New Belgium Brewing’s Le Terroir has been a sought after beer for a while. It had made some festival appearances and won quite a few medals, launching it into the realm of a “hunted” beer. New Belgium finally decided to add it to their Lips of Faith lineup in 2011. The small batch quickly vaporized from shelves. Earlier this summer, rumor began to spread that New Belgium would be releasing another batch in the fall of 2013! I was super excited to hear this news as I’m a huge fan of New Belgium’s sour program. It really is one of the finest wood–aging and blending programs in the US.
I immediately picked up 2 bottles at my favorite shop on the day it landed. That evening, a tragedy struck. I was dashing into the house to avoid one of the fall deluges and like any good American, I was trying to do it in one trip which means my arms were overly full of beer bottles. As I neared the last few steps to my doorway, everything went into slow motion as I felt a bottle slip out of my arms and slowly float to the edge of the concrete step leading to the doorway. I watched the bottle slam into it accompanied by that unmistakable sound of a beer bottle exploding. I was greeted by the most heavenly sad scent of dry hopped sour ale. I then spent the next 5 minutes cleaning up the shards of glass from my stoop while getting completely soaked. One Le Terroir had returned to the earth from whence it came.
New Belgium has two sour beers constantly working in their foeder system: a blonde and a brown, called Felix and Oscar respectively. Le Terrior is made from a blend of the Felix batches and is then dry hopped. If you’d like to read more about New Belgium’s sour program, you can read my write-up of their “Sour Symposium.”
Appearance: Tarnished gold, hazy, off-white head, good retention.
Aroma: Grapefruit, lime, peaches, pineapple, lemon, light funky undertones.
Taste: Lime, peaches, lemon, sour with a green hop/grapefruity finish.
Overall Impression: The hops are present, but exceptionally well applied! This is quite delightful. It’s got a nice level of sourness with some quiet funky undertones, but the main notes a bright, tropical fruit. This is another winner from New Belgium. The Felix sour is one that doesn’t make an appearance as often as the Oscar, which is seen in the La Folie sour brown. Hurry and find yourself a bottle while you can. This one is quickly disappearing!
Availability: At better bottleshops where New Belgium’s Lips of Faith beers are sold. Hurry and get some while you can!