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Raspberry Strong Ale - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Raspberry Strong AleRaspberry Strong Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 250
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 15.53%

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2002)
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Ratings: 250 | Reviews: 168 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Abra


4.51/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

BBC can do no wrong!

Pours a very beautiful clear mahogany, cherry wood color.
Smells exactly like a raspberry chocolate bar.
Taste is perfectly balanced. As the name suggests it tastes exactly like chocolate and raspberries but it doesn't register as a "sweet" beer...the hops provide a very nice balance so you get the flavor but not the heavy sweetness that can sometimes be a little too much. As you first sip it, it's sweet but then the tartness mellows it out beautifully. A very drinkable beer.

Thank you BBC!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 22:44:58 | More by Abra
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 snifter, not sure when it was bottled, but I am sure it wasn't too many months ago. Pours a bright ruby red, with a one inch white head that settles fairly quickly, leaving behind little streams of lace. Smell is raspberry, biscuit, dark fruit, caramel, honey, and hints of vanilla. Taste is tart raspberry up front, vanilla, biscuit, caramel, and plum. Body is almost medium, nice carbonation, a little dry, and very drinkable for 9%. This is solid, can't wait to try the normal barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 18:21:58 | More by SawDog505
Photo of scotorum


3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a; Clear reddish copper with an inch tall offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild fruit.

t: Raspberry flavor which does not register until first swallow. Some tartness lingers at the back of the tongue. High ABV is amazingly well covered.

m: Moderate, good body, sticky.

o: A tasty though tart brew, raspberry flavor is strong but not very sweet. Interesting to try, but although I am a huge fan of raspberry flavor,the tartness here is too sharp for my taste. However those who like Belgian saisons and lambics should really enjoy this.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 04:21:11 | More by scotorum
Photo of chahliemoah


4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love raspberries, prompting me to buy this guy and cellar it for a few months. Just popped it open and I love what's happening to my taste buds right now.

A: Hazy blood orange color. Two finger head that sticks nicely to glass but dissipated quickly. The color is gorgeous.

S: Raspberries on raspberries. Quite sweet smelling. I like where this is heading.

T: There's a ton going on in this beer. Plenty of tart raspberry flavor, honey sweetness, some definite sour characters going on. All fortunately backed up by what tastes like a hefty amount of hops. It's a dessert wine, but a nicely balanced one at that. Dangerous at 8%.

M: A little thick, but maybe that's me drooling over how tasty this beer is. Nice, mild carbonation.

I love just about everything BBC puts out (except their American Wheat, I thought that was terrible). This is another great beverage of theirs and is the first barleywine I've tasted that I've really enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 01:25:33 | More by chahliemoah
Photo of notchucknorris


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy reddish amber color with a nice two finger beige colored head.

S: Loads of sweet candied raspberries. A lot of sweetness backing it that seems to be coming from the malt. Caramel, marshmallow and an almost rotten fruit smell that is a mix of raspberry and red apple. A faint tartness as well.

T: Opens with a lot of puréed raspberry sweetness. Almost a hint of chocolate in there as well, like a raspberry truffle. A bit of tartness before a lingering finish of unripe red cherry, some caramel malt and some cherry pit. Finishes a touch dry. The mouthfeel is slightly under carbonated and really smooth, which brings out even more of the sweetness. Definitely a dessert beer. Not getting barleywine from this, but it's pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 01:33:46 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of MistahBeah


3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Clear ruby hued brownish. No head just a thin rim of tiny bubbles. Small carbonation pressence. Interesting color.

Aroma: Tart raspberries. A little toastiness. Sugary booze

Taste: Follows the nose. Toasty barley malts followed by juicy raspberry tartness. A tad boozy on the finish. Usually not a fan of fruit beers but this one is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Juicy. A little acidic. Some carbonation. Nothing special

Overall: Good for a fruity beer but nothing like a barleywine. Good dessert beer but not an all the time thing at all

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 05:02:11 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of nquigley16


3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice redish-amber-brown with a pretty good golden white head. The aroma is extremely strong rasperry with a tiny bit of booze and sweet malt in the background. The taste is quite nice, starts with raspberry and ends with a bit of malt and booze, very similar to the smell. Nice mouthfeel, pretty good level of carbonation.
One very nice thing is the raspberry flavor doesn't taste artificial at all- it tastes like fresh raspberries.

Overall a nice beer, not very barleywiney or strong, but nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 00:56:08 | More by nquigley16
Photo of macrosmatic


3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ActonBrewer for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, ruddy deep copper, with minimal visible carbonation leading to a thin tan head.

S: Alcohol boozy raspberry, sweet fruitiness, a bit tart, and not much malt presence.

T: Fruity sweet tart and some caramel malt. Despite that, still with a dry finish. The raspberry flavor tastes artificial, almost like a Boone's wine.

M: Thin body, somewhat undercarbonated, and only a mild alcohol presence, especially for a barleywine.

O: This wasn't awful (not a drainpour), but certainly not great. The raspberry flavor was not right. And, despite the label, it had very little, if indeed any, barleywine characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 16:37:57 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a twenty two ounce bomber into a pint glass.

Pours reddish amber with thick head of white foam that settles down to 1/4 inch. Fruity raspberry smell. Tart astringent thin taste. Some cough syrup flavor at the close. The fruit keeps the flavor in check, but the aftertaste is a bit too much. Light mouthfeel. Overall, not great. Would not buy again.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 00:58:08 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Krakistophales


4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours red with just a hint of white head that recedes right away and leaves a halo and some bubbles

S: Raspberry. Other assorted fruit jam scents and mostly just sweet, tart aromas.

T: Raspberries up front, some mixed fruit sweetness in the middle, and a tart zing at the end. Quite nice, but one note.

O: Pretty tasty for a raspberry ale, but it doesn't have any of the barleywine notes I normally look for. Still, quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 18:00:00 | More by Krakistophales
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours ruby with an orange undertone. Minimal head. Head does not lace too much and the body is mostly transparent.

S-Smells firstly of raspberries. Quite sweet with no hop presence. Maltiness is cut by a trace of alcohol. Aromatic and pretty attractive.

T-Akin to the nose. Raspberries first and foremost. Other sweetness components too. Again, no hop presence. Alcohol is noticeable. A pretty tasty brew nonetheless.

M-Very rich and sugary. Creamy feel with mellow carbonation. Alcohol is drying.

O/D-I have wanted to try this for a while. I enjoyed it (as I do most raspberry-themed beers). One glass was enough because it was very rich. Altogether a nice Barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2012 02:14:30 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of MoreThanWine


2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 1.5" pale flesh colored head, average lifespan. The body in masstone looks like brown iced tea, but held to the light it's an amber verging on maroon. The smell reminds me of instant vitamin drink we bought once from Colombia - like a fortified fruit. The taste is a little malty but has some flat raspberry in there. All in all it's kind of like a weak fruit pastry. And the bottle says barleywine but I don't see any of the barleywine style in this.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 02:37:10 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of ryan1788a5


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Pours a clear deep raspberry color. A quarter of an inch of white head sputters out almost as fast as it formed. No lacing beyond the odd spec here and there.

S: Freshly crushed raspberries stop just short of being jammy. Fruity, estery profile almost gets lost amid all the raspberry. Typical malty barleywine aromas of bread crust and caramel underneath.

T: The nose is very deceiving, as the raspberries are much less prominent than it suggested. They share an equal role with the beery tastes. Raspberry on the attack, and it's hard to tell where the fruit itself ends and the esters begin. They blend rather seamlessly. Caramel and bread crust begin to take over mid-palate, and by the time the finish comes around they are the dominant taste. Just the slightest hint of spicy alcohol. The finish is rather weak and abrupt, with bread crust and a hint of raspberry lending a dessert-like impression.

M: On the lighter side of thick, and somewhat chewy and syrupy. Little to no carbonation. Just what I'd expect from the style.

O: Not exactly a thinking man's beer, it isn't very complex. A nice dessert beer though, and good for what it is. It would go great with a fruit pie or any other fruity, crusty dessert. I can think of a few cheeses that would pair nicely with it too. And just as advertised, it is dangerously drinkable.

Notes: Glad to see this get back to being a barleywine. It has been years since I've had it, and the last time I did my palate was certainly not as developed as it is now. I seem to remember it being a bit out of control back then though; just a raspberry bomb and not much else. It was much better this time around. Certainly worth a try, and at $6 a bomber you have nothing to lose.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 05:04:48 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of lemonlime311


3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Excellent looking with a perfect head when pours into a beer glass. Reddish amber tones to it. Almost has a cognac look to it. So it looks good, let see how it smells.

Smell: Very potent smell, dark tones and you can smell the raspberries, and it does have a fortify wine scent to it. I smell the barley. The smell is very true to it's title.

Taste: Very strong taste but I have to say this is a acquire taste if barley wine style beer are not for you I suggest you don't try it. Very heavy beer a little sour but I think that is do to the raspberries. Very creative. You can taste the barley and the raspberry finish.

Mouthfeel: Considering that this beer is 9% ABV it goes down quite smooth it would go well with cheese and crackers. Nice light raspberry aftertaste.

Overall: Ok $6.00 out the door not so cheap. But it is BBC and it also is 9%. And the beer is quite good. Not the best BBC I have every had but above average for BBC but also $2.00 more a bottle then most BBC beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 03:58:20 | More by lemonlime311
Photo of shredsofautumn


4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like I'm the first review of the 2012 batch! Alright!

...Truth be told I've been calling every local package store since Monday when this elixir was released. It's my all time favorite seasonal, and I live about 20 minutes away from the Brewery so I'm usually one of the first to purchase it and have my ways of getting my hands on it early.

Anyway- Here we go.

Date: 2/8/12
Time: 6:20pm
Glass: 22 oz. Hefe Glass (shoot me)
Music: Thrash!! "Tetrastructural Minds" by Vektor, off of the new album Outer Isolation.

Appearance: Looks a little darker than it did last year. Murky unfiltered amber with shades of red and pink. Not much of a head on this which isn't surprising due to it's ABV and the mild pour I gave it. Despite my bad pouring etiquette, it's still an astoundingly good looking vixen.

Smell: Like opening a box of raspberries that you picked yourself. Completely real raspberry flavor. No fillers or synthetic crap here! Nice malt backbone but it's tough to smell through the raspberry kick in the face.

Taste: Mid-bodied malts hit you with a nice sweet hit and then the raspberries come through in full force. No hops really to speak of but between the vicious fruit and malts, it's got a hell of a balance between the two.

Mouthfeel: On the heavier side. Coats the mouth with fruit resins and malt. Creamy. Absolutely perfect for what this beer is.

Overall: This isn't a sorority house fruit beer. This one will invite you in with its seductive looks and scent. Then it will knock you on your ass. A sipper that begs the unknowing to quaff. Amazing.

Serving type: growler

02-08-2012 23:31:56 | More by shredsofautumn
Photo of DrewShal9


4.78/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: looks like a honeyed raspberry juice
S: honey and raspberries with a hint of booze
T: sweet malts and a huge explosion of raspberries. None of the booziness is detectable
M: thinner than what I anticipated but a moderately bodied brew that is smooth
O: I aged the bottle for a year and I'm annoyed that I haven't seen any other bottles. I hope this wasn't retired because this brew is awesome, get some- if not for you then get it and send some to me!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 05:20:37 | More by DrewShal9
Photo of BranfordBound


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the Berkshire bomber into a tulip glass. best before January 2013 on the bottle.

Pours a clear amber with an apparent ruby hue. Small white head of one finger falls pretty fast. Leaves good lacing.

Smells of the wild raspberries I eat in the summer, some malts in the back.

Strong, authentic raspberry taste composes much of the flavor. It would be cloying when mixed with the somehow restrained malts which provide some doughey characteristics, but a slight bitterness stops the sweetness. Malts are a little toasty.

Wet mouthfeel that verges on the side of heavy but it never quite gets there.

Really cool beer, its more of a fruit beer than a barley wine. I agree with the old name that it is a Raspberry Strong Ale. Super cool beer that makes other fruit beers cower in shame.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 00:44:39 | More by BranfordBound
Photo of mdaschaf


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Grabbed this on a trip up to Boston. 2011 Vintage.

A: Pours a reddish/brown color with a one finger off-white head. Decent head retention and moderate lacing.

S: Lots of raspberry, reminds me of New Glarus raspberry tart amazingly. The fruit really dominates the aroma, there is a bit of caramel malt and hint of chocolate.

T: Again, tons of raspberry flavor. Really surprises me that this is a barleywine, easily one of the best tasting I have had. There is some bready malt and hints of orange and orange zest as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Easy drinking and smooth.

O: Surprisingly very good. Was a bit skeptical going in, but really enjoyed this beer. Very drinkable with very little sign of abv.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 20:03:59 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of abgba121


4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a beautiful ruby amber with about a half inch of cream colored head, leaves a delicate trail of lace down the glass

S: very sweet, fruity (raspberries), and malty character, some alcohol tones

T: Wow is it easily drinkable. Sweet up front, the berries shine through creamy and smooth, some slight alcohol is present, especially as the brew warms. Hops are very mild, maybe a little citrus that coincides with the alcohol tingle. And you are left with strong raspberry flavors at the end and as an aftertaste, which is actually quite enjoyable, very delicious. Berkshire is certainly right when they say "this brew is dangerously drinkable, challenging the notion of what a “fruit beer” is".

M: creamy, thick and smooth, low carbonation

O: amazing beer, will certainly buy many more bottles as time progresses. Amazing use of the fruit, finally a great fruit beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 04:55:10 | More by abgba121
Photo of sweemzander


1.5/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Best by 01-31-12. Thanks to jstilwell for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a brown amber color. Produced some tan colored froth. Decent retention.

(S)- Smells of damp woody raspberries. Bits of honey sweetness.

(T)- A rustic nutty character with damp wood profiles and muddy raspberry fruit. Almost musty; kinda funky too.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A very "muddy" overall feel and profile. Its sweet yet almost tart, with fruits, a nutty character too. Just very confusing flavors meshed together. Carries a slight metallic aftertaste.

(D)- A very bizarre beer. I appreciate the chance to try it, but this tries to be too many things at once. Very hard to put down and just overall, very muddy and confusing.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 02:43:35 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Thorpe429


3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color with a decent white head and a bit of light lacing on the way down. The nose carries quite a bit of raspberry along with some caramel malts and a bit of toasted bread as well. The flavor isn’t quite as multi-faceted as the nose, with the raspberries really taking over and everything else taking a back seat. The feel is fairly sweet with a bit of raspberry tartness. Medium body. Overall, a bit heavy on the raspberries. Perhaps a candidate for aging.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2011 11:19:45 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of harrymel


2.33/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Blind #10 - bomber

A: pours a copper-on-cherry ale with a single finger of peanut head which falls quickly to a shameless nebulous of the same circling the surface like a shark on standby. Soap suds on the collar. Spotty lacing. When I agitate this liquid, the foam forming becomes a canvas for the ale to show it’s cherry hues. (3.5)

S: Sweet and cherry like. Initially, I get this woody, cherry and vanilla smell on the front end of a Flanders or Oud Bruin. I await in vain for a second wave of the cider vinegar I am more familiar with in aforementioned styles. Retains the sweetness and even touches on strawberry. I’m caught off-guard. (3)

T: Still sweet and saccharin raspberry-esque. The beer is really, really sweet. Underlying bitterness is there and attempts to wrestle the alcohol into submission, and makes a valiant effort, but I think the sweetness accentuates it. The beer is like maraschino cherry and raspberry liquor. (2)

M: Oily and nearly flat. Slightly dry finish. Hints of alcohol burn on the finish as well. (2.5)

O: Too sweet for me. Reminds me of timmerman’s Strawberry. Not a bad beer, just not my cup of tea. The beer would benefit from a lactobacillus addition IMO. (2)

Guess: Raspberry American lambic
Reveal: Berkshire Brewing Co; Raspberry Barleywine Style Ale

Man, this blind tasting shit is hard. Makes me feel like an asshole too.

Thanks for getting me to try this Cuzco!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 10:37:35 | More by harrymel
Photo of Sam21


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle marked “Best by 2-07-13.” Purchased for $4.50. Poured into snifter.

Appearance – Ruby hued light brown body with an off white head that shows decent retention. I expected very little retention or lacing given the beer at hand. Leaves disconnected sheets of lacing and retains a sudsy film. Very nice.

Smell – Fresh raspberries, raspberry jam, oranges, a faint hint of bread, and perhaps a touch of caramel. The fruit really command the nose.

Taste – Freshly squeezed raspberries explode onto the tongue and almost consume the entire flavor profile. Midway through a nice bready malt character comes through and balances out the intense initial sweetness. There are hints of orange within the raspberry smoothy up front. It’s a mix of ripe whole fruit and jam. The finish is sweet, bready, and lightly bitter. As always, a balanced beer from Berkshire. Alcohol is there, but the fruit acts as a nice disguise.

Mouthfeel – Medium body. Soft uneventful carbonation. Nothing mindblowing, but rather stable and dependable. No syrupy full body to be found. Pleasant.

Drinkability – This beer slides down with incredible ease. The slightly tart yet incredibly sweet fruit presence is not overwhelming. Instead, it is integrated yet pronounced. Berkshire always finds a way to create balanced and drinkable brews. This is no exception. One of my favorite things is how much the malt comes through to balance the raspberries. A well done fruit beer. Approachable, balanced, and a nice change of pace for my usual Belgian filled fridge.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 01:22:08 | More by Sam21
Photo of Homebrew35


4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated best by 1-31-13.
Pours a pinkish half finger of mixed sized bubbles, quite lovely. Body is maroon and clear. Smells of raspberries of course, fresh smelling even a few months old, some Carmel malts, phenols or esters I'm not sure, it's a barley wine pleasant alcohol smell. Tastes fruity and tart, some Carmel, English bready yeast. In two different glasses one was poured more vigorously and it mellowed it out quite a bit, it knocked the carbonation down and it accentuated the fruit. The finish is a bit tart, a touch of bitterness and some English bready yeast. Medium full bodied, light carbing. Overall very nice, complex, refined flavors, everything plays well together. I'll easily get this again. $5.50 a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 01:53:40 | More by Homebrew35
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice copper color with a nice reddish tinge to it. the smell is malty with a nice raspberry scent in there. the taste follows suit with a sweet malty raspberry flavor. the mouthfeel is full with low carbonation. overall this is a very good beer, would definitely buy again

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 20:28:23 | More by rowingbrewer
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Raspberry Strong Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.