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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Not Rated.
Zoetzuur Flemish AleZoetzuur Flemish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

295 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 295
Reviews: 191
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 27
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: marburg on 11-15-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 295 | Reviews: 191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice light amber with an off-white low persistent head which lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was tart and acidic with a bit of a lactic nature. Behind the acidity lurked a light caramel presence. The aroma was estery with a light cherry fruity nature and an earthy and slightly citrus light hop presence.

The flavor was very lightly tart and tangy with a bready nature and some Brett presence. The flavor was a nice balance of malt presence and acidity with a lightly earthy and again slightly citric character. A bit of oak was notable.

The finish was dry with lasting pleasant tarness and citric character into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation. The tartness was well restrained in the flavor making a very interesting combination of flavors which were easy to consume.

750 ml bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours the same exact color as cedar wood. There is a slight head to it, but it quickly dissapates.

S - Strong aromas of plums, oak, cherries, and some vinous characteristics going on too.

T -Al of the afforementioned plus cripsy dry, toasted wheat croutons....I know but that is what it is to me. There is some really old apple cider in there too.

M - Very simple around the tounge. There is no real strong carbination bite, but it ends dry and leaves the sour notes on the tounge.

D - Not really my cup of tea, but Im sure would go well some certain dishes.

quasimoto, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of silenius
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with an ecru moderately sized head that left nice lacing in the oversized wineglass.

Smell is wonderful with strawberry and peach aromas, balsamic vinegar bite, brown sugar, and a slight vanilla and mint combination. Very pleasing to me.

Flavor is bright strawberry with a nice acid zing that is balanced and refreshing. The aftertaste has a nice peachy roundness.

Very easy to drink and refreshing. A welcome discovery.

silenius, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy, red-brown pour with a loose head of tan froth that had moderate retention and a few delicate lace streamers.

Aroma is sweet/tart fruit, berries, cherries, and soft oak. There's a prickly Brett note with some musty yeast and wet concrete.

Flavor at first sharp, then becomes sweeter then I had expected. Strong underripe cherry note with a hint of orchard fruit and drying oak and minerality.

Body is below medium, with big bubbles and a slick, juicey mouthfeel. Not as complex as some other Flander sours, but tastey and highly drinkable.

AlexJ, May 28, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

GClarkage, May 10, 2006
Photo of sloejams
4.43/5  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.

sloejams, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of Crosling
2.45/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark copper, old currency color with a large white head aloft. Moderate Flemish Sour aroma, with mild apple aromatics and sugary fruit. Not really any oak or sour yeast chartacter, although it does smell slightly musty. Really mild overall, lacking character and depth and possessingly a mildly tart apple flavor. On the finish, however, is a very sugary, sweetened fruitiness, that begins after the swallow and is very sweet and cinnamon like. It’s very sweet overall, presumably sweetened. This is a very poor example of a Flemish Sour in my opinion. Almost laughably bad and the sweetness lingers.

Crosling, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a slightly cloudy brown color with a thick off white head. The head fades very slowly, leaving massive laces. After 30 minutes, whe head still remains.

This beer has a very pleasent aroma. It smells of cherries. It smells sweet and slightly tart. It has a slight spicy aroma also. A little citrus is present. It has a very slight earthy yeast aroma.

This beer is slightly sour, but surprizingly smooth. It has hints of cherries. It is very sweet, but not overbearing. Slight citrus flavor is detectable. It has a slight woody taste to it also.

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a sour cherry aftertaste. This beer is well carbonated.

I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It is very easy to drink. I think I will have to go back and buy many more.

OStrungT, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml served at 50f, pours 40% head into a lambic glass. Nose is the first surprise, most resembles a lambic nose with some malty notes thrown in. So much for the flemish red expectation.

Taste is several different things happening at the same time. Initially is the sourness I would expect from a gueuze, but also there is a strong heavier taste undertone which is woody and almost sweet. The complexity in the taste is amazing, as or more complex than most lambics and any flemish reds I have had.

Later into the bottle the taste alternates between initially sweet and then (a second or less later) sour, I don't think I have ever run into this contrast in a beer before. The alcohol is nicely invisible.

The aftertaste is woody and musty; this may be the least impressive feature of this very impressive beer.

This is a must-try beer if you enjoy lambics (traditional) or flemish sour ales, and worth trying in general for the amazing dance of flavor the brewer has crafted here.

dogfooddog, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby, woody, garnet color with a large brilliant white head which unfortunately soon fades to nothing but a skim layer atop the liquid. Lots of spotty lacing around the glass.

Vinous aromas abound. Light cherry skins along with a slightly stinging acidity. Honey and farmhouse funk come side by side.

Taste is dominated by the Belgian yeasty flavors. Some sweeter cream notes are present. The acidity is notes but not stinging whatsoever. I think the creaminess is lining my palate and holding back the stinging sensation. Odd but I like it. There's also notes of tart cherry, light wood flavors, and some sweeter purple grapes.

Mouthfeel is great to me. I know this isn't as funky as some of the other Flanders Red beers but that's ok. The creamy sweet flavors match up excellent with the Belgian funk. Fairly full bodied with moderate carbonation. It all works nicely.

Alcohol is really inperceptible. This is an easy drinker yet so complex and flavorful that I can't drink it too fast and it continually intrigues me. Definitely get this and try it if you can.

granger10, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml tall brown glass long neck bottle sealed with a simple unmarked thumbed cork, steel cage and black metal cap. It does seem like the cork has the code “ZZ54” on it upon closer inspection. Labeled as one of a series of the ‘Brewmaster’s Collection – Special Reserve’.

Appearance: Gorgeous presentation, appealing looks and a classic defined Belgian feel to this one in my Westy Goblet. Deeply polished cherry wood body, chestnut flashes with a garnet hue. Creamy beige head produces a uniform cap and seems to last at ½” forever. Lovely lacing is well supported by the infinitesimally fine conditioning. Supreme looks!

Nose: Mix and match juxtaposed aromas. Sharpness from freshly skinned damson plums blends with a yeasty acidic punch in the middle. Soft malts sit inside rounded dark fruit alcohols, black cherries, citrusy tingles here and there, a defined but clean farmyard feel and a nice earthy musty feel on the back of the throat. All this is spattered with dusty Brett laden cobwebs throughout the nasal structure. Orgasmic odors!

Taste: Lovely farmyard entrance, soft earthy Brett with some musty damp oak wood undertones. Cutting damson plums balance the alcohol, sour traits, but never astringent, always soft. Funky but in a clean cultured way. Dusty body, the dark cherry and plum fruits rise and fall against the sourness as you drink this one. Gentle tip of the hat to most Flemish Reds with some unique Proef characteristics thrown in. Felt cleaner than most though.

Mouthfeel: Has a delicate talcum soft texture, a very light feel but with plenty of support from the finely dissolved soft conditioning which presents a great platform for the Flemish Red characteristics to shine through. Excellent mouth feel from the off.

Drinkability: Utterly Effortless!!! Intensely refreshing, it cuts a wide swathe through thirst. Easily one of the smoothest Flemish Reds, somehow it merges the traditional sour-sharpness with a smooth well-conditioned fruity feel. The farmyard is present but it has been tidied up a little it seems. Technically “cleaner” than most, but still a great example of the style for my money. Very refreshing and highly quaffable. More please!

Overall: A solid Flemish Red.

Highly Recommended!

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of Ego
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to yelterdow for breaking this open for brunch the other day. obviously the one flanders red I know intimately (almost too much) is rodenbach... so that is my benchmark I suppose...

eyes...
hazy rodenbach pour with a good head, looks just right for the style with perhaps a darker tinge than rodey... This has a nice stickness to it in the glass, very nice over all.

nose...
belgian farmhouse ("sweet manure") funk is the first sensation, then some geuze-ish lemon tone, then some kriek notes (from the black cherry juice that was added to this brew as per the michael jackson DVD)... this smells like rodenbach not smoothed out (aged).. or "Rodenbach Gone Wild". They used cultured and semi-wild yeast to brew this and it definitely shows in the aroma here. What an interesting blend of flavors in the belgian spectrum... really really good here.

taste etc...
Kreik ! At first you really think you are drinking a kriek as the cherry flavor is quite pronounced. As you settle in on this one the lambic quality begins to shine through... with the nose working the yeasty funk works itself in as well. Like the nose this is a balanced experience. The carbonation is prickly and refreshing, carrying the brew quite perfectly across the mouth. Mouthfeel is near perfect for the style imo. This has a real sweet/sour dance to it. As drinkable as Rodenbach ? hmmm I would have to say no in the long haul. But splitting this between 2 people was near bliss.

verdict?
if you like Rodenbach or Krieks or Lambics (say like mild Cantillon stuff) etc you should like this variation on the themes in all those brews as all things are present here to be savored. I would have my doubts as to how this one would age with the mix of ingredients and the fact that it is made from a tasting house specifically for tasting now... I would drink it now if you can find it (just my opinion).

Ego, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA for $9.99. I hadn't heard of this beer before I bought it, but when I saw the style, I knew I had to have at least one. FYI, the BA header says this is 8.5% ABV; the bottle says 7%.

Pours a flat reddish brown, quite transparent, with an off-white bubbly head that sits very nicely in my St. Bernardus chalice. Quite attractive.

Aroma- boy, this is why I broadened my beer horizons. Woody, sour cherry, organic aromas, perhaps a touch of lemon citrus zest, but also a sweet hint too. This is a wonderful smell.

Flavor- the first sip was quite a shock. I was prepared for this Duchesse-like sweet-sour dance, but at first, it just rushed down my throat in a tart pucker. My initial reaction was not good. But after a few swallows, the fruitiness really opens up, as partly ripened raspberries fight with black cherries and sour citrus. This is good stuff.

My one reservation about this is that the sourness outweighs the sweetness so it's not as balanced as I would like. But this is really a minor quibble. I really like this beer. (Of course the best part is watching my finacee pucker up after she tried it!).

Highly drinkable. Creaminess in the mouthfeel keeps it from being overpowering. Recommended.

Dukeofearl, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
3.45/5  rDev -12%
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.

RoyalT, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the vaults of the Rare Beer Tour compliments of Michael Jackson. Although this beer is classified in the "retired" category, there are still a few of these around as of December 2005.

I'm tasting this on my 35th birthday, and I look forward to reviewing it.

Served in a Fin Du Monde Belgian tasting tulip at just over fridge temperature. The bottle reads 7% alcohol, not 8.5% as this page suggests.

Appearance- A picture perfect display of color and structure. The beer pours a fantastically clear Flemish red with brown highlights, and the four finger crown billows even better than Rodenbach... and that's saying something. The lacing is sporadic, but it's still clingy and persistent.

Smell- Wonderfully fragrant, and nose-puckeringly good. This pushes the envelope almost to the Lambic style, with a bold farmy funkiness and horseblanket character that I love so much. As the beer approaches cellar temperature, an underlying sweetness integrates with the sour horsey notes. Fantastic.

Taste- Outstanding delivery of sour cherries, barnyard funk, and overall lip-smacking goodness that rivals Rodenbach Classic... again, the difference is the more prominent notes of horseblanket. Lambic lovers, eat your heart out... if you can find this, buy it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Sharp but rolling in the mouth, the texture is of the finest carbonation and boosts the sweet and sour character of the beer. Even with the beefed up ABV (7% vs. Rodenbach's 5.1%), this drinks so easy and quenches thirst better than almost anything I've ever had. A most enjoyable and worthwhile beer.

P.S. I suggest taking care not to disturb the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, as I have swirled in the last 2 oz. at the end. Much better without the sludge.

yelterdow, Dec 29, 2005
Photo of Goldorak
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark amber brew, with a thin layer of miniscule bubbles woven together to form the head.

Smell: A sweeter shade of horseblanket, it was caramel/candi sugar sweet and reminded me of a Faro.

Taste: Lots of caramel again in the taste, some red fruits as well, with an interesting balance of sweet and sour mnemonic of New Glarus Belgian red. The low carbonation brings out the sweetened malt that bursted with cherries. Very low alcohol. May be a little too cloying for some, I enjoyed it.

Goldorak, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of RBorsato
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
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)

RBorsato, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dirty red-brown. Long lasting off-white to light tan cover. Intense brettanomyces nose, explosive cherries, atomic woodiness. Very big and directly to the point aroma. Sweaty, horsey, leafy. This has all the school elements of a good funky flemish sour. On the palate, the brett is as dominating, but the integration is not as efficient. Initially, tart cherries, strawberries and the likes have claims over the earthiness and genuinely evolve into a drying stone-like dryness full of green grapes, but then it hits a wall and every flavor escapes reality. At the same time than the short-flavored nature kicks in, those prickly big bubbles do a last effort to taunt you and expands into a big foam that has nothing worth keeping in your mouth any longer. Solid beer just because it’s a flemish sour, but just above average compared to other contenders in terms of palate. Spectacular beefy aroma on the other hand.

Rastacouere, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.43/5  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.

Gueuzedude, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of marburg
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife and I picked apples a few weeks ago, and being late in the season with so much rain, the apples were particularly good. Some of the varieties were so deep in color they were a regal burgandy that bordered on pushing into indigo. The apples knocked from the branches were turning this sickly shade of brown. And that's *exactly* the color of this beer -- a deeply muddied red.

Tart, chopped Michigan cherries and soggy sweet wood in the nose. Subtle hints of chocolate and an obvious sour-ish "brettanomyces" kick.

The flavors begin with a certain sweetness -- fruity, plum-like, and a bit thin up front. A drier sourness encompasses the mid-palate, which is efficiently swept away by a lasting finish driven by the flavor of chomped leaves and pine needles. Remarkably farmhouse-like in its narrowly focused bitterness.

A well-rounded, all-encompassing Flemish ale. While in a natural sort of spirit, it's a far cry from the lactic nature of even Rodenbach Grand Cru and an even further stretch to compare this to its sweetened cousins from other brewers. The more restrained acidity is a bit disappointing to me personally, but this is an intriguing beer that's well worth wading through -- it really grew on me through the end of the bottle. I've got a few more bottles, so we'll see what I think of it over time. But for now, chalk this up as a fun, somewhat unconventional success.

marburg, Nov 19, 2004
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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 295 ratings.