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

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead)
58 Ratings
De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead)

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 03-01-2005

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of emerge077
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of APreacher
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of drewone
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and a slight amount of Brett. Taste is much the same with a slightly sour flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of Brett bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but fairly mild with the Brett.

 611 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None on bottle
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

De Proef's Pinhead Primitive Ale is a complex mixture of sweet, savory, and bitter flavors, all from the mixture of Brettanomyces in toffee-colored wort. While to me these are winter beers to me, I could drink it in the spring or fall as well. Though I enjoyed this less than the Surly Bird version (at least how I remember it), it's still a very good beer for those wanting a bit more Brettanomyces presence in their Belgian ales. I wish the series was more widely available, as I'd certainly pick one of these up every so often.

The beer pours a 1cm tall head of off-white bubbles, not particularly dense, made up of medium to large-sized bubbles. Retention is rather poor, fading rather quickly to a thin ring around the glass, and leaves modest lacing in its descent, mostly a few dots and lines scattered haphazardly. Beer's body is a fairly bright orange-red color, hazy from sediment, with light bringing out brighter orange-gold tones. Carbonation is visible, though limited in number and quite sluggish.

Aroma is brettanomyces heavy at first, opening up with some burnt electrical wires or scorched plastic; moving into musty basement, wet hay, slightly gamy, mushroom and white potato scents; but then becoming somewhat sweet, with light brown sugar and fruit esters in the close. Very complex and well done, it's surprising that the combination of these scents aren't off-putting.

Front of palate picks up modest burnt electrical wires or scorched plastic with mild brown sugar or toffee sweetness. Mid-palate finds continued Brettanomyces-influenced burnt electrical wire flavors combined with a surprising savory herbal component (faint bay leaf, rosemary, ginger? reminds me at times of a gruit), basement must, and a base of sweet brown sugar or toffee-like malt. Back of palate finds modest bitterness with Brettanomyces-influenced burnt electrical wiring and wet hay, brown sugar sweetness, and a bit of ethanol. Leaves an aftertaste of fairly bitter, Brettanomyces-influenced must, wet hay, burnt electrical wires, and hops(?).

Beer is medium bodied, with medium-low levels of carbonation, creating a fairly smooth beer, capable of being sipped or drunk more quickly depending on one's mood. It is a bit undercarbonated, though, resulting in a somewhat stagnant feel throughout the drinking session. Closes semi-dry, with mild stickiness lingering across the palate.

 2,471 characters

Photo of DarthTremens
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly opaque marigold color with near a fingers width head after pouring. All foam is fizzled out after a few minutes.

Floral spring field in sunshine smell - chamomille and ginger spice in beer lingo I guess. Wet hay and a Bretty sweet tang.

Aroma was the highlight of this beer. Tastes like watered down ginger ale and wet hay.

 332 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Profchaos20
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Elevator
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pour & Aroma: Some floral, dark fruit in there. Musty raisins, plums. No head. Cloudy chocolate-brown color, very non-opaque.

Taste: Mild flavors, nothing stands out. Some watery maltiness. Light hop bite on the back end, touches of planty sweetness, but nothing nearly ringing of the fruits I got in the aroma. Over time and temp no notable improvement. Tastes very musty and flavors are all washed out. Despite 9% ABV not really tasting that alcohol in there at all, goes down relatively smooth.

Verdict: Pretty disappointing. Was hoping for a pleasant surprise despite reviews, but this definitely isn’t one of my favorites. Very very watered down.

 655 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden yellow in color with a short 1/2" head that falls quickly. Spots of lace develop during the session.

Smell: lemon zest, yeast, and some grassiness is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: nice malt level with some lemon zest, tart green grapes, earthiness, and a decent bitterness. A bit of sourness arrives late while swallowing. Some alcohol warming in noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp from start to finish. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Drinkability: this is a slow sipping beer. More than one or two glasses would be hard to pull off in a session.

 598 characters

Photo of brownbeer
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle had some age on it, at least a year.

I didn't really care for the way this one looked. It had a lot of yeast chunks and it looked like murky cider. Everything else, though, was right on.

Funky yeast nose with a ton of sweet fruits. Pear and peach were most notable with heritage apples.

The taste didn't really have any suprises after the nose, though banana became increasingly apparent after it warmed. Pineapple, peach, pear, basically fresh tropical fruit.

Pretty solid, though not outstanding, funky Belgian.

 531 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.29/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has been living in my basement for about 1 year, only now rediscovered by me as I moved some boxes around. 750ml bottle, synthetic cork and authentic cage. On popping the cork, there is a lot of carbonation, and as feared the foam immediately rushes out of the bottle. I was prepared, and opened it near a sink just in case. After pouring into a glass and keeping an eye on the bottle no further mishaps occurred.

The beer is hazy golden color with a huge pillowy head, lots of lacing and floaties. The main aromas are based on brettanomyces, adding new meaning to barnyard traits. Very very funky and "dark" smelling, this may have waited around too long. It's possible this beer is several years old, as I don't know how long it was on the shelf before I bought it. But wild ales and lambics often have aging potential, at least that's what I've thought, so maybe this dark funkiness is just what was intended...

The taste is way complex, earthy and moldy, I guess like an aged cheese. A little pepper-like spiciness in the after-taste, but mostly a lingering bret flavor not too distant from aged Orval.

The body is soft and the carbonation presents more as creaminess than spiciness. Easy drinking if you like the odd flavors.

 1,243 characters

Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a chalice.

Golden and very hazy with a moderate white head and chunks of sediment. A slightly sour and funky aroma with fruit; pears in particular. The flavor starts a bit sour and funky but then turns sweet. A moderate consistency with a moderate to high carbonation.

This is a good beer but not especially compelling to me. Maybe I need more time to get to know wild beers more.

 413 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$10.49 for a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours out to a cloudy pale golden, forming a small white head with poor retention and no lacing. Moderate carbonation, not overly brisk as most Belgians are. The aroma is heavenly. Tart apples, barnyard, sour funk, dusty basement. The mouthfeel is lightly spritzy with a medium dense body, flittery champagne like carbonation and light all around. The taste opens with tart tropical fruits, sour funk, and has a moderately strong herbal hop bitterness. Minimal vinegar funk, and no off flavors. The finish has quite a bit of wheat cracker flavor to it. Kinda like a BSPA fermented with Brett. Not very sweet. I love the combination of sweet and sour in lambics, and this could use a tad more sweetness for me to really enjoy it as much as it smells. Still, a good beer, but probably not worth the price on this side of the pond.

 872 characters

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

slightly hazy orangy yellow color, high carbonation, but not a large head

sour notes in the aroma with orange citrus base

no sour in the taste, barnyard, fresh dirt, earthy notes up front, some sweetness but also crisp bitterness.

medium body with a soft and dry feeling

very drinkable, does not seem like a 9% beer, drinks like a lower ABV beer, be careful

 361 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

4.0 A: Opaque glowing golden straw color. Some particulates. One finger of creamy white head with average retention and plenty of lacing.

4.5 S: Nose is full of sour over-ripe fruit including peach, pear, and green apple. Tangy and pungent hops. Bit hit of Belgian yeastiness.

4.5 T: This is one damn tasty brew. Slight clove and pepper from the yeast, but it's minimal. The brett comes through and mixes well with the base beer. There a hay and grassiness to it as well. Good hop bitterness and some pungent flavor. Peachy fruitiness to cap it off.

4.5 M: Medium body. Mix of smooth and biting carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

4.5 D: I can't imagine this is 9%. It drinks like a 4% brew. Complex and won't get boring.

 744 characters

Photo of flannelman808
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having been told that all of these flemish primitives were the same beer with different labels... I hereby reject that notion.

A: This one pours a golden amber color and has frothy bone white head. Good head retention and good lacing.

S: YEAST funky hay and some barnyard on the nose. Also I can detect some zest of lemon and spice (peppercorn maybe).

M: This beer is frothy and runny. There is not a ton of carbonation going on but enough to keep the tongue happy.

T: I get some sourdough bread with zest of lemon. Some bitterness finishes the flavor, this is very complex and extremely unique. The citrus notes break up the mud and earthy character of this beer. But some spice, and a tiny hint of sour presence brings the palate back to the bitter side of things on the finish....weird.

D: Decent drinkability for a 9% Alcohol By Volume beer. But given its weirdness I wouldn't have too many. This is a marvelous Beer tasting event beer, something different to break things up and confuse people!

 1,004 characters

Photo of burnstar
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy light gold with a medium persistent white head. Smell is very nice with notes of apples bananas and cloves. Some yeastiness and earthiness as well. Taste is somewhat sweet with some wild yeast tang in the middle and some herbal floral hops in the finish. Earthy again and a bit phenolic. Spicy and light fruit notes. Pretty balanced and quite tasty. Medium bodied. Finishes a bit dry although the alcohol isn't very noticeable at all. Easy to drink. Overall a very nice and complex Belgian pale.

 519 characters

Photo of jampics2
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle @ Buckeye Sour Tasting 2009. Wasn't a sour at all, but one of the many nice wild ales that were available. Overall, was in the middle of the pack for the three we tried - the Surly Bird and Demon Fish were the other two. This wasn't as uninteresting as the Fish but lacked the confluence of the 'bird! Subtle differences added up and the Surly Bird was the best of the bunch!

A = Straw colored, nice amount of carbonation.

S = Most "wild" smelling of the bunch. All of the series are similar, but this has more IBU's apparently. I guess the brett bugs are hopheads, because they have been doing their funky thing in this beer's nose.

T = Has a bit more bitterness, but pretty much a funky ride with a malt center. It goes -> Wild, Light Malt/Cereal, weird bitter for a second, then more Wild.

M = Lighter than I expected. Bottle carbed. OK for the style but not world class IMO.

D = Interesting, but wouldn't want more than a small glass. Not a very drinkable beer b/c of flavor profile.

 1,002 characters

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another impressie offering from De Proef. Pours a golden straw with a creamy beige head. Excellent lacing and retention. Fantastic nose has a big, musty barnyard funk presence. Old wood, moldy soil, horse blanket and leather. Citrus fruit, bready malts, caramel and a good amount of floral hops as well. Taste is equally delicious. Big candy malts, bitter hops, orange, peach, lemon, apricot and a musty funk that lasts through the finish. Crisp, refreshing body is very well carbonated. Top knotch.

 499 characters

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Pinhead) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 58 ratings
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