Framboise for a Cure (Russian River Brewing)

I purchased this beer back when I rolled through Santa Rosa on my way home from the Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, so it’s been sitting in my “cellar” for the past 7-8 months. I’m a huge fan of sour ales and I was willing to spend the money ($20 for a 375ml bottle) since all of the proceeds were going to charity.FRAMBOISE FOR A CURE is an American Wild Ale with a 6.5% ABV.

The base beer for this year’s batch is Temptation – a sour barrel-aged strong golden ale, aged in Chardonnay barrels for more than 1 year. We added 120 pounds per barrel of fresh raspberries for the final 3 months of aging, hence the beautiful color! Only 6 barrels were produced this year, so we are allocating it to 2 bottles per person, $20 per bottle. 100% of the proceeds of this beer will go directly to the Sutter Breast Care Center!

If I hadn’t known better I would have thought that someone switched my Framboise with a grapefruit soda or maybe a champagne. The beer is a delicious ruby red color with TONS of bubbles running up all sides of the glass. Head starts as a foamy greyish white before quickly fading away.

One of my favorite parts of opening a new sour is that blast of sour/tartness that escapes the bottle when you pop the cork. No matter how far from the bottle my nose is I always pick up a hint of funk. Lovely! Raspberries and red wine vinegar are big, bold, and present from beginning to end. Hints of grapefruit, hard water, and cracker are also detectable, but play fourth fiddle to the tart. An odd and very surprising tomato bisque flavor was very forward in the nose, but didn’t really clash with the sweet scents.

Just like that first blast of aroma, the taste is tart and dry…like, really dry. Raspberries and red grapes blast forth then flicker out, almost as if to say “We want you to taste the raspberries and red grapes, wait, no we don’t”. I could be imagining things, but I think there is a hint of that tomato bisque flavor at the end (lingering in the background).

Mouthfeel is light, but very dry (as I stated above). My mouth dried out quickly, but started to water after the completion of each sip.

Framboise for a Cure is a very tart and great looking beer, but I wish the flavor was more expanded. The taste and mouthfeel are very similar: here and then gone. Maybe I sat on it for too long.

Overall: 7 out of 10

As an AMERICAN WILD ALE: 7.5 out of 10

FOR FANS OF: The Lost Abbey FRAMBOISE DE AMAROSA, Weyerbacher RISERVA, Unity Vibration TRIPLE-GODDESS RASPBERRY 

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