Tart Lychee | New Belgium Brewing

very good
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Tart LycheeTart Lychee

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

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

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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 808
Photo of ajm5108
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Light golden yellow color, gentle but persistent carbonation, little head. Aroma is a nice combo of wild yeast funk and sweet fruit - not very familiar with lychee so not sure how accurate the smell is, but I get raspberry and apricot. No sign of cinnamon. Taste is ok, not super flavor and veers towards being a little flat, the tartness is dialed back which is fine but it is also missing some of that nice wild yeast flavor. There is a sweetness that is more like a dried apricot or orange, maybe pineapple, but it isn't complimented by much and isn't very expressive. Mouthfeel is fine, finishes with a musty yeast taste. It is a totally ok beer and nothing is off but nothing pops either.

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Photo of ichorNet
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Split with my roommate and good buddy Chris. Cheers, sir!

Pours a golden color with some deeper orange hues. Head is a few fingers at its most active and sticks around nicely once it sinks to a modest half-finger in my glass. Some spotty lace shows up. The beer itself is moderately-hazy with some cloudy protein-like fine particulate floating throughout. Not an amazing looking beer, but not bad either really. At least it has some solid retention and at least attempts to throw out some lace; better than a lot of sour beers these days can do, apparently.

Nose is raspberry, cherry and lychee (kind of like a sweet grape) with some minor notes of rose petals and stiff wood. Some very slight elements of spice from the cinnamon addition. I probably wouldn't really be able to place it if I wasn't told there was cinnamon in here, though. Power of suggestion and all that, you know? Some wheat-like maltiness and Sauvignon Blanc character as well if I really get in there. Tropical fruit (mango and guava) notes come out as this warms, as well as slightly more vanillin-like aspects from the wood. A very complex and interesting nose. Great impression here.

Flavor is a little less focused on tartness than I was led to believe from the beer name itself but I'm cool with it because there are lots of subtle and nuanced notes here. First of all, the three-year aged sour beer that was the basis for this is delightful... a mildly-sour blonde beer with prominent tropical notes and a good dose of barrel character. A bit vinous as well, as I could tell would be the case from the nose. The lychee gives off a prominent raspberry and grape-like flavor and the cinnamon does actually come out a bit here towards the end of each sip. Tannic oak is somewhat noticeable in the finish as well, attempting to balance out the sweet/tart flavors that dominate the majority of the palate.

The beer is mouth-coating and rather rich with a detailed, thick and chewy feel. The carbonation is on the lower end; lower than I expected, honestly. Not sure this has any real need to be 7.5%... it probably would've done fine at 6-7% but it doesn't really detract from the drinking experience at all. Glad to have tried this one. Very interesting. Probably a one-and-done but I liked it a lot for what it was, and it's quite an out-of-the-box idea.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tart Lychee pours a brighter copper color with a a very small, but lacing head. Nice big tart aromas, with just hints of sweet berries and cinnamon. Taste is light but crisp, hints of berries and cinnamon, finishes slightly tart. Good body and feel. Overall, a very drinkable sour beer, not over done, small hints of fruits.

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Photo of demian317
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted at room temperature. Nice mouthfeel, plush coating cut by popping carbonation. Attractive look. Subtlety of the lychee berry is accented and carefully balanced with a mild sour note reminiscent of the softer Flemish beers in the sour genre. Overall, a satisfying experience but hardly memorable. Competent, solid but lacking confidence in the sour category.

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Photo of davek72
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber.

Appearance is a light gold with a faint orange to it. Also very hazy, which I like in this style. It tells me that lots of flavor is ahead. Aroma is sour with light fruitiness. Something similar to apple, pear or even white grape. Flavors follow the nose. A big sour punch right up front. But then faint sweet fruit flavors that remind me a lot of crisp pear. Mouthfeel is not thick, but coating and overall the beer is astringent which keeps me drinking it. I really enjoyed this and would love to have it more often.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving on tap, in a tulip. Appearance is cloudy yellow, not much head, and not very appealing. The aroma and the taste are fruity. I don't know lychee, so to me, this seems like green apple. It's got a nice balance of sweet and tart, just sweet enough so that it's not mouth puckering, and tart enough to wake you up. Overall, it's a fine beer, but it lacks the flavor complexity of my favorite sours.

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Photo of Kdubzz
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Hazy orange with the slightest hint of a pink opaqueness. Thick, lingering white head, heavy lacing.
S- Flowery, sweet, light fruits such as peaches, a bit of earthiness in there as well.
T- Tart up front, with a rose petal-like sweetness in the the background somewhere. The cinimon is present on the back of the tongue as it goes down.
F- Lower carbonation, medium bodied.
O- Quite enjoyable, and would be even more so on a hot summer's day. It's refreshing and thirst quenching.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dull copper to gold in color with a hazy complexion. There's no head on it. I smell cinnamon and sweet lychee fruit. The cinnamon and sweet lychee blend well with the gentle tartness from the wild yeast which I suspect to be lactobacillius. The mouth is moderately carbonated, dry, and there's a nice cooling sensation perhaps from the lychee.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Third beer from the Tour de Fat. This pours a hazy golden amber. It’s tart and funky, with plenty of the titular lychees in abundance. This was an interested combination.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Such an enigma, the lychee fruit, but one that New Belgium brewers whole-heartedly embrace using copious amount of the exotic eastern hemisphere fruit to decorate their wild, Lips of Faith series of sour ale.

Tart Lychee commands the senses with a delicate perfume of rose, strawberry, grape and raspberry. Pale gold in its color, the beer's frothy lather is also bready with angel-food cake and a honey-like maltiness to taste.

As the ale unfolds, the sourness takes hold and slowly dictates a tart, refrehsing and crisp sourness that hinges on citrusy lime, cidery apple and vinous white grape. Candied in its fruitiness, the lychee fruit rounds into a powder coated strawberry with light glaze and supple fructose. Berry-like and softly winey with zinfindale, the beer's light bitterness comes way of verbena and sassafras herbal nature.

Medium-bodied but trending tart and semi-dry, the beer's body retains a modest sweetness and a bold fruitiness to keep the session fruit-centric, semi-sweet and tantalizingly tart. A perfumy aftertaste is wrapped in a light earthiness of cork and burlap for a rustic spiciness in complement.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Oh damn this big brewery did it again--another mouth watering sour.

Cloudy yellow-orange with a thin film.

Smell is very nicely sour, with lactic lemon-lime, orange, slight funk, and Asian pear.

Taste is green apple, green grape, Asian pear--just perfectly tart.

Feel is frothy, soft, and semi-wet. Very much like a unique spin on champagne.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
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

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disclaimer: I don't really care for sours. Got this as part of a tasting flight. That said, it is the best sour I've ever tasted.
The color is about lager-light, slightly cloudy, with a thick white head that hangs around forever. The smell is sweet malt. The taste is super sour as you would expect, but balanced with a fair amount of sweetness and an appley taste on the back of the tongue.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle - I never thought of lychee as potentially being tart, but what do I know?

This beer pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some disintegrating iceberg profile lace around the glass as it quickly and evenly subsides.

It smells of some generic musty tropical fruitiness, grainy and lightly crackery pale malt, zingy and almost metallic cinnamon, sour yeast, and a white wine barrel-like woodiness. The taste is tart lemon, cherry, and white grapefruit, a lesser sweet fleshy lychee fruitiness (I've only had them once, and it was a long time ago - kind of like a musty overripe pear, I think), grainy and bready pale malt, some cedar-like woody notes, gentle earthy cinnamon spice, sad yeast, and some very tame leafy, herbal, and floral green hop bitters.

The carbonation registers fairly low on the trusty ol' froth-o-meter, the body a decent enough middleweight, and sort of smooth, as the tartness isn't so strong as to provoke thoughts of despair in this regard. It finishes trending dry, the sugar of the tropicals continuing to bleed out, while that still growing cedar and cinnamon bark woodiness proves it has lasting mettle.

Overall, this is one complex mutha of a saucy summer brew - tart, woody, fruity, and spicy, all under the invisible yoke of a 15-proof booze quotient. After almost spraining my brain trying to decipher it, I can now just kick back and enjoy the rest, purposely oblivious to the minutiae of its various charms.

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Photo of Benish
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter glass. Appeared bright cloudy hay/yellow. Aromas were of rotten fruit and mild cinnamon. The smell wasn't exactly inviting but makes you wonder about the flavor. Howeer, it tasted great. It was sour and tart with notes of passion fruit; not really any cinnamon. Very balanced with no overwheming flavors. I admit I never have tasted Lychee but the beer seemed to introduce it well. I recommend it. The smell isn't that great, but this is a flavorful brew.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came out plenty hazy, now the reverse engineering must figure out whether this is because of wheat or fruit. Or just general shittiness, but we know NB makes professional looking beer so its prolly not that. Its that drab yellow meets gold color, not bright, dullard. Head does form almost a half an inch upward. Interesting aroma, its tart, red/pink fruit notes, and a tiny bit of spice rack.

I'm not quite sure what lychee is, but it is a pleasant beer. Probably right in the middle in terms of sour scale, 1-10, I'd say its about a 5. A little cranberry and wheat feels.

I wish they made it again, it was unique, and good.

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Photo of Nanothaniel
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Golden and cloudy, I tend to expect good things when I see a nice haze.
Smell: Sour, oak, floral. Understated but well put together.
Taste: Up front you get fruit and malt, and then you get wood and sour on the midpalate, on the back they all combine before quickly fading with a dry finish.
Feel: High carbonation, medium-light body, good drinkability factor.
Overall: I feel like beer was almost perfectly balanced, you couldn't of started with the elements they had on the table and possibly have done a better job. Sourness was perfect, oak was perfect, maltiness to fruitiness ratio was spot on. The only way a beer could possibly score higher than this for me was if they catered more to the specific flavors I favor, but as far as this particular style goes they couldn't have done better.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle.

Pours a hazy straw yellow with plenty of long lasting foam.

Both fruity tartness and sweetness in the nose along with cinnamon.

More tartness in the taste than the sweet notes but it's still on the mild side. Cinnamon adds an interesting twist. The fruit I would call tropical.

Fairly light bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a good one.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy out of the glass. Getting past the condensation on the glass doesn't show the beer to be any clearer than highly hazy to cloudy yellow-orange. The head grew nice and fluffy white on a medium pour at heaviest. Moderate leaning to heavy lacing as the head stays thick at the rim and in large islands across the surface.

Nose seems to have two notes that almost cancel each other out. The slightly more prominent is the tartness. I want to go with a tart tropical fruit, and to the best of my experience I am coming up with passion fruit. Then there is the sweeter note than can be picked out if I focus on it. I have never had lychee (though I believe I've had its syrup or something as an ingredient in food), so I can't say that is what I smell, but it is a light cotton candy like sugars sweetness.

The beer starts like generic lightly [citrus] fruited water at the very front. A light tingle of tartness on the front of the tongue foreshadows the blast I get as the beer passes to the back of my tongue. The tartness reminds me of the tartness of a grapefruit soda. Perhaps this is the influence of the sweet note (presumably the lychee). The prickly carbonation reinforces a soda impression, though the bubbles feel smaller than your typical soda.

The tartness fades as I drink the glass down, though I can't be sure it isn't just my palate adjusting. This thing had a decent tart-sweet bite initially, but was not really nearing sour, and nothing about the initial notes seemed "funky." Nearer the end, as the tart faded, a mild level of woodiness was sensed. By the end, I'd say the impression turned to a mimosa to which someone had added an ice cube to keep it cold but which has since melted.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is wonderful. You get the tartness you expect from the name and style, but it's not like every other sour in that it has a malty finish. It tastes like a sour until it doesn't, and it's very good for it.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy golden-orange color with a one finger head of white foam. The head fades slowly over time to leave a ton of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is strongest of a sour lemon smell mixed with other aromas of a doughiness. Along with these aromas comes some stronger smells of lychee fruit as well as a bit of a peach and pear aroma.

Taste- The taste begins with a quite sour taste with some slightly doughy flavors. The sour are big of a lemon sourness mixed with a little bit of a tart green apple and vinegar flavor. Right upfront there are also some tastes of fruit, with a bunch of peach and pear and just a little bit of lychee. As the taste advances the peach and pear fade with the lychee getting stronger and stronger. The doughy flavor fades a bit as the taste moves on, with the sour getting even strong. An oaky white wine flavor then develops more toward the end, leaving one with a moderately soured and crisp wine taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is light and thin with a carbonation level that consists of a higher carbonation level. For the style the lighter body and carbonation is great with them creating a rather refreshing feel overall.

Overall – A slightly more mellow sour with a nice fruity lychee and white wine like flavor. A rather decent sour overall and well worth a try.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought two 22-ounce bottles today (6-8-16) for just $3 each at the local Hy-Vee. Nice looking bottle with a painted-on label. Drinking one now. Brew poured in to a tall "Rock Bottom Mug Club" handled glass stein. Brew pours a hazy apricot in color with a good 4-finger white sticky head that stays around for a while. Aroma is slightly tart and sour.. Taste follows the nose. Very tasty brew overall.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle split with my wife. Served in a Prairie teku
Thanks to Yoshi Optimator!

A - Glowing orange apricot, with fine bubbled white head. Semi hazy.

S - Lactic and salty minerals, tropical fruit, lychee?, bubblegum, grassy hay, musty wood,

T - Candy tartness upfront, muted pink lemonade, tropical fruit, pineapple, soft caramel malts underneath. The sweetness builds toward the finish while the tartness fades but finishes dry and very crisp and refreshing.

M - Sharp carbonation, light to medium body, crisp and refreshing feel.

Nice balance of sweet and tart both of which are fairly mild. It's not puckering sour but it has a nice tart edge to it. Some woody funk and a nice fruit profile. Crisp and refreshing, a great summer time beer

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Photo of RickS95
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Apricot colored pour, fairly clearish, and almost no head. Mostly non-descript because the head is so meager. There's no retention and what's there is quickly relegated to the perimeter. Little lace. Disappointing.

There's redemption in the nose as its bursting with smells. "Sour" and cinnamon are dominant. I'm not sure what a lychee even is, but there's something strange in there. Overall, the scent is very American Wild Ale-like.

Without knowing what lychee tastes like, I can't comment on it but there's something very unusual and sour in the taste. My whole mouth puckers and I can't really pick up anything individually. The taste isn't bad, it's just hard to define and the sour is fairly overpowering.

Very kriek-ish. Sour and tart ruined my palate. My pucker taste buds worked overtime to down the bottle. Very crisp and exceptionally dry. The pucker factor is high. Despite the crisp, dry finish, my mouth won't stop watering.

Certainly an acquired taste. I can't express the complexity of this. There's so much flavor, but it's hard to differentiate one ingredient from another because of the sourness. It's not smooth and it doesn't go down easy. However, your palate is certainly cleansed after each sip.

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Tart Lychee from New Belgium Brewing
3.92 out of 5 based on 808 ratings.
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