Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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American Wild Ale
Ranked #347
Ranked #2,277
4.16 | pDev: 12.98%
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Notes: Ale with raspberry purée added and aged in oak barrels.
Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 1,049 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MisfitIK-9:
Photo of MisfitIK-9
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Simple yet appealing label art. Branded black hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork. 2014 vintage ("2014.2" - is this a batch #?). 1 pint 9.4 fl oz.

Cost was $26.95 USD at a bottle shop in New York City. Reviewed live (with Schlimenhaumer) as an American wild ale per the label. Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are sky high; I tried a splash of this that had been sitting out in the sun at a bottle share and even that was incredible.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Grey-white colour. Fairly thin. Not realy frothy or creamy. It could be fuller and softer looking, but it's generally appealing. Retention is below average - ~1-2 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: It's a red hue of some kind; Schlimenhaumer suggests a candy apple red and I'm inclined to agree. But it's somewhat thin and light; not the robust red I expected. Average vibrance. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's not unique or special for the style, but it's generally appealing.

AROMA: A white oak tone lends it cohesion. Raspberry puree is notable. Evokes powdered sugar glazed raspberries. Sourness isn't too intense - maybe a 4/10. It has the clinical clean sourness of lactobacillus, but none of the truly spontaneous funkiness of lambicus, farmhouse brettanomyces, or crazy bacteria. A hint of leather. Oak sugars. Any malt presence is so neutral the raspberry takes over, and the hopping is too minimal (preservative only) to contribute flavour.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

Suggests a balanced enjoyable sour, but I do think the raspberry could be more evocative.

TASTE: Tart raspberry dominates - as well it should - but the pureed aspect of the fruit addition does seem to hold it back; fresh raspberry would likely lead to a more evocative genuine raspberry taste. Sourness isn't puckering; it's a 4-5/10 in terms of intensity. A backgrounded oak tone ties the beer together, lending it undeniable cohesion and infusing it with oak barrel sugars. I don't find vanilla or toastiness. Finishes a bit sweeter than most wild ales would, with the sugars of malts but no distinct malt taste; the malts used were clearly quite neutral and easily imposed upon by the more pronounced oak and berry notes.

Schlimenhaumer points out the jammy feel of the raspberries; I concur.

Nice depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. It's adequately complex, and I do find it nicely balanced overall, but it could be dialed in a bit more. There isn't a great deal of subtlety or nuance here, and my big note is that it could use still more sourness and tartness. It does develop a bit as it comes to temperature, bringing more layers of berry flavour.

Hides its ABV shockingly well - I was flabbergasted to learn this is 10%. I'm also surprised the brettanomyces isn't lending it aggressive funkiness.

TEXTURE: Smacky and lactic on the palate, with nice acidity. A biteen acetic. Smooth, wet, refreshing. Medium-bodied. The thickness is aptly moderate. Almost perfectably carbonated.

The smackiness it has on the palate is its best attribute, accentuating the sour tart flavours. While this texture fails to elevate the beer, it does complement it quite nicely.

Schlimenhaumer is right in that a more dry feel would coax out the berry more.

OVERALL: Incredibly drinkable for its 10%. I'd have thought it was 6% blind. It's a great introduction for me to Weyerbacher, and makes me eager to try more of their lineup, but I couldn't justify purchasing it again at this price point. A well-executed stab at the style, and a beer every enthusiast should try once. I enjoy it more and more as it warms, and find the berry really opens up. Served cold, it was a "B" but once it started to come to temperature, it grew into a B+. Still, it's not mind-blowing or world-class.

Low B+

Rating from notes taken Zwanze Day 2014:


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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

2008 bottle

Think oak barrels, Brettanomyces, red raspberry purée and over a year of aging.

Solid lacing, more than anticipated from a high-alcohol
Brett beer. Withered rose-red color with a shade of burgundy, good clarity as the sediment was left in the bottle. Mellow horse blanket, musty, minty and tart berry aroma. Very smooth and crisp from an active carbonation. Semi-slick mouthfeel. Fusel and a mild solvent alcoholic character lets us know right away that it has strength, with warmth and a peppery and tropical fruit mix. Phenols drop a blanket of herbal and minty flavors, maltiness is extremely dry with a light cracker-like flavor. Raspberry flavor is impressive, tart but balanced. Another breath of fusel alcohol in the semi-clean and lingering tart finish.

Fresh but not green at all, perfect to drink now, and we're sure several months, if not a year or so, would make things interesting. Weyerbacher is right on target with Riserva. Please, keep on experimenting, guys!

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a bottle of this on the recommendation of both bartenders at Always Ron's in hagerstown. They absolutely nailed it. I gave it a perfect taste, and perfect overall as I could not believe the ABV. Unbelievably drinkable for over 11%. Awesome, hope to buy again despite the cost.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: December 24, 2015... GLASSWARE: Duvel snifter...OCCASION: Christmas Eve celebration done...time for a worthwhile ending to the night ...APPEARANCE: dark brown, almost iced tea in appearance, like muddied water... head swiftly descends to a thin white ring of bubbles... AROMA: powerful fragrance of flowers and funky yeasts... the Bretts paint a woody, oak-laden impression--big, bold and demanding...the second flavor is raspberry and puckering sourness...PALATE: vibrant, active at the teeth and bubbly throughout the mouth; a long, lingering, dry finish--a full-bodied sour that drinks with relative ease and without the hint of its alcoholic weight... TASTE: thick raspberry, a dessert in itself--the oaken casks create a woody, lightly spiced, slightly toasted back end that compliments the fruitiness; apple, berry, and malty...the sourness is intense and dominant...OVERALL: bigger and more demanding than the usual sours encountered during the year... a wonderful gift from Jeff that isn't wasted on me...this is where Weyerbacher belongs, in a big beer with room to work.... intensely fruity and tart, with enough candied allure to bring upon the next sip....strong and sippable...

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Photo of jacewg
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012

Appearance: Pours a deep, clear ruby red. Almost raspberry colored. Pours with a big white head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: Raspberry sweetness and tartness hits immediately. Definite notes of lactic sourness and brett. A bit of acetic character as well. Sour cherry aromas there too.

Flavor: The best part of this beer. For all the acidity and ABV, immensely drinkable. Opens with an interaction between sourness and juiciness. Raspberry flavor definitely in the mix. Dries out quickly in the finish with an intense puckering sourness and lots of oak and tannin. The finish lingers seemingly forever.

Feel: Opens juicy but finishes very dry with a lot of oak and tannin. Intensely sour toward mid and late palate. Almost impressively sour given the ABV. Light to medium bodied for the style. Finish lingers. More carbonation would take this to another level. A touch flat.

Overall: This isn't perfect, but the fact that you can find it on the shelves pretty easily is astonishing. An American sour that I'd be happy to drink anytime.

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4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Let me start by saying that I think that this beer is horrifically under rated here on this site. It is a beer that may be far to complex and unique for some palates.

This bottle had aged in my cellar for approximately one year before tasting. Do yourself a favor and cellar this beer. If you notice the reviews for this beer seem to increase greatly when it has at least a year of age on it. Drinking it fresh just doesn't do this one justice.

A solid inch of raspberry white head sits on top of a berry pulp colored body. As if you squeezed a bunch of mixed berries, pulp, and all the flesh together, that is the color you get. Head is short but leaves a substantial skim behind. Nose is bursting with bright berry notes including raspberry, blackberry and some lemon tartness to add the right touch. A very appetizing nose indeed. I must say that the zesty tartness has grown with this one as it has aged a bit. With the rawness of the berries drying out a bit and yielding nice wine like tannins that have built with age. The sour feel is kicked up a notch with the age as well. This beer carries such a rustic feel while being tart and superbly complex all at once. Incredibly full mouthfeel with a sour feel yet malty dryness all play on the palate. This is a truely wonderfully drinkable for the alcohol content. It is complex yet totally approachable.

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Photo of Jacobier10
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a small snifter at Weyerbacher Brewing Co. in Easton, PA.

The color on the 2015 Riserva is difficult to describe, falling somewhere in between reddish-pinkish-brown. Its body is murky with a small pink head that dissipates quickly. The first whiff of the aroma sent me into a frenzy. You get raspberry up front combined with oak tannins from the barrel aging and a funkiness from the wild fermentation. For some reason, I don't think I was expecting that much complexity but it's just incredible. There is no sweetness from the fruit in the flavor. Instead, a big and rather prominent sour character takes over. Acidic and dry mouthfeel and light bodied with no sign of the 11+% ABV. Everything working in harmony and balance.

Was I drinking a wild ale made in Pennsylvania or a Belgian lambic? I've had some impressive beers from Weyerbacher, but Riserva is on another level. They absolutely nailed this one. The beer was served to me too cold initially, but letting it warm a bit really improved its profile. I've avoided buying a bottle because they run about $20 in my area, but this is one that is probably worth the hefty price tag. A funky, fruity, sour masterpiece.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter
(A)- Pours a ruby red color with some good off-white froth
(S)- Plenty of oaky acidity meets some jammy raspberries. Slight cheese-like funk
(T)- Pretty jammy. Lots of vibrant fruits meets some hefty acidic sourness. Subtle funky oak
(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. A really solid wild that does not shy away from the big sourness levels
(O)- A great american fruit lambic-like sour. Well balanced and damn tasty

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to dmeadows for sharing.

A: Looked very much like a mix between a flanders red and a lambic. Minimal slightly off white head.

S: Super sweet nose. Very much like a lambic. Hints of the funk behind the sweetness.

T: Super sweet. Nothing a pattern? The rasberry is right up there.The sweetness lingers for a while and it totally dominates the taste for the first few sips. This is like a flanders/lambic/wild ale hybrid. There was some funk in the finish which is always nice.

M: Syrupy medium body.

D: No hint of the ABV at all. This beer was a monster. Super drinkable and a totally extreme beer. Glad to see weyerbacher making some wacky stuff. Definately worth trying.

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Photo of ncelauro
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of mpayne5
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of huntermop
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Slatetank
2.46/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

thanks for hooking me up with this in 2009 risser09 -shared at the wild ale tasting, poured chilled into a taster.

The color is deep red bordering on magenta with good clarity and visible carbonation rises rapidly to a snowy cap with tight beading. The smell is slightly sour with a hint of sweet raspberry odor, not overly strong aroma-wise, but there is a lot of alchohol noted as it warms. The feel is slightly sour slightly syrupy sweet with a wierd astringent and alcoholic combination that becomes drying and unpleasant when warm.

The taste is odd, one minute it has a sweet raspberry which seems to turn funky and sour and in the same taste is alcoholic and has a bitter edge with more funk and light sugary tang too, I can't say it is terrible, but just doesn't seem to mesh and the wierd vinous elements clash with the strong alcohol taste. I was glad I got to try this, but wish I had tasted it earlier, I probably shouldn't have saved it and I am willing to guess some of the fruit may have covered the strong booziness - It just tastes like it is past its prime.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into my De Dolle large snifter glass. 2009 vintage. Pours a bright red, wine-like infact. Glass fills a bright ruby red...with a hazy appearance and lots of floating white specs. Looks good so far.

Aroma is strage...but not in a bad way! Extremely tart AND fruity! Notes of oak are massive too. Theres a slight funkiness...but in resemblance, again there's a wine smell and overall, I can't wait to taste!

Wow...this is awesome. For a little brewery, what a great wild ale. The reviews on this beer are definitely mixed...but I have to say, this is indeed awesome! Tons of tartness up front, acidic/vinegar like. Oak abounds through-out....booziness is mild for the ABV. Best part, amoungst all this confusion of flavors...TONS of cherries/fruit. Light and crisp mouthfeel, high carbonation...easy drinker. Way to go Weyerbacher!

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Photo of PatrickSullivan
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

A: Cloudy and ruby red in color with a very faint amount of head that disappears as quick as it forms and no lacing to speak of.

S: Wow. If the warning sign wasn't foreboding about how sour this was going to be, the nose would definitely be telling. Lots of tart raspberry with a good amount of vinegar folded in. There is some oak and funk playing around in there as well.

T: So the warning sticker and the aroma have both warned me. Yeah, it's sour. It's really sour. Lots of raspberry tartness with a very good amount of acidity. Definitely getting a good amount of cider vinegar flavor. But there's also a sweetness in there that takes some of the edge off. Some nice funk notes in here and a tiny bit of oak. But overall, it's sour. Wonderfully sour.

M: Very acidic and mouth puckering. Barely any carbonation, which doesn't hurt this at all. Nice and dry finish. Catch a trace of alcohol burn, surprisingly small for the big 11.4%.

O: I'm a fan of sour stuff and I'm not sure it gets more sour than this. But it was a very good kind of sour. I really enjoyed this Weyerbacher offering.

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Photo of DanforthPewter
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ekfinn
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2008 Riserva from Weyerbacher is an exceptional beer. I purchased a case (of only three remaining) at the June open house. Serving is a 750 ml corked and caged Belgian style bottle.

This beer pours a beautiful mild reddish hue with a hearty head that leaves thick lace on the glass. The aroma is filled most by the raspberry fruit, with hints of malt and oak in the back. Upon first strike on the palate the fruit is immediately apparent, but settles out with a wonderful oak flavor coming to the front. Carbonation is heavy, and fits the style extremely well. Much love went into this beer, and it shows.

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Photo of oline73
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours cloudy red with very little white head that goes away almost immediately.

Smell: This one smells very sour, almost like a raspberry vinegar.

Taste: Initially there is some sweetness. This is followed by extremely sour raspberry, but it's not too fruity. Very, very acidic.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and super dry. There is hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: Super sour and dry. The acidity is almost overwhelming, but this beer is still good.

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Photo of thegerm87
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Brewzma
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

vintage 09 bottle from notes

Full of haze and cloudiness the cherry color really just popped about as big as I could have imagined. Amazing head of nearly three fingers in height just rises up over the top of the glass,

. Deep, tart raspberries were so strong and prevelent it was almost unlike anything I have come across before. Huge aroma, lightly tart, but yet sweet with hints of like woody notes in the back that are all but buried by the huge fruit flavor. Simply amazing as it rolls across the tongue, smooth, even carbonation just a wonderfully rich fruit flavor that would not quit. Raspberry and cherry dominate here with a light tartness and sweetness that seem to be offset but a touch of spice. This was just dripping with ripe fruit flavors to the point That you had all you could do to not drink the entire thing in five minutes, Simply outstanding

overall easily the single best offering from weyerbacher i had ever had.

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Photo of petermethot
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nrs207
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of cjs61679
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Riserva from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1049 ratings