Riserva | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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1,044 Ratings

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ale with raspberry purée added and aged in oak barrels.

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Ratings: 1,044 |  Reviews: 340
Reviews by RandyKemka:
Photo of RandyKemka
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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 kojevergas
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
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 dacrza1
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
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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4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
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 JamieDuncan
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
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 sweemzander
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
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 Jacobier10
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
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 jacewg
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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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Photo of npala86
3.42/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from DIM in the Rock Paper Scissors Championship. For anybody confused about this-DIM is the man. Thanks!!

A-Deep pink color bordering on reddish small white head
S-Rasberry primaty on the nose, but has mild brett rart smell
T-Mild sweet rasberry bit not overpowering or cloying, oak barrel, vanilla, maybe some booze flavor, a little bit of chocolate. This is amazingly complex.
M-Full to medium in mouth, and slightly creamy. Very nice
D-Not the biggest fan of rasberries but this was good and changed as it warmed. Very nice.

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my alternative to champagne on New Years Eve. A good choice.
In a flute the beer was a red/orange color and was very still.
Aroma of cider vinegar and fruit.
Berry taste, cider vinegar.
Pleasantly sour and tart in the mouth. Alcohol not at all noticeable.
Nice beer, good change of pace.

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Photo of thetommo
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Dbrulet
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of JakerLou
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hoops4life511
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage. The beer pours a hazy red-brown color with a white head. It looks about like iced tea. The aroma is extremely tart raspberries. The flavor is more complex with raspberries and medium tartness. You also get some oak and vanilla. The beer has a decent amount of sourness, but it is not near as sour as the aroma leads you to believe it will be. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of JC333
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010
A: Amber-red and slightly murky. No head, as to be expected.

S: Raspberries, cider vinegar, oak and tons of funk.

T: Tart and acidic doesn't begin to describe this beer. Sharp tannins, sour raspberry funk and oak all combine to make this a delectable wild ale. There are some notes of vanilla and caramel in there. NOTE TO FIRST TIME DRINKERS OF THE Riserva '10: After the first pour, I immediately noticed a metallic taste on the finish. It turned me off at first, but I decided to let beer breath outside of the bottle for about 10 minutes, and that made a world of difference.

M: Tangy, acidic and full bodied. Tart and round. Big on the palate.

O: A great sour wild ale. If you can get this vintage, I recommend it. I've heard good things about the other vintages as well, but this wasn't too shabby.

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Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of xdefeatsy
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

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Riserva from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 1,044 ratings