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Agrestic American Wild Red Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Agrestic American Wild Red Ale
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

480 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 7.99%
Wants: 44
Gots: 40 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Halcyondays on 09-11-2011

This liberation begins its journey as DBA then continues through a “chrysalis” process involving 87% French and 13% American Oak barrels, and our proprietary collection of micro flora. To blend, we selected beer matured eight to 24 months in barrels, creating a synergistic beer. Immediately, toasted oak and lemon pith swirl on the nose and palate, followed by an amazing harmony of vanilla, coconut, Earl Grey tea and spice. The finish is crisp, with mouth-watering acidity and chewy tannins. Since we age, blend and bottle these beers once a year, there will be slight variation with each release.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 34
Reviews by DuaneSCarr:
Photo of DuaneSCarr
4.97/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was fortunate to taste on one of the very limited barrels at CHURCHKEY in Washington DC on the week leading up to SAVOR. One of the few ( maybe only ) key appearing in the EAST. The beer was a 2 year sour in the tradition of a Roderbach Red.
An incredible smell and taste. I hope this beer makes it abck to the East Coast SOON!

More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: minimal head, low carbonation, orange-brown in color, hazy

Smell: sharp sour mix and slight wood smell

Taste: A great mix of oak, sour mix, toasted malt, and graham crackers

Mouthfeel: sour with a touch of sweetness, medium in body, low carbonation

Overall: Another winner from Firestone Walker. Not the most complex American wild ale that I have had, but it sure is tasty. It is right up there with my favorites for non-fruity sour ales. I would get this again in a heartbeat if I could find it on tap.

Photo of Roguer
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Very clear amber brew. Decent head, understandably short life based on style.

Incredibly complex and subtle aroma. Caramel, toffee, coconut, oak, vanilla, honey, and of course sour. Musty, almost like dog musk, with sour grapes.

Very sour, but not overwhelming. Slightly sweet and fruity. Balanced oak and vanilla.

Disappointingly thin and oily mouthfeel; the only part of this brew that is less than outstanding.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Medium white head.

Smell - Lots of wine barrel. Kinda cherry smelling. Malt. Oaky.

Taste - Quite malty. Wine barrel is strong again. White wine. Oak. More caramel malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium light. Well carbonated.

Overall - Kinda malty, kinda sour, kinda boring.

Photo of IKR
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage
375 ml bottle

Appearance: Clear amber color with a generous sized light beige head that slowly faded with nice lacing. A good looking beer.

Smell: Moderate barnyard funk dominates with some tart cherry like notes also present. I also pick up some mild leather notes.

Taste:The moderate funk funk shows up in the taste along with some mild leather-like notes. I get some citrus notes as well with some oak notes drying out the finish. More tart rather than sour. The finish also brings some grassy/hay notes not in a bad way but adding to the complexity of the palate.

Mouth-feel: Light-bodied with a generous level of carbonation. The mouth-feel is right where it should be for a sour.

Overall: My first Barrel Works beer from Firestone Walker and I'm liking what I drink. This beer fits in well with their line up.

Photo of JamesH21
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This wild beer has a beautiful color and aroma to it. A different kind of spice going in on this, different but nice. The sour aspect was nice and not too overwhelming, good mouthfeel. Not Barrel Works best wild but seek this out definately. I wish this was bottled would be

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a medium-dark amber, with a half inch head, and a bit of lacing.

This one smells like a sour Double Barrel Ale, which is cool. There's a good amount of oak, some hay and funk, white wine, and caramel.

You can definitely tell that the base of this one is Double Barrel Ale, the funkification of this one didn't cover it up entirely, which adds to the complexity. There's caramel, toasted bread, a very large amount of oak, some lemon, hay, funk, and white wine. Really tasty stuff.

This is medium bodied, with a dry, crisp mouthfeel, and a medium amount of carbonation.

This is really tasty, my first wild ale from FW. I need to try some more for sure.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(misplaced review from May, 2014)

On tap at Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, CA.

Wild like an Angelina Jolie adoption and solid like Hank Aaron during his home run trot...Yep!

Wonderful red ale/oak barrel sourness like Alvin The Chipmunk after a bender

Just do it, my children.

Photo of cbutova
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap last night at Sunset Grille, Allston, MA. Plentiful notes taken to my phone and transcribed here.

A- Red body ale poured from the tap to a snifter. Tiny white crown in the beer that is a mix of foamy and frothy. A small ring remains leaving a few small sheets of lace.

S- Aroma reminds me of a fruited wild ale. Juicy red fruits with lactic sours and some straw barny funk, wet oak, apple, cherry, slight brown malts, vinous grape tannins.

T- Wine and fruit flavors really take precedence here with the lactic funky bacteria, oaky tannins. The Double Barrel Ale can be felt here with oak, brown malts and some caramel that disappears when tartness grows. Reaches a strong tart grape intensity eventually.

MF- Light body that is dried up from the bugs. Carbonation at a medium-high level and some frothy texture on the palate. Finishes with a tannic grape tartness coating the taste buds.

Solid Wild Ale with the feel of the base beer and eventually a huge fruity tannic-vinous tartness.

Photo of Matonika
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is the best wild ale you can get. It is not so sour you couldn't have a bottle of it like so many sours. It is balanced and refreshing. The finish is medium and does not linger for a long time but enough to taste the nuances of the beer. It is funky and citrusy. This is a great beer. FW knocks it out of the park again.

Photo of jakewatt135
4/5  rDev -3.1%

On Tap at abv pub. Lightly sour with a little cherry and a ton of oak dominating the flavor. Overall very approachable and enjoyable.

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thin layer of white foam.

S: A fair bit of oak on the aroma with a nice touch of sour cherries. There are some fairly pronounced vinegar notes to it with a little bit of peach. Some grassy funk with a very light earthiness and straw. Not the most pungent aroma, though.

T: There are some soft cherry and peach flavors to it along with the same vinegar tartness that existed on the nose. A light lactic character to it along with some orange pith. A light malt sweetness and a bit of oak.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: This was interesting. A bit too much vinegar at first, but it sort of grew on me the more I drank of it.

Photo of John_M
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bier Stein the other day.

The beer pours an orange amber color with excellent head retention and considerable lacing all around. So this beer certainly looks good enough. On the nose, there's something of vinuous quality, along some noticeable sweet fruit (grapes and cherry) and light vanilla. The beer smells as if it will be on the sour side, which is expected. On the palate... wow, what a dud. There is the sour quality I was expecting, but there's not much else otherwise (some sweetness from the fruit, but not much). This really seems like a training wheels version of sour, and I'm really not getting a lot from the barrel aging. Mouthfeel is fairly light, and the finish is dull and a bit short. Alcohol is not at all noticeable, which is usually a good sign, but in this case this beer could really use some more "oommmppphhhh!"

Considering this is from FW, this beer is shockingly lack luster. I realize it's their first effort at a sour (so maybe things will improve in time), but this is really surprising (especially considering the price tag... $8 for an 8 or 9 ounce glass at the Bier Stein). Call me very unimpressed.

Photo of MonkeyBread
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Khoury's Las Vegas

Nose is fairly subtle of oak, white wine, red fruit and tartness.

Taste is similar to nose. The oak really comes through especially on the finish. It is tart but not overly so, which pleasantly doesn't overpower the other flavors nor make your cheeks burn. The fruit note is difficult to place: cherries, raspberries, grapes and a bit of apple. This is not an overtly flavorful beer. The tartness is complimented by the addition of mild oak and wine flavors from the barrel aging. Body, carbonation and mouthfeel are excellent as you'd expect from Firestone Walker.

Overall, a quality sour with the brewery finding flavors that go well in combination. In comparison to other pricey sours such as from the Bruery this will come across as less flavorful and milder tartness but for me that is a positive.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at ABV.

A mildly murky orange brown with a dense, white head that falls off to a ring leaving nice lacing. The nose is dominated by Brett funk. Clove, barnyard, wet dog, mild plastic, a little honey, wet hay. Solid, I'm really digging it. The palate opens mildly tart with a fruity, berry like acidity, mildly messy, chewy and gritty. Sourness is mild, it's definitely neither lactic nor acetic, closer to the tartness you find in beers deliberately stressed when fermented secondarily with Brett. Dextrinous on the mid palate , the funk really dominates here. Clove, barnyard, wet dog, wet hay, damp earth. Fullish on the finish with plenty of dextrinous, wheaty body bit minimal sweetness before disappearing into a mildly watery finish. A very nice expression of Brett here. Recommended.

Photo of Devman171
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at rustico, pour is amber with low head. Aroma is big oak and fruity esters, taste is similar with big oak tannins and funk, very nice

Photo of scottfrie
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at HG. Tulip.

A: Served a slighty opaque iced-tea color with a thick and fluffy white head that faded into a fuzzy and long lasting collar. Streaks of sticky lace were left down the glass.
S: Complex nose full of spices, dried fruits, oak barrel, pepper, and spearmint, stone fruits, oak barrel, and red fruits.There is a black tea quality as well.
T: All flavors are mild, muddled, and blended, with a very soft flavor profile overall. No one aspect really stands out. There's some definite tea like flavors, a mild bitterness, and mild vanilla. Spice and dried fruit seem to dominate with hints of grapes. Red fruit lingers in the aftertaste. There's a very mild cheesy funk as the beer warms.
M: No tartness at all, or at least it's very mild, with no acidity. The body is super dry, with exceptionally creamy carbonation and a super soft mouthfeel. Flavors are buttery (greasy) overall from the heavy barrel aging. I get a couple of tannins as well.
O: Subtle and complex. A nice soft sipper. Smooth as hell, delicious.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at 38 Degrees Ale House in Alhambra, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some fruity, vinegar, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with a woody flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of russwbeck
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The color of this beer is hazy red brown with only a thin ring of head and no bubbles. 4

S: The aroma is sour brown ale all the way. Tart acidity, caramel malts, and some cherries? It smells tart and sweet. 4

T: It tastes like New Belgium's La Folie, but not quite as strong or good, sadly. It's very good, but not on that level. Brown ale underneath is showing its maltiness, but the acidity takes over quickly. Sour, tart, and vinegar. It's built on DBA, which I can see because it's malty and crisp overall. 3.5

MF: Medium body with a low carbonation. It's very drinkable, with a dry lingering aftertaste. 4

Pairing: The Lamb belly was phenomenal. The salty lamb and purée paired perfectly with the tart sour beer. This was the first time tonight that the food enhanced the beer. 5

O: This was a nice little sour beer, but it wasn't spectacular. I'd like to see a bigger flavor profile underneath. I really like how they used DBA instead of making a new base beer though. 4

Photo of denver10
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber with a nice big white head. Aroma is a touch funky, woody, earthy, a touch of caramel, and wine tannins. Flavor starts off with some woodiness, a little funky, wine tannins, a touch of caramel, and closes out dry and earthy. Medium bodied, active mouthfeel. Overall, loved this beer. They need to bottle this ASAP.

Photo of strYkn14
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Very reminiscent of Russian River brews, I enjoyed this very much

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a dark copper that has a subtle purpleness to it. A blanket of pretty white froth sits atop my next Firestone Walker experience. Lacing is speckle and random.

S-Not overly aromatic. When I really dig in, I get a clear sour component that is augmented by some maltiness that must be the base beer coming through. Some faceless sour fruit and some very light oak.

T-It's plenty sour. My main gripe would be that Agrestic Ale is sour without any specific flavor coming into the picture. I struggle to find flavors I can connect to besides the blatant sourness. I did pick up some oak. It's very tart with a whisper of sweet malt and maybe some generic sour fruity tones.

M-Light, airy and drinkable. A pint is enough for me though; all that wild yeast limits how much I can consume before I get dat bloat.

O-Flavorful but lacking depth. I'm nitpicking, though. The flavor was refreshing and tart and nothing beyond that.

Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%

Poured a light red body, or maybe reddish brown/light copper is a more fitting description, with two finger head that left a lace ring down whole glass as I drank.
The aroma is mostly a combination of tart cherries and sourness although notes of oakiness/woodiness come in as do touches of boozy sweetness.
The woodiness keeps it smooth, light to medium bodied, sharpness is minimal but sour fruit patches and tart flavors like cherry are evident.
Balance is there thanks to some fruity sweetness on the backend.
I did enjoy this beer but it just seemed a little bit off to me.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Surprised by the fluffy head that lasted for a while. Body is orange.

Fairly lemony aroma with cherry, vanilla, and oak.

Dunno why the flavor kinda sucks compared to the aroma on this. Comes off kinda muted. Body is thin and medium carbonation. There is a mild tartness to it and not all that funky. Ends dry. Barrel comes through in the flavor. A little toasty and fruity.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hops and Pie, interesting pedigree, interesting name (weeds?), interesting beer. Looks like DBA, amber, decent head. Smells like it's going to pucker my mouth, vinegar, cherries, nice aroma. Flavor is cherries, malt, sour, nice beer. I'm really impressed how they took one of their staples and made it into a brand new beer. Solid.

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Agrestic American Wild Red Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.