Feral One Batch 1 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Feral One Batch 1Feral One Batch 1
Feral One Batch 1Feral One Batch 1

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Feral One is a blend of Sour Opal, SLOAmbic, Agrestic and Lil’ Mikkel, all aged for an extended period in American and French oak barrels. Only 500 cases of 375ml bottles were produced.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 383
Photo of Lucular
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best-smelling beers I've ever had. Oak, vanilla, funk, leather, red wine, lemon, with hints of sour cherry. I was almost reluctant to take a sip lest the flavor spoil the amazing smell, but the flavor is nearly as good and very similar to the smell. Incredibly well-balanced with no component overwhelming the others. Not surprisingly for a 5 1/2 year old beer, there is not a lot of carbonation. Overall a stellar beer that has aged superbly.

 462 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 12/10/13 ("Batch 001"); drank 2/3/15 @ California Split.

Semi-opaque dandelion appearance.

Minimal off-white head; minimal lace.

Peach & faint vagina notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Mildly tart peach flavor; effervescent champagne bite on the finish.

This would be heaven on a hot summer day; delightfully drinkable.

 341 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where did I have this at the first time? FW Invitational year 2? Anyways, it took some time to get the FW sour program off the ground, but when it got going, they were putting out consistently good product. Same with this beer, I think batch 1 was kind of working out the kinks a little bit, and then it kept getting better. Overrated is the fave word of the day?

A color you've come to expect from hoppy beers like the Jack series (Wookie, Easy, Double, Union etc. . .), it is equal parts orange and yellow I would say, small thin 1/3" white head on the top. Lots of oak noticeable in the aroma, plus that lemon sour note.

Taste is more of the earthy mixture of flanders red type of sour, but with a lighter non red malt body, massive amount of wine like oak and tannins, dryness on the backend, respectable middling sour amounts. Mild funk notes.

Enjoyable, but given the bottle price $15/375 I don't see this as getting another foray anytime soon.

 961 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is my favorite Barrelworks as of yet. Oak is pleasantly noticeable, but not overpowering, and the blend of the beers works so well. Cheers!

 154 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark gold pour with large frothy loose white foam; excellent clarity; long lasting cap; thick lace. Sour fruit nose. Tart apricots, subtle wet horse blanket and just a little barrel bite from the oak. Lite, dry mouthfeel; high carbonation. I could drink all day long...excellent.

 279 characters

Photo of Intlpostman
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a great color and the nose is solid. It has only gotten better with age. Drank one recently in a vertical with Batch 2 and 3. It has rounded nicely, great mouthfeel and nice dry finish. The complexities are exceptional.

 237 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another piece of evidence toward proving FW are absolute masters of barrel aging. As with Agrestic (which makes up 43% of this beer), the barrel notes are outstanding and rarely reproduced by other breweries out there. Oak, baking spices, almost a hint of smoke, plus no shortage of stone fruit. Excellent, excellent nose. At nearly a year old, the palate is quite sour, the carb quite aggressive, and I wish I would've had a shot at this one fresher. That said, it's still tasty as heck, similar notes to the nose, some tart apple thrown in there, obviously more exposure to that acidic bite. Love these non-fruited wild ales, where FW's wizardry with the barrels is able to play a more starring role. Excellent.

 713 characters

Photo of MtnSoup
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had via taster at GABF at the Firestone Walker booth. Pretty delicious, and quite a lot of barrel character. A great mix of sour (not too much) and an almost fruity taste (despite no fruit that I'm aware of).

 208 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

batch two action here. this is awesome beer, its been nice to see some of these beers get out there a little bit, and cool that firestone has pushed the wild ales a bit. you could swear there is fruit in this, i get an under ripe cherry pucker, crabapple too, and in the finish a ton of peach or apricot. however, there is no fruit at all, thats a product of the yeast and the barrels, and its certainly complex. brett for sure, but some significant souring bacteria as well. citric lacto brings some acidity on the back end, but its balanced really well by the stronger and fuller bodied malt base, which has an orange glow to it and quite a bit of texture. i was a little bit disappointed with the carbonation, with all these summery fruit and viniferous flavors, i was hoping for a pop of bubbles each sip, and while its not flat, it lags well behind popping. still, the flavors unfold rather slowly and its a long experience, which i like a lot in wild ale. the barrels have contributed an awful lot to this, and its a pleasant patio drink. certainly met my high expectations.

 1,080 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.36/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour is transparent gold with a white head. Nose has a good bit of cheesy funk, gets sharp. Faint peach, strong brett and some stingy brett. Taste has a good bit of cheesy funk up front. Peach is light, brett is stingy, a touch acetic. Fuller body, well carbonated, creamy feel.

 283 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle

Appearance is golden orange, lots of carbonation, minimal head, although some decent retention, minimal lacing

Smell is hay, funk, brettanomyces, apricot, nectarines, pears, oak, and other citrus

Taste is very fruity right off the bat, fades into an apricot dominated finish with a dry oak aftertaste, as it warms some light berries come through to mix in with the funk, nice sour quality

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice for a wild ale, maybe a little low on carbonation, although still very approachable

Overalll it is a great first effort out of Barrelworks, complex blend of beers, will probably get even better with some more aging

 655 characters

Photo of KVNBGRY
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

High carbonation, and watery. It took the mouthfeel down a few notches. Has an apricot/strawberry fruity nose and an acidic, oaky taste. Not very complex or lingering flavors. Just too watery though.

 199 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

neat rare-ish beer thanks to FosterJM, shared with rudzud.

Bottled 12/10/14

Pours a nice fluffy fizzy head that fades pretty quickly though, light lacing too. Golden honey orange hazy color.

Nose starts with so much buttery oak, loads and loads of oak, vanilla barrel, etc. Mild Brett funk, horsehair funk with souring flemmy tart lambic like funk. Brett B funk comes out more as it goes.

Taste brings more of the same, big oak buttery toasted oak and vanilla barrel. big fresh oak flavor even. Some sour and Brett funk in the background, little Brett B funk, mild sour lambic notes. Sticky flemmy finish, more buttery oak lingering, little acidity, sour malt note, bit if a bitter tannic thing, slick even.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, decent carb.

Overall pretty nice, tons and tons of barrel, vanilla, toasted oak, etc, decent funk and souring, pretty tasty.

 870 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice clear golden hue with a nice half finger head that faded to leave light wisps and a thin halo.

S - Aromas of loads of barrel, as Jared said "oak city". Loads of funk, great brett brux, nice lacto notes. The base beer is simply a vessel for oak and funk, great.

T - Taste is just like the nose, awesome barrel notes, oaky vanilla, great funk especially brux. Almost buttery, great tartness and funk, very solid, very oaky and funky.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, almost a slick finish.

O - Overall this beer was very nice, just had the misfortune of being drank after bretta rose. Still tasty.

 694 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 5.5.14
Batch No: 001
Bottled: 12/10/2013

A - Pours a fizzy pink-orange with an active white head that is gone quickly.

S - Tart raspberry and cherry, oak, funky and nice.

T - Nice complex tartness, fruity, but hard to place. Nice oak and Brett. Fantastic.

D - Good carbonation with a lighter body. Dry finish.

O - Very complex and fruity. Nice layers and texture.

 385 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden orange body. Small white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Wow, it's impressive. Funky white pepper, lemon, sourdough malt. Light white wine. Oak.

Taste - Bright sourness. Grain malt. Sourdough malts again. Vanilla oakiness. Sourness builds into a lemony flavor with some light stone fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel - Nice sourness, maybe a little too much. Well carbonated.

Overall - This is really nice. A complex American sour, wow!

 491 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375 mL bottle. Thanks Ken.

Pours a clear, dark golden color with a thin white head. Pleasant nose, mild sourness, lacto, pineapple, vanilla and apricot. Flavor balances slight puckering sourness with smooth sweet vanilla and bourbon. Fruity undertone, tropical and juicy, lemon and light oak presence in finish. Medium thick, low carb.

 336 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into a wine glass.

pours a light golden color, nice head. smell of lacto... taste of slight bourbony vanilla, lacto..finish very sour.,wow, damn impressive for their first sour. I need to get more. medium body and carbonation.

overall great!

 257 characters

Photo of MarcWP
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Barrelworks Teku. I knew it would come out handy some day.

Pours a bright orange apricot with fizzy white medium head that dissipate quickly. Effervescence is quite obvious. Looks really nice!

Aroma is super Gueuze like. Grass, sweet lemons, acidic peach, lime, funk, soft oak tannins, apple peel, and faint moist earth. My mouth is watering so no doubt it's an intoxicatingly pleasant smell. Reminds me of Cuvée Rene and 3F OG.

The palate brings what feels like a more malt driven gueuze with earthy hops. You get sweet bread, orange, pink grapefruit, fresh squeezed lime juice, spruce, lemon verbena, fresh cut spicy herbs, and white wine vinegar. It's good,,, no, it's great. But it lacks the refinement of the best true belgian gueuzes.

Mouthfeel is nice and spritzy. Light body with sour,dry finish. Carbonation cleanses out the palate maybe a bit too much.

Overall, a wonderful first bottled entry into the sour market by FW. As others have stated, Sour Opal by itself is better. Hopefully we will see a bottling of Sour Opal in the future. That aside, Feral One looks gorgeous, smells awesome, tastes almost as good, and goes down the pipe pretty quickly for a sour.

 1,193 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from batch 001. Thanks for bringing this one over Dustin. Cheers man! Poured into a Three Floyds teku glass today, 3/22/2014.

App- Hazy straw orange body, one finger white head with great retention. Not much lacing as it goes down.

Smell- Very young sour. Basically 99% lactic yogurt nose, with 1% barrel and funk. This would probably benefit from time, but this is strangely still appetizing as far as the nose goes.

Flavour- Still falls a bit of the nose despite a bit more complexity here. Still very strong lactic and yogurt sourness dominates here. No real sign of barrel oak or funk at all. This is a young, very rough around the edges sour ale that has a lot of promise.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, creamy with good carbonation. Not very dry, but again, very promising to get a nice dryness over time. Yogurty acidic back-end that still makes this a sipper rather than an all-around refreshing beverage.

Overall- Age this one another 6 months before you drink it. It has a lot of potential to be a nice complex sour, but only time will tell. Right now it's young, rough around the edges and fairly one-note.

 1,131 characters

Photo of 01001111
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Peach.

S: Super lacto funk

T: Far less tart than the scent implies. Vinegar, oak, white wine that has been out in the sun for a day, grapes, and saison yeast.

M: Dry but with body.

O: Unique. Having sampled this at the release I wasn't overly impressed, However, it gets better after the first few sips. Shares some similar characteristics with the typical American sour ale but there is also a different kind of sour, a not-wholly-unpleasant rot sour, mixed in. The more I sip this, the more I enjoy it. Feral is an appropriate name. This one certainly is wild.

 569 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very musty, old smell to this. Probably because of the oak barrels used. Orange tint, lacing low, with low carbonation. Smell like I said, musty, old smell. Taste is sour, with the old musty taste. I've had better sours. I liked this one, but is 15 bucks good? Don't think so, had to try it though. Love Firestone. Thankfully I only live about 40 minutes away.

 362 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.67/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Murky orange hue. Thin layer of head, medium to large ring of lacing. No legs on this one.

S- Musty grape oak. Funk and lots of acid. Weird hey dark grape smell. I am sure that the amount of time aging in barrels makes this a unique smell.

T- Kinda bland. I think the amount of time in these barrels was too much time. Musty grape sour blonde.

M- Somewhat thick for a sour blonde. Medium to a lot of carb. Thin layer of wax coats the mouth.

O- I think high hopes were for this one, and although I think it is an above average sour, it did not demand its' before bottling high hopes.

 592 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap for the Feral One release party at Firestone Walker Barrelworks in Buellton, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, funk, 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 very good beer with an awesome mix of sour aromas and flavors coming from this blend of beers.

 626 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed March 9th, 2014 from a corked bottle.

Poured into a tulip glass, the beer is a clear golden, several shades darker than a typical pilsener. A one-finger white head forms then settles into a thick skin providing little sheeting or lacing but persisting for quite a while.

Aroma is slightly musty, with a dash of sharp citrus. Some wood notes as well. Strong but not overpowering.

Flavor is assertive and sharp; mildly tart note comes on immediately, followed by mellow citric acid (I'm thinking lime, but hard for me to pin down). A touch of wood near the end. Low bitterness. Slightly sweet and a little dry. Not as nuanced or sophisticated as some wild ales, but there's nothing wrong with this flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is almost spritzy with a moderately high level of carbonation. Slightly dry (think Duvel) and medium-bodied. A note on the body - thinner or thicker would have been wrong. This is just right.

This beer does what it does correctly: funkier nose than flavor, tart without going overboard, proper body and a slightly dry mouthful to help finish each sip cleanly and definitively. Well done, though not earthshaking.

I tasted the base beers that were used in this blend separately at Barrelworks and I don't think I'm alone in saying that FW would do well to just release Sour Opal on its own. I preferred that to this.

 1,352 characters

Feral One Batch 1 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 383 ratings