Wild Raspberry Ale

Great Divide Wild Raspberry AleI keep running across the name of the Great Divide Brewing Company in reading about beer, and it’s always something good; they seem to be producing very good beers and making a buzz. Recently I had their Wild Raspberry Ale (my wife found it downtown), and while I’m often skeptical of fruit beers, this one was definitely an exception to my doubt. Great Divide’s own page says:

Our mantra is that real fruit makes real beer, so we ferment Wild Raspberry Ale with hundreds of pounds of real red and black raspberries. We steadfastly refuse to fall prey to extracts and cheap syrups. Sure, squirting syrup into a keg of beer and rolling it around on the floor is easy, but the taste is… fake! Over the past nine years, we have stayed true to our commitment to real fruit, no matter what the time, expense, or late season frosts have thrown our way.

Makes me wonder if the quality of the fruit from year to year is noticeable in each year’s batch of beer… similar to wine? At any rate, I enjoyed this beer fairly well. My notes:

Appearance: Red… the color of dark red berry juice. No real head. Clear. The red is a bit brownish—a brick red. Adobe?

Smell: Raspberries—dark and sweet. Almost like a raspberry syrup. Nice.

Taste: Pale maltiness… very light. Berry character is likewise light. Fruity, not extraordinarily sweet. No bitterness though. Not as infused with berry as I would’ve thought from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Very light and thin… very effervescent but not bubbly (does that make sense?). This makes it seem lighter than it is.

Over on BeerAdvocate, the beer earns a decent enough score of 83 out of 100, with 89% of reviewers approving. On RateBeer, though, it falls into the only-average score of 2.91 out of 5; reviewers are ho-hum about it. I score it higher. It’s a good fruit beer and a decent session beer, though perhaps it might be more appropriate as a dessert.

One Response to Wild Raspberry Ale

  1. Greg Clow says:

    I’ve tried 10 Great Divide beers over the last year or so, and I’ve enjoyed all of them – except for the Wild Raspberry. My notes from when I tried it (last September) say: "Ruby-pink colour with a small head. Candy/berry aroma with some malt in the background. Body is quite thin and watery, and the flavour is bland – there’s some berry flavour in there if you look for it, but it’s pretty subtle and stale. Reminded me of the KLB Raspberry Wheat. I can’t believe the same brewer responsible for the Yeti could make this boring concoction." Do yourself a favour and track down thier Yeti Imperial Stout (preferably the Oak-Aged version, although the regular one is good as well), or one of their pale ales (Fresh Hop Pale, Titan IPA or Hercules Imperial IPA) – all fantastic!