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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.

851 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 851
Reviews: 398
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 35
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 851 | Reviews: 398 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, freshness date clearly marked on bottle.

A: Deep vibrant ruby with one finger of light tan head that laces and lasts fairly well.

S: Rather nondescript adjunct and foam smell, the slightest bit of something fruit-like on the side.

T: Initial taste is of rather bland malts and hops.. but don't lose hope, a second after this beer hits the tongue a bold raspberry taste shows up and dominates the rest of the flavor into the moderate to slight aftertaste. This beer is in danger of tasting like cough syrup, but avoids that terrible fate by a narrow margin; the raspberry flavor is somewhat more like a nice raspberry jam than like a chemical imitation. Some hop bitterness is present to balance the raspberry sweetness.

M: Carbonated, bubbly, and fairly thin bodied.

D: Moder drinkable, the raspberry has a nice tartness that invites repeat gulps.

Overall: A beer worth trying (if only to behold its beautiful appearance), but not one I would buy for myself again in any significant quantity. For all the hype surrounding New Belgium as a "craft" brewery, this tastes remarkably like a macro fruit beer to me. Could be paired nicely with biscuits fresh from the oven late in the evening.

Note: This is by no means a Frambozen. I was given the bottle and initially thought that it was an attempt by New Belgium to brew a Lambic, but quickly realized that it was nothing of the sort. The same type of mislabeling as calling Bud Light a "Vienna Lager".

Photo of Chambic
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.23.09 shared a 12-oz. bottle at City Beer Store

A: beautiful brown with ruby tint

S: tasty tart smell

T: long raspberry finish

M: lighter in body, with matching carbonation level

D: nice, friendly beer; good way to introduce "dark" and "tart" beers

Photo of Tone
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/5 inch head of a pink-cream color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of raspberry, sweet malt, yeast, and slight earthy aroma. Fits the style of Fruit / Vegetable Beer. Mouth feel is sharp and smooth with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight roasted malt, sweet malt, yeast, and raspberries. Overall, smooth, good blend, and nice body.

Photo of wholelottalove
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: amber with reddish hue, small light tan head

smell: very little comes through but the slightest hint of raspberry

taste: dominant flavor of raspberries with some extra sweetness from the malt; sweet, but not overpowering. very slight hoppy finish

mouthfeel: overall good feel; clean, refreshingly carbonated

drinkability: overall a pleasant beer, but more than one would be too much. furthermore, not something that would seem fitting out of the holiday season.

serving type: bottle

Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottle indicates this is best before 12 Feb 2010.

Appearance: rich amber brown with one finger of tan head. Pretty nice.

Smell: toasty, nutty aroma of a good brown ale. Just the faintest hint of raspberry. Pretty good.

Taste: a lot more raspberry than in the nose, but it is pretty good nonetheless. The fruit tastes natural and complements the brown ale well; a little of the nuttiness and caramel shine through. So far this is among my favorite of New Belgium's offerings.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a nice level of carbonation.

Drinkability: this is quite a drinkable beer. When I'm in the mood for a fruit beer this is what I'm usually seeking: a good base beer with just a little natural fruit added.

Photo of boatshoes
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this as an extra after winning Scray24's LIF. Thanks!

Appearance- Pours a medium translucent brown tinged with a touch of dark red here and there throughout the body. About a finger of fizzy pinkish head comes out off a fairly aggressive pour and dies quickly. No noticeable lacing or beading as I drink.

Smell- This one is really straightforward on the nose. Lots of fresh, jammy raspberries dominate. Little else comes across but smells nice and fresh.

Taste- Taste is also fairly one dimensional. Lots and lots of raspberry with just a touch of woody seeds and sweet malt showing through as well. Much better than many fruit beers that I've had. However, a somewhat misleading name as this is by no means a frambozen.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel I found to be rather thin and carbonation somewhat lacking, which contributed to a sense of wateriness. Drinkability suffered as a result and the one-dimensional nature also left me not particularly wanting another.

Overall, a solid fruit beer but lacking in complexity and mouthfeel. If you're into fruit beers (not fruit lambics mind you), this one is okay. Not my favorite by any means however.

Photo of jdense
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from John's Marketplace poured into Chimay chalice for Christmas day lunch.

Copper amber body, 1/4 finger white head quick dissipation with a bit of lacing. Big berry presence in the nose, a bit of bready malts, not much in the way of hops, though they became more noticeable after warming. The taste is berries, berries, berries, a bit of hops but they are overwhelmed by the raspberries. Smooth mouthfeel, decent carbonation. Too sweet to drink more than one bottle. An interesting holiday ale, but not something I'd drink outside the holiday season.

Photo of Kromes
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear reddish dark brown with a pinkish tan colored head. Good lacing down glass.

S: A grainy toasted malt with raspberry jam aroma. Very nice and simple aromas.

T: The flavor starts out with tart raspberry and the flavor remains all the ways through to the finish. The toasted malts show up as it passes over the tongue along with a slight herbal hop flavor and bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is good. Carbonation level is about right.

D: The flavor is good. But would be a little much after one or two.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a beautiful, clear mahogany-red with one finger of creamy tan head.

Malty aroma with chocolate, vanilla, and lighter raspberry notes.

The taste has more raspberry action than the aroma. The raspberry is more tart than sweet. The fruit intro is followed by chocolate, vanilla, and sweet malts.

Medium bodied, sticky and tart, and moderately carbonated.

Less raspberry action than expected but I think that's what I liked about it.

Photo of rtepiak
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is that of a reddish ale... flemish red in tone without any cloudiness. large head with large bubbles that fade. nose of yeast protein... then opens of into nice smokey earthy brown ale. palate is quite earthy and nice but lacks a lot of volume of the palate... mild sweet. some raspberry. citrus hop if any resembles of sour. not a sour ale at all but curious to see what would happen with a year of two of aging... overall decent accented brown ale.

Photo of SamN
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz longneck, served in the proper NB goblet-esque glass.

A- Surprisingly dark ruby red color, with a decent brown head tinted with crimson. Visible carbonation when held to light. Very attractive considering it's holiday nature. Might not be as appetizing as a regular year-long brew; looks like fizzy cranberry juice.

S- Again with the cranberry juice; mouthwateringly tart and sweet nose, backed with light, classic ale malts. No discernible hops present. Delicious smelling!

T- Tart, slightly sweet with more ale grains in the taste. The actual raspberry flavors are dimmed a bit, but come to life in the slightly sticky sweet aftetaste. Decent, but I was expecting more fruits in my mouth.

That sounded really gay. My apologizes.

M- Medium light body with a wonderful smoothness. Felt almost zero carbonation.

D- This beer would become tiring quickly; the tartness would quickly lead to palate fatigue and would overpower the next beer. Best enjoyed as a one-beer treat with good friends and family at Christmas time.

Photo of angelmonster
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a 2 finger white head with pinkish highlights. Body is brown and red when held up to light. Head retention and lacing are above average but unusual color of beer pushes the appearance score higher

Smell is of cranberry juice and pale malt. No hops are detected. Fruit is the dominant aroma here

Taste is of tart, sweet cranberry juice. Even though it's labeled a raspberry brown ale, I'm not getting any characteristics of a brown ale. Reminds me of a slightly less sweet Framboise

Mouth feel is good. Carbonation is lively but not too much. Body is pretty light and head stayed around for awhile adding a cappuccino like froth

Drink ability is pretty good. Cant believe this beer is 6.5% abv, very session able. Was hoping that the beer would have more flavors of a brown ale to go with the fruitiness but unfortunately it doesnt.

Photo of boogyman
2.63/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a dark clear maroon color that looks pretty good half finger of head that dissipates quickly to just some residual bubbles around the top of the liquid.

S- Definitely raspberry. Has a sorta pale kinda thing going on which is kinda weird but hey. Not much else on the nose other then sweet, almost tart raspberry.

T- Definitely tart dry raspberry. Dominates the palate on this brew. As it goes down you can get a sense for the brown ale aspect of this beer. Kind of a weird mix going on in my mouth that is kinda killing it for me. Leaves some odd tastes in my mouth.

M- Feels bubbly going in and down. Not as smooth as it could be but nothing to cry about. Alcohol is well hidden which is good.

D- For me, I couldn't have much more then one of these at a time. It just has some weird aftertastes that just kind don't do it for me. But for what it is, this is a beer I can see myself having with a fruity desert.

Photo of harlanhu28
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with an inch or so of head and reduces quickly down to a nice lacing..

No much of a hoppy nose more of a malty raspberry preserves..

Mouth feel quite light with a tinge of pucker..

I would have to say there is a very clean bittering hop flavor masked in the fruitiness.

The sour finish is quite good very malty.. For a beer of a complexity like this one i think New Belgium has hit a home run this year.. There are many ways to mess up a fruit beer.. New Belgium Frambozen has been a constant for me year after year..

Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown sugar color with a raspberry hue. Seriously the body of foam is tinted pink like a lambic but with much smaller bubbles. Nose is all raspberries dusted with fresh brown sugar. Same character in the taste, like a well crafted brown ale with a raspberry finish. Nice and malty as it starts and adds a tart finish from the fruit. Only a couple things going on in this beer, not too complex but done right. Luscious mouthfeel, medium and not too bubbly. A great holiday beer, I need to go back and get the six pack.

Photo of wnh
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a brilliant, bright ruby red, tinted copper at the edges, with a large, frothy tan head tinted ever-so-slightly pink. Quite unique, but not at all unexpected in a beer brewed with raspberries. Large sheets of lacing left behind once the beer is gone.

Smells largely like a brown ale with a mild fruity twist. Toasted bready malt takes center stage, with a light nuttiness underneath and tart, ripe raspberries just poking through.

The roles are reversed, happily, on the palate. Tart, juicy raspberries on the entry, clean and quenching, turning earthy and nutty in the middle before fading into well-toasted bready malt. The fruity raspberry flavor lasts for the entirety, and thankfully plays a much larger role than the nose indicates.

Unlike many fruit beers I've had, the flavors here are well integrated. The brown ale provides a nice canvas for the raspberry without fading too far into the background, pushing too far into the foreground, or being at odds with the fruity notes.

Medium bodied and soft, with just a touch of fruity acidic bite. A well-made, enjoyable beer. Seems like it'd be a good match for a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

Photo of Rayek
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Deep garnet with good clarity and a steady bead. A foamy pink tinged cap has nice size and decent retention. Leaves a good amount of lace.

S: Raspberry and lemon struck me first. There's a woodsy and grassy backbone underneath.

T: Sweet and tart. Raspberry is the overarching theme here. Its flavor dominates. A mild roasted malt flavor comes through briefly before be supplanted by more raspberry and a sour lemon tartness. The sweet fruit flavor lingers through the finish and gets slightly medicinal at the very end.

M: The body is thick, syrupy and also dry. Carbonation feels just a touch high.

D: This is a nice holiday offering. The sweetness gives the beer an after dinner character that would go well with dessert. The raspberry flavor could stand being toned down just a touch for my tastes.

Photo of brownbeer
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep red with a slightly pink head. Really, quite neat looking.

S- Sweet raspberry, brown sugar, caramel.

T&M- Fresh raspberry up front and then it fades into the malty brown ale. The fade has sweet chocolate, maybe vanilla, caramel, with a faint raspberry tartness. The flavors work well together but I think it could benefit from a creamier mouthfeel.

Good holiday beer for a raspberry fan who happens to like brown ales.

Photo of elniko
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Rich deep ruby amber coloring, one finger head and nice lacing. Really good looking brew.

S: Raspberry tones are in the nose but do not overwhelm. Slight tinge of alcohol apparent as well. Solid nose.

T & M: Wonderfully balanced. The raspberry as with the nose does not overwhelm the taste but provides a wonderful tartness. Mouthfeel is tart as well, this is a beer that lingers after a sip.

D: Very drinkable, one of the best fruit beers that I've had.

Photo of Offa
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is interesting and definitely has a raspeberry-mixed-with-brown-ale character but to me ultimately is not satisfying, seems a bit characterless and isn't my style, as I expected.

Deep, dark brownish red, it has a medium pink-tan head steadily thinning to a wispy top but leaves some nice lace.

The aroma is caramel, toast, raspberry.

The taste is heavily toasted bread, hints of caramel, hint of red wine,tart raspberry that is most prominent in the finish, followed by bread and a cracker aftertaste. It is mostly sweet-tart and toasty .

Photo of illidurit
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep clear copper color with an ecru/pink head that leaves some nice lacing. Smells like chocolate cake with raspberry icing. Tastes a lot like the icing with some cocoa and bread crust character. Even a little bit of roast. Pretty sweet overall with a touch of tartness, would work well as a dessert. Light and airy with high carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel but still drinkable.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 2/22/09 and a best by date of 2/18/08. Properly cellared so not too concerned.

Sam Adams ultimate glass. Light or dark brown depending on thickness of glass.

Thin beige head. Chocolate and raspberry aroma.

Had some balance issues with the chocolate and raspberry on this one. I can't put my finger on ideas for improvement but the balance of the two flavors in this beer did not work for me as much as I was hoping for (I do like the combination).

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop-top in the typical New Belgium style. Best before Jan. 30th '09...I'm a bit late with this one

Appearance: Very attractive bright garnet beer capped with a fluffy light tan head with good retention and decent lacing

Smell: Not at all what I was expecting. There's a decent caramelly presence up front, with that typical New Belgium biscuit character, as well as just a tiny hint of chocolate...the raspberry aromas are definitely present, but remain in the background.

Taste: Biscuit and caramel malts upfront with just a hint of roasted quality; then the raspberries come through, tart, juicy, and absolutely delicious. This is a true fruit beer; it's natural tasting, tart, and in no way artificial. Perfect balance between berry sweetness and tart qualities.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied

Drinkability: High; but it's not the type you'd have several of in a row, just due to its style...this would be perfect for the end of a meal, or with some bread/camembert/jam as an appetizer...we tried it with a brie, apple, and puff pastry app, which was quite tasty as well

Conclusion: Other than traditional Belgian lambics, this is probably the best fruit beer I've tried...good job NB

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep reddish-brown color with a half inch white head. There appeared to be almost no carbonation present, although there was excellent lacing all over my pint glass.

Aroma of cherries and honey. A little funky.

Good sour flavor, a lot like chocolate covered cherries. A sour cherry, malty flavor prevades with almost no hop bitterness detectable.

Medium-full mouthfeel although the flavor dies out quickly on the palate and doesn't linger much, I'm guessing due to the fact that it was a tad bit flat.

Good enough to have a few as they are not too sweet and have a good beer backbone but this beer would be great if it just had a little more carbonation in it.

Photo of ThirdLap
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This bottle has been sitting in my fridge for a few months. Served at fridge temp into a tulip, then allowed it to warm up a bit.

A - Pours a very dark red with a short-lasting but big head. Lots of lacing.

S - Sour, fruity, and a bit funky.

T - Raspberry and tart. I know it's a fruit/vegetable, but this tastes like it's halfway to a decent sour.

M - Medium carbonation. Mild tartness, relatively thin bodied for the style. Very nice finish.

D - Surprisingly low. I kinda like this beer, but somehow don't want another. I want something fuller, with more character.

Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 851 ratings.