R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)
New Glarus Brewing Company

R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)
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American Wild Ale
4.81 | pDev: 6.65%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)
Notes: Fourth in our series of spontaneous sour ales. Fermented and aged in oak barrels - on yeast lees - with Oregon blackberries. Refermented in this bottle. Open with care - This is a funky wild sour beer!
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 393 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of fondyball20
4.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle consumed on 1/12/18. Still tons of jammy fruit coming through in the nose/taste. Sour but not over the top. A little funk. I enjoyed it more colder vs when it warmed.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle into snifter. Thanks for sharing Kevin!

A: Pours a deep purple with a thin cap of fine bubbles. Very effervescent. Lasting collar.
S: I can smell this beer from across the table. There's a surprising amount of jammy blackberry fruit for being so old. I get a notes of sweet grape jelly in the mix as well. Amazing.
T: Super tart, puckering, and drying flavors of very jammy and sweet blackberry/boysenberry. The tartness is super tannic and drying. Jammy and juicy fruit all the way. Subtle oxidization. Fresh blackberry fruit mixed with grape jelly.
M: Very very dry, like a desert. Gritty tannic feel but the flavor is still very juicy. Acidic, but not overly acidic, more just super dry and tart with a crisp tartness. Soft but very frothy carbonation, better once a bit is burned off.
O: Gritty and tannic mouth but extremely juicy and fruity. Super surprised how well this held up for being so old. I've had fresh sours that aren't as fruity as this. Thanks again Kevin.

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

I've been waiting for a very special time to crack this one open. It has been my most cherished beer in my cellar for a few years now. After a while, I decided last night that I can't let this one just sit around and collect dust any longer!!!

A: A very rich, dark purple with a light pink head.

S: I not only smelt the two glasses I poured, I also spent a good 5 minutes with my nose practically inside the top of the bottle. That is how amazing this smells. Pure unripened, tart blackberry juice is the best way I can describe this. You can almost assume what this will taste like just by smell alone. I am happy that nothing was lost in terms of aroma from this being a few years old.

T: A present, but not overly tartness comes through but the most important flavor here is the blackberry. I said to my friend that this is like eating a blackberry when its still firm and tart, before it becomes mushy and sweet. Fresh blackberry jam would also be a great comparison. The flavor is perfect in every way and I am so happy this lived up to the hype and did not diminish in any way over time. I love this beer!

M: A full, but not too thick mouthfeel. Perfect.

O: Well, having had some amazing sour offerings from Russian River, Lost Abbey, Cantillon, Hill Farmstead, Side Project, Jester King and many more, I can safely say that this is the best sour I've ever had and my new favorite. I didn't think anything could outclass Framboise du Fermier, but this beer is so well balanced and has too much flavor to have any competition. THIS IS THE PINNACLE OF SOUR BEER.

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Photo of WI-Beer-Man
5/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The absolute perfect beer. Amazing color and carbination. Smells extremely fruity and tart. The taste is a next level combination of tartness and fruit. Perfection in every way.

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Photo of Raziel313
4.9/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily the best American sour I've ever had. Just truly perfect in every way. My only reason for the 4.75 is that it was slightly too sour and acidic and that's really nitpicking. Essentially a perfect beer

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

Had to trade a whale to get this whale but totally worth it. Beautiful look and the beer was amazing. Perfect level of pucker and just bursting with blackberry flavor and a little oak. So glad I had to opportunity to try this and would trade for another in a second!

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Photo of c-rum
4.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L - Deep violet color

S - Fresh blackberries.

T - Ripe blackberries and a very intense sour taste, some wood from the barrels.

F - Medium body and nice carbonation.

O - Great sour and packed full of blackberry flavor. (wished I had more)

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Photo of Beer4B
5/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to an awesome BA I got to try this the other night.

Beautiful clarity with a dark berry hue to the color.

The smell is all jam. Sour, fruity, and you can just sniff it for hours.
Taste follows suit. I was worried it would be too sour, not the case. Sour enough but so much blackberry fruit and jam that it balanced perfectly. Great feel that only complemented the drinking experience. Had almost too good of feel and drink-ability as you could take this down quickly and solo.

Overall, it was the best overall sour I've had as it hit on all angles for me: sour, fruity, jammy, depth, feel, everything.

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Photo of BigBadBaptist88
4.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the whale that I always wanted. Personally it did not live up to the hype. Reminds me of upland in the extreme extreme sour level that's not very balanced. Amazing fruit smell but otherwise, just hand me a wild peach instead and I'll be on my way.

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Photo of eseids
4.97/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Incredible jam smell. Perfectly balanced taste and amount of carbonation. Amazing that this is 5 years old, it drinks so fresh. Would love to try this again in another 5 years, too bad that'll never happen. I feel lucky to have tried this beer, one of the best.

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Photo of dar482
4.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma punches of huge tart blackberry jam.

The flavor follows with a big tart up front, lemony tart, along with berry seeds. Those characteristics of bitterness, earthiness, and tart. It then moves onto a beautiful jammy deliciousness.

A delicious jammy treat. One of the best wild ales.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.75/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75


A - poured a three-fingers thick pink head into a tulip glass that left good lacing and sheeting throughout. The body was reddish-purple.
S - blackberry, oak, some dirty funk.
T - blackberry, oak, sour funk.
M - thick and coating, very bubbly. Dry finish.
O - typical new glarus...awesome.

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

Hands down the best ever I have ever drank. There are probably people that don't like Sours and prefer this vs. that, but years later it's been an absolute joy to revisit this beauty. An absolute work of art in a bottle.

Edit: I just had this again yesterday. I need more. Absolutely beautiful beer, seek w confidence

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

Huge fan of this beer! one of the best representations of this style. this beer is sour and jammy and one of the first times I was absolutely blown away by a beer.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.89/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was sent to me from a friend who I can't really ever repay for doing me such a favor. This poured out as a very nice looking purple color with a white head on top that doesn't last very long. The smell if just loaded with Blackberry, it's hard to explain just how much aroma is on this thing. The taste is much like the nose, super jammy with the berries shining through with a mix of that funky tartness in there as well. Overall this beer is just fantastic there isn't much else that comes from New Glarus that can really compete with this one.

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Photo of roger617
5/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a Funky Buddha snifter. Thanks Andrew for opening this one for our mini bottle share!

A: Pours a deep purple color with over a finger of white-purple tinted head that reduces fairly slow and leaves a layer of head througout the glass.
S: Pungent blackberries cut by a huge wafting of sourness. I'm overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fruit and sour that is in this.
T: Sweet blackberries up front that is immediately cut by sour and tartness that lingers after every sip. Again, I'm blown away by how well this beer is crafted.
M: Carbed pretty high, fitting for the style. Pretty dry after taste, very enjoyable.
O: Can't say enough how impressed with this beer I am. Probably the most sour beer I've had, but there is so much fruity goodness that it all comes together so well.

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Photo of ajmmin
5/5  rDev +4%

A - Dark reddish hue. Decent, persistent head. Nice legs.

S - Strong and heavy fruit scent. Reminds me of the scent of plums pickled in umeshu. Can tell right away this one is going to be sour!

T - Stunning. Every sip hits the back of your jaw... your palate really doesn't adjust to this one. Blackberry comes through nicely.

M - Light and crisp, yet coats nicely. Lingers for quite a while.

O - Fantastic! So glad I held onto this last bottle instead of trading it.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.94/5  rDev +2.7%

A - Redish pinking purple pour with a slight 1 finger reddish pink purple foam that dissipates after a bit

S - Smell is absolutely fantastic here. It smells as though someone took fresh blackberries from a farm, smashed up and presented before you in a cup. There isn't really other smell and you don't need to know any other smells. It reminds me of the blackberry fruit popsicles from when I was a kid, absolutely stunning.

T - Taste follows the nose here with a surprisingly tart up front taste followed by the loads of blackberries that the smell derives from. Very crisp and supremely balanced.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp, light, yet full somehow. The taste lingers.

O - Not sure how they get such a natural fruit taste, but next to wild peach, this blew it out of the water. Not to say that Wild Peach isn't good, it just didn't have any kick to it. They know how to brew the most natural tasting beers you will ever try. Glad to finally try this one and can't wait to revisit in october.

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Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Okay, so first off, a massive thank you to Steasy66 for this. Bro, respek. Second, happy birthday to me :-)

Poured into my vintage cast glass lord of the rings collector glass from burger king. This is the Gandalf one, so you know something special is going into it.

Appearance. Pours a murky redish-plum colour with almost two fingers of frothy pink-tinted head. 4.25

Smell. Nice floral blackberries and raspberry, black currant, a touch of that new glarus yeast smell that always smells dusty ...maybe earthy. Some light oaky white wine notes as well. 4.0

Taste. Wow, very sour blackberry indeed! Super tart and sour blackberries stimulate massive salivation. Just a faint touch of that ng wild yeast, tart raspberries, some lemon juice and maybe a touch of toasty oak. Pretty awesome actually but couldn't take much more sour and still enjoy this. 4.50

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, strong carbonation but fine and somewhat smooth. 4.75

Overall. One of the best american sours I've tried for sure and very different from all the other NG wild I've tried. Thanks again steasy66 for the opportunity.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer is a deep purple with a pink head. Huge blackberry aroma. Pie crust, wild yeast. Wow, this is tasty. Sour and puckering, settling in the jaws with a gentle acetic quality. Long lasting after taste. Huge blackberry and jammy quality throughout. While the rarity adds to the allure of this beer, there's no doubt this is a stellar brew. One of, if not the, best from New Glarus.

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Photo of Get_Lowell
4.98/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

3 oz pour at bottle share, thanks Shea!

A: Light foam which left slight trails around the glass. Dark purple coloration reminiscent of blackberry juice. Very inviting.

S: Wow. One of the most aromatic beers I have ever enjoyed. Big blackberry aroma wafts out of the glass. There's no synthetic smell here, its as if hundreds of blackberries were freshly squeezed and jammed into the bottle!

T: The flavor progression on this sour is both amazing and surprising. You get an obscenely fresh blackberry flavor on the front while the tartness builds through the middle and climaxes on the finish. In contrast, many sours which I have had blast you with sour on the start and give the fruit flavor on the finish. The sour finish is fairly intense, reminiscent of warhead candy. This flavor is so fresh and spot on I actually had the sensation of phantom blackberry seeds!

M: Medium body, very effervescent, bubbly all the way down the palate.

O: This is hands down my favorite sour that I have ever had. I was heartbroken when I reached the end of my pour. I just kept breathing in the (still extremely pungent!) aroma from the last vestiges of this sweet nectar of the gods. Well done New Glarus, well done.

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Photo of facesnorth
3.99/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good beer. But not deserving of the hype it gets. I drank it at a small share with 2 other friends along with Atrial Rubicite and some other beers. It was on par with Atrial. Which means it's a very good beer. But it's not worthy of the praise that it commands. Worlds better than Nocturn Chrysalis though, which I found quite lacking. Don't give up the cellar for this expecting it to blow your mind. I don't get much funkiness nor jammyness from it, which is how it's often described. Pleasant, quite tart, nice fruity aroma. Great beer to enjoy in the summer. Certainly won't attempt trading for another, though, unlike some other beers which are truly world class. FWIW, we drank Veruca in the same tasting and that handily stole the show.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.9/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle into a cantillon gueze glass. 8/2013 bottle date.

pours a dark ruby red color with a terrific red head. smell has a massive aroma of blackberries the second it leaves the bottle. wow. taste is damn amazing and ..wow . it has a slight tartness...but the perfect amount of fruit. its like blackberry wine. the flavor is almost perfect. the best new glarus ive ever had and possibly the best beer period. body is medium and so is carbonation.

overall it surpassed my expectations. deserves the hype.

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Photo of Duff27
4.74/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purple head in a dark purple body. Very excellent head retention for a sour. Some lace clings.

Love the smell. Like fresh blackberry jam.

Blackburrrries. "Yum yum yum"...after every sip. Gets a 8 on the Duff27 sour scale.

Full mouthfeel. Carbonation level is perfect.

The masters of fruit beers have done it again. Don't know what else to say other than this is one of the best sours I've ever had.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.44/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Doing this side-by-side with AC Golden Framboise noir, unbiased if anyone will believe it.

A- VSB has a framboise color, deep cherry/raspberry red. Non transparent, medium lacing with good legs.

S- Raspberry/blackberry forward, very juicy. Some lingering funk in the background. That New Glarus fruit dank smell is here like in their fruit beers.

T- It tastes more like raspberry than blackberry as agreed by the only other person here doing the side-by-side with me. Somewhat sugary raspberry tart. Kinda one dimensional here with sour + Raspberry or Blackberry; no other good sour qualities that I like with great sours.

M- A bit too much carb for me here. The sour has a sting that is not a bad thing, just very tart. The carb disrupts the enjoyment of the brew. Both participants like FN more

O- I like AC Golden Framboise Noir first because it tastes like a blackberry sour, and secondly the mouthfeel is way better. VSB is too one dimensional; FN is too, but less so. So all in all AC Golden FN>VSB IMO. I am sure some will find me nuts for this.

edit: last glass of VSB is perfect/4.75 on T and M if it were a raspberry sour; the dreg

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R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry) from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 393 ratings