Advent Beer Calendar: Day 9: Frambozen

New Belgium Brewing's FrambozenToday I’ve picked New Belgium Brewing‘s Frambozen. It’s a tasty raspberry brown ale, with respectable strength (7% ABV) and delightful fruit flavor. It makes for a great holiday brew for people who don’t like overly heavy, dark, or strong beers.

About this year’s vintage, New Belgium’s site says:

Brewer Bill Hepp traveled to Oregon this year to oversee the selection and shipment process. He describes the first moment he experienced this year’s harvest.

“The room was redolent with the thick, summery aroma of fresh, red raspberries,” Bill recalls. “I opened the drum, untied the plastic liner, and scooped out a handful. Putting a few in my mouth, I could tell immediately that this was going to be an excellent year for Frambozen.”

An exceptionally warm growing season made for sweet fruits with a pleasantly tart finish.

I guess I’d better pick some up…

BeerAdvocate gives it a score of 85, with 92% approval. Some of the reviews mention a chocolate tone to the beer, which I don’t remember noticing before, so perhaps it’s particular to this year’s batch…?