Lips Of Faith - La Folie - New Belgium Brewing

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Lips Of Faith - La FolieLips Of Faith - La Folie

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3,609 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,609
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 545
Gots: 835 | FT: 44
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2002

Flemish Sour Brown Ale fermented in stainless then transferred to barrels for 1-4 years of aging then blended to taste.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,609 | Reviews: 1,039
Reviews by StoutHunter:
Photo of StoutHunter
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of New Belgium's La Folie from their Lips of Faith series, for $15.99 a few days ago at Cork N Ale. I've never tried this beer before, but I was looking for some sour beers and I thought I would take a chance on this one since I heard some good things about it, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A- The label looks nice, I like the flower pattern in the background and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a red tinted brown color that took on more of a darker ruby red hue when held to the light two fingers worth of darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty and patchy lacing behind. This was a very nice looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by some sour fruity aspects being the first to show up. the sourness seems to be on the higher side of medium and the fruity aspect was a nice combination of raspberry, berry, and cherry like aromas. Up next I get a light amount of some malty and toasted malt aromas, but they don't stick around long and it's followed by a lighter woody aroma. This beer had a very nice aroma, as it got warmer the berry aromas really came through and it made for a great smelling beer.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, but more intense and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the sour fruity aromas still being the first to show up. but this time the sourness is very high and the fruity flavors still retain those nice berry, raspberry, and cherry like aspects. Up next comes an even lighter amount of malts than I got in the aroma and only a slight bit of malts coming through. On the finish there's some lingering sourness followed by a fruity and berry like aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting sour, but I wish the malts came through just a little more.

M- A little smooth, a little refreshing, mouth puckering, not too acidic, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a very nice mouthfeel, but I think it would be just a little better if it wasn't so mouth puckering.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and I thought that it was a pretty good example of a Sour Ale, it had lots of sourness to it, but somehow it kept from being too acidic, but I think it would be a little better if there was a little more complexity to it. This beer doesn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth, not too acidic, a little refreshing, too mouth puckering, but the flavor did a nice job at holding my attention, I think the high amount of sourness would prevent me from drinking more than half the bottle, I think half is the perfect amount for me and I think this would be a nice spring time and summer time beer. What I like the most about this beer was the fruity aspect, it made for a nice flavor and it was for sure the highlight of the aroma. What I liked the least about this beer was the high level of sourness, it was just a little bit past my breaking point and I think it would make this beer just a little better if the sourness was toned down a little, i also think it could be a little more complex. I would buy this beer again, but because of the price I think I would only get one or two and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys sour beers especially the really sour ones. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, if it had a little more complexity to it it might be a very impressive beer, but as it stands I enjoyed it even though the sourness was just a little too much to for me, I still found myself quickly coming back for another sip to get more of those great berry flavors. This isn't my favorite sour, but it is up there as one of the better beers from the LIps of Faith series that I have had. Good job guys, this was a really nice beer, keep up the good and creative work.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to orfeu for picking this up for me while in Nebraska,first off normally I am not a big fan of the style but this, this is awesome.Poured a hazed brugundy spiked with tawny brown a well defined slight off white head atop leaving one ring around my oversized wine glass.Complex to the hilt in the nose so much stuff going on I almost dont know where to begin,tart sour cherry and vanilla I would say are most prominant then the subtle stuff shows thru sherry,phenolic clove,nutmeg,pepper its all there.Quite tart at first it takes a minute to take it in then I start to pick vanilla and a real peppery presence a touch phenolic spiciness finishing with a saltiness that sticks and really hits the back of the tongue whoo!Wow what can I say it seems like each sip gives off something new,as I stated before not a style I go for much but damn how can you not at the very least respect this bad boy,a real gem.

2006 bottle#2006-1139

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This ale came out of the bottle a beautiful reddish-brown in color. The head was modest but pitted well.

The above description doesn’t do this justice. The liquid is thick and a bit hazy with some live carbonation. The edges are tainted with a pinkish peach color that is very unique. It’s hard to describe, but in an understated way this ale is gorgeous.

Smell – The big sour notes come on strongly right out of the bottle. It’s not like lemon, though. It’s more like a spritzy, tart sourness that is of course heavily-laden with fine woody notes.

There is some serious sweet and sour action going on here as well. The toasted grainy malts and wood meld with this aroma to make a beautiful bouquet.

Taste – Ah, this is a good one. The sourness eases up a bit at the taste. It’s quite inviting with a little more malt than I picked up from the nose. The wood is almost all smell and hardly comes across at the tongue. This is a complex and interesting beer.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied with a good but measured sourness and some modest but very tight carbonation. The carbonation really was a highlight for me. New Belgium did an incredible job in this area.

Drinkability – This is almost like sipping on an Applejack-infused peach champagne spritzer. It really is subtlety at its best, and a lot of brewers interested in getting into this style could learn from the modest nature of New Belgium’s approach.

Comments – I aged this 2004 vintage for a bit then popped it for my 1,400th review. It really is a unique and tasty ale that definitely deserves a look if you enjoy Red or Bruin Sour Ales.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip at Toronado in San Francisco. Wow, to say that I am impressed is an understatement. I am completely floored. To think that this was produced in Colorado of all places? I would never have dream this beer to come from anywhere but Flanders. I am so happy with this beer that I find it difficult to put it into words. If I could, I would drink this every day.

Appearance is brilliant. Utterly transparent rose amber body with red copper hues. Assertive carbonation with an ultra long lived pink head. Nose is acidic, containing oak, melon, and sour apples. Taste is tart funk, a blend of rotten cherries, moldy apricot, green apple skins, and Roquefort blue cheese. Mouthfeel is a bit chalky but otherwise difficult to put a handle on. There are so many conflicting sensations going on. Sweet, sour, tart, wet, dry, light, full… I’m all mixed up and I like it. I want to drink a lot more of this.

Photo of tectactoe
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Oak Cafe. Pours a deep copper-ruby red hybrid letting spotty amounts of light shine through; tan head, decent retention, minimal lacing. Aroma lifts up heavily from the glass with tart apples, strawberries, and a large assortment of sweet and tart fruits popping everywhere. Slight wet-wood and funk scents around the edges, however its very light and certainly overthrown by the cornucopia of fruit.

Taste is initially tart and sour on the very tip of the tongue, pucker inducing; ripe strawberries, green apples, sour cherries, and a huge assortment of other berries dance around the palate. Tart and sour flavors mellow out within a few seconds and turn into a lasting sweetness. Some mild yeast in the background, if nothing more than a foundation for the fruits to build in, it works well. Lots of carbonation, crisp and surprisingly dry, thin-medium body, more on the medium side I would say.

Great sour ale from New Belgium. It's hard to get great sours in the US sometimes, especially ones that are readily available. La Folie isn't cheap, but it's worth picking some up each year when it's released. Authentic fruit flavors are the key - this one nails it. I happen to like sour fruits, and this hit the spot.

Photo of ricke
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark reddish brown with a small off-white head that leaves small lacings.

The smell is acidic with tart berry notes and rather prominent notes of caramel. Notes of funky barrel and vinegar as well as some spices and toffee.

The flavor has an interesting and enjoyable mix of sweet chewy malts and a prominent acidity. Aromas of toffee, gentle muted notes of bread. The acidity takes center stage in the middle with nice tart cherry notes, some lemon and vinegar. Notes of grass. The finish is a bit sharp and vinegary with notes of bitter grass and minerals.

Medium body, smooth oily mouthfeel.

Nice one. Complex and interesting. I like how the malts shine through at first.

Photo of punkindrublic50
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being a big fan of Flemish Reds I was extremely excited to try La Folie during a tour of the New Belgium Brewery (highly recommend the tour if in the area). After polishing off several other samples to warm up I was finally ready for the big dog. Smell is INTENSE to start, Belgian funk, vinegar, some sour fruit. First sip was so sour and flavorful I honestly couldn't even decide if I liked it. Second helped my mouth adjust a little, and by the third I was completely hooked. Just an explosion of carbonation, sour fruits and yeast every time. If you like sour beers you absolutely have to track this down; when I was at the Brewery 750ml bottles were still availible for purchase.

Photo of brownbeer
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I took the bottle out of the fridge about 15 minutes before popping the new and improved 22oz bomber and pouring into a NB snifter.

A- Brown with a ruby glow and a small tan head.

S- Mouthwatering aroma. Rhubarb, whipped cream(vanilla), black cherry.

T- The taste is an extravaganza for your tongue.
Intense sourness right off the bat. As that fades subtleties from the oak come in to play with ripe fruit(raspberry, strawberry).

M- Dances on the tongue with a sharp knife-like acidity and finishes dry and tannic.

D- This blend tastes especially good. I've been a fan of this beer since the first time I tried it. In my top five.

Photo of Dtopete21
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This malt double had a sweet and sour taste. It reminds me a lot of soy sauce, but it also gives off a blackberry taste. It's aroma is very strong and unique just like vinegar.
Color: Dark
The reason why this beer is dark is because the malt has been roasted.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. #04-2815.

Copper red pour with good clarity and a half inch of eggshell head on top. Active carbonation rises up. Brown sugar, cherry and big wood tannins fill the nostrils alongside the bright sour, acidic aroma wafting off the beer. Vinegar funkiness on the backbone.

Somewhat spicy upfront with brown sugar and cherry accents. Big woody tannins and oak barrel accents rush across the palate as it flows down with a kick of funky, mouth puckering sourness and some acidic vinegar tones, leaving a lingering sour, fruity aftertaste.

This is one of my all time favorite sour beers and I always enjoy it each and every time I get to sample it. A great bottle to share with friends as well. If you enjoy sour beers this is one your need to try sooner than later!

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The best thing about La Folie - the lack of hype around it.

This is one of the better sours I have had and one of the best of the flanders red style, too. Here is a beer with year round availability, awesome consistency and an overall killer taste, but since you dont have to beg borrow and steal for it, it goes under the radar.

Worst thing: the price. I guess I am the jerk here but for about $15 a bomber (tax=crv), its a little costly. I understand that barrels=$$$ but I would love for new belgium to knock the price on this one down a touch. All in all though, great sour and considering some of the flanders style's I have paid $20 and up for, I, 9 out of 10 times, finish the bottle and say "yea but I would just rather la folie and $5 in my pocket"

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bomber into a tulip glass. 2014 Edition.

A beautiful dark ruby red, nearly brown with a tan head that quickly fades and leaves a little light lacing.

The aroma is interesting. I pick up a little brown sugar as well as green apple, maybe some black cherry and maybe a little oak char?

Taste is big acidic bite right up front. Green apple, lemon curd, dark sour cherry. there is also an underlying sweet malt base that shows up every now and then. A lingering sour dryness and a tart tingle on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is thin and a little sticky with a bit of carbonation.

Overall, a prretty fun and tasty experience that will wake up those taste buds.

Photo of andyfrancis
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle

Short brown head erupted quickly and dissipated as quickly as it came, leaving a placid, cloudy reddish brown glass.

Wow, no doubting its sourness on the nose. That acquired vinegary delicious funk. Almost like bleu cheese just before it hits your lips.

Oh my god. So good. Just a great blend of sour with a sweet fruit back and funky bite. Every sip makes me want to take another.

Incredibly smooth and easy drinking for a sour. Has that astringent bite and finishes clean.

Not quite as good, but in the same ballpark as the Russian River sours and my favorite of the Lips of Faith series, Eric's Ale. Will definitely have this again.

Photo of warnerry
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

A - Pours a clear red-tinged brown with very little head and no lacing.

S -- Smells of cherries and earthy funk. Very nice tartness in the aroma. A bit of oak as well.

T - Similar to smell. Big tartness up front, with a nice amount of cherry. Some very earthy yeast and nice wood tannins.

M -- Light crisp mouthfeel with a nice earthiness.

O - A very nice sour, but maybe a half-notch below Supplication. But this is a very nice sour at a pretty good price point that I will buy every year if I can.

Photo of Beaver13
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, caged and corked. Bottle # 05-4260, purchased 7/3/06. Pours a clear reddish amber with a thin off-white head that quickly diminishes to a wispy collar that has some legs.

The aroma is peppery wood, fruits, a tart acidic sourness and some sweet-tarts.

The flavor is a little sweet fruitiness quickly followed by a huge mouth-puckering sourness - kind of like the sour sweet-tarts. The mouthfeel is medium to full and low on carbonation, but what little there is is pretty sharp and zings the back of the throat.

Overall, a very nice sour ale! It's different and not for everyone, but is quickly addicting. It has much more in your face sourness than the Panil.

Photo of shark262
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks very appealing. Slightly opaque brown with red/ruby tint. Slight foam on head when poured into a large brandy snifter.

Complex aromatics of sour cherry, slight hay/grass, sweetness, and maybe even some melon in background.

Very tart when first hitting the palette assisted by medium effervescent carbonation. Warms in the mouth to reveal refreshing sweet and acidic mixture. Dark cherry, slight caramel, oak, earth...delicious combinations. Fruity aftertaste is awesome.

Mouthfeel is not too heavy or viscous. Feels refreshing and light.

I'm pairing this with both camembert and fontina cheeses served with a french baguette. This increases drinkability for me, and I'll experiment with white chocolate joining this beer for dessert.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade...shared with my wife.

Color is a light brown/amber. The head forms and quickly dissipates.

The nose is tart with apples and hints of an earthy goodness.

The.taste is a nice tart Apple flavor. This is a nice sour. At first the sour was subtle but as it warmed it is prominent. Berry flavor coke though in the end. The coronation....Damn you phone...carbonation is pleasant and drying.

Photo of tjthresh
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falling Rock as part of the GABF 06 festivities. Really cool looking reddish brown. Served with not head, or even indication of head. A lot going on in the nose. Tart cherry, brett funk, wood, nail polish remover. It about put me down when I took the first drink. Huge rush of tart sourness. Certainly not for the timid. Those that take the challenge with will be nicely surprised.

Photo of merlin48
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked and caged, hand bottled # 8074/04. I owe babydoc bigtime for this gem. Cork was removed with thumb power, with a sudden "POP", as the cork streaked across my living room and bounced off the opposite wall. My cats were more impressed than startled. My impressions follow. I was preparing to serve this into a tulip glass, but the cork had a sticker showing a goblet, so I made the first pour into my trusty St Bernardus goblet, at cellar temperature(about 55 F.). The body is clear, and Ruby Red, with a fascinating two finger head that was creamy and old bone ivory in color. Enormous carbonation is apparent, with a thousand score, minute bubbles dancing to the surface. Head retention is amazing. If it were giant sized, I would jump in for awhile. Some curtains and sheets of lace coat the goblet, to complete the incredible appearance.
Aroma is near perfect for the style. Sour cherries and raspberries and old, wet oak are dominent. A note of earthy yeastiness compliments well.
Mouthfeel is rich and medium bodied, with a satin feel that is highlighted by an ideal carbonation.
Taste is exceptional. Oak notes envelop and mellow the lactic and tannic hints that come with the mouth puckering tart and sour cherry and raspberry flavors. Understated yeast presence, and just enough malt backbone to balance the complexities into a sweet/sour ectasy. Everything comes together at the finish with an amazing flourish. Aftertaste is of fresh Bing cherries soaked in Balsamic vinegar, and laid on wet oak for a few hours.
This one is a truly exceptional experience, from start to finish. Flanders Red Ales are my favorite style when executed with such precision as this Colorado masterpiece. I think I owe babydoc a few head of cattle for this swap.

Photo of Billolick
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap at the Blind tiger, NYC, New Belgium night
Very interesting brew. NOT for everybody! Poured a fiery, murky, brownish red. Nose was strong cherries, sour apples. Flavors was of VERY stron and sour Cherry. This beer simply was not for me. too sour to enjoy. It was advertised as being stored in burgundy wine barrels, but none of those anticipated flavors came through. Just Sour, very sour.

Photo of ElSid
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage

A: Deep mahogany with faint hues of maroon. A finger and a half of khaki foam rises up a generous pour into a snifter which leaves lacing on the glass

S: Tartness and balsamic vinegar run parallel to syrupy, berry sweetness. There is a base of brown bread along with substantial notes of wood and chardonnay.

T: Wood and leather quickly give way to tartness, astringent funk and earthy acetic acid bite. Some crisp sour green apples, raspberry syrup, and raisin sweetness come through in the middle. The oak along with bready cracker maltiness attempt to quell the tart edge succumbing to a dry and puckering finish.

M: Medium with good syrupy linger and moderate carbonation.

O: A nice sour which seems to exemplify the Flanders Oud Bruin style well. A dominating lactobacillus pucker paired with natural apple and berry sweetness. I usually enjoy a bit more fruit sweetness in my sours.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is strong oak and vanilla with some tart citrus and tart dark fruit. You also get some chocolate. The flavor is tart fruit. Lots of sour cherries. You also get oak and vanilla. As the beer warms, it becomes a more lactic sourness as opposed to the sour fruit that was in the beer earlier. Thin-medium mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation. A truly outstanding beer.

Photo of FMetzger
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark amber. Reddish and brown with a nice pillowy head. Off white head and great retention.
S: Unbelievable. Sour fruit straight away, developing deepness to tart cherries. Best I have ever smelled.
T: Not overpowering. While this is the most sour beer I have ever tasted, it does not blow your mind with vinegar-y flavors. Cherry flavor in after taste.
M: Soft on the tongue and the palate. Best word to describe it is "smoothness" after initial sour bite. Clean taste. Minutes after last sip all that is left is the delicious cherry-fruit hints still on the tongue. Not sure the wood aging is coming through, though...
D: While easily the most enjoyable for me on any night, this would be a single flute drinker. Sharing a bottle is definitely the way to go.

Photo of bsp77
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Glass: Poured from tap into tulip/snifter.

Appearance: Very dark red with a pinkish tint. Small cap and some nice lacing.

Small: Oak, tart apples, grapes and cherries. Some pepper. Great oak aroma.

Taste: Major cider and vinegar. Very tart and sour. Lots of apple and grape, with a great oak character. Very light cherry. Finish has some nice peppery notes.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body. Nice dry and tart finish.

Overall: Hallelujah, I finally have had a New Belgium beer that I actually love.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brownish-red with a pinkish head. Aroma of cherry cobbler and wood. Taste is super-sour cherries, which is accentuated by the carbonation. The sweetness of the brown ale base comes through in the end, cleaning the palate before the next sip unleashes on your tongue. The oak appears towards the end of the glass as the beer warms. Very nice.

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Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 3,609 ratings.