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

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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 869
Photo of pentathlete
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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 GeoffFromSJ
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head to speak of. Some bubbles which quickly disappear. Nice brown color with red along the edges.

Smell is hard to describe beyond 'typical beer smell.' But I mean that in a nice way.

Raspberries dominate the taste, which would make this a good offering for non-beer people. Very drinkable. It might go well with some chocolate which isn't too sweet.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
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 TastyTaste
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks to the generosity of babydoc. Deep scarlet in color when held up to light, with a moderate off-white head that fades quickly to a layer of faint bubbles. Smell is chocolatey with bready malt and fresh raspberry aroma. Taste is very tart, slightly sour, and dominated by raspberry, chocolate, and a touch of brown sugar. Mouthfeel is fairly well carbonated, and the sour/tart flavor of the raspberries mask any presence of hops, but this beer is a very interesting and unique. Great for a dessert, but i would not try to session these at all.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, the color is a deeper-reddish chestnut color, with a slight 1 cm head that literally fizzes out within seconds, leaving a slight edge layer on top, but nothing spectacular. Sitting at least 18 inches away, I can already smell the cranberries. Accompanying them is a sweet malt with hints of floral hops and maybe just a "sprinkle" of caramel as well. The first sip reveals a definite presence of rasberries and some slight brown maltiness. The hops are aparent on the swallow, and a "twang" of alcohol hits you on the very finish. The cranberries carry the load of this ale however; a little too much for my liking. The feel is a lot like a cherry cola. A shot of carbonation on your tongue that is stingy, but the body is more medium-bodied IMO, and the alcohol burn is there at the end. Not a bad brew in the end, but I couldn't have another. I guess I'm not a cranberry lover. The bottle is definitely the highlight of this one.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: An interesting color, a clear nut brown at first, but a deep garnet when held to the light--pretty cool. The head is light and frothy, off-white with a slight rose tint. Fair retention. Carbonation is fine and champagne-like.

Smell: Huge scent of fresh, tart raspberries dominates, but there's a slightly nutty chocolate malt aroma floating around as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: At first, straight-up lambic: tart, fruity and crisp. However, a mild undercurrent of sweet milk chocolate occassionally peeks in. The malt actually controls the bitterness and produces a smooth, sweet candy finish. The mouthfeel light and fizzy, but again the weight of the malt comes through, albeit not to the extent I'd like.

Drinkability: Very good; I've actually gone out and repurchased this one, a minor miracle given my overall aversion to this brewery.

I've made no secret of the fact that Fat Tire and the truly wretched Loft are probably my least-favorite craft brews ever. But this is a really tasty, unique brew--I like it a lot. I was hoping for Three Philosophers Light. It's not quite that, but it's a light, complex dessert that's not a bad session. Good job, guys.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California. The body is luminous deep maroon with a quarter of an inch of creamy, slighty pink head.


Cookie dough followed by a hearty thrust of raspberry sweetness. Tart.


Opens with a very thin prick of soft hop bitterness, followed almost immediately by a very sweet -- almost too sweet -- raspberry flavor. The finish is a nice upswing of narrow hop bitterness, which recedes along with the raspberries at a steady and pleasurable pace.


Has a nice, hearty weight without sticking or overpowering my appreciation of the taste. Middling carbonation.

Would make a great dessert after a big meal of, say, roast beef, gravy, root veggies.

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

Appearance; Ruby-brown color, fairly clear, with film of white foam across the top. Clings well for nice lacing.

Aroma: Only light raspberry, with malt dominating (sweet, slightly chocolatey)

Flavor: Flavor is malt up front, again somewhat chocolate. After a brief moment, the raspberry drifts in, fruity, somewhat sweet but not too sweet. Finish is clean, and a raspberry twang lingers a bit.

Body is a little thin.

Not bad. Raspberry becomes more apparent after a few drinks.

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Photo of shippos
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a hazy murky reddish brown witha thin thin head. lots of raspberry in the aroma, very siliar to rasp. jam/jelly almost seems a bit artifical. just a touch of sourness in the taste followed by a fairly average brown ale with a bit of raspberry mixed in. personally i'd like some sourness to counterbalance some of theoverpowering raspberry syrup in the aroma and give some more character to overall beer. not really worth picking up IMO.

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Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a goblet, this has a clear, radiant ruby body when held to the light. Small offwhite head quickly falls to lasting collar and film lace, with spotty lace on the glass, as well. Active carbonation is very visible.
Aroma is a pleasant union of malt, fresh berry, and an earthy fresh mushroom note of yeast.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
Taste is evenly balanced between caramel and chocolate malt flavors and fresh raspberries. The berry character is a bit understated, and doesn't overpower. There is a yeast note that evokes fresh morel mushrooms, similar to what I picked up in Troegs Mad Elf. Finish is slightly dry, with a muted raspberry aftertaste. Just enough hops bittering to balance the malt and berry sweetnesss.
This is an excellent fruit beer, ideal with desserts or as a nightcap. Thanks to babydoc for sending this one my way.

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Photo of swid
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Frambozen pours a rich dark brown color with a slight reddish tinge. A reddish-brown 1/2" head forms that slowly disappears. Moderate carbonation; some lacing.

The aroma is a healthy amount of malt; the raspberry smell is balanced nicely. A hint of a nut smell and just a little bit pine-like aroma from the hops.

Initially, Frambozen has quite a bit of a tart taste from the raspberry. After a little bit, the malt flavor takes over...eventually, the slight bitterness from the hops becomes evident as well. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thick; this beer feels quite "substantial" in the mouth. Finishes with a nice blend of tartiness and bitterness that isn't overpowering.

All in all, New Belguim has made an enjoyable winter seasonal, and one that I will enjoy again in future years.

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Photo of beertaster13
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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 ColoradoBobs
2.69/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

What a "mixed bag" this beer is!. Smoooth and lovely, nice head, good lacing, and a wierd smell and taste.

The previous reviewer hit it spot on. With a chocolate cheesecake or a smooth, not overly-sweet desert, this would be okay. I'm not crazy about raspberries, and raspberries are WAY UP FRONT in this brew.

At the brewery, on tap, this one was listed on 28 Dec, 2004, as 7.07% ABV (TWO decimal points!), which is different from what is indicated on the bottled versions.

In short, if you like chocolate covered raspberries, you're gonna LOVE this beer, because those two flavors are all you find here. Only enough hops (the guy at the brewery said only Magnum hops are used in Frambozen) to keep a tiny bit of bitter-sour balance: measures only 16 International Bitterness Units. By contrast, SIX kinds of malt are used: Pale, Chocolate, Carapils, C-40, C-80 and Munich.

Lambic lovers should love this, I suppose.

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Photo of mgdeth
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This beer has a great deep ruby-brown color. Carbonation is good, as are head retention and beer lace. Appealing.

Smell - Raspberry dominates the smell, but it works well with the malt aroma that is present as well. I do not detect hops.

Taste - The initial taste is a lot like chocolate cake with a cherry or berry topping. The beer is very sweet, almost too sweet. The hops are not assertive, but do offset the sweetness a little. The fruit taste is overdone, and is cloying.

Mouthfeel - For a brown ale, this has a hearty mouthfeel. The label says 6.5% alcohol, so the overall body of the beer seems appropriate.

Drinkability - Due to the strong aftertastes in this beer, it is not highly drinkable. One of these and I start to get an astringent feeling in my mouth. This is not wholly unacceptable, but is not that good either.

Comments - Drink this one instead of a dessert wine. I'll bet it would go really well with cheesecake, or even cranberry sauce. I can see how many folks may not like this one, but the taste has sort of grown on me (but the aftertaste is not so great). Worth a try - get it in a mixed six pack if you can.

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Photo of GreenCard
2.58/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: ruby brown, good clarity, thin layer of pinkish tan foam, poor head retention

Aroma: cooked raspberries, wet cardboard, hint of iron, lactic sourness

Flavor: dry raspberry essence, yoghurt, Flemmish brown ale acidity, slight enteric bitterness in the background; finishes dry with an aftertaste of unripe raspberries, leaves, and the same bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium body, light carbonation, alcohol warmth felt in the back of the throat

Other comments: I swear I'm not being stuck up about this and dissing it just because it's not made in Belgium. It's just not very good! Pretty disapointing. Great color, though! I just don't get why nearly everyone has scored this beer 3.5 or higher. Are you afraid to pan a beer from New Belgium or something?

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Photo of MobBarley
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good fruit beer: ( review from a guy who isn't a big fan). Pours a ruby red cast with decent tan head and some moderate draped lacing. Smells of a raspberry pastry...little else. Taste is at once fruity and sweet and earthy with a sting of hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is slightly thick...maybe a tad too carbonated. The beer seems to be stuck firmly between "refreshing" and "hearty". Drinkability is good: this is a tasty beer. Decent. Period.

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Photo of Hunter
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice ruby red color, light brown head of foam with short retention.

Fruit is present in the aroma, but not overly sugary. The same aroma of malt that hits you in NB's Fat Tire is in here, too.

Again, fruit comes out in the initial sip, but it's more subtle than most fruit beers. The malt seems subdued by it, however. Finishes with a nice aftertaste of raspberry and nutty malt.

Very nice. For a "macro" microbrew this is well-made. A nice holiday offering, particularly if most fruit beers strike you as too sweet.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/30/04- Purchased at my local Safeway in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Pours a dark mohagany reddish color. Adequate head and light lacing.

Smell- Really not much of anything. A bit of rasperry fruityness at most.

Taste- Nice mix of raspberries and dark chocolate. More fruity than chocolaty. I guess it's the malt I taste in the background. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel- Goes down with ease as I drained it in about 5 minutes. Very nice carbonation level. Kind of like a soda.

Drinkability- Easily drinkable. Not as sweet as I expected. Kind of like a lambic, but not as sour. I nice change of pace drink that would be good during a cold or hot day. Glad I picked this one up.

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Photo of arizcards
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a couple of bottles for the holidays at AJ's for a $1.19 each.
This is a crimson brown colored brew that poured a fine head and is leaving a good lacing. Smell is wonderful, of raspberries and wheat. Taste is very interesting. It is am interesting combination of rapberries and chocolate and it finished with a dry hop sensation, very nice for this style. It is a bit on the thin side. Overall drinkability is not great. It is best suited for desserts, perhaps paired with a cheesecake.

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

Brewed with Pale, Chocolate, Carapils, C-40, C-80, and Munich malts. Hopped with Magnum and 11% raspberries by volume.

6.5% ABV, 16 IBU.

Pours out to a brilliantly clear deep ruby amber, forming a soapy light tan head with pink accents. The head has average retention and some lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is brimming with toast, red raspberries, suggestions of chocolate malt, nuts of all sorts, brown biscuits, and earthen hops. The mouthfeel is initially tart and spry, becoming quite rustic in the finish. Medium bodied. The taste begins with very earthy hops, followed by some slight acidity and fruitiness of the raspberries. The earthiness continues through the finish and lingers in the aftertaste with the sensation of dirt and moss. Toast and chocolate malt hang timidly in the background, and the earthy bitterness is mild. The raspberries come out in the late aftertaste. The beer is cleanly fermented with no appreciable off-flavors and the alcohol is imperceptable.

Not a "typical" Belgian Frambozen, but a good brew in a similar vein. This one is kinda like a dirtier Fat Tire with raspberries thrown in. A good dessert brew, but not something that blows my mind like most other NBBC brews do.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Its the holidays - and I was very much looking forward to the holiday brew from New Belgium, a brewery that has been one of my standards as of the past 6 months. That being said, this beer is pretty disappointing.

Appearance: Ooh la la. This beer is so festive. It pours a vibrant crimson red and seems to glow like an ornament. It has a fluffy head the dies very quickly but leaves traces on the glass.

Smell: Eeww la la. The smell is like highly concentrated raspberry syrup. I'll assume its raspberry by the name, but it mostly smells like fake fruit.

Taste: It begins with a dark malt flavor that sweetens up quickly into the afore mentioned artificial syrup flavor...which i have dubbed "Nast-berry".

Mouthfeel: Typical body. Its nothing special but nothing poor.

Drinkability: If you like the Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic or McCoy's Raspberry Ale, you might like this beer. This is also a good segue beer for people hooked on wine coolers. But for people who really like beer, this is not acceptable. I won't buy it again.

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Photo of MrNuggets
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This looks pretty good, Heavy head leaving a touch of lace. Brown from a distance but some red is noticed when you get up close. The smell is light malt with only a faint sweetness. Taste is maltly along with that sweetness that I expecting from this brew. Not at all as sweet as I was anticipating, but slightly tart. This is where the taste stops dead in its tracks. Some acicity in the finish which is cool. Got to day that this is probably the best fruit brew I've ever had.

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Photo of zacharius
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a reddish brown body with a foamy white head with hints of pink that leaves belgian lace on the side of my glass. Aroma is of raspberries with a malty sweetness there is a hint of cellar characteristic. Taste is of raspberries then chocolate maltiness in the middle and a strong raspberry finish. A great fruit beer, not overly sweet at all. It has a hint of sourness likely from the raspberries but is no where near a lambic. A very refreshing brew but I don't think I could drink too many of these because of the acidicness.

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Photo of SeanChouffe
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A ruby color, transparent, good carbonation. Head is an off white (pinkish) with low retention, and sticky lacing. Aroma: Fruit, raspberries, tart, and malt. Flavor: malt, raspberries with a tart/dry finish. Palate: light/medium bodied, syrupy and effervescent with an astringent finish.
Kinda like your workin’ man’s lambic.

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Photo of Rio
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby color, with a moderate head that faded to a thin lace pretty quick. A bit of a raspberry aroma to it, but the smell seems dominated by a stale kind of smell, like wet hay.

Tastes strongly of raspberry, but with a real mild sweetness, with a bit of a tartness following it. Very smooth, with almost a bit of a dry feel to it.

A nice brew. First had it a year or two ago, on Old Chicago's glass night, and have a very nice goblet style glass to go with it. One of my favorite fruit beers, as many of them seem a bit too sweet for my tongue.

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