Beer Review 0338: New Belgium Lips Of Faith Peach Porch Lounger
One of the 2012 entries into New Belgium’s (Fort Collins, Colorado) Lips of Faith premium series was Peach Porch Lounger, a Saison brewed in collaboration with G-Love of music group G-Love and the Special Sauce. G-Love is apparently an avid homebrewer and likes to ride one of New Belgium’s Fat Tire bikes while on the beach; the name of the beer comes from his favorite song, “Front Porch Lounger.” Yeah, we think it’s a little weird that G-Love’s favorite song is one of his own, but whatever.
What we also think is weird are some of the more recent offerings in the Lips of Faith series. Rewind to earlier in 2012, when New Belgium brewed a collaboration with The Lost Abbey, called Brett Beer — I rated it 92 points, because it was pretty tasty — but the beer was brewed with Brettanomyces yeast, and was to change significantly when aged. But, according to New Belgium, they “accidentally” pasteurized the beer, killing the yeast and essentially freezing the beer from aging gracefully.
Later, after the “accident” story made the rounds, it was revealed that New Belgium purposely pasteurized the beer, having achieved a flavor they wanted to be enjoyed by all. It was also said that New Belgium pasteurizes all of their beers, with the explanation being that once a good flavor palate was discovered, why have it change?
But for Peach Porch Lounger, New Belgium are back saying that if you age the brew, things will significantly change. Brewed once again with Brettanomyces yeast, Peach Porch Lounger has peaches, molasses, and lemon peel in it. The ABV (alcohol by volume) comes in at 9.4%.
Pouring gave way to an average size head, soapy and frothy in texture, and it sat atop a golden-orange brew. The body was hazy but didn’t have any noticeable particles or sediment. Lacing was fair, leaving what looked like smudges down my glass. A decent looker with a pretty good amount of carbonation bubbles zooming to the surface.
The nose offers musty, funky yeast that collides with sweet grain/straw malt. The fruitiness is light, giving off some soft pineapple and peach aromas, and a hint of sour vinegar. There’s a light touch of spice buried deep underneath that seemed to come out more as the beer warmed. I noticed when I first opened the bottle, the aroma seemed to be pungent and really nice, but when poured into the glass, something happened to mute what I thought was going to be an awesome nose.
While that sour vinegar note on the nose made me slightly afraid to go in for a full sip, I found Peach Porch Lounger to be a very sweet beer — so sweet that it is thick and cloying. There’s sweet and sticky lemon up front, like when you wear all the sour off a Lemonhead candy and are left with just sugary lemon; it mixes with a grainy, almost weak malt body. There is a very small punch of sour that is felt in the middle of the tongue; the finish comes on with a mild barnyard funk and another choking hit of sweet pineapple, peach, and lemon. While medium-bodied, the mouthfeel is…yep, thick, and it’s drying, giving me cottonmouth. The 9.4% ABV can be felt and tasted, too.
I’m just not sure what to think here. Does this actually age? This bottle is seven months old and is still boozy and hasn’t turned too funky, sour, or predominately pineapple. There are good flavors here, but the sweetness ruins this beer and appears to be in a heavyweight bout with the alcohol riptide. I can’t see this being a very appropriate “porch lounger,” it’s just too thick and sweet. I’d say check it out if you’re down with sweet beers; otherwise, this is just another merely average, out-of-balance Lips Of Faith bomb.
We expect better, New Belgium.
New Belgium Lips Of Faith Peach Porch Lounger, 80 points. Price: $8.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.