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Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Frambozen Raspberry Brown AleFrambozen Raspberry Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

395 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 395
Hads: 864
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 40
Gots: 58 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 11-03-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 395 | Hads: 864
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish mid-brown with foaming head (in my amazing glass. Raspberry and malt in the aroma. Medium at best mouthfeel. Raspberry always in the mild brown, from start to finish.Drying aftertaste.
A serviceable fruit beer, but nothing to especially seek out.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 2/17/13.

Pours a clear reddish-brown with a foamy reddish-beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and some earthy raspberry aromas. Taste is much the same with a slight tartness and a fruity finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that mixes up the fruitiness from the raspberries and the base brown ale fairly well.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not usually a fruit beer guy, but this brown ale packs a perfect mix of tart (NOT SWEET) raspberry fruit with some excellent caramel malts and the new belgium classic yeast notes. nose is sharp and puckery, with an boozey malty backbone. more balanced fruit in the taste, with a really smooth finish. this is a very sessionable beer and will be in my fridge again during this holiday season. a clever beer from new belgium, well done

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ballofruit for this bottle. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a medium brown color with a good head and a bit of lacing. The nose has a light amount of raspberry with some sweet malt taking up the biggest portion. Flavor has more raspberry, though it's not all that integrated with the base. Medium body with light sweetness. Boom.

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Photo of brentk56
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt sienna color with a beige head that retains well and leaves a good deal of splashy lacing

Smell: Lovely aroma of raspberry filled chocolates

Taste: Slightly tart raspberry and cocoa flavors dance together both before and after the swallow; just when you think one dominates, the other emerges; a touch of nuttiness for the holiday season as well

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Unlike so many fruit beers, this one is a real pleasure to drink; very different and really enjoyable; not the most complex beer out there but a very nice standard for the holiday season

Thanks, Oxymoron, for the pleasure and cannabanaceae, for the second opportunity

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hear "frambozen" so I expect Belgian character. But when the expectations fail, what's left? Without the character of Belgian yeast, New Belgium lets the malt and fruit stand all on their own, with the yeast-neutral character of American brewing at heart. Does the beer have enough to give on that alone?

Without the highly spritzy visual texture of Belgian Framboise, the deep crimson beer delivers a more creamy appearance than champagne, which is my first clue that things are different here. As the brilliantly clear, dark beer settles; an even coat of foam skirts the glass evenly and laces wonderfully uneven- organic as ever even if foregoing the Belgian underpinnings.

One whiff off the glass and I'm udderly perplexed: There's the malt, there's the fruit, but where's the vinous, tawny, earthen, sour notes that pull them all together? They are all missing. Yet, after becoming accustomed to the scent, I begin to understand the clear-cut dialogue of toast and raspberry which play out simply, elegantly, and confidently.

With one taste, the raspberries rise and seem to be supported by toasty malts. On the next, the flavors of toast, chocolate, and nuts take hold and offer a glimmer of fruit complexities from left field. It's this dichotomy of malt and fruit that create such a melange that its balance is undeniable and forcefully appreciated. There's simply no other way to put it- the beer is all toast and raspberry and it makes no apologies for it. Beautiful in design, and shyly rewarding.

It's light to medium body is first bolstered by semi-dry malt textures, but then is cut by the acidity of raspberry tartness. As the malty textures prove to be fleeting, the alcohols rise to match the intensity of tartness to provide a mostly-clean, mostly-dry finish of fruit and light lingering malt sweetness.

As standard American-brewed fruit beers are concerned, Frambozen is head and shoulders better than most. But the problem is that there's so much in common with this beer and Belgian Framboise that the comparisons leave me wanting more of that Belgian character in this beer. Fair? Unfair? -to each their own, I guess.

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Photo of largadeer
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear but very dark mahogany in color, purple highlights give this a really pretty color. The off-white head shows a hint of purple as well, rising to a two finger height.

Smell: Chocolate covered raspberries immediately come to mind. Nicely balanced between sweet and tart aromas, but lacking in depth. This would be really nice if it were a bit more bold.

Taste & mouthfeel: Toasted grain and mildly tart berries - this tastes somewhat like one of those healthful breakfast cereals with freeze dried berries in it. There's a touch of chocolate, mild caramel sweetness and light acidity. Medium-light in body, rather dry on the whole actually. Not a bad brew, but something's missing here - depth of flavor I suppose? It's certainly decent, but it sounds better on paper. I could see this being good if executed better.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Fast on the heels of the Accumulation winter beer being made available up here in the Great White North, we now have a fruity Christmas offering, if the wreath on the label is to be taken seriously.

This beer pours a clear, very bright red-brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and moderately bubbly pink-tinged head, which leaves some low-lying frothy sea spout lace around the glass as it quickly settles.

It smells of sharp, rather fruity raspberry puree, lightly toasted caramel malt, a hint of acrid yeast, and the slightest of earthy, weedy hops. The taste is still pretty indulgent in the realm of fruity raspberry goodness - all over top of a bready and mildly chocolaty caramel maltiness, subtle earthy yeast, a touch of oily nuttiness, and well dialed-out weedy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are generally quite frothy, but innocuous all the same, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and more or less smooth, a slightly airy creaminess arising on its very own terms. It finishes still overbearingly fruity, the raspberry character reminding me of enough lifelong summertime experiences to really just forget anything else that is particularly seasonal about this affair.

When I hear the word 'frambozen', even though I'm familiar with its Flemish origins, back in my native tongue, all my feeble brain gets is 'frozen raspberry', from a sense of place and rudimentary French knowledge. Anyways, a nicely fruity brown-ish ale, the balance evident after more than a few mere sips.

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Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a somewhat opaque, reddish, brown color with a foamy, one-finger, off-white head. It left some trails of lace.

S - It smelled of raspberries, caramel and some vanilla.

T - Tasted very sweet with raspberry dominating the roasted caramel maltiness. Almost too sweet at times.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is pretty good. I found it to be more enjoyable with a meal (a good steak) compared to drinking it alone.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.19/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: The pour seems to be amber mixed with ruby with a short lived off-white head.

S: Not a good nose at all. Seems to be a combination of metal, fake raspberry, raspberry syrup, chocolate, corn, and vegetables. Just quite the array of aromas, here.

T: The flavor is not any better. Lots of sugar and raspberry syrup. There's also a soda water flavor to it. It's watery overall and sort of like a raspberry flavored snow cone.

M: The body is on the light side of medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Sorry New Belgium, this is just not good.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-red body with a frothy, bubbly, pink-tinted head.

Smell: Lightly tart-smelling aroma of juicy raspberries with a hint of toasted malts and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Taste: Raspberry jam with subtle hints of caramel, cocoa, and toast. A light sweetness doesn't hang around for very long. Slight tartness throughout. A tannic bitterness creeps into the taste near the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation. Slight creaminess.

Drinkability: A solid raspberry fruit beer, but one helping is definitely enough for me.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear chestnut body reveals crimson and orange highlights when held to the light; and its frothy off-white head holds quite well while leaving some nice, thin lace throughout most of the glass. Bright, juicy raspberry dominates the nose, backed by a softly chocolatey and grainy malt. The body is medium and somewhat dextrinous with a fine, median carbonation that warms to become airy and smooth. Juicy, sweet and lightly tart raspberry returns in the flavor, again followed by a cocoa-ish, lightly chocolatey, subtly caramelish, and delicately biscuity malt that fades to again reveal raspberry. It's sublime bitterness never surfaces, but does a brilliant job at balancing from the wings; and it teeters nicely between sweet, tart, juicy and cocoa-ish. Quite nice! The cocoa-ish character of the malt gives it more depth than most raspberry ales, and lends greatly to its drinkability. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of mactrail
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I do think this has one of the best aromas of any fruit-flavored beer, which is probably why I've liked it a lot over the years. Fizzy, champagne mouthfeel, reddish tint to the amber color in the New Belgium snifter.

Taste is a little sour, in keeping with real-world raspberries, with enough roasted malt to give it some mellow beeriness. Not much sweetness and a light body. Fruit flavor comes through on a high note.

Aside from the powerful fruit nose, it's a subtle experience. I can see why some may not like the flavor, but I look forward to it every year as a favorite Christmas seasonal, an alternative to the dark raisin bombs.

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Photo of LXIXME
2.44/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A big light brown head settles into a small bisquity head and light lacing above a clear reddish amber colored beer.

Sweetened raspberries dominate that aroma with some added light malts and other citrus fruits.

The taste is a light roasted malt with a light infused raspberry taste with some tartness to it.

A light to medium body and a light dry aftertaste with some lingering berry hints.

I was really looking forward to this, I usually enjoy New Belgium beers and I love raspberries but this doesn't live up to the standard set by either.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I sipped one of these last week and wasn't horribly impressed. 6.5% ABV confirmed. Best before 02/17/13.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a three finger head of pink-beige colour, poor thickness, limited cream, and good retention for the above average ABV (5+ minutes). Body colour is a vibrant light amber/red. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Raspberries, light tartness, clean malts, a fleeting vague hint of soap, and a bit of sourness. A fairly strong fruity aroma. Pleasant and inviting. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T: Raspberry sweetness and some tartness. Quite sugary/sweet. Fruity all around. Clean malty foundation. Hopping is floral and vague. Balanced but simple. Lacks complexity and subtlety. That said, it's a pleasant easy drinking beer and it's pretty well executed for what it is. Clean and enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch too thin. Slightly overcarbonated. Good palate presence, though it could use a bit more body.

Dr: Very drinkable, but not unique or special. I might have it on draught if I'm in the mood for a fruit beer. A decent offering from New Belgium.

As a side note, I think the moniker is misleading. Don't expect anything remotely close to a framboise in the sour sense of the connotation.


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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely a brown ale with raspberries mixed in. I find it earthy and hearty and deeper, which reacts with the raspberries very well. Combines to make a hearty, yet somewhat refreshing ale, even though it's more robust than the standard weak fruit beers. This is actually bringing some good character. I like it and could definitely go for more than one since it's bringing true raspberry flavor and not a bunch of syrupy junk. A nice production from New Belgium.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 15 Feb 08,

This years version pours brownish/mahogany with 2 fingers of plum tinged/whiteish head along viscous/oily layers. Superior head retention & very good lacing

S: Chocolate & berries

T: Dry with tart raspberries & some oak up front. Slight sourness follows along with a hint of vanilla & more berries as this warms. Finishes pretty dry with a bit of chocolate, great tartness & more berries

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & some wine-like qualities (sticky & dry)

Drinks pretty easy, a lot better than most fruit beers, this one I could enjoy for 3 or 5! This a solid offering this year!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A murky crimson blood red with a pleasant off white fine bubbled creamy textured head leaves nice Belgian style lacing here fine and spread evenly. Aroma: A nice toasted malt character stands beside nice subtly spiced raspberry juice very nice could be festive for the holidays considering the label adorns wreath made of raspberry and hop vines. Taste: A pleasant mix of berries and characters of a nutty brown ale it all blends well a nice creative experiement here that came out decent. Mouthfeel: Creamy textured pleasantly smooth medium to light bodied fruit infused ale. Drinkability: Not usually a fan of the fruit additive in a beer but these guys do a nice job this one is pretty drinkable not a cloying offness in the mix of fruit and malts here they mix well.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, best before 2/23/2014. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart raspberry, raspberry skin, caramel, toast, light chocolate, brown bread, herbal, floral, and herbal earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of raspberry fruit, dark/bready malt, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of tart raspberry, raspberry skin, caramel, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, herbal, floral, and herbal earthiness. Light fruit tartness on the finish; with lingering note of raspberry, caramel, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and robustness of raspberry fruit, dark/bready malt, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/fruit balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, lightly creamy, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice fruited brown ale. Good balance and robustness of raspberry, dark/bready malt, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: lovely dark garnet hued, with a fine, dun-colored head atop, settling swiftly down.
Aroma: wonderful! Sweet, yet tart, like chocolate-covered berries, beautiful, complex, and brilliant.
Taste: bright and tangy, full of gorgeous fruity flavor and lush texture. Tasrtness first, then sweet, and very, very mellow.
Frombozen here has the distinct advantage over raspberry lambics of having this brown ale base to it, making it sturdier, tastier. The raspberries blend well with the ale, doesn't stick out so terribly much, aiding drinkability. A remarkable notion, excellently executed!

Thanks to Mr. Jeffboo for sharing!

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Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hwwty4 for this!
Best before 12Feb10, poured into suggested glassware:

Pours garnet with ruby highlights with a fluffy off-white (pinkish?) head. Creamy head leaves lacing.

The smell is of raspberries - not typical "artificial", but the real sweettart raspberries. A "brown ale" toffee/cocoa maltiness comes through strongly and complements the berries nicely.

The taste is of sweet cocoa/chocolate/toffee notes with raspberries. Reminds me a bit of chocolate covered raspberries with a Chambord character. Wonderfully balanced - sweetness balanced by tart, slight roast and touch of drying bitterness in the finish. Much more complex than typical American fruit beer.

It has a creamy medium body with a nice smoothness and touch of effervescence.

Too often I'm disappointed by fruit beers, but this is head and shoulders above the average. Raspberries well-integrated into a nice brown ale. Not syrupy or artificial at all...not overly sweet... I would look forward to this winter seasonal if it were available in my area!

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Photo of drabmuh
2.86/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At the time of this review, this is the #45 top beer on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - Fruit / Vegetable Beer" list. Shared by Thorpe, served in a Stone IRS glass.

Beer is brown and hazy with a thin brown head, no lacing, low retention, moderate carbonation, looks fine.

The aroma is sweet with a mild malt, some fruit.

Beer tastes like raspberry candy, sweet, cloying, like cough syrup gross. How does it taste so much more like raspberries and not smell like them at all?

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear garnet reddish brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and some ruby red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy foamy off-white head with a slightly pinkish hue that reduces to a large patch of thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sweet/syrupy artificial raspberry and light aromas of cocoa + chocolate.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly grainy sweet malts with moderate flavors of syrupy sweet artificial raspberry. That is followed by a light flavor of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. Light amounts of bitterness balance out the sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Decent but nothing special - unfortunately the raspberry smells and tastes artificial. I like the combination of the chocolate with the raspberry though.

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Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby amber with a half inch of dense, off white head that has decent retention. The nose is predominantly raspberries. The taste is intense raspberries up front with some caramel malt undertones in the finish. This is a medium bodied beer with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall, this is a decent beer if you really like raspberries. In my opinion it's a little sweet and one dimensional.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown with some red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the syrupy raspberry and is very sweet overall. I also get a little bit of caramel malt but it is hidden behind the sugary fruit notes. The flavor is more of the same. There is a lot of raspberry and sugar, with a little bit of caramel malt. The beer tastes nice, but it is very sweet and gets hard to drink as you go along. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.