Black & Wild | Side Project Brewing

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Black & WildBlack & Wild
192 Ratings
Black & WildBlack & Wild

Brewed by:
Side Project Brewing
Missouri, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black & Wild is the antithesis of most American Wild Ales. The robust nature of the intense acidity, bold sour cherries and chocolaty malt is layered with the deep notes of vanilla, spicy charred oak and rich caramels from the used bourbon barrels in which this beer matured for more than a year.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 04-17-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by DooshBagalow:
Photo of DooshBagalow
5/5  rDev +9.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of jegross2
5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing Black & Wild, a dark sour aged in an bourbon barrel used to age Barrel Aged Abraxas from Side Project Brewing out of St. Louis, Missouri.

Score: 100

April 2014 vintage bottle served in a stemmed Side Project Brewing bulb glass and enjoyed on 05/28/14. HUGE thank you to Ryan for sharing this delectable treat.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color with a half finger of tan head. Average lacing, really good retention. 5/5

Smell: Burnt maple syrup, cinnamon, tart cherries and chocolate. Hint of bourbon. Perfect integration on the nose. 5/5

Taste: Very tart whiskey soaked cherries with a light cinnamon twist on the midpalate and a delectable dark chocolate finish. Maple syrup backbone. No acidity, lovely sweet and sour with a nice sour bite upfront. More cinnamon and maple as it warms. Like the nose, the taste integration is sheer perfection. No booziness whatsoever. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, perfect carbonation. Big tart bite upfront. Lovely sweet and sour mix. 5/5

Overall: For me, this is a top five overall American wild ale and the best dark sour that I have had the chance to sample. This beer is on par with Very Sour Blackberry, Cable Car Kriek, Blackberry Raspberry Lambic and Blueberry Flanders. The Abraxas-derived complexities interact perfectly with the dark sour/tart cherry characteristics. If you can get a bottle, I highly recommend seeking this one out.

Cost: $25 for a 750 ml bottle.

 1,434 characters

Photo of drmcleod10
4.99/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark muddled brown and red coloring with minimal small tan head that recedes back into the glass. Nice retention here.

S - Cinnamon, Cherries, and whiskey dominate the nose followed by notes of funk and sourness.

T - Taste follows the nose with a blast of cherries that integrate well wight he tartness followed b notes of cinnamon whiskey oak and chocolate and vanilla all blend together from the 2nd use BA Abraxas Barrels

M - Mouthfeel is spot on here with a medium bodied crisp mouthfeel and finish. Can't ask for much else here

O - I am just astounded at what Corey has put out.... this and Oude Fermier and truly masterpieces that deserve the hype. This is comparable to a VSB type quality beer and perfectly executed for the style that it resides in. If you can get this, seek this out with confidence

Re-review with a much larger pour.

This beer is one of the most complex interesting beers that has ever touched my lips.
Every sip you take exposes something different on the palate. One sip its a sour cherry bomb, another sip you get the whiskey notes, another sip you get the BA Abraxas chocolate and cinnamon mix, another sip all the flavors meld together. This has mellowed out since the release and is drinking incredible. This is the best sour I've ever had and may go on to be my favorite beer that I have consumed this year. One of the most complex and deep beers that has ever touched my lips. Sour, cherry, chocolate, whiskey, cinnamon, vanilla, everything you could want from beer.

8-10 ounces poured into a wine glass and consumed on-site at Perennial.
Can't wait to open more bottles of this.

Cannot wait for Batch 2

There are no flaws with this beer and is the best representation of it's style that I have come across

Revisited 3/2/2015

Still my favorite SP beer and probably my favorite beer overall.

Starting to turn a little more acidic but still very well balanced with the acidic cherries up front followed by that classic bourbon chocolate soaked tart cherries. Cinnamon and vanilla in between. The most complex beer out there.

 2,077 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle. Batch 1. Served in a Side Project stemmed glass on 5/10/2015.

Appearance is pitch black. Perfectly contrasts with the Side Project lightbulb logo. Beautiful. Two finger brown head with appropriate retention time; disappears into a very thin collar, no film. No lacing.

Smells of tart cherries up front, fresh out of the fridge. It doesn't smell as sour as I was expecting it to be after one year in the bottle. Moderately acidic but not vinegary or lactic. After a few minutes, thick chocolate fudge comes out; literally like chocolate fondue. The cherries are still strong at this point, making for a nice chocolate covered cherry aroma. Oak, a bit of vanilla. The whiskey starts coming out more as it warms, as well. Smoky, sweet, robust whiskey; a nice complement, never quite emerging to the fore. Overall, to sum up the full extent of the aroma in one sentence- tart cherries covered in dark chocolate with a bit of vanilla essence and oak; mellow whiskey in the background. Fair amount of acidity, but not particularly lactic.

Flavour is equally complex. Initially, tart cherries, dark chocolate. So like in the nose, chocolate covered cherries. Not particularly sweet. Small amounts of vanilla are present, as is a moderate vinegary acidity. As it warms up, the oak and tannins seem to combine with the acidity to give a vinous flavour, like a Syrah; in my mind, it seems to impart a lot of red wine notes into the flavour; I suspect this is due to the combination of the oak tannins and the acidity. Whiskey is there, underneath all of this. No heat, but a subtle char is noticeable towards the end. A very complex beer that seems to evolve with minute changes in temperature, finally reaching its peak at room temperature. Even more cherries come out at the end. It's really a fascinating drinking experience.

The body is rich and substantial, which you'd think would be strange for an AWA, but it's substantial without being dry or creamy. Smooth with good carbonation. Different flavours follow each other in waves as they roll over your tongue, leaving a pleasantly tart, oaky and mildly sticky aftertaste without any kind of heat.

Overall, this is one of the more unique beers I've had the pleasure of drinking over the last 3 years. When I think about American Wild Ales and how they compare to their old world counterparts, I tend to find that most heralded examples of Wild Ales seem to be lacking in complexity by being so boldly acidic. Cory King has somehow taken the genre to another level by creating a beer that is bold in every way with plenty of acidity yet nuanced with a great array of different flavours that make each sip a new experience in of itself.


750ml bottle of Batch 2. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a dark black body with a hint of brown depending on the lighting. One finger tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Not altogether too different from the original batch. Smells of dark chocolate, cherries, oak, vinegar, fudge. The level of acidity you can smell and taste is remarkably similar to one-year old Batch 1 as above, which surprised me. Flavour is very similar; chocolate fudge and chocolate covered cherries, oak, vinegar. The cherries aren't as prominent as expected. The flavours pop nicely, with a nice tart 8/10 acidity that is quite sour but not bracingly so. No off flavours. As the beer warms, it brings out a little more of the chocolate and less of the cherries; it evolves quite a bit just like its predecessor did. Delicious. Mouthfeel is noticeably thinner than the original batch, I felt. There is still a fair amount of body, but perhaps I am comparing everything to Maman which I had the same day. Good carbonation, with a nice residual, slightly fizzy, chocolate fudge and acidity on the backend. Overall, it's not quite Batch 1 as far as body goes, but the flavour remains excellent and one of the more unique beers I've had.

 3,949 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky black in the glass. Decent beige head. Smell is nuanced: roasted cocoa, vanilla, sour cherry, red grapes. Flavor is tarter than the nose suggests. Very vinous, fruit forward. Big, acidic finish but the chocolate malt backbone helps it along. The best kind of German chocolate cake.

 296 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jared14
4.81/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of fo1ksguitar
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of gibgink
4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was surprised that I got to try this beer. Batch 1, shared at the SP Brewery 1 year anniversary. Pours a dark reddish hue, with not a ton of carb. I didn't pick up on much more than the cherry on the nose. Flavor was pretty intense, which was a bit of a surprise given the age of the bottle. A nice robust tart cherry flavor on the palate. I didn't get a lot of the barrel, but that could've been from all the other insane beers I was having at the time.

 460 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Shawner
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.47/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fthegiants
4.37/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of huskermike12
4.25/5  rDev -7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.22/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Black body with a huge khaki head. Nice looking. I immediately smell bourbon. Strong acidity and roasted malt. Maybe cherries? Taste is much stronger cherry. Intensely sour. Overpowers everything. Some roasted malt and a little bitterness, but mostly sourness. Well carbonated. Medium body. Flavorful, but overwhelmed by sourness. I get none of the barrel in the taste, though.

 427 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Fireman_RK
4.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark mahogany and amber hues with a thin khaki head
S: Tart cherries, bourbon, and a bit of funk
T: Incredibly rich flavor profile - ripe dark sweet cherries, dark chocolate, charred oak, vanilla, and a boozy bourbon splash with some bite
F: Evenly carbed and smooth
O: I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this one, but it is a decadent, big, and complex beast. Delicious chocolate covered dark fruits and a bit of barrel make this a very unique drinking experience. Incredible.

 485 characters

Photo of MartyIU13
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.65/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Was lucky enough to have this one at the source! Enjoyed at Side Project Taproom with friends and this is one amazing Wild! Very complex and fruity!

 150 characters

Photo of Thurgoft
3.75/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of JamLand
4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -12.5%

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Black & Wild from Side Project Brewing
Beer rating: 4.57 out of 5 with 192 ratings