2015 Lips of Faith Series Blackberry Barleywine by New Belgium

12661882_10103054811570090_2549919693215159642_nRating: 5/5

2015 Lips of Faith Series Blackberry Barleywine by New Belgium is a 10% ABV English style Barleywine brewed with blackberries.

Label:
Smooth as the silk ascot you should be wearing while sipping this barley wine ale brewed with fresh blackberries. A trip under your nose reveals aromas of toasted oak, caramel toffee and burgundy. Sip with purpose.

==Introduction==

I obtained this one at my local brew shop, Ramirez Liquors in Boyle Heights California. This was the last beer in the Lips of Faith Series for 2015. While I haven’t tried the Lips of faith in a while due to the rerelease of previous year ones, this one was one that I really wanted to bring forth to the site. The reason it took a long time was due to the aging process. Barleywines have to age on Secondary fermentation for the alcohol to mellow out. Once it was ready and I was able to find it, I took no time to wait and try it out to bring it to the site. Cheers!

Aromas:
Strong cherry and blackberries, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, currants, pomegranate, banana notes, stone fruit apricot notes, brown sugar, rye bread, tart grape, grape wine notes, port wine hints, biscuit bread, toffee and hazelnut hints.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, blackberries, currants, pomegranate, dark cherries, banana notes, rye bread, tart grape, grape wine notes, port wine hints, biscuit bread, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, leathery notes, orange and peach preserves, hazelnut nectar, coriander spice, pecan pie, maple syrup hints, fruit cake, stone fruit apricot notes, brown sugar, caramel cherry cake, and butterscotch.

Aftertaste:
Lots of rich dark fruit, toffee, caramel, rye and vanilla lingers. No alcohol in the taste, crimson light body, smooth, silky and creamy mouthfeel with a dangerously easy drinkability.

Overall:
Damn perfect malty Barleywine. Just the way I like them. The fruit and the already malty and dark fruit flavors expand so much that I almost finished the brew in one sitting really quick. For a 10% ABV, this is dangerous but it certainly is something that many people will like. Yes it is from New Belgium but their Lips Faith series has always been a hit or miss and this one is one major hit out the park!

Anime Corner:
Anna from Frozen was used in this pairing as I was looking for something to pair with the label of the beer which also has colors of Blackberries. Long behold, I found this one and while I hardly do Disney characters, this was a nice far artwork that seemed to just work so well with this one. Lots of the colors stand out with the flavors and ingredients of the overall brew.

Sources:
http://img0.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/full/KR0NPR1NZ-Frozen-Anna-Frozen-(фильм)-фильмы-2620938.jpeg

Salted Caramel Brownie collaboration by New Belgium + Ben&Jerry’s Ice Cream

12487218_10103015429227620_4792505233724028110_oRating: 4.5/5

Salted Caramel Brownie collaboration by New Belgium + Ben&Jerry’s Ice Cream is a 6.25% ABV American Brown Ale.

Label:
When two B Corps come together, delicious ideas are created. Our mutual dedication to using business as a force for good means you get to enjoy this brown ale laden with chocolaty, salted-caramel, vanilla goodness while helping Protect Our Winters combat climate change. Dig in!

==Introduction==

Who was always there after those College drinking sessions back in the day when I needed something for the munchy cure, Ben&Jerry’s! Yes, as far back as I remember, Ben&Jerry’s Ice Cream has always made some very delicious flavors ice cream that are not typical. Almost as if, they were the craft ice cream makers of the ice cream industry. My favorite from them is the Chunky Munky which is one of my all-time favorites. So with this release, I really am intrigued to see how close to ice cream did they get.

Aromas:
Caramel, bananas, hazelnut nectar, rocky road ice cream, earthy notes, anise, mocha hints, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins, walnuts and almond joy.

Flavors:
Chocolate Fudge brownies, Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, hazelnut nectar, rocky road ice cream, walnuts, almonds, marshmallow, cookie dough ice cream, rye bread, salted caramel, tres leches cake, pecan pie, earthy notes, anise, mocha hints, coconut hints, oatmeal cookies, brown sugar and dark fruit raisins.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with some dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, earthy notes, dark fruit and fudge brownie hints. No alcohol in the taste, dark brown and crimson clear body, smooth and creamy mouthfeel and very easy to drink.

Overall:
I have to say it. This is very delicious since it tastes just like ice cream. Whatever they were going for really hit the spot. Especially as the beer gets closer to room temperature, it becomes a very nice dessert in a bottle. Good thing they sell this one in a pack of 6 pack. While maybe not as rich and complex as the Neopolitan Bourbon Stout this one would pair great with some Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream I’m sure.

Anime Corner:
Original character Silveria Princess by Nicca ofDeviantart.com was used in this pairing as I mainly wanted to use a character with ice cream but could also pair with some of the colors of the label.

Sources:
http://img14.deviantart.net/f008/i/2014/221/5/8/silveria_princess_by_nicca-d7uig16.jpg

Lips of Faith series Gruit by New Belgium

1982016_10102186512693000_2330903094663739918_nRating: 3.85/5

Lips of Faith series Gruit by New Belgium is a 6.66% ABV Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale brewed with Bog Myrtle, Horehound, Yarrow, wormwood and Elderflowers added.

Label:
Experimentation doesn’t mean new. With our Gruit, the latest Lips of Faith release, it’s all about revisiting the ancient craft of bittering with herb mixtures, not hops. In here horehound, bog myrtle, yarrow, wormwood and elderflowers get together with rich malts to create a bitter, dry, velvet-like sweetness worth revering.
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The one Lips of Faith series I had missed this year, now we have it here for the review. Lips of faith series ranges from delicious to very good. There hasn’t been one from this series I truly hated except maybe Pluot, but I can’t really as maybe it was a bad bottle or my taste buds were not feeling it. This style is something I have never tried and it is interesting to see this as they use ancient bittering techniques of using flowers and herbs instead of hops. Really intriguing I should say. Let’s get this one going and see how it plays out.

Aromas:
Lots of herbs, honey, biscuit bread, vanilla, green tea, yerbabuena/peppermint, peppercorns, berries, apples, clove spice, banana hints, lemon peel, citrus, grassy and grapefuit hops, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender and barnyard hay.

Flavors:
Flowers, coriander spice, yerbabuena/peppermint, peppercorns, biscuit bread, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, bananas, clove spice, phenolic notes, herbal tea, green tea, vanilla, honey, citrus, grassy and grapefruit hops, barnyard hay, lemon peel, oak hints, Golden ale notes, apples and mild berry notes.

Aftertaste:
Peppercorn, flowers, spices, honey, peppermint, herbs, green tea and grassy hop notes. No alcohol in the taste, crisp and refreshing, easy to moderate drinkability, watery yet smooth mouthfeel and clear yellow body.

Overall:
While this beer was very good, I couldn’t help but notice how close this beer is to a Belgian Golden Ale but more herbed. I think the herbs really worked to bitter out some of the beer flavors but maybe it was a little too herbed for my taste. A very good beer but for some reason the herbs were a bit much but it was great to try this one for sure. I’d say give it a try even if once.

Anime Corner:
Yasaka Kanako from the Touhou Project series was used in this pairing to show the power of herbs. In ancient times, they were used as magic to heal the sick and even to this day, natural remedies are used to do miracles. Something about the plants have the power to bring life and make people better. As seen in this art pairing I really wanted to make a point to state that about the herbal sweetness of this beer.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/1371952

Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration

891_10101542495004610_434845542_nRating: 3.45/5

Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration is an 8.5% ABV Chile beer brewed with Anaheim and Marash Chiles aged in Spanish Cedar

Label:
We’re about to light up Florida with this Cigar City collaborative brew. Our Belgian yeast tangos with Anaheim and Marash peppers along with loads of citrusy hops to create an ale full of spice. Aged on Spanish cedar to salute our mutual love for wood!
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The beer with literally no name, other than the fact that it was collaborated with New Belgium and the awesome Cigar City. Lips of faith series is a good series and has been a hit or miss in some instances. The beers have ranged from Good to Very good and some even Great in the past years. I am not sure if there one I truly disliked or found average (Pluot lol) they came together to brew a beer made with chiles. 

Aromas:
Sweet Honey dew melon, kiwi, apricot, mango hints, mild pepper notes, lemon, oranges, grapefruit and citrus hops, pear, hints of cedar, caramel and biscuit bread

Flavors:
Apricot, pepper notes but no heat, citrus, grapefruit hops,hone dew notes, orange peels, biscuit bread, lemon, grapefruit peel, mild spiciness, tangerine notes, butterscotch, pears, cedar wood and light plum hints

Aftertaste:
This beer finishes off with lots of grapefruit skins, citrus, grassy bitterness and a bit of pepper notes. No alcohol present in the taste with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A good beer but nothing super intensive. It is more on the hoppy, bitter and a bit fruitier side than anything. The least heat intensive chile beer I have ever tried. The balance to bitterness and what would like to be chili heat doesn’t seem to meld well. On a good note, the aromas are much better than the flavors. Could have been more but hey, at least is a good beer. I feel it is better than Pluot for sure.

Anime Corner:
Sakura Haruno and Kushina Uzumaki from the Naruto series are used in this pairing to represent a pairing of 2 hot heads unleashing the rage which is supposed to be the peppers used in this beer. While the beer may not be hot at all, the intent for the artwork and for what it was supposed to represent was at least done creatively. Sakura has a bad temper at times and has this crazy super strength that comes from her inner being. Kushina on the other hand, nicked named the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero, would become an actually deadly beast. Even before she had the 9 tailed fox embedded in here, she was still a demon in disguise. That crazy attitude, mother of Naruto, is most likely the where the guts to never give up comes from. Some of the colors of the artwork match the label a bit but the nick name and the tempers they have was the intent for a collaboration Chile beer, Sakura being New Belgium and Kushina Cigar city.

Shift by New Belgium Brewing

1374294_10101457377316140_1084098931_nRating: 3.95/5

Shift by New Belgium Brewing is a 5% ABV American Pale Lager

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (ratebeer.com)
New Belgium employee-owners work in shifts to brew to life world-class beers. Those efforts are rewarded daily with a shared end-of-shift beer. We’re passing that welcomed occasion onto consumers in this lightly-hopped Shift Pale Lager. From work to play, from bottle to can, from bold and heavy to refreshing and sessionable; Shift salutes the shift in occasion, package and beer. So, go ahead and get your Shift beer, you’ve earned it! 
ABV – 5.0; IBU – 29; Calories – 160 (per can); Hops – Target, Nelson Sauvin, Liberty, Cascade; Malts – Pale, Munich, C-80; OG – 14.3; TG – 2.3
__________________________

A present from my friend Carlos Garcia along with the New Belgium Chalice. If you are reading this my friend, thank you so much for the gift. I have not tried this beer before. I like New Belgium beers but for some reason I had skipped this one for a while. Nowhere to run now. Well, according to the description it is definitely for the end-of-shift beer to drink as a treat from all the stresses of a hard days job. Let’s check it out.

Aromas are hoppy, malty and biscuity. Grassy and floral hops, citrus, biscuit bread, honey, guava notes, cereal, crackers and peach notes

The flavors are pretty malty as well with hoppy bitternesss in the back. Grassy and piney hops, honey, rich biscuit bread, peach and pineapple notes, cereal grains and a guava hint

The aftertaste is close to dry but still leaves a nice biscuity residue with light hop bitterness. Refreshing and easy to drink. 

Overall this is pretty good. Quite the surprising little beer from New Belgium. I would drink this 100 times over Budweiser. I like how it falls into that malty pale ale category but is brewed with lager yeast so it is not an ale per say. Definitely surprising stuff and quite the enjoyable stuff. It is also not as hoppy as a pale ale or IPA so they got you covered there. Definitely an after work beer. Take a break from pushing papers.

Hop Kitchen Series – Hoppy Bock Lager by New Belgium brewing

625567_10101127267668520_1129189146_nRating: 3.5/5

Hop Kitchen Series – Hoppy Bock Lager by New Belgium brewing is a 6.9%ABV German Maibock/Helles Bock.

Label: 
Meet the first in our new Hop Kitchen series: A German-style springtime lager brewed with rye then loaded with Hallertauer, Perle and Fuggle hops for a spicy, earthy aroma. This Hoppy Bock Lager offers a medium body and slightly sweet malt character perfect for your spring hop-fling.
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For being a light bock, it sure has more hoppy aromas. There are aromas of hop grass, some what piney, not too citrusy but just a bit and not tropical, caramel aromas, some honey, and biscuit bread. The flavors are of grassy hops, honey, herbs, honey, some caramel, some peppery notes, slight biscuit and rye bread, orange peel, citrus, pilsner grain and slight notes of flowers. Definitely not like Dead Guy Ale and closer to a pale ale or pilsner with some German notes but that is really all there is too it. It is a good beer to try but nothing super extravagant. Surely worth a try at least once. You do gotta admit though, it is is a tasty lager and once many lager drinkers would probably enjoy than plain old lager.

Snow Day by New Belgium Brewing

249820_10100964280081950_210252472_nRating: 4/5

Snow Day by New Belgium Brewing is a 6.2% ABV Winter Black India Pale Ale. 

Label:
With three feet of powder closing the roads, a brewery is not a bad place to get snowed in. Given the unanticipated hall pass of a snow day, our brewers decided to experiment. Hmm…what about this dark caramel roasted Midnight Wheat braced with a serious load of Styrian Goldings, Centennial and Cascade hops? Shovel it in. What a deliciously unexpected way to spend a SNOW DAY!
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Just like the Stone 15th Anniversary or Self Righteous, but much much lighter in flavor and depth as well as alcohol. Aromas of Italian herbs and spices, oregano, basil, pine, grass, maple and minor chocolate coffee. The flavors are of oregano, basil, earthy pine and grass, smoked campfire bacon, beechwood, orange, lemon, grapefruit, alittle bit caramel, chocolate and coffee, some honey and biscuit notes. Some smoke, bacon and chocolate remain in the after taste. Not a mind blowing Black IPA but it is still pretty good as it has flavors of some of the best Black IPAs out there. Got this as part of the Folly Pack this year.