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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 jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a black transparent raspberry burgundy color with a raspberry/pink colored three fingered head. Very volatile carbonation and so far looks pretty good.

S - Smells like a grainy raspberry lemonade farm with a little bit of metallic in the nose.

T - Pretty good. Tastes like a raspberry infused ale. Wet cotton, grainy, delicate raspberry, very light in nature with a surprising hoppy aftertaste. All the flavors I'm picking up on the palette are delicate and not in your face like I would have expected with the raspberry sweetness.

M - Very grainy, light, airy, crisp, and almost no lingering aftertaste.

D - One is more than enough.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It was hard to review this beer since it was kind of old but not expired.

A - Pours a really deep reddish purple color with a ton of carbonation, I mean a TON! Even a light pour produced both head in the glass and in the bottle! The foam was pretty interesting as it has a reddish purple hue as well with slight sediment. Really wish their was less sediment...

S - The most appealing part of this beer! Upon first smell you receive a hardcore raspberry sorbet. It really rose my exceptions for the taste which followed...

T - The first taste I guess I was expecting a more ABV version of the Lennie's Berry Weiss but all I got was extreme tart Raspberry followed by more sour tartness that finished funky with a yeasty like bitterness. It was almost too unbearable at first and throughout the bottle I consider pouring it out but I made my way through the bottle. As the beer warmed toward the end the alcohol was more noticeable and that didn't help.

M - Medium body and a chore to finish

D - Never I mean never will I have this again. The sweetness described in previous reviews must have been a joke since this beer is obviously a sour bomb. My expectations have been diminished would avoid.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thrown in as an extra by Jwiss22 -- What a great guy!

Appearance -- Pours a rich burgundy with some amber hues near the bottom of the flute, with two fingers of mauve head.

Smell -- Fresh raspberries.

Taste -- Raspberry is certainly the dominant flavor, but it is a bit muted compared to the nose. Faint sweetness, more tartness; like a dry champagne, really. Toward the end a bit of grainy malt character becomes evident.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body, high carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability -- For as much raspberries go into this beer, it is very balanced and drinkable. It's very easy to make a fruit beer that is so overpowering that finishing one glass takes effort. This, however, is a pleasure. Perfect beer for brunch.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked bottle into a mini snifter. Deep red, almost like beat juice. Lots of small bubbles and carbonation. Strong candied sugar notes in the nose. Heavy candied fruits, some dark raspberry, blackberry, and minor black cherry notes. Very tastey brew. Near lambic status in my mind. Certainly not a disappoint for an after dinner brew. Would pair well with strong, aged cheese or dark chocolate.

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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 josefnewsong
4.01/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a deep, dark, ruby color with a bit of pinkish head that leaves a little bit of lacing
S - smells like black raspberries, and very little else
T - tastes like black raspberries, slightly sour, slightly tart, with earthier notes behind and a bit of malt. the fruit flavor is great without being too intense
M - medium bodied and smooth, slightly crisp, nice wet finish
D - very easy to drink and enjoyable, it's very hard to believe this beer is 8abv, I can't find the alcohol anywhere in the taste

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Brass Rail Deli in Hershey, PA
From memory

A- dark purple color like that of grape but its a raspberry. interesting. It does have a nice half finger head that fomas up pretty good after the pour.

S- raspberries, tart raspberries. thats all that needs said.

T- sour raspberry and quite sweet on the back end as well. There is some maltiness to it as well but the raspberry flavor dominates.

M- like fruit juice with alcohol.

D- one is enough but it is good. It is very sweet and then sour on the taste buds.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I would say that the raspberry reserve has a purple-ish brownish body, but I'm not really sure how you could picture that. I mean, It doesn't really sound like something that could exist. Think grape juice I guess. Small head with basically no retention or lacing.

The aroma is pretty solid. Just a ton raspberries; sweet, a bit tart. Beyond that there is, well, more raspberry and not much else, which isn't necessarily bad for a fruit beer I guess. Overall it is a very pleasant aroma.

The flavor of Sly Fox's black raspberry reserve is dominated by raspberries also (surprise surprise). Mostly sweet, a bit of tartness; packed with berry flavor. Underneath the berry flavor there is a tad of bitterness and some toasted malt. I like it, but I don't love it.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and rather highly carbonated. Not sure how I feel about that to be honest.

Overall this is a solid beer, but the drinkability takes a hit for me because the raspberries started to be a bit cloying and overwhelming. I'm sure I could not drink an entire 750 of this.

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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 Wheeble
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a Sly Fox Big Beer variety case.

I made the mistake of opening this beer at around 70 degrees.

I untwisted the cage, and the cork blew out of the bottle and beer foamed all over my counter top and my kitchen floor.

Other than that mistake on my part, this raspberry beer is exceptional.

AROMA: A definite raspberry smell, almost reminds me of a black cherry freshly crushed off the vine, but with a tartness that lingers in the back of the nostrils.

Appearance: Poured a darkish brown at first glance in the dim light if the kitchen, but under light, it definitely has the reddish burgundy color of a ripe black raspberry, and has a light pinkish head with very minimal retention

Taste: I get almost no hop taste to this beer at all. It seems it was in a secondary for a while soaking in fresh raspberries. Finishes tart, but 10 seconds later leaves you with a huge true raspberry taste.

Mouthfeel: Very lingering flavor, and extremely carbonated, almost champagne like, and not in a bad way. Very smooth, with no coating across the palate, but that constant feeling like you just ate a vine full of fruit.

Drinkability: I would agree with the rest of the reviews, its not something I could drink a lot of, but its something i could sip on throughout a fall evening.

I would recommend this beer to anyone, from the novice drinker to the most experienced. You will not be dissapointed.

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Photo of jmalex
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goat races are just over a week away, but I'm drinking what's basically the opposite of a bock. Oh well. Cheers to Sly Fox!

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a deep, deep red that only brightens to burgundy when held to light. The head is huge and off-white with a tint of red. It's loose-bubbled and quickly drops to manageable levels.

SMELL: Unmistakable here. The raspberries are both tart and sweet and seem not like an extract but more like just plain massive amounts of fruit. Not a whole lot of any actual beer character coming through at all though. It's even hard to tell what type of yeast was used.

TASTE: Far more beer-like in the flavor with a surprising bitter hop character showing itself almost immediately. The berries are the star, of course, and take the form of mostly tart. They do allow for a bready malt base to come through just slightly. On the finish, the raspberries start to give off an extract-sweet flavor, but it's held in check enough not to let it ruin an otherwise well-rounded flavor with great balance.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation level is really high, approaching some of the biggest levels I've ever experienced. The body is medium light and seems to finish very dry,

DRINKABILITY: A nice beer, but one that I maybe don't need 750mL of. It's not like it'll be a chore getting through 2 glasses of this, but it's more of a sipper than I would have liked.

One of the more interesting fruit beers I've had if only for the limits Sly Fox pushes in adding so much fruit. Worth a try to split with a friend.

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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 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 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 glid02
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this courtesy of Ed - much obliged!

Pours a cloudy grape color with a light red, but not quite pink, head. The head doesn't stick around long before dissipating into a wispy layer on top, with almost no lacing.

Smells of a whole lot of raspberries. There's really not much else going on - not that the raspberries are too overpowering, just that no other smells really come out.

Tastes as the smell would lead one to believe, at least up front. Sweet raspberry flavors carry on until the end, where a slightly dry and bitter finish takes over. No hint of the alcohol, I'm actually surprised it's as high as it is.

Mouthfeel is what I'd expect for a fruit beer, not a whole lot of thickness and a bit more carbonation than the average beer.

Drinkability is good for one glass. It's really not overly sweet, but I could see it getting to be a bit much after more than a glass.

Overall this was an interesting beer, the only raspberry beer I believe I've had, especially one brewed with real raspberries. I'd recommend splitting one of these with a friend.

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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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Photo of yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

new 750 mL corked bottle. Opened this over a sink, great idea as this was over carbonated and gushes like crazy.

A: Clear, dark rosy ruby red color and massive bubbly pink head that quickly dissipated to thick ring of bubbles without any lacing. Glows against light, very nice looking once the head and carbonation calms down.
S: Strong, potent more tart than sweet raspberry aroma. Very fruit and appealing, but little else going on. I like raspberries so I like this, but I can see where this might not be all that appealing to others.
T: Light body that is very sharp and prickly on the tongue, combination of being way too carbonated and the tart of the raspberry. Flavor is similar to the nose, more sweet sugars, but still very fruity, fresh raspberry, maybe some grapes. Pretty one dimensional, not the best raspberry beer.

Note: I've had this on tap and without the carbonation issues thought this was a much better beer, I'll review that one next chance I get.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve starts off with a bit of a hitch, as the cork broke off in the bottle. Once popped, it pours lively with a big, frappe pinkish-cream colored head that seems to float over the slightly hazy, ruby-deep purple colored body. The aroma is amazingly fruity (blackberry, fig, plum) with a gentle spiciness (allspice, ginger, white pepper). Earthy (cilantro, mint, sage). Low wheat maltiness. Light-moderate alcohol as beer warms. Oxidation? The flavor starts off a bit rough with a cough syrupy fruit sweetness that death spirals until the bitterness catches up to bring balance to this fruity monster. Spicy & warming finish. This bottle may be a touch past its prime. Medium-light bodied with ample carbonation. Good creaminess, but lacks finesse. This is a solid seasonal offering from Sly Fox that's certainly worth seeking out.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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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 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 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 ColForbinBC
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes)
Had this on tap at the brewpub in Royersford

Served in a 10oz snifter glass, would have preferred a pint. A deep purple color, almost like grape juice, with a faint pink head. Head was a solid one finger and had some nice staying power.

Smells of rich raspberries and faint sweet sugary malts.

What a pleasant surprise. The flavors were of raspberries and sugar, but in very palatable doses. Tart yet crisp, wasn't quite lip smacking tart, but on the verge.

Very light and airy on the tongue. Drinkability was exactly what you want in a beer of this genre.

This beer was a pleasant surprise and definitely worth a shot. I would buy this guy again. My scores are probably higher than they should be, but it's overall quality was very unexpected. I am interested in grabbing a bomber and seeing what the differences are.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.74/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I see that a good majority of people have had this beer in a bottle. I would like to share my experience with all of you. Please take it for what it is worth. I had this beer on tap at a local Pub, for those of you from Philly, The Grey Lodge, and it was amazing!

A: A real deep purple/red color that right off the bat looked fruity and totally worthy of the $6 a pint. It also had a pink/purple head that dissolved quickly.

S: A strong odor of raspberries with a hint of cooked sugar.

T: I am a huge fan of Lindeman's Framboise and this gives it a run for it's money. The raspberry flavor wasn't overbearing and it seemed to be just the right touch. Great beer to eat anything with

M: Crisp cold and refreshing. It clings to your pallet and doesn't want to let go!

D: Very easy, you can sip or chug. It doesn't go down hard. It is very smooth and rewarding after a long day of work. If you can try this on tap!

If you have never had a fruity beer I suggest that you try this beer first. You won't be dissappointed.

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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 Onibubba
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A luscious red wine color with a very nice initial purple head. This dies down, leaving a light lacing. Looks quite nice. The upfront smell is an assault of jam. Blackberry, raspberry, it's hard to say. Smell like this is going to be a cloyingly sweet beer, but that is just not evidenced in the taste. The sweetness is subdued, almost nonexistant. There is a very light sourness that comes out. I'd like this to be stronger. I keep thinking of what JP could do with this recipe. Decent carbonation, a bit thin. Highly drinkable. No alcohol, not cloying sweetnes standing in the way. Good beer. Wish I could get more.

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