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Beer Review: New Belgium’s Tart Lychee

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Tart Lychee, New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins

Style: American Wild Ale

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ABV: 7.5 percent

Serving Type: 22-ounce bomber

Malty? Hoppy? Not much of either; sweet and sour.

Reviewed: June 2012

We’ve been on a bit of a sour beer kick lately. (With good reason: There are some must-try sours out there.) But here’s the problem with drinking these brews all the time: Not everyone likes ’em—some palettes find the strong, tart flavors off-putting. Luckily, New Belgium‘s Tart Lychee may be the perfect go-between for sour and non-sour drinkers.

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This concoction is a blend of an oak-aged sour ale and ale brewed with cinnamon and lychee fruit. The result is a well-balanced brew that isn’t too sweet or sour. The beer pours a cloudy, golden-straw color and smells faintly of cinnamon. The sour flavor hits first. Those notes don’t last long, though; a strong, berry-like fruit kicks in and the beer finishes more like a sweet, Belgian-style ale. It’s a ride we think sour-beer lovers will enjoy and those unfamiliar with the style should give a shot. Call it an evangelizing sour.

Would we buy it again? If it’s your first sour beer, you’ll be pleased.

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