Tuesday, February 15, 2011
New Belgium Brewery Lips of Faith Series: #1 Vrienden
Mouth Feel: Medium-light bodied and slightly warming. Mildly astringent. Carbonation level seems a tad high.(3/5)
Overall: Vrienden is Flemish for "friends" and that is how I think this should be enjoyed. Crack open a 22oz bottle and split it between three or four friends while snacking on crackers and warm Brie. This one was difficult to compare to a particular style because I found it to be closer to a Gueze than an American Wild Ale. That is the beauty of it though. Is it its own new style or an abomination? That is for each individual to decide and that is why I love craft beer. Traditon and Innovation battling back and forth across that palate.
I feel that this could stand to be a bit less sweet and a have a bit more body. Where this brew really stands out is in aroma and appearance. It looks beautiful in the glass and has a wonderful aroma. The label boasts that it is brewed with brettanomyces and lactobacillus which is all well and good but I doubt that most people even know what either is. Let alone have any idea what they do for the brew and if it is better because of them. I for one do not and I did not detect any flavor or aroma that was completely new to me. So it seems like a bit of a silly marketing gimmick. I'm looking forward to trying others from the series. (14.5/20) 72.5%