Riserva - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
RiservaRiserva

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

310 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 310
Hads: 935
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 16.58%
Wants: 177
Gots: 281 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  11.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: akorsak on 06-14-2008

Ale with raspberry purée added and aged in oak barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 310 | Hads: 935
Reviews by Budinetz:
Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +27.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

2008 bottle

Think oak barrels, Brettanomyces, red raspberry purée and over a year of aging.

Solid lacing, more than anticipated from a high-alcohol
Brett beer. Withered rose-red color with a shade of burgundy, good clarity as the sediment was left in the bottle. Mellow horse blanket, musty, minty and tart berry aroma. Very smooth and crisp from an active carbonation. Semi-slick mouthfeel. Fusel and a mild solvent alcoholic character lets us know right away that it has strength, with warmth and a peppery and tropical fruit mix. Phenols drop a blanket of herbal and minty flavors, maltiness is extremely dry with a light cracker-like flavor. Raspberry flavor is impressive, tart but balanced. Another breath of fusel alcohol in the semi-clean and lingering tart finish.

Fresh but not green at all, perfect to drink now, and we're sure several months, if not a year or so, would make things interesting. Weyerbacher is right on target with Riserva. Please, keep on experimenting, guys! (1,047 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle of this on the recommendation of both bartenders at Always Ron's in hagerstown. They absolutely nailed it. I gave it a perfect taste, and perfect overall as I could not believe the ABV. Unbelievably drinkable for over 11%. Awesome, hope to buy again despite the cost. (286 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Simple yet appealing label art. Branded black hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork. 2014 vintage ("2014.2" - is this a batch #?). 1 pint 9.4 fl oz.

Cost was $26.95 USD at a bottle shop in New York City. Reviewed live (with Schlimenhaumer) as an American wild ale per the label. Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are sky high; I tried a splash of this that had been sitting out in the sun at a bottle share and even that was incredible.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Grey-white colour. Fairly thin. Not realy frothy or creamy. It could be fuller and softer looking, but it's generally appealing. Retention is below average - ~1-2 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: It's a red hue of some kind; Schlimenhaumer suggests a candy apple red and I'm inclined to agree. But it's somewhat thin and light; not the robust red I expected. Average vibrance. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's not unique or special for the style, but it's generally appealing.

AROMA: A white oak tone lends it cohesion. Raspberry puree is notable. Evokes powdered sugar glazed raspberries. Sourness isn't too intense - maybe a 4/10. It has the clinical clean sourness of lactobacillus, but none of the truly spontaneous funkiness of lambicus, farmhouse brettanomyces, or crazy bacteria. A hint of leather. Oak sugars. Any malt presence is so neutral the raspberry takes over, and the hopping is too minimal (preservative only) to contribute flavour.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

Suggests a balanced enjoyable sour, but I do think the raspberry could be more evocative.

TASTE: Tart raspberry dominates - as well it should - but the pureed aspect of the fruit addition does seem to hold it back; fresh raspberry would likely lead to a more evocative genuine raspberry taste. Sourness isn't puckering; it's a 4-5/10 in terms of intensity. A backgrounded oak tone ties the beer together, lending it undeniable cohesion and infusing it with oak barrel sugars. I don't find vanilla or toastiness. Finishes a bit sweeter than most wild ales would, with the sugars of malts but no distinct malt taste; the malts used were clearly quite neutral and easily imposed upon by the more pronounced oak and berry notes.

Schlimenhaumer points out the jammy feel of the raspberries; I concur.

Nice depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. It's adequately complex, and I do find it nicely balanced overall, but it could be dialed in a bit more. There isn't a great deal of subtlety or nuance here, and my big note is that it could use still more sourness and tartness. It does develop a bit as it comes to temperature, bringing more layers of berry flavour.

Hides its ABV shockingly well - I was flabbergasted to learn this is 10%. I'm also surprised the brettanomyces isn't lending it aggressive funkiness.

TEXTURE: Smacky and lactic on the palate, with nice acidity. A biteen acetic. Smooth, wet, refreshing. Medium-bodied. The thickness is aptly moderate. Almost perfectably carbonated.

The smackiness it has on the palate is its best attribute, accentuating the sour tart flavours. While this texture fails to elevate the beer, it does complement it quite nicely.

Schlimenhaumer is right in that a more dry feel would coax out the berry more.

OVERALL: Incredibly drinkable for its 10%. I'd have thought it was 6% blind. It's a great introduction for me to Weyerbacher, and makes me eager to try more of their lineup, but I couldn't justify purchasing it again at this price point. A well-executed stab at the style, and a beer every enthusiast should try once. I enjoy it more and more as it warms, and find the berry really opens up. Served cold, it was a "B" but once it started to come to temperature, it grew into a B+. Still, it's not mind-blowing or world-class.

Low B+ (3,968 characters)

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from DIM in the Rock Paper Scissors Championship. For anybody confused about this-DIM is the man. Thanks!!

A-Deep pink color bordering on reddish small white head
S-Rasberry primaty on the nose, but has mild brett rart smell
T-Mild sweet rasberry bit not overpowering or cloying, oak barrel, vanilla, maybe some booze flavor, a little bit of chocolate. This is amazingly complex.
M-Full to medium in mouth, and slightly creamy. Very nice
D-Not the biggest fan of rasberries but this was good and changed as it warmed. Very nice. (538 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my alternative to champagne on New Years Eve. A good choice.
In a flute the beer was a red/orange color and was very still.
Aroma of cider vinegar and fruit.
Berry taste, cider vinegar.
Pleasantly sour and tart in the mouth. Alcohol not at all noticeable.
Nice beer, good change of pace. (296 characters)

Photo of thetommo
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Dbrulet
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of JakerLou
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hoops4life511
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage. The beer pours a hazy red-brown color with a white head. It looks about like iced tea. The aroma is extremely tart raspberries. The flavor is more complex with raspberries and medium tartness. You also get some oak and vanilla. The beer has a decent amount of sourness, but it is not near as sour as the aroma leads you to believe it will be. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (440 characters)

Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010
A: Amber-red and slightly murky. No head, as to be expected.

S: Raspberries, cider vinegar, oak and tons of funk.

T: Tart and acidic doesn't begin to describe this beer. Sharp tannins, sour raspberry funk and oak all combine to make this a delectable wild ale. There are some notes of vanilla and caramel in there. NOTE TO FIRST TIME DRINKERS OF THE Riserva '10: After the first pour, I immediately noticed a metallic taste on the finish. It turned me off at first, but I decided to let beer breath outside of the bottle for about 10 minutes, and that made a world of difference.

M: Tangy, acidic and full bodied. Tart and round. Big on the palate.

O: A great sour wild ale. If you can get this vintage, I recommend it. I've heard good things about the other vintages as well, but this wasn't too shabby. (822 characters)

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of xdefeatsy
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of boatshoes
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a 750 of this from ATPete as an extra. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a pinkish-red out of the bottle with about a finger of fizzy white head. As per the style, the head died back very quickly and left little in the way of any lacing.

Smell- Smells heavily of raspberries with just a touch of oak and woodiness. Primary scent is of raspberry however and of a very good, fresh nature. Just a hint of funk and tartness as well.

Taste- Huge notes of fresh raspberry here again, with the woodiness figuring fairly prominently as well. Tastes a touch like raspberry seeds or cherry pits. On the sweeter side of sour with just a touch of mouthpuckering tartness. Not a whole lot in the way of funk coming through for me in the taste though. Two-dimensional at best but still fairly pleasant.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel and carbonation are pretty spot on for the style and drinkability is fairly high for me on this one despite the not too complex flavor. Goes down easy and tastes pretty fresh.

Overall, not the best wild I've ever had by any means but still fairly tasty and easy to drink. Probably won't wow you but it isn't terrible at all. (1,154 characters)

Photo of Mantooth
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.96/5  rDev +1%

Photo of HeyYoMar
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of PatrickSullivan
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

A: Cloudy and ruby red in color with a very faint amount of head that disappears as quick as it forms and no lacing to speak of.

S: Wow. If the warning sign wasn't foreboding about how sour this was going to be, the nose would definitely be telling. Lots of tart raspberry with a good amount of vinegar folded in. There is some oak and funk playing around in there as well.

T: So the warning sticker and the aroma have both warned me. Yeah, it's sour. It's really sour. Lots of raspberry tartness with a very good amount of acidity. Definitely getting a good amount of cider vinegar flavor. But there's also a sweetness in there that takes some of the edge off. Some nice funk notes in here and a tiny bit of oak. But overall, it's sour. Wonderfully sour.

M: Very acidic and mouth puckering. Barely any carbonation, which doesn't hurt this at all. Nice and dry finish. Catch a trace of alcohol burn, surprisingly small for the big 11.4%.

O: I'm a fan of sour stuff and I'm not sure it gets more sour than this. But it was a very good kind of sour. I really enjoyed this Weyerbacher offering. (1,110 characters)

Photo of danpam1024
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This is my personal opinion and may not be a fair reflection of what may be in fact a great "American Wild Ale". However, through this sampling I've discovered I'm not a fan of sour or high carbonation ales. Loved the smell though...

Others may rate this much higher if this type of beer is up their alley. Unfortunately, this style was overpowering and just not for me. (371 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While listening to the Eels new album Hombre Lobo aka Wolfman. Appears a tarnished pink ruby hue over a musky amber brown background, the head is light colored white with a pink overcast. Fine speckled lacing coats my tulip chalice, oh so nicely. If you decide to pour the sediment into your glass, you'll be greeted by liquid apple butter but a few shades lighter with a khaki tint. Even the head turns a light beige brown.

Aroma carries well with strong tart vinous layers of raspberry and mild vinegarette dressing, it opens up like a dry cider with additions of ripened raspberry preserves. Leathery oily components come through as well with wild barnyard funkiness from the brettanomyces. Layered complexities arise while continuing to sniff this brew which excites your brain of the possibilities that the flavor has to offer. Oak barrel aging effects complement the hell out of this beer with the funky brett and tart fruit combos, I'm loving the experience so far.

Flavor initially strikes with a sharp layer of acidity and tart raspberry sweetness, with loads of extracurricular activity of flavor profiles joining the mix. Including the funk from the wild yeast additions, and I don't believe this alcohol content. There is no way this is nearing twelve percent alcohol by volume, or it the acidic nature outweighing the booze. I warn you it may induce cravings for proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec or Protonix after a few glasses but it's well worth it. Strong tree bark oak with a charred after taste hit along with the brett and acidic tart green apple and raspberry combo, what a quality level of complexity.

Mouthfeel has been effervescent and prickly with acidity throughout the drinking experience, which carries the palate with each sip. Sweetness and bitterness collided with the yin and yang of raspberry sugar content and the resins from the oak barrel aging. Keep it up Weyerbacher bring the funk like no other, out of the American versions of sour ales or fruit infused lambics this has been the most outward mouth puckering version I've come across and I love sour ales.

Drinkability is incredible for the alcohol and pure level of acidity that most beer drinkers aren't used to, but I enjoyed every sip. This is one of the beers I received at great discount on my birthday weekend. This stuff is pricey if you can even find it, the first time I had come across any of it was 22 bucks a bottle. I got mine around fifteen and that is well worth it. Overall excellent up there with the best of this style adventurous and extreme much like most of the works of Dan Weirback, again I hale from Weirton, West Virginia so I enjoy a good Weyerbacher every now and again. As I finished listening the album Hombre Lobo, it finished with "Ordinary Man" with a quote from the song "I am no Ordinary Man" that goes for any beer drinker who enjoys the works of Dan and company out of Easton, PA. Not for the mainstream but excellent craftsmanship to be enjoyed by those that appreciate the art of brewing.

My overall review one line review would be..."There's more b vitamins than a flinstone chewable." (3,126 characters)

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Riserva from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.