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Black Raspberry Reserve - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Raspberry ReserveBlack Raspberry Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

37 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 72
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | 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: oberon on 07-24-2003

An unforgettable wheat ale brewed with German Pils and Wheat malts and Tradition hops, with 1 lb. of red and black raspberries per gallon of beer. This beer features a tart finish and a sugary sorbet aroma.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 72
Photo of NODAK
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Having this at the brewhouse in Phoenixville on tap.

Pours a very dark ruby red...no real head or lacing to speak of.

Has a natural, not overly sweet, raspberry aroma to it. Certainly far from a sickly sweet soda smell....but not really tart either. Just a bit sweet and natural.

Whether or not somebody likes this beer is a matter of if they prefer a strong tasting fruit beer or not. This one will certainly not fit that bill. In fact, it comes across a tad watery but again, quite natural tasting. It's a little sweet....I don't get much tartness on this one. But it basically tastes like what you'd expect a good raspberry infused water to taste like, only a bit stronger. Also, 8% alcohol?? Hard to believe really, I don't get that at all.

Anyway, for me it's certainly tasty but I do enjoy something with a little more oomph to it flavor wise.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a super deep ruby red color which almost looks garnet due to its super dark red nature. Upon pouring there is a big thick pink colored foamy head on the top of the brew. Big bubbles in the head pop over time leaving a nice leave islands of bubbly lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is of a big and sweet blackberry and raspberry smell. The aroma while sweet due to the fruit aromas, has other sweet aromas of a candied sugar adding to the sweetness. Mixed with these aromas are a little bit of yeast as well as a tiny bit of bread.

Taste – While the nose was very sweet smelling the taste was actually rather dry. It begins with a dry raspberry and blackberry flavor mixed with some cracker malt and a bit of bread. While there is a bit of sweetness from the fruits present upfront, the sweetness actually fades over time, as the taste advances with it drying out even more with a more tart like flavor coming to the tongue. A bit of a yeasty taste as well as some light sweetness comes to the tongue more toward the end, but instead of the sweet being more berry like it is more grape juice like in flavor. A lighter hop flavor of a grassy nature joins the taste at the very end and mixes with the rest to leave a moderately dry and slightly tart berry red wine like flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner and crisper side with a carbonation that consists of tons of little champagne like bubbles. Both are rather appropriate for the dry flavors of the brew as well as wine characteristics, giving it a fruited dry champagne like feel.

Overall – A rather dry fruity beer, although maybe a little too dry. It would have likely been a bit nicer with more sweetness. At ~ $ 10-11 you could likely get a sparkling fruit wine of a similar caliber for even less as this is what this tasted most like to me. So…

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Photo of dar482
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a deep purple color with some red in there. It's very clearly a black raspberry beer from the dark purple, red color.

The aroma has just a pop of fresh raspberries and sweetness.

The flavor follows with very natural tasting raspberry, but without the tartness. It falls off the palate pretty quickly without much sweetness. It's a very easy and simple drinking beer. It's actually a really big surprise that the beer is 8%.

In the end, I actually found this better than Rubaeus. That beer has a medicinal syrupy raspberry, whereas this tasted a lot more fresh and vibrant. They do two pounds of different raspberries per gallon of this beer, so it makes sense that it's so fruity.

One of the best fruit beers I've had.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml, 2012
Tired Hands wine glass

A: Pours a deep dark blush red color. Good carbonation, tiny bubbles from bottom of the glass. Thin layer of off white head. Some lacing bits.

S: On the nose, just epic amounts of raspberry. Almost like a raspberry sorbet like sweetness and smell. Fresh fruit amped up with sugar.

T: You get fruit in the tip if the tongue. Not overly tart, but natural raspberry tart and sweetness. Don't know what grain bill is, but there is some body here. Drinks like a thicker fruit juice with some booze.

M: Medium bodied. It's bottle conditioned but does linger on palate.

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Photo of cjoc83
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Couldn't find a bottled on date, but it did have best by date of 5/24/14, so I'm assuming it's pretty fresh. Pours into a tulip a hazy burgundy with a beautiful, but small, magenta head that fades fast and leaves no lace. A very nice looking beer.

Smells of raspberry and grape juice, very sweet and candy-like. A little malt. Kind of one-note, but still smells great.

Not as sweet as the nose lets on, which isn't a bad thing. This brew could have easily become cloyingly sweet, and while the raspberry flavor is the dominant note and present throughout, it isn't overpowering. I get some grape notes in there too. I would have liked a little tartness in there, but I'm finding very little, if any at all. There's some sweet and bready malt, some wheat, and an almost cotton candy finish. Maybe some faint acidity. The 8% abv isn't noticeable at all.

Light body, feels a little under-carbonated. Slightly watery. Easy drinking.

Overall, I think this is definitely one of the better fruit beers out there. While I'm not blown away by it by any means (and in fact I didn't even buy it, I just snagged a small pour from my girl), it's certainly enjoyable. I would have liked a little tartness in there to cut some of the sweetness, as this is kind of a one trick pony. But it's a pretty good trick.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Phoenixville brewpub. Pours an intense dark red raspberry color with a tiny pink that dissipates quickly. Lacing is pretty much non existent.

Aroma of super fresh raspberries with a touch of wheat underneath. But this one is all about fresh fruit; smells sweet and tart and most importantly real; nothing artificial in the aroma at all. It's like sticking your face into a basket of freshly picked berries.

The flavor is right on as well; it's simple and to the point; fresh raspberries with the accompanying tartness you'd expect and much less sweetness than implied in the nose. In this way it's very much like eating the fresh fruit; it's not candy sweet at all. Again there is a touchy of wheat flavor underneath but this is a one-trick pony. Thankfully it's a tasty one.

Medium light body, crisp carbonation, clean drinking. The finish dries up fairly well and leaves a slowly fading memory of the tart fruit. Very refreshing. I think this one comes close to a more heralded beer like New Glarus' Raspberry Tart. Perhaps not quite as intensely flavored, but not far off, and certainly less sweet.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark brownish black like color that you could swear had something else going on in there. nice tight head formed on top.

aroma is charred malts, berries, hints of caramel and light vanilla and splash of berry. really comes in waves, at first i could pick it p quite nicely but it seemed to fade on me and then it was a nice malt driven porter like beer, interesting things going on here for sure. lots of fruit in the taste but it seemed odd in a way that is hard to place completely. smooth finish left little in the wake.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: bottle at Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA

Nice beer. Pours a beautiful dark ruby brown, carbonated, with a lush thick pink-white head. Poured aggressively, yielding well over 2 fingers of head that receded somewhat but remained as a very nice 1/4 inch of foam, uniform across the surface, throughout the drinking session. Great aroma of fresh blackberries. More of the same in the taste, with a very pronounced raspberry/blackberry taste that doesn't disappoint. Clean and crisp and tart, lots of fruit, with a solid malt background, and a distinctive wheat base. It delivers what's promised. Finishes dry with an acidic aftertaste. Light-medium body, pleasant, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: eggplant, with a faint bubbly head. rapid carbonation. has the appearance of champagne.

S: raspberries and a little bread.

T: berry juice and a shitload of carbonation. the carbonation actually masks any subtle flavors. maybe a little malt? it's a raspberry brew so to see this as the dominant flavor isn't much of a shocker.

M: light fruit body with a shitload of carbonation.

D: definitely a good fruit beer. it was interesting to taste as it warmed and some of the carbonation subdued. a little bit more complexity arose and it wasn't as single noted. worth a try.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle (great cork donning the Sly Fox logo) into a flute after allowing the bottle to breath for a few minutes. The pour formed a missive, 4 finger head of pink-magenta foam. Slow dissipation left behind trails and trails of fluff coating the glass. The body is a crystal clear ruby color with some brownish hues and lots of active bubbles.

As expected, the sour aroma of raspberries dominate the nose. The background has some grainy, almost grassy aromas.

I was expecting the flavorings of this beer to be sweet, but no, no sweetness at all! Bitter, dark raspberries at first move into a slightly malty and grainy finish. There are floral undertones present throughout the drink.

Light-medium mouth feel, slightly oily with lots of carbonation.

This is a good drinking fruit beer! I could not take down an entire bottle on my own, but great for sharing!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA.

A - Dark like black grape juice w/ a light pink head. The beer has a crimson hue when held to the light and the bead is fine w/ little splotches of lace collecting on the glass

S - The smell of fresh blackberries w/ sweet notes and mild malt odors at play in the background

M - A slightly thin, and dry feel w/ mild sweetness and gentle spiced tinge w/ a finish that has mild fruit tangy sweetness

T - A nice fruit flavor of berry which has a natural taste, the taste of black raspberry is there briefly with a spicy accent. The carbonation is high and seems to usurp the fruit slightly the flavor is slightly sweet and has barely any alcohol, basically light fruit and mild spice - you could give this to me and tell me it was natural fruit soda and I would believe you -very clean fermentation

D - A tasty dark berry brew way better than most , yet you are hard pressed to call it beer. The alcohol seems nowhere to be found in the taste, but as that is only an aspect of drinkability I would probably not order another unless I was really in the mood

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Photo of thequeen711
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a German Pils, brewed with wheat, malt and traditional hops. Poured deep purple, a left a pinkish head, and light lacing. Light mouthfeel, a sweet raspberry nose, however the raspberry flavour wasn't as strong as the nose. I was drinking the Berliner Weisse at the same time, which I found to be ultra sour, when I mixed the Black Raspberry Reserve with the Berliner Weisse, both drinks were more enjoyable!!! (Sly Fox...food for thought)

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The real fruit flavor is nice - no extracts here. Nice appearance. Great aroma. A pretty nice overall fruit beer, but there's not much malt underneath. Effervescent and thin. Worth trying? Perhaps. I'd originally confused this with the reserve, and entered this review in the wrong spot - that beer is one to try!

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Photo of Beertracker
3.75/5  rDev +3%
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 almychristopher
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance of this beer put me off a little bit.. I was a little less than impressed with the thick pink foam that appeared on the top of this beer, beside the barbie foam, the dark color of this beer almost hides the haze... I thought for a minute that I had gotten the raspberry wheat, but there was no such luck to be had.

That said, the aroma of this beer caught me off guard the lovely aroma raspberry brings thoughts of a top quality sorbet. It is as close to the best raspberry beer aroma that I've experienced, however I would have liked a bit more from the malts that they obviously used.

Taste is of course a fickle thing, but for me the raspberry died at the nose. The dry start and finish to this beer lacks in the rich sweetness that it could have contained.

The mouthfeel was a nice rich malt with a bit too much carbonation, beside making it a hard pour the carbonation reminded me more of a champagne than a beer.

While it was an interesting experience I don't think that I could give more than an average drinkability, if you drink one of these and reach for another it's more due to the alcohol content than the taste.

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Photo of WesWes
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep purple color with a towering pink head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very nice raspberry scent that is quite tart to the nose. The taste is average. It has a very dry and bland flavor with just a bit of raspberries in the finish. It's a real disappointment. The mouthfeel is average as well. It is a medium bodied beer with too much CO2. This is an average fruit beer. It's packaged as a premium beer, but it lacks in fruit flavor and complexity.

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Photo of GPHarris
1.88/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

a - poured a fizzy, off-white head into a goblet. it left bubbly lace and the sheeting almost looks alive, the bubbles are going crazy in a very unorthodox pattern. the body is reddish purple.
s - overwhelmingly raspberries.
t - raspberries with an earthy aftertaste and it's also very sour.
m - bubbly and thin.
d - awful. i couldn't stand it and couldn't imagine finishing the whole bottle. first ever drain pour.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

S: some berry tartness and vinous grape notes.

T: 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, ruby head and pungent raspberries from nose. A tad bit to much berries distracts and takes away any natural beer qualities.

M: silky and juice-like as well.

D: Wouldn't drink this in multiples, a fruity drink but with bigger alcohol repercussions.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

***Second time I have purchased this beer***

Poured into a pint glass:
A- Best aspect of this brew was the beautiful color. A beautiful pink/maroon translucent color came through, absolutely glowing in the light. A decent white head came through but dissipated very quickly. No lacing at all.

S- Smell was also quite pleasant. Floral tones a long with sweet scents of the black raspberries.

T- Taste was somewhat dissapointing. As one reviewer previously stated, this one tastes more like a lager than an ale. Raspberries were certainly there, but faded quickly. Not much hop presence IMO. Some sour and tangy aspects.

M- More carbonation needed. More body needed. This was slick on the tongue.

D- I love raspberries, but there was something lacking with this beer. With that said, I did end up finishing the whole bottle and didn't think twice about it.

May try this again at some point.

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Photo of splat215
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark deep ruby red, could be mistaken for a wine. Alluring and mysterious

S - Fruity black raspberries frolicking in the fields (ok I made that part up) - nice scent, subtle, not too overpowering

T - Oops, going downhill at this point. Subtle raspberry taste, with hints of lager. The flavors are not blended well in my opinion here, inconsistent. One sip is rasberry, the next sip is lager - strange.

M - Disappointingly thin and unsatisfying

D - Suffers in the mouthfeel department, and the inconsistent flavors don't make me want to have another one of these.

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Photo of Phatz
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this on tap and growler before but never splurged for a bottle. It is about the same expirience
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: Tart and fruit juicy to make up for the light weight feel.

Drinkability: I think this is a very pleasant beer. It would be worth sharing one at Thanksgiving next to your turkey and cranberry sauce. My wife really likes the beer so... I guess I'll be buying more.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of BRoss242
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle recieve through a trade with warriorsoul

A- Poured a dark red almost black cherry color with a heavy pink colored head which took a while to settle.
S- This beer seems to focus mainly on raspberry's and the aroma really shows it the beer doesn't allow any other ingredient to come through, reminds me of a raspberry lambic.
T&M- Same as the smell this beer is all raspberry, very tart and sour taste of fresh fruit,carbonation held up well with champagne like bubbles flowing fom the bottom of my glass. Mouth puckering is all I can describe for the mouthfeel.
D- I have to say that I didn't love this beer, but I did enjoy it enough to say that I would drink another.

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Photo of cbl2
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2/19/2007 $8.99 750 mL 8.00% No best by date.


Faint pink crystals line the interface between cork and bottle. Pours a dark carbonated purple!!! Topped with fluffy pink head. Looks more like a grape fanta, than a beer.


Raspberry preserves springs to mind, or the sweet raspberry syrup used in cheesecakes and as garnishes on desserts in fancy restaurants. Either way, raspberry dominates.


Tart acidic twang kicks things off, somewhat overpowering the raspberry essence at first. Fruitiness makes itself known by midsip, though there is no sweetness, as one would expect. Somehow all sweetness has been extracted, leaving only the impression of raspberry, like a lingering memory you can't quite recall.

This is a pretty straightforward, one-sided beer, with nothing else to offer besides the fruit, and to me that isn't necessarily an appealing thing.

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Photo of warriorsoul
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to DarkerTheBetter for this one...so nice to see Sly Fox agressively pushing out bottles/cans.
Red/purple in color with a pale fuscia head...a full three fingers worth forms with absolutely no effort. Most fades rapidly, but a thin layer remains with hardly no laing.
Mild in the nose...some black raspberry and a mild sweetness with some lingering whifs. Definite carbonation apparent.
The taste is much less flavor than I was anticipating...some black raspberry flavor, but quite dull compared to other fruit beers I've enjoyed. The overall taste is clean with no lingering off-flavors, but there is really nothing drawing me back with a smile on my face. I must say, the alcohol is nowhere to be found, which I find quite amazing since there isn't much there to mask the abv.
High carbonation hurts the mouthfeel and the overall experience just isn't a good one.
Still a decent attempt...I expect a bit more if I'm gonna consume fruit beers and this one falls way short IMO.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this on-tap at the brew pub.

This beer came a ruby red and red grape color with a faintly purple mini collar.

Smells faintly of concord grapes and light pale malts with a sandy dryness.

Tastes primarily dry and tart with faint wisps of raspberry and a little red wine and red grapes, but really focused on the tartness. This wasn’t painful or offensive in anyway, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with tiny pin-pricks of carbonation.

I think this beer could stand to be just a touch sweeter, but for what it is, it’s pretty good.

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Black Raspberry Reserve from Sly Fox Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.