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R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry) - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 353
Avg: 4.71
pDev: 18.47%
Wants: 840
Gots: 46 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: thebigredone on 08-19-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Fourth in our series of spontaneous sour ales. Fermented and aged in oak barrels - on yeast lees - with Oregon blackberries. Refermented in this bottle. Open with care - This is a funky wild sour beer!
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 353
Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
5/5  rDev +6.2%

I've had this beer too many times for one person. It's excellent, but after 1.25 or so years, it isn't what it once was. I will keep it at my original rating, but that almost feels like a lie.

It's great, but it used to be phenomenal.

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Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer gets better every time I drink it. Such a pretty purple color. Smell is where this beer really shines. So much blackberry. Taste is getting even better. Used to be a little too jammy but now the beer is really drying out and getting more sour. Mouth is great. Dry and prickly carb. Overall this beer is better every time i drink it.

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Photo of jegross2
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the R&D Very Sour Blackberry from New Glarus Brewing Company out of New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Score: 100

Bottled August 2013. Served in a Perennial snifter and enjoyed on 08/23/13 while traveling on the Metra. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous dark murky purple-ish blackberry puree color with three fingers of light purple/pink colored foamy/soda froth head that settles to a thin layer of fizzy head that coats the brew. Good lacing and retention. Excellent color. 5/5

Smell: Huge, bold notes of fresh blackberries and dark berry jam. Very fresh and jammy, with a hint of lemony lacto and a dash of raisin. The nose is almost exclusively blackberry, but the blackberry dimension is so damn appetizing. 5/5

Taste: Not very complex, but darn delicious! Tart and fresh blackberry flavor hits the front of the tongue, but subsides to more of a jammy-sweet blackberry fruit flavor towards the finish. Not very acidic overall. Finishes with a briefly lingering tart berry-fruit flavor on back center of tongue and a little earthy lacto and straw hay residual character on the front of the tongue. The blackberry flavor here is ineffably delicious, and the 500 ml of liquid bliss contained in this bottled disappeared all too quickly. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation level for the flavor profile and mouthfeel, dry finish. Very tart upfront, but not cringingly sour because the tartness smoothes out and subsides to jammy sweetness towards the finish. Foams up on the palate if you swish, which increases the dryness of the finish. 5/5

Overall: This beer is the blackberry sour king. It is easy drinking and requires no stretch of the imagination to love unless you despise blackberries, in which case more for me! Dan Carey recommended sitting on this beer for a few months, allowing for the secondary fermentation to take. Honestly, though, this beer is drinking perfectly right now so why wait. This is New Glarus' best beer to date. Prost!

Cost: $8 for a 500 ml bottle.

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Photo of Ri0
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured 500ml bottle into wine chalice.

A - Deep violet with a big 3 finger salmon head. Retention is forever and a cap remains. I've never seen a beer look like this before.

S - Fresh blackberries.

T - Ripe blackberries and a very intense sour taste. I pick up some wood from the barrels. I don't know what else to say about it, but it is incredible.

M - For a sour style this has a medium heavy body and is chock full of carbonation. Will make you pucker.

O - Wicked sour and packed full of blackberry flavor. Saved it for my birthday and I'm glad I did. This is perfect now and will be perfect for many years to come. I hope that this is a glimpse of what is to come with the new lambic cellar.

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Photo of Benish
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: intense dark red. Unlike wine, this was completely opaque and solid in color! Just by the look of the beer, it tells you that this one will be packed with flavor. Even with the tiny bit of beer left at the bottom of the glass after drinking it, it's still completely opaque.

Smell: instant raspberries and blackberries. Not really a lot of funkiness but a huge wave of tartness hits you. The aroma is really bold and it just hits your face. Incredible.

Taste: Wow its sour! Really intense sour and tartness. It also had nice earthy undertones finished with a dose of blackberries. Maybe not so complex yet it's insanely good.

Mouthfeel: light bodied and refreshing.

Overall: really delicious beer. The sourness really punches you in the mouth and then the blackberries takeover at the finish. Almost like two phases at each sip, the sourness and then the juicy blackberries!

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Photo of guyinchicago
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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Photo of pmoney
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed November 2010 and bottled August 2013.

Shared a bottle with eorwar on 4/2/14. We each had a 8-9 ounce pour into a snifter. This beer was a big want, and I was curious to see if it would live up to the huge hype surrounding it.

A: Incredible purple color unlike anything I've ever seen before. Pours a thick fluffy red head out of the bottle, which settled down to a collar of head after about a minute. A nice half-inch head is easily stirred back up with a little swirl. Besides the incredible color, the body of the beer is thick and hazy in appearance, and I can't see through it.

S: The aroma of this beer is one of my favorite things about it. It smells like tart blackberry/raspberry jam. Just bursting with sour fruit! It smells so "authentic" fruit-wise; definitely not sweet or artificial in the nose. I can tell just by smelling it, this one is going to be super sour.

T: Holy crap. The taste follows the aroma. It starts out with a sour punch! Super super sour and my mouth is salivating to combat the sour. It's not overly acidic at all though. So much juicy sour fruit! I can't imagine how many hundreds of pounds of blackberries were used to create this beer. It's so jammy and in one word: wonderful.

M: Moderately high carbonation. Nice tingling feeling from the carbonation combined with the acidity. It has a thick mouthfeel, and it feels like I just stuffed two handfuls of blackberries and sour candy in my mouth.

O: This beer absolutely lives up to the hype. It's in my top 3 of all time for sure, and just might be the best beer I've ever had. It was opened right after a KBBS, and for me, VSB had more of a "wow factor". Dan Carey is a lambic master, and I am so excited to see what else comes out of the "fruit cave" and his coolship. If you are thinking about tracking-down a VSB and haven't tried it yet, it's well worth it. Just an incredible beer.

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Photo of Abbbp
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down the best ever I have ever drank. There are probably people that don't like Sours and prefer this vs. that, but years later it's been an absolute joy to revisit this beauty. An absolute work of art in a bottle.

Edit: I just had this again yesterday. I need more. Absolutely beautiful beer, seek w confidence

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Photo of Beer4B
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to an awesome BA I got to try this the other night.

Beautiful clarity with a dark berry hue to the color.

The smell is all jam. Sour, fruity, and you can just sniff it for hours.
Taste follows suit. I was worried it would be too sour, not the case. Sour enough but so much blackberry fruit and jam that it balanced perfectly. Great feel that only complemented the drinking experience. Had almost too good of feel and drink-ability as you could take this down quickly and solo.

Overall, it was the best overall sour I've had as it hit on all angles for me: sour, fruity, jammy, depth, feel, everything.

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Photo of roger617
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a Funky Buddha snifter. Thanks Andrew for opening this one for our mini bottle share!

A: Pours a deep purple color with over a finger of white-purple tinted head that reduces fairly slow and leaves a layer of head througout the glass.
S: Pungent blackberries cut by a huge wafting of sourness. I'm overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fruit and sour that is in this.
T: Sweet blackberries up front that is immediately cut by sour and tartness that lingers after every sip. Again, I'm blown away by how well this beer is crafted.
M: Carbed pretty high, fitting for the style. Pretty dry after taste, very enjoyable.
O: Can't say enough how impressed with this beer I am. Probably the most sour beer I've had, but there is so much fruity goodness that it all comes together so well.

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Photo of ajmmin
5/5  rDev +6.2%

A - Dark reddish hue. Decent, persistent head. Nice legs.

S - Strong and heavy fruit scent. Reminds me of the scent of plums pickled in umeshu. Can tell right away this one is going to be sour!

T - Stunning. Every sip hits the back of your jaw... your palate really doesn't adjust to this one. Blackberry comes through nicely.

M - Light and crisp, yet coats nicely. Lingers for quite a while.

O - Fantastic! So glad I held onto this last bottle instead of trading it.

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Photo of Smitch
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge fan of this beer! one of the best representations of this style. this beer is sour and jammy and one of the first times I was absolutely blown away by a beer.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.98/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

3 oz pour at bottle share, thanks Shea!

A: Light foam which left slight trails around the glass. Dark purple coloration reminiscent of blackberry juice. Very inviting.

S: Wow. One of the most aromatic beers I have ever enjoyed. Big blackberry aroma wafts out of the glass. There's no synthetic smell here, its as if hundreds of blackberries were freshly squeezed and jammed into the bottle!

T: The flavor progression on this sour is both amazing and surprising. You get an obscenely fresh blackberry flavor on the front while the tartness builds through the middle and climaxes on the finish. In contrast, many sours which I have had blast you with sour on the start and give the fruit flavor on the finish. The sour finish is fairly intense, reminiscent of warhead candy. This flavor is so fresh and spot on I actually had the sensation of phantom blackberry seeds!

M: Medium body, very effervescent, bubbly all the way down the palate.

O: This is hands down my favorite sour that I have ever had. I was heartbroken when I reached the end of my pour. I just kept breathing in the (still extremely pungent!) aroma from the last vestiges of this sweet nectar of the gods. Well done New Glarus, well done.

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Photo of eseids
4.97/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible jam smell. Perfectly balanced taste and amount of carbonation. Amazing that this is 5 years old, it drinks so fresh. Would love to try this again in another 5 years, too bad that'll never happen. I feel lucky to have tried this beer, one of the best.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.94/5  rDev +4.9%

A - Redish pinking purple pour with a slight 1 finger reddish pink purple foam that dissipates after a bit

S - Smell is absolutely fantastic here. It smells as though someone took fresh blackberries from a farm, smashed up and presented before you in a cup. There isn't really other smell and you don't need to know any other smells. It reminds me of the blackberry fruit popsicles from when I was a kid, absolutely stunning.

T - Taste follows the nose here with a surprisingly tart up front taste followed by the loads of blackberries that the smell derives from. Very crisp and supremely balanced.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp, light, yet full somehow. The taste lingers.

O - Not sure how they get such a natural fruit taste, but next to wild peach, this blew it out of the water. Not to say that Wild Peach isn't good, it just didn't have any kick to it. They know how to brew the most natural tasting beers you will ever try. Glad to finally try this one and can't wait to revisit in october.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.93/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First, major props to midwestern country bumpkin turned New York city slicker CaseyK for allowing me the opportunity to try this one. Thanks much Casey!

A - Poured from the bottle into my awaiting Lindemans flute. Thought that the New Glarus flutes were possibly a bit small so went for the larger Lindemans flutes. Good call on my part as even with this considerable time spent in the bottle, it still produces a pretty epic head on pour. Pours a deep garnet pinkish color with substantial head that settles slowly. Looks divine but not quite the HD color that I remember on the Blabaer pour from a couple of years back.

S - You can certainly smell the blackberries, fresh and bursting with flavor. Tart, fresh, and slightly acidic. A far cry from a more pronounced sense of vinegar, instead, fresh up blackberry that smells like they have just been juiced.

T - What else can you say about the best tasting sour that I have ever had. Wonderful jammy blackberries with the perfect amount of funk, bite, and sweetness. I had prepared for my lips to be assaulted but am glad to report on the fact that although the taste is tart it does not go all the way down the sour patch scale and retains a bit of sweetness to balance. Absolute perfection, can not imagine a way to make this better. Berry, seeds, etc., it is all in there. Absolutely wonderful.

M - Again, perfection. Very rich and wonderful taste that sits perfectly in your mouth. Full and satisfying.

O - I was sad to see it end and can only wish that I somehow am able to find another bottle. This is the best sour beer that I have had including Blabaer, Fou-Foune, St Lam, an d a host of others. I can only hope with the expanded capacity that New Glarus brings this one back. Perfetion considering the time it was held before release and the fact that it is sitting on almost 3 years out now. I can't imagine this one getting better. If you have bottles, drink at least one of them right now. Go on, get to it and treat yourself to a wonderful beer.

Thanks again Casey for the chance to try this. How do I now get another one?!?!

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Photo of TheSSG
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a huge, foamy, pink head. Tart berry aroma. Deep, burnt umber/crimson color. INSANELY tart, bright blackberry flavor puckers the lips. A nice flash of maltiness. Finish is soft berries into oblivion.

Absolutely perfect. Maybe the best Lambic, ever. Though, as I drank it, I realized I preferred the clarity of flavors in Serendipity to this. The puckering sourness is intense; this is the first bier that made my lips pucker.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle into a cantillon gueze glass. 8/2013 bottle date.

pours a dark ruby red color with a terrific red head. smell has a massive aroma of blackberries the second it leaves the bottle. wow. taste is damn amazing and ..wow . it has a slight tartness...but the perfect amount of fruit. its like blackberry wine. the flavor is almost perfect. the best new glarus ive ever had and possibly the best beer period. body is medium and so is carbonation.

overall it surpassed my expectations. deserves the hype.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably the best sour I've ever had. I can't wait to try and hunt one down. The beer is a beautful pinkish purple color. It smells like fresh blackberries on the nose. Just blackberry. That's the perfect scent. The beer tastes like warheads, then fresh blackberries, then back to warheads. It is aggressively sour, but once you get over the shock the flavor is incomparable. Home run of a beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.88/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a beautiful purple, maroon with pink head. Nose is full of blackberry jam. Notes off earth, heavy dark fruit, acidic notes, and oak. Taste is amazing, super sour up front, tons of blackberry flesh, notes of earth, Nice balance of fruity sweetness and tart acidity. Mouthfeel is effervescent and medium. Overall, one of the best fruited sours I've had. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.87/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Crimson tinted, indigo colored pour that’s mostly opaque with a pink-ish, white head that wastes no time moving to a thin collar.

Aroma is all blackberry, all day. Sour blackberry fruity & blackberry skins, sharp lemon acidity, & an intense tartness that flows throughout.

Taste is crazy tart; puckering amounts of blackberry, & lemon-like acidity that rips at your cheeks & gum line. Lovely sour finish, lacto notes & blackberry with a touch of lemon...

This is a great American fruited sour, probably one of the best I’ve had. Get your jammies on & get ready for mouth ripping sourness.

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Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma punches of huge tart blackberry jam.

The flavor follows with a big tart up front, lemony tart, along with berry seeds. Those characteristics of bitterness, earthiness, and tart. It then moves onto a beautiful jammy deliciousness.

A delicious jammy treat. One of the best wild ales.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.84/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dan told us at the release for this beer that it would be ready around mid october.Well, its mid October so I better do a quality inspection tonight!

500ml R&D bottle with pressure cap is poured into Crooked Stave tulip glass.

Aggressive hiss when the pressure cap is removed.

Appearance: deep blue/purple bodied beer with massive 3 fingers worth of deep pink head. Head slowly drops to an uneven cap ontop of the beer.

Smell: fresh berry jam that is slighty sweet, but more so tart. Somebody just dropped a Blackberry BOMB into this beer. It was Dan Carey. It is also has fruity and juicy character to the nose.

Taste: Very tart and fruity blackberries, I would say its better than moderately tart, but not overdone. Really as sour as you would want it without overdoing it. This is way more tart than the nose leads you to believe. Great balance between slightly sweet "jamminess" and tart blackberrys with a hint of spicy cinnamon believe it or not! Slight oak barrel presence and its hard to find amongst the huge fruit and sourness of this beer. The blackberries have a fresh and juicy characteristic about how they taste in the beer, just like the nose. Moderately tart lingering finish filled with blackberries and raspberries with a hinting of oak barrel that seems to emerge more so in the finish of the beer.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation levels. This is pretty dry and it is definately a fact that this drives up the puck factor of this beer! The carbonation is soft and creamy, but it fizzes aggressively when it sits on your tongue. Even though this beer is very sour, it maintains impressive drinkability.

Overall: Another success in the R&D sour series. I have sampled all 4 of the R&D sours and it is hard for me to decide if my favorite is Bourbon Barrel Kriek or Very Sour Blackberry! I dont think that BB Kriek was this good fresh... This blows away Upland Blackberry Lambic for sure. I would even say that this is easily the best blackberry sour beer that I have ever drank. Dan was right! I tried a bottle of this when it was fairly fresh and it was very good but a little rough around the edges. Now the beer has come into its own without a doubt! Dan Carey you are have definately mastered brewing sour beer!

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Photo of bcm75
4.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Dark maroon. Bottle was a slight gusher so it's pretty well carbonated.

S - Lots of blackberries. Very slight barnyard funk.

T - Again, lots of blackberries but not overly sweet, which I was worried about. Very pleasantly tart and sourness that hits at the higher end of the scale.

M - Light-medium body. Very well carbonated.

O - Best offering yet from NG. A real winner.

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Photo of thebigredone
4.79/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Jeff and Jason for making the complete R&D Sour tasting possible.

Very Sour Blackberry pours an intense purplish color with a finger of white head.

The nose immediately lets you know that this will be sour. Moderate blackberry aroma as well.

Taste is wonderful. Strong sourness (as advertised) plays well with tart blackberry flavors. As usual, Dan Carey does a masterful job of letting the fruit shine through. The blackberry freshness on this is fan-friggin'-tastic.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Puckering sourness, moderate acidity, and well carbed.

Overall, this may well be the best of the R&D series thus far. At this point, there is not a ton of complexity, which is why this beer didn't get a perfect 5 for taste. Dan mentioned at the release that he recommends waiting until October or later for maximum complexity, so we'll see how this develops. Definitely something I look forward to trying again, among the best of any American (or Belgian for that matter) sours I have tried.

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R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry) from New Glarus Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.