De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Spoon Whacker)
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Spoon Whacker)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Spoon Whacker)
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
4.1 | pDev: 12.2%
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Spoon Whacker)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Spoon Whacker)
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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 54 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour with some malt, honey, and blue cheese aromas. Taste is much the same with funky and cheesy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of Brett bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer some some pretty funky aromas and flavors.

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Photo of koopa
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottled aged for about a year and cracked open today.

Appearance: First pour is a transparent golden body with an attractive amber hue and a 1 finger white crown that shows a touch of rentention and good lace.

Smell: Wow the brett in this one is really developed and heightened along with other interesting fruity notes. Lightly sweet white grape skin juiciness.

Taste: Same as the nose. Really delicious stuff.

Mouthfeel: Fairly crisp body with a soft billowy crown addition and a medium body make for a nice mouthfeel. The carbonation is still good enough but I can tell its good that I cracked this bottle now rather than 1 more year down the road.

Drinkability: The 9% abv is the only thing holding this one back from a higher mark. The body is so crisp and the taste is so nice.

Drink em now!

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An enormous, white meringue head slowly descends to a rocky pillow, while depositing mounds of lace on a tulip glass. Carbonation is equally impressive, as viewed through a clear, orange-amber beer. Love the label art too.

The aroma develops from sweet vinegar to pungent apple cider and serious, fruity wild yeasts. There is a strong sense of earthiness and possibly caramel in the background, making this a truly interesting experience.

The tongue follows the nose with a significant addition of spice including pepper. The only drawback is a hint of feet.

Some metallic notes (in a nice way) accompany this full-bodied, dry ale with shockingly light carbonation. Perhaps the carbonation off-gassed entirely upon the pour.

This is a highly drinkable version of wild ale and I imagine would match a strong fish flavor.

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Photo of barknee
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gotta' love the label....ehemmm...uhhm..."Spoon Whacker" pours a brilliant light myrrh color with a fluffy whipped head. Luxurious nose of sweet barnyard funk; so natural and organic, it's obvious that mother nature was at work here. This beer is "so of the Earth", that it is apparent that there wasn't any manipulation used to create this masterpiece. The mouthfeel is slightly unctuous, crisp and highly delineated, with a lovely tartness which is supported by a barely perceptible sweetness. Flavors of Mediterranean citric fruits, light clover honey. and soft bittering hops, round out this beautifully made naturally fermented brew. Bravo!!

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.47/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 9.4 oz. bottle into a Delirium tulip.

Pours a hazy, peach blond hue into the glass. A hurricane-shaped swirl of tiny bubbles floats listlessly on top -- no doubt a byproduct of the laser etched glass bottom. Edge is adorned with a collar of bubbles; however, these are larger in size and leave behind some nice lacing. Sour, bready malts hit the nose first, but barnyard funk and musty woodenness are in hot pursuit. Hints of tart candy and floral spices lurk below the powerful, Brett-rich aroma.

Funky must dominates the flavor as well, but unlike the aroma, Spoon Whacker tastes a bit stale and seems to have some cardboard-like oxidation. A soft, floral bitteness comes in via some hops on the finish. Surprisingly, there's not much of an alcohol presence in the taste, but the warming stomach is evident of its presence. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, on the dryer side of things, and nicely carbonated. Sourness and funk give the tongue a nice work-out, but it wears on my tastebuds after a glass. Not an easy bomber to finish alone, as this beer definately took some getting used to (let it warm well past the 40-45F mark). I'm still not totally sold on Bretty brews, and this didn't hit it out of the park for me, especially given the steep ($10.99) price tag).

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Photo of Rudgers73
4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours crystal clear into my La Fin tulip. Nice golden color with mild carbonation rising. Great looking head, bright white and sticky with lacing. The aroma is earthy with tart fruit (apple peels, green grapes, cherries). Sticky sugar in the background as well. The taste is much more mild than I had expected. Well-rounded flavor with a completely unoffensive pale malt base. Sweet and tart fruit come out in the pallet as well as a light hopping. There is little-to-no brett funk in this. I was expecting something more sour and bitter, but this is still a pleasant surprise and a well rounded Belgian golden ale. I would call it a wild tripel.

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Photo of oelergud
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall massive 1 pint 9.4oz brown glass bottle, corked and caged. The label has a medivial scene of a spoon fight. Semitransparent straw golden body, off-white creamy buttes head with a rocky center. Great retention and beautiful lace.
Wild yeasty scent, spiced and sweet with honey and almond.
Sweet honey flavor with a nice kick of spice and spiked hops. The aftertaste is slightly alcoholic and highly hopped.
Medium body with some coating and a harsh and spiked feel.
Good drinkability, this is a interesting and unusual brew.


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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every time I open one from this series, it's a wild ride.

Spoon Whacker seems to be full of Brett in the nose, really a strong yeast smell too, that you might find in rising bread. Brett has a pineapple/melon character, with a good dose of spice as well. Dull pale orange, floaties on the second pour. Tons of lace, first pour had a two inch head.

Bready flavors, spicy with wild yeast, dry and funky aftertaste. Some bitterness in the middle from the aged hops. Mineral water, wet stone, stale bread, funky cheese. The underlying pale ale is sturdy with ample carbonation. Easy to sip, the bottle is gone in an hour. Yet another interesting variety in the Flemish Primitive series.

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Photo of morimech
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with a thick white head that lingers for the entire session. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Looks beautiful in the glass.

The Brett funk is evident from the first whiff. Typical barnyard/horse blanket aromas dominate over the fruit smells. If I concentrate on the smell I gan detect notes of green apple and a light spiciness. Alcohol is not detected.

The taste is also very funky. More funk but I do detect some sweetness from the malt with apple like fruit notes. Some alcohol is detected. Has a lingering musty aftertaste.

Medium body with low carbonation that does not get in the way of consumption. Very nice mouthfeel.

This beer is too funky for my tastes. I think the funkiest I ever tasted. If you are into that sort of thing then this beer might be right up your ally. It has a high ABV which limits consumtion. It is also somewhat expensive so it won't be a beer I will likely revisit.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, CA., price note recorded; May 2008.

Pours a slightly cloudy yellow-golden with a frothy-fluffy but not overpowering white head. And then for good measure, the head sticks around with style throughout the session, through several top-offs. Just beautiful.

Aroma is just wow- a nicely balanced Brett funk with all the beery goodness one can ask for. A decent malt note, hops, and funk balance. Doesn't get much better.

Flavor follows through- I'm really liking this one. All I can ask for from the style, really. A nice malt base, light and lemony, and a gentle (not overpowering) pepper and spice layer leave this one really enjoyable.

Nice and creamy mouthfeel, just a bit over-carbonated, but that is a quibble.

Easily my favorite of the style so far, probably because it is easy to get my arms around. This one is much more balanced than others in the style (although others may call this more simple or plain, I just like it better).

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Photo of ccrida
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my De Proef flute, Spoonwacker is a brilliant gold with lots of streamers and a massive meringue like head that leaves huge chunks of foam. Served at cellar temp, my 3rd of this whole series, which I'm really loving. This one's the second, released Fall 2004, 45 IBUS. The brilliant color, steady animation, epic head and sweet labels, wow - another perfect Belgian blonde from De Proef!

Smell was initially a fragrant wildflower and green apple, bubblegum, but quickly followed by the barnyard funk of a wild ale, mainly brett and candi, with plenty of grain as well. As it warms, the fruity Belgian esters take the fore, tasty if a bit medicinal. I held on to the synthetic cork for the rest of the night, which retained the fruitiest esters for hours.

Taste is pretty good, but the balance is more with the malts and sugars then the bugs, which makes the alcohol a bit more noticeable then the others, with some lingering, out of place fusels. These big blondes are less palatable when their under-attenuated. I still love the brett, which is very intense, with lots sour fruit, horsehair and wildflowers.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick and sugary, with a wine like finish, though creamy. A bit heavy for a Flemish Primitive, especially with the age. Going on 3.5 years old, I wonder how much more the bugs can chew through? Plenty of trub means I'm gonna have to wait awhile and find out!

Drinkability is very good for me, though I have a bias for wild BSPAs, particularly from De Proef. Still, it's my least favorite of the three of this series I've had so far, but still fantastic, even though it's more malt fwd and floral/fruity. An hr. later, that head's still chunky!

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright pale yellow with a thin white head and spotty lacing.

S - Pale malt, tart green apples and pears, bubblegum, horse blanket and barnyard funk that gets stronger as the beer warms

T - Slightly spicy with tart green apples and pears, a sweet candi sugar middle that lingers with just a touch of the barnyard funk in the finish. The funk is much more subtle in flavor than aroma.

M - On the light side with medium carbonation, a slight alcohol warming and a dry finish. Not as carbonated as the Demon Fish I tried.

D - Another winner in the Primitive series. I can't wait to try the others.

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Photo of wedge
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed golden color with a few dark bits of yeast floating around. A large, lumpy white head forms on top dropping to a blanket of soapy bubbles, leaving behind light rings of lace. There's a good bit of funkiness central to the aroma...pale malt base and an Orval-like, perfumy floral character. Pale dried fruits, powdered sugar, even some butterscotch can be stirred up. I cannot stop smelling this beer. The flavor starts with a pale, dry fruitiness reminiscent of melons. Some sourness mingles with grain, though less funky than the smell. Hints of lemon-tinged sugar cookies. Smooth medium body - very easy to drink considering the 9% abv. There's loads of yeast all over this beer. A very nice, happy, warm weather beer - funky.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance brings mainly cloudy orange gold, with a few olive hued-wood like tones, topped by a giant dense finely foamy white head. Once the head dies down there's a steady 1/4 inch of fluff remaining with some straggly lace stuck behind. Smell is pretty vast to say the least. I smell lemony roses, heavily fragrant flowers, farm aromas and orchards combined. Apples, pears, passionfruit, cranberry, or basically the countryside covered in fruit and flowers as sprnig turns to summer. Sweet homemade biscuits, doughy bread, all sorts of yeasty esters, syrupy lemon, and fresh sugar cookies all come to mind. Very aromatically sniffable. Taste is sweet, fruity and ultra flowery also. A crazy fresh combination of pleasant late spring flavors. Everything intermingles very smoothly in a crazy extensive way. Texture is smooth, creamy, soft, and coating. Very pleasant to consume in every way.

This is one of those beers that paints an image in my mind of a big field packed with tall grass, and everything that's alive is happy, flowering and/or jumping around. Can't complain about that.

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Photo of taez555
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this at The Publick House Brookline.

This beer poured a bright clear yellow body with little to no head, but what there was fine and white. Nearer the end of the bottle I added the yeast and it gave it a nice hazy yellow color.

Nose was simply amazing. Pure horse blanket, as if you just walked into a barn and took a huge whiff. Horse shit, fine aged farmhouse blue cheese type stink. Reminded me almost of some fine ciders. Not for everyone, but if you're a fan of the wild ale style, this is near perfection.

Taste was a little more subdued. A nice light to medium body(very surprising for how big it is). Some more farmhouse shit type tastes, but mostly a nice clean wheat and soft malt flavor. Very reministant of a berlinerwies or real high quality cider actually. Finished with a clean mild horse blanket finish that didn't linger too long.

Wow!!! I'm not a crazy wild ale fan, but this is outstanding. The smell alone is almost all I needed. A great beer I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a large tulip glass. After popping the synthetic cork, the beer pours a dark golden orange color with a large white head. The aroma is complex and extremely enticing. The aroma possesses some malt, citrusy fruits, spices and yeast. The taste is malty with some spices dancing on the tongue along with a quick bite of earthy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is light but sharp and prickly from the high amounts of carbonation. Overall, this is another really nice brew from this brewery that is recommended.

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Photo of crwills
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Final beer of a huge tasting. Thanks everyone for bringing such fantastic stuff!

If I had known this one was called "Spoon Whacker" I might have paid more attention. As it is, I enjoyed it, but didn't get a lot out of it (at least, according to my notes). Tart, if mild aroma, and only mildly sour flavour. One thing that stood out to me was that the flavour had pineapple juice elements in it, which is something I have never tasted before in a beer.

Other than that, we'll let the numbers speak for themselves.

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Photo of Derek
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not very wild, but there's certainly a little more funk than you'd find in a typical strong pale ale.

A: Very hazy, dirty straw colour, off-white head, some retention and lace.

S: Cidery, earthy, mild barnyard funk, slightly catty.

T: Cidery, grassy straw, slightly earthy, vanilla, light tartness.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, well-attenuated, slightly dry finish.

D: Quite drinkable for a Flemish style (though certainly not as drinkable as some strong pale ales).

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the wild ales, and less wild than the others although the aroma is of gym socks, this is quite tasty orange and some tartness. Unique and quite quaffable. Some sugar and yeast and mellowing in the basement all adds to a smooth ride. Translucent colour.

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Photo of albern
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptionally complex, interesting, and tasty Belgian. It pours a cloudy deep yellow, almost orange. There is an abundance of head with this beer, wonderful retention, and copious lacing. The smell? Now this is peculiar and several of the reviewers have commented and explained its chemical properties. I like the barnyard, horse blanket description the best, and I'm sticking to it. It is a genuinely peculiar smell but one which matches a peculiar and unique beer. Who would have expected anything less. Beware, it may take some getting used to. On to the taste ... this beer is incredibly complex. You will get a hefty does of sweet yeasts, citrus, coriander, apple, and some lemon. The middle will introduce some snappy yeast flavors and a touch of soury sharpness. It is the middle of the beer which provides the punch and the weight of this beer. It is medium bodied, well carbonated, spritzy, and refreshing. The middle is what makes this beer more than just a tangy wine cooler like Belgian. The mouth feel is slightly creamy and you will get that tangy yeastiness all over your palate. The aftertaste is mild. The alcohol content is incredibly well masked over. You wouldn't know this is a 9 ABV and this is a huge positive. Often, the beers that mask the high ABV in the front and middle, have a cloying warming note on the back end. Not so for this beer. The 9 ABV is hidden throughout. This is an excellent beer well worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

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Photo of joe1510
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sam's Downers Grove

Spoonwhacker is from De Proef's Flemish Primitive Wild Ale Series. Pours golden with massive streams of carbonation rushing to the surface helping keep the head in place. A two fingercreamy white head formed on the pour and leaves sheet lacing down the glass as the beer disappears. Really a good looking brew.

This beer has some great funk to it. I'll star out easy with the pale malts floating through in the background along with a spicy hitof booze. Then comes the funk. Wet oak and a field full of wildflowers that choke me up. There's a touch of candi sugar like sweetness in there as well. Every now and then I even pulll out tart green apples and bubblegum. An ever evolving wild ale.

Not as much of the wildflower/field like funkiness in the flavor. Starts off a bit musty and moves quickly into a candi sugar sweetness and tart green apples. Mid-palate brings a quick flash of spicy alcohol and some of that funkiness comes on the backend. The swallow brings notes of hay, dandelions and mild hints of musty wood. Complex flavorful ale.

Body is on the lighter side of medium (at this point I'm pretty sure candi sugar was used in the brewing process). Hefty carbonation leads to a creamy feel on the swallow and an airiness up front. Tickles the tongue and finishes slightly dry.

After every sip I find myself immediately wanting to take another. I have to slow myself down. The light body and dry finish eaves you wanting more.

My first wild ale from De Proef and if this is a sign of the quality of this series I'm not going to hesitate picking up the others whenever I see them.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.54/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09/18/07- Purchased at Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and snythetic corked. No freshness info on cork or bottle. Poured into my Duchesse goblet.

Appearance- Golden-orange hued with a 1/2 inch semi-creamy white head. Settles at a light rim and leaves whisps of lace.

Smell- The true scent of barnyard if I ever smelled one. Dirty horse blanket, horse urine, scents of hot tubs in the gym in need of a cleaning. Just a nice rank scent. If my food smelled like this I would vomit, but since this it damn true to style, you can't fault it.

Taste- Very yeast oriented as more of these beers from the series are. Heavy pear fruit flavor. Some white pepper and some sugary goodness. A touch of hops in the mix. Overall a really good mixture of flavor melds.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level with a light citrus hop aftertaste.

Drinkability- One of the best from this series I have had. Really good in every category. Tasty, refreshing and just an overall good beer.

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Photo of mortarit
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To be honest I was really hesitating to buy this one because of the name. I did not like the Flemish style I tried before but I wanted to give the style another try. Come to notice that this isn't a Flemish but a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

I popped it open, oh , oh the smell, I couldn't wait to taste something that smells so good. Very sweet smell. Reminds me being at a carnival smelling the foods of heavy popcorn and syrupy sweets.

Has a lite golden, clear, crisp look

I notice that the bubbles were tiny and followed in a row or straight line. It seem more simple and define has for other beers. Traffic is congested.

Aftertaste has the wild unknown feeling.

Definitely wild and different.

A must for ale drinkers to experience something off the beaten path.
Good call!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, bought at the Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA, with a cool Flemish Renaissance painting on the cover. I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time, but was put off by the price, but since I love the sour, funky stuff, here goes nothing,

A: Pours a vibrant, golden yellow, with a hint of orange and tangerine, with a thick, white Belgian bottle-conditioned head, which retreats to a white film, which lasts for the whole glass.

S: Very interesting, first you are hit with a funky toasted malt aroma, which gives way to a sour apple and estery smell, which becomes more evident as the beer warms.

T: Not as sour as I would have thought, I was sort of comparing it to the Russian River stuff that I have had, but it is still very good. First, that musty barnyard, toasted malt hits you, then comes the funk, a light sourness, balanced with some apple and pear esters, horse blankets, and some light grassiness, the extent of the hops' effect in this beer, it tastes like a cross between a dry lambic and Duvel, if that helps, very complex.

M: Mildly acidic, smooth and funky, a tad on thin side, but that is a minor flaw, and does not really take away from the enjoyment of ths beer. It has an earthy dryness to it, not unlike Orval.

D: A very interesting and unique beer, well worth the money, a great look at historical Belgian and Flemish ales.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light golden color with darker highlights, hazy with a lot of carbonated risers. Great head, retains wells, leaves a marginal cap, but great lacing more than makes up for it.

Aroma is powerfully from the barnyard, this is horse blanket if anything is. Big time Brettanomyces, sharp and tart, with more characteristic BSPA aromas of ripe lighter fruit.

The flavor is a little too musty to be terrific. There is only light malt profiling, slightly toasted, with just enough sweet to be balanced. Lighter fruit also prevalant, some spicing as well. But the overall flavor is old farmhouse, a little too musty in the finish for my preference. Funk and phenols are good, but the mouthfeel is slightly disappointing, and the wild yeasts are just a little too earthy to be quaffably enjoying.

Outstanding, complex, and above all unique wild brew. BSPA is too restrictive for this kind of brewing to compete head to head. Enjoyable, but a little off in the flavor. Look into the other De Proef beers if you're into this sort of thing.

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Spoon Whacker) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 54 ratings