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

Not Rated.
Lips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey AleLips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

324 Ratings

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Ratings: 324
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 39
Gots: 43 | FT: 3
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-11-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 170
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a mostly clear texture. There was an inch of fairly long-lasting, foamy head. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of light fruits, malt, yeast, and some spices.

T: Tasted of apples, malt, Belgian yeast, a little pepper (and other spices), and a tinge of hops. A solid flavor. Not exactly groundbreaking, but still tasty.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, a generally well made and enjoyable beer.

Photo of laikom
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass
A - 1 finger of head - nice clear ruby/copper coloring – very nice lacing lasting throughout the glass
S – alcohol smell mildly apparent, bananas, a faint smoke scent perhaps from some spice.
T – malty, alcohol is there but nice, bananas again, alcohol presents a very pleasant dryness at first, but gets tedious if not drinking this with food.
M – medium carbonation(but just enough for the style), small bubbles, thick enough but not too heavy.
O – a nice brew, nothing jumps out as unique or spectacular. Then again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it either. I probably won’t go out of my way for it, but I’d definitely enjoy one if I happen upon it again. Only complaint, nice dry alcohol taste got a bit old toward the end of the glass.

Photo of t420o
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Semi aggressive pour produces a 1/2 finger khaki colored head that dissapates quick leaving little lacing. Beer is copper in color and transparent.

S- dark fruits, toffee, caramel, apples, ripe bananas, slight dryness

T- Similar to the nose there is caramel, toffee, dark fruits,ends dry. The flavors are somewhat weak. Taste is better as it warms bringing out a slight toasted biscuit taste that is reminiscent of Fat Tire.

M- Nice "chewy" moutfeel but the carbonation level is too high

O- This is a good beer but isn't anything special. Ive had better offerings from New Belgium. Even though this was still a tasty brew, it didn't live up to my expectations of this particular beer, nor of the style in which it was created. For 9.5 it has quite good drinkability though.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins, CO. $6. Into a NB Globe.

A: Nice chestnut color with a sand colored head that sticks around at about half an inch quite nicely. Where it has receded there are huge gobs of lacing as it recedes. Excellent clarity. Really a nice looking beer.

S: Really a large amount of banana and clove, which is reminiscent of the standard Abbey from NB. A lot of caramel, and a slightly phenolic profile as well. Smells nice. No alcohol to speak of.

T: Lots of sweet caramel and bananas, a few notes of vanilla, a bit of a hoppy profile on the finish, slightly earthy, with a hint of bitterness on the finish that is aided by a slight alcohol bite. Really a stronger, amped up version of the Abbey Dubbel. Very nice.

M: Medium carbonation, with a fairly thick body, slightly warm on the finish, and fairly sticky on the lips.

O: Really enjoyable beer, if you're a fan of Abbey, then by all means snag some of this while you can. Lots of enjoyable flavors that really blend nicely. It will be interesting to see how this continues to mature.

Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

560th Review on BA
Bottle to NB Globe

App- Its an appearance I was hoping for. Dark, big puffy creamy looking head. Two fingers of head, legs for days.

Smell- A yeasty, blend of spice and flavors. Its soft but assertive with some americanized belgian notes.

Taste- i love this style. The yeast and big bold flavors are nice. The spice with the bubbles creates a great depth of flavor.

Mouth-, Medium bodied and almost a high carbed beer. Yeasty and spice flavors remain.

Drink- For the style its very well done. Its soft, tasty and easy drinking

Photo of nickthegun12
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i like this beer, its not what i thought it was gonna be though.

appearance is a medium to dark ruby color with thin lacing and little to no head.

the smell is good, but one dimensional, like this beer overall ...bubblegum comes to the nose first and foremost....a little bit of light fruits come to the nose as well

the taste is thin, this beer is definitely that...but great drinkability....not nearly as complex as i would like to see a belgian strong dark ale

the feel is great...love the carbonation and the fizzyness of it....

although i really enjoy drinking this and will have no problem doing so!....to live up to a belgian dark strong it def falls short

Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a clean, clear brown, with just a hint of red, color and had just a thin cap of off-white head that low retention and lacing.

The aroma was good, but had that grape scent I get from some of NB's brews (maybe the yeast?). There was nice grain in the nose and some spiciness. On the tongue, the story was pretty similar, base grain, spice and some fruit.

The body was crisp and clean, but thinner than I like for the style. Drinkability was good, I'd have a couple. Overall, a nice little beer that's worth trying when you see it.

Photo of SamN
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Abbey Grand Cru has a clear, bright red amber color. Brilliant to light, not much in the way of head, just a thin wisp of light tan foam than quickly disappears. Smell is lacking the dark fruits I expected, more sweet toffe and caramel malts with a touch of coffee in there. Finishes clean and somewhat of rubbing alcohol. Noticeable hopping in there, too, mostly some pine resin. Again, not what I expected, but not bad at all. Could be a little stronger. Taste is dominated by phenols; spicy and herbal. Noticeable hoppy bite in the middle, finishes more in the relaxed Belgian dark style; dark fruits like raisins, mellow toffee sweetness and a distinct woody lingering. Cloves and bananas become pronounced as it warms up some. Mouthfeel doesn't have the Grand Cru quality I expected, seems thin and boring, almost no carbonation. Feels a little dead on the palette. Slight alcohol numbness factors in after some sipping.

A pretty good American Belgian-style ale, lighter fruits and a decent hoppiness. Not as creamy as I would've liked, but the taste and smell are quite good.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Dusky orange copper. Soapy off white head. Fat lazy lacing that sticks around for a while.
smell: Fruity and sour.
taste: Nice. Better than the nose presaged. Well balanced malt to the fruity, sourness. The finish is delightful, though i can't down the taste, it works and then some.
overall: I didn't have high expectations and this guy exceeded.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hard pour into a St. Bernardus glass produces an off-white head that's about 0.5cm in height. This fades very quickly to a thin ring around the glass. Spotty lacing, nothing substantial or sticking. Beer itself is light orange-red amber in color, translucent, and displays some active carbonation.

Swirling, then smelling, I first get the aroma of yeasty whole wheat bread, followed by scents of spices like clove and allspice, and some mashed banana. Alcohol becomes significantly more pronounced in background as it warms.

Taste is very high in malt sweetness. Fairly high in German dunkelweiss flavors: dark wheat malt, bananas, cloves, some coriander. Very minor Belgian yeast funk. Minor fruitiness, too, with watered-down prune and raisin flavors. The alcohol is a bit too apparent, especially so as the beer warms. Aftertaste somewhat medicinal and/or metallic. Not particularly enjoyable.

Medium-heavy in body, with moderate carbonation, style-appropriate. Finish is dry. Decent blend of flavors, nothing overpowering.

This is good quality, but I don't think it really reflects an elaboration of the Abbey style. It's more alcoholic, but more flavors and complexity aren't really introduced as compared to the original version. Regular Abbey from New Belgium was quite good, but I don't find myself needing a more alcoholic version of it, which is essentially what this is.

Photo of turble
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured amber color, with a nice white head. Smelled was intense to me, very malty, with some banana, clove and maybe raisins. Taste again was very malty, some brown sugar. Overall its a nice drink. Not anything I would go out of my way to get again, but if I saw it on a shelf I may buy it. Though, at over 9% alcohol I will need a friend to split it.

Photo of Phelps
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my Lost Abbey tulip.

Not as dark as I expected. Pours amber from the bottle and collects in the glass to a clear dark cherry hue. A dense, one-inch head of off-white foam recedes at a good pace to a frothy ring, leaving sticky sheets of lace.

Deep, sweet nose. Bubble gum, brown sugar, banana, pear, plum, dark bread.

The flavor: brown sugar, toasted pumpernickle, raisins, hints of banana and pear, a slight alcohol flavor. More bread than expected, with a nicely dry, almost roasty finish.

Soft, whipped body exhibits prickly medium carbonation. Holds together well as it moves, popping with only very low fizziness. Lots of alcohol in the nose, but nowhere else.

The Grand Cru seems as if it relies more heavily on malt than the Belgian yeast it uses. It’s dark and sweet, though lacks the depth of most authentic Belgian darks. A drinkable high-ABV Belgian, but it won't change your life.

Photo of alleykatking
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice deep cola brown color. When held up to the light there was some light reddish hues. Two finger off white colored shows medium retention. Nice thick lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Darker bready aroma in the front of the aroma. This gives way to a light darker fruit and light bubblegum hint. Banana and clove with light spicing in the backend blend together nicely with darker bready notes. Light alcohol heat in the end of the aroma.

T- Darker bready notes come out more with light sweetness from belgian candi sugar on the front of the beer. There is a light bubblegum flavor that lingers toward the middle which inturn draws out to a banana and clove flavor. Ending of the beer is lighter darker fruits with a hint of something like allspice I would assume. Alcohol does creep in the ending giving this a nice warming finish.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Bready malts and hints of darker fruit are dominate on the palate with light notes of clove and bubblegum are present as well. Aftertaste is warming alcohol, darker fruits, and hints of darker bready malts. Flavors were well blended I thought for the style. No off flavors were present while drinking this beer. Medium alcohol drying left on the palate.

O- Overall this beer was good. There was something about it though that didn't sit right with me to go after another pint or two if I had the option. The ABV was not really a problem although I suspect the underlying sweetness is what turned me off of other glasses of this. A nice try for New Belgium but they missed the mark just a little.

Photo of Beaver13
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours a dark amber with a medium creamy off white head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is banana and clove with some sweet malt and a little spice.

The flavor is sweet malts, molasses, some chocolate and some lighter banana and spice notes from the yeast with some alcohol notes in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a solid Belgian. The banana is a little strong for me. I recall this being better balanced on draught.

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe not the perfect beer while out grilling chicken in this heat but it wasnt a bad choice.Poured into an Ommegang chalice a chesnut infused burgundy with a one finger slight off white head atop.Aromas of candied sugar and spicy phenols,flavors are somewhat cakey at the onset,and phenolic,but the sweetness is held at bay really well in the finish.Its a nice Grand Cru, it has all the character but its not over the top with yeasty phenols and sweetness,I will say its not overly complex for the style though.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown color with amber highlighting and a tanned head. Not overly tight, but a fairly ambitious head. Decent lacing, almost like egg white left behind. Aromas of banana and clove, alongside some darker fruits and a smack of booze. Super estery.

Again, high yeast character. Banana and dark fruits combine for an upfront sweetness. Spicing arrives from a clove ester as well as a bracing metallic carbonation.

Lingering, boozy finish. Body is sticky and hovering in medium. Finishes less overtly sweet - the aftertaste is the fructose sweetness of banana rather than a candi sugar bomb. Balanced and interesting, but it does seem more German than Belgian..

Photo of goodbyeohio
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

according to the text on the bottle, this is a jacked-up version of the abbey ale which they brew to celebrate every 1000 batches at NB.. usually it's a brewery-only treat but now us plebs are lucky enough to get our hands on some as well.

there was no question about whether or not i would be buying this. on the east coast, i was a big fan of ommegang abbey, but it's priced to the rafters here in OR for whatever reason.. the closest to it for me is the NB abbey (and super reasonably priced to boot). so i guess you'd call it a fridge staple. i wanted to see where they could take this beer in a grand cru presentation..

NB has such a finesse with these belgians that jacking up the abv 2-3% to 9.5% added no heat or excess sweetness. if anything, it added depth of fruit flavor and smoothed out some of the earthy/nutty/dry tones normally found in the abbey. it really is an excellent brew but has an interesting youth to it.. and i feel like a couple years on it in the cellar would produce stellar results. at $5.99/22oz, i'm probably going to take that gamble.

it's a B+ if regular abbey is a B. let's see where the numbers land it..

Photo of yemenmocha
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 bottle. Pours medium brown, cola-like in color, with medium sized off-white head. Sexy appearance. Nose is quite enjoyable with moistened black tea leaves, dark dessert breads, and a trace of juicy fruit bubblegum (in a good way). Palate offers a mineral-like quality with toasty brown sugar sweetness, more bready qualities, and some of the black tea into the finish. Delight to drink, though my memory is more fond of the early 2000's releases.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint, 6oz bottle poured into an oversized wineglass. No date on bottle. I think this is just a 20th anniversary brew.

Appearance - Dark clear reddish-brown body. No sediment. Offwhite pancake head with decent retention and good lacing.

Smell - Very malty sweet. No detectable hoppiness. Smells delicious.

Taste - Delicious. Would get a 5/5 if I wasn't rating it in style. Great balance of alcohol and malt. Slight off-flavor in the finish, a very slight hint of stale bitterness; however, it doesn't subtract from this very flavorful brew. Reminiscent of Chimay Blue, but less alcohol-forward.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, medium bodied. Has some frothiness when agitated in the mouth.

Overall Drinkability - Light and smooth for a Belgian strong dark ale. Doesn't offer as much complexity as others in its style, but sort of creates a style of its own. Cleaner than its brethren.

Photo of DaveHS
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours clear dark amber with 1/2 inch of light tan head. Leaves rings of intricate lacing.

S-Rich, fruity esters, brown sugar, bubblegum, banana, allspice.

T/M-Muted biscuity malt sits beneath a thin layer of Belgian candi sugar sweetness. Clove and banana flavors emerge mid palate, fading into musty stewed fruit and coriander. The finish is sticky and drawn out. Body is thin for the style, and the sweetness is kept in check. Never approaches cloying.

O-Good for the price. I look forward to seeing how it ages.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Chalice.

A. Poured 1 finger head. Good retention. Decent lacing. Color is an amber brown.

S. Some sour fruit. Spices. Some sweetness. A hint of banana. Overall pretty nice sour and sweet combination going on. Interesting aroma from most BSDAs.

T. Bready biscuity malt. Some sweetness from the malt. Tastes of spice and a little of the banana from the aroma. Drinks pretty dry. Get a bit of the malt flavor that New Belgium uses in alomost all of their beers. Really wish they would try mixing it up. I don't want to taste biscuity malt in a BSDA.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes dry.

O. Overall I think this has the potential to be a better beer than it is. I really dislike the malt flavor in almost all of New Belgium's beers, and this one is no different. It does taste quite a bit like their Abbey Belgian beer. Does not resemble almost every other BSDA. Not bad. Could be better.

Photo of TheDTrain
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Broken Wings Brewing Co is taking a break from brewing to enjoy the Lips of Faith series Abbey Grand Cru. Strong fruitiness upfront with banana, caramel, bread & mild sweet tart fruits a la cherry & strawberry. Good blend of fruits with a abv kick in this strong dark ale make this brew drinkable & quite enjoyable for all seasons.

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip beer glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy deep amber color. Nice creamy foamy two finger tan head that receded slowly to a nice quarter inch creamy foam cap that lasted throughout. Good sticky lacing left behind. A very nice looking beer in a glass.

Smell: Sweet malts and a great Belgian yeast smell up front, with hints of cherries, plums and candy sugars beneath. The malt and yeasts overpower any hops that might be there somewhere. Smells like a good Belgian Dark Ale should.

Taste: Very sweet and malty, with great yeast phenols. Flavors of roasted malts, raisins and plum. Just a little hint of hops bitterness on the finish. Like the smell, the flavors of the sweet malts and yeasts hide any hops that are lurking beneath. Only the slight hops bite at the finish lets you know they are there. Very tasty Belgian Dark Ale, on par with Trois Pistoles from Unibroue...another favorite of mine for the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with low to moderate creamy carbonation. Sweet and sticky on the palate.

Drinkability: I wasn't a huge fan of some of New Belgium's earliest entries into the Belgian styles, but they keep getting more and more respectable. This beer definitely goes a long way towards furthering that cause. This is an excellent American interpretation of the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style. A good warming high ABV, sweet malts and tasty yeasts all make this a top notch beer for the style. Will definitely buy more of this to store for the fall/winter months...but it tastes just as good on a nice spring day like today.

Photo of GilGarp
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I loved this beer on tap last year so it's nice to see it in bombers now.

Served cool into a NB goblet, the Grand Cru is a deep redish brown color with good clarity. The head is thick and settles very slowly leaving some nice lacing behind.

Aroma is very strong, even from a distance, and has a lot in common with the standard Abbey. Lots of banana and clove over a rich malty base.

Flavor is intense as well. Heavy malt backbone supports a robost yeast strain. Spice notes are strong with pepper and clove. Banana and bubble gum also in there.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and moderately carbonated.

Overall a very solid beer and one worth seeking out if you like New Belgium's dubbel.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Unibroue tulip. Bottle says 9.5% ABV.

A: Pours a cloudy copper/mahoganny with one finger of nearly white, fluffy head. Good retention and top-notch lace.

S: Pears, bit of clove and cinnamon, sweet bready malt.

T: Stewed dark fruits, fading to sweet spices on the finish. Also a bit of wood on the finish. As the beer warms, hints of chocolate and hefeweizen bubblegum join the mix.

M: Medium mouthfeel, a bit lighter than expected, but not bad. Considerable creaminess.

O: A good but not great example of the style. Worth a try if you can find it. After standing out in the very cold rain for 8 hours today watching the boys play soccer, this is really the beer that I need to recover.

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Lips Of Faith - Grand Cru Abbey Ale from New Belgium Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.