Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale | New Belgium Brewing

395 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 869
Photo of bennetj17
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish red in color, good clarity. The short head of foam dissipates quickly. Smell is bright with rapspberry and caramel malt. Almost smells like peanut butter and jelly. Taste is tart raspberry, bready, raisiny. Low hop flavor and no real bitterness. Alcohol doesn't seem that high. It doesn't coat the palate but its still not too thin. Carbonation is decent. Its a nice fruity, winter beer. A bit tart, but interesting as a brown ale with raspberries. Its nothing like a lambic which I had expected. Worth a try from one of my favorite breweries...

 554 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beer rests in the brewer's own goblet and radiates an opaque dark plum with soft glow. It starts with two fingers of purple-tinged tan head but that fades slowly, leaving a rich and delicate lacing.

Nose is of course, rasberries. It's very strong. I also smell some slight nut and hops hiding out back there somewhere but mostly its the berries. Nose signals hard sour- tart association in my brain and the back and sides of my tounge start salivating.

My tounge glimpes undead citrusy hops and the specters of earthy ones scurrying out of the path of the on-coming nutty malt truck, which is loaded down with huge rasberry taste that plays wonderfully off a big sour lactic character. The mouthfeel is thin but sticky. While I found this to be a tasty brew, it is so fulsome that one a night is enough.

I have tried this beer before and been underwhelmed, but if you can still get your hands on some of this year's you really should. Apparently the rasberry crop was special this year and it really shows. I'm on like my third six of this, we've been having fun baking with it. Do not pair it with rasberry chocolate by the way, they just cancel eachother out.

 1,171 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to HardTarget for this and his most gracious recent shipment of goodies.

Best before 2/16/06 on the bottle.

Appearance: An amber, ruby colored pour with a fluffy off white head.

Smell: A light raspberry puree aroma with some malty sweetness in the background.

Taste: Raspberries, a light carmel flavor, some maple, and a touch of nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp due to the nice carbonation.

Drinkability: By far the most interesting brown ale I've had. Nothing off but nothing outstanding. Highly sessionable and not a "raspberry punch in the face" like other fruit beers that are out there. Worth a try for sure.

 659 characters

Photo of sauron681
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I tried this beer out of desperation for a raspberry flavored ale.
It has a beautiful dark ruby color, with a good lace. Head poured almost perfectly. A slight berry-nut smell. It is a very watery thin beer with a slight nut-chalk flavor. A very minimal raspberry taste as well. The taste didnt last veryl\ long either. Hence, the thin watery feel. I would of liked just a tad more berry flavor to it.

 403 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer before but it's been years. Pour is a maroon color with striking brown hues. Good lacing with a slight purple/red head and good lacing throughout the sampling.

The smell is fruity with a strong raspberry scent. Other tropical fruits are noticed as well. Reminds me of some sweet apples, a touch of papaya, maybe mango. Maybe not. There is a touch of malt with some biscuit and caramel as well.

The taste is similar. A touch of malt and noticeable raspberry flavor. A good tartness that is a bit overpowering. The malt accents the raspberry flavor with a sweeter flavor with a caramel taste and a touch of biscuit. Maybe even some brown sugar. No real hop taste but some bitterness that could be the raspberries as well.

The body was light to medium. Some smoothness but mostly tart with a touch of bitterness. I would have like to see more malt but this is one of the better fruit beers out there.

 919 characters

Photo of willgro
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Am i crazy that i thought this was an excellent brew? it did not have great head on it, but it was really good. it has some brown, nutty aftertaste, but the raspberry wasnt' too strong nor overwhelming. it wasn't too sweet either. i'm not too keen on raspberry beers (cept purple haze w/ some mudbugs) but this is really good and refreshing. just don't order one w/ the buds b/c its delicate and not too fully flavored.

 419 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I kind of like this seasonal beer. It's a little off the beaten path without being inaccessable. The beer pours to a nutty brown with ruby highlights. A thin tan head crowns the amber liquid while a lively carbonation makes it shimmer.

The smell is like a light nut brown ale, sweet with caramel and toffey, and a nice rasberry backing. Very earthy. Remniscient of a Lindeman's Framboise, though much less like a fruity soda pop and much more like a beer.

The taste is sweet with a nutty rasberry finish. Very similar to the nose, though the rasberry stands out a bit more. Not bad at all, and closer to my alley than the garden variety sweetened framboise.

The mouthfeel is lively and carbonated, but it doesn't prickle the tongue in a harsh way. The body is fairly light. The rasberry taste resides in the finish for a while after imbibing.

Drinkability is the one thing that I don't feel deserves at least a 4. It's good, but I can only take so much. Thus it makes a good seasonal... you like it when it comes out and by the time it's gone, you're sick of it anyway; but if it were around all the time I would probably be more likely to pass it up. No ridiculous cravings such as with other notable holiday releases, which could be good or bad depending on how you read into it.

 1,293 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Holiday party ale – good start, a ruby brown with sliding laces. Aroma was also malty, with just hints of raspberry. Taste, well, malty with, of course, undertones of raspberry and some cherry and chocolates.

Mouth is very tart and crisp, the carbs pack a punch and will awaken your taste buds. Very tangy, but perhaps a bit to sweet, you just can’t drink more that 2 before your mouth starts puckering up.

 411 characters

Photo of loren01
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cola colored with a reddish/brown color to the head. Lots of lacing down the pint glass.

S: Smells very fruity. Faint nutty and smell as well. I'm also picking up a hint of chocholate as the beer reaches the bottom of the glass.

T: Taste is very sweet of raspberries, also a slight malty flavor. I do like the taste, however it doesn't taste like any beer I've ever had. I don't mean this in a bad way but, it tases more like a raspberry flavored crystal light or snapple drink.

M: Fairly light on carbonation, very smooth.

D: I'm not a huge fan of fruity beers really at all. I can see myself drinking this once in a while I suppose, however not more than 1-2 at a time, it was really too sweet for me. I bet this beer would be real good in some sort of marinade or paired with something else while cooking.

 832 characters

Photo of studentofbeer
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark with lovely ruby highlights. darkish tan head with good lacing down the side, but it dies really quickly.

malty sweet and fruity smell with the raspberries popping (smells like raspberry juice) and the malt giving a smooth cocoa-like aroma.

taste has two competing things going on, tho they meld nicely. the sweet raspberry blends with a milky, chocolaty flavor. a bit of acidity with the berry. the only part of the beer that doesn't quite do it for me is the aftertaste, which is flat-flavored and dull.

overall a nice dessert beer, sipping beer, or something that would be wondeful served with some turkey or pork and cranberry.

 645 characters

Photo of 1whiskey
4.33/5  rDev +18%
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!

 1,552 characters

Photo of Higravity
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About as good as it gets for a non-lambic Frambozen. In a chalice it offered up a nice muted malt smell and a hint of the raspberry to come. There is now sweetness to this assertive beer which makes it great and the cringe of tannins which can be present are also put to rest. Simply a great belgian very slightly tart brown with a blossom of raspberry flavors all coated in a soft fluff of chocolate. Masterfully done. Bravo New Belgium.

 438 characters

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.67/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very surprised this one does not have higher reviews.

Not only does it have a very flavorful, well balanced raspberry aroma & taste, but there are amazing chocolate undertones to this beer. Literally like drinking a chocolate covered raspberry. Absolutely delicious. And not sicky sweet like you might think. Very smooth and easy going down. An absolute CRAFT beer. Truly a joy to drink. I wish I had a case.

 411 characters

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

Honestly, this one baffled me. I drink all the New Belgium brews and I've sampled many fruit beers including Belgian examples.

The ruby /brown color was excellent and when I saw the slight pink in the head I was prepared for a blast of fruit or wine like aroma and flavors. I didn't get there.

Maybe my receptors are off. I tried one slightly wamed and another well wamed and failed to get any big Raspberry to jump out at me.

Excellent maltiness and typical NB character but I felt cheated on the Raspberry sides A nice, albeit subdued, brew with very subtle fruit character to my tastes. A bit tart but in balance.

Maybe I had too many pop wines in my youth.

 672 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle(room temp) a deep gold-brown with a good sized head that showed good lacing.

The smell is all raspberry and that's just fine with me as I want as much infusion of the fruit in this ale as I can get!

The taste is a wonderful mix of raspberry and malt and works so darn well, it's hard to put the glass down. I've enjoyed this brew for many years and will continue to as long as NB wants to brew it. ;^)

 426 characters

Photo of mentor
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before 20 Jan06 18210 070297 0057. Pours a 1.5 finger brown head over a slightly cloudy brown liquid. Smells raspberry with some chocolate. Sweet. Tastes, yes, raspberry, but some nut and some chocolate. The raspberry remains sweet and berri-like, unlike a raspberry beer I once made (it was potently acridic, sourish, and dry berry waste-landish). Back to this beer. Aside from fresh light-colored berry, I get biscuit malt, and chocolate hints. The beer starts dry berry, develops a sweet malty component, but then finishes with a dry cocoa. Carbonation is too strong, IMO, and it helps the alcohol form an unpleasant edge. Counters the pleasant berry in the beer, IMO. Also, I get a bit of heartburn as I near the end of the glass.

Honestly, one of the best raspberry beers I've had to date. It's a difficult fruit to work with and this beer is a quality product. I'm amazed they got such vivid malt character to mix so well with the difficult raspberry.

 963 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

 630 characters

Photo of Xadoor
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep ruby red. Head was very light tan and dusty rose which started frothy but settled into a thin layer of small bubbles across the top. Aroma was very mild, but slightly fruity. Taste started out a little dry and malty with only a hint of what was to come. A smooth raspberry flavour slowly moved in until it completely overtook the senses and lingered in the mouth until the next sip (or gulp). Finish was dry and tart. Mouthfeel is light and crisp and refreshing.

This is a fantastic beer. I only picked up a sixpack of it, but I'm definitely going back to get more before its all gone.

 602 characters

Photo of sevineyes
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a brown bottle with a wreath on the label.

A: Red color that reminds me of a cherry Coke made with real cherry juice. Poured with a thick slightly-pink head. Good lacing.

S: Definitely raspberry with some malt.

T: No surprise that raspberry emerges on top, but it tastes to me like the raspberry lends the tartness to the taste. The sweetness comes from the malt with a caramel counterpoint. Ends dry with lingering raspberry.

M: Feels like cranberry juice on the tongue and that distracts me from the smoothness of the flavor.

D: Although a glass is certainly drinkable, I can't see having more than one at a time. Might be a good one to throw into the mix every now and then.

Overall: A pretty nice beer - which kind of surprises me because I've never been too big on fruit beers; however, this isn't overbearing in it's sweetness like fruit-flavored beverages I've had. Seems to be almost a mix between one of those and an un-fruited beer.

 973 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium bodied, hazy deep brownish ruby color with a slightly pinkish off-white head that doesn't stick around.

Aroma is definite raspberry with a sweet malt background.

Taste is much the same but with a little more of the brown ale malt presence to balance it out decently. Starts out sweet raspberry then the malt comes in along with a more tart raspberry taste somewhat like a Lambic. Finishes slightly dry and tart. Very interesting! A little sweet for regular drinking but a very good desert ale.

Should go very well with dark chocolate deserts.

 561 characters

Photo of benito
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with minimal head, no lace or frothiness, and the head dissipates quickly. Colored a light plum and burgundy, transluscent. The raspberry bouquet is dominant...not much of anything else to note.

To taste: the strong raspberry flavor emerges quickly but is tempered by a rich carmely flavor. The raspberry aftertastes lingers for a while. This is a well-carbonated but not overly-fizzy brew; the mouthfeel is certainly that of beer and not pop (or Clearly Canadian)

This is very drinkable overall--a nicely balanced fruit beer that is heavy enough to be enjoyed as a winter seasonal.

 595 characters

Photo of hoffman
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was very impressed with the look of this beer as I poured it from the bottle, nice thick looking texture very deep red almost purple hues from this one. The smell is fruity, that is about it, nothing special, very present but not to impressive. I may have raised the taste a little high on this one, I typically do not enjoy fruit based beers but this one has a nice hop balance to the fruit base. A nice semi-creamy mouthfeel finishes well but seemed a little flat. The head is very minimal, to be expected from a fruity one. Overall I think a lot of people who typically drink macros would like this one even. Not bad for me, for a fruity one, but I do not think I will try again.

 684 characters

Photo of Silenus
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one has a nice mix of dark malty flavors and sweet raspberry overtones. It seems to sit right on the fence of a good summer quaff (a la Purple Haze) and a beer you’d warm slightly and sit with by the fire during a snow storm. The flavors are balanced between the thicker malts, fruity raspberries and just enough hops to cut the sweet. The color has the nice red tint you’d expect without looking like it had been mixed with a sugar syrup. I’m saving a few to try next summer after a day in the yard. I think it’ll still rise to the occasion.

 551 characters

Photo of czechsaaz
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really outstanding fruit aroma. Fresh and clean raspberry. Hard to find any other aromatics because the fruit is so strong.

Attractive ruby colored, Smallish tan head that lasts.

Lots of nice fruit flavor but not really overly sweet or syrupy like so many fruit beers on the market. The base beer seems like a Oud Bruin maybe as there's a hint of sourness too. Nice malt character too. Hops, can't find em...This is all about the fruit.

Medium bodied with great evervescent carbonation. Creamy and easy drinking. Very refreshing.

Nice beer to give to non-beer drinkers. I'm also thinking up lots of ways to cook with this.

 634 characters

Photo of Fugazme
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An odd looking beer as it is a deep, deep ruby color. Some hints of brown. No head to speak of. It was gone immediately.
Looks good, however.

Smell is of raspberry and is very sweet. Some maltiness, but very little. Smells nice.

Taste is decent. Can't help but think there is some sort of artificial flavor added. I don't think there is, but it tastes a touch artificial. Very sweet.

On the palate it is slightly bubbly but overall smooth.

This is an occasional beer.

 482 characters

Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.67 out of 5 based on 869 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.