Review: Lips of Faith - Tart Lychee, New Belgium

Lips of Faith - Tart Lychee
New Belgium Brewing Co. — Fort Collins, CO

  • Style:  American Wild Ale
  • Bitterness:  20 IBUs
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Malts:  Pale, Malted Wheat, Caramel 80, Carapils, Oats
  • Hops:  Target
  • Special Ingredient:  Lychee, Cinnamon
  • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle

Description: "According to Lauren, the imaginator of this pucker-pleasing ale, Lychee Fruit is so insanely sweet and flavorful you almost can’t stand it alone. Sour to the rescue! The combination of our barrel-aged sour beer, Lychee Fruit puree, and cinnamon sticks pours a frothy head of tart perfection." — New Belgium Brewing Co.

Random thoughts:  My wife and I cracked this bottle open on New Year's Eve. She's starting to enjoy Wild Ales, so I expected she might like this. She did. In fact, we both loved it! I bought this bottle in May '12. I wish I tasted it sooner, because I would have stocked up. But now, it's long gone. Since we enjoyed it so much, I decided to write about it. Hopefully, it will make a reappearance in the future. If it does, I'm buying a case.

The tasting:  Light golden in color, slightly cloudy with a white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is slightly acidic, with tropical fruit, and a bit of funk. Overall, aroma is fairly light. Flavor starts with a nice sour twang. It's not overpowering, but the level suits my palate nicely. Some mild tropical fruit sweetness (is that the Lychee?) is present in the middle, as well as toasted oak. Alcohol is not present in aroma, but a touch is present in flavor as the beer warms up. I didn't taste the cinnamon. Tart Lychee is light bodied and moderately carbonated. It has a creamy mouth feel and finishes very dry with oak and a mild lingering sourness. It's nicely balanced, and left me wanting more.

Rating: 5 star. Liquid Perfection!  Tart Lychee is just the 8th beer to receive 5 stars from me. The last beer to get this rating was Odell's Friek. Which, coincidentally, I tasted last New Year's Eve. The relatively low price of Tart Lychee also contributes to its high rating. It takes a lot of time and TLC to make wild ales. As a result, they're expensive.  However, I paid around $8.50 for this bottle—a steal, in my opinion! Although it's gone for the time being, hopefully it will return for an encore performance. Please???

Have you tasted Tart Lychee? What's your favorite Lips of Faith beer?

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