Review: Harpoon UFO Raspberry Ale Zinger (R.A.Z.)

Review of Harpoon UFO Raspberry Ale Zinger (R.A.Z.) from Harpoon Brewery in Boston, MA & Windsor, VT

Beer Type: Hefeweizen  ABV: 4.8%  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “Natural raspberry flavors are added to our UFO Hefeweizen to create this beer. Consistent with the Hefeweizen style, this beer is unfiltered and cloudy with a solid foamy head. UFO R.A.Z. has a distinctive, hazy rose color. The scent of fresh raspberries hits the nose immediately, along with a subtle bready aroma from the wheat and yeast. The body is light and the unfiltered yeast provides a soft mouthfeel. The taste of the fruit compliments the beer nicely, neither overwhelms the other. There is a faint sweetness on the palate, which finishes cleanly in a semi-dry, tart finish.”

The Reality: These guys are honest and have provided a very apt description of their beer. It does have a hazy rose color and the scent of fresh raspberries. It is light-bodied and smooth. It is quite tart with almost no sweetness and a dry finish. The tartness does not overwhelm the beer, but rather it personifies this beer.

Final Verdict: In my opinion this is what a fruit beer should be. It’s built on a good foundation (UFO Hefeweizen), and it is tart, dry, refreshing, crisp, and doesn’t taste artificial. The fruit enhances the flavor instead of dominating the flavor. It’s the type of beer you actually want to drink on a hot day, and although this isn’t a summer seasonal, I’d prefer to drink this over any summer ale or shandy that everyone is pushing come Mid-May. I’m just glad they didn’t go with their first idea of UFO JAZZ, which was going to be brewed with Saxophone spittle and broken bass strings.