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RATINGS: 709   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.9   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 126   ABV: 4.2%
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Editor’s note: in 2006, Skinny Dip replaced Loft as the name of New Belgium’s low-alcohol, low-calorie summer seasonal (only minor changes in recipe; i.e. still approximately 4% ABV and spiced with Kaffir lime leaf).

Skinny Dip Description: New Belgium’s Skinny Dip started out as a challenge from our founder Jeff to brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert. Jeff was looking for a full-bodied, highly drinkable beer for after workouts - something a little lighter than the rest of the portfolio. Peter, a Belgian, responded: “Only in America would I be asked to brew a beer with no calories and less alcohol.” The challenge was to give the beer body and complexity not usually found in beers at the lighter end of the spectrum. The result is Skinny Dip, a full-bodied beer that happens to weigh in at a crisp 114 calories per 12-ounce serving. Cascade hops frolic with a hint of lime leaf, making Skinny Dip a bright, refreshing splash for the summer season.

Loft Description: In a category all its own, Loft delivers an uplifting zest, a taut line of hoppiness, and, from integrated wheat and barley malt, a mouthful as big as the sky. Spiced with Kaffir lime leaves.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - AUG 17, 2002
Light and unassuming, as it was meant to be. I tried it at the brewery, where they told me that is was modeled after a Belgian table beer, which is what anyone, young or old, would be drinking with their average meal. As such, it is a nice beer. Don’t confuse this with a Belgian strong ale.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Jake Barnes (456) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - AUG 12, 2002
This really reminded me of a less assertive version of De Ranke XX Bitter. A very belgium version of a bitter. Nice and refreshing. IMHO this was the summer-type quencher that NB was shooting for and did a nice job with.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Miggl (32) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - AUG 12, 2002
Not my type of beer. Very bitter end, not much body. Especially bad when warm.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 7/20
Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - AUG 11, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2003 2003 bottle. Head is initially small, fizzy, white, mostly diminishing. Body is clear dark yellow. Aroma is lightly yeasty (dough), lightly hoppy (citrus - grapefruit), lightly malty (toasted grain), hint of lime. Flavor is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is moderately bitter, moderately acidic, slightly husky. Light to medium body, watery texture, fizzy carbonation, metallic, lightly astringent. Second (and definitely last) rating with this year's edition, and I'm just as disappointed. Unbalanced flavor profile (very little malt, but lots of citric tartness and bitterness), boring and light aroma, raw doughy yeast is too strong, and it's grainy, metallic, light and fizzy. Embarrassingly bad...almost macro bad. I thought Frambozen was nasty enough, but this takes the cake. It's not even a good lawnmower beer. Ok, I'll shut up now.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
legion242 (2100) - Richardson, Texas, USA - AUG 7, 2002
Pretty, clear copper color; Head is dense and has stamina- lots of lace left on the glass; Nose is spicy, unusual. Very dry earthy profile. Kudos for using some hops not normally found in a lot of American beers- but I wouldn’t know a Kafir leaf if it slapped me upside the head. Crisp as hell.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - AUG 2, 2002
Nice aroma. Pours beautifully. This a very nice Introduction beer. Gave one to my neighbor and she gave it a big thumbs up.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Aubrey (3418) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - AUG 2, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 28, 2006 LOFT: Very refreshing and clean-tasting. Wonderful hop aroma; kaffir addition is interesting and really adds to the beer. Flowery and a little perfumey. Nice mouthfeel. SKINNY DIP: IMO, this beer has changed quite a bit from Loft to Skinny Dip. Seems a little thinner. A bit more toast. Much less of a hop profile and kaffir addition has been weakened. It also seems to drift more toward Fat Tire. My rating reflects Skinny Dip, not Loft.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUL 27, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 17, 2006 The beer emigrates from the 12-ounce brown bottle a luminous gold, the head large and frothy, the color a brilliant white, as it fades away, and the residual lace forms a thin coating upon the glass. Nose is fresh and crisp, sweet with malt, very light musty aroma, and a tiny touch of hops, Start is benign in its sweetness, the grain profile standard and the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops modest in their spiciness, desert bone dry aftertaste, a decent refreshing beer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Indra (2571) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - JUL 5, 2002
UPDATED: MAR 21, 2006 Mostly hoppy aroma, some lighter malt as well. Smells and looks similar to a California Common style. Clear light to medium amber-orange color, fairly average carbonation and head, not a whole lot there (sampled on draught). Largely hop-accented flavor, surprisingly evident and bitter hop flavors, in fact. Some light maltiness, but in the background. Not fruity like Cascade or other stereotypical American hops, these almost taste more British, or European at least. I’d be curious to see the IBUs and type of hops for this one. Again hoppy, herbal, citric and bitter for the finish, fairly clean, definitely dry. Overall, not complex by any means, but makes a decent enough quencher.

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