1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

308 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 308
Reviews: 192
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 27
Gots: 21 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: marburg on 11-15-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 308 | Reviews: 192 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of jakon
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Photo of brdc
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of russpowell
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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

Photo of kajerm
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.)

Photo of dbalsock
2.4/5  rDev -38.6%
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.

Photo of DogFood11
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly a sight to see. Corked and cage 750ml bottle poured into a tulip. It forms a meaty off white head that leaves a pretty good cover. Body is a light copper with reddish hue around the edges. Swirling fine carbonation.

Not as tart as some and leans more towards a sweet and sour type brew. The tart portion is up front and eventually gives way to a maltier sweet side. Purple grape skins and a touch of funk round this out. Not alot of oak comes through to me but the aging seems to have mellowed out the usual pucker up type tartness. A jolly rancher type sweet finish.

Notes: I liked this quite a bit. Far from the in your face versions. Maybe even a nice introductory offering. Kept my interest all the way through. Good.

Photo of shbobdb
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

After experiencing some members of the Flemish Primitive series, I was expecting this beer to be funky-as-hell.

Raised expectations caused the French Revolution.

I guess my problem is that when I think 'Flanders Red' I think of Rodenbach Grand Cru and La Folie -- two incredibly acidic, nail-polish remover-like beers as opposed to the softer offerings such as Monk Cafe and Duchess. This beer definately belongs to the latter catagory.

Why is that bad? Well, the Flanders Red is supposed to be a very quaffable, thirst-quenching style but this beer sits in an awkward sweet-sour area. There is enough malt flavour present to be sweet and not enough acid to create a crisp, clean finish. So, instead you get a wishy-washy undecided ending to the beer that lingers and lingers.

Neither the malt nor the acid managed to really find a quorum and instead the beer sits in an strange limbo between the two. Perhaps if some hops were included to help balance out the fight, or if one side were simply allowed to 'win' that would be OK.

I like sour beers, I like sweet beers . . . but this half-and-half isn't to my liking.

To make matters worse, the mouthfeel is strangely cloying, so I can't really even say this beer is an easy drinker.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really aromatic with some pronounced wood. This beer is definitely a Red with a pronounced sourness to it. There is a really defined Brett character to this one like a lot of homebrews have. The flavor is exquisite with its sweet and sour, cherry and berry medley with a little dryness in the flavor to linger for some time in the finish. There is a little bit of alcohol noticeable late in the finish, but it is quite deceptive at 7%. As the beer warms a little, you get a good bit of citrus coming out. This is a nice beer, and one that I would definitely like to drink again.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of quasimoto
3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of silenius
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of AlexJ
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of sloejams
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of Crosling
2.45/5  rDev -37.3%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
4.58/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of dogfooddog
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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!

Photo of Ego
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
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).

Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.