Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boon: Framboise (fruit lambic) – Fruity Senne Valley funkiness

Lembeek is a small Belgian town that sits about 10 kilometers southwest of Brussels on the border between the country’s Flemish and Walloon regions. In what by now must seem like a small Brussels suburb, Lembeek lies squarely within the heart of Senne Valley, where the wild yeasts from the Senne River, along with wild yeasts lurking within the brewery, spontaneously feed on the sugar-rich worts of some of the region’s finest breweries – a process that gives rise to those sour, cidery, and super dry lambic beers that people love, hate, or have yet to try. Lembeek is also home to Boon Brouwerij, which brews a variety of largely spontaneously fermented beer. Matured in oak barrels, Boon’s Framboise (French for raspberry) is an amazing raspberry blend of old and young lambics. If you are in the “never tried” category, I suggest reading a bit about lambics by checking out the links below and then finding a friend that is brave enough to split one with you. And Boon’s Framboise, with its fruity and funky balance, is a good one to begin with.

My particular sample was a vintage 2010, although I’ve had one or two a few years back before I was serious enough to document my beer samples. The body appears as a bright red color with a small, fluffy, light pink head. The lacing is a bit thin and runny, which seems to be the case with most lambics I’ve tried. The aroma is far less “wild” than what one might anticipate from a lambic. To be sure, scents of barnyard are present, but the raspberry aroma is surprisingly powerful, although not overpowering. Strong vinegar and earthy aromas also come forward, which really adds to the beer’s roughness. The taste is certainly sour, but the raspberries add a level of sweetness to it that really makes Boon’s Framboise a remarkably well-balanced brew. Not surprisingly, the mouthfeel comes with lots of carbonation, and the finish is quite dry.

If you’ve had just about any other fruit lambic, say Kriek for example, then I’m sure you’ll find Framboise to be a rather sweet concoction. That said, the overall balance is still on the sour side – enough to tell the drinker that, indeed, one is downing some of the Senne Valley’s finest funkiness.


Brouwerij F. Boon: http://www.boon.be/

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