Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark AleLips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale
Very Good
109 Ratings
Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark AleLips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Lips of Faith was brewed in collaboration with Anne-Françoise Pypaert of Villers-Devant-Orval. Dry-hopped and spiced with spruce tips and Grains of Paradise and aged on white oak spirals.

Added by superspak on 07-02-2016

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of DavidR_9
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by date very faded but I think it says 28 MAY17. However, at 9.5% abv, this brew should be able to age.

Pours a brown- dark amber body with an off-white head, quickly dissipates to a thin layer of scattered foam. Nice lacing along the glass. Super soft aroma, almost undetectable when cold but after a while I caught some cherry syrupy notes with a hint of white oak and bready malts. Taste is first a semi strong wave of vegetal spruce tip flavor paired with a semi sweet malty breadiness which is then followed by a delicate peppery and citrus note, which I assume comes from the grains of paradise. The citrus note quickly evolves into more of a cherry syrupy kind of note. The white oak spirals are virtually undetectable for me, it may help impart a slight earthiness to the brew but I believe it may have helped most in the delicate aroma. Overall, the flavors are very subtle and sort of blanket over one another in delicate layers. Very thin mouthfeel for such a big beer, but the brew is still fairly active and tingly.

This beer truly does make me think of the forest and tastes extremely unique. The flavors certainly grew on me, especially as the brew warmed up. Not an everyday brew for me but certainly one worth trying. Plus it’s a very interesting collaboration!

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Photo of beaulabauve
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1971bernat
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Giggy
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of travelguy
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jwilcox767
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown body (semi-opaque), slight tan head.
S - Excellent spice, cherry, rosated malt notes.
T - Lots of herbal spiciness up-front. Taste lingers for a bit, pleasant though.
M - Sticky/sweet open, medium amount of carbonation, subtle close.
O - Impressive spice/herb execution while still retaining it's aleness. The aroma may put some people off, but everything worked for me.

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Photo of 98green
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brauseboof
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium to dark reddish orange with a half finger white head that dissipates to a thin film with nice lacing. Aroma of bready malt and an odd vegetal spicy smell that was hard to parse, but must be the influence of the grains of paradise; little pure alcohol at the end. Flavor is cherry cordial, candi malt, spice similar to coriander, light oak; finishes with mixed fruit esters including the cherry again with a spicy, but cherry cola semi-sweet finish. Medium bodied with light creaminess. An odd take on the Belgian ale style most similar to a dubbel, but with much more influence of fruit esters, probably from the yeast. The cherry flavor almost veers into cherry cough syrup territory because of the general spiciness and robust ABV, but is redeemed by the solid malt, which does not have much individual flavor, but supports the spices and yeast esters well. I was not able to detect the influence of spruce bows, but they must contribute to the overall spiciness. One of those beers that seems to be headed for the precipice of oddness, but ends up satisfying and interestingly drinkable. The aroma was almost off-putting and the cherry notes were odd at first but this one grew on me as I drank it. One of the better and fun to drink ales from this series.

 1,308 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From notes taken 04/22/17:

Dark metallic copper moving toward ruby, seems clear but this bulbous glassware obscures it a little. Golden-tan, medium-retaining but easily reactivated head, heavy froth. Lace looks like Northern Canada, a lot of small islands, a few larger territories and peninsulas in a giant bay. Light vegetal aromas, like peas or green beans. Almost reminds me of a Fat Tire that sat in the sun too long. Not really my thing, but not god-awful either. Besides that, a little toasted grain, spice, and some booze. Palate is, unfortunately, not much different. Wanted something that tasted dark and spicy and instead I got beans, peas, nuts, and a bitterness that does little to balance or entice. It’s still not awful, and I’m sure it’ll grow on me at least a little once I tease out some subtleties. Ah yes, booze, and — as advertised — pine (spruce tips). Yeah, those are there behind the vegetal nuttiness. As are toffee, and some soily, peppery spices that the label tells me are Grains of Paradise (in over a year of searching, I’ve not seen these for sale anywhere besides online, what gives?), but also perhaps some hops. Oh, and anise or caraway in the finish. Those would be good in a beer with either more sweetness to it or more toasted bread character. Some pepper besides the Grains of Paradise on the finish. Ok, so the flavor is better than the smell if you pay close enough attention. Medium-bodied, tingly and velvety to almost nitrous effervescence. Not as warm as expected, it’s well hidden amidst the vegetable flavors and spices. I really hated to be critical of this, and it’s not nasty, but it’s nowhere near as exciting as everything the label suggests. The imperial nature of this beer is too easy to ignore, the spices aren’t that great and do little to balance the beer from its overly vegetal nature. Above average points for appearance and mouthfeel, but I have to dock everything else for how similar to a warm Fat Tire it is. I love New Belgium, and much they have to offer, whether standbys or exclusives, but Fat Tire, though drinkable, and even enjoyable when chilled like a lager, has always been a lousy flagship in my estimation. In fairness, that brewery is not the only one that shoves the same mediocre beer down my throat whenever I purchase a sampler 12-pack. I can certainly name names, I’m sure you know some of whom I’m referring to. Ok, I got off on a tangent, but it was much needed. This isn’t the one beer from NB that I could have gone off like this on, but it happens to be one I had much higher expectations for, given how amazing other collaborative efforts and the rest of the Lips of Faith series were. Not to mention the style itself.

 2,734 characters

Photo of Dsimenson
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Draft poured into a New Belgium goblet.
A: medium brown and clear, tan head that fades to thick and tenacious lacing
S: prunes, malt, a bit of hay, a hint of the alcohol
T: malt, hops that seem a bit herbal rather than citrus, blackberries and prunes, a bit of pine or maybe mahogany, alcohol, mildly sweet, very well-balanced, rich and complex
M: smooth, creamy, medium thick
O: outstanding, incredible, just erased all the tension from driving for the last ten hours, an exceptional experience

 495 characters

Photo of Metalsnota
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of craigbelly
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This has an almost layered like approach much like a quad. Tastes nothing like a quad mind you, I just feel it drinks like one. Taste here is leathery, peppery, zesty. Finishes with a nice even mouth feel.

 205 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bwarren82
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like old leather, but in a good way. Very interesting way.

59 characters

Photo of Shanex
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured the 12oz bottle into a teku glass

It's a very good herb beer, would recommend. A tad pricey, yet worth it

It was my first at New Belgium and not disappointed. Long live American CRAFT! Cheers

 202 characters

Photo of Shade1951
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark amber color - little head to speak of. As for smell, maybe it's just me, but I smell almost nothing. Well, at least there's nothing weird or offensive.

The flavor is quite good, though. I get maybe figs, dark fruit, a bit of spice. Alcohol doesn't overwhelm. Good carbonation, medium body.

I wouldn't go out of my way to find this again - but I would definitely pick up a bottle or two if I came across it.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very pretty ruby color with some blushing rosy highlights when held to the light. Head is a slim ring but a welcome sight.

Aroma is mostly stiff alcohol with some hints of prunes, oak, and aromatic dark malts.

Flavor is a touch too woody for me, with some washed out grape sucker and prune juice. Some metallic notes and hot alcohol burn follow.

Feel is hot and boozy, very carbonated, with a balanced dry-buzzing finish.

Overall, it's not great, but worth trying if you're really that curious. For me it's like sucking a grape sucker that's been rolled in wood chips and left in a still.

 596 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sisterofba
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 109 ratings