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 SportsandJorts
2.92/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: pours a brownish red. looks brownish with garnet hues. a small tannish head that fades quickly to a lacing on the sides

Smell: raspberry first and the strongest. weaker nutty/ chocolate malts are there but quite hidden

Taste: opens up with raspberries, sweet and just a touch on the tart side. followed up by some slightly chocolatey and nutty malts. the malt is quite light in the taste. raspberry come off a bit too strong

Mouthfeel: fairly syrupy. otherwise a bit sweet.

Overall: Like a few of new belgium beers, I love the idea but it doesn't fall quite where i want it.

 590 characters

Photo of Bruiser81
2.94/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I would first like to say I don't like this style of brew to begin with but if I did I'm sure I would enjoy this one from my favorite brewery. A very dark red.It smelled like raspberry's and you can tell it is very fruity. Was the first fruity brew I've tasted and I did not like it. The taste was very fruity and tasted like raspberry's. It tasted like a wine cooler and I will not drink it again.

 398 characters

Photo of ScorpyX
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm going to admit something right off the bat. Fruit-flavored beers are very low on my enjoyment list. Never been a big fan. So that'll bias this review lower than usual. Here we go, though.

A: Great looking beer. A deep ruby red with a thick, two-finger width head that stays with it throughout the drinking. Leaves behind quite a lot of lacing.

S: Raspberry, raspberry, and raspberry. Great surprise there. Lot of sweetness in the smell.

T: Raspberry tartness at the forefront, a sharp, tart taste. Really big in the back of the throat. A little bit of malt flavoring, too.

M: Medium-bodied, fairly smooth. If I was a fan of the fruit beers, this would probably be pretty high up there. As it is, not bad for the style, just far from my favorite style.

 760 characters

Photo of Padron4KM
2.97/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Best before Jan 2007. Well worn copper penny color.
Small tan head with a pink tint.

Decadent raspberry chocolate cake aroma.

Raspberry flavor starts out nice, a little sweet a little tart, but quickly becomes cloying.

Body is thin.

Decent beer, but it becomes a little to sweet to drink more than one.

 332 characters

Photo of midworken
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A deep, dark red body giving way to a creamy red head. These colors really let you know what lies inside...
Upfront aromas of juicy, tart raspberries - overpowering other flavors that come through.
Taste is overly sweet. Raspberries are overpowering here as well. I'll try letting it warm up a bit more... nope - the "beer" part of this still isn't showing through. More of a juice than a beer. The beer in this brew is more of a medium to carry the raspberry flavor, it's a bystander who watches the raspberry take all the glory. I would like to see a more harmonious existence between the beer and raspberry. The taste appeals to a specific crowd of beer drinkers (which is fine), but doesn't necessarily appeal to me. It is tempting to rate this down, but in view that this is a fruit beer, it does deliver decently according to it's style.
Loved the looks of this beer, was OK with the smell and taste. If they are wanting to have the raspberries as the showcase in this beer, they could have still added some spices that would play along with the raspberry to give this beer some more complexity.

 1,102 characters

Photo of HalenRush
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The thing that really jumped out at me about this beer is the color. When held up to the light, it has the most amazing deep red. I'm sure that can be attributed to the raspberry. But can almost be achieved without, like with Sammy Irish Red.

The taste is more strawberry than raspberry, and to me it tasted like strawberry soda. I'm sure it will be a hit with the ladies who think they are beer drinkers. That being said, I didn't think the strawberry flavor was overpowering. It was very pronounced and I couldn't taste the ale, but no, not overpowering.

 558 characters

Photo of 31Sam13
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not to sweet or tart but well balanced. I really enjoyed this the few times I had it. It isn't a go-to, but fruit beers are generally not my mainstay...

 152 characters

Photo of hellbilly
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

crystal clear. dark cranberry juice brown color with a pink tinted off white head. the head doesn*t stick around but it leaves some random spots of lace.

the aroma is surprisingly mineral... flint/stone, tart raspberry, faint nutty chocolate, woody seeds and stems and some earthy spice.

odd thing about the flavor... there*s a numbing in the mouth similar to a cough drop? that mixes with raspberry, caramel with out the sweet, milk, a bit of woodiness from seeds and lots of "green" akin to herbs and grass with a tart crisp finish. it*s quite dry throughout while leaving an aftertaste full of raspberries (seeds and all). the body is a touch thin and the mouth feel is a bit bland and boring but it IS dry. the carbonation is prickly but really doesn*t help the whole texture "thing".

it does however improve when warm...

 845 characters

Photo of denver10
3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours brown with a white head. Smell is largely sweet and kinda tart raspberry compote. The tartness from the aroma is not present in the flavor, instead it's a sweet, juicy raspberry flavor with the brown ale simply serving as a base. Very crisp and silky mouthfeel. Not a bad beer by any means but not a beer that did anything for me either. NB continues to keep me unimpressed when it comes to what they offer in the 6 pack format.

 434 characters

Photo of phishsihq
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Frambozen pours a deep ruby red, bordering on brown, with a half-inch of tan head that resiliently stays firm and provides much lace. Fresh raspberries fill the nose, dominating the aromas, although a little nutty malt pokes through. Slightly sour and extremely tart raspberry flavors explode onto the pallet, leaving only trace hints of chocolate and toastiness. Frambozen is medium bodied with a medium-light level of carbonation, and a sweet, syrup-like finish.
Good for a six pack every holiday season.

 506 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a D'achouffe tulip.

A- dark ruby, Semi-transparent with a 2 finger light tan head. Some lacing remains on the glass.

S- toasted malts and some raspberry.

T- sweet toasted malts, raspberry, chocolate. No real sourness or tartness at all.

M- light body and carbonation.

O- picked up a single bottle because I saw this beer all winter and always wanted to try it. I am glad I just got 1 bottle. This beer is ok but has no good characteristics or anything that stands out.

 483 characters

Photo of boomer31
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up when I accidentally dropped a 6 pack at the liquor store and felt bad.

A - Pours a transparent amber with hints of red and a small touch of light brown head. Little stick on the glass

S - The brown ale comes thru in the nose with caramel malts then a hint of raspberries though very subtle

T - Up front malt then some funky raspberry, not fresh, almost syrup like then a bit of tartness. Kind of odd, not terribly balanced as the aftertaste is kind of dry but syruppy.

M - Nice low carb kind of sticky on the tongue with that odd raspberry flavor

D - It's an odd fruit beer that isn't terribly complex. Drinkable and approachable but just kind of off

It's always going to be tough to approach raspberry flavored beers after you've had NG Raspberry Tart. This just can't come close.

 802 characters

Photo of blakelive784
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a snifter -

A - pours a deep, transparent red/amber color, with a three finger head of nice cream. The head is thick and inviting, and has a pink tint to it.

S - Smells of cream, raspberries, and toasted malts. There are some fruity esters present beyond the raspberries that I can't pick out.

T - Opens nicely with balanced raspberry, malts and a nice hoppy bitterness to counter the tart fruit. The open is followed immediately by a not-so-nice raspberry extract bite that's almost medicinal. Too Welch's-esque for me. I don't find any brown ale characteristics either.

M - smooth and wet. Medium bodied.

D - The New Belgium folk almost pulled this one off, but it falls short. Not a bad beer, but you could easily find better fruit offerings.

 773 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, "Best Before 17Feb13", pours red in color topped with a thin, off-white head. Sweet and tart raspberry fills the nose coupled with some brown sugar and a hint of caramel perhaps. Tastes are sweet raspberry up-front with brown malts, it's tart and a little sour on the finish with a very slight grassy/herbal hop presence, while finishing semi-dry while the raspberry lingers. Thinner mouth-feel with lower carbonation. Overall, pretty one-note and rather cloyingly sweet. I like raspberries, but this was just okay.

 528 characters

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.

 979 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical pint glass in me gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average; I sipped one of these last week and wasn't horribly impressed. 6.5% ABV confirmed. Best before 02/17/13.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a three finger head of pink-beige colour, poor thickness, limited cream, and good retention for the above average ABV (5+ minutes). Body colour is a vibrant light amber/red. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Raspberries, light tartness, clean malts, a fleeting vague hint of soap, and a bit of sourness. A fairly strong fruity aroma. Pleasant and inviting. No yeast or alcohol is detectable.

T: Raspberry sweetness and some tartness. Quite sugary/sweet. Fruity all around. Clean malty foundation. Hopping is floral and vague. Balanced but simple. Lacks complexity and subtlety. That said, it's a pleasant easy drinking beer and it's pretty well executed for what it is. Clean and enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch too thin. Slightly overcarbonated. Good palate presence, though it could use a bit more body.

Dr: Very drinkable, but not unique or special. I might have it on draught if I'm in the mood for a fruit beer. A decent offering from New Belgium.

As a side note, I think the moniker is misleading. Don't expect anything remotely close to a framboise in the sour sense of the connotation.


 1,562 characters

Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a garnet reddish brown with two fingers bubbly off-white head. Head dissipates quickly but leaves lacing behind.

Smell:Tart raspberries, breadiness, cocoa.

Taste: Watered down raspberries, slight tartness. Not much chocolate which really came out in past versions balancing the tartness. That is not here in this years version but the tartness is not nearly as strong this year either.

Mouthfeel: Kind of watery, really takes away from the beer.

Kind of disappointed with this years frambozen. Had it the past two winters and it was excellent both times. Seems to be watered down this year. Nonetheless it is still easy drinking and has been growing on me the more i drink it. Just doesn't stack up with the previous years this beer was released.

 768 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a deep raspberry red hue with golden highlights and the slimmest of fizzy puce head.

Smell -- Raspberries! The aroma is overwhelmingly that of freshly macerated raspberries, with a tinge of toasted malt.

Taste -- The fresh fruit taste is somewhat muted in the flavor. Still dominant, but there is more toasted malt character. It's pretty singular in its flavor profile. Lingering flavors of raspberry and a vegetal note akin to celery. Weird.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with an overabundance of fizzy carbonation. Slightly drying finish. Feels like a soft drink.

Drinkability -- I'm not in love, let's put it that way. The obvious comparison to make with Frambozen is New Glarus' Raspberry Tart, which is considerably superior. I can forgive a fruit beer that isn't very complex, but it better taste like the best raspberries of the season. This, however, tastes like malta + cheap raspberry cordial. I think the real deal breaker with this beer is the mouthfeel, like cheap soda.

 1,004 characters

Photo of samie85
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a brilliant ruby color with two fingers of light tan head.

S-Smells strongly of raspberries and some biscuity malts.

T-Starts off with mildly sweet raspberries and then turns tannic and slightly bitter.

M-The mouthfeel is actually quite nice with a medium body, low carbonation, a slick feel.

D-While not exactly my thing, I could see how some would really like this beer; it is primarily a one-note beer with raspberries being the note.

 450 characters

Photo of JosiahS
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

glass: tulip

Dark cloudy brown color with a slick, almost milky, 1-finger tan head. Small splashy lacing. Big raspberries on the nose, a bit sour, faint chocolate and mocha as well.

Tart raspberries dominate the taste, a little sour as well. Beneath, i get mocha, chocolate, a little date and brown sugar. That's about it. The body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation.

Although a nice change of pace, this beer is too fruity and tart for my taste.

 458 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Brownish is color with a bit of a ruby hue when held to light. Thin light brown head.

S: Syrupy raspberry aroma along with some grape cough syrup. Maybe a touch of chocolate as well.

T: I don't know, this one just didn't quite do it for me. The raspberry is there, but it has a strange sourness and a bit of an off bitterness. Some malt and chocolate in the background don't help the flavor much. Wasn't really my thing.

 426 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Having enjoyed this one a lot when I lived in San Diego (I found it in a suburb of Phoenix) and again when I first moved to Denver, I rashly bought a case. I think I gave away 5 or 8 bottles to a hooker, but I digress. poured a clear dark reddish brown with a large lasting tan head. Aromas of raspberry and cocoa. Palate was light bodied, smooth and a bit tart. Flavors of raspberry and a bit of cocoa with a smooth slightly tart finish.

 438 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking clear, brown beer with a thick head that melts to a ring.

Raspberries in the nose. Some malty sweet aroma in the background.

Raspberry flavor up front. Sharp and tart. Some grainy, malty backbone there. But, the berries make for a tart, dry finish.

The mouthfeel is decent. Probably right for this beer, but on the thin side for me.

This beer has too much raspberry for me. I'm sure some people like it, but it's overly dry, fruity, and tart for my taste. But, I think it's still worthy of a craft beer lover's attention.

 540 characters

Photo of CPeterson
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A -- A deep dirty crimson brew that produces a nice head that leaves a solid skim and good lacing.

S -- Mild fruit sweetness, biscuity malts, and earth.

T -- A very mild fruit essence that promised to be sweet (or sour) and just couldn't stand up to the malt. Breadiness and earthiness in the middle, and finishes with a slight twinge of bitterness which makes for a semi clean finish.

M -- A little sticky on the finish but otherwise pretty uneventful.

D -- It's better than some, but not as good as others.

 512 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.23/5  rDev -12%
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.

 1,311 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.