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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 Sammy
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of 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.

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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.

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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 oberon
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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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 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 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 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 WVbeergeek
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours red (color of raspberry juice) with a large pink head that fizzles away to a lasting thin covering. Some lacing is left.

The smell is of fresh black and red raspberries.

The taste is of fresh blackberries - not syrupy. The sweetness is contained, at first, by a sourish yeast. A nice malty backbone soon come to give the rasberries support and the beer more depth and body. The alcohol remains very well-hidden (quite an accomplishment considering the abv level).

This is a very good version of an American fruit beer. The raspberries taste fresh and has more depth and character than most of its style.

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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.

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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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie for sharing this 750ml bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-purple color with a white head. The aroma is very strong raspberry, which is about all that I get.

The flavor is heavy on the raspberries. I get a lot of sweet fruit, but there is also a little bit of tartness in the flavor profile as well.

Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 yourefragile
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

new 750 mL corked bottle. Opened this over a sink, great idea as this was over carbonated and gushes like crazy.

A: Clear, dark rosy ruby red color and massive bubbly pink head that quickly dissipated to thick ring of bubbles without any lacing. Glows against light, very nice looking once the head and carbonation calms down.
S: Strong, potent more tart than sweet raspberry aroma. Very fruit and appealing, but little else going on. I like raspberries so I like this, but I can see where this might not be all that appealing to others.
T: Light body that is very sharp and prickly on the tongue, combination of being way too carbonated and the tart of the raspberry. Flavor is similar to the nose, more sweet sugars, but still very fruity, fresh raspberry, maybe some grapes. Pretty one dimensional, not the best raspberry beer.

Note: I've had this on tap and without the carbonation issues thought this was a much better beer, I'll review that one next chance I get.

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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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of weeare138
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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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 akorsak
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

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