Black Raspberry Reserve - Sly Fox Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Raspberry ReserveBlack Raspberry Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 15.77%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 37
Reviews by Scoats:
Photo of Scoats
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is purple with a purple head giving some people the misimpression this is a "dark" beer, which I guess technically it is, but the color comes from the massive amount of raspberries, not from chocolate malts. This beer is a refreshing blend of sweet from the the berries and tart from the wheat beer. The massive amount of berries give the beer a very luxurious taste and appearance. This is a real crowd pleaser, pleasing both beer geeks and cross over drinkers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red almost black with a light head,the aroma is very nice of raspberry puree and powdered sugar.Taste is of raspberry puree up front and has a quick dryness to it that gives this beer a rather quick finish.Not a bad beer but they make so many better.

Photo of warriorsoul
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of Beertracker
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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

Photo of DaDooBrew
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark purple/black with a quickly disappearing - probably due to the alcohol content - fluffy white 'wheat beer' head. My first impression was one of wonder - how did they DO this!? The black raspberry flavor was wonderful - nice but not 'puckering' or astringent as is often the case. I fully expected to find a seed floating in the glass. The crisp wheat flavor was in the background, but augmented the raspberry as opposed to just laying around in support. They must have used a fairly docile wheat beer yeast (American?) as I did not detect any of the common German weizen characteristics. Its body/mouth feel was medium-light, no discernable hop aroma (fine for this brew) and I found it VERY drinkable. But be careful, it will creep up on you. This is my favorite 'fruit beer' (so far) this summer.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%
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.

Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wonderful light purple look with a frothy light beige head. Very refreshing wheaty raspberry nose. The taste is as it smells and is very well balenced. The raspberry is there but not overly sweet. The brew is quite dry upfront and then it sweetens slightly in the finish. Quite drinkable and quenching. The mouth is medium with a slight pucker in the finish. I like it!

Photo of weeare138
4.19/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a murky crimson purple with a tiny pinkish and white head that soon fades and leaves no lacing.
The smell is great. Lots of real ripe raspberries with sugary and sour notes.
Taste is of tart raspberries and sweet sugar, slightly heavy on the tart side.
Mouthfeel starts sweetly at the front of the tongue and mellows onto the sides of the tongue with a tart note.
Drinkability is pretty nice, considering this year's batch weighs in at 7.3% abv.

Finger licking good.

Photo of Phatz
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
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.
Cheers!

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of NODAK
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of BRoss242
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter glass at the pub. Brew is purple-red in color with a soft tightly packed pinkish head. Doesnt look much like a beer. More like frothy grape juice.
Aroma is rich with raspberry and maybe cranberry hits. Smells like black raspberry ice cream, but overall nose is mild.
Light bodied brew with mild carbonation, almost like a cask ale.
Flavor is tangy sweet raspberry up front. This moves to a light rather empty finish, but it is a nice flavor while it lasts some good tartness. Beer is smooth and easy to drink but not overly complex. A tasty beer but not much going on after initial flavor hit.

Photo of dar482
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of tobelerone
4.09/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of splat215
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of Fitzy
4.72/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This brew is best had with dessert. It's super drinkable and tastes a bit like raspberry sherbert. The brew is made with only raspberries...no syrup at all...very expensive and difficult to make. Regardless, Brian should have this one as a tap-standard.

Photo of WesWes
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of mgbickel
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

Photo of cjoc83
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev +9%
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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Black Raspberry Reserve from Sly Fox Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.