Riserva | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
330 Reviews

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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Reviews: 330 | Ratings: 1,019
Photo of babaracas
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear red-orange, thin pink tinged head settles to a thin ring, a few fingers of lace trail down the glass. Smell: framboise with a little more brett action than usual... raspberry jam, barnyard and hay notes, mildly oaky, leather-ish note. Taste: raspberry syrup, grain twang, moderately lactic, herbal oakiness and tiny cheesy note; vanilla into seed heavy raspberry preserve finish. Medium-plus body, slightly aggressive but fitting carb, drying but sticky finish. This is good. I mean, you have to want to eat raspberry jam by the spoonful, but that's kind of awesome once in a while.

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Photo of Beerparrot
2.94/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Not quite into the sours yet to appreciate this. I thought the flavors were good, but the tartness just overpowered the beer for me. I'd like to try it on draft to see if it would change my mind.

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Photo of Beejay
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drinking this in celebration of buying a house and finishing my taxes... hopefully it will help me forget how much those cost..

2014 bottle.

A: Dusty rose as it pours, and turns into a cloudy cranberry color in the glass. Nice slightly pink head.

S: A good amount of sour funk as well as a bit of acid and salt, followed by the tartness of raspberries. There is a little bit of jam in there as well as a hint of acetone.

T: Wow.. acidic, and sour right off the bat, but underneath the sourness there is a lovely bread flavor, followed by the long lingering taste of rich dark berries. Tart, and jammy, and just damn fine. Knowing that it was barrel aged makes me imagine that I can taste it,

M: Medium light in body, the acidic notes give it a little cling in the finish, and the carbonation is certainly high, if not almost at an aggressive level.

O: Overall this is one damn fine beer.. tart, and sour, but with a deepness of flavor that I don't often experience in other sour style beers. I almost wish I got a little more of the oak from this, but still pretty damn close to perfect.

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Photo of zac16125
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a Teku
2012 vintage

A: Hazy, reddish brown, very slight layer of pink tinted head which dissipates almost immediately down to nothing and leaves no lacing. 3.75

S: Very fruity, lots of raspberry, lactic tartness, oak. Very nice. 4.25

T: Quite sour, puckering at times. Lots of raspberry, some oak, lactic acidity. 4.5

M/D: Medium body, lots of carbonation, ABV is completely unnoticeable, and great ability is excellent. 4.5

O: Awesome beer. Great combo of tart and fruit sweetness. 4.5

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Photo of kojevergas
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
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 schlimenhaumer
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fantome tulip at sea level in NYC.

A: Pours a nearly opaque candy apple hue with a two finger pinkish-white head that dissipates after around 30 seconds. Lacing is minimal and carbonation appears moderate.

S: Sour raspberries up front with clear wild yeast character. Oak notes in the background and no alcohol on the nose despite the high ABV. Smells delicious.

T: Opens with fresh raspberry notes that quickly give way to the sour yeast character evident on the nose. The sour character is gradually replaced by a sweet malty finish that lingers on the palate and and calls to mind raspberry jam. Remarkable how little alcohol comes through in the flavor -- in that sense not dissimilar to a Berliner Weisse. I enjoy the interplay between sour and sweet.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation -- I'd like a bit more dryness to accompany the fruit flavors here.

O: Delicious enough to justify the price point -- would not be difficult to finish this bottle by myself despite the ABV. This would be a brilliant introduction to sours/wilds for anyone new to the style.

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Photo of Houser
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014.2 vintage. i love the color on this one. pours a hazy magenta with a small and quickly dissipating head. smell is raspberry and sour. lots of tart acidity. tastes less sour than the smell but its still a strong flavor, but the raspberry really shines here. slighty carbonated and very smooth. this went down quickly. nice job weyerbacher.

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Photo of cbutova
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks EmmaDanCo.

A- Bright pink body with some red in the center and a fair haze to it, probably from the fruit. A foamy head rises up to one finger with a puffy thick texture. Pretty good retention but it falls to a tiny ring and lace is rare.

S- Raspberry and tarts. Lactic sours and a big blast of fresh raspberry fruits. Certainly some musty funk and vinous character. Acidic here.

T- The nose leads me to think this will be more sour but still the lactic and raspberries combine to make it fairly sour in the end. A huge bombardment of fresh tart raspberries without the sweetness. Barnyard funk and vinous note that doesn't do much to penetrate the fruit.

MF- Light and pretty much dried out body overall with a fizzy and foamy texture. Slight creaminess and very high carbonation finishing actually quite sour.

Fairly impressed with this one right now. Certainly captures a massive raspberry character and backs it up with hints of funk and lactic sours. Certainly one I would order or buy again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
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 Jmamay22
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Riserva pours an odd pink shade of amber, which is obviously due to the raspberries. There is a nice light pinkish head that retains well. Mildly cloudy.

Nice aroma of fresh raspberries and tart vinegar. Undercurrent of earthiness, but the fruit really shines through nicely with some sweet vanilla highlights. The taste carries over equally well. Initially sweet, but the tart acidity comes through well. The oak comes and goes with some vanilla and coconut.

Mouthfeel us nice with a rich creamy carbonation. Excellent American wild ale and use of fruit. Not too sweet or overly tart. Falls just short of the depth and complexity of the finest Belgian wild ales.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
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 brianmandell
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Riserva 2014; hazy reddish-amber pour with light lacing. Opens up with a wonderfully bright fresh raspberry aroma and flavor fading into a lemon juice and lemon peel overshadowed by both astringent oak tannins and alcohol that is a bit unpleasant. The raspberry is a bit sweet but is not immediately apparent given the acidity. This is one of the most acidic beers I have ever tasted. As a sour beer lover, even my system is shocked. The carbonation is active and prickly. The mouthfeel would be rated higher had the tannins and alcohol not been so harsh. Riserva has some marks of greatness but ultimately it is not very drinkable.

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Photo of YeastEnthusiast
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2014 Riserva. I simply could not enjoy this beer. Flavors were exactly as others described them: Upfront puckering, slightly sour, fruity, then the oak barrel flavors come in, then INTENSE SOURNESS, then it fades into a yogurt after-taste. Separately, I like everything about this beer, but I couldn't handle the oak and sour mixture. Didn't blend well at all for me. Worse still, the sourness was way beyond my threshold. It tasted like I was directly biting into a lemon during the peak. The flavors definitely improved and blended better upon warming, but not enough for me to enjoy it.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 version if that makes a difference. Poured a light and cloudy red body (it's not pink but it's not basic red or purple, either) with one-finger offwhite head and left lace along the glass. Aroma is comprised of extremely tart, with a little sweetness, raspberries and there are touches of sour funkiness. Smooth, balanced, and that is key as this could have been a mess, the extremely tart and sour raspberries also have a touch of sweetness, especially in the finish, so you get the best of both worlds and not just a flat, sour mess..

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: Pours a clear red with a very effervescent head that can be heard fizziling like soda. Quickly dissipating it doesn't really leave any visible lacing. Tons of visible carbonation.

S: Can tell this is going to be pleasantly sour. Real nice raspberry aroma that is quite authentic.

T: Very raspberry. As if you picked a sour tart raspberry right off the plant. Lots of sour. Mild malt backing.

M: Puckering art first as the mouth adjusts. Tons of carbonation gives it a light mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall this is very tasty with a great raspberry sour flavor. May be slightly one dimensional which I feel is an area some of the more extreme sours can sometimes fall into. But certainly worth picking up.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL (25 oz.) bottle purchased at Connecticut Ave. Wine and Liquors in Dupont Circle NW D.C., unclear brewing/bottling date but most recent vintage, poured into my NEBCO Gandhi-Bot glass, drank 04/19/2014 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - red-maroon coloration, minimal clarity (cannot see through), off-white/eggshell head pours fizzy and settles into a fine glass lacing persisting throughout the pour, small carbonation bubbles emerge off the bottom of the glass; large alcohol legs (top

S: 9/12 - the predominant aromas are definitely raspberry and lactic acid; there is also some background tannins, oak and alcohol; no hop aroma

T: 18/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a moderate sourness - sour hanging fruit - raspberry, green apple and even some lemon, in the middle of the mouth, some of the vinous qualities emerge - tannins and lactic acid - with some mild oak-barrel notes; the alcohol is present but certainly not overwhelming and definitely does not taste like 11.4% ABV

M: 5/5 - moderate bodied and appropriately carbonated for an American wild ale; really nice dry, crisp finish that doesn't linger; again, dangerously easy to drink for an 11.4% ABV!

O: 9/10 - a stellar oak-aged fruit wild ale - tart, refreshing, dry with a complex aroma and flavor that features raspberries; I know that I shouldn't be comparing this beer with straight fruit beers/lambics but it blows Founders' Rubaeus and Lindemann's Framboise clear out of the water; and, for $18-20/750 mL at 11.4% ABV, it's a nice price point; definitely recommended purchasing/trading potential here

TOTAL = 43/50

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is awesome- total delight for funk lovers. Pours a hazy amber/mahogany with very little head. Very nice color.

Smells funky but mild- definitely the lactic acid and a little rasberry.

Tastes very very tart but delicious. Lots of Brett and lactic acid in there, a little malt, and some nice rasberry sweetness on the finish. It is very sour but not like pucker up unbearably sour.

Mouthfeel is nice- medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. This is an awesome beer- I really like it but that's cause I'm really into wild ales. If you like wild ales it's definitely worth the 18 dollar price tag.

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up 3 on release day at the brewery. Could do this review in 6 words, funky raspberry mouth puckering sour bomb. Really not much else to say except what I also like about this beer is bang for the buck, $17 but you definitely get your money's worth at this abv. This was a great way to relax after a delicious Saturday night birthday dinner with my girls.

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Photo of rudzud
1.54/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bought this a while back. 2010 vintage..the SUPER SOUR year. Should be fun...or hideous. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear ruby hue with absolutely no carbonation or head. Little bit of legs, but..yah..sigh

S - Aromas of raspberries and oak...oh yah, nostril searing sourness. Vinegar big time. As it warms though it becomes almost all acetone.

T - Taste is well..not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Let me say though...goddamn is this sour. Almost stomach turning so. The raspberry is there, along with the oak, but this is so acidic and sharp. Like drinking a glass of vinegar and nail polish

M - Mouthfeel is entirely flat.

O - Overall, this is one of the worst things I've ever drank. So pissed...this beer was awesome when it was fresh....it's so horrible now. Why did I not drink this fresh?!

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mini-review taken from notes jolted at a bottle share done at the Albany Taproom in December. This was brought by me – a special thanks to jbravato for sending me this a good long while ago! Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a mini snifter. 2012 vintage.

Medium ruby, with pinkish and light reddish notes at the rim. Contains a decent amount of a light indigo head, which soon dissipates to a slightly noticeable ring. Very vinous in quality (rather than an American inspired Lambic) due in part to the high ABV, which shows. Gets cloudier with each subsequent pour, but pretty appealing for an American wild.

Huge notes of berries and red fruit immediately blast the nostrils in a rather astonishing manner, complete with a refined resilience in part by the oak and alcohol. Tart raspberries, boysenberries, and blackberries are way up front here, with a bit of indistinguishable red fruit at the finish. Some caramel, baking soda, violets, lavender, and other baking spices from the oak, as well as a light bready finish in part of the base beer. This is very close in quality to many top fruit aged Lambics I've had in the past – the missing link is the lack of any barnyard funky notes found in the former. Rather, this is quite acidic and tart, already on the nose, in a manner that is noticeable from a piercing astringency that tickles the nostrils each time. Truly phenomenal.

Less tart on the palate, yet equally enjoyable to savor for other reasons – mainly in part with the astonishing fruit texture that really makes this unique. Slightly soured raspberries and blackberries (mainly, anyhow) coat the palate in the same respect as if you're eating the fruit by themselves, with a crisp, refreshing mineral texture soon following afterwards. Some notes of caramel, toffee, and baking soda make up the oak-laden finish, which really helps round up the sour structure from the fruit and provide a tasty, mouth cleansing experience that prepares you for your next sip. Medium-dry, with a crisp finish. Complex overall, but delightfully restrained. This is what wild ales should strive to be in American brewing – packs a punch without destroying your inner bowels by the finish.

It IS, however, $25 a bottle, and that's definitely a hard sale to make when I can find other excellent options domestically and abroad for far less. Still, I'm impressed how well the fruit flavor has held up (perhaps improved?) over the past year, and I'm curious to see how it would evolve further and find what would replace the fruit notes as soon as they faded off. Absolutely a must-try, and perhaps once again if you're not concerned about the size of your wallet.

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Photo of cvm4
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2011 version

A - Pours a hazy dark raspberry color with an off white head.

S - A very acidic smelling, raspberry tartness comes through as well along with a nice oak character.

T - To me, the raspberry really shines here. At first taste, the raspberry comes through then a moment later you're hit with a good amount of sour. The oak comes through the midway and on the backend.

M - Light bodied and medium carbonation. It's a really dry beer that hides the ABV wonderfully.

O - It's not hugely complex, but the beauty is you know what you're getting into.

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Photo of Santanax
4.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The Weyerbacher Riserva!!! I acquired a bottle of the 2012 from a friend via trade... been sittiing on it for a while and finally decided to open it... only beer im having today....The cork pops open pretty decently so i know im in for some nice fizz... the smell is funky with raspberry tannisn and oak funkyness.. "half digested horse manure smell"... ohh man this is funk...The flav is amazingly full of raspberry kick with nioce funky lactic tones... they dance on tongue as this beer is fizzy...as the beer warms the heat from the 11% peeks out of the corner of the raspberry burst... Superb day after christmas beer... soo glad i kept it to myself...LOL

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage, 750ml bottle into a tulip. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy pinkish color. There's about one fingers worth of white colored head, and it retains pretty well for a 11.4% sour. No lacing, expectedly, but there are some (faint) alcohol legs.

S: This freakin' smells like a kick in the teeth. The tartness from the aroma is twisting my nose around - so are the oak tannins, to a lesser extent. I even get raspberry, but holy crap, is it ever playing second fiddle to the acidic attack.

T: Y'know, for a second, this has a nice blend of raspberry and cream...then the sour shock takes over the finish. This is brutally tart, in a good way. But you know what stuns me? It's 11.4%, and there isn't a hint of alcohol anywhere. This will satisfy a sour craving - and then some.

M: Dry and tannic, with some dryness and tannic qualities, backed by more dry tannins and even some tannic dryness! All this dry tannic-ness covers the alcohol superbly...and the carbonation, for that manner. I didn't even cop out and write down "meh, medium carb." like I normally do during the note-taking process.

O: No doubt, this is among the tartest beers I've sampled. It's a really nice brute-force sour - it isn't particularly sophisticated or complex, but it brings all the tartness I like, without being moronic. Well okay, it's a bit moronic, and that's exactly why I find it so charming.

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Photo of coriswrasse
4.79/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

amazing beer. poured into tasting size snifter. appearance is hazy to clear amber. no head but excellent carbonation. fairly standard for this style. smell is all kinds of sour goodness. taste is acidic, tart fruity goodness. mouthfeel is amazing front to back. the fruity sour flavor gives ways to acidic sour dryness on the tongue. overall a very excellent beer worth trying over and over. this would pair well with a piece of fish or nice fruit and nut salad. highly recommend.

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Photo of taylor714914
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked from a beautiful corked and caged 750 ML bottle. 2012 vintage. Pours a beautiful pink rose color with ample carbonation. A thin rose tinted head sits atop this beauty. Smells of raspberries and a hint of funky barnyard.

Taste is spectacular. The mix of sweet ripe raspberries, sour tartness, and barnyard funk play beautifully against each other. Initially the sweet ripe raspberries grace the tongue, followed by a tart zing, and then if held, the barnyard funk comes into play. The finish is raspberry for minutes. The ample carbonation helps carry the tart flavors over the tongue, but isn’t overdone as to cause excessive carbonation. A fantastic beer.

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Riserva from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 1,019 ratings.
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