R&D Sour Blackberry Ale
New Glarus Brewing Company

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Style:
American Wild Ale
Ranked #348
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
93
Ranked #8,156
Avg:
4.46 | pDev: 5.83%
Reviews:
2
Ratings:
12
From:
New Glarus Brewing Company
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
One-off
Wants
  3
Gots
  5
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Notes:
Reviews: 2 | Ratings: 12 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
4.06/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The dark violet body builds a tall lumpy foam head that has a light pastel purple hue to it, slowly collapsing to an uneven blanket.

Instantly exploding on the nose are juicy sweet gummy bears and Fruit Roll-Ups. It even almost develops a grape soda aroma, but then it suddenly becomes full of woody charred oak with a mild cashew funk.

On the palate is an effervescent and airy light body that is puckering up front, but then suddenly smoothly sweet with a juicy blackberry that again is like a children's gummy treat, this time closer to blue Gushers. At this point, it goes without saying that this 2019 bottle is not as mature and complex as the rest of their R&D series. There is some mild oak present in flavor, but minimal to no funk, and a sort of cherry punch or Kool-Aid flavor that comes out before the semi-dry finish.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Context: I have had this beer both on draft at New Glarus and out of the bottle, both on the weekend of the release. The review is based on the draft version, but I will offer comments at the end regarding the bottle experience.

Pours a darker purple reddish body, one finger light pink head, good retention, plenty of lacing. Smell is massive jammy blackberry, really establishing itself here as one of the best smelling fruit beers out there. Mild lactic acid, light oak, dry berry tartness accompanies the jammy blackberry fruit flesh. Quite excellent, almost a little vinous also.

Flavour doesn't quite follow the nose. It has a dry, mild vinous character that cuts through the jammy sweetness that the nose promises to deliver. Has more of a brett leather presence, dry, a bit of oak as well as a touch of dry zest. The jammy sweetness is there, but has been covered up some by the brett. Medium lighter bodied, good carbonation. Moderately dry, tannic and lightly herbal and leafy as well. These factors draw away from the sweet jamminess of the nose. I'd have liked more jammy fruit character in the taste- but don't get me wrong, there is quite a bit of it already- this is compared to the standards that VSB 2013 and SHBRL have set.

Altogether, the nose really evokes the first batch from 2013. Insanely jammy blackberry fruit on the nose. On the palate, the Brett is a bit stronger as is the dry tartness of the blackberry and dries the beer out some more. Out of the bottle, the jammy nose is even more massive but its flavour is drier- it pulls out the extremes a bit more. I think it may need a little time to smooth out and equilibrate over time, perhaps, to reach the level of the first batch- which unfortunately, this is going to be constantly compared to. This is a very excellent fruited wild ale on its own merits.

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R&D Sour Blackberry Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 12 ratings