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Drinkmuse: New Belgium “Clutch”

September 23, 2011

Big news this summer in D.C. beer – New Belgium, makers of the famous Fat Tire, is now distributed in the city. Joyousness ensued, with events across our fair town….

Snark aside, it is exciting to have New Belgium in town and in addition to Fat Tire, which I find somewhat eh, they are bringing in a bunch of their beers including Clutch, their Dark Sour Ale. When I first heard of this I was very excited as I like sour ales – probably the fault of my dad who loves sours in all forms. Some brief impressions:

Initial open: this beer is DARK. Slight tinge of red, but otherwise close to a stout in color. One the nose I actual get a bit of roast, but I can smell the sour. Almost sour cherry, perhaps, but not sure what I am getting. There was a bit of head on the pour that dissipated after about 30 seconds.

First Taste: Tasting this cold out of the fridge. Great. Vaguely reminds me of black IPAs, surprisingly, in that it tastes light, but has some malt backbone to it. Sour is understated, but there. Sticks to the side of my mouth.

After 10 minutes: The malt has settled a bit, so I’m getting the sour a bit more.

Last official notes: Basically the same as ten minutes in. Very tasty, very happy to open. I would say that this doesn’t really feel like a sour… it’s more a stout with a little bit extra. Still, at 8.99, would buy again when I want something fun.

After checking the website for the beer, a few other points. This is part of New Belgium’s “Lips of Faith” series which looks to be all of their funky interesting beers. Clutch is a mix of 80% stout and 20% dark sour wood ale, according to the site, and is brewed with “Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Black” malts. It weighs in at a high 9% alcohol. Overall – 4/5. Not enough sour for me, but very enjoyable.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2011 1:06 pm

    so glad NB is here, they’re a fun beer to drink. I know it’s kinda a chick beer, like New Castle, but I like it. I’m not a hophead like you! Clutch sounds interesting but I am not a sour fan, although I know Roland is. He recently bought a bomber of their Oktoberfest but I haven’t tried it. Can’t wait to go to a bar and get some on tap!

    • September 29, 2011 4:27 pm

      I’m barely a hophead – more like a budding hop interest. I actually count New Castle as one of my go to beers at the bars that don’t have much.

      If you aren’t a sour fan, but like stouts, you might try this. Nice balance.

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