Black Raspberry Reserve - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Raspberry ReserveBlack Raspberry Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
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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 tpd975
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another brew from BitterBrian, many thanks.

A: Poured from a 750 ml bottle like a wonderful sparkling grape juice. A monstrous 3 or 4 finger head quickly appears,then disappears almost as quickly. This one is very effervescent with non stop rows of bubbles racing to the top in straight lines all the way around the glass.

S: This one smells of raspberry, surprise surprise. It is actually a nice smell and not too overpowering. There is a hint of funk and alcohol if you really concentrate on what you’re smelling.

T: This one greets you with a blast of berry. There is not much sweetness here; it’s actually kind of tart. It finishes very dry with a hint of alcohol in the finish.

M: Crisp, Clean and Dry. I will leave it at that.

D: It's a nice beer. I will have trouble drinking the 750 ml myself. This one should come in a 12 ounce, or you should plan to share.

Overall: Nice beer. I am not a huge fan of the fruit beers, but its summer and I figured I would give this one a shot. It has a lot of taste, and would make a nice after dinner beer to share over some good conversation.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Tremendous initial head. Fades almost like soda, down to nothing rather quickly. Body is very dark red, and totally opaque in all but the edges, where it is plum colored and cloudy.

S: Smells of black raspberry syrup with slight yeast aroma.

T: Tastes mostly of raspberry, but you catch some yeast in the middle, and some sourness and bitterness at the end. The sourness doesn't bother me.

M: Heavy carbonation with large bubbles and medium fullness.

D: Awesome drinkability for this style in my opinion. The flavor does not get overpowering or sickening over time. Also very drinkable for higher abv.

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Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Explosive uncorking. Open this one near a bowl. Huge red-cream colored head that gradually falls to a ring and series of contsantly fed islands. The beer itself is a deep red in color.

s: Big smell of partially reconstituted dried raspberries on the nose. At least it doesn't smell artificial. Nice raspberry preserves. Don't pick up on much more. Alittle dry for me.

m: high carbonation over a med-light body

from SkinnyElvis for my bombing

t: Very dry and somewhat tart with a big dark raspberry flavor. Very one dimensional. Pretty much all dry raspberry. I think an addition of some sweetness and malt flavor would really pull the raspberry flavor through some more. It's really SweetTart like as it is.

d: A decent attempt at a difficult style

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - First off I popped the corked on this and it flew out the bottle, I thought it was a bottle of Dom or something, struck me by suprise to say the least. Poured a deep purple and pink color, almost opaque. Huge frothy pillow like pink head, lots of fizzing here and really no fading at all. I didnt know if I was gonna be able to drink this thing! Absolutly tons of pink lace down the sides just oozing all over, really cool and fun looking brew to say the least.

S - Smell was strong and fruity, totally Rasberry, I mean there is really nothing else that I can describe it accuratly. Some hints at grain, maybe cereal trying to work themselves in, maybe even a slight hoppiness, but probably just the tartness from the fruity rasberry smell.

M & T - This was very crisp and clean, great carbonation really made the profile pop. Super berry flavor, very strong and full. Such strong pronounced berry flavor that nothing else is really noticeable. Now this was no where near sicking, in fact it was very refreshing. Very nice beer to sip on all night.

D - Overall I really generally do not like fruit beers. However this was very nice. I could definatly see myself having this one again, and will try and get a bottle for my next tasting.

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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 laintringulis
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wide mouth goblet.

Appearance: Dark cran-raspberry color with large foamy/frothy pink head that thins to a ring quickly. No lacing. Large amount of tight carbonation.

Smell: Smells strongs of blackberry, raspberry and yeast. Light citrus and musty grass smells. Smells alot like homemade warm bread with grandma's blackberry jam.

Taste: Dry blackberry taste on the initial with a brief sweetness in the middle and dry floral blackberry finish. Multiple floral notes throughout drinking with a pleasant musty earthiness. I can taste the hops around the fruitness, but I cannot identify them. Light on the malt. Very skillfully made. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll be drinking kool-aid when I get a fruit beer.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light bodied, maybe a little thin, but not watery. I would have liked a little more malt presence in the feel. Light, floral, dry alcohol finish. Easy to drink. I think one is the limit on this one, mostly due to the fruitiness.

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked and w/o any freshness or bottling info ofered. First pour resulted in a HUGE head that had me thinking, "bad bottle", but thankfully this was not the case, the head was not long lasting and after the initial fizzyness, this one calmed down quite a bit. What resulted was a grapey looking brew, blueish head, leaving minimal lacing. Fruity, slightly sour nose. The expected fruit here was pleasantly flavorful and again slightly sour as well moderatly tart. Nice, refreshing, palate cleansing stuff. Well crafted, better then average fruit offering. Would be nice with some sort of fruity dessert or as an apperitif

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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 biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, corked. February 2007.
An awesome colour - a worthy "unforgettable" (as the bottle claims) characteristic of this beer. Dark purple-red, pure darkness to the body. A pretty light purply-pink head that sat atop for some time before slowly fading. An equally awesome aroma full of fresh and ripe blackberries and raspberries. The raspberry comes through much darker in the taste and much more fruity/fresh in the aroma. Lots of blackberry and blueberry too. Really dry with some bitterness. Some alcohol coming through but I wouldn't have guessed 8%! Unlike a Belgian Lambic fruit, much more bitter with less sweetness. The fruit doesn't come through in the taste nearly as much as I'd like. A bready malt seems to interfere with the flavour profile too. A great strain of yeast used though! If only the fruit carried itself as well through the taste as it does in the colour/aroma this would be truly great. Still, a worthy American attempt at this idea! Would revisit.
Thanks Jay, and thanks Sammy!

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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 Derek
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Brownish-red with a pink head. Zero retention or lace.

S: Big aroma of raspberry candyfloss (fruity esters seem a little fake).

T: Overpowering raspberry, hints of tartness, certainly not overly sweet, bready backbone.

M: Moderate body & carbonation. Dry finish.

D: Big raspberry flavour is a little overbearing.

Thanks for the sample sammy!

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

Thanks Dr.Jay, surprisingly good. Think raspberry black tea, not raspberry jelly. Dark raspberry colour with pink head, bit of lace. Aroma, well raspberry. There is bitterness behind the taste, medium mouthfeel. Overall a palate pleaser and interesting, though more of a sipper becasue not too sweet though malted.

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Photo of grub
4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

quarterly tasting party feb 21/07 with northyorksammy, Derek, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer. northyorksammy contributed this one that he got from DrJay, so thanks to jay and sammy!

corked and caged 750ml bottle.

pours slightly hazy very deep red with a huge gushing pink head. drops fairly quickly and doesn't leave any lace.

aroma is good. massive raspberry without being syrupy. bit of sourness. light sweetness. smells like raspberry jam.

taste is great. tons of raspberry. bit of bitterness. light tartness. very little sweetness. light bready malt.

mouthfeel is good. medium bodied with a nice dry finish. above average carbonation that is very well integrated with no sting at all.

drinkability is great. a very good, balanced beer. it's obviously all about raspberry, but there's a little more going on. the dry finish and light body help to make sure this doesn't come off the least bit like cough syrup. one of my favourites for the night. i loved this one.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split with my boy Chef Scotty at Bocktown, appears a cloudy ruby hue with a light pink head which dwindles quickly leaves sparse scattered lacing around my snifter. Aromatics contain strong raspberry and mildly tart acidic notes very nice natural feel to it unlike the average fruit beer out there, also I applaud the label for trying to claim this isn't a girly fruit beer. I pretty much agree to that and the flavors bring more of a ciderish feel with the acidic qualities overiding any added sugar cloying features...mild raspberry flavor was expecting much more in the taste. The finish comes of dry and clean with some mild sweetness and sort of an earthy or stem flavor thrown in the mix. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied carbonation start out bubbly but head dwindled quickly and as I sipped on my portion it seemed pretty moderate with no cloying sweetness on the palate. Drinkability...effortless drinking with this one had no idea it was 8% and my half of the bottle was gone in a flash a nice sipping beer not overdone or underdone, nice fruit beer.

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Photo of Phatz
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Decided to take a growler home since I needed to drive from Jackie Blues in Harrisburg PA. Well, it kicked the keg so I got a discount but my beer may have been a tad flat when I got home. Still, it was decent. I was warned the body on this beer is a bit thin to begin with.

Appearance: It poured out of my growler with little fizzy pink head but no retention or lacing. Pours a raspberry red magenta color.

Smell: Fruit and yeast in the nose is reminiscent of a Framboise Lambic though maybe less intense. Still fresh raspberries are apparent.

Taste: This is clearly raspberry from start to finish. Sweet and tart flavor balance each present but overall tends toward the tart side. The malt attribute is present but second fiddle to the fruit. A hint of alcohol shows through.

Mouthfeel: Too thins but ... acceptable as a fruit beer goes.

Drinkability: I think this is a very pleasant beer. It would be worth sharing one at Thanksgiving next to your turkey and cranberry sauce. I found it a little dull, so bookert and I added some Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (after taking notes) and that was a pleasant combination, though I like the BBCS better w/o the SF Raspberry Reserve IMO.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of lou91
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looked perfect for a black raspberry beer with a big lively head and a light purple head. The nose was also very nice fully complimenting the appearance. Wow what a great tasting beer. The fruit is present in a big way but the beer is also crisp clean and serves as a nice foundation for the fruit. As it warms the fruit has more depth and complexity. It reminds me of an Italian Cassis beer I tried recently but probably half the price. I would love to see them brew more fruit beers since they did this one right with the making of a world-class beer. Thank you BeerBeing for this.

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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 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 akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The ale pours with a raspberry red color, resembling Lindeman's framboise. The head comes in close to 2 fingers but dissapates quickly to a small reddish ring.

S: The aroma is a sweet raspberry scent, intense in its strength, with a slightly tart component.

T: The ale has a great sweet body, allowing the raspberry sweetness to shine against the light wheat and malt base. The sweetness is intense and very flavorful but there is also an underlying sourness. The use of fresh raspberries is nice, as it does allow for that hint of tartness.

M: The sweet and slightly tart taste is nice on the mouth, not overpowering like a syrup-based beer would be.

D: The abv is surprisingly high, luckily it doesn't reveal itself. The fruit base is nicely built upon the wheat base.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The real raspberry flavor of this one is quite refreshing, not just in flavor, but in comparison to so many of the extract versions on the market these days. And there's a lot of fruit in here! So much so in fact, that there's not much else. It's a beautiful looking beer, but the head retention and lacing are limited. It's light-medium bodied and effervescent - kind of like a raspberry Champagne! The flavor is quite juicy, and not overly sweet by any means. Short, dry, fruity finish. A bit more breadth of character could take this into world-class status, but it's not there just yet.

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

It pours a crystal clear and prolifically carbonated blend of ruby and purple. Two fingers of softly fluffy pink head pop slowly away. Lacing is minimal to phantom.

The aroma is a savory fruity melange of yeasty clove and earthy raspberry compote, smelling fresh and tart. The berry persists to join a very light vapor of alcohol.

Upon tasting, the merest hint of grain is a very understated backdrop for a seemingly natural moderate sweetness, along with the tangy fruity tingle of fresh-picked raspberries, missing only the tiny seeds. A trace of mild yeasty esters and a thin stripe of clove spice meld into a crisp, almost peppery finish that lingers dryly. It presents the raspberry as a tasteful and tasty viable star.

Between light and medium bodied, it has a nicely tactile fruit-juice flow.

A well done fruit beer that features the berry as nature made it, minus bowlfuls of excess, sickly sweet sugar, is one refreshing quaff, and this one qualifies quite aptly. And while the raspberry is certainly center stage, it never loses its drinkable identity as a tart, crafty ale. It can be enjoyed in many capacities, and I want to try most of them just to confirm.

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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 GeoffFromSJ
4.59/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blitheringidiot for snagging me this beer.

I'll admit it. I have a weakness for fruit beers. Fruit beers which are well done. Is there a bias against fruit in beer? Yes. So I'm just evening things out. This beer is trying to be fruity. So I will let it be and not mark against it for that.

Purple. Black purple. Large carbonated head at first, which then goes away. Minimal lacing.

Smell: black raspberry preserves. I've been eating black raspberry preserves since I got some from the Lancaster section of the Reading Terminal Market lately.

Tastes like black raspberries. A lot of the original sugars are gone, which gives this a deep fruit taste which doesn't cling with too much sweetness.

Mouthfeel is velvety.

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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 Gavage
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a brilliant clear red burgandy color with a 1" head that lingers a bit. No lacing develops.

Aroma: loads of raspberries are easily detectable without putting my nose in the glass.

Taste: raspberries dominate as this a real fruity beer. Little other characteristics as the berries are strong. This beer is actually quite flavorful and does not impart the usual fruit beer fake flavors in any way.

Mouthfeel: crisp and a bit refrshing. Medium bodied. Brief berry aftertaste.

Drinkability: not a bad beer, but you may grow tired of it after one bomber bottle. This is a raspberry bomb that would go great with a chocolate or berry dessert.

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