Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Belgium Brewing – Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale

For the Seventh Beer of Christmas, we got a sweet treat.

New Belgium is one of my favorite breweries. Any time I see a new beer from New Belgium (or Shiner or Saint Arnold), I put it into my shopping basket. I was excited to find this one prominently displayed at World Market. It was the first beer we grabbed.

This brown ale creates a beautiful brown glass with just a hit of red. Sort of like the tinge of red that a cherry coke has. The head foams up to a relatively thin cap, but once it thins out, it remains as a thin cap atop the beer. The mild, pleasant bouquet includes raspberries, a bit of a floral essence, and a touch of vanilla. There’s a sweetness to smell that comes to life rather strongly in the first taste.

The sweet taste slams you pretty hard at first. Given that beers lean towards the bitter, more than just a malty sweetness tends to stick out and this one is well beyond just malty sweet. There’s a chocolaty taste, too. It’s a little bit like a raspberry filled Valentine’s Day chocolate.

The medium body holds the carbonation but also allows the sweetness to hang around and each drink finishes like an over syruped Coca-Cola.

Good? Yes. A favorite beer? No. This was nice to try, but I’ll probably only buy this again if I’m planning to share it with friends at a beer tasting (which usually happens during homebrew days).

Brewer: New Belgium Brewing
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Style: Frambozenbier
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Interesting Note: Last year I mentioned a number of interesting tidbits about New Belgium when I reviewed their Abbey beer. To add to that, New Belgium is an environmentally friendly brewer.  Their website runs on wind power.  And every summer they host a Bike-In Cinema and donate the proceeds to a local non-profit.

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