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Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration) - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration)Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

663 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 663
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 15.3%
Wants: 21
Gots: 130 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 06-07-2014

Its not dead. But Gratzer is definitely a long-buried style from Poland. Together with 3Floyds we unearthed its robust smokiness with oak smoked wheat and midnight wheat. Polish Lublin hops for a bitter bite and lacto for a slightly sour finish, this pours out a billowing, foamy mouth worth indulging.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 663 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlueMoon10
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OrestesMethuon
4.19/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I'm a huge fan of Three Floyds; I'm not much of a fan of New Belgium (and Fat Tire is one of my least-favorite widely available beers). That said, I really wasn't sure what to expect with this collaboration—though I have known New Belgium to score considerably better, on my personal scale, when they pair with other brewers than when they brew alone. Considering the sort of niche European/historical style, though I couldn't resist, and I'm glad to say this Grätzer far and away fails to disappoint.

Indeed, from the very first sip, I was really feeling this weird mix of flavors: a dark, smoky, slightly barn-sour nose presages an extension of all those elements in the ale's tastes, which double-down on the oak-smoke without ever pushing them into the extremes some smoked beers reach. Meanwhile, the use of lactobacillus more than double-down on the sour notes of the nose, adding crisp, funky tartness that—more than the smoke, even—underpins the overall bouquet and structure of this beer. The tartness also helps maintain a lightness, which is matched by the surprisingly thin mouthfeel—for a smoke-beer, but even more for a wheat-premised beer—which to me is more velvety than "billowing", but which is also quite clean.

The hopping, on the other hand, is much less aggressive than I would have expected, not just because of the two collaborators but because of the promised "bitter bite"; really, the Lublin are essential a footnote, and though I suppose they probably contribute to the cleanliness of the finish and help prop-up the bitterness that is derived from the oaken notes, the overall presence of the hops in the flavor-complex is pretty miniscule, to my taste-buds.

Still, that's a minor quibble for an ale that both surprised and surpassed my expectations from the moment I poured it into my Three Floyds-branded tulip-pint: a refreshing, light ale that belies its dark heart, an expressively oak-smoke wheat mellowed and well-matched by its cleanly-soured skeleton, and beer that seems it'd be perfect for a mild summer-day deep on the continent—presumably waiting for the zombie-apocalypse to reach Wielkopolska.

Photo of timothybarney
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of craftaholic
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Apparently smoked beers arent my thing...

Photo of Beervana
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gtwreck45
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of devilfluff
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Buzz3d
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biegaman
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

For those (understandably) unfamiliar with Grätzer - or Grodziskie as it's also known - it is a Polish ale dating back to the Middle Ages and is comprised majorly of oak-smoked wheat. This modern New Belgium/3 Floyds interpretation looks to have emphasized the smoke - entirely, thoroughly black, it looks as if it were rolled in ash. Its head leaves puff rings of lacing all the way up the glass.

The aroma likewise emphasizes the smoke element, albeit with some familiar Dry Stout-like burnt grain notes. It's probably enough for most people to cite dark chocolate or black coffee, though those flavours are certainly incidental relative to the presence of blackened campfire logs and soot. Warmth unearths a ganja-like component that must be the Polish Lublin hops.

The presence of the baker and the barista don't disappear on the palate, but things definitely take a turn for the acrid; flavours reminiscent of tobacco leaf, stiff new leather, and used ashtrays creep into the fore and linger longer than the others. Dear reader, if I heard that I'd be grossed out too but take my word: it's very agreeable and quite tasty.

Indeed, this Lips of Faith offering may require a leap of faith for some but is remarkably approachable for a smoked beer. For lovers of Rauchbier this won't be as gratifying; the smoke element isn't overblown and the bacon and campfire qualities it contributes, while clear and confident, are also restrained and mindfully folded into a 'bigger picture'.

The addition of lacto bacteria has an equally modest impact. There is a trace of tartness in the mouthfeel, something that like that found in a ripe piece of fruit (i.e, a purple plum) but it's far from being 'sour'. And it contains virtually none of that residually sweet, milky lactose character of a Milk Stout. This is decidedly lighter in a few respects, it's 4.5% body not the least among them.

When big names like New Belgium and 3 Floyds partner up, it's fair to expect big things and yet this Grätzer managed to exceed my expectations. While I don't have enough experience to speak to the authenticity of the recipe, I can say with certainty that it's among the most innately approachable, easily quaffed, and likely to be widely appealing smoked beers I've tried.

Photo of Barnoloid
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very interesting style, which melds the smoked malts and porter style body with a smooth mouthfeel. Love the generous pillowy foam head here, which retains through the pour. Complex layers dominate here with the result being a unique and enjoyable beer

Photo of JLateralus21
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Justdoit1234
2.87/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of schoolboy
4.23/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow. This is a really interesting style. It is very different from most other smoked brews. The thing that sets it apart is the refreshing lightness.

It pours with a huge head and a nice dark brown color. The aroma is smoked with light yeast and hops aromas.

The taste is an amalgamation of smoky yeast, bitter sourness, but all being pretty subtle and balanced. It is not sweet or malty. The aftertaste continues lightly with the sourness.

This is a very successful brew. I can't say if it is authentic, I think it may be. Highly recommended (and it's underrated).

Photo of TruePerception
3.56/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium/Three Floyds' Grätzer Ale. 4.5% ABV.

A: Just a slim line of head. Extremely dark brown, nearly black. Honeyed brown in the dimple. A bit of sheeting, and just a slight bit of emaciated lacing.

S: Charred wheat toast (bread) up front. Light graphite. A faint molasses note. Not complex, but a nice scent.

T/MF: Big, yet soft char dominates. Faint licorice. Grassy note to the char flavor. Not bad, but not great.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of Wrichards
2.42/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

With this being my first smoked beer I will not be going back for another. The initial taste is of fire smoke but the finish is that of cigarette smoke which I am not a fan and the lingering taste is that of a beer that was filtered through an ash tray. I am sure this is for some just not for me.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pruden
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't sure what to expect with this one - it's not as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Definitely a smokey/cigarette finish though. Love the label.

Photo of JillianJillianJiggs
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First gratzer I've ever had - will definitely try again. Love the zombie bike riders on the label.

Photo of torwart94
3.09/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of torwart68
3.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of michaelsmith11
3.39/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of russpowell
3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent ebony with 3 fingers of tan head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Gummyness & smokeyness once warm

T: Mild smokeyness, a little dryness, & gummy sweetness up front. Some fig & pear mix with smokeyness & dryness as this warms, slight taffy flavor as well. Finishes dry, a little smokey with the aforementioned taffy

MF: Medium bodied, light carbonation

Drinks okay, but doesn't deliver much in the way of good flavor. A letdown like most of this series

Photo of melbow
4.51/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Light body and light smoke. Very smooth and drinkable. I enjoyed this thoroughly.

Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of halo913
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

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Lips Of Faith - Grätzer (3 Floyds Collaboration) from New Belgium Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 663 ratings.