R&D Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel
New Glarus Brewing Company

R&D Bramble Berry Bourbon BarrelR&D Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel
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Sour - Fruited Kettle Sour
4.33 | pDev: 7.85%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
R&D Bramble Berry Bourbon BarrelR&D Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel
Notes: Also know as Wild Barrel

We are happy to announce a very limited release of a new R&D brew, Diploma Master Brewer Dan Carey’s Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel. Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel is a spontaneously fermented Wild Brown Ale from our Wild Fruit Cave. Expect a bright blend of forest fruit backed Oaky barrel notes. Great for aging or drinking today!
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 258 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.52/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Muddy caramel with a fuzzy light tan ring.

Smell exhibits tons of woody whiskey but also a good blackberry accent that leans acetic, finished by a toasty char.

A good frothy fizz introduces semi-bitter apple skin followed by blackberry, hot whiskey, sour plum and a hint of caramel. It's less sour than the nose suggested, but the finish is cotton dry.

Apr 02, 2018
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danh53 from Florida

4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I didn't try this fresh, but I assume its really coming into its own with a little age. Musty basement and oak add great complexity to the smooth vanilla and berry core. I get dark cherries, blackberries, raisins, and green apples and the aroma is even better. Red wine and vinegar notes add something nice, Medium carb and mouth feel. Very well balanced. Seek this out.

May 17, 2017
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jhavs from New York

4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not the prettiest brew, but rich layers of dark fruits, soft and balanced tartness. Smooth, but not hidden barrel in the aroma.

Flavor is tart sour cherry, dark candied cherries, figs and soft Bourbon background. Everything balances together nicely to form a delicate but complex brew.

Higher side of medium body and perky carbonation.

Excellent brew, my favorite NG I've tried.

Feb 27, 2017
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gibgink from Missouri

4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle given to me by javanoire. Sat on this one for a while before enjoying, as when she gave it to me she said that the brewer suggesting waiting about 6 months. So I waited a little longer than that. Pours a muddy brown, almost like dirty river water, although light does come through. Smells fruity. I was told this was hot coming out of the gate, but man has time done it well! There are delicious sweet fruity notes, which are then followed by a faint bourbon sweetness. It is hard to achieve that in the sense where a bourbon sweetness usually dominates or overpowers other sweet flavors, but not here. The fruit flows over to the barrel. Terrific.

Feb 13, 2017
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frasergrove from California

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium hazy dark amber body, a light head that dissipates. Aroma has touches of vanilla and cherry pie, with earthy bits and some mild tartness. Flavor is super smooth, nice balance of tartness, fruit, and woodsy hints. A very delightful beer.

Nov 27, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade, shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice hearty darker berry jam hue with a one finger off white head that fades to leave nice lacing.

S - Aromas of big raspberry jam galore, huge seedy raspberry. Nice bourbon, really good raspberry notes, excellent buttery barrel notes.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, very nice berry funk. Good tart berries, jaammy sweetness. Tons of raspberry fruit. Nice lightly oak barrels. Delicious.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, crisp, tart.

O - Overall this was a very good wild ale. Excellent raspberry notes and bourbon, really solid. Very very well crafted.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 21, 2016
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud

Pours a big thick frothy head fades at a fair pace, little sticky lacing, murky dark iced tea reddish color.

Nose huge raspberry, wildberry, generic gamble berry, little tart seed, mild sweet creamy malt, black raspberry ice cream, little tart.

Taste brings mild sweet creamy malt, big berry, raspberry, blackberry, wildberry, little tart berry and mild bitter seed, touch bitterness, jammy berry, fair acidity. Finish sticky little flemmy, lingering berry jam and mild seed.

Mouth is med bod jammy fleshy decent carb, fair acidity.

Overall quite nice.

Oct 21, 2016
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Benish from Wisconsin

4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: poured a beige red color with no translucence or clarity. The head was light red in color. It's like unfiltered fruit juice.

Smell: sweet jammy raspberries, oak and funk. Very inviting.

Taste: jammy and earthy raspberries throughout. Sour and tart with the beer finishing more tart at the end. Becomes slightly bitter midway through, seems coming from the bourbon. It's not so complex but the raspberries shine through so well.

Mouthfeel: rich and medium bodied. Almost chewed as if there is raspberry purée.

Sep 25, 2016
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown in appearance. Reddish hue. Earthy, tart, sour, berry and oak. Complex. Some brett funkiness. Short, dry oaky finish. all the flavors come together to strike a nice balance. Really good.

Sep 08, 2016
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YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I acquired this some time ago but heard from many sources that it was way too HOT fresh and needed to sit. Finally opened yesterday with about 10 months on it and it was damn enjoyable! Not quite up to the level of Bourbon County Backyard but very similar along those lines. Nice light barrel notes now.

Jun 15, 2016
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Rimbimhoot from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Way better than I remember fresh.

Yogurt, raspberry, blackberry, lactic, jam, creamy, oak, light plastic, earthy funk, bourbon

The mouthfeel on this is crazy good like a Jester King beer

May 13, 2016
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Lucular from Maryland

4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Intense aromas and flavors. Vanilla, oak, raspberry, cherry, and tons of funk. There is a nice hint of sour from the fruit and a touch of bourbon but the barrel doesn't come close to overwhelming the other (more interesting) flavors. Sad that I only have one bottle - I would love to see how this develops over a couple of years.

Apr 25, 2016
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had this a couple of times but never put ten fingers to keyboard about it. 500ML R&D bottle split with my wife.

The pour is light red, plenty of carbonation after it’s rest in the glass. The nose is complex & what I hope for out of a wild: bourbon, oak, raspberries, cherries. Luscious.

R&D Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel proves once again these guys are heavyweights in a lightweight wild scene in the U.S. The oak is drier than an infield in mid-August (though not as hard, & I’m not wearing a cup while downing this). Behind the wood is bourbon-soak raspberries, cherries, and a light puckering that doesn’t reach sour, but does hit delicious pretty hard. Easy drinking.

It’s tough to find a sour that doesn’t rip your face off or overwhelm the other components (in this case the barrel & berries) with rampant bacterial viciousness. I want both! Here are both. Though only a bronze behind Very Sour Blackberry & Wild Peach, that’s still high praise, & I’m looking forward to the next one. Excellent brew.

Mar 27, 2016
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rlee1390 from Indiana

4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Wild brown base is there. However it is more tart than sour. There is also a good deal of bourbon. However the fruit is hardly present at all. The lack of fruit was a let down.

Mar 20, 2016
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rodmanfor3 from Vermont

4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours like a dark apple cider and smells like a pureed of wild berries.

The taste is bitter, mildly sour, and bretty. The flavor resembles a boozier version of one of New Glarus' fruit beers with a little barrel character.

Overall, I am hoping to sit on a second bottle in the cellar for a couple more years to see how this develops in the bottle.

Feb 21, 2016
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Zaximus from Colorado

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- Looks like apple cider with a slightly reddish tint.

S- Smells s lot like the Raspberry Tart, which is good. Perhaps a little cherry. Maybe vanilla. Kind of reminds me of an raspberry Italian soda.

T- Not nearly as sweet as expected. Fruit is definitely there. Raspberry, cherry other stone flavors. Little oak on the finish. Not nearly as sour as expected. Just tart enough. Very nice.

F- Well carbed and finishes very dry.

O- A really nice beer that balances the fruit flavors in a subtle way without being overly sweet or sour. The dry finish is quite nice. I think this is a bit underrated.

Feb 21, 2016
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worldsworstextra from California

4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I didn't really know what to expect going in to this beer after seeing the mixed reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised. Raspberries and blackberries were the initial flavors followed by oak and very minimal bourbon. I noticed a pretty heavy lactic component from the nose and flavor of the beer but it worked pretty well with the beer. Overall, this beer is quite different than the traditional american wild ale. Not super sour, but a lot of flavors going on that seem to be in harmony. Only major flaws were the nose and appearance of the beer. It had kind of an unpleasant yeasty/plastic smell, although not horrible smelling. The appearance was a murky reddish brown, but from a purely taste perspective this beer was solid.

Dec 24, 2015
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden almost brownish color with white head. Oak tones, vanilla, berries, whiskey, and some light earthiness to it on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with barrel and berries. Very nice.

Dec 22, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle. Amber body with a big white head. Smells strongly of berries and bourbon barrel. Musty and acidic aroma. Tastes lightly sour. Lots of caramel malt. Bourbon and oak. Much less berry flavor. Strong carbonation. Bretty finish. Medium body. Smells better than it tastes, but it's pretty interesting.

Dec 22, 2015
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Hazy ruby purple colored body with a small off-white head. Moderate lacing and thin retention ring. Aromas are distinctly plastic-like. Unappealing. Some slight aromas of funk, blueberries and blackberries. Thankfully, on the palate the plastic notes are not present. Juicy dark berries, oak, and a nice swift pucker.

Dec 10, 2015
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SpeedwayJim from New York

3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A huge thanks to Jeff for keeping the New Glarus R&D coming! 500ml pill bottle into a Grrrz teku. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1.5 finger light purple head with moderate retention. Beer is a cloudy dark purple. Lacing is spotty and stringy with excellent stick. A great looking beer. Very nice color.

Nose is funky, tart and seedy fruit juice. Notes of blackberry and blueberries. Exceedingly juicy with more sweetness than pucker. Solid.

Opens juicy blackberry and blueberry seediness. Juicy in the middle with a tart and seedy backbone. Fruit character is strong throughout but there's a strange soapiness that is pervasive through the berry character. Ends blackberry seed with a puckering, tart, oaky aftertaste. Pretty good.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Slick and with some bubbles in the mouth and goes down seedy and dry. Finishes tart with a bit of puckering and a lingering, lightly filmy aftertaste. Pretty good.

There's a certain something missing from this beer though I can't really put my finger on it. Fruit presence is very strong but it lacks a certain character and complexity. Worth trying but this is more of a fruit beer than a Wild Ale.

Dec 08, 2015
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

3.24/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Copper orange color. Brett funk up front. Slightly medicinal. Berries, but hard to pick them up. Raspberries and cherries show the most, but blackberries are really hard to find. Spice in the finish, maybe due to the bourbon. Too much brett here. Not a fan.

Edit. Drinking a bottle on 2/19
Better than I remember if being but guessing it is past its prime. Nose is nice, but taste is still medicinal. Surprisingly, I don’t get a huge amount of Brett. Still some fruit showing. 3.5

Nov 28, 2015
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AppaZappa from North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured at cellar temp into teku; strawberry-jam color with rose-tinted head. smell is sour tartness, vinegar, juicy berry, oak, some vanilla and malt. taste is wow--lots here. obviously berries--raspberry, blackberry--a nice balanced sour with oak, and a hint of bourbon and caramel. the more i sip the more the balance comes through, but it takes a bit to feel your way through this one, particularly with the barrel aspect. the mouth is spot on--light, effervescent, and crisp. an impressive beer!

Nov 18, 2015
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Johnny_Cardboard from Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this was very complex, I was worried about the mixture of berry flavor and bourbon flavors but the bourbon was faint but still definitely present as a backnote. delicious

Nov 17, 2015
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SportsandJorts from Virginia

3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a brownish/earthy dark berry juice color. a two finger plus tannish head with good retention and a fairly frothy lacing left behind. hazy and opaque.

Smell: strong berries, some vinegar. tons of oak and a good funkiness to it. some sweet and juicy berries some tart. light bourbon combines with the oak to back a pie crust like smell.

Taste: opens up with some sweet berries. some juiciness but quickly fades into a mix of vinegar and tart fruit. large amounts of oak and a funky yeast come through. light bourbon comes through along with other barrel notes of vanilla and more oak. the mixture of the bourbon and oak make a pie crust like flavor that plays well with a berry/ vanilla sweet and tart filling.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. tartness but not near mouth puckering. acidity and some barrel character linger. moderate to slightly lower drinkability. some alcohol warmth.

Overall: very nicely developed flavors but it can get muddled up from time to time. great funkiness from the yeast but it can sometimes detract from the berry pie flavors going on. very nice to sip on but I don't think I'd be overly eager to seek this out again with all the other great R&D beers out and coming out in the future.

Nov 04, 2015
R&D Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 258 ratings