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The Wild One - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The Wild OneThe Wild One

Educational use only; do not reuse.

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 456
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 24.69%
Wants: 246
Gots: 51 | 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: 89 | Hads: 456
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. This was the most enjoyable of what as available on tap today. Most drinkable. Darkish brown with a minimal head. Good sourness, balanced, Brett comes through and added to the complexity of the sourness as well as the absolute level. Lace appears as you drink it. White wine is detected. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Bottle No. 151/370. Batch No. K10596.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, fruit, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but it's not as sour as I was expecting it to be.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This sour pours out as a deep reddish brown color. The head in nonexistent along with the lacing. The aroma of this beer is definitely sour. There is plenty of acidic tartness on the to tongue too. The mouthfeel is more like a wine, not much carbonation at all here. The finish is dry, and earthy. It's a decent sour ale. Not my favorite style but glad I tried it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You can't control her; you can only hope to contain her. Bell's latest "wild one" lives up to its name as its wily sourness is enough to make your face stick that way.

The Wild One opens with an innocent enough rusty brown tinge. Slight golden about the margins and wisping swirls of froth cast high wine and balsamic aspirations. Shy on sweetness, the faint malt flavor of cola and toast hold a light chocolate and steely caramel taste as the sourness begins to unfold.

Its bright acidity simply blossoms across the middle palate as the malt sweetness becomes a forgotten memory and the balsamic, lime, sour grape, crabapple and dry merlot character stands front and center. As its more earthy flavors of oak, grain, brine and peppery spice rounds out the sourness, the beer dries out beautifully.

The beer's acidity cuts through the malt with ease and renders the textures medium-light. Remaining crisp, clean and highly refreshing, an undercurrent of burlap, saddle leather and musty attic woods waft over the aftertaste, wave after wave.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe yesterday. Served in a snifter.

Pours a slightly-muddied moderate brown color with a thin tan head. After a few good swirls, a nice head forms and sticks around for a bit. Eventually this falls into a thin collar. The nose is really nice and tart. Mostly lactic sourness with a touch of acetic character and some cherries. Taste is really nice as well, blending a bit of fruit with some lightly-sweet malt and good acidity. Mouthfeel is really nice, balancing sweetness and acid quite well. This was definitely toward the Flanders Red end of the spectrum and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, Mihir.

Rests in the glass a hazy amber-brown. The small white head recedes to a film. Juicy fruity aroma, acetic berry notes with a lactic twang. Mildly sour, has a nice strawberry jam aroma. Palate has a good balance of acetic berry flavors, gentle lactic acidity. Pretty rounded and drinkable, medium bodied, with a clean brief finish. A good beer, but nothing special.

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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 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 mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reddish amber, burnt sienna in color/ cloudy with a small whispy offwhite head that left a light coating on the sides and bottom of the glass.

oak with a light funk are pressing here. Some light spice and as it warms up lots of cherries coming at me now. Cherries from the start, very nice. light oak and woody notes press in mid palate and as it warms a nice touch of spice starts to come through, almost peppery at times. Some light apple vinegar like flavor in the finish as a dry finish fades off.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Derek for this one.

Pours a brownish color with a tall off-white head. Starts off with some dark fruit and a mild tartness. There's a little bit of hay and grass as well as some oak. Just a little bit of lemon peel. The flavor is slightly sweet with a light tartness throughout, but most notably on the finish. Some drying oak notes as well as some tannic maybe berry type notes. Overall, it's good, but fairly simple.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe.

Pours a murky amber with a thin brite-white head that retains just around the edges and doesn't leave much lacing behind. The aroma is fresh sour cherry tartness mixed with tones of earth and funk.

The taste is a tart bite of cherries right up front that gives way to candied sugars and some other fruit sweetness but make not mistake that the sourness dominates. The mouthfeel is medium and slick with a tart and dry finish on the palette.

This was definitley more tart than sour and retained a fresh taste and lively feel that ended up making it quite refreshing in the end. This was a tasty take on a Wild Ale form Bell's.

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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 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 mothman
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fizzy light off white head. Color is a bright fall orange color/brown.

Aroma: Sour tart cherries up front. Vanilla and spice here. A hint of cinnamon. The spice flavors are big and strong. Also has some oak and brett funk showing.

Taste: Sour tart cherries. These are very tart. A big vinegar and acidic flavor. Oak again and has some other fruit flavors. Lemon also shows with the spice flavors.

Mouthfeel: Mouth puckering sour, tart. Medium bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry with cherry notes.

Overall, one of the most sour beers I had at the fest. It was pretty drinkable and worth multiple pours.

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Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Murren for sharing this. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a burnt color of orange to copper. Some yellow clarity is seen around the edges and a tan froth sits atop the brew with a finger strength.

The aroma includes a mild note of fruity sweetness almost like cherry mixed with a bit of oakiness. A hint of sweet vanilla and apple cidar vinegar across the back that gets a little cheesy with some funk. Overall the nose is lacking a bit of punch but the subtle character that's there is enjoyable.

The taste is tart with a fruited cherry quality just like the aroma suggested. A slight inclusion of vanilla barrel character tames the tartness and helps blend into a taste of apple cidar vinegar. There is a lingering aftertaste of apple skins. I think the flavor came up a bit short here. It was easy drinking but not as wild as one would expect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a pleasant warmth of alcohol. I really appreciated the opportunity to give this brew a try but it was a little weak. I think the comment was made that this was a fresh released batch? I wouldn't mind trying it again if given the opportunity and it has some aging potential I'm sure but as-is I felt it was lacking.

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Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Eccentric Cafe, nice to see more American brewers giving this less then main stream style a try. Poured dark hone amber, under a minor tan head and just a bit of lace. Zesty orangy nose, more citrus and sour cherry on the tongue. Earthy, and acidic with a hint of horse blanket. Crisp, puckering and refreshing. Nice job (as usual) by Bells.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store Pub awhile ago. Reviewing from notes. My understanding is that this is a blend of the brown ale mixed with wheat wort and then aged in barrels. In a sense then, this is more of a sourmash beer, similar to a couple of other ones that I've had. I have to say, though, this one delivers and takes things a bit further. Pours a beautiful chestnut color with nice clarity- it has a glow to it. Slight head, but for what the beer is, that seems excusable. Very tart with lactic and brett notes in the nose. Fresh and appetizing, the aromas definitely invite you to dive in. Some spiciness in the finish. It's been said that these wheat sourmash beers are America's version of a Beriner Weiss, and there is a lot of truth to that. It certainly shares some characteristics with one and perhaps that's even a better classification than an American sour. The taste is similar to the smell. Just the right amount of zesty fruit, light spice, and tartness. Crisp and very quenching. I certainly enjoyed this.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured an reddish orange in color with pinkish highlights that had a thin head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: cherries and raspberries were noticeable on the first whiff with signs of vinegar, subtle bretty funk like the description mentions, wine barrel character, slight vinous notes and hints of dark fruit.

T: fruit forward it is with raspberries and cherries leading the way alongside nice brett funk accents, mild vinegar flavor, great vinous wine barrel notes with a touch of citrus twang, mild must and a little underlying dark fruit.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a fruity, slightly vinegary, funky, woody, vinous tart and crisp finish.

O: solid brew all around, definitely glad to finally try a sour beer from bells.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Bottle shared by womencantsail, thanks!

A: Reddish orange with a fleeting white head.

S: Vinegar accompanies a general berry presence. I detect apple, vanilla, leather, and earth. The aroma is lightly lactic with a dash of cheese and a little oak.

T: Lightly tart with soft vinegar notes. Dark cherry blends with vanilla, currant, and plum. Acetic acidity is restrained. Lactic notes are pervasive. The finish displays a brief tartness that quickly fades with some drying oak.

M: Medium body with lower high carbonation.

Overall: A solid Wild Ale, but it tastes like lots of other beers of the style and nothing sets it apart.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased in March 2012. Bottle #496 of 826. Batch K10857.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Medium copper/brown with a ruby glow around the edges. A ring of white head formed around the edges of the glass.

S - Sour and funk up front with oak and some berry notes.

T - A big tartness with some funk. More tart than sour. A big oak presence, some sour cherry and raspberries.

M - Light to medium body. Dry. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of aasher
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark cherry red with little to no head. It smells very tart and bitter, like tart cherries. The tastes is very tart and very, very dry. Like a fellow sampler put it, it's like a cherry wine with the after taste. It's very tart, very dry, and very bitter. It drinks crisp and fresh and very dry. It lacks true complexity. It doesn't offer any other fruits, yeast, funk, etc. It's kind of like a middle of the road kriek. The dryness definitely carries over to the after taste, leaving a tart cherry flavor behind. It's just ok as far as I'm concerned for a wild. I expected more. It's more like a middle of the road kriek than anything, and not very complex.

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Photo of pat61
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at the Pig & Fiddle on tap
L: Hazy garnet brown under a thin off-white foam collar. S: Fruit, cherry, tart, malt.
T: Tart cheryish fruit, a little green apple, lemony, malt in the back ground but the fruit flavors rule
F: Medium body and medium carbonation
O: A refreshing well made wild ale.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks more like a flanders, has the brown and red appearance, thin, almost nothing in terms of head on it, although the clarity displayed with a beer of this crimsonness is not to be underestimated in its beauty. Aroma, nice cherry tartness, equal mix of the sweet cherry pie descriptor, and the cherry tart. Cool.

Taste, pretty good, delivers on both tart, cherry and sour notes, brown malt is appreciable and helpful to the overall experience. A tad gritty at times, maybe its the brettiness sticking to my teeth as its been known to do from time to time. Decent oak. The sourness is relatively restrained compared to some of the others (Supplication, Love Child etc. . .).

I liked it, would purchase again if it was in $20 or less for a 750.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz tap pour at Bells Eccentric Cafe

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish caramel color. Produced a good white head that dissipated after awhile.

(S)- A nice earthy dry brett funk with tart fruits in there too.

(T)- A good dry acidic tartness with nice fruits and dry funky earth.

(M)- A nice crisp carbonation level and a great balance. Not very sour, but carries a good acidity and funk.

(D)- A nice example for the style coming out of the midwest! I do wish it had a bigger sourness, but this is definitely a mellower, more balanced example.

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The Wild One from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.