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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 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 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 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 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 ColForbinBC
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes)
Had this on tap at the brewpub in Royersford

Served in a 10oz snifter glass, would have preferred a pint. A deep purple color, almost like grape juice, with a faint pink head. Head was a solid one finger and had some nice staying power.

Smells of rich raspberries and faint sweet sugary malts.

What a pleasant surprise. The flavors were of raspberries and sugar, but in very palatable doses. Tart yet crisp, wasn't quite lip smacking tart, but on the verge.

Very light and airy on the tongue. Drinkability was exactly what you want in a beer of this genre.

This beer was a pleasant surprise and definitely worth a shot. I would buy this guy again. My scores are probably higher than they should be, but it's overall quality was very unexpected. I am interested in grabbing a bomber and seeing what the differences are.

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Photo of ROMER79
4.74/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I see that a good majority of people have had this beer in a bottle. I would like to share my experience with all of you. Please take it for what it is worth. I had this beer on tap at a local Pub, for those of you from Philly, The Grey Lodge, and it was amazing!

A: A real deep purple/red color that right off the bat looked fruity and totally worthy of the $6 a pint. It also had a pink/purple head that dissolved quickly.

S: A strong odor of raspberries with a hint of cooked sugar.

T: I am a huge fan of Lindeman's Framboise and this gives it a run for it's money. The raspberry flavor wasn't overbearing and it seemed to be just the right touch. Great beer to eat anything with

M: Crisp cold and refreshing. It clings to your pallet and doesn't want to let go!

D: Very easy, you can sip or chug. It doesn't go down hard. It is very smooth and rewarding after a long day of work. If you can try this on tap!

If you have never had a fruity beer I suggest that you try this beer first. You won't be dissappointed.

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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 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 Onibubba
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A luscious red wine color with a very nice initial purple head. This dies down, leaving a light lacing. Looks quite nice. The upfront smell is an assault of jam. Blackberry, raspberry, it's hard to say. Smell like this is going to be a cloyingly sweet beer, but that is just not evidenced in the taste. The sweetness is subdued, almost nonexistant. There is a very light sourness that comes out. I'd like this to be stronger. I keep thinking of what JP could do with this recipe. Decent carbonation, a bit thin. Highly drinkable. No alcohol, not cloying sweetnes standing in the way. Good beer. Wish I could get more.

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Photo of tpd975
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another brew from BitterBrian, many thanks.

A: Poured from a 750 ml bottle like a wonderful sparkling grape juice. A monstrous 3 or 4 finger head quickly appears,then disappears almost as quickly. This one is very effervescent with non stop rows of bubbles racing to the top in straight lines all the way around the glass.

S: This one smells of raspberry, surprise surprise. It is actually a nice smell and not too overpowering. There is a hint of funk and alcohol if you really concentrate on what you’re smelling.

T: This one greets you with a blast of berry. There is not much sweetness here; it’s actually kind of tart. It finishes very dry with a hint of alcohol in the finish.

M: Crisp, Clean and Dry. I will leave it at that.

D: It's a nice beer. I will have trouble drinking the 750 ml myself. This one should come in a 12 ounce, or you should plan to share.

Overall: Nice beer. I am not a huge fan of the fruit beers, but its summer and I figured I would give this one a shot. It has a lot of taste, and would make a nice after dinner beer to share over some good conversation.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Tremendous initial head. Fades almost like soda, down to nothing rather quickly. Body is very dark red, and totally opaque in all but the edges, where it is plum colored and cloudy.

S: Smells of black raspberry syrup with slight yeast aroma.

T: Tastes mostly of raspberry, but you catch some yeast in the middle, and some sourness and bitterness at the end. The sourness doesn't bother me.

M: Heavy carbonation with large bubbles and medium fullness.

D: Awesome drinkability for this style in my opinion. The flavor does not get overpowering or sickening over time. Also very drinkable for higher abv.

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Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Explosive uncorking. Open this one near a bowl. Huge red-cream colored head that gradually falls to a ring and series of contsantly fed islands. The beer itself is a deep red in color.

s: Big smell of partially reconstituted dried raspberries on the nose. At least it doesn't smell artificial. Nice raspberry preserves. Don't pick up on much more. Alittle dry for me.

m: high carbonation over a med-light body

from SkinnyElvis for my bombing

t: Very dry and somewhat tart with a big dark raspberry flavor. Very one dimensional. Pretty much all dry raspberry. I think an addition of some sweetness and malt flavor would really pull the raspberry flavor through some more. It's really SweetTart like as it is.

d: A decent attempt at a difficult style

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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 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 laintringulis
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wide mouth goblet.

Appearance: Dark cran-raspberry color with large foamy/frothy pink head that thins to a ring quickly. No lacing. Large amount of tight carbonation.

Smell: Smells strongs of blackberry, raspberry and yeast. Light citrus and musty grass smells. Smells alot like homemade warm bread with grandma's blackberry jam.

Taste: Dry blackberry taste on the initial with a brief sweetness in the middle and dry floral blackberry finish. Multiple floral notes throughout drinking with a pleasant musty earthiness. I can taste the hops around the fruitness, but I cannot identify them. Light on the malt. Very skillfully made. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll be drinking kool-aid when I get a fruit beer.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Light bodied, maybe a little thin, but not watery. I would have liked a little more malt presence in the feel. Light, floral, dry alcohol finish. Easy to drink. I think one is the limit on this one, mostly due to the fruitiness.

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