I became particularly enamored with the raspberry beers & decided to see what varieties I could get back here at home. I find the raspberry infused beers to be quite easy drinking & not overly sweet as you might think. Not that there aren't some very sweet ones out there, they just weren't they type I was interested in. My preference is for a raspberry beer that has the flavor of raspberry but you can still taste the beer flavor, I'm not looking for a raspberry wine. These are not girlie beers! With everyone thinking about what they'll be enjoying on New Year's Eve I thought I'd share my tasting notes on some of the better raspberry beers I've found. (Yes, it was a lot of work drinking all those beers but I do these things for you my readers.)
New Belgium Frambozen - Raspberry Brown Ale
Apparently, this seasonal release from New Belgium Brewery is highly anticipated every year. When we brought it up to the counter at the liquor store purchase, the clerk was so excited it was available he said he had to take a break to go buy some. In the glass this ale has just the slightest hint of pink color & a thick, white head. With the first sip there was just a hint of sweetness & raspberry. The raspberry flavor actually gets less distinct the more you drink it. Both Matt & I felt the flavor that came through was more of a slight chocolate or coffee flavor. A good beer though not as much raspberry flavor as I was searching for.
Sam'l Smith's Organic Raspberry Fruit Ale
This raspberry ale was recommended to us by the very helpful, knowledgable employees of South Lyndale Liquors. Darker than the New Belgium ale with a pretty pink head that dissipates quickly. The aroma of raspberries is very strong & with the first sip so is the flavor. Once again this is not an overly sweet beer & you can still taste the beer as well as the berries. There is also a slightly herbal flavor to this beer. All & all this is a very easy drinking beer & one of my new favorites.
Whole Hog Raspberry Saison
I thought about not adding this Wisconsin beer as it isn't available anymore to the best of my knowledge but it is one I have been drinking a lot this fall so hopefully it will be back again next year. As this beer is saison style it is a much paler ale than any of the others I was trying. It had the least raspberry aroma & flavor of all the beers, though the flavor is there as a background note. I quite enjoyed it's sight sour flavor.
Matt searched out this Belgium Lambic beer for me finding it at Zipp's Liquors here in Minneapolis. We had loved the Timmermans beers we'd had in Brussels but hadn't been able to find them in the states. So, far we've only been able to find the raspberry & cherry in the States. This was the pinkest all the beers right down to the head. The berry aroma is very strong. The flavor is a very drinkable combination of sweet & sour. The flavor reminded me a bit of the Timmermans Lambic Doux we had in Belgium. Quite drinkable & if it was available at my local liquor store like the Sam'l Smith's I'd probably drink it more often.
I'm still on the look out for other choices so if you know of one please let me know!
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