Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Belgium Eric's Ale (Lips of Faith series)

In part 2 of the Canada vs USA Peach Beer Challenge, Henry and I try New Belgium's Eric's Ale (part of their "Lips of Faith" series). This beer was sent to me from http://youtube.com/jhreginaldi in a trade back in November! (or was it October?) Anyway, this is a sour ale, oak-aged and brewed with peach juice. It's not a sour, gueuze or "wild ale" - just an American sour beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (621) - Albany, USA - JAN 18, 2011
Fruity wheat beers are pretty popular drinks for your Joe and Jane Six Pack type of drinkers. However, the craft beer enthusiast with more refined taste tends to approach those beers with hesitancy. What’s ironic is that if a beer is purported to be fruity and sour - suddenly the roles are reversed! Only a few American breweries are able to make these traditionally Euro-centric brews very American-friendly and New Belgium Eric’s Ale is a good example of that. It’s fruity and sour, but never becomes cloying, nor does it seem like a gimmick.

I split a 22oz bomber with a friend, poured into flute glasses.

Appearance: clear, bright orange body with lots of carbonation. Foamy, bright white head fades away. Minor lacing.

Smell: strong sour aroma with subtle peach notes. Closer to a straight gueuze than a lambic or "wild ale". Acid content comes across in the nose.

Taste: Not as sour as it smells. Light, crisp taste. Slight woody quality. Fairly sharp up front and through the middle with a sweet/sour peach juice taste in the finish and a candy-like aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bubbly, but doesn’t tear up the palate. Sharp but tasty.

Drinkability: The bottle indicates this is "The sour ale for people who don’t like sour ales" - I totally agree with that. No WAY this tastes, drinks or feels like 7% ABV.

Overall, a great starter sour ale, and experienced sour drinkers will like this. too I HIGHLY recommend pairing it with cheese!

Grade: 8/10

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