1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Lips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style Weisse - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Lips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style WeisseLips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style Weisse

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 16.81%
Wants: 16
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Berliner Weissbier |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 07-14-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vdubb86
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL

This beer pours the palest of straw colors with seemingly no head to it whatsoever. The aroma is of sourness, burnt biscuit, and lemon. The taste is sour, but not what my buddy had built me up to believe that it would be. In fact the sourness quite resembled Shock-Tarts. Where the bother you upfront, but then you get used to them and they really taste sweet in general. This still has that sour lemon pucker flavor that is desired, but I feel that it's not nearly as strong as I've been lead to believe that a beer of this style should be. It's pretty nice on the palate and a good drinking beer. A good Berliner Weissbier for starters.

Vdubb86, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of cokes
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy sunny yellow with a fizzy white cap that quickly sizzles itself away. It does leave decent lacing, however.
The nose brings tart lemon wheat nose, along with a slap of olive brine salty funk. It's more than a bit weird, but I'll give it a general pass here.
It begins through the mouth with a sweet-tart, lemon bar doughy fruitiness, topped with powdered sugar, which grows increasingly towards corn syrup as it progresses. The briny olive/pickle note returns, bringing a discordant saltiness. Toasted wheat cereal notes pick up as the funky saltiness fades, with a couple late shrieks from lemon juice and vinegar, and a fuller white grape juice sweetness.
Semi-brisk, rampant upfront carbonation peters out over time, leaving a too-fat half-glass of lemonade, wheat flakes, kero syrup, olive brine, pickles, vinegar, and cheap, flat champagne.
This had some promise early on, the lacto-funkiness was a bit weirdly expressed and overly salty/briny. But it was the lingering heavy syrup/grapejuice sweetness that killed it.
A bomber is way too much, because it's flaws become far more pronounced as it warms. Ultimately, it betrays its base style. It's neither brisk nor refreshing, and over time, this becomes a chore.

cokes, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of hawks10
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle - Bottled June 16th, 2010 - Poured into a tulip...

Pours a pale golden orange with a bit of haze. Two fingers of fine bright white head forms and recedes into a cap of haze...

Very sweet on first whiff, but when you swirl the beer a bit, it really brings out the funk. Musty and earthy, loads of wheat...While I usually really like the combination of those aromas, the sweetness smells a bit artificial and just irritates me a little, but it's still not bad...

Initially fruity with a bit of an artificially sweetened apple juice taste going on. Tiny bit of tartness tries to break through the apple juice exterior but just can't do it. The funk that was apparent in the nose has disappeared in the taste. The overall taste just seems artificial, it almost reminds me of one of those nasty, too sweet Tripels...

Light to medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Pretty light and smooth on the palette, leaves a slick, lemony feel and taste behind...

Berliners shouldn't be 7% abv, I don't know if the high alcohol level is to blame for the annoying artificial sweetness or not, aromas were not bad, but taste lost it for me. Would not try this one again...

hawks10, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a New Belgium globe. 

I'm not sure what an Imperial Berliner is, but this beer is clear and gold with no head and no lace.  Good color but not so good head/lace.  Some hanging yesst chunks suspended in the liquid.  Not a great start.    

Something is really off here.  I swear, this beer smells like green olives.  A sour note like lemon and saltiness like just a hint of brine. Some torrified wheat,  weird and intense and expressive, but off-kiltered.  Some peach and lemon, but solvent and just off.  

Wheat and lemon dominate, but it is not too sour with only hints of tartness and citrus.  Not as bad as the nose, but some brine is there.  Way too one-dimensional, wacky and weird.  Pear and apple make an appearance but are swallowed by the lemon and lactic.  What in the world is this?    

The mouthfeel features sparkling carbonation and some medium body.  Some lemon in the finish.  The aftertaste is nice and, overall, the mouthfeel is perhaps the best part of this beer. Overall, I'm left saying that I just don't know about this.  This is a weird bird of a beer.  Just funky enough but I want more.  The wheat isn't up-front enough and the sour and lemon are just too subdued.  The brine taste throws me off.  But, overall, I like the idea behind this beer much more than the execution.  But keep up the experimentation.     

jampics2, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of Xul
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours translucent golden, capped by one finger of fizzy white head. Retention is poor as it quickly settles down to scant lacing.

S: Some light lemon zest and tartness, followed by a reasonably strong sweetness that has a bit of a cream/vanilla character. Not unpleasant, but the the sweetness is out of place and too strong for the rest of the aroma.

T: Opens with lightly tart lemons and some green apples, after which the sweetness comes back in with some darker fruit character, or perhaps some grapes. The finish brings back a bit of tartness but not enough to truly cut the sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with smooth, moderate carbonation.

D: Goes down easy but not really what I look for in a Berliner Weisse.

Xul, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
2.15/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

On my first day back at work after a work trip to CO, I was greeted with an unanticipated box from thagr81us. Thank you, Calton, for your generosity.

Pouring a light straw yellow with a dense white head with good retention, this is a great looking berlinerweiss. A gentle, steady stream of carbonation is present too.

The nose is rather highly unconventional. A little musty wheat, some solvent and a blend of green apple and light stone fruit - peach? Some sweetness is present too. Sourness is barely noticeable. The description mentions the use of Brett B here, which I just don't get.

The palate, is surprisingly different too. Opening with a definite lemony tartness, quickly warping into a green apple/cider tartness. Moderate fruity sweetness is present as well. The mid-palate is rather awful, with a blend of hot alcohol and some sugar. The finish has a sharp bitterness, rather unpleasant with some lemon rind before fizzling out with a light cereal character. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is decent on the palate, but rather awful on the finish. Disappointing.

DefenCorps, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of levifunk
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - light clear yellow with white head.

s - lemon grass, yogurt

t - taste isn't as powerful as i was hoping. it doesn't taste watery or anything, just mellow. its a bit tart. citrus flavor.

m - medium body. a bit chewy. carbonation is lower.

overall - not a bad beer, but not great either. not sure its worth the $9.

levifunk, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of kruthar
4.33/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Definitely looks like a german wheat beer. bright golden color with suspended floating wheat grist. head is white and foamy that dissapates quickly.

S - Wheaty smell with a strong sour green apple smell, tasty, my mouth is watering.

T - moderately carbonated, doesn't sting the tongue like a lot of sours do. moderately sour, appley, only slightly vinegar taste in the back.

M - The carbonation hits first but its only modearte, the swallow is perfectly smooth, this has a pretty good mouth feel.

D - This ber is extremely drinkable, its not a very overpowering sour and the wheat style helps.

kruthar, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of SShelly
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impy Berlinerweisse, an interesting contradiction...

Pours is bright clear straw with a large white head, lots of fizz.

Aroma has a light citrus and funk to it, slightly vinuous not really offputting but not that pleasant either.

Flavor is a clash of competing flavors with a hint of alcohol, overall it upholds the light and tart mantra of the berlinerweisse but there are competing aftertastes that turn me off, light funk with a musky sweetness.

Overall not that interesting or that good, a fun experiment I guess.

SShelly, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of ccrida
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a large goblet, New Belgium's Imperial Berliner Style Weisse is good with steady streamers forming a small white head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is on the sweeter side, some tartness, muscat grapes. Best part of this beer.

Taste is okay, it's got some sweet esters, Belgianesque, but with a very sharp lacto tang that tastes very fake and chemically, very unpleasant at first, although I adjusted to it a bit as I worked my way through it. First sips of this weird off-flavor were a kind of chocolate/stem wood thing like you get in really cheap wine.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied. The sweetness and lack of crispness makes it not very thirst quenching, a bit like flat sprit.

Drinkability isn't to hot. Nice smell, everything else not really working for me.

ccrida, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a small white head. There's also some floaties. Scent is a lot of lemon, light funk, sugar, apples, and more lemon. Taste is very different than any other beer of this particular style. More alcohol than this style is supposed to have, but it is labeled as an "imperial" so that makes sense. Initially you get some sugary sweetness, followed by some refreshing lemon and apple flavors. Then comes hints of sourness. Not nearly as sour or sweet as I was hoping for though. Finishes with a bit of alcohol taste. The mouthfeel is very crisp, yet full bodied. The drinkability is not nearly as high as a typical berliner weissbier, but it does have some fair drinkability.

DovaliHops, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of detlefchef
4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So now I've tried two variations on Berliner Weisse (this and DFH Festina Peche) without actually having tried a normal version. As I've liked both the riffs, I suppose it's high time that I try the real thing. That said...

Very pale and brilliant yellow with light, fleeting suds. Very bright aromas of nectarine and sour yellow plums backed up by wine-like flavors and more stone fruits.

Clean but lingering finish behind round texture. Though I guess "Imperial" is relative as this beer likely comes in around 4%, the alcohol is quite well integrated (though that's no great feat at 7%).

detlefchef, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of cmcullen
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have tried several of the "Lips of Faith" series and had this one yesterday. I was really put off by the overwhelming lemony-sourness. I think if that would have been more subtle it would have been refreshing and pleasant; as it was, it was a bit of a nasty novelty. Too much for 22 ozs, anyway!

cmcullen, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a weisse glass. 7.0% ABV, no date.

A - A good white head springs up right away then lowers to a thin pile kept alive by extreme carbonation rising up. Crystal clear golden pale yellow in color.

S - A nice light sour aroma accompanies the soft wheat nose and cheerful crisp carbonation and nice pale malt aroma. Unassuming and crisp for a nice hot day.

T - The sourness is mild and lacking for what they call an Imperial. I pick up more pale malts and some wet wheat but it doesn't have an imperial feel to it at all.

M - Light-bodied with high carbonation but very mild sourness trickling through on the finish. Crisp and clean but why is the sour so lacking?

D - A great summer drinkable beer with a huge refreshing quality but the sourness can stand to be at least doubled for the style it calls itself. Great otherwise. I gotta say $10.99 is way out of line for this bottle though.

BeerFMAndy, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Naja's Place, I saw bottles of this in AZ, but didn't pick it up, assuming it'd be in CA, haven't seen it though, so I was excited to see it on-tap at Naja's,

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod with a soft white head, some good lace.

S: Very honey-like initially, but as it warms the lactic sourness comes out and is quite nice.

T: Hard beer to describe. Definite honey, sweet malt and grainy notes. Also a mix of pickles and lime juice. The finish is outstanding, delicious lemons and lactic acid, but the finish while intriguing isn't anywhere close to making the overall beer flavour delicious.

M: Medium-bodied, a tad boozy, nice lactic finish.

D: A weird beer for sure. I've never had an Imperial Berliner Weisse, and aside from the White Birch I don't know if another one exists. Props to New Belgium for trying this experiment, I always value experimentation in brewing, this one wasn't great flavour-wise, but it's certainly unique and idiosyncratic so it's worth a pick up for that reason.

Halcyondays, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of davod23
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Saw this at my local place, thought it sounded interesting. Poured from the bottle into a Delerium Tremens tulip.

Pour is a very clear light gold. Surprisingly clear... Suspected that there would be more haziness. White head about two inches forms immediately but quickly recedes to a few faint wisps.

Smell is odd. Not bad, mind you, but odd. Sour apple, wheat, tiniest bit of what might be termed funk. There's a sweetness to it as well... Like candy... SweetTarts? Sour Patch Kids?

Taste is pretty decent. Sour apple, lemon. Only lightly tart, and actually quite sweet. Sweeter than I'd like.

Good carbonation, medium body. It does not finish as dry as I'd like. Drinkability is still very high; this is a decent brew for a hot day when you're seeking refreshment in a relatively unusual beer style. Still, I probably won't revisit this one. I'd rather drink Hottenroth.

davod23, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of UnionMade
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz Screen printed bottle
Bright, clear gold, with a fugitive misting of white head.
Smells immediately fruity and sour. Sour white grapes, green apple and maybe a bit of cherry? Ever so slightly funky, just a bit of farminess and swiss cheese sharpness. The malt comes off like Kix cereal, mixed with Sour Patch Kids.
The flavor opens with a good bit of sweetness, which manages to remain a bit cloying throughout. Wheaty sour in a sugary, kid's cereal manner, moving quickly into sour fruit of all sorts. Sour, Welch's white grape juice mostly, with green apple and lemon in a syrupy, candy-like form. Strange. The body is fuller than I expected, the finish not particularly dry because of it, with an effervescent carbonation. The malt flavor comes through like Kix cereal, as I'd gathered from the aroma. The overall impression is one of processed, artificially sweetened flavors, even though I know it's not. If I could sum this up in a sentence, it would be Berlinerweisse meets American Malt Liquor.

UnionMade, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the Brewery in Fort Collins. Poured a lemony yellow color, with a good, frothy white head. On the nose, a little lemon and a little funk. On the palate, this one was light and refreshing, with a good green apple note. Nice on a hot day, but nothing special.

emmasdad, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of froghop
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a very clear yellow-orange with a medium size white head that dissipates quickly, and some lacing.

smell is faint, straw, and some yeast.

taste is oily, wheat, sour, wild yeast, orange peel, malt, and some fruit, ends on the tart side.

overall an okay berliner-weiss.

froghop, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of Haybeerman
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear straw gold color. Poured a thin wispy white head. Spotty thin lacing.

S: Lactic tartness for a little funk. Maybe some hay and grass; very little aroma overall.

T: Sweet malt up front. Lemony tartness follows quickly. Residual yeast flavors linger along with some fruit.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation though feels more, but I think its the overall tartness. Strange balance given the odd (or unexpected) flavors.

D: Some interesting flavors. Smooth. Good balance

Haybeerman, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a shaker. Pours a clear golden color with a one finger white head that subsides to minimal quickly. There was no apparent lacing present. The aroma was comprised of malt and a nice sour note. The flavor was of malt, wood, sour, and a very subtle wheat flavor. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a nice and smooth sour tasting brew. I quite enjoyed this one as the glass went down quite quickly before I had realized it. This one is a definite must try for those of you who like Wild Ales and sours.

thagr81us, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a light golden color with very minimal head. A very non-descript nose, slightly funky. Starts slightly sweet and just kind of mellows out. Very slight funk in the end. No real sour notes to speak of. Berliners are a really hard one to nail and I applaud NB for trying to do an Imperial style but it really falls a little short. Maybe some time sitting might do this one some good.

kbutler1, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of billab914
2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured golden yellow in color with a thin bright white head to it. It seems a little dark for the style compared to other versions I've had. The head faded quickly, which is typical for the style so I won't knock them for that.

The aroma has a pretty strong sour grape and apple flavor to it. It's very tart and acidic in the nose. The flavors are a bit overwhelming and one dimensional. Would have preferred more balance, maybe some wheat perhaps.

The taste is better then the nose, but still pretty strong on the sour and tart grape flavors. It's acidic, sour and tart with grape and apple flavors being the most dominant. Just a hint of malt comes through in the finish. Versions of this style I'd consider better usually have some balance and more complexities to them. This one is all about the sour and tartness.

The mouthfeel is moderate but probably on the heavier side for the style. Drinkability is average. The sour and tart flavors weren't bad, they were just dominating and didn't have anything supporting them. Comparing this imperial version to New Glarus's, which I had recently, this one doesn't compare very well. A weissbier should probably at least show a bit of wheat at least.

billab914, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear gold colored beer with only slight head formation. Much darker than most.

Smell is lightly sour with peach and apple scent. I detect a little sour grape and no hops.

Starts out sweet and sour with no strong flavor. Not really sour just tart. Not strongly flavored, at best it tastes like a really light pear cider. Could be more complex but it isn't bad.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK. This needs something more to be more interesting.

Zorro, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of hopsbreath
1.5/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up a bomber of this recently along with other non-imperial versions of the style as part of an attempt to expand my beer knowledge.

Poured into a couple tulips to share with the wife, this beer has a yellow-orange body with tons of big thick yeasty sediment floating throughout. Its not the typical yeast haze that sometimes shows up in bottle conditioned beers but instead has the appearance of gigantic gelatinous amoebas swimming in some pond water for a 10th grade biology lab experiment. The slightest agitation to the bottle provoked the sediment into suspension so it was impossible to decant the beer properly and not get any gooey bodies into the glass. The head was thick and dissipated slowly to leave a cap throughout the drink and had good lacing. None of the last sentence is appropriate for the style as defined by the Bros. Utter fail on appearance. 1/5

The smell is faint and not terrible. Yes this is lactic and has a wheat based smell. 3/5

The taste is where this beer totally lost me. It was lightly sour and was definitely wheat based, but the flavors that didn't belong there were bananas, cloves, and a cloying sweetness that was reminiscent of some kind of big bock recipe that had a little lacto thrown in and dubbed Imperial. Had I at least enjoyed these flavors I would grade a little kinder but it just seemed like a sweet muddled mess. 1/5

Mouthfeel was moderately thick and sticky (2/5), and drinkability was downright abysmal (1/5). My wife barely took a few sips of her glass and handed it to me to finish. I was able to finish mine but had no interest in hers. First ever drain pour ensued. Let the record show that my wife who enjoys Duchesse de Burgogne because it is a little sweeter than most of its style, found this to be to sweet.

In an attempt to best understand this style, I also had a bottle of Hottenroth from The Bruery and a couple twelves of Festina Peche on the same night. Those two are still notes and their reviews will come at another time, but they were both solidly refreshing and received scores above 4.0. New Belgium needs to take this back to the lab and figure out what needs to be retooled to make it drinkable. As few beers that are represented in the style, I can't understand why they simply didn't brew a traditional Berliner Weiss and try to exemplify the style in the same way they did with La Folie in regards to Flanders Reds.

hopsbreath, Aug 12, 2010
Lips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style Weisse from New Belgium Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.