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Lips Of Faith - Tart Lychee | New Belgium Brewing

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BA SCORE
88
very good
212 Reviews
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Lips Of Faith - Tart LycheeLips Of Faith - Tart Lychee
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Three year old Wild Beer blended with lychee and a touch of Ceylon cinnamon.

Added by Overlord on 07-20-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
212
Ratings:
770
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
81
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 212 | Ratings: 770
Reviews by Phelps:
Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To get to know many of New Belgium's sour ales, you must first acquaint yourself with Oscar and Felix. An odd couple of beers (see what I did there?), these two act as the base for a majority of the wild ales released under the brewery's Lips of Faith flag.

Though Oscar is a dark ale and Felix is pale, both are rather plain until they spend a year or two inside New Belgium's foudres (large wooden casks used for beer-aging) playing with souring bacteria. When they emerge, nicely tartified, the beers are ready to become the foundation for some of the brewery's most popular ales. Oscar, the dark sour, is blended to become La Folie, while the pale Felix is made into beers like Eric's Ale, Le Terroir, and Tart Lychee.

For that third one, Felix is acidified for more than two years in oak barrels. A portion of it (44 percent) is blended with lychee juice and Ceylon cinnamon sticks for a few weeks, then added back to the whole. The resulting brew, when poured into a tulip glass, is coral-orange and clouded with suspended yeast. Two full fingers of clean white head are dense, yet they fizzle away pretty quickly, decorating the side of the glass in bubbly streaks.

If you're not familiar with the lychee, you really should try one out. Each fruit has a rough, reddish-pink rind covering translucent white pulp with a sweet, perfumy flavor that emulates the floral, citrus-y bite of American hops -- which makes it great for beer. In Tart Lychee, the fruit is the main aroma contributor, packing the nose with a tropical blend of lemon and perfume. Other notes include peach, tangerine, and raw sugar, while a touch of vinegar is the indication of the "tartness" to come in the flavor.

A disappointment here is the absence of cinnamon -- it doesn't appear at all. The brewers must have wasted it all attempting the cinnamon challenge. Lychee is again the major flavor, lending its citric bite to a smooth fruitiness from wheat. The barrel-aging has done its work -- a touch of horsey funk plays off subtle tartness tempered by an impressive amount of dark sugar. Carbonation inside the light-bodied brew is gentle -- just a soft caress on the tongue. It works with the beer, keeping the tartness less intense.

I'm surprised it took this long for someone to make a lychee beer, considering how well it works here. Tart Lychee's an interesting sour that, while a little expensive and upsetting in its lack of cinnamon, is worth a try.

 2,444 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl and from a 22 oz. bottle.
L: Pours cloudy gold to amber under a 2” bone white foam collar that leaves whore stocking lace.
S: Tropical fruit, light malts, and sour fruit aromas.
T: Begins with moderately tart fruit and bread flavors finishing with a lingering aftertaste of sour, sweet, fruit and bready malt. No appreciable hop presence.
F: Above average levels of fine soft carbonation with a medium to medium light body.
O: A complex, interesting and drinkable beer that might appeal to wine lovers and people who do not like beer.

 588 characters

Photo of ratamacue
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of tbryan5
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another unique beer in the Lips of Faith series. Besides digging the artwork on the bottles this was a great beer. Great balance and tartness complements the unique addition of lychee. Good beer

 194 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy orange gold with a medium creamy white head that goes to a thin film and laces the glass.

The aroma is dry tart fruits with maybe some brett and cinnamon.

The flavor is tart sour tropical fruits with a dry almost vinous and slightly acidic finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a nice tart fruity and dry sour. More fruits than sour.

 395 characters

Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of jonphilipp
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see this in bottles in Texas.

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a large white head. The aroma is has quite a bit of fruit (I assume that is the lychee) as well as a hint of cinnamon and a bit of wheat and tartness. The flavor has some nice tart lychee and tropical fruit notes, as well as some wheat, cinnamon and a hint of oak and sourness. A mild, easy drinking sour ale that doesn't appear to be anywhere near 7.5 percent. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 481 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of bsp77
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Murky yellow-orange that somewhat resembles orange juice. Luckily, there is a sustained thin white cap to avoid confusion.

Smell: Very tart with cider, oak and vinegar. Some ripe fruitiness, but muted.

Taste: Starts off tart and sour, with apple cider, vinegar and oak. Then a sweet, fleshy, overripe fruitiness builds and builds that I assume is from the lychee. This seemed overpowering at first, but it settled down, and commingled nicely with the tartness. The cinnamon is just barely there on the finish, providing a subtle extra layer.

Feel: Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Dry, tart finish.

Overall: More than the sum of its parts. This is a nicely balanced sweet and sour ale that makes me curious to try lychee.

 796 characters

Photo of jaminjohnson
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of NilocRellim
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Swonkie
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy copper golden orange with a lot of bubbles. About one finger of white head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A sweet, juicy, and fairly tart fruit driven aroma. Big fruit esters throughout with hints of cherries, berries, lychee, pear, apple, and citrus orange and lemon. Yeasty with funky hints of Brett and some cinnamon spice. Pale malts with hints of wheat, cracker, oat, and biscuit. Also some hints of candied sugars, honey, and wood. Fairly earthy with hints of grassy hops. Tart and sweet smelling but balanced. Pretty nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a tart, sweet, and juicy fruit and wheat driven taste with some funk and spice. Big taste of fruits with notes of cherries, lychee, berries, apple, pear, and some citrus orange and lemon. Notes of funk and Brett along with some cinnamon and clove spice. Some wood taste and notes of candied sugar and honey. Bready pale malts with notes of wheat, grains, cracker, biscuit, and oats. Background notes of earthy hops with some notes of grass. Sweet but not overly syrupy or cloying. Pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Juicy and somewhat syrupy. Sweet but finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A pretty interesting and good take on a wild/sour ale. Good balance of fruity sweetness, tartness, and spice.

 1,462 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of HopsForBrains
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of moundbz
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a similar appearance to a witbier, had the dull gold color with lots of haze thing going for it. Thin 1/2" head on it, doesn't really provide much in the way of lace or retention, but she's pretty enough. Aroma of tart, berries, the kind you're not used to, cinnamon.

Taste, hey whatever lychee is, I like it, plenty sour, but has a unique vibe, the cinnamon, its like a bakery, sour beer and cinnamon toast crunch. It works well, could easily be the type of beer you could always pick out of a blind taste I would think. Not a massive sour bomb, but it delivers nonetheless.

Another winner from the Lips of Faith series.

 630 characters

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of JohnLynch
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on-tap multiple times at Brewvival.

Pours a hazy golden-straw color with a half-finger bright white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of very tart green apples with hints of, wait for it, tart lychees. If I wasn't a fan of lychees and didn't know they were featured in this beer I would likely not identify them but since I'm looking it is distinct and nicely integrated. Also present are solid amounts of funk and light malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more complex. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderately tart pear and light grape flavors. Shortly thereafter the flavor profile sweetens a bit with the addition of lychees. Midway through the sip the profile dries out and solid amounts of funk overpower the fruit flavors. The funk, lychee, and pear flavors carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have a few more.

Overall, this beer was exactly as advertised. The lychees were more tart than expected, but then again the name is sort of a giveaway. Distinct and very much worth a shot.

 1,237 characters

Photo of goast8127
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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Lips Of Faith - Tart Lychee from New Belgium Brewing
3.93 out of 5 based on 770 ratings.
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