Lips Of Faith - Gruit
New Belgium Brewing Company

Lips Of Faith - GruitLips Of Faith - Gruit
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Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
3.62 | pDev: 13.26%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Lips Of Faith - GruitLips Of Faith - Gruit
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 297
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a semi-light golden yellow to hazy amber color with a fairly decent transparency about it. The one finger white foamy head quickly dies and doesn’t leave any lacing. The smell had a fair amount of peanut butter (I’m not exactly sure where that came from but I do know I get that a lot in NB beers). Anyways, there is a fairly herbal to earthy nuttiness rolling underneath some light malts. The taste was mainly sweet and earthy with the normal tea-like quality for a gruit to show its face just slightly in the flavoring. There’s a sweet sticky tea-like aftertaste and a sweet sticky finish. Overall, I say this was fairly good for the style though I haven’t had too many gruits in my day. The carbonation is exceptionally smooth as it should be. Overall, I say this was a decent gruit, though not one that will go overtop, its solid for the most part.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New style, yay!

Peachy golden color, 80% opacity. Head is creamy and large.

Smells like not much except for bright fruit and light malt. Some parsnip, some herbs.

Taste is mild with malt character, wheat undertones and a bright fruit finish. Cantelope and white grape make up most of the fruit profile. A very easy beer.

Feel is creamy and somewhat carbonated

Nice new beer to try during a concert. Would have again.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Partially hazy amber yellow with well-retaining lemon-white head, fine in appearance and fluffy in consistency. Smells herbal and floral, but not very strong. Only subtly removed from, say Noble hops. Reminds me of, of all things, Guinness' Nitro IPA. Both this and Nitro IPA remind me of certain Cream Ales. But also reminiscent of Hefeweizens and hoppy Pale Wheat Ales in some ways. Well-balanced, inclusive of, but not favoring, honey, spice, pine notes, lemon tartness, huckleberry, yeastiness, and wheat character. A drier finish and with pepper, cloves, mild bitterness, slight puckering quality in the aftertaste. About as "dirty" as a Saison. It's very good, but not as bizarre as I was expecting and hoping. Feels medium, fine, crisp, refreshing, with abundant tingles.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the funkier beers I have ever had.

As expected, there is a nice herbal note to the beer, but it is balanced with a light sweetness. I wish the beer was a bit more hoppy to balance the malt. The mouthfeel is different - it goes from heavy to dry with each sip.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light nectarine like color with one finger of white head. Solid retention and leaves behind some nice lacing.

S: Notes of wheat, sweet malts, apricot, pineapple, guava, white grape, lemon, unique herbs, and some subtle floral hops.

T: Citrus, honey, lemongrass, cracker, sweet malts, a lot of unique herbal tones and some subtle floral hops add some bitterness to the sweetness of the malts.

M: Light bodied, little carbonation, dry finish. Drinks like a light beer and leaves a lot to be desired.

O: This is an interesting brew. It doesn't look that appealing, it has some interesting notes on the nose but it still smells to much like a blue moon. The taste is actually very pleasant but the mouthfeel is severely disappointing. It was worth the try but I wouldn't purchase it again.

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Photo of jakemn91
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I liked it more than I was expecting to. I thought the herbs would be more potent, but they aren't. They are just bitter enough to balance the malt. It all works fairly well together. It is worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Nice looking pour; rich golden straw color, perfectly transparent, and a decent ivory white head. Nose is not quite what I was expecting, but is nice somewhat similar to a Heffeweizen. Mellow earthy bread and yeast, some pineapple and guava. Floral and subtly sweet. Taste is very interesting and new to me. Lots of new herbal flavors that are fairly difficult to describe. Mild honey sweetness with some citrus and lemongrass up front which gives way to some lingering woody bitterness and black pepper spice. It's very difficult to pick out specific flavors. Some mild alcohol booziness. Mouthfeel is light with some lively, but not overbearing carbonation. Easy to drink.

Overall, this is certainly off the beaten path for myself and I would imagine many others. Some interesting flavors, and a fun experiment with flavor analysis. Certainly worth trying once, but not one that I will likely return to.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Experimentation doesn't mean new. With our Gruit, it's all about revisiting the ancient craft of bittering with herb mixtures. In here horehound, bog myrtle, yarrow, wormwood and elderflowers get together with rich malts to create a bitter dry, velvet-like sweetness worth revering." Brewed in the style of a Scottish Gruit Ancient Herbed Ale. Available as a single batch series in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a New Belgium globe glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a foamy cream head of an off white tone over a mildly hazy standard amber body with thin specked sediment and ample, lively carbonation. Retention is very good and lacing is light and tiered. 4

(Smell) The aroma brings notes of pale, soft wheat and pilsner malts with a moderate sweetness, a moderate tart fruitiness of apricot and grape and mild yeast profile and a delicate herbaceous, piney and lemony bitterness from the herb additions. I'm surprised by how close the aroma comes to being mistaken for a standard Belgian golden despite being infused with several uncommon and traditional herbs. Any uniqueness that they may bring is not showcased in the aroma at all- that being said, I don't know exactly what to expect. Potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) The flavor does a slightly better job at showcasing the flavor of the herbs used to bitter this beer and they come out more prominently in the taste as well. Pale and cracker malts with a touch of unmalted wheat body and flavor with a moderate sweetness. Continued tart fruit notes reminiscent of peach, pear and grape nods to a Belgian yeast style. The arrangement of bittering spices creates a notable bitterness with flavors of grass, herbal teas, soft citrus and delicate peppery spice, finishing with a strong dryness. Again, the blend of herbs isn't a far cry off from a mildly mannered European hop or two but does a decent job as a substitution, providing adequate bitterness and flavor compounds, enough to counterbalance the sweetness and yeast profile of this beer. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, lightly chewy and chalky dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a softly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is nearly even sweet and tart to bitter. Alcohol presence is low and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) This beer was far more accessible than I would have ever guessed going in, as many of the flavors of the bittering herbs used in lieu of hops generated very similar flavor profiles to hops and a decent bitterness to pair as well. As the ancient herbed ale style is only an occasional surfacing style, I'd recommend that anybody interested in ancient-style ales try a beer like this one. The flavors in New Belgium's Gruit are not terribly unique but at the very least make an enjoyable beer. People hoping for a radically different bittering profile and range will be very underwhelmed but I was generally impressed by the range that these herbs could maintain alone and think that beers like this could make an appreciated comeback if the price of ingredients is reasonable. I can't say I know where to find any of them, so that may be a big starting problem! 3.75

New Belgium Brewing's
Lips of Faith Series: Gruit

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Photo of homebrew311
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy orangeish/yellow with thin white head and significant lacing. The nose features is very herbal with notes notes of pine needles, juniper, and pine wood. There are also some sweeter notes with notes of banana and mild bubblegum character. Taste doesn't bring the various bittering agents to the palate as the nose would suggest. This is disappointing as the flavor is somewhat one note. It drinks like a saison that is heavy on the sweetness and bubblegum character. Mouthfeel is moderate with appropriate carbonation level. Overall, this is an interesting and unique beer to drink, but not something I would enjoy to drink with any kind of regularity.

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Photo of watchnerd
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tiny champagne like bubbles and teeny lacing flecks, a bit of yeast in the front, but the light crispness, with just a wee bit o' hops, reminds me of a kolsch style beer. Doesn't have the overpowering flavor profile of many 'ancient herbed ales' at all. Really delicious and well-balanced, would go with anything.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BBD 1/15. Pours a slightly cloudy pale gold. Very good head volume, excellent lacing and normal retention.

Light nose of lemon like citrus over a subtle biscuit sweetness with a touch of pepper spice.

Almost medium in body with a smooth texture that has oily moments and a touch of creaminess. Normal carbonation with a touch of effervescence in the middle and a lively finish.

The delightful flavor profile is World Class. It is intense, quite complex and superbly balanced. It begins with a blend of slightly sweet citrus that slowly separates into lemon, pineapple and, surprisingly, peach. In the middle, a subtle herbal bitterness emerges, with a clove note, over a biscuit sweetness that then effervesces into a pepper note. The finish is a lingering fade of herbal flavor over a subtle biscuit graininess and sweetness. My first Gruit, and it is outstanding.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

Look: A pretty cloudy faded cop perish orange color for body. The cream colored heads leaves a thick, bubbly film. A net of foamy lacing sticks to the glass.

Aroma: There's a minty note that dominates, but let me be honest -- this beer is brewed with things i've never even heard of such as horehound, yarrow, wormwood, bog myrtle ... and things like that! I think maybe coriander comes to mind, whether it is used in brewing or not.

Taste: There's some citrus notes like orange peel, some faint spiciness in the form of white pepper.

Mouthfeel: Light for the 6.66% ABV.

Overall: A really refreshing beer above 6% ABV. Lovely blend of ingredients, even though I've not heard of most of them.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear gold/orange. Only a few lazy bubbles- looks syrupy. Faint white head. Some spots of resilient lace.

S: Smells like a moderately hopped beer; exotic fruit, some citrusy. Missing is the pine, replaced by grassy herbs. A pretty realistic golden apple aroma lingers in the back. I know it's the style's fault, but it can't decide which smell to feature and which should be supporting; makes for a decent but confusing nose.

T: Citrus that really tastes like it came from hops. Peach. Neither sweet nor very bitter; again, there isn't balance between these opposing aspects so much as there is a mutual lack of them. A bit of herbaciousness on the finish, but as esoteric as those roots/plants are, I would like to be able to identify at least one of them (where is the elderflower??).

M: Remote ticklish carbonation. Medium body, luckily not syrupy.

O: Nice. It was, however, a bit weak on the palate, and combined with the scattered flavors it made for a kinda confusing beer. Not much different than a weak IPA or fruit beer. Good attempt at the style (I think?), but there is still plenty of room to improve (and plenty of enthusiasm from this BA to try the next iterations of it).

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Incredibly interesting beer! Pours a nice pale golden color with small measure of haze, and the head is quite sturdy upon initial pour, though settles to a thin lace minutes later. Some seriously wild, tropical and ripe fruits on the nose. It's a bit floral too. Also some yeasty/bready components. The floral component comes through on the palate too, somewhat dry, and funky herbal aftertaste that is pleasing.

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Photo of NSXAG
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

New Belgium Brewing - Lips Of Faith Series: Gruit [Ale Brewed With Bog Myrtle, Horehound, Yarrow, Wormwood And With Elderflowers] (22oz ---> Dogfish Head Curved Pint Glass : 6.6% ABV)

Tried picking up a bomber from a new spot, and though the selection was borderline terrible, they had this LOF series bomber tucked away behind some Blue Moon and 312s… Never having been too entirely impressed with any previous LOF releases I've gotten the opportunity to enjoy, the bottle graphic and list of "weird" ingredients made this too intriguing to pass up… Once home, I found out that those "weird" ingredients are actually extremely necessary, as gruits are hopeless beers, and any bitterness contained within the bottle are derived from them… Pouring a crystal clear light gold with a fair amount of carbonation, it allowed for a foamy 2 inch head to form and dissipate at a very slow rate… After patiently letting the head settle into another extremely impressive retentive cap, I took note of the good deal of lacing already forming on the glass walls… Upon smelling, a yeasty spiciness presented itself first, accompanied by some traces of barnyard funk… Definitely some bready/biscuity notes in the beer, as well as some traces citrusy hops and lemon… First taste is immediately a crisp grainy backbone, almost as if I just enjoyed a lager… A hint of bitterness is also there upon the first sip, acting as a good companion to the traces of lemon and citrus that are BARELY present in the forefront… Midway through it transitions to the smoother biscuity end of things, with a hint of oak in there, which I assume to be the "wormwood" and I may be reaching slightly, but the floral notes, though BARELY present, are there on the finish… The carbonation isn't as present as I had thought it'd be, judging off how much carbonation was present after the pour… The finish is smooth, but lacks any complexity or lingering, still developing flavors, creating a clean yet very abrupt finish… Mouthfeel is extremely nice throughout, and acts as a great vessel for this particular brew, but ultimately the flavor is lacking… Overall it's a beer crafted with great precision, just not something I particularly enjoyed as it touched on flavors I find to be less appealing to my palate than many others… Another great brew - Cheers!!

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We open a bomber, pouring into our Great Lakes pint glasses. It shows a pale daffodil coloring, holding a creamy, bubbling head of white that stands nearly two fingers tall. This retains well, leaving wet, craggy lacing around the glasses. A chill haze briefly cuts clarity, but no sediment is found. Carbonation appears to be very, very faint. The aroma is spicy, offering a blend of smoked beechwood, dark cloven spice, seaweed saltiness, biscuity pale and wheaty maltiness, green tobacco leafiness, mossy muskiness, white sugar cloy, sweaty caramel, tweed, cinnamon stick, sweet potato starchiness, avocado pit, freshly pressed olive oil, and hickory. The taste follows with a surprisingly sweet showing of sugary and salted caramel maltiness, soy sauce, green corn husk, raw yams, dusty mallow sweetness, smoked dark wheatiness, white peppercorns, honey herbal cough drops, jicama and parsnip rootiness, hollow chive fumes, creamy soy bean oiliness, lactic sourness, clean aluminum metallics, clover honey essence, and dandelion weediness. The body is slightly thicker than medium, and the carbonation is moderate to active. There is nice slurp and smack to the lip, harboring decent creaminess and frothiness. The mouth is coated and left drippy wet, but otherwise meets a long, drawn out dryness that finishing just behind the two front teeth. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks fine.

Overall, despite the oddities and rarities of the featured ingredients, there is a warming, spicy, welcomed familiarity to this beer. We’ve tackled this style in the past, but found this to be a nicely rounded offering in the flavor department. The spices and herbs were hearty and authentic, and really help bring you back to the ancient rooting of this style. They don’t really take any one ingredient and run with it here, but rather gently blend and steep everything together, making it marketable and tamable for just about any adventurous beer lover. While its authenticity is noted, we would love to try some truly harsh and unabashedly flavored gruits.

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Photo of BlueAsparagras
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Nicely balanced light body with refreshing finish. Herbs are present in the nose and mouth but pleasant and not overpowering. Great with a juicy burger.

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Photo of avalon07
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellow color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was a two inch, foamy, long-lasting head. Great lacing.

S: An underwhelming aroma of malt and a distinct herbal quality.

T: Tasted of the aforementioned herbal quality, malt, light hops, and a grassy quality. A pretty thin flavor without much character. The herbal quality that's prevalent in gruits is not as pronounced as it should be.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is not an overly interesting beer. It never takes off and ultimately comes off as flat.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

22 ounce bottle - $7.99 at Lucky's Beverage World in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a near clear, deep yellow-hued body with a very tall, very frothed, whitish head. Heavy lace.

Smell: A light scaffolding of pale malts, with a very, very low sweetish accent. Thinned out touch of apricot, apple, and earthy, savory herbs.

Taste: Light pale malts, a bit doughy, and some rustic tons of wheat, oats. Low, light fruitiness hint a bit at lemon. Herbal melange giving perfumy, altogether savory accents of veggies and spice and softly minty weeds, as well as spruce-like spruce tips. Lingering wormwood spiciness persists into the aftertaste beyond the dry, lightly malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A fine, twangy, decent gruit, if that's your cup of tea.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Not sure if I've had this style or not, too lazy to look it up. Damn tasty tho. Super smooth, like a halfway between a low ABV sour or brett and a lager or blonde ale. Bitterness is pronounced yet smooth and dry, letting some of the complex flavors of the herbs stout out nicely. Good choice.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.59/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Served in a snifter at Tap House - Des Plaines.

Yup, another LoF offering here. And this line to see Svengoolie is nearly as long as the list of LoF beers available. Good times. Anyway, this stuff pours a mostly clear brass-amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild malts (just take a whiff of, say, Crystal 60 or something), light dank greenery, and a mixture of vague herbs and such that I can't for the life of me pick apart (think one of those ethereally-named incense cones you can find in your local hippie Cosmic Afternoon or some such crap...). The taste opts to focus on this gruit mixture, which, for me, is the ultimate middle finger: this mixture is horrendous, tasting of diseased seaweed, peat moss, lichen-covered twigs fresh from the forest floor, random potentially-poisonous mushrooms (I obviously couldn't tell whether or not their caps were purple), and mustard seed. Suffice it to say that it hurt to drink this. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, this beer just didn't do it for me at all, what with the gruit mix they worked with. Thankfully I never need to have it again...

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light gold to light yellow in color. There's a quarter inch of light tightly knit white head. Brussels lacing. Nice and balanced aroma of herbs and light malt. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with this grouping to relay which one stands out the most. I get almost a lemon scent overall. The taste is much more aggressive on the herbal front and yet not overpowering. The malt and herbs are in a nice balance. There's almost that light lemon aftertaste that lingers nicely. The mouth is fairly light,crisp, and a touch salty. Very refreshing with nearly triple digit temps outside.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and fairly clear golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with decent retention. Leaves a good amount of creamy lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, fruity, and spicy Belgian style aroma with hints of citrus and spices. Upfront Belgian yeast with hints of funk, cloves, and peppers. Citrus fruit hints of orange, mango, pineapple, peach, apricot, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Also some fruit hints of white grapes, green apple, banana, and pear. Floral and earthy scent from the Elderflowers, Horehound, and other exotic spices in the mix. Pale malt with hints of grains, wheat, straw, cracker, and oat. Also some hints of sugar. A pretty interesting and good aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a yeasty, spicy, and fruity Belgian style taste with big notes of spices and citrus fruit. Belgian yeast with some upfront notes of cloves, peppers, and funk. Juicy citrus notes of pineapple, orange, mango, apricot, peach, grapefruit, and lemon zest. Wine like fruit notes of white grape, pear, and green apple along with some banana. Sweet notes of sugar. Big spicy and floral taste from the mix of spices including Horehound, Elderflower, and Myrtle. Pale malt backing with notes of wheat, grains, straw, oat, and cracker. A pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and fairly prickly with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty interesting and solid brew. I haven't had a Gruit before so I'm not sure how representative of the style it is. This is very much like a Belgian Pale Ale. The exotic spices add a nice floral and drying kick.

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Photo of russpowell
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours an effervescent & ever so slightly hazed gold with 2 fingers of pearl colored head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Pears, apricots & tartness, some floral scents, best thing about this beer

T: Pears, apricot, & a bit of white grape up front. Golden Delicious apple, floral notes & a little bit of honey & hay as this warms. Finishes dry, floral & medicinal with orchard fruit, green bananas

MF: Medium bodied, over carbonated

Drinks easy, but not that true to style. New Belgium is really starting to make me rethink purchasing this series. I love trying rare styles, but this doesn't measure up, worth a try if you have a better beer budget than I do...

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Photo of elNopalero
4.19/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This felt like a ‘gateway gruit,’ as it wasn’t overly herbal or medicinal, and I could see it being a good introduction to some of the more intense gruits I’ve tried.

This pours a clear golden color. The aroma has a lot going on—I could list the ingredients, but I’m not familiar with anything on it although I did my best to nose some yarrow in the wild so I’d recognize it for just this sort of occasion. Let’s just say it’s floral and intriguing. It’s not a hoppy tasting beer but there is a clear bitterness on it, with the floral herbal blend on the flavor. I found it light, delicious, and refreshingly interesting. Paired wonderfully with a summer berry pie.

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Lips Of Faith - Gruit from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 297 ratings