Lips Of Faith - Vrienden (Allagash Collaboration) | New Belgium Brewing

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Lips Of Faith - Vrienden (Allagash Collaboration)Lips Of Faith - Vrienden (Allagash Collaboration)

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wild beer with brettanomyces.

Added by mcallister on 08-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 281
Photo of ktrillionaire
2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Delilah's

A - It pours a brassy amber hue, and is capped with wisps of soapy froth.

S - The nose is flowery (jasmine, orange blossom, hibiscus), Belgian-yeasty in a chalky-peppery way, and has some punchy clove.

T - The beer is very lighly flavored; in fact, it tastes like it has Splenda or NutraSweet in it. Diet sour beer, anyone? Artificial notes mimicking the rainbow of Starburst flavors are suggested, along with a sort of generic Belgian Pale yeasty note. Fail.

M - Wine cooler steez.

O - Not a very good offering from the increasingly poor Lips of Faith series. This is probably only a step above the embarassing Transatlantic Kriek

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Photo of Tilley4
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aromas of yeast and slightly tart lemon roll of of this and bring to mind a Saison more than a Wild Ale... I don't get any sourness here at all really... Slightly yeasty with touches of banana and clove... A bit of a chore to drink actually as I was hoping for some good lacto bitterness and brett funk and got none of the above...

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Photo of veinless
2.36/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours exactly the color of warm maple syrup, with good clarity and a fizzy head. Dissipation was very quick, and lace was spotty and average.

Nose is weak, but very clearly has hibiscus at the front end. Floral, perfume scent of the hibiscus is nice, but sharply contrasted by the sour undertones of the beer. I can't say I like it very much. A little bit of vegetable character, like rhubarb, comes out a bit in the middle, but it isn't much. Maybe it's the endive, or maybe I'm imagining things.

Taste starts with a weak sour pucker, a floral/fruity taste of hibiscus combined with the brett, and moves to a funky middle. Funk is sort of melded with more fruit, and it tastes weird. That weirdness carries to the finish, where the palate is left with an odd mix of funk, fruit, sour and general discomfort.

Mouthfeel is on the thinner side, with too much carbonation for how mellow the beer is trying to be. Fortunately, the flavors get masked a bit by the prickliness so I can't hate on the mouthfeel completely. Drinkability is tough to rate; I don't have a particularly tough time taking swigs of this, but I didn't enjoy it at all.

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Photo of beerwolf77
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to wisconsinality for sharing this beer with me. Bottle into tulips.

A: Amber gold hue. Small cream hued head. Soapy lace left behind.

S: Mild citrus sour. Belgian yeast and spices. Light wet oak and what I assume is hibiscus flowers.

T: Strange wet grass and malt flavor. Spices and a good amount of oak. Tartness is there but not really sour. Very weird flavor profile.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation.

O: Well this wasn't horrible but it isn't good either. NB has some amazing sours and some amazing failures. This one falls into the latter category.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This tastes like infected Matilda, only less lactic and less sour. I suppose it tastes like a cross between infected Matilda and Fluer... With some nice qualities...

Looks pink tinted orange with a tan head and lots of bubbles...
Smells of hibiscus flowers, sweet malt, apples, vinegar soaked oak, and brett. Smells very very nice.

The taste doesn't do the nose justice. Sweet malts with apples, pears, flowery hibiscus notes. The Brett is nice, but more noticeable in the nose than the taste. The veer has a tartness that is enjoyable, but not really sour like I had hoped. The body is pretty full, despite being overly carbonated.

This is ok. It isn't exactly what I'd expected nor hoped for. It isn't bad, but it is not great. I think it has strong aging potential....
I am finishing the whole bomber, but I'm not loving it...

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear honey orange color with a 2 inch tan head that fades to a tiny cap. Small thin rings of lace here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of slight vinegar, flowers, and funky must (from the Brett and lacto). Somewhat of an weak smell from this one. Taste is of sour vinegar, watered down jamaica (Mexican hibiscus drink), and funk/earth. The taste is somewhat weak overall and kind of disappointing. Good carbonation makes for a soda-like mouthfeel. Overall, a decent wild ale but I was expecting something better.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at for pete's sake in philly

Pours a clear burnt orange with some golden hue, thin white head, little retention or lacing on the glass.

Strong tart fruit scents with berries and funk. Bits of biscuit malt and straw, sweetness as well.

Plenty of fruit up front with berries and sweetness. Slight tart hints, funky undertones but very soft. Blueberries, elderberries, and tons of fruit. Slight malt backbone but quickly swept away by continuing fruit tart sweetness. Finishes juicy, clean, and sweet.

Medium body, decent carbonation, drinkable and easy on the tongue, smooth and slightly creamy. Also, for 8.5% I really didn't pick up much alcohol. The flavor was pretty tasty but I found more berry sweetness than sour in the profile.

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Photo of Prime16
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Reddish amber with foamy, white head. Good lacing throughout.

S- Slightly sweet, unripened fruit, yeasty nose.

T- The yeasty smell carries through into the taste. Slight grassy notes, more tart than sour in my opinion.

M- Lightly carbonated.

O- Much higher alcohol than I'd like in this style of beer. Definitely a unique beer - not really a sour beer by taste in my book.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with a one-finger, white head of foam. It had okay retention and left sticky patches of lace.

S - It smelled of hibiscus, yeast and some sour notes. Some slight funkiness.

T - It was spicy and fruit with some nice caramel backbone. Slightly funky with some sour bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a very snappy, dry finish.

O - This is a very nice wild ale. It is very unique and tasty.

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Photo of nickhiller
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: cloudy and coppery with brief bubbly head

S: fresh indoor house paint, a little sourness on the top and a deep malty background

T: it's like a watered down sour, like it was mixed with a Pacifico or a Negra Modelo, lacking the flavor and depth of a true Belgian. I challenge anyone to take a Pacifico and squeeze a lime wedge into it and explain to me what the difference is, beyond the packaging and marketing

M: light and lager-y

O: why can't these breweries stick to what they're good at? To call this a Belgian anything is an insult to the tradition. Neither a sour nor a Belgian witte--nor even an American Wild--this beer is without a home.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a light tartness that's reminscent of La Folie and the soft bready-sweetness displayed in Allagash White Ale, Vrienden weaves these flavors in a delicate and sociable balance.

Pouring a medium amber-copper hue and with subtle carbonation that builds a dainty off-white head that withstands most of the session, the beer carries a mild haze and void of any lace.

Varying aromas take you from tart apples and cherries to light breads, wheaty grain, and confectioner's sugar, and then back again with the next whiff. The sour or musty notes are very moderate, if not tame. Light spice of corriander and curracco orange peel beging to reinforce a witbier notion.

Early sweetness of part bready, part grainy taste gives a rich boldness to the grain bill. A quick rebuttal of tartness ranges from crabapples, limes, white grapes, and tart cherries; and toward flavors of currant and black pepper. Lightly tanic, acidic, and wine-like, the beer only demonstrate these flavors in a very subtle demeanor.

Medium malt richness seems odd in a wild ale, as the residual starch and sweetness hold a firmness in texture and serves to refute the acidity and tanic astringency that normally accompany such sour ales. Finishing less refreshing, less crisp, and without stripping the palate cleanly, the beer delivers a bready-tart flavor/feel that lingers well into the finish and aftertaste.

In some ways, I feel that the sour components contaminate a solid witbier base. And in others I feel that the wheaty malts hinder the boldness of the sourness. It's definately an American wild ale on training wheels.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice appearance on this beer- beautiful orange with just a hint of pink from the hibiscus and a creamy white head. Unfortunately, the head is a little short- but it does stick around and leaves some lacing. Lots of bubblegum in the nose, and very little sour. There is a way arom as well that is not unpleasant. I suspect that this will sour up quite a bit over time. The taste has noticeable hibiscus, which lends a fruitiness, more bubblegum, some graininess, and once again, only lightly sour notes. Tastes a bit yeasty in fact. As is, this is drinkable and fairly pleasant, but doesn't come off as a sour. This is one I'll try again in a year or two and see how it's soured up.

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Photo of kevanb
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice appearance, hazy dark amber borderline brown, lacy head that is just right.

S: Fruity, spicy and yeasty. The fruit is really nice and compliments the usual Wild Ale aromas.

T: A let down, still a good taste, but no where near as sour as one would expect, and not as fruity either. I did enjoy the flavor, but I felt that there was something missing.

M: Nice mouthfeel, a bit carbonated and fizzy and lacking in the sour feel.

O: A good beer, glad to have tried it as I enjoyed drinking it, but I go too far out of my way to get it again.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

After trying the Boulevard Saison-Brett at a tasting the night before, I needed to find more brett to satiate my palate. Stopping by Mondo Vino in North Denver, I chose this one. Sadly, this one really didn't do much. Not much funk or tartness here. Nice golden amber color with a wispy white head. Aromas of candi sugar, light hops and just a whiff of tartness. Light bodied, with flavors of candi sugar, flowers, herbs and tea.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into a tulip.

A: Dark amber with some reddish to pink tinges, hazy with a finger tall soapy white head. Quite nice looking actually.

S: Floral, with some sour brett and sweeter fruit notes.

T: Sweeter than expected. The brett plays a light role behind an abundance of floral rose and hibiscus with fruitier orange and apple. This is quite good, as I'm not one to like fighting through sour to find flavors.

M: Medium bodied, with a good crispness to it.

D: Very likable collaboration. A little sweeter than expected, and not overly sour.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11 ounce pour - $4.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, dark copper-amber body with a third of an inch of wispy, white head. Smallest smattering of lace on the descent.

Smell: There's a slight fruity juiciness on the nose, a bit of sugared candy, and a fuzzy tartness, giving it a hint of the liquid leftover in a can of fruit cocktail dosed with a couple light stray drops of alcohol.

Taste: Lightly sweetish taste of pale malted barley, then a fruitiness of apple juice, a vague notion of berries, and a small pour of rose water. Mildly tart. Almost nil bitterness. Small hint of the alcohol within. Small late-arriving hint of fruit-flavored candy, like taking in some Nerds candy at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: It simply doesn't satisfy in the wild or sour department, leaving it to rely on the interesting fruity aspects of the beer, but, then the ratcheted up ABV keeps it from being really refreshing.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a fizzy head to start. There isn't much lace left behind though the carbonation is visible throughout.
The smell is a bit disappointing, very much like a Belgian Strong Pale. Bready malts, earthy hops and Brett funk. Not wild ale worthy but certainly not bad.
Note to drinkers, LET IT WARM. The sour is sedated right out of the fridge. French bread, floral jasmine, earthy hops and a touch of honey are the first tastes noticed. This gives way to a slightly citric, but mostly lactic sourness finished off with a bit of hay and horseblanket funk. Much easier to dissect than some of the wilds that are sour heavy.
Mmm, mmm, good. I'm going to grab another for my cellar.

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Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up on a recent trip to Boone, NC and was happy to find some of the less common NB beers. Review is from notes taken on 4/1/2011 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pour is a peachy/orange/coppery color and it starts with a big off-white 2 finger head that fades relatively quickly to a full and cap of about 1 centimeter in depth and then eventually to a thin ghostly wisp; body is murky and cloudy, but still manages to show moderate carbonation bubbling up slowly and evenly; only a couple spots of lacing is left behind

Smell: Brett is right up front, but it's not overpowering or anything; bit of a tropical mango/pineapple-like presence beneath it and it kind of makes my mouth watery; slight spiciness that is reminiscent of cloves or pepper.

Taste: Overall I think it's pretty tasty -- doesn't quite reach the level that other wilds have, but it's pretty good overall and I think would actually be a pretty decent gateway into the style because it's not overwhelming or overly tart/funky/anything like that. The tart brett is there, and it leads the palate, but it's really well balanced by the tropical and smoother flavors (mango, perhaps a bit of peach?); slight peppery spiciness lingers in the end of it, but it really compliments the tropical flavors more than anything and kind of helps bring them out a bit.

Mouthfeel: Not especially strong carbonation, but it's more like a light and spritzy mouthfeel; a thin and mostly dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth and the gums and belly are left a little warm and tingly from the acidity of the drink; fitting for the style.

Overall: I was kind of surprised to see that this one averages a B as I feel it's a little better than that overall, and it seems that some folks had a very different experience overall than I did. To me, it's a highly drinkable beer that would be easy for anyone to get behind, especially if they're new because there's really nothing to turn one off from it. Cheers to NB -- I feel they deserve more love!

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

I've heard things about this one, so was pretty jazzed to get to try it at the Firk' last night. It pours a mostly clear peach juice topped by a finger of off-ecru foam. The nose comprises apricot, light Brett, green apple, light caramel, lime, and light toffee. The taste holds notes of white grapes, spinach, cedar, cranberry, and some exceedingly light caramel cowering in the back. My companion and I agreed that a fair way to sum up the taste would be bad (read: stale and kinda poor-tasting) white wine. The body is a stolid medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a gloopily oily feel. Overall, I was decidedly unimpressed with this brew: very lacking in the sour department, not entirely pleasant to have sit in the mouth, and a mildly harsh aftertaste.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle. No best before date.

A - red brown slightly cloudy with some subtle floaties. Fluffy white head resolves after a few minutes with a cuff of lacing around the meniscus.

S - yeasty with sour apple; unsurprisingly reminds of a sour.

T - very tart with lots of sour apple up front resolving into an enduring ripe fruit with hints of malt backing it up. Not overly powerful or concentrated. It's a light and quite drinkable sour - very approachable.

M - moderate amount of carbonation with a medium density mouthfeel. Not overly heavy.

D - quite drinkable with only slight booziness.

Solid entry into the Lips of Faith. Worth a try for sure, especially if you're looking in the sour direction.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden brown pour with a one finger white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Really doesn't have the vinegar smell I was expecting from this one. Very floral aroma, and hoppy.

T: The flavor is very hoppy, a floralness following the smell, with only a slight touch or sourness. Sort of a weird aftertaste.

MF: Light bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Pretty crisp.

O: Not at all what I was expecting. More like an IPA, with a hint of wild ale. Pretty good, I'd like to try the Alllagash version.

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Photo of nhindian
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Big props to russwbeck for sharing this, thanks Russ!

A - Pours a deep, golden amber color. It's pretty cloudy, but not with any noticeable chunks of sediment. A modest pour yields about 1.5-fingers of head that has pretty good retention, lasting well into the glass. Lacing is almost non-existent.

S - Relatively light and floral, surprisingly. Not sure what habiscus smells like, but I will trust the bottle and believe there's a good presence here. I'm getting some dandelion, and it really reminds me of Victory Prima Pils at first for some reason. Maybe the floral hops here. Some slight vinegar, but not overly sour in the least.

T - As far as sours go, this one is much more mild than I would've expected. Given the description of Brett and Lacto, I was expecting a quite sour beer here. Rather, its relatively floral and hoppy up front, and the sourness, however faint, comes next. If you are looking for mouth-puckering sour, look elsewhere, as this only gives a relatively mild vinegar, lemon, tart cherry sour.

M - Mouthfeel is relatively light-bodied with good carbonation. Not incredibly sour, but pretty tart. Pretty good lasting impression, but again, don't come in expecting an amazingly sour beer.

D - Drinkability is relatively high. If I were rating to style, I feel this is a fairly weak Wild, but in terms of ease of drinking and flavors, its quite pleasant and refreshing. I can't shake the impression that this is Prima Pils with a tart component.

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Photo of devilishprune
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New Belgium Vrienden 12/20/10

A. Cloudy amber in color with a ring of fine bubbles around the edge of the glass.

S. Smells like beer? Maybe a little flowery and sour. Not getting much alcohol from this one, despite the 9% ABV.

T. Very good, especially for a sour. Caramel in the front with a bit of bread afterwards, followed by a sour middle and a sweet finish. Throughout I get hints of Belgian Phenolics, but they're pretty subdued by other flavors. The aftertaste is what you would expect from a sour beer and also a little grainy. Can't taste the herbs too much, but then again I don't know what they taste like. This is not overpoweringly sour either, just sour enough to make you want to take another sip.

M. Light-medium body and prickly carbonation.

D. Sourness makes it more drinkable, but finishing off more than one bomber would be a problem.

Overall: I would buy this one again. It seems like a good intro for sour beers (since I liked it, and I don't like a lot of other sours).

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap @ 1702 Tucson, AZ; March 2011
The beer arrives with a two finger thick, pale tan colored head that leaves a nice layered lacing pattern on the sides of my glass as I drink it. The beer is a clear, full amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, copper-amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of pale-toasty whole grain bread-like character up front, but this moves into a lightly tart, fruity smelling apple note that also has a floral-fruity-tart plum character and a solid caramelized backdrop that peeks through significantly at times. As the beer warms up the whole grain character becomes more noticeable in the finish.

As it first hits my tongue the beer has a medium full richness to it. There is a light tartness to the beer and ample fruit flavors in the middle and there is a touch of astringent character to the finish that takes the place of a hop bitterness. Solid flavors of apple, touches of plum and even some fresh fig notes make up the fruit character that plays a pretty dominant role in this beer. The astringency in the finish seems to be derived from toasted grain or grain husks. Despite the creamy texture this beer is quite quaffable; the body seems to be mostly from something other than residual malt and the light lactic acid found here likely boosts this a bit. Some of the light acidity here seems to come from a hint of acetic character, but only just a smidge. The malt character is pretty substantial; it tastes quite a bit like biscuit malt or victory malt was used here. There is also a touch of crystal malt character towards the finish that makes me think of caramel apples.

The acidity is actually really light here, there is just enough to boost the perception of fruitiness, but I wouldn't really call this a sour beer. It is also quite clean without any real funkiness to it at all. Somehow this beer is a bit unsatisfying in the end; the acidity / tartness is just too muted and overall this beer just seems light. There is a nice mix of flavors and aromas to this beer, but they just seem to lack any real presence or finesse. Not a bad beer, but I was certainly expecting more.

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Photo of aasher
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium is really hit and miss with me, their Lips of Faith series especially. Le Terroir was amazing so I'm willing to give this one a shot.

It poured light in body and a pretty clear copper in color with a one finger off white head that sticks to the sides of my snifter. It kind of smells like a saison. There is some spice, yeast, cloves, and then a malty/honey like sweetness (although not overly sweet). The flavor is kind of short lived, like it doesn't stick around long enough for you to try to pick it apart. This makes me think that this beer is lacking something. It's sweet and only a little tart/sour. It has a honey like sweetness with light spice. The taste itself isn't too bad. In fact it's pretty tasty. For the style however, this beer is lacking substantially. It drinks pretty light and doesn't have a lasting aftertaste. It has good flavor but not what you'd hope for or expect from the style. This beer is ok and that's about it. It doesn't stand out but it's a tasty beer to drink.

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Lips Of Faith - Vrienden (Allagash Collaboration) from New Belgium Brewing
3.67 out of 5 based on 281 ratings.
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