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

Not Rated.
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 03-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and a slight amount of Brett. Taste is much the same with a slightly sour flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of Brett 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 is drinkable but fairly mild with the Brett.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"I don't wanna be a pinhead no more... "

--The Ramones

Rich golden amber with an orange juice infusion and a blizzard of yeast. The pearl colored crown is gloriously creamy, sticky and rocky at once. I swear that I can identify a Belgian ale by the head and lace alone.

The aroma is immensely enjoyable from afar... and from up close too. For some reason, the orchard fruity aspects of the nose are dominant from several feet away, while the funk is only assertive at a distance of several inches. Pinhead smells like a tremendous BSPA-wild ale hybrid that will be anything but a Brett bomb.

Delicious, sweet, sour, spicy, fruity, barnyardy, balanced, complexity personified. Those are my initial stream-of-consciousness impressions. Pinhead is probably the most BSPA-like and the least wild ale-like of all the Flemish Primitive Ales. Although I'd have to have them side-by-side to be sure, this beer is as good, if not better than, Surly Bird.

Specific flavors include sweet golden fruit (apricots, peaches and pears), a wonderful herbal quality that is difficult to identify (hops probably), pungent clove, cardamom and just enough Brettanomyces to add a sour-funky edge and to justify the Wild portion of the name. Every one of the ingredients contributes something of value.

What would a world-class ale be without a world-class mouthfeel? When it comes to high gravity Belgians, the best combine a clingy viscousness with an airy creaminess that is sublime when done right. This brewery does mouthfeels right more often than not.

Does De Proefbrouwerij plan to re-release any of the Primitive Wild Ales that have been brewed in years past. My vote would be for both Pinhead and Surly Bird. It's probably close to impossible to find at this point, but this beer is an easy recommendation for anyone who loves both BSPAs and Brettanomyces. If the Ramones had tasted this beauty, they would have changed their tune. Or at least their lyrics.

Photo of drewone
2.75/5  rDev -31.3%

Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/18/06- Purchased at Draeger's Market in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. Synthetic plastic cork, haven't seen many of these before in beer. No freshenss info, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Copper, maybe lighter rust colored pour. Full 3/4 inch head with decent staying power. Small chunks and light traces of lace left behind.

Smell- The scent contains some pungent hops? Hops? Also seems a tad sour in the nose, which was expected.

Taste- Wasn't expecting a big hop flavor. Which is what I got. Was expecting more of a wild ale style with some sourness and brett. Maybe a touch of brett, but really no sourness whatsoever. Seems pretty sweet with some sugary notes, maybe some lemon rind thrown in for good measure. Very hoppy though. Good deal.

Mouthfeel- Biting and prickly sharp carbonation.

Drinkability- Even though it turned out to be a taste I wasn't expecting, I still really enjoyed it and would buy it again....I hope to try the rest of the series first though.

Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Billolick
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.28/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has been living in my basement for about 1 year, only now rediscovered by me as I moved some boxes around. 750ml bottle, synthetic cork and authentic cage. On popping the cork, there is a lot of carbonation, and as feared the foam immediately rushes out of the bottle. I was prepared, and opened it near a sink just in case. After pouring into a glass and keeping an eye on the bottle no further mishaps occurred.

The beer is hazy golden color with a huge pillowy head, lots of lacing and floaties. The main aromas are based on brettanomyces, adding new meaning to barnyard traits. Very very funky and "dark" smelling, this may have waited around too long. It's possible this beer is several years old, as I don't know how long it was on the shelf before I bought it. But wild ales and lambics often have aging potential, at least that's what I've thought, so maybe this dark funkiness is just what was intended...

The taste is way complex, earthy and moldy, I guess like an aged cheese. A little pepper-like spiciness in the after-taste, but mostly a lingering bret flavor not too distant from aged Orval.

The body is soft and the carbonation presents more as creaminess than spiciness. Easy drinking if you like the odd flavors.

Photo of cjgator3
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Full sized 750ml brown glass Belgium bottle that has a silver cage and black cap restraining its cork. Well I say cork, but for the time that I can recall, this Proef bottling uses the ‘Newcork’ synthetic material, as opposed to the real thing. It has several codes embossed on the upper surface “EC 25D 23” on it. A simple Inkjet code of “RM 1105” is also printed on the side of the Cork. The main label has yet another one of the striking 16th Century Gothic artworks from Hieronymus Bosch. The ‘Pinhead’ label Surly Bird label has almost no information on it…adding yet more mystery to this strange range of brews from De Proefbrouwerij. Listed at 9% ABV. Cost $9.99 at Hi-Times, Costa Mesa, CA.

Limited information has this release “Pinhead” listed at 50-55 IBU's, so this has the highest IBU’s so far of any of the Flemish Primitive Wild Ales (Spoon Whacker was ~35 IBU's, Pig Nun ~45 IBU's, Surly Bird ~45 IBU's with extra finishing hops).

Appearance: The body remains unchanged from past FPWA examples; a simply gorgeous looking hazed shredded marmalade golden sunset body which is filled with a series of fast rising streamers that collect underneath a big fluffy white head. Head retention is excellent, the bubbles in the cap are very small and form a fine lacing on the sides of the glass, the surface of the head has a clean surface with a little infraction and irregular sized bubble here and there to break up the monotony. Carbonation is very soft, sprightly but gentle and finely dissolved. Yet again, the presentation is nothing short of excellent.

Smell: Hoppy traits with a yeast-laden fruity feel, like past examples, it has more than a passing resemblance to that distinctive nose of Orval. The Brett is still funky, but there are no farmyard aspects to it, it’s a clean hoppy funkiness, and it takes on a tangy citric finish. Appealing

Taste: Has a complexity that feels like it should be easy to break down, yet it’s not that easy to do. Brettanomyces is here, but for once it’s playing second fiddle to the hops. The dusty hops meld, blend and melt to form a soothing but dry bitter finish peppered with earthy spices. The soiled feel is still here from past examples, but its low key. Hints of lemon grass and feint citric flashes add the fruits. Dry fruity black pepper ending lingers, the final splash at the back of the throat is a hop laden one.

Mouthfeel: The soft palate and fine dissolved conditioning just accentuate the fruity funk and help the hops to shine through. No sign of the 9% ABV, where did it go? Very smooth.

Drinkability: Sitting down, watching the latest Doctor Who and gently working my way through this one, it is hard to forget how many glasses I topped up from my 750ml. A superb mix of simple Belgian traits all put together into a lovely inter-wrapped complex fruity Wild Ale. Very drinkable.

Overall: This latest variant of the Primitive Wild Ale allegedly has 50 to 55 IBU’s, and it shows, it really adds a lovely deep hoppiness which is firmly entrenched in Belgium tradition; it lends this brew a firm Orval-cum-Tripel character, simple yet complex. Pick up a couple of these, jolly good stuff.

Highly Recommended.

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear golden straw. The head was white and frothy and rose tall in the chalice falling slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity as soon as the cork was removed from the bottle. The fruits could be detected from across the room and had a pineapple character coupled with a breadiness from Brett. The aroma was slightly acidic and lightly tart with an earthy presence.

The flavor was complex from the first sip. The first impression that came to mind was that the beer was somewhat less bitter than expected from a 50-55 IBU beer (Shelton Bros website). In reality the beer had a substantial bittering but many other flavors were present at the same time. The flavor was earthy and peppery with a spice presence that was interesting and complex. The flavor also contained a slight fruity sweetness on the palate at first sip, but those flavors immediately were overpowered by pepper and bittering, which made the flavor both complex and interesting.

The finish was dry with a lasting earthy and peppery character long and pleasantly into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium and the carbonation made for a creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol in the beer was only really present in the warming which occurred after consumption. The beer drank exceptionally smooth for a 9% abv beer.

Quite a treat to have this one today, since today has special meaning. This beer was one I have been looking forward to trying, so all the better.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. RW 1105 stenciled on the synthetic cork. Purchased at Greenlife in Asheville for $8.20.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.]

Photo of Mitchster
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$10.49 for a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours out to a cloudy pale golden, forming a small white head with poor retention and no lacing. Moderate carbonation, not overly brisk as most Belgians are. The aroma is heavenly. Tart apples, barnyard, sour funk, dusty basement. The mouthfeel is lightly spritzy with a medium dense body, flittery champagne like carbonation and light all around. The taste opens with tart tropical fruits, sour funk, and has a moderately strong herbal hop bitterness. Minimal vinegar funk, and no off flavors. The finish has quite a bit of wheat cracker flavor to it. Kinda like a BSPA fermented with Brett. Not very sweet. I love the combination of sweet and sour in lambics, and this could use a tad more sweetness for me to really enjoy it as much as it smells. Still, a good beer, but probably not worth the price on this side of the pond.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another impressie offering from De Proef. Pours a golden straw with a creamy beige head. Excellent lacing and retention. Fantastic nose has a big, musty barnyard funk presence. Old wood, moldy soil, horse blanket and leather. Citrus fruit, bready malts, caramel and a good amount of floral hops as well. Taste is equally delicious. Big candy malts, bitter hops, orange, peach, lemon, apricot and a musty funk that lasts through the finish. Crisp, refreshing body is very well carbonated. Top knotch.

Photo of jampics2
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle @ Buckeye Sour Tasting 2009. Wasn't a sour at all, but one of the many nice wild ales that were available. Overall, was in the middle of the pack for the three we tried - the Surly Bird and Demon Fish were the other two. This wasn't as uninteresting as the Fish but lacked the confluence of the 'bird! Subtle differences added up and the Surly Bird was the best of the bunch!

A = Straw colored, nice amount of carbonation.

S = Most "wild" smelling of the bunch. All of the series are similar, but this has more IBU's apparently. I guess the brett bugs are hopheads, because they have been doing their funky thing in this beer's nose.

T = Has a bit more bitterness, but pretty much a funky ride with a malt center. It goes -> Wild, Light Malt/Cereal, weird bitter for a second, then more Wild.

M = Lighter than I expected. Bottle carbed. OK for the style but not world class IMO.

D = Interesting, but wouldn't want more than a small glass. Not a very drinkable beer b/c of flavor profile.

Photo of DogFood11
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jesus hopped up christ this is probably the best belgian strong pale I've put lips to at this point. Huge fluffy, creamy white head that has ultimate staying power and lacing is slick and slide leaving islands of goodness. I wasn't a big fan of the diabolique/angelique line from this brewery but this breaks out as something to reckon with.

Huge fruity aroma, Orange, Bananna, wild. Some sour tone to it that my wife picked up. Strawberry is deep in the aftertaste with some wine like quality to it. I guess because I found it so wonderfull the word sour just didn't come to mind but it indeed has a twinge that is delightfull. Belgian yeast theme works out. Looks like a typical tripel but ends up with more complexity and less of the harsh carbonation. It has that "wild" twinge to it almost like a lambic in some ways.

Notes: Wow what a frickin amazing brew. Complex, drinkable, light and full of flavor. If this was local, priced right, and identical I'd be all over it by the caseload. As it is, I'll still pay for this when I see it, truly a magnificent belgian pale.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy golden orange with the thinnest white head that disappeared immediately.

S - Barnyard and funk with maybe a touch of sour apple.

T - Barnyard, green apple, slightly sweet Belgian pale aspects, touch of spicy clove and a lingering funk.

M - Medium mouthfeel and somewhat crisp even though it feels like there is little carbonation.

D - Not sure if the series is just getting old or if this one just emphasizes the funk but I am starting to grow tired of the series. Reminds me a lot of Demon Fish.

Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a chalice.

Golden and very hazy with a moderate white head and chunks of sediment. A slightly sour and funky aroma with fruit; pears in particular. The flavor starts a bit sour and funky but then turns sweet. A moderate consistency with a moderate to high carbonation.

This is a good beer but not especially compelling to me. Maybe I need more time to get to know wild beers more.

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.