Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale

Reinaert Flemish Wild AleAs can probably be guessed from its name, Reinaert Flemish Wild Ale is an unusual beer. It was recommended to me at Newport Market when I mentioned that I really liked Saison Dupont, so of course I had to try. Plus, it has a really great bottle and label design.

It’s also a big beer; 9% alcohol by volume, so it’s not one to take lightly! But if you’re into the funky Belgian beers, this is definitely worth a try.

Appearance: Very clear, sparkling—like champagne. Honey yellow. Crisp fluffy two fingers of head on top.

Smell: Sour, yeasty, orange peel, apple, old leather.

Taste: Sour, complex—wow… kind of lambic-ish in character (but not flavor necessarily—and not like a fruit lambic a la Lindemans). Not super sour. It has a bite! Definitely reminded of a saison/farmhouse ale too… honey, spicy, herbal, musty. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, offset by the sparkling carbonation.

Noting the lambic character so strongly in this beer, I read on the label after the fact that it’s brewed with the same wild strain of yeast that is used in lambic—Brettanomyces along with the regular Saccharomyces ("normal" beer yeast). So that’s where the "wild" part of Wild Ale comes from.

On BeerAdvocate it’s fairly well received, scoring 86 out of 100 with 91% overall approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.56 out of 5 and is in their 87th percentile overall. Myself, I liked it, though it is pretty unusual. You gotta go with the funk on this one.