New Belgium’s Clutch

I am a fan of New Belgium. I am a fan of their Lips of Faith series. While not terrible, I’m not much of a fan of Clutch. I’m apparently in a bit of a minority, as it’s got an 82 on Beer Advocate.

As a fan of sour beers, I was hoping for something to make my lips pucker (or at least get me going in that direction), but Clutch is a perfectly mild “sour” beer. Especially for beer drinkers who don’t particularly care for the sour subset. I am a huge fan of the Rodenbach Grand Cru, which is a great sour beer that tastes like vinegar at first, but then eases into a wonderful sour cherry flavor. Not so much with this one.

The smell had a very slight hint of sour cherry, as you’d expect, but it was mostly just malty. After a while some whiffs of coffee came through too and just a hint of grape. It was pretty plain in flavor, more or less matching the smell itself. It was heavy on malt taste and after I got to the end of the bottle about 40 minutes later, I could start getting some sweetness, almost like a chocolate flavor.

If I had to have this beer again, I’d actually like to try it at room temperature or just slightly cold. It’s not a bad beer, just not anything that really stood out to me.


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