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Black Raspberry Reserve - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Raspberry ReserveBlack Raspberry Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 142
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 20.28%
Wants: 9
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 05-13-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 142
Photo of ncvbc
1.56/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Opened it and it started gushing immediately. Leaked out about 1/4 of the beer in foam. Probably because it was filled to the damn cork. A huge fizzy head, the most fizzy head ever, falls to nothing within 30 seconds. It shakes rapdily like a fiend on speed as it calms down. Funny enough, the head is purple...yeah, purple. Need I say more? Fine, it's kinda murky and dookie brown with highlights of blood! Smell is very light. Smells like a raspberry flavored fruit juice. Yeah, it smells like raspberries but damn, what the fuck? Taste is super tart raspberries with hints of other berries. Not so impressive and kind of flat berry flavor. Mouthfeel is also tart and killing with carbonation. My mouth feels numb after a couple sips. If I were reading this review, I wouldn't be able to...I can't move my lips. An "unforgettable fruit ale"...yeah, I'd say so.

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Photo of jimbomill
2.08/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I had picked up a Maredsous 10, a Victory 12 and this little hot looking number from the Sly Fox Brewery - Black Rasberry Reserve.
The cork nearly achieved escape velocity and would have made Nasa proud. All that carbonation bubbled out the top and reaffirmed itself in the first pour. The visual was as expected with a name like Black Rasberry and the aroma was sweet. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel, the taste, the drinkabilty were gawdawful. Black Rasberry Reserve became the first beer in ages I could not finish, I found it that bad; it was overly carbonated and the taste made a sweet tart hard candy seem bland. I used most of the bottle to marinate some chicken. Maybe I had a bad bottle.

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Photo of caddybuyer
2.69/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a caged and corked 750 into a tulip glass. Damn gusher this bottle was...

Note to bros..you've got two listing for the same beer here...chose to review in the most populated entry.

A-slightly veiled purple with a thick pink head that settles rapidly to nothing. This could be pretty and a bit more interesting if it retained a head, which it apparently does not.

S-Black raspberries for sure, and natural and wonderful smelling to boot. So many of these fruit beers seem to be created from additives, but damn, this one smells like the real deal.

T-A huge letdown. The nose enticed me, the flavor profile is nowhere near what one would expect from the smell of this. Slightly sour, virtually non-existant taste. This could use some sweetness. It is light and dry and that is the best and only thing I can say about it.(

M-Thin and overcarbonated.

D-Sadly, this one will not be bought again. Not sure what Sly Fox was thinking on this. Gotta give them credit for trying to brew something a bit offbeat, but I can't believe they put this one out....they are a damn good brewery...this misses the mark..by a long shot.

FYI, just for the sheer hell of it, I tossed a packet of Splenda into the tulip and stirred with a spoon. Not only did it generate a frothy head, reducing some of the carbonation, but it brought out a bit of the flavor that I was hoping for in this brew. Not enough to salvage it, however..down the crapper it goes.

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Photo of xnicknj
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at devils den

Pours a slightly hazed purplish-pink color with some reddish tones. Effervescent head with a pinkish hue rests on top, slowly dissolving and leaving curtains of lacing.

Plenty of raspberry juice in the nose with touches of slight tartness. Cracker-like wheat, but very sweet and sugary.

Bite of sweetness up front with juicy raspberry washing over the tongue. Some cherry tries to creep through, but this remains pretty much raspberry. Lighter wheat malt base, tingly tartness driven by the fruit juice. Finishes sweet and fruity with a spike of warmth.

Lighter medium body, high carbonation, tingly and sticky on the tongue. Yeah, this one was just way too sweet for me, and unless it's a Belgian lambic (i.e. Cantillon Lou Pepe), I usually don't like my beers to be pink.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml. brown bottle, no date information.

Clear, bright ox blood. Towering, pink-tinged jumbled stack of foam. Drops to a short, frothy cap of soapy bubbles leaving a few splotches of loose lace. Quick moving small bubbled carbonation streams. Light raspberry aromas with a vegetal undertone as well as some muted clean hop spice. Not overly enticing. A light, sweet raspberry flavor, syrupy rather than from fresh berries, opens and then is met with some competing and non-complimentary hop spice. There is an off vegetal essence that permeates the flavor. The sweetness is of a chemical nature. The light-medium body is punctuated with light carbonation, but has a thin feel to it. Slightly dry and a tad sweet, the hops used simply do not work in this beer. I struggled to finish this one.

Thanks to ggaughan for the DFH bocce tournament trade.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.87/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Stopped in to the Trapp Door last night and saw this on tap, this one was left over from last week when they had their Sly Fox beer dinner. I ordered a glass of is since I was curious to try it. The beer poured out with a soda like quality to it... Looked watery, with a fizzy head that vanished quickly, and had a color that reminded me of A-Treat Black Cherry. The smell of the beer wasn't too bad, I found the aroma of raspberries to be the best thing about this beer. Not much else on the nose though besides the fruit. The taste is a major disappointment to me, It's like drinking watered down raspberry juice... somehow it still maintains an 8% abv which I found hard to believe. The mouthfeel is again like drinking a fruity soda, bubbly but very light bodied. Overall, once again not really impressed with this beer/brewery. I just can't seem to find a beer that they make that really surprises me.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a dirty red with a thick light pink head. Aroma of raspberries, slightly juice-like. Flavor is sugary raspberries with a weak palate. Rather watery. Meh. It wasn't bad but it wasn't very good either. Just bland really.
7/4/5/3/11 (3.0/5)

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Excessively carbonated as a careful pour yields a five-finger thick head that fills my 25cl tulip glass. The head falls quickly though and is a dirty, pink-tinged, tan color. The beer is a clear, dark red color that shows a brilliantly clear, ruby hue when held up to the light. The aroma is all raspberry and is apparent even as I pour the brew. Bright, raspberry fruit notes including pulp and skin are vibrant and fresh and about all I can pull out of the aroma; it smells a bit like raspberry soda that has a light vanilla edge to it.

Bone dry and quite light bodied. The lack of sweetness really mutes the raspberry flavors. The raspberry character is still here in the flavor though with a light tartness, perhaps just a hint of sweetness that accentuates a light, fleshy raspberry character, there is also a touch of a tannic edge (presumably from the fruit skins & seeds). In some ways this doesn't really have much in the way of flavor, even though the fruit flavors are very light they still play a bigger role than the very faint malt or hop notes. This is really very light bodied, even watery with no real heft to it at all.

Based on the aroma I was expecting this to be a sticky, sweet mess. This has perhaps gone a bit too far the other direction as it could use just a touch of sweetness to boost the fruit flavors. With the malt playing such a reduced role, this really could use some funkiness to boost the flavor and complexity, either that or about twice the fruit might do the trick as well.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Porting review from November 2010 originally posted to wrong Sly Fox location...

Pours a rich deep raspberry purple with red highlights around the rim, minimal ring of head. Scent is pure raspberry... more tart than sweet, earthy. Taste is quite the diasapointment, the aggressive scent leads to a more muddled and muted bitter raspberry scent, like chewing on too many raspberry seeds. Body is medium, yet carbonation is almost non existant on this hours old growler fill. I love raspberry beers and the appearance and scent held promise. The overly bitter, pit like tastes mixed with the lack of carbonation disapoints.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grape juice purple with magenta trim. The cap, which began exiting the bottle before I could pour, is somewhere between pastel plum and rosy pink in color. It loses altitude rapidily and noisily, and is much too brittle to leave any sort of lace. I like the beer, but the cap brings the score down significantly.

The nose is incredibly berry-like. It's impossible for me to tell that both black raspberries and red raspberries were used (one pound of each per gallon of beer according to the Sly Fox website). Sure it's simple and straighforward, but that's rarely a problem in a fruit beer.

There's a ghost of a good flavor profile in here somewhere. Given the overly thin mouthfeel and the whacked out carbonation, my guess is that I got an old, bottle-conditioned beer that has had too much time to condition itself. I haven't read any of the other reviews, but I can't believe the brewers meant for the beer to taste and feel like this.

Like the nose, raspberries are large and in charge. Unlike most beer of this style, this one isn't overly sweet. In fact, sweet is barely able to stay in front of bitter throughout the mouthful. It doesn't help that the beer tastes like it was cut with a generous portion of tonic water. I'm sure when fresh, it's an entirely different story (at least I hope so). As noted above, the mouthfeel is waaay too light and waaay too fizzy.

I hate cracking open an impressive looking 750 ml bottle and getting something less than impressive in return. Again, I'm pretty sure this is a delicious, high-ABV fruit beer when fresh. As is, however, Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve is something less than berry, berry good.

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Photo of matty
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark burgundy colored wine,I mean beer with a soda pop like fizzy head.Aroma and taste are both basically raspberries and that's pretty much it.It wasn't bad but I don't know how you call this a beer.It was more like a mix between wine and a raspberry soda.Well I tried it once and that will be enough for me.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from New Beer Distributors in New York, to round out the gamut of styles.

Pours a lovely deep red colour, almost like a pinot noir. Pink head fizzles out to nothing. The colour is great—it's exactly like what I'd want from a black raspberry beer. Deep, colourful and rich. But in other respects, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Nose is awesome, fresh deep raspberry aromas with a pleasant touch of acidity. It's fresh and fruity, although not incredibly complex. Still, it's quite nice.

Taste is a let down. Thin, rather watery palate, without any body to back up the faint raspberry essence. I think this would have been better with a real spike of acidity here—the addition of some lactobaccillus or even some funky brett would really add another dimension. As it stands, it's like a fermented sugar drink, leaving no body, and no residual sweetness.

Sigh. Smells great, colour is great, but almost everything else is a let down. I have had some really nice fruit beers in the past, but this is not one—it's a very average effort.

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Photo of ccrida
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is brownish magenta with a tan collar.

Smell is fantastic, big zesty, seltzery raspberry.

Taste is oddly bland. A little malty sweetness and raspberry, but really light compared to the smell. Some earthy bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is light, a little spritzy.

Drinkability is OK. Extremely dichotomous. To bad the taste couldn't hang with the nose. Disappointing.

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Photo of crwills
3.27/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a tasting with northyorksammy, biegaman, grub, and derek. Thanks guys!

Great reddish/brownish/pinkish colour, with a decent pink head. Interesting raspberry jam aroma -- pretty good, for a fruit beer, but goes downhill from there. One-dimensional jammy flavour. Decent mouthfeel, and cherry Coke aftertaste. I should caveat this review by saying that I still haven't met a fruit beer I really liked, so I am biased against this style.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.27/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very berry purple with a fizzy magenta head that quickly disappears. Looks and smells like a black raspberry soda, but retains more of the tart qualities in the nose. First sip brings an abundance of fizz and it takes a moment to sort the flavor from the overly carbonated brew. Raspberry tartness is there and thank goodness leaves out some of the sugar found in other fruit beers. Fairly one dimensional taste as this focuses on carbonation and tart raspberry. The thin mouthfeel is a bit disappointing. Okay, but I'll pass next time.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.27/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a mahogany raspberry color with a fizzy head that fades quickly. No lacing.

The smell is raspberry syrup or cotton candy.

The mouth is quite light and slightly bitter. First time I've been able to stay with a goblet of this style.

The flavor is rough for me. Raspberry but sour. The first one of this style that i tried i would pour over fish and chips. This one might actually be nice over a salad.

This strays more towards a wine to me. The 8% is there. Definitely some warming observed. I may retire from any more attempts at fruit beers. A person needs to understand their limitations i suppose.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by 9/25/11 Poured into a mug pours a deep deep ruby red with a pink colored heading that sticks around for a while.

Smell is of tart rasberries. The slightest of hops and a roasted malt aroma that is immediately taken down by the rasberry.

Taste is less than stellar it is all rasberry but does not have a certain kick to it. Again a roasted maltiness that again is taken ove by a rasberry taste that turns to a rasberry seltzer water. Yeastiness is detected as well.

Mouth is smooth. Full bodied and a little overcarbonated.

Drink is decent not really something I would want to have but for an 8% ABV it is barely noticeable it actually seems a bit watered down.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a dark purple with a frothy beige head that was sticky and sweet.

S: On the nose was some berry tartness and vinous grape notes.

F: The flavor was overbearing and takes away from the malt of the beer.Very fruity and tart drinking like a fermented grape juice. Big flavor, A tad bit to much berries distracts and takes away any natural beer qualities.

M: The mouthful was silky and juice like as well.

D: Wouldn't drink this in multiples, very fruity with big alcohol repercussions.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass clear ruby with a effervescent quality which caused an initial head that dissipated to practically nothing after the initial rush of carbonation release.

The aroma was strongly of raspberries, you could even smell the seeds. Fruit dominated the aroma and not much else was notable.

The flavor was dry from the beginning with raspberry flavors most prevalent with some wheat character. As the beer warmed a bit of a grassy nature was notable with some bittering.

The finish was bone dry with just some lasting raspberry flavors into the aftertaste. The body was below medium and a bit on the watery side despite the higher carbonation. Just not a well crafted beer. If it had some lambic qualities or more wheat it might have been something good, or with the raspberry character and a dark beer. Anyway, skip it.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very thick looking ruby dark red color with a thick pinkish white head and a ton of lacing and carbonation streaming up everywhere. Smells like tons of tart raspberries, and some malts. Tastes of some intense raspberries and a bit of a watery flavor, not very good. Mouthfeel is medium and a little carbonation. Drinkability is okay, but it is not the best in the flavor department, just very one note.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red violet body (how often do you see that), plenty of carbonation, topped by a snap krackel popping pinkish head that decays with the speed of Coca Cola.

Huge berry nose reminds me of the Kool Aid of my youth. Might be the sweetish aroma I've smelt in a beer. Almost a mix of real and artificial flavors.

Taste is...raspberries. And more raspberries. Underneath it all, there is a light malt base and a bite of hops near the end. This is not your typical beer with a little fruity finsh though - there's no hiding from these berries. Sweet but not super cloying. Just maybe we need a bit more beer in this fruit beer.

Mouthfeel is a perhaps a tad thin, since this is more dessert beer than thirst quencher. A bit fuller and it could be dessert on its own.

Drinkability starts ok, it goes down like Kool Aid, sports drink, or supermarket soda, but the second half of the bomber is more of a struggle.

Needs a bigger beer taste base (but not more alcohol) to more it further from "girly beer" and more toward dessert. Something to share on Valentines Day perhaps. One Sly Fox bottle that was worth trying, but I'll probably pass on next time.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Popped the top and a slowly gushing head of bubbles, poured quickly into a glass to catch the beer and keep it off my counter top. Nice dark rose colot with gee that really looks like a raspberry beer quality.

Really fantastic nose, the raspberries shine through.

Starts out quite tart in the taste. Overly dry that your mouth adjusts to during the drinking.

Good interesting beer that is cool to try to reach both the girls and the boys beer drinkers or not.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with a significant amount of smegma around the cork.

Pours murky burgundy with a half inch head of white with a pink tinge. A thin skim coat remained on the surface for the duration along with some scattered shards of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with musty raspberries and mildly funky dust. Quite fruity but there is an odd vegetal overtone. A bit fecal near the end.

Medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. A bit on the thin side.

Red fruits with a trace of malt start the palate. Raspberry and blackberry with a hint of cough syrup.

Finishes with a hint of sweetness, fairly bitter for a fruit beer, and lingering fruit.

This is an odd one. There seems to be plenty of raspberry and blackberry, but theres some odd flavors and aromas that are off-putting. This beer would benefit greatly from some souring in a barrel and plenty of Brett.

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Photo of jwjon1
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shiraz red, which is to say dark red, almost opaque deep purple. But the wine references should end there: there is nothing vinous about the smell or taste. Light pink head. Really an exceptional looking beer. Tons of raspberry smells and taste. Fermented to dryness. Lots of carbonation. Very much like a purple haze on steroids, but with less acid and yeast characteristics. Stop fermentation a tad bit earlier to give it a tinge of sweetness, a bit more acid, and a touch of wild yeast and this would be a killer beer. But that isn't what the brewer was going for, so props for a fruit beer any beer drinker can enjoy.

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Photo of gford217
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by a generous soul at the BSP.

Pours reddish purple with an off-white head that dissipates almost immediately and leaves no lacing to speak of.

The smell is super sugary and dominated by pureed raspberries and brown sugar.

The taste has the same fruity sweetness but has a definite dry red-wine character underneath that tries to balance the sweetness a little bit through the finish.

The mouthfeel is bubbly but dry.

This was an overpoweringly sweet beer than had an interesting dry wine profile in the taste that didn't seem to balance exactly right. Unique but only OK.

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Black Raspberry Reserve from Sly Fox Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.