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Lips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Lips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey AleLips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

310 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 310
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.03%

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 310 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mvanaskie13


4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a new belgium chalice: color is opaque amber, somewhat dense looking, head is tan, presents thin but a few swirls quickly build it back up, spot lacing on the glass.

Smell is a malt heavy, caramel, light plum, raisin mixes in, subtle phenols, light hop grass.

Taste is very good, very pleasant, amazing this brew is strength. Malts are caramel upfront, more biscuit and wheat undertone than in the aroma, subtle fruitiness, plum, raisin, some banana, fig; hops are bittering but not flavorful. This is a more clean, creamy beer for this style, in my opinion, but well done as the it tastes delicious.

Mouthfeel is also very good at this strength, somewhat drying of the tongue, flavors linger on the mouth and cheeks pleasantly.

Overall, great tasting beverage, hides its strength well with great malt presence and subtle yeast off flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 23:57:03 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a modest head for a Belgian style; wispy lacing down the side of my New Belgium tulip

Smell: Spice cake aromatics, with caramel, banana, fig, clove and powdered sugar

Taste: Spice cake flavors, up front, with caramel, banana, fig and clove; in the middle, there is some pear, too; the finish is a bit sugary

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; velvety

Overall: A very nice BSDA but not in the top echelon of those brewed by the Trappist monks; lacks the depth in the malt profile and the complexity of the Trappist yeast

Thanks, RuckusDu, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 22:13:50 | More by brentk56
Photo of brurevu


4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my tasting notes: New Belgium’s Abbey Ale is one of their best beers and this one kicks it up a few notches. It has a very deep and intense flavor that strikes all the right Belgian Abbey notes with hints of raisins, figs, and that distinct Belgian yeast. I remember having this on draft previously and it blew my socks off. The bottled version, while still fantastic, didn't quite blow me away. Still a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 22:31:30 | More by brurevu
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.31/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry caramel malt with a bready yeast is interesting. Taste is dominated by dry caramel malt notes with very subtle residual sugar notes and some bready notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and light warming alcohol can be detected. I am not sure where all those high ratings are coming from. I was expecting more complexity from the yeast ester which I could find here and I thought the beer was too dry for the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 19:13:17 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of DoubleJ


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With a name like New Belgium, I couldn't have completed my trip at the tap house unless I tried something truly Beligian-styled. And with "Grand Cru" being arguably the Belgium's signature style, it felt approriate to close on that note. On-tap at the source, on to the beer:

Belgian lace covers the glass round of this ruby colored beer. Nose is sweet, yeasty, very Belgian styled. More specifically, notes of sweet cherry and dark malt sweetness. The flavor offers some cherry and chocolate notes, a little heat from the alcohol to keep the sweet flavor in check, and is complemented with a full, yet silky body. Quite nice indeed.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2012 17:01:23 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Philousa


3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Imbibed at Harry's Hofbrau for their Lips of Faith Tap Takeover in 8/29/12

Very clear ruby with no head, but is coaxed out with a swirl. Tan and clings to the glass. Lots of sweet candied sugar, confectionary sugar, like a red vine. A little cedar and some berries; strawberry and cherries, all this is faint though. Tastes like a double. Pungent and bordering on too sugary as it warms. Light body and dry finish. Very good cold to middle, dies a little warm. This one was hinting towards interesting but ultimately isn't something special.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2012 20:12:40 | More by Philousa
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is quite tangy and sweet. There seem to be a lot of melon tones to it on the nose and tight nectarine ones on the flavor. It works as a Belgian ale, but it's a bit loud and not entirely smooth with such a boisterous profile. Easy to drink, but a bit too loud to be considered entirely smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

08-30-2012 17:20:14 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of rfbenavi80


3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a murky sun tea brown with 1 finger of off white head that didn't linger but is leaving some nice lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet dark fruits, mixed with caramel and vanilla.

T- Plenty of sweet malty goodness. Sugared dark fruits, caramel sweetness that finishes clean leaving no aftertaste.

M- Solid medium bodied with a moderately low amount of carbonation.

O- A good offering from Lips of Faith, but not their best offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 10:57:04 | More by rfbenavi80
Photo of RuckusDu


3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle to Duvel tulip glass. Have a bunch of these and really trying to understand why I haven't had it before. Now I have.

A - About a finger of light beige head. Body is clear and a deep reddish amber color. Light lacing.

S - Very strong Belgian yeast. Caramel, vanilla, and some slight citrus. Lots of darker fruits.

T - Same as the nose. Strong malt flavors to go with the dark fruits. Finish is the weakest bittering hops, but noticeable.

M - Extremely smooth in the mouth. Well balanced carbonation and body makes this a great feel. Just the slightest alcohol burn.

O - A strong resemblance of regular Abbey. Good beer, but really just in that 3.5 range.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 02:19:52 | More by RuckusDu
Photo of jimmah120


3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into pilsner glass

look is a clear brown amber with a small khaki head. smell is warm toasty malts, grain, pepper, spice, ginger bread, clove. Taste is much of the same but with a finish of alcohol and overly sweet apple juice.

Good flavor but ultimately unimpressive.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 07:06:06 | More by jimmah120
Photo of impending


4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


22oz into a tulip. Pours a gorgeous crystal clear deep amber copper, minor light tan head subsides to a ring, minor lacing.

Aroma is alive with crystal candied dark fruits, hints of molasses, caramel and distant anise. Significant banana esters.

Sweet phenolic goodness. Again dark fruits and caramel. Pleasant solvents on the inhale. The aftertaste is a long nice phenolic note. Solid medium body, creamy mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 23:41:51 | More by impending
Photo of martyl1000


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap.at the Alchemy. No head. Very light, the appearance of cloudy apple juice.

Has a tinny yeast aroma, which mildly carries into the mouth. Big flavor. Boozy alcohol makes it hard to pick apart the tropical fruit, spice, and the rest, though the complex flavors are there.

I think I might not be partial to the style -- I've been disappointed with Trois Pistoles, Maudite, and Brother Thelonious. And now this. (But wait, I love La Terrible.)

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2012 05:30:24 | More by martyl1000
Photo of bump8628


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the brewery. I was really impressed. Smooth, clean, and dangerous. Deep notes of toffee, caramel, carob, anise, and milk chocolate. Bitterness is mild and hops lend just a hint of earth and herb. Cinnamon and clove spiciness add plenty of depth. Where the hell is the alcohol? Complex and satisfying.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2012 02:25:30 | More by bump8628
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, dark mahogany-hued body with a small, scant, white head from a generous pour. Quite tame for a Belgian ale; usually much more fluffy head is expected for the style

Aromas begin particularly sweet-scented and almost unforgivably phenolic and estery. As it warms you get a ton more yeasty spice and a splash of booze.

The tastes begin with malty, hard-hitting sweetness and considerably fruity esters. Simple syrup, biscuity bready maltiness. Then some yeasty clove, overripe banana and the poignant fruitiness of plum juice and a few ripe pear slices. No hops or bitterness to provide any balancing relief to the caramelized sugariness, but it is clipped a bit by the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is malty sweet and yeasty, a bit overly so of both.

The sweetness and in your face Belgian phenols and esters leave this one a slow, laborious sipper for me. I prefer my Belgian Dark strong ales with much more dark fruit malt complexity and much less banana and clove forward. Alcohol is a bit too overstated as well. Not a top notch American-made Belgian style ale and not worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 14:23:35 | More by claspada
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle allowed to warm for about an hour, then served in a snifter.

A: Pours a dark, clear, orange-mahogany with a 1-2 finger tan head. The head has weak retention, but moderate lacing is left on the glass.

Smell is a but subdued for style, but as expected, it's fruity, spicy and yeasty. The flavor profile is complex, and suggests cherries, plums, raisins, nutmeg, cloves, yeast and medium malt. The high ABV is well-hidden. The flavor leans to the sweet side, like St. Bernadus. A good bit of spice and dark fruit in the lingering aftertaste.

M: Very smooth and creamy; medium-full body; a bit sticky in the finish. Lightly warming.

O: In terms of flavor, mouthfeel and appearance, this could readily pass for a fine Belgian abbey ale -- is there a higher complement? Glad a have a 2nd bottle which I will let age a bit longer. I enjoyed this notably more than NB's 'regular' Abbey Ale.

{2nd bottle consumed July 2013 - delicious. Light revision of rating}

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 01:53:17 | More by chinchill
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance - Slightly hazy dark brown colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, raisins, yeast, cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, grapes/raisins, and grains. There was also some light notes of cloves/yeast and a bit of booze. It ends with a dark fruit sweet aftertaste with some light spiciness.

Overall - A really enjoyable beer that I would drink again in a heartbeat. It rivals some of the beers within this style from Belgium. Worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 20:38:18 | More by spinrsx
Photo of ngeunit1


4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an almost clear ruby-mahogany color with a thin finger of frothy brownish head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet dark fruits, raisin, dark candi sugar, Belgian yeast, spice, clove, banana, and some booze.

T - Starts off with some sweet dark fruit with some prune and raisin with some banana and clove flavor. Through the middle some candi sugar with some more dark fruit and some cherries. The finish is a mix of clove, banana, sweet dark fruit, and a touch of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate-minus carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and lightly warming and yeasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Surprisingly smooth with a nice super rich malty flavor. The balance is really nice all around.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 05:05:52 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of tvv375ia


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 22oz bottle into imperial pint glass

A-somewhat hazy light auburn with about 1 finger of head that leaves some nice lacing as it fades to a small cap

S-banana comes first on the nose then some carmel malts and finishes with some apple/pear tree fruits

T-similar to the smell but starts with the carmel then to the apple/pear and finishes with some clove banana

M-good carbonation with a medium+ creamy body

O-good solid beer loaded with flavor and complexity

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 13:41:38 | More by tvv375ia
Photo of phishsihq


4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Abbey Grand Cru pours a dark ruby-brown with a dense off-white head that leaves tons of lace. Fruity aromas of banana and clove are off-set by caramel malt, dark fruit, alcohol, and even some bubble gum. Malty sweetness dominates the pallet, with spice, clove, banana, bubble gum, alcohol, and a hint of citrus noticeable. A dry finish is met with medium amounts of carbonation in this medium-light bodied ale. Very complex and delicious, this brew supposedly comes around every 1000 barrels, and we cannot wait for more!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 22:52:09 | More by phishsihq
Photo of argock


4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $8.99.

A: Light-hued amber with 1-2 fingers of beige frothy head with good retention and a solid lace formation.

S: The aroma is light and mainly caramel, pale malt, and pear

T: The flavor is much more interesting as the caramel edge builds a nice counterpoint to the sweet light fruit maltiness of the strong pear and accompanying apple. The yeast is very estery with spicy, floral aromas and flavors mingling. There is a touch of raisin in there too, but I would say this straddles the BSDA-BSPA line pretty much and might more resemble a BSPA with a touch of caramel-toffee to give it a twist. Hopping is probably more than I'm giving it credit for but mostly floral. A really nice beer.

M: Smooth and medium-full bodied without feeling sweet, sticky, or heavy. Even carbonation.

O: I was impressed by this beer -- the pear juice is undoubtedly there but is measured and the double Fat Tire base pushes the body up without overdoing the caramel sweetness. I would definitely buy this again and look forward to seeing if a year or two does anything to my other bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 05:19:01 | More by argock
Photo of Fatehunter


4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet. Nice amber color, almost transparent. Barely any head though.

The smell... am I back at Delirium Cafe? Strong malt, candy, ripe plum and other fruits. Wow. Knockout here.

Malty taste, sweet in the middle to end, alcohol hidden just below the surface, kept down by mild bitterness. Like drinking candy.

Medium body and low carbonation. It almost gets that sticky texture that this style usually has, but just short.

Smelled amazing. Great beer overall, excellent job.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 02:47:30 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of DavidST


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a goblet, not sure of the bottle date but probably 6 - 12 months old. This pours a dark brown color with a decent off white head. The smell is pretty good, some dark fruit, sugar, Belgian yeast esters, a good Belgian copy. The feel is medium to thick, high carbonation. The taste is pretty good, dark brown sugar, dark ripe fruit.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 03:49:42 | More by DavidST
Photo of hopfacebrew


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Served in mini globe glass.

A - The beer was served in a mini-globe sample glass. A lighter ruby color with a nice thin head.

S - Similar to Abbey in aroma: sweetness, honey, cloves, banana, yeast.

T/M - The beer starts and finishes very smooth. Flavors similar to the nose in a malty sweetness with detectable honey, cloves, banana, yeast. Mild bitterness. The alcohol is hidden well. Finishes crisp and clean. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Very drinkable.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 03-07-2011 17:58:42

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2012 14:18:34 | More by hopfacebrew
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip, no bottle date. Pours a clear, yet finely cloudy, reddish orange color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap. Some decent lacing on the glass. Aromas of big banana, molasses, caramel, clove, pepper, plum, cherry, apple, bread, light fruits, and yeast spices. Some nice and well balanced Belgian aromas. Taste of big molasses, nuttiness, banana, clove, caramel, raisin, light fruits, biscuit, pepper, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, clove, banana, and molasses on the finish for a good bit. Not overly spicy from the yeast at all; yet still has nice balance with no cloying sweetness. Slightly above medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Very smooth to drink but it is still a bit of a sipper. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming well after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent Belgian style offering. Great flavor balance and complexity; with smooth drinkability for the level of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 05:34:40 | More by superspak
Photo of jpbebeau


3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bottle I've had for a couple months poured into my Duvel tulip...

A: A very dark reddish-hued brown; two fingers of dense head that leaves behind luxurious lacing as it somewhat rapidly dissipates to a thin film.

S: Sweet malts and yeast. Bananas and spice and alcohol—not necessarily in that order.

T: Underwhelming. No aspect stands out, no flavor jumps to the forefront. There's not much too this besides a bordering-on-unpleasant aftertaste. Perhaps that's the 9.5% ABV exposed.

M: Very smooth with moderate carbonation. Wet. A little thinner than I expected, perhaps, and harmed by the aforementioned finish.

This was a good-looking beer with little else going for it, in my opinion. At least I didn't hold onto this for any longer.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 05:56:12 | More by jpbebeau
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Lips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey Ale from New Belgium Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.