Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

The Wild One | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
92 Reviews
no score
Send samples
The Wild OneThe Wild One

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A blend of brown ale and wheat wort aged in oak wine barrels. Beer is tart with subtle Brett notes.

Added by hoppymeal on 12-08-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 484
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy reddish brown with a thin off white head.

S - Aroma is vinegar, oak and tart cherries.

T - The taste follows the aroma with tart cherries, oak and some lactic acidity in the finish.

M - Light body with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - Very solid and well made wild ale. Awesome blend of juicy and tart flavors.

 357 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a reddish color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of brown sugar, oak and tart notes is pretty interesting. Taste is a mix of brown sugar, some tart notes with plenty of oak and cherry notes with limited acidity. Body is about average with good carbonation. Solid Flanders Red from a brewery that is not necessarily known for these style of beers.

 387 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red and brown flanders bruin and red like appearance. A little more bright though, good clarity. Aroma was delivering on the tart cherries.

Taste was good and tart wit the cherry, earthy malt/wheat. You can get the brett in the mouthfeel, probably contributes to the drying notes. A worthy beer.

 304 characters

Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Cherry and vinous aroma, slightly tart mixed with some grains. The beer finishes with some brett funk.

A: Deep amber color, pretty hazy with a thin off-white head.

T: Tart cherry, sour malt, some wood, some what acidic on the finish.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation. As the beer warms there is a slight booziness and mild acidity on par with a glass of wine.

O: Pleasant; this beer has a strong vinous aroma and flavor that comes together pretty well.

 469 characters

Photo of MattXT
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32oz growler, poured into a RR "-tion" glass. Great looking pour, with a moderate head. Adequate carbonation. Nose was very bretty, and the taste followed. Notes of cherry with an acidic quality, nice tartness. If you had thrown this into a flight of Russian River's offerings, I would say it is right on par. Well done Bell's.

 333 characters

Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of cherry with a green apple acidic finnish. Almost a bubble gum after taste. Pours dark ruby with white frothy head. Yet another great beer from Bell's. On tap at El Bait Shop in Des Moines IA.

 202 characters

Photo of justinp444
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft this beer has no head and is a darker ruby amber with a clear body. Smell of cherry, wine, grapefuirt, citrus, oak, vanilla, and dried fruit. Taste is tart with a citrus cherry flavor. It had a crisp full mouth feel with a moderate body.

 253 characters

Photo of stewart124
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber to brown in color. Visible carbonation with little head.

Nose had some tart raspberry and cherry with funk character.

Some very pleasant tart character in taste. Cherry and raspberry again with an acidic punch. Easy to drink and could easily throw back a few. Light tobacco and leather with vanilla hints. Just a really solid wild ale.

 345 characters

Photo of cl3
4.79/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer exceeded my expectations. I was expecting it to be good but I was blown away. Fresh 32oz. growler fill consumed on the same day it was poured. A great looking beer with its reddish hue. Smell had quite a bit of funk going on. Great carbonation. Taste was where this one really shined. Delicious Brett brown ale with easy to discern wine and barrel notes represented. I could have downed a few more glasses of this one if I had access to it locally.

 459 characters

Photo of pat61
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at the Pig & Fiddle on tap
L: Hazy garnet brown under a thin off-white foam collar. S: Fruit, cherry, tart, malt.
T: Tart cheryish fruit, a little green apple, lemony, malt in the back ground but the fruit flavors rule
F: Medium body and medium carbonation
O: A refreshing well made wild ale.

 300 characters

Photo of brother_rebus
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

very good wild. cherry reddish hue. smells more bretty than it tastes. Tastes of dark berry-like fruit, pomegranate, plum. Bitterness comes through late and sneeky. Mellows out after the first few sips. Delish.

 210 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You can't control her; you can only hope to contain her. Bell's latest "wild one" lives up to its name as its wily sourness is enough to make your face stick that way.

The Wild One opens with an innocent enough rusty brown tinge. Slight golden about the margins and wisping swirls of froth cast high wine and balsamic aspirations. Shy on sweetness, the faint malt flavor of cola and toast hold a light chocolate and steely caramel taste as the sourness begins to unfold.

Its bright acidity simply blossoms across the middle palate as the malt sweetness becomes a forgotten memory and the balsamic, lime, sour grape, crabapple and dry merlot character stands front and center. As its more earthy flavors of oak, grain, brine and peppery spice rounds out the sourness, the beer dries out beautifully.

The beer's acidity cuts through the malt with ease and renders the textures medium-light. Remaining crisp, clean and highly refreshing, an undercurrent of burlap, saddle leather and musty attic woods waft over the aftertaste, wave after wave.

 1,044 characters

Photo of barczar
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big acetic and lactic aroma, with an almost Flanders vinous, barreled character.

Flavor is more lactic early, but doesn't quite hit the sharpness expected. Seems to fade somewhat abruptly to soft cherry and woody, earthy notes. Wish the sourness lingers a bit, but a nice, fairly complex offering.

 298 characters

Photo of madelfonatree
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Red tint to a brown body. Light tan head and lacing is very strong.

Smell - Sour. Sweet brown sugar.

Taste - Very sour but drinkable. Malty. Bubblegum, strawberry, and lemon.

Feel - Medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall - It's a sour you have to try. Not the way I went, but a good cider to beer transition beverage.

 332 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Short Review. I've always wanted to try this beer, so I had to have a couple samples of it when I finally found it and I have to say that it's a pretty good Wild Ale, it's got most of the aspects that I expect from the style and it didn't seem to be overly sour or acidic, which I liked. It's not the best sour I"ve had. but it's still good nonetheless and I enjoyed it. I hope to be able to try a fruited version of this one day.

 433 characters

Photo of wedge
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

@ Tasty

Served in a Tasty Teku, appears a slightly hazy crimson color with a small milky head that reduces to a bubbly collar. Smells seems to indicate a Flanders style sour...tart cherries, acetic acid, raspberries, plums, wood, and some malty sweetness. Sour berry sweetness, malt, fruity acidity, and a dry woody spice that adds warmth. Dry and tart with creamy carbonation. Comes across as a nice blend overall...very enjoyable.

 435 characters

Photo of CA-J27
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious cherry, raspberry notes that end in subtle oak and Pinot noir-esque. Solid Flanders style sour. Begins slightly sweet and ends w mouth puckering tart

 159 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.79/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Finally we meet. I've been waiting to try this for years.

A dark reddish brown with a tab head that falls off leaving no lacing, this looks decent. The nose is dominated by fruity red wine vinegar, yogurt lactic acid, a little oak and minimal funk. Juicy, tart and refreshing, this is decent. The palate opens with a blend of yogurty, frothy lactic acid, red wine fruitiness, red wine vinegar and sine bready flavor. Mild toast on the mid palate though the sourness dominates it. Sourness is actually quite reserved. Drying, tart on the finish, the funk it's really minimal on this beer. Solid, though it didn't live up to my arguably high expectations.

 655 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Bottle No. 151/370. Batch No. K10596.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, fruit, 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 good beer that is tasty but it's not as sour as I was expecting it to be.

 645 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, shared around the campfire after Ebenezer's Night of the Great Thirst last summer, and reviewed from notes. Huge thanks to kingkong for sending this one my way!

A: Cloudy reddish amber body with a finger of dense off-white head. Good.

S: Sweet, sour, densely fruity, and oaky. Vanilla, smoke, and sourness. Hugely complex, and hugely enjoyable.

T: Tart, fresh sweet/sour combination up front, with some grassy, herbal, and tropical notes behind. Long, clean, sour finish. Really tasty.

M: Medium body with fine, creamy carbonation. Great.

O: Wonderful American sour. I loved the heavy oak influence and the way the vanilla and char combined with the initially sweet and ultimately sour fruitiness and acidity. Great beer. Thanks again Patrick!


 772 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this was an unexpected treat at Stone Soup '14.

Poured a murky orange-brown color, a small, frothy, whitish head atop the small sample I took for myself. Sour berry aroma, Brett funk, hints of earth and bready malts. Taste of sour cherry, apple, red wine, Brett funk, notes of vanilla, cork and oak, toasted cereal grains. Medium body, tart and acidic mouthfeel, though not too extreme in that regard. Pleasantly drinkable.

 429 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
4.61/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed at the Eccentric Cafe.

A- A medium brown with a small off white head that doesn't stick around. Good clarity.

S- Tart apple, slight vinegar, lemon, oak, vanilla, slight funk.

T- Similar to aroma nice medium-high level of sour, apple, lemon, light vinegar, vanilla, and funk.

F- Medium, a good easier to drink sour.

O- This is one of my favorite sours and Bell's beers. It has nice complex flavors and isn't rip your face off sour. I really enjoy the barrel character that comes out in this one, it really complements the sour.

 544 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 8.20.13
Bottle # 134 of 826
Batch # K10851

A - Pours a hazy medium to dark brown with a fine, tan head that fades slowly.

S - Very funky and tart, lots of wood-barrel, some cherry in the finish.

T - Tart cherry, red apple, funky-acidic wood, smooth and nice.

D - Good carbonation with a medium to light body.

O - Tart and funky wtih lots of barrel and subtle fruit flavors.

 395 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: reddish brown. pretty good clarity. a tannish head that doesn't last long

Smell: tart, tart fruit. strong oak, vanilla, moderate funk

Taste: tart and acidic fruit starts off and dominates most of the taste. the oak notes and slightly vanilla mix in at the end. funk mixes in a bit throughout.

Mouthfeel: heavier, puckers a little

Overall: a solid and tasty sour. some taste could be stronger but this is good. a long time want for me and was glad to have it.

 474 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe.

Man, this is a funky beer. Or maybe I should just call it wild. I'm not positive, but I think this is my first of the style. Where do I begin. I'll begin with a summary... how does that work? I'll make it work. All around, this beer is just oddly compelling. When I first smelled it I was wondering what the hell it was supposed to be, because of the yeast. Fruity garbage, almost? After a couple smells and a few sips, I actually grew to like this a lot. There's a lot of puckering, sour fruit in the flavor department, with a good amount of malt. The spicy aromatics that I pull are just... interesting. Fruity garbage with vegetable juice -- how does it work? I don't know, but it does. This is hardly something that I could have often, but I love a "different" kind of beer time-to-time, and this did it for me. I could definitely see myself bumping the scores up for this beer the next time I have it/can compare it to others of the style. Until then...

 996 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Wild One from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.09 out of 5 based on 484 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!