Blackberry | Upland Brewing Company

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
441 Ratings
Blackberry Blackberry
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States
uplandbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
441
Reviews:
108
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
8.98%
 
 
Wants:
479
Gots:
115
For Trade:
17
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 441 |  Reviews: 108
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An American lambic, and a new classic.SilverX's bottle. Grape coloured body with a great foamy pinkish head. Tart, a little acidic, funky. Great drinkability, aboe average mouthfeel as lots of real blackberry sediment in here, seeds in my glass. A power shake, lunch, a great bottle to share.

 292 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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+

 3,272 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With unseasonably high temps for November reaching up into the 70ºs we decided to break out a precious bottle to celebrate.

Upon pulling the cap, around the the cork there was bubbling from below, and audible spewing of foam...A good sign of carbonation i've only seen before with vintage Cantillon. It poured a lovely orangey tone, muddied up by a slight red or purplish tint. Very traditional fruit lambic appearance, with tiny floating fruit particles and streams of carbonation. I poured two glasses, and noted that the glass that sat for a good 20+ minutes retained a full foamy head that entire time. (The head on my glass got destroyed by the oils in the cheeses i'd been devouring alongside).

Tart acidic notes in the nose, mild vinegar, woody dryness also. Any fruit notes seemed indistinct, and harder to pinpoint, but still subtly present.

Puckering tartness, with a dry finish that had a mild sour fruit essence. Oak was moderate, giving a dry tannic feel to it. The blackberry was hard to identify, but it did have that mellow fruit component without much sweetness. Approaches a fairly traditional lambic feel overall, though I would've appreciated more funk in the nose and taste, and that may develop in time, who knows. Well carbonated, and ready to drink now.

Paired with a cheese plate of Morbier, Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam triple-cream, and Jasper Hill's Constant Bliss. The Lambic went best with the buttery triple cream, and the raw cow's milk Constant Bliss, cutting through the light saltiness and creamy texture.

 1,544 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy dark blue color lambic with a large off-blue color head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of strong blackberry notes with some light funky notes and some tart notes also discernable. Taste is a mix between some tart blackberry notes with some notes funky barnyard notes and a sour finish. Body is full with limited filtration and great carbonation. This one is well balance with great notes of blackberry. This is one brewery that I never know what to expect but in this particular case it is a real winner. Easy to drink with huge amount of complexity.

 589 characters

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.

 736 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to kstrickler for opening up a bottle of this at the Jackie O's One Funky Afternoon event. With this pour, I completed the Upland Lambic series. Served in my SAVOR snifter.

The pour is absolutely beautiful with a great bright, deep purple color. Really gorgeous. Pink-hued head is light and bubbly, sticking around for a bit. The nose brings forward plenty of blackberry character along with a little bit of funk and light acidity. The taste is along the same lines and reminds me of the Blueberry Lambic in that regard. It's currently really fruit-forward, but I don't like the berry flavor as much in this one. On the other hand, it does have some funk and acidity. There is really a lot of fruit in this right now and I think it has the makings of a really nice beer, it just needs some time to develop. Body is light with good carbonation. A solid brew and I'm looking forward to seeing how it ages.

 916 characters

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.

 269 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally get to try this thanks to Tom P for sharing.

Light fizzy purple head, dark murky sediment maroon color

Nose light light sour tart fruit, big blackberry, little seed and skin, little tart cherry like too

Taste light tart fruit, big blackberry and juicy blackberry like pure blackberry, little stem tannin, tart acidic bite, nice sour and blackberry, not super funky.

Mouth med to a little lighter bod, nice carb, tart little flemmy and acidic.

 454 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Rifugium
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First had: bottle, courtesy of totoropanda. Thanks!

Decanted into a #properglassware Upland goblet/tulip. Bubbles rose to the mouth of the bottle and some of the beer started to seep out, but I'd hardly call this a gusher. Poured a dark purplish-brown color, lively carbonation, with about an inch of rocky off-white head, loaded with chunky bits of blackberry. All right! Sour fruits in the nose, blackberry, apple, a little acetic and lactic. The first thing that jumped out at me was the carbonation. It seemed way too high, and almost made this more soda-like than beer-like. Blackberry was the main player in the flavor department, as would be guessed, tart and tangy, though not overly puckering, lactic, drying. One-dimensional, but what else would you expect from this particular beer? Not a complaint, just an observation. Mouthfeel was light and spritzy, and I feel it lost a bit by being too carbonated, but overall that was just a minor setback. It was a nice beer, and quite enjoyable overall.

 1,007 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Blackberry from Upland Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 441 ratings.
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