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.
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.
Labels: Lindemans, New Glarus, Rock Bottom Brewery