Lips Of Faith - Dark Heather Saison - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +4.4%
New Belgium’s Heather Saison is the taste of the Rocky Mountains, sampled in the middle of a summer where I’ve finally learned to fall in love with the geology to my immediate West, and embrace the smells of the forest and the sweat of a good hike. New Belgium’s Dark Heather Saison is earthy and planty, eschewing hops in favor of scents like dry pine needles, a shade of heather, and most prominently (and deliciously) black pepper. I even detect some hickory smoke, which together with the black pepper conjure images of decadent cuts of meat casting plumes of smoke into the Rocky Mountain air as they cook. The flavor inherits all of these toothsome flavors, adding a subtle sweet note most similar to overripe blueberries, or even caramelized carrots. The flavor is awash with these deep earth flavors; this beer is dark but not brooding, and caters to a drinker looking for refreshment but deep, straightforward flavors that one might find around a campsite.
08-25-2011 00:59:06 | More by GarrettB
3.15/5 rDev -17.8%
12 ounce pour - $6.00 at Trappeze in Athens, Georgia.
Appearance: Served up a clear, very dark brown body with garnet-hinted edges and capped with a dusky, ivory-head head.
Smell: There's a lively dark fruitiness and spicy-scented cardamom aroma in the fore with lesser, servile notes of dark bread, milk chocolate, and heather honey in the background.
Taste: Introduction of sweet dark malts with tastes of pumpernickel, dark caramel, and chocolate which turns largely fruity, with a gulp of plum juice, but there's also a bit of banana and tart berries in there as well. Jutting insertion of spicy cardamom and herbal, floral tones from the heather tips. For me, cardamom is one of those 'less is more' spices, though, sadly, I find it less than subtle in this brew. A skosh more chocolate. Finishes dry, spicy, and a bit heavy.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel, loitering on the palate.
Drinkability: Well, it's definitely not your everday saison, I'm sure we can all amiably agree on that. Personally, I'm just not diggin' it and I couldn't find the cohesion between the beer and its smothering spice additions.
11-29-2010 18:16:11 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.95/5 rDev +3.1%
Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, spices, herbs, slight citrus, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of ginger, slight other spices, hint of wheat, and slight hops. Overall, a great blend, good body, and good aroma.
11-07-2010 23:06:18 | More by Tone
3.98/5 rDev +3.9%
A: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a ruby color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.
S: A surprisingly fruity aroma - more so than other saisons. ALso had traces of malt and that typical funk.
T: Tasted of malt, light fruit, spices (pepper among them) and some esters. An interesting flavor that's not classically like a saison.
M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.
D: This is kind of an oddball beer, but it's somehow quite drinkable.
11-01-2010 12:11:10 | More by avalon07
4/5 rDev +4.4%
On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a dark stout like black with a thin diminishing khaki head. Aroma is toasted malts with spices such as clove and pepper. The taste is slightly roasted malts with a smooth amount of clove and heather. The beer is very smooth and crisp for one so dark. A very unique and enjoyable beer, one I'd love to have again.
08-30-2010 23:20:23 | More by atsprings
3.85/5 rDev +0.5%
A - A very dark brown saison, very dark. Fluffy white head.
S - Lots of spice and a bit more malt that I was expecting from a saison. Truth was, I didn't know this was a saison until later. Floral notes and some heather does come through. Smells pretty solid.
T - On a night of bad beers this ended up being one of the better ones I had. Spice, sweetness, earthy tones, all blend together fairly well, but this is definately an unusual saison, particularly with a lasting sweetness versus a grassy one for more normal ones.
M - Medium bodied and feels a bit more full than a typical saison.
D - Not bad, I enjoyed this beer, and wouldn't mind drinking it again to get a better handle on it.
06-26-2010 14:29:26 | More by AgentZero
4.28/5 rDev +11.7%
"Tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
And gather it all in a bunch of heather
Then she'll be a true love of mine" - Simon & Garfunkel
On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,
A: Pours a dark brown with a poofy white head, good retention, some heavy lace.
S: Flowers, heather, very herbal.
T: Some dark malt, but the flavour is dominated by the heather and herbal flavour. Saison-like with the yeast character, pepper, and earthy hops, but a very interesting take on the style. Dark saison isn't something you see everyday.
M: Creamy, light-bodied/thin overall, but quite smooth.
D: This has a great flavour and is really enjoyable. Any fan of Froach Heather Ale will enjoy this, the flavour profiles obviously are quite similar.
06-10-2010 01:45:57 | More by Halcyondays
3.9/5 rDev +1.8%
Brought a growler of this home from NBB's brewery in Ft. Collins.
Pours a deep brown color that seems undercarbonated for an instant, but then forms a pretty respectable 1/2" head seemingly from nowhere. Looks like a brown ale at first glance.
The nose is where this one reveals itself. Peppery yeasts, sour citrus rinds, and spices come out right away. Not a huge nose, but definitely a revealing one.
The flavor profile is dark malty sweet up-front, but the spices and funkiness come out in the middle. Leather, pepper, and lemon peel are the main notes I get. The finish has a noble hop punch and a final hit of yeast that leaves me with a lingering corn flavor. Don't worry - I get that flavor from lots of Belgian yeast-based beers. This is one of those saisons that has a really bold flavor with lots of peppery yeasts that follows the Fantome model. The darker malts start each sip with a sweet flavor I enjoy, too. It's obscure, but the only comparison I can think of is the Van Diemen from Avery and Mountain Sun.
At 7.5% ABV, it's potent enough not to be something you'd down quickly, but it really doesn't show any boozy flavors. I find myself drinking it faster that I intend to with each glass.
Not bad at all. Unique, but still traditional in all of the right areas.
When NB sets out to do a Belgian style correctly, they almost always succeed. Hopefully this will continue.
05-25-2010 18:07:54 | More by Domingo
3.6/5 rDev -6%
On-tap at Farmers Gastropub in Springfield, MO. Served in a New Belgium snifter.
Pours a rich dark mahogany with a fleeting tan head.
Nose is interesting, herbal and spicy with a bit of caramelly maltiness underneath. I can only assume the herbal notes are heather, but never having smelled heather I can't say for sure. Spiciness comes across as cinnamon and clove, interesting but a bit strong, perhaps best set off by rich food. Follows suit on the palate.
Dry-ish, with mildly prickly carbonation. Interesting, though I can't say I'm a huge fan. Gets kind of heavy midway through the glass, so I'm glad it was a beer paired with food, since by itself it would probably be too much.
05-09-2010 21:20:17 | More by wnh
3.8/5 rDev -0.8%
On tap at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs.
Pours a healthy brown with a tan head. Good lace. Nose has tropical fruits, wheat malts, cloves and peppery yeast. Taste follows suit, quite sweet. Body is a bit cloyig and not as crisp as I like to see.
04-05-2010 05:04:13 | More by rye726
3.8/5 rDev -0.8%
On-tap at Churchill's
A: The pour is a dark brown with a sticky, fluffy off-white head.
S: The nose is highly floral and herbal, exhibiting the heather and cardamom quite well. There is also some light tartness to the nose, likely from the herbal ingredients.
T: There are a lot of different things going on in this beer. I, of course, pick up the herbal and floral tones, along with a distinct earthy quality. There is a bit of "spiciness" as well, and some sweet/sour contrast.
M: The body is medium with a smooth carbonation. Overall, the beer is perhaps a bit "heavy" for a Saison.
D: This is another one of those "interesting" beers. I was intrigued to see what new flavors I could find with each sip, but I don't know how much of this I could drink at one time.
03-27-2010 18:42:46 | More by womencantsail
4.33/5 rDev +13.1%
Sampled on tap at the Draught House in Austin.
The beer pours a dark brown color with a white head. The aroma is very spicy with lots of notes that resemble cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Only later did I find out that the beer was spiced with cardamom, which explains the aromas that I got. The flavor is similar to the aroma with cardamom as well as a hint of smoke. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
03-19-2010 22:29:23 | More by Mora2000
4.08/5 rDev +6.5%
Served in a NB Globe glass on tap at Dressel's Pub in St Louis
A - pours a dark brown with a fluffy head. I have never seen a saison this dark; actually, I have never seen a dark saison at all.
S - smells of funky earth tones and some some sweet malts
T - I got a lot of different things from this beer. The taste has a lot of earthiness and some funk, coupled with sweet, caramel malts. This also had some spices, vinegar, and a sugary, dark cola taste. Definitely a different type of saison, but it is very good.
M - medium bodied with a little bit of carbonation, making this very smooth.
D - this is an interesting take on a saison. I really enjoyed the dynamic range of flavors going on in this. One of the better NB brews I have had. I would definitely order this again if I see it on tap.
03-18-2010 19:17:24 | More by birchstick
4.47/5 rDev +16.7%
Served in the New Belgium goblet, Dark Heather Saison (they didn't specify the heather part at the pub, but I assume it's the same beer) is a very dark brown with a big fluffy, sand colored head that leaves great lace.
Smell is great, very nice tropical fruit esters and herbal hops (and apparently herbs as well, as though I wasn't aware of that at the time) I love this saison yeast strain, from Blaugies I'm assuming.
Taste is chocolaty, well complemented by the fruity yeast and minty hop spice. Well balanced, with some light phenols.
Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and light, with a dryish finish.
Drinkability is great. This is a very tasty dark saison, light, smooth and refreshing. Very tasty.
03-16-2010 20:14:57 | More by ccrida
3.03/5 rDev -20.9%
served on-tap @ Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO into a New Belgium globe glass
Pours a perplexing color that, depending on the angle pf the glass held towards the light, appears to be brown, ruby or prune. There was barely 1 finger of mocha colored head but what was there seemed pretty tightly constructed. Iffy lacing however. Rates as above average because of the red/purple thing going on with the body.
This saison is pungent with peppercorn, heather, assorted brewing spices and assorted cooking spices. After a vigorous swirl I get some oddly bright notes. There is a tart & sweet element that reminds me of onions cooked in balsamic vinegar. True story. I picked up some tomato juice, too. Weird aroma.
I get the tomato juice and pepper right up front on the tongue. There is a sour back end that is not unlike New Belgium's La Folie, though this sourness is fleeting-- it isn't there after every swallow. This saison isn't funky, really. It brings a kiss of tartness along with some prune flavor and a dash of heather. Very spice-forward.
This has a light body and it doesn't have enough carbonation to cut through the veritable spice rack. All that spice flavor and the weird, fleeting tartness make for a beer that is hard to enjoy more than a glass of.
I don't think that the recipe I had was a successful saison. It is certainly unique and I can see merit in the concept. I wish the execution were better.
03-13-2010 06:51:24 | More by Reaper16
3.65/5 rDev -4.7%
Served on tap in a New Belgium globe glass at Brixies in Brookfield Il
It poured a real dark brown with an almost brilliant white head with a little lacing coating the glass as the liquid level decreases/
The smell is that classic saison smell, peppery, a little lemon citrus fruit, yeasty. The dark malts used didn't really lend anything to the smell.
The taste is just has this huge pepper spice up front, much more than any other saisons I've ever had. In the background there is a nice subtle herbal notes. It could be heather but I couldn't say as I've never had it before. The darker malts used in this beer come into play now with a little roastiness. Overall the taste has this nice strong spicy bite that I prefer in a saison.
The mouthfeel and drinkability were fairly average. The dark malts that leave behind a little sweetness hamper the drinkability versus other saisons as i don't find it as refreshing as any of the others I've had.
03-01-2010 02:24:50 | More by weatherdog
3.85/5 rDev +0.5%
Served on tap in a goblet pint.
A - Murky, dark, chestnut brown color with a ring of white foam. There is spotty foam consisting of very fine bubbles. Unremarkable lacing.
S - Has a predominantly herbal, earthy smell that I associate with saison but haven't yet found the words to describe in more detail. There is also a slight sweetness to the smell, and a clear but underlying cracked pepper aroma.
T - Initial sweet malt flavor, followed by fruity apple and grape flavors. There is also a peppery taste that was present in the smell. Slight, earthy hops emerge as it warms.
M - Medium body with light carbonation. It leaves a sticky feeling in the mouth and lips. The pepperiness is present in the mouthfeel too.
D - This was delicious and refreshing. Hides the alcohol really well. Would not have guessed 7.5%. I am not sure I would want too many of these in one sitting due to the sweetness and pleasant but assertive flavors.
02-25-2010 01:32:47 | More by jwillcourt
3.2/5 rDev -16.4%
A - Poured a dark brown color with a small tan head head that faded very quickly. Some red highlights can be seen when this is held up to the light.
S - Dark fruits, various flowers, yeast, and various spices.
T - The main taste was the flowery/herbal flavor. There were several things working in the background like black pepper, yeast, and some dark fruits. However, the flowery taste trumped them all and was a little off-putting.
M - A little creamy than I would expect for most saisons but that wasn't bad.
D - Not sure I could drink another of these. While I love saisons, this wasn't my cup of tea.
02-14-2010 13:51:46 | More by CMW
3.73/5 rDev -2.6%
Served in pint goblet. Poured very dark brown, just barely translucent, with a very thin head that had minimal lacing.
The scent was very interesting. I found the scent to be earthy, musty and musky. Perhaps some grape notes.The taste was even more interesting, maybe I tasted grape pop, maybe root beer, Perhaps some spices I'm not familiar with.
The body was good, clean and smooth, with a clean finish. Drinkability was very good, but with all these different flavors battling for taste buds, your results may vary.
Overall, this is the most interesting brew I've ever had from this brewery. The word interesting is not always a complement. In this case it is. You should try this beer as soon as you can.
02-14-2010 05:39:04 | More by beertunes
Lips Of Faith - Dark Heather Saison from New Belgium Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.