Lips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration | New Belgium Brewing

621 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: 621 |  Reviews: 251
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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Photo of KarlHungus
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is one inch of solid tan foam that recedes very slowly leaving nice chunky lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt with a hint of cherries underneath. For a beer of 9% ABV it is a very weak aroma. The taste is of roasted malt with some sour cherry notes in the background. There is also some acidity, but it is not quite enough to cut through the sweetness of the stout. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a cloying texture, and low carbonation. Overall, this is a beer I will pass on next time.

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Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of slight yeast, sour notes, slight chocolate, hint of citrus, and slight roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong chocolate, roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of sour, and a hint of citrus. Overall, I'm a fan of this Chocolate-Sour. The sour is strong in the aroma and weaker in body, while the chocolate is strong in body and weaker in aroma. This makes for a great blend where each is clearly discernible on its' own.

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Photo of fragilehearted
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber into a snifter. I admit, I got this partly because it was categorized on the bottle as a dark sour, rather than a stout. Stouts aren't really my thing, but I do like sours. And well, partly because I like the idea of drinking a beer named Clutch. So here goes.

A - almost black in color (no light shining through). Nice tan head that goes down pretty quickly to cover + ring.

S - smells like a stout. Roasted dark chocolate malts. Some coffee notes. I don't really smell any sour elements...maybe a hint of cherry, but I think that's because I want it to be there? It smells pretty "normal" but not all that interesting.

T - follows the nose, but some of the sourness does come out after the initial roasted maltiness. I think the sourness actually makes the aftertaste a lot better, instead of bitter. But if you're looking for that extra bite, it's not going to be there for you.

M - medium body. Light for the average stout, which this obviously isn't. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden, which is nice.

D/O - it's interesting enough to try, but not sure I'd really want to get it again. If you think the idea of a sour stout is interesting, give it a go. I like sours but am not so into stouts, and I was hoping this might make them more approachable, but I think I'd rather just have some more sours. ;)

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thin but creamy tan head. Some nice lacing down the glass.

S: Chocolate, dark cherries, toasted malt, coffee and some granny smith apple.

T: There's a really interesting blend between darker stout flavors and lighter sour flavors. Hints of roasted malt and espresso along with sour cherries and burnt raisin skins. A bit of vinegar as well and a lingering bitterness on the finish. I was expecting a bit more. I almost wish it would taste bigger. I wanted a lot of sourness and a lot of stout flavor, but didn't really get either.

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Photo of ClaremontBrew
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Opaque, dark brown with a fluffy tan head.

S - Mostly roasty. Not a lot of sourness coming through in the aroma.

T - Chocolately, with a subtle sourness. Very pleasant. Nice complexity.

M - Fairly silky, comparable to a typical stout.

O - A surprisingly good beer. Roasty and full-flavored like a stout, but with a subdued sourness. If you're not a big fan of sour beers, don't be afraid of this one. It's a nice complex stout with a manageable sourness.

Served into a New Belgium tulip glass at Eureka Burger, Claremont, California.

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Photo of stakem
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to JohnGalt1 for the incredible generosity of giving me a couple of these New Belgium LOF brews as extras in our recent trade. Bomber into a snifter, this brew appears dark brown with a khaki head about a finger strong. Some brown clarity when held to the light. A webbing pattern of lace sticks all over the glass and a light swirl brings back a finger of froth.

The smell of this brew is lightly funky with a note of plastic and lactic quality. Some notes of cheese mix with cardboard and faint cherry quality. There is slight roasted grain that imparts mild chocolate and coffee that gets sweeter across the back. At times this brew smells a bit herbal and grassy with some woody inclusion faintly reminiscent of vanilla. A swirl makes this brew smell increasingly more bold with cheese and diaper.

The taste is earthy with a fruited quality somewhat like cherries. Lightly oaky with earth, dirt and Brett. There really isn't much going on in this brew's flavor despite the nose having quite a depth. The taste is very mild and bland with minimal tangy alcohol inclusion. The aftertaste is earthy with some roast and a mineral aspect like I have rocks inside my mouth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Smooth in the feel with a low alcohol impact. It is easy drinking but honestly boring in the flavor department. Despite letting this brew evolve in my glass from cold to warm, it just didn't do it for me. Regardless, I appreciate the opprotunity to give it a try. Maybe it will evolve a bit more if given some time to age.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely balanced dark sour.

Presentation:22 oz screen printed brown capped bottle. Dark gold solar simbol with Clutchs´s branding. Side paragraphs notes collab occasion, and main characteristics. Shows 9% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, short lived ecru creamy head, fair surface ring with splotches of lacing.

S - Nice nose, soft sour nose with roasted notes, and a lingering fruitiness.

T - Palate follows with a nice compact sense, malty sourness, roasted notes with hints of chocolate, tiny notes of coffee, dark fruits… prunes, figs… nicely balanced.

M - Medium/full body with medium carbonation, soft creamy ride held by the gentle sourness with a nice lingering sense in the palate.

O - Pretty balanced overall, quite likable.

Notes: Quite a nice brew, nothing outstanding as it peaks but very pleasing and approachable. A dark sour Belgium stoutish… It works. (And probably the best of the Lips of Faith series reaching DC on the launch of NB for the region...)

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Photo of Phelps
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
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 mdvatab
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into bordeaux glass.

Aroma: A rich, malty molasses. Dark cocoa, and a tart cherry-like sourness. Again, lots of cocoa, with a hint of vanilla.

Appearance: Dark brown. Thick, 3 finger, light tan cappucino-like foam settles slowly. Decent lacing sticks to the inside of the glass.

Flavor: Interesting roasty-sour thing going on. Not sure what to think at first. This one definitely defies standard style guidelines. Tartness up front, roasty malt, smoke, and earth. Like a cross between a darker sour and a dry stout (1:1 blend). Tartness comes back to linger through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation. Medium body.

Overall: My first take on this one was that it wasn't bad-- just not one I'd seek out again. I like sours, and also stouts, but not a mix of the two. The more I drank, though, the more tired I got of this one. I eventually wound up dumping my last 1/4 glass. As with any other mediocre or subpar brew, I'm reminded of how many other great brews are out there. No need to seek this one out again. Especially at this price.

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Photo of MrTopher
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 22oz bottle into a tulip.

A – Pours a dark brown almost black, but still close. A nice brown head comes off as well, about 1-2 inches in height. Beer leaves a nice lacing as it’s consumed.

S – Dark malt is the first thing I can pick up, a little roast also. There is some chocolate and maybe dark fruit, but it’s faint. There is some funk to the nose also.

T – Starts out as a pretty thin stout, with some coffee notes and a little chocolate, some sweet malt also. There is a mild tartness, but it’s very subtle but still present, but there is some funk!

M – Medium but closer on the side of thin, carbonation is decent. Good creaminess.

O – This has something that could be great, and I think 6 months to a year of aging would give it that missing link. I was left wanting a little more, but it was still something I would like to buy again and age.

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Photo of Spider889
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Umm, calling this beer a stout seems wrong, as the bottle definitely claims this to be a sour... but whatever.

I bought this while on my way into Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike on 9/26. I was excited to find it, but later was seeing it all over town.

I lugged this bottle on a 5 mile hike to the top of Mt. Ida, which tops out at over 12,800' tall. This was some serious effort on my part, as in Ohio elevation is likely never more than 800' above sea level. So serious effort was expended, and beer was much in need by the time we reached the summit. Anyways, this is my highest tick to date. If you ain't tickin' atop a mountain, you ain't got enough spirit to tick 'em all!

Poured into a plastic Avery cup we obtained the day before at the brewery. I must admit that despite really enjoying most "Lips of Faith" label art, this one I wasn't really digging so much.

The beer survived the climb very well, still quite cold thanks to prior refrigeration at the store and a few ice packs I carried with me. There wasn't much level area to place a bottle and a cup so I stuck the cup into the snow while I poured. Carbonation was strong, producing a quick 3 finger tall head of mocha-bean foam, atop a dark ebony beer, nearly black once collected under all that head. Outstanding creamy retention. Later lace was very thick and dense, Clutching to the sides of my clear plastic cup. Impressive.

Normally I dislike sour stouts, but this is the best in that genre I have yet discovered. Smelled really malty with lots of chocolate and sugared coffee aromas. Faint hints of cranberry and sour cherry pits were underlying all the malt.

The flavor is mildly tart, but nothing over the top. Not really acidic, just a nice fruity tartness. I was thinking that this tasted like a chocolate oatmeal stout that became slightly soured after spending some time in an older oak barrel.

Creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, for what was intended, this was very good. Glad I got to try it, in such a cool manner no less. However, I went into the store looking to buy La Folie for the hike, and still wish that's what I had had with me to commemorate the occasion. Next time Colorado. Next time.

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Photo of dubinsky
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a sniffer.

A – Pours a dark brown, borderline black with reddish hues at the edges. Huge foamy dark beige head resulted from my pour. This really resembles a porter. Decent lacing left behind as the head recedes.

S – Coffee and chocolate come out in the forefront with notes of toasted malts and pecans. An ever so slight hint of Belgian yeast is hidden in the background. The sourness is fairly well hidden, but I still am able to pick it out. Nice!

T – The beer starts off with roasted coffee, malts and chocolate and finishes with a nice tartness. Has a saison like funk to it.

M – Medium body with medium-high carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

O – This was definitely an interesting beer. I think it was an attempt at a sour porter more than a brown, but still was fun to drink and worth seeking out. Although this is not my favorite beer from NB or the Lips of Faith Series, I think I would drink it again.

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Photo of gford217
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

Pours deep chocolate brown, almost black, with a big creamy tan head and some nice sticky lacing and a small cap settling in on top.

Aroma is a little weird as it starts with a heavily roasted chocolate malt kick, but there is also an interesting cherry tartness along with some coffee notes.

The taste has less tartness than the aroma and is seriously roasty, almost has a burnt character. Lots of chocolate and a weird finish of smoke and slightly tart cherries.

The mouthfeel is roasty and dry.

I opened this expecting to get a much more sour beer (Surly Five maybe?), but it's really just a heavily roasted beer with a touch of cherries thrown in. Not one of my favorites from NB but still a very good beer.

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Photo of schultzi22
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip.

A: Coal-black with a finger of foamy head.
S: Nose of dark malts with only a hint of tartness.
T: Tastes like a stout that has soured slightly. Very little funk. The stout isn't great or exciting, and the tartness is difficult to distinguish.
M: A little thin. With a 9% abv, I expected more.
O: A disappointing beer that simply isn't very exciting.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer

A - deep brown/black, almost resembles a porter. Big frothy medium brown head that deposits nice lacing. Very little carbonation in the head

S - Nice chocolate notes up front and rich roasted patent malts. A little black saison like yeast in the background. Very potent and both styles are represented well in the aroma.

T - Starts off with light coffee and rich chocolate melded with a bright black farmhouse ale. It's dry and tart all at the same time thanks to the malts and yeast combos. Finishes with a dry and dusty chocolate flavor with a hint of citric yeast esters

M - Heavy body but not as thick because it's disguised by the yeast and beer blends. Finishes a little sweet and dries on the palate quickly. Very interesting and drinkable

O - a very interesting combination of beer styles that combined together to create something unique but retain their own characteristics. Dark and light flavors all together and aged very well

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Photo of drpimento
4.72/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, a really good curve ball beer! Poured with a fine, small to medium sized tan head that settles down to a light cover that lasts quite a while and some lace. Color is an opaque black brown. Aroma is malt, roast, cocoa, a little fruit and acid. Taste is like nose and has those qualities greatly amplified in a way that all works together very nicely. Body is excellent and carbonation perfect. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. Just a little alcohol at the very end. And in spite of the strength and big flavors this is pretty easy drinking. Session beer to get looped. Severe discipline is called for on this one.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.72/5  rDev -26.3%
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 chugalug06
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Huge head! Lt. tan foamy color. Brew is medium body with no lacing to speak of.

S - A little winey... Some nice grape and banana along with orange and kiwi...

T - Smooth and delicious. Much better from the bottle then draft, weird. Lots of big light fruit.

M - Perfect carbonation. no bitterness. no heat.

O - A great surprise! I really enjoyed this one!

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Photo of flagmantho
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into my Unibroue tulip.

Appearance: entirely black with a two-finger head of frothy dark tan foam. Retention is good with a quality lace left on the glass. Fabulous.

Smell: rich, chocolatey aroma with an undertone of funk. Some of the funk I might attribute to the confluence of roasted malt and earthy hops, which tends to generate a bit of cooked vegetal aroma, but overall it's actually quite pleasant.

Taste: pleasingly sour right off the bat, which fits well with the smooth yet roasty character of the malt. Immediately after the oud bruin-style sourness at the front, the flavor displays its chocolatey character, which then fades into an almost burnt-malt flavor which is much smoother and more pleasant than it sounds. I love the dynamism, although the complexity, overall, is low.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very good carbonation and resulting creaminess. I'm actually very pleasantly surprised by the mouthfeel on this.

Overall: I'm absolutely loving this beer. I'm a fan of Clutch, but not so much a fan of New Belgium, typically. This is easily my favorite New Belgium beer -- they really hit this one out of the park.

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Lips Of Faith - Clutch Collabeeration from New Belgium Brewing
3.69 out of 5 based on 621 ratings.
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