Blackberry | Upland Brewing Company

108 Reviews
Blackberry Blackberry

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Blackberry is fermented by wild yeast and aged in oak casks for nearly a year. We then add whole blackberries grown in Indiana. The beer is bottle conditioned. Style is Sour Ale, ABV 6%.

Added by JamesS on 10-14-2007

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Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 439
Photo of chinchill
2.68/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Upland Blackberry Lambic from a bomber (thanks BShine) at the 2014 RBWG in Asheville.

Sour funky blueberry/blackberry.
Vinegar (which I can't abide) but mostly gone in the taste.

Too wild and unbalanced. Uses Belgian yeast but doesn't match typical Belgian quality.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.17/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On tap at Stoneyard Beer Hall and Grill in Webster, NY.

This one pours dark-ish purple/blue hybrid, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells like blackberry vinegar- it's super sour, but also kinda vinegary, which is a problem for me.

This honestly tastes like blackberries soaked in vinegar. There's a bit of oak here, but it's honestly too sour, and too vinegary. I like sour beers, a lot, actually- but this seems just poorly made to me.

This is kind of thin, with not a lot of drinkability. There's a normal level of carbonation.

This really did not do it for me.

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Photo of largadeer
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml from bakerslp. Thanks.

Appearance: Hazy raspberry red in color, short lived head, crackles to a ring leaving minor stickage.

Smell: Acetic aroma with a pleasant undercurrent of berries. Low funkiness. Smells more like a Flanders red ale to me due to the high level of acetobacter.

Taste & mouthfeel: Up front berry flavor, light on the sourness but not sweet either. Balsamic vinegar flavors are pretty prevalent, and I could see the acetic acid doing some bad things to the stomach if large quantities of this were consumed. Fairly simple and straightforward on the whole, very light on the funk and a bit too heavy on the acetic acid. The finish is semi-dry, leaving a trace of berry-like sweetness on the back of the tongue.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.42/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle and it was a gusher.

Pours a dark purple with lots of chunks of blackberry in it, a small white and purple head. Nose is super bland and tame.

Taste is all berries and tart but its well balanced and very drinkable. Mouhfewl is really creamy and mellow. With a crisp fruity finish.

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Photo of slaintemhor
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had never tried an American made blackberry lambic until this one. The colour was an amber-orange with little head. The aroma was highly acetic with some general berry fragrance. On the palate, there was a burst of bubbles, a quick shot of blackberry, then vinegar. The finish was rather quick.

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Photo of Rutager
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8-7-13.

Pours peachy orange with the slightest blue tint, thin white head. Acetic nose, funky wooden barrel, sour dark berries. Acidic, acetic, fucking sour on the tongue. Some light wood and blackberry, very sour berry mostly. I think my tooth enamel has taken a hit here.

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Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my brother for picking this one up for me.

A: Pours a cloudy orangish amber color. The first pour of the tasting was clear but the rest quickly turned cloudy from sediment. Light bubbly fizz, with no lace.

S: Lots of sour in the aroma. Seedy dark fruit, with hints of crushed sweet tarts.

T: Both tart and sour in this one. Not alot of fruit. Hints of dark berries but mostly just sweet tarts.

M: Light and Fizzy... almost refreshing. No carbonation issues here.

D: Not really. Have not been real impressed with the Upland sours. They need to bring more fruit to the bottle on the next go around.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chris split this bottle with me on day one of our epic tasting. Thanks, dogg

A: Clear reddish copper with a choppy white head that recedes to nothingness rather quickly. Steady stream of carbonation, though.

S: Acetic and blackberries. Not very much lambic-like in that there's almost no funk, no earthiness, no barnyard. There is a little bit way in the back but this is predominantly acetic.

T: Opens up with a strong acetic character and sharp acidity before the fruit flavor kicks in, giving the palate an extra dimension. Dries up on the finish, leaving almost no flavor

M: Enjoyably light in body with great carbonation but the acidity and the lack of flavor on the finish does hurt this a bit

D: Enjoyable in small amounts, the acidity is a bit more than I'd like.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Bottled on 10/11/10

The pour is a rich deep cloudy crimson purple. A lavender purple head forms on the top and sticks around a long time. Minimal lacing. This beer is just looks great and enticing.

The aroma has some funky earthy brett notes, the fruit comes through then in medium intensity with a sharp acidity. A minimal diasetyl aroma.

The first thing that I taste is the sharp acidity that then transitions into a very earthy dirty brett funk. The fruit is medium low in taste but lends a bit of persieved sweetness in the middle. It finishes with a sharp acid bite.

Mouthfeel is medium sweetness in the middle and really drys out for the finish. Carbonation is a bit strong, prickly even. I'd prefer it with a tad less carbonation, it just adds to the acidity.

Overall this is a decent beer and middle of the road in terms of upland lambics. I find Upland lambics very hit or miss but applaud the experimentation of the different fruits.

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Photo of cetherid
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip


Murky dark purple color with a fizzy, light pinkish head that dissipates rather quickly. Lots of yummy "floaties" in this beer that come to the head and cling to the glass. Shaking the glass around I can bring the head back up, but then it will start to die down.


A little funk to the nose, however seems like its more tart fruit than sour. Definitely a presence of dark berries and perhaps a little oak. The blackberries seem like they could be a little more ripe IMO. Definitely a nice aroma but the nose doesn't really explode out of the glass.


Sour/lactic qualities are there, more so than in the nose but still quite tart dominant. Blackberries taste fairly sweet, though not a Lindeman's sweetness. I think a bottle aged for a year would do it very well.


Medium bodied, great carbonation. Slightly prickly once it hits the mouth and finishing off a little dry.


Would be better if it was a little more bretty and had that barnyard funk to it. Currently tart fruit dominant in both the nose and taste. Might be drinking a tad too sweet right now but a little age would do it good.

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Photo of Floydster
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and capped bottle acquired in a trade with sprinkle, thanks for the opportunity, 2008 vintage, split with a friend last night, poured into my Rubicon snifter

A-Color is a mix between bright pink and orange, there is also some purple tint to it, 1 3/4 inch creamy white head that lasts forever, great retention, awesome lacing
S-Blackberries although I did not smell them until later on, vinegar, oak, mild vanilla, sour aromas, little bit of funk but not much, gets more fruity as it warms and I swirl the glass
T-The amount of berry in the taste was a lot stronger than I thought it would be, the fruit that is usually quite subtle and just kind of there really enhances the tartiness in this brew, the fruit character is ripe and mixes well with the sugar, starts off tart, some berries in the middle, more tart in the finish, almost vinegary when it was served chilled, actually liked it more when it warmed though and the blackberry became both sweet and sour and full in the aftertaste, can only imagine how much better this will get with age but it is also really good now
M-Tarty, fruity, somewhat dry, and crisp mouthfeel, tons of carbonation that makes it more along the lines of sparkling wine, medium bodied, taste lingers nicely because of the tart
D-Could have drank this bottle and then another one probably, not sure of the ABV but it seems low, light on the stomach, so easy to drink, went well with our cheese and crackers, smmoth and inviting

This was the first of the Upland lambics I have tried, it was pretty darn good and quite tart already for being so young, I originally expected a much sweeter and fruitier beer but was pleasantly surprised, first blackberry lambic I can remember having too, hope to drink again in upcoming years, recommended

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, it bubbled through the cork when I pried off the cap. nice orange-red-pinkish color. Nice fruity, funky, sour smell, butter? The flavor is quite interesting, some fruitiness a hint of sour but barely and a strange buttery flavor. Carbonation is fine and this is easy to drink but this isn't as good as the strawberry or cherry upland lambics.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%

Split amongst family to celebrate the birth of my sister's first child. Nice blackberry notes but, like previous Uplandic experiences, the vinegar and sour serve to minimize rather than compliment the fruit.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased at the release. Split with the fiancé.

A - Slight gusher. Pours dark purple Barney-color, light pink head, thick collar, and thin cap.

S - Not much a nose, really. Slight sour/tart notes, a touch of fruit, and some lacto.

T - Tastes slightly sour/tart but could really use more "umph". Nice fruity blackberries, lactic tartness, slight funk, oak, with a tart fruity finish.

M - Light, good carbonation, dry finish.

O - A solid refreshing lambic but needs more sour/tart notes. Very easy to drink but nothing Earth-shattering about this beer. Decent, but not the best work they've done.

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Photo of auroracrisis
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form the 750 into a RR tulip, this is the latest batch. Gushed out as soon as I popped the cork...

Pours a deep purple with a quickly dissipating head. Small ring of white, some what purple tinted foam around the top of the beer. Lots of floaties in suspension in the liquid.

Aroma of tannins with some acidic quality to it. Oak and stale vanilla, with no real fruit quality to speak of.

The taste is where this beer shines. Awesome tart, natural blackberry flavors explode in your mouth and mesh well with that base lambic flavor that's a bit tannin forward. A little dry with no real funk to speak of, but that's about the only complaint I have here.

Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation for the style. A little drying but still retains a bit of juicyness, most likely from the blackberry addition.

Overall, a good attempt at a traditional lambic but I feel like it was lacking in aroma and funk. But still, a good beer. I say drink it fresh because the fruit flavors are just going to fade, which are the focus of this beer.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The lambic was sampled at Winterfest 2013 in Indianapolis on 1/26/2013. Props to Upland for bringing several lambics.

Poured into the sampler glass from the bottle, the beer was a ruby reddish hue with a nice tinted white head. The aroma smelled of sour fruits with a variety of berry notes observable. In the initial taste, one notes this is incredibly sour. While I was able to enjoy it, I almost thought it was too sour. As it moves to the aftertaste, it becomes progressively more tart and acidic. I had difficulty appreciating blackberries, since I believe them to be sweeter than they are here. The aftertaste further displays quite a bit of natural seedy blackberry flavor. It is easy to tell his is made with real berries.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into Caracole tulip glass

A - Pours a translucent ruby amber color with a smallish 1/2 inch pinkish-white head. Lacing is very nice as it leaves a plethora of arches on the glass as it falls.

S - Very tart cider-like scent with slight hints of blackberry (not nearly as strong as I expected). Some mild horse blanket scent, but the tartness dominates.

T - Begins with a very tart, mouth-puckering flavor that is slightly sweet. A bit of blackberry goodness comes through mid-palate, but its definitely not the focus here. A slight cider/vinegar flavor appears near the finish, but its not a distraction. Finish is still tart with no bitterness.

M - Moderate carbonation that feels higher because of the tartness. Mouth puckering in a very nice way, with some residual sweetness on the tongue at the finish.

D - Not as complex or even fruity as I expected, but its not a bad lambic. I certainly didn't want anything lindeman's-esque, but some more blackberry flavor and aroma would have been nice. Hopefully Upland will keep improving this one over the next couple years till they really nail it. ABV seems low and very manageable, although the tartness can be a bit much after more than a glass of this beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded black hood-and-wire cap over a cork. 750ml. Bottled 11/20/14. Batch 2-14. Classy understated label art. Acquired in a trade.

Served cold into an Odell snifter-tulip hybrid glass and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Expectations are sky high given this beer's reputation. Reviewed live as an American faux-lambic per the label (which calls it a lambic).

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Off-white. Fizzy; recedes inside 30 seconds, leaving no lacing. Somewhat thin.

BODY: Thin, dull, and murky. Dark red colour. No yeast is visible floating within. Nontransparent. Translucent, if a bit light-reticent.

It doesn't look great for a faux-lambic to be honest, but I'm optimistic.

AROMA: Tart, but not as sour as I'd hope. Sourness is maybe a 3/10 in terms of intensity, though it's seemingly not limited to derivation from lactobacillus bacteria; I also pick up on some lambicus yeast and maybe even pediococcus. Neither very vinegary nor acetic. Acidic. More sourness and tartness would be lovely, as would more fruit. I wouldn't peg blackberry as the fruit if I had this in a blind tasting, and even the vague berry/currant notes aren't very vivid or expressive.

Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests a decent faux-lambic with nice balance, but a shallow flavour profile.

TASTE: I love the acidic lactobacillus twang, and I really love the bacterial sourness throughout - which is quite intense - maybe a 7/10. Lambicus yeast lends still more twangy complexity, and the clean wheat at the core provides a neutral easily-imposed-upon base for the bacteria. The fruit isn't anywhere near as vivid, deep, or expressive as you'd hope in a fruited (faux-)lambic, and it isn't readily identifiable as blackberry; I just get a vague berry/currant flavour. I've definitely had far better fruited lambics (e.g. Cantillon's offerings), but this is nice for what it is.

Well-balanced, if a bit rough around the edges. Everything melts together, but the individual constituent notes don't ring clean or distinct. Murky throughout, and not sharply defined. Average flavour duration and intensity.

The oak barrel is reticent, barely coming through at all. But as a faint backgrounded note, it still helps tie the beer together, lending it natural cohesion.

Not a gestalt brew, though it's almost there.

TEXTURE: Acidic, smooth, wet, light to medium-bodied, refreshing, perfectly carbonated, and very approachable. Could be softer and cleaner. The acidity works here, accentuating the tartness well. Well-executed, and it elevates the beer as whole. There's a nice harmony of texture and taste here. Some will find it puckering - or even palate-stripping.

OVERALL: It's not the paragon of the style I hoped for, nor does it quite measure up to its high reputation. But for an American sour, it's quite well executed. I did hope for more vivid fruit notes. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. I could finish the whole 750ml bottle alone - and would, happily. Absolutely worth trying, and a beer I'd pick up if I chanced across it, but I don't know that it's worth seeking out. The bacterial notes are marvelous, and this is good work from Upland, but better beers are available domestically and abroad.

Low B+

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Photo of JamesS
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not as colorful as most lambics I've tried, this still has a nice copper belgian ale appearance, with a nice hit of carbonation. Smells good, like a nice belgian ale, but again, not as fruity as I expected. Nice taste, a great mix of ale with a nice hit of blackberry, with a bit of cask aging. Goes down nice and smooth, with a bit of pop from the carbonation. This seems more like a blackberry wine in a lot of aspects, such as taste and smell, but is worth it if you can find it. An excellent lambic that felt like a cross between a fruit champagne and ale (in a good sense). It's only out for a short time, so get it while you can, but be prepared for the rubbery cork to be a bit of a pain.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Claaark (Sean) for this one. Shared with capra12 and schen9303 at an Upland tasting. Poured from a corked and caged bottle (batch 42-09, bottled 10/11/10) into a Darkness snifter. Paired with the fruit.

Beer pours a .5 finger, powdery pink-purple hard with moderate retention. Color is a cloudy, deep purple. Patchy lace with good cling. Stunning color pushes this one above average.

Nose is sweet blackberry with a slightly plastic and rubber background. Brett and wet hay funk mildly present. Appetizing and appropriate but not overly aromatic.

Opens sweet blackberry, tart middle. Puckering fruit. Brett, band-aid, and hay towards the end. Dry finish with a tart aftertaste. Fruit prominent throughout. Very simple but robust.

Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky in the mouth. Dry going down with a tart finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste. Pretty standard.

The fruit is very prominent in this Upland offering and although simple, it packs a big, flavorful punch. A solid and very unique take on the lambic style.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Thanks again to my Upland guy Rempo. Bottled 10/11/2010, Batch 42-09.

2.5 A: Uplands lambics usually aren't that visually appealing, but this one is easily the worst. Opaque plum color. This was a category one gusher, so little was lost (and fortunately little was gained with regard to my clothes). Anyway, the initial three fingers of frothy head quickly fell to half a finger. Blackberry particules were abundant on the glass and in this last half finger of head. To be more descriptive, it looks like blackberry puree is hovering over the beer itself.

4.0 S: Ahh, blackberry. Unsurprisingly, this is full of it. Tart, but little in terms of real sourness. Only a touch of tangy lactic acid and nearly no acetic. The funk is a bit more apparent though. Hay and horsey, with a touch of wild apple. Pleasant, but a little less robust than I'd like.

4.0 T: Taste is much of what I would expect based on the nose. Lots of blackberry - moderately tart, but not acetic. Mild lactic fruitiness. Horse blanket and wild apple are abundant. Oak finally appears and just a touch of vanilla. Mild tannic astringency on finish.

3.5 M: Medium body. The carbonation level is fine, but I'd prefer a bit more spritz to it. Reasonably creamy and quite smooth for what it is.

4.0 D: Another solid addition to the lambic lineup. Good overall, but it doesn't stand out in any area. Interesting note: I change some of the scores after my second glass. For whatever reason, the second glass was much better.

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Photo of hopdog
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared thanks to Ughsmash!

Poured a medium and cloudy orangish / amber color with an averaged sized, pinkish tinged, head. Aromas of blackberries, some funkiness, wood, other berries, and musty. Tastes of blackberries, vanilla, funk, wood, and musty. Light tart finish. This one grew on me the more I drank it.

Notes from and tasted on 7/21/08

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Really lovely pink/magenta color with lots of white head/bubbles. The smell jumped out of the bottle immediately. It was a yogurt/funk mix that was pretty overpowering. The taste was described as sour patch kid meets shock tart. Not a lactic sour like the nose led you to believe. It is an intense puckering sour that isn't for folks who get indigestion. The mouthfeel was very effervescent and quite nice. Overall, I want more fruit flavor for the price point and the hunt. The extreme tartness mellowed a bit as the day went on, but it just wasn't a top notch sour for me.

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Photo of Jonada
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottled November 2014. Poured into a Cantillon lambic glass

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish purple color with less than a finger of a fizzy head that dissipates instantly. Body is extremely hazy, and barely translucent.

Smell: Lactic sourness, hay, funk, lemon, red berry and mild oak.

Taste: Wow that's sour. Intense mouth puckering sourness is what's immediately noticeable. Sourness fades slightly in the finish and allows flavors of hay, lacto, oak, red grape and red berry to come through, but man is this sour.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium lively carbonation. Dry and very acidic finish.

Overall: Could stand to be less sour, as it overwhelms a lot of the other flavors. Would've also have liked to have more fruit character, but overall it's a good beer. Definitely not for someone new to sour styles though.

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Photo of Crosling
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not the best appearance on these lambics. Bright orange color and the heads of these lambics never take on any of the color from the fruit. Sour blackberry aromaFlavor has a nice balance of mostly sweet, but also sour elements. Pie-like, with notes of vanilla, cream, as well as some fairly authentic blackberry notes. Really nice ale.

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Blackberry from Upland Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 439 ratings.
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