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 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.

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Photo of drewone
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of stephendr
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml. glass bottle- color of pale yellow , with frosty white head - nose of yeast , cloves , hay , earthy and alcohol– taste of wild yeast , sour milk , honey , grass , earthy , and clove - body is medium , and creamy – aftertaste is chalky , and sour

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Drab apricot juice with some haze to it and quite a bit of sediment. Head is a good two inches of snow white sudsy bubbles.

S: Oak, lemon juice, musty blanket, wet hay and over ripe yellow fruit.

T: Begins lightly malted reminding me of golden raisins and marmalade with brown sugar. Some anise, jasmine with lower levels of peach yogurt (aka brett) come next with floral moments adding additional spice. Bitterness arrives, more than your average run of the mill Belgium but not enough to detract from the drinkability. Frankly it adds some nice depth to the beer. Finishes with a lick of alcohol and mild maltiness.

M: Medium body with an average mouthfeel but good carbonation.

D: Good beer but something about it is lacking. Not that its unbalanced but I’m missing some pizzazz somewhere. Good but I don’t think I’d order it again.

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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.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Ego
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

found @ oaktree buy rite, edison nj

first of all, the label gets all medievel on you.. very cool, not saying the label counts for jack but this is a cool label.
and into the chimay chalice she goes...
godlen and fizzy, one full finger of soapy white head, lots of carbonation but not an "exploder" like fantome printemps, lace is great...very sticky, and retention is excellent with all the fizz.. a nice looking brew.

bubble gum and tang, underlying belgian funk horse blankets - almost hints of manure, some grassiness in there as well (again this reminds me alot of some of fantome's offerings), zero scent of alcohol (9%?). very interesting nose.

taste etc...
the carbonation makes this velvety. the flavor is very grassy and leaves some nice bitterness on the tongue, but not in the usual area.. sort of more towards the middle, not very tart at all, just a hint of it under the munching on lawn clippings, in some ways this is quite bland, it drinks rather smoothly but doesn't have enough character to warrant high marks in taste, hard to gauge what would be "average" for a nutty style like this.. but this beer seems to fall short for me. this warms some in the stomach from the ABV but the actual alcohol is hidden well.

OK... looks great, smells interesting, great mouthfeel but the taste is on par with some average saisons and the like.

music : morbid angel - altars of madness

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Photo of loren01
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly cloudy yellow color, good sized head, slight lace
S: Smells earthy. I know this sounds bad but the yeast smells real funky like pig manure or something. Not a bad smell, just rather funky.
T: Not a ton of flavor actually, was expecting more. Sweet pineapple flavor, a little bit of peppery tang.
M: Mouthfeel is very effervescent
D: Interesting beer, don't believe I've ever had this style before. Would for sure have this again, very different from the norm.

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Photo of DarthTremens
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

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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!

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Photo of bucko
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light, golden color with a thick, off-white head that slowly falls from 3 fingers to one and leaves a lot of lacing. The aroma is sweet, a little grassy, earthy, even. The flavor is sweet, slightly funky with a definite spicy punch. I detect slight hints of ginger and cucumber in the finish. Thankfully, no raw fish... The mouthfeel is respectable for this big of a bear and one sip requires another due to a crisp, drying effect on the tongue. Despite the 9% ABV, this beer is surprisingly drinkable. I may change my mind about that once I stand up, but for now, I'm sticking to that thought.

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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

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Photo of Hoves
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first taste of the De Proef Brouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium. Obtained at Mahars Public Bar in Albany, NY this drink surprised me with the price tag of $20.00. The bottle had an artsy look to it which scared me a little at first because I consider myself to be somewhat of a newbie when it comes to flavorful beer.

This is my first review so I will attempt to make it comparible to some that I have read so far. The beer appeared surprisingly light colored to me considering most belgium beers I have had are cloudy wheat beers. The aroma was very bitter or sour but the taste was surprisingly not. The smooth texture blended into an aftertaste that had a faint berry essence.

The only part of this drink that I did not like on a personal level had to do with the alcohol content. At 9% this beer tasted almost like the beginnings of a barley wine. Seeing as I am not fond of barley wines this beer did not hit me as one I will drink often but I did find it pleasantly surprising.

Overall "The Prof" (brewer) performed a feat when he made an english ale guy like myself enjoy this beer.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a pale straw, approaching golden colored, with a massive head, loose clingy bubbles and a little pillow of a cloud on top. As the sediment pours in, it creates a cascade of haziness. I kind of like it. Smells kind of funky, like cat piss, with a kind of a spicy/earthy smell (hops maybe?) - kind of peppery as well. And just a tiny bit of bready sweetness behind it. Smells nice, but I'm not sure what to classify it as. The taste actually reminds me of a beer I made once, a hoppy pale that got infected, but with a much stronger alcohol presence. There's a nice malty, almost bready presence, additionally, kind of a melanoid/pilsener malt flavor. Then a kind of spicy hop presence hits, with a peppery, earthy, kind of late funk kicking in. I would bet that this tasted a bit lemony when it first hit the shelves thanks to the yeast, but now its presence has kind of faded - still just a bit of citrus here though. I can notice the alcohol in there somewhere, and it adds another layer to the flavor. This has a lot going on, but I kind of wish it was more funky (maybe some more age would help?). I love the mouthfeel of this. Very, very full bodied, but not thick and heavy, though when combined with a decent burst of carbonation it can feel like it's sticking to your throat. Really a delight to sip on. I found this very interesting overall. I would recommend it to someone with no other interests.

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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.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy golden orange with the thinnest white head that disappeared immediately.

S - Barnyard and funk with maybe a touch of sour apple.

T - Barnyard, green apple, slightly sweet Belgian pale aspects, touch of spicy clove and a lingering funk.

M - Medium mouthfeel and somewhat crisp even though it feels like there is little carbonation.

D - Not sure if the series is just getting old or if this one just emphasizes the funk but I am starting to grow tired of the series. Reminds me a lot of Demon Fish.

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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.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5


gold color with orange hues, clear and bubbly. carbonation creates an airy crown, slippery and slimy. smells hoppy.. as other reviewers have said, a dead-ringer for orval.. that lemon twisted hop freshness funked up by the mildest hint of brettanomyces. if anything, maybe this has a bit more lemon rind to it, and a hint of bready yeast.

not quite as sour as i remember the others, this one is more of a basic belgian pale with slighter hop/funk twists. starts off innocently, green botanical flavors and some mild bitterness from belgian malt husks. hits you with carbonation and finishes surprisingly clean.. not much left on the palate- this beer feels like more of a palate cleanser. it leaves you with that same cool, crisp feeling as mouthwash or ginger after sushi. kind of vacant flavor-wise. good shot at an orval clone, just missing something.

9%? yeah, this is chuggable. drinkability is the strong point with this beer.

personally, i have enjoyed the previous entries in this series more, as i am more about tasting the experimental nastiness produced by wild yeast and bacteria. this beer is balanced, yet way too tame for what i expected from it.

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Photo of czechsaaz
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really cool aroma that features a lot of fruit. I get apple right off and then grapes and plums. There's also a strong base malt and candi sugar aroma too. Very nice and complex with light hops and some bready yeast.

Light gold and perfectly clear with a big rocky and long lasting head, some lacing and nice rising carbonation bubbles.

Flavor is very malt dominant with a big dose of pilsner malt and some candi sugar. Good bitterness but no hop flavor. There's a little bit of fruity esters and fermentation character but it is really pretty clean. Doesn't have nearly the complexity of other iterations of Flemmish Primitive. Definitely hides the alcohol on the flavor. Still, I'm looking for more on the flavor side. It seems kind of one dimensional with the malt flavors.

Medium bodied with good creamy carbonation levels. Slight alcohol warmth on the back end.

Definitely a nice beer along the lines of Duvel and other strong Belgian Pales. It's just that I've been so blown away by some of the other versions of Flemmish Primitive that this one seems a little ordinary.

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy yellow with a thick white head that settles to a lasting cover. Trailing lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is of sour apple and sweet banana. Bready yeast in the back.

The taste is of sweet banana, orange and appleish sour. Candy sweetness with a spicy yeast background. Sweettart, dry finish.

Effervescent in a light to medium body.

Smooth and drinkable, especially for abv level, which is well-hidden in the taste (but creeps in afterwards). Nice - not as "wild" as I thought it would be.

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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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