New Belgium Lips of Faith – Tart Lychee

Reviewed by on July 28, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

  • Origin: Fort Collins, CO, US

  • Rated On: July 28, 2016

  • Best Before: May 14, 2017

  • ABV: 7.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Wild Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Tart Lychee is part of the Lips of Faith series, and is composed of wood-aged sour ale blended with a new ale made with lychee fruit and cinnamon.  I never thought of lychee as potentially being tart, but what do I know?

This 22oz bottle pours a hazy, medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some disintegrating iceberg profile lace around the glass as it quickly and evenly subsides.

It smells of some generic musty tropical fruitiness, grainy and lightly crackery pale malt, zingy and almost metallic cinnamon, sour yeast, and a white wine barrel-like woodiness.  The taste is tart lemon, cherry, and white grapefruit, a lesser sweet fleshy lychee fruitiness (I’ve only had them once, and it was a long time ago – kind of like a musty overripe pear, I think), grainy and bready pale malt, some cedar-like woody notes, gentle earthy cinnamon spice, sad yeast, and some very tame leafy, herbal, and floral green hop bitters.

The carbonation registers fairly low on the trusty ol’ froth-o-meter, the body a decent enough middleweight, and sort of smooth, as the tartness isn’t so strong as to provoke thoughts of despair in this regard.  It finishes trending dry, the sugar of the tropicals continuing to bleed out, while that still growing cedar and cinnamon bark woodiness proves it has lasting mettle.

Overall, this is one complex mutha of a saucy summer brew – tart, woody, fruity, and spicy, all under the invisible yoke of a 15-proof booze quotient.  After almost spraining my brain trying decipher it, I can now just kick back and enjoy the rest, purposely oblivious to the minutiae of its various charms.

Brady White

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