Riserva | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
89
very good
1,024 Ratings
RiservaRiserva
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
weyerbacher.com

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.

Added by akorsak on 06-14-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,024
Reviews:
333
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
14.04%
 
 
Wants:
188
Gots:
294
For Trade:
24
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,024 |  Reviews: 333
Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 version, reddish colour and a small head very gorgeous. Funky aroma. Bold tastes, lots of vinegar with the raspberry. Brett made for a balance. Would it mellow if older, or was it not as well put together, I shall find out from 2009 edition. Decent drinkability for sourheads.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky dark honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with malt, raspberry, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with super sour and tart raspberry flavors on the finish. There is a high amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but super sour and acidic.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the thing about this one is that it has elements of a flemish red, that vinegar character and a real effervescent carbonation. i dont think the fruit is as forward as it could be, but with the lighter side on the malt, i think it shows through well enough. it certainly isnt sweet, and it definitely isnt artificial in any way. super tart and acidic in the nose, citric and even more so from the berries. wheat in the malt, but thats not all. i cannot believe, i mean, i absolutely cannot fathom this being almost 12% abv, it drinks like 7%, with huge carbonation, dryness, and a pleasant fruity thing that makes it feel summery and light. where does it all come from? i have no idea. there is no candy sugar character or anything else, its really cool. fruit and vinegar in the finish, and it tastes a little like salad dressing for a second, but the quality is through the roof, and this is easily the most complex beer i have had from these guys, who definitely seem to be getting better with time. i like the subtle fruit and the subtle alcohol, well done.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this is an intense beer. Got this one from RblWthACoz along with a bottle of Cuvee De Castleton. Very generous trader.

Pours very red, clear at first and then the junk starts coming out of the bottle. Looks very kriek-ish. Produces some head but no retention.

Smells like funk, raspberries, touch of alcohol. Not much like a beer but very enjoyable.

Taste is just like the smell but its heavy on the booze. Thats my one real complaint about this beer. Maybe what ever little malt is in there will mature and cover the abv in time. Also, theres a little bit of oak flavor, it may be contributing to the harshness of the alcohol bite (I'm thinking new oak).

Body is real thin but thats what a "lambic" is supposed to be, light and drinkable, except that this one will kick your ass.

Drinkable but be careful.

Speaking of special releases, why is it that Captain Lawrence and Weyerbacher can release quality rare beers for $13/750 ml bottle and we're paying in $30 for Isabelle or $15 for a 375 ml of Beatification out here in Ca? I think I'm getting my beers from the east coast from now on.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Revised Review: After trying last years vintage (2011) I was floored by how much I enjoyed this beer. This beer was completely different than I remembered it. The aromas and the flavors were much more balanced. The beer felt more complete and had some nice complexity to it also. I'm hoping that the the future vintages will be this solid as well. Very good stuff!

Original Review: This beer is wild for sure. The color of the beer is a like a pinkish hue thats a bit cloudy sort of like a wine that had something else spilled into it. The sediment was unmistakable and the head disappeared within a few minutes after the pour. The aroma of this beer was of sweet and tart fermented raspberries and a bit of the wild yeast in there too. The taste is sour, makes me almost pucker. I sipped this one for quite some time. The mouthfeel is pretty light and a little on the flatter side. Glad I tried it, but it's a little too pricey to have again.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy pale red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation, somewhat resembling watered down ruby red grapefruit juice. It poured with a thin off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of tart raspberries are present in the nose; these smell a little like a raspberry sorbet.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of raspberries along with notes of oak from the barrel aging and faint hints of sourness. No sweetness or alcohol are noticeable.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate and is a little tart with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is surprisingly drinkable considering its strength because it hides its alcohol very well.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocked full of raspberries, the 2012 installment of Weyerbacher's Riserva casts a fruity glow over the session; along with piquant sourness, oak nuance, and a peppery, earthen array.

Deep crimson in its pour, its blood red hues suggest something fruity within. A billowing froth ensues- spritzy upon the pour and then fast dissolving, obviously succumbing to its own acidity. And those acids enliven the raspberry fruit- radiant, juicy, succulent and laced with vinegar-like pungency. Oak and nuttiness follow with a first candied-sweet taste of jolly rancher, red wine and balsamic.

As the flavors take hold on the middle palate, the sweetness quickly relaxes and the brazen sourness dominates the palate. Still wrapped in a fruity, berry-infused cocoon, the strong acidity is vinegar-like, cider-like and while carrying a saucy pepper character of acetone that evokes sweating behavior. Trailing oak brings out a cherry and prune taste to resemble robust red wines like bordeaux or cabernet.

Jaw-tightening and mouth-wetting, the beer's relatively full body is dissected by alcohol, peppery flavors, powdery tannins and the sheer brunt of acids that seem enamel-stripping. A fruit forward, vinously tart finish trails only by the woodsy funk of beer oak's natural microflora.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
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:

A / OUTSTANDING

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2008 bottling, tasted 9/5/09

Appearance: Pours a hazy garnet color with a bubbly head that fades quickly to a film, like a soda, without leaving much lace

Smell: A somewhat sour profile, with raspberry puree, oak and alcohol

Taste: Sweet raspberry puree, up front, which takes a decided turn to the sour side by mid-palate, though it remains quite sweet underneath; after the swallow, the alcohol makes an appearance and adds fruity complexity to the flavor profile, although the wild, funky side never really develops; woody flavors also persist in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spritzy carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: If you like your Wild Ales on the really sour side, the 2008 will disappoint (it appears the 2009 might be quite different in this aspect); nevertheless, this is a nice achievement for a brewery that frequently tries to push the boundaries

N.B. The 2010 is much more sour than the 2008. I never tasted the 2009, but Weyerbacher is clearly perfecting its technique. A few years later, I tried the 2014 to check in once again and the beer seems to be getting better and better - the funk and acetic tones nicely offset the underlying sweetness; quite complex; bumped up the scores yet again

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Photo of oline73
3.95/5  rDev -1%
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.

 501 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Mike for the 2010 bottle. Also thanks to Russ and Wil for samples of the 08-09 batches. This one seems a wee bit more sour...

Cork was a little stubborn, but eventually was extracted with a pop. No gushing, or any carbonation visible in the bottle. A splashy pour resulted in some larger bubbles and a fleeting head of foam that faded quickly to a cluster of larger bubbles on one side. Hazed pinkish orange coloration in the light, otherwise it's a dead sexy red.

Strong acetic raspberry aroma, god that's good. Pure unadulterated raspberry and oak. As it sits and warms up there's a fantastic raspberry cider vinegar element that becomes noticeable, as the label alludes to.

Truly puckering sourness. Pure juicy raspberry, dry woody spice, finishes dry after the initial pucker kicks the salivary glands into overdrive. Tannic with bitter raspberry seeds (long since dissolved in the barrel), it finishes nicely, aridly dry and oaky with lingering traces of fruit skins. Rustic and sharply sour, purposefully acetic and potentially an esophagus ripper. Double digit abv is masterfully hidden. Not for guzzling... or for the faint of heart. It comes with a warning sticker FFS...

 1,191 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.76/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a dirty and cloudy reddish color ale with a small bubbly head with minimal retention and not much lacing. Aroma of gross funky notes and lightly sweet and somewhat tart raspberry is pleasant but gets gross with the weird funky notes. Taste is also a strange mix between some nice tart raspberry notes with just enough sweetness too offset the acidity but the weird barnyard notes are not that pleasant. Body is quite full with limited filtration and medium carbonation with no apparent alcohol. I very much anticipated tasting this one but must admit being disappointed after all.

 595 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.59/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Barry.

Appearance: Brilliantly clear ruby red, completely still; not a trace of carbonation.

Smell: Ripe raspberries and somewhat harsh solventy alcohol. Pretty much completely lacking anything I'd consider wild or funky, this smells more like a boozy wine cooler. The fresh raspberry aroma is about all this has going for it; the base beer would be a trainwreck without it.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dry, slightly tannic and woody. Raspberry flavor is up front but neither sweet nor tart; it tastes oddly flat and lifeless. The lack of carbonation is puzzling as other reviews mention it being carbonated. $20 beers should not have quality control issues like this, as far as I'm concerned. The finish is solventy and somewhat harsh, though the alcohol is masked slightly by the fruit. Oddly one-dimensional; this beer needed a lot more time in the barrel, I think, as it has very little yeast character and any perceptible tartness seems to come more from the fruit. Not a terribly impressive beer on the whole, though I didn't mind drinking half a bottle.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, pale pink color with caramel highlights. It had a small, tan head of bubbly foam.

S - It smelled of raspberry, sour notes and some vanilla.

T - It tasted of raspberry, some funk and mild oak/vanilla notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a sneaky ABV heat.

D - This is a really interesting beer. Thanks to drfabulous fro sharing.

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Riserva from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 1,024 ratings.
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