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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Not Rated.
Zoetzuur Flemish AleZoetzuur Flemish Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

193 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 193
Hads: 328
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 29
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (98) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 193 | Hads: 328
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy pale reddish brown brew. A sizable tan head and a good amounts of lacing.

S - Intense sour cherries, a little malty, a flash of hops as well.

T - Sour cherries, a little malty, aftertaste is slightly bitter with a faint hidden medicinal flavor. Not a terribly intense medicinal flavor.

M - A bit foamy, seems thin, but there is a thickness, maybe from the foam only. Pretty refreshing.

D - It is a refreshing beverage. Strong for a Flanders red. I like the flavor and I love the smell. DEfinitely worth seeking out. This brewery has impressed me. I will definitely look for more beers from them. Although I do love Flanders red ales. (647 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared at tasting with Fly, Dewbrewer, Humulone_Red and others. Thanks guys!
Rich amber colored pour with a small beige head. Smell is lightly sour with cherry, mildish funky feet like aroma, and hints of cheese. Mild tartness and a subtle cheese like flavor in the finish, I thought. Very dry overall and with light sweetness. Went very well with the bleu cheese. Nice beer, and I'm starting to get more interested in the style. Thanks for sharing this one Alan! (463 characters)

Photo of watchnerd
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle.

While not in quite the same league as the Rodenbach Grand Cru, this comes in very close to the Rodenbach Classic.

But there are differences in style, for sure. While the Rodenbachs lean more towards berry-tasting, this baby leans strongly towards the apple end of the spectrum, with strong notes of hard cider, partially fermented green apples, and even a touch of apple vinegar. Also more sour, and less sweet, than the already tart Rodenbachs. But in a good way and very refreshing.

Impressive drinkability: I would never have guessed this is 7% from the taste. I could easily drink a bottle of this a week. (626 characters)

Photo of BBeerL
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the most complete Flanders Red Ales I have had the pleasure of trying. In my experience arfter a bottle of some red ales my mouth is left a sour puckering mess. Not with this guy. It has a full rich body( for a flanders) to go with the dry sour taste. I truely loved this beer. (284 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A mix of tea brown and ruby red with a few fingers of off white head.

S - Brettanomyces barnyard funk that is powerful enough to cover up the sour cherries in the background.

T - Tart cherry, barnyard funk with some woodiness.

M - Light to medium body with good carbonation.

D - The Brett starts heavy but then mellows somewhat. As much as I like brett it overpowers the tart chrry at times. (399 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (584 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Drinkability - just keep sipping away on that 750, man. No problems here. Good stuff - my only complaint is that the only way for me to get this is to have Liquid Solutions put it on a truck bound for me. This would be a hit with wine snobs, and very versatile with meals. (1,528 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of Risser09
4.67/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer shared by Hopdog? at Phatz' sour beer tasting

Appearance: This ale pours a hazy brown and gold color with a tan head and copious amounts of lacing. Very nice for this style.

Smell: I must say that these aromas were unique for a flanders red ale. I picked up sweet corn, cotton candy, bubble gum and old raspberries. Brett is also noticable with its distinct sour funkiness.

Taste: Begins tart wth an obvious sour cherry flavor and follows with a raspberry/malt middle. Plenty of sugar and spice and everything nice. The finish is a blend of coconut and oak in a long, drawn out profile.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated lightly, apparent alcohol brings on a burn. This beer was creamy for a flanders red.

Drinkability: I found this beer to be nice and spicy. It left me with a good impression of flavor, sourness and overall drinkability. It hit a lot of bases to become a versatile beer for me. I would seek this out and purchase it. (940 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am not sure if it was hopdog, egajdzis or weeare138 who brought the Zoetzuur; they arrived together. Regardless, *huge* thanks.
This is actually not the typical Flanders Red, I love it is a bit more sour, which I love even more. The Lambic like sour nature with the wild yeasts and funk is a dream.

Appearance: poured out a beautiful dark caramel color with some golden copper highlights on the edges. Fantastic white foam head and very heavy lacing painting the Walls of my glass.

Smell: Sour apple. Apple cider. Applecider vinegar acidity, intense Brettanomyces sour funk, lactic, and fruity. An aged woodiness carries berries and spice and dark vinous flavors in through the nose. Simply irresistibly enticing.

Taste: The sour black cheery pucker and the big Brett flavor dominate the taste though a sweet red fruit juice and adequate malt profile balance a little bit. The lactic acidity keeps my cheeks stinging perfectly. the puck lasts a long time and the vanilla and wood lemon and cheery hang in my mouth ridiculously long after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Very soft in the mouth with lively fine carbonation.

Drinkability: This one is not too sweet not too sour. It is a delicious easy drinking Red, for a sour fan. A bit unique, and a nice change of pace.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,301 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zoetzuur Flemish Ale is yet another outstanding creation from one of my favorite Belgian brewers. It's a near perfect melding of the Flanders red and wild ale styles that fans of each should love for its sheer inventiveness. Not to mention its lip smacking deliciousness. Extract the cork and let the sweet-sour mouth party begin! (2,541 characters)

Photo of dnichols
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured a 750 ml caged and corked bottle into a challis. The bottle label asserted that this was a “brew master’s reserve.”

A: It poured a bright strawberry red with a dark tan head of about half a finger. The head receded shortly after the pour resulting in a modest layer covering the beer and collaring the glass. There was a moderate lacing that followed the emptying of the glass.

S: When I popped the cork there was the distinct aroma of caramels and sweet roasted malts. As I began to sample the brew I picked up the aroma of sweet cherries, tart raspberries, and sour green apples.

T: Wow..the first sip was quite a surprise. I was not expecting the dominate taste of sweet and sour fruit. The fruity flavor is followed and complemented by a smoky earthy taste that adds character to the fruits. There is a tangy almost citrusy flavor toward the back end and this is the dominant aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with a zesty fruity sweetness. A citrus aftertaste that is both sour and sweet.

D: This is a good one and out brew that is entertaining, interesting, but too fruit heavy to drink more than one in a session.

Comment: I enjoyed the experience but doubt I will purchase this brew again. I enjoy the Flemish Ales but this one strained my opinion. (1,270 characters)

Photo of sablephish
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a recent session at Brouwers in Seattle, on my way to hop selection in Yakima . . .
I started with this bottle as a palate warmer upper (firing up the senses). I was extraordinarily impressed. I'd liken myself as to being a duchesse kind of guy, verses Rodenbach (both ends of the spectrum . . . sweet - - > sour. But this was perfectly in the middle, with extraordinary dark fruit notes in the aroma that were very sweet, and yet the good old brett flavour of sultry sourness in flavour. This was a wonderful pairing of aroma and flavour. Of course the mouthfeel was clean and crisp, a perfectly refreshing flemish red, no tnearly the mouthblasters that I'm used to.
A perfect paring with pears, dark blue cheese, and madjool dates, not all that particular order . . . if only brouwers would cater to my own selfish appetizing needs on the next run. (860 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours somewhere between an iced tea brown and ruby red, depending on width of glass and the angle. Very appealing. Nose is thick and dollop-like, reminding me of an old-fashioned root beer float in childhood.

Nose is an explosion of ripe fruits such as apricot, green apples, honeydew, and canteloupe. There's a hint of yeastiness or fresh bread in there too.

On the palate the body is noticeably thick and creamy, with flavours of mixed fruits that challenge you for identification. Sometimes grape, sometimes black cherry, sometimes apple. Interesting thing is that the nose suggests one set of fruits, but oddly enough on the palate another set of fruits make an appearance.

Very easy drinking with a soft, medium length finish.

This Flemish Ale is a pleasant surprise. (777 characters)

Photo of klewis
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light red with a big foamy head. Lots of sustaining foam leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of aromas in here - mostly cherry, but also oak, citrus and a touch of brett.

T: Not as harsh and tart as I expected on the first sip. In fact, the flavor is quite smooth. Much like the smell with a strong fruity character. Mild but prominent flavors of oak and wild yeast funk add some depth.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. A mild sourness lingers on the palate for a while.

D: Amazingly easy to drink while still maintaining style-approriate characteristics. The best flemish ale I've had yet. (636 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.49/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (909 characters)

Photo of jakon
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Pours a reddish hue with a nice pillow of a head. Smells funky with brettanomyces and sour fruit notes. Man, I can tell I'm in for a treat. The taste doesn't disappoint. Mildly sour, with an incredibly complex overall flavor profile. I can pick out cherries and granny smith apples. And the brett. The rest remains a mystery. It finishes clean and dry, and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. This is a well crafted brew that I could drink anytime or anywhere. I could session this, or have it as a dessert, or a nightcap, or even pair it with a whole host of foodstuffs. I just hope there are a few more of these on the shelf. (681 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter a cherry wood light brown with a plenty of white head and decent lacing. Aroma is sharp. There is some funk foretold by the nose, hints of lemon, and plenty of tart cherry. The taste is funky but not unbalanced. Apple and kriek like cherry come through. Mild sourness and tartness meld nicely with the carbonation to play upon the tongue. Somewhat dusty. Straightforward and not terribly complicated but very well done none the less. Guzzelable. (467 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,272 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Map Room in Chicago. Cloudy dark copper, with some red hues. White fluffy head disappears quickly, however it did leave behind some very nice lace.

Sour berry, leathery, earthy and horsey aroma. Pretty complex here.

Not overly sour, but tart. Lots of fruits and berries. A bit of grain following. Sweet, but well balanced. Not much bitterness, just a bit of earthy flavor at the end.

Light to medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. Very easy to drink, but still a bit complex. Nice. (514 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a cloudy light brown/red color ale with a super huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of oak with some tart note is pretty interesting with some great notes of Brett/funky yeast. Taste is dominated by great oak and tart notes with some sourness which is offset by the funky and barnyard like taste of the yeast. Lots of complexities can be found in this beer. Body was full with some limited filtration and some great carbonation. An interesting experience and something I would definitely like to try again. (561 characters)

Photo of brdc
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Larke corked bottle, bought at Coffee Grounds Eau Claire.
It is a dark golden brew with a nice reddish hue, and a foamy, sticky white head with a pinkish tinge.
The very nice aroma starts with framboise, cherries and berries, evolving into a yeast-like smell that although I cannot clearly identify, it usually suggests the sourness of the brew.
On the palate, it is refreshing, quite easy to drink, and it shows depth of flavor. Sweet berries, then sour and puckering, the more sweet fruitiness.
Great summer brew for someone that just loves flanders reds. (561 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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 (789 characters)

Photo of kajerm
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish-brown and cloudy with fine, brisk carbonation.

The aroma is a balance of Brett stuff-- mustiness, acetic acid, and apple cider. It's Brett-dominated, but more subtle than some Belgian farmhouse beers I've had, in that I can smell more than just vinegar in my glass.

The flavor is extremely cidery with a big snap of sourness on the finish, which is dry as hell. Alcohol is absolutely nowhere to be found. It's refreshing and nicely balanced.

The mouthfeel is briskly carbonated, crisp, and dry; super-drinkable (unless you hate sour beer.) (562 characters)

Photo of dbalsock
2.39/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a tan brown color with a good white head. Didn't look too active on the carbonation side of things, however.

Smell: Light chocolate taffy, vinegar, basement and the old rotting wood pile that was behing the house I grew up in. Interesting, but not good.

Taste: Raisins and vinegar come through heavily on this, which is more consistent with my experience of a flemish red ale, but again moldy basement was very present as well.

Mouthfeel: Sourish and puckering, but also a little too sharp in the back of the throat. Usually I like sour beers, but this had another sharp feeling too it that was too much for me.

Drinkability: I found this very hard to drink, but it wasn't a drain pour. Compared to any other flanders red, it's a little harder to suck down and doesn't quite match up. However, I would be willing to give this another go sometime in the future. (891 characters)

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