Lips Of Faith - Vrienden (Allagash Collaboration) - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 173 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
3.48/5 rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Assuming it was bottled around the end of 2010. Thanks to BA codewarrior for sending this as a generous extra in March 2011. It's been in a cool dark place since then; consumed tonight (I waited a year because I'd heard the wild yeast and bacteria hadn't really done their job yet around release time).
Appearance: Careful pour yields a 2 inch fluffy white head that dissipates slowly leaving a tight, short-lasting ring of lacing. Pours a clear, bubbling orange that looks almost red-tinged. Leaves a few arches of lacing.
Smell: In the bottle: heavy brettanomyces tang and lactic sourness. In the glass: whoa, where did the wild ale aromas go? Peachy and mineraly, flowery and sweet. Were I to smell this glass of beer blind I would have no idea that there is lacto or brett in it (nor what style of beer I was smelling).
The peaches and flowers plus mild Belgian yeast aroma is nice, but it's too faint. 3.0 for being pleasant and without overt flaws, yet not nearly prominent enough to enhance the flavor / overall experience.
Taste: First sip: Interesting... fruity (peachy, almost strawberry) notes up front with the slightest lactic sourness, a big funky brett hit, dry finish, then nothing. Hard to emphasize enough how short-lasting the flavor is... not since Kelso's Flemish Red have I had a beer where the flavor goes in and out so fast. It's like, "Hi everyone--oop, gotta go! See you next time!" Lack of any aftertaste at all enhances this impression.
Second sip brings a more puckering lactic sourness up front, and a creamier middle, but runs away as quickly as the first.
There's no distinct hibiscus or endive flavor in the beer (surprise surprise), but the flavors that are present are pretty good and well balanced. I like the fruitiness, and the occasionally potent brett influence, but all in all the flavor is pedestrian. Every so often there's a 4.0 to 4.5 for flavor sip, but even then the complexity isn't outstanding, and they're few and far between.
Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Punchy carbonation, creamy feel. Extremely dry finish. Wish the flavor came close to the extremes of the feel.
Overall: A pleasing mouthfeel helps a beer a lot, and I had no trouble finishing the entire bottle, but I can't imagine choosing this beer over several reasonably available and superior wild ales or saisons.
It reminds me of Dogfish Head's Fungus Tea'Mungus, in that it's sort of "Wild Ale Lite" in flavor--but that beer had half the ABV of New Belgium's Vrienden, yet also twice the flavor. Yes, the implication I'm intending is that this beer and its short-lived, half-a-beer flavor profile deliver about half the flavor of "Wild Ale Lite." So, not a success, but no crazy flaws and easy to drink.
Serving type: bottle
01-26-2012 05:13:14 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
3.05/5 rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Alright, let's see what two years did here...
Pours a bubbly clear copper with a vigorous initial tow fingers of thick, meringue style foam that falls to a solid quilt of the same. Smells pretty simple: some peppercorn, light malts, some hints of brett (sweet, milky and funky) with just a slight floral note. Nice fruity flavor up front lends some lemon and pineapple juice with woody malt and a hint of tartness in the finish. Medium on light syrup with liberal, but quick dissipating carb and an off dry finish. Tasty beer, but nothing special.
Serving type: bottle
12-26-2012 08:25:49 | More by harrymel
Lips Of Faith - Vrienden (Allagash Collaboration) from New Belgium Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.