I found it! Well, technically Liam did, but here it is thanks to slowbeer. I first had Lindemans Framboise in an Irish bar while holidaying in Manhattan back in October 2012 and thought for sure I’d never be able to find another bottle again, at least back in Australia anyway. But here we are!
It was starting to rain and we’d been walking all day ticking off the endless list of tourist attractions within the confines of the island borough. Tired and in need of some respite we ducked down East 41st St, off Fifth Ave, and found a cosy and unassuming little bar in O’Casey’s.
Checking out the display of bottled craft beers behind the bar it was the Framboise that caught my eye. I remember it was quite pricey but heck, I was on holidays. Needless to say I didn’t regret the splurge for a moment. And the second time round it tasted just as good as ever despite me being a little dejected after reading the label.
Framboise is a traditional raspberry beer based on Lambic… The local wild yeasts cause a spontaneous fermentation. After 1 or 2 years in oaken barrels, selected raspberries and raspberry juice are added and give a fresh, fruity and delicate taste.
So, not an actual lambic and they also don’t mention the sugar and sweetener additives in the little blurb.
It pours a rich and vibrant fuschia with a fantastic frothy head. The aroma bursts forth in all its raspberry pungency and is akin to that of raspberry cordial – almost sickeningly sweet and laden with happy childhood memories.
The flavour is very much as you’d expect from the aroma but for a slight tartness that helps to break through the sweet raspberry backbone – it’s less like raspberry cordial and more like actual raspberries. To be completely honest it tastes like a much closer relative to an alcopop than a beer. I’m blaming the sweetener.
The sweetness does fade and it’s a mild raspberry tartness that is found lingering on the palate. It’s the saviour for me and has me savouring each mouthful and at the same time ruing the moment the experience is over.
Both the carbonation and head retention are superb for a sort-of lambic and the lacing is similarly impressive, making it one exquisite looking beverage. (The photo doesn’t do it justice at all.) It’s going to score highly in my books even though I can almost hear the craft wankers yelling protestations of “It’s not even real beer!” Even if it’s my association to this beer and the many fond memories it retrieves from the backwaters of my brain, beer is an experience, and this is one I’ll continue to savour so long as it tastes this damn delicious.
- Genre: Fruit/Honey
- Regionality: Belgium
- Strength: 2.5%
- Rating: 2.5 / 3 taste + 2 / 2 ancillaries = 4.5 / 5
- Plus: Prettiest looking beer award
- Minus: I wish it didn’t have sweetener in it