Wild Child | The Alchemist Pub & Brewery

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Belgian inspired ale is fermented with Brettanomyces Lambicus, a wild yeast strain, and brewed with German Munich malt. This ale is very tart, almost sour, and not for the weak of heart.


Added by Todd on 06-02-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of johnnnniee
3.62/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Alchemist.
Pours a deep brown with slight ruby highlight when held to light. Thinnish off white head was almost non existent before the glass got to my table. Smells tart and funky with cherries and prunes mixed with lemons and brown sugar. Taste is much like I expected. Tart fruity funky. Brown sugar and cheeries start the show then some lemons jump in to make me pucker. Finish is a long lingering sweet tartness. Medium body with a huge level of bubbles and a tart puckering mouthfeel. I enjoyed this one, but felt it was a little meh. Really nothing wrong with it just a bit boring for my tastes.

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Photo of dbossman
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Quite red with a thin head and just a touch of lacing

S: Lots of tart dark fruits but also lots of sweet cherries permeating through; some funky grassy aromas as well

T: Lots of tart fruits (seems like cherries but not quite); there is a sweetness but not cloyingly so; also quite a bit of vinegar and oak; as I drink the beer the cherry (or whatever sweet fruity flavor that is) moves out of the way for a more vinous quality

F: Moderate stickiness; medium body

O: I like this beer but didn't fall in love with it; just not enough funk or tartness or whatever they were going for to make me completely satisfied but it was pleasant beer nonetheless

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Photo of Goldorak
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at first at the Vermont brewers fest, it was interesting enough to merit some quality time at the pub afterwards.

Appearance: Reddish orange, not much head on my pint, even after a few swirls.

Smell: Sour, lactic funk, peppery, and bready/yeasty. Wild indeed.

Taste: Light acidity makes this approachable for most, but maybe a little too plain for lambic fans, it has similarities with a brut cider.
Aftertaste is yeasty like a saison, with some sour cherries and dries your mouth. It's no Cantillon, but it beats most attemps at this style made on this side of the pond. I went for seconds that night at the pub. Rumor has it the brewer will try macerating some with cherries and/or other fruits. Might prove interesting.

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Photo of Todd
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap @ The Alchemist ...

Here’s an interesting one. Think “A berry flavored Belgian Hefeweizen,” but it’s not a Hefeweizen, it’s not Belgian, and there’s no fruit. Hello Brettanomyces!

Very cloudy, slight red tinge and little head. Funky aroma, some farmhouse going on, but it’s pleasant and light. As is some light tartness and wildness. Palate is also light, fairly smooth and approachable. Gentle tart flavor, suggestions of fruit, but nothing distinct, with a moderate and balanced level of hops and malt. A bit dry too with a hint of breadiness.

Quite interesting, but not overly exciting. I still liked it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Alchemist last weekend.

Pours a reddish-brown color with a thin white head and some spotty lacing as it goes down. The nose has a slight bit of acid with some oak and a bit of vinegar. Light cherry there as well. The flavor is pretty similar with a bit less pungency to the acidity, making up for it by being slightly creamy. Thin body with mild acidity in the finish, which is also fairly dry. Really nice and approachable.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10oz pour in a snifter at the bar. Really clear deep mahogany red with tan creamy head. Nose is a little muted but reminds me of the forest...wet earth. Palate is crisp and tart with ability. Main flavors are black cherry and amber malt. There might be lacto in here? Tastes a lot like a sour version of a classic American red ale. (As opposed to the flemish reds.) Nicely made.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10oz pour on tap at the source

A: Deep red, can't really see too well through it, about an inch of light red-tinted head that leaves a little lacing.

S: Dark fruits (mainly bright cherry), vinegar, sugar, oak.

T/M: Cherry jolly rancher! Vinegar and tart apple on the tip of the tongue with sugar sweetness 'behind it'. It had a very strange effect for me: It was as if the vinegar/tartness separated from the sweetness. The top of the mouth was coated with almost a sticky and oily texture and had that sweet tart taste while the vinegar seemed to fall below it on the surface of the tongue. It's kind of hard to describe, but it was a fairly strange sensation. There's a good bit of oak and vinous qualities, but no where near say Rodenbach Grand Cru. Finishes very sweet and tarte. Fairly high carbonation and moderate and sticky body.

O: I really enjoyed the flavor, but it was very hard to drink. I ended up taking a good hour plus on this sucker just to get through maybe 8oz. A four oz serving would seem perfect.

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

On tap @ The Alchemist (Waterbury, VT) on 7/15/11. Served in a snifter. ABV was listed as 7.9%.

Pours a deep clear ruby, topped with a thin and fizzy layer of bright-white head. This retains with some foamy edging and thin wisps across the middle of the surface, which leave back some patchy swathes of lacing behind. The aroma smells of fruity wine, oak, wet leather, tart cherries, and some sugary cocoa character. This is a touch souring in the nose but I’m pleased to find that it does lean more towards the tart side overall. Those notes of funk and leather really pick up here as this warms, making things quite interesting.

The taste has a lot of cherry flavor at its core, backed by sweeter and more sugary notes of caramel and cocoa. Like the nose, this is tarter overall, yet it still possesses a bit of a souring lactic feel on the edges of the profile. Funk takes hold in the back of the profile, with a wild yeast-fueled finish that lingers with notes of dry oak. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a viscous and chewy feel in the mouth that lays just a touch of light underlying crispness down on the tongue. Alcohol is well hid for the most part, as the boldness of the flavor profile does a pretty good job of covering it up.

Between the wild yeast and wine barrel aging, there was a LOT going on with this one but it mostly kept the craziness in check and remained much more approachable than I thought it was initially going to. I wasn’t quite as enamored with this one as the wife was but it’s a pretty darn solid effort.

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Photo of weeare138
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a glowing amber with a fizzy white head that lasts for a short moment.
Smell...yes, my friends! This is my old pal, brett! That, along with some sugary sweetness of tamarinds, pomegranates, apples, cherries, and lychee.
Taste is of tart apple, grape, cherries, and a wild yeast that makes this concoction odd but somehow appealing.
Mouthfeel...ya know, for the style, it seems right...although can it really be wrong?
Drinkability...the wild cherry flavor is on and the wild yeast is a change of pace. If you dig off the wall styles, you'll probably like it.

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Photo of phingdong
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Kristyn
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mltobin
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a glass at The Alchemist a couple weeks ago.

Appearance is dark red/brown with a thin head.
Wild Child`s smell is sour, tannic, cherries are present, some brett funk, along with grain. Its` taste is tart, more cherry, some spice and a medium sourness. Mouthfeel is medium. Drinkability is very good on this and I was happy to see that this was available when I was here. They do not have this on-tap very often, but is most certainly a treat for anyone who enjoys a wild / sour ale.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Whoa a Sour Flanders Red???? You bet! This was the best of the three brews I tried at the the Alchemist. It was refreshingly tart and sour. The Duchesse??? This brew reallty hit the spot and was the first VT beer I tried "in situ" whilst on summer vacation in the Green Mountain State. Thank goodness the keg ran dry after my first glass as it would have been the only brew I tried.

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Photo of bierdabbler
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a week before the hurricane hit.

DISCLAIMER: I lived in Waterbury for the first 18 years of my life and go to the Alchemist every time I visit.

A- Deep red color with almost no head or lacing. Simply pretty.

S- Definitely a sour beer, strong with a little crazy.

T- Hits hard and farmy but not harshly, many layers to this one, mostly cherry and tart.

M- Low carbonation and pleasantly sticks around for awhile.

Something I would definitely get again, but not too many in succession, which is true for most sours.

Best of luck to The Alchemist in rebuilding!

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Photo of cbutova
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark red with a tiny white ring. Like many wild ales with no significant head or lace.

S- Crazy strong apple cider and cherry dark fruit hybrid aroma, superbly enticing. Some oak and acetic as well.

T- More cherry, dark fruit and acetic forward bit still has cider elements. Oak and raisin make an appearance. Sour level is moderate and well done.

MF- Lower end carbonation with a silky feel. Light body and that sour palate sensation.

The aroma is like fresh Vermont Apple cider mixed with great fruit and even a wine aspect. Very interesting wild ale that I would have again.

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Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darkish cherry red color with a one-finger head.

Aroma is sour with hints of cherry and apple in the nose. A bit of funk too.

Taste is full of apple, cherry and a bit of funk. Very nice. Not too funky or sweet.

Funk shows through more in the mouthfeel. Subtle and full of apple and cherry.

Nice! Not overly funky. A good intro to the style for a newbie. Very drinkable.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay so they kill it with the hoppy beers, but can they make a serious sour?

A-Pretty crimson color. Deep, dark and pretty. Clear. Amazing head. Slowly dies. Lacing patches the glass. Very attractive.

S-This smells damn good. Sour off the bat, but in the nose you can tell that it is not going to make your dry up with sourness. Not overpowering but aromatic and attractive.

T-They made a pretty damn good sour. I could stand for a bit more tartness, but this one still hits the mark. Complex with multiple flavor layers. Tasted like sour cherries drizzled in milk chocolate. I am imbibing this too quickly.

M-A nice level of carbonation. A bit sticky. Medium bodied. No complaints here.

O/D-I really loved this. Tart enough, but not too tart to take away from its drinkability. The version of this I had was listed at %7.9 I believe. The Alchemist does not only make world class hoppy beers. They can put together a pretty neat Wild Ale too.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A wild ale on tap? Sign me up and slap my ass.

This version was listed as 7.8%.

A: The darkest wild ale I have ever seen. A deep garnet color. Minimal white head with a touch of spotty lacing.

S: Tartness. A touch of lacto. Some fruit as it warmed up. A little bit of mustiness. The nose was very subtle but it really worked.

T: Nice. The tartness was not nearly where I wanted it to be but this is in Northern Vermont. It was tart in the back end. There was quite a bit of fruit as it warmed up as well. It finished with a nice mix of sweetness and sour.

M: Very low carbonation. A touch thick but damn was it a joy on the tongue.

D: All day. It crushed my soul when they said they would not fill a growler. This would be an excellent beer for someone wanting to get into wild ales. At almost 8% there was zero hint of the ABV. An awesome beer all around. In fact go to this place it is awesome.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

John has blended a new batch with a batch at least one year old. WOW

Deep mahogany color, with a tight off white head, aroma of granny smith apples.

The tart cherry taste seems very well balanced. The additon of the older batch has given this much more body and a better mouth feel.

Even if this is not your style, give it a try, it is an incredible, well crafted beer.

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Photo of Pamola
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of tubbnik
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Wild Child from The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 24 ratings
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