Lips Of Faith - Dark Kriek
New Belgium Brewing

Lips Of Faith - Dark KriekLips Of Faith - Dark Kriek
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American Wild Ale
3.65 | pDev: 14.79%
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Lips Of Faith - Dark KriekLips Of Faith - Dark Kriek
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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 113
Photo of JAXSON
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 rate.

Bottle. Pours a clear dark cherry red with a frothy head. Nose is sweet and sour, red berries, faded hops, slightly medicinal. Collage of sweet and sour dominates this, which I like, but there's a little too much sweet and the cherry flavor is a bit strange. I can't stand the slightest bit of medicinal cherry flavor in a beer, this borders on it. Not bad, just alright, not really my thing.

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Photo of katan
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz into a glass. going to the cellar for one.

A - Pours a deep dark brown color with some amber highlights. Strong head formation, brownish in color - quickly breaks down to a film. Appears lightly carbonated.

S - Combination of fruits and yeast. I get quite a bit of cherry and other fresh fruits, but then it is balanced by a very earthy brett and wild yeast. Tobacco, leather come to mind.

T - Starts off lightly malty, brown ale like with some crystal malts. The brett yeast comes in big time, very wild, very earthy - deep. The cherries and the sewetness come in later, bringing the beer back into balance. Finishes with a strong sour fruit flavor and just a hint of wood tannins.

M - Moderate body, strong carbonation. Very well built for a beer of this style. Let the yeast run. Finishes somewhat cloying and sweet, but right on the center of the tongue the brett yeast brings some bitter balance.

D - A very complex ale - I can only see drinking one of them. But the flavors are so unique that in itself is very drinkable. ABV will sneak up on you. Can be filling, but thats okay for a slow sipper like this one.

A very unique beer. I enjoyed every bit of it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success."

--Henry David Thoreau

Brownish russet red with orange accents along the edges of the glass. The golden beige colored crown started out looking good, but doesn't develop much visual character as it melts. Nor is it sticky enough to lay down more than a single sudsy necklace of lace. Pretty typical for a (partially in this case) barrel-aged beer.

Dark Kriek is 35% 'light, dry, tannic beer' aged two years in oak barrels, and 65% dark ale brewed with sour cherries. The aroma has a wonderful earthy cherry quality that is remiscent of the dried fruit. The darker malts aren't appreciated and the oak adds yet another layer of depth and complexity.

Sour cherries dominate the flavor profile. They taste 100% natural and the amount and quality of the fruit flavor is right on the money. Sweetness and sourness are both fairly prominent, balance one another nicely, and should please both the sweet lambic lovers and the tart lambic lovers... or neither if they're picky.

This Lips Of Faith brew does taste 'dark' in some indefinable way, although it's much more black cherry dark than roasted or chocolate malt dark. Horse blanket funkitude is minimal (if it's present at all), which makes me think that American wild ale is the wrong style. Finally, alcohol is buried exceptionally well.

It's difficult to tell what sort of mouthfeel beer like this should have. The one that has been provided is at least medium for the ABV, has a pleasant hang-on from the fruit sugars, and has nicely buried bubbles that give exactly the right amount of lift and creaminess. Well done.

Dark Kriek is the second delicious and drinkable Lips Of Faith beer to have entered my glass. New Belgium has done an admirable job of blending the two component beers, which is the secret to this fine ale's success. Here's hoping it isn't really retired.

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Photo of boomer31
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep copper/red with a tan head

S - Light acidic nose and big cherry with a touch of lemon zest

T - Very malt forward, cherry then a touch of tart sourness. The cherry is fantastic. A hint of sweetness from the malt melds great with the sourness

M - Rich mouthfeel, odd for the style. Highly carbed

D - Not very sour, great balance of malt and sourness.

Overall this is not what I was expecting. I figured this would be more sour with only a hint of cherry...quite the opposite.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark mahogany color, with a smallish light brown head. Somewhat tart on the nose, with cherry juice, dark raisins, oak and red wine vinegar. On the palate, this one is noticeably tart, with red wine, vanilla and dark cherries. Nothing special here, but a decent beer.

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Photo of artcurtis
2.77/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Great Divide Tulip.
A: Lives up to its name. Very dark, almost black until held up to light. Backlighting reveals very clear, deep red. Very thin tan head dissipates to a ring almost immediately.
S: Not alot on the nose. Really quite bland. I was hoping for cherries to pop, but I'm getting nothing on that front. Definitely some sour notes, but not much else.
T: Should have added more cherries, they are pretty much invisible. A bit of a tart sourness, but really disappointing. The oak comes through on the back.
M: Mouthfeel is pretty much what I expected. Bubbly and thin.
D: Pretty drinkable, but not really any reason to do so. A fairly bland beer. Not bad, just bland, certainly not good enough to justify the $10 price point. The beer is now retired, so maybe it hasn't aged well and was better when fresh, but overall, not a great showing. Just a bland one.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle on 12/26/09.

A - pours a deep dark chestnut brown with only a little bit of tiny bubbles on the surface

S - dark cherry aroma and hints of woodiness

T - sour cherry flavor, slightly vinegar, the oak comes through in the finish with hints of vanilla

M - smooth, good carbonation, thin to medium bodied

D - good flavor, nice to drink, not as flavorful as I was hoping, cherries are more subdued than expected.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Who turned out the lights? Pours a darker amber color with brown hues through out. A soft off white head with limited retention and next to no lacing at all. Not much for retention either.

The nose is limited overall but some malt and cherry blend is there. The malt has a more generic backing with some light acidity behind it. The cherry reminds me more of a juice like aroma. There are some extra kickers though. A noticeable vanilla twinge and notice yeast character. Some phenolics, light plum and a touch of horse.

The taste is similar. Limited malt, limited funk and limited cherry notes. To start the malt does come out with a bit more character than the nose. Some melanodian notes with some caramel. The cherry bring a light tartness and the cherry is distinguishable, but not really there for a fruit beer. The sourness is limited and would like a bit more tartness. A bit clean in the yeast, no real lactic or sourness. Overall, if you call it a Kriek you need the funk.

The body is moderate to light. Drinkability is easy but not really a kriek. Carbonation is light as well. A easy mostly clean beer but expecting something different here.

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Photo of pwoody11
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

3rd cherry beer of the night. Enjoyed this one while watching the Flyers take down the Devils in game 3.

Russet colored appearance. Creamy white head without much hang-time.

Aroma is mostly of tart cherry with a decent malt backbone.

Taste is sweet and sour with emphasis on the sweet. Mostly cherry with a little bit of an oaky funk to it.

I got this beer as a gift from my sister on her recent visit from San Diego, so thanks to her. Best cherry themed beer I had tonight. I'll have to see if I can get my sister to send out another!

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, reddish brown color with creamy, light tan foam that clung to the glass. The smelll was sour and tart and fruity (cherries) with some funk and a hint of sweetness. The taste was lightly tart with the flavor of dark, tart cherries, and a bit of funk. There was a light sweetness but not overly or syrupy. There were some barrel-wood flavors, reminiscent of La Folie. The mouthfeel was lightly tart but also slightly sweet; medium body with a soft carbonation feel. Flavors of cherries and earthy notes linger. This was a very pleasant beer; very good, but not as sharp as a Belgian Kriek.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date found. obtained in trade. poured into tulip. tasted in early june 2009.

dark cherry, ruby color. clear, w/ no bottle sediment. (is this force carbonated?) 1-finger of light tan head, fading to a wispy thin layer replenished by the glass etching and with each sip. decent lacing.

aroma: lots of fresh cherries, including the skins. some hints of caramel to the acidity (notes of balsamic, malt, and red wine vinegars). hints of hay and just the slightest hints of barn funkiness and a trace of possible oak aging.

taste: tart but fruity, with fresh, sweet, ripe cherries prominent. light vinegar notes to the mild to moderate acidity. subtle wood or oak w/ reminiscences of red wine. trace of farmhouse character. hay-like notes to the hops, with faint bitterness. ever so slightly watery overall tho.

light to medium body with moments of wateriness, but with lightly acidic and astringent notes too. carbonation is moderate and almost fizzy, but fluffy at times.

not as bad as some reviewers seem to think. a bit sweet for the style, but could work as a gateway to sour beers.

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Photo of jampics2
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Paul and Angelyn. Thanks, guys, nice of you to share :)

Dark brown with reddish highlights. Looks like a nice beer.

Smell is OK, cherries, wood, and malt. Nothing too extreme but smells promising.

Taste is tart then sweet. Cherries then vanilla then clean malt. It just doesn't come together as well as I think it should. I think the sweetness is throwing me off.

Mouthfeel was average and drinkability was decent. Overall, I just felt this beer lacked an identity, so it was hard to judge against a style. But it's not *bad*, just seems a little lost. Reminds me of myself when I was 17 and going to raves every weekend :D

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Unibroue Tulip
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This pours a dark amber color with a slight ruby tint to it. The one-finger head of loose foam is tan colored and has a light pink-ish cast to it. Retention is okay and the lacing is thick, but kind of slippery.

I get oak and cherries. Both of which are pretty much 'in your face' scents. These are barely covering a nice barnyard kind of funk. I also get a light touch of yeastiness.

Okay, this is like a 'beginner' sour, I guess. There is a light cherry tartness here, which is nice, but much less than was anticipated. It does have a nice touch of oakiness, which is welcomed. A light caramel maltiness is down below the surface. The funk, from the nose, is almost non-existant in the taste. It maintains a light yeast presence.
I think that this would benefit from a good nudge in one direction or the other. It's not sweet enough to be a dessert beer, yet it's not really tart enough to truly be a sour, either.

This has a medium body and a mild level of carbonation. This gives it a 'light' feeling. Not really crisp or creamy, but easy drinking.

I could drink this one all night, if I were so inclined. The 8.0%abv is super well hidden, and the taste is nice and smooth. I was hoping for something a slight touch different than this, but it's still good.

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Photo of Vancer
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good looking brew in the mini-snifter. Dark copper with mahogany edges, topped off with an ivory cap. Subtle hints of cherry buried among the malt - duplicated with the taste. Any sour funk or musty blanket is second level, not there with the initial semi-sweet quaff. A very light touch of the cherry throughout
A tasty brew indeed, I could drink this all evening long, the alcohol is not a taste factor. Very glad to have the chance to sample on tap at Pi pizzeria in the east loop.

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Photo of Patrick999
2.31/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Well, it looks how I think a "dark kriek" should look. It's a dark, but not opaque, red-brown. Not an astonishing amount of foam, but there's enough.

S - This isn't terribly impressive in the nose. There's a little vinegar and cherry Jolly Rancher. It's "OK," but pretty generic.

T - I'm sorry, it leaves me flat. My apologies to NB, but it tastes like a generic watery brown ale base with some cherries added. There's some sweet cherry, but I don't find this sweetness a problem at all. The whole package is just dull. Sourness is minor, the sweet/sour don't really play off each other at all. Cookie-like malts come forward as it warms, lending further support to my belief that this is just an ordinary brown ale with some attempted trimmings. 35% ale aged in barrels? I don't really get much barrel-aged character at all, if any. Basically, what I'm left with here is a brown ale with cherry juice, not much more. Kinda lame.

F - Feel is watery and weak. Here, I think bottle-conditioning would have helped.

D - I hate handing out ratings like this, especially to brewers I like, doubly so when the beer wasn't cheap (this one certainly was not). Still, I have to be honest...I like New Belgium, but this beer is a miss. Poor execution, it just seems like a lazy effort to me, a waste of a good idea. As a beer in general, throwing any style consideration or expectation out the window, it's not entirely offensive. I could *finish* the bomber, it doesn't repulse me - but there are too many other beers in my fridge I'd rather drink. Way too many.

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Photo of vacax
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming back to this brew after putting a little age on it. First of the Lips of Faith series to hit shelves in California.

Pours a rich amber color with some crimson to it. Large orange-tan had fizzes up then settles down to a very nice layer that is fairly dense foam which leaves nice lacing. Looking quite delicious here.

The smell is quite toasty with a tart top note, though not much cherry at all present. Smells a bit like marzipan plus a hint of sourness. Not as complicated as a full-fledged wild ale, but nothing wrong at all. Just don't expect a kriek. The taste starts with a very light tartness and an easy fruit sweetness. On the midpalate the tartness persists nicely and blends together with a toasty caramel malt backbone. On the finish the pucker hits its apex and the cherries become very clearly identifiable, a very nice affect.

This is a nice tasting beer, but anyone expecting a kriek would be sorely disappointed. The body is actually quite heavy, giving this a richness for savoring that most purely wild ales do not have. Moderate, fine/smooth carbonation. Not sure how many times I am typing this but this is not a kriek, but a nice malty treat with some tasty sour cherries in the mix. I recommend drinking the bomber by yourself and relax.

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Photo of portia99
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Russian River Belgian glass.

A - Pours a somewhat murky brownish red color with really red highlights when held up to the light. A quick 1/2 finger of loose, off-white head comes and goes leaving a light layer and thick collar around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet and sour, lots of funk, horse blankets, sour cherry aromas. A touch of biscuity malt under the blanket of sour funk.

T - Hmmm, some horse blankety funk, tart cherry with a hint of sweetness (not a good sweetness, almost a saccharine taste - definitely artificial tasting), acetic sourness, lots of woody flavors in the finish. Interesting and complex, but the flavors don't seem to mesh in a cohesive something is missing, but I can't quite place what it is...maybe a little bit more sweet and/or tartness would help.

M - Plenty of carbonation gives this plenty of life, almost a champagne character. Body is pretty light. A bit of tartness, but not quite puckering. A long woody finish, maybe a touch too much - lingers into the aftertaste as everything else disappears.

D - Overall a good beer...a bit too much wood for my tastes. Maybe this would mellow some over time, think this doesn't have much age on it. Otherwise a good entry to the world of wild ales - not overly sour, but a good introduction to the funky and tart flavors. Not bad, but lots of other wilds I prefer over this one.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: This sour brown ale, true to its name, pours deep ruby-tinted brown, with a quickly-vanishing two-finger head that is also a rich burnt-straw-brown mahogany.

S: Overwhelmingly sour nose, with hints of a sweet whiskey background.

T: Pungently sour, the bite engulfs the tongue. The taste bears hints of oaken vanilla from the cask, and give it a dry finish.

M: Sharp, crisp, tangy. High carbonation, but little else to speak of.

D: Low. The sour acidity overwhelms, making more than 8-10 ounces a challenge, much less the entire bomber. Definitely not a session beer.

Maybe I'm just not a sour beer drinker, as this is perhaps a well-crafted beer for its style, but not what I like to experience when tasting a fourteen-dollar bottle of beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not very cherry-like, and not very tart, the Dark Kriek lets me down, especially knowing that New Belgium has an actual Belgian brewer (from Rodenbach?) in house.

And why it's listed here on Beer Advocate as an American Wild and not an Oud Bruin, I don't know, but...

The appearance is good. Not great. Some more lacing would be nice, but OK, I think it's on par.

The aroma offers a combination of wood (oak), delicate fruit, and caramelish and cocoa-like malt with just a thin sliver of tartness.

In the flavor, however, all of what the aroma offers up is opened up. It becomes almost another beast! It's wider and fuller. There's more oak flavor and dryness; and lots of dark fruit that includes raisin, date, plum, and fig as well as cherry. A firm bitterness balances it from below, and the acidity balances it. It finishes dry and invigorating with a swirl of dark fruit!

As to drinkability, I find it quite accesible, even for the uninitiated. Nicely done!

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Photo of KCHopHead
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Thin head if any. No lacing. Dark burgandy. Neat color.
S - I could smell the cherry and sourness 2 feet from my nose once the pour started going.
T - Not a big sour fan. American Wild Ale has a broad category and this falls in line with the sours. Very very tart with cherry. Maybe some woodiness if you look hard for it. The picture on the bottle does the beer justice with the little red sperm looking things.
M - It feels like an explosion of sourness. Probably the most carbonated beer I've had up front.
D - Luckily I have this cigar I just lit to get me through the 8% abv bottle.

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Photo of corby112
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark copper/ruby red color with dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off white head that immediately fades into a thin ring.

Slightly sour aroma with lactic notes and earthy oak presence. Just a hint of vanilla with a healthy dose of dark cherries and artificial syrupy cherry juice.

Slightly puckering but not nearly tart enough with a medium dry mouthfeell and lots of artificial syrupy sweetness. Slightly earthy from oak aging and a touch of vanilla.

The flavor is actually more sour/funky than the aroma would lead youto believe but still =very mild and nowhere near sour/puckering enough. Oak and vanilla notes acoompany the lactic sourness up front but they are quickly overpowered by the cloyingly sweet cherry and syrupy sweet artificial juice flavors. Slightly dry finish.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown/dark amber with just a thin head that settles to a ring. Good clarity. My bottle smells quite tart and not all that sweet with some lactic notes, tart cherries, some brown ale notes of dark grain and lightly toasted malt, and a touch of wood. I wouldn't say this is all that sweet, like many other reviewers have, its just that the sourness is not very sharp and so some of the more brown ale notes are played up. The cherries are mostly tart, but there is some dark cherry sweetness floating around as well. A hint of wood and even the barest touch of barnyard rounds it out. Strangely, this beer seemed more sour and more interesting right when I opened it up. As it aerates and warms it becomes flatter in taste, less exuberantly fruity, and less sour. Very gentle for the style in the mouth. Overall I liked this beer, but it lacks some punch and complexity to rise to a great kriek. Still, this was quite pleasant.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep dark brown with cherry highlights and a tan head

caramel malt, cherries, slight oakiness, and a sour yeasty undertone

malty, slightly sweet with some dry tartness, not really fruity and very woody. the sourness is kinda there but the overlying malt drowns out the sourness

medium bodied with a good layer of sour notes upfront, but falling off very quickly giving way to a considerable oaky malt layer to a semi sweet finish

i think it was past its prime, the woodiness of the malt or herbal undertones outshone the sourness that I was looking for. really not much going on at this point

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Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz silk screened bomber into a Duvel tulip. No dating info. Was a rich ruby color with a carb fount in the center from the etching. Quick sliding lace. It had a small beige head that quickly dissipated into a thin collar and center foam.

The initial aroma was rather subdued. Mainly oak from the wood aging with sweet malt and cherry. The cherry wasn't as pronounced at first but started to come thru as it warmed. I like a good sour cherry aroma and wished that this one popped more. The taste was good but again lacking in cherry tartness. Got a lot of the sweet and then a little sour at the end but nowhere near what others described. Not bad but not stellar either. Mouthfeel was hurt by lack of tart pop.

Overall, a good but not great beer. Could easily finish it but was disappointed in the lack of flavor. Mild recommend if you can easily get. For me, one and done unless I get one for free or at least try on tap.


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Photo of magictrokini
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sour cherry and yeast bomb. Poured hazy red-orange with a solid white head, good retention. Moderate lacing. Sour cherry nose with a shovelful of funky yeast. Graham-cracker pie crust as well. Taste was puckering sour. Cherries, no sweetness, and more cherries. The funky yeast lies in the background until the finish when it comes out in a buttery, cheesy way. The cherry and yeast drowned out any subtle spice or the citrus/lemon flavors that may have been there. Carbonated mouthfeel enhanced the sour, but the finish was shorter than expected. Finished the bomber, but there are easier drinking beers out there.

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Lips Of Faith - Dark Kriek from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 113 ratings