Black Raspberry Reserve | Sly Fox Brewing Company

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Black Raspberry ReserveBlack Raspberry Reserve

Brewed by:
Sly Fox Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An unforgettable wheat ale brewed with German Pils and Wheat malts and Tradition hops, with 1 lb. of red and black raspberries per gallon of beer. This beer features a tart finish and a sugary sorbet aroma.

Added by oberon on 07-24-2003

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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 207
Photo of cooch69
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one came in a 750 Ml bottle. It pours a deep dark beet red with a small head with tiny rose hued bubbles.

Nose is of Raspberries, raspberry syrup, almonds, and vanilla.

Taste on this one is a surprise considering how awesome the nose was. It is pretty dry and it has a battery acid aftertaste to it. There is also an off putting chemical bitterness to it as well. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for the ABV which went undetected until I actually saw what it was. As I made my way through the beer it became a little more palatable but not to the extent that I would ever really care to drink it again.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: bottle at Sly Fox, Phoenixville, PA

Nice beer. Pours a beautiful dark ruby brown, carbonated, with a lush thick pink-white head. Poured aggressively, yielding well over 2 fingers of head that receded somewhat but remained as a very nice 1/4 inch of foam, uniform across the surface, throughout the drinking session. Great aroma of fresh blackberries. More of the same in the taste, with a very pronounced raspberry/blackberry taste that doesn't disappoint. Clean and crisp and tart, lots of fruit, with a solid malt background, and a distinctive wheat base. It delivers what's promised. Finishes dry with an acidic aftertaste. Light-medium body, pleasant, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to ShanePB for sending this my way in our first trade!

A: The cork came out with a nice pop and the pour was deep purple with some reddish hues. A pink head formed, about two fingers in head with good retention and lacing. There was a lot of fizzing as well, similar to a soft drink.

S: The aroma is what you would expect based on the beer's name. Lots of black raspberries and a little bit of grain. There is a slight tartness.

T: Again, lots of raspberry flavor. Very sweet and a little sugary, but not over the top like some others I have had. The flavor started strong but dissapeared rather quick and did not linger. Pretty simple flavor profile.

M: Medium to light bodied, but seemed to be slightly lacking in terms of carbonation. This caught me by surprise based on the pop from the cork, and I suppose this "problem" is me nit-picking a bit. No booze was apparent and it was an easy drinking beer.

O: I had saved this one to share with my girlfriend who is not huge into beer and she quite enjoyed it. I liked the aroma and flavor, but had it lingered a touch longer, would have vastly improved the beer for me. A nice fruit beer to grab for a rare occasion, especially with non-beer drinkers.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very thick looking ruby dark red color with a thick pinkish white head and a ton of lacing and carbonation streaming up everywhere. Smells like tons of tart raspberries, and some malts. Tastes of some intense raspberries and a bit of a watery flavor, not very good. Mouthfeel is medium and a little carbonation. Drinkability is okay, but it is not the best in the flavor department, just very one note.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: eggplant, with a faint bubbly head. rapid carbonation. has the appearance of champagne.

S: raspberries and a little bread.

T: berry juice and a shitload of carbonation. the carbonation actually masks any subtle flavors. maybe a little malt? it's a raspberry brew so to see this as the dominant flavor isn't much of a shocker.

M: light fruit body with a shitload of carbonation.

D: definitely a good fruit beer. it was interesting to taste as it warmed and some of the carbonation subdued. a little bit more complexity arose and it wasn't as single noted. worth a try.

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Photo of nezelrac
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

had this on draft at my local

A - cassis-amber with a full finger of fine purple-tinged tan head that stuck around - not much lacing on the glass

S - a nose full of raspberry and hints of cassis, very enticing

T - tastes like raspberry lambic without the sour, very densely packed raspberry flavor pushes it towards csassis (as with the nose), a little one-dimensional with a surprise hop bite at the end, not as sweet as the nose suggests (thank goodness!)

M - firm edged but not tart, CO2 is good

D - my friend loved it, I was less impressed, but it is quite drinkable

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Photo of rfgetz
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Porting review from November 2010 originally posted to wrong Sly Fox location...

Pours a rich deep raspberry purple with red highlights around the rim, minimal ring of head. Scent is pure raspberry... more tart than sweet, earthy. Taste is quite the diasapointment, the aggressive scent leads to a more muddled and muted bitter raspberry scent, like chewing on too many raspberry seeds. Body is medium, yet carbonation is almost non existant on this hours old growler fill. I love raspberry beers and the appearance and scent held promise. The overly bitter, pit like tastes mixed with the lack of carbonation disapoints.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle courtesy of dashirey and G311, who both sent me one of these bad boys. Pours a fairly clear dark red color, almost brown. Big, bubbly head fades quick and does not leave much lacing.

Nose is tons of sweet raspberry deliciousness. A little bit of brown toasty malt shows underneath the fresh fruit.

Raspberry flavors are not as sweet as I thought they would be. Some berry tartness comes out and is balanced well with some darker malts. Some hops are detectable and give a lightly bitter, dry finish. My only complaints are that it is a bit overcarbonated and I could use a bump in the body. I also think I could handle a bit more sweetness. Still though, I really like the way the beer showcases the raspberries.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not fruit beer lover, but this one was good. Pours a dark, dark, purple with an outstanding head. Scents of rapberry shine through, with a lot on the nose. Not sweet, very pleasant with a medium mouthfeel and a nice belgian fruity taste. Not bad..would buy again.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie for sharing this 750ml bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-purple color with a white head. The aroma is very strong raspberry, which is about all that I get.

The flavor is heavy on the raspberries. I get a lot of sweet fruit, but there is also a little bit of tartness in the flavor profile as well.

Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle with a significant amount of smegma around the cork.

Pours murky burgundy with a half inch head of white with a pink tinge. A thin skim coat remained on the surface for the duration along with some scattered shards of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with musty raspberries and mildly funky dust. Quite fruity but there is an odd vegetal overtone. A bit fecal near the end.

Medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. A bit on the thin side.

Red fruits with a trace of malt start the palate. Raspberry and blackberry with a hint of cough syrup.

Finishes with a hint of sweetness, fairly bitter for a fruit beer, and lingering fruit.

This is an odd one. There seems to be plenty of raspberry and blackberry, but theres some odd flavors and aromas that are off-putting. This beer would benefit greatly from some souring in a barrel and plenty of Brett.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a black transparent raspberry burgundy color with a raspberry/pink colored three fingered head. Very volatile carbonation and so far looks pretty good.

S - Smells like a grainy raspberry lemonade farm with a little bit of metallic in the nose.

T - Pretty good. Tastes like a raspberry infused ale. Wet cotton, grainy, delicate raspberry, very light in nature with a surprising hoppy aftertaste. All the flavors I'm picking up on the palette are delicate and not in your face like I would have expected with the raspberry sweetness.

M - Very grainy, light, airy, crisp, and almost no lingering aftertaste.

D - One is more than enough.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It was hard to review this beer since it was kind of old but not expired.

A - Pours a really deep reddish purple color with a ton of carbonation, I mean a TON! Even a light pour produced both head in the glass and in the bottle! The foam was pretty interesting as it has a reddish purple hue as well with slight sediment. Really wish their was less sediment...

S - The most appealing part of this beer! Upon first smell you receive a hardcore raspberry sorbet. It really rose my exceptions for the taste which followed...

T - The first taste I guess I was expecting a more ABV version of the Lennie's Berry Weiss but all I got was extreme tart Raspberry followed by more sour tartness that finished funky with a yeasty like bitterness. It was almost too unbearable at first and throughout the bottle I consider pouring it out but I made my way through the bottle. As the beer warmed toward the end the alcohol was more noticeable and that didn't help.

M - Medium body and a chore to finish

D - Never I mean never will I have this again. The sweetness described in previous reviews must have been a joke since this beer is obviously a sour bomb. My expectations have been diminished would avoid.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thrown in as an extra by Jwiss22 -- What a great guy!

Appearance -- Pours a rich burgundy with some amber hues near the bottom of the flute, with two fingers of mauve head.

Smell -- Fresh raspberries.

Taste -- Raspberry is certainly the dominant flavor, but it is a bit muted compared to the nose. Faint sweetness, more tartness; like a dry champagne, really. Toward the end a bit of grainy malt character becomes evident.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body, high carbonation, dry finish.

Drinkability -- For as much raspberries go into this beer, it is very balanced and drinkable. It's very easy to make a fruit beer that is so overpowering that finishing one glass takes effort. This, however, is a pleasure. Perfect beer for brunch.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml caged and corked bottle into a mini snifter. Deep red, almost like beat juice. Lots of small bubbles and carbonation. Strong candied sugar notes in the nose. Heavy candied fruits, some dark raspberry, blackberry, and minor black cherry notes. Very tastey brew. Near lambic status in my mind. Certainly not a disappoint for an after dinner brew. Would pair well with strong, aged cheese or dark chocolate.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle (great cork donning the Sly Fox logo) into a flute after allowing the bottle to breath for a few minutes. The pour formed a missive, 4 finger head of pink-magenta foam. Slow dissipation left behind trails and trails of fluff coating the glass. The body is a crystal clear ruby color with some brownish hues and lots of active bubbles.

As expected, the sour aroma of raspberries dominate the nose. The background has some grainy, almost grassy aromas.

I was expecting the flavorings of this beer to be sweet, but no, no sweetness at all! Bitter, dark raspberries at first move into a slightly malty and grainy finish. There are floral undertones present throughout the drink.

Light-medium mouth feel, slightly oily with lots of carbonation.

This is a good drinking fruit beer! I could not take down an entire bottle on my own, but great for sharing!

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Photo of caddybuyer
2.69/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a caged and corked 750 into a tulip glass. Damn gusher this bottle was...

Note to've got two listing for the same beer here...chose to review in the most populated entry.

A-slightly veiled purple with a thick pink head that settles rapidly to nothing. This could be pretty and a bit more interesting if it retained a head, which it apparently does not.

S-Black raspberries for sure, and natural and wonderful smelling to boot. So many of these fruit beers seem to be created from additives, but damn, this one smells like the real deal.

T-A huge letdown. The nose enticed me, the flavor profile is nowhere near what one would expect from the smell of this. Slightly sour, virtually non-existant taste. This could use some sweetness. It is light and dry and that is the best and only thing I can say about it.(

M-Thin and overcarbonated.

D-Sadly, this one will not be bought again. Not sure what Sly Fox was thinking on this. Gotta give them credit for trying to brew something a bit offbeat, but I can't believe they put this one out....they are a damn good brewery...this misses the a long shot.

FYI, just for the sheer hell of it, I tossed a packet of Splenda into the tulip and stirred with a spoon. Not only did it generate a frothy head, reducing some of the carbonation, but it brought out a bit of the flavor that I was hoping for in this brew. Not enough to salvage it, however..down the crapper it goes.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Brass Rail Deli in Hershey, PA
From memory

A- dark purple color like that of grape but its a raspberry. interesting. It does have a nice half finger head that fomas up pretty good after the pour.

S- raspberries, tart raspberries. thats all that needs said.

T- sour raspberry and quite sweet on the back end as well. There is some maltiness to it as well but the raspberry flavor dominates.

M- like fruit juice with alcohol.

D- one is enough but it is good. It is very sweet and then sour on the taste buds.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA.

A - Dark like black grape juice w/ a light pink head. The beer has a crimson hue when held to the light and the bead is fine w/ little splotches of lace collecting on the glass

S - The smell of fresh blackberries w/ sweet notes and mild malt odors at play in the background

M - A slightly thin, and dry feel w/ mild sweetness and gentle spiced tinge w/ a finish that has mild fruit tangy sweetness

T - A nice fruit flavor of berry which has a natural taste, the taste of black raspberry is there briefly with a spicy accent. The carbonation is high and seems to usurp the fruit slightly the flavor is slightly sweet and has barely any alcohol, basically light fruit and mild spice - you could give this to me and tell me it was natural fruit soda and I would believe you -very clean fermentation

D - A tasty dark berry brew way better than most , yet you are hard pressed to call it beer. The alcohol seems nowhere to be found in the taste, but as that is only an aspect of drinkability I would probably not order another unless I was really in the mood

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I would say that the raspberry reserve has a purple-ish brownish body, but I'm not really sure how you could picture that. I mean, It doesn't really sound like something that could exist. Think grape juice I guess. Small head with basically no retention or lacing.

The aroma is pretty solid. Just a ton raspberries; sweet, a bit tart. Beyond that there is, well, more raspberry and not much else, which isn't necessarily bad for a fruit beer I guess. Overall it is a very pleasant aroma.

The flavor of Sly Fox's black raspberry reserve is dominated by raspberries also (surprise surprise). Mostly sweet, a bit of tartness; packed with berry flavor. Underneath the berry flavor there is a tad of bitterness and some toasted malt. I like it, but I don't love it.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and rather highly carbonated. Not sure how I feel about that to be honest.

Overall this is a solid beer, but the drinkability takes a hit for me because the raspberries started to be a bit cloying and overwhelming. I'm sure I could not drink an entire 750 of this.

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Photo of Wheeble
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a Sly Fox Big Beer variety case.

I made the mistake of opening this beer at around 70 degrees.

I untwisted the cage, and the cork blew out of the bottle and beer foamed all over my counter top and my kitchen floor.

Other than that mistake on my part, this raspberry beer is exceptional.

AROMA: A definite raspberry smell, almost reminds me of a black cherry freshly crushed off the vine, but with a tartness that lingers in the back of the nostrils.

Appearance: Poured a darkish brown at first glance in the dim light if the kitchen, but under light, it definitely has the reddish burgundy color of a ripe black raspberry, and has a light pinkish head with very minimal retention

Taste: I get almost no hop taste to this beer at all. It seems it was in a secondary for a while soaking in fresh raspberries. Finishes tart, but 10 seconds later leaves you with a huge true raspberry taste.

Mouthfeel: Very lingering flavor, and extremely carbonated, almost champagne like, and not in a bad way. Very smooth, with no coating across the palate, but that constant feeling like you just ate a vine full of fruit.

Drinkability: I would agree with the rest of the reviews, its not something I could drink a lot of, but its something i could sip on throughout a fall evening.

I would recommend this beer to anyone, from the novice drinker to the most experienced. You will not be dissapointed.

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Photo of thequeen711
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a German Pils, brewed with wheat, malt and traditional hops. Poured deep purple, a left a pinkish head, and light lacing. Light mouthfeel, a sweet raspberry nose, however the raspberry flavour wasn't as strong as the nose. I was drinking the Berliner Weisse at the same time, which I found to be ultra sour, when I mixed the Black Raspberry Reserve with the Berliner Weisse, both drinks were more enjoyable!!! (Sly for thought)

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Photo of jmalex
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goat races are just over a week away, but I'm drinking what's basically the opposite of a bock. Oh well. Cheers to Sly Fox!

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Duvel tulip a deep, deep red that only brightens to burgundy when held to light. The head is huge and off-white with a tint of red. It's loose-bubbled and quickly drops to manageable levels.

SMELL: Unmistakable here. The raspberries are both tart and sweet and seem not like an extract but more like just plain massive amounts of fruit. Not a whole lot of any actual beer character coming through at all though. It's even hard to tell what type of yeast was used.

TASTE: Far more beer-like in the flavor with a surprising bitter hop character showing itself almost immediately. The berries are the star, of course, and take the form of mostly tart. They do allow for a bready malt base to come through just slightly. On the finish, the raspberries start to give off an extract-sweet flavor, but it's held in check enough not to let it ruin an otherwise well-rounded flavor with great balance.

MOUTHFEEL: The carbonation level is really high, approaching some of the biggest levels I've ever experienced. The body is medium light and seems to finish very dry,

DRINKABILITY: A nice beer, but one that I maybe don't need 750mL of. It's not like it'll be a chore getting through 2 glasses of this, but it's more of a sipper than I would have liked.

One of the more interesting fruit beers I've had if only for the limits Sly Fox pushes in adding so much fruit. Worth a try to split with a friend.

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Photo of jwjon1
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shiraz red, which is to say dark red, almost opaque deep purple. But the wine references should end there: there is nothing vinous about the smell or taste. Light pink head. Really an exceptional looking beer. Tons of raspberry smells and taste. Fermented to dryness. Lots of carbonation. Very much like a purple haze on steroids, but with less acid and yeast characteristics. Stop fermentation a tad bit earlier to give it a tinge of sweetness, a bit more acid, and a touch of wild yeast and this would be a killer beer. But that isn't what the brewer was going for, so props for a fruit beer any beer drinker can enjoy.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.98/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a dirty red with a thick light pink head. Aroma of raspberries, slightly juice-like. Flavor is sugary raspberries with a weak palate. Rather watery. Meh. It wasn't bad but it wasn't very good either. Just bland really.
7/4/5/3/11 (3.0/5)

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Black Raspberry Reserve from Sly Fox Brewing Company
3.64 out of 5 based on 207 ratings.
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