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Drie Fonteinen Framboos | Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
105 Reviews
THE BROS
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Drie Fonteinen FramboosDrie Fonteinen Framboos
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
Belgium
3fonteinen.be

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Recent bottling dates:
05/25/1999
05/31/2011
06/18/2014

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 03-02-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
634
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
19.2%
 
 
Wants:
758
Gots:
157
For Trade:
31
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 634
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tall bottle brought back across the pond courtesy of Jeffo - cheers man! Enjoyed at a tasting, alongside two other raspberry lambics for comparison.

Poured into a snifter. Soft cherry in colour, quite hazy, and with a thin head that recedes into a fine ring. Nice looking brew - colour looks genuine.

Great nose on this, with the tart raspberries stealing the show all the way. A bit of funk and musk kicking around in there as well, but really this is all raspberry and I thank them for it.

Great tart lambic, with a good balance between tart raspberry and traditional sour notes, funk, musk and citrus. This brew sits at about my upper threshold of sourness (at least for now; I'm certainly improving in this regard), so this would have to be a brew that I would share with friends when the mood hits me just right. Fortunately, this was one of those times, and so the balance of this brew really did it for me. Carbonation is firm, but not overpowering. Lingering astringent finish.

Were it not for its rareness I would certainly keep one kicking around the cellar as an exemplar fo the style. Great brew.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.76/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Chris!

Pours a cloudy reddish color with a light pink head. Smells of raspberry, leather, red wine vinegar, and oak. A touch salty too, which is a bit strange. Lemon and straw, a touch of earthy funk. The flavor is quite sour, though it leans toward the acetic side. Still, some nice lactic notes and lemon zest. Raspberry is there, as is a bit of oak, leather, and must. Not anywhere near as funky as most 3 Fonteinen beers. Enjoyable, but not amazing.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.95/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed on 7/28 as a break from the BA DarkLords during the NYC Voltron tasting!!! HUMONGOUS thanks to jim for providing this gem. truly the biggest unexpected surprise of the day! can't believe i got a chance to taste this!!!
2011 vintage

a - gorgeous. pinkish red. think head with spotty lacing. really attractive. just looks like deliciousness.

s - smell is divine. if i could give a score of a 6 for smell on just one beer, this beer would get it. raspberry with the perfect sprinkle of funkiness.

t - WOW!!! great gunk. raspberry...sour cherry...magic in a bottle.

m - funky and just a bit dry. hell of a sour beer.

o - overall, i'm floored. this beer blew me away. lots of these talked about beers fall short but this one really lived up to the chatter about it. AMAZING. funk, magic, berries.

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Photo of victory4me
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1999 vintage shared by treyrab. I am eternally grateful!

I was promised a big rare surprise at this tasting hosted by nittanybeerfan. Trey took this out and said, "ever have this?" I said, "HOLY SHIT!" and spent the next several minutes scraping my jaw off the floor.

Pours very carbonated, surprisingly so for a 13 year old bottle. Ruddy, hazy, cloudy orange-ish red. Huge aroma of horseblanket, dank basement, sweat, and musky fruit rush toward me. Complete overpowering of my olfactory senses, I feel these aromas in my ears.

Raspberries are still present within the flavor in ways that I wouldn't expect for a beer of this age. Extremely acetic in the back of the throat, the raspberries quickly fade into an overpowering sourness which is rather enjoyable. One of us mentioned a tomato-like acidity. At the same time it is clean and lactic. Undeniably complex with its depth of flavors. As it warms a whole new flavor profile emerges: Briny, salty and earthy.

Mouthfeel changes throughout the experience and is outstanding throughout. From prickly sour carbonation to an acedic burn, then a salty still feel as it warms.

Tremendous on every level and worthy of it's accolades. I am still amazed that I had the opportunity to try this beer and cannot thank Trey and Dan enough.

Beer on a whole new level of world class.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped this little surprise at a recent tasting. 2011 vintage. From notes. Into a Cantillon tulip.

Bright red beer with a light pink head with no retention. Spotty lace with little cling. Solid but not special.

Nose is unbelievable. Incredibly aromatic. Crushed raspberry, light cheesiness, hay, cobweb funk. Very pure. Representative of the nose of almost all Drie Fonteinen fruit lambic.

Sweet raspberry with a mild tartness. Great balance. Cheesiness in the back. More berries towards the middle. Aftertaste of hay, oak, yeast, and cobwebs. Very good.

Light to medium bodied. Low carbonation, yeasty in the mouth, mellow going down. Slightly lingering aftertaste. A perfect complement for the taste.

Given the hype surrounding this beer, I'm a little disappointed. Very good but this isn't as impressive as Hommage was and its close to on par with the Scharbeekse kriek in my opinion. A great offering from a great brewery but its not worth the trouble in this case.

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Photo of brystmar
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jim surprised us with this at our BADL tasting, thanks! 2011 bottling.

Dark red, nearly purple body with bubbly white head. Minimal beads cling to the sides of my glass.

Aroma is....wow! Very intense, super concentrated raspberry and funk. Seriously, this is incredible. Arguably the best aroma on any sour I've ever had.

Taste is a different story. Fresh raspberries blend with yeasty funk, finishing slightly bitter. Did I mention it's funky? More complex than LP Framboise, though I actually prefer the taste of that Cantillon right now as the raspberries are more forward in that flavor profile. Framboos also lacks the acidity I love about LP Framboise, but that should change over time. This bottle has serious cellaring potential; would love to check in on its progress in about 18 months.

A great sour nonetheless; very glad I got to tick this.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at woodshop by a very generous soul

Look: Pours a dark pink kinda ruby red color with a 1/4 inch white bubbly head and ok retention

Smell: The nose is pretty fruity with copious amounts of sour raspberries. There is a slight funkiness behind the raspberries and some oak but the nose is pretty much just a raspberry lovers dream

Taste: Again the beer is just very fruit forward with lots and lots of raspberries again there is some lip pucker tartness and a touch of funkiness

Mouthfeel: Light crisp and refreshing. It tickles the palate a little bit and goes down leaving the mouth just slightly dry

Overall: I am not usually a fan of fruity beers even some of the best ones in the world. But this beer is a fruit lovers wet dream. So good so much fresh raspberry flavor. Glad I got the chance to try this

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Photo of starrdogg
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Steve for cracking this open at the start of the Lost Abbey tasting. 2011 Vintage.

Pours a deep pinkish-red with a moderate white head. Smells primarily of raspberries in a fantastic way with some oak and funk hanging out there as well. The raspberries really carry the flavor, but there's a nice tart and funky lambic sourness that complements it. It's only moderately sour though, not puckeringly so, and the flavors come together really nicely. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this was really quite an excellent beer, one of the better fruit lambics I've had. It was especially impressive for me as raspberry beers tend to disappoint me, but this one really came through.

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Photo of ChicagoJohn
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage: 2011

Opened my first of six bottles in the middle fo June with close friends in Sweden who went to the S&B festival who were gracious enough to bring their girlfriends along as mules for me. Greatly appreciated gentlemen.

APPEARANCE: White head forms upon pouring and medium carbonation forms, a little bit less than expected but at least I see it.

SMELL: Fresh raspberries with the slightest trace of moldy chese chunk. This will be a fruit bomb, but in a good way.

TASTE: Wonderful. Need I say more.

PALATE: Slightly dry on the mouthfeel with a medium thick body. Feels great but wish there was more carbonation to give it the 'perfect' mouthfeel.

OVERALL: This is perfect that I obtained enough for cellaring as I will be opening up a bottle once every other year with my Swedish or Chicago friends alongside me. There is so much potential as it's a little bit unruly and so much complexity will occur over the years.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky red with a foamy beige head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some pretty complex raspberry and woody aromas. Taste is much the same but not as sour as I was expecting based on the aromas. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great aromas and flavors and a definite treat to be able to sample.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle, 2011 vintage. Thank you, Steve.

Deep pink with a white head that recedes to a ring, leaving no lace. Nice clarity. The nose is beautiful with a big, deep raspberry aroma. Seedy, fruity, mildly leathery and jammy, this is excellent. The base lambic is moderately lemony, and complements the fruit very well.

The palate is an excellent blend of lemony sourness, bright and vibrant raspberries and mildly salty/briny lambic. Seedy tannins are present, but to a lesser degree than, say, a Lou Pepe Framboise. Super bright fruit, not very tannic, the base lambic does complement the fruit with its blend of lemony and mildly musty notes. Medium-light in body and with a creamy, moderate level of carbonation, this feels excellent on the palate. Highly recommended.
4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5

**Edit 27 July 2012**
Trey shared a bottle of the 1999 vintage last night. Thank you, man!

Mostly clear, this is a pretty red with no head or lacing. The nose is excellent. Raspberry aromas, fresh, vibrant, berries, no tannins, mild strawberry/tomato paste sweet-tartness. Funky, and deeply musty, the nose is deep and complex. With a little floral aroma with no mushroom/earthy aromas, this smells amazing.

The palate opens with a moderate sourness, fruity, ripe and clean with lemon and lactic sourness. Salty and briny, a flavor combination I haven't encountered in a while. Minimal seed tannins, none of the solventy character that a lot of aged framboises have, this is quite fruity without being particularly jammy. The lemon notes brighten up the palate. Drying, lemon rind finish with moderate funk. Despite its age, the carbonation is quite high, and the flavors on the finish are excellent. Mildly tannic with minimal oak, this beer is phenomenal.

3.5/5/5/4.5/5

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

225th Review
75cl bottle enjoyed at the Sour & Bitter dinner in Copenhagen (the "Main Event" as it were...Millennium and Malvasia Rosso were just warm-up beers)
Poured in a wine tumbler
Enjoyed on 10 May 2012

Bottled: 31 May 2011
Best before: 31 May 2021

A: Dark ruby red - looks like raspberry purée. Small white head disappears almost immediately.

S: Smells like a fresh bucket of raspberries. Heavenly! Slight hint of oak, funk, and more raspberry. Touch of acidity as well, but again mostly just fresh raspberry.

T: Follows smell with initial burst of raspberry explosion up-front. Lambic sourness balances this beer wonderfully and the overall execution is superb!

M: Medium/full body with almost flat carbonation.

O: Smooth, easy to drink, and just really enjoyable! The balance is just perfect. I was stoked to have had the opportunity to drink this beer at S&B while also purchasing a couple bottles for takeaway. I'm excited to see how this one ages as it is still quite young, but all in all a very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of craytonic
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The whitest of whales. 1999 and 2011 side by side in appropriate 3F tumbler. Review is to the 2011, although I found the 1999 preferable. Differences noted

Appearance: Hazy, murky pour, the 1999 is noticeably thicker and darker. Both have a small white head and decent carbonation.

Smell: Both are incredibly fruity, although, and oddly, the 1999 smelled fresher to me than the 2011. Perfect balance of oak, funk and fruit in each, although the 2011 is a bit too much like jam. Both have a nice citrus element that somehow emphasizes the raspberries, of which there are plenty.

Taste: Both are delicious, with the 1999 being superior. It seemed to me that the 1999 might have spent more time in contact with the raspberries, hence its darker color and intensity, but that is just a prediction. Both have a nice dose of sour, funk, earth and oak.

Overall: both are good, debatable if they are worth the effort to acquire but that is a different story. We opened a rose de gambrinus next to these two bottles, it couldn't even look on them. I found the 1999 slightly better and it would be a 4.75 overall.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is #7 on the "Top Beers - Lambic - Fruit" list on beeradvocate.com. Served in two gueuze tumblers. 1999 and the 2011 version served side by side, I win beer.

1999: Brownish and hazy with a thin off white head of small bubbles, low retnetion, no lacing.
2011: Pinking and hazy with a bright white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate retention, heavy carbonatoin.

1999: Oaky and funky in the nose, almost no fruit present in the aroma. Very 3F aroma though, no oxidation. Very aggressive and strong, lactic, mild succinic and acetic acidic, citric too.
2011: Very fruit forward, strong raspberries, still citric and funky, with oak and the others, the tartness is lower and the fruit is much much higher.

1999: The fruit is still in the body, a thin beer very tart with a nice finish and funk, strong 3F character but the overall beer is subdued.
2011: Very fruit forward, strong on the palate and stingy with the tartness and oak funk. A very nice beer, not as funky as the 99 but very much more fruity.

It is hard for me to pick a winner but I guess I liked the newer one better. I think what makes the beer different from any other 3F sour is the fruit which was way way more forward in in the newer one. It would probably be better with a year or two on it but after more than a decade the 1999 is probably over the hill a little.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1999 and 2012 vintages served side by side.

The 1999 vintage is hazy / murky and appears a darker shade of red, with some brown tones. The 2012 version is a beautiful, radiant ruby hue with a half inch of lilac head.

The aromas of the two beers are quite different. While both offer prominent raspberries, the older vintage is funkier, with basement and oak tones. The newer batch is fruity and fresh, with a light sweetness from the fruit.

The flavor of the '99 vintage is smooth, silky, funky. Lingering notes of oak. Slightly musty. A superb brew. The 2012 is a simpler fruit lambic, with raspberries shining through nicely atop classic Drie Fonteinen scents and flavors.

The '99 is quite a bit more tart than the fresh batch. The 2012 is fruity, lightly sweet, with a gentle acetic finish, whereas the older Framboos has more tartness and kick in the finish.

Overall, both vintages were delightful. What a treat. I'm so grateful for the experience.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottles of 1999 (thanks forgetfu for arranging) and 2012 (thanks craytonic for sharing) release side by side.

Appearance
99: Pale, cloudy muddy reddish brown. 4.5
12: Brighter, cloudy ruby with a slight ring of pink bubbles. 5

Aroma
99: Oaky and raspberry fruit and seed, light acidity. 5
12: More of a jam, vanilla like nose, slightly seedy and juicy raspberry fruit. 4.5

Taste
99: Acidic and crisp, sour and tart raspberry fruit, light lemon and oak. 4.5
12: Sweeter and fruitier, less acidity and oak. Fresh raspberries dominate. Not as complex or interesting as the old batch, but promising. 4

Mouthfeel
99/12: Full body, soft carbonation, puckering finish. 4

Overall
Win and score goes to 99 (5) versus 12 (4).

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1999 vintage. Served in a Drie Fonteinen wine glass.

Pour is much darker when compared with the 2011. Slightly-murky copper-red with a short head. Nose is musty raspberry and earth. Light-moderate acidity. So smooth and earthy. Really fantastic.

Previous 2011 vintage notes:

2011 vintage courtesy of GT2. Pours a moderately-cloudy light brown color with a pretty hefty pinkish-red hue. Short, tight head that recedes fairly quickly, leaving behind a thin collar. The nose has semi-ripe raspberries with mild acidity. Underneath that is a nice bit of earth and a touch of basement character. Lightly funky, though not nearly to the level of 3F geuze. Flavor has a light acidity carrying the raspberries past some underlying earth and a faint touch of bread. Body is medium with average carbonation and a dry, lightly-acidic finish. I prefer this to Gambrinus, but I’d still take a straight 3F Oude Geuze if given the choice between the two.

Scores for 2011: 4 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 4.5

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1999- Drank this bottle side by side with the 2011 vintage; May 2012
Pours a hazy pink/red color with a ring of white lace on top. Smell is fantastic raspberry vinegrette aroma that leaps instantly from the glass, along with a great woody seed character and a touch of acetone-like sharpness. Palate brought about an assertive acidity, but mellowed just enough to allow a much of the flavors to present themselves; very funky, a little acidic, & jammy. Mouthfeel was light with carbo being medium finishing dry. Overall leaves the mouth puckering with tart/sour goodness and wanting more.

Vintage 2011 - Pours a murky red/burgundy with a little lace that fades quickly. Nose is similar to the Hommage with phenols, plastic, some funk, and mild woody notes; nothing over the top though. Flavor of raspberry, lemon, earthy and floral notes, funk, and oak. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a tart, dry mouthfeel. Overall next to the vintage 1999; it's a step down! Hopefully with some age this will improve like the older Framboos vintages.

2011 Scores: 4.25/ 3.75 / 3.75 / 4 / 4

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer for the first time at the SB event and for the second time last Sunday during a nice BBQ in the sun.

Look: the beer pours a dark red color with a small head that disappears fast.
Smell: wow, just after opening the bottle, the raspberry smell is all over the place. This indeed is a true raspberry explosion. The nose is nicely sour and funk, full of raspberries, but also other red fruits like cherries are present.
Taste: Funk raspberry juice. Absolutely stunning. Never had so much fruit is a lambic as in this one. The fruit in the beer is perfectly balanced with the sourness of the lambic, and a hint of cherry bitterness. The lambic is still quite young though. Dry but very smooth in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Both bottles had different levels of carbonation; Medium and Medium low.
Overal: A perfectly balanced beer. I noticed some differences in the level of carbonation between the two bottles. But besides that, this beer is stunning. Again, if you want a more complex taste, take a geuze or let the Framboos age for several years, because the lambic is still a bit too young. But.... if you want to experience the best fresh fruit lambic ever made, drink it now!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

5/26/2012

Thanks to rich for opening this long desired rarity. 2011 bottle date.

A: Very dark in color, a deep nebulous burgundy with a fast fading white head.

S: Fruit explosion, an amazing raspberry pie aroma with notes of seed and flesh and pie crust. Pleasant blend of vanilla and oak. Sweet and juicy fruit with leather, musty barnyard, and a touch of mushroom. Exceptional.

T: Moderately tart with big lactic notes. Nice acetic presence with monstrous raspberry character. Authentic flesh and seed notes. Leathery and earthy with light tannic notes and restrained barnyard character.

M: Medium body with upper low to lower medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry, sticky, and lightly tannic.

Overall: A very good Framboise with an exceptional aroma. I would have liked more carbonation but the low level of it was not detrimental.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The highly anticipated Framboos. We shared a few of these at the Sour & Bitter festival in Copenhagen last weekend. This was the main event, and it was nice to be able to have several glasses throught the evening.

From a 75cl bottle into a tumbler.
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, off-white head that quickly recedes to a swirling wisp and bubbly ring. Cloudy, hazy, carmine or dark red with no visible carbonation. Very opaque. A light wisp and ring remain until the end and leave some falling dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Very fresh still. Very fruity, with piles of fresh raspberries all over the place. A light touch of funky notes and some hints of cherries pull through, but this is all about the fresh red fruit. Semlls wonderful.

TASTE: A light touch of funk up front, but the avalance of fresh raspberries soon steals the show. Very fruity and bold with lots of tart red fruit and a touch of cherry through the middle, into a lightly sour-bitter finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste with lots of tart raspberries, some light funky notes and a tick of floral bitterness. The fruit flavor on this is decadent.

PALATE: Medium body with medium carbonation. Surprisingly full and heavy on the palate, which I appreciate, goes down very smooth and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: This was the star of the show tonight and it certainly put on a stunning performance. With awesome raspberry flavor all over the room, a light tartness and a touch of bitterness as balance, this beer was a real decadent treat. It is still very fresh at this point, so the nose and taste are almost completely dominated by the fruit. Given some time, however, it will mellow out a bit and allow the lambic to mature and play a larger roll. As a comparison, Hommage, which is also a raspberry lambic and has been maturing since 2007, is mellower and somewhat more complex now that the fruit has faded and the lambic has developed. Regardless, the increadibly bold flavors that Framboos brings to the table right now are a real treat, and I'm very glad my mate twisted my rubber arm and convinced me to attend the festival. It will be fun to see this beer develop over time as well. Thanks for bringing this one back from the grave Armand. This was phenomenal.

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Photo of oline73
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to try the new version at Sour and Bitter. Poured from the bottle into a stemless wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy red with an amber hue. There is hardly any head to speak of.

Smell: This beer smells absolutely wonderful. Like fresh berry jam. I'm getting the raspberries, but also some strawberry notes. A nice sweetness compliments the berries.

Taste: Not as sweet as the smell. Mildly tart raspberries with some strawberry like notes as well. There isn't a whole lot of sourness in this beer, yet. There is some tart fruit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer, but I think it will get even better with age. It smells absolutely wonderful.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'99 vintage. Review #1000. Words cannot express the gratitude due both to the ridiculously generous friend of mine who shared this and to Hopstoopid120 for letting me know that it was about to be opened. Thanks guys.

A: The label is a bit wrinkled but still in great shape, and the cork (which let out a highly satisfying pop upon opening) was remarkably pristine. This bottle has been cellared on its side since being purchased directly from the brewery way back when (for no more than $5!), and the proper care really shows. It pours a beautiful amber-rose colored body topped by a substantial cap of delicately frothy off-white foam that never entirely goes away. The only flaw is the presence of a sizable amount of sediment, but this quickly settles to the bottom of the glass and doesn't bother me too much.

S: Pure fruit lambic nirvana. Juicy raspberry aroma just leaps out of the wine glass, backed up by bracing acidity (mostly lactic, but there's definitely a bit of acetic action going on, which complements the fruit nicely), sour citrus fruitiness, and a terrific background of grassy, earthy funk. It's way cleaner than I expected for a 3F brew, as the earthiness is closer to flint than dirt and there's no real cheesiness to speak of. Instead, this is a positive celebration of well-integrated fruit and acidity. I can't believe how fresh and vibrant it smells, even after a dozen years.

T: It's sharply acidic up front, with mellow raspberry, lemon, and grassiness following close behind. There's a touch of oak on the finish that lends both structure (via some noticeable tannins) and balance (via a lovely hint of vanilla that helps cut the serious sourness). The finish is medium-long, and delicately fruity. Pure deliciousness.

M: Lively, surprisingly effervescent medium body; I definitely didn't expect such an old beer to retain so much zest, and it might even be a bit too frothy. Still wonderful, though.

O: Needless to say I never though I'd get a chance to try this beer, and I certainly didn't think it could live up to the hype. It did. It easily surpassed 05 St. Lamvinus as my favorite fruit lambic of all time, and absolutely put Dirty Horse to shame (how can I not compare these two uber-whales, both of which I absolutely lucked into trying within the last few months?). The raspberry has really stuck around admirably, and the overall balance, integration, and complexity of this beer is unreal. It's terrifyingly close to perfection, which only makes its scarcity all the more saddening. Armand is brewing again, though...

Cheers!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously shared by hoppymeal - Derek, you never cease to amaze me with your abilities to dig up such amazing brews. Served in a Michigan Brewer's Guild tulip glass. The mythical 1999 vintage.

A - Pours with a half-finger of quick-dissolving white foam that settles to a thick collar, but leaves behind no lace. Hazed orange-brown body with a hint of ruby to it. There's significantly more sediment than the 3F Hommage we had shortly afterward. Still, the carbonation seems to have held up quite well, even after 12 years in the bottle.

S - The first thing that I noticed is that there is still insane amounts of raspberry goodness - somehow the fruit has persisted, even as it has vanished from numerous younger fruit lambics. The raspberry is of the slightly over-ripe variety, and mingles with red wine vinegar and acetobacter, light signature Drie Fonteinen funk, and hints of oak and vanilla. As it warms there is a faint malted grain backdrop and perhaps *gasp* an oxidized note, so I wouldn't really recommend cellaring this much longer. Still - rumors of its decline have been greatly exaggerated.

T - The taste is actually superior, with significantly more sourness, acetobacter, and light lactic acid in the finish. No noticeable oxidation, and significant pucker from the tart, rich and, slightly funky raspberry flavors. Just superb stuff in any case.

M - Extremely dry, with a tannic finish. It literally rips the moisture from your mouth. Medium bodied, with medium-low carbonation. Tooth-coating residual sugars. My stomach started churning almost immediately from the acidity. Could use more bubbles, but for a 12-year old beer it's doing pretty good.

D - I initially wrote that this wasn't significantly better than Hommage - then I tried Hommage and realized I was totally wrong. It's perhaps too sour to drink in mass quantities, and the the rarity and price tag make it unlikely I'd ever be able to have more than 2oz. Still, it's clearly a superior lambic that has held up quite impressively, even after 12 years. As much as I nursed my glass, it emptied depressingly quickly.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Mega Tasting III, 1999 vintage, 750ml bottle. Words cannot express the huge awesomeness that this day has brought. Derek, you are the f'n man. Poured into RBSG 2010 tulip.

A - Pours a muddled brownish color, white head, no lacing, and some spotty whisps on top here and there.

S - Raspberry puree sweetness, nice funk, lactic acidic notes, some oak. The raspberry is so pronounced it's unlike anything I've ever had. Not overly sour, just right, and very tart. The cheesey funk is there, but it doesn't overpower or overtake the raspberry at all.

T - Wow. Funky raspberry bomb! Nice sour/tart notes, moreso then the nose, which is excellent. Vinegar, acidic wine notes, and oak in there as well. The finish is funky with a tart bite on the end that leaves your lips puckered. Just amazing how the raspberry is still there after 12 years.

M - Light, very soft carbonation, dry finish.

D - Simply impressive. The raspberry is all over this one, which truthfully, I wasn't expecting after all these years. Destroys all other sour raspberry beers with ease and just excellent. Will I ever have it again? Probably not...how sad.

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Drie Fonteinen Framboos from Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen
4.48 out of 5 based on 634 ratings.
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