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

very good
26 Reviews
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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Rat Rider)De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Rat Rider)

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

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 38
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | 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 an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and Brett. Taste is much the same with band-aid and smoke flavors 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 pretty funky.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: very light color, pilsner almost, golden to dark yellow, nice three finger head with moderate lacing

S: citrus, sour grapes, a lemon zest to it and a kiwi undertone

T: very mellow on the palate, imparts a sweetness similar to most belgian goldens with that biscuity maltiness, pillowy soft sweet finish, not exactly comparable to the American wild ale type, but still very well done, the sourness of the Bretanomyces is very restrained, the sour undertones come near the end and are almost hand in hand with the ligh hops. The untrained palate would almost mistake this for a more malty pilsner.

M: good goating for its light appearance, takes a few seconds to absolve the taste, good coating and lingering aftertaste of mellow hops.

D: Overall, very drinkable, not exceptionally noteworthy, and rather cost prohibitive, for the same price you could drink damnations all day which I feel is superior in almost every category, alas that is comparing different classes of beers. One thing I will note is the exceptional covering of the 9% alcohol, it is imperceptibly hidden in a sweetness and the floury maltiness. Perfect for entry level beer drinkers with ABV interests.

Narrative: "nah nah, just a couple days" he lazily smiled, "just until I get my things together." How could you say no? He was such a close friend in high school, sweet, cloying, palpable, but now he's dominating 2/3rds of your living room as his capricious abode. "See the plan is, I am getting my pilots licens-" you start to dreamily daze off while looking into his eyes, there's something empty to him, yet intoxicating at the same time, "yeah so basically after I foguht that guy I was out of Cici's pizza and it was a shithole anyway" he continues. Why are you letting him stay here? there's nothing exception about him but you just incurred signifcant expenses making him a nice dinner, it, wow his eyes look like poolwater, just a sweet discountenance that lures you in. "OH SHIT NETFLIX! ABOUT TO ADD SOME TITES! Thats what I call titles" ok at this point he's getting a bit irritating, but the way his bicuspids fortuitously lean against his incisors, that smile, he could leave his ASICS gym bag on your Z Gallerie coffee table all week. "Sure..sure.." you meekly reply, knowing that this short stay will be fulfilling, yet deceptive.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has yeast particles floating in suspension. It has wispy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is somewhat funky and has light to moderate aromas of sourness in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of fruits and yeast along with hints of smokiness. There are some notes of spices in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness, particularly in the finish.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink but it is a slow sipper.

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Photo of Tripphop
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Never has the term 'horse blanket' been more appropriate. The color is nice, a hazy orange-gold with a pithy head with slick oily bubbles. This beer reeks of soggy grain and dank soil. There is a light citrus note that fades in and out through the wafts of hay and sweaty wool. The taste is refreshingly matched. A light cidery snip is quickly overcome by earthy sour grain. It gets better with each sip and the finish is super long. Once the finish begins to fade it leaves a mushroomy orange peel covered in dirt taste that is quickly washed away with another sip. Needs some good cheese.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear orange amber with a quick fading white head.

Nose is big pure bananas..period.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well balanced with nice carbonation.

Flavors are layered and complex. Fruit carmel front to a toasty mid palate that goes to green herbs, green pepper, celery and light salt. Flavors are good and the bottle is recent but there is a little "stale" taste that goes away towards the green herb bitter finish.

Entire flavor profile improves as one drinks it, there seems to be something "just missing" from making this a really good drink. Would likely go well with most food profiles

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Photo of stakem
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle care of h0ser81 on New Year's Eve served in a snifter. Pours a clear light golden yellow. Small tiny particulate is stuck in suspension when you take a close look. A finger of white head forms that quickly recedes to a thin film across the top and sticks in spots to a glass.

The aroma of this brew is stanky cheese mixed with a cardboard-like note. A bit of fruit like apples and apple skins is noted across the middle and sulfur brings in the back. The longer this brew sits in the glass and warms up, the more it starts to smell like a port-o-potty. I use port-o-potty selectively here because it quite literally smells of an aweful mix of certain parts that is attempted to be covered up by an essence of apples and funk. Regardless, there are bits and pieces of this that are enjoyable before it warms.

This brew encompasses every aspect of the aroma and puts a flavor to it. Tastes of lacto, cardboard and apple skins are immediately evident. There is a lingering clashing sweetness reminescent of unfermented wort that produces a pronounced flavor without getting too sweet. Earthy and herbal hops cling in the mouth providing a fair contrast to the sweetness.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with low amount of carbonation. A tangy amount of alcohol is noted. This one was a little too clashing for me, I wouldn't want more than a glass and even then a glass was hard to finish. I appreciated the opportunity to try this brew, thanks Jim! However, at $21.95 a bottle I will not be looking to try the other primitive offerings.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Faintly foggy amber with lemon edges and swirling showers of fine yeast that slowly sink to the bottom of the glass. The alabaster colored crown peaked at two fingers and isn't giving ground willingly. Interesting foam topography and attractive lace easily allow the good score to be granted.

The nose is pale malty, musty, earthy, herbal, spicy and funky. The barnyard quality of the wild yeast doesn't overwhelm the other aromas (like Belgian ale yeast), which makes for a balanced and enjoyable experience.

Rat Rider tastes like a well-brewed BSPA with a modest contribution from Brettanomyces. It tastes more like the former, which is why the above style makes the most sense. Even though this bottle has probably been aged for a bit (it hasn't been in my possession that long), it has held up as only high-ABV Belgian ale can.

The white bready pale malts are slightly sweet, the hops still manage a decent amount of countering bitterness, and the various yeast strains make up the lion's share of the flavor spotlight. This is an especially herbal-earthy-spicy member of the Primitive Wild Ale series, although it's been way too long since the last one for any valid comparisons to be made. It's also pleasingly tangy and the alcohol is buried without a trace.

Mouthfeel is really the only area in which age has taken a toll. Even then, more bubbles would have assured the next highest score. A muted 'pop' on cork extraction was the first clue that the beer wouldn't be expansive and silky in the mouth.

In the final reckoning, Surly Bird, Pig Nun and Pinhead are my three favorite offerings in the De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale series. Spoon Whacker and Rat Rider are right behind... and Demon Fish is pure evil. This is delicious beer if you like BSPAs and don't mind a little sourish funkity funk.

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Photo of berpwillie
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very hazy golden color with a inch of very fluffy head and lots and lots of carbonation. the glass stayed laced through out the course of the beer. haven't had any other in this series, but as for other wild ales i've had this was much different. upon the first sip i was not impressed at all, it took me a few to really get into it. after a couple sips i began to enjoy it much more. still nothing to great here but good enough to give it a try if you never had it.

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle with a friend at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served in a wine glass, it appears bright yellow and hazy. The label doesn't lie, this beer does tasty primitive. It's not the deepest in flavor out of the primitive series, but it's still tasty and fits the bill. The funk has a leather taste with cuts of lemon peel and earthy herbs. Very tasty, but not on par with other sours. Still worth a try.

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Photo of largadeer
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brilliantly clear blond with a massive and sustaining head. Tons of lacework and carbonation.

S: Barnyard funk, a bit hay-like, phenolic. Rotting lemons and light grainy sweetness. Bit of banana and pineapple.

T/M: Hints of sweet fruits initially (pineapple, mango), but dries up quickly. Spicy, a bit medicinal, very phenolic. Light and crisp body. Band aid and husky grain in the eternally dry finish. Pretty damn nice stuff.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 25.4 oz bottle into a wine glass.

A- Pours a vibrant, golden yellow with three fingers width of white head. Some lacing as the beer is consumed.

S- Barnyard hay with some mustiness. Little bit of citrus fruit is discernible.

T- Some mild sourness upfront with lots of yeast. Subtle bits of fruit esters with a semi-sweet finish. Also some spiciness is detectable along with bittering hops.

M- Well carbonated and light bodied. Little too dry for my liking.

D- The 9% abv wasn't noticeable. However, the taste wasn't really doing it for me so it was hard to put this one away.

Overall, wasn't too impressed with this beer.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow this is a weird one. The word primitive does not do this beer justice. It reminds me of a French Syrah.

The beer pours a light amber/straw color and has bone white frothy head. Good head retention as well.

The smell of vegetation, hay and cereal overwhelms. I might be able to detect some dark ripened fruit as well.... Dates? Figs? Something sweet.

The taste backs up the smell in my opinion showing what i can only describe first as "barn yard"(this is where the french syrah comes to mind). I feel like this would make a fantastic food pairing beer. rich cheese or even steak would go very well. I get some hop character, and some degree of sweetness as well. Again I am thinking of a Fig like sweetness. This beer is almost grainy like a fig as well. But this sort of rural hay like flavor really takes over. Im not sure if its great or horrible. Im thinking somewhere in the middle. If I was eating a rich burger, or steak with it I think I would LOVE it.

All things considered this beer is pretty drinkable for its strength. The alcohol does not come through very much, its only really noticed on the back end of the flavor.

This is definitely a beer worth trying, if for no other reason then it is very unique.

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Photo of jsapunor
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

You never know what to expect from one of these.
It pours a very nice yellow/orange somewhat opaque in a tulip glass. The head comes up fast and dissipates fairly quickly. The smell is unique. When I was a kid my grandparents took me to the California State Fair and the smell of the livestock exhibit is a nice memory and is present in this beer. I'll call it funk with some citrus added. It's a pleasant musty smell and quite pleasing. There is plenty of citrus in the taste, oranges and a little lemon. There is a big dose of apple as well. It's a little sweet. The mouthfeel is moderately heavy. The alcohol is nicely disguised. It goes down easy in spight of the ABV.
This is a great wild ale. It gets very hot around here in the summer and you can be sure that I'll be enjoying this very refreshing brew while we sizzle our way through the season.
Mow the lawn, grab one of these and relax.

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Photo of abfraser
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Healthy Spirits in SF.

A: Pours straw yellow/blonde. Completely transparent. Nice carbonation bubbling up to the surface like a champagne. Poured with a nice frothy white head.

S: Belgian yeast dominates. Aromas of orange, coriander, spice and honey. Some tropical fruit aromas as well. Very tripel smelling to me, but that's probably just the yeast. The ever so slightest bit of funk.

T/M: Very yeasty, with a strong hop bitterness. Bready finish. Some tartness on the midpalate. Crisp and dry finish, but I agree with other posters that it's a bit chalky. Overall, the smell was nicer

D: Nicely drinkable, although the lingering hop bitterness is a little off-putting for my personal tastes (I know some people like that).

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Photo of GClarkage
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/29/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Diego, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle both caged and synthetic corked. No freshness info found.

Appearance- Perfect clouded blond color. Ligher golden to be exact. Fluffy 2 fingered head in which a light rim stays for the duration. Leaves behind some small patches and watery and spotty type lace.

Smell- Yeast, some light sugary notes, mild hop rind scent and some fruity nose I can't determine. Mildly outgoing, but good.

Taste- Very yeasty with a chalky like texture. Hoppy as well, but not as intense as some of the other varieties. Has a nice base of tropical and sugary fruits in the flavor. More sweet than sour. Toasted malty background with a bready like flavor.

Mouthfeel- Quite dry, chalky and medium mouthfeel. About a medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- One of the better ones out of the series. Would have another one of these if found locally. Definite try if seen.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bright golden pour. Fluffy thick white head leaves a nice thick belgian lace in its wake. Nice complex aroma, some peppery spices with some hints of tart lemons, and slight musty sour notes, funky yeast easters.Grassy hops sneaking in the back door as well. Tart citrus flavors give way to funky sour notes. Finishes with very dry with sour citrus flavors and slight hop bitterness. Moderate mouthfeel, alcohol esters are there but very well integrated. Another real nice addition to this series. Well done.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Golden body with a few strands of carbonation bubbles and a good bit of sediment floating around. Large white head with decent retention and a little bit of lacing left behind.

Smells slightly sour with a little bit of malts.

A little sour up front. In the middle are some pale malts that almost taste roasted. Finishes with a little more sour and dry.

Ok drinkability, decent beer overall.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a deep-sided chalice)

A- This beer has a body the color of golden green tea with a very slight hazy to it. There is a thick mousse white head that sticks to the glass and last for the full beer, it is supported by a sea of tiny bubbles.

S- The smell is musty with a note of wet diapers and a juicy fruit gum note to it. There is an aged white wine vinegar note that has a peach aroma to it. The finish is of dry cheese, that increases as the beer warms, and a light dried blueberry note. All these aromas though odd blend together.

T- The soft sweetness has notes of brie rind and pungent grapefruit dominating the flavor with hints of plastic bandaid which is soon overpowered by a light white cranberry note. The finish is a grapefruit pungency that lingers for just a moment.

M- This beer has a slippery texture on the front of the tongue with a medium mouthfeel and a very light astringency in the finish.

D- This beer has some nice wild flavors but is very easy to sip with the combo of grapefruit and cheese rind being a wonderful, and surprising, combination.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BSPA/Wild Ale here, ~25 oz bottle of the Rat Rider. Purchased at The Perfect Pour/Columbia Md.

Golden, light yellow color, bright. TREMENDOUS head retention, it stays. The usual wild aromas, maybe my nose isn't as strong for these, offered it to a family member and they came up with "farm, foot" etc. I just get a mild wild aroma. Hmm ...

Slightly woody smell, and taste. Sort of numbs the tip of the tongue like some medical numbing agent at first. Decent body, I prefer something more slick and this is more coarse and watery.

Fresh woody aromas in each regular dip into my tulip glass. Surprised there's only 7 reviews for this so far.

Seems a little bland, standard kind of woody wild so far. Funk starting to present itself a bit more, but not quite one distinctive taste or combination of tastes (animal, plant, mineral etc.)

Therrre we go, 2nd pour starting to get something. Maybe some orange peel. Still that weird tongue numbing thing going on. Now a bit more lemony. My bottle wasn't the coldest to begin with but even then this has taken a while to open up.

Getting a bit more funky/footy now.

This reminds me of those sweet, sour-beers, but without the sourness. Its wild and woody, but lacks that tartness and sweetness to counter. In its own way it isolates the very important wild flavors, and that's worth something, but I find myself wanting a bit more from this.

Anyway, for a wild ale it's not all that offensive and quite drinkable in that sense. There's some flavor aspects I'm really enjoying but it seems to lack something.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 into Ommegang chalice...

Thin, wispy, yeasty, soapy meringue-ish head with solid lacing. Good lemon-honey-chamomile herbal tea color. Moderate carbonation.

Clean, austeere, Pilsener-ish front court with nice sourness and slight horse-blanket feel as well as a little hop silage. Carbonation keeps this bright.

Lots of horse blanket brett with electric yeast and malt. Sweet coriander spice on top of Saaz-Golding-ish hoppiness. Hefty yet crisp.

Consistent hop bitterness with yeast electricity blends well to create mellow, long finish.

This is very easy to drink for the style - am getting to be a big fan of these crazy wild ales. Good stuff.

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Photo of meatyard
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is a light, hazy yellow with a stream of carbonation rising from the etched D in my Duvel glass. Large white head falls quickly to a covering with light bits of lacing.

The smell is of citrus and yeast along with some of the so called barnyard mustiness, funk thing.

The taste is similar to the smell with some spiciness including the clove someone else mentioned.

Mouthfeel is medium and dry.

Drinkability is fair for me.

This is a bit different from what I was expecting/hoping.. It's not bad by any means but isn't a beer that I liked drinking by itself. I ate some cheese with it and that helped me enjoy it more.

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Photo of DIM
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a very pale straw colored yellow. It poured with a huge, sticky, uneven, craggy white head.

s: This manages to be sweet and sour at the same time. Fruit aroams of flowey apricots and apples are the most noticeable. Damp earthy smells and peppery herbs and spices round this one out.

t: Starts off wellwith sour, earthy, and moderately sweet flavors of mostly apricots with a little apple. The finish is very dry withstrong spicy clove flavors. Pretty good overall, but the finish is over the top.

m: Creamy carbonation and a surprisingly big body help make up for an unpleasant after taste.

d: I loved Pig-Nun, so this was kind of a let down. I'll still look for more Flemish Primitives in the future though.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from LaBodega in Riverside, CA., my last review of the series- I have the complete set (in my belly!).

Pours a very pale golden yellow with a pretty, very creamy head. Lighter than expected.

Aromas of lemon, herbs, and grasses waving in the wind (broken dandelion stems?).

Flavor is very lemony with a slightly rotten citrus ending. Some pepper, strong sharp organic and weedy ending.

Almost chewy mouthfeel- kind of thick for such a thin looking beer. Alcohol is almost completely heidden, as it often is by these guys.

Another winner, not as drinkable and "wow" as ome of the earlier ones, this one is sharper and more bitter- but still plenty good.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden yellow with a thin white head that clears quickly to a few patches floating on top.

S - Lemon and hay aroma with a slight spice, very light green apple and a light touch of barnyard (although the barnyard strengthens as the beer warms). Probaly the lightest aroma of the primitive series I have had so far.

T - Pale malt with an earthy, hay, spicy yeast flavor. A hint of barnyard funk follows (same as the aroma it strengthens as the beer warms) but is quickly covered by alcohol and a dry, hoppy floral finish.

M - Medium body but highly carbonated making it feel a little heavier than it is. Warming from alcohol and a dry lingering finish.

D - I couldn't find the recipe listed for this one but it just didn't have the complexity of the others. Not sure if that is because this was just released and I tried the others years after they were brewed (not sure how much this changes on the shelf). Not bad but somewhat subdued compared to others in the series.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the rat rider pours hazed amber gold with a good sized white head that dissapates pretty quickly.
the aroma brings strawberry first and foremost. beneath that the is a grainy yeastiness coupled with hay, horseblanket, and other barnyard mustiness. i pick out some light spiced pineapple/tropical fruit and vanilla, but not oaky vanilla.
the taste is actually fairly bitter. it's got some tropical fruit and strawberries, some musty cheesiness, vanilla, and the bitterness pervades. as with the last edition of the flemish primitives, the bitterness unfortunately masks some of the finer nuances of this beer. so the final verdict is pretty damn good beer, but a touch unbalanced. the alcohol is more prevalent than in the other primitives. near ambient temperate helps this beer out, openning up some of the fruitiness. it has a vaguely lemony aftertaste.
the mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate slightly delicate carbonation. very dry.
it's got good drinkability that lends itself well to both sipping and drinking a slightly quicker pace.

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De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Rat Rider) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
3.81 out of 5 based on 38 ratings.
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