Tuesday, March 13, 2012

AN UNEXPECTEDLY MIDDLING “FLEMISH PRIMITIVE”

You know how we’re always going on and on about DE PROEF here at Beer Samizdat, right? There’s still a bit of a De Proef greenhorn (me) making all these positive claims about them, largely based on their incredible collaboration beers that are distributed in the U.S. by Shelton Brothers, along with some exceptional experiences I’ve had with some of their own. When I look at the list of beers they’ve/he’s (Dirk Naudts) created over on Beer Advocate, though, it’s obvious I’ve really only scratched the surface. I saw that list not too long ago and made a point to buy the next De Proef beer I saw from it. That beer turned out to be FLEMISH PRIMITIVE, a wild ale that comes in different bottles, and one would presume different recipes (it's true). A little research tells me that this is Flemish Primitive #3, the one they call “Surly Bird”. Let’s dig a little deeper and drink this thing, shall we?

You can probably tell from my post title that I was underwhelmed. Not that it’s any big deal that I expected this wild ale to be a funky, crimson-colored brain eraser….but a yeasty, effervescent golden ale that’s pretty middling across the board? It has a light-to-medium body, and yeah, a somewhat funky strain of yeasts that gives off a decidedly unique taste. As far as the requisite fruits in the taste, I’d go with apple and green grapes. It has elements or earthiness and I can’t say it wasn’t refreshing, but for whatever reason it tasted more like an American “microbrew” stab at Belgian greatness than Belgian greatness in & of itself. And that, my friends, was a surprise. 6.5/10.

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