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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pig Nun) | De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pig Nun)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pig Nun)
83 Ratings
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pig Nun)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pig Nun)

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 11-12-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 |  Reviews: 73
Reviews by Avryle:
Photo of Avryle
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've admired the label art on these bottles, but this is the first I've actually tried.

A- Pours a pale yellow-orange. Big fizzy white head. Looks like sparking apple juice

S- Smells like fermented apple juice (but not like cider) along with wild flowers and wet, moldy hay. A lot of fruity esters coming through - peach, pear, pineapple & apricot.

T- Very juice-like. Like over ripe peach/pear/pineapple/apricot/ apple juice. Finishes with a wildflower-yeasty taste.

M- Thin bodied. Finishes dry. Active carbonation

D- The fruitiness of this brew makes it deceptively drinkable. beware the 9%.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer starts with a fight to get the cork out as the carbonation offers no help. The body is a golden-orange clear with a big snowy white head after a rigorous pour. The carbonation seems to come alive with microbubbles as the beer warms. The head last for a good while and slides down the glass with each sip.

S- This beer has a musty hog farm smell with a Limburger cheese rind quality to it and a sweet fruit quality that increase as the beer warms. There is a nice raw grain silage aroma in the finish. All these flavors are actually quite pleasant and work well together. There is a nice white Balsamic vinegar note that comes through as the beer warms as well.

T- The taste starts with a mellow tartness that leads into a wet woody flavor and a faint cola nut hint. There is some Limburger cheese notes that finish with a faint fruity sweet green flavor. Some interesting pear and corn hints linger with a tartness.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a dry finish. There is an increased white wine alcohol heat that comes through as the beer warms.

D- This is a wild ale with some very bold and interesting flavors that I have not come across in other beers. The flavors are bold but work well together. I don't know if age would change it more but it is great to drink now.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.16/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Holy freakin' shit man.

When you were at your grandfather's funeral, did you lick his face? Did you try and make out with your grandmother's dead body -- or any dead body for that matter?

If you did, the taste of this beer is all too familiar.

But let's start from the beginning . . .

This beer pours with a head that other beers *wished* they had. It's like a cloud about to go nimbus -- it starts out white and grows and grows. The oils from my moustache, which can ruin many-a-head leave this beer with a billowy cloud that most beers wish they had.

But then you smell it.

It smells like dead people.

It tastes like a waxy corpse.


As a microbiologist, I wanted to like this beer. 'Fridge-cold, it started out at a managable level of 'funky-as-hell' but as it warmed . . . damn. Couldn't manage it.

But here's the cool part -- this is the base beer in a series. This is ground zero. From here on, they add IBUs and they add IBUs to balance out the corpse-taste.

I'm pretty pumped to see how it goes from here.

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3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cork appears to be a stolen rubber part from the bottom of of a crutch, so somewhere in Belgium there's a man with a broken leg going in circles.
Smells of wheat germ, hay stacks, sunflowers, Kix cereal, and old ladies. What am I getting myself in to?

Golden straw in color with a tame head and a continually all points upwards effervescent cascade of carbonation.

The flavor is all over the place. It could be the famous elixir of our friend Zaphod Beeblebrox. Or remnants of a blind man's homemade supper. I'll take a poke at describing the taste, but I'll be wrong, and I probably won't even agree with myself.
Marshy funky wet fungus bread banana peel chamomile rosemary lemongrass mango peel super glue bandaids and rusty spoons. Speaking of rusty spoons, this ale is about as strange, unnerving and trippy as Salad Fingers himself. It has its own eshale flavor, unknown during the drinking act itself, which I describe as a single, stale Melba Crisp. Trying to take a big pull and avoid the rushing train of obscured creepy masked faces works for a start, but rewards you with a dry, caustic, back-tongue grimace. So there's no getting away from it, you've got to wrestle your way through this one. Soldier on, as they say.
Mouthfeel: Light, brisk and bubbly gives way to thick and salivated as the temperature progresses.
As for the warming flavor, it's still just as random, searching a pitch dark room of no familiarity for a light switch. I do wonder by what means the natural, wild yeast fermentation is imparted to this beer. Likewise, I wonder about the odd head buzz I'm getting only halfway through the bottle.
Like any Pavement album, this is better on the 2nd listen. Glass 2, while inexplicable as the first, I would call blissful. Maybe my buds needed some exposure to learn what to make of it. Now as for the head buzz...yeah, about that..that guy with the broken leg's got it rough.

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Photo of StoutHearted
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden amber color with noticeable carbonation along with a small amount of head and lingering lace. It had a light, funky smell that was a little horsey. Taste was somewhat bready with a little hint of nuts and seeds. There was a little bitterness, which did not linger in the mouth. Drinkability is not bad, but this beer isn't cut out for sipping.

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Photo of merlin48
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My third De Proef Flemish Wild Ale. These can only be identified by the different label art that depict different Bosch paintings. Cool idea. This one has a pig dressed in a Nun's habit on the right side of the label art. Thus, "Pig Nun". Corked and caged, the body pours into a chalice a blazing, radiant, burnished gold body. One inch, bonewhite head has great retention and leaves patchy and chain lace in its wake.

Aroma is delightfully complex, with a fruity pineapple and banana opening that is quickly eclipsed by an assertive hops profile that is grassy, floral, and herbal. Wild yeasties are in check, with subdued earthy herbs and wild flowers leading a dominant hops character.

Mouthfeel is effervescent and medium bodied, with a hoppy bite on the tongue.

Taste is exceedingly complex, but not as wild as the Spoon Whacker and Surly Bird. Bitter herbal hops rule, with a nice component of Saison like pasture herbs, spices, and earthiness. Fruity pineapple and mango play a major role, but seem to get a rude slap in the face by the bitter hops each time they emerge. Musty, dank yeastiness is present, but more muted than in its counterparts, making this the most accessible of the De Proef Wild Flemish Ales. No gravel licking or twig chewing in this one. Spiciness is restrained, as well, with some hints of pepper and coriander. Nicely clean herbal finish with a predominant dryness.

Man, this one is supremely drinkable. Tamer than the Surly Bird and Spoon Whacker, but still has enough wild character to engage the most sensitive palate. I enjoyed the Saison like, dry and citrusy character. Can't wait to get my hands on the next incarnation from De Proef.

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Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, no freshness or vintage dating. Pours light amber with very active carbonation, resulting in a huge gassy head, slowly receeding and leaving a center cone of fluff for awhile, gobs of lace, of course, wild bubbles rising to the top and a Brett induced sour and lemony nose, yummy and good looking suds so far. Flavorful, Belgian stunner, Brett yeasty goodness, barnyard funkyness, pepper, melon, lemon/lime, smoky-- yeeha, this is complex, tasty Belgian to the core! Belgian lovers rejoice, and go get some.

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Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jakester
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet, and it's a good thing I did.
By the way, I'd like to meet the person who does these De Proef labels. They are all bizarre, including this one. That ain't tobacky he's smokin!

Pours, with great care, a hazy gold/amber with an absolutely HUGE rocky head of white foam and bubbles. Carbonation is highly effervescent. The head "falls" to a 1/2 finger coating, leaving fantastic, thick lacing all over the glass. This beer tried to jump out of the glass when I poured it, but I wouldn't let it.

Aroma is wonderful, fruity as hell, with notes of pears, apples, figs (like a Fig Newton), yeast, and spices like cloves, pepper, vanilla, and some light caramel late. No real hop smell detected. This is going to be good!

First flavor is, well, it's hard to describe. Actually, the first flavor is light malt, but there's so much other stuff going on in there, it's tricky to taste. Next comes fruits like apples, pears, and figs, and spices like pepper and cloves and vanilla. Hop bitterness is here, but well muted, as it should be. It's medium sweet, with a slight sourness also. The sourness enters late and intensifies during the sip. This is so yummy! Aftertaste is sour, sweet, yeasty, fruity, and spicy. Really!

Mouthfeel is full bodied and highly effervescent. It then dries out a little, and becomes sour, but not overly so. Finish is a very long tartness, with the lips sticking together slightly from sugar. Great burps!

After trying this one from De Proef, I want to try them all. This Flemish Primitive stuff is so complex and tasty and pretty and smelly, how can I not want more? Highly recommended.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer has been showing up more and more in my area (southern VA/northern NC). The label is an immediate eye-catcher, taken from the work of artist Hieronymus Bosch. Somewhat pricey, but for 1Pint 9.4oz. of excellence, I'll gladly pay for this one again and again.

A good pour gives a foamy, well-retained head. The head keeps even when the glass is near empty. Nice dirty-golden appearance, constant bubbles (but not too many). Distinct aroma of sour cherry, with a pungent undertone that's hard to pin down.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, could be a bit chewier, it's a little thin for the ale's otherwise bold characteristics. And my favorite part: the flavor! Slightly citrus-y, with hints of mustard. Robust yeast character, and I feel the yeast contributes the most to this unique flavor, while the malts and hops kick back and let the perfectly wonderful oddness of this one ride. A strong, funky pungency reminds slightly of Orval, but that's just a distant reference point, as Flemish Primitive is like no other. The funk adds a very distinct flavor element that is super-enjoyable, and a bit mysterious. Truly a top-notch beer, one of the Top 10 Belgians by my tastebuds' estimation.

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Photo of Sammy
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A plexiglass white colour with creaminess throughout. Nice carbonation throughout. Skunky and socks aroma for sure, but smooth and interesting. How about a Wild Ale group? Sugar offsets the citric orange and lemon tartness, a change of pace. Full mouthfeel of yeast.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fairly straight-forward Belgian golden ale, this is probably the most mainstream of the Flemish Primative beers. It's mostly clear (but still slightly hazy) with pumes of standard-sized effervescent bubbles rising quickly through its golden body. The head is a huge dollop of creamy white froth that seems to just sit atop the beer forever. Once it drops however, it leaves some very nice craggy rings of lace about the glass. The nose delivers a mild dose of restrained Brettanomyces, some very nice fruit (berries, orange, cherry), and a hint of sweet malt; all of which carry over into the flavor in the same order of appearance. A softer, more fruity, and Brettanomyces-enhanced Duvel is what comes to my mind at first sip. Yet it lacks the superior balance of the aforementioned... not that it's subdued but ever-present bitterness doesn't do the job... it's just that it's a softer beer overall. It's carbonation is gently restrained and its medium body is soft and silky-smooth across the palate. Not unlike their other beers, the alcohol is very well hidden, but can be found with a bit of looking. Still, it has great drinkability. Kudos!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Pours a cmurky orangish brown coor wtih a nice creamy off-white head. The aroma is sour and funky with a good dose of Belgian funkiness, spices, yeast and some horseblanket and barnyard notes. The taste is a lot of spices and yeast, with some barnyard flavors and a lot of earthy hops in the finish. Overall, Pig Nun is another solid brew in the Flemish Primitive Wild Ale series. Each brew is essentially very similar within the series, but each has it's own unique character.

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Photo of tempest
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared a bottle out of a case from Shangy's

Really?! This is 9 percent? It was so smooth and delicate, I'd assumed it was a mere 5% or something in that neighborhood. This seems to straddle the line between Flemish Red and Belgian Blonde. The aroma especially is incredibly funky and reminiscent of Rodenbach. The Primitive Ale, however, has much lighter flavors than traditional sour beers. The complex wet-hay, horse-blanket, barnyard flavors are still there, but they don't smack your palate and actually finishes in a nice balance with the malt. And that's another thing - you can actually taste the malt for is subtle biscuit and bready flavors - delicious.

So yes, I'm a fan. This beer is a sipper for all the crazy flavors, but it's still incredibly drinkable. A must-try for anyone that digs funky Belgians.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.44/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear golden blonde, but with tiny little freckles that danced in suspended animation, crowned with very nice head that seemed to have two layers of head; large, soapy bubbles were trapped underneath a thick dense foam on top.

Smell: Funky yeast action happening here...Red lollipops dipped in wet hay, with a medicinal overtone that see-saws between enjoyable, brett-y funk and band aid nastyness.

Taste: Herbal (eucalyptus with a touch of mint) and pharmaceutical, it's like a pharmacist and a new-age zen healer fighting in my mouth! It's quite dry with some funk in the trunk, but without that old moldy basement "feel" or tartness that would probably put this over the top for me. None of the fruityness from the aroma came through in the taste. This is a weird one to be sure, I'll have to file this one in the interesting, but not something I'd drive 6 hours to get more of category.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really can't identify with some of the negative reviews here, I enjoyed this incarnation of the Flemish Primitive wild ale series...

Poured a high-clarity amber tone, with a decent amount of white froth. Fairly sudsy, not tightly packed, with some lacing.

Aroma is very unique, hard to describe at first, but it becomes quickly familiar. Wet stone, a field of hay after it rains, slightly musty, yet round and sweet. Vaguely fruity and earthy, like rhubarb.

Starts out familiar enough, like a Belgian Strong Pale, then moves into wilder territory, Timothy Treadwell style. Very lively and bubbly at first, it carries a strong but understated carbonation. Aftertaste has a distinct taste, tangy like swiss cheese. Super dry with a dose of pepper.

Really a lovely wild ale. After this series, I hope they isolate their favorite Brett strain, and continue producing it...

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750ml bottle to a tulip glass.

I usually don't like many wild ales. Not my favorite style. This was a good one and I plan on trying a few more of these in the future.

Poured a very light color. Almost yellow in color like a light lager but very cloudy with quite a bit of yeast on the bottom. This did not leave the best mouth feel. A bit to muck sediment and yeast. Very funky oder. Not to pleasant at first but as I sipped beer it became less obtrusive. Great taste.
Sour and sweet. Bitter but yet not overpowering. Great change in flavor as it warmed slightly in the glass. The alcohol was strong at first and mellowed out quite nicely toward the end.

For a stronger beer this was quite drinkable and overall quite tasty. I see why people like these wild ales.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle that cost $8.99 in SoCal in the summer of 2005. Poured into a Duvel glass, and by look, I have a hard time differentiating it. A little darker honey blonde golden, slightly hazy, with a big pillowy white head that drops a little more quickly than expected. Lots of sticky lace on the side of the glass.

The aroma of this beer shows a lot going on. Not very sweet, organic yeastiness, musty, but also some sweet orange juice, no hops.

Flavor is very complex too, hard to tell what all is going on. Definite sourness (but not overwhelming as in a lambic or strong as in a flemish red) hidden under tart fruits, and an alcohol heat moderately evident at the finish. Black pepper, interesting spiciness (I'm not good at picking spices out, but they are there in boatloads). Bitterness (hops) flavors are low to non-existant, but the sourness makes up for it. Gets sweeter as the glass gets emptier (must be a magic trick). As with many beers of this style, it gets better as is warms and airs out.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, quite pleasant except for the alcohol burn on the back of the throat. Because of this, drinkability is also lower than others.

Overall, I like this, and am interested in trying the others of the family (as an aside, I love the Bosch label- his original paintings are incredible if you ever get a chance to see them, much better than reproductions). However, having said so, I would have to categorize this as really good, but not something that knocked my socks off.

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Photo of lou91
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking this beer was excellent from beginning to end. Cool packaging, excellent chunky noisy head and wonderful wild yeast funkiness. The capper is the taste. Rich layer upon layer of flavors – honey, citrus, wild yeast funkiness all in a refreshing easily drinkable package. Warming just magnifies all the good aspects. I liked the spoon whacker more but I did not take notes so I’m not sure why.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich golden amber with a nice amount of hazziness to it. An enormous head of white foam lifted up to a height of around three inches before settling down to a full inch of white and sticky foam that clung to the glass

The aroma was very solid. Nice light fruit notes, with a very well hidden Brett profile. Light grains and a touch of a fresh grass like hoppiness sneaking in as it warmed up. Light and delicate flavor with a crispness that was very nice. Clean with little in the way of funk showing up here. Light grains and some peach and pear/apple notes that were followed up nicely with the slightest amount of sour flavor, just enough to let you know it was there. Smooth and mellow with a light feel that was well carbonated and easy to drink.

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Photo of Lupin
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cellared for 6 months or so. Poured from a 750ml w/ rubber cork and cap. Poured into a celebrator glass.

Mostly clear with some tiny yeasty bits in suspension, a nice straw yellow. Head is minor, doesn't retain well. Smell is open, grassy/floral with stinky brett/armpit overtones.

Taste is funky and in accordance with the smell. Very sugary, very tart. Complex, with acetic fruits up front. Lots of sour apple and pear. Finish is a little nondescript.

I like this beer, I really do. I recently had a fresh bottle of ommegeddon and a cellared bottle from September. This was a lot closer to the un-aged bottle, which I liked a lot more than the one that had been given time to mature. It's sour, but well-balanced.

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Photo of techdiver
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber gold with subtantial head that dissipates slowly leaving moderate lacing.

Sour fruit, cherry and apple, to the nose.

Taste is, well, nothing like the aroma would lead one to expect. A pleasant beginning leads to, yes, a funky finish. My first experience with a primitive wild ale. OK, I can taste the barnyard in there.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and crisp.

Would rate drinkability higher, but this takes a bit of getting used to.

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Photo of daedalus
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased a 750ml bottle that was adorned with Bosch artwork from a local liquor store

This one pours, and looks, like Belgian pale ales should. An abundant white head leaves substantial lacing and retains a centimeter of thickness up until the bottom of the glass. The beer is a hazy, pale golden yellow and abounds with suspended yeast particles.

The aroma is quite pleasing and exhibits hints of citrus and peppery yeast aromas; very clean smelling.

Flavors are very complex and contain a cornucopia of yeast with the balance slighted toward hops to keep things edgy, although there is a slight malt character present. Finishes dry and clean.

The 750ml went down very easily for a 9% beer, and the only clue to its potency is a nice warm feeling upon finishing the bottle.

This was one of the best Belgian pale's I have tried recently.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mntlover
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice pale yellow with lots of bubbles rising to white ringed scum.

Aroma is soft sourness mingled with fruit peach, tangerines ect. mingled with light spices.

Taste is like the aroma nice brett flavors hitting before the fruit and lingering thru out pear, peach, grapes on light malt base. Finish is embedded with cloves, nutmeg, pepper and good earthy yeast notes.

Mouthfeel is right around medium, a good level of carbonation which seems to kick it up a notch in the finish.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable wild ale which I have had cellared for a while.

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pig Nun) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 83 ratings
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