Beer Review of Lindemans Framboise Lambic
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  • Beer Review of Lindemans Framboise Lambic

    You’ve got to hand it to those Belgians. When it comes to brewing beer in a wide range of weird and wonderful styles, there’s no other country come close.
    One of the styles that’s peculiar to Belgium, and in fact is only made in one valley near Brussels, is Lambic.

    And by a freaky quirk, that’s what this review is about, a Lambic called Lindemans Framboise

    In 1809, the Lindemans family owned a farm in Vlezenbeek near Brussels where they dabbled in a little brewing. They decided to intensify Lambic brewing activities during winter, when there was less farm work to be done. Conveniently, the farm produced wheat and barley,some of the basic raw materials of Lambic.

    Because of the success of their Lambic, the brewery became more important than the farm and consequently, in 1930, the latter’s activities came to an end. It was around that time that they started to produce Geuze and Kriek. The Framboise was launched in 1980, with blackcurrant and peach following a few years later.

    You can read more about the brewery’s history, production techniques, and end results by going to the official website –
    http://www.lindemans.be/html-uk/UKgeschiedenis.html

    Lambic is a style of beer that dates from before the 13th Century. It is only brewed in and around Brussels and the Senne Valley to the south east, and usually only between October and May as high temperatures can spoil the fermentation.

    Lambic’s are brewed using 40% unmalted wheat and 60% barley, and undergo a spontaneous fermentation from naturally occurring airborne yeast and bacteria native to that particular area. They are light-bodied and very lightly hopped, they’re slightly sour or citric in taste, and are usually flavoured with fruits such as cherries, peaches, blackcurrants, or in this case, raspberries.
    That’s the legal definition.

    THEY SAY:
    “These beers are developed using straight juice-method. The result is a fresh fruity drink with the background of the rich bouquet of Lambic.
    These beers are mostly drunk as appetizer, but also with a lot of desserts.”

    Lindemans Framboise pours, not the pale red of raspberries as you might expect, but more of a purple haze* – a blackcurrant look. It forms a massive, billowing head that has a lighter hue – much more like raspberry. The head hardly diminishes from beginning to end and leaves masses of sticky lace all over the glass (the recommended glass for this beer is a flute).
    * JHendrix

    The aroma is like popping the lid off some raspberry jam and sticking your nose in…that is to say, it’s sweet and dominated by the fruity tones of raspberries. It’s a scent that’s straight out of a soft-fruit farm – seedy, woody, pulpy, deep and dark and fruity. A big raspberry aroma all the way – but not an awful lot else. Surprisingly for a lambic, not much could be detected from the yeast.

    The taste starts quite flowery, then becomes somewhat sweet…perhaps to reliant on the fruit-juice. obviously, raspberries are the dominant flavour,with a rich and sweet fruitiness, but there is a little malt floating around too. It’s not as sour, or tart, as most Lambics…nor as complex, although the tartness does poke its head above the parapet towards the finish. The finish also has a sherry-like dryness which helps to balance the initial sweetness.

    The Verdict

    At 2.5% ABV, it’s take a few of these to have you talking gibberish (well, some of us, at least). I suppose its low alcohol content and its sweet, syrupy fruit flavour would appeal to some, but I’m afraid it doesn’t do an awful lot for me.
    I’m sure I read that this was an award-winning beer. Well, if it was, all I can say is that there must’ve been a few brown envelopes changing hands when the votes were being counted, there are many better Lambics than this.

    It’s recommended as a dessert beer, and it that respect it might just work, but I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed with this at all. It’s too sweet and not sour enough, and it’s nowhere near as complex as it should be. In short, it’s a very disappointing offering. It might be suitable for someone who wants to drink an exotic beer, but doesn’t like the taste of beer…that’s not me.
    Nope, there are far too many better examples of the style out there to waste time drinking this.

    Would I drink it again? – I might, but I probably wouldn’t enjoy it.