The Wild One - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
The Wild OneThe Wild One

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

85 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 85
Hads: 415
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 245
Gots: 45 | 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: 85 | Hads: 415
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bryant Lake Bowl.

Pours a scarlet red color with good transparency. Not much in the way of head, but kind of expected.

Sour smelling with undertones of oak and cherry.

I would call this moderately sour for the style. Not overly sour, but more than enough to capture your palate. Sour cherry notes along with a nice woody oak taste in the finish. Very little sweetness.

Very dry as expected, lighter bodied.

This is a nice wild ale. It represents the style well and can appeal to sour heads and maybe some novice sour drinkers as well. It is a bit of a challenge to finish a whole glass alone, but I'm glad I tried it. (633 characters)

Photo of beerhan
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this at Bell's and I loved it.

Poured into a pint glass with a small head. Dark brown color with lots of carbonation.

Smells very sweet. Lots of sugar and brett as well as some cherry. It has that nice funky taste to it that I love.

This beer tastes exceptional. I was blown away. It reminds me of a Flanders Red ale except brewed only a few hours away from me. Just delicious and not too tart, just the perfect blend of dryness and fruit.

I could easily drink any amount of this. The carbonation is perfect and the alcohol is great. I hope this is bottled some day as it is now one of my favorite beers from Bell's. (639 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Pours a surprisingly dark amber with a thin white head. Has a lot of nice Brown Ale characteristics of dark malt, roasted nuts, caramel, and brown sugar, but with solid Brett flavors of lemon, barnyard, and funk added to it. Light-bodied with crisp carbonation. I could drink a lot of this, it was a nice Dark Horse pick for one of my favorites of the day. (383 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of fear025
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bell's eccentric cafe.

Aroma:A little bit of cherries, some sourness.

Appearance:Reddish-brown, a little murky, very little head.

Taste:There's a mild sour fruity tartness on the foretaste. The flavors dissipate quickly after the foretaste until it just lingers slightly on the aftertaste. One nice thing about this one is that the palate doesn't get used to the sourness, so every sip seems as tasty as the first.

Mouthfeel:Light to medium body. There's a harsh acidic astringency that hits the back of the throat.

Drinkability:This is a great flemish red. It's a little subdued compared to some, but perhaps because of that very easy to drink. (664 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had while at Brewvival! Served from tap into a sampler Brewvival imperial pint. Poured dark brown with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained good lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and hints of fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and dark fruits. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. I found myself going back quite a few times to sample this one. I was really looking forward to trying this one as it was a Bell's Wild Ale I haven't had before and it seemed like it would be a nice brew. My thoughts were right. The flavor and aroma on this one were quite nice and kept me craving more. The keg finally kicked and that was the only reason I stopped sampling it. A definite must try without doubt! (866 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this while at the Eccentric Cafe.

A: no head, appears a brilliant deep red with good clarity, no lacing

S: familiar aroma of lactobacillus up front with a big tart cherry character. Notes of vanilla and grape skin, very fruity on the finish.

T: there is a nice tart puckering as the beer first passes across the palate. The sour character gives way to cherry and grapes, and a crisp tart finish. Nice balance going on between the sour and sweet components of the beer.

MF: spritzy carbonation, crisp

D: this is a dangerously drinkable sour. It would make a great entry for anyone who wants to get into sours, as it is balanced well. Hope to see this in bottles soon. (680 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Cafe...A medium copper, clear. The head is light head, ok thin ring but no lacing...The aroma is really light, wish it was stronger as this shows some promise. Light cherries, vinegar, a little oak. Reminds me of an American oud bruin. Surprised it was aged in a wine barrel, don't get that at all. Lactic sour notes, want them stronger... The taste is stronger but not as good as the nose, lightly tart, vinegar, oak, pretty light and boring finish. I get the wine barrel in the finish and feel, lots of grape skin going on.

An average sour that I'd skip in the future. (585 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at bells in december

Pours a beautiful purplish red with minimal head. smells very tart and sour. A bit of sweetness on the nose. Tastes like sour sweet tarts and lots of wine characteristics. Too bitter and sour for my taste but overall pretty solid. Okay mouthfeel but overall not something that sits right on my pallette.fairly drinkable for such a sour beer (369 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (674 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bells Wild One, on tap at Brick Store Pub, Decatur, GA. Reviewed from phone notes.

Appearance: Arrives a pleasant dark amber - an unusual but not unheard of hue for a wild ale - with some great stick from a foamy, creamy head with above average retention.

Aroma: Tannins tannins tannins are rampant here, juicy, tea-like, and leafy. Wine-like tartness and Brett-influenced sour apple notes mingle with lots of amber malts and caramel, roasty notes.

Taste: Tart but not puckering, which I imagine is largely a byproduct of the wine addition. Moderate funky Brett notes - not sour in origin - intermingle interestingly with slight buttery overtones. A roasted, caramel-like sweetness if soft but crisp, with the spy crispness mingling well with the tartness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and pretty even, with fine carbonation amplifying the tartness without making it overbearing.

Drinkability: Apologies for the brevity of this review - this was a beer I had later in the evening, if you catch my drift. Regardless, I remember being a big fan of it. A lot of flavor going on here, with the wine addition both tempering and amplifying certain characteristics of the Brett (for better and for worse). At 6.6%, you can afford to have this one more than once to try and figure out exactly which characteristics get what treatment, too. (1,326 characters)

Photo of DrRayBan
4.11/5  rDev +1%
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. (315 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +2%
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. (746 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of decadance
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first introduction to wilds.

A - Brownish to amber with not much in the way of head.

S - Fruits. Hard to discern, but definitely cherries and raspberries in there. A bit of vinegar too.

T - Holy hell, I have been missing something. Its puckering, but wonderful. It has off sweet, but the back end is dominated by sourness.

M - While it did not have much of a head I am shocked at how carbonated this is. It bubbles in the mouth. Pleasing.

D - I want more. I had more. Good to see something at Bell's that can shock me. (527 characters)

Photo of sidetracked
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bell's. Poured into a plastic cup even though proper glassware was right in front of the bartender ... not sure what the deal was.

Pours a slightly cloudy amber brown with a small off-white head that dissipates quickly.

Sourness dominates the smell with hints of sour apple candy.

Taste is also dominated by the souring brett with the finish more sour than the upfront flavor. Really difficult to pick up any other flavors through the sour funk.

Medium body with a high carbonation, sparkling feel.

Although slightly one-dimensional due to the intense sourness, I could have easily drank a few of these.

8/28/2010 (630 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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 (580 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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 (423 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (638 characters)

Photo of wedgie9
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on draft at Lush CBC event. Pours nearly black with a huge brown head. Aromas of dark malt, chocolate, and hops. Flavors of bitter chocolate, bitter hops, and very dark malt. The carbonation is heavy, but the liquid itself is a little less than medium in body with a long bitter finish. Overall, this is a very unique beer that is also very good. (353 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Bells Eccentric Cafe, $4 for a 12oz goblet. The chalkboard described it as "sour brown ale, tart".

The beer was clear-to-translucent, dark reddish copper color, with about 1/2 finger of off-white head. The aroma was really unique, kind of odd, the strongest notes I get are pickles and peppers. As in pickle juice and jalapeno peppers, but behind these there's a hint of brett and some mild malt aromas (a little grainy). The taste was strong on the peppers, some tartness but not as aggressive as I'd personally prefer, and there's a little chalkiness in the aftertaste. On re-reading, these adjectives sound more unpleasant than the actual taste of the beer, but they seem descriptive to me.

Medium bodied, all in all a peppery gateway to the sour style. It was OK, not something I'd go after in bottles, and a few notches below Golden Funk from the same brewery. (882 characters)

Photo of spointon
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Eccentric Cafe on 8/28/2009, poured into a stemmed goblet. From my notes:

A= This ale poured a murky red-ish color with pretty much zero head and no lacing to speak of.

S= The aroma was pretty faint but to me it smelled more like a nice fruit brandy than anything else. Some wild yeast did come through as well though.

T= This was as much about tart fruit flavor as it was about any strong wild yeast sourness. The tartness is all over each swallow lending hints of blackberry, cherry, and raspberry combined with a hint of vinegar sourness and a classic dry finish.

MF= Thin side of medium bodied with a crisp, tiny-bubble mouthfeel.

D= Kudos to Bell's for making a very drinkable and palate-accessible sour beer. Though some will criticize this as being too middle of the road, I think its a perfect beer to bridge the gap for those who like sours and those who don't. (902 characters)

Photo of mrkrispy
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (666 characters)

The Wild One from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.