1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Lips Of Faith - Tart Lychee - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Lips Of Faith - Tart LycheeLips Of Faith - Tart Lychee

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

651 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 651
Reviews: 198
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 47
Gots: 66 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Three year old Wild Beer blended with lychee and a touch of Ceylon cinnamon.

(Beer added by: Overlord on 07-20-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 651 | Reviews: 198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kevanb
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a New Belgium globe

I’ve been a big fan of the Lips of Faith series and their sour selections have been quite good thus far, so my hopes are fairly high for this, not to mention I love the lychee fruit. The pour is a nice hazy golden straw color with hints of orange and lighter yellows when held to the light. A nice stark white head sits atop the beer, about 2 fingers or so with a moderately aggressive pour, lovely webs of lacing are left behind despite the lack of head retention. The aroma is somewhat tame, a lot of funky brett in the nose, some straw and pale malts with some nice sweetness from the fruit, some what sugary, missing the cinnamon unfortunately, but the nose is still nice and light, very inviting. The flavors follow the nose nicely, the brett and funk character is quick to greet the tongue followed by an impressive amount of the lychee fruit, especially as it warms. Still missing the cinnamon but the sweetness from the fruit is plenty for me that I fear the cinnamon flavors would be a bit too much, but the level of total sweetness the beer has is perfect for me. It’s not sour, but it has a nice tartness to it with just enough carbonation to keep it prickly but still retains a nice smoothness.

Verdict: Pleasant sour from New Belgium, it might not be in same category as La Folie or Le Terroir, but it works really well. I didn’t pick up any cinnamon which is a bit of a bummer as it was a highlighted ingredient but this is certainly one to check out, especially on a nice warm summer night.

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of SlowWideTurns
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Proteus93
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I don't know why I would expect a beer to be dark simply because it talks about this percentage aged, and that percentage brewed with... but I thought it would be, and was quite surprised when this very blonde ale flowed from the bottle. The head was a very fizzy white (and quite loud, as well!) which formed about a half-finger tall and then almost immediately pulled back to nothing. Maybe it was the glass, but it was a bit odd. A little more unusual was that I poured it into a Delerium Tremens snifter, and the little nucleation elephant caused a little sheet of head to re-form.

S + T: Having never tried a lychee, I don't really know what to expect as far as aroma and flavor go. Wikipedia tells me that it should have a "perfume" flavor, and this seems wickedly unpleasant as far as things that I might want to put in my mouth. The scent is rather sweet, though... not like any 'fruit' I can think of off the top of my head, along with a whiff of that typical barnyard-like aroma of wild yeast. A nice tart flavor, again, with a bit of added sweetness that is different from what I experience in things like a Flemish red or oude bruin. What I find particularly surprising is that I am really not picking up a lot of specific oak notes. That's not really a bad thing... it's just not what I expected.

M + D: Medium bodied... carbonation could have been a hair 'crisper' to give it that really nice, lip-smacking sensation that I tend to love in a tart beer. Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable brew, and I do intend on enjoying it again.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of champ103
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX

A: Pours a cloudy, deep hazed orange color. A two finger bubbly white head rises in a second, and noisily recedes to a ring. A light cap sticks throughout. Not much lace is left behind however.
S: Ripe orange and passion fruit. Apple cider, tart and acidic. I really like the nose.
T: Tart and acidic. Some fruits that are very nice. Orange, mango, apple cider are all there, but a little muddled. Grainy malts. I really like it, I just wish the fruits were a bit brighter.
M/D: A medium body and very effervescent. Crisp, dry, and refreshing. Really enjoyable to sip on. A nice puckering that makes me want to keep taking sips.

Very well made. Maybe not my favorite Wild Ale by New Belgium, but very good in its own right. I will be drinking more of these while places still have it on tap and in bottles around town.

Photo of Lob
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of timtim
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a kind of glowing, white gold apple juice color with a small, white head that faded pretty quickly and left a tiny bit of lace. nose definitely hints at tart, but for me, it leans way way more towards sweet. fortunately, it seems to come off as juicy sweet, not sugary sweet. lychee up front big time with earthy funk and a touch of spice is what i get. taste gives me just what i thought. sort of a muddled lychee, brett and spice taste. i don't think it is very complex, but instead of just being palate-searingly sour, it balances itself and dries itself out a bit. medium body with a soft feel that falls just a tiny bit flat. a little muddy as well, but finish leaves no unpleasant aftertastes. not a bad beer by any means. quite refreshing and the alcohol is well disguised. per the name, i was hoping for more tart (i see a lot of reviewers think it was extremely tart... recepie variation or different batch?). i was also hoping for more oomph and more complexity. was excited to try this one, so perhaps my expectations got the best of me.

Photo of chebode2
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Lorihall1
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

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

22 oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.
7.5% ABV, 120410031 on "label".

A - Densely hazy dirty apricot golden in color, Tart Lychee has a tall white head with good staying power and little dribbles of lace caked on the glass.

S - Sour, acidic oak bursts fourth with tingly floral hop attributes delicately lingering behind. A unique playful tropical fruitiness bounces off the sourdough bready malt as a sprinkle of light cinnamon wafts in on the back end.

T - Sweet but certainly not sugary fruit flavor hits the tongue first but is quickly abolished by bold tartness. Light acidity follows into the oak wood flavor but I'm hard-pressed to taste the cinnamon in here. The flavor is much more straight-forward; less depth.

M - The sweet and sour of Tart Lychee balances wonderful on the palate, keeping it really refreshing as it dries out the tongue. Medium-bodied and otherwise smooth, the tart, sour finish is a rewarding way to end each sip.

O - A refreshingly sour spring brew, Tart Lychee is far less deep than I had anticipated from a Lips of Faith series beer, but the oak and fruit come together nicely for a very drinkable beer. The cinnamon is lost somewhere in here but it makes little difference in the end. A good level of "sour power" at a good price point.

Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To get to know many of New Belgium's sour ales, you must first acquaint yourself with Oscar and Felix. An odd couple of beers (see what I did there?), these two act as the base for a majority of the wild ales released under the brewery's Lips of Faith flag.

Though Oscar is a dark ale and Felix is pale, both are rather plain until they spend a year or two inside New Belgium's foudres (large wooden casks used for beer-aging) playing with souring bacteria. When they emerge, nicely tartified, the beers are ready to become the foundation for some of the brewery's most popular ales. Oscar, the dark sour, is blended to become La Folie, while the pale Felix is made into beers like Eric's Ale, Le Terroir, and Tart Lychee.

For that third one, Felix is acidified for more than two years in oak barrels. A portion of it (44 percent) is blended with lychee juice and Ceylon cinnamon sticks for a few weeks, then added back to the whole. The resulting brew, when poured into a tulip glass, is coral-orange and clouded with suspended yeast. Two full fingers of clean white head are dense, yet they fizzle away pretty quickly, decorating the side of the glass in bubbly streaks.

If you're not familiar with the lychee, you really should try one out. Each fruit has a rough, reddish-pink rind covering translucent white pulp with a sweet, perfumy flavor that emulates the floral, citrus-y bite of American hops -- which makes it great for beer. In Tart Lychee, the fruit is the main aroma contributor, packing the nose with a tropical blend of lemon and perfume. Other notes include peach, tangerine, and raw sugar, while a touch of vinegar is the indication of the "tartness" to come in the flavor.

A disappointment here is the absence of cinnamon -- it doesn't appear at all. The brewers must have wasted it all attempting the cinnamon challenge. Lychee is again the major flavor, lending its citric bite to a smooth fruitiness from wheat. The barrel-aging has done its work -- a touch of horsey funk plays off subtle tartness tempered by an impressive amount of dark sugar. Carbonation inside the light-bodied brew is gentle -- just a soft caress on the tongue. It works with the beer, keeping the tartness less intense.

I'm surprised it took this long for someone to make a lychee beer, considering how well it works here. Tart Lychee's an interesting sour that, while a little expensive and upsetting in its lack of cinnamon, is worth a try.

Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hudson St. Stackhouse.

The beer pours a hazy, honey gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressivve and probably the best aspect of this beer, as I pick up considerable lychee and kiwi, along with some peach and light honey. The beer has something of sweet and tart flavor profile, with the sour/tart flavor dominating. The flavors actually seemed a bit muddled to me, though still enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a sour tart finish. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, and drinkability is very good.

A solid beer, no doubt, but just not my cup of tea. Still, was glad to have the opportunity to try this one.

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hm Tart Lychee. Ive heard so many good things, so here we go.

Pour is hazy yellow with a small head. Carbonation is low. Body looks like a gueuze.

Smell is has a bit of acetic sourness, and a powdery sweetness. Maybe thats the fruit, or its back sweetened. Not really sure.

Tastes balanced. Theres a subtle spiciness that comes intermittently to add a bit of depth. Nice tart feeling, but nothing too rediculous. Its like they were aiming to be drinkable, yet still have all the flavors of a nice Belgian Sour.

Photo of chugalug06
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice two finger foamy white head builds on-top of peach colored foggy brew. Very little lacing.

Peppery. Very tart, but not vinegary. Smells quite peachy, very similar to Eric's Ale. Slight bitterness.

Very less tart then I was hoping for. On a sour scale, it's about a 6 out of 10. Very refreshing. Not sweet or over done. Very mild, great fruit (Lychee) flavor, but not overwhelming. Perfect medium carbonation too.

Highly recommended. Sadly, sours are almost all I'll drink from NB any more... A nice compliment to their other Lips of Faith sours.

Photo of bbadger
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of fehrminator
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of MrJolly
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of duff247
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of siddhartha
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Listers
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of DaveONan
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of quirkzoo
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy dark yellow with 2 fingers of white head that recede to a thin cap.

The smell is quite tart up front, very similar to La Folie, with a Flemish Brown, woodsy tart aroma. But as it warms the sweet fruit and spice really come out. I definitely get a tropical fruit sweetness that is distinctly lychee but not overpowering or cloying, just present. The cinnamon also adds a hint of spice to balance the sweet and tart.

The flavor is more of the same. Strongly sour but not overpoweringly so. Some complexity on the palate but not quite as much as the aroma.

The mouthfeel is nice, full without being too big. I had no problem handling the whole 22oz myself.

Overall this is a really nice sour beer, that is at least for the time being, easily available at a reasonable price point, definitely worth checking out, especially if you like lychee.

Photo of JohnLynch
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Lips Of Faith - Tart Lychee from New Belgium Brewing
89 out of 100 based on 651 ratings.