Jason Johnson's picture

Upland Raspberry

September, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
4 / 6
38 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

This is another category 28C, Specialty Wild Beer. The reason this category is chosen is because of the use of souring bugs, barrel aged, and fruit added. It's a good candidate for that category.

The beer pours a deep candy red color with a light haze. We aggressively poured the beer but no head to be found other than a light fizzy cloud which quickly disappeared like what you see on a soft drink. I feel the aroma is exactly as it states, it’s a sour raspberry ale. Looking at the color should tell you it’s loaded with raspberries, and the aroma confirms it. There is a very strong aroma of fresh sweet raspberry that dominates the aroma. If you search for it, you will find a grainy malt aroma but you really have to hunt for it. I also picked up a low level of oak as the beer warmed. Flavor wise, the beer is not as sweet as the aroma suggests. Maybe it’s because of the high carbonation, but the beer has a nice medium dry finish. However the raspberry flavor dominates here as well. Picking out the malt is difficult but you do get some bready and lightly toasty impression if you really focus on finding malt. As the beer warms up you may notice a little bit of an oaky flavor as well, just like the aroma. But finding hops or any other flavors of depth are very difficult as I get mostly raspberries and a bit of lactic tartness. The beer is medium bodied and due to the high carbonation, it comes across a bit “poppy”.

Again, it’s a solid sour from Upland, but I found it very one dimensional with excessive raspberry character. I would like to taste a bit more of the base beer in this sample, but when all is said and done the beer is exactly what the name suggests. It’s raspberry.