Tag Archives: New Belgium

New Belgium Snapshot

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Snapshot is an unfiltered wheat beer from New Belgium, and I recently picked up a few for the first time in a mixed 12-pack. It’s very pleasant and mild. The nose is bready with a bit of lemon, and the head is meringue like. The middle is sweet with heavy orange overtones. The finish is more orange and a bit of wheat in the background which makes it relatively dry. It’s a very mild beer, which is a nice summer treat, and on top of that I think this would make it a great hit with the Blue Moon/Shocktop crowd.

I give it a 4.2 out of 5.

New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsener

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It’s officially summer tomorrow, and time for a new crop of light, refreshing summer beers. Blue Paddle from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery fits that bill. It’s a Czech-style Pilsener and the first lagered beer New Belgium produced. The nose is grassy with peach and a bit of apricot. The middle is malty and has a surprisingly heavy body. Not too heavy, but I’d call it a medium bodied beer. There are notes of toast and grain and a very bready finish. This is a definitely a malt-forward beer, with the hop notes deep in the background. This is probably a bit rich and heavy to be a proper lawnmower beer, but it’s a properly good Czech Pilsner.

I give it a 4.2 out of 5.

New Belgium Accumulation

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It’s bitterly cold here in Charlotte (read, below freezing) and so what better time to try a winter seasonal White IPA from New Belgium Brewing? Accumulation is crisp and cold, and pretty spot on for what I expect of a white IPA. It’s very hop forward since there’s not a lot of maltiness from the wheat base to balance it out. The nose has pine and orange, the middle has more pine and lemon, and there’s a smooth breadiness to the finish with some strong citrus and herbal notes that remind me of thyme and rosemary. The body is fairly light, and the alcohol level is a fairly-standard-for-an-IPA 6.2% ABV. This is definitely hoppier and lighter than your average winter fare, but it’s a nice change of pace for those of us starting to go into hop withdrawal this time of year, and it’s quite well executed.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5.

 

New Belgium Pumpkick

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I love fall and winter, and I love fall and winter beers. In this case, New Belgian’s fall seasonal pumpkin ale, Pumpkick. The nose is spicy with a bit of Belgian yeasty fruitiness. The middle is spicy pumpkin reminiscent of pie, and slightly sweet. The finish is tart, showcasing the cranberries this beer is brewed with, and a bit of citrus from lemongrass. None of the flavors are overpowering, and this medium-bodied ale has a very manageable alcohol level of 6% ABV. making it an excellent party or session beer. My bottom line is that this is a very nice, but not outstanding beer.

I give it a 3.9 out of 5.

New Belgium Ranger IPA

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Ranger IPA is New Belgium Brewing’s year-round IPA offering. It’s a fairly classic interpretation of the American IPA, floral and hoppy. The nose is predominantly floral with a hint of lemon. The middle and finish have grapefruit notes and a slight, slight undercurrent of pine. It’s light in color, and fairly light in body, and really nice rendition of an American IPA.

I give it a 4.0 out of 5.

New Belgium Heavenly Feijoa (Lips of Faith Series)

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Heavenly Feijoa is a delicious Belgian Tripel from New Belgium Brewing’s extra special Lips of Faith series, and it’s brewed with feijoa and hibiscus for a unique flavor. The nose is yeasty and distinctively Belgian. The middle is super tart and fruity, with notes of pineapple, cranberry, and peaches. The finish is still tart, but a strong herbal note comes forward as well. The body is quite heavy, and the alcohol is very subdued, though it’s quite a big beer at 9.4% ABV. It’s definitely strongly fruity, but I like it a lot.

I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

New Belgium Cascara Quad

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A Belgian Quad from New Belgium Brewing’s Lips of Faith series, Cascara Quad has a number of interesting additions including dates, cherries, and Cascara tea. The nose is rich with figs, cherries, and leather. The middle is smooth and heavy, with notes of dates, plums, cherries, and brown sugar. There isn’t much new in the finish, just subtle hints of molasses and cloves. There is no bitterness in this beer at all, so fans of big Belgians should be fans. The yeast is also subdued, so there’s no particular funkiness here, as you often find in Belgians. This is a very nice, well executed American rendition of the Belgian Quad.

I give it a 4.3 out of 5.

New Belgium Rolle Bolle

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A summer seasonal from New Belgium, Rolle Bolle is a nice light (in body and color) beer with a Belgian twist. It’s kept light with malted oats to soften the base in a manner similar to wheat, and then spiced up with monk fruit and Soursop. The head is large, very light and lasts for quite a long time. The nose is light and floral and just a bit grainy. The middle is an interesting combination of the sweetness of the monk fruit with bitter herbal notes. The finish has some lemon, the last hint of some sweet grapes, and mineral bite that New Belgium aptly describes as “flint.” There is a notable resemblance to a very dry, very light white wine. It’s quite an interesting beer, and though it may have a bit too much going on for an everyday post-lawn-mowing beer, I’ve really enjoyed it.

I give it a 4.4 out of 5.

Rampant Imperial IPA

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Tonight I’m sampling another fine example of the Colorado craft beer tradition in New Belgium’s Rampant Imperial IPA. This is a big, bitter American double IPA, that’s a bit lighter in color than I’m used to seeing, which might be a hint to the fact that the flavor is heavily tilted towards the hop side, with the malt well in the background. The nose is citrus and pine with some floral notes mixing it up. The middle is strongly bitter, with pine and orange rind the predominant flavors. The bitterness mellows in the finish…The rind carries through but it’s softened by some sugary orange and a hint of maple. The alcohol content is moderate for a double IPA at 8.5% ABV, and a medium body means this isn’t big heavy beer, but it’s got enough weight to justify the imperial moniker. A nice solid example of the style.

I give it a 4.0 out of 5.

New Belgium Fat Tire

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Possibly one of the most well known craft beers in all of the United States is New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale. It’s been available in bottles for many years, but its recently been released in cans as well, and this new format has finally induced me to produce a long overdue review. This may be the first craft beer I ever tried, (certainly one of the first) so I have a bit of a sentimental attachment to this beer. The nose is toasty and not particularly strong. The middle has some thin roasty malt, and some spice from the hops, and is a bit watery, to be perfectly honest. The body is light, and the finish is similar to the middle, but the spice comes to the forefront. Overall it’s a reasonable beer, clearly popular with the masses, and a decent standby when there’s not a lot of choice.

I give it a 3 out of 5.