Lips Of Faith - Le Terroir - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Lips Of Faith - Le TerroirLips Of Faith - Le Terroir

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,863 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,863
Reviews: 425
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 441
Gots: 302 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A sour beer barrel-aged for two years and then dry-hopped with Amarillo and Cascade hops for 8 days.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,863 | Reviews: 425 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of corby112
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, very dark golden orange color with golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light and a 1.5 finger pllowy white head. Good retention, slowly fading into a thick lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with a balance of oak barrel character and floral citrus hops. The dry hopping is very prominent n the nose with lots of floral, resinous hops and a lot of sweet tropical an citrus fruit notes. Hints of grapefruit, mango and orange peel countered by a sly pine needle character. Lots of wood and vanilla character from the barrel but I'm not picking up much funk or barnyard notes. It's there underneath the other notes but pretty faint. Very unique aroma.

Medium bodied with and odd balance of tart sourness and earthy bitterness. Slightly puckering but not acidic with a sweet lingering vinegar presence in the finish. The tartness up front is accented with hints of light berries and subtle creaminess. As in the aroma, the barrel character is prominent with lots of dry earthy wood and faint vanilla notes. Also, the dry hopping adds a very strange bittersweet character which I have never encountered in the style. It adds some sticky, piny dryness to the barrel notes but also counters with lots of sweet tropical/citrus flavor. Hints of mango, orange peel and a ton of grapefruit.

This beer is really different because it starts off tart and puckering before being countered by the dry, sweet hop presence which again gives way to a lingering mouth puckering vinegary finish. I've been let down by the Lips of Faith series but this beer is a very interesting take on the style and something that I would like to drink again.

Photo of superspak
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 8/23/2013. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big sour green apple, cherry, grape, cranberry, grapefruit, tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, pineapple, floral, grass, clove, pepper, oak, leather, hay, straw, vinegar, musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of hop, yeast, and oak notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart green apple, cherry, grape, cranberry, grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange zest, hay, straw, floral, grass, oak, clove, pepper, leather, vinegar, musty funk, white wine, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of fruity/earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart green apple, cherry, grape, cranberry, grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, pineapple, floral, grass, hay, oak, clove, leather, light vinegar, musty funk, white wine, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible balance and complexity of yeast, hop, and oak barrel flavors; with a great sweetness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky/acidic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible dry hopped sour! All around fantastic balance and complexity of the hop and wild ale flavors; and extremely smooth and crisp to sip on. An extremely delicious offering.

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden yellow. A decent amount of white head foams up.

Aroma: Very acidic with a light funk profile. It has some peach and apricot flavors with some lemon and acidicness going on. Can't really taste the hops. It reminds me of a gueuze.

Taste: Again, this beer really reminds me of a gueuze. Funky, sour, and acidic. Peaches, green apples, and lemon citrus. Solid stuff.

Mouthfeel: Sour and tart. Lighter bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a tad dry.

Overall, this was a solid brew from NG. Very drinkable and one of their better sours. I could definitely drink a lot of this.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden orange, slightly hazy, with a thin white head. Smells acetic and lactic, with some late creaminess. No funk at all, just tart and sour and cream. The taste is mostly similar, but with the addition of some earthy hops at the end. Pretty tasty, but honestly it would probably be at least as good if not better without the dry hopping. The spicy hops distract a little from the sour flavors. Not the most aggressive sour in the world, not the most complex, but it's a fairly easy entrance for the non-sour drinker into the world of sours.

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heck of a beer. I'm immediately hit with a tangerine and clementine - big fruit citrus with even the peel and seeds in there. Seriously, it's like fresh fruit. There's there's a peppery-lime tang with a balanced (not too big, not too small) sour hit. This is a juicy beer, but not too thick and on the drinkable side of sours.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a golden yellow color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Plenty of sourness, fresh floral and citrus hops, leaves some vanilla and peach

T: I noticed a nice fresh hop presence, nice fruits, peaches and apricots, crisp, dry some tropical fruits at time, plenty of fresh hops

M: Nice body, tart, dry medium body.

D: Very good. Would def recommend and go for another one

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is orange in color with a slight haze. The head is about a half inch thick, and leaves a fair amount of lacing behind. The aroma is complex and inviting, with scents of oak, apples, white wine, and a subtle funky tartness. The flavor is well balanced and pleasant, with a nice grape juice / white wine character. The finish brings a nice puckering sensation, with a lasting flavor of sour apples. Overall, I really enjoyed this, and would happily have it again.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Brouwers during Big Wood. Review from notes.

A: The beer is a hazy orange with a foamy off-white head on top, minimal retention and lacing.

S: Really liked the aroma on this beer, nice sour/tartness with some tropical fruits and lots of pine on the finish. There is some lemon and a little bit of funk.

T: Quite sour! Surprisingly hoppy, lots more tropical fruit, lemon, grass, and a bit of pickle juice actually.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation. Great level of sour/tartness.

O: Really liked this beer, very different. Basically a sour IIPA, loved how the tropical fruit and pine mixed with the sour/vinegary notes.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of a Duvel tulip split with oglmcdgl, thx.

Le Terroir pours out a juice colored bright orange with some faint peach within. A nice billow of an inch of white foam firm on top, some suds on the sides. After a bit stillness.

Smells quite earthy with citrus hops and an earthy scent. I get a tang juice scent it's quite large. The Amarillo shows more than the cascade with grapefruit, apricot, etc. A small sweet malt with bread. Quite bold scented and bright.

A nice mix of hops and sour, the dry hop comes out with amarillo type citrus taste. I had this a few months ago and it has lost a bite. The sour is on the lactic side, while brett may be there. Peaches, grapefruit, earth, sour, nice.

Feel is quite tart in the mouth. A pucker if you will. The acidity mixed with hop bitterness is a bit of a pain. The body is on the low side while this is quite lively.

This is a great sour, besides some work on the mouth feel, no qualms. I would not want to kill a whole bottle of this as I would be scortched mid way palate wise. I would drink these up and stock one or two for some cellaring.

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Falling Rock. Poured into a chalice.
Light orange/copper color with reddish tint. Big white head, a bit soapy.
Smell of sour cherries, vinegar and old socks. Some other fruits as well. Richness in yeast.
Taste is like La Folie, but not as complex, rich or good. A bit thin, sourness overpowers the sweetness and flavors of the fruits. Does not have the lip-smacking goodness of La Folie. However, this beer is pretty good. Overall, I think this beer is just too sour without having any other comparable qualities.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gbontrag for this one.

Was sent a bomber from the tap and capped 2 days ago.

Pours a slightly cloudy orangy/pinkish color, some carbonation, no head, and no lacing. The nose is of sour apples, citrus/mandarins, slight yeast, and some hops. The taste is pretty sour/bitter/tangy, but very tasty, it draws you into the brew. The finish is dry. Medium body, well rounded, complex brew. Very drinkable, quite a different brew from NB (never had a La Folie yet). I hear it will not be around much longer, so if you can get over to NB, do it.

Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of John_M
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Not a big fan of sours, but this beer has so much going on, it's hard not to be impressed. Along with the expected sour component, there's some nice vanilla, grapes, and wine (cabernet is what I thought I picked up). Can't imagine drinking a full pint or tulip of this, but in a small, 4 ounce taster glass, this was very nice. Impressive.

Photo of biegaman
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Toronado, in San Francisco.

I might be tempted to score the appearance a perfect 5 if only I had some criteria with which to judge it. Of course, no real rules exist for these wild compositions; they are at the mercy of nature which, in this case, was evidently quite good to it over the past two years. It is a glossy, lovely papaya orange tone with a fine, mossy head.

You want funk? You got it! Trying to throw light upon the sour, funky smells of a wild ale to someone who's never tried one is like trying to explain the theory of relativity to a kindergartner - wild yeasts and bacteria are ingredients that make almost impossible things happen. A perfect score hardly does such an extraordinary bouquet justice.

Wild yeast is a gamble in the great casino of nature, but New Belgium seems to have hit the jackpot. Tasting like dried out grains, the maltiness is rather blank and expressionless but that yeast (or bacteria, or both) swoop in with the sweetest fruity flavours I've ever tasted. Where are the fruit flies? This emulates an authentic lambic quite well, but with an added vibrant hoppiness that endows soft floral notes and tons of peach-y, pineapple-y fruitiness.

Terroir is a French word and a French concept that denotes the unique characteristics that particular varieties of foods and drinks gain from the geography, geology and climate around them. It's appropriate, therefore, that this beer captures the terroir of a French-speaking place: the Senne Valley in Belgium. The brewery will tell you that it's a taste of "their" terroir, but sorry New Belgium, Cantillon and the likes got there first.

Biology students take note - this is a beer worthy of a thesis. How one can take wild yeast and bacteria, let them fester in beer for two years, and come out of it with something appealing is beyond me. But while this may be challenging to drink for some, for my tastes it is one of the most simultaneously unique and pleasant beers I've had the pleasure of trying.

I don't think it would be unfair to say of New Belgium that they are still tinkerers, rather than trained engineers, when it comes to wild ales and barrel-aging. But it must be said that Le Terroir is a masterpiece that doesn't just approach the best American sour beers, it actually surpasses many of them. A beer like this is worth paying whatever the asking price for.

Lips Of Faith - Le Terroir from New Belgium Brewing
96 out of 100 based on 1,863 ratings.