Beer Thoughts: New Belgium Tart Lychee

We're a bit behind on our Beer Thoughts because we contemplated some new formatting for beer reviews but it hasn't really worked out quite yet. So, for now, we'll stick with our old format. Hope you don't mind!

Beer Info:
From New Belgium: "New Belgium's sweet and sour Tart Lychee highlights the unique lychee fruit, which is balanced alongside a wood-aged sour beer. It’s brewed with pale malt, caramel-80, carapils, malted wheat and oats, then spiced with lychee fruit and a touch of cinnamon." The bottle reads that 56% of the beer was aged in oak, and the other 44% is the ale brewed with Lychee and Cinnamon. It sits at 7.5% ABV.

Beer Thoughts:
The beer pours a light orange, slightly cloudy with a lovely white and foamy head. The aroma is of orange, peaches, and is really fruity. Eric believes he gets a little hint of cinnamon in the nose, which
is really difficult to describe but it pricks the nose a little. Isaac wasn't sure he got that. The beer is definitely tart from the oak aging, but don't expect super acidic and sour by any means. The tartness fades out and blends into the the notes of grapefruit, orange, light tropical fruits, and peaches. That fruitiness is definitely balanced by an underlying and wonderful earthy, almost-musky, complex flavor and a solid malt backbone. It's wonderfully refreshing. There's a subtle bite at the end that we think must the cinnamon, it kind of cleans up the long last citrus notes with a swift sweep at the end. Absolutely delicious beer.

Our Recommendations:
This one goes in our beer Hall of Fame. Hands down this is my favorite (Eric) and Isaac's favorite beer of 2012. This is my favorite beer that New Belgium has ever made and I can't get enough of it. Highest recommendations, all around.

How to Drink/Store: 
Drink it in a nice snifter/tulip type glass so the aroma is maximized. I could drink a whole bottle, but it would be easy to share with another person. This isn't just a one and done sampling, we recommend really quaffing this one. You can store these, the yeast is pasteurized so the beer won't really develop with age though. Get it now though, when it's gone it's gone! And, we've heard that the lighter of the aged beers from New Belgium will be few and far between for the next couple years.

Where It's From:
New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO.

Full Disclosure:
We paid full price for this beer. Somewhere between $9-$10. Totally worth every penny.

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BeerEric Steen