Zoetzuur Flemish Ale | De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

BA SCORE
88
very good
347 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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 Phyl21ca
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a cloudy light brown/red color ale with a super huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of oak with some tart note is pretty interesting with some great notes of Brett/funky yeast. Taste is dominated by great oak and tart notes with some sourness which is offset by the funky and barnyard like taste of the yeast. Lots of complexities can be found in this beer. Body was full with some limited filtration and some great carbonation. An interesting experience and something I would definitely like to try again.

 561 characters

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

Appearance - Not really red; more like brownish-amber, and quite hazy. Pours with several inches of thick, frothy foam; head retention is exceptionally good.

Smell - Mild funk, sour cherries and apples, oak, subtle fruity sweetness.

Taste/mouthfeel - Sour, but not lambic sour; more balanced between sweet and tart flavors. Dry apple cider and sour cherries, raspberries, balsamic vinegar and a touch of vanilla. Medium-bodied with smooth, tingly carbonation. Finishes with a dry, oaky bitterness.

Notes - This is a solid Flanders red, and it's very reasonably priced. Recommended.

 584 characters

Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly hazy reddish orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big tart cherry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, lemon, lime, pear, apple, plum, red grape, fruit skin, hay, straw, grass, oak, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light pepper/leathery funk, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy/funky yeast, cherry juice, and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart cherry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, lemon, lime, pear, apple, plum, red grape, fruit skin, hay, straw, grass, oak, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, light pepper/leathery funk, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light fruity/acidic tartness and yeast/tannic oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, berry, lemon, lime, pear, apple, plum, red grape, fruit skin, hay, straw, grass, oak, caramel, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy/funky yeast, cherry juice, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from tart/tannic notes, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, fairly acidic/tannic, and slightly slick balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 7%. Overall this is an outstanding fruited Flanders red ale! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy/funky yeast, cherry juice, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the balanced acidic/tannic flavors. Very complex on the Brett flavors, with lighter underlying lacto presence. A highly enjoyable offering.

 2,111 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip glass. The color is a red amber with a good light tan head and some lacing. The nose is red wine, tart cherries, mild vinegar, and a bit of funk. The taste adds in a bit of oak and is a bit heavy on the acetic acid. Good puckering feel with some light funk and oak. Drinks quite well; another enjoyable brew from De Proef.

 364 characters

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of nickfl
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - One finger of off-white head that settles quickly but leaves excellent lace. The body is dark reddish brown and very hazy.

S - Strongly acidic with notes of caramel and dark, sour cherries. Subtle vanilla oak note with noticeable, cheesy brett funk.

T - Dramatically sour with a brown, malty flavor to balance. Carmel and balsamic vinegar notes in the middle with very intense woodiness taking over in the finish. Quite a lot of wild funk in the finish along with a powerful tannic bite from the wood.

M - Medium-high carbonation, medium body, and a very dry, tannic finish.

D - Very nice overall with a great sweet and sour interplay, especially in the nose. The tannins are a bit excessive for my palate, and the funk might be overdone as well, but all in all, one of the best Flemmish Reds I have come across.

 820 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky light brown and rosy hue beer, with a light fizzy head with a bit of lacing.

Nose of sour fruits, plum, some cherries, a bit of funk, a little bit of malt vinegar.

Taste is pretty good too, sour cherries, a bit of malt vinegar, fairly tart with oak and lacto acidic flavors. Finishes with a long tart acidic vinegar and sour cherry.

Mouth is medium to lighter bodied, plenty of carbonation.

Drink is pretty good, sour/tart flavors hit hard but not overwhelming, some vinegar and acidic flavors, but overall pretty drinkable.

 542 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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 smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

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.

 751 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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 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 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 krome
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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