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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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of kbutler1
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a light golden color with very minimal head. A very non-descript nose, slightly funky. Starts slightly sweet and just kind of mellows out. Very slight funk in the end. No real sour notes to speak of. Berliners are a really hard one to nail and I applaud NB for trying to do an Imperial style but it really falls a little short. Maybe some time sitting might do this one some good.

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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 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 hopsbreath
1.58/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up a bomber of this recently along with other non-imperial versions of the style as part of an attempt to expand my beer knowledge.

Poured into a couple tulips to share with the wife, this beer has a yellow-orange body with tons of big thick yeasty sediment floating throughout. Its not the typical yeast haze that sometimes shows up in bottle conditioned beers but instead has the appearance of gigantic gelatinous amoebas swimming in some pond water for a 10th grade biology lab experiment. The slightest agitation to the bottle provoked the sediment into suspension so it was impossible to decant the beer properly and not get any gooey bodies into the glass. The head was thick and dissipated slowly to leave a cap throughout the drink and had good lacing. None of the last sentence is appropriate for the style as defined by the Bros. Utter fail on appearance. 1/5

The smell is faint and not terrible. Yes this is lactic and has a wheat based smell. 3/5

The taste is where this beer totally lost me. It was lightly sour and was definitely wheat based, but the flavors that didn't belong there were bananas, cloves, and a cloying sweetness that was reminiscent of some kind of big bock recipe that had a little lacto thrown in and dubbed Imperial. Had I at least enjoyed these flavors I would grade a little kinder but it just seemed like a sweet muddled mess. 1/5

Mouthfeel was moderately thick and sticky (2/5), and drinkability was downright abysmal (1/5). My wife barely took a few sips of her glass and handed it to me to finish. I was able to finish mine but had no interest in hers. First ever drain pour ensued. Let the record show that my wife who enjoys Duchesse de Burgogne because it is a little sweeter than most of its style, found this to be to sweet.

In an attempt to best understand this style, I also had a bottle of Hottenroth from The Bruery and a couple twelves of Festina Peche on the same night. Those two are still notes and their reviews will come at another time, but they were both solidly refreshing and received scores above 4.0. New Belgium needs to take this back to the lab and figure out what needs to be retooled to make it drinkable. As few beers that are represented in the style, I can't understand why they simply didn't brew a traditional Berliner Weiss and try to exemplify the style in the same way they did with La Folie in regards to Flanders Reds.

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Photo of atsprings
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a New Belgium goblet pours a crisp pale orange with barely any head. Aroma is a bit of tart fresh fruit. The taste is a bit of sweet malts in front of the tart fruits I expect in a Berliner Weiss, but not as overbearing as I had heard from others who have had this beer. The beer is medium bodied with a bit of heavy sweetness, but it is still a refreshing, enjoyable beer. This is certainly an interesting and unique beer, one I'm glad I tried, but not likely one I'd seek out again.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.12/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber.

App- Golden. No haziness as you would expect, very clear.. Essentially no head.

Sm- Lactic tartness. Very little aroma overall. Some slight phenols form the yeast.

Ta- Initial malty sweetness, followed up with a good amount of lemony lactic tartness. Some residual yeast flavors with a slight bit of banana.

MF- Light bodied considering the ABV. The "imperial" malt level doesn't come through like you'd expect. Nice balance. Not very complex. Sharp carbonation to aid in the acid flavor.

Dr- Very refreshing. Smooth. Great balance.

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Photo of beerbrains
2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

First up, this is probably not a fair review of the beer, I ordered towards the end of a night out and it was preceded by a wide variety of drinks. Secondly, I wasn't able to give it my full attention.

Pale straw yellow in a standard pint glass. Thin layer of bubbles on top that quickly disappear.

Not citrus but lemon in the nose, wheat seems to be missing.

Taste is overwhelmingly lemon, not a natural or even a artificial lemon flavor, kinda soapy sour. The grain flavors don't come through. Makes me think of a cleaner. Maybe the tap lines weren't clean (or maybe they were and didn't get flushed).

Mouth feel is watery and bland.

Half way through the glass I gave it back to the bartender and asked for something else (a first).

Disappointed with this offering from NB (also a first).

Paired with.... other drinks.

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Photo of NStLincoln
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber in a pint glass.
Pours a ever so slightly hazy yellow which has a greenish tinge. A crisp head of bubbles vanishes quickly to nothing but a few bubbles.
Smells like a lemon dessert in the middle of a barnyard. Bready and interesting. Lots of tartness if one can smell tartness.
Not at all what I was expecting. Big time sour flavors burst through the maltiness. Not a lot of fruit, but more lime than anything else. The aftertaste is tough to describe. Reminiscent of the taste of the milk after a bowl of fruity pebbles.
Very refreshing and summery.

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Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pale yellow with a nice white head. Pretty good retention and no lace.

S: Light citrus, hints of bready malt, and some grain.

T: Light lactic acid and lemon mostly. Hints of tartness but rather subdued actually. Not much grain flavor which I like.

M: Light and zippy.

D: An okay shot at one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of psiweaver
2.55/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

so i was super excited to try this beer as I love Berliner Weisse. I poured the 22oz bottle into two Reidel stemless wine glasses (red wine)

appearance was good but not terrible amazing a hazy somewhat yellow/green

smell was decent again nothing really jumping out at me.

taste was bad, I found it lacked any sourness or bite to it and that even after that had very little flavor. I got a little bit of orange zest but other than that very disappointed.

mouthfeel again not bad but really no bite or snap to it which is disappointing.

drinkability was bad. for being a Berliner Weisse style it lacked almost all flavor and was not refreshing at all.

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Photo of hwwty4
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a 22oz bomber into my New Belgium globe (I didn't even realize I matched the glassware to the beer until I wrote this). This beer pours a lemony yellow with a small 2 inch head that quickly dissipates into just a thin line covering the top of the beer. Very little lacing occurs. The nose is interesting. I get a lot of bready notes almost like really crisp crackers mixed with yeasty biscuits. A hint of sweet pale malts and just a touch of vinegar. Lacto is very mild in the nose. The flavor is very similar with heavily toasted crackers leading the way. Almost a pretzel quality. Lemon tanginess, a bit of vinegar and what reminds me of rose petals all follow up. The mouthfeel is a bit disappointing to me. It finishes a little sweet and not as dry as I would have liked it. While its a very mellow version of a Berliner Weisse, which is nice in its own accord, I would have like to see the lactic acid cranked up a notch. With a 7% body, it could have used just a little more oomph. Berliner Weisse's are one of my absolute favorite styles and probably my favorite style to homebrew. This one just falls into the "OK" range. I would have liked to either see the flavor of this beer packed into a 4% traditional Berliner Weisse or have NB crank up the flavor profile about a notch for a 7% imperial Berliner Weisse.

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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 Beaver13
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear light yellow with a smallish white head that quickly goes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is subdued - tart sour fruits and some floral spices.

The flavor is sweet and tart and sour citrus fruits and wheaty malts and some brett. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, not very complex but I liked it. It's very refreshing and I like the sour fruits and brett. I think it was a bit better on tap from what I recall.

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

Golden color with hints of orange. Slowly streaming bubbles mildly prop up the thin white head. Not much of an appearance, but that's the style for you.

The nose is slightly wheaty, with some pale grain as well. Nose is lactic enough, but fairly pillowy. Farmhouse funk with some pale malt sweetness.

The flavor is a nicely drinkable mix of sweet and sour. Lemon is all over this one, with enough sour funk to pucker the lips at the finish. In between it's fairly sweet, with a surprisingly robust body. Further complexity comes from a red cherry-raspberry note towards the middle. The fruitiness is pretty apt: real fruit mixes sweetness with a pretty good sour note, especially when unripe. This brew hits the marks nicely.

Carbonation is much higher than the appearance lead me to believe, so the sour is pulled off quickly. Furthermore, the sweet notes are flash in the pan, so the overall experience is sour rather than sweet - better than most commercial Berliners here. I would definitely prefer to have more sharpness, but that's a bit like writing that I'd like more hops in an IPA - it goes without saying.

Interesting and unique take on the Berliner weisse. New Belgium has turned the style on its head without turning its back on tradition (completely).

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Berliner Style Weiss has a cloudy golden body and a small, white head that doesn't stick around for very long. The head is what I expect from a Berliner Weiss, but the body is just a touch darker.

The aroma has some lactic sourness to it, and a little bit fruitiness along with a malt base that is mostly malted wheat.

The lactic sourness up front is noticeable and pretty tasty, which is important for any Berliner weiss style beer. After that I notice two things: fruit and wheat. The fruit has a lemon flavor, with perhaps a hint of white grape. The wheat adds a little bit of twang and a good bit of sweetness.

This beer has a pretty big mouthfeel for a Berliner Weiss, but it certainly isn't unpleasant. It might actually be necessary for the higher ABV.

In general, I don't see the point of making an "Imperial" version of this style, but with that said, the alcohol was hidden nicely. I think if some of the alcohol and malt base were knocked off, however, I might actually like this beer more. With that said, this is a pretty tasty beer the way it is, and I am glad that I got to try 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 BradLikesBrew
4.18/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear yellow body with a white head.

Light citrus and hay aromas.

Wheat cracker upfront with citrus mid palate and a tart bite to wrap things up. Floral notes and a hard to describe chinese spice provide accents.

Crisp and remarkably refreshing, never would guess it was 7 %.

Note to brewers: make more beers like this!

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

Pours a thin layer of off-white head over a slightly cloudy light-straw colored liquid. Smells lemony, acetic, fennel seed, salty, light cherry sour. Brisk, almost margarita-like.

Tastes malty sweet with lactic and acetic sour players. Not the crisp weisse I was expecting, as the sweet is predominant. Lemon, crisp watermelon rind, and mild acetic. Wheat and pils malt. Md-light body and medium carbonation. Could use a bit more CO2. Dry finish with minerally and wheat aftertaste. Has a fine carb sting on the tongue on the swallow to help beat off the malt, but still could use more.

Well, how to rate this one. There is currently no imperial weisse style, so do I judge to weisse or double weisse? I guess it's not fair to judge to weisse, which should be dry and puckering. 2x weisse should have some malt sweet to it, as this beer does. I just wish it had a bit more complexity.

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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 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 reinheitsgematt
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Also picked up @ the Co-op. Having had a few examples, both German and American, none of which were Imperial, I suppose I had expectations. Shared with my lovely lady, in Champagne flutes (Napoleanic reference) @ 38F.

Pours a pale, ever-so-slightly hazy straw color with a restrained and quickly dissipating white head. Expected a bit more bubble, even from an Imperial.

The nose offers a touch of lemon, some bread, and what sour/tartness is there reminds me of cherries.

Flavors are more malty and bready than truly tart - the finish shows a touch of citric sourness, but ever-so-light and forced to share the stage with a hint of booze

Mouthfeel is coating yet thin - due to the amped-up ABV and less-than-prickly carbonation, I suppose medium-bodied is an appropriate descriptor.

As far as drinkability, it was quality without touching greatness - I wouldn't kick it out of the fridge, but I'm not going out of my way to obtain it either.

Perhaps it will evolve into something more tart and sour, but presently it's leaning a bit too much to the malt for what I've had of the style, and that can attributed to its Imperial nature. What's next? Imperial Koelsch?

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