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Lips of Faith Tasting II (New Belgium)

I had been stocking up on New Belgium Lips of Faith series brews. I've had a few before and did a private tasting with Mr. K of another four this past month. With new ones out, we grabbed a Tart Lychee and two other fruity/sour LoF brews from our stash for private tasting parte due.

Prickly Passion Saison (2011)
"Peter picked a prickly pear and paired it with a passion fruit. 'Perfect! Pitch it in!' He proclaimed. Now we have this pleasing prickly passion saison brewed with fruit juices and French saison yeast to our brewmaster's picking."" —From the bottle, more fun than the site.

Look and Smell: This amber-gold brew was musky. It has a solid, white, frothy head. I couldn't stop smelling it. It was fantastically earthy and fruity at the same time. The sugars left light lacing as I drank it.

Taste: It was fruity. It had a floral and fruit hop taste to it, not just the fruit juices. It wasn't as sour as I was expecting, lighter than a sour apple (pear). There was a bit of spice to it too. May have been from the yeast or other special additions.

ABV: 8.5

Biere de Mars (2012)

"A celestial collision of orange-hued ale, citrusy lemon verbena, and unidentified flying brettanomyces." —From the bottle, not on the site anymore.

Look and Smell: This orange brew had a thick foamy head. It left light lacing as I drank it. I was super floral, almost too much. I didn't want to keep smelling it, like I did with the Prickly Passion. It was lemony.

Taste: It was a smooth herbal brew. That floral bitterness, like sucking on flowers, taste was present. It matched the aroma. It had a light acidity. It was like over-brewed tea. A tea with great herbs and flowers. Slight honey. It was pretty good if you were in the mood for something like this. Served cold in the summertime.

ABV: 6.2%

Tart Lychee (2012)
And the one I was waiting for!!! "To sweet and sour. In celebration of one of the greatest combinations  ever, lychee fruit brings tropical sweetness to the party hosted by Felix, our golden wood-aged sour beer. Cinnamon sticks were invited to spice things up and so are you. Get in on the tasty revelry that is tart lychee."

Look and Smell: It was a cloudy straw-colored brew. The foamy white head was so bubbly you could hear it as it settled. It smelled like musky oak, smooth lychee, and cinnamon.

Taste: Moving from the groves of Florida, my best bet for lychee is the jarred varieties soaked in sugary syrup or some such thing. I've tried them in martinis, hoping the vodka would mask the syrup and give me a hint of that natural fruit. Infused in beer, without the actual flesh to bite into, this still gives me that feel of the natural fruit. The cinnamon really complements it. I've never thought of those flavors together. The oak works well with the musky, earthiness of the natural fruit. It was tart, juicy, and clean. It was woody, oaky, and earthy. This brew was a real treat.

ABV: 7.5%


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