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?