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Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Frambozen Raspberry Brown AleFrambozen Raspberry Brown Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 11-03-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 867
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of babydoc.

Pours a deep ruby, with brown tinges. A small pink and tan head forms on top of the beer.
Aroma is very strongly raspberries (well duh), sweet and toasty malt, yeasty characteristics, and a bit of hops. Alcohol is present in the nose, but it well balanced with the rest of the aromas.
Taste is tart raspberries, caramel and toasted malts, a slight alcohol warming while going down, and just a little bit of hop bitterness. A very distinctive belgian yeastiness also is present.
Overall, a very interesting beer and an excellent fruit beer.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby color with mahogany highlights and a pink tinged tan head that retains well and leaves beautiful lacing...really impressive looking. The aroma has fresh, tart raspberry notes in spades, along with dark chocolate and toffee, sour cherry juice and a bit of alcohol...not particularly complex but very inviting nonetheless. The flavor is reminiscent of a dark chocolate truffle with a raspberry filling, notes of sour cherries and raspberries, some chocolate and toffee, lactic sourness, NB's trademark yeast, biscuit and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability is good but just shy of great because of the acidity. The is a particularly tasty offering from New Belgium, not a training wheels fruit beer by any means...probably my favorite offering from this brewery so far.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.
6.5% ABv, Serve at 50°F, Best Before 24FEB13

A - Steady carbonation rises from the glass' nucleation point through the vibrant dark ruby colored beer to keep the loose pile of light pastel pink foam afloat. As the suds slowly sink, they leave drifts of lace all over the glass.

S - Frambozen opens with a robust raspberry aroma that's reminiscent of the fruit-filled lambics of Belgium though not quite as sweet. In fact, more tartness than anything blankets the faintly roasted brown malts which provide a complimentary cocoa and chocolate quality, however dull. Exactly what I'd imagine a brown ale with raspberries added smells like.

T - Gently raspberry fruitiness nudges the base maltiness of this beer with a tartness which works very well with the mildly roasted malts which provide a touch of chocolate to the beer. Cocoa and hops linger on the finish with a dry earthiness.

M - Medium-bodied and well carbonated, this brown ale starts with a classic dryness which lingers and is aided by tart raspberries for a refreshing and soothing beer with a light, crisp bite.

O - New Belgium carefully manages to extract the core concept of a fruity framboise and applies it to a brown ale while maintaining the beer qualities keeping it level and fruity without being completely fruity. Frambozen is a nice winter seasonal that offers gentle festive cheer without being over the top fruity or strong; these could be kicked back by the 6-pack at family gatherings no problemo.

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Photo of rawfish
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruby tinged brown and clear with a small pink tinged head. Poor retention and messy lacing left behind. Glows when it's held up to the light.

Berries up front, thin and uplifting dried cranberries and raspberry. Hay and crusty rye bread, nice blend like jam on toast.

Raspberry juice immediately distinguishable but not syrupy or over the top, dry crusty bread, grassy hop, lemon zest, spearmint. The fruit is light on it's feet and adds a nice flash to what would be a sessionable amber. Dries well and doesn't leave much acidity on the palate.

Crisp and snappy carbonation pairs well with the berry. Hops dry very well and clean. Alcohol could be toned down a twinge but otherwise near perfect.

Terrific holiday beer that features the fruit without being over done, malt and drying hops balance well then cleanse the palate for the next sip. Crisp, uplifting and makes this beer feel like a celebration.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass. It has a striking deep red amber color, ample head and excellent lacing.

Aroma is mostly cranberries with some hints of brown bread.

Flavor is certainly rich in berry goodness with cranberries and raspberries. There's a nice tartness from the cran but also some sweetness to balance it out. It would be interesting to taste the base beer (without fruit) to see how it compares.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the tart flavor but it has a nice level of carbonation and medium body.

Drinkability is very good for a fruit beer but I really enjoy it as an end-of-the-evening sort of treat.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a cloudy ruby brown. The creamy head is a bit on the small side, but the light brown color is interesting due to a slight pink tint. The aroma is of fresh raspberries, definently not an extract smell, with an underlying toasted malt body. The taste has plenty of fresh raspberry flavor upfront, with all the tart and sweet nuances that you'd get if you had just popped a berry in your mouth. The underlying malt is ever present, with a flavor similar to Fat Tire, and serves as an excellent balance to the unique raspberry flavor. This is the best fruit beer that I've had, for raspberry fans this is a must try brew.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A-- Poured a raspberry brown color. Highly carbonated. Dirty pink colored head. Started at two fingers beofre receeding. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Tart raspberry. Very juicy. Just a hint of carmel and a very sweet nose.

T-- Raspberry in the front and carmel in the back. Good amount of tartness to this.

M-- Medium high carbonation. Medium feel. Lots of raspberry to this and some carmel to balance it out. Long lasting tartness from the raspberries.

D-- Excellent. One of my favorite Christmas seasonals. ABV is up from previous years but still well hidden and easy to drink 2-3 in a sitting. Perfect for a sitting next to a fire. Good to have again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
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 tavernjef
4.23/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a wonderful little brew with an exceptionally nice looking color with its dark syrupy brown with deep raspberry red tints and glowing even deeper when up to the light. Small off-white that fades fast and there isn't any real lace being left, which is fine by me cuz the glowing reddish quality is superb to see. Like looking into the heart of a raspberry jelly jar. Speaking of which, thats the smell of this delightful treat, fresh raspberry jam, albiet a bit subdued, but its there and freshly so. Some alcoholic hints and malts find there way past the raspberry jam aroma making this smell like a raspberry popsicle dipped in a alcoholic punch. Taste is exactly like the smell, a good amount of raspberry jam, somewhat lightly flavored and easier then I was hoping. Its not the raspberry tart of the New Glarus variety, not by a long shot, but this about being more calm and subdued, or at least it comes across that way. One dimensional in its character with easy fruity tang of raspberry jam all over the place, a touch of the alcohol pokes through along with a pleasant little orange flavor and finishes lightly of banana and sweet malts. Feel has a creamy start with a little fizz in the midway point with light carbonation and finishes with a tingley little raspberry zip and slight fruity dryness. Super drinkable and a nice little treat, would make for a great after meal dessert drink. Finished it no time and wanting more.

Thanks to jeffboo for the bottle.

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Trappeze Pub. Served in an Allagash Flute.

12 oz. / $5
half pour / $3

A - Light Auburn with a three finger beige head. Excellent lacing.

S - Raspberry and a hint of peanut butter and jelly sandwhich.

T - Raspberry sweetness with a solid malt background. Virtually no hops to speak of.

M - Light and crisp, very refreshing for a brown ale base.

O - One of the better fruit beers i've ever had. Really reminded me of a liquid peanut butter and raspberry jelly sandwhich throughout the drink.

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Photo of woemad
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle bought at Huckleberry's in Spokane. Poured a reddish brown, with a decent head colored somewhere between off-white and pink. Scents of raspberries (duh), a pleasing sweet and sourness. A little maltiness, but way in the background. The taste. is fruity, with a little bit of tart lemony flavor in there along with the raspberries, but not at the same level. There's also a bit of maltiness hovering in the background, just enough to make you aware its there. This is a very pleasing beer, perhaps not traditional enough to please hard core fruit beer drinkers, but quite tasty nonetheless. I had to grade it down in the drinkability area, as this is just too fruity for repeated pints. This would probably be great with a rich chocolate dessert. Now I want one. Doh!

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Photo of Lupe
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown color with ruby highlights and a frothy, off-white head that leaves sticky rings of lace. Juicy raspberry aroma upfront with soft toasted malt scents in the backround. Flavor is similar to the aroma, starts with juicy raspberry, sweet with a little tartness. Raspberry subsides as toasted grain flavors come into the profile. Hints of cocoa and caramel lie in the backround. Medium in body and very smooth. Not dry like a lambic, nice and juicy. The raspberries balance very well with the brown ale. Highly drinkable and delicious. Very nice.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lovely claret color with a huge pale pink head head, minor lace, a quite visually striking beer. Very pronounced natural aroma of raspberries, sweet, but with a wine or cordial characteristic. Taste begins with raspberry flavors, stinging carbonation, and a distinct alcohol note, beneath which are substantial bittersweet chocolate malts and spicy hops. Raspberry flavors rise to a tart sharpness towards the midpoint of the taste. Near the finish the hops assert themselves more strongly to vanquish the lingering raspberry notes. This beer is notable for the fact that the raspberry aroma and flavor seem completely natural and free of odd chemical flavors usually present in raspberry-flavored beverages. An absolutely stunning accomplishment in brewing. Would be excellent as a dessert beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

The beer is a soft ruby brown. An off white head recedes to chunks of bubbles while sheets of lacing coat the glass.

The beer smells bubbly, like champagne with raspberry, faint malts and hops, and perhaps subdued nuttiness.

The beer tastes bright and fruity with raspberry and cranberry notes. A silky malt body brings lingering notes of nuts and cranberry bread.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but spritzy and dry.

Overall this is my favorite New Belgium beer. It's not overbearing, it's clean and refreshing and I can always have several without feeling like its a dessert.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a fabulous beer, I've never had anything like it. Pours a deep dark brown with a tan head that has great head retention. The smell is of deep dark chocolate and raspberry. Smell like a nice truffle, hints of caramel and cream. The taste was fabulous, it is like drinking a chocolate covered raspberry, the chocolate upfront taste blends nicely with the raspberry sweetness. The milk/honey blends well with the chocolate. This is medium bodied and goes great with Raspberry Cheescake or chocolates, great dessert beer. The drinkability is down just because the beer is really sweet, more like a glass a night with dessert than a session beer.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another New Belgium winner, this beer came in BIF18 from babydoc. Thank you again.

Pours a near opaque, barely translucent muddy brown. Not much head and the aroma was brown ale all the way. Some fruit was in the nose, but not too much. That semi-chocolatey brown ale smell was the first thing I tasted. Without the fruit, this would have been a pretty decent brown ale, but with the raspberry flavors it becomes a classic brown. Most browns have a finish that I find off-putting and dissatisfying (think Legend Brown if you've had it). This beer finishes smooth with just the right hit of that typical flavor. Loved it. Again, I wish that NBs were readily available here.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.31/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown (chocolate and chestnut) with a nice full light brown head at first that's gone quickly. Light carbonation .. not very lambic-like. Very strong raspberry truffle like aroma and flavor. Tates like a chocolate and raspberry Belgian truffle -- very rich and dessert-like. Medium bodied and smotth without the typical lambic airiness.

A definitely nice dessert beer !!

Per Label: "Ale Fermented With Real Raspberries"

Best Before: 03/28/04
Tasted: 06/01/06

(Z. Wood)

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Photo of bditty187
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear ruby-brown hue, it is an absolutely gorgeous color, the off-white head never develops much height, maybe a fourth of a finger, sparse in the middle, fuller around the rim. Laces rather well, very webby. The nose is raspberries and malt, there is pretty good depth to the raspberries, a little sweet, a little tart, a little like pie, yet I can’t help but say this is a one trick pony. Yes, the malt is noticeable but what does it really do? It has an inviting aroma nevertheless. The palate is impressive, that is all I can say. The maltiness is very sturdy, typical of a Brown Ale, hence the name. The raspberry taste is very pie-like, a touch tart and a touch sweet, I detect more chocolate notes than I have typically. The finish is largely “brown ale” in nature, the hops are not noticeable, the bitterness is minimal; the aftertaste has a burst of raspberry and then maltiness. Drier than you’d expect, the taste is far from cloying. This beverage begs to be paired with cheesecake or a chocolate cake. This fruit beer is much different than 99% of its competition. I look forward to Frambozen every year; it is worth a six-pack for sure. I do like it better on-tap however. This is an impressive beverage. I would recommend this to anyone who thinks fruit beers are either “girly” or “too sweet.” This ale is damn tasty. Recommended.

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Photo of Morris729
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep ruby in color with a thin creamy light pink colored head that quickly fades into a trace amount of lace. Nose is fresh raspberry and sweet malts. Crisp with a good amount of carbonation to tickle the mouth. Taste is a nice blend of tart raspberries and sweet malts with a bit of fruity citrus. The raspberries in both the aroma and taste seem very natural with no artificial notes that tarnish so many brews of this type. A delightful brew that makes for an excellent after-dinner drink.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Frambozen poured a dark ruby red with a big pinkish-tan, creamy head that lasted for the entire time and laced the glass on the way down. It had a tart, fruity nose. The taste followed suit - a big tart raspberry initial taste that mellowed as the beer warmed, with a smooth malt finish. This is one of my favorite holiday beers. The fruitiness is not overwhelming, and it's very drinkable. I have noticed that the taste can vary from batch to batch as well as draft vs bottles - some are fruitier and tarter than others.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
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 BeerSox
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into mug.

Dark brown, with a strong ruby red tint. The head is light tan with hints of red mixed in, and lasts forever. It eventually settles to a swirling frothy cap. Thick layered lacing from top to bottom.

The aroma is packed with raspberry and some milk chocolate, with some sweet grain. Smells almost like a dessert cookie.

Dark chocolate mixes beautifully with a syrupy raspberry flavor. There is some slight sticky bready grain. It's almost like a raspberry dessert cake. Medium bodied. The finish is smooth and creamy with lingering raspberry flavors.

I really enjoyed this one, it's a very unique beer. This is a great desser treat for anybody, and is probably a good beginner beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of 1whiskey
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite winter seasonals. Despite the relatively high price, there always seems to be a sixer of this in my fridge during the fall and winter. On with the review...

12 oz bottle pours out a beautiful dark ruby color. Aggressive pour yields a thick slightly pinkish-tan head. Leaves a lot of lacing. Nice.

Smells slightly sour, of raspberries, with a somewhat medicinal quality. Almost like a mini-lambic. Not bad.

Taste is a wonderful mix of raspberry tartness, a strong base malt that counters the tartness with an appropiate level of sweetness, and a nice soft cocoa flavor. Not totally lost in the mix are some floral hops notes and a hint of that trademark NBB bisquit flavor. No one element overwhelms the other, it's all quite restrained and amazingly balanced. Finishes fairly clean w/ just a slightly sour aftertaste that is actually very pleasant. Alcohol is well hidden in the taste, though you'll feel it in your belly for sure. Very "fresh" quality to it all. So well balanced...I love this beer. Not nearly as acidic as you might think, either.

Medium body is lightened by a very high level of carbonation. Normally I don't like that, but it seems to work really well with the tart quality. VERY drinkable. Too drinkable.

There seems to be this odd trend of bashing NBB lately, just because they have become quite successful from a buisness standpoint. Well bollocks to that! This is a well crafted beer from a brewery that should be a shining example of what American craft brewers are capable of. Enjoy!

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I have to thank the jolly ol' elf himself for leaving this treat under our Christmas tree. I have been curious about this beer ever since I saw it in a few stores earlier in the season. It seems to be one of the more underappreciated holiday brews, overshadowed by the Mad OSA Celebration Elfs of the brewing world. But the taste tells the tale, and this is one fine addition to any holiday table. It's a raspberry flavored beer, and it comes in a decorative bottle with a festive looking wreath on the label.

Pours very well, leaving a nice half-inch thick head. The beer is a rich, dark ruby red color. It looks great when you hold it up to the Christmas tree lights, diffusing the color into a vibrant, liquid red.

It has a nice nose, raspberries wafting forth and taking over the aroma. The taste is special and unique. Tart raspberries dominate the flavor of this beer, but you do get a firm malt backbone before the hops make a token appearance. It would have been easy to let the fruit take over in this beer, but it was surprisingly balanced overall. The raspberries are there, but they don't feel cloying or sweet.

The flavors gel more as the beer warms. It finishes a little dry on the palate, slightly sour towards the end of the bottle, but not unpleasantly so. Good mouthfeel. Deceptively drinkable, it would be easy to quaff a few of these at the holiday table or party. It matches up GREAT with a big ol' turkey and dressing spread, or maybe afterwards with a nice dessert.

Give the other holiday offerings a rest and try this undiscovered gem of a beer. It certainly made MY holiday a little brighter.

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Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
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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Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.66 out of 5 based on 867 ratings.
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