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Lips Of Faith - La Folie - New Belgium Brewing

Lips Of Faith - La FolieLips Of Faith - La Folie

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,402 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2402
Reviews: 909
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 11.03%


Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Flemish Sour Brown Ale fermented in stainless then transferred to barrels for 1-4 years of aging then blended to taste.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,402 | Reviews: 909 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle 44304.
Served slightly chilled in rounded champagne flutes.

Blood red with a gorgeous mousse on top.

Fruit without being fruity -- cherry and raspberry -- backed with big fat cocoa. This is all about the burgundy oak aging, but never has a wood aged beer been crafted with so much elegance -- indeed, it even has an ethereal presence in the mouth that I have never found outside of grand cru Burgundy. I am in paradise.

The full body is cut by a surprisingly light acidity (as if it's undergone malolactic) that makes this otherwise full-flavored beer quite refreshing. Oak, oak, oak all the way lends judicious mouthfeel while not being so overpowering as to turn it into vanilla pudding. Fruit, cocoa, acid, fruit, cocoa, acid -- a single hazelnut. I could do this forever.

The angels are singing.

Relax, relax.
ng

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 14:16:36 | More by ngandhi
Photo of marburg
marburg

Michigan

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After a few weeks of pondering the possibility of the complete and total downfall of my favorite style of beer with the sweetening of Goudenband and the likelihood that Rodenbach is simply best when aged for a few years, I was kind of only half-assedly looking forward to this. But in the sweet name of the beer gods, this is awesome.

Bronzed brown color, not quite pushing into the burgandy-ish color range yet. Heady with the right pour. Fades back quickly. Pungent aromas of cherry vinegarette dressing with subtle notes of fine chocolate-covered cherries with a bit of liqueor in them. Oaky, woody, and lively, this has an incredibly fresh feel in the nose reminiscent of the lung-opening sensation of a spring evening right before it rains. It just smells like it's alive.

The first sip begins with a sour cherry sweet/tart interplay that continues throughout the whole beer, every step of the way. There's a woody astringency through the middle and finish, but the real gem here is the biting sourness at the end. Hardly just sour, there's an earthy, organic bitterness that underlies it all, so while your mouth feels like it just got washed out with an acid wash, the actual drink feels nicely balanced and incredibly complex. Layers of flavor; sour; interesting; aromatic; delicate -- these are all the things I look for in great beers. And this is one of the best I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2004 03:23:44 | More by marburg
Photo of Bess
Bess

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rather than add to the long list of shining descriptors and glowing reports that preceed my posting, I would like to simply say that this beer is a sublime experience that I hope to someday-soon-repeat....(somehow---it is not easy to get in MA!)

I enjoyed a very generous sample of this brew at the fabulous Boston Belgian Beer festival(6 November 2004), and while the draught was in a plastic cup, sipped by a novice reviewer who was being happily hip-checked in a boisterous crowd of 'connoisseurs', the beauty of this beer(as described so aptly by my peers) granted a moment of calm delight and sustained gratitude for what we all love about craft brewing.

My compliments to the crew that brought us La Folie!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2004 21:59:56 | More by Bess
Photo of swamiswamu
swamiswamu

Indiana

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged at the Chocolate Bar in STL, not on menu.

I eagerly asked the maitre d' whether or not they still had La Folie in their possession and after asking a few more employees they managed to find one, despite its not being on the menu. At $22, it wasn't cheap, but also was not to be missed. This is my first straight 5s and I don't anticipate seeing many others that meet this. My first sour beer was only a couple of months ago and I've gone from not being able to choke down kriek to lusting after Cantillon like a addict craves the needle. I was visibly excited when the bottle came with its "do not disturb" label hanging around the neck. I was with my fiance and soon to be mother in law, who was immensely intrigued by this mysterious beer in front of me. It poured a deep rich magenta with little head. I let it breathe for a little bit before taking my first sip. The nose was strongly influenced byt the oak with hints of vanilla and plum. The taste was simply incredible. Plums, cranberry, apple cider, a little bit of malt, oak, and a citrusy cleanliness. Perfect. My fiance's mother stated that it was the most incredible flavor she's ever experienced, period. My fiance loved it, despite her extreme aversion to sourness. I could have drank it all night if wasn't driving and it wasn't a small fortune. Best beer ever.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2005 19:08:04 | More by swamiswamu
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah La Folie. Here is my bias: I believe that hands down this is the most sophisticated and near-perfect beer made in the United States today. It pushes the envelope of the American craft brew scene and offers drinkers the best of the best of the best sir.

And it's free (and on tap) at the brewery!

A: Amber with a thin head that clings on for dear life. The head seems to know that it's not worthy of the beer it tops...

S: Lots of cherry, but the sourness literally jumps out of the glass. I've never really seen another beer that portrays it's mouthfeel in the bouquet!

T: A great balance of oak and cherry. Sourness dominantes the palate, bt there's a fruity sweetness to balance things out and a fine pepperiness in the aftertaste.

M and D: Wonderfully balanced. The match of sour and sweet creates a beer that is tremendously refreshing, tasty, and complicated. It's length gives it a medium body, but this only adds to the drinkability.

What a wonderful beer. If La Folie becomes the standard by which other brewers measure their beers, the American craft beer world will be in for a treat.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 00:08:48 | More by benito
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freethehopspc

Alabama

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I first tried this beer during the 2007 GABF week at the brewery. I thought it was great then, it's even better away from the brewery.

It poured/smelt/and tasted amazing. I have been on a sour kick recenty and have tried every one I could get my hands on, and nothing touches this one.

If sour ales are you kind of beer, this is a must.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 21:09:55 | More by freethehopspc
Photo of sb3000
sb3000

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an easy review....

The perfect sour beer!

Pours a deep red amber. Exceptional lacing and a powder white head.

Aroma is balsamic dressing and vinegar.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but malty.

Flavor is a incredible! Mouth puckering sour, but balanced out by a sweet maltiness. No hop character to speak of.

I had the privilege of touring the brewery in 2011. I tasted both the Oscar and Felix in their wood aging tanks and spoke to Lauren Salazar who blends La Folie. This beer is the perfect marriage of Belgian and American brewing. I can't imagine a better 'sour' beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 03:43:00 | More by sb3000
Photo of beernut7
beernut7

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a huge fan of oak-aged beers and this brew only supports my position. I was fortunate enough to sample this at the brewery. It was poured into a small goblet and i looked longinly at the hazy raisin-brown hazy color and foamy head. The aroma is huge and malty with a sour and oak character. I have never tasted anything like it before. The bold, musty sour tangy flavor is backed up by a smooth malt body and obvious oak aged twinge. It is hard to truly describe the appeal of this beer to justice.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2002 18:42:21 | More by beernut7
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

La Folie - Wood Aged Beer: 750ML bottle with a small label affixed to it. Hand Bottled - Bottle # 45104. Thanks Nick.

Appearance: This brew glugs out of the 750ml bottle a turbid dark, muddy rusty peach/apricot colour with some ruby highlights barely visible through all of the muck. The head is small, firm, fluffy and white with great staying power. Whenever the head begins to diminish, just give it a minut swirl and it will jump back to life. The lacing is excellent, and very Rodenbach-like in style.

The aromas are heavenly. Cherry like, with other dark fruits in the mix as well. Than you have the tart apple aromas and the aromas of citrus rinds, and than you have the excellent oak barell notes and the sweet and sour bacterial notes of any good flanders red or oud bruin (particularly Rodenbach). The oak notes are very impressive, and it is no suprise that this beer has been aged in oaken barells for 3 years +!

The taste is also exceptional. It hits up front with flanders red like sweet tartness and lambic-like funk. Than the sweet berries, tart apples, citric rinds and cherry essence ride in. The finish is smooth, chalky, lactic, sweet, sour, fruity, and never-ending.

The mouthfeel is also perfect. A creamy yet slightly astringent and chalky balance is acheived here. Swish this stuff around in your mouth and the flavors become more pronounced, and the liquid becomes as fluffy as a cloud.


The drinkability is perfect. I could drain these all night, if they did not cost $18 a bottle! and I do just that when I am in Belgium, except the brew is called Rodenbach and it is about $1, everywhere!

All in all: This is a masterfull achievment. A very belgian-style wood aged beer, with all the characteristics of a classic...but at $18 a bottle, I have to feel robbed, knowing that Rodenbach is basically, just as good!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 21:40:29 | More by francisweizen
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amber-copper body is darker than I expected. Honest off-white head with above average retention for the style. Aroma explodes with oak wood character. Lova at first sniff you’ll call it. Cedar, vinegar, wood chunks, it’s an obsession. I feel like walking in a forest right now. This is more than I can handle. All kinds of little red fruits provide these admirable fruit acids to marry the balsamic. Farmy taste, nostalgic, elegant, very fruity, cherry and raspberry reminding. And that oak, marvellous oak, wood among the wood. Blue cheese hints, cider-like dryness is explosive in the finish and adds just a bit more class to a drink that really didn’t needed anymore. Perfect level of acidity for the style. Perfect medium-full body with tongue-cleaning carbonation. Great stuff, mind stimulating. Kudos to an american brewer (not that he didn’t work with the best belgians before) to reproduce such a rare and beautiful style with such elegance. And kudos to hopsrus for providing this envigorating experience.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2004 20:53:07 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of czechsaaz
czechsaaz

Washington

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2004 Vintage.

Fantastic vinuos aroma with a hint of brett character. Underneath the wine character is sweet brown sugary and caramel malt. Other fermentation aromas include cherries and apple and very fruity esters. I also get hints of spice (cinnamon?) and candie orage peel. Other sniffs I get cotton candy and other sweet impressions. Really nice and complex. Halfway through I started to get vanilla from oak.

Deep amber, almost orange and very clear. Head is smallish, but there's a nice ring of foam around the edge of the glass and islands of fine foam throughout. Leaves a light dusting of lace.

Fist sip is pretty powerfully sour. Kind of lambic-like. If you're not ready for it, kind of shocking. I was expecting some tartness, but not quite so much. Now that I know, the second sip gives me great fruit quality like biting into a fresh sour cherry. Malt component lends just enough sweetness to keep this from being puckering. Light woody character with the same vanilla hints you might get from a good chardonnay. There's also a nice apple juice effect too. Like maybe a combo of lemonade and apple. There's light but perceptable hop bitterness but very little hop flavor. The malt and fermentation speak for themselves. On the back of the palate, there's a great buttery lactic/brett flavor. The added level of complexity is outstanding.

Medium bodied and very creamy on the palate. While sour, it is also light and refreshing. Carbonation level is light but very good for a 2 year old or so bottle.

Really an amazing thing to experience. This is one of those, "This is beer?" kind of things. There's so much that is wine-like and not beer but underneath is enough malt that it's unmistakeably beer. Must get more and lay it down longer than I held on to this one. I bet it would go way longer.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 06:39:54 | More by czechsaaz
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have really been getting into sours lately. Glad I got ahold of this one.

Pours a deep clear red color with a thin head that dissapated. No real lacing.

Smells amazing. Lots of bret funk with tart cherries.

Tastes wonderful. Super sour. Like a LA Red poppy but even more funk. A super good sour that rides the line of being a wine.

Mouthfeel is perfect.

Overall I could drink this all night. I really love sours and I am probably going to change my fav style to sours.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 02:13:50 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer arrived a dark amber color. The head was a qaurter inch in height, and receded slowly into a ring of lacing which left some foam sticking to the sides of the glass. The aroma is tart, sour, acidic, with moderate yeast barnyard notes, hints of plum, and fainter hints of wood. The taste is of more tartness, more sourness, with hints of malt, hints of barnyard, and a great pucker factor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with fine carbonation, and a silky texture. Overall, this is a great beer...a nearly perfect beer. I would love to drink this regulaly, and really wish it was more widely available.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2009 21:40:08 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is kind of an odd review for me. I think this beer is my most traded for beer. I love this beer and yet I have never written a review. The beer was served in a wide mouth goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a very bright and pleasing cherry ruby coloration. A white short lived head floats on the surface of the beer. No lacing noted.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is deceptively simple. The expected lactic aromas of vinegar dipped sweet dark cherries and tart cherries combine with an oaken aroma.

Taste: The flavor starts with very tart cherries and dips into a little sweetness before lactic sour tones and oaken notes take control. The bitterness is very vibrant and multi tonal. Truly one of my favorite tasting beers.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is just shy of medium. The carbonation is high enough to lighten the beers mouthfeel and boast drinkability. The sour lactic tones of the beer bring a very refreshing feel to the beer. The beer is an epic American classic. I cannot seem to get enough of this beer and will continue to trade for it as I need it.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 13:35:51 | More by nlmartin
Photo of stealth
stealth

Minnesota

4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 in a tulip. Pours a dark ruby red/brown. Darker than other Flanders I've had. Steady carbonation bubbles streaming up the sides of the glass. Thick foamy brownish head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is very earthy with some sour cherry notes. Makes my mouth start to water immediately.

The taste is immense. Sour, tart, sour and tart. Very dry finish and mouthfeel. Creamy on the palate, and really gets your mouth salivating and puckering. Acidic, earthy and funky tones. Before having this beer I didn't know if it was brewed with Brettanomyces, but the first smell had me thinking about it, and the first taste sold it. Love that funkiness that the brett brings.

Reminds me a lot of Surly Five, but much more refined, and much more sour/tart. The only other sours that I think compete with this are Consecration, which is still tops in my book, and the Rodenbach 2007 Vintage, which it equals. Looking forward to getting more of this and aging it for a few years. Should be tremendous.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 06:52:23 | More by stealth
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: 750 ml green glass bottle, corked and caged. Nice hazy red/brown body, but pours with no head. Somewhat confounding, but I am not worry, the cork was on very tight.

Smell: Wow, that is a pungent smelling beer, very sour and fruity. Overwhelming, but delicious, what I look for in the style, for sure.

Taste: Wow, lots going on here, the flavors shift and develop and end far from where they start. Big sour, dry flavors up, fairly acidic and in your face. The flavor then smoothes and turns into a funky-fruity experience in the aftertaste. What a glass of beer. I can't believe I get a whol 750 ml to myself. I am greedy like that, I guess. Versus the style, this is the best I've had.

Drinkability: I like it, very much so, everything seems to fit, and this was a great effort on the part of New Belgium. Thanks to BittBill for a bottle in a private trade.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2006 02:46:45 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of gbarbee
gbarbee

North Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

La Folie, Wood Aged Beer
1 Pint 9.4 FL. OZ. (750 ML)
6% ALC/VOL

Hand Bottled # 05-2260

Appearance: Red/Amber appearing and slightly opaque.
Smell: Tart, fruity scent with a hint of lemon.
Taste: Tart with a fruity flavor (green apples, lemon, and maybe a hint of orange) with a smooth aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Smooth and light
Drinkability: Exceptional beer that drinks similar to a smooth, clear soda-pop on a hot and humid summer day. This is a unique beer reminiscent of a Belgian Lambic Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2006 01:31:02 | More by gbarbee
Photo of ryantupy
ryantupy

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a great beer that I shared a few of among friends at a fire. it poured a great and smelled amazing. It smelled of apricott, oak, dried fruit, alcohol, and a little sweet. It tasted great and was amazingly complex in its flavors and aromas. This was an amazing beer that I will definatly be drinking for years to come.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2006 21:52:52 | More by ryantupy
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I owe the greatest debt of gratitude to phnphilly for the opportunity to try this SPECTACULAR beer. Thank you for sharing this with me. You are a true friend. Thanks prAna for trading with him. Keep sending sour beer ;-) I hope he keeps sharing with me!!!

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous amber color with a creamy ivory head and notable lacing.

Smell: the massively intense aroma smacks you upside the face and demands you full attention. After a huge sour apple, tart berry and ripe fruit whiff comes more subtle and complex layers - acidic lactic - and also aromas of smooth scents of old wood, burnt caramel (light sweetness) and lemon juice.

Taste: I am flabbergasted!!! I never run out of words but I must just say, I LOVE THIS BEER! It is intensely sour!! Sour apples and vinous sour tart berry acidity and a very bold pucker inducing (hard swallow) finish that magnificently forces a wince and nearly draws tears to my eyes, meanwhile loving every moment of the treasure. This beer has the best aftertaste. It actually gets better and better long after the swallow. The flavors continue to grow and reveal more depth in the aftertaste. As the sour fades more sweetness come seeping out of the cheeks. Take my breath away! This is EXCEPTIONAL!

Mouthfeel: For an aggressively sour beer this one is quite creamy and smooth. It maybe light/medium but it works perfectly with the poking and prodding on the palate from the sour and the dry astringency.

Drinkability: It is a sipping beer but I could drink (sip) it day and night 24-7-365 (if I could acquire it). God, I love sour beer. And this is crème de la crème of my favorite style!!! WOW!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 07:21:48 | More by Phatz
Photo of Flashsp2
Flashsp2

New Mexico

4.93/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown bomber into a Konigsbacher Pils glass

A mild pour generates a beautiful ruby red body of perfect transparency with amber highlights and a half inch eggshell colored head that thins to a ring, even though the carbonation is actively rushing the surface. No lacing or or stick anywhere. Brown, no. Blood red, oh yes, and lovely to look at.

Aroma is sweet and sour, tart, overripe black cherry and sour cherry, sweet malts and dry oak. A bit of funk and barnyard.

Taste is of a slightly softened Rodenbach Grand Cru. Why was this always in the Top 100 before? Well, that's because it's tasty and complex. Sour cherries, tart cranberry, acidic, an intense and somehow not overpowering dryness from the oak. You get a touch of that funky taste and a tiny bit of barnyard, enough to meld into the rest of the flavors. The dry tartness keeps for such an incredibly long finish. Some sours seem coarse and raw, this one has immense finesse and grace.

Mouthfeel is light and lively with an abundant carbonation that dances around the mouth.

This is a beauty, so very easy to drink, with an acidity that is cleansing rather than crushing. A beautiful beer that will gladly help me get my Rodenbach fix in the future. Too bad it costs so damn much for a bottle ($14.99).

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 22:33:45 | More by Flashsp2
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.9/5  rDev +15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 00:59:47 | More by merlin48
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW! I loved this beer so much that I was originally unsure of my own thoughts on it. However, after going over it for a while, and then rushing out and tasting some of the beers from Flanders (the one's without the extra sugar added), I really do feel that this is an exceptional beer that not only rivals the originals, but ranks very highly among them! The fact that a brewery in the United States produced this absolutely proves that we are the greatest beer nation in the world! So, if this be folly, then let me be a fool!!!

From a 750ml green glass Champagne bottle, corked and caged; 2004 vintage.

The first pour from a longstanding bottle is crystal clear (I can see my fingerprints through the glass). The body is copper colored with a reddish cast and glittering orange and gold highlights; beneath a massive head of creamy white froth that unfortunately settles fairly quickly to a standard collar and whispy surface covering. It does leave some large splashes of lace however, but they are transient and disappear after a minute or so.

The nose is tart with the acid produced by the Brettanomyces and bacteria, and it comes off like tart fruit. Once warm, woody notes become apparent, giving it greater depth; and some tropical fruit appears (mango, papaya, melon).

In the mouth it's light-medium bodied and just lightly tingly on the tongue due to the carbonation, but the acidity also helps to give it some zest.

The flavor starts tart and fruit juicy with an undercurrent of sweetness that appears at the swallow. Across the middle, the barnyard (musty, musky, feral) and oak character appears. It's superbly balanced in its tartness, and the oak isn't over-done.

Note: Once the yeast is added, it softens the flavor greatly, and I'd suggest you store this in your refrigerator for a long period before opening it to let the yeast settle. when you're ready, pull it out, open it, pour it carefully and enjoy it 5 minutes later. You will eventually get to the "yeast pour", but the first few glasses will be great!

It finishes bone-dry and slightly chalky with a mineralistic/barnyard characteristic from the Brettanomyces that leaves it slightly reminiscent of bleu cheese.

Stunning! An amazingly refreshing and drinkable beer that is surprisingly compelling.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2005 23:21:14 | More by NeroFiddled
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kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Geoff.

This is my second dance with this beer. I loved it the first time, but I want to see how I feel about it again.

It pours a rosey orange color with a small head that falls to a light coating. Nice. The nose is incredible. Huge tart funkyness with sweet and sour cherry. Also hints of creamyness as well. It smells divine. The flavor is very nice as well. A blast of tartness hits immideatly, followed by sweet cherry and slight cream. It leaves slight stickey spit in my mouth. The feel is moderate with a lively carbonation. I could easily sit and drink a whole bottle of this. I enjoy the flavor, nose and feel.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2005 00:32:43 | More by kmpitz2
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UnionMade

Colorado

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at the brewery in late August, refrigerated since.
Looks like a liquid fireball, positively glowing a pure, brilliant red. Modest cap of foam, maintaining a thick film atop the brew. A plume of carbonation rises from the tulip glass, feeding the head. Sharply acidic in the nose, a delicate yet sturdy wooden presence. Heavy with grapey, vinous notes, sour as it comes, hinting towards sour cherry and green apple. A touch of vanilla, and molten caramel to a lesser degree.

The first sip....wow.

Immediately puckering with sour cherry and grape. I'd be happy with a beer this abrasive and agressive being fairly simple, but oh no. A wash of caramel bolsters the sourness, preventing it from taking over completely. Musty wild yeast flavors evoke a feeling of long waiting in wooden vessels. A bit of a stilton cheese flavor, moldy, sharp and delicious, nearly buckling under sour fruit. Oaky vanilla, perhaps a touch of leather and anise lurking in the far distance. Green apple. Cider vinegar. Perky carbonation moves the flavor restlessly across the palate. Microscopically small bubbled, fine like champagne. Lighter medium body, finishing so dry my tongue feels like paper. No real hop flavor save a vague, cheesy, herbal quality which may or may not be from hops. Plenty of sour acidity in the finish, which is right up my alley, even a bit of sour achiness in my belly after a glass. Perhaps lessening the drinkability some. Caramel sweetness maintains throughout, soft and golden. A wisp of vanilla and cheese right in the end. Beautiful.

A beer this gorgeous is a rare thing. I was a bit skeptical about the nearly $20 my girlfriend and I dropped on each bottle, but it was worth every penny. I'm having trouble believing this comes from the United States. Supremely good, even against the continental versions. Not only spot on for the style, but I like it better the classics, i.e. Rodenbach. Holy crap. We should have bought a case. I wonder how this might be after another 3-4 years?

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 04:18:25 | More by UnionMade
Photo of timtheenchanta
timtheenchanta

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to beerhandy for the chance to try this one.

Dark reddish brown brew topped by a light beige head with some thin spotty lacing.

Beautiful nose! It's slightly sweet like muscadine grapes straight from the vine (scuppernongs to us southerners) with a hint of oak and a friendly dose of sour apples. Eighteen months ago, trying this beer would have been a complete waste of my precious funds.

HUGE flavor on this one. This one hits the tongue in such sweet fashion compared to any other flanders red I've tried. Big sweet muscadine grapes flush the tongue with ecstacy after every sip. Hold that sip in your mouth for a second or two and the brett rushes your mouth with a sourness you could have missed if you weren't swishing it around in your mouth. Whoa that's some bite! There's a hint of apple and a sweetness from another fruit although I can't seem to wrap my tongue around it. This one also gets "hotter" as it warms up to room temperature but the spiciness doesn't seem to take away from the experience.

I always feel skeptical going into highly toted beers like this one but I feel this one lived up to the hype. It's so great but also so radically different from all the other flanders reds I've had. A great beer indeed! Thanks again go out to beerhandy for the chance to try this and mschae1017 for sharing the bottle with me. Oh to be able to live with this one at least once a month... alas, I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2007 03:54:54 | More by timtheenchanta
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Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 2,402 ratings.