Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Brew: Rock Bottom Jazzberry Ale

Summer has always meant lighter beers, as well as a cacophony of beers imbued with the taste of a fruit that doesn't go quite naturally with your average hops and malt.

And if that's your thing, then you really should introduce yourself to the newest beer at Denver's downtown Rock Bottom Brewery, the Jazzberry Ale that just rolled out tonight.

Jazzberry, a lightly hopped ale with a strong taste of raspberry, introduces itself lightly. But quickly, the slightly acidic, very lingering fruit taste takes over your taste buds, and it sits just a bit too sweetly on your palate.

Raspberry is clearly a flavor that can be melded into very good beers, as anyone who has sipped New Glarus' Raspberry Tart or Lindemans Framboise can tell you. But the fruit in both of those creations is blended with Belgian yeast that weaves seamlessly with the sharp taste.

Jazzberry is a strange combination of mellow ale and harsher fruit that, to put it bluntly, just doesn't feel natural after a good amount of sips. About the time this thought hit me, I looked down at the glass and saw a strangely colored liquid that looked less like beer and more like lemonade with a shot of Tabasco in it.

Jazzberry, mind you, isn't an awful concoction, and its sweetness may very well render it a nice starter beer for someone who's been used to slogging fruity mixed drinks. But you spend so much time pondering the odd combinations that don't seem to work together that there's just not enough time left to enjoy it.

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The Jazzberry brew sounds good enough to make me want to drive down to Denver for a taste. I was just at the Rock Bottom up in Loveland, CO but they didn't have a brew like that available.
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