Fall Wild Ale | New Belgium Brewing

45 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 54
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.

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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.

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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.

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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 corby112
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark mahogany/chestnut brown that is completely opaque with the slightest of mahogany edges. One finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring that leaves streks of spotty lacing behind.

Slightly earthy and musty funk aroma with a strong malt presence and a prominent dark fruit character in the nose. Hints of sour cherry, raisin, grape and plum.

Softly carbonated up front with subtle earthy funk. Only slightly tart which is disappointing with a slightly toasted malt presence and some strong dark
fruit notes. This beer is pretty complex but the strong malt and dark fruit presence takes away from the tart/wild notes that I really like.

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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 champ103
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. A small cap forms and a head, with little retention. No lace.
S: Yeast, banana, clove, caramel, and some alcohol.
T: Sweet malt with some banana and other dark fruits. A light spicy clove flavor and alcohol.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and smooth. The alcohol is noticeable, and makes this a one and done. It is still a good beer to sip on.

Not really a Wild Ale. The website says this is a Dubble with Brett added. I don't get any souness or funkyness. This did not do much for me. Worth a try if you see it, but a one and done purchase for me.

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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 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 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 beertunes
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in 160z goblet. Poured a very deep red with a lighter red tint near the edges. An off-white head had medium quick dissipation and left sheets of lacing.

There was a rich earthy, musty aroma that had such a mixture of scents I had trouble isolating specific tones. The flavor was mildly funky and had a slight fruit presence and a clean finish.

The body was very good, full and satisfying without being heavy. The drinkability was very good. I'm generally not a big fan of NBs beers, but this was a pleasant surprise. Try it if you see it.

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

Had this on tab at Stubs.

Served in a pint glass.

1/2 finger of very light tan head. Color is a dark ruby copper red. Ok retention. Left nice lace rings.

Aroma: A lot of cinnamon and spice, a little nut meg. A lot of funky brett. Not the sour I was expecting. Not sure about this one.

Taste: All spice with brett notes. Cinnamon and nutmeg. The only non-brett wild note I get from this is at the finish where it has some nice wild cherry taste to it.

Mouthfeel: Some funkiness, but crisp for the most part. Medium bodied with a tad higher amount of carbonation. Ends with a huge brett aftertaste.

Overall, I had much higher expectations for this one. Not what I liked. It was simply ok. A lot of brett. I was hoping for something along the lines of la folie.

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Photo of KeefD
2.66/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this on tap at The Happy Gnome in St Paul. Pours a clear brown color, small white head and good lacing. Aroma is very earthy, definitely smells like fall. Smells woody, light tobacco and leather, earth, and slight funk. Taste is mildly sour, in fact so little that I probably wouldn't have guessed Brett was used. Lightly sweet, bready malts, very light funk. Medium bodied. Not bad, but really wasn't overly impressed. Everything seemed a little muted in this beer and flavor was a little muddy.

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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 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 hardy008
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown color with an off white head. Aroma of dark fruit and some sweet malt. The taste is also dark fruit with some sweet malt. Smooth, decent carbonation, medium bodied, and the alcohol is well hidden. I like the taste of this beer, but do not detect the sour that I would expect to find. It is sweeter, and has more malt, than I would have expected. A nice beer to drink, but not quite to style.

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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 BretSikkink
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served dark brown, decent head. A little sourness on the nose, but not much amidst the brown malt sweetness. I was disappointed by the mildness of the tart flavor on the tongue; really hoping for more there. There's decent size for the malt backbone, enough sweetness to be an interesting take on the style, but the funk just doesn't quite work its way through the depth of malt. Easy to drink for sure, just not as pleasurable as I was hoping.

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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 davedahl
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Handlebar on 10/8. Snifter for 6 bucks. Called a "malt-forward dubbel ale - dry and slightly sour".

Aroma - nice sourness present but definitely not overwhelming, slight maltiness

Appearance - brown. :/

Taste: definitely some sweet bready malts, but tastes more like the basis of a brown ale than a dubbel - it's the lack of dryness that throws me. Slight sourness...like rhubarb.

Drinkability: sorta. I enjoyed one, but that's fine thanks.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at Hopleaf. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a cloudy, dark brown with light brown highlights. One finger of creamy off-white colored head left a bit of lace.

S: Vaguely fruity (dark and tart berry) with some sweet malt.

T: See above. Add to this some bitter hops and/or dry roasty malt.

M: Sweet with a peppery/bitter/hoppy finish.

D: I felt a little mislead by the name of this. Where's the sour?

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Photo of weatherdog
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Brixies in Brookfield IL

Served in a goblet - poured a bark brown with a one finger head that dissipated father quickly.

Aroma was rather neutral with a small amount of brett character but left a lot to be desired for a 'wild ale'

I was all geared up for a nice funky offering from New Belgian Lips of Faith Series. it was called fall wild ale after all. After tasting it I was disappointed. It tasted like a regular Belgian dubel with a little brett funk on the backside. It was not bad by any means but just not as funky as I would have hoped for. If that beer was brewed with all Brett vs. primary Belgian yeast and secondary Brett finish I think I would have loved it. As it stands it is just a decent beer but not worthy to seek out.

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Fall Wild Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
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