Review: Flanders Fred, De Proef Brouwerij & Hair of the Dog

Flanders Fred
De Proef (Lochristi, Belgium) and Hair of the Dog (Portland, Oregon)

  • Style:  Strong Ale and Lambic Blend
  • Bitterness: Not specified 
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Malts: Not specified
  • Hops: Not specified
  • Sampled: 750 ml. corked and caged bottle

Description: "The sixth edition of the De Proef Brewmaster's Collaboration Series is our first blended beer. Legendary brewer, Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog joins Dirk Naudts at De Proef to create this unique bottle conditioned beer. Flanders Fred is a blend of Flanders-sourced lambic with a collaboratively-brewed version of the famous Hair of the Dog Fred. The result is a deep golden ale topped with a creamy off white head. The nose is complex with notes of lemon, pine, tropical fruits and spice. The palate is rich and layered with toffee, apricot and almond, balanced by some green apple, a hoppy bitterness and barnyard funk. Please enjoy Flanders Fred with food and friends. This beer should pair very well with many cheeses, roasted vegetables and grilled meats. We believe this bottle will continue to evolve beautifully over the next few years, adding a subtle blending of the flavors."  — De Proef Brouwerij & Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts: I received Flanders Fred as part of a shipment from The Rare Beer Club. This review is strictly for the beer. I have posted a separate review for The Rare Beer Club. I'm a huge fan of wild / sour ales, so I was thrilled to receive this as a club selection! I saved Flanders Fred for a special occasion and finally cracked it open on Thanksgiving.

The tasting: Golden orange in color, hazy, with a head of fine white bubbles that lingered throughout the entire drink. From the first sniff, the lactic acid provides clues about what's in store. Some light funky barnyard notes were present in aroma as well. The flavor begins with the bright tartness promised by the aroma. The tartness is prominent, but not overwhelming. In the middle, many different layers of flavor come through. There's lots of fruitcherry, lemon peel, and crisp apple. The Belgian yeast lends light spicy notes. Overall hop bitterness is low and the 7.5% alcohol is well-masked in aroma and flavor. Underneath it all, a biscuit-like malt base provides the backbone. Flanders Fred is light to medium bodied, has a smooth and creamy mouth feel, and finishes dry with a light earthy hop bitterness. Overall, this beer is very nicely balancedeverything is just right!

Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again!  Simply stated, this is an amazing beer! I slowly savored the bottle over the course of a few hours. As the beer warmed, different flavors emerged. Normally, I'm ready to move on to something new after a glass or two. Not the case with this one. Too bad it wasn't a 1 liter bottle...

Flanders Fred was brewed once, and was released in June. If you can still find a bottle (and I doubt you can), you should consider snatching it up! I wish I had another bottle to age. If you like wild / sour beers, this is a beer you'll appreciate. If you're not a fan of the style, this just may be the one that converts you to the sour side..

Have you tasted Flanders Fred?

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