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

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R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry)

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by thebigredone on 08-19-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 383
Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
5/5  rDev +5.7%

I've had this beer too many times for one person. It's excellent, but after 1.25 or so years, it isn't what it once was. I will keep it at my original rating, but that almost feels like a lie.

It's great, but it used to be phenomenal.

 235 characters

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer gets better every time I drink it. Such a pretty purple color. Smell is where this beer really shines. So much blackberry. Taste is getting even better. Used to be a little too jammy but now the beer is really drying out and getting more sour. Mouth is great. Dry and prickly carb. Overall this beer is better every time i drink it.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 jegross2
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the R&D Very Sour Blackberry from New Glarus Brewing Company out of New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Score: 100

Bottled August 2013. Served in a Perennial snifter and enjoyed on 08/23/13 while traveling on the Metra. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous dark murky purple-ish blackberry puree color with three fingers of light purple/pink colored foamy/soda froth head that settles to a thin layer of fizzy head that coats the brew. Good lacing and retention. Excellent color. 5/5

Smell: Huge, bold notes of fresh blackberries and dark berry jam. Very fresh and jammy, with a hint of lemony lacto and a dash of raisin. The nose is almost exclusively blackberry, but the blackberry dimension is so damn appetizing. 5/5

Taste: Not very complex, but darn delicious! Tart and fresh blackberry flavor hits the front of the tongue, but subsides to more of a jammy-sweet blackberry fruit flavor towards the finish. Not very acidic overall. Finishes with a briefly lingering tart berry-fruit flavor on back center of tongue and a little earthy lacto and straw hay residual character on the front of the tongue. The blackberry flavor here is ineffably delicious, and the 500 ml of liquid bliss contained in this bottled disappeared all too quickly. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation level for the flavor profile and mouthfeel, dry finish. Very tart upfront, but not cringingly sour because the tartness smoothes out and subsides to jammy sweetness towards the finish. Foams up on the palate if you swish, which increases the dryness of the finish. 5/5

Overall: This beer is the blackberry sour king. It is easy drinking and requires no stretch of the imagination to love unless you despise blackberries, in which case more for me! Dan Carey recommended sitting on this beer for a few months, allowing for the secondary fermentation to take. Honestly, though, this beer is drinking perfectly right now so why wait. This is New Glarus' best beer to date. Prost!

Cost: $8 for a 500 ml bottle.

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Photo of WI-Beer-Man
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Ri0
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured 500ml bottle into wine chalice.

A - Deep violet with a big 3 finger salmon head. Retention is forever and a cap remains. I've never seen a beer look like this before.

S - Fresh blackberries.

T - Ripe blackberries and a very intense sour taste. I pick up some wood from the barrels. I don't know what else to say about it, but it is incredible.

M - For a sour style this has a medium heavy body and is chock full of carbonation. Will make you pucker.

O - Wicked sour and packed full of blackberry flavor. Saved it for my birthday and I'm glad I did. This is perfect now and will be perfect for many years to come. I hope that this is a glimpse of what is to come with the new lambic cellar.

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Photo of RRtransvestification
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Benish
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: intense dark red. Unlike wine, this was completely opaque and solid in color! Just by the look of the beer, it tells you that this one will be packed with flavor. Even with the tiny bit of beer left at the bottom of the glass after drinking it, it's still completely opaque.

Smell: instant raspberries and blackberries. Not really a lot of funkiness but a huge wave of tartness hits you. The aroma is really bold and it just hits your face. Incredible.

Taste: Wow its sour! Really intense sour and tartness. It also had nice earthy undertones finished with a dose of blackberries. Maybe not so complex yet it's insanely good.

Mouthfeel: light bodied and refreshing.

Overall: really delicious beer. The sourness really punches you in the mouth and then the blackberries takeover at the finish. Almost like two phases at each sip, the sourness and then the juicy blackberries!

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Photo of guyinchicago
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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Photo of pmoney
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed November 2010 and bottled August 2013.

Shared a bottle with eorwar on 4/2/14. We each had a 8-9 ounce pour into a snifter. This beer was a big want, and I was curious to see if it would live up to the huge hype surrounding it.

A: Incredible purple color unlike anything I've ever seen before. Pours a thick fluffy red head out of the bottle, which settled down to a collar of head after about a minute. A nice half-inch head is easily stirred back up with a little swirl. Besides the incredible color, the body of the beer is thick and hazy in appearance, and I can't see through it.

S: The aroma of this beer is one of my favorite things about it. It smells like tart blackberry/raspberry jam. Just bursting with sour fruit! It smells so "authentic" fruit-wise; definitely not sweet or artificial in the nose. I can tell just by smelling it, this one is going to be super sour.

T: Holy crap. The taste follows the aroma. It starts out with a sour punch! Super super sour and my mouth is salivating to combat the sour. It's not overly acidic at all though. So much juicy sour fruit! I can't imagine how many hundreds of pounds of blackberries were used to create this beer. It's so jammy and in one word: wonderful.

M: Moderately high carbonation. Nice tingling feeling from the carbonation combined with the acidity. It has a thick mouthfeel, and it feels like I just stuffed two handfuls of blackberries and sour candy in my mouth.

O: This beer absolutely lives up to the hype. It's in my top 3 of all time for sure, and just might be the best beer I've ever had. It was opened right after a KBBS, and for me, VSB had more of a "wow factor". Dan Carey is a lambic master, and I am so excited to see what else comes out of the "fruit cave" and his coolship. If you are thinking about tracking-down a VSB and haven't tried it yet, it's well worth it. Just an incredible beer.

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Photo of Abbbp
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Beer4B
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 roger617
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 +5.7%

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 Smitch
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Get_Lowell
4.98/5  rDev +5.3%
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 eseids
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
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 drmcleod10
4.94/5  rDev +4.4%

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 Beerisheaven
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First, major props to midwestern country bumpkin turned New York city slicker CaseyK for allowing me the opportunity to try this one. Thanks much Casey!

A - Poured from the bottle into my awaiting Lindemans flute. Thought that the New Glarus flutes were possibly a bit small so went for the larger Lindemans flutes. Good call on my part as even with this considerable time spent in the bottle, it still produces a pretty epic head on pour. Pours a deep garnet pinkish color with substantial head that settles slowly. Looks divine but not quite the HD color that I remember on the Blabaer pour from a couple of years back.

S - You can certainly smell the blackberries, fresh and bursting with flavor. Tart, fresh, and slightly acidic. A far cry from a more pronounced sense of vinegar, instead, fresh up blackberry that smells like they have just been juiced.

T - What else can you say about the best tasting sour that I have ever had. Wonderful jammy blackberries with the perfect amount of funk, bite, and sweetness. I had prepared for my lips to be assaulted but am glad to report on the fact that although the taste is tart it does not go all the way down the sour patch scale and retains a bit of sweetness to balance. Absolute perfection, can not imagine a way to make this better. Berry, seeds, etc., it is all in there. Absolutely wonderful.

M - Again, perfection. Very rich and wonderful taste that sits perfectly in your mouth. Full and satisfying.

O - I was sad to see it end and can only wish that I somehow am able to find another bottle. This is the best sour beer that I have had including Blabaer, Fou-Foune, St Lam, an d a host of others. I can only hope with the expanded capacity that New Glarus brings this one back. Perfetion considering the time it was held before release and the fact that it is sitting on almost 3 years out now. I can't imagine this one getting better. If you have bottles, drink at least one of them right now. Go on, get to it and treat yourself to a wonderful beer.

Thanks again Casey for the chance to try this. How do I now get another one?!?!

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Photo of Raziel313
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
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 TheSSG
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a huge, foamy, pink head. Tart berry aroma. Deep, burnt umber/crimson color. INSANELY tart, bright blackberry flavor puckers the lips. A nice flash of maltiness. Finish is soft berries into oblivion.

Absolutely perfect. Maybe the best Lambic, ever. Though, as I drank it, I realized I preferred the clarity of flavors in Serendipity to this. The puckering sourness is intense; this is the first bier that made my lips pucker.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
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 PHBoiler
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably the best sour I've ever had. I can't wait to try and hunt one down. The beer is a beautful pinkish purple color. It smells like fresh blackberries on the nose. Just blackberry. That's the perfect scent. The beer tastes like warheads, then fresh blackberries, then back to warheads. It is aggressively sour, but once you get over the shock the flavor is incomparable. Home run of a beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a beautiful purple, maroon with pink head. Nose is full of blackberry jam. Notes off earth, heavy dark fruit, acidic notes, and oak. Taste is amazing, super sour up front, tons of blackberry flesh, notes of earth, Nice balance of fruity sweetness and tart acidity. Mouthfeel is effervescent and medium. Overall, one of the best fruited sours I've had. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.87/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Crimson tinted, indigo colored pour that’s mostly opaque with a pink-ish, white head that wastes no time moving to a thin collar.

Aroma is all blackberry, all day. Sour blackberry fruity & blackberry skins, sharp lemon acidity, & an intense tartness that flows throughout.

Taste is crazy tart; puckering amounts of blackberry, & lemon-like acidity that rips at your cheeks & gum line. Lovely sour finish, lacto notes & blackberry with a touch of lemon...

This is a great American fruited sour, probably one of the best I’ve had. Get your jammies on & get ready for mouth ripping sourness.

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R&D Sour Fruit (Very Sour Blackberry) from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.73 out of 5 based on 383 ratings.
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