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R&D Very Sour Blackberry - New Glarus Brewing Company

R&D Very Sour BlackberryR&D Very Sour Blackberry

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

195 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 8.05%


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:
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 added by: thebigredone on 08-19-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 29 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

4.3/5  rDev -8.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 04:20:13 | More by kojevergas
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 19:26:54 | More by dirtylou
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.65/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 20:15:06 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.36/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 03:43:05 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 17:11:46 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 02:22:31 | More by oline73
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

4.89/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 23:56:06 | More by homebrew311
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.1/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 01:45:15 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Treebs
Treebs

Illinois

4.16/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 01:50:03 | More by Treebs
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.74/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | 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!

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2013 02:51:32 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.56/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 01:02:36 | More by Lemke10
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 00:13:40 | More by jegross2
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 02:10:49 | More by Stevedore
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 21:42:06 | More by kevanb
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev -1.9%
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.*

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 02:08:08 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 20:24:39 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of Ri0
Ri0

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 20:35:01 | More by Ri0
Photo of TheSSG
TheSSG

Illinois

4.89/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 03:15:06 | More by TheSSG
Photo of PHBoiler
PHBoiler

Illinois

4.89/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 16:47:41 | More by PHBoiler
Photo of ncketchum
ncketchum

Wisconsin

4.46/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 03:52:58 | More by ncketchum
Photo of Beerisheaven
Beerisheaven

Pennsylvania

4.94/5  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?!?!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 04:50:13 | More by Beerisheaven
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thebigredone

Wisconsin

4.79/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 15:59:13 | More by thebigredone
Photo of Benish
Benish

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 01:20:35 | More by Benish
Photo of lunarbrew
lunarbrew

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 17:01:03 | More by lunarbrew
Photo of bcm75
bcm75

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 21:33:00 | More by bcm75
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R&D Very Sour Blackberry from New Glarus Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.