Had to take a drive by Malt & Vine in Redmond today to make sure I had the appropriate beverages for the 4 day weekend I am about to enjoy. In doing so, I noticed a wonderful new brew from our friends at New Belgium… New Belgium Frambozen.
Having not heard of this beer before, Doug at Malt & Vine noted it was a seasonal that is pretty damn good and so I knew I had to check it out. From the bottle:
“Flemish for “raspberry”, is our big, luscious celebration of the ruby red fruit found in Belgium’;s Framboise ales. Our version is brewed with real northwestern raspberries. Gaze upon Frambozen’s deep warming color and infuse your senses with berry goodness. This Colorado holiday tradition should be served cool in a worthy glass for the best sensory experience.”
So, tonight sounded like as good a night as any to try this wonderful sounding beverage and I brought one in from the beer fridge just a while ago. The folks at New Belgium suggest the right glass, so I have a big tulip drinking glass that does the trick (as pictured). The first pour shows a dark, dark ruby color… darker than I expected. As it pours, it doesn’t look like it will have much of a head, but it catches up as the bottle reaches about 1/2 left and then hits hard with a mountain of foam at the top. The dark ruby red color is nearly to dark to see through without a strong light behind it.
The first smells, at ~40 degrees Fahrenheit, don’t offer much. A bit of the raspberry comes through, but not really that much. As the beer warms up, though, the raspberry really starts to open up and you notice it as the dominant fragrance. The taste wasn’t nearly as sour as I thought it would be. I had Flemish sour on the brain, so when this hit my tongue, I wasn’t prepared for it to be so smooth and subtle. It definitely isn’t a bad thing… just something I wasn’t necessarily expecting. The body is sour, but just not overwhelming and the raspberry is much more subtle on the body than the nose. The finish is short but impactful and leaves you satisfied, although wanting for more.
Overall, this is a great beer that everyone should try out for its unique and subtle fruity and sour flavors.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win