Review: Kick, New Belgium

New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO

  • Style: Fruit / Vegetable Ale
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV:  8.5%
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Special Ingredients:  75% ale brewed with pumpkin and cranberry juice, 25% ale aged in wooden barrels
  • Price: $5.50 at bottle shop
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle

Description:  "Harvesting the creativity of Kim Jordan of New Belgium and Dick Cantwell of Elysian produced this ruby-hued, slightly sour, pumpkin, cranberry ale." — New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:   It's mid-August and this beer has pumpkins on the bottle!  Why on earth am I drinking it now?  First, this is New Belgium's newest release from their Lips of Faith series.  Second, it's made with pumpkins, cranberry, and it's a sour ale!  Finally, I'm usually late to the party when it comes to profiling new beers.  Not with this one.  Kick was produced as a collaboration between New Belgium and Elysian, who makes three seasonal pumpkin ales each fall.

The tasting:  Peach colored with a smallish-white head that dissipated fairly quickly.  Aroma of cranberry with a mild acidic tartness.  There's also some light barnyard and funky wild yeast notes.  Overall, a great aroma!  The flavor was unusual because the notes didn't emerge until the middle.  Once they did, I noticed cranberry, spicy hops, and herbal hops.  Towards, the end the oak flavor came through and added a nice depth to the flavor.  The pumpkin is nowhere to be found in aroma or flavor.  I even let a small sample warm up for over two hours.  Nada. 

Kick is light bodied and lightly carbonated.  It's not full-on sour, but has a nice tartness and mild bitterness throughout.  It finishes dry with tart cranberry and oak flavors.  The 8.5% ABV is very stealthy—I didn't notice it at all.  This is a very easy drinking beer that goes down well, so be careful.   

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   First, my only complaint—where's the pumpkin?  Did Elysian lose the coin toss?  That said, I thoroughly enjoyed Kick!  If you've curious about sour ales, this is a great one to try.  Priced at around $6, it's a great value and won't be around long.  So if you want to try it, pick up a bottle soon!  This may be a fall seasonal, but I think it's a perfect late summer beer. 

Have you tried Kick or any other Lips of Faith beers?  Which are your favorites?

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