Eric's Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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697 Ratings
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Eric's AleEric's Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
50/50 blend of fresh strong golden lager and three year wild beer. Peaches added then re-pitched with lager yeast using the fructose for the final fermentation.

Lips Of Faith #3

Added by Floydster on 05-04-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
697
Reviews:
270
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
9.61%
 
 
Wants:
214
Gots:
113
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 697 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of Sammy
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Texasfan549
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City, CA.

A - Pours a clear apple juice color with a 1/2 inch head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this beer.

S - Smells quite simply of sour, tart fruits.

T - Sours cherries/peaches and a subdued vinegar/acid essence.

M - Very carbonated with a dry finish.

D - Very, very good and very, very refreshing. I am glad I got to try this one on tap.

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Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i have been waiting for this beer forever. they finally released it again, stoked! not cheap either. i was a little disappointed with the lack of head and of carbonation more generally, it needs a little life, but thats my only real critique of this otherwise exceptional beer from new belgium. i also did not know it was a lager blended in, thats pretty neat, although being a higher gravity one, its hard to really pick up much lager yeast elements in this brew. opaque orange in color, rusty around the edges, with some patchy airy bubbles around the edges and a mouthwatering nose of sweet peaches and lacto. the first thing i thought when i tasted it, was that it seemed more like a peach beer, brewed with peaches, and sour fermented. it seemed more integrated than a beer brewed as a blonde or something, and aged in oak with bugs and fruit. it seems like a peach ale first, although from the brief description here, it seems like that isnt true, just what i got from it i guess. the peach is sweet and not as authentic tasting as some others out there, but its not phony either, just more of the sugars remain i suppose. the wild side of this is crazy, super sour but with all the body and sugar, the acidity is balanced really well. sort of a richer fruit sour, not thin and fizzy and vinegar forward like so many. i was really impressed by this on the whole, its super layered and nuanced, but the residual sugar is a little high for me, and the relative lack of carbonation is a real issue. still, this has to stand as one of the best new belgium beers ive had, i know its a process to produce, and im so glad to have it around again. i had it on tap at park burger in rino, but i am going to pick up a bottle too, that should possibly help carbonation issues.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of nmann08
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good thirst quenching Sour that is sort of a mixed breed between a La Folie light and a more characterful Fat Tire.

The pour gives a color of golden, straw, and light amber in a very clear light. Slight on head formation, retention, or lacing, for these are not what Sours are best known. Steady streams of carbonation actively rose from the bottom of the glass ensuring at least intermitten islands of lace.

A nice blend of pilsner (bready) malts are countered with a quick tart cherry aroma. Lightly vinous and wine-like, the smell makes me break out in a light sweat. Back up notes of cider, vinegar, and must gives an earthy, acidic, and fruity impression.

Flavors are decidedly more tart than the aroma. Sour cherries, crab apples, limes, and under-rippened berries fuel a complex and aggressive taste. Right behind the 'Wild' character lies a modest malt pillow that cushions the blow of the sourness from allowing a complete assault on the taste buds. Light caramels and breads temper the beer just enough to provide mild creaminess and sweetness.

The malt creaminess is felt very early and very late in the finish. Otherwise, the acidic and astringent character of the beer dominate the mouthfeel. Still, very palate cleansing, thirst quenching, and refreshing beer.

On this particularly 94 degree day in Nashville TN, the beer hits home while walking the Broadway strip and trying to avoid the heat. This beer did very well.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Brown glass. 1 pint 6 fl oz. Branded red pry-off crown cap. Fancy screen-print label art. 2015 vintage. Best before April 2, 2017.

Served chilled into a tulip. Expectations are quite high given the deliciousness of New Belgium's Le Terroir and La Folie.

HEAD: ~2 inches wide. Fluffy and white. Good adequately thick consistency, good complexion. Retention is above average - ~4 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Vibrant gold. Clean; no yeast is visible within. Appears well-carbonated.

It's a nice looking sour ale. I'm eager to try it.

AROMA: It does smell a bit off, actually - hinting at vomit. Hm. Peach, pear, acid, pilsner malt, lime, sour apple, and lactobacillus bacteria. I don't pick up on any lambicus yeast(s), and the bacterial sourness seems somewhat one-dimensional. Sourness seems disappointingly tame...maybe 3/10 in terms of intensity?

Suggests an imbalanced but enjoyable sour ale that lacks the complexity of, say, La Folie.

Not boozy.

TASTE: The sourness is indeed disappointingly reticent and downplayed, coming in at a 3-4/10 in terms of intensity of flavour. The peach is nice, ringing distinct and vivid, but the depth of flavour just isn't there; this doesn't burst with fresh orchard peach fruit like it ought to. Additionally, it almost hints at marmalade or peach jam - playing it sweet when it should play it sour. Hints of other fruits come into play throughout: sour green apple, lime, cider, maybe even pear. The malt backbone is clean and light, comprised of pilsner/golden malts. Lactobacillus seems to provide the entirety of the sourness; neither pedio nor lambicus yeast make appearances.

It does slightly remind me a bit of vomit; I'm not sure if that's just the acidity combined with some kind of off-note. The beer is not as off-putting as that descriptor makes it sound, and it really is quite faint - but it's there.

Not particularly well-balanced. This lacks the intricacy and depth of flavour of superior sour ales (like New Belgium's own La Folie), but it's pleasant enough for what it is. I hoped for a more tart peach presence.

As a blend, it tastes quite young. Using older constituent sours would obviously help curb this, but maybe the heavy reliance on pilsner malts is also doing the beer a disservice.

Ale esters are strangely absent. Oddly, there's zero wood/barrel presence whatsoever. No acetic notes, no unifying oak, no wine. I'd like to see New Belgium ditch the foeders in favour of barrels, and give this more time in wood.

TEXTURE: Acidic. Somewhat refreshing. Smooth, wet, light. Not as smacky as most bacterial sours are. It doesn't induce puckering.

Decently executed, but not quite there. Not boozy, astringent, gushed, or hot or anything, but lackluster.

OVERALL: This entry into the Lips of Faith series is better than most of its brethren, but never quite rises to the high quality seen in La Folie or Le Terroir. Pricey by Lips of Faith standards, to boot. It's enjoyable and I'm glad I tried it once, but I wouldn't purchase a second bottle. More sourness, more wood presence (i.e. any wood presence), and deeper peach notes would really improve this. Basically, if you're going to brew a fruited sour, I recommend going big on the fruit and huge on the sourness. This, unfortunately, does neither.

If anything, this has me curious to try the older constituent sour used in the blend. As-is, the blend hardly seems harmonious; indeed, it even seems diluted. Discerning drinkers familiar with New Belgium's other sours will find this ultimately to be quite a let-down, but generally speaking it's well above average.

Low B- (3.28)

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear "peach" color and a nice head that, though it faded quickly, left a copious amount of lace

Smell: Peach cider, tart stone fruit with sweet undertones and vanilla

Taste: After a brief sweet peach appearance, the tartness appears quickly and provides a nice blend of peach flavors that exaggerate but exemplify the fruit itself; the flavor profile never reaches the sour apogee of some other beers of the style as the sweetness harnesses the sour tendencies and provides a nice blend through the finish, where a hint of the vanilla (peaches and cream) appears

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: With its balanced flavor profile, this is very easy to drink; highly recommended

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Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emerge077
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

7/23/15
5 years later, something still seems missing.
Tastes more like La Folie with the same weird grape jelly note, and peach jelly instead of fresh peaches. Odd aftertaste, just sort of bland. For the new price of $15 you'd expect some complexity but it's just not there, sadly. Wonder what happened to this, it seems that it's been neutered.

4/19/10: 4.22
First time seeing the bottles, this one was served up at Four Moon Tavern. Had this on draft last week at Map Room, so i've got a good frame of reference for draft vs. bottle.

Poured into a New Belgium globe, there was a steady pillar of carbonation visible in the center, similar to the Duvel tulip. Bright orange, with a gentle broken skim on top, and wavy drips of lace all around.

Aroma was more toned down from the tap version, but sweeter and peachy from the juice in here, very fruity vs. being more sharp and acetic on draft. Just the barest whiff of barrel funk, just enough I guess for a broader audience...

Flavor has been sweetened slightly, peach figures big, sweet and natural with a tart lactic snap behind that. Light and airy, very spring/summery. Not as sour as the draft version, but not a complete loss for sour heads. This is very reminiscent in feel to New Glarus Cranbic. Soft and fruity with just enough tartness to qualify as sour.

Something seems missing though, which is a trend in the Lips of Faith bottle series... maybe the pasteurization/filtering has something to do with it? This has been the most impressive though, after La Folie.

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Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LXIXME
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Stone, double-fisted alongside Le Terroir. This was the better beer of the two, for my tastes.

Golden-amber in color with a light haze. High carbonation feeds a thick, creamy white head that never dissipates. Rings of lace cling to the glass as it empties. The aroma reminds me of cutting into a tart peach. There's some lactic sourness beneath the fruit, and a hint of cream. No funk whatsoever, this is a very simple, clean sour. The taste is fruity and mildly sour, with a big tart peach flavor. Crisp, light, simple. Sourness is lactic, without any of New Belgium's usual acetic intensity. The finish is tart, refreshing, and moderately dry. Very quaffable stuff.

 677 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, bottled on 6/4/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep golden yellow color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of lightly tart lemon, peach, apricot, green apple, pear, hay, straw, grass, honey, wheat, cracker, oak, light white wine vinegar/funk, light vanilla, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, peaches, oak barrel, and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of lightly tart lemon, peach, apricot, green apple, pear, hay, straw, grass, honey, wheat, cracker, oak, light white wine vinegar/funk, light vanilla, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/acidic tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, peach, apricot, green apple, pear, hay, straw, grass, honey, wheat, cracker, light vinegar/funk, light vanilla, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, peaches, oak barrel, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/fruit/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice blended fruit sour ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, peaches, oak barrel, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink with the lighter amount of acidity. This would be a great introduction sour for those that have not had one before; and is a very enjoyable offering for me as well.

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Eric's Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 697 ratings.
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