Zoetzuur Flemish Ale | De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

BA SCORE
88
very good
347 Ratings
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Zoetzuur Flemish AleZoetzuur Flemish Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Belgium
proefbrouwerij.com

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
Ratings:
347
Reviews:
196
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
12.94%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 347 |  Reviews: 196
Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, no dating, sampled in a Vondel snifter (my favorite glass when I don't have the exact match for Belgian beer sampling)

Pours an effervescent caramel/orange with 3 fingers of fluffy sand colored head. Good lacing & superior head retention, keeps 1/2" of head all the way down

S: Tart. sour & oaky smells up front& not much else

T: Slight sourness, tartness & sour cherries up front. Woody dryness with then permeates this. Some real tart raspberry is there as well. Finishes bone dry, tart & with big time sour cherry & a little bit of almond

MF: Puckery & DRY! Minimal carbonation, perfect for the style

Drinkability suffers a bit, due to the dryness & sourness, but a good example of a genre I'm not in love with. But the beerworld is a better place for such oddities

 789 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing firelight red-orange with bright Sunkist edges. Or maybe... polished copper kettle reflecting the last rays of a tropical sunset. This is my favorite beer color of all-time, hands down. The sticky, meringue-like crown holds up its end with no trouble at all, laying down scads of thick lace as it slowly melts. It doesn't get any better than this.

The nose is much more Brettanomyces-intensive than your average Flanders red ale. Of course, knowing De Proefbrouwerij, I didn't expect anything close to an average Flanders red. The barnyard funkiness doesn't quite cover up the scent of sour Belgian black cherry juice. I love what Brettanomyces does to beer, but it needs to be scaled back a little more in this case, so that center stage can be reserved for the cherries.

I feel the same way about the flavor profile, but to a lesser extent. Pungent funk rules early, there's no question about that. If one allows the beer to soak into the tongue, however, the tangy fruitiness of the black cherries rushes in at the midway point and dominates at the finish (as much as any flavor can dominate in a Brett-fermented beer).

I couldn't find out if Zoetzuur ever spent time in oak barrels. My guess is unquestionably 'yes'. There's a wonderful woodiness throughout the flavor arc, especially on the incredibly drying back end. I haven't even mentioned the hops yet. Who the hell puts East Kent Goldings and Tomahawk (Columbus) in a Flanders red? Nice idea, but I'm having a hard time appreciating them.

Perhaps the best part about this incredibly complex ale is a characteristic indicated by its name. Zoetzuur translates as 'sweet-sour'... and that is exactly what it is. The black cherry juice (and what tastes and feels like a generous amount of malt) adds more sweetness than is typical for the style. That sweetness is a fascinating foil for the puckery sour tanginess that lovers of this sort of beer crave.

The mouthfeel needs just a little more of that Belgian magic known as uplifting carbonation. With more mouthfilling volume, it would easily earn the next highest score. I'm splitting hairs here, but I remember Rodenbach Grand Cru as being superior when it comes to this characteristic.

Zoetzuur Flemish Ale is yet another outstanding creation from one of my favorite Belgian brewers. It's a near perfect melding of the Flanders red and wild ale styles that fans of each should love for its sheer inventiveness. Not to mention its lip smacking deliciousness. Extract the cork and let the sweet-sour mouth party begin!

 2,541 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mughugger for sharing this w/ BitterBeerFace, HombreWing and me. Poured chilled into a Gouden Caroulus goblet

A - Deep amber w/ full white head of about an inch. There is a slight haze on this ale, probably from temperature

S - Cherry and raspberries w/ tropical accents like mango and pineapple. the medley of sweet and sour aromas is great. It has more sour notes when swirled, but has a nice nose

M - This is excellent feel-wise. This ale is not so sour that it makes you pucker, just enough to add depth and give the fruity sweetness contrast. It is highly effervescent and feels light but bursts w/ energetic presence

T - The main flavor is similar to strawberry w/ an earthy note and slight brett w/ subtle citrus and herbal tinges. The grain and yeast combine to give a nice underlying spice taste but the sweetness is relaxed and the flavors are layered w/ complexity

D - This is just out of this world drinkable for a 7% ale. The representation of the style is great I would drink this any chance I can get it is refreshing and has depth not something you can find often like the best of both worlds

 1,124 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a hazy amber-ish color with a nice khaki colored head.

S: Plenty of sour cherries right off the bat. A bit of vinegar, some lactic notes, and a hint of malt sweetness as well.

T: A really solid acidity to the flavor which keeps this beer really "bright" and easy to drink. Good cherry notes along with a bit of sweetness that goes well with the sourness. Not too much oak, but a decent dryness and tannic component.

M: The body is medium with a very lively carbonation and a dry finish.

D: I haven't been all that crazy about a lot of the De Proef beers, but this one was very nice. I'll have to see how the bottles in my cellar hold up.

 656 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a 750ml with my wife.

A: Beautiful ruby color with a whipped meringue head that lingers for several minutes, leaving big lacing. Awesome appearance!

S: Sweet cherries and wild yeast, definitely in that order

T: SWEET! sour. This is beer is much sweeter than it is sour. I was really expecting and hoping for a better balance between the two. Sweet cherries and cherry juice dominate the flavors, so much so that I feel I may be missing out on other complexities in this beer. There is only a hint of sourness, along with a yeasty, bread-like quality. The flavor is tasty and done well, but heavily favoring sweet cherry.

M: Sweet and smooth. Average feel.

D: I couldn't even finish my glass. The sweetness becomes very cloying, and quickly.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - A murky brown body with a ruby tint. The head fades quickly, leaving a bubbly ring of lace and a weather forecast hurricane pattern in the middle of the beer.

S - Tangy, sweet and acidic. Some cherry cough syrup nuances and a good bit of fruit skin and yeast aromas. A mild waft of sweet fall spices.

T - Very tart and tangy up front, with a sturdy metallic bite. Deep yeast complexity and sour cherry/tart fruit skin. Sweet on the lips after the sip. Woody dry flavors and earth notes. Dry biscuity alcohol in the backend.

M - Medium bodied with an intriguing feel. Yeasty beer, champagne like effervescence and wine like dryness. The yeast profile makes this one, drying and cleansing.

O - Superb, a yeast lovers beer. Balanced, sweet and sour as the name says.

 771 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep chili/chipotle pepper red body, not much clarity but you can see just a tad bit of faint carbonation rising. Head is creamy and filled with sheets of a whipped tan light creme like lacing. Three to two fingers tall easily, leaves a thin creamy puck also.

Oh man is this bouquet gorgeous. Sweet and sour cherries. This smells like it comes from a barrel (it doesn't I think), with round vanilla notes and soft creamy milk. Small hints of red hot cinnamon. Just wonderful stuff nearly perfect and gorgeous.

Palate definitely hits at lighter body, but perfectly fine with the malt and flavors to come. First sip fills with Kriek like sweet juiced cherries, giving away to a sour softness. Faint caramel, and a big dry finish. Mineral aftertaste that really lingers, with a light body, almost dry white wine crisp, but not quite brut champagne territory. Sweet and sour balances of cherries, and some milk sweetness, with thick malt body of vanilla sort of missing hinted on the nose.

Overall though it's like a kriek and standard Flanders red ale mixed into one, absolutely great beer love it.

 1,142 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, typical Belgian broad shouldered bottle. Pours tequilla sunrise red, the head is soft, fluffy head a dull shade of medium khaki, that leaves thick sheeting and reveals an earthy nose, with some funky components. This a spiced up and warming brew. Spices seem to be in the neighborhood of mild holiday. Tasty and complex, with notes of ripe cherries and other fruits as it warms and opens up. Delicious brew. Interesting and different. Eclectic Belgian lovers will surely enjoy this one

 499 characters

Photo of 22Blue
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Duff27
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/09/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, caged and corked. No freshness info given. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Rust colored, slightly amber pour. Full one inch plus head. Fairly large bubbled and left nice lacing behind.

Smell- This one seems like it was going to be more sour than sweet from the scent. Strong sour aroma emits. Maybe a mixed bag of fruits in here.

Taste- Not too sour, but the sour definitely overpowers the sweetness. A mild pucker cherry flavor with the nice brett flavor happening at the same time. The sweetness barely gets your attention, but does round out the beer nicely. Has a slight odd metallic taste in the background..barely, but it's there.

Mouthfeel- Medium to higher carbonation level. Light pucker action.

Drinkability- A nice effort here. Would buy again, just to see if that metallic taste was a one time thing. If so, this could be a very good Flanders..still good as is though.

 991 characters

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of stevoj
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown / ruby in color, with small beige foamy head and lots of soapy lacing. Cidery aroma, sharp acetic taste, but smooth enough to enjoy . lingering sweetness and a bit of tartness.

 187 characters

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a large bottle at The Farmhouse. Wow, I think this is the best Flemish Red I've had. It lacks the sickly-sweet hit, like in Duchess, and instead has an almost dry fruit punch taste with apples and berries. Of course, the beer is dominated by by sour brett character with an Orval-like catty flavor over sweaty funk and lemon peel.

 336 characters

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of DoubleJ
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Let's go sweet and sour tonight. On to the beer:

Poured into an oversized wine glass, this beer features a clouded light brown/tanned color. Average head retention, with polka-dot lacing sticking to the glass initially. The beer has both that sweet and sour aroma. Strawberries and caramel is the best way to put it. The grain is a little bit musty.

Very mild flavor. The flavor intensity on this one is very low to my surprise. There is a touch of that vinegary sour flavor, but it's not going to make you think it's salad dressing. Very lighty tart. A little sweet. Faint strawberry, hint of those caramel chews. Watermelon is hinted as well. I wish the flavor were more intense. Well, at loeast it feels like a Flanders Red...it has a good body, firm bubbles....no overcarbonation or thin feel. The aftertaste seems musty, and doesn't amount to anything exciting. It's drinkable, but not interesting...but I got 750 ml to drink, so away I go...

Why are you still reading this? Give this a pass.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy brown-red color with a white head. The aroma is tart with some sour wheat, lemons, brett funk and vegetables. The flavor is sour wheat, citrus, lemons, sour dark fruit, corn, green vegetables and cherries. A very odd mix of flavors but I think it works pretty well. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 328 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

De Proef Zoetzuur Flemish Ale
(according to the bottle, brewed with Kriek juice)

Pours a nice ruby color, off white head and nice lacing. Aroma of berries, so quite fruity and slight hint of funk. In the taste, a nice tart sourness, mild acidity, sugary malt, and a hint of cherry juice. Very well balanced with a perfect mix of sweet, sour, malt, and fruit. Ever so slight touch of red wine vinegar. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and drying. Overall, one of the best examples of the Flanders style, and the fruit is downplayed and left in the background where it belongs. Well done.

 590 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a beautiful slightly hazy burnt orange leaning toward a chestnut color. Very nice head that is cream colored with tight beading. The smell is slightly sweet up front followed by a gentle lactic quality. Funk at the end with horseblanket and ripe cheese aromas. The taste is very nicely balanced with sweet/tart flavors as well as some nice spice/pepper, and some restrained fruit- pear mostly. Some slight funk grows as the beer warms as well. The mouthfeel is very smooth and quite creamy. Great beer. Not quite as tart as some in the style, but this is more than made up for by a nice restrained herbal funkiness on the finish. Best beer of theirs that I've tried in awhile.

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Zoetzuur Flemish Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
3.94 out of 5 based on 347 ratings.
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