Saint Louis Premium Framboise: Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck NV : Framboise (raspberry)
The challenge having been evoked in the last blog, the time is ripe in this experiment for the first of the Belgian beers, even it must be a framboise. I am sitting outside the Dive on Amsterdam Avenue in the glowing fix of this October city approaching twilight. Two young hipsters sip bourbon at the table next to me and a collected community of Friday happy hourers hold a Giants-shouldnt-suck-this-year conversation at a further table.
This beer is not promisingly served in its own glass, but it does shimmer with a reflective sunset red, pure red. The raspberry works a tad to overwhelming, so that its sweetness runs unchecked. Certainly not with the marauding quality of the imitations that American brewers mastered by what must have been their dropping a whole bottle of perfume into the keg. Still the syrup quality runs over any sense of balance: it is an inconvenience to the taste.
As I approach the last heavy sips, my daughter joins me from her long journey home after school. We take about test-taking and college applications, about scratches on glasses, about all the small irritations in the world that go away simply because you talk about them. And my framboise has disappeared in the discourse. We talk more cheerfully about the future and I know that there are better Belgians down the calendar.
Rating: a 30% pool of sunset.
PS — I promised to mention that no shows at this event included: Duncan, John, Al, Subhang, Neil and the cast of Glee.