Lips Of Faith - Dark Kriek - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +11.2%
"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success."
--Henry David Thoreau
Brownish russet red with orange accents along the edges of the glass. The golden beige colored crown started out looking good, but doesn't develop much visual character as it melts. Nor is it sticky enough to lay down more than a single sudsy necklace of lace. Pretty typical for a (partially in this case) barrel-aged beer.
Dark Kriek is 35% 'light, dry, tannic beer' aged two years in oak barrels, and 65% dark ale brewed with sour cherries. The aroma has a wonderful earthy cherry quality that is remiscent of the dried fruit. The darker malts aren't appreciated and the oak adds yet another layer of depth and complexity.
Sour cherries dominate the flavor profile. They taste 100% natural and the amount and quality of the fruit flavor is right on the money. Sweetness and sourness are both fairly prominent, balance one another nicely, and should please both the sweet lambic lovers and the tart lambic lovers... or neither if they're picky.
This Lips Of Faith brew does taste 'dark' in some indefinable way, although it's much more black cherry dark than roasted or chocolate malt dark. Horse blanket funkitude is minimal (if it's present at all), which makes me think that American wild ale is the wrong style. Finally, alcohol is buried exceptionally well.
It's difficult to tell what sort of mouthfeel beer like this should have. The one that has been provided is at least medium for the ABV, has a pleasant hang-on from the fruit sugars, and has nicely buried bubbles that give exactly the right amount of lift and creaminess. Well done.
Dark Kriek is the second delicious and drinkable Lips Of Faith beer to have entered my glass. New Belgium has done an admirable job of blending the two component beers, which is the secret to this fine ale's success. Here's hoping it isn't really retired.
12-03-2010 15:05:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.13/5 rDev +15.4%
Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body capped by only a frail, thin, beige head.
Smell: Fragrant aroma that's densely fruity, smelling of cherry preserves, jelly, jam, liqueur, pits, you name it. Beyond that, there are hints of dark malts and soil-strewn wood.
Taste: Sweet Bing cherries blended with tart Morellos and dusted with cocoa powder and cinnamon and liberally dashed with Kirsch. Sure, sure, there're some toasty malts presents, but, for the most parts, it's cherrytime! No appreciable hop character or bitterness. Dull, earthy wooden character lumbers through midway. While the taste begins to lean towards sour, it still hits the finish fairly sweet.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.
Drinkability: Hey, this is a yummy beer! I found it surprisingly easy to drink considering the ABV%. True, it's no La Folie, but who is?
04-09-2009 03:43:16 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.35/5 rDev -6.4%
Ok, I was suckered by the name and hype...what I got was an underdeveloped, mediocre beer :(
Sweet silkscreened bottle, saving it for a glass project...anyone local that has empties to donate, let me know. Looks pretty in a Duvel tulip, ruby glint in direct light, light brown otherwise. Foamy head on the first pour, after that it was kinda weak. A broken skim was left behind after a few minutes. Minimal lace.
A yeasty, sweet wort aroma, lightly metallic with a vague cherry essence. Tasting it reminds me of a locally made wild ale Philosopher's Stone, due to the slight toasty malt component. Cherry flavor is there, barely registers, sort of slapdash up against the dominant malt flavors. Not really tart in the traditional sense of Kriek, Lambic, etc. Not a Lambic at all, for that matter. More of a weak attempt at a sour brown ale without the sour. Some earthy toasted malt and vegetal celery, dried cherry eventually comes through.
Full bodied and slick on the palate. Really needs some barrel aging to redeem it. It has no sediment, i'm thinking it's filtered, so no use cellaring it. Better luck next time New Belgium, you get a frowny face sticker for this one....
02-21-2009 03:18:36 | More by emerge077
3.9/5 rDev +8.9%
Not very cherry-like, and not very tart, the Dark Kriek lets me down, especially knowing that New Belgium has an actual Belgian brewer (from Rodenbach?) in house.
And why it's listed here on Beer Advocate as an American Wild and not an Oud Bruin, I don't know, but...
The appearance is good. Not great. Some more lacing would be nice, but OK, I think it's on par.
The aroma offers a combination of wood (oak), delicate fruit, and caramelish and cocoa-like malt with just a thin sliver of tartness.
In the flavor, however, all of what the aroma offers up is opened up. It becomes almost another beast! It's wider and fuller. There's more oak flavor and dryness; and lots of dark fruit that includes raisin, date, plum, and fig as well as cherry. A firm bitterness balances it from below, and the acidity balances it. It finishes dry and invigorating with a swirl of dark fruit!
As to drinkability, I find it quite accesible, even for the uninitiated. Nicely done!
10-07-2009 23:53:45 | More by NeroFiddled
3.68/5 rDev +2.8%
22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks go to HopDerek for the split on this one.
Pours a clear, deep, ruby red, with a finger of foamy pinkish head. Retains with some creamy bunching around the edges and thin wisps in the center, flaring up nicely and thowing up a big cascade that falls away into some thick spotty lace. The aroma is an even smelling mix of tart cherries, candied sweetness, yeast, floral tones, oaky tannins, and some light warth.
The taste is more lightly tart cherries, with a sugary candied malt and yeast backing to it. Moderate woody notes come out in the back, which mingles with some fading acidic notes that clings onto the palate with a lingering dry feel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a prickly carbonation to it, but also had a slicker and more viscous feel underneath as well, which carries a lot of the woody character. For an 8% beer, the ABV seems barely there at times, which helps make for a pleasant steady sipping experience with this.
While not overaly complex with some of the more funky and acidic qualities that you usually find in a Kriek, I still enjoyed this for the most part. Nice balance between the tart and sweeter notes, this didn't skimp on the cherry flavor, plus this drank very nicely for the size. Worth a look for a Wild Ale that's a bit different.
06-04-2009 16:46:03 | More by Kegatron
3.68/5 rDev +2.8%
This is well carbonated as a careful pour still easily produces a three-finger thick, just lightly browned, tan colored head. A rich, cherry pie aroma is evident as I pour this dark, concentrated plum colored beer. When held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, deep cherry red color. A deeper inspection of the nose at first misses out on the rich cherry character, instead it smells a bit thin and tart, but the finish has that rich, cherry note to it. Ample grain character is noticeable up front with some grassy notes as well as a touch of toasty, perhaps biscuit like malt character. Overall the aroma comes off as being a touch thin, though it is nicely cherry'd.
Thick feeling as it first hits my mouth, but it feels thicker than the relative dryness would suggest. A nice tart cherry character seems to make up much of the richness, though as far as a sour beer goes this beer is definitely on the tame side. The finish has a bit of a bite to it that seems to be contributed to by some astringent tannins, perhaps a hint of acetic acid, as well as some toasted malt character. The tartness here seems more lactic derived and from the cherries than from acetic, but I think all three mix together well enough, and nothing expressive enough, to really pull the differing sources apart.
Not an overly complex beer, but I really like that the beer is not really sweet. Yes it could be more funky, definitely more tart / sour, but the light tartness that is here nicely balances the rich-leaning, enjoyable body.
05-24-2009 20:12:41 | More by Gueuzedude
3.9/5 rDev +8.9%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours maroon/burgundy with a light white fizzy head into a flute, fair retention, great colour, upping the score because of that.
S: Oak/wood notes, mild acidity, cherry of course, though it doesn't have the strength I usually see in sours, but what's there is good.
T: Sweet cherry juice and evident oak aging jump out at first, really similar to a Flemish red. Acidity increases over time, a finish of sweet/sour sauce and lactic acid. A good flavour, but not a lot of complexity, perhaps I'm spoiled by Russian River's sours.
Actually it's growing on me as it warms and I finish the bottle, very nice kriek.
M: Medium acidity, off-sweet feel. Carbonation is mild for the style, 8% is not evident at all, something that snuck up on me near the end of the bottle.
D: A good sour beer from New Belgium, I have to compare it to La Folie, it's not in that beer's league, but as a stand alone beer it's not bad at all. Simple, easy drinking cherry beer, no artificial flavours, thank goodness.
02-08-2009 21:52:15 | More by Halcyondays
3.5/5 rDev -2.2%
03/03/09- Purchased at Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA.
Presentation- 22oz bottle, either a late 2008 release, or early 2009. Poured into my New Belgium tulip glass.
Appearance- Deep red colored pour. Off white 1/4 inch head on pour. Quickly disappears after pour. Leaves some light spots of lace behind.
Smell- Dark cherry notes. Good amount of sugar as well. Don't really detect any of the wood barrel they are talking about.
Taste- Thankfully it's not a sweet syrupy mess like I thought it was going to be. Definitely sweet, but has a light malt flavor to bring it back to earth. You can barely make out the woody barrel not in the flavor...it is there though. Not any real hops to speak of.
Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, a tad thick and sticky. Cherry flavor lasts, but not overly long.
Drinkability- Overall it's fine, but traditional lambic it is not. Drinkable, but also passable if need be. Kinda like a re-bottling of their old Transatlantique Kriek.
03-04-2009 15:50:39 | More by GClarkage
3.25/5 rDev -9.2%
Pours a very dark copper/ruby red color with dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off white head that immediately fades into a thin ring.
Slightly sour aroma with lactic notes and earthy oak presence. Just a hint of vanilla with a healthy dose of dark cherries and artificial syrupy cherry juice.
Slightly puckering but not nearly tart enough with a medium dry mouthfeell and lots of artificial syrupy sweetness. Slightly earthy from oak aging and a touch of vanilla.
The flavor is actually more sour/funky than the aroma would lead youto believe but still =very mild and nowhere near sour/puckering enough. Oak and vanilla notes acoompany the lactic sourness up front but they are quickly overpowered by the cloyingly sweet cherry and syrupy sweet artificial juice flavors. Slightly dry finish.
09-02-2009 02:43:30 | More by corby112
3.38/5 rDev -5.6%
Pours a clear red-brown hue, with a small head of browning-white bubbles. Lots of spirited carbonation running up the edges of the glass, leaving a lot of audible crackling. Head dissipates after a while. Not bad.
Fair bit of funk on the nose. Some barnyard, oxidation, sweat and seltzer acidity, with sweet notes of cherry juice seeping through. Certainly pretty funky, which is what you expect from the style, and the kriek aroma provides some grounding. Nice.
Some acidity on the palate, with an initial sharp note that rapidly drops to a duskier copper bitterness. Tastes extremely oxidised, and quite full of funk. The cherry aromas on the nose are absent here, which is a surprise, and quite a disappointment. The major component is the copper character, which rather unpleasantly reminds me of blood. Mouthfeel is lightly effervescent.
This is an odd brew. It has the funk, but not the acidity of a Wild, and the cherry juice is really only hinted at. It's not undrinkable, but it is unusual, and I had some difficulty getting my head around it.
05-29-2009 03:32:20 | More by lacqueredmouse
3.75/5 rDev +4.7%
Bomber bottle, no freshness/bottling info to be had. Pours clear red infused amber.Minor big bubble head, that clears out with haste. Leave next to no glass stickage. Light smoked cherry in the nose. Interesting yet messed up brew. Sweet/sour level is initially towards the sweet side, and then bending towards the sour late. Some smoke and moderate cherry come thru. Sort of hits you over the head and lacks the subtleness and nuance of the highter rated entries in the contest. They need to reassess this one and roll out some changes perhaps in the next batch.
02-15-2009 03:03:35 | More by Billolick
3.93/5 rDev +9.8%
Pours a dark reddish brown/dark amber with just a thin head that settles to a ring. Good clarity. My bottle smells quite tart and not all that sweet with some lactic notes, tart cherries, some brown ale notes of dark grain and lightly toasted malt, and a touch of wood. I wouldn't say this is all that sweet, like many other reviewers have, its just that the sourness is not very sharp and so some of the more brown ale notes are played up. The cherries are mostly tart, but there is some dark cherry sweetness floating around as well. A hint of wood and even the barest touch of barnyard rounds it out. Strangely, this beer seemed more sour and more interesting right when I opened it up. As it aerates and warms it becomes flatter in taste, less exuberantly fruity, and less sour. Very gentle for the style in the mouth. Overall I liked this beer, but it lacks some punch and complexity to rise to a great kriek. Still, this was quite pleasant.
08-22-2009 22:26:38 | More by Georgiabeer
4.43/5 rDev +23.7%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a dark walnut brown body that is clear but dense with a faint glow of red glinting at the base of the glass. There is a cream head of an oatmeal color. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface.
S- The smell of earthy malts turns quickly to dark cherries and a faint funk note that is reminiscent of a fish pond but stays pretty faint and turns into more of a band aid aroma.
T- The bright tart flavor of cherries is supported by a dark slightly sweet note with brown malt qualities and faint cola qualities. There is a tartness in the finish that lingers for a second finishing the beer like is started.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and a prickly fizz at the finish. There is no alcohol heat but a soft astringent pucker in the back of the mouth enhances the fruit flavor.
D- The big earthy dark cherry flavor tasted like real fruit with a nice soft support from the dark malt flavor and a nice hint of funk. I didn't really taste any wood or barrel notes as mentioned on the bottle but this beer didn't need any.
04-08-2009 16:30:34 | More by rhoadsrage
3.5/5 rDev -2.2%
Thanks goes out to pokesbeerdude for this one.
Poured into a tulip a clean/clear dark amber/ruby red color, some carbonation, little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight yeast, cherries. The taste is slightly sweet/yeasty, sour/tangy. Medium body. Drinkable, not what I was expecting.
03-17-2009 00:13:30 | More by Wasatch
3.73/5 rDev +4.2%
22 received from pokesbeerdude ... Thanks a bunch Chuck on a super trade!! Poured it into my Chimay goblet...
Aggressive pour revealed only about a 3/4" head that left no lace and only a descent cap.. the brew appears a deep amber until it's held to a light and brilliant crystal clear ruby appears.
Honestly... the nose is sorta lacking.. pale malts and only the slightest whiffs of funk or fruit... more fruit and acetic note show as it warms.. but it's still not really there.
Flavor is better.. obviously the cherries are in the front with mildly acidic for the style ... a little vinegar but it's easily missed.. mouthfeel is about medium with quite a bit of carbonation ... still pretty smooth... Wish I had an old bottle of the Transatlantique Kriek to compare it to... a little bit of toasty malt shows as it hits room temperature and it becomes quite a bit more well "blended"... could use more complexity across the board.
Not sure what I was expecting on this one.. It is faaarrr from a fruit lambic.. resembling more a cross between a Flanders Red and a lightly funky Oud Bruin... Don't get me wrong... This isn't a "bad" beer... it's just the Kriek label and the BA category is going to leave people scratching their heads... That said, I sorta like it for what it is.. and it's fairly drinkable.. Thinking I'm gonna save my other bottle and share with the Boise locals.... Thanks again Chuck... Proper trade for sure.. Let me know if you ever need anything else available here.
Edit: as this one hits room temperature... it's growing on me.. tasty.. just not what I was expecting.
03-19-2009 07:50:12 | More by JohnGalt1
3.73/5 rDev +4.2%
Pours a clear dark brown with dark ruby highlights when held to light. Pours with a good sized off white head that slowly dissipates to a small ring on the top of the glass. The nose is filled with aromas of cherries with some funk on them. Slightly sweet malt aroma a bit of oak in the mix. Taste is sweet and sour. I get lots of sweet and tart from the cherries along with the funk from the brett. Theres a residual malt sweetness mixed in with some vanilla that makes it seem almost under attenuated. It's not nearly as sour as many other lambics I've tried. Finished dry with a lingering tartness. Low carbonation, medium body, syrupy mouthfeel. Decent Kriek, but I've had better. I wonder if some time will add some more funk to this as its light on the funk and the acid.
07-25-2009 03:45:01 | More by johnnnniee
3.93/5 rDev +9.8%
Bomber poured into my De Proef tulip, the Lips Of Faith Dark Kriek is a clear, spritzy purplish brown with a somewhat quickly settling off-white head, leaving light, scattered lace.
Smell is sweet, sour cherries, a little mineral acidity, even hints of lemon citrus.
Taste is really pretty nice, pretty much exactly what I expected. A nice little Oud Bruin, which I normally don't like as much as Flander's Reds. And while I'd like more acidity, the maltiness and funk balanced the cherries very nicey, plenty of fruity flavor but not overly sweet or sugary. Some of the other reviews had me wishing I hadn't bought two bottles, but I'm digging this offering from New Belgium, not a terrible price either for the bomber at about $10.
Mouthfeel is on the thick and malty side, with a drier finish from the alcohol, which is the only real indication of it's strength. Doesn't seem overly sour or funky, but the acidity and tannins really build up in the mouth, coating my teeth. Don't forget to brush before you go to bed if you're having this as a night cap.
Drinkability is good, really hit the spot as a dessert beer after a big pot of mussels. While it met my expectations for sure, it's really not that sour or funky, mainly some tartness from the cherries - which is why it's called a kriek!
03-15-2009 05:55:29 | More by ccrida
3.28/5 rDev -8.4%
I paid $8.99 for the 22oz bottle at Wilburs in Ft Collins
It pours a clear ruby red with a 1 finger head of foam....fast shrinking. There is plenty of lacing though. It is a very nice looker.
The smell is of cherries, some funk, light caramel sweetness, and a definite tart aroma. Good.
The taste is both tart and sweet at the same time. I like the cherry tartness but the sweet tones remind me of cherry cough syrup. That said, there is a goodly amount of funky flavour to distract me...until the finish where it gets all sugary sweet again. I wish the tart notes dominated.
It has a medium mouthfeel and the carbonation is on the light side. Some alcohol is now peeking through..I think for the style, it has way too high an abv.
Drinkability? The flavours are not working in harmony for me and it's just too boozy for the style. 22oz at one sitting is about 10oz too much. I'm very fond of well made beers that are fruit influenced(Raspberries and Cherries are tops for me) but this one doesn't please my palate all that much.
05-12-2009 23:33:21 | More by Bitterbill
Lips Of Faith - Dark Kriek from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.