We love making sour beer. Over the years we have tried to make more and more sour beers. But it takes a really long time to age the beer in wood, to let the little buggies do their work and take the beer into the sour-a-sphere (I just made that word up).
The newest Lips of Faith offering happens to be a wonderful and sour beer, it's called Tart Lychee. The name says it all. But to say some more I will break the beer down for you, a full review.
Overview: A new sour blended Lips of Faith with lychee fruit and cinnamon. Tart Lychee is 56% wood aged sour ale, and 44% ale brewed with lychee fruit and cinnamon. Lychee fruit is incredibly sweet and it plays nicely off its wood aged, sour companion. This beer is sour and sweet and amazing. 7.5% ABV
Appearance: A cloudy golden with a furious white head. The bubbles come quick, and then recede almost as fast.
Aroma: Total sweet lychee fruit domination (a very good thing), citrusy with a tangy bite. The cinnamon is mostly hidden by the lychee fruit, but the aroma is definitely inviting.
Taste: The tart punch comes first, but it's backed with sweet strength. The lychee fruit casts a huge shadow here, but the malt is present and standing the beer upright. The cinnamon comes as just a hint, but the hint rounds out the sweetness just right. This gentle spicing brings the beer more depth. The beer has only Target hops for bittering, but the nature of the citrus sweet (lychee)/sour (wood aged beer) brings a big nod to Cascade hops. Grapefruit is a flavor that comes to mind with this beer. Cascade hops are not in there, but you could have fooled me. The sour is explosive, but not overbearing. At first, the sip seems to be the most sour beer I have ever had, but that fades, and I change my mind mid-drink. While Tart Lychee is very sour, it's not a complete tongue ripper, it's balanced and wonderful.
Body/Mouthfeel: Dry, tart, perfect.
Overall: This is an awesome take on sour beer, I love it. I admit my bias (everyone should), but this beer is the best. Definitely my favorite sour since Le Terroir. Maybe I like it better than Le Terroir (or maybe I am just saying that because I drank my last Le Terroir?)? Either way, this beer is perfect, and if you like sour beers this should top your list (if you don't like sour beers you should try it too, it may change your opinion). I give Tart Lychee a 10 (out of 10).
This beer just released yesterday, so it should be trickling into most of our distribution areas this week. Tart Lychee is a Lips of Faith beer, which means the batch was pretty small and distribution will be limited, but make sure to use the Beer Finder and locate yourself a bottle, or a tap line, to give it a go.
One last thing on sour beers before I take my leave. As you know the wood cellar is expanding, which means more sour beers. To make our sour beer, we age a non-sour beer in big oak casks (called foeders) until it sours. It takes upward of two years to fully develop. So we are building more now to have more later. Over the past month or so a few coopers (barrel makers) have been here building us some new foeders. I took the opportunity to time lapse the construction on a couple of these big oak barrels. Take a look:
Pretty sweet huh? And on that note, I'm out.