Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Belgium Frambozen review

New Belgium Frambozen'Tis the season for your folly! Fa la la la la la, la la la la! And what better way to follow your folly than to sample some New Belgium Frambozen - Raspberry Brown Ale. This local Fort Collins Colorado beer is classified as both a fruit beer and a brown ale. Which ever it is, it's a tasty winter seasonal beer that is brewed for release a couple weeks before Thanksgiving and lasts through the winter holiday season.

I've enjoyed this brew for several holiday seasons now and look forward to its release every year. This year was no exception. I picked up a six pack of this from my corner store on Thanksgiving weekend.

Frambozen is loaded full of fresh raspberries from the Pacific northwest and blended with a mix of light and dark malts. The beer pours a dark red, almost purple and is clear enough that you can just about see through it. I poured this beer into my favorite New Belgium globe glass and saw a nice thick light tan head.

Aroma: This beer is a bit higher in alcohol than your average session beer at 6.5% ABV, but drinks as smooth and easy as one. Right away, I was hit with a huge aroma of raspberries and sweet malt. There was also a small whiff of hops to be had. I swirled this beer around quite a bit and the bouquet of raspberries and malts really come out strong.

Taste: The taste is nearly the same as the smell. I can only describe it as something similar to a raspberry filled chocolate from a Forrest Gump box of chocolates. This fruity beer is mildly tart and more sweet than a brown ale. It has a medium heavy mouth feel. You get a full dose of the raspberry experience from start to finish.

New Belgium FrambozenOverall: I could easily finish off two of these beers in an evening without hesitation. I can't help but feel that this beer could be made even better in one of a couple different ways:

1) Beef up the beer with a bit more malts and ABV and age this in an oak barrel. I'd love to see this as an imperial raspberry brown ale.
2) Let some Brettanomyces get at this ale and turn it into a sour Lambic ale.

I could really tell the difference between this beer that's brewed with real raspberries and one that's had raspberry extract added. The raspberry flavor is more aromatic and pure tasting than a syrup.

I tip my ball cap and my glass to New Belgium for making this beer even better than I remember this year. It's a very nice winter seasonal that goes perfect on a cold winter's night. It has been the perfect Twitter pub drink to share tweets with at night. I'm giving this beer a big holiday Thumbs Up and a recommendation to stock up on it for the winter. And when I say stock up, I mean get a case or two of it. I'm definitely going to pick up more of this well before Christmas arrives.

Related articles:
- New Belgium Frambozen returns for another season.
- New Belgium revisited.
- New Belgium La Folie review.
- Mini brew review - New Belgium 2 Below Ale.
- New Belgium Snow Day review.

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