De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #48
Ranked #11,103
3.96 | pDev: 12.88%
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Very Good
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)
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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 267 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Full sized 750ml brown glass Belgium bottle that has a silver cage and black cap restraining its cork. The plain cork only has the code “FP 3 54 e” on it. The main label has the striking 16th Century Gothic art from Hieronymus Bosch. Stark, shocking and symbolic…the Surly Bird label has almost no information on it…adding yet more of a mysterious quality to this strange range of brews from De Proefbrouwerij. Listed at 9% ABV. Cost $9.99.

Appearance: Darkish golden pour has a hazed shredded marmalade golden sunset body like the Pig Nun. Humungous white head rises and rolls ever upwards like the mushroom cloud from an Atomic bomb. Settles to reveal a thick creamy cap which fills my Duvel glass to capacity. The head collapses very slowly to reveal a crusty lacing and a craggy surface. Softly dissolved fine tuned carbonation supports a solid conditioning. Superb presentation!

Smell: This one reminds me of that back-of-the-neck hair-raising experience I had when I first took the deep breath from my first ever Orval. Gorgeous funky Brett character, acidic dry hops, fruity and yet ever-so-delicately sweet. Light horseblanket, but nothing striking, flashes of alcohol and a reflective Cider Apple sharpness.

Taste: Wild Earthy tones run through this organic rural farmyard. Lots of Brettanomyces in this one, in fact several strains are used I believe, the depth of character and fruity bitterness in this one is a little bit more complex in nature from that which I recall in the Pig Nun. Bold bitterness and lots of fruity flavors slickly licks the edges of the horseblanket and yeasty crab apples.

Mouthfeel: Resplendent body, soft, smooth and yet impressively complicated. The texture is unforgettable – luxurious and a sheer pleasure to imbibe.

Drinkability: Exceptionally palatable and supremely brewed. If you have ever had the pleasure of sampling a range of aged Orvals and enjoyed them, then you will love the Surly Bird, it exhibits all the complexity of those Trappist monsters. Edit - References are often made to Duvel in Reviews here I note, this confuses me and is a misplaced reference for Surly Bird is nothing of the sort; this one is a Brother, quite literally, of the Trappist Orval.

Overall: Very little is actually known about the life of Hieronymus Bosch, strange given the striking nature of his paintings. Not much more is known about this brew either except that it is another variant of the Primitive Wild Ale which has 45 IBU’s and extra finishing hops. Striking stuff though!

Highly Recommended.

Sep 12, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of DCon
DCon from Missouri

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Thirsty Monk (Belgian bar in basement) in Asheville, NC for $6.50. Tapped from a Dark colored tap handle w/ the Surly Bird on it into a 16oz La Moneuse Blaugies Tulip Glass.

Aroma- Extremely sweet on the nose with a light sour background (only hints) and very complexed. Finishes with a ton of musk though... Appreciated the first part of the aroma but didn't care for the muskiness.

Appearance- Received with a 2 finger head that had average retention. Has a dark amber colored body and left good lacing behind.

Flavor- The flavor is sweet with light, artificial cherries. The backend is sour and very complexed. No hops or bitterness involved.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, and has a light sour finish on the palate.

Overall Impression- I'm not too sure of the style but enjoyed it! Wish there was more flavor and body instead of the musky aroma and finishing flavor. I have this in bottle and interested to see how it ages. VERY easy going beer.

Jan 17, 2012
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Giggy from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love to dry different beers and different styles. This is really and different beer.

A: clear light golden with a white, light head

S: very barnyard, hay, grass, wet dog, earthy

T: very aid, Bannana, sour, pepper or coriander

M: medium body, soft carbonation.

O: nice & light

Jun 22, 2012
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dprophet from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1%

Jan 22, 2012
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afsdan from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

May 22, 2014
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rdonofrio86 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Oct 28, 2013
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dbrese from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Dec 03, 2013
Photo of ssato27
ssato27 from Pennsylvania

4.61/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Apr 06, 2017
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Cinderbike from Nevada

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Sep 28, 2012
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gehille from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 10, 2019
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trebbates from Texas

4/5  rDev +1%

Jul 27, 2013
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rolltide8425 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1%

Jul 13, 2012
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BT_Bobandy from Ohio

4/5  rDev +1%

Jan 18, 2014
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claytong from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

May 22, 2012
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sludgegnome from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Nov 22, 2012
Photo of joeroma5
joeroma5 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aug 26, 2015
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Beeradelphia from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Oct 13, 2012
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Holland from Illinois

4/5  rDev +1%

May 09, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a very unique beer, mainly for how downright weird the yeast is, but i appreciate it for what it is, even though it isnt my favorite wild ale. the color is pale yellow, still bright, but washed out just a bit. a ton of chunky yeast tears around in the glass under a multiple inch pure white head brought on by active carbonation. its nose is one of the weirder in beer for me, a combination of sweaty girl, covered in some sort of floral lotion, and dry dog food. i know it sounds weird, but both are unmistakable smells, and both are strong in the aromatic profile of this beer. the sweaty chick part fades off after a few minutes, but the dog food feature remains. it didnt turn me off enough to not want to drink it, but i could see some people having that reaction once they identify what they smell. the taste is better though, still wild as anything and yeast driven, funky and not sour at all, like sourdough bread going just off, it has that five to it. it also has some decent hops, which brighten it up and are welcomed. the malt bill is light and simple, and doesnt add much more than fermentables here. an old world style beer, expressive in feel and one of a kind, but not a beer i am overly enthusiastic about drinking again. something about the nose...

Mar 09, 2014
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polishkaz from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Nov 16, 2012
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Ajlvt from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Sep 05, 2014
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DrBier from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1%

Jul 25, 2014
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TinFang from California

4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of zonker17
zonker17 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Jul 04, 2012
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npfisher22 from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Mar 18, 2014
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 267 ratings