For this edition of Tasting Notes, we journey into the untamed areas of the craft beer landscape to hunt down a pour of Wild Ones American Wild Ale from Red Cypress Brewery (Winter Springs, Florida).
Originally released by Red Cypress Brewery on December 2 of 2017, Wild Ones is an American Wild Ale that has been “oak fermented and aged . . . for 14 months.” That lengthy aging process and the use of Brettanomyces yeast ultimately allows Wild Ones (7% ABV) to emerge from its rest with “a big nose of earthy funk and fruit and tastes slightly tart with a white wine oakiness followed by a dry body.”
Wild Ones was released in limited quantities at the tail end of last year, but a quick internet search shows that 500ml bottles of this Limited Release might still be available in Red Cypress Brewery’s taproom and at select craft beer establishments located in and around the Winter Springs/Orlando area.
Alright . . . now that we are all caught up on the back story of this quiet release, let’s crack open a bottle and subject this Wild Ale to some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Wild Ones from Red Cypress Brewery
Appearance: Wild Ones presents itself as a bright lemon yellow in color and is wearing over two fingers of tight, white foam that builds and reaches well above the brim of the glass. When hit by direct light, this beer absolutely glows as it takes on a shimmering gold tone. The beer has a soft cloudiness to it, but it remains clear enough for us to observe an insane amount of exuberant carbonation bubbles darting about within. Head retention is spectacular, eventually reducing down to a chunky finger that lays wide sheets of lace down on the glass.
Aroma: Brett notes just permeates the air with earthy, funky goodness that translates as damp hay, barnyard, musty wood in the attic, leather and touch of pepper. A gentle sweetness then rises in form of a vinous, white wine character. The grains hold it all together by adding both earthiness and sweetness. Gorgeous.
Taste: The flavors do not deviate far from the aromas as barnyard funk and earthiness once again take lead with some wet hay, grassiness, oak, fresh leather, and a dash of black pepper. A pop of fruit then surfaces in the form of ripe pear, lychee, and a sweet, semi-dry Gewürztraminer grape/wine character. A gentle tartness creeps in for just a moment, but it is quickly held in check by a lightly sweet grain character.
Mouthfeel: Light side of medium in body with an effervescent carbonation level, this beer is bright, crisp and refreshing. It is mostly funky, earthy and lightly sweet on the palate, but there is a slight tartness that carries throughout to balance and dry this thing out. Although it weighs in at a respectable 7% ABV, there is absolutely no hint of alcohol to found in this beer. The aftertaste is all white wine and oak.
Final Thoughts: This lovely beer can be summed up in just three words: Pure Brett Bliss. Wild Ones is exactly what I – Guillermo, self-proclaimed Brettanomyces fanatic – look for in a Brett beer. Earthy, barnyard funk is here to carry nearly the entire experience, but it still remains elegantly composed and beautifully executed thanks to its slight tartness and spot on level of sweetness. Even with all those dynamic flavors and aromas, this beer’s balance keeps the experience refreshing, approachable and damn near gulp-inducing. It is just so ridiculously good, and it is clearly one of the finest beers to hit our tasting table this year. If you see it, get it. Prost!
**Side Note – Wild Ones can also serve well as a gateway beer for wine drinkers. If you have a buddy that enjoys delicate white wines and vehemently claims that he/she just does not enjoy the taste of “beer”, pour them a glass of Wild Ones and watch his/her mind explode.**