Zoetzuur Flemish Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

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Zoetzuur Flemish AleZoetzuur Flemish Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

326 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 28
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: marburg on 11-15-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 196
Photo of ccrida
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft at the Portland International beer fest. While I normally don't review fest samples, this was only my 2nd tasting of the day, I had two 4 oz. tasters, and took good notes.

The appearance was a cloudy amber muddy brown, with an eggshell collar that left moderate lace.

The aroma is fantastic, strong, sweet and tart sour cherries. Yummy.

The taste is very good as well, semi sweet, a nice sour cherry tartness and a musty, funky bite that fades to a pretty clean finish. I really like this style, and I think this one would be an excellent introduction to wild ales in generally. It has the pucker, but it's not extreme, and the beer is very tasty.

The mouthfeel is average, medium-light bodied.

This was super drinkable for me, as I love the style, and the funk was light enough here to keep this one from being to much if I had the fortunate opportunity to session them.

Photo of Mitchster
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$9.99 for a 750ml bottle, corked and caged. Mixed fermentation "sweet and sour". 7% ABV.

Pours out to a moderately cloudy dark brown, forming a modest off-yellow head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is medium, not effervescent like alot of belgians can get when naturally fermented in the bottle. The aroma is mouth watering...at first black walnuts, then sour cherries, then distant malt vinegar and basement must and dust. Definitely Brett in there with the barnyard funk going on. The mouthfeel is moderately dry with a medium body Taste is tart and fruity, with a touch of bitterness akin to a sour cherry, with some metals in the finish, like someone left a penny in the bottle. There is some definite oakines and tannic woodiness throughout and leaves the taste of wood in the mouth for the aftertaste. Alcohol is imperceptable in taste or nose.

I wish this were a tad sweeter. The tartness is wonderful but needs to be balanced by more sweetness. I'd still have to go with Rodenbach, Duchesse, or Goudenband over this, but it's still a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of jakon
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle purchased for $9.99 at Orenco New Seasons.

Pours a reddish hue with a nice pillow of a head. Smells funky with brettanomyces and sour fruit notes. Man, I can tell I'm in for a treat. The taste doesn't disappoint. Mildly sour, with an incredibly complex overall flavor profile. I can pick out cherries and granny smith apples. And the brett. The rest remains a mystery. It finishes clean and dry, and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. This is a well crafted brew that I could drink anytime or anywhere. I could session this, or have it as a dessert, or a nightcap, or even pair it with a whole host of foodstuffs. I just hope there are a few more of these on the shelf.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter a cherry wood light brown with a plenty of white head and decent lacing. Aroma is sharp. There is some funk foretold by the nose, hints of lemon, and plenty of tart cherry. The taste is funky but not unbalanced. Apple and kriek like cherry come through. Mild sourness and tartness meld nicely with the carbonation to play upon the tongue. Somewhat dusty. Straightforward and not terribly complicated but very well done none the less. Guzzelable.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a cloudy light brown/red color ale with a super huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of oak with some tart note is pretty interesting with some great notes of Brett/funky yeast. Taste is dominated by great oak and tart notes with some sourness which is offset by the funky and barnyard like taste of the yeast. Lots of complexities can be found in this beer. Body was full with some limited filtration and some great carbonation. An interesting experience and something I would definitely like to try again.

Photo of socalde
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Stone Sour Fest '09. I would highly recommend this beer to friends and connoisseurs alike.

A- Cloudy, dark tan in color. No residual head, but poured a beautiful white marshmallow.

S- Slightly tart smelling, obvious acidity with notes of fruit (cranberry?). It has a some other notes that I couldn't quite identify, giving the beer a kind of mysterious quality.

T- Very tart and a tantalizing punch of sour. However, nothing overpowers. This beer had an earthy feel and taste to it, with light but noticeable hop bitterness and a subtle fruity characteristic, something like the cranberries I detected in the nose. A very tasty beer indeed!

M- Consistent mouthfeel, a great example of the Flanders Red style.

D- Very drinkable considering the style.

Photo of lonestar4lunch
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been really getting into sour ales and took a shot with this one. Got home and saw it got great reviews so really looking forward to this one.
This one pours a beautiful dark red with a nice head that slowly settles to lacing around the top. The aroma is strong of dark cherries, tartness and some metallic notes.
The taste really starts off with the sweet cherries than quickly moves to a sour apple tartness that overtakes the tongue. The more this warms up the more the sour really mellows and becomes very enjoyable. Carbonation is perfect and the complete sip from beginning to end is very smooth, very drinkable for the style.
I really enjoyed this bottle and will for sure be picking up a couple more to share with others. Very good example of the style and already having a few other sour ales this would be a great one to begin your introduction.

Photo of Patrick999
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip a reddish-brown - head is sticking around far longer than other ales of this style I've had.

Smell - I swear, the very first thing that came to mind was "half-fermented apple." Fresh apple skin along with some fermented apple juice. There's a good bit of leathery Brett, and some funk too....for a second there, sniffing this beer, I thought I had a little body odor, but realized it was the beer. This slight B.O. smell seems to come and go - the leathery Brett character is more noticeable. A piquant and complex nose, for certain, this one isn't lacking.

Taste - Cidery and sour, but not overwhelmingly sour by a long shot. Not completely dry - I like the touch of sweetness. Aftertaste is long on oaked apple cider, marinating in an old leather boot. Was this beer supposed to be hopped? I think so, but I'm not sure I taste any hop bitterness coming through. Classy and complex at any rate. This just might be the most intense Brett-inoculated beer I've ever tried. I keep getting that B.O. odor when I take the odd sip, and keep having to check my armpits to make sure it isn't me. It isn't me...it really is the beer. Wow.

Mouthfeel is not as sharp as I might expect. By no means flat, but not so aggressive...I like it.

Drinkability - just keep sipping away on that 750, man. No problems here. Good stuff - my only complaint is that the only way for me to get this is to have Liquid Solutions put it on a truck bound for me. This would be a hit with wine snobs, and very versatile with meals.

Photo of sloejams
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm finding that my fondness for sour ales is growing. No sour is better than a proper Flanders Red Ale Sadly, there are few quality high quality ones readily available. The most common available is Duchesse De Bourgogne and my last few have been somewhat disappointing. I was exited to see that my local shop has now added De Proefbrouwerij's beers to it's shelves, especially since it would give me the opportunity to try Zoetzuur.

Zoetzuur pours an amber-red color with a slight pink head. The aroma hints at cherry and the strong Belgian yeast strain, Brettanomyces: a husky, clove-spice flavor. The taste is slightly sweet and tart, as well it should be, with a sour cherry aftertaste. It's sour yet refeshing. The pucker is pleasant.

This is a fine beer - a good bridge for anyone willing to cross the lambic line into more beery Belgians, but not ready for the lose the sweetness.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose is medicinal and plastic with spicy overtones. Somewhat malty - smells like it is going to be sweet. Notes of citrus (orange, and/or lemon peel). Smells really good.

Pours a muddled dark brown color, almost no clarity, nice head with mild retention. Looks pretty good.

Medicinal up front and then sweet and malty followed by a nice punchy tartness. It has my full attention. Lemon/grapefruit citric veins run deep giving a nice juxtaposition to the fairly assertive sweetness and maltiness. Yeast is dry and powdery with plastic (almost latex) and sterile medicinalness all over. Nice and juicy - a tart, probably dark fruit. Full bodied, moderate carbonation.

Very exciting. Very tasty. I love it. I will buy this one again, for sure.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enticing aromas of cherries and tropical fruit waft from my glass as I pour this beer. The beer is a lightly hazy amber color and is topped by a frothy tan to light amber head. Ooh, as I go in for a deeper sniff, I get notes of funk to go along with the fruity notes. There is the characteristic Brett signature with notes of sweaty horse blanket, musty leather. I was not expecting so much funkiness in this beer, but I am quite happy that it is here.

The taste is lightly tart up front with soft cherry notes. There is lots of fairly substantial funk here as well, I get notes of sharp urea, old cat pee, chewy musty almost moldy leather. There is a definite astringency in the finish that seems to be derived from the microbiota that were used to ferment this beer. The sourness reminds me of tart cherries, lemon, and perhaps a hint of grapefruit. This is not as hard, and tart as I would prefer from my Sour beers, but at least the sweetness is in check. The sweetness is definitely here but it does not overwhelm in anyway, it just accentuates the fruitiness, and helps to balance the tartness. The cherry notes that are present in this beer are characteristic of Brettanomyces Lambicus strain, it is quite interesting in its expressive presence.

This beer is totally enjoyable, and it actually is much more intense on the Brett end than the classic Rodenbach Grand Cru, if it had the tartness, and more of the balsamic notes, it would perhaps rival it even, but alas it does not so it falls a little short. I am a sucker for funky, sour beers, and No doubt, I would love to have a case of this in my cellar, unfortunately I only picked 1 bottle of this up, and I don't think that I will be able to replenish it any time soon.

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a ruddy brown color with a healthy finger and a half of off white head. Retention is decent but recedes into a ring of bubbles.

S- starts out with a great tart acidity with a traditional Flanders vineous note. Sweet dark cherry juice gives a nice juxtaposition to the initial tartness. A thin blanket of funk blends in nicely with a musky earthy note. Finishs with a dry bready malt.

T- Tart up front with a low acidity. The vineous character gives it some traditional flavors. Branching away from tradition a gigantic sweet dark cherry juice explodes on the palate. Finishs with a funky Brett flavor with a earthy character.

MF- slick smooth mouthfeel with a sweettart tart character. Medium body with averge carbonation.

D- very drinkable introductory sour. Yum!

Photo of Metalmonk
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big billowy head, off-white and remarkably creamy. The liquid is indeed quite red, a fiery, rusty, burnt red. Slashes and splats of lace all around the glass.

Wonderful aroma, sure to tickle the nose hairs of any Belgian enthusiast. Yeast is fruity and slightly funky, a little bit musty, and overall the vibe of cellar-stored crates of various fruits prevails (apples, grapes, cherries).

Intensely fruity and reasonably funky on the tongue. Fruits so far mentioned are joined by an almost melon-like uniqueness (muskmelon, honeydew). Kind of a woody exterior too, like old, musty wood, which adds some complexity and earthiness, and mellows the other flavors. It doesn't seem to have all that much depth at first, but with each sip a new facet emerges. I also dig that this isn't one-dimensionally sour, the way some of these kinds of beers tend to be.

Body is fairly crisp; finishes dry, when a slight and manageable pucker reminds you what sort of Belgian you're drinking. A little lighter in body than expected, but that only increases its accessibility.

Ridiculously easy to drink, especially at 7%. DeProef continues to be my favorite Belgian brewery at the moment. Their list of amazing beers is something else, and I'm not even considering the people they contract-brew for.

Photo of rye726
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice reddish brown color with a creamy tan head. The nose has tart fruits, ripe berries and musky barnyard wood. The taste is similar. Perhaps not as potent as other red's, but has a nice balance between sweet malts, tart citrus and oaky funk. Crisp body suits ale well. A superb brew and my new favorite from DeProef.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a beautiful slightly hazy burnt orange leaning toward a chestnut color. Very nice head that is cream colored with tight beading. The smell is slightly sweet up front followed by a gentle lactic quality. Funk at the end with horseblanket and ripe cheese aromas. The taste is very nicely balanced with sweet/tart flavors as well as some nice spice/pepper, and some restrained fruit- pear mostly. Some slight funk grows as the beer warms as well. The mouthfeel is very smooth and quite creamy. Great beer. Not quite as tart as some in the style, but this is more than made up for by a nice restrained herbal funkiness on the finish. Best beer of theirs that I've tried in awhile.

Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mughugger for sharing this w/ BitterBeerFace, HombreWing and me. Poured chilled into a Gouden Caroulus goblet

A - Deep amber w/ full white head of about an inch. There is a slight haze on this ale, probably from temperature

S - Cherry and raspberries w/ tropical accents like mango and pineapple. the medley of sweet and sour aromas is great. It has more sour notes when swirled, but has a nice nose

M - This is excellent feel-wise. This ale is not so sour that it makes you pucker, just enough to add depth and give the fruity sweetness contrast. It is highly effervescent and feels light but bursts w/ energetic presence

T - The main flavor is similar to strawberry w/ an earthy note and slight brett w/ subtle citrus and herbal tinges. The grain and yeast combine to give a nice underlying spice taste but the sweetness is relaxed and the flavors are layered w/ complexity

D - This is just out of this world drinkable for a 7% ale. The representation of the style is great I would drink this any chance I can get it is refreshing and has depth not something you can find often like the best of both worlds

Photo of superspak
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some nice soapy lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of big tart cherry, cherry skin, apple, cranberry, earthiness, funk, grass, oak, light acidity, and yeast spices. Nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of tart cherry, cherry skin, apple, cranberry, pepper, earth, grass, light vinegar, oak, and yeast spices. Light tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart cherry, apple, cranberry, pepper, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Nice tart and sweet flavor balance and complexity; with cherry sweetness being more prominent. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly slick and syrupy mouthfeel as expected. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Very smooth to drink but is a bit of a sipper. Overall this is a fantastic, very pleasant, and enjoyable Flanders red ale. Nice complexity and balance; and very smooth to drink. I had no trouble finishing the 750.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red orange in color, a bit darker than that really, lighter around the edges though. Super sticky head, off white in color, and thick. Massive, 3-D lacing. This is a beauty no matter what style.

Funky Brett yeast dominates the nose, while also giving off plenty of cherry bitterness. A little too much towards the funk on this one, but still really nice. Same again in the mouth: too much of the barnyard, musty flavor while not giving the cherries a chance to shine. Probably some oak aging going on, this one retains a nice woody character.

Sweet, sour, oaky, delicious. Highly recommended.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing firelight red-orange with bright Sunkist edges. Or maybe... polished copper kettle reflecting the last rays of a tropical sunset. This is my favorite beer color of all-time, hands down. The sticky, meringue-like crown holds up its end with no trouble at all, laying down scads of thick lace as it slowly melts. It doesn't get any better than this.

The nose is much more Brettanomyces-intensive than your average Flanders red ale. Of course, knowing De Proefbrouwerij, I didn't expect anything close to an average Flanders red. The barnyard funkiness doesn't quite cover up the scent of sour Belgian black cherry juice. I love what Brettanomyces does to beer, but it needs to be scaled back a little more in this case, so that center stage can be reserved for the cherries.

I feel the same way about the flavor profile, but to a lesser extent. Pungent funk rules early, there's no question about that. If one allows the beer to soak into the tongue, however, the tangy fruitiness of the black cherries rushes in at the midway point and dominates at the finish (as much as any flavor can dominate in a Brett-fermented beer).

I couldn't find out if Zoetzuur ever spent time in oak barrels. My guess is unquestionably 'yes'. There's a wonderful woodiness throughout the flavor arc, especially on the incredibly drying back end. I haven't even mentioned the hops yet. Who the hell puts East Kent Goldings and Tomahawk (Columbus) in a Flanders red? Nice idea, but I'm having a hard time appreciating them.

Perhaps the best part about this incredibly complex ale is a characteristic indicated by its name. Zoetzuur translates as 'sweet-sour'... and that is exactly what it is. The black cherry juice (and what tastes and feels like a generous amount of malt) adds more sweetness than is typical for the style. That sweetness is a fascinating foil for the puckery sour tanginess that lovers of this sort of beer crave.

The mouthfeel needs just a little more of that Belgian magic known as uplifting carbonation. With more mouthfilling volume, it would easily earn the next highest score. I'm splitting hairs here, but I remember Rodenbach Grand Cru as being superior when it comes to this characteristic.

Zoetzuur Flemish Ale is yet another outstanding creation from one of my favorite Belgian brewers. It's a near perfect melding of the Flanders red and wild ale styles that fans of each should love for its sheer inventiveness. Not to mention its lip smacking deliciousness. Extract the cork and let the sweet-sour mouth party begin!

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a hazy amber-ish color with a nice khaki colored head.

S: Plenty of sour cherries right off the bat. A bit of vinegar, some lactic notes, and a hint of malt sweetness as well.

T: A really solid acidity to the flavor which keeps this beer really "bright" and easy to drink. Good cherry notes along with a bit of sweetness that goes well with the sourness. Not too much oak, but a decent dryness and tannic component.

M: The body is medium with a very lively carbonation and a dry finish.

D: I haven't been all that crazy about a lot of the De Proef beers, but this one was very nice. I'll have to see how the bottles in my cellar hold up.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caged&Corked 750 with a real solid pop.

First pour was a bit cold, but I warmed the glass in my hands.

Rich redddish brown and a bit watery when poured. Monster beige head thanks to a bad pour.

Musty wood, vinegar apples and underripe fruit, most notably cherries and pear. Good earthy spice. If anything, just a tad bit too vinegar.

Incredibly drinkable woody and earthy tartness. THe vinegar is subsided in the taste. Good brett presence gives it a rather saison bandaidy flavor. Good smooth creamy soft body. A fine flanders!

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

De Proef Zoetzuur Flemish Ale
(according to the bottle, brewed with Kriek juice)

Pours a nice ruby color, off white head and nice lacing. Aroma of berries, so quite fruity and slight hint of funk. In the taste, a nice tart sourness, mild acidity, sugary malt, and a hint of cherry juice. Very well balanced with a perfect mix of sweet, sour, malt, and fruit. Ever so slight touch of red wine vinegar. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and drying. Overall, one of the best examples of the Flanders style, and the fruit is downplayed and left in the background where it belongs. Well done.

Photo of teromous
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: It pours a light tan, the color of tea. It's hazy in the glass and has a thin bubbly head.

S: It has a very strong sour smell to it. I pick up a little hint of alcohol smell. There is a hint of cherry smell to it...reminds me a lot of cherry lip balm. I get some slight earthy barn-like smells too.

T: It has an initial sourness but it fades into a malty back-flavor. The malt really stands up to the sourness and it doesn't leave my mouth puckering at all. The aftertaste is fruity, and reminiscent of fresh plums.

M: As I mentioned in the taste portion, it's not puckering at all. The mouthfeel is perfect. It has just the right amount of sourness to bitterness ratio to balance it out. It's great!

O: Overall this was a really great beer. I expected that it would be really sour and it wasn't. This is the perfect beer for people to try who want to enjoy a slightly sour beer without it being overwhelming.

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, no dating, sampled in a Vondel snifter (my favorite glass when I don't have the exact match for Belgian beer sampling)

Pours an effervescent caramel/orange with 3 fingers of fluffy sand colored head. Good lacing & superior head retention, keeps 1/2" of head all the way down

S: Tart. sour & oaky smells up front& not much else

T: Slight sourness, tartness & sour cherries up front. Woody dryness with then permeates this. Some real tart raspberry is there as well. Finishes bone dry, tart & with big time sour cherry & a little bit of almond

MF: Puckery & DRY! Minimal carbonation, perfect for the style

Drinkability suffers a bit, due to the dryness & sourness, but a good example of a genre I'm not in love with. But the beerworld is a better place for such oddities

Photo of stumac
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quote of the night:

"You just can't beat a Thai prostitute at Connect Four." my buddy Rob

this brew pours a murky amber color with a decent off white head. great lacing all down my glass. the nose is sour, cherries, subtle malt. the taste is sour! fruits, complete tartness, cherries. full bodied, low carbo, sweet finish

Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.