Sometimes it’s fun to speculate on a brewery or beer—to buy something risky, something you’ve never had before. The uncertainty can be exciting. Other times, however, you spot a beer on the shelf that you simply know is a winner—a beer or brewery you’ve always wanted to try, and can’t believe it's sitting there in front of you.
This is that latter moment, and the beer is Lost Abbey’s Framboise de Amorosa. A raspberry sour that spends some time in “freshly emptied” red wine barrels, Framboise de Amorosa is the first experiment with raspberries for the acclaimed sour experts at Lost Abbey.
While the California-based brewer’s labels aren’t quite my style (think medieval art) the brewery’s reputation precedes itself, so you can bet I won’t pass it over scanning the shelves. Framboise de Amorosa is a deep, cloudy maroon, like a freshly lacquered piece of cherrywood. It’s a luxurious beer that feels even more posh pouring from the corked—not capped—bottle.
A wine aficionado would talk about the jammy qualities of the aroma, but to me it smells like raspberry Pop-Tarts and sour candy. The raspberry sweetness really shines, but there is more than enough tartness in each whiff to make your face sweat. A bit of barrel-derived woodiness adds to what is an extremely intoxicating aroma.
Framboise de Amorosa opens each sip with a burst of raspberry sweetness followed by a rush of sourness that lingers. It is a bit acidic and bitter, but with a wine-like grape-y quality. Then the barrel kicks in for an oaky finish. It’s the perfect blend of jammy sweet, punchy sour, and earthy wood flavors.
Playing it safe is an easy decision when safe really means stunning.