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 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!

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Photo of johnyeast
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really impressed with the NBB Frambozen this year. A rich brown in color, a beige head, with a strong smell of raspberry and a slight smell of sourness. This translates right to the palate with a rich yet sweet tasting beer that leaves a slight tartness in the mouth at the finish. A very drinkable beer that has turned into my favorite this holiday season. I have found that you can have 4-5 and not be bogged down with the sweetness that tends to accompany many fruit beers. A great balance of malty-ness with the sweet and sour. I highly recommend.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
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 mastodonj
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a diconic....

Interesting pinkish large frothy head with loads of lacing

The berry aroma hits the nose along with some tartness

Clean, simple flavor with a light malt.

I did not expect to like this but yeah, I do.

The berries are not over the top so it's not all fruity which is a good thing.
Goes down easily but don't think I would want more than a couple.

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Photo of humanawho
4.59/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - deep red color with a strong head with a slight red hue

S - the aroma screams raspberry, can't make out much else but as if you smashed a very ripe raspberry in your hand

T - again all raspberry, nothing other than a showcase of raspberry; not syrupy or false; just fresh raspberry flavor

M - nothing outstanding but nothing bad just average

D - very drinkable not too sweet for me

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Photo of babyhobbes
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is yet another beer powerball beer. This one from Tayner. Thank you!!

If you've ever seen fancy dark honey at a beekeepers table that is what this looks like. It's dark honey brown in color. Small off-white head. I can't think of another beer with quite this color.

Smells like berries and caramel malts. It sort of reminds me of a bock in odor.

Taste is berries with a slight EtOH backdrop. There isn't a lot of syrupy sweetness, it is just what one would expect with a handful of berries. This is terribly drinkable and a good choice for someone wanting a fruit beer without the typical wine cooler overtones.

I sure wish I could get something from New Belgium in Ohio. :(

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Photo of ThirdLap
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This bottle has been sitting in my fridge for a few months. Served at fridge temp into a tulip, then allowed it to warm up a bit.

A - Pours a very dark red with a short-lasting but big head. Lots of lacing.

S - Sour, fruity, and a bit funky.

T - Raspberry and tart. I know it's a fruit/vegetable, but this tastes like it's halfway to a decent sour.

M - Medium carbonation. Mild tartness, relatively thin bodied for the style. Very nice finish.

D - Surprisingly low. I kinda like this beer, but somehow don't want another. I want something fuller, with more character.

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Photo of WaveRebel51
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts off with a dark amber with a reddish-pinkish tint. Very little froth and carbonation. Smells delicious -- like a piece of raspberry chocolate candy. Needs to warm a little bit to bring out range of flavors. At cooler temperatures, the sour, tart raspberry flavor is too overwhelming. But when it warms up, the chocolatey malt taste becomes more prevalent. Still, would have liked to have a little more malt flavors come through. Taste just doesn't match the smell.

The tart raspberry taste can be a bit overwhelming to some, but it didn't bother me. A very unique beer that will either be a hit or miss, depending on individual tastes.

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Photo of adrock7309
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
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 boogyman
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a dark clear maroon color that looks pretty good half finger of head that dissipates quickly to just some residual bubbles around the top of the liquid.

S- Definitely raspberry. Has a sorta pale kinda thing going on which is kinda weird but hey. Not much else on the nose other then sweet, almost tart raspberry.

T- Definitely tart dry raspberry. Dominates the palate on this brew. As it goes down you can get a sense for the brown ale aspect of this beer. Kind of a weird mix going on in my mouth that is kinda killing it for me. Leaves some odd tastes in my mouth.

M- Feels bubbly going in and down. Not as smooth as it could be but nothing to cry about. Alcohol is well hidden which is good.

D- For me, I couldn't have much more then one of these at a time. It just has some weird aftertastes that just kind don't do it for me. But for what it is, this is a beer I can see myself having with a fruity desert.

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Photo of jerryjeff
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma-I'm getting the raspberry hints off of this with some mixed light chocolate type malt scent. It melds together for a pleasant scent which reminds me of something, I can't quite place it though. Some type of candy I think

Mouthfeel-Medium to light carbonation, not too much on the palette as far as the weight and body goes. Bit heavier than water.

Appearance-Poured to about 3/8" head, dissipated fairly quickly although the slight remainder is lacing pretty nicely. Poured into chimay goblet, getting a nice deep red/dark mahogany color.

Taste-A mix of the raspberry with some slight tartness and some sweeter malt tastes. A bit of residual sourness after the finish, but this has sort of a sweet theme. This seems one-dimensional to me and really isn't all that complex or good for that matter.

Drinkability-Body's light enough to have a few, abv 6.5% seems alright but I'm not really all that blown away. Sam Smith's fruit brews are easily better, price here is a bit of a prohibitive factor also.

Overall-truthfully I've grown accustomed to some of the fruit themed beers and this doesn't seem all that good. Better belgian fruit beers out there.

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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.

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Photo of Optifron
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of the bottle 11/15/2012

Appearance: Pours a dark cherry reddish copper. Light, pinkish, strawberries and cream head. Fills my Allagash glass to the brim

Aroma: fruity, cherries, a bit of raspberry. Lightly fruity. bit of spice. nutmeg?

Taste: Light malty sweetness. Dark cherries. a bit of tart raspberry finish. A little lingering astringency.

Mouthfeel: Small bubbles tickle the tongue. On the sweet side of things, inducing salivation. Has long lasting tarty sweetness. leaves a coating of sweetness.

Overall: A nice, light Christmas beer. I don’t like many fruit beers, but this is pretty good. Could do away with the lingering astringency. Would pick up a six pack if it was on the shelf.

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

Pours a clear dark brown with amber highlights. Off-white head has a pink hue to it, and dissipates quickly.

Aroma of roasted malts and raspberries. Some subtle toasty notes.

Tart raspberries dominate, with some sweet caramelly toastiness. Sour raspberries last through the finish.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Raspberry tartness lingers on the tongue.

Drinkable. Raspberry flavor really controls the flavor, where a touch more malt flavor and nuttiness of a Northern brown would compliment this one.

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Photo of tang214
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Granted I haven't tasted a lot of beers coming from this style but this is an excellent brew. I have always been impressed with New Belgium Brewing, Inc. and this just helps confirm that idea. Not to mention that I was worried that I may never get to taste this beer since it is one of their special releases. It pours a deep ruby color that has a full creamy head that lasts all the way down leaving a nice lace. The smell is as you would expect, strong of raspberries and the taste is just the same. It has the raspberries along with a decent malty flavor as would be expected with a brown ale. It continues on with that fruitness with the mouthfeel similar to that of a rich raspberry juice with some carbonation. It is very drinkable but the fact that it is so fruity makes me feel like I shouldn't drink it like regular beer. Overall, I find this brew to be quite excellent and will definitely get it again if it comes around again. Plus, this beer makes an excellent holiday brew in my opinion.

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Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This raspberry brown ale is a stunning ruby red when held to the light and the nose is cheerfully tart. I have tried this beer on a few occasions, and each time the first sip was the most exciting. Immediately, the tart raspberries go straight to your jaw, but before you have time to pucker, the smooth, sweet dark malts save the day and mellow things out. While this first sip is the most exciting, a few sips later, the layers open themselves up. First, the raspberry spikes with light tartness and then there is this wave of chocolate that wraps the whole thing up and lastly, there is a sweetness left on the tongue.

A great take on a fruit beer, as so many these days are limited to wits and blondes. If in the mood, I would not hesitate to purchase this brew again, because, c'mon, each sip is like taking a bite of chocolate covered cherries.

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Photo of DannyHartman
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As I pour a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, a 1 inch head appears atop a beautiful clear ruby red brew.... The head diminishes quickly with very little retention.... However, it leaves very good lacing throughout the drink.

I take a whiff, and I immediately get raspberries (hence "Frambozen").... Following that, I get a little roasted malt with the slightest chocolate notes.

During the tasting, it's hard to get past the upfront raspberry.... Once you do, there's other fruit tartness, with the slightest taste of toasted malts and cocoa on the finish.

I'd say this beer is on the light side of medium-bodied.... It's well carbonated with lots of tart raspberry in the aftertaste.

Overall, this is a decent brew.... New Belgium has done a pretty good job of putting a raspberry flavor into a brown ale.

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Photo of onewetpaw
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip

A- Rasberries hit you in the face. Not much else able to be detected.

A- Dark ruby with a nice one to two finger white head. The head dissapates after a minute or two. The clarity is good.

F- Rasberries are upfront. Theres a little tartness that ends the experience. I do detect a little maltiness, but that's definitely in the background.

M- Crisp carbonation. Dry sensation on the palate afterwards. Feels like I just ate a bunch of berries.

O- The best fruit beer I've tasted yet. The raspberry flavor is very forward, but the lack of sweetness and gentle tartness make this very drinkable.

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Photo of mghotbi
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful dark reddish brown with thin off-white head and copious sticky lace.

Smells bready and yeasty with just a hint of caramel malt and faint chocolate. Surprisingly, little in the way of raspberry aroma.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with prominent late carbonation.

Taste is complex with typical brown ale caramel sweetness giving way quickly to overpowering tart raspberry and ending with a clean dry finish. Alcohol is well masked by the tartness, but sneaks up on you quick. Tartness is a bit out of balance and tarnishes other good flavors.

A fine winter seasonal, sure to please beer afficionados and family members who like fruity concoctions as well. One by the fire is great, but I don't think it would make a good session beer for me.

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

Picked this up in a mix-n-match six pack.

A: A medium brown tinged with red, which is appropriate since it's a brown ale flavored with red raspberries. Forms a 1" thick head which quickly reduced by half but then stayed until two or three sips in.

S: Deceptive, but that may be because I was expecting something with a stronger smell. Initial smell of raspberry with subtle hints of chocolate. Almost had to stick my nose in the beer to smell anything past the first sip.

T: I'm going to be honest: This almost tasted like nothing at all. There was little if any tartness from the raspberries, and what raspberry flavors I noticed came on the finish, with a slight sour taste and a hint of something nutty.

M: Moderately thin, with a slight carbonated feel - though less than other fruit beers.

D: I'm torn on this. Since I only have one bottle, I can't be sure if what I'm tasting is consistent with what NB was going for, or if it's a bad bottle. I might try one other bottle (or a taste of somebody else's) just to make sure, but I won't buy any more than that unless the second taste wows me. That being said, it is a fairly drinkable beer that would be good for people who don't like beer, and if they liked it, I could easily see them drinking a few bottles as it's not cloyingly sweet like other fruit/dessert beers.

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Photo of hoppyweasel311
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown color with a quick disappearing head.

Aroma- Tart raspberries, slight alcohol

Taste- Creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation, tart raspberry... and thats about it for me... the tartness is overpowering any other flavors. It kind of reminds me of champagne.. all in all this a really good holiday beer.

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Photo of RevDru
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours brownish-red with thin foam head which disappears quickly.

S - Strong berry smell with slight smokey-grain undertones.

T - Again, berries, with a note of cola and vanilla. Quite sweet.

M - Smooth and filling.

D - Quite easy to drink. Nothing too outstanding, but pretty much what one would expect from a raspberry ale. Reminds me of a raspberry and vanilla cola. I can see how this might be just a little too sweet for some people, as it was almost borderline for myself.

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Photo of kwill
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a dark, reddish amber. There was very little head, but I think this was because I started pouring too gently and realized too late in the pour that there was going to be no head.

Taste is malty with a definite tart raspberry flavor. Aftertaste leaves a light fruity flavor that is neither too strong nor too sweet. Mouthfeel is a good balance with a slight carbonation. Would have received a perfect score in mouthfeel, but it was just a little too thick for an amber.

Overall this is a very drinkable beer and I am glad that I got a 6-pack so I can enjoy a few more.

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Photo of patrick16o
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red hue with hints of light browns and oranges. Crown is good sized and a bit pillowy, disappates slowly clings to the sides of the glass. A steady stream of tiny bubbles rise to the top. Aroma is very nice, raspberry right up front, then a solid helping roasted malts and just a hint of hops. The taste is wonderful. A solid roasted malt flavor up front, quickly followed by delicious sweet and tart raspberry and hints of hops down the back of my tongue. A medium bodied beer with a nice complex flavor. Very nice mouthfeel for a beer I could definately see myself drinking many more of.

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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.

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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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