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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Not Rated.
Zoetzuur Flemish AleZoetzuur Flemish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

193 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 193
Hads: 331
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 17.26%
Wants: 30
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 193 | Hads: 331
Photo of nickfl
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

High B-

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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

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Photo of superspak
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a 750ml with my wife.

A: Beautiful ruby color with a whipped meringue head that lingers for several minutes, leaving big lacing. Awesome appearance!

S: Sweet cherries and wild yeast, definitely in that order

T: SWEET! sour. This is beer is much sweeter than it is sour. I was really expecting and hoping for a better balance between the two. Sweet cherries and cherry juice dominate the flavors, so much so that I feel I may be missing out on other complexities in this beer. There is only a hint of sourness, along with a yeasty, bread-like quality. The flavor is tasty and done well, but heavily favoring sweet cherry.

M: Sweet and smooth. Average feel.

D: I couldn't even finish my glass. The sweetness becomes very cloying, and quickly.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep chili/chipotle pepper red body, not much clarity but you can see just a tad bit of faint carbonation rising. Head is creamy and filled with sheets of a whipped tan light creme like lacing. Three to two fingers tall easily, leaves a thin creamy puck also.

Oh man is this bouquet gorgeous. Sweet and sour cherries. This smells like it comes from a barrel (it doesn't I think), with round vanilla notes and soft creamy milk. Small hints of red hot cinnamon. Just wonderful stuff nearly perfect and gorgeous.

Palate definitely hits at lighter body, but perfectly fine with the malt and flavors to come. First sip fills with Kriek like sweet juiced cherries, giving away to a sour softness. Faint caramel, and a big dry finish. Mineral aftertaste that really lingers, with a light body, almost dry white wine crisp, but not quite brut champagne territory. Sweet and sour balances of cherries, and some milk sweetness, with thick malt body of vanilla sort of missing hinted on the nose.

Overall though it's like a kriek and standard Flanders red ale mixed into one, absolutely great beer love it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, typical Belgian broad shouldered bottle. Pours tequilla sunrise red, the head is soft, fluffy head a dull shade of medium khaki, that leaves thick sheeting and reveals an earthy nose, with some funky components. This a spiced up and warming brew. Spices seem to be in the neighborhood of mild holiday. Tasty and complex, with notes of ripe cherries and other fruits as it warms and opens up. Delicious brew. Interesting and different. Eclectic Belgian lovers will surely enjoy this one

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked & caged bottle poured into a chimay goblet twice. picked this up at state line not to long ago.

A- Zoetzuur is a dark red color with rusty qualities bordering on brown. A 1/2 finger off white sticky head comes forth with some moderate lacing. A bit more head retention would be nice.

S- A mix of sweet and sour goodness. I'm getting a lot of sour cherry and apples and barnyard funk. Other fruits such as raspberries come to mind. some oak and vinegar as expected.

T- The huge apple taste in this flemish is in the forefront with sour cherries to follow. Oak and wood follow with a touch of plum. I'm picking up some sweet malt(very slight) with the more prevelent vinegar bland taste. Some spices emerge as the beer warms and the sourness develops further.

M- A tad thinner that i'm used to and could use some work. Over all this is pretty mellow with good carbonation. The flavors do not stick around forever making it an easy drinker even though it's not my favorite flanders red.

D- Pretty good drinkability on this even though i was not too impressed by it. The flavors were there but the over all vinegar blandness keeps me from loving it. A thicker mouthfeel would of helped smooth things out. I probably would have enjoyed this more in the spring. One bottle is plenty.

Overall a good job by De Proef but not mindblowing, a good choice to introduce a newbie to the style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Let's go sweet and sour tonight. On to the beer:

Poured into an oversized wine glass, this beer features a clouded light brown/tanned color. Average head retention, with polka-dot lacing sticking to the glass initially. The beer has both that sweet and sour aroma. Strawberries and caramel is the best way to put it. The grain is a little bit musty.

Very mild flavor. The flavor intensity on this one is very low to my surprise. There is a touch of that vinegary sour flavor, but it's not going to make you think it's salad dressing. Very lighty tart. A little sweet. Faint strawberry, hint of those caramel chews. Watermelon is hinted as well. I wish the flavor were more intense. Well, at loeast it feels like a Flanders Red...it has a good body, firm bubbles....no overcarbonation or thin feel. The aftertaste seems musty, and doesn't amount to anything exciting. It's drinkable, but not interesting...but I got 750 ml to drink, so away I go...

Why are you still reading this? Give this a pass.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a large bottle at The Farmhouse. Wow, I think this is the best Flemish Red I've had. It lacks the sickly-sweet hit, like in Duchess, and instead has an almost dry fruit punch taste with apples and berries. Of course, the beer is dominated by by sour brett character with an Orval-like catty flavor over sweaty funk and lemon peel.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy amber color with dark golden ruby edges when held to a light source. Lots of visible carbonation bubbling up along with a one finger frothy pinkish head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring.

Nice funky aroma with sweet fruit notes. Slightly earthy with a prominent oak character that has a touch of vanilla. There is also a strong tart, dark cherry presence in the nose.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation up front which quickly gives way to a sweet yet tart fruit flavor that lingers into a dry finish. Prominent earthy oak with hints of vanilla adds nice complexity and balances out the lactic sourness and sweet tart dark berry flavor. Well balanced and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for bringing this to phatz's sour tasting...
Appears a light caramel brown with heavy CO2 streams rising to the top. Lots of chunky beige lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, raspberries, apples, cherries, honey, and flowers.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a grainy malt characteristic and some mild vinuous notes pulling through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, tart, semi-sweet, with a light amount of booziness in the finish.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Buckeyeboy brought this to a recent tasting.... Thanks Jeremy!!

Hazy red/brown brew with a descent white head and lacing.

Nose immediately reminds me of cherry sucrets.. bretty funk and some wet leather... but the seemingly artificial cherries and slight medicinal qualities are the main player.

flavor mirrors the nose with some tannic qualities.. cherry cough drops.... some plummy essence gets lost in the fray... too sweet... could use alot more wild character and more sour to balance the sweetness.

Body is on the light side of medium and a descent carbonation.

I've had this one a couple of times since the COOP got it in, and I've always thought it was okay, but no where near great.


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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - A murky brown body with a ruby tint. The head fades quickly, leaving a bubbly ring of lace and a weather forecast hurricane pattern in the middle of the beer.

S - Tangy, sweet and acidic. Some cherry cough syrup nuances and a good bit of fruit skin and yeast aromas. A mild waft of sweet fall spices.

T - Very tart and tangy up front, with a sturdy metallic bite. Deep yeast complexity and sour cherry/tart fruit skin. Sweet on the lips after the sip. Woody dry flavors and earth notes. Dry biscuity alcohol in the backend.

M - Medium bodied with an intriguing feel. Yeasty beer, champagne like effervescence and wine like dryness. The yeast profile makes this one, drying and cleansing.

O - Superb, a yeast lovers beer. Balanced, sweet and sour as the name says.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Pours a dark brownish amber color with a light tan colored head that leaves a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is very sweet and fruity with a lot of sour cherries, grapes and some oak.

T- The taste is a nice mixture of sweet and sour with some cherries, oak and a dry finish. The taste can be a little on the sweet side for me.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- The 750ml bottle of this beer may be a bit too much for me due to the sweetness. However, this is a pretty unique and interesting beer that is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of joe1510. Thanks Joe!

A big pop when I removed the faux cork, it pours a clear ruby red with a one finger head of foam and shows a ton of nice lacing.

The smell is fruity sour with big notes of cherries and a very light note of something sweet. Maybe I'll figure that out when I taste it.

The taste starts off tart with the cherries and green apples but quickly is matched head to head with a nice honey like and maybe fruity sweetness. Man, this one is sweet & sour but neither wants to take center stage and for me, that works very damn well for my palate, not so much for what I'd expect for the style. It sure is easy to drink though so I can't complain all that much. Heck, now I'm tasting a bit of funk that I didn't notice when the beer was a bit colder. A plus in my book.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation, it finishes decidedly on the sweet side. Head rention seemed to get better with every pour and the lacing is just outstanding.

Drinkability? No problems with the abv, plenty of flavour, I'll have no problem finishing the last pour from the bottle which, btw, is decidely cloudy now. A very enjoyable brew and I again thank Joe for his generosity and spirit of adventure as I don't think that I'd have ever sought this beer out on my own. When I visit a beer store with a lot of Belgians, I get overwhelmed! ;^)

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle, corked and caged, bought for $12.99 at Rozi's in Cleveland last week. For whatever reason I've never seen this on shelves before, surprising given there are already so many reviews. I grabbed it without a second thought, as De Proefbrouwerij makes quality wild ales.

This beer has a glorious appearance, reddish orange and clear with a slight chill haze, thick rocky poofs of off-white foam. This is the perfect Flanders Red visual. The aroma is really strong with brettanomyces, sharp and funky, leather and dark fruit like plums and cherries. Nice subtle malts, earthy and authentically Belgian.

This beer just doesn't disappoint by any measure. Damn, it tastes delicious and perfect. Makes you wonder why people rave over legitimately good American wild ales while never mentioning Belgian greats beyond Cantillon. Cherry/plum alcohol, nice sweet counterplay, the sour doesn't reach bracing levels but is rather well balanced by the sweet malt and sugar. Tart, refreshing, addictive. Soft body, silky-like with just enough carbonation, very good.

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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.