Fall Wild Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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54 Ratings

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by beertooth on 09-29-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of target88
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Haybeerman
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of gregmoscetti
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of kkrez
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of GarrettB
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I remember back when the Lips of Faith series was limited to La Folie and the occasional release, like Eric’s Ale. Now every time I go to the local beer store, or even better, when I visit New Belgium, there’s a new selection of LoF beers, each a significant departure from the last. The Fall Wild is no exception - an iconic entry into the Lips of Faith line, with its characteristic dark, creeping flavors and grimacingly-good palate. The nose is simultaneously dark, husky and sweet, and accented with sour, almost vinegar notes. The flavor adds several more layers of complexity to the nose, featuring a coke sweetness, generous raisin and fig sugars, and a nice alcohol bite that incentivizes drinkers to sit and really mull the flavor. Plum abounds in the latter half of the taste, and gives the drinker all the flavorful benefit of an imperial stout without the deep charred or bitter flavors that come with almost-burnt malts. A long howling flavor of raisin set on a wave of sharp alcohol produces a long, relaxing aftertaste that leaves the tongue anesthetized almost as much as the drinker. Without the sharp bitterness of the stout, the Fall Wild makes an excellent Fall warmer, a modified version of the beloved Winter warmer.

 1,243 characters

Photo of nanobrew
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this at a New Belgium tasting

A: A nice mahogany color with no head

S: tart apple, fairly strong vinegar, with a subtle smell of spices

T: reminds me of a dubbel, you get the strong esters from the yeast. Very floral, with bananas and spices

M: fairly sweet with a slight alcohol feel. Not as pleasant as other beers of similar style

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Photo of rye726
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer, a soured version of their Abbey Ael I guess. Pours brown with a thin tan head, Nose is tart and Bretty. Not alot going on. Fairly dull and uncomplex. Good session beer though. Crisp and refreshing. Easy to drink. Go get soem, try it for yourself.

 262 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass

The color is a dark maroon/red with a brownish tan head and some slight lacing.

The smell is a funky brett flavor. Nice sourness that has some spices here and there like cinnamon.

The taste is spicy, some nutmeg and quite a bit of a brett flavor. Some dark fruit flavors with some spiciness mixed through this beer.

The feel of this beer is crisp and has a medium body to it. It has a quite a bit of aftertaste that stays for a short while but goes down easy.

 504 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is amber in color with a slight cloudiness and an off-white head.

S: Certainly some tartness, leaning firmly in the acetic/vinegar direction. A mild sweetness with some vanilla and coconut? notes. Quite a bit of earth, which I suppose fits with the "fall" theme of the name.

T: A fair amount of complexity to the flavor, which is nice. Somewhat sweet, with contributions from the malt and maybe some dark fruits (cherries). The sourness is (again) primarily acetic in nature and works in an interesting fashion with the earthy and musty nature of the beer.

M: The body is medium with a fairly low level of carbonation. I tend to prefer my American wild ales with a bit more effervescence.

D: One of my least favorite New Belgium sours. A bit much on the vinegar and sort of muddled and quite earhty.

 815 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap at brasserie V, paired with a bloody V burger

cell notes

appearance: served in the classic new belgium chalice - rather dark amber body, foamy tan cap but still a hearty pour

smell: herbal earthy nose - definitely malt driven, similar to a dubbel with brett

taste: This beer boasts the usage of Schisandra berries, the "five flavor fruit". This one reminded me of a bland trappist dubbel, with only a slight wild nature coming from the yeast...malt, tobacco, herbal. After a tasting of saisons and sours, this wasnt very memorable

mouthfeel: not as lively as i would hope from a wild ale

drinkability: fine

 619 characters

Photo of ebin6
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, aged 9 months by Gabe.

A - Pours reddish/brown with a lot more head than I expected

S - Funky, dirty nose; a lot of herbaceous notes upon deep inhalations

T - Incredibly complex taste; sweet-to-bitter-to-funky-to-sour taste, though not a very intense sour taste. Gabe had mentioned the brewers used some exotic berry which is supposed to contain all five types of taste (sweet, savory, salty, bitter, and sour). I had a hard time pulling out the saltiness though.

M - Resonates pleasantly upon swallowing, though each sip seems to be hit-or-miss. The first sip blew me away, but it was hard to duplicate that same mouthfeel or taste

D - Not a taste I'd care to drink for extended periods of time

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Photo of SShelly
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy medium brown with low white head that fades to light lacing.

Light light tartness in the aroma, barely noticeable.

Light upfront sweetness with subtle tart tingle on the sides of the tongue, leaves a light sweetness on the sides of the tongue.

Pretty drinkable and light, nit sure if I would even consider this a wild ale, not bad by any means but kinda uninteresting.

 384 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz tap pour into a stemmed tulip glass. Poured at the New Belgium Hub in the Denver Airport.

A - The tap pour was poor. You'd think they knew better here. Filled right to the top it left no room for head so only a small tan right was the only thing there. The beer was a clear deep brown. A little bit of lace was left upon drinking.

S - This Wild Ale has a low nose right off the bat since it was poured right to the top. The nose was still tight even when half the beer was gone and I swirled it. What I do get coming out though is a touch of toasted bread and caramel malt with a blend of their sour brown ale astringency and some Brett yeast with a small funk finish.

T - It seems like this Wild Ale is more of a blend of lightly sour brown ale with a small, tart mouth-pucker mixed with a low level of Brett yeast. Toasted bread and caramel malts provide a solid base. No hops appear in this brew. A hint of Brett horse-blanket comes through in the finish.

M - This Wild Ale is medium-bodied and mostly malt-driven with a blend of tart and sour on the finish with lingering Brett aspects. Moderate carbonation livens it up a bit.

D - It dabbles in sour brown and wild ale enough to not be too heavy on either side. It's a good blend and nicely drinkable but I would have liked to see more Wild, especially since thats what it's called.

 1,348 characters

Photo of klikger
3.02/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

16 oz. pour into tulip glass at Brickhouse BBQ

A - Very dark brown with a decent amount of head. Lacing came and went quickly.

S - Bananas, cloves, dried cranberries.

T - From sip one, this was very sweet. Bananas dominated, with black pepper and prunes making an appearance as well. Despite the name, the taste isn't as wild as hoped for. I longed for funk and was given sugar.

M - Not much carbonation, but this doesn't detract. Average body.

D - No funk; too much sweetness. I drank half of the glass and happily traded it for half of a Gumballhead.

This is the first Lips of Faith which I wouldn't want to have again. I'm not saying it's not well-crafted; there's definitely a target market that will enjoy this. I'm not part of it.

 742 characters

Photo of katan
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at new Belgium at dia airport

a- pours a deep and dark amber color. Light dirty white head. Down to a film. Appears filtered.

S- sour with lots of wild Brett yeast notes. Tobacco and clove.

T - starts with a combination of 2 row and that wild yeast. Some caramel malts. Mid stream gets more sour - making it a bit funky. Finishes with a complex sour, tobacco and some currant notes.

M- watery and light. Finishes clean. Little carbonation bite.

D- sneaky abv, but well integrated with the flavors. This kind of funk isn't for sessioning. Not at all filling.

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Photo of everetends
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Brick Store Pub on draft. Served up in a tulip.

A: This .4l pour hits the table and has a really nice look to it. Its a nice dark brown with some ruby highlights coming through, which almost create a deep purple looking body in some areas of the glass. A half finger of light tan head rests on top and but falls pretty quickly. Leaves a moderate amount of lace on the glass in some areas. Body is a little murky but you can get through to the other side.

S: Got some fruit kickin around in here. Plum hits me off the bat and I wasn't expecting that at all. Getting some apple and banana as well. There is absolutely a berry presence as well. The nose isn't screaming too wild for me. Its has a touch of sour and funk to the nose but nothing incredible. It just has ripe fruit aroma with just that touch of sour creeping out from time to time. It is still very pleasant and enjoyable.

T: Hmmmm . . . not as sour as I was expecting or what I am used to from something listed as Wild/Sour on the tap list. This absolutely has the fruity presence of a Belgian dubbel. The plum is coming out yet again with banana taking an easy second on flavor power. There is a tart cranberry peeking through at times which is very nice indeed. This is the extent of the sour or funk though in the brew. There may be just a touch of wet hay type funk in here but that is minute as well. The light sourness was kind of a pleasure because I was wary about getting some crazy sour before my meal. This worked well but doesn't live up to the billing in some areas. Still a tasty ass beer.

M: Medium bodied brew (on the heavier side) with a medium carbonation to it. The carbonation is pretty damn near perfect for me with what is going on in this beer. Keeps it easy drinking but doesn't get prickly or obnoxious. ABV is light but present, with a touch a warmth. Touch of sour but mostly playing with the light sweetness on the palate. Aftertaste is that nice cranberry tartness.

D: I really enjoyed this but I can't give it great marks for Wild/Sour. It has a little bit of that going on in there but that isn't THE beer. Its just part of it and a nice touch at that. Lightly sweet with some complexity. I can appreciate subtle any day of the week and this is pretty subtle. A nice easy drinker, just don't expect crazy sour or really sour at all.

 2,346 characters

Photo of snpub540
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bottle Room (Whittier).

Poured a medium brown that had ruby highlights when held up to the light. Tan head that didn't stick around very long but left some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell was slightly roasted with some sour notes. Cherries mostly.

Taste was quite nutty mixed with a sour cherry, slightly vinegary taste. Nice bitter finish and that was it.

Mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied. Drinkability is good. I feel this is an entry level sour since the funk is not in your face.

 507 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at ciceros

pour was deep brown and ruby with an inch+ of creamy head. great retention.

light cherry, sweet malt, some banana

not nearly as sour as i would have liked. light funk mixed with a deep cherry and fig. a nice bitterness through out but not a sour bitterness. could be the hops? light funk in the finish. needs more complexity and flavor.

nice body with a nice medium carbonation. goes down easy.

this was ok, nothing special in terms of wild ales but i would drink this again. ABV is a tad high too.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, nearly opaque mahogany with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Aroma is strongly of fresh bananas and just a little sweet with a malty undertone. Flavor is fruity, mainly banana and rather sweet with an underpinning of malt. Texture is tingly and fizzy and just a little smooth.

 296 characters

Photo of Reaper16
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served on-tap into a tulip glass at Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO

This beer sat in the glass a completely unexpected shade of dark purple. My reaction upon seeing it was to utter the word "Whoa!" because I did not expect a wild ale to be this dark. The head was off-white and didn't really lace all that well to be honest. But the perplexing, deep velvet color was intriguing enough to score highly.

Lots of complexity in the nose, which I love. The first thing to hit me is the dunkleweiss characteristics of bananas that are past their prime and clove/typical brewing spices. It isn't quite banana bread, more like the caramel banana amuse bouche you get at a Brazilian churascarria restaurant. Once those aromas get acclimated in your nose then the funkiness of the Brettonamyces strain comes into play. I wasn't impressed by New Belgium's house strain of Brett in their Biere de Mars but here it is more pronounced, giving off a sweet hay aroma mixed with the smells of damp topsoil. Cutting through all that earthiness is the unmistakable scent of wildberries. The smell is indiscernible as to specific type but appreciated in its wild, fruity quality.

Lots of berry flavors on the tongue. It is sweet and sort of savory-yet-still-fruity. As it warms there comes some spiciness out of the berry tastes. Matt, the beer master at KC's Flying Saucer, tells me that New Belgium used the Schisandra berry in this beer. Schisandra is notable in Chinese cuisine for being the "five flavor fruit;" it is supposed to make its mark on all aspects of the palate (sans umami), from sweet to sour, salty to spicy and of course bitter. Fall Wild Ale is not as sour as some popular wild ales but I think that it is funky enough to be enjoyable by aficionados of the style. The very varied berry tastes play well with the funky yeast flavors. This is really enjoyable.

I like the mouthfeel in that the carbonation level is just right to the point where I don't have to think about it. The body is medium sized and the beer never feels heavy or taxing in the mouth. The drinkability then has to be scored highly. It is very drinkable; I could enjoy multiple pints per evening despite the very deceptive 8.5% ABV. The beer goes down smoothly without forsaking complexity.

All in all I was impressed with this beer. It isn't the end-all/be-all of wild ales but it is a delicious option at the craft beer bar. If New Belgium were to bottle this Lips of Faith entry then I would surely buy a few.

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Fall Wild Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 54 ratings