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

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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of bort11
4.42/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the KC Flying Saucer. Poured into a tulip glass, a tall white head clings to the lip of the glass. Very slow to recede, lace clings to the glass to the end. Color is a dark brownish red. Dense opaqueness lets very little light through.

Smell is a great mix of pumpkin spice with tart wild yeast. Taste follows smell very well. Lots of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, that finishes with a distinct brett sourness.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium body with a creamy texture. The flavor is so bold, it is a slow sipper. excellent

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Photo of Tone
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with amber coloring along the bottom of the glass. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus, yeast, hops, slight tart malt, herbs, and slight spice. Fits the style of an American Wild Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and sharp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, spice, (cinnamon), slight hop, herb, and sligh grass. Overall, a complex body, good aroma, and great appearance.

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Photo of beertooth
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Hopleaf.
$5 for a tulip glass.

This beer is a hazy, burnt amber with a finger of tight off-white head that leaves thick lacing.

The smell is sweet with lot's of sugary malts. There is also a strong hit of belgian yeast, very spicy! I'm picking up on some banana, clove, and musty cherries. Lot's of fruity esters. It reminds me of a more malt foward saison. There is a tiny bit of brett funk too with some grassy hay. Some alcohol is present as well.

The first gulp is a huge blast of trappist yeast, fruity esters, and sweet caramel malt. Berries, bananas, cherries and wee bit 'o funk. The sourness hits and vanishes in the finish. I can also taste the alcohol more and more at it warms up along with a little more sour and funk. I'm not sure of the ABV% though.

Mouthfeel is full and medium carbonated.

This is an interesting beer from New Belgium. I find their Lips of Faith series to be hit or miss, but this is a hit. I'd like to lay some bottles down for a while to see what happens to the brett and booze. This is just what I needed on this crisp September evening.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured on tap into a snifter

Appearance: Hazy walnut brown beer with orange and garnet tints...thick, superbly creamy light tan head with good retention and some decent lace

Smell: Light brett funk, with bright floral notes and very mild caramel hints in the background...very light and pleasant brett beer.

Taste: Fruity bubblegum, light tart brett flavors, some mild sweet cherry as well. This is simple, nice, and lightly funky, a great "intro" to wild beers IMO

Mouthfeel: Medium-light

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: This is a light, approachable, very tasty, and reasonably complex brett beer. This is a wild ale I might actually be able to convince my wife to drink...simple and light, but refreshing and it hides its abv% scarily well.

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Photo of jdavin
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Stumbling Monk. $4.50, served in 0.4L New Belgium tulip glass.

A - dark ruby brown, lacy pillowy head.
S - brown sugar, cherries, bready yeast.
T - raisins, brown sugar, cherries, hint of sourness.
M - lighter in malt body than I expected. This is good because I didn't want a super sweet/heavy beer.
D - good drinkability. I wouldn't order this often, since it's not my type of beer - but it was very drinkable considering I usually don't like lambics or bret beers.

The flavor and funkiness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. I recommend drinking only slightly chilled.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.14/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was described as a "dubbel," and I'm reviewing it as such. Don't pick this up expecting a sour. On-tap at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

Hazy carnelian body with ruby highlights and a snow-white cap of thinning suds. Excellent honiton-like lacing. Legs are like the edge of a finely honed razor.

The menu description was spot-on, with juicy waves of fresh green fig, dried Monmorency cherry, and light caramel malt forming the nose. Very fresh and inviting.

The palate follows the aromas to a "T," adding a little more complexity to the malt bill. Where a lot of dubbels have a raisin note mid-palate, this tastes more like cranberries. The Schisandra berries are the perfect addition to this ale. The fruit continues into the finish with fresh apricot, and the faintest hint of a fresh mildly funky (Brett.) kriek. Very well crafted.

Medium bodied, quite warming, and a touchy syrupy towards the bottom of the glass.

Juicy, fresh, well rounded - this is a creative twist on a traditional style that succeeds in every way. The first beer I've tried from New Belgium that finally reminds me of a true Belgian ale, but with a unique and meaningful twist.

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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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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 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.

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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.

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

A - Poured a dark browish/red color with a small white head that faded quickly.

S - Smells like sour cherries mixed with bananas, malt, and spices.

T - Fruit leads the way with this brew. Sour cherries, cranberries, and raisins. Malt is also mixed in nicely but is definitely on the back burner to the fruit. Some nice yeast funkiness rounds this thing out with the alcohol barely noticeable.

M - Creamy and silky.

D - Very drinkable for the style. While I love beers with a kick of sourness, most times I can only have one. Knocked out two of these with no issues at all.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium brown with a firm white head, nice lacing and head retention.

S: Some cinnamon type notes, real light brett, brown malt.

T: A lot of brown malt, interesting spice characteristics. I don't know what schisandra is supposed to taste like, but there was cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg type flavours. Brett is really light I wouldn't know it was there except the fact it was listed as a wild ale. As a dubbel it's quite good.

M: Very smooth, medium-bodied, no trace of alcohol.

D: This is a very good beer from New Belgium, dangerously drinkable for its strength, check it out.

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Photo of botham
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the Hopleaf in Chicago. pours a deep brown color, amber undertones and one and a half fingers of off white head that is lightly fluffy in consistency. good retention and solid lacings.

aroma is of dark fruits upon a base of deep bready grain. a subtle funk gives the brew some life with a light musty note in the background. raspberries and a light note of smashed cherries round out the profile.

taste follows the nose with a more pronounced funk from the bret that takes on hay and musty characteristics. nice on the palate, but it could use some more funk and/or sour (for a wild ale).

mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly smooth with a slick finish of residual sticky malts and a touch of funk.

drinkability is good. for a wild ale, this is a bit subtle when it comes to funk and sour, but it is still well put together and reasonable easy to drink.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat from Father's Office in Santa Monica. Poured a deep clear copper head with a thick and very firm tan head that did not dissipate for most of the glass. Great looking.

Nose was somewhat closed, probably because it was served a bit colder than I normally drink. (Never warmed up since I drank it so fast!) Light nose of "almost sour" red cherries, white bread yeast and light banana malt. I suspect that as it warmed the nose would have gotten more assertive.

Mouth feel is rich, creamy and bold with just the right carbonation.

Flavor that initially hits your palate is an "almost sweet" bright red cherries with a good acidic character and an "almost sour" character. Flavors go to some spice, rich banana malt and cooked fruit.

Finish follows flavor in that the finish is malty and full of rich bananas.

Good example of a tap beer being better than the bottle. Flavors and character are fresh and bright; a brightness and character that one doesn't find in the bottle.

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Photo of LibraryTom
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An amber colored brew that shows a bit of caramel in the nose which flirts with the slightly tart, dark fruits. There is a bit of fig, and chocolate running in the undercurrent of a bold malty sweetness, which is brought to an abrupt and tart, yet quite pleasant finish.

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Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp dark copper with a decent off-white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is sweet fruit and Brett funk with a hint of spice. The taste is an enjoyably funky blend of slightly sour fruit and mild caramel malts, intriguing to say the least. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation and a hint sticky alcohol. This is a very enjoyable brew for a blustery fall day.

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Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Leon's in Atlanta.

Pours a dark ruby color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of somewhat spicy dark malts with hints of dark fruits dusted with light cocoa powder and even lighter hints of funk.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit more intense. Dark malt flavors up front are joined quickly by mild amounts of nondescript spices - nutmeg mostly if I had to guess with hints of allspice. Midway through the sip small amounts of dark fruit flavors enter into things along with some funk. The funk and fruit flavors carry through to a mildly bitter ending that leaves a bit of tang lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I wasn't really sure what was going on in this beer as it seemed to be a combination of lots of small contributions. Certainly not a bad beer and even worth a try for the curious.

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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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Bittercreek Friday night..

I entered this review in a coupla nights ago... but the site crash got rid of it...

$4 for probably a 8oz pour... no real head.. lace if I swirl the glass.. the brew is lightly hazed deep chestnut..

Aroma is much more like a traditional dubbel.. with a fair dusting of brett...

Flavor is nice.. but not too much of anything that demands a "wild ale".. no real sour... maybe some weird cranberry... some random phenols and a sorta dry caramel and raison malty element with some cobwebs and hay.

nice body and carbonation.. I would think a whole lot of peeps are going to be disappointed with the lack of the overall wildness.

Instead, this brew is a nice practice in brett... lite funk and plenty of yeasty elements.. but still only okay.

One glass was about perfect... I would not have appreciated it anymore.

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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.

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Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce pint - $6.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Clearish, dark brown body with a thinnish, off-white head.

Smell: Well, it's definitely fruity, even remarkably so, as I took it upon myself to blurt out "fruity!" at the bar. Everything from cherries to 'nanas. All with a strong sense of impending sweetness from the lightly nutty, sugary tones of a fine syrup. Sadly, I'm not picking up any of the wildness in the Fall Wild Ale.

Taste: A sweet, strongly sugary start of darkened treacle and a supplemental pinch of almond sugar to round out the dark maltiness. Additional nutty hints. The dose of Schisandra berries along with the Trappist ale yeast provides for a plethora of fruity tastes: Red Delicious apple, raisins, bananas, plums, and sweet, ripe cherries. Very minor hint of spice buried under all the sweetness and fruitiness. There's a touch of warming booze on the continually sweet, continually fruity finish with a slight, spicy herbal tone right at the very end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A passable brew! Brett always seems to be a stubborn, slow developer as, to be frank, I didn't detect one single iota of Brett character. So, perhaps, 'in the bottle' is the way to go with this one.

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