Zoetzuur Flemish Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
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Ratings: 292 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +1.5%
Pours a murky brown with a 3 inch foamy beige head that settles to a craggy cap on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain, earthy yeast, funk, and some sour cherry aromas. Taste is of sour cherry and mild Brett funk up front with some earthy grain flavors on the finish. This beer lives up to its name and is indeed sweet and sour at the same time. There is a lower level of carbonation with only a slight crispness. Overall, this is a good beer that is quite tasty and easy to drink.
04-04-2012 02:10:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.25/5 rDev +8.4%
Reviewed from notes.
Poured into a tulip glass. The color is a red amber with a good light tan head and some lacing. The nose is red wine, tart cherries, mild vinegar, and a bit of funk. The taste adds in a bit of oak and is a bit heavy on the acetic acid. Good puckering feel with some light funk and oak. Drinks quite well; another enjoyable brew from De Proef.
11-09-2010 21:59:59 | More by Thorpe429
3.95/5 rDev +0.8%
A: The beer is hazy light reddish brown in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness and cherries are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a mixture of light sourness from the brett and hints of sweetness from the cherries.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and is mostly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't very sour so it would make for a good beer for someone to try that is trying the style for the first time. There's just enough cherries and sweetness to prevent this from being very sour.
05-31-2013 22:26:52 | More by metter98
4.38/5 rDev +11.7%
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!
10-15-2007 22:20:45 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.24/5 rDev +8.2%
Like mu shu pork dishes, De Proef's rendition of sweet Kriek and and sour Lambic brings the intertwine of sweet and spice together in harmonious fashion.
And with the cherry fruits front and center, the beer's hue takes on the color of cherry in a deep honey-amber tone. A creamy blanket of cottony froth coats the ale and laces with intricate patterns while trailing with sturdy retention.
And again in aroma, the scent of cherries are prevalent- both sour and sweet versions show with the intensity found in fresh baked cherry pies. Complex earthen notes waft over the nose with sea air, wet hay, and a mild wood spice twang.
Once again, its fruit-forward taste is reminiscent of "Sour Patch" candies and reduced cherries- both tart and black. Saved by the musty underpinnings of brine, dried limes, light leather, weathered cedar and hay all provide a depth of mature tastes that balance the fruit to perfection. Spicy late, the ale is mildly peppery, acidic, and somewhat medicinal for a counter to the tart sweetness that commands the early palate.
Medium-light in body, the sour ale is malty and moderately creamy until the acidic sharpness cuts right through the malts and favor a wine-like finish with a balsamic pang. Its alcohol is hardly detectable while the sourness provides the dryness that's experienced in its conclusion.
The beer isn't as sweet as the more popular cherry sour ales but isn't as dry as the more authentic Kriek Ales. Its medium intensity and medium weight makes it ideally suited for like-minded cuisine- like Mu Shu Pork?
05-23-2013 05:24:25 | More by BEERchitect
4.45/5 rDev +13.5%
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.
06-15-2007 19:06:17 | More by Phyl21ca
4.38/5 rDev +11.7%
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.
07-16-2010 08:17:07 | More by womencantsail
3.95/5 rDev +0.8%
On tap at the Map Room...
A hazy, ruddy red tone, with off-white foam that has a lively sizzle. Lacing spiderwebs cling to the glass for the duration. Active carbonation gives the sense that this ale is completely alive, and the wild whiff of Brett confirms this.
Horsey Brett aroma slightly magnifies toward the end of the glass. It's not heavy or unpleasant, but musky and woody. Berry and iron notes figure in to a lesser extent.
Tartness is there but it's at a low level. Not as one-dimensional sweet/sour as some other Flanders Reds can be. Sour twang is felt briefly at the back of the mouth, and gets the salivary glands working. It's not quite lactic, but certainly wild, like a yogurt culture. Metallic iron/copper note appears in the first few sips, but thankfully subsides. Overall it's fairly bright, with the prerequisite tartness, and vague sweet upturn. What's unique about it is the showcase of wild yeast/bacteria, which feeds the drinker's curiosity.
Easily drinkable & refreshing by the sip or gulp.
I've tried a 750 of this before, and wasn't too impressed. The tap version has redeemed it enough for me to give it another shot. The bottle had an off-putting plastic band-aid quality in the taste, that was really off and out of place.
06-20-2007 18:33:50 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev +2%
Appearance - Not really red; more like brownish-amber, and quite hazy. Pours with several inches of thick, frothy foam; head retention is exceptionally good.
Smell - Mild funk, sour cherries and apples, oak, subtle fruity sweetness.
Taste/mouthfeel - Sour, but not lambic sour; more balanced between sweet and tart flavors. Dry apple cider and sour cherries, raspberries, balsamic vinegar and a touch of vanilla. Medium-bodied with smooth, tingly carbonation. Finishes with a dry, oaky bitterness.
Notes - This is a solid Flanders red, and it's very reasonably priced. Recommended.
12-28-2007 23:17:46 | More by largadeer
4.22/5 rDev +7.7%
A - One finger of off-white head that settles quickly but leaves excellent lace. The body is dark reddish brown and very hazy.
S - Strongly acidic with notes of caramel and dark, sour cherries. Subtle vanilla oak note with noticeable, cheesy brett funk.
T - Dramatically sour with a brown, malty flavor to balance. Carmel and balsamic vinegar notes in the middle with very intense woodiness taking over in the finish. Quite a lot of wild funk in the finish along with a powerful tannic bite from the wood.
M - Medium-high carbonation, medium body, and a very dry, tannic finish.
D - Very nice overall with a great sweet and sour interplay, especially in the nose. The tannins are a bit excessive for my palate, and the funk might be overdone as well, but all in all, one of the best Flemmish Reds I have come across.
04-28-2009 01:09:57 | More by nickfl
4.35/5 rDev +11%
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
05-19-2007 01:36:47 | More by russpowell
4.4/5 rDev +12.2%
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
06-20-2008 17:34:51 | More by Slatetank
4.1/5 rDev +4.6%
Pours a murky light brown and rosy hue beer, with a light fizzy head with a bit of lacing.
Nose of sour fruits, plum, some cherries, a bit of funk, a little bit of malt vinegar.
Taste is pretty good too, sour cherries, a bit of malt vinegar, fairly tart with oak and lacto acidic flavors. Finishes with a long tart acidic vinegar and sour cherry.
Mouth is medium to lighter bodied, plenty of carbonation.
Drink is pretty good, sour/tart flavors hit hard but not overwhelming, some vinegar and acidic flavors, but overall pretty drinkable.
12-22-2010 02:08:23 | More by jlindros
4/5 rDev +2%
totally different than any other flemish red ive had. pours a little redder than copper, with a touch of haze and a one inch tan head that has nice patchy retention. smells smokey, familiar but i dont know how. also lots of tart cherries in the nose. yeasty too. flavor is so weird, earthy, but its got a beef jerkey sort of flavor that comes from the aroma. hard to describe really, any cherry or brett flavors take a back seat to that beefy meaty smoke flavor. i dont dislike it, but its really different. feel is good, well carbonated with a medium body at the most. a 750ml is a lot of this beer, but it works for me i guess. worth a try for its distinct aromatic and flavor profile, but dont come in expecting a traditional flemish sour.
06-02-2012 18:19:37 | More by StonedTrippin
4/5 rDev +2%
The beer pours a hazy brown-red color with a white head. The aroma is tart with some sour wheat, lemons, brett funk and vegetables. The flavor is sour wheat, citrus, lemons, sour dark fruit, corn, green vegetables and cherries. A very odd mix of flavors but I think it works pretty well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
07-01-2010 04:21:17 | More by Mora2000
4.43/5 rDev +13%
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.
01-20-2005 02:44:44 | More by Gueuzedude
4.18/5 rDev +6.6%
750 mL bottle,
A: Pours burgundy red with a light off-white head, good retention, light lacing.
S: Smell is great and complex. Ripe strawberry, with cherry juice, light balsamic vinegar and funk.
T: Strong fruit character, as in the smell strawberry jam is dominant with a light cherry kick. Mild oak astringency and solid lactic acid character balance the sweetness.
M: Moderate acidity, though not as much as I like in this style, but solid. Light bodied, quite easy to drink, with the H+ character, still quite smooth.
D; A real nice Flemish Red here. Its got the solid acidity this style needs with a lot of complexity. Very enjoyable.
01-15-2009 03:53:34 | More by Halcyondays
4/5 rDev +2%
05/09/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.
Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. No freshness info given. Poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Rust colored, slightly amber pour. Full one inch plus head. Fairly large bubbled and left nice lacing behind.
Smell- This one seems like it was going to be more sour than sweet from the scent. Strong sour aroma emits. Maybe a mixed bag of fruits in here.
Taste- Not too sour, but the sour definitely overpowers the sweetness. A mild pucker cherry flavor with the nice brett flavor happening at the same time. The sweetness barely gets your attention, but does round out the beer nicely. Has a slight odd metallic taste in the background..barely, but it's there.
Mouthfeel- Medium to higher carbonation level. Light pucker action.
Drinkability- A nice effort here. Would buy again, just to see if that metallic taste was a one time thing. If so, this could be a very good Flanders..still good as is though.
05-10-2006 17:39:16 | More by GClarkage
3.5/5 rDev -10.7%
750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the style and to an extent the brewery. I know Mikkeller brews at De Proef a lot, and I'm quite fond of his work, but I do think that this brewery might be a bit too scientific and clinical to pull off a proper sour.
Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of some limited cream, pretty good thickness, and great retention for the above average ABV. Colour is nontransparent non-opaque caramel-red. Generally appealing, but far from ideal for the style. No floating yeast particles are visible - perhaps due to the nontransparency.
Sm: Brett yeast - lending it some complex funkiness, other yeast, some cream, hints of bacteria, and tart fruit. A moderate strength aroma. Both complex and subtle. I'm excited to try it; it's certainly alive. I'm hoping the taste lives up to the promise of the aroma.
T: Pleasant cream opens it up to the nicely brett-laden flavour profile, complete with bacteria, tart cherry, and yeasty notes that manage to add complexity and a light spicy character without feeling overly biscuity. Cream resurges on the climax. The cherry juice might mute the profile a bit; it feels a bit timid. No alcohol comes through - not a bad feat given the 7.00% ABV. Balanced nicely. I'd like it to trust its flavours more and really bring the boldness, but it's pretty mellow - to its detriment. Complex, layered, and subtle. The malts don't come through hardly at all even as an aspect of the foundation, which I think is to its benefit but also lends it a certain emptiness that detracts from the body; consequently it comes off a bit weak and not nearly as full-bodied as I'd like.
Mf: Light on the palate, delicate, and silky smooth, with some cream throughout as an undertone. Perfectly carbonated. It's thin, but this strangely works for the beer. That said, it just doesn't have a strong impact on the palate, a characteristic amplified by its weak body.
Dr: Very drinkable, especially for the relatively high ABV. I could easily drink this all night - and would want to, if not for the somewhat limited quality and high price. I had high hopes for this beer and while it didn't meet them, I wouldn't call it a disappointment. I wouldn't purchase it again without some age on it, but I might recommend it to fans of this specific style. As sours go, it's far from exemplary.
Drank fine out of me goblet.
Would pair well with a vinaigrette black olive salad.
04-10-2012 07:15:52 | More by kojevergas
Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 292 ratings.