Lips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration | New Belgium Brewing

Lips Of Faith - Clutch CollabeerationLips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration
Liked This Beer
3.73 w/ 625 ratings
Lips Of Faith - Clutch CollabeerationLips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This pleasing, two-part, potion was brewed with chocolate and black malts for a rich and roasty overtone, then fused with a dry, substratum of sour for a bold and audacious flavor. Black as night, this beer is blended at 80% stout, 20% dark sour wood beer for a collaboration that begins with a sour edge and finishes with a big, dark malt character, lingering, sweet on your palate.

Added by chumba526 on 08-06-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 625 |  Reviews: 251
Photo of SpdKilz
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up from my local Binny’s.

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a dark chocolate color. Very little light gets through, and when it does, it is only near the edges. About a finger of quickly dissipating mocha colored head is achieved with a regular pour.

Smell – Having had Tart of Darkness recently and being a fan of JP’s Madrugada Obscura, I was excited to try my third installment of a “sour stout”. The aroma starts out the same as with the others – typical stout smells such as chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, slight smokiness, and some slight funk.

Taste – Less tart than I was expecting (and less than the other two aforementioned beers). An initial sour cherry tartness up front which is almost immediately encapsulated by the beers stout characteristics. The bittersweet cocoa and roasted malts are dominant with the coffee taking a back seat along with some smoky wood notes.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation, finishes a little dry.

Overall – I was a little disappointed with this beer. The other two examples of this style had a more prominent tartness/sourness to them that made one realize this is not a mistake…this sour flavor is supposed to be there. This beer makes one wonder if there is the begging of an infection to a stout (Abyss ‘09 anyone?). I have another bottle for the cellar and am curious if the tartness will become more dominant in the future. I have a feeling it might.

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

Tasted 14 October 2011, reviewed from notes.

Pours very dark brown, almost black but not quite. One-finger head is a medium tan color with some yellowish tones. Good retention and solid lacing.

Dark roasted malts, coffee the most obvious feature, with a faint little twinge of tart. It smells a lot like a stout, with the tiniest little oddity thrown in.

Taste is mostly stout-like. Dark roasted malts, roasted barley. Coffee is again the most prominent piece, but there's some chocolate hidden down under there, too. A faint rise at the end is the only sign of the sour I pick up in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice - a little on the light side for a stout, but super smooth. Carbonation is just right, with lots of little bubbles that keep coming.

I can't give this beer a top-notch rating overall. It's billed as a dark sour ale, but while it's dark, it's not a whole lot more than that. Sour? Not to my tastes. To me, it's a typical, decent, stout, with a very small twist. It's good, for sure. But neither the stout nor the twist are enough to really elevate it.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This offering from New Belgium pours a deep and dark brown. Well, O.K., it's pretty much black. Hardly a hint of light shines through my 40 watt save energy bulb. Those with 100 watt bulbs might detect a deep crimson. Half an inch of foam settles out to a curious and clingy film.

Nose offers a bit of funk on top of a light mocha and chocolate delivery. Sour notes are slim but present, mostly in the form of sour black cherries cradled in chocolate.

Flavor is clean/thin yet not really. Somewhat full in body for an American Stout, yet that's not really what I was expecting. Regardless, in the end, that's what you get. Albeit at a somewhat fortified level. Stoutish in color and delivery though surely not a rich R.I.S., this beer drinks rather smoothly for its ABV. At the same time it does lack the character one might expect from an export stout. In the end it is what it is but the use of the word 'sour' is a touch out of place.

An easy drinking(except for the price) American Stout with subtle nuance, lacking in depth, and lacking in quality. The 'Sour' angle never really takes hold. Overall a bit lame for the ABV and especially given the style.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
2.88/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours jet black with a two finger brown head. The head is very puffy, and sticks around for a little bit. I'd like to see a more dense head out of my dark beers, but considering this is a stayed around a decent bit of time. Lacing is solid, all the way around the glass

S- there's a decent bit of roast in the nose, but I'm getting some very mild horseblanket qualities as well. The odd mix of scents seems to have the beer a little confused

T- my original assumption was correct: this beer is very confused. The sourness is very mild, and doesn't even result in a mild pucker. The stout qualities are also very mild, and I'm getting very faint hints of roast. There is some lingering sweetness, though. Really not a fan

M- medium bodied, on the lighter side. Has the body of a wild as opposed to a stout

O- I've had a sour porter before (Sierra Nevada Exportation) and that was about twenty times better than this. Sorry New Belgium, but I'm not a fan of this at all

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Photo of NateMac13
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pmarlowe
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass.

A: Pours black, essentially like a stout, with about a half finger of light khaki head. Pretty good retention and some lacing.

S: Malt, chocolate and sweet, tart red fruit.

T: Malty with some tart fruitiness and chocolate. Pretty dry.

M: Medium-full body and medium-light carbonation.

O: I thought I remembered the draft version having more tartness. Pretty interesting combination of sour + chocolate-y stout, though, but the chocolate limits how drinkable this is.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review adapted from notes taken 1/22/12

Appearance: Dark brown, clear around the edges, beige head

Smell: A light stout, gone sour - lightly burnt malts, dry and roasted - sourness works pretty well, smells balanced

Taste: Really more of a mild stout than a sour stout - chocolate malts, a hint of dry baker's chocolate - not straight-up sour, just a touch of sour that shines through the malts - slightly acidic, some herbal hops

Mouthfeel: Light to medium, smooth, pretty crisp, dry finish

Overall: A great take on a challenging style

Sour stouts are very strange. Rather than trying to make a strong, burly stout sour, I think New Belgium attempted to keep this on the mild side. I think this worked pretty well. It's not mind-blowing, but it works.

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Photo of Zbeetleman
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Pitch black color, with a nice looking eggshell colored head. Head remains at a thin layer for quite some time, coating the entire glass with lace.

Roasty malt up front in the nose, followed by some very nice sour dark fruit. Oak notes follow the fruit and add a great note.

Roasty, with very little sweetness. Nice sour fruit, a bit more on the ripe side than the nose suggested. Oak comes in, but not a great deal of tannin. Faint hint of chocolate flashes by toward the end.

Lighter body, with some soft carbonation gives a nice creamy feel. Alcohol is hidden very well. Very well made.

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

Photo of dannycohen62
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kopfschuss
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of GrindFatherBob
2/5  rDev -46.4%

Photo of thereal_adam
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of woodchip
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of bump8628
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of jacewg
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The late-building head is a creamy chestnut that lasts a long while, leaving a coating of lace on a flute glass. The ale itself is a very dark brown, nearly black, with no highlights.

Sour cherry dominates the aroma with chocolate and sweet blackberry closely behind.

The tartness is surprisingly light here as the flavors closely follow the nose. Sourness builds in the middle and lasts through a long, mild finish. Overall, this is quite fruity.

A light to medium body with light alcohol and light carbonation. The texture is soft and smooth.
This is an easy, relaxing beer that could be used as an introduction to the style for those otherwise unfamiliar with sour beers.

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Photo of Docrock
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jadjunk
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Pure rock fury meets Belgian-style brewqed folly in this collaboration with Maryland hard-rockers, Clutch. A pronounced bass line of dark chocolate, coffee and black malts bridge the sourness of our dark wood ale for a fluid riff." Brewed in the style of an American Dark Wild Ale. A collaborative release between New Belgium and rock band Clutch, this beer was released in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a New Belgium Globe glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy foam head of a mocha brown color over a very dark brown, near black body. Retention is good and lacing is light and streaked. 4

(Smell) The aroma includes cocoa nibs, faded coffee bean, wet oaken notes and some very mildly tart stone fruit juices. Not too sweet and not too sour. Potency is medium. 3.5

(Taste) The flavor is very stout-like with moderately roasted barley, a subtle caramel grain backbone and finishes with a lingering note of chocolate, coffee oils and soft tart fruit. Some very mild sour notes come through alongside a wood flavor on the finish. Overall it's not very sour and hardly tart, but an enjoyable stout despite its falling short to the sour style. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) The texture is lightly creamy, mildly chewy and medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a moderate frothiness and mild crispness. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is roasty and sweet over sour/tart. Alcohol presence is low and there are no notable off characters. 3.75

(Overall) After my initial disappointed experience with this beer's determination to market itself as a sour or wild ale, I gave it some time to develop and enhance these tart flavors and hopefully improve the flavor range of the beer. Several years later, there isn't much change and the flavor isn't hardly any more sour than it was as a fresh ale. As underwhelming as this beer is for a sour ale, I still find it a highly drinkable and quite enjoyable milder-bodied stout with lots of quality flavor in the stout department. Thus, I've only partially suffered from buyers remorse for this beer but recommend it nonetheless as one of the Lips of Faith more consistently enjoyable releases. It would have made a far more successful and popular stout if it had been marketed as such. 3.75

New Belgium Brewing's
Clutch Dark Sour Ale

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.72/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark brackish body with a creamy tan head. Thin legs and spotty lacing.
Smells like a mediocre stout... Roasty malts... Light coffee or cocoa notes.
Taste is just as expected but with an odd chalky tartness... Very weak. This tastes like they brewed a stout and fucked something up but decided to bottle it anyway. Weak.
The body is medium with a coffee like bitterness.
Overall-- wtf is this supposed to be? It reminds me of NG olde English porter, but just not done well.

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Photo of Phelps
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Apparently rockers are just as big fans of beer as brewers are of rock. A New Belgium brewer discovered this when he met Neil Fallon, lead singer of Clutch, in line at a Fort Collins Pickle Barrel. Realizing the band members were geeks for beer, he gave them a tour of the brewery and established a partnership that would lead to one of the beer world's few brewery-band collaborations.

You may not have heard of Clutch, but you've probably heard the Maryland band's punchy, bluesy rock every so often in TV commercials, video games and NFL highlights. Their music is jagged-edged and high energy, like a steel guitar with bullet holes, and when they were given free rein by New Belgium to construct the brew, they came up with something reflecting their style.

Clutch (the beer) is a two-part brew, composed of 80 percent roasty stout blended with 20 percent oak-aged sour ale. It's part of the Lips of Faith series, a group of tiny-batch brews New Belgium creates to celebrate milestones or to simply experiment with new flavors.

Poured into a tulip, Clutch oozes black -- it's a level of darkness any heavy metal band would be proud of. The head slowly rises in large caramel-colored bubbles, reaching an impressive height before popping away at a quick pace.

The beer is pure roasty goodness in the nose. Black and chocolate malts deliver aromas of roasted peanuts, coffee crumbles, rich dark bread, cocoa, oats and oaky vanilla. There's a fruity tang in back that compares to dark cherries, but it's not as substantial as you would expect.

The sourness is amped up in the flavor, however, dropping whole dark cherries and blueberries into the mix. As you move the smooth, spongy body across the tongue, new oak adds woody depth in front of the cocoa and curacao-spiced dark chocolate.

Despite the dissonance you might expect in a blend of burnt malts and souring bacteria, it's not a raucous, angry mosh pit of competing flavors. The dark fruit flavors lent by the sour ale aren't too far outside the realm of what's acceptable in a black beer, making this seem almost like a very sweet and fruity Russian imperial stout. The harmonious blend makes you wonder if it wouldn't be a bad idea for more brewers and bands to make sweet music together.

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Photo of peabody
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out kinda dark like dark coffee. Has a stout smell and no alcohol. Some bubbles but not a lot. Lacing here.
The flavor is def. stout but there is a bit of sour cherry in there too. Kinda cool.
Mouthfeel is a bit sticky but it is never overpowering. The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer.
Overall I like this. Glad New Belgium is trying stuff like this out! Excellent.

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Photo of ajzy
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Tilley4
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Wanted to love this but just couldn't do it...

Sour and bitter... Makes the stout aspect feel flat and muted... Neat idea but fails in my book...

Chalky and uninspiring...

Drain pour for me...

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Lips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 56.8% out of 100 with 625 ratings
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