In search of some Funky Buddha beers, I headed to Churchkey (the poorly lit, well-stocked über beer bar in DC that has more than its fair share of ironic mustaches and short, cropped bangs). Unfortunately, they had drained all but one keg the night before for a SAVOR event. So my change of plans included this little fella’.
Founders describes this as a Belgian Raspberry Ale. I don’t know what that means or what the base beer is, but I do know it has a shitload of raspberries and is pretty strong at 9.2% ABV.
I had it on tap, and it looks like a vigorously poured, super-dark grape juice with a little pink head. It smells like what I believe raspberry cough syrup could smell like if pharmaceutical chemists weren’t such dicks: sticky, sweet, syrupy raspberry puree. With the first sip, it appears this will be a raspberry juicebox affair, like Founders is all slinging their wares preschool snack-time style. Then the carbonation quickly kicks in to tone things down, and I’m all:
Suddenly you realize the moderate carbonation’s benevolent mercy as the tartness kicks in. I have seen people say this isn’t that tart. Perhaps my sour beer receptors are not jaded enough (although I do like kumquats and crazy-sour lemonade). And while it’s not exactly salivary gland twisting and automotive-screwdriver-to-the-jaw tart, I thought it was significant.
Things cool down for a split-second, and I notice some teeth-drying from the tannins and a slight red wine-like quality. Then a new sourness kicks in at the finish, except this time without any comforting carbonation. I like it, though, in a sick sort of way.
I think this was my favorite beer of the afternoon. I may have to rethink my unfavorable stance on fruit beers…especially 9.2% ABV fruit beers. And I may be seeking out some more sour stuff.
P.S. Thanks to Marshall for covering AOTD for me, while I went and got my Friday afternoon drink on.