Zwet.Be | Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen

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Brewed by:
Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A porter brewed with lambic yeast.

Added by jrallen34 on 11-29-2010

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 523
Photo of amphion1065
2.24/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The best choice to finish off a night of drinking at Lord Hobo on the eve of the Belgian Beer Fest? No, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try it on-tap. 12 oz. pour into a Fantôme tulip.

I'll say this much: it's a very good-looking beer. The body is black, with a modest, half-finger light brown head. The lacing is stunning, leaving webby trails all around my glass. That cascading lace stuck around for quite some time (and I did indeed need some time to finish this).

Quite a bit of charred, roasted malt in the smell. I expected to pick up a lot of funk, but it's very faint. Instead, those bitter, ground coffee flavors really predominate. Some chocolate, some sweetness, but that burnt character really sticks out.

Let's say were made by an American brewery. Within days (hours?) of its release, we'd see thread after thread questioning "Is infected?" The rumors would persist for months if not years, with a few knowledgeable BAs stepping in to ensure the rest of the community that "it's supposed to taste like that." Refunds would be demanded, and apologies would be extended. Though it might be unfair to drawn such a comparison, I'll be frank: the flavor combination just doesn't work for me. Tart cherries imbue this dark roasty porter with a sourness almost akin to spoiled milk. All of those earthy, vinous funky characteristics that I love in lambics (especially ones from 3F) are here, but they seem terribly out of place.

The mouthfeel is quite thin, which certainly adds to the "infected" character of this beer.

A very untraditional take on a very traditional style. I knew before ordering this that it would be a sour porter, but I still had a difficult time stomaching it. A rough go to say the least.

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Photo of dasenebler
2.7/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

33cl, best before 10/21/13.

Pours a rich, dark and opaque brown. The beige head is thick and creamy, with nice sheets of lacing.

Aroma is strange. Some roasty malts, but mainly metallic minerality and cardboard.

The flavor is better, but just doesn't do it for me. There's some nice roasted malt flavors -- light coffee, some molasses -- and a very tart acidity. The finish is dry and sour. Metallic character comes through. The mouthfeel is medium and well-carbonated.

I understand the concept of a sour, Brett-inoculated Porter, but I don't think it's a marriage that was ever meant to take place. Non-intentionally metallic and intentionally sour = bad combo.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

An English porter with Belgian yeast....mmkay

A dark brow pour, nothing fantastic, thin head a lacing

Aroma is sweet nuttiness and a bit of funk. A tad sour

Yeah, this isn't a good porter. It's a dark Belgian beer, but not at the same time. Sour, and not in the good way. The roasted characteristics do not blend well with the yeast.

Not a bad beer. Not a repeat either.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this rarity at Geers in Gent.

Full disclosure: I don't like sours and I never rate them. The vast majority of sours that I've had have either been nasty or disgusting. The others have been terrible. This one is listed as a porter, so why not. Read the review to get an idea of what the beer is like, but ignore the scores.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Brown pour makes a 1+ finger, medium, beige head with great retention. Black body with lots of carbonation for a porter. Head slowly fades to a good foam cap that remains the whole way down, leaving some good lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Hints of dark malts, but mostly stronger sour aromas. Some sour cherries and hints of oak in there as well, with slight hints of dark chocolate in there. That said, the sour tartness overrides any of the porter qualities really.

TASTE: Dark malts and a very present sour tartness. Some sour cherries and oak notes, with a good dose of funky yeast flavors. A touch of chocolate at the finish, but this is more about the sour tartness than anything. Mild, lingering aftertaste is sour, with just a hint of dark malt and chocolate so as to be able to call it a porter.

PALATE: Medium-thin body, lighter on the palate, with lots and lots of active carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes dry on the palate. Not really porter like, but not quite off-putting in itself either.

OVERALL: A porter in name only. For an infected porter, however, this one is actually alright. I enjoyed it much more than the other infected stouts I've had in the past year, such as infected Abyss, Sexual Chocolate, and Black Tot. To say that I enjoyed this would be going too far, but the mixed fermentation seems to have kept the sourness in control enough that I could certainly finish it without much issue. Not my style, but to be honest, it's done really well, and some people out there would probably love this.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown, nearly black, and capped with a wispy tan froth; some small streaks of lace cling to the glass.

S - I thought this beer tasted great and smelled okay, at first; I was getting some small roastiness and a bit of sweet dark fruity character. It was basically like a normal English infected Porter. Then it aired out. This shit smelled like a piss-ridden stairwell. I am seldom, if ever, this crude when it comes to reviews; in this case, it must be said.

T - The brew tastes good, it is lightly sweet and roasty. Some slight cocoa and coffee undertones are present, as well as a fruity yeast character. Good old school infected English Porter.

M - Thin and a bit overcarbonated. Works.

D - Everything about this beer is pretty good, except one (horrendous) aspect of the nose.

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Photo of Jow
3.22/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I can be short: not my cup of tea!

Sweetness + apples + stout is not a good match for me. It think it is a good try but the flavor could be blended more together.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Best by Nov 2017, opened Feb 2015.

A - Pretty nice looking beer! Deep ice coffee body with cherrywood highlights. Lose, dark khaki head has low retention and nice lace.

S - Sharp sour note, cherry Pepsi, grahm crackers, and medium roast coffee grinds.

T - Strong coffee backbone, touch of anise, flat root beer, and an odd artificial grape soda flavor.

M - Thin, slightly watery body.

O - Coffee forward with surprisingly little sourness / acidity in the flavor profile based on what comes through in the nose.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a stubby bottle into a Drie Fonteinen wine glass. Beer is black / dark brown, hazy at the corners, big tan head, heavily carbonated, decent retention.

Aroma is sweet, roasty, and funky with this almost metallic sense to it.

Beer is medium to light in body, roasty bitter at the end, thin up front fills out quickly. The midpalate is a chalky, funky, yeasty, metallic mildly offputting flavor that sort of burns and bothers me. Not a repeat but interesting none the less.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Zwanze day at West Lakeview Liquors.

A - Black beer, finger of off-white head. Faded to a partial cap, not a whole lot else going on.

S - Some chocolate, earth tones, interesting funk, caramel. It's different, with the funk and something fruity.

T - A bit of roast with some chocolate. Little smoke, slightly acidic. Some brett on the end.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - This was different, but nothing that I necessarily cared for. Had my pour, moved onto other things.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
3.39/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

11.2 stubby poured to snifter

Pours nearly black, one finger of tan head disappears quickly, leaves a little lacing

Aroma is faint roast, chocolate, toffee

Taste is an unusual blend of dark fruit, chocolate liqueur, earthy roast grain, molasses

Mouthfeel is on the thin side for the style

Overall, an interesting brew, but really not as wild as I expected. Not much tartness or funk

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with no light penetration. There's an inch of creamy tightly packed dense brown head. Moderate lacing. I smell tart wild yeast, and sweet dark malt. I'm tasting an odd blend of sweet dark malt and tart wild yeast that creates a frenzied clash. The mouth is warm and viscous.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Shy of black. Big khaki head. Thick collar. Nice wisps.

Smell - Dark chocolate. Some acidic notes. Hefty roasted malts. Slight acidic aroma. Brett, maybe?

Taste - Way more acidic here. Whoa. Grain and lemon acidity. Deep roast. Finishes roasty. Nice chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel - Lots of carbonation. Overcarbonated. Medium body.

Overall - Definitely not your ordinary Drie Fonteinen beer. Clean combination of sour and roast, though, which isn't a common attribute.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bryna for picking this up in Brussels. Served in a FoBAB taster pint.

A - Big dark tan foam that settles to a thick cap, leaving behind a few spots of lace. Very dark brown body with some transparent glints at the fringe.

S - A mix of chocolate malt, funk and light farm character, smoke, grain, some light acidity and tart cherries. Gets weirder as it warms up, and not in a good way.

T - Mostly dark chocolate, smoke, and some light sourness and acidity. Aftertaste is odd, and a bit off-putting after a while.

M - Zesty carbonation, roasty texture, medium-light body, and a dry tannic finish. Mildly astringent. Alcohol is well-hidden.

D - This started out alright, but got worse as time went out. I'm not certain this is a very successful experiment. I think I preferred Southampton Vic for similar approach to making an "infected" porter. I had no problem with 4-6oz of this, and it went down fairly quickly, but it's a very strange beer and definitely isn't for everyone.

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Photo of Eddiesbar
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Edgemont. Dark pour no head. A bitter and dark malted porter. The lambic is at the forefront from beginning to end. Notes of sour fruit, oak and vanilla top it off.

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Photo of nickd717
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Nick3, I think.

Dark brown pour with a one finger tan head.

The aroma is rather funky, typical for 3F although this is a stout. Some roast and slight metallic notes.

On the flavor, well, we’ve got a tart and funky stout here. Roasty with barnyard - not the best combo but oh well. Maybe some hoppiness, and tart fruits.

Mild acidity with medium body and higher carbonation. Interesting at least, but only decent.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Dark brown and nearly opaque. Forms a half-finger of tan head that fades quickly over average visible carbonation.

S: Acetic tart, a bit vinous, some toasted malts, and almost a savory tangy undertone. Interesting for sure.

T: Acetic tartness up front, ill-defined fruity character, and toasted malts for a beat. But then the flavors just fade away, ending a thin mineral water hardness and some residual tartness.

M: Obnoxiously thin body, carbonation sensation on the low side, and alcohol noticeable but doesn't detract.

O: Well, this smelled good. The flavors, though, were simple and bare - nothing offensive but not deep. But the mouthfeel was the biggest letdown - way too thin. Maybe not quite watery, but borderline. Not at all what I expect from a porter. It wasn't a drain pour or anything, but I won't be having another. Quite disappointing from this brewery.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Congregation Ale House in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a slightly murky dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, campfire, sour fruits, and some Brett funk. Taste is much the same with an interesting smoke, sour, and funky aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an odd beer that is pretty good but all over the place with its aromas and flavors.

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Photo of redsonja
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A; black, some head

S; wood like a flamish red sour ale

T; light woody taste a hint of sour in the background and some hopbitter

M; wood very light that stays in your mouth

O; strange beer a belgian red sour ale woodbarreld?? nice beer for the summer light chilled and the bqq

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Photo of Stevedore
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Medium-dark brown body, half finger white head, good retention, no lacing.

S- Roasted malt, a bit of caramel, coffee, mild musty earth. Not sour by any means, mildly tart.

F- Mildly tart funk, but for the most part it tastes like a malty porter. Roast malt, toasted biscuits, caramel, earth, toffee.

M- Medium-thinner bodied, nice depth, good carbonation. It's pretty much a mildly tart porter with a bit of funk.

O- Nothing special. Lots of better porters out there than this. The lambic yeast does add a bit of a twist, but not enough for it to differentiate itself.

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Photo of ccrida
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the Monk's Kettle (for a stupid $12/8 oz), Zwet.Be is a dark porter with a small tan skim leaving almost no lace.

Smell is a little fruity, somewhat sour, and just a touch of roast.

Taste is really pretty fruity, lots of the pineapple brett, and just a touch of the barnyard.

Mourhfeel is slick, medium bodied.

Drinkability is fine, taste wise. For a rare, expensive beer, one is enough.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Awful looking huge soap bubbles on head, scummy. Head thankfully fades to ok film.
Light nose, light roasts, chic malts, hint cherry.
Taste is cherry, plum, cross between Flanders red and light stout.
Quite well carbonated.
Not the best from the brewery must admit. Where is the funk? Tho maybe not too far from style.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a beer that is very different, a wild or sour porter, with all the funk of good lambic, but a dark malt base that shows some dried cherry in its pucker, as well as some strong earthy almost composting flavors and aromas. light brown in color, well, medium brown, but not as deep and dark as normal porter, without a ton of head, shorty lived rather, patchy and off white. it smells like dried red fruits and lambic, i don't get the darkness of the black malt until the flavor, and the finish at that. its dark and earthy, not a ton of bitterness from the roast, but subtle dark chocolate notes come in, which don't really jive all the way with the acid in the finish, but which brings out the best of the dried cherry flavor and a little of its sweetness. well carbonated and dry on the mouth, very light in feel for a porter. I'm not sure this beer is totally successful, but it is unique, so credit it for that. sort of lost in the middle, not quite a sour, not quite a dark ale, it gets caught out in no mans land a bit, but i like it anyway.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml 7,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a tulip wine glass.
BB 21/10/13

A wild porter??? I love wild ales and porters so in theory this should be awesome!

Appearance: Great looking beer: Very dark (almost black) body topped with a large tan brown head that lasts very well and leaves superb lace.

Smell: Hmmmm initially the nose is just downright weird! Sweet porter notes (chocolate, coffee and roasted malt) overlaid with tart fruit (apricot, lemon rind, citrus, almost rotten apples and some cherry) and funk (very earthy, some barnyard and a light herbal character).

Taste: As with the smell, pretty weird here. Initially pretty sweet with milk chocolate notes, but quickly turns funky. Lightly tart fruit (lemon and green apples), earthy barnyard, leather and a touch of sweat. The finish turns back to the porter characteristics with a lingering roasted coffee note. That said, there is a note in the finish that is very similar to the Drie Fonteinen Gueuze.

Mouthfeel: Initially well over carbonated, but settles down mid way through. The body is pretty light for the style.

Overall: This beer is far from bad; however it just doesn't work for me. Maybe some time in the bottle could help.

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Photo of ManforallSaisons
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a real mental wrestling match over this. Was too curious to wait and tasted it the very day purchased, at the brewery, fridged briefly to cellar temp. and served in a tulip. Poured coffee-like, not that leggy but mahogany dark, with a pinkie of densely packed,custard-colored head. Roasted coffee aromas, along wish toast, anise, cinnamon and maybe mint or some sweet herb, some cherry, a bit of yeast and cellar but not pronounced in any on those notes. I didn't have a strong mental image on what to expect, taste-wise, but my expectation was of a cidery-fruity sour attack with a swartbier sweetness coming through. It turned out more the reverse. I get a roasty, porter-like first impression with good sarsaparilla, vanilla, clove, pepper swirling around, and then some lactic sourness bleeds in, becoming more and more pronounced as it lingers, into a more sour and woody aftertaste. Mouthfeel was not a mouthful, a bit thin, soapy, just a gentle lap of carbonation to give it some presence. It's complex, odd, something to wrestle with before I decide whether to embrace it. I'm glad in have a second bottle for another taste, but not now.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Drie Fonteinen in September. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep, dark brown color with a good tan head and nice lacing. The nose brings faint roast and a bit of chocolate plus some nice sourness. Flavor falls along the same lines; pretty good blend of the two components. Medium body and a dry, slightly-sour finish. Pretty good brew.

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Zwet.Be from Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen
3.81 out of 5 based on 523 ratings.
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