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The Wild One - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The Wild OneThe Wild One

Educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Reviews
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Reviews: 88
Hads: 448
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 24.69%
Wants: 246
Gots: 49 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hoppymeal on 12-08-2007

A blend of brown ale and wheat wort aged in oak wine barrels. Beer is tart with subtle Brett notes.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Hads: 448
Photo of WillCarrera
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, generously shared at the Peg's tasting on 3/8/13.

A- Pours a hazy amber color, leaves a small off-white head.

S- Tart aroma of fruit, a Flemish-red sorta cherry aroma, lactic and vinous characters. Really nice, complex aroma.

T- Tart flavors of fruit, cherry and lactic acidity, has a nice musty funk and some wine-barrel oak flavor. Malt is a bit sweet.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel with nice carbonation, dry finish.

O- A nice sour, lots of Flemish red influences with good balance of tart, fruity and sweet malty flavors.

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Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of cherry with a green apple acidic finnish. Almost a bubble gum after taste. Pours dark ruby with white frothy head. Yet another great beer from Bell's. On tap at El Bait Shop in Des Moines IA.

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Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the November Baltimore Area BA tasting. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy reddish amber color with a layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the pour.

Smell: Very tart with some red berries and wine. I'm getting some sweet malt behind the tart smell. Some dark sour like funk and raspberries.

Taste: There is a very nice level of tartness to this one. Red berry tartness, reminds me a bit of raspberries. The tart notes don't run away because of the malt sweetness in the background. Definitely getting some wine here too. The finish is sour and a bit vinegary.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium and I would say this beer is just a bit flat. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: I thought this was a very nice dark sour. I liked it just as much as the first time I tried this beer. The red berry notes and wine were good. Quite complex.

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Photo of stewart124
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber to brown in color. Visible carbonation with little head.

Nose had some tart raspberry and cherry with funk character.

Some very pleasant tart character in taste. Cherry and raspberry again with an acidic punch. Easy to drink and could easily throw back a few. Light tobacco and leather with vanilla hints. Just a really solid wild ale.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, Maduro, pre-great taste party

cellphone notes

appearance: murky brown body - light beige ring, not much in the way of lacing

smell: nice tartness - cherry, raspberry/blackberry, candy sugar, oak

taste: tart cherry, woody notes, wild yeast, blackberry, raspberry, touch of apple. I liked this sour from bell's, better than i remember it being the last time

mouthfeel: decent tartness, lively

drinkability: good

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Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sour Brown Ale according to the hangtag on the bottle.
Thanks Jay for making this review possible.

Pours a bright reddish brown, bright clarity with an initial burst of carbonation when poured. A settling layer of tan foam surfaces and leaves some spotty lace around the edges.

Apple butter and earthy Brett funk nuances. Tart crabapple, vinous with an exceptionally balanced feel, smooth and malty like an Oud Bruin with fruity wine barrel tartness folded in seamlessly. Light carb and medium bodied. Comes off like a less aggressive La Folie with some fruity yeast complexity that is unique. Very well blended, which bodes well for whatever Bell's puts out next in this series.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 01/07/12 notes. Big thanks to GT (RB) for sharing this one at a local DC RB tasting. Served in a tulip, batch 168 of 370.

a - Pours a murky orange-brown amber color with two inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, wine, brett, light funk, spice, earthy malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of sour dark fruits, wine, oak, yeast, bready malts, light spice, brett, and lunk. A tiny bit funkier than the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp and easy to drink.

o - Overall a very nice wild ale. It isn't really overly sour in the nose or taste, but there is a nice mix of funk and sour fruit. Would certainly like to have it again.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Eccentric Cafe

Medium brown to red color. Very slim head with little retention.

Aroma is very pleasant. Fruity aroma mostly cherries along side a slight hint of vinegar. A fair share of earthiness, slight musk and funk. Subtle oak and vanilla near the back.

Intense yet controlled tartness at first sip. Certainly not the sourest I have had. Sour dark cherries and other assorted dark fruits. Earthy, faintly spiced flavor hits towards the back of the palate.

Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Finish is rather dry.

Very solid AWA from a brewery not known for producing such a style. Most everything from Bell's is top notch, Wild One is no exception. Having a couple in a sitting is not out of the question.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the eccentric cafe, described only as 'spontaneously fermented.' Pours dark amber and mahogany in color with a small cream head that fades quickly. Aroma is tart lemons with sugar on them, also a more earthy tartness, like peeling a green apple. When agitated, aromas of yeasty breadiness, malt sugars and alcohol are evident as well. Taste is white wine and a vinegary tartness, green apple skins and a hint of breadiness are present in the finish and into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light to medium body, a little carbonation hits on the tongue up front then becomes slick before a puckering tartness and nice dry finish. Refreshing beer, fairly tart (more tart than sour) and the drying finish makes you come back for more. The sweeteness in the aroma is in the background but is a nice balance in the aroma.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Short Review. I've always wanted to try this beer, so I had to have a couple samples of it when I finally found it and I have to say that it's a pretty good Wild Ale, it's got most of the aspects that I expect from the style and it didn't seem to be overly sour or acidic, which I liked. It's not the best sour I"ve had. but it's still good nonetheless and I enjoyed it. I hope to be able to try a fruited version of this one day.

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Photo of mrkrispy
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo. I wasn't aware Bell's made any wild ales, so I was excited to try it.

Nice vibrant but hazy red color. Not much aroma, bit of vinegar and subtle sweetness.

Very nicely carbonated ("tiny bubbles!!!"). Moderate body. Slightly sweet, dark fruit flavors, bit acidic, bit sour. Some funk. Everything in moderation, nothing overpowering. Tartness builds up a bit but the sweetness doesn't.

First thoughts are a Funkified Fresh La Folie. Very drinkable, nothing too bold to scary away Sour Newbs, and nothing too mild to scare away Sour Heads. If this is the first wild ale outing from Bell's they are well on their way.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: reddish brown. pretty good clarity. a tannish head that doesn't last long

Smell: tart, tart fruit. strong oak, vanilla, moderate funk

Taste: tart and acidic fruit starts off and dominates most of the taste. the oak notes and slightly vanilla mix in at the end. funk mixes in a bit throughout.

Mouthfeel: heavier, puckers a little

Overall: a solid and tasty sour. some taste could be stronger but this is good. a long time want for me and was glad to have it.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks again to Mike for fulfilling one of my bigger wants from Bell's - this one has always seemed to elude me whenever it has been on tap nearby. Wild One pours a deep ruby and mahogany color with a tan-ish tinted head that barely forms at all, even after dropping the pour directly down the center of the glass. It's more of a thin sheet than an actual head, and I think it does without saying that there was no lacing left behind.

Very nice aroma on this one; the vinous notes run rampant and stretch to the ends of your nostrils immediately upon bringing the glass to your face. Deep, deep bouts of tart grape skins, black cherries, soaking wet oak, white whine booze, and lots of light, grassy notes. I'm not really picking up any Brett on the nose, although the bottle ensures that the yeast in question was used. Overall, a very tart aroma that's both fruity and oaky - I just wish it had some balancing funk in there.

Lots of acidity present in the first sip (and ever sip hereafter), although that doesn't come as any surprise. Wild One is tart and puckering to the max, playing off of heavy vinous notes from start to finish; grapes, cherries, and oak stretch as far as the taste buds will go. Mild white wine vinegar splashes across the palate here and there as well, also providing a subtle booziness akin to a warm glass of fine wine.

Much to my surprise (and ultimately, happiness), my palate finally picked up a bit of funk, albeit in fairly small quantities. It definitely became a bit more robust as the brew warmed up a bit, though it was still fairly stagnant in the aroma. Light horsey and wet cork-like Brett notes adhere to the back end of every sip, creating a solid aftertaste along with the finishing tart and sweet grape and cherry mix. Thin-medium bodied with lots of carbonation, despite the small head. Wet, slick, thin mouth feel.

Certainly a winner from Bell's. Though it doesn't quite have the levels of funk that I love in my sour beers, it's still certainly a great take on the American Wild Ale style, and you'll be sure to love it as long as you enjoy your beers very tart. Pretty drinkable, especially given the extreme acidity of this one. Might have heartburn the next day, but it'll be worth it.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe. Served in a snifter.

Pour: Hazy, burnt copper brown with a finger of clay colored fizzy head. Head recedes to a ring. No lacing.

Smell: Not an exceptionally pungent nose. Some lactic acid, raspberries, overripe cherries, and lemon funk up front. A touch of caramel. A very light band-aid.

Taste: More sour brown-esque, with a tart lactic bite up front, followed by some caramel and doughy sweetness. A touch of overripe cherries and raspberries. A bit of a lemony bite. A nice funk on the back half mixes with a linger lactic sourness.

Mouthfeel: Really nice sour bite to this one, with a suitable level of carb. The caramel and doughyness from the taste round out the mouthfeel, making this a bit heavier than you'd expect, but in a good way.

Overall: Really nice wild ale from Bell's. Good, but the raspberry version blows this away.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle. Bottle # 142 of 826. Batch K10851. Poured into my Lost Abbey tulip. This is BA review #400.

A: Pours a nice looking reddish, brown color. Good carbonation but only a thin layer of off white head. Drifts into a ring quickly

S: Tart black cherries. Vinegar. Mild funk. Doesn't smell to crazy.

T: A very good Flemish red or Oud Bruin style. Best if the night for me, other than some of the European varieties that are out there for much cheaper purchase price. Nice mild tartness. Definitely pulling those tart dark cherries. Maybe some of the green apple/crap apple character as well. Not overpowering balsamic. You do get a little oak toward the end of the palate.

M: Medium bodied. A little more robust than other sours of the night.

O: I really like this one. It's not the biggest Flemish sour out there but very good.

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Photo of wedge
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

@ Tasty

Served in a Tasty Teku, appears a slightly hazy crimson color with a small milky head that reduces to a bubbly collar. Smells seems to indicate a Flanders style sour...tart cherries, acetic acid, raspberries, plums, wood, and some malty sweetness. Sour berry sweetness, malt, fruity acidity, and a dry woody spice that adds warmth. Dry and tart with creamy carbonation. Comes across as a nice blend overall...very enjoyable.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this was an unexpected treat at Stone Soup '14.

Poured a murky orange-brown color, a small, frothy, whitish head atop the small sample I took for myself. Sour berry aroma, Brett funk, hints of earth and bready malts. Taste of sour cherry, apple, red wine, Brett funk, notes of vanilla, cork and oak, toasted cereal grains. Medium body, tart and acidic mouthfeel, though not too extreme in that regard. Pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store.

Arrives in a gorgeous Bell's tulip. Deep murky amber brown with a thick beige head with a rocky bottom fed by bubbles constantly. Lacing and retention are fantastic.

Aroma is sour with lactic and tart fruits - cherries for sure. Plenty of brown sugar in the nose and some Brett and spicy oak.

Whoa, the taste is seriously dry and funky up front. Some tart cherries and brown sugar follow behind. Lots of oak and dry earthy funk in the finish with a hint of lactic as well.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and seriously dry and tart on the palette. Solid carbonation to liven it up.

Really impressed with this one. After the Oarsman disappointed I wasn't sure what to expect but this is a great sour from Bell's.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 8.20.13
Bottle # 134 of 826
Batch # K10851

A - Pours a hazy medium to dark brown with a fine, tan head that fades slowly.

S - Very funky and tart, lots of wood-barrel, some cherry in the finish.

T - Tart cherry, red apple, funky-acidic wood, smooth and nice.

D - Good carbonation with a medium to light body.

O - Tart and funky wtih lots of barrel and subtle fruit flavors.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the cafe. Served in a Sniffer. my first sour

A-Reddish color with no head
S-Very tart and sour. Way top sour if you ask me.
T-tart and funky. Very suprising as I loved the taste. Fruity and very smooth
M-Very smooth. wish this was bottled
D-Loved this beer. Gone with my drink in no time.
Didn't think I would like the sour but it came highly recommended, and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle drank at NWI tasting group night

A - Dark raspberry color with light lemon accents. Small white head

S - Raspberry, lactic acid, lemon, and light strawberry presence

T - Tart lemon and raspberry with good blue chesse funk. There is lots of white vinegar and lactic acid as well that almost makes you pucker. Good beer with a good tart presence to it.

M - Good carbonation with light astringency from the lactic acid and a dry finish

O - One of the better American wilds that I've had with good tartness initially and slight funk in the finish. A really great offering from Bell's.

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Photo of barczar
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big acetic and lactic aroma, with an almost Flanders vinous, barreled character.

Flavor is more lactic early, but doesn't quite hit the sharpness expected. Seems to fade somewhat abruptly to soft cherry and woody, earthy notes. Wish the sourness lingers a bit, but a nice, fairly complex offering.

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Photo of DrRayBan
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a tulip glass. Fairly clear reddish-brown. The head was tan and too short lived (I think it was served too cold and this might have dampened the bouquet).
Tart, fruity flavor, very "Belgian" and would probably go well with crepes. Smooth feel.
An enjoyable beer, but too tart for session drinking.

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: hazed amber-golden in color with a tight little white head

s: good level of tart/sour over well dried malts, tart cherries, some mild citrus peel, aged hops

m: medium body, perhaps more full than other examples, lively carbonation with a crisp finish

t: pale malts run through with a strong but balanced tartness, refreshingly sour, dried fruits - mostly cherry and underripe berries, some oak, hops very mild

d: drinks really well, a nice wild from Bell's

full shaker pint at Maduro, Bell's Great Taste pre-party, second time having this - first was at the fest last year

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes taken on 5/19/12.

bottle 36 of 826. Batch K10851.

750ml cork and cage bottle poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: reddish copper bodied beer with thin white head. Drops quickly to no head.

Smell: tart cherries, mild funk, hay and wheat.

Taste: The beer is mild to moderately tart. Tart cherries and crab apples, hay and funk are not short to follow. The beer is also has hints of musk, vinegar, and has a fairly dusty flavor to it. Finish has some mild oak notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low and delicate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: A really solid sour made by Bells. Its a little bit pricey around $20 a bottle, but I still enjoyed it none the less.

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The Wild One from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.