New Belgium Brewing recently released a couple of new beers in their Lips of Faith series, and today I picked them up to check them out. The first one is called New Belgium Cigar City Collaboration, which somewhat shockingly was brewed in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing Company. It is a Chile Beer with 8.5% Alcohol By Volume, and it utilizes Marash and Anaheim peppers and is aged on Spanish cedar.
New Belgium Cigar City Collaboration is a crystal clear, amber colored beer, sporting a large cream colored head. A layer of lacing remains behind after each sip.
The nose has some pale malts, but is mainly focused on a fresh hop burst, both fruity pacific and citrus west coast varieties.
The hops are a bit more subdued in the taste than they were in the scent, with grassy, citrus and hints of fruity varieties. Pale malts underlie, with subtle woody notes, and a bit of pepper heat in the finish. The mouth is medium bodied and actively carbonated.
Overall, I like the idea behind New Belgium Cigar City Collaboration, but the execution could be tweaked in a couple of respects. The hops are fragrant in the nose, but on the tongue they could use a boost, and the pepper spice is pretty subtle, and could use a bit of a boost. The cedar influence is faint, which is fine, but many people will probably miss it. Overall there’s a great beer in the making, it just needs some rewiring.
New Belgium Cigar City Collaboration : B-
New Belgium Cigar City Collaboration Specs
Hops: Target, Centennial, Cascade, Pacific Jade, Wakatu, Simcoe
Malts: Pale, Carastan
Yeast: Biere de Garde
Beer Reviews by Prof Sudz