Zoetzuur Flemish Ale | De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

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88
very good
194 Reviews
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Zoetzuur Flemish AleZoetzuur Flemish Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by marburg on 11-15-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
194
Ratings:
341
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
17.26%
 
 
Wants:
31
Gots:
29
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 341
Photo of Goldorak
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark amber brew, with a thin layer of miniscule bubbles woven together to form the head.

Smell: A sweeter shade of horseblanket, it was caramel/candi sugar sweet and reminded me of a Faro.

Taste: Lots of caramel again in the taste, some red fruits as well, with an interesting balance of sweet and sour mnemonic of New Glarus Belgian red. The low carbonation brings out the sweetened malt that bursted with cherries. Very low alcohol. May be a little too cloying for some, I enjoyed it.

 504 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Map Room in Chicago. Cloudy dark copper, with some red hues. White fluffy head disappears quickly, however it did leave behind some very nice lace.

Sour berry, leathery, earthy and horsey aroma. Pretty complex here.

Not overly sour, but tart. Lots of fruits and berries. A bit of grain following. Sweet, but well balanced. Not much bitterness, just a bit of earthy flavor at the end.

Light to medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. Very easy to drink, but still a bit complex. Nice.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle picked up at the Village Pump in College Park a while back. Into my trusty Duvel tulip

A: The first pour is a gorgeous clear crimson with a dense beige head with excellent retention that leaves some lacing as it slowly recedes

S: Sweet and fruity (cherries) with a good deal of bready notes. Doesn't smell very sour at all. Oak is subtle. Not very complex.

T: Light bodied, this beer starts off with fruity with cherries and red plums before developing a mild acetic sourness. Oak is present with a definite woody presence. The finish is a mixture of dry and sweet.

M: Carbonation is great and the mildly tart finish make for a very refreshing beer. Unfortunately, it's a little watery on the finish.

D: This is fairly drinkable and I'm enjoying this.

Notes: This is a good beer in its own right but in the past two weeks, I've had decidedly better beers, the Ommengang Rouge and Rodenbach Grand Cru. This doesn't stack up too well against them, though.

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Photo of Jonada
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle with no freshness date poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a red brown color typical to the style. Standard pour yielded 2 fingers of a light beige head with moderate spotty lacing. Body is dark but relatively clear with moderate visible carbonation.

Smell: Balsamic vinegar, sweet cherry juice, light funkiness, apple and a slight lactic character. There's a sugary candy character to the aroma as well, almost like cherry pixie sticks.

Taste: Sweet and sour cherry, vinegar, oak, darker fruit, decent amount of maltiness. Sourness is on the low end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium soft carbonation. Reasonably high drinkability.

Overall: Not extremely memorable, but still a good beer. Not sure that I would get this again, but would recommend as a good beginner beer for someone new to sours.

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Photo of vobr0002
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- reddish brown with good head that fades quickly.

S- sour cherry, Brett funkyness, some sweetness.

T- cherry fruit flavor, little bit of sourness, getting a slight amount of sweet.

M- lighter feel with a medium amount of carbonation.

O- its a decent beer but I like a bit more sour.

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Photo of TVolt1
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: reddish brown with small amount of white head.

S: Great cherry wine smell. Very sweet and sour and excited to try it.

T: OK taste. Little funky tasting with a cherry flavor. Wanted it a little crisper and sour.

M: OK medium mouth feel but not as bubbly/crisp as I would like

O: overall, I have had better but not terrible.

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Photo of roblowther
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml rubber corked & caged. Poured into a chalice glass, its an opaque tan brown with no real head. Smells sugary, like black cherries. Sweet only while you hold it in the front of your mouth, then instant sour tartness. The cherry taste predominates. Not much complexity, it just has the same flavor characteristics throughout, with which it beats you. Mouthfeel has a nice slight carbonation & nice slickness, but is a bit thin in the end. Drinkability is not bad, the sourness leaves you with a shadow of its sweet counterpart. Good to try but I'd stick with the Duchess de Bourgone if I was to stick.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy, red-brown pour with a loose head of tan froth that had moderate retention and a few delicate lace streamers.

Aroma is sweet/tart fruit, berries, cherries, and soft oak. There's a prickly Brett note with some musty yeast and wet concrete.

Flavor at first sharp, then becomes sweeter then I had expected. Strong underripe cherry note with a hint of orchard fruit and drying oak and minerality.

Body is below medium, with big bubbles and a slick, juicey mouthfeel. Not as complex as some other Flander sours, but tastey and highly drinkable.

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Photo of fairdinkum2
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large bottle in to a tulip glass. This Flemish ale is a very murky brown, almost muddy appearance with some particulates evident in the bottom of the glass. What little head quickly disappeared. No lacing to speak of.

Smells pretty typical of the style, sour cherries and apples.

Taste is a litlle disappointing. Doesn't have the tang of a Rodenbach or quite the pucker of La Folie. Has some cherry and sour fruit notes, but overall the taste profile is just a little flat. Low carbonation, so this is pretty easy to put away, but I probably would look at other choices.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark mahogany with red tinges. A large off-white head gives way to a half-finger of foam and a lot of lacing after a while. That signature Brett smell hits immediately, with all of its usual sour, musty character; the sour cherries only come through afterward, though they are quite strong. The funk dominates the taste as well, with citric sourness and leather both prominent. A hint of chocolaty roasted malt comes next, with the real cherry taste only evident after a few sips. A definite woodiness in the background. Another great beer from the Proefbrouwerij.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge fluffy tan/pinkish head. Brew is wonderful clear red color. Mild lacing.

Awesome huge sour cherry nose. Mild sulfur scent on the back end.

Obviously cherry, but on the lighter side. Not nearly as tart as the nose would lead you to believe... Kinda disappointing. Wet and nicely carbonated.

Not as sour as I hoped... Recommended, but don't go in expecting too much.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Sweet and sour" is what Zoetzuur means in Flemish. Accurate .
MJ reviews this one beer at length, giving a great explanation of the uniqueness of Belgian yeasts and, by implication, the Flemish character.
Starting on page 197 of His "Great Beers of Belgium", I recommend this passage for anyone who is a fan of the style. And if you are not a fan (like I am not), it may just open your mind... as it may have for me.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just by looking a quickly smelling, I think this might be solid gold right here...

The basics: $10.99/750ml bottle and 7% ABV...OK on both...

I dug the Van Twee so let's see where this bottle carries us...

In a great mood today as the busiest season for us tax types has finally come to a virtual end...It's all downhill from here...

Nice orange-red-amber, kinda cloudy, kinda not, if you get the meaning...Well carbonated. Sopay head that settles into a nice creamy half finger of persistence. Great lacing...

Aroma is so interesting...It's like sunshine bouncing off cherries in early Summer...It's crisp, clean, floral and fruity. Not overpowering and only the slightest hint of funk...The latter quality could be a bad sign as the funk usually lets us know it's well made...

Whoa, this is a bizarre drink...The carbonation is almost too much. It kills the initial sourness a bit. Nicely sour, but not puckeringly so...The cherry notes are kinda lost amid the whole crazy flavor profile...If you burp you certainly notice the cherry flavor, but in the drink it's washed away by so much else. I get some sour cherry once the fizz dies down, a hint of funk. The Brettanomyces is hardly apparent in here...They must have tossed it in as an afterthought...The touch of sweetness is very nice as it helps balance the whole out. The beer is very refreshing, but the flavor profile seems a tad confused to me...Like the brewers weren't sure what to do with the whole thing. It's still works out well, though, as the flavors open up as it warms. Finish carries a nice sweetness and a slight bitterness. Overall not as impressive as the Van Twee, but still good. I'd track it down at this price point as it's unique and refreshing.

What I like most: The unique flavor profile.

What I like least: The price and partly confused flavors profile.

Verdict: Good and unique beer that's worth the price.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Pours a dark brownish amber color with a light tan colored head that leaves a ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is very sweet and fruity with a lot of sour cherries, grapes and some oak.

T- The taste is a nice mixture of sweet and sour with some cherries, oak and a dry finish. The taste can be a little on the sweet side for me.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- The 750ml bottle of this beer may be a bit too much for me due to the sweetness. However, this is a pretty unique and interesting beer that is definitely worth a try.

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

No noticable sound as the cork is pulled. Tawny port color, slight beige head. Good retention, but nothing sticky. Initial aroma is all sweet tart sour. This dies down a bit once the beer has had a chance to relax. Taste is most similar to Victinaar, but nowhere near as rich. This is more earthy. I pick up more raisons than tart apple or cherry. Slight funkiness, slight sour edge.

Not my favorite of the style, but this beer does become more appealing as it warms. The complexities make themselves more appearant. That also makes this beer more of a sipper than its counterparts.

All in all, a good beer, but not a repeat purchase for me, and not a substitute for my poor missing Rodenbach.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into my new Losy Abbey tulip....

Aromas of cherries and leather and oak along with some funk as well... Unusual aromas... Not as tart smelling as others of the style... There's a sweetness here that has me interested...

Very vinous aspects in the flavors... Slightly tart with some sweetness... I'm getting cherries here as well along with hints of vinegar and an earthiness that tones the sharper flavors down some...

Pretty good Flemish here... I didn't find this amazing but I can see myself grabbing this one again...

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: garnet with lots of stick lacing, decent head rentetion for the style

aromas: subtle cherries and wild yeast

taste: well the flavors are subtle to compared to others ion catergory. cherry, like vinegar, not over powering sour by any means, off aftertaste

mouthfeel: light to medium bodied

drinkability: decent by also one of the worst Ive had in the style

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Photo of CPeterson
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - - A hazy, opaque rusty brew pours to a single finger head that settles to leave small gobs of lacing.

S - - Earthy wooden tones, acid, cherry notes accompanied by a hint of funk.

T - - A mild sourness is quickly balanced by the wood and cherry sweetness. Touches of pepper and a hint of clove on the finish.

M - - Soft carbonation, medium bodied, almost a little thin. Leaves a residual schmuck in your chops that isn't unpleasant but given the sourness level I wouldn't have expected.

O - - A nicely balanced and minor twist on a classic style, but not altogether mind blowing. Worth a try, I'd pick it up again for a refresher.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber body with 2 finger off-white head that laces like a champ.

Nose is very faint-- tart/vegetal, but faintly metallic... not too objectionable, but still.

Taste is interesting; sweet at first growing sour towards the middle. Faint bell pepper. There's kind of a sticky aftertaste (slightly sweet and sour), but this is not too objectionable.

Mouthfeel is creamy enough to undercut what would otherwise be a bitter lemonade taste. Nice.

Overall, a good example of a style for the Flemish sour. Not as sour as Dutchess or Monk's Cafe, nor as vegetal as Bourgogne de Flandres: a very effective compromise

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dirty red-brown. Long lasting off-white to light tan cover. Intense brettanomyces nose, explosive cherries, atomic woodiness. Very big and directly to the point aroma. Sweaty, horsey, leafy. This has all the school elements of a good funky flemish sour. On the palate, the brett is as dominating, but the integration is not as efficient. Initially, tart cherries, strawberries and the likes have claims over the earthiness and genuinely evolve into a drying stone-like dryness full of green grapes, but then it hits a wall and every flavor escapes reality. At the same time than the short-flavored nature kicks in, those prickly big bubbles do a last effort to taunt you and expands into a big foam that has nothing worth keeping in your mouth any longer. Solid beer just because it’s a flemish sour, but just above average compared to other contenders in terms of palate. Spectacular beefy aroma on the other hand.

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Photo of illidurit
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 750 mL bottle to La Chouffe tulip. Rusty brown color, sort of like raspberry preserves. One finger of beige head fizzes to a fluffy halo and leaves some nice lacing.

Nose: Brown sugar sweetness peeks through a shroud of tart cherries and fruitcake. There's a very slight earthiness too.

Mouth: If the aroma translated exactly over to the flavor this beer would be world class, but it doesn't quite. Seems a little thin and fizzy on the palate, leading to unsupported flavors. What I can taste is lightly tart with black cherries and a trademark bretty earthiness in the finish. What's missing is the malt/ester sweetness dueling with the vinegary sharpness that I get from Duchesse or La Folie when I consider the stylistic pinnacle. Not bad but definitely a tier below the best.

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Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy light reddish brown in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but consistently left a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of sourness and cherries are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a mixture of light sourness from the brett and hints of sweetness from the cherries.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and is mostly tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't very sour so it would make for a good beer for someone to try that is trying the style for the first time. There's just enough cherries and sweetness to prevent this from being very sour.

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Photo of Donnie2112
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a Corsendonk glass

brownish red, offwhite puffy head, solid retention, solid lacing

Aromas of vinegar, very much that wild smell. This beer has certainly seen some brettanomyces

The flavors are largely vinegar without a lot else going on, they aren't overpowering so though and there are just little hints of wheat and cherry

Not a whole lot of malt and body for a beer of this alcohol content, it's very nice though, poppy carbonation and a good solid feel to it.

I could see this being a very drinkable Flanders red, it doesn't insist upon itself the way some do, but it's the real deal, lots of sourness and interesting undertones, could see this becoming a regular drinker.

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Photo of TheNapkin
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber, almost a light soda color. Very thin head, visible effervescence, dark sedimentation that sifts to the bottom of the glass.

S: Sour raspberries, whiffs of cider, sniff of red grapes. Sort of like Lindemann Framboise's lighter brother (smell is not nearly as intensely jammy as Lindemann's Framboise). Slightly metallic, coppery smell if you're not careful and pour too big a head.

T: Same as the smell, but just a notch sweeter. It should be noted that even though the beer tastes sour, vaguely lambic-like, and has strong raspberry notes, it doesn't deliver the overwhelming sugar bomb that certain fruit-fortified lambics do. This beer serves as a nice substitute for those who find these lambics thick, cloying and hardly satisfying when you want a beer that tastes like a beer (it's also cheaper than a lot of lambics too; bargain, Win!). If you want a beer masquerading as a soda, reach for a Lindemann's; if you want a beer that tastes like a beer, has hints of fruit, and moderate sourness, get this De Proef. It has a nice dryness on the front of the tongue and the back and would pair nicely with foods you'd normally drink a dry white wine with.

M: Light and bubbly on the tongue. A real treat.

D: In terms of De Proef beers, the funk element here is hardly detectable, which makes the beer very drinkable. Good balance of sourness and the malts.

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Map Room...

A hazy, ruddy red tone, with off-white foam that has a lively sizzle. Lacing spiderwebs cling to the glass for the duration. Active carbonation gives the sense that this ale is completely alive, and the wild whiff of Brett confirms this.

Horsey Brett aroma slightly magnifies toward the end of the glass. It's not heavy or unpleasant, but musky and woody. Berry and iron notes figure in to a lesser extent.

Tartness is there but it's at a low level. Not as one-dimensional sweet/sour as some other Flanders Reds can be. Sour twang is felt briefly at the back of the mouth, and gets the salivary glands working. It's not quite lactic, but certainly wild, like a yogurt culture. Metallic iron/copper note appears in the first few sips, but thankfully subsides. Overall it's fairly bright, with the prerequisite tartness, and vague sweet upturn. What's unique about it is the showcase of wild yeast/bacteria, which feeds the drinker's curiosity.

Easily drinkable & refreshing by the sip or gulp.

I've tried a 750 of this before, and wasn't too impressed. The tap version has redeemed it enough for me to give it another shot. The bottle had an off-putting plastic band-aid quality in the taste, that was really off and out of place.

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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
88 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.
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