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Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Frambozen Raspberry Brown AleFrambozen Raspberry Brown Ale
869 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 869 |  Reviews: 395
Photo of kbutler1
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Poured into a New Belgium tulip glass, very fitting! Pours a clear raspberry red copper color with a 1 and a half finger off white head that has a slight reddish hue to it. Raspberry flavor fills my nostrils on my first smell, not overly so but pretty subtle. Some light roast notes as well. The taste is similiar to the smell in that the raspberry is pretty sublte but noticeable. Nice lace left on the glass as I drink this down. As fruit beer I would like to see this more fruit forward instead of being so subtle. The alcohol isn't really present at all and I would have no idea it was 7%. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a ruby color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy, off white, long-lasting head. Good lacing. Head and lacing were both excellent for a fruit beer, which is usually deficient in this category.

S: A sweet, fruity smell of raspberries, malt, and something sugary.

T: Tasted of raspberries (of course), malt, and some caramel. Very vibrant and flavorful. Not nearly as tart as you might expect.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a slightly slick finish. Light-bodied.

D: A well made, drinkable fruit beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a single bottle for ticking purposes... Best by Feb 2011

Served in a snifter--

A reddish clear purple-hinted brown. Pink hues in the head. Decent lacing.

Smells is nicely of real raspberries. An underlying brown ale is muted enough to not be a distraction. The flavor has more of the base beer, but still a great amount of raspberries.

There is something in the finish and in the mouthfeel that reminds me of infected beers... It is almost overcarbonated... Finishes dry. The beer seems to bubble off my tongue: if this is infected, it is early in the stages. If it isn't infected, then the feel is quite off for my style.

This is an interesting and tasty beer-- I like it, except for the feel.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish, brown with a tight, rising, slightly pink head that leaves rings of lacing.

Smells of raspberry syrup with some toasted malt.

Tastes of the raspberries with a decent malt backing. Raspberries are prevalent but add a touch of sour as well as the fruity sweetness. Caramel malt characteristics follow with some brown sugar and some biscuity malt notes.

Mouthfeel is medium with a small amount of carbonation.

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Photo of mulder1010
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
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 philbertk
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New Belgium Brewing Company--Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale--12 oz. Bottle.

1998. 5.50% ABV. (4.0 / 5.) Hazy light brown color with a hint of purple. Nice head and lace. Light smooth raspberry flavored body with a hint of dry sweetness. Finishes tart and clean. Hint of Belgian yeast. Sampled 12/14/1998.

2000. 5.50% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear bright deep red color. Mild toasted raspberry front with hop notes. Light red head. Sweet mildly toasted raspberry fruit body is smooth rich and tasty. Ends dry with lingering fruit and light spice. Sampled 12/16/2000.

2001. 6.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Clear raspberry shaded deep ruby red color. Pink tan head. Medium lace. Mellow rich raspberry chocolate front. Cream raspberry sweet malty mild chocolate body. Complex rich smooth fruit malt. Citrus end. Sampled 11/7/2001.

2002. 6.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Brown Ale--Clear dark red brown color. Pink mild lacy head. Rich floral roasted raspberry mild hop front. Zesty raspberry toasted caramel cocoa dry sweet mild citrus raspberry body. Tangy citrus malty hop end. Mild yeast. Sampled 1/8/2003.

2004. 6.50% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Creamy lacy light red head. Clear rich deep ruby color. Floral raspberry hop front. Complex tangy dry rich mild sweet chocolate caramel mellow Belgian spice raspberry body. Crisp spicy mild hop end. Nice! Sampled 11/4/2004.

2005. 6.50% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Mild lacy head. Clear bright ruby red color. Rich tangy raspberry fruit hop front. Clean crisp tangy mild chocolate raspberry citrus body. Tangy mild sweet mild hop mellow Belgian spice end. Sampled 10/14/2005.

2006: 6.50% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Foamy lacy head. Clear thin bright dark ruby red color. Toasted raspberry front. Mild sweet Belgian wheat infused fruit ester toasted body. Tangy mild hop wheat fruit spice end. Odd buds tonight. Still nice. Sampled 11/19/2006.

2007: 7.00% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) 6-Pack --$8.49. Tight mild lace head. Clear dark red brown color. Floral mild cocoa raspberry Belgian hop front. Mild tangy dry sweet raspberry toffee ester body. Mild sour citrus hop clean dry end. Well blended. Sampled 11/12/2007.

2008: 6.50% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Big dense foamy lacy rocky pink tan head. Clear rich bright dark red brown color. Rich raspberry cocoa nut front. Mild sweet rich malty slightly sour brown dough raspberry infused smooth tasty body. Puckery clean dry citrus lingering raspberry spice hint end. Sampled 6/23/2009. 6-Pack--$10.99.

2009: 6.50% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.5 / 5.0) Mild lace thin off white head. Clear bright rich dark ruby raspberry brown color. Smooth raspberry Belgian chocolate front. Crisp zesty complex Belgian fruit ester mild sweet malty light cocoa raspberry infused rich delicious body. Clean mild hop dry end. Sampled 11/9/2009. 3 @ $1.69 Each.

2010: 6.50% ABV--16 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Big foamy lacy lasting pink head. Clear bright red raspberry brown rich deep red color. Mild raspberry light toasted cocoa mild hop aromatic front. Zesty crisp dry mild citrus sweet sour hint soft toasted chocolate malt tangy festy smooth raspberry body. Dry clean rich refreshing raspberry citus mild hop end. Rich Seasonal Brown Ale. Sampled 11/11-12/2010 from 6-Pack purchased for $10.99 @ Ballard, Seattle Fred Meyer on 11/11/2010.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. i picked it up as a single for around $2. drank from one of my new belgium globe glasses, like the bottle suggests.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a translucent ruby red colored body with a rather large head of beige foam on top. the head lasts for a while before falling, and leaves behind random spots of lacing.

S- the nose on this one is pretty simple. all im getting are raspberries and chocolate. this smells sweet and decadent.

T- the taste is also on the simple side, but pretty well done. sweet raspberries and sweet milk chocolate. theres a hint of dark chocolate as well. some raspberry tartness shows up from time to time.

M- medium bodied and highly carbonated. if the carbonation was lowered a bit i think i would have enjoyed this alot more. the alcohol, which seems on the high side for something like this, is very well hidden.

D- this is more of a novelty beer than something i would want to drink with any sort of consistency. however, it is well done. id check this one if you like beers that are reminiscent of candy.

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Photo of atsprings
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip glass pours a dark pinkish brown with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is slight raspberry in front of dark malts. The taste is an interesting blend of sweet raspberries and subtle dark malts. The beer is fairly light with subtle carbonation. I suppose this one was worth trying, but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep brown/purple with a reddish tan head. Lots of lacing, decent head retention.

S: nice big bouquet of raspberries with a very tart character, the smell is more mellow than a raspberry lambic, but is stronger than some fruit beers.

T: the raspberry only makes a brief appearance on the palate in the form of sweetness up front. The flavors quickly switch over to mild brown ale characteristics. There is some moderate roast character along with caramel. The raspberry is also present on the finish. The more I sip, the more raspberry I get.

MF: medium body, smooth going down, velvety mouthfeel

D: well balanced, nice fruited brown ale. Nothing earth shattering ( Like Eric's ale, La Folie, or Love) but good nonetheless.

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Photo of adrock7309
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a fresh bottle into a stemless chardonnay glass. Left me about an inch of pinky creamy head. Not much in the way of lacing here.

Nose is full of fresh candied raspberries. There is a bit of yeasty spice hiding out in the aroma as well and a bit wet paper smell.

The big smells up front are followed by a somewhat flat flavor. There is definitely some raspberry coming through but no tart backbone. It really is a bland flavored beer. I wish the malt/raspberry/hops or yeast would make a dominate play but overall blends together in a dissapointing way.

Its fully drinkable but not up to par with some of the other raspberry beers out there as in the Tart from NG.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
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 alleykatking
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a darker brown color. Red hues show up on the sides of the glass when held to the light. One finger light tan head shows medium retention overall. Some light streaks of lacing on the glass.

S- Raspberries dominate the aroma. The only thing I did not care about was that damn New Belgium malt base they used. It would creep out of nowhere and it was all you could smell. The ending had a light sourness you could pick out which was nice.

T- Raspberries and a light funk in the front of this. It does have a nice flavor in the front but this gets overtaken in the middle with that malt base which lets you know it's New Belgium. The rest of the flavor in the beer is a mix of the malts and the raspberries trying to balance each other out.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Raspberries are left on the palate with more raspberries and malts left in the aftertaste. Flavors are a little off balance for the style they are looking to go for. Clean tasting just not crisp as it should be. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- This was a good beer. The malt base that New Belgium uses almost kills this beer though. The ABV is well hidden along with most raspberry flavors in the ending of this beer. Almost a complete joy but oh so far away.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into New Belgium Globe Glass.

A. 2+ finger of raspberry hued head. Good retention. Color is dark red. Good lacing.

S. Malt, raspberries, yeast. Smells like a lambic, slight sourness.

T. Sweet/sour rapsberries. Almost tastes like a fruit wine. Biscuity malt, New Belgium's signature malt taste.

M. Medium/light bodied. Medium carbonation.

D. Very drinkable. Higher ABV for the style but you wouldn't know it by drinking it. Goes down very easy. Something good to look forward to during winter.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a best before stamp of 12FEB10, last of a sixer I bought in November 09. Pours a pretty clear, dark copper color with a pinkish hue. Medium sized, small-bubbled reddish foam displays average retention and the beer leaves lots of nice lacing on the glass. The red-tinted foam is interesting and noteworthy.

Nose has plenty of raspberries there with some sweet, slightly toasty darker malts. The fruit smells pretty fresh and not forced or artificial.

Tastes better than I remember the rest of the six-pack tasting a month or so ago, seems like the flavors have melded together a bit more of the sweetness in the beer has come out to play. I remember the fruit vying for attention with an unnecessary hop content and darker malts, the latter still being the case. The tartness of the raspberries seems to be a bit much and there is not a whole lot of sweetness going on here to help balance it out. I am on the fence with this beer, one sip I think it is pretty tasty and then the next not so much. I guess it is just one of those beers I do not want much more than one in a sitting and there are plenty of other fruit beers out there I like better. Still, not bad, and quite an intriguing and thought provoking beer for me.

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Photo of SickGnar
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with red edges - sort of a reddish burnt umber. Bright, clear ganet when backlit. Off-white head has a slight pink hue, decent retention, and nice lacing. Quite pretty.

S: Some berryness, but not as much as many fram-beers. Toasted malts are at least as strong. A present though restrained sweetness, a wee bit of yeast character, and a very slight funk/sour hint round things out. No hops detected.

T: Not the fruity fizz I was expecting. Raspberries are more tart than sweet. However, what sweetness there is, does seem more fruit than grain based. The fruit rests on a solid backbone of toasted malts - biscuity with a light nuttiness and notes of caramel sweetness. Everything is wrapped together by a faint underlying sourness.

M: Medium body with ample, lush (but not fizzy) carbonation. A bit of a bite and slightly more than the edge of a pucker and a fairly drying finish.

D: Very well done. There is a fair bit going on but nothing overly dominates and it all works well together. Not even a hint cloying. Complex and interesting while remaining quite drinkable. As others have said, a good balance between beer and fruit on the fruit-beer scale.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe. Beer was a ruby color, with a one-finger reddish-tan head. Moderate carbonation and light lacing.

Aroma was sweet, tart raspberries and very light hops.

Taste was lightly tart raspberries, a touch of caramel and fresh grains.

A nice seasonal session beer. Easy drinking, not overpowering at all.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful looking beer: brown with auburn highlights (no I'm not a hair stylist). Great white head. A pleasure to look at.

Aroma of raspberry and malt, mixture of tart and sweet. Some slight herbal character making it's way through.

I've had a few of these now, and the raspberry taste just seems too strong, getting in the way of the rest of the beer. Sometimes it's not too bad, with some cocoa coming through creating a satisfying taste, but mostly, it's just too fruity.

Mouthfeel not bad but a bit thin, IMO. Easy to drink with interesting flavor until I got really tired of the overpowering berry. I've got mixed feelings about it, but overall, not a bad brew.

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Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
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 allforbetterbeer
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
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".

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Photo of Chambic
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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

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Photo of Tone
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of wholelottalove
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
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

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Photo of flagmantho
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of boatshoes
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of jdense
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 869 ratings
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