R&D Very Sour Blackberry - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 276 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
4.3/5 rDev -9.3%
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.
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.
Serving type: bottle
11-05-2013 04:20:13 | More by kojevergas
4.83/5 rDev +1.9%
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
4.74/5 rDev 0%
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
R&D Very Sour Blackberry from New Glarus Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.