Thursday, September 9, 2010

Brett Beers — New Belgium Le Fleur, Misseur? vs. New Belgium Biere de Mars

New Belgium Lips of Faith
Le Fleur, Misseur?

ABV 6.2%

Clear golden yellow.
Grain, sour yeast, mango.
Clean, clove and cardamom spice. More savory than sweet.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Touch of grain then quickly disappears.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

New Belgium Lips of Faith
Biere de Mars

ABV 6.2%

Clear orange.
Aroma: Barnyard funk, dust, gingerbread.
Flavor: Sweet rich malts, cinnamon, molasses.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Malty
Finish: Roasted malt and a slight bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good +

Winner by unanimous decision
: Biere de Mars.
Tonight, as we watched the New Orleans Saints clash with the Minnesota Vikings, we were waging a battle of our own with two specialty beers from New Belgium Brewing. Both beers were from the highly regarded Lips of Faith series of unique and experimental beers that come in boldly decorated bottles. Both beers also contained some of the yeast strain known as
Brettanomyces or Brett for short. Brett is kind of a wild card. It can create a wide range of flavors from sour to funky so it's always with a sense of adventure that you raise a new Brett beer to your lips.

From the beginning it was a good fight. The Misseur came out with a nice sour aroma and the Mars countered with a big, banyardy funk. The Misseur offered up flavors of clove and cardamom and the Mars answered with cinnamon and molasses. These were fun beers — a welcome change from the bevy of Pale Ales and IPAs we've been drinking over the summer (if that's what you call this mess). Neither were overly soured or overly funky from the Brett. They both just incorporated the Brett in different ways.

Ultimately, we decided on the Biere de Mars mostly because it was a bit richer in mouth feel and seemed to fit the Fall/Winter weather we've been getting in Seattle. We were both surprised to find out that the Mars was brewed as a Spring seasonal beer. Call us crazy, but that beer tasted way more Fall than Spring. To us, the lighter, crisper Misseur would have made a far better Spring beer, but who's keeping track? As long as they keep coming out with new Lips of Faith beers every season we'll be happy and so should you.

Extra credit: Perhaps no beer bottles on the market make better flower vases than these. Put a flower in one and give it to your non-beer drinking husband or wife and they might be more supportive of your expensive beer drinking habits.

In the interest of full disclosure to satisfy the FTC’s law, this battle features sample bottles received from the New Belgium Brewery.

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