Sunday, December 29, 2013

August Schell Framboise du Nord

This 3.7% ABV Berliner weisse style beer made with raspberries is from the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota (see the News and Events section of their website for more information on these Nobel Star releases). They were established in 1860 and I believe they are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States, behind Yuengeling. 

This beer is the second release in their Noble Star Collection of Berlinner weisse style beers that they are making. The first release was Star of the North (unfortunately I missed that one), and this one added five thousand pounds of raspberries to that recipe. Why of the "North?" When Napoleon's troops took over Berlin in the early 19th century, they found this style of beer to be the "The Champagne of the North." In addition, Minnesota's state motto is "The Star of the North." These releases are made in the brewery's original 1936 cypress wood lagering tanks. The bottles were hand filled and bottle-conditioned. A second cypress tank has been refurbished, so future releases in the series will have greater volume available.

The beer pours a dark salmon pink, almost a bloody flesh color. There is a short and short-lived head of very light pink foam. The aroma is vibrant, fresh raspberries, raspberry sweetness, raspberry tartness, and bright tartness from the beer itself. The taste is the mirror image of the aromas, a perfect meld of raspberry fruit and tartness. The finish is relatively dry and mouth puckeringly sour. The aftertaste is pure fresh picked raspberries along with the lingering tartness. If you like sour beers, if you like raspberries, and particularly if you like both, this beer is a must.

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