GarrettB (1280) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 13, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: AUG 31, 2014
January 26th, 2013 - The Lips of Faith series goes dark, syrupy and hardcore. Most of the LoF I can get my hands on are experiments in fruits and other kinds of sugary crops. But this time it’s something darker, and I’m eager to see where New Belgium takes this stout (which is a style I don’t often see from them, let alone taste.) It’s a dark, black and heavy looking brew, with a five o’clock shadow and so much gravity that the foam collapses in on itself. The aroma is creamy, with a bit o’ that Guinness dry side, soy sauce, and the hunger inducing smell of Philly cheese steaks. What else? Beets and a touch of ginger too. A rich smell, all over the map, but engaging and fun. The palate is thick, and very boozy, and very beautiful. Flavors of black tea and darjeeling linger in there, and a touch of ponzu sauce lending a much needed acidic spark. Deep flavors of mocha, Kona coffee and chocolate fudge make up the heart and soul of this beer though, and that’s what you need to know. Deep, dripping flavors, and the lot of them delicious. This is a LoF that I wish would release with more frequency.
December 18th, 2012 (3.7) - The Lips of Faith’s Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout looks and tastes the part, for it’s robed in that impenetrable black that stouts prefer, and the head has a low, smoldering, brownish head that keen beer drinking eyes might associate with stouts. But the nose is something else entirely, more fruity. I inhale and take in berries, figs, and a lighter cheese umami flavor - the very archetype aroma profile of a dubbel. I check with a friend at the table who has had this beer before and they assure me it is what they claim it to be, and sure enough, the flavor is much closer to the mark. Coffee and dark malts creep forward, deep and pitch black, with chocolate syrup adding a deep, unctuous sweetness. Malts dominates, and alcohol doesn’t even come into the list of most prominent tastes. The body is deep and dark, though rather than coating the tongue it sort of passes by it, shedding flavor and then moving on with the sort of sleekness of a luxury car driving along at a clip. As an imperial stout, this tastes dark and well matured, with just enough sweet and coffee to be large and full of the characteristic flavors, and without resorting to being a liquid, chocolate dessert that many imperial stouts fall prey to.
bytemesis (5189) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - JUN 30, 2014
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours opaque black with a medium creamy tan head that dissipates slowly leaving great lacing. Aroma is very coffee forward, with notes of roasted malts and chocolate. Flavor is light plus sweet and heavy bitter, lots of coffee, unsweetened cocoa. A bit harsh on the bitterness, touches of anise and ashtray as well. Fullish body, creamy mouth feel. Lingering bitter long long after the rest has faded. No real ABV burn.
tectactoe (3125) - Michigan, USA - JUN 25, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tap: Deep brown, nearly black; light-mocha head, very thin & quick to transcend to a small ring in just moments. Aroma is full of coffee with cream & sugar, milky essence with some lighter notes of bittersweet chocolate & roasted malt. Big iced coffee flavor, more on the sweet, lactose-like side of things rather than the oily, roasted beans I normally prefer. Secondary roles of chocolate & roasted malts in the background. Lightly burnt brown sugar. A touch of astringent roastiness in the finish, along with a little black licorice. Hints of alcohol with warmth. Not a shabby coffee stout at all, but I wouldn’t mind a little more roast.
Danyel (1501) - Colorado, USA - JUN 13, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle 2012. Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma is very coffee and chocolatey. Taste is crazy chocolate, touch of coffee on the finish- this aged absolutely wonderful. Really good!
daleharshman (987) - San Diego, California, USA - MAY 28, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber purchased 18 months ago at Holiday Wine Cellar (only $6.49). Pours a little shy of pitch black with two fingers of creamy tan-brown foam. AROMA of vanilla, artisan coffee, chocolate maltiness, and moderate roastiness. FLAVOR of mild cafe au lait, smooth dark chocolate, roasted nuts, creamy vanilla, and dark roastiness. Finishes with light sweetness and moderate roasty bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel and well concealed ABV. Very quaffable...a nice mixture of both the coffee and chocolate. (271, 869)
hayduke (4123) - Eureka, California, USA - MAY 25, 2014
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This bottle was given to me by the New Belgian kinetic Sculpture racing team at the 2013 race in Humboldt County and open one year later in honor os the 2014 race. Pours very black with a nice robust creamy tan head. Nose of chocolate malts and some coffee. Very full body. Creamy mouth feel. The flavor is a lot of chocolate and some coffee under that. The finish is dry and and the chocolate goes on and on. Really good beer.
djd07 (6619) - Houston, Texas, USA - FEB 9, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle thanks to Doug. Pours a dark brown with small beige head. The aroma is strong roast, coffee bean, and toffee. Thick mouthfeel with rich chocolate and strong coffee roast. Good.
Busick (390) - Lake Wylie, South Carolina, USA - JAN 15, 2014
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
New Belgium needs to just brew this beer! It is awesome and leaves you feeling like you just hit a homerun! Pours a dark chocolate and fills the room with coffee aromas! Taste is excellent and is worthy of all craft beer lovers.
Lemke10 (914) - Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 14, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This pours a very dark brown/black color with a slight brown head. The aroma is very strong with coffee and some malt tones. The taste is heavy with malt flavors and hint of coffee. The taste starts off good but as you drink the bottle, it does get very malty and chalky. A good beer but it could use some improvement.
phaleslu (8006) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 2, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz. bottle, and somehow I can’t remember where I got it. Wine and Cheese Place? Somewhere in St. Louis, I think. Anyway, it pours a deep, not opaque brown color with a small beige head. Notes of dark chocolate, nuts, roasted and toasted malts, coffee and cocoa beans. Medium-bodied, with a roasty, dry mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. I don’t see this one getting better than it is now, and actually showed signs of not being at its prime.