Review of De Proef Flemish Primitive Wild Ale (Surly Bird)

14 Dec
Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the De Proef Flemish Wild Ale (Surly Bird) produced by De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) located in Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium.

This beer came highly recommended by Mr. A.J. Kuehner (craft beer connoisseur extraordinaire from Pennsylvania).  Look for him on Google+ (+AJ Kuehner)

The website,, didn’t provide any information regarding this specific beer, so let’s just get it poured and see how it is.

Here we go.

This beer came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 9.0%.

I poured a relatively clear golden color with a bright white, somewhat soapy head.  It was sized nicely and the retention time was rock solid.  The lacing looked pretty good too.  It was a very attractive looking beer in my opinion.

The nose released a nice musty hint of funk at the very beginning.  It then developed some grassy tones with whiffs of hay and yeasty goodness.  It also produced a fragrance of green grapes as well as some lemon pepper spice.  About midway through I detected a quick scent of soap which dissipated shortly thereafter.  All in all, a pleasing bouquet I thought.

The taste had a tolerable tartness and sourness, which was composed of lemon citrus, green grapes and a light touch of green apple.  It also had a bit of funkiness that reminded me of some Brettanomyces.  It was quite grassy, bready, yeasty and it also had a sturdy amount of peppery spice.  I found no alcohol, which surprised me somewhat considering the 9.0% ABV.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Only slightly sharp, very dry and crisp with a lively carbonation.  A modest amount of warmth was discovered from either the peppery spice or the alcohol.  More than enough flavor was left on the palate after each sip too.

I tell ya.  I thought this was a great beer.  I want to thank A.J. for recommending it. I’m sure glad I took his advice and picked up a bottle.  It was such an enjoyable and easy drink and one that would fit well at any point during the year.  It’s definitely worth a try if you can obtain a bottle.  So, with that being said, pick up a bottle of the De Proef Flemish Primitive Wile Ale (Surly Bird) and enjoy.  I think that you would agree with me in that it’s a “diamond in the rough” that should be sampled on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.2 out of 5
Grade:  A-    


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