Russian River Brewing Co. is well known as brewing some of the best sours in the United States, most notably their barrel aged series including; Beatification, Consecration, Supplication and Temptation. Since 2010, it has brewed Framboise For A Cure, a charity beer released in October.
The brewery describes it as:
Blonde Ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with brett, lacto, and pedio (base beer is Temptation). This sour barrel-aged blonde ale has 31 pounds per barrel of fresh raspberries to make a beautiful reddish/pink beer! Nicely balanced with sweet raspberry and tartness. This beer is made only once a year in conjunction with our month-long fundraiser for the Sutter Breast Care Services of Santa Rosa during Breast Cancer Awareness Month! 100% of the proceeds of this beer will be used to help men and women in our community in their fight against breast cancer!
Due to the high demand, Russian River tires to spread the release out over a two-week period. This year, the brewery limited purchasing to four 375ml bottles per person, per day beginning on Oct. 1.
Framboise For A Cure pours a ruby red and almost appears glows red in the glass it is such a bright shade. There is a decent amount of off-white head that hugs the inside of the glass as it’s swirled. A good amount of barrel sediment settles to the bottom and there is a very noticeable difference in the first pour which was extremely clear and the second, which had a lot of yeast giving a very hazy red look.
It smells very sour, but balances nicely with very sweet raspberry notes. I also picked up a good amount of citrus that leaned towards lemon peel. There are some farmhouse aromas like hay and there is a hint of vinegar on the back end. The nose overall is a really beautiful bouquet of smells that kept me guessing as to everything that was in the beer.
The initial taste of Framboise For A Cure is fairly sweet, but it gives way to a powerful sour that causes the jaw to clinch up slightly. I can taste a lot of raspberry in this beer, it is very apparent that they used a ton of the fruit in the beer which really does wonders to balance this out. The sour in the beer is very complex as well, since Russian River uses three different souring bacteria’s there are a lot of different notes going on, it leans towards acidic, but there is a very mild funk from the brettanomyces. The Chardonnay barrels give Framboise For A Cure a crisp, fresh, feel and also leaves the mouth and tongue dry.