The Wild One | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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92 Reviews
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The Wild OneThe Wild One
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
92
Ratings:
484
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
24.45%
 
 
Wants:
249
Gots:
52
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 484
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes taken on 5/19/12.

bottle 36 of 826. Batch K10851.

750ml cork and cage bottle poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: reddish copper bodied beer with thin white head. Drops quickly to no head.

Smell: mild funk, earthiness, hay and wheat notes.

Taste: The beer is mild to moderately tart. Crab apples, hay and funk are not short to follow. Light malt sweetness. The beer is also has hints of musk, vinegar, and has a fairly dusty / earthy flavor to it. Finish has some mild oak notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low and delicate carbonation. Dry finish.

Overall: A really solid sour made by Bells. Its a little bit pricey around $20 a bottle, but I still enjoyed it none the less.

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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.

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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.

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

Looks more like a flanders, has the brown and red appearance, thin, almost nothing in terms of head on it, although the clarity displayed with a beer of this crimsonness is not to be underestimated in its beauty. Aroma, nice cherry tartness, equal mix of the sweet cherry pie descriptor, and the cherry tart. Cool.

Taste, pretty good, delivers on both tart, cherry and sour notes, brown malt is appreciable and helpful to the overall experience. A tad gritty at times, maybe its the brettiness sticking to my teeth as its been known to do from time to time. Decent oak. The sourness is relatively restrained compared to some of the others (Supplication, Love Child etc. . .).

I liked it, would purchase again if it was in $20 or less for a 750.

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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.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Cafe...A medium copper, clear. The head is light head, ok thin ring but no lacing...The aroma is really light, wish it was stronger as this shows some promise. Light cherries, vinegar, a little oak. Reminds me of an American oud bruin. Surprised it was aged in a wine barrel, don't get that at all. Lactic sour notes, want them stronger... The taste is stronger but not as good as the nose, lightly tart, vinegar, oak, pretty light and boring finish. I get the wine barrel in the finish and feel, lots of grape skin going on.

An average sour that I'd skip in the future.

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Photo of claspada
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at a recent tasting hosted by hoppymcgee.

Pours a bright fall orange/light brown color with fizzy light off white head.

Aromas begin with lots of white vinous grapes. Golden apples, pears and a Champagne effervescence.

The tastes are highlighted by a dry, earthy oakiness. I am looking for more but the flavors are fairly one dimentional. As it warms you get a little more with some sour tart cherries and light lemon. These are very tart. A big vinegar and acidic flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is very tart and bone dry; really really crisp and drying on the palate. Too dry to be honest for me.

Overall this was an okay beer but the base malt flavor profile didn't quite meld with the intense drying oak flavors. Not bad by any means, but not one I will be seeking out anytime soon. The small sample was enough to know this was not my cup of tea.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Bells Eccentric Cafe, $4 for a 12oz goblet. The chalkboard described it as "sour brown ale, tart".

The beer was clear-to-translucent, dark reddish copper color, with about 1/2 finger of off-white head. The aroma was really unique, kind of odd, the strongest notes I get are pickles and peppers. As in pickle juice and jalapeno peppers, but behind these there's a hint of brett and some mild malt aromas (a little grainy). The taste was strong on the peppers, some tartness but not as aggressive as I'd personally prefer, and there's a little chalkiness in the aftertaste. On re-reading, these adjectives sound more unpleasant than the actual taste of the beer, but they seem descriptive to me.

Medium bodied, all in all a peppery gateway to the sour style. It was OK, not something I'd go after in bottles, and a few notches below Golden Funk from the same brewery.

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Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split with the wife at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Having this brew makes me think that Bell's should get serious about the business of making wild ales.

Red, with only the faint whiff of tartness in the nose, it's weakest link.

Wild One would make a great "gateway" beer for those trying to get into sours. The cherry tartness is evident, but muted, almost gentle, in the way it descends on the palate. Smooth, dry, with only the slightest puckering agent. By far the most drinkable wild ale I've ever tried, & maybe a category-buster for me.

Excellent beer! This was the best of the taps available at the Eccentric Cafe during our visit. I'd love to try this one again, highly recommended for sour and non-sour lovers alike.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, Maduro, pre-great taste party

cellphone notes

appearance: murky brown body - light beige ring, not much in the way of lacing

smell: nice tartness - cherry, raspberry/blackberry, candy sugar, oak

taste: tart cherry, woody notes, wild yeast, blackberry, raspberry, touch of apple. I liked this sour from bell's, better than i remember it being the last time

mouthfeel: decent tartness, lively

drinkability: good

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Photo of xnicknj
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle poured into taster - thanks to erikkoppin

Pours a dark reddish color with pink and purple hues. Thin beige head fades away into some webbed lacing on the glass.

Plenty of red wine and dark fruit character in the nose. Funky and sour with a touch of vinegary acidity. Raspberry and cherry, oaky tannins, red wine and grape skin.

Strong sourness snaps at the tongue, attacking with dark fruit, cherry and raspberry. Red wine character, vinous with grape skins and acidity. Oak tones, earthy backbone and a soft funky touch. Warming, sour and dry on the finish.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, bubbly, dry and sticky on the tongue. Well-crafted, red wine/dark fruit-infused wild ale from Bell's. I wish this wasn't so limited, otherwise I'd be all over it.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.1/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear ruby red with orange edges a tight off white head. The nose is fleshy, meaty, oxidized. Sweet berries, light vinous note, and faint dusty Brett. The taste is a bit better, oxidized sour cherries, fleshy meat, vinous. High carbonation, faintly dry, a bit heavy.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks again to Mike for fulfilling one of my bigger wants from Bell's - this one has always seemed to elude me whenever it has been on tap nearby. Wild One pours a deep ruby and mahogany color with a tan-ish tinted head that barely forms at all, even after dropping the pour directly down the center of the glass. It's more of a thin sheet than an actual head, and I think it does without saying that there was no lacing left behind.

Very nice aroma on this one; the vinous notes run rampant and stretch to the ends of your nostrils immediately upon bringing the glass to your face. Deep, deep bouts of tart grape skins, black cherries, soaking wet oak, white whine booze, and lots of light, grassy notes. I'm not really picking up any Brett on the nose, although the bottle ensures that the yeast in question was used. Overall, a very tart aroma that's both fruity and oaky - I just wish it had some balancing funk in there.

Lots of acidity present in the first sip (and ever sip hereafter), although that doesn't come as any surprise. Wild One is tart and puckering to the max, playing off of heavy vinous notes from start to finish; grapes, cherries, and oak stretch as far as the taste buds will go. Mild white wine vinegar splashes across the palate here and there as well, also providing a subtle booziness akin to a warm glass of fine wine.

Much to my surprise (and ultimately, happiness), my palate finally picked up a bit of funk, albeit in fairly small quantities. It definitely became a bit more robust as the brew warmed up a bit, though it was still fairly stagnant in the aroma. Light horsey and wet cork-like Brett notes adhere to the back end of every sip, creating a solid aftertaste along with the finishing tart and sweet grape and cherry mix. Thin-medium bodied with lots of carbonation, despite the small head. Wet, slick, thin mouth feel.

Certainly a winner from Bell's. Though it doesn't quite have the levels of funk that I love in my sour beers, it's still certainly a great take on the American Wild Ale style, and you'll be sure to love it as long as you enjoy your beers very tart. Pretty drinkable, especially given the extreme acidity of this one. Might have heartburn the next day, but it'll be worth it.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bryant Lake Bowl.

Pours a scarlet red color with good transparency. Not much in the way of head, but kind of expected.

Sour smelling with undertones of oak and cherry.

I would call this moderately sour for the style. Not overly sour, but more than enough to capture your palate. Sour cherry notes along with a nice woody oak taste in the finish. Very little sweetness.

Very dry as expected, lighter bodied.

This is a nice wild ale. It represents the style well and can appeal to sour heads and maybe some novice sour drinkers as well. It is a bit of a challenge to finish a whole glass alone, but I'm glad I tried it.

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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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had while at Brewvival! Served from tap into a sampler Brewvival imperial pint. Poured dark brown with a one finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained good lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and hints of fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour, tart, funk, and dark fruits. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. I found myself going back quite a few times to sample this one. I was really looking forward to trying this one as it was a Bell's Wild Ale I haven't had before and it seemed like it would be a nice brew. My thoughts were right. The flavor and aroma on this one were quite nice and kept me craving more. The keg finally kicked and that was the only reason I stopped sampling it. A definite must try without doubt!

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Photo of scottfrie
3.47/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch K10851 336/826. Thanks Mike! Reviewed from notes.
A: Pours a dark ruddy iced-tea color with red highlights. Very thin short lived white head faded to collar.
S: Cherries, low acid, sweeter fruit juices and light funk and oak.
T: Buttery oak, twinge of acid, vinous red fruits and red berries dominate, buttery finish. Hints of brett are light.
M: Tingly carbonation pops up on my palate, medium body, drinks pretty easily.
O: A less exciting sour but still very drinkable and delicious. Not super complex. Thanks colonelforbin.

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brick Store.

Arrives in a gorgeous Bell's tulip. Deep murky amber brown with a thick beige head with a rocky bottom fed by bubbles constantly. Lacing and retention are fantastic.

Aroma is sour with lactic and tart fruits - cherries for sure. Plenty of brown sugar in the nose and some Brett and spicy oak.

Whoa, the taste is seriously dry and funky up front. Some tart cherries and brown sugar follow behind. Lots of oak and dry earthy funk in the finish with a hint of lactic as well.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and seriously dry and tart on the palette. Solid carbonation to liven it up.

Really impressed with this one. After the Oarsman disappointed I wasn't sure what to expect but this is a great sour from Bell's.

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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!

Cheers!

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Photo of birchstick
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours deep ruby reddish color ¬¬without much of a head

S - nose is vinous with berries notes

T - starts off with citrusy vinous flavors. These fade to berries and lots of vinous character comes through on the finish. A little bit of booze, but not much, is on the finish as well.

M - medium to full body with an average amount of carbonation that has a dry finish

D - pretty solid wild ale. Lots of wine character with some good wild characteristics. I feel like time will do this one a favor. It still seems a little raw and not quite fully developed.

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: hazed amber-golden in color with a tight little white head

s: good level of tart/sour over well dried malts, tart cherries, some mild citrus peel, aged hops

m: medium body, perhaps more full than other examples, lively carbonation with a crisp finish

t: pale malts run through with a strong but balanced tartness, refreshingly sour, dried fruits - mostly cherry and underripe berries, some oak, hops very mild

d: drinks really well, a nice wild from Bell's

full shaker pint at Maduro, Bell's Great Taste pre-party, second time having this - first was at the fest last year

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Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1069th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
750 Ml

2011 Batch. Not sure numbers, have empty bottle at home.

Thanks to MrHirschybars for the tasting and sharing this one.

App- You really get a sense of the brown ale as this is more of a dark brown with some amber color to it. I would call this about a fingers worth of head and then a small bit of cling.

Smell- Well its been a fun night with sours and stouts. This nose was very earthy with a little bit of fruits in the cherry/raspberry range. Went forward with some oak and Brett and settled into a nice little combination.

Taste- When I 1st tasted this I really got a lot of the wood treatment. Kinda like a piece of bark. One I took a second and further sips, the cherry flavors came out with some Brett notes and a bit more of the sour acid.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a good dose of medium amounts of carbonation. Leaves residual booze notes with some oak and fruits and Brett. A bit dry on the finish.

Drink- This was a good sour. I like the blending of styles and the finish was dry which made you want a bit more of it. Glad to have shared a bottle.

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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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In looking back I now realize that my introduction to sour ales came much earlier than I previously thought, as I remember tasting the Wild One long before I had anything from Russian River or overseas and that was only because it was at Bell’s. So a note of appreciation, and a nod to this brief trip down memory lane.

This pours a burgundy color with thin to no foam remaining. There’s a tart, tart, tart aroma noticeable at first sniff. I pick up black cherries and maybe some sherry? The tartness is present at first sip as well, mouthpuckerinly so, mouthpuckeringly soured with more of the dark cherries and intense tartness that lasts through the finish. A wild one indeed. Fantastic.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this while at the Eccentric Cafe.

A: no head, appears a brilliant deep red with good clarity, no lacing

S: familiar aroma of lactobacillus up front with a big tart cherry character. Notes of vanilla and grape skin, very fruity on the finish.

T: there is a nice tart puckering as the beer first passes across the palate. The sour character gives way to cherry and grapes, and a crisp tart finish. Nice balance going on between the sour and sweet components of the beer.

MF: spritzy carbonation, crisp

D: this is a dangerously drinkable sour. It would make a great entry for anyone who wants to get into sours, as it is balanced well. Hope to see this in bottles soon.

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The Wild One from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.09 out of 5 based on 484 ratings.
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