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.

Added by akorsak on 06-14-2008

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Ratings: 1,044 |  Reviews: 340
Photo of jamie2dope
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes to the beer guy at Marty's in Newton for fishing this last bottle they had out of the basement for me. Poured in to a DFH snifter a murky strawberry color. This one looks more like one of my sister's cosmos than a beer. Almost the way a cocktail looks after some ice has melted in to it...very interesting. Nose is dominated by raspberries, but some musty cellar smells and green leaf also come through. Taste is also dominated by raspberry, bit of hard booze (reminiscent of Stoli Raspberry Vodka), earthy tones, great mix of sweet and sour. Mouthfeel is cool in that the carbonation adds a bit of burn to the boozy aspect of it. Still strikes me as being medium in body. A good sipper for sure, I would drink this with one or two friends. Boy, lately Weyerbacher have been batting a thousand with their beers. This one is another home run for me.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown with a red hue. Very thin white head. Nose has a funk that hits like a lambic, but there's a different edge to it. Flavor has some funk to it. But what strikes me most is how wine-like it is. The berry and wood tones make me think merlot. This is a beer that pushes the boundaries, even though it's a bit too early for that. (As in, the market really isn't ready to receive what they're giving) Feel is great. Smooth on liquid. Good carbonation.

Wow. How interesting. This is as much wine like as it is beer. So unusual and unique. It's definitely the next generation and I'm glad I have another bottle!

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Photo of jkane101
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured in tulip

This one looks almost looks like thawed out pink lemondae concentrate. No head, no lacing.

Aroma is all rasberries. Taste starts out rasberry sweet then finishes tart. I was a little worried before my first sip that this would be too sweet but the transition from the initial sweetness to the tart finish in sublime. Medium feel with plenty of carbonation

This is an extremely drinkable beer, the high ABV is well concealed. Wish I had purchased more than two when I had the chance.

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Photo of yen157
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep strawberry hue with amber shadings, and very slight haze. Bubbly, almost soda-like head that reduces to a thin, creamy ring. Raspberry jam, preserved lemons, and oak in the nose. Bright acidity coming to a carbonic & lactic crescendo followed by short burst of fruit quickly giving way to a lingering, smooth, oaky finish. Raspberry underpinning all the way. Aftertaste is rich, almost like mascarpone. Carbonation is pretty low, and body is fairly hefty compared to expectations. Alcohol presence is minimal though I know there's a lot in there. Sticky lips after a few sips leads me to believe that the relatively high alcohol (according to the brewery, from an independent test) works with the acid to keep this slightly sweet beer from becoming too sweet. I early await this beer with some age on it. If the acidity wins then good things will come, though my gut says the ravages of oxidation will accentuate the wood. A year and a half in the bottle should be good enough to signal its future.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pinkish and cherry red with a small, bubbly, lingering head. Smell is immediately of sour cherries and sweet raspberries. A mild smell of vinegar, oak, and sherry transcends the fruit aroma. Initial flavor is of oxidized raspberries and a well hidden layer of alcohol. The beer is mildly spicy and tart, while a very small amount of brett character is present. There is no bitterness to this beer, only a slight sour character. The abv makes this a very strong wild ale, but the taste of alcohol is barely present. The beer is well carbonated. I just started this, but I think towards the end it will be a chore to drink.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, corked and caged, poured into a tulip

Pours a raspberry-like red with a decent off-white head. Little staying power. Smells of tart raspberries, barnyard, and oak. The brett is pretty sour in the nose and in the taste. Borderline puckering. Raspberries lend a sweet/tart body a much needed balance to the sour brett. The oak is subtle, adding a soft vanilla undertone. Mouthfeel is deep and complex, moderate carbonation. Alcohol is well-hidden and as long as you like a sour ale, this would should not disappoint.

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Photo of tayner
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle thanks go to stewdawg for this one

poured into a kuhnhenn tuplip

poured a cloudy, smashed raspberry colored liquid with a white head that went away quickly. looked like a mixed drink minus an umbrella

Smell was funky, sour, lots of oak, and a fruity sweetness

taste is funky, oaky, sour, and sweet. I would much prefer cherries over raspberries. There is almost too much oak in this one too, maybe some age will mellow out the strong wood.

plenty of carbonation, good mouthfeel

easy to drink but 750 ml is a bit much at once. Share this one with a friend or two, will be much more enjoyable.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 into Ommegang chalice...

Mahogany and raspberry color. At first, very thin if nonexistent head. Quite rustic but first pour looks flat; second pour is more lively with a finger of soapy head and a little more raspberry color.

Sweet from raspberries with sour horse-blanket scent. Powerful yet calm.

Nice mix of apples, raspberies and citrus sour brett. Good malt/alcohol backbone. Powerful and well-balanced. This has crabonation that wasn't visible at first but it cuts the heft to make it very pleasant.

Feel is solid and rustic. Deep fruit, malt and alcohol. Brett meshes with the alcohol to create a balanced pucker. Very oaky also.

Definitely a sipper but clean and hearty all at once.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks goes out to number1bum for this limited treat. Thanks man, I owe ya.

750 ml. cork and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

Weyerbacher beers have been pretty hit or miss with me, but I've heard nothing but good things about this beer so let's do it!

Pours a clear blood red with a two finger light tan colored head that quickly disappears to a paper thin whispy layer of bubbles. Minimal lacing sticks to the side s of the glass. Smell begins pretty funky with tart red berries, some vinegar, and hard candy sugar. A touch of oak and honey linger in the nose as well. I have no idea where the 11.4% abv is in the scent, unreal. The flavor begins with a balanced blend of tart and sweet raspberries as well as some lingering warm booze and red wine. Honey, vanilla, and cane sugar emerge midway on the tongue with some sour notes. The aftertaste consists of pepper, raspberry syrup, and oak with more alcohol warming flavors. A lot going on with this beer in the taste department. Light to medium body with a prickly feel and a powerful carbonation, fits the style quite well. A sipper for sure, but there's nothing wrong with that. I had no problem taking my time with this bottle and enjoying everything it has to offer. Not exactly sure how many bottles are out there, but I'd love to get my hands on another one and see what some age does to this. Thanks again Josh.

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Photo of brantadid
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark, murky honey brown color into a snifter. Very little head formed. Very little lacing.

The smell is amazing. It makes my mouth water. The fruit completely comes through. Smells nice and funky.

The taste is out of this world. The best thing about it is, is it sour raspberries or the ale? I'm not sure, but its great. Tons of flavor. Raspberry dominates the palate. Citrus notes come through. Incredible sourness that is over the top. There is a nice sweetness from the fruit that is complimented by the oak (vanilla notes). Just fantastic.

Mouthfeel is light because of the carbonation but heavy because of the flavor. Totally reminds me of champagna.

The alcohol is completely masked and the balance between the sweet and sour makes this one of most drinkable beers I have encounter. I wish I had more.

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Photo of gford217
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottles poured into a snifter.

Pours a ruddy reddish orange with a short-lived pinkish head that leaves very little lacing on the way down. The smell is mostly raspberries, both sweet and sour, and a hint of funk lingering in the background. There is also a strong candied sugar aroma as well. The taste is much like the aroma but with two distinct stage. The first wave of flavor is sweetness, both raspberries and sugar. The second wave happens as the raspberry turns tart and the funk comes in subtly in the end but not overpoweringly so. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation and I was surprised by the big alcohol content as it's not that noticeable. This is a very refreshing wild ale that is not overly sour and makes for a perfect summer brew.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very pretty raspberry color with orangish hints. Basically no head, and no lacing at all.

The smell is mostly of raspberries, but there is a little sourness from the bacteria in the background.

This beer is really tasty. It is what I've been looking for in an American Wild Ale. Raspberries is the main flavor, making the beer tart and sweet, but not unbearably so. Tastes like real raspberries, not just seasoning. Second is the sourness from the bretts, also in a balanced way that does not overpower the beer. Finish with just a hint of bozziness. Pretty damn good. Mouthfeel is thin and not highly carbonated.

Nice drinkability, extremely well balanced. THis beer has a high price tag, but I plan to grab a few more bottles while I still can.

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

serving type - 750 ml corked and caged bottle
appearance - poured a medium merky brown with a slight pink reddish hue. Verry little head to speak of but quickly shrank away
smell - intense tart raspberries aroma and unertones of tart apples and cherries.
taste/mouthfeel - a full body beer with nice carbonation. You can defently feel the alcohol in this one, A wonderful tart raspberry flavor that sweetnes up a it warms.
Drinkability - A very good beer that should get even better with age

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Photo of akorsak
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle purchased at the brewery on its release this past June.

A: The ale has an odd appearance, full of raspberry red colors. The color, like Lindeman's kriek, is a little unsettling. A decent head came out on pour but was quick to shrink away.

S: The aroma has two distinct elements: raspberry and brettanomyces. The raspberry is sweet with a tart undertone. The brett is quite sour with a low pucker quotient.

T: Delicious! The combination of raspberry, brett and oak is awesome. The raspberry is sweet with some tart flavors throughout, enough to remind you that this is puree and not sweetened raspberry juice. The oak barrels have added buttery smoothness and fostered the brett tartness. The three distinct flavors meld nicely together, transitioning from sweet to tart and back to sweet. The oak, not present in the nose, is the deal-maker, imparting a vanilla and pepper sweetness that moves the ale from fruit to funk. The finish has more pepper and a touch of boozy warmth. Surprising that the booze only comes out in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is complex, deep with myriad bold flavors. The interplay of the raspberry and oak is superb.

D: The 11.4% alcohol is well-hidden, buried beneath on of the most complex tastes that I've come across. This beer could age for a few years but it is pretty damn good right now.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pours creates an oxidized-pink, dirty tan colored head that starts out two-fingers in height. The beer is a dark amber, slight plum color that shows a murky, hazed red color when held up to the light. The most noticeable aroma is that of raspberry flesh that has been lightly oxidized (not quite as bright as the fresh fruit pulp). Underneath the expressive fruit are some sour aromatics that even seem to have a touch of acetic acid to it as well, though this is very soft and maybe wholly imagined. A touch of barnyard funk just barely struggles through to be noticed. Really though this is so dominated by the raspberry flavors that it washes out anything else interesting that might be happening in the nose; for this reason the nose is a bit of a let down.

Tart tasting with a sour raspberry flavor that has a touch of pulpy sweetness to it. This finishes with a sharpness that doesn't quite cut through the raspberry, but seems to be fairly phenolic and spicy. Pepper notes in the finish are joined by some dusty malt notes as well as some curing plastic phenolics and some lightly tongue numbing turpene-like notes. Pretty well carbonated with a nice fizzy texture that helps to offset the fuller mouthfeel of this beer; this beer remains pretty drinkable for its strength, though it is still more of a sipping beer. As the beer warms it becomes more sweet, more so than the raspberry-derived tartness, but this only serves to accentuate other aspects of the raspberry character. Perhaps a touch more funky phenolics come out in the finish at this warmer temperature, but it really doesn't pick up the complexity much.

Interestingly enough for a beer this strong, the raspberry character makes this quite a simplistic brew. Hints of a funky beer complexity lurk underneath the surface but don't quite make it out enough to make this really interesting much less balanced. Enjoyable if you like raspberries as the malt and most of the funky notes that I was hoping to find are just overwhelmed. Not bad tasting, just a bit of a let down.

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Photo of ATPete
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 corked/caged

I was very lucky to score a couple bottles of this brew. The Riserva pours a murky brownish pinkish color with lots of haze and a small white/reddish head leaving some sticking. Tons of visible sediment in the bottle. The nose is very intriguing, using the bright fresh raspberries to balance out the wood and malt character, some booze comes through as well, also a little bit of noted spice. It does a lot of the same effect during tasting, obviously raspberries is what you get right up front, the brett compliments this already sour and tart fruit so nicely, it is a sour beer lovers dream. It is a little bit unbalanced however, but what do you expect from a fruit based beer? Other tasting notes include sweet malts, grapes, strawberry, spice, an oaky burntness as well as some creamy vanilla. Its body was actually a lot lighter than i had imagined. I kinda wish it was 'bigger' as far as mouth feels go, but i am not complaining. I found this brew very drinkable (for an 11%'er). I shared my first bottle with a group of friends, some hated it (wine geeks who despise brett), some were 'whatever' on the subject and others loved it... All and all i think Weyerbachers first attempt at this brew was a complete success, but next time just try to lower the price a little bit jeez!

I cant wait to see how this ages!

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Photo of Ego
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

corked so tight I thought this was gonna go mt st helena's on me...

before I even pour this is crackling in the bottle and reaching upwards to escape, oddly enough the head settles down very quickly, this looks like a darker brother of rose de gambrinus, no head except faint o-ring around the side, no lacing to speak of but there are legs like in wine, opaque purple/pink cloudiness defines the hue, a good amount of carbonation rises up from the depths upon further inspection, if someone put this in front of me blindly I would scream lambic, which makes sense.

huge tart notes, raspberry nation unite... the underlying barnyard funk is there but man the fruit flavor wallops you across the nose, I'm sucker for tart beers and this reeks like liquid sweettarts... hmmm (how much do they cost at the movies now.. like $8 ?) anyway... I am digging the crazy in your face tartness here, I took off a small point for lack of complexity but hey even jessica alba has bad hair days (I think)

taste etc...
a lot heavier in the mouth than I was expecting, this is quite full bodied, everything here is pretty bold, the alcohol is a touch hot, the carbonation is nice and prickly helping the mouth feel, you almost taste the separation of the puree and the brew... it needs more time to meld imo, the tartness kind of then blends into mild bitterness of fruit somewhere down my first glass, and the ABV is not fooling anyone here...

potential. I need to lay this down for some time, it has alot of things that may come together.. right now it is a bit too big, it needs a touch of rounding out.

I had this with some Habanero Havarti, my stomach will thank me tomorrow..

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Photo of John_M
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2008 riserva. Apparently Weyerbacher's first attempt at making this beer.

The local Weyerbacher sales rep cracked open a bottle of this beauty the other night during the Allagash event at Max's. According to her, Weyerbacher made less then 70 cases of this beer (I think she said 66 or 68), one of which Maxs was able to obtain. To say I was surprised/stunned by the quality of this beer would be an understatement. According to the label, it was aged in wood and infected with brett. Alcohol was between 10% and 11% I believe.

The beer pours a gorgeous brownish rose color with outstanding head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is one of the most incredibly complex things I've ever smelled. One gets an intense aroma of cherry, rotten/sour apples and raspberry. As amazing as the nose is on this beer, the flavor profile is even more impressive. This beer is the definition of complex. Initially I get intense flavors of sweet cherry and raspberry, but with some very noticeable underlying sour. However, as the beer sits in the glass, the sour seems to fade just a bit, and melts into vanilla and chocolate. The sour seems to become more defined, and now is very reminiscent of sour appples. The sales rep indicated that the beer seems just a bit raw at the present time, but should age very nicely. I would have to agree on both counts, but it was nevertheless a treat to drink, even as a baby.

This is one of the most interesting and impressive beers I've ever come across. Abv. is very well disguised in this beer, though the warming sensation is a tip off that it's up there. The signficant sour component, coupled with the abv., makes this beer a sipper. It's not something I can imagine gulping down (unless you're masochistic). The beer is medium bodied, and has a very long, complex finish.

This is an absolute tour de force by Weyerbacher. I am not a huge fan of the Red Flander style, but this beer was so incredible, so interesting and so much fun to drink, I could absolutely see ordering it again. Of course one would be all I could drink, and I'm guessing it would take me the better part of the day to finish it off. Just an exceptional beer...

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Photo of ekfinn
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
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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Riserva from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 1,044 ratings