Beer Review 0473: Epic Brainless Raspberries Belgian-Style Ale

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Epic Brewing Company hails out of Salt Lake City, Utah, and they primarily focus on high alcohol content beer. Operations started in 2008, when Utah modified its state laws and higher ABV (alcohol by volume) beers could be produced — the founders are David Cole and Peter Erickson, both of whom shared a longtime dream of opening a microbrewery.

The company divides its offerings into three different series: Classic, Elevated, and Exponential. As you might expect, the offerings get more extreme and creative with each jump of series; today’s review, Brainless Raspberries, belongs squarely in the Exponential series.

It should be noted before I get into the review exactly how Epic produce some of their brews: they brew by batch, and each batch might be different than previous editions. Each brew is limited to a certain number of bottles; the batch number for this review is #2, which was bottled March 20, 2013. Brewed with raspberry puree, the hops used are Premiant, Tettnang, and Sazz, while the malts are Weyermann Pilsner, Muntons Marris Otter, 2-Row Carapils, flaked oats, and Muntons Wheat. The ABV is 9.7%.

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Brainless Raspberries pours out a nice dark orange, obviously a solidly golden beer that is influenced by the raspberry puree. The head was average size, frothy, and steadily faded. The beer is cloudy but doesn’t contain any particles or sediment; lacing is fair, only leaving behind a few bits here and there.

On the nose, it’s a bit one-note but the aroma is nice: raspberries. Both sweet and tart; like fruit juice concentrate and sugary cereal, all at once. There is a bit of sweet grain and some of the Belgian yeast present. As it warms, a touch of pink bubble gum mixes nicely with the raspberry.

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Flavors of sweet raspberry and pink bubble gum greet the palate, along with some peppery spice and candied orange peel. This is a sweet brew to start, but some of the tart raspberries begin to come out in the middle of the taste; the finish wraps up with a nice mixture of the sweet and tart raspberries, another punch of bubble gum, and a moderate twist of alcohol that warms the belly. I found Brainless Raspberries to be medium-bodied with a thin, foamy mouthfeel.

I have to admit that I am partial to beers that use raspberry, so your mileage might vary with this one. It’s very easily drinkable but this is the kind of beer that could give you a stomach ache if you drink it too fast, if you catch my drift. It came off to me like an amped-up fruity wheat beer that didn’t contain any overt Belgian characteristics other than raspberry bubble gum. I enjoyed this and would probably get it again when I’m in the mood for something raspberry.

Epic Brainless Raspberries Belgian-Style Ale, 90 points. Price: $9.49 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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