Welcome to my beer blog. Here I'll post some of my thoughts on and reviews of craft brewed beer. Follow me on Twitter @AleThoughts

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beer Review: New Belgium Lips of Faith Kick

Did you hear the news? New Belgium now distributes to Maryland. About damn time! There's a slightly different version of the Fat Tire label that says something along the lines of "don't be crabby, we got to the Chesapeake". I guess this is to answer similar reactions from others who share my feelings. It is about time.

Craft beer folks will know to skip the Fat Tire and go right for the big boys, the Lips of Faith series. In all seriousness, I'm very happy that New Belgium stuff can be had in Maryland. I'm thrilled that they sent out some of the special and seasonal releases in addition to their standard line. I hope this is a sign of things to come. Prices seem very reasonable at about $4 for the standards and $7-$9 for the big guns.

Kick appears to be a fall seasonal. The jack-o-lantern themed label give that away. This brew is a collaborative effort between New Belgium in Colorado and Elysian Brewing Company in Washington. It's a sour ale that's a blend of sorts. 75% is an ale that's brewed with cranberry juice and pumpkin. 25% is an un-fruited ale that's been aged in wood barrels. It clocks in at 8.5% alcohol by volume.

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a medium snifter. I offered to share this with my wife, but she declined. Ok, I'll drink it by myself. Darn. It appears evenly hazy, pale orange with a fine bubbled head, small streams of carbonation that come up sporadically through the tasting. The head scoots to the edge really quick. The aroma is with faint hints of cranberries with some light wood notes. It reminds me of chardonnay wine.

Sipping commences. It's big and tart. Huge tart orange citrus up front which sticks through the middle. I picked up some earthy woody notes and tart and sour cranberries in the middle. It finishes with hints of sweet cherries. The lingering aftertaste is rocky and sour with some hints of cinnamon spice. It comes back and goes away a few times. This is a palate cleanser, for sure. Kick feels light to medium in body with not a hint of alcohol.

I'm pleased with this, my NB-hype excitement aside. For the price, this is a VERY well executed lightly sour ale. I don't pick up too much from the pumpkin addition, but the cranberry is there for sure. This could be a good one for the adventurous beginner who has had success with lightly sour brews. Very enjoyable as a sipper after dinner. The 8.5%ABV is extremely well hidden. The  use of cranberry and the cinnamon notes make me want to save this for the colder holiday weather. But, it's quite enjoyable in the light summer as a sour to finish off a tasting session.

In my recent shopping I grabbed some Clutch, a dark sour ale. We'll see how that one is tomorrow.

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