Lips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style Weisse | New Belgium Brewing

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Lips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style WeisseLips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style Weisse

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JohnGalt1 on 07-14-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 97
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2/5  rDev -42%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Pours a very clear, very light yellow. Less than an inch of head that disappears quickly. Filmy lacing on the drink down.

S - Rotten lemons, weak wheat smell. Honestly to me it smells like citrus Theraflu or Alka-Seltzer and vomit. I was really taken aback by this.

T - Watered down lemon fizzy medicine tablets. Stomach acid/bile like notes. I honestly started to feel sick from the taste of this beer.

M - Good carbonation but coupled with the medicinal smell and taste it reminded me too much of Theraflu or Alka-Seltzer.

D - I really hope I got a bad bottle or something. I was very disappointed by this beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Odell pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are very low given its current ratings.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a quarter finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and decent retention. Body colour is a very pale yellow-colour. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles. No bubble show.

Sm: Tart lemon, clear clean pale malts, some funky sugary character. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Nicely tart and lemony citrusy. Some wheat. A bit funky. Well balanced all around for the style, with some nice non-syrupy lemon notes. Well balanced. Enjoyable, with a bit more alcohol than most beers in the style.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit overcarbonated and too thick. Doesn't complement the flavour that well.

Dr: Drinkable but somewhat underwhelming. Most beers in the style are more drinkable, but I do like it. It could be a bit more traditional and benefit from it, but it's not bad.

High C+

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Pour yields a very light yellow-apricot color with a thin white head that doesn't stick around all that long. The nose brings some light citrus and an unpleasant wheat character plus a bit of bread. Really plain and a bit off. The flavor is sweet with a very, very slight amount of lactic sourness. This is weird. It's certainly not an imperial Berliner, which I was quite skeptical about in the first place. Light citrus and some bread. Feel has a bit of very light lactic character and a dry finish. Some sugar there as well. Just not a good concept and, on top of that, not very well executed.

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Photo of billab914
2.83/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured golden yellow in color with a thin bright white head to it. It seems a little dark for the style compared to other versions I've had. The head faded quickly, which is typical for the style so I won't knock them for that.

The aroma has a pretty strong sour grape and apple flavor to it. It's very tart and acidic in the nose. The flavors are a bit overwhelming and one dimensional. Would have preferred more balance, maybe some wheat perhaps.

The taste is better then the nose, but still pretty strong on the sour and tart grape flavors. It's acidic, sour and tart with grape and apple flavors being the most dominant. Just a hint of malt comes through in the finish. Versions of this style I'd consider better usually have some balance and more complexities to them. This one is all about the sour and tartness.

The mouthfeel is moderate but probably on the heavier side for the style. Drinkability is average. The sour and tart flavors weren't bad, they were just dominating and didn't have anything supporting them. Comparing this imperial version to New Glarus's, which I had recently, this one doesn't compare very well. A weissbier should probably at least show a bit of wheat at least.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear light amber, yellow with a huge hite pillow like head, and tons of carbonation. Very lively aroma, lots of grains and cereal hints, with some subtle fruit like flavors mixed in. Bananas and apples were the most prominant. Taste was quite nice. Such a lively, frothy and light flavor. lots of fruit, grain and tart favors mixed in with an unseen abv that must have taken a vacation

overall it was very interesting, after having one of the best berliners i have ever had, this was no match

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Photo of womencantsail
2.69/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Sour Fest

A: The beer pours a clear, golden straw color with a small white head.

S: This does not smell like a Berlinerweiss. Apple juice, corn, and sugar are the primary aromas. A bit of bubblegum and popcorn smell to it as well. A strange fruitiness is also present, though I can't quite put a name on it.

T: Same story on the palate. Cotton candy, bubblegum, and corn syrup make for one sweet beer. No discernible tartness or bacterial character. Slightly vegetal and more popcorn.

M: Medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

O: Just crap. I generally like New Belgium's sour beers, and I love a good Berlinerweiss, but this just sucked.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at The Firkin.

Another nice surprise at the Firk tonight. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises sour cinnamon (...yeah...I'm not sure I know what that means anymore, but that's what I wrote...), nutmeg, pumpkin spice, and something akin to sniffing a large glass of Paradise Blend fruit juice. Weird. The taste finally brings the expected sour, but not how I envisaged. Things start out with a stab of sour milk, then ditch this idea and go toward light lemon zest and cobwebs, then seems to get partially back on track with a small blip of tart banana. Everything ends in a pile o' pepper, confusing me even further. Hmm. The body is light, with an active carbonation and a rather dry finish. Overall, this seems like a partially schizoid Berliner, with the sourness not really in control and a bunch o' strange fruit and spice things going on, cluttering what could have been a nice, clean space. I think this one missed, but not by too much.

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Photo of stakem
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jwiss22 for this gift during our local secret santa exchange. Shared with wishuwerebeer on 12/13/10.

Poured into a pint glass, this brew appears a light golden color that is slightly hazy with particles stuck in suspension. A light film of white bubbles composes the thin layering of lace that is the head. Constantly streaming bubbles rise to the surface and fail to support the rapidly depleting head. A swirl barley brings more than a few bubbles to the surface.

The aroma is a combination of lemons, lactic notes, citrusy fruits, sulfur, grain and some souring funky smells very similar to puke. There is a minor indication of alcohol along with a scent that increasingly becomes more yogurt-like.

The taste is lightly tart with lemon and fruits almost like orange with estery alcohol. A flavor of wheat and bready grains is there mid-palate and lasts into the finish with some sulfur and funky flavors reminiscent of puke. A faint almost plastic flavor is also evident as the brew warms.

This is medium to light in the feel with a modest amount of carbonation. For the style, the alcohol is very much imperialized but across the board is hidden quite well. Fairly drinkable with an increasing warmth. Leaves the mouth tingly and slightly puckered like the feeling you get when eating unflavored/unsweetened Greek yogurt. The concept behind this brew is quite the oxymoron, however for what it is it is decent and worth a try.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.33/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First thing is first, this is one of my new favorite styles of beer and I like it because 1. Its light in body 2. It has a moderate tartness and 3. Its low in alcohol. Those three things I love about this style are all SHIT ON BY THIS BEER. An "Imperial Berliner Style Weisse" is an oxymoron like Renaissance man or Criminal justice....saying those words in proximity just doesn't make any sense...I have to eventually write a serious review otherwise my review of this gross, grainy, flat, mess of a beer will be deleted by moderators, so here I go.

Beer served on draft. Beer is yellow and hazy with a thin white head of wispy little bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation appears low. Looks OK.

Aroma is grainy and wet, not a lot of lactic in there but I guess I can find it.

Should I be able to taste alcohol in any kind of weiss beer? Maybe a wheatwine or something like that but this si just fucking gross. Its hot and sweet at leadoff, minimal sourness on the midpalate and a finish that is like grain husks. Sour mash eh? I hate it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is lemons, wheat, light tartness and apples. The flavor is tart lemons and wheat as expected, but I also get quite a bit of sugar. This beer is much sweeter than normal for this style, but I think it works okay. It is certainly an interesting take on the style, even if it is not authentic. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. At 7% abv, it is certainly "Imperial" for Berliner Weisse, one of the lowest abv styles, but not all that much stronger than a solid single IPA. I'm not a big fan of doubling everything, no matter the style, but although this is is not a traditional Berliner, it is pretty tasty. I like the Berliner Weisse style quite a bit, but I've found many of them not nearly lactic enough. Berliner Kindl Weisse is more my style, with a very sharp lactic attack that can be softened (or not) by adding flavored Woodruff or Raspberry syrup. I think the "softening" of the style, like that of the recent Bell's version that actually boasted that it was soft enough that it didn't need the "additives" is a major step in the wrong direction. I enjoy the style super sharp without the additions, and I think others could acquire a taste if given a chance. Instead we get beers like 1809, which while highly rated is far, far too soft.

So where does this one fall in the spectrum. Well, to be fair, it is much sharper with lactic notes than something like 1809, but on the other hand, it has far more malt and a bit of sweet tang going on as well- let's call it sweet-and-sour Berliner Weisse. I like the fairly strong lactic presence, but surprisingly, I like that touch of sweetness as well. I guess, in essence, you are getting a touch of the sweetness that accompanies the syrup additions, along with the sharp lactic notes of a true Berliner Weisse. I think this approach works better than the dumbing down of the style seen so frequently. At least the play of the lactic versus the sugars is preserved, and there are some nice lemon notes to cu the sweetness and heavier citrus flavors as well. It has the appropriate effervescence, but is a bit darker than a standard Berliner, and the head is a good deal too faint. There is also a bit of graininess in the smell and flavor, but its a wheaten sort of graininess and doesn't really bother me. I enjoyed this, but I still prefer my Berliner Weisse straight-up rather than pre-sweetened. Call this one the Champagne Sec of the North.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 picked up at the COOP today by the wife... Thanks Babe.

I am not very familiar with Berliner Weissbiers, so I am just gonna do my best.

Short lasting 1/2" stark white head looks pretty wimpy... the brew is a crystal clear glowing straw golden.

Nose is light lemon grass with a hint of something floral.... more pale maltiness than I was expecting.

Flavor is a tad on the mild side... again what I would consider too much malt for the style.. but it is "imperial" ... lemon is soft... some other sort of fruitiness is in there that I'm having a hard time identifying... pale malts are more of a crackery element... honestly, I was hoping for more of a lactic punch..

Body is obviously on the heavy side for the style, but still retains about a medium .... I also think it could use more carbonation.

Pretty drinkable even given the bigger ABV... I will certainly buy it again, but nobody should think this is any where close to a proper Berliner.

Are we really at a point where everything must be made bigger and badder?


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

A clear gold colored beer with only slight head formation. Much darker than most.

Smell is lightly sour with peach and apple scent. I detect a little sour grape and no hops.

Starts out sweet and sour with no strong flavor. Not really sour just tart. Not strongly flavored, at best it tastes like a really light pear cider. Could be more complex but it isn't bad.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK. This needs something more to be more interesting.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Naja's Place, I saw bottles of this in AZ, but didn't pick it up, assuming it'd be in CA, haven't seen it though, so I was excited to see it on-tap at Naja's,

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod with a soft white head, some good lace.

S: Very honey-like initially, but as it warms the lactic sourness comes out and is quite nice.

T: Hard beer to describe. Definite honey, sweet malt and grainy notes. Also a mix of pickles and lime juice. The finish is outstanding, delicious lemons and lactic acid, but the finish while intriguing isn't anywhere close to making the overall beer flavour delicious.

M: Medium-bodied, a tad boozy, nice lactic finish.

D: A weird beer for sure. I've never had an Imperial Berliner Weisse, and aside from the White Birch I don't know if another one exists. Props to New Belgium for trying this experiment, I always value experimentation in brewing, this one wasn't great flavour-wise, but it's certainly unique and idiosyncratic so it's worth a pick up for that reason.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear straw gold color. Poured a thin wispy white head. Spotty thin lacing.

S: Lactic tartness for a little funk. Maybe some hay and grass; very little aroma overall.

T: Sweet malt up front. Lemony tartness follows quickly. Residual yeast flavors linger along with some fruit.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation though feels more, but I think its the overall tartness. Strange balance given the odd (or unexpected) flavors.

D: Some interesting flavors. Smooth. Good balance

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tasting notes. L: Hazy straw color with a quickly dissipating thin white head. S: Citrusy aromas. T: Rich tartness and lemonsy sourness is tempered by above average malt. F: Light, tart with above average carbonation. O: Big, refreshing and tart.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.19/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

On my first day back at work after a work trip to CO, I was greeted with an unanticipated box from thagr81us. Thank you, Calton, for your generosity.

Pouring a light straw yellow with a dense white head with good retention, this is a great looking berlinerweiss. A gentle, steady stream of carbonation is present too.

The nose is rather highly unconventional. A little musty wheat, some solvent and a blend of green apple and light stone fruit - peach? Some sweetness is present too. Sourness is barely noticeable. The description mentions the use of Brett B here, which I just don't get.

The palate, is surprisingly different too. Opening with a definite lemony tartness, quickly warping into a green apple/cider tartness. Moderate fruity sweetness is present as well. The mid-palate is rather awful, with a blend of hot alcohol and some sugar. The finish has a sharp bitterness, rather unpleasant with some lemon rind before fizzling out with a light cereal character. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is decent on the palate, but rather awful on the finish. Disappointing.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into my Orval glass...Pours a medium cloudy gold, dark for a berliner. About two fingers of head comes, but fades quickly to a creamy half finger that lingers. Good retention...Super light aroma only get a touch of the sour I was hoping for, light wheat comes through too with a little lemon...The taste lifts my spirits, lightly sour to start the way it should be, lemons comes through more as well. The finish is pretty good too, light sour too, on the swallow a little chalky...The feel is too light...Drinkability is a little poor, there is nothing wrong with this beer, but its just no great, so I'm finding it tough to crush. Can't tell its 7%.

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Photo of glid02
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Closed for Business in Charleston, SC.

Pours a slightly hazy lemon-yellow color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light malts with mild amounts of wheat twang and somewhat sweet lemon rind. Also present are hints of pear aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more muddled. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by moderately tart citrus and wheat twang. The citrus become slightly more tart midway through the sip before they are joined by leafy hops and green apples. The hops fade out, allowing the citrus, wheat, and light malts to carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a decent thickness with slightly abrasive carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was disappointed with this beer, although to be fair I should not have expected much from an "imperial berlinerweiss", a style akin to the "imperial mild". I'd love to see NB try this again, except without the imperial part. As a final note, I did not dislike the beer solely because of the oxymoron but rather because the flavors did not seem robust and well defined.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle $8. This was a light orange color, pretty much yellow in fact. The smell was odd, wheat and maybe its hinting that it might be sour but I can't tell cause my sinuses have been fucking with me this year. The flavor had a bit of grain, some wheat, a hint of lactic acid which briefly reminded me of Eric's Ale but this was nowhere near as good.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 2/27/11

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow, with no head just a ring of bubbles.

Smell: Sour apples, pineapple, lactose

Taste: Sour, apples, lactose

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, crisp

Overall: not one of the better berliner weiss's out there but glad I had a chance to try it.



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Photo of ccrida
3.07/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a large goblet, New Belgium's Imperial Berliner Style Weisse is good with steady streamers forming a small white head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is on the sweeter side, some tartness, muscat grapes. Best part of this beer.

Taste is okay, it's got some sweet esters, Belgianesque, but with a very sharp lacto tang that tastes very fake and chemically, very unpleasant at first, although I adjusted to it a bit as I worked my way through it. First sips of this weird off-flavor were a kind of chocolate/stem wood thing like you get in really cheap wine.

Mouthfeel is slick, medium bodied. The sweetness and lack of crispness makes it not very thirst quenching, a bit like flat sprit.

Drinkability isn't to hot. Nice smell, everything else not really working for me.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a weisse glass. 7.0% ABV, no date.

A - A good white head springs up right away then lowers to a thin pile kept alive by extreme carbonation rising up. Crystal clear golden pale yellow in color.

S - A nice light sour aroma accompanies the soft wheat nose and cheerful crisp carbonation and nice pale malt aroma. Unassuming and crisp for a nice hot day.

T - The sourness is mild and lacking for what they call an Imperial. I pick up more pale malts and some wet wheat but it doesn't have an imperial feel to it at all.

M - Light-bodied with high carbonation but very mild sourness trickling through on the finish. Crisp and clean but why is the sour so lacking?

D - A great summer drinkable beer with a huge refreshing quality but the sourness can stand to be at least doubled for the style it calls itself. Great otherwise. I gotta say $10.99 is way out of line for this bottle though.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a shaker. Pours a clear golden color with a one finger white head that subsides to minimal quickly. There was no apparent lacing present. The aroma was comprised of malt and a nice sour note. The flavor was of malt, wood, sour, and a very subtle wheat flavor. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a nice and smooth sour tasting brew. I quite enjoyed this one as the glass went down quite quickly before I had realized it. This one is a definite must try for those of you who like Wild Ales and sours.

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Photo of rawfish
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not too familiar with this style but gonna do my best to review it.

Poured gently to avoid much of the bottle conditioned suspension form a 650mL bomber. Color is clear and pale, straw coloration like lemon and honey, second pour is slightly hazy. Tiny fizzy head killed by the wheat and alcohol in a matter of seconds. Small amount of yeast floats in suspension. Looks more like lemon and honey tea than beer.

Smell is rather like juice, grains, apple, lemon rind and predominant white grapes on the nose follows by a slight tartness and noticable alcohol.

Tastes much like the nose, almost like white wine, very sweet. The alcohol is actually well hidden. Wheat followed by muscat juice, lemon tartness with vinegar. Drying finish with wheat, more lemon and subtle maltiness to balance it out. Quite refreshing.

Fizzy slightly biting carbonation that works for this beer as well as a slightly heavy body for weisse beer.

Not sure what all the disappointment is about this beer, not exactly a great looker but it has a balanced tartness as well as a refreshing flavor. Rather sweet but lacks a syrupy mouthfeel and not at all cloying. Good if not great venture into something different.

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Lips Of Faith - Imperial Berliner Style Weisse from New Belgium Brewing
3.45 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
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