Love (Blackberry Whiskey Barrel Aged) | New Belgium Brewing

13 Reviews
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Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Blackberry Whiskey barrel filled with dark beer from acidified barrel. Aged 2+ years in barrel.

Added by MasterSki on 11-17-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 57
Photo of breadwinner
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darn near the top of my favorite NB sours, many of which are just criminally underrated around here. You get a nice blackberry undercurrent throughout this one, buttressed by lots of oak and pin point sour notes. Nothing out of place here, just masterfully executed stuff.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of the best new belgium beers ive had in a long time. dark purple amber color from the tap, not a ton of head on it, and whats there fades fast. the nose is fascinating though, tons of acidity and lactic sourness, but also a real appreciable blackberry character to it. seems more than just a blackberry whiskey barrel, but like blackberries were actually added here. ive had the whiskey, and its real fruity, but this is even purple too. the berry aspect is way ahead of the whiskey aspect in the flavor, fruity all through it, tart too, which works real nicely with the acidity in here. i prefer this to other new belgium sours because it seems more highly refined. the sourness is more mature, fermentation more complete, and the wood profile is strong. i do get some whiskey flavors in here, but its more the charcoal and oak than it is the vanilla and booze. berries permeate the finish too, staying on the tongue with the mouth watering pucker after the swallow. super drinkable too, with no booze burn at all and only mellow carbonation. it gets even more dynamic as it warms, and i would rank this with some of the more highly regarded sour beers out there, its truly epic, and keeps new belgium relevant in the beer geek community. so good.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.23/5  rDev -3%

On tap at Bier Station in KCMO

Pours a murky amber to deep brown. Light khaki head with solid lacing. 4

Aroma of blackberries and dark fruits initially. It's quite bold. The barrel character steps up to the plate next with vanilla and oak. Very enticing. 4.25

Similar to the nose, the fruit character really gets things going with the flavor. Acidity comes on next with some timely tart, lacto notes. The flavor really rides on the whisky barrel rather than being consumed by it. While I would prefer the barrel stand out more, it is still a working balance. 4.25

Feel is fuller than most sours. Intense for 6%. Moderate carbonation. 4

It's an awesome sour. Lots of Flanders character accompanied by wood/vanilla of the whisky. Better than La Folie IMO.

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Photo of jegross2
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Blackberry Whiskey Barrel Aged Love from New Belgium Brewing out of Fort Collins, Colorado. This is a dark sour aged with blackberries in a whiskey barrel for over two years.

Score: 95

Tap pour served in a stemmed taster glass and enjoyed on 03/29/14.

Appearance: Pours a brownish red color with a thick ring around the glass of tan head. Good lacing. 4/5

Smell: Cherry wood, oak, vanilla, light balsamic vinegar and whiskey-caramel. Really nice, not medicinal. Light blackberry and a little raisin/dark fruit too. Smells like a nice and complex semi-sweet Flanders. Blackberry/dark fruit grows as it warms. 4.5/5

Taste: Nice tartness, moreso than anticipated from the nose. Lacto, balsamic, blackberries, and light vanilla oak. The Flanders character is really dialed down and less sweet than nose led on. Tastes like an aged berry-infused balsamic without a big acidic bite. Really tasty and well-balanced. 4.5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, good carbonation. A nice acidity and tartness without being extreme in either regard. Dry finish. 4.5/5

Overall: This beer is living proof of the potential greatness that is New Belgium's sour beer program. If only this one was released in bottles annually...

Cost: Unknown (pour was included in ticket price).

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had 3x nice pours of this tonight at Bier Thirty in Bown... Thanks a ton Chris, I am blown away that you got a keg, and amazed at the fantastic price point!! $5 for a 12oz pour!!

Pours deep amber with a definite purple hue to it... the tannish head doesn't stick around for too long.

Wow.. the nose is awesome... Bright sourness... plenty of plump ripe berries... oak shows with warmth... whisky notes are there, but are drowned out by the abundance of everything else.

Flavor is much like older La Folies spiked with a great blackberry flavor... the oak adds a pleasant vanilla note that adds a bunch of complexity... acetic element is pretty heavy... this is one damn sour beer!! Finishes dry with a lingering berry/vinegar character.. With warmth, I am even able to pick out something that I associate as chocolate mid palate... YUMMY!!

Body is on the lighter side of medium, with a good carbonation.

My only knock is obviously the heavy acetic tone of the beer, but damn is it tasty. I would drink this always if I had access.

Thanks a ton Chris.... And loved having a good chat with Eric from New Belgium!!


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Photo of suncrust
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on tap at the Noble Fir. Very happy I got to try this one.

A: Poured into a tulip. Dark, midnight purple shades blend with some mahogany brown hues. A two finger, rocky tan cap rests on top and evaporates fairly quick. No lacing clung to the glass.

S: Strong, oaky barrel aromas meld with soft whisky & dark blackberry tannins. Wine like acidity rises from the glass, sour notes and booze round out the dark but subtle smells.

T: Bold, acidic blackberry hits first, followed by tart, unripened dark fruit, vinegar, and a big wild blackberry sourness. Dark, earthy oak swarms the tongue. Whisky and more wood from the barrel come on mid-palette. The tart and sour tannins are nice, and there is virtually no sweetness to this beer. Finish is highly acidic and sharp, but very nice, almost eating my throat as it goes down (in a good way!). Lingering dark blackberry sourness and a soft floral bite add an element that make me want another sip.

MF: Dry, vinous & acidic finish. Fairly light body, very sour but palatable.

O: An awesome sour, with no flavor really being overly dominant. The blackberry/oak/whisky combo really matched nicely with the tart sourness. The flavors didn't destroy the palate or leave a drying feeling on the tongue. Overall, a big bite while still being easy to drink.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Night of the Living Ales 2012. Poured into taster.

A - Pours a muddled brown color, light tan-colored bubbles.

S - Blackberry, tart fruits, oak, whiskey. Pretty tart on the nose, and the whiskey and fruits come out nicely. The booze is smooth and for only 6%, it's really well done.

T - Similar to the nose, a little more tart and acidic then the nose. Nice blackberries, fruit, oak, light vinegar, light whiskey. The barrel, tart notes, and whiskey just work really well together.

M - Light body, light carbonation, dry finish.

O - A really nice sour and one of the top beers at NotLA. Probably top 5 for of the most sour and acidic at the event as well. Good stuff, would have this one again, no doubt.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby marroon body, nice bubbles that are simple but very.simple.

Sharp, BlackBerry and dark fruits come out. Bit of sharp whisky sweetness. It's got a woody finish, tannic but far from generic.

Bright sweet rolling.quickly into a puckering tartness. Citric definitely. The finish is whisky flavors... So molasses and toffee and grape skin tannins..long lasting bitterness. Awesome!

Super crisp, puckering, tannic bite. The citric.helps balance with a Great bitter in the center. Like sour candy long after I've sucked it dry.

Awesome awesome awesome!

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Photo of AgentZero
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap a couple of times. Review from notes at FoBAB.

A - Dark brown/mahogany beer with some ruby on the edges. Tannish head that didn't stay for long but left some decent stick on the sides.

S - Blackberries, and I really like blackberries. Vinous notes, bit of oak, and some cocoa. I find it to be very pleasant and wish more beers were made with blackberries.

T - Taste is really spot on. Manages to combine whiskey, chocolate, a lot of blackberries, some acetic wine notes, just a whole bunch of good stuff into a really nice tasting beer. Nicely tart and sour.

M - Medium bodied, decent carbonation, with a pretty dry finish.

O - Good beer, liked the blackberries a lot. You could taste whiskey without it being hot. Pretty easy to drink, even with how sour it was.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.82/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was dark and deep with lots of berry color. little creamy head.

blackberry forward. dark fruit. light sourness

tons of sour blackberry up front with a dark roasted thing going on. hints of red wine and very dry towards the finish. you could really taste the booze on this, that knocked it down a bit.

very dry with a nice moderate body on it. very dry in the end.

not bad but of the different variations of this, i felt this was the weakest.

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Photo of psiweaver
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap at Brouwer's Big Wood.

Pours a dark brown with a hint of red when held up to the light. a somewhat brown head disappears fairly rapidly.

absolutely great smell full of fresh blackberry and whiskey with almost a chocolate finish to it.

great taste full of sour blackberry, whiskey and some chocolate notes. I wouldn't be surprised if the base beer for this had some chocolate notes to it, because they were still very much coming through. This was great though as it lent a very complex deep flavor to the glass

very good mouth feel but I don't know if I could drink more than two of these in anyone night, fairly acidic and very rich and viscous.

all in all a very very good beer that I will certainly try and have again. Really well executed and I hope that they consider brewing in the future.

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Photo of nkersten
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good lord, do we really need 4 entries for this beer? Anyway, I am sticking with masterski and reviewing under the name that was on the menu at Fountainhead. Served into a snifter, pours a dark, dark brown with a thick reddish tan head, very good retention. Smell is blackberries, chocolate, a touch of bourbon, buttery oak, some subtle sour fruits. Taste is very fruity up front, lots of big tart berry flavors, vanilla, blueberries. The sour aspects of the beer are well balanced by the bourbon and oak in the finish. Mouthfeel is heavy and coating with a light carbonation. Could have used a bit cleaner finish. Very drinkable, one of the most drinkable wild ales ive ever had. Overall an amazing beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Fountainhead. Served in a snifter.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of light tan foam, with great retention and lots of splotchy lace. Dark murky brown body that is less attractive.

S - Huge blackberry liquor aroma, some light whiskey, tons of acetic red wine vinegar. There's also some chocolate aroma that complements the berry notes. As it warms up, more oak emerges.

T - The taste also has lots of blackberry, red wine vinegar, tons of wood, and heavy acetobacter. Not as sweet or well-integrated as the nose, but still fairly enjoyable. It's better than a 4.0, but not enough to warrant the substantial bump in score.

M - Extremely dry, extremely puckering, enamel-melting sourness. My esophagus was not happy by the end of the glass. Surprisingly hefty for 6%.

D - I'd have this again for sure, but I don't think I could have more than one in a session. It's a sipper due to the stomach-melting acidity. Great experiment - looking forward to future ones from New Belgium.

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Love (Blackberry Whiskey Barrel Aged) from New Belgium Brewing
4.36 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
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