Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 37 | Hads: 74
Photo of ChazBoner
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

25 oz bomber. best by Oct 2015

Pours a beautiful purplish-red with a white 1 finger head that slowly dissipates .

Smells like raspberries

Tastes like raspberries, a bit grassy. As the beer warms up there's the faintest hint of hops. Not a very sweet beer.

Mouthfeel is dry and tart.

Enjoyable if a bit one-dimensional.

 323 characters

Photo of monts
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but it tastes great! Very drinkable and the blackberry taste is not overwhelming and quite subtle. Don't get me wrong, you taste blackberries, but it's not up front. Not too sweet not too tart but just right

 251 characters

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.

 853 characters

Photo of SafeWord_Whiskey
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep purple, slight ruby when held up to light with a pretty pink 1 finger head that fades quickly

raspberry preserves/ candied raspberry

tart raspberry, tart cherry, a touch of sweetness on the finish but overall pretty dry for what you'd expect from the smell

high carbonation and pretty thin...drinks similar to a brut or dry champagne

overall a pretty solid fruit beer, a pretty nice dessert or brunch option that i would definitely revisit

 456 characters

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.

 390 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked & caged bottle into a tulip

A- pours a dark shade of purple/red with a *very* pink head that fades quickly. Damn, that's one pretty beer...

S- tons of raspberries, and nothing but.

T- a little boozy, actually. Light raspberry taste. Bit of a champagne flavor. Not what I expected, not too memorable

M- medium bodied, on the thin side

O- it went downhill as soon as I started drinking...started off nicely when I poured and sniffed, but that was it.

 474 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky dark reddish-brown with a foamy reddish-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, raspberry fruit, and raspberry juice aromas. Taste is much the same with raspberry juice flavors on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid raspberry presence but the mouthfeel is slightly off in my opinion.

 572 characters

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…

 1,940 characters

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.

 740 characters

Photo of jwhancher
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

My wife gave me a small pour from a corked bottle she received as an Easter gift this past year. Poured into tulip glass for review.

Appears purple with purplish white head that reduces to a thin film somewhat quickly. I dig this color as there isn't too many beers in this shade. Smells of black & red raspberries. Lots of fruit in the nose - perfume like, not overpowering. Smells sweet.

Tastes and feels a little too one-dimensional. Strong onset flavor of the rasperries, but that's about it. Feels thin. Finishes dry - would've at least expected some sweetness or perhaps even a tinge of sourness.

Not a bad beer by any accounts. Again seems too one-dimensional.

 670 characters

Photo of ForkAndSpoonOp
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I spend too much money on beer. Like, way too much. My girlfriend enables me every time I bring it up. "Don't feel guilty about spending money on something you enjoy," or some such. But I do. Not guilty enough to stop, of course, but enough to feel bad about it. One way I've begun to rationalize my spending is by trying to involve her. Every mixed six pack I buy has something I think she'll enjoy, usually something wheaty and/or fruity. Or something that has a bear on the label. It's a whole thing.

Last time I was in my local store, she had just had some mildly bad news. Nothing earth-shattering, but a bummer for sure. Came across a big bottle of this, figured we could share it in memory of the goat that ate a piece of her shoe at the Sly Fox Bock Fest last year. Poured from C+C 750 into a tulip.

A: Pours deep red-purple with a massive fluffy pink head. Serious robey tones. Head dissipates quickly into a small ring around the edge and a galaxy-looking swirl dead center.

S: Straight-up raspberry jam on white bread. Not complex by any stretch, but delightful.

T: Still raspberries, but much more of the tart aspect. Dry with just a little hit of sweetness on the back end. Again, not much going on, but very nice.

M: Fairly light body. Appropriate carbonation, enough to keep things from getting all Jolly Rancher. A bit of stickiness from the residual sugar.

O: Straightforward, but I rather like it. A nice change of pace from the barrel-aged monstrosities I usually deal in.

 1,498 characters

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.

 601 characters

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.

 1,304 characters

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.

 1,118 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger surprisingly pink head on a reddish amber body. Aroma isn't too sweet with musty raspberry and blackberries. Flavor is actually a lot more well balanced than I would have predicted with caramel malts and raspberries providing both musty and mild sourness and sweetness. It isn't overwhelming at all and may be one of the better fruit beers I have had. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

 403 characters

Photo of thecheapies
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep magenta red body with a light pink cap. Looks very benevolent and pleasing. 4.0

Smells of gooey raspberry preserve topping, white chocolate, orange gummi candy, and some small hints of a malt base. 4.0

Drier than expected, but still pretty sweet. Pureed red raspberries, light vanilla, cola, berry tartness, and light pie crust. Exquisite fruit profile. One-note, but well done. 4.0

Medium body with some girth. Fullness is cut by decent carb. Finishing an 8-ounce pour pretty quickly. 4.0

Decent fruit ale. I'd order another one sometime down the road. 4.0

 566 characters

Photo of buyBinboaVodka
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been looking for a beer that could come close to a Blushing Monk, and I think this might be the beer that almost is as good for me.

A - I poured the beer out of a bomber into a tulip glass. The head was at least half of the way up the glass. It was a copper ruby color with reddish and pink highlights.

S - Rasberry tart with a bready yeast. I get some sugar coated rasberry aroma in there as well. This is a real pleasant smelling brew.

T - The taste was a bit more mild than the nose led on to believe. It has a tart rasberry taste up front followed by a more subtle sweet yeasty flavor towards the finish. As this beer warms up it gets sweeter.

M - Fairly high carbonation with a thin bodied feel.

O - This is a pretty good beer that I wouldn't mind having again. Not Blushing Monk, but still a good bere none the less.

 836 characters

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.

 524 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: high carbonation, 1.5 inch head, clear, purpleish red in color

Smell: sweet and tart raspberries

Taste: sweet and tart raspberries dominate with some pale malt and faint chocolate

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, light body, sweet start with a dry semi-bitter finish

Overall: A nice and dry beer..slightly different from others in the style. This one is good but I think Sly Fox makes better. I do not want a candy beer, but a touch more sweetness would not be bad for this one.

 490 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve

22oz bomber. Pours like carbonated grape juice, pinkish head on a purplish body. Smell is fruity, full of raspberries, with some Belgian yeast evident as well. In the taste, more raspberry flavor, not surprising. Mildly bitter, tart and fresh tasting. It also tastes authentic, and not like candy or overly sweet. Alcohol is well hidden, an achievement for an 8% fruit beer. The best part is the finish, which is long, appetizing, and markedly dry. Overall, the Black Raspberry Reserve did not disappoint. Would certainly revisit again.

 569 characters

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.

 1,051 characters

Photo of cooch69
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one came in a 750 Ml bottle. It pours a deep dark beet red with a small head with tiny rose hued bubbles.

Nose is of Raspberries, raspberry syrup, almonds, and vanilla.

Taste on this one is a surprise considering how awesome the nose was. It is pretty dry and it has a battery acid aftertaste to it. There is also an off putting chemical bitterness to it as well. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for the ABV which went undetected until I actually saw what it was. As I made my way through the beer it became a little more palatable but not to the extent that I would ever really care to drink it again.

 608 characters

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.

 689 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to ShanePB for sending this my way in our first trade!

A: The cork came out with a nice pop and the pour was deep purple with some reddish hues. A pink head formed, about two fingers in head with good retention and lacing. There was a lot of fizzing as well, similar to a soft drink.

S: The aroma is what you would expect based on the beer's name. Lots of black raspberries and a little bit of grain. There is a slight tartness.

T: Again, lots of raspberry flavor. Very sweet and a little sugary, but not over the top like some others I have had. The flavor started strong but dissapeared rather quick and did not linger. Pretty simple flavor profile.

M: Medium to light bodied, but seemed to be slightly lacking in terms of carbonation. This caught me by surprise based on the pop from the cork, and I suppose this "problem" is me nit-picking a bit. No booze was apparent and it was an easy drinking beer.

O: I had saved this one to share with my girlfriend who is not huge into beer and she quite enjoyed it. I liked the aroma and flavor, but had it lingered a touch longer, would have vastly improved the beer for me. A nice fruit beer to grab for a rare occasion, especially with non-beer drinkers.

 1,237 characters

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.

 410 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Black Raspberry Reserve from Sly Fox Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.