Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New Belgium Brewing - Le Terroir

Today, we are smack in the middle of San Diego Beer Week. I was fully planning on making this post about a sour event I attended on Friday. However, due to the event not being quite what I was hoping it would be (obscene pricing + multiple sketchy tasting pours + limited tap list), I'm going to move onto something else and come back to San Diego Beer Week after the epic-ness that is planned for tomorrow.

Which brings us to a familiar place- New Belgium's Lips of Faith series. I've kind of been to all ends of the spectrum on this series. I started off in love with it, but lately their offerings have fallen off a bit and it's been a while since I was really blown away by one. Luckily, they just brought back an old favorite- Le Terroir. This beer is a dry hopped sour that I haven't tried in quite a while. If my memory serves me correctly, my first meeting with Le Terroir was on the same day that I met both Pliny the Younger and Alpine's Exponential Hoppiness for the first time. (I think I still have yet to top that day, beer-wise.) So let's go back and take a look at a beer that is definitely worth revisiting. At #183, Le Terroir.

Le Terroir pours a raw honey color with a touch of haze to it. A half-finger cream colored head forms immediately and leaves some nice streaks of lace down the glass with each sip. I may knock some of New Belgium's other beers, but you won't find me knocking their sours. Especially the smell. Le Terroir brings a deep and musty smell with bright notes of lychee, mango, pear and some nice lactobacillus. As it warms, some bready malt and light yeast notes begin to creep up as well as a touch of umami.

Le Terroir is a lesson in balance. It doesn't wallop you with sourness, but rather lets it creep over your palate and linger on the sides of your tongue. Underripe white peach, green apple, lacto and some light apricot all make appearances. The finish brings some mango, soft bready malt and a touch of wood. As the beer warms, a hint of brett is evident as well. I hear La Folie talked about way more than this beer, but this is probably the one people should be talking about. It's one of the better sours out there. If you're a sour fan, do not miss out on this one.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 129

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