Lips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration | New Belgium Brewing

615 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 250
Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this bottle up at Whole Foods on P Street a ways back. Shared at Jared's dinner party a week or so back. Wine glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a short off-white head and a touch of lacing on the way down. The nose brings some light roast and chocolate. Pretty plain without any real indication of anything wild. The flavor is along the same lines. Really tame and plain. It doesn't have the alcohol I'd expect from a beer of this size, though it doesn't really have the flavor either. Boring.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is opaque and dark brown colored, with a small, tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing. The aroma offers roast, chocolate, cherries, and a light funk. Taste is decent, but a bit odd. Not sure the roast and sour combination is working. Cherries and alcohol linger in the aftertaste. Overall, interesting and worth a try, though I wouldn't go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with XicanoBeerRun.

I don’t think of this as a stout. Porter-like, maybe, if I’m splitting hairs. But it’s an all-around unique, experimental brew that in my opinion defies easy categorization.

This sits a dark ruddy amber in the glass with some thin lacing around the rim. Aromas of dark cherry, currant and a tart sourness are present. It’s roasty, and big (9.2%) but the alcohol isn’t noticeable. The roast is balanced by a tart/sour flavor, almost tannin-like or woody. Great finish. A wonderful surprise of a beer. A great sipper, sharp enough to cut through the pack and funky enough to stay interesting.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up at the downtown Spec's in Houston a couple days ago. I am liking the black IPA concepts that are coming out here lately, so this sour black ale is a twist on that theme I guess. Kudos, New Belgium, for pushing the envelope. Let's see how this beer holds up.

Appearance: Pours a very dark color with a small 1/4" at its peak head that was made of some pretty "airy" bubbles that was fading right after the pour and was just a ring after about 45 seconds.

Aroma: The aroma was chock full of dark malts, so mush that they are coming across as a bit ashy. There is some chocolate in there and the caramel sweetness is there, but the sourness is playing a supporting role in the aroma in the cold beer so far. The aroma is getting more coffee like as the beer sits and is reminding me more of a Porter than anything.

Taste: The flavor departs from the aroma, which is a good thing. The flavor is still very centered on the dark malts, but the overall presentation isn't nearly as acidic as I thought that it would be from the aroma. The body is thinner than I expected as well...thought there is a lot of caramel in the aroma, in the flavor it is more supportive. The sourness is definitely becoming more noticeable as it warms up some, but it is always playing a supportive role...and not necessarily in a good way. The hops are there in flavoring, but are luckily reserved in the finish so the dark malts and attenuation are the bigger players in the finish. The carbonation is a little on the light side, but since the mouthfeel of the beer is so light, this goes with the whole ensemble.

Opinion: Overall this is a pretty decent beer, but I am thinking that maybe this style, or this interpretation of the style they were trying to create, may have missed the boat. It isn't absolutely outstanding, but it doesn't suck by any means. I am a big fan of sour beers, but this one just doesn't have the "bite" that I like and doesn't seem much more sour than a Guinness (though in a different way). I can't imagine that this beer is going to get much better with time, and I have one more, so I will probably be sharing that with friends someday soon. I'd try this beer if you like Stouts or Porters and don't mind the complexity offered by a sour component. Otherwise, this beer may not be for you.

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Photo of AlCzerik
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came highly recommended... But I wasnt that impressed. Poured extremely dark almost black. The finish leaves much to be desired, in my opinion. But I did enjoy this beer. I just feel that it would have been better if it had just remained a stout instead of adding the sour ale. But it is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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 DovaliHops
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a medium, light tan head that diminishes slowly. Scent is immediately tart with roasted malt aromas and hints of wood and vanilla. A bit of chocolate and coffee. Taste is not nearly as sour as I was expecting. In fact, not sour at all. Just mildly tart. First, I get sweet chocolate, followed by a mild tart flavor that compliments the milk chocolate and vanilla quite well. This stout balances roasted flavors, tart flavors, and sweet flavors extremely well. A very well balanced beer. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy. Drinkability is very high. Overall, I know a ton of people were wanting this to be more sour (I am one of those people)... but it turned out to be a well-balanced surprise of a beer. Love it!

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Charlie for getting me this bottle!

A - Dark black body with a nice brown head. Very professional looking stout

S - A light fruity tartness, Dark roasted malts, chocolate, smoked meats, rawhide. Really great balance and complimentary stuff.

T - Quite mild. Some muddled malts, and a bit of heat and dryness on the finish. A very light fruity mild tartness comes out as it warms.

M - Really nice full and lush (thanks norm/rob). A good feel

O - well, it's kind of disappointing. It smells great but only tastes so-so. Wish it were more tart.

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Photo of claspada
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark dark brown, borderline black with no light visibility and a light brown fluffy head that slowly recedes leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin dead on for Hersey's chocolate syrup. Lots of baker's cocoa, dark chocolate, milk chocolate. As it warms you get some of the dark fruitiness, highlighted mainly by a dark cherry smell. I also get some instant espresso or black coffee smell in there as well. Some interesting notes of dirt, earth, must and recently buzz-sawed wood shavings become apparent with my second half of the 22oz. I enjoyed it much more when I first opened this.

The tastes begin with the dark black coffee and dark bittersweet chocolate. There is a light dark fruitiness in there as well but not really sour or tart like I would expect for your typical sour ale regardless of the beer base. The dominant flavors are roasted malts, dark chocolate, baker's cocoa and light espresso. Kind of reminds me of a higher ABV stout that has been cellared for at least 3 years; I find some cellared stouts or porters have a dark fruitiness that accompanies the roasted malt flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation. It is kind of thin as far as a stout would go but it's appropriate for a sour ale (the only problem is that this tastes way too much like a standard stout as opposed to a sour ale), so I am conflicted here.

Overall this a good tasting beer, don't get me wrong, but it misses the mark for what I believe the brewer was intending. If I tasted this blind I would say this is a great, well balanced, American stout that probably had a few years of age due to the slight dark fruit/sour flavors, but would never had guessed it was less than a year old sour dark ale. If you want a good beer, I recommend this, if you want a sour dark ale, eh, I would pass. [Maybe it just needs time to age but I think New Belgium filters or pasteurizes their beers so I don't think this will age particularly well.]

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Photo of DCon
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed a 1 PINT, 6 FL. OZ. bottle of this brew w/ GeoffTheAleMan from Randall's Wine & Spirits in Fairview Heights, IL for $8.99. Poured from the Clutch Bottle w/ the Sun blowing wind onto the Symbol, all in gold into a 0,47l New Belgium Oversized Snift Glass and Does NOT have a Freshness Date on the bottle! (Strange for a Lips of Faith brew...)

Aroma- Strong prunes and chocolate that has been melted down starts out this aroma. Has a metallic backend though... Did not appreciate this characteristic! Otherwise, much different that what I had on-tap already!

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has above par head retention. Body is the deepest brown you can get and opaque. Leaves thick lacing afterwards.

Flavor- Very roasty and has this chocolate flavor again! Light sour finish but the roastiness and malt overpowers this. Light hop bitterness in here as well. TOO complexed for what the style should be...

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Light Carbonation, and has a decent sour finish! Roasted malt plays a big part in the finish also.

Overall Impression- Much better then on-tap! Still not sure what the hell I'm supposed to be drinking, so this makes it tough to give it any good remarks... Wouldn't care if I never saw this brew again! Not a good one to let a friend try while they are trying to get into the "sour styles". I'm sure you all can agree with me on this one!

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Photo of 100floods
4.31/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(Taken from my blog, for a new audience)

I've always thought it a bit odd for a brewery and a band to collaborate. Lagunitas named a series of beers after Frank Zappa albums, but that was done in celebration of the 40th anniversary of each album. And while I have heard of breweries naming beers after the spirit of certain genre's (and of course Decibel Magazine's inaugural edition of <i>Brewtal Truth</i>, in which styles of beer were compared to sub-genre's of metal), this seems new to me.

The maker's of the some of the most medicore beer in the USA has continued to surprise me with their Lips of Faith Series. How can the makers of Fat Tire simultaneous produce fine, well crafted Belgian styled beers is beyond me. Whatever it is, it's working.

While on a recent excursion to Portland, Oregon I picked up the gem at the famed Belmont Station. Lips of Faith has collaborated Maryland's Clutch on a new beer, a dark sour ale to be exact. They had me at the logo. You may be asking how does such a collaboration occur? It's not uncommon for a band to be fueled by beer, and maybe fans with a good ear for booze can detect the elixir's influence on the band. So perhaps the inverse can happen to the beer.

This beer pours a viscous black with some tan head scatters shortly after its arrival. Big notes of coffee, toffe, some caramel malts and dare I throw in chocolate, for the hell of it. There is also just a hint of wild yeast.

I haven't had many sour dark beers, not this dark, but the good ones are top notch. Allow me to add Clutch (the beer) to this exclusive group. This drinks like a stout and a sour. Dry start, nice smooth sour finish. Some subtle wood notes in the middle. Towards the end the sour notes begin to wash over what little stout flavors survive. I suppose I could describe the this beer as a battle between bass and treble, in which J.P. (the band's drummer) on the skins comes out the victor. There's some sweet notes that linger, but the wood and the sour seem to really dominate this palate. No complaints, though. The bitterness of the hops and chocolate notes seem to really help carry the sour flavors, which are dominant, but not overpowering. After letting this beer sit a bit the roasted malts make themselves known, but still cannot compete.

I don't know how they do it, but the guys at New Belgian Brewing know how to make a good sour. And not just a good sour, an accessible sour. Trying to match a beer to a band's personality is definitely challenging, if not interesting task, but most of all a fun one. I'd be interesting in seeing how the Minutemen get translated into beer.

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Photo of gatornation
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap in tulip

A- pours a dark amber color with a small off-white head but a nice collar that stays

S- was roasted malts and baked bread with a dash of vinegar

T- was some burnt bread and a touch of oak with vinegar and chocolate,sweet fruits and nuts

M- medium carbonation with chocolate and roasted malts on the palate

O- a different brew with loads of flavors of which none stand out ,glad i had it on tap 1 is enough for me

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Photo of snaotheus
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a couple big snifters

Pours dark but not opaque, reddish-brown. Medium-small beige head that fades extremely quickly, lots of fine active carbonation. Smell is mild but tart, maybe cherries or plums.

Taste is a weird mixture of chocolate malty and tartness.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich without being sticky. Overall...this is an interesting beer more than a good beer. But it's not bad.

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Photo of wedge
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Raleigh Times

Very dark, possibly black color under a persistent, creamy cap. Tart, chocolaty malt aroma. Lightly sweet, sour and roasty malt flavor. The first time I had this, it seemed more like an infected stout, but the last couple times have been more enjoyable. Alcohol is very well hidden. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drink to the dead all you still alive...

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Photo of litheum94
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tar black body with a big and foamy brown head. Levels out to a thin cover that clings to the side of the glass.

Aromas of bittersweet chocolate and coffee grounds. Charred wood. Where's the sourness?....

Chocolate, coffee and oatmeal. Very roasty. A very slight fruit sourness, perhaps peach. Some charred oak flavors.

This beer is very underwhelming for a "sour." It's a good beer, but I've got to ding this because there just isn't any sourness there. A good beer, but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split three ways...

Appearance-Dark black, light does shine through when held up to the light. Definitely some shades of a dark purple. Head was a huge 3 finger frothy brown head that had some crazy retention for a 9.5% beer.

Smell-Was not by any means what I was expecting. Definitely thought I'd get some tartness/sourness and got nothing. Some roasted notes, some coffee, just smells alot like an Amiercan Stout, you wouldn't think anything else of it.

Taste-Upfront I got some chocolate, coffee, roastiness and was waiting for that sourness to kick in and never really did. Midway through the drink as it got to room temp I got some sour cherries mid palate and got a little lip-puckering. It was very subtle and strange but the drinkability and flavor on this beer nonethessless was very nice.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, very drinkable and extrememly smooth. Carbonation was spot on. At 9.5% this beer could creep up on you.

Overall-This beer was by no means what I was expecting going into it. I was dissapointing in the fact the sourness was barely there, but then again in a stout how much sourness do you really want? For what it is it worked out very well and I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of gigaknight
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours opaque black with a nice finger-thick sheet of golden tan head. Showing some really lovely legs that stick around a good while.

S- A bit of lactic acidity with a nod towards some lemon in the nose, but the tartness suggests more cherry sourness than anything. Surprisingly, this melds very nicely with the lightly toasted malt background. Actually, if you held this brew to my nose while I was blindfolded, the only hint I'd have that this isn't a Flanders Red is how curiously muted the tartness is.

T- The first thing I find on the palate is a very smooth doppelganger of a nice mild Flemish sour, like Monk's Cafe. This dovetails extremely well into the powdery cocoa character of the stout. The lasting acidity suggests some subdued leather and tobacco notes which are rather pleasant. The aftertaste somehow returns perceptibly to the tangy cherry character, with the residual cocoa and bitterness bringing about some dark chocolate to the ending.

M- Unexpectedly light, although still creamy and smooth. I think a heavier mouthfeel would have cost the beer some charm, as this drinks perfectly the way it is. Call me crazy, but even the carbonation is reminiscent of a Flanders Red, in my opinion.

O- I enjoyed this beer much more than I expected to. Eveb at 9% abv, I'm having no trouble working through this bomber. My present company disagrees, but I am very charmed and pleased with this strange brew.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $8.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a black body with a surging, tall-standing, tan head.

Smell: Sweetish, melty chocolate chips over overdone toast with some light hints of vanilla and sour black cherry compote with a balsamic glaze.

Taste: Semi-sweet chocolate morsels blended with dark, roasty malts, a spoonful of molasses, a splash of heavy cream and a few acetic drops of balsamic vinegar. Touch of black cherries, a hint of vanilla. Restrained, subtle acidity. Chocolatey, toasty, (mildly) roasty finish with a lingering sourish fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Fairly soft mouthfeel overall.

Overall: A stout with some gentle, easy-going sourness within. For whatever reason, I was expecting something along the lines of Madrugada Obscura, which it isn't at all. Still pleasant enough, though.

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Photo of champ103
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger tan head forms, and gently recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Some nice lace is left behind.
S: Not much in the nose. Roasted malt, dry burnt toast, light vinegar aromas.
T: Again, lots of roast, dry toast, and some chocolate comes through. More vinegary than the nose. Some acidic twang. An odd mesh.
M/D: A medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is noticeable with some burn, add the odd mesh of flavors and this is a slow sipper.

Nice try, but misses the mark. I have had several stout/sour combos, and have never really cared for them. This is no different. Worth a try just to try something unique, but a one and done.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, split

appearance: served in my hopleaf tulip, ebony body, light tan head with minimal frothy lace

smell: dry roast, vinegar. meh

taste: definitely one of the duds in the lips of faith line - the tart stout concept just doesnt work. Tart vinegar, dry chalky roast, chocolate, artificial cherry.

mouthfeel: lighter end of medium, tart

overall: not my fav

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Photo of Phocion
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into a Surly Darkness tulip. Pitch black with two fingers of rocky light brown head. Reasonable retention that leaves surprisingly light lacing.

Interesting aroma. The two notes most prevalent are rich roasted malts and a sour cherry funk. Bitter chocolate is also present.

Flavor tastes like a strange, subdued sour. Light chocolate tones, roasted malts, dark fruits, and a bit of burnt woodiness. Very odd blend of flavors, but I kinda like it.

This is a medium/full-bodied, slightly chewy stout with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a very weird beer, but it somehow works. Not sure it's something I'll pick up again, but I definitely enjoyed it.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours dark brown, can't tell if its clear or cloudy. Head is about two fingers and is creamy brown, also laces very well.
S: slight spice, to go with nutty malt with sweet sourness it that makes sense
T: NB calls it a sour brown, its listed here as a stout, so which is it? I'd say a brown, nutty malty and sour, with a nice sweetness at the end
M: a little bit creamy when cold, lightens up as it warms.
O: one of the first New Belgium beers I really enjoyed since VA just got it a month ago.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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 TheBeerWolf
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- very dark beer very little light peaks through. Got about an
inch of tan head. That head fades pretty quick but leaves some nice lacing.

S- for the most part a pretty standard stout smell. Dark toasty notes maybe a hint of some sour in the background but very little really.

T- dark roast, hints of chocolate and coffee then some very subtle cherry notes in the background. To be honest after having la follie I was a little surprised at how unsour this beer was but it does work. Like a nice black forest cake.

M- I would say medium. Lighter then most most stouts but not super dry as some sours can be.

Overall I really enjoyed it. If your breaking into sours this might be a nice intro. Most sour purists would probably dismiss it as the sourness is very subtle but its a decent sipper for most that would enjoy a nice dark beer.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It is defiantly darker than I thought it would be. Black as night with a mocha head that laces nicely. Looks like a stout.

S: There is a notable sour cherry nose. The rest is dominated by dark fruits.

T: Right up-front I get those classic porter flavors like espresso and light chocolate. Mid-palate the sourness kicks in and finishes with those cherries that came though on the nose. Delicious.

M: Full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation with a sweet finish.

D: It could have been all the beer I had before this one, but this will screw you up. It's a sipper for sure, to be enjoyed over an evening.

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Lips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration from New Belgium Brewing
3.69 out of 5 based on 615 ratings.
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