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

Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark AleLips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale
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Herb and Spice Beer
3.89 | pDev: 10.28%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark AleLips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 113 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Keepnitrl:
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Keepnitrl from Washington

4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 12, 2017
More User Reviews:
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Aug 05, 2017
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Poured out a very dark amber color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of spruce, pine, spices and roasted malt. Tasted of spruce/pine with toasted caramel and maltiness.

Jan 07, 2017
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nickfl from Florida

3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Mar 03, 2017
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NickMunford from Wyoming

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 03, 2016
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dec 30, 2016
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rangerred from Tennessee

4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Mar 11, 2017
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle - this is apparently a collaboration between New Belgium's brewmaster, and his peer (one Anne-Françoise) at Orval, a member of the Belgian Trappist brewery association. Made with spruce tips and grains of paradise, and aged on oak spirals - how very homebrew-like!

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and creamy beige head, which leaves some eroding limestone wall face lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, edgy Belgian yeast, ephemeral citrus zest, exotic black and mixed-race peppercorn, hard to pin down sprucey Christmas tree notes (although they're usually fir around here, but close enough), further muddled Yuletide spices, and a minor sense of alcohol heat unrequited. The taste is grainy and doughy caramel malt, a touch of biscuity toffee sweetness, subtle verdant spruce tip astringencies, a laid-back Low Countries yeastiness, still plain citrus peel essences, a robust table-top pepper mill output, and some understated leafy, weedy, and mildly perfumed floral green hop bitterness.

The bubbles are fairly low-key in their mopey frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and actually quite smooth, with a wee aerosol creaminess creeping in as things warm up a bit. It finishes on the sweet side, but moderated well enough by forest floor detritus and blended seasonal spice alike.

Overall, this is a well-made, strong flavoured ale, the spruce and somewhat esoteric spiciness making for a nice holiday-adjacent tipple, especially given the duly integrated alcohol measure - either it will hit you first, or your one of your relations will!

Nov 21, 2016
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Tilley4 from Tennessee

2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not really sure what to expect here.... brewed with spruce tips and grains of paradise and aged on oak spirals..... sounds interesting enough....

Definitely a Belgian type yeast aroma to this.... Not really getting any of the spruce influence here, at least in the aromas... actually fairly non descript... sort of middle of the road here... no booze at least....

The ABV doesn't seem to be present in the aroma but its certainly present in the flavors... boozy and yeasty right up front... still no spruce present... I'm getting the grains of paradise and I'm not a fan... they add an earthy element to this that doesn't really do it any favors... I'm getting every bit of that 9.5% as each sip brings waves of the booze and yeast... this is a strange beer... all that heat really kills this one for me...

I am hit or miss on quite a few of these collaborations and this one is a swing and a miss for me... others may get it and enjoy it much more... as is, I'm not a fan... I will finish the rest and hopefully I will come around on this but as for now.... I am very underwhelmed...

This sounded like something I might like and I may warm up to it as I finish the rest off...

Nov 19, 2016
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The dark reddish amber beer pours out into a Snifter glass with a 1/4” light tan head that soon recedes leaving only a ring around the glass and a thin film and several irregular peaks of foam on the surface. By about half way through the beer the sides of the glass have lots of clinging small speckles and there is only a single thin, irregular island of foam. Sipping creates scattered patches and small legs of lacing along with an arch of lacing.

The aromas include a complex mixture of spruce tinged with what seems to be cherry and citrus. There’s also some woodiness, a bit of peppery spice and some light earthy notes.

Some of the flavors are as expected from the nose. There is a rich malt base with its touch of sweetness. There are also some spruce, cherry notes and earthy notes. There’s a noticeable hint of citrus, and some touches of woody, peppery and spicy character.

The mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth with the light but persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the sweetness, the spruce tinged with cherry and the citrus fade, leaving behind the woody, peppery, spicy notes to fade into a dry and slightly bitter, earthy ending that also has a degree of peppery warmth.

Overall this is an interesting beer with a great deal of complexity and unfamiliar flavor combinations. I'd like to try it again sometime so as to be able to spend more time sorting things out. That said it's not a beer I'd choose to add to my rotation and I suspect that I'd not be going out of my way to look for more if they were to brew it again.

Mar 20, 2017
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Proteus93 from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was one of a few beers picked up at Craft Beer Nation in Red Deer, AB. It was listed as having a best before date of May 28, 2017, making this a little over a year beyond its intended date. With that full disclosure aside, writing this will take that into consideration and make an assumption that it has aging potential.

A: Pours a deep amber, quite hazy--this could possibly be chill haze, but it's tough to say for certain. Head is a couple centimeters, though retention is strong and it leaves some sticky lace lattice around the edges, even before consumption.

S + T: The aroma here is quite complex and I would imagine that, given the age of the beer, much of the hop profile has faded. It doesn't seem to do any harm, however, and I note an interesting 'wintergreen' scent--almost minty. There are some fruity notes--something a little citrusy in there. Additionally, some soft malts blend in the background. The flavor is quite similar, especially the subtle, minty flavours. There's a peppery note that gives it a hint of spiciness.

M + O: The body is a little light, and carbonation adds a peppy zip. It does manage to leave a bit of a lingering taste on the tail end that I find quite pleasant. It's a pretty nice blend, and the added age doesn't appear to have a negative effect on the beer--it has likely mellowed out and allowed some of the more subtle flavours to come out.

Jul 08, 2018
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at WoB in Florida.
Clear dark reddish brown body. Very good tan head. Excellent lacing.
Aroma: remarkably good balance of grain, fruit and light spice notes.
Flavor: sweet, but not overly so, and lightly fruity. Delicious. Hints of dates, cinnamon, chocolate.
Feel: exceptionally smooth, full body with good carbonation.
Overall: unique and definitely recommended.

Feb 22, 2017
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jabergess from Tennessee

3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had in a 10 oz tulip glass on draft at Old Chicago
Look - Medium brown, smallish head that disappeared quickly
Smell - I hate this question because beer is served too cold to adequately answer this for darker beers until they warm up. Once warmed up I would say mostly caramel notes.
Taste - Initially the same as the smell - with some spice notes. Nothing really stands out.
It is 9.5%. I think it hides this pretty well. There is nothing particularly standoutish about this beer yet it is easy to drink and pretty good.

Jan 07, 2017
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ckollias from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jun 12, 2017
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ClavisAurea from New York

3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle served cold in a tulip glass.

Appearance: classy label, poured a deep orange mahogany with a fair amount of sediment in the glass. Nice creamy head.

Nose: yeast, oranges, bready malts, light oak, raisins, slight bitter smell

Taste: bready, yeast, oranges, slight hop resin, well balanced, medium plus carbonation, honey, slight bitterness or astringency

Overall: not a bad beer but nothing of a standout.

Dec 08, 2016
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a schooner, this beer has a thin-to-medium soapy, ivory head, a semi-clear, brown, bubbly appearance, with powdery sediment, throughout, and good lacing left behind. The aroma is of fairly strong brown bread crust and, perhaps, cherry juice? Taste is of spiced brown bread, currants, red cherry, spices, relatively low bitterness, and a touch of vanilla. Chocolate? Maybe, chocolate powder. Mouthfeel is low medium, and New Belgium/Orval Spiced Imperial Dark Ale finishes mostly dry and not boozy. But, you'll feel it, even if you don't taste it.


Jan 26, 2017
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dec 10, 2016
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TonyLema1 from South Carolina

3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: reddish brown, frothy head with great lacing
S: oak and Belgian yeast
T: oak, chocolate, spices
F: boozy, oaky, good mouthfeel
O: I really enjoy this beer, highly recommend

Feb 10, 2017
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DangerDawg from Ohio

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nov 27, 2016
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atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 14, 2017
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brauseboof from South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aug 08, 2017
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GRG1313 from California

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

May 03, 2017
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fx20736 from New York

4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

decent spiced ale

Jan 11, 2017
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atr2605 from New York

3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a deep reddish amber with an off white head with decent retention and some lacing
S-cinnamon, clove, caramel, dark fruit, yeasty
T-lots of dark fruit, biscuit, and more spices in the finish
M-medium bodied and smooth
O-Worth trying but definitely would not seek out again

Jan 03, 2017
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Dsimenson from California

4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
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

Jul 25, 2017
Lips of Faith: Anne-Françoise Spiced Imperial Dark Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 113 ratings