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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)

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

56 Ratings
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

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 brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

brewcrew76, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of IBUnit63
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.

IBUnit63, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of czfreeman
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Pours out a gorgeous golden effervescent gold capped by a two finger pillow of white Brett goodness.
Aromas of hay, Brett yeastiness, barnyard, musty wood, "horseblanket" lots of wheaty grassiness, wildflowers, haybales.
flavors of wildflower honeys, hays, yeasts, Brett, spicy white peppers, tons of complex fruity spiciness, pears ou poive.
mouthfeel is effervecently beautifully perfectionism, I can't wait to try Spoon Whacker, next on my De Proef wish list. If you are looking for stellar wild fermentated Belgian ales, drink from the professor himself!

czfreeman, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

"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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of jwc215
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.

jwc215, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of tboom29
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.

tboom29, May 10, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%

A: Drab apricot juice with some haze to it and quite a bit of sediment. Head is a good two inches of snow white sudsy bubbles.

S: Oak, lemon juice, musty blanket, wet hay and over ripe yellow fruit.

T: Begins lightly malted reminding me of golden raisins and marmalade with brown sugar. Some anise, jasmine with lower levels of peach yogurt (aka brett) come next with floral moments adding additional spice. Bitterness arrives, more than your average run of the mill Belgium but not enough to detract from the drinkability. Frankly it adds some nice depth to the beer. Finishes with a lick of alcohol and mild maltiness.

M: Medium body with an average mouthfeel but good carbonation.

D: Good beer but something about it is lacking. Not that its unbalanced but I’m missing some pizzazz somewhere. Good but I don’t think I’d order it again.

Westsidethreat, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of czechsaaz
3.88/5  rDev -3%

Really cool aroma that features a lot of fruit. I get apple right off and then grapes and plums. There's also a strong base malt and candi sugar aroma too. Very nice and complex with light hops and some bready yeast.

Light gold and perfectly clear with a big rocky and long lasting head, some lacing and nice rising carbonation bubbles.

Flavor is very malt dominant with a big dose of pilsner malt and some candi sugar. Good bitterness but no hop flavor. There's a little bit of fruity esters and fermentation character but it is really pretty clean. Doesn't have nearly the complexity of other iterations of Flemmish Primitive. Definitely hides the alcohol on the flavor. Still, I'm looking for more on the flavor side. It seems kind of one dimensional with the malt flavors.

Medium bodied with good creamy carbonation levels. Slight alcohol warmth on the back end.

Definitely a nice beer along the lines of Duvel and other strong Belgian Pales. It's just that I've been so blown away by some of the other versions of Flemmish Primitive that this one seems a little ordinary.

czechsaaz, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
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.]

Metalmonk, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of loren01
3.6/5  rDev -10%

A: Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color, good sized head, slight lace
S: Smells earthy. I know this sounds bad but the yeast smells real funky like pig manure or something. Not a bad smell, just rather funky.
T: Not a ton of flavor actually, was expecting more. Sweet pineapple flavor, a little bit of peppery tang.
M: Mouthfeel is very effervescent
D: Interesting beer, don't believe I've ever had this style before. Would for sure have this again, very different from the norm.

loren01, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of stephendr
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%

750 ml. glass bottle- color of pale yellow , with frosty white head - nose of yeast , cloves , hay , earthy and alcohol– taste of wild yeast , sour milk , honey , grass , earthy , and clove - body is medium , and creamy – aftertaste is chalky , and sour

stephendr, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of bucko
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.

bucko, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of scottoale
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.

scottoale, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
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.

cjgator3, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of numenor1
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%

Synthetic cork, eh?

Hazy golden orange with a rocky sticky white head. Overwhelming aroma of pineapple, and passionfruit with a slight acidic note and obvious brett. Initially juicy, and difficult to characterize. Laden with earthy, spicy hop flavor and tropical fruit. Hops are definitely to the fore when compared with their earlier beers. Very lively, bright flavor. Finishes dry with earthy hops and faint grapefruit. Medium light body with vibrant, assertive carbonation. Hugely drinkable.

A sexy, racy beer, and my favorite Flemish Primitive yet. Hard not to give it a 5 for flavor, but oh well, i didnt. I guess i'm holding out for their next one.

numenor1, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of Ego
3.6/5  rDev -10%

found @ oaktree buy rite, edison nj

first of all, the label gets all medievel on you.. very cool, not saying the label counts for jack but this is a cool label.
and into the chimay chalice she goes...
godlen and fizzy, one full finger of soapy white head, lots of carbonation but not an "exploder" like fantome printemps, lace is great...very sticky, and retention is excellent with all the fizz.. a nice looking brew.

bubble gum and tang, underlying belgian funk horse blankets - almost hints of manure, some grassiness in there as well (again this reminds me alot of some of fantome's offerings), zero scent of alcohol (9%?). very interesting nose.

taste etc...
the carbonation makes this velvety. the flavor is very grassy and leaves some nice bitterness on the tongue, but not in the usual area.. sort of more towards the middle, not very tart at all, just a hint of it under the munching on lawn clippings, in some ways this is quite bland, it drinks rather smoothly but doesn't have enough character to warrant high marks in taste, hard to gauge what would be "average" for a nutty style like this.. but this beer seems to fall short for me. this warms some in the stomach from the ABV but the actual alcohol is hidden well.

OK... looks great, smells interesting, great mouthfeel but the taste is on par with some average saisons and the like.

music : morbid angel - altars of madness

Ego, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev 0%

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.

GClarkage, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
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!

Dukeofearl, Jun 27, 2006
Photo of rajendra82
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

If the psychedelic pinhead painting on the label was any indication of things to come, this would be quite a beer. The cork was easily extracted, and the beer poured out clear golden in color, with a high level of carbonation typical of many Belgian beers. The Duvel Tulip was large enough to contain the resulting foamy head. The aroma was very floral, which was probably due to some real flowers like Chamomile being added in the mix. The taste wavered back and forth between delicate and robust, being floral and creamy at one moment, and spicy, and malty the next. The beer was actually medium thick on the palette, but the carbonation made it feel much lighter. A touch of sourness and a peppery aftertaste finished things off. Despite the name, there was not much primitive about this one. If this fine beer can spontaneously ferment in Flanders, it must surely be God’s country.

rajendra82, Jun 18, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

Slightly hazed golden pour unleashes a brilliant head of chunky, white froth that has epic retention and is constantly fed by cascading streams of micro bubbles.

Aroma is a striking mix of sweet/tart half-rotton fruit, clove and anise, bubble gum, and funky, peppery yeast. It has a nice hoppy character with undertones of wet concrete and light astringency.

Flavor is dryer than expected; tropical fruit notes intertwined with bitter herbs, bubblegum cigars, clove, band-aid, cotton candy, prickly pepper, and crushed concrete. Very complex and straight up weird.

Body is medium, with a very light fluffy mouthfeel and whispy texture. Very effervescent on the tongue. Goes great with some stinky cheeses. Too intense to drink a lot of.

AlexJ, May 28, 2006
Photo of Billolick
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!

Billolick, May 21, 2006
Photo of Sephiroth
4.6/5  rDev +15%

Pours with large head, slight lacing, body is golden and slightly cloudy with a hint of orange. I prefer a yeastier pour with these primitive ales than with other beers. The aroma contains some holiday spices, along with the signature wild yeast.

Taste contains spicy malts, maybe some clove, along with light fruits. The wild yeast contributes some barnyard flavors, add more yeast to your pour if you like this flavor. Mouthfeel is full and lively, this goes down with little effort.

Sephiroth, May 09, 2006
Photo of kaimcm
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.

kaimcm, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of goodbyeohio
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.

goodbyeohio, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of Jredner
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.

Jredner, Apr 10, 2006
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.