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 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 Jredner
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The aroma holds bannna, cream and a tart mash of white fruits. The bosy is yellow with a creamy, diminishing white head. The fore holds a funky chinese baby corn flavor that underlines the wildness the label alleges. Medium bitterness and sharp carbonation. Tart white fruits again and a mellow funkiness that lingers well into the aftertaste. Pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 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. Well I say cork, but for the time that I can recall, this Proef bottling uses the ‘Newcork’ synthetic material, as opposed to the real thing. It has several codes embossed on the upper surface “EC 25D 23” on it. A simple Inkjet code of “RM 1105” is also printed on the side of the Cork. The main label has yet another one of the striking 16th Century Gothic artworks from Hieronymus Bosch. The ‘Pinhead’ label Surly Bird label has almost no information on it…adding yet more mystery to this strange range of brews from De Proefbrouwerij. Listed at 9% ABV. Cost $9.99 at Hi-Times, Costa Mesa, CA.

Limited information has this release “Pinhead” listed at 50-55 IBU's, so this has the highest IBU’s so far of any of the Flemish Primitive Wild Ales (Spoon Whacker was ~35 IBU's, Pig Nun ~45 IBU's, Surly Bird ~45 IBU's with extra finishing hops).

Appearance: The body remains unchanged from past FPWA examples; a simply gorgeous looking hazed shredded marmalade golden sunset body which is filled with a series of fast rising streamers that collect underneath a big fluffy white head. Head retention is excellent, the bubbles in the cap are very small and form a fine lacing on the sides of the glass, the surface of the head has a clean surface with a little infraction and irregular sized bubble here and there to break up the monotony. Carbonation is very soft, sprightly but gentle and finely dissolved. Yet again, the presentation is nothing short of excellent.

Smell: Hoppy traits with a yeast-laden fruity feel, like past examples, it has more than a passing resemblance to that distinctive nose of Orval. The Brett is still funky, but there are no farmyard aspects to it, it’s a clean hoppy funkiness, and it takes on a tangy citric finish. Appealing

Taste: Has a complexity that feels like it should be easy to break down, yet it’s not that easy to do. Brettanomyces is here, but for once it’s playing second fiddle to the hops. The dusty hops meld, blend and melt to form a soothing but dry bitter finish peppered with earthy spices. The soiled feel is still here from past examples, but its low key. Hints of lemon grass and feint citric flashes add the fruits. Dry fruity black pepper ending lingers, the final splash at the back of the throat is a hop laden one.

Mouthfeel: The soft palate and fine dissolved conditioning just accentuate the fruity funk and help the hops to shine through. No sign of the 9% ABV, where did it go? Very smooth.

Drinkability: Sitting down, watching the latest Doctor Who and gently working my way through this one, it is hard to forget how many glasses I topped up from my 750ml. A superb mix of simple Belgian traits all put together into a lovely inter-wrapped complex fruity Wild Ale. Very drinkable.

Overall: This latest variant of the Primitive Wild Ale allegedly has 50 to 55 IBU’s, and it shows, it really adds a lovely deep hoppiness which is firmly entrenched in Belgium tradition; it lends this brew a firm Orval-cum-Tripel character, simple yet complex. Pick up a couple of these, jolly good stuff.

Highly Recommended.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jesus hopped up christ this is probably the best belgian strong pale I've put lips to at this point. Huge fluffy, creamy white head that has ultimate staying power and lacing is slick and slide leaving islands of goodness. I wasn't a big fan of the diabolique/angelique line from this brewery but this breaks out as something to reckon with.

Huge fruity aroma, Orange, Bananna, wild. Some sour tone to it that my wife picked up. Strawberry is deep in the aftertaste with some wine like quality to it. I guess because I found it so wonderfull the word sour just didn't come to mind but it indeed has a twinge that is delightfull. Belgian yeast theme works out. Looks like a typical tripel but ends up with more complexity and less of the harsh carbonation. It has that "wild" twinge to it almost like a lambic in some ways.

Notes: Wow what a frickin amazing brew. Complex, drinkable, light and full of flavor. If this was local, priced right, and identical I'd be all over it by the caseload. As it is, I'll still pay for this when I see it, truly a magnificent belgian pale.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

light slightly hazed gold, with a thick forthy white head.
big floral smell that actually smells like wildflowers, wow. funky barnyard horseblanket smell beneath that. followed up by crab apple, not just apples but definitely crab apples, so strange, but very good, faint pineapple after that. some of the floral aspects seem to come from the hop family. i have never smelled something that brought about such strong farm/barnyard imagery, that was not in fact a barnyard. it becomes sort of grainy as it warms. some almost candy-like sweet aromas come out too, that almost remind me of those strawberry hard candies, that are wrapped like strawberries.
the taste is somewhat surprising after smelling this. the fruit is much more pronounced here with tangy apple and pineapple, and mild sweet pear. somewhat peppery and spicy, though this doesn't seem to be due to the alcohol. it has a lot less wild funk than expected, with it really only playing a minor role here unlike in the aroma. some of that horseblanket flavor is here too. there are some yeasty bread-like flavors in here too. with warmth the flavor of those hard candies come out too.
fullish medium body with fizzy carbonation, that feels very natrual to this beer. nice and dry too.
if this kinda beer is your type of thing, and it is mine. drinkability could not be higher.
a VERY interesting beer that is more than worth the 10 bucks to give a try. one of the more unique beers i've had the priviledge to try.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear golden straw. The head was white and frothy and rose tall in the chalice falling slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity as soon as the cork was removed from the bottle. The fruits could be detected from across the room and had a pineapple character coupled with a breadiness from Brett. The aroma was slightly acidic and lightly tart with an earthy presence.

The flavor was complex from the first sip. The first impression that came to mind was that the beer was somewhat less bitter than expected from a 50-55 IBU beer (Shelton Bros website). In reality the beer had a substantial bittering but many other flavors were present at the same time. The flavor was earthy and peppery with a spice presence that was interesting and complex. The flavor also contained a slight fruity sweetness on the palate at first sip, but those flavors immediately were overpowered by pepper and bittering, which made the flavor both complex and interesting.

The finish was dry with a lasting earthy and peppery character long and pleasantly into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium and the carbonation made for a creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol in the beer was only really present in the warming which occurred after consumption. The beer drank exceptionally smooth for a 9% abv beer.

Quite a treat to have this one today, since today has special meaning. This beer was one I have been looking forward to trying, so all the better.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. RW 1105 stenciled on the synthetic cork. Purchased at Greenlife in Asheville for $8.20.

 1,613 characters

Photo of twelvsies
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wowzers. Alright, there definitely is something unique about this one compared to the others I've tried. Now I've got a great excuse to go back and revisit each beer and try them back to back, checking out the differences. This one is pretty noticable in my opinion. I was also hipped to the Shelton Brothers' website which has a few things to say about these amazing beers. This one has the highest IBU count of the bunch, so far.
Appears an orangy golden brass color, full of light, with a healthy snow white head that just will not die. Nice. This beer is so full of flavor it's rediculous. Flowers everywhere, fresh grass, funky barnyard hay and dirty crab apples picked up off the ground. Amazingly fresh, natural, and wild. This would be a great beer to take on a cliche sort of picnic, out in a field somewhere, with little rats and bird people running around doing obscene things. [Ok maybe scratch that last part. But I will say I love the Hieronymous Bosch paintings on the labels.] This one, as compared to the others, does indeed have a more pronounced hop content. While the others I've had were more floral, this one has a really juicy, oily, resinous, bitter twang to it on top of everything else that's going on in this beer. Excellent floaty, airy mouthfeel, and uber drinkable. A treat. Now I have to go back and try them all again, which certainly will not be a problem. Follow up notes coming soon, maybe... But in the meantime, go drink this beer, people.

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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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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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