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Sly Fox Black Raspberry Reserve

July 15, 2013

As I said in my last review, Sly Fox is not a brewery that comes to my mind when I think of pushing boundaries or experimental brews. They come to my mind when I think of good breweries, or more importantly breweries that you can trust when you’re not sure what to order. In many ways being able to build that trust and that portfolio of beers is far more impressive to me than trying to rediscover yeast strains or deconstruct styles. Therefore, I was quite surprised when I ordered a fruitier concoction and was blown away by what they did with it, because the only way to describe the Black Raspberry Reserve is unique.

The beer pours a dark purple almost black color, with lots of red hues and a brown stout-like head. That head was the first thing about this beer that tipped me off that not all was as it seemed, and that maybe there was more to this fruit beer than I originally anticipated. A sweet raspberry scent however kept me guessing, lulling me into believing this was just another fruit beer. The heavier body, and velvety mouthfeel are what set me to questioning again.

Raspberry flavors do form the basis of this brew, there’s no doubt about that. A majority of its taste is in that raspberry tug-of-war between sweet and tart. However what balances the beer are rich hints of roasted malts, which add a mostly chocolate flavor to the background of this beer. I like to think of it as the inverse of a stout with fruit added, rather than being mostly chocolate with some fruit flavor, this beer is mostly fruit with some chocolate flavor. It’s positively delicious, and a clean hop finish means that unlike most fruit beers or heavier stouts there’s little to no lingering flavors on either the sweet or bitter side.

This is the type of unique beer you want to have. It’s not something that you’re going to drink just so you can say that you drank it. It’s a beer that you’re going to want to drink and debate telling your friends about because you might want to have it all for yourself. Hunt this beer down, and get a glass of it, you will be happier for it.


From → Beer

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