Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Twelve Beers of Christmas - Beer Seven

New Belgium - Frambozen

Flemish for raspberry, Frambozen has been brewed by New Belgium since 1993. Only fresh raspberries from the Pacific Northwest are used and because of that, the amount produced will vary based on the amount of raspberries that are available that year. Back in 2006, a very poor raspberry crop limited the amount they could produce and Texas was one of only a few select markets that received any that year.

If you're not a fan of raspberries, then this is definitely not the beer for you. The aroma and flavour is filled with the smell and taste of ripe, tart raspberries. Even the colour is a ruby-tinted light brown with a light pink head. However, there is still a good amount of malts that break through with a hint of nuttiness and a little bitter chocolate that helps to balance it out and remind you this is still a brown ale. It's a little sweet up front, but that gives way to a finish that is slightly dry and tart but not mouth puckering. Some of the toasted malts even come back in the lingering raspberry tartness. This is another beer that I've aged (sometimes accidentally as bottles get shoved to the back and forgotten) and it typically holds up well. The raspberry tartness becomes even more intense as other flavours start to drop away, but I would recommend drinking it fresh and often while it's still available.

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