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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: 335
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 17.26%
Wants: 30
Gots: 30 | 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.
View: Beers (101) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 193 | Hads: 335
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Photo of jrallen34
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle, poured into my Narke glass...A dirty medium copper, hints of amber. A huge creamy light tan head. A big lasting cap, great retention, awesome lacing...Nice aroma, brett, cherries, yeast, very musky like a saison. A hint of vinegar on the very finish. A touch of to much brett, but pretty nice and balanced overall...The taste flips the aroma as the front is musky brett with a slight cherry finish. Not as balanced as the nose, or as enjoyable. The finish is really awesome though, surprised how fruity the cherry note is...Feel is perfectly carbonated with a great finish.

This isn't a flanders red to me, but a really nice brett wild ale. I recommend this.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle picked up at the Village Pump in College Park a while back. Into my trusty Duvel tulip

A: The first pour is a gorgeous clear crimson with a dense beige head with excellent retention that leaves some lacing as it slowly recedes

S: Sweet and fruity (cherries) with a good deal of bready notes. Doesn't smell very sour at all. Oak is subtle. Not very complex.

T: Light bodied, this beer starts off with fruity with cherries and red plums before developing a mild acetic sourness. Oak is present with a definite woody presence. The finish is a mixture of dry and sweet.

M: Carbonation is great and the mildly tart finish make for a very refreshing beer. Unfortunately, it's a little watery on the finish.

D: This is fairly drinkable and I'm enjoying this.

Notes: This is a good beer in its own right but in the past two weeks, I've had decidedly better beers, the Ommengang Rouge and Rodenbach Grand Cru. This doesn't stack up too well against them, though.

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Photo of ccrida
4.49/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque ruby/brown color. A one finger tan head forms. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: A sweet fruity aroma. Some cherries and apples with funky barnyard aromas. A light dry, wood aroma.
T: This is very sweet and tart. Cherries and apples that follow the nose. As this warms up, the tartness/sourness mellows out a bit.
M/D: A medium body, but over carbonated. A little thin. Dry. The sweetness, tartness and alcohol are a bit much. Its hard to finish the 750 ml bottle.

This is interesting, but just does not do it for me. Fairly simple for the style, and not very subtle. This is not my favorite De Proef offering.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.79/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper color with a fine-bubbled, fluffy light tan head. Very good retention and lacing.

Smell is perfectly funky and wild with equal parts rotting wood and sour berry tartness. Raspberry puree with maybe a bit of blackberry and cherry notes. Not much malt or hops on the nose, but that is ok with me for this style. This beer smells delicious, a joy to sniff!

Mouth puckering sour tartness takes the lead by a slim margin over the brettomyces funk and cedar plank flavors. Some lighter berry notes come through with some strawberries and sour cherries. Earthy in it's own way with some of the caramely malt sweetness making an appearance as it warms a bit. Wonderful sour beer, one of my favorites.

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Photo of cbutova
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Atremains for sharing this one. Always nice to try a new Flanders/funky beer.

A- Murky dark red with a light pink, creamy head with good retention. Tons of creamy lace coats the whole glass.

S- Tons of cherry up front, sweet overall feel and just a bit of tart. An amazing barnyard fence/pasture/hay/funk mixed with oak. Very nice. Reminds me of hanging around a farm as a child.

T- Ripe cherries with lots of sweets. Some zest and a good bit of oak. Cork/Brett/funk/barnyard shows up with slight raisin and spice, complex.

MF- Creamy with silky smooth carbonation. Goes down very easily. Lighter end with slight tart.

DB- Sweet but it doesn't bother me at all here. The smell is absolutely fantastic. Complex with nice cherry.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.04/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle $9.99. Nice red color with almost no head. It smells great, cherries, sour some muddy vinegar. The taste is indeed sweet-sour but leans toward neither side. It is just barely sweet and barely sour, good balance. Nice cherry note, reminds me a tad of Jolly Pumpkin biere de mars. This was money well spent.

Update 12/2012

Grainy flavor, iron and blood, sort of ugly smell. Not sure if this changed in recipe since I had it several years back but this bottle sucked bad.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden copperish red with a nice tan to light tannish brown head, nice active carbonation and some lace. Lightly sour black cherry fruity aromas with a nice touch of musty, earthy, malt character. Sour fruity dark cherry flavors dominate with a light funky Brett finish and a bit of mustiness. Medium-light bodied.

Nicely surprised with it's fruitiness and very light Brett character .. almost a Black Cherry Lambic but not quite as "sparkling".

Per bottle: 7% ABV

Per MJ notes: Crafted in 11-hectolitre batches exclusively for the Michael Jackson Rare Beer Club by the Andelot Proefbrouwerij of Lochristi, Belgium.

Malt: 2-Row Munich, Pilsner, and Cara malt
Hops: Tomahawk & East Kent Goldings
IBU’s: 21
Flavoring: Sweet-and-Sour Black Cherry Juice
Yeast: Mixed Fermentation of Saccharomyces & Brettanomyces. Lactobacillus is naturally produced, fermenting the sugars in the juice.
Original Gravity: 1072 (18 Plato)
Alcohol Volume: 8.5% ABV
Alcohol Weight: 6.7% ABV

(750 ml / 25.4 oz. tall straight brown champagne style bottle, corked, and caged)

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Photo of RoyalT
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance –The head here was off-white and about a half-inch high on an easy pour. It sat on a very dark, almost brown liquid body.

Smell – The sharp yeasty sourness sticks the nose sharply. It smells like pure lemon in there with a tad of malt.

Taste – The lemon isn’t as big on the tongue as it is in the bouquet, but it’s pretty hefty. The malts are lightly-toasted but not bready in any way. It’s more of a barley-type of flavor.

Mouthfeel – The exciting carbonation and light body in the mouth help the flavors along nicely.

Drinkability – This was fun to drink, but a one on one with a bomber of Zoetzuur is asking a lot of the palate.

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Photo of Pencible
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy reddish mahogany with fluffy light tan head.
S: It smelled like rich sour cherry with some vinegar and oak, and a little metallic and candi sugar.
T: It tasted like smooth sweet cherry and brown sugar, with earthy oak and tart vinegar and a bit of candi sugar. It had a mellow sweet and sour aftertaste.
M: It was watery with a little carbonation. Too thin.
D: This was a nice Flanders red. The sourness was very balanced with sweetness. The body was a bit weak, but there was no alcohol noticeable, so it was very easy to drink. Probably best fresh, because the cherry character will likely fade with age. Recommended.

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