden yellow in color with a short 1/2" head that falls quickly. Spots of lace develop during the session.
Smell: lemon zest, yeast, and some grassiness is pleasant on the nose.
Taste: nice malt level with some lemon zest, tart green grapes, earthiness, and a decent bitterness. A bit of sourness arrives late while swallowing. Some alcohol warming in noticeable.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp from start to finish. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.
Drinkability: this is a slow sipping beer. More than one or two glasses would be hard to pull off in a session.
06-05-2010 21:31:32 | More by Gavage
3.88/5 rDev -3%
slightly hazy orangy yellow color, high carbonation, but not a large head
sour notes in the aroma with orange citrus base
no sour in the taste, barnyard, fresh dirt, earthy notes up front, some sweetness but also crisp bitterness.
medium body with a soft and dry feeling
very drinkable, does not seem like a 9% beer, drinks like a lower ABV beer, be careful
09-10-2009 17:59:03 | More by Naugled
3.9/5 rDev -2.5%
gold color with orange hues, clear and bubbly. carbonation creates an airy crown, slippery and slimy. smells hoppy.. as other reviewers have said, a dead-ringer for orval.. that lemon twisted hop freshness funked up by the mildest hint of brettanomyces. if anything, maybe this has a bit more lemon rind to it, and a hint of bready yeast.
not quite as sour as i remember the others, this one is more of a basic belgian pale with slighter hop/funk twists. starts off innocently, green botanical flavors and some mild bitterness from belgian malt husks. hits you with carbonation and finishes surprisingly clean.. not much left on the palate- this beer feels like more of a palate cleanser. it leaves you with that same cool, crisp feeling as mouthwash or ginger after sushi. kind of vacant flavor-wise. good shot at an orval clone, just missing something.
9%? yeah, this is chuggable. drinkability is the strong point with this beer.
personally, i have enjoyed the previous entries in this series more, as i am more about tasting the experimental nastiness produced by wild yeast and bacteria. this beer is balanced, yet way too tame for what i expected from it.
04-14-2006 01:09:26 | More by goodbyeohio
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.