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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,607 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,607
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.33%
Wants: 545
Gots: 836 | FT: 45
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: 3,607 | Reviews: 1,039
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jpm30. A clear rlight reddish colour with lots of large bubbles in the head. Vinegar and malt aroma. Clearly sour taste that sweetens as you drink it. Vineous and slightly rich, wood only detactable before the taste buds are overpowered.. Great after salty fish. A slightly milder alternative to a Cantillon, overpowering the mouth but not for the entire day.

Photo of t0rin0
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried this tonight and was very impressed. I've heard about this beer and every time I see "New Belgium Brewing" next to the name I just keep right on browsing, figuring that it can't be any good. I was sorely mistaken.

This beer pours a deep red color that was sorta clear. Slightly hazy. There was some head in my glass but that was pretty much a vertical pour in an effort to aggravate the beer and produce some aromas. Not much retention.

The smell was wonderfully geuze-like. Moderately sour and definitely some oak in there. Also some sour cherries coming out. The smell is not as intensely complex as some of the reviews would make it out to be but it is very well balanced.

The taste is moderately sour and oak inspired. There is some fruit in the background and some sweet malt. Not much to comment on other than its a great flavor and that I could drink bottles of this on a daily basis.

Over the past 6 months or so I have really been introduced to sour belgian beers and this is a prime example. Medium body, enough CO2, very drinkable.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the ColLAboration beer fest at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a fizzy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of sour cherry and malt vinegar aromas. Taste is very much the same with a very tart finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good sour beer that is tasty and very easy to drink. This is definitely a beer I could drink all day and not get tired of it.

Photo of GRG1313
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 offering.

Pours dark copper with red/cranberry tones. A fast fading light khaki head.

Nose of cooked cherries with hints of cocoa and light tart apple vinegar. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp; very well balanced and with perfect tart/sour character.

Flavor profile is tart cooked pie cherries with a "brown ale" undertone. There are hints of cocoa and cooked stone fruit, all with the tart character prevailing.

This is a very drinkable beer with a nice clean, tart finish that leaves you salivating a bit and wanting more.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin quarter finger head on a clear brown and amber body.

S: tons of sour cherries with subtle caramel and toffee. Bubble gum

T: nice degree of sourness with the flavor following the aroma perfectly. Toffee and caramel are mild but present.

M: thinner side of medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a very nice sour beer, one of the better beers and sour beers from this brewery.

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear red in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin light pink head that quickly faded away and left a ring of bubbles around the collar of the glass.
S: There is a light to moderate aroma of sourness in the nose.
T: The overall taste is very sour and has notes of cherries and oak in the flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very tart on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
D: The high amount of carbonation in this beer makes it quite drinkable.

Note: 2010 vintage

Photo of Thorpe429
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a tawny brown color that is not entirely transparent; nice white head.

S: Lots of tarness of cherries and other fruits on top of a brown base. A little bit of funkiness going on as well.

T: The taste is quite sour, but not overpoweringly so. The biggest fruit component is of cherries, and there are oak hints complementing the sourness.

M: Prickly and sour; quite good.

D: Unbelievably drinkable for the style with the perfect amount of sourness--I'll definitely be looking for quite a bit more of this one in the future.

UPDATE:

Corked and caged version labeled as 06-348, which I assume means that it was bottled in mid-December 2006. Thanks to bmanning for popping this open on 11.10.2010.

This is incredibly tart with some modest cherry and quite a bit of acetic character, especially in the finish. A bit of very mild earthy funk in the nose. This is one of the most sour beers that I've had in a long time.

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a nice head that retains well and leaves wafts a lace all over the chalice

Smell: Sour cherry with a range of other fruit subtleties such as green apples, passion fruit and sour orange

Taste: Opens up with a malty base that grows increasingly sour, mid-palate, with all of the flavors from the aroma, plus a new one - overripe bananas; very fruity and very sour

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation but a real mouth-puckerer

Drinkability: I wish somebody else in the household liked sour beers as it will be tough to polish off the entire bottle by myself

Thanks, Bitterbill, for the grand experience

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

This has been one of the more illusive beers for me. Finally had to go to the brewery to nail it down. This might have been my favorite pint during the GABF '08 weekend. The beer begins with a mouthwatering scent of extreme berry-like tartness with black cherries, vineous red wine, oak, nuttiness, a touch of vinegar and even a hint of chocolate. Mesmerizing by the scent and the sight. The brandy sniffer shows a dark ruby color with brilliant clarity and a glowing crimson hue. Light head formation lasts the session. The pungent, assertive aromas morph seamlessly into the flavors with the same intensity and balance. The beer is aided by soft vanillans from the barrels and with a light tannin dryness. Other textures that come through are initial wine thinness, but then with a mild, all-attenuated malty creaminess, and lastly with a tart astringency that balances the beer in the absence of detectable hops. Finishes with a cherry-berry fruitiness and sharp dryness. If the malt backbone could add more creaminess, it would surplant Duchesse du Burgogne as my favorite Flanders.

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

the much acclaimed, prohibitively priced sour brown ale from new belgium. finally i am drinking this. worth the hype? im not so sure... pours a reddish brown murky color with a lively off white head, very fizzy, but just an inch tall. smells very very sour, like some of those old school flemish reds. this one is not brett, but lacto, so its a totally different sour, piquant and pungent and permeating. some hints of sweeter malts in there as well, but the sour vibe carries it. flavor is actually fairly balanced for how sour this one is, but underneat it all is a nice chocolatey brown ale with some woody notes. feel is great, effervescent carbonation and a lighter medium body. with a low abv and a lot of intricacies, this is a bomber you want for yourself. i doubt if i buy this one again because of the absurd price (18 bucks), but im glad i finally got to try it.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerandBlues2: Poured a deep reddish color ale with a medium foamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of oak and tart is quite impressive with some tannic qualities also discernable. Taste is quite sour and tart with a nice oak presence and some subtle sour cherries. I thought taste had some great tannic qualities and was very reminiscent of Rodenbach Grand Cru, which is a great compliment when coming from me. I would love to try this again and I really appreciated all the complexities that this beer had to offer.

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle from 2007.

Appearance: Dark red, clear for the first glass and then murky for the rest of the bottle. The head is initially huge, but eventually settles into a thin cover.

Smell: The nose is evenly balanced between sweet and sour; quite a contrast to the taste. Caramel, cherries and vanilla are prevalent with undertones of more acidic fruit and a hint of musty wood.

Taste & mouthfeel: Raspberries, cherries, green apple, caramel and vanilla. Oak is present but mildly so. Moderate sourness and acidity that has a balsamic vinegar character. Very subtle sweetness gives this the perfect balance for my palate. Light-to-medium in body with a sticky, coating mouthfeel. This beer packs a ton of flavor into 6% ABV. Very good.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand bottled 9/07, #9344. Radiant ferric oxide orange with Champagnesque carbonation. Unfortunately, all those bubbles are unable to sustain the head for long. The ecru colored foam doesn't look appealing and isn't the least bit sticky. No lace is a major disappointment. That said, I'll take style into consideration when scoring the appearance.

Considering aroma alone, La Folie falls short of the style's best. It's good, it just isn't special. The usual suspects are present: sour fruit (especially cherries), a vinegar-like tanginess, and a good bit of woodiness. Spending 1-3 years in French oak barrels was bound to be beneficial. A whiff of sweat sock funk appears with warming.

Even though the styles are somewhat similar, is La Folie Wood Aged Beer a Flanders oud bruin rather than a Flanders red? The brewery calls it a 'Belgian Sour Brown'... and they should know since they brewed it. To be more specific, this classic ale is the creation of Peter Bouckaert, formerly of Brouwerij Rodenbach.

La Folie is unquestionably delicious beer. That said, it doesn't supplant Rodenbach Grand Cru as the best version to have ever puckered my palate. The biggest reason is that the Belgian beer has an underlying sweetness that is a perfect foil for the sourness and the acidity. This beer seems slightly less complex because it's so dry.

Actually, this offering is fairly approachable as sour beers go. Sure, it's impressively tart, but it isn't quite as vinegar-like or as acidic as some. The fruitiness (sour cherries, unripe raspberries and Granny Smith apples) comes through loud and clear. A certain earthiness and several barrels' worth of oak are in the flavor spotlight as well.

The body/mouthfeel is fine considering the style. It's a bit light for me, but that's probably a result of too few malt sugars. With respect to carbonation, slightly softer would have been slightly better.

Given my incredibly high (and probably unrealistic) expectations, I can't help but be a little disappointed by La Folie. It's damn good beer, but it isn't the Flanders red/oud bruin of my dreams. It looks like Rodenbach Grand Cru deserves that honor.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

happy to be able to try this one on tap. i had it in a corked bottle. it was a pleasure to be able to try it on tap. served in a snifter

great pour with the hazy golden color coming through right away it really was a a great pour with a nice hazy amber color and a smooth head of white that stayed throughout the session, tart sour funk dominated the aroma with a rich and clean profile of grapes and fruit. warming brings hints of grain, nice touches of rich sourness that just warm the soul. hints of light wood and oak, just an amazing beer all around. final touches of rich, warming sour dries the palate and destroys the taste buds.

overall just a tremendous beer that really just shows how good a sour ale can really be.

Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, 2014 version, at 7% ABV by this recent shipment to arrive in Alberta - nice to see their more esoteric offerings made available here fast on the heels of the usual suspects. "La Folie" - aka, the 'craziness', or some such thing.

This beer pours a mostly clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fingers of restrained, weakly foamy, and yet tightly bubbly beige head, which leaves some low-lying webbed island profile lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sour dark fruit - cherry, plum, and raisin - bready, and lightly crackery pale malt, a metallic caramel sweetness, mild dry citrus, red wine vinegar, apple skins, and earthy, floral, and perfumed hops. The taste is rather sharply tart cherry and apple fruit, earthy yeast, gritty caramel malt, soaked white bread, lemon zest, subtle wooden vanilla and alcohol notes, more semi-sweet vinegar, and strangely prominent weedy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are pretty buzzworthy and tacky by the same measure, the body just on the light side of medium weight, and smooth in the very sense of every sour ale out there that aspires as such - so, not so much. It finishes rather dry, the sour fruitiness still ruling the roost, the malt gone to ground, and the hoppiness putting 'er in neutral for the time being.

A pretty agreeable and enjoyable rendition of a Flanders red ale - sour, fruity, and barely, but still adequately balanced by the typical red ale malt and hoppiness. Crazy by this adorable brewery's standards, sure, but more than a tad below the progenitors' prowess in the style overall, which is a precept that I might have a bit of trouble validating, without actually doing a straight-up head to head tasting with Goudenband.

Photo of emerge077
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my 3rd time sampling La Folie, and this particular bottle was from the 2006 release, numbered 06-3463. Served at cellar temp: 55º-60º.

Perfect crimson red, with racing carbonation. A small blanketing of foam develops after the pour, and settles to a patchy skim. Evaporating carbonation is audible, like Rice Krispies. A white ring of foam is ever present, and some irregular lacing decorates the glass.

Aromas of musty leather, dark underripe berries, black cherry, residual pasture funk, at a lower level than a Gueuze or Lambic. Complex without being overbearing, truly a signature aroma of a traditional Flanders Red.

Tart flavor, with a nice residual cherry and oak bouquet. Dry finish, oak tannins, with plenty of fruit lingering. Residual saltiness that is pretty unique for this style, yet compliments the sweet/sour well. Not ham-fistedly sour, as some Gueuzes can be at first sip. Delicate and complex, the most perfect Flanders style ale i've come across. Quenching in it's tartness, this is the epitome of my attraction to sour ales.

2008 tap sample: Very tart, it may put off novices to the style. There was a distinct grape jelly aftertaste that I never noticed before, and a hint of multigrain breadiness. The body seemed less substantial than from from the bottle, as if it lost steam after 15 minutes.

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

A: Very dark brown with a bit of red tint and a thin layer of white foam.

S: An incredibly tart nose. Vinegar, cherries, and a bit of wood.

T: Amazing tartness on this! Cherries, lemon, wood, and a slight grape flavor.

M: Very crisp, causes a puckering sensation, and a great amount of carbonation.

D: Absolutely fantastic all around and very easy drinking.

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #06-3987 poured into a flute glass

A - Poured out a burgundy/brown color with small, bubbly, off-white head. It was a clear beer with a fizzy, carbonated body that left no lace.

S - It smelled very oaky and woody. Also a good bit of a sour apple aroma.

T - It was very sour. Tons of sour apple flavor and a little malt. It had an oaky flavor like a red wine, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - Initially, I was not a fan of this beer, but upon retrying it (and gaining a greater appreciation of sour ales) I'd say it's worth the hype. Very good beer.

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

(Bottle 07-6791).

Appearance: Pours a hazed brown body with a small, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Tart-smelling sour cherry aroma with notes of seasoned wood, earthy funk, and a neutral graininess.

Taste: Immediately sour and tart with a blackberry and cherry-like fruitiness. Slightly tannic oakiness and a bit of funk encountered. Fleeting flash of malts. Two drops of Worcestershire sauce. Bracing acidity. Finishes dry with a long-lived tart, fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Fine carbonation.

Drinkability: There hasn't been anything this tart yet still wonderfully balanced and easily drinkable in my mouth in a long, long, LONG time. A lovely beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a plastic tumbler.

2010 vintage, if memory serves (I really need to note this next time). It pours a clear dark russet-brown topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises black cherry, oak, light Brett, toffee, and a hint of what really seems like maple syrup. The taste brings in the same basic elements, though the cherries come through more tart, and some port joins the party as a late-comer. The body is a svelte medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly sticky finish. Overall, a rather pleasing bit o' sour, nothing too puckering, but something I wanna return to for more.

Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown head on top of a dark, reddish brown body with some ruby highlights showing through. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Sharp sourness with lots of brown, caramel malt sweetness and some acidic, berry like fruit. Raspberries, cherries, blackberries, toasted oak/vanilla, and a bit of musty, brett funk.

T - Puckeringly sour with a very sharp, fruity acidity of stone fruit. Notes of cherry, peach, and apricot backed by thick, malty sweetness that is quickly cut away by the intense lactic acid tang. A little bit of bready funk comes out in the finish before being washed away by sour fruit. Lingering notes of cherry and slight funk in the aftertaste with lots of brown, melanoidin malt flavors.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a very dry, chalky finish.

D - I had heard that this beer was very sour, but wow. The intense acidity really seems to bring fruit flavors to life in a way that I have rarely seen. Some on the most intense and convincing berry and stone fruit flavors I have ever encountered. The malt character is quite nice as well and does its best to balance out the unstoppably intense sourness. The only area where the beer shows a weakness of flavor is in wood character; aside from some toast and vanilla in the aroma I don't get much. Drinkability is, as always, a relative thing; with this level of acidity I begin to feel heartburn coming on after one glass and despite this beers superb complexity, I find that some other, less sour, examples of the style are more to my liking. Very good, and well worth seeking out, but I can think of one or two other wood aged sours I would stock my fridge with first.

Photo of oline73
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown with a finger of tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt, mildly fruity, with some vinegar sourness.

Taste: Not too sweet, nice acidic vinegar and lemon flavor. Some fruit (raspberry like) hints with a sour finish. Quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a mildly dry finish.

Overall: A really smooth beer given how sour it is. Nice acidic vinegar notes. Fruity flavor is nice and mild and complements the other flavors well. Would definitely have more.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from Fishdawg71, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 750ml caged & corked bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of sour cherries and vinegar along with light malts and a little yeast.

T: The taste is likewise very sour and tangy with flavors of cherries and other dark fruits up front. The malt character is thin and there's not much of a hops presence as you would expect from the style. The after-taste is tart and sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is another one of those wine-like beers where I can appreciate how well-made it is even though it isn't my kind of beer.

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Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 3,607 ratings.