ClubGonzo's Frambozo

Frambozo by ClubGonzo, Fruit Beer, 4.7% ABV, 19 IBU

Finally I’m testing an award winning beer! ClubGonzo’s Frambozo won the 3rd prize in Bjorleik 2012, so this one ought to be good!

It pours a medium amber to red cloudy body, with a small, frothy head that isn’t that long-lived and doesn’t leave much lacing on my glass. But the colour is off-white with a light-pink hue, that’s cool.

ClubGonzo's Frambozo

The aroma is of moderate strength, and is an interesting blend of slightly overripe fruits and berries. Tart raspberries is absolutely the dominant part (I’m not sure how I can get overripe and tart notes at the same time, but anyhow), also some acidic citric notes and white wine. Yes, white wine.

The initial taste is light sweet and light acidic, the finish has even more acidity. It’s so tart and acidic that a sip of water feels sweet and sugary compared to this stuff. The flavour profile is simple and very fruity, although the flavours aren’t that strong. Again the raspberries are the most obvious, then citric notes.

The mouthfeel is quite light, thin and watery, and the very soft carbonation doesn’t fit the soft drink-like feel of the flavours.

Conclusion: Too much tart fruit, too little beer. ClubGonzo should be glad that I wasn’t in the Bjorleik tasting panel.

Aroma:      6
Appearance: 3
Taste:      5
Palate:     2
Overall:    9
Ratebeer score: 2.5

ClubGonzo's I Hate Christmas

I Hate Christmas by ClubGonzo, Spice/Herb/Vegetable, 6.2 % BV, 29 IBU.

Roald Dahl might have hated christmas, but I’m quite sure he would have loved this remarkable ale! In the glass this christmas beer simply looks perfect. It has a slightly hazy, dark copper colour with a lovely looking, creamy, light-brown head with an extraordinary longevity: even when I empty my glass there is still .5 cm of foam left. It also leaves lots of foam on the glass. Beautiful!

I Hate Christmas a.k.a. The Fevik Batches - Vol 2.

The nose is strong, complex and delicious. It’s very sweet and roasted with nice yeasty notes, almost a bit Belgian. Please tell me which yeast you’ve used, ClubGonzo! There is also a lovely mix of fresh fruits and berries, even a touch of banana, with hints of dried dark fruits. On top christmassy spices, e.g. ginger.

The taste is moderate sweet with a moderate to light bitter finish. The aftertaste is quite long-lasting and a bit dry. I love the contrast between the initial sweetness and the dry finish! The flavour profile is quite strong, sweet and spicy, with caramel, fruits (again this faint sweet banana), vague yeast, lightly roasted notes and a herbal mix that reminds of a Jägermeister. Yummy!

Everlasting, creamy head!

The mouthfeel is very pleasant with a close to full body. The texture is oily to creamy and the carbonation is soft.

Conclusion: a wonderful brew with delicious spicy and fruity notes. One of the very best homebrews I’ve had, and one of the best christmas beers I’ve tasted this christmas.

Aroma:      8
Appearance: 5
Taste:      7
Palate:     4
Overall:   14
Ratebeer score: 3.8

ClubGonzo's Meh-rry Xmas

Meh-rry Xmas by ClubGonzo, Spice/Herb/Vegetable, 4.3% ABV, 27 IBU.

The past month I’ve been busy tasting commercial christmas beers, so I haven’t had time to rate any home brews. However, after a month of nothing but christmas beers I’m more prepared than ever to taste ClubGonzo’s takes on this style, or rather, styles.

ClubGonzo isn’t exactly overselling this beer, with the sad looking guy on the label and a name that reveals that this isn’t the favourite beer of the brewer. In the glass however, the Meh-rry Xmas looks very nice! It has an opaque black body with an average-sized, light-brown head that is quite long-lived and laces the glass well. As I empty the glass there is still a thin layer of foam left.

The aroma is a bit, well, meh. It’s not that strong and it’s pretty dominated by some dull notes of bakers yeast, it reminds me a bit of my Dad’s non-alcoholic Tomtebrygg™ before it has finished fermenting. The aroma is slightly burnt with some coffee notes, but that’s about it. Not unpleasant, but not exactly inviting either.

The taste is light sweet with a light to moderate bitter finish. In addition to the yeast, roasted notes and coffee, I get some spicy hints, I think it’s nutmeg and clove. No off-tastes, but rather boring stuff.

ClubGonzos Meh-rry Xmas aka batch no 12. Too boring to enjoy, this one I hurled down so fast that I didnt get a shot of the beer in the glass.

The carbonation is far too soft for such a light bodied beer, it’s a bit like drinking cold coffee. But it’s drinkable, I downed the bottle so fast that I forgot to take a picture of the newly poured glass. The texture is quite watery, and there is a light dryness in the aftertaste.

Conclusion: Meh.

Aroma:      5
Appearance: 4
Taste:      6
Palate:     2
Overall:   10
Ratebeer score: 2.7