Reviewed: New Belgium Tartastic Raspberry Lime Ale
Product description: Brewed with raspberry and lime purees for an irresistibly playful sweet-tart sip that’ll put a smile on your face every time. Hops: Nugget. Malts: Pale, White Wheat. 4.2% ABV, 8 IBUs.
New Belgium Brewing Company – New Belgium Tartastic Raspberry Lime Ale – 12oz bottle poured into specialty glassware – 4.2% ABV
I’m sampling this from a 12oz bottle with an enjoy by date printed on the label of 5/20/18. Into the glass, this version from the Tartastic series is a bright purplish pink color with light pink, pillowy foam that sticks around longer than expected. There’s a bit of haziness in the beer, which is expected with the wheat addition.
This looks great in the glass and the aroma is fantastic. You get bright raspberry limeade right off the bat along with strawberry daiquiri. As it warms, the nose moves more towards melted popsicle with touches of something buttery. Taste-wise, though, this beer is pretty bland and watery. All the buildup with the pink color in the glass and bright raspberry limeade aroma is met with uninspired flavors. It’s tough to get past the boring American wheat ale base beer, which adds some unwanted creaminess to the mouthfeel. Think raspberry limeade with a dash of milk added. Really what this beer needs is a bit of sugar, some bright acidity, and assertive raspberry and lime flavors.
Especially given the name “Tartastic”, the largest font word on the label, there is nothing tart or acidic about the beer. This is solidly a 0 out of 10 acidity-wise. So I feel like this beer is only halfway there. The color and aroma are on point, but the flavor and mouthfeel are not. I think that casual drinkers will say “meh” while enthusiasts will be puzzled by the odd branding as a tart raspberry lime ale. Maybe I was hoping unrealistically for something closer to a fruited Berliner Weisse, but there should be at least a touch of tartness or acidity to complete the beer. What’s left is closer to raspberry lime La Croix with a dash of cream. Putting the criticism about tartness aside, the raspberry and lime flavors themselves do not carry over into the body of the beer. Last year I reviewed New Belgium’s Juicy Watermelon, a watermelon lime ale, which similarly struggled to bring out the fruit additions.
Perhaps I’m just not the person New Belgium is aiming for with this brand. Though there is nothing technically wrong with the beer, it is too safe and boring in my opinion. However, it may go over well with casual consumers, which is probably why New Belgium has added this to their year-round portfolio.
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