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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

48 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 346
rAvg: 4.7
pDev: 2.34%
Wants: 827
Gots: 49 | FT: 8
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: 48 | Hads: 346
Photo of facesnorth
3.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good beer. But not deserving of the hype it gets. I drank it at a small share with 2 other friends along with Atrial Rubicite and some other beers. It was on par with Atrial. Which means it's a very good beer. But it's not worthy of the praise that it commands. Worlds better than Nocturn Chrysalis though, which I found quite lacking. Don't give up the cellar for this expecting it to blow your mind. I don't get much funkiness nor jammyness from it, which is how it's often described. Pleasant, quite tart, nice fruity aroma. Great beer to enjoy in the summer. Certainly won't attempt trading for another, though, unlike some other beers which are truly world class. FWIW, we drank Veruca in the same tasting and that handily stole the show. (743 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
4.09/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A purple body with a one finger white head.

S: Very funky and sour in the nose. There is a ton of blackberry there that adds a sweetness.

T: Given how highly this beer is rated, a little disappointing. It is a sour bomb. There is almost no complexity to this beer. There is a co-dominate in the flavor of sour and blackberry. It tastes as if a juice squeeze went sour (in a good way). Very one dimensional though.

M: great carbonation and a thin and crisp clean mouthfeel.

O: A very good sour that is highly over rated. While this sour is good it does not break into my top 30 sours. Any Russian River Sour, a decent number of Bruery sours, the 500 ml Jester king sours, lost abbey sours, and several others are better and easier to get your hands on. It is worth trying because it is unique but don't give up too much for it. (833 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.1/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 500ml bottle into Tired Hands stemware. Shared with schen9303.

Careful... this one's a slow gusher. Pours a massive, frothy 4 finger deep pink colored head with good retention. Beer is a dense, nearly opaque purple. Lacing is thick and layered and deeply purple. Certainly catches my attention.

Nose is tart blackberry. Fruity, juicy and unmistakable. Oh yeah, and that signature New Glarus yeast.

Opens intensely tart blackberry. Very aptly named. Juicy with a sweet, cinnamon-y New Glarus yeast backdrop. More blackberry in the end and finish with a sweet, seed-y aftertaste. Pretty simple but enjoyable.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and aggressive in the mouth and goes down sparkling, crisp, and dry. Puckering finish with a dry, sticky, lingering aftertaste. Very nice.

One-dimensional for sure but overall a pretty enjoyable brew. Certainly one of the more sour American Wild Ales I've ever come across. (961 characters)

Photo of Treebs
4.15/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served in a New Glarus flute. Big thanks to AldoRaine for the share. Bottle first week of August and enjoyed on 8/11/13.

A: What a color. Pours a deep purple color with a pinkish colored head. It recedes to a thin ring. Some splotches of lace down the glass.

S: Super jammy on the nose. The initial blast of sweet blackberry jam is intense, but it quickly gives way to a sweet bread malt profile with a splash of sour fruit and oak.

T: Not as jammy on the taste, but it it is still there. Ultra fresh blackberries with some nice under ripe berry tartness. Oaky with slight vanilla sweetness to it. Light, bready malts with a nice blackberry sourness.

M: medium to light bodied with a spritzy carbonation level. Effervescence on the tongue.

O: Super jammy and sour. Really nice right now. Dan Carey said to wait until Christmas time open bottle so that what I plan on doing. I think the flavors will meld together even better than they already are. (967 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.21/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, poured into a new Glarus stemmed flute and a New Glarus tasting glass.

The beer pours a lovely purple color, hues of garnet and ruby red, soft pinks, reminiscent of Concord grapes. The head is dark pink, cloudy and fizzy that has very nice retention but leaves no lace. The aroma is spectacular, an immaculate expression of blackberry. Fresh, jammy, pungent, tart with a bit of sweetness, it brings out some light lemon zest and subtle funk. It doesn't come across as super sour, just perfectly tart. On the tongue the beer is a bit different, super sour, true to the name. Lots of jammy blackberry, quite acetic with bright lemon qualities, tart with light funk as well. It's bright, but not that delicate, the sour qualities are really harsh and dominating. The body is nice, crisp lively, yet really rich and pulpy from the fruit, the finish is pretty abrasive from the sourness and carbonation.

Verdict: A fine wild ale from New Glarus. The aroma is truly amazing, but the flavors are dominated by the sour qualities, and while I'm sure that was intentional, it really does detract a bit on the tongue. It's improved since the release, but it's still a bit too acetic for me, and I doubt that will ever change. Still, I could keep my nose in this beer forever. (1,282 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown glass bottle with great seemingly hand-written label art and iconic green/gold pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with the very gracious Duff27 and served into a Biere de Saint Louis teku. Reviewed live for my birthday. Expectations are sky high given its current 100 rating and the brewery - which I adore. "Brewed November 2013. Bottled August 2013. 12 IBUs. 5% ABV. Batch 5.3 bbl." Reviewed as a sour fruit ale because the label identifies it as such.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are expected.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger pink colour head of okay creaminess and decent thickness. Head is uniquely fizzy, continuing to fizz about the edges a good two minutes after the pour. It's a special effect and is quite remarkable. Consistency is light and airy. Complexion is fairly soft. Head retention is excellent - easily 15+ minutes; I can't wait long enough to find out. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a very dark pink/red. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's a unique look for a beer and it's incredibly appealing. Really inviting.

Sm: Sugar-covered blackberries, tart sour yeast, fruit tart, controlled wild yeasts/bacteria, berry/currant jam, subtle oak, and juice. There are berry/currant notes here other than blackberry - mainly raspberry. Lactobacillus doesn't dominate; other wild yeasts are present as well. It brings plenty of sourness to the table, but seems to let the tartness take precedence. I'm loving what I'm smelling, and I hope the flavour profile delivers. Sweetness/sourness balance seems perfect.

Any malt backbone is invisible; seamless integration. No hop character or alcohol is detectable. Really craving the first sip of this one. A great, evocative aroma of mild to moderate strength.

T: Oh boy. Almost puckering sourness builds and builds until it crescendos on the climax. Heavy tartness throughout, delivering on the blackberry sour premise. There's plenty of blackberry here with lots of depth of flavour - blackberry jam, blackberry fruit tart, blackberry puree, blackberry flesh, sugar-covered blackberries, etc. There're also other complementary fruit notes: blackcurrant, redcurrant, raspberry, and accompanying esters. The berry sweetness beautifully complements the sourness; there's a special marriage of flavour here that results in a wonderfully well-balanced gestalt flavour profile.

Malts are so seamlessly integrated that they aren't noticeable. I'd guess crystal malts based on the fizziness. Tart fruit rightfully has the spotlight here. No hop profile is noticeable. No alcohol is detectable.

Guiding oak character never feels too woody, and complements the nuanced sourness very well.

The wild yeasts/bacterial notes are great, with plenty of varied sourness. It doesn't have the clean, clinical feel of a lactobacillus-only sour, though lactobacillus does provide a pleasant sourness alongside the other yeasty notes. Great complexity and subtlety across the board. Depth of flavour is exquisite. Really delivers the intensity of flavour as well; it's an aggressive balls-to-the-wall sour. Flavour duration is above average.

Unquestionably delicious.

Mf: Perfect carbonation; fizzy and effervescent. Lip-smackingly luscious, complementing the tart flavours beautifully. Smooth and wet, with a bit of a bite. Coarsens and dries towards the finish, teasing out the next sip. Almost refreshing. Aggressively acidic. Clean. Exquisite presence on the palate. Ideal body and thickness. Marvelous execution, yielding a marriage of texture to taste. This mouthfeel was custom-tailored specifically to this beer's flavour profile and it shows.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, or offensive.

Constructively (i.e. nitpickingly), it could be softer.

Dr: A real achievement of a sour, and easily one of the finest American sours I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Not a sour for newcomers to the style. I'm glad I'm greedily enjoying it alone. It's incredibly drinkable for those drinkers who can handle its assertive commanding presence. Not only would I get this again, I'd clear the shelves of it if possible. I'd recommend anyone reading this get their hands on a bottle immediately.

A unique experience of a beer from New Glarus. Artfully brewed, obscenely well-executed. I'm glad I saved this for my birthday - it really delivered. Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle.

Don't pair with anything. It demands to be enjoyed alone.

Drank wonderfully from a teku; I can't imagine a better glass.

I could see this getting better with age, but God, is it drinking damn good now.

Low A (4,815 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.38/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Dark hazy reddish purple. Nice pink head. Pretty.

Smell - Tons of blackberry. Acidic. A little bit of funky yeast to it. Some oak.

Taste - Bright and grainy right up front. Sweet blackberry. Immediately sour. Tart and funky. Oak. Some lemony flavors.

Mouthfeel - Strong sourness. Grainy. Medium body.

Overall - Excellent. The fruit flavor that New Glarus is famous for but it has the complexity of a great sour beer. (471 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus R&D Very Sour Blackberry

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into accompanying stemmed New Glarus glassware. Served chilled...

A) This is a purple brew with a little haze. The pour produced a big pink head. I'd say about 3 fingers worth. Decent retention... Not much lacing...

S) Heavy blackberry aroma with a little lemon zest.

T) Again, loads of blackberries. Some citrus shavings. Yeast and plenty of funk. Very tart... Very sour....

M) A medium body with very lively carbonation. This leaves the palate just scorched in tartness. Mouthwatering sourness is what this is all about.

O) Highly enjoyable... Looking forward to what New Glarus has in store for us with upcoming sour offerings. (702 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Doing this side-by-side with AC Golden Framboise noir, unbiased if anyone will believe it.

A- VSB has a framboise color, deep cherry/raspberry red. Non transparent, medium lacing with good legs.

S- Raspberry/blackberry forward, very juicy. Some lingering funk in the background. That New Glarus fruit dank smell is here like in their fruit beers.

T- It tastes more like raspberry than blackberry as agreed by the only other person here doing the side-by-side with me. Somewhat sugary raspberry tart. Kinda one dimensional here with sour + Raspberry or Blackberry; no other good sour qualities that I like with great sours.

M- A bit too much carb for me here. The sour has a sting that is not a bad thing, just very tart. The carb disrupts the enjoyment of the brew. Both participants like FN more

O- I like AC Golden Framboise Noir first because it tastes like a blackberry sour, and secondly the mouthfeel is way better. VSB is too one dimensional; FN is too, but less so. So all in all AC Golden FN>VSB IMO. I am sure some will find me nuts for this.

edit: last glass of VSB is perfect/4.75 on T and M if it were a raspberry sour; the dreg (1,154 characters)

Photo of ncketchum
4.46/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served slightly chilled in a Chimay chalice

A - pours a dark red with an intense light red head, loads of carbonation

S - lemon, blackberry, raspberry, funkiness

T - very tart, blackberry is evident, but more citrusy with lemon predominating. undertones of funky yeast throughout

M - highly carbonated, no alcohol, not too thin, very refreshing

O - another great sour by NG, maybe not quite as drinkable as Wild Sour Ale, but excellent nonetheless. I hope more of these sours make it into a seasonal rather than special releases. (534 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%

Okay, so first off, a massive thank you to Steasy66 for this. Bro, respek. Second, happy birthday to me :-)

Poured into my vintage cast glass lord of the rings collector glass from burger king. This is the Gandalf one, so you know something special is going into it.

Appearance. Pours a murky redish-plum colour with almost two fingers of frothy pink-tinted head. 4.25

Smell. Nice floral blackberries and raspberry, black currant, a touch of that new glarus yeast smell that always smells dusty ...maybe earthy. Some light oaky white wine notes as well. 4.0

Taste. Wow, very sour blackberry indeed! Super tart and sour blackberries stimulate massive salivation. Just a faint touch of that ng wild yeast, tart raspberries, some lemon juice and maybe a touch of toasty oak. Pretty awesome actually but couldn't take much more sour and still enjoy this. 4.50

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, strong carbonation but fine and somewhat smooth. 4.75

Overall. One of the best american sours I've tried for sure and very different from all the other NG wild I've tried. Thanks again steasy66 for the opportunity. (1,108 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer is a deep purple with a pink head. Huge blackberry aroma. Pie crust, wild yeast. Wow, this is tasty. Sour and puckering, settling in the jaws with a gentle acetic quality. Long lasting after taste. Huge blackberry and jammy quality throughout. While the rarity adds to the allure of this beer, there's no doubt this is a stellar brew. One of, if not the, best from New Glarus. (426 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.51/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pour is deep blood maroon with a light purple head. Nose is very simple with a huge blast of the blackberry in a pie filling type aroma with hints of lacto. It really is very sour, blackberry jelly and very bright. Hints of oak come through with faint touch of lacto. Good carbonation an huge puckering dryness. Intense stuff, very well done. (342 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in a small snifter glass, thanks to Dave for the assist (5/14).

Murky saturated reddish purple, with pinkish purple foam that sticks around for a few minutes, audibly fizzling at first.

Aroma is pure blackberries, with an undercurrent of wild bacteria. Acidic berries and barrel funk.

Taste is sharply acidic and sour, jammy at first, bright and fruity. Seedy blackberries are still very present and expressive 9 months from bottling. FInishes bone dry with a lasting pucker. Scrubbing carbonation, the body has a pleasant, slightly vinous quality about it. Some minor funkiness lingers behind the fruit, which lends a nice layer of complexity. Overall this is an extremely well made wild ale, and a sign of wonderful things to come from New Glarus. (761 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.58/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This very limited release pours a deep maroon color with a foamy pink head. Lots of sweet and tart fruit aroma. The taste starts sweet but finishes with an unbelievable sour taste. There is a lot of great blackberry flavor that is quite tart. This is about as delicious as sour fruit beer can be. (296 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.62/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A very special thanks to JP for this opportunity...I am humbled buddy. Thank you very much.

500 ml bottle dated:brewed November 2010 and bottled August 2013. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a lovely dark purple with a pinkish light purple head that rises substantially above the beer. Honestly, this is a beautiful looking beer.

Effervescent seedy blackberry is very powerful on the pour. Lightly sour and a touch yeasty on the nose. It's rather clean, but big on the berries.

Very tart right off the bat. Instantaneous lockjaw as I was unprepared for the massive tartness based on the nose. Moves straight into seedy blackberry, lemon, and light wild yeast. Not the most complex sour and honestly, not all that sour. Very tart and very blackberry....maybe Very Tart Blackberry is a more appropriate moniker.

Carbonation is high, almost drinks like a flavored spritzer. As with most all New Glarus beers, there's an ease and accessibility that makes this an enjoyable, if not a mind blowing, beer. Appreciative of JP for the chance and appreciative of Dan Carey for moving in this direction.

*Review edited multiple times while drinking this...I should have waited until the end of the bottle as this became increasingly enjoyable with every sip. I understand there are a limited amount of bottles, but this is a beer that certainly benefits from a large pour, if not the whole bottle as an experience.* (1,409 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.67/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500 ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
5% ABV, 12 IBUs, Brewed Nov. 2010, Bottled Aug. 2013, Batch 5.3 bbls, 12°P

Thanks to Chris (Duff27) for reaching out to me on this IP trade at Central Waters!

A - Gunsmoke wafts from the bottle following a loud hiss. Very Sour Blackberry, or VSB as the geeks shorten it to, pours dark Merlot red with a billowing bright pink crown of foam that, when it's acidity is taken into consideration, lingers for quite a while.

S - Straight acidic tartness with hints of funk cuts through the large fruity aroma, ripe with freshly crushed blackberries, which leaves the beer with a somewhat linear nose but a phenomenal one at that.

T - Extremely tart acidity slaps the tongue around immediately before a bit of fresh blackberry syrup sweetness cuts through with a subdued balance; like the aroma, Very Sour Blackberry is very good but really linear.

M - The hiss from the crack of the bottle was a good indicator that this beer would be quite carbonated and sure enough, it is! In fact, it's effervescent carbonation is just a little high for my liking but it's sparkling feel nicely compliments the beer's extremely tart, highly acidic nature.

O - Another great sour from Wisconsin, it's fantastic to see breweries like New Glarus getting on board with these booming styles, though New Glarus has been doing limited releases of this caliber for some time. Very Sour Blackberry pours like a red wine with carbonation, it's aroma and flavor, fairly one dimensional on acidic tartness cut with fresh blackberries but, it's a damn good beer. I'm cautious to call this beer sour, however. To me, the acidity in this beer is far more tart, extremely tart, than it is sour but everything comes together very nicely for a delicious, wild fruit beer! (1,783 characters)

Photo of CaseyK
4.68/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours maroon with a beautiful pink head that fizzes, then sticks around. One of the better looking beers I've seen in a long time
S: Loads of sweet berries assault the nose. Very concentrated, think raspberry french soda syrup. The "very sour" portion is not coming through in the nose.
T: Sour is much more present in the taste than the smell, nice and tart. Delicious blackberry and raspberry flavors. A bit of Jolly Rancher sweetness to start. Slight citrus, but not much. Pretty sour, I'm glad I have one more of these.
M: Nice carbonation prickle on the tongue.
O: Dan Carey said this beer would start out very fruit forward and develop with age, so I figured I would try one fresh and one with age on it. If you like your sours very fruit forward I say go ahead and crack one now. It's drinking great. (810 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

The beer pours a murky dark purple color with a layer of off white/pink head. The smell is full of fruit with a nice balance between tart and sweet. The tartness really pops in the taste with just enough sweetness to balance it out a bit. This is a fantastic fruit sour and I'd love to have more in the future. (349 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, courtesy of BA THANAT0PSIS who bought it to a killer bottleshare last night, 10/5/2013. Poured into a Zwanze 2013 glass.

Looks pretty much like blackberry puree.. looks thick, purple-black and very jammy-looking. Pours reasonably viscously, no sediment. No lacing, but a fairly decent light purple head. Looks somewhat overly carbonated actually.

Smell is absolute heaven. So much blackberry flavour in here. It smells like Dan filled up a barrel with nothing but blackberries and used a massive immersion blender and just let it ferment. It was ridiculous and I can't think of a ton of beers that smell better than this. This is straight up, acetic, vinegar sourness mixed in with a good bit of sweet fruit aromas. Hell of a nose.

I really enjoyed tasting this beer. It actually starts out as rather mild, accentuating the fruity sweetness of the beer. The blackberries come out very well here- a little acidic at first with some blackberry fruit sweetness. But as the beer warms up, it gets more intense. That blackberry jammy fruitiness gets even more crazy good, but the big change is that it becomes helluva sour on the back-end. Mouthpuckeringly sour. It's more of an acidic sourness than anything else. Very tasty.

The feel on this beer is honestly its achilles' heel if I can call it that. I definitely enjoyed this beer, but this was a medium-full bodied beer that actually felt creamy and thick. Like I said in the appearance, it looks and feels jammy. It does not feel clean, in the sense that all its aspects were crisp and 100% present.. that's what I really enjoy in Brett beers. This one is the complete opposite. Still ridiculously enjoyable, but I think the mouthfeel took quite a bit away from me on this.. I won't hold it against Dan since this is what was advertised!

So, this is an awesome American Wild Ale. So much blackberry fruitiness and acetic sourness. The smell on this beer is ridiculous.. top 3 noses of all time. Mouthfeel is very good but just not what I would prefer on a sour like this. Still, its a fruit sour and you gotta expect some fruit aspects! Don't get me wrong, this is an absolute delight that is worth trying at least once.

Re-review: Brian generously opened a bottle of VSB up on 1/24/2014. Poured into an O'so snifter. Basically, the beer is so much more complex, acidic and dry while retaining the full complement of the blackberry fruit. The mouthfeel is very dry but well-rounded and less jammy and custardy. The sour quotient is somewhere between 7-8 of 10, which is pretty dang sour but this time, meshes really well with the blackberry fruit qualities to create an incredible drinking experience. And the appearance of this beer is still awesome, but the smell still makes it one of the best smelling beers I've ever had. So yeah, I'm bumping this from a 4.4 to whatever it is now, my guess is that it'll be a 4.7 once I submit this review. And I think that's the perfect place for it. A world-class sour that just needed some time to mature (In Dan Carey we trust), and made in Wisconsin to boot. There is no question that this is the best craft beer of any style to ever be produced in Wisconsin. (3,173 characters)

Photo of lunarbrew
4.71/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There was a little criticism on the appearance of this beer. It looked like blackberry puree. I see nothing wrong with that! Pretty awesome if you ask me. It looks very nice. Smell was absolutely incredible. VSB might be the best smelling fruit beer out there, It might be the best smelling beer out there, for that matter. Very intense blackberry notes, some lactic, some vinegar. The smell is HUGE. It's awesome in this regard. It tastes quite good too. Very jammy blackberry, 6 out of 10 on the sour scale, a dash of apple cider vinegar. I really enjoyed all of this. There a little custard flavor which I also noticed in Destihl's sours. I don't like this, but some people really seem to. This custardiness carries over to the MF a bit too, which is where the beer begins to fall apart for me. Honestly, I thought the MF was pretty disappointing. The beer is very heavy and the bottle we opened was insanely carbonated. It was like soda, almost. Fizzy and prickly. It really detracted from the beer's complexity. The beer is not dry, crisp, or refreshing in the least, imo. I was really hoping for this. Oh well. It was still really damn good. Glad I finally tried it!

First review: 4.4

Update from 1/24/14:
Was able to taste another bottle thanks to 4DAloveofSTOUT at a nice little tasting we put together. I want to note that this beer has developed extremely well over the last 4 months. The flavor has become richer, more sour, and more complex. Most notably, the mouthfeel has improved night and day. The beer is much drier and crisper. This fixes all my big gripes from the past. VSB is a fantastic beer. (1,616 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.72/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle, split

I hit this bottle release after the GTMW 2013 - this serving was generously shared with me on a recent trip to Madison. Served in Cantillon stemware - dark raspberry body. At first whiff, it's clear this is going to be pretty epic.

Very sour, but in an extraordinarily refined way that can only be derived from avoiding all potential shortcuts. Layers of jammy blackberry, wild yeast profiles that bring immediate comparisons to favorites from the Seine River Valley. Fizzy carbonation, puckering tartness and fantastically delicious. (557 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.74/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purple head in a dark purple body. Very excellent head retention for a sour. Some lace clings.

Love the smell. Like fresh blackberry jam.

Blackburrrries. "Yum yum yum"...after every sip. Gets a 8 on the Duff27 sour scale.

Full mouthfeel. Carbonation level is perfect.

The masters of fruit beers have done it again. Don't know what else to say other than this is one of the best sours I've ever had. (402 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | 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! (2,266 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013

A - poured a three-fingers thick pink head into a tulip glass that left good lacing and sheeting throughout. The body was reddish-purple.
S - blackberry, oak, some dirty funk.
T - blackberry, oak, sour funk.
M - thick and coating, very bubbly. Dry finish.
O - typical new glarus...awesome. (297 characters)

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R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry) from New Glarus Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.