Lips Of Faith - Transatlantique Kriek (Boon) | New Belgium Brewing

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Lips Of Faith - Transatlantique Kriek (Boon)Lips Of Faith - Transatlantique Kriek (Boon)

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Lambic - Fruit

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Brewerij Boon of Belgium have partnered together again to create Transatlantique Kriek - a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries.

This authentic kriek beer began life in the oaken vessels at Frank Boon's brewery in the Lembeek region of Belgium. After more than two years aging, Boon's offering shipped across the Atlantic and found its way to the intuitive palate of New Belgium's Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert. After much sampling and internal consultation, Peter and his brew staff created a full-bodied golden lager to round out the light-bodied kriek.

The cherry nose gives way to a pleasingly sour flash across the palate that rolls gently into a slightly sweet finish. Crisp, effervescent carbonation keeps the mouthfeel bright and delightfully tingly.

Added by Oxymoron on 07-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 815
Photo of brewcrew76
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear berry reddish, pink with 1 finger of pink head and spotty lacing.

S - Musty, light medicinal cherry and raspberry. Hint of oak.

T - Tart cherry juice, maybe even a touch syrupy. Graham crackers with some sweetness. Pilsner malt graininess with some fruity lager characters that tend to take away from the tart cherry. Maybe a higher lambic ratio would have helped?

M - medium body with little carbonation and a sweet mouthfeel that turns to a lingering dryness.

D - A bit of a mess in my opinion. Not bad but I expected much more after having tried many NB sours at various festivals. More lambic is needed in my opinion.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle a dark red color with a couple fingers of white head that boil away to a bit of scum after a minute or so. Looks a lot like red KoolAid at this point. Smell is enticing: aged cheese, dusty earth, and sour apple and cherry.

After a really promising aroma, the taste just doesn't follow through. Sour, mouth-puckering cherry dominates the sip, but the flavor doesn't advance beyond that, making the beer one-dimensional. Mouthfeel is pretty thin and wine-like, and after the initial sour effect, the body and finish falls a little flat. One good thing I can say is that the beer doesn't taste a bit boozy for all its 8%.

I don't think Transatlantic Kriek is a bad beer, exactly. For the ridiculous price, however, I expected so much more. I'll be more wary of the Lips of Faith series in the future.

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Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle for $12 at Liquor World in Fayetteville, AR. Poured a bright pink-red with a short off-white head. I dont know what kind of problem most people are having with this beer, but I though it was pretty good - a sort of middle ground between the sweet, thick Lindeman's Kriek and the super funky Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek. There's a good portion of juicy cherries, but there's also a nice balance of mellow earthy, barnyard aroma and flavor. Most krieks seem to fall on one end of the sweet-wild spectrum, but this is a delicious compromise.

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Photo of Overlord
1.67/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours kind of a ruddy ... well, it's a bit of a reddish ... err ... yeah, it's pink. Maybe a shot of cranberry in there. Tight, pinkish white foam that died down to a thin film/crust in a few minutes.

Smells like ... kind of medicinal cherries, actually. Not much vinegar, zest, citrus, funk, what have you in the aroma. This is a lambic? Ugh. I am less than whelmed.

Taste awful. Mildly tart, but still slightly medicinal cherry, the barest, barest hint of soury/acidic twang ... it's pretty lacking, really. Just an awful herbal/medicinal/parkay flavoring to it.

Nicely carbonated.

Palate wearying, and would never touch again with a ten foot pole.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber into a Great Divide tulip.

Transatlantique pours an unsightly Kool-Aid purple & rose hue. Lots of clarity to the body, as above the lavender-pink head quickly retreats to a thin ring of tiny bubbles. Largely vegetal aroma, with traces of black cherry and sour raspberries. Hints of cracker crust, floral arrangements, and tart, but overall the aroma is fairly muted.

Sour, unripened berries on the front of the palate followed by a sharp apple cider and vinegar finish. Flashes of sweetness from toasted crystal malts and cherry pie, but its lost in a messy, boozy sea of tartness. Body is uncomfortably carbonated and thin, pricking the palate in all the wrong places. Even though I'm not a huge sour beer fan, I can distinguish a well-crafted sour from one that's not. Unfortunately for New Belgium, this falls into the latter category. Pass.

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Photo of nickd717
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Whole Foods in Los Altos, shared at a BA tasting.

A - Bright red in color with a light pink head.

S - Aroma is tart cherries, funk, and butter. Butter seems a bit out of place in this beer.

T - Cherries - tart but not as much as other krieks, funk, and buttered popcorn. Yes, buttered popcorn. Not exactly the flavor most brewers aim for in a kriek. Not too bad tasting overall, but that flavor is a little odd.

M - Body medium to light with somewhat fizzy carbonation.

D - Would be pretty high as the palate is fairly nice and the tartness is muted, but the butter really makes this a little weird.

Overall, my girlfriend liked it and I thought it was ok. Everyone else...not so much.

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Photo of vacax
2.99/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from La Bodega. $14.

Pours a lively cherry color with a generous rose head. Waves of bubbles rush to the foam cap from the bottom of the glass, resulting in a high retention. Nice lacing as well.

The first seconds of the nose hints of a traditional Belgian lambic, but that notion is quickly pushed aside by what seems like caramel malts and a pedestrian sort of vegetal earthines, almost like asparagus. Cherry juice is evident, but it gets masked, as do the favorable lambic qualities. It smells like there is a good beer in here that has somehow been afouled.

This essentially tastes like mixing a bottle of Fat Tire with a bottle of Boon Kriek. There isn't much more to be said. Lots of earth and biscuit flavors with an accompanying light tartness with cherry juice. It doesn't know if it wants to be an amber ale with a bit of tart cherry, or if it wants to be a kriek with more body. Instead, it is sort of a mess between the two. Mundane. The mouthfeel is equally confused, medium bodied due to the malty components, but highly carbonated like a light kriek.

The idea behind this beer clearly reveals a passion and international appreciation for the art of brewing, but the execution is sloppy and it seems like a waste of such noble intentions. The Lips of Faith is a premium series with a premium price tag that this beer just does not live up to. Considering New Belgium has been trotting out some exceptional sours, though on an extremely limited basis, this disappoints thoroughly. Looks great, sounds great, tastes thoroughly mediocre. And that's a bad miss.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 22oz bomber with my wife. Poured into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a bright raspberry red with a 1 inch pastel pink head that recedes into just a thin layer resting on the top of the beer leaving just a spackle of lacing all over the glass. The aroma is a bright cherry vinegar with oak, lemon zest, diacetyl and a bit of Belgian candy sugar. The flavor isn't nearly as dynamic as the nose is. All of the flavors are just dull versions of the aroma. Tart cherries, lemon, oak, sacramental wine and sweet apple cider vinegar. Also the butter is a bit more powerful then I would have wanted. My biggest problem with this beer is the finish on the flavor profile is overwhelming sweet. The sweetness on the finish overshadows much of the crisp tartness of the Boon Kriek. The mouthfeel is cakey dry, leaving the palate wanting just a little more. This is a good beer. I love seeing American breweries taking a leap on new styles for them.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This just came to Casper.

It pours a clear and bright cherry red colour with about a finger head's worth of pinkish foam.

The smell is yeasty with some funk and has a light tartness with some sweet cherry notes.

The taste is muchly muted compared to the nose, darn it. Fairly good fruit tartness with light funky flavour, I get some cherry taste here but it's way on the light side and about mid palate on, the light flavours become even lighter and almost disappear all together. It finishes dry and that's ok but really, this is a beer that really lacks character as per my palate.

Light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty good head retention with excellent lacing.

Drinkability? I'll finish the bottle but it isn't a thrill a sip for me. I doubt I'll buy this again and whoa...the alcohol is starting to kick in now. Nope. Not my cup of tea at all. I loved the previous edition...

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle picked up at the brewery. Poured into New Belgium globe glass. Beer was cherry red with a small, light red head. Moderate carbonation and light lacing.

Aroma was light cherry and sour, a bit on the medicinal side. Soapy? Weird.

Taste was light cherry, not overpowering, slightly tart. Some oak.

Just kind of average for me. Well balanced and drinkable.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bright cherry red color with a very cherry nose and a doughy malt character.

The tastes is cherry, but not tart enough to balance the strongly alcoholic beer that it's blended with.

As it warms it starts to get a medicinal taste and reminded me a lot of a homemade cherry wine.

I liked it upon first impression but the more I drank the less I liked it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a vibrant red with a nice pink head with good retention.

S: Cherries.

T: Boon Kriek is clearly evident here. Heavy cherry, like Luden's cough drops, tastes artificial at times. Some interesting funk on the back end, real light.

M: Light/moderate sourness, light-bodied, crisp acidity, astringent/bitter finish.

D: I've been wanting to try this for a long time, but wasn't really impressed by this one, intriguing idea though.

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Photo of Viggo
4.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brouwers, served in a snifter type of glass.

Pours a clear ruby red, some dark orange highlighting, thick off white head forms, settles to a solid ring, tons of lace sticks to the glass. Smell is great, fresh cherry juice, oak, quite woody, lemon acidity, charred wood, very fruity, nice sourness, blackberries, good stuff. Taste is similar, tart cherries, fresh fruit salad, lemons, charred wood, nice acidity, sour fruit/cherries near the finish, vanilla, oak, great cherry flavour. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to low carbonation, very drinkable stuff, ABV is not apparent at all. Seems like this is much better on tap than in bottles, because this stuff was pretty dope.

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Photo of schinebd
3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a deep, translucent red with a pink foamy head that slightly retains and laces the glass.

S - Cherries and malt and not much else.

T - Definitely very "cherry" tasting with some tartness and light malt, but I detect little else.

M - Carbonated well enough and it hides the 8% ABV pretty well.

D - But in the end I've head lighter ABV beers with more flavor that were more desirable than this.

By no means a terrible beer, but within its style, there are better options.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a candy apple red color with good carbonation and light foamy white head.Nose is cherry and some funk. Taste is dark cherry, effervescent even, rather weak. ABV is well hidden though. Mouthfeel is rather bland, not much going on besides a bad cherry taste. his beer was a ripoff! DO not waste your money.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.42/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a very bright red with a pink head that doens't last long and no lacing.

The aroma is very light, hardly can smell anything but you can pick up notes of tart cherry.

This lambic tastes more bitter than anything but a sour alcohol, you can barely detect the cherries. A very disappointing lambic.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Binny's South Loop location, a bit high priced at $14 but worth a try giving the love of their sour beers.

Tight short off white head with a light crimson clearness that looks very nice.

A little bit of funk, deep sour cherries, big malty notes underneath, has a defined malt profile underneath everything. Liking the nose.

The flavor of solid sour cherries, slightly funky, could be more sour to match up with the Belgian stuff, not a match for New Glarus', but not bad, just a bit of a letdown on the taste. This is impressive nonetheless.

Crisp and dry, light body, but nicely balanced. A good addition to the list.

Easy to drink, refreshing, Not a bad effort if a bit pricy, I'll recommend it but try more local tries if I seek this again.

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Photo of largadeer
1.12/5  rDev -67.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Clear and tawny colored, poured with a small white head that dissipated quickly. Massive diacetyl aroma with a hint of Maraschino cherry beneath it. It's like buttered cherry. Or cherry butter, more accurately. The taste is equally vile and buttery, with surprisingly minimal fruit flavor and no sourness to speak of. Slick, coating mouthfeel, no finesse whatsoever and a horrible lingering diacetyl finish. This beer is a fucking trainwreck, avoid at all costs.

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Photo of emerge077
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks the part of a Kriek, all bright crimson and pink foam, which lasts for a good while. The head sticks a bit at the edges, and begins to look magenta over time.

Smell is dead musty grain, with some minor cherry sweetness that brings it back from the grave. You'd think with real traditional Boon lambic in here it would smell funky at least.

Taste is pretty good. Lots of diacetyl though that puts a damper on things. The saving grace is the *tart* cherry that is underlying, and lasts into the aftertaste. A bit of graininess also keeps it from being stellar. NB website states they blended lambic with a golden lager...why? That might account for the stale graininess. Bottle says "45% ale w/ cherries added, 55% ale". The malt used gives it flavor that vaguely resembles pie crust.

Body is full and mildly tart, not quite into cheek sucking territory...Kriek with training wheels. Thankfully it's easy to drink, but at $15 I won't be trying it again.

Conceptually this should be a homerun out of the park, but ultimately the blend isn't flattering to either producer. Boon Oud Kriek kicks TK's ass all up and down, and conversely La Folie gives Boon a run for it's money. In the end this is neither here nor there, but it's better than Dark Kriek, just double the price, which seems justified for importing Boon Lambic to CO to blend this brew, but too much $$$ for what you end up with.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked up a bottle of this brew for our anniversary. Served in a champagne flute.

A - 3+ fingers of light pink foam that dissipates after a minute or so to a solid cap and leaves a few spots of soapy lacing. Transparent copper-red body with plenty of bubbles rising to the top. Looks like I'd expect a kriek to look.

S - Lots of funk in this one - initially all I can smell is horsey brett with a hint of unripened cherries, but as it warms I get some graham cracker malt and a touch of diacetyl. I wish there was more cherry presence.

T - Taste is surprisingly sweet, with plenty of the graham cracker malt and a touch of cherry juice that provides a touch of tartness in the finish. Nowhere near as funky as the smell, which is a little surprising - the pendulum has swung a little too far in the other direction I fear. It's not bad, but perhaps is a little too subtle, especially compared to something like Gargamel which uses similar flavors to much greater effect.

M - Low-moderate carbonation that is somewhat surprising, and a thin body that is a little underpowered for an 8% brew. There's a bit of dryness in the finish at the top of the palate, but also some stickiness on my teeth. It's not totally what I was expecting, but other than the lack of viscosity it's not bad.

D - The lack of aggressive flavor and carbonation actually makes this surprisingly easy to pound. It's a nice high-gravity substitute for cherry juice...I guess? Not something I'll run out to buy, but a relatively pleasant way to get drunk. Still it's a little bit of a disappointment that New Belgium acquired cherries all the way from Belgium for this.

Update - just read this is a blend of a kriek by Boon and a golden lager by New Belgium. That makes a bit more sense, and while the taste of the brew obviously remains the same, my expectations would have been a whole lot different.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz single from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, $14. Bottle lists this at 8.0% abv.

A: Pink/red colored with a light pink head about half an inch thick. Quite clear, lots of carbonation from the nucleation point, not much head retention, a few clumps of lacing. Really a pink beer, looks a lot like cranberry juice.

S: A little bit of funk, some sour cherries, fairly medicinal, big malty note underneath, has a defined malt profile underneath everything. Interesting, but a little dull.

T: Sour cherries, slightly funky, but right when it reaches that point of no return puckering sour that a lambic has, it lets up and provides a nice sweet undertone. Quite interesting. The website notes this as being a blend of a lager and a lambic bottle says different though (45% lambic, 55%ale)...and I can see that. The two flavors blend fairly nice. Has a fairly prominent European spicy/earthy hop in the end that is surprisingly pleasant when accompanied with the sourness of the beer. This is impressive.

M: Light bodied for 8%, crisp clean feeling from the lager, and a bit of a sour pucker. Fairly dry though, and pulls the mouth all over. Quite interesting.

D: Pretty easy to drink, wouldn't be a good session though, one because of the price, and two the effort made to make this beer is impressive, best to cherish it. An interesting beer, and a very cool collaboration between Boon and New Belgium. I really want to try the original though.

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Photo of riored4v
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 7/22/09

Poured into a goblet. Appearance is bright, ruby red and crystal clear. Head is thin and pink, fades to nothing quick.

Smell is red wine-like. Slightly sweet, hints of cherry and mild tartness. Fairly mellow aroma, but it does smell great.

Taste is great. Nice effervescent tartness up front that finishes clean. Mellow hints of dark cherries and a very mild sweetness. Good balance of flavors with a mild tannin presence. Two beers blended nicely together and were still able to pick out characteristics of both styles.

Mouthfeel is very light, highly carbonated and a dry finish.

Drinkability is very good. No signs of 8%. Very clean.

Really easy drinking beer w/ a good balance. No real bold flavors although the tartness is great and not overpowering.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle $9. The first whiff from the bottle is like red wine vinegar. The beer is bright pink with a decent head fro a brief moment. The secodn glass I poured, the head was super foamy and pink and looked cool as shit. The aroma is more vinegar, cherries and dirty socks but in a good way? The smell really grows on me despite the fact there is a buttery cake aspect to it. The taste is weird, definitely a little bit of sour, but the syrupy cherry flavor is the main flavor. The flavor was kind of a disappointment to be honest.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Welcome back. Pours an off ruby red color with a light pink hue. Crystal clear with no sediment on the bottom. A little disappointed to see as I plan on aging a few bottles for sure. Seems a bit lighter in color from what I remember. Has a fizzy pink head with limited head retention and not much on the lacing.

The nose is not as complex as I remember, but that was a long time ago. A very distinct aroma of vanilla and cherry. Reminds me more of a chap stick more than a beer. The cherry is a light sweet cherry smell. Some light malt notes but nothing distinct. A light yeast aroma but very feint.

The taste is a bit more on target. To start off, there is a light malt note with some grainy underline tastes. This is quickly replaced with a cherry vanilla note that is more along the lines of a scented candle. The cherry notes are more tart than expected but with a lingering sweetness that blends with the vanilla note. The vanilla is more of an extract note (versus a wood aged version). A light tart flavor in the finish. No real yeast notes, very clean.

The body is between moderate and light but finishes very dry with the lingering cherry vanilla notes. Carbonation is low and considerable for style, but not offensive. Overall great to see this one back. Ideally I would have liked to see it not filtered but should age nicely.

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Lips Of Faith - Transatlantique Kriek (Boon) from New Belgium Brewing
3.47 out of 5 based on 815 ratings.
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