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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: 74
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 21.98%
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: 74
Photo of ncvbc
1.56/5  rDev -57.1%
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 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 jimbomill
2.08/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

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

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Photo of caddybuyer
2.69/5  rDev -26.1%
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 hopsaplenty
2.76/5  rDev -24.2%
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 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 LilBeerDoctor
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
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 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 Gueuzedude
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
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 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 rfgetz
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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Photo of 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 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 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 BuckeyeNation
3.19/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of matty
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ccrida
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is brownish magenta with a tan collar.

Smell is fantastic, big zesty, seltzery raspberry.

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

Mouthfeel is light, a little spritzy.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
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 GCBrewingCo
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
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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Black Raspberry Reserve from Sly Fox Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.