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BEER REVIEW: Sangre De Frambuesa @ GFC

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Monday, August 11, 2008

BEER REVIEW: Sangre De Frambuesa

posted by beertopia_brent
Sangre De Frambuesa
By Santa Fe Brewing Company

Slightly hazy, tawny-ruby in hue; off-white head, there is a tinge of pink in the foam like a white shirt would look if it was washed with a red sock. At the apex the head was two fingers tall, the foam quickly fell to a half finger cap. This smaller cap had good head retention, a thin collar lasted the entire consumption. Not much subsequent lacing, however. Still, overall, this is a good looking beer and quite fitting for the "style."

Sadly the nose isn't overly talkative; sure I get a suggestion of raspberry. Real raspberry... not artificial, not overly sweet; the raspberry smells like, well, the fruit. I notice some vague maltiness, light mustiness, oranges, and cherries with a soft Belgian-like funkiness. There are some characteristics of the nose that are so familiar to me, they remind of a Belgian ale I have had in the past (I'll be damned if I can remember the name). I like the nose but I wish it was chattier... I wish there was more bold aromas. Subtle can be good though. I can't smell the 12% ABV. So, overall, bouquet is nice but it lacks pizzazz.

It took a few sips before the flavors really resonated on my tongue. While the alcohol was hidden, aroma-wise, I can't say the same for the palate. This beer is hot. Musty raspberries, lightly woodiness, oranges, cherries, bread dough, vague spiciness... the finish is curt; it is interrupted by the arrival of the alcohol heat. My tongue feels slightly scorched. The finish is, frankly, disappointing. The first half of the beer is really well done, good flavor but it could use more maltiness and even more raspberry (dare I say!). Granted, I don't know what the intention of the brewer was and it is not like there are many beers of this ilk to compare it to. De Ranke Kriek and La Choulette Framboise are two similar beers which I'd prefer over this.

Light in body (surprisingly so), lively carbonation (which is nice), effervescent mouthfeel... pleasant if not a bit thin but the lack of body is not a deal breaker. This isn't really my kind of beer. I am not opposed to fruit beers; I've had some very good ones. If I age this beer will it get better? It should mellow if nothing else but will it improve? Maybe a tamer version would be an improvement. With all of this said, I am surprised (and pleased) this beer is available in Nebraska. Cheers to Santa Fe and happy 20th anniversary.

look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 3.5

Sangre De Frambuesa
By Santa Fe Brewing Company
Rating: 72

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