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Lips Of Faith - La Folie - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Lips Of Faith - La FolieLips Of Faith - La Folie

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,255 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,255
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 481
Gots: 662 | FT: 37
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:
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: 3,255 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kromes
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown. There is no head, but a couple of swirls produces a little line of bubbles at the top. Smells very sour and vinegary. There is a little bit of a fruit aroma also. The initial taste is very sour, it also has almost a citrus sour/bitterness quality. It is lightly fruity and woody, but mostly sour. The mouthfeel is good, the carbonation fills it out nicely. Definitely have to share this one, for me the flavors are good but intense and only good in small quantities.

Kromes, May 31, 2009
Photo of twelvsies
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glad to have had another opportunity to try this after enjoying it once in its' home state of Colorado. Thanks to vtisme for the trade. The pour yields a rusty reddish brown beer with a small bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of oak and lemon and an underlying fruityness. Tart up front but still very balanced, a lot of yeasty fruity cherry notes underneath a very forward woody oak flavor. Tart enough to keep me interested but relatively mild and somehow remaining soft and very drinkable. Dry, zippy finish. This would be a great beer to introduce someone into the world of sour ales. Definitely a solid and authentic example of the style and one of the first, in this country.

twelvsies, May 18, 2009
Photo of craytonic
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful, slightly hazy amber-burnt-blood-red pour with a nice head, bits of lacing.

Smell: tart fruit - sour cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, vinegar, balsalmic vinegar, hint of brown sugar, and the perfect amount of vanilla french oak. I do wish there had been a bit of funk.

Taste: Impressively tart and dry, without burning the tongue. I'm so glad and impressed they didn't try to temper the sour by adding sweetness. Similar to the nose, vinegar, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, vanilla and french oak but no funk.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth.

Drinkability: I always enjoy a la Folie; a corked and caged bottles is a special treat

craytonic, May 13, 2009
Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to wagenvolks for the freebie! 750 mL corked and caged bottle into a Duvel snifter pours a dense bubbly brown with a thin eggshell head. Aroma is a very fragrant amount of tart fruit with a nice oak presence blending nicely. The taste is very sour blend of fruits that blends nicely with the oak, making slightly less puckering. The beer is rather light, but the sourness is by far the most noticeable thing on the tongue. I can respect this for the style, but I'm still not a fan of the style at all.

atsprings, May 11, 2009
Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Popped the cage and cork on this one and let it breathe for a bit per the label attached to the bottle. Poured into my Maudite snifter with virtually not head, just some lacing around the edge. Aroma is strong of berries and sour apples, tart. Obviously the sourness is the point here. Taste is to be expected from the smell, apples, sour cherries and nice wood finish. Pretty dry with just a hit of alcohol. A very good sour, not my favorite style but this one was enjoyable

lonestar4lunch, May 11, 2009
Photo of trep
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first review in ages...750ml Bottle Corked 'n Caged

Sits a burnt ruby red in the glass with a finger of various sized and colored bubbles ranging from creme to light brown. Head quickly falls and leaves a tight ring that sticks to the glass. The aroma is full of sour fruit and a slight funk. A hint of vanilla rounds it out.

Sour and tart.. lip puckeringly so. Raspberries, cherries, faint chocolate, vanilla, and oak are all present and work flawlessly together. Finishes dry with a burst of carbonation.

Light on the tongue, carbonation is medium/high and allows the flavors to really come out. Due to the extremely flavorful nature of this beer it's not extremely drinkable. The sour and tartness really take a toll on your tastebuds after a while. That is not to say this isn't an exceptionally complex and delicious beer.

I haven't reviewed a beer in over a year or more and didn't plan to start again but La Folie inspired me. Kudos to New Belgium for brewing this and also to Wagenvolks for hooking me up with this wonderful beer that i've wanted to try since I started drinking fine beers.

trep, May 07, 2009
Photo of jjanega08
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A= Pours a translucent brown/ dark red color with a nice two finger off white creamy head that looks alive with the larger bubbles popping through the creamy smaller bubbles. Decent spotty lacing is left on the glass and the retention is average.
S= Lots of vinegar in it with sour cherries and maybe a touch of oak with slight caramel malt character.
T= Very sour and vinegary in the taste. Lots of sour cherries and lots of tartness. One of the most sour beers that I have had to date. Very good. Lots of pucker. Somewhat one dimensional though. I find lots of sours to be one dimensional.
M= Great smoothness and dry finish.
D= Great. I really like this beer. It lacks complexity but it is well deserving of its spot in the top 100. I would love to have regualr access to this beer. Really great and well crafted.

jjanega08, May 06, 2009
Photo of mikecharley
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to coldmeat23, with the hookup on this beer in a recent trade.

There is a healthy pop from the cork when opened. Pours a ruddy brown with a tan cap that doesnt stick around long. the head recedes to a ring, with lace slowly climbing down the glass. looks nice...

The smell is faint. There is some oak, some funk, some vinegar, but it is very faint. It is not very indicitive of what is lurking in the taste...

The taste is freaking so puckering it is ridiculous. I feel like im being body slammed by the sour. There is some funky yeasty flavors up front, followed by straight vinegar, and cheek shattering sour... It is too sour to enjoy this one on your own, I would suggest AT LEAST one other person to split with, possibly two.

The drinkability suffered on this one due to the extreme nature of the sourness. I could never follow this one up with another of the same...

mikecharley, May 02, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a shot glass. Shared by Bubba83 at a recent tasting. Thanks Kevin!

A: Mahogany-colored body with reddish tint when held to the light. Pours with a slight off-white head that recedes quickly into a light film on the brew. Leaves some register marks down the shot glass.

S: Raspberry, cherry, currant, vinegar, oak, brett funk.

T: Lots of tart raspberry, with a noticeable but subdued sourness from cherry and currant flavors. A strong mouth-puckering vinegar and brett funk in the mid-taste, with a finish that is distinctly oaky and has a dry burn to it.

M: Light-bodied, with medium carbonation that works pretty well for the style. Dry finish.

D: Decent, but it's too dry for me. Not something I'd seek out and I don't think I could finish this in bulk.

Arbitrator, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of mcallister
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Christ this was a good beer. On tap at the map room.

Mahagony colored bricking with a hardly off white head that fades quickly into a foamy topper. Nece retention however.

Great nose of fresh raspberry tart cherry, hints of oak, earthy mushroomy presence, bits of milk chocolate even with a funky backside and more fruits. Red currant maybe?

Thick with tart cherry, raspberry, and mouth puckering red fruits. Very tart and drying with good amount of acidity to back it up. Oak shows through nicely adding a layer of complexity. Great earthyness and sour components. Is this from Flanders?

mcallister, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of PatronWizard
3.55/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent to me by Fugazme for, uh, for, well, for no damn reason at all. Thanks! Shared Laf Olie with Olie whilst studying. Best time to drink beer. Aside from all the other times. Anyway....

Pours a dark liquid caramel. Ruddy. Head rose up and fell pretty quick. Slow moving bubbles march upward.

Smell is tart and sour. Much more so than expected. Sour cherry. Green apple.

Taste is standard sour to me. I really have trouble distinguishing between all the sours I've had and their individual flavors. So, it taste good, but what the hell does it taste like? I guess sour cherry and green apple juice from concentrate.

Seems very thick to me. Almost syrupy in the feel.

Well I've wanted to try this forever and now I've tried it and oh well. I'll be fine.

Oh yeah, put some more damn booze in it! 6%? What am I, a frickin' 23 year old?

PatronWizard, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of BeefTongue
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer had a small cream colored head and appeared amber-red when held to light. The lacing was particularly nice to see. Very pleasing to look at overall--a beautiful beer. Smell was strong, but pleasant with a tart pungency overpowering everything else. Taste matched the smell, and the tartness of cherries and yeast came predominantly forward with a mild sweetness on the finish. Best in small sips over quaffs due to the strength of the beers flavor; would go very nicely with a savory meal or a rich dessert. Mouth feel was exceptional; very smooth, and pleasant feeling on the tongue. Carbonation and thickness seemed "just right." As far as drinkability is concerned, I am not the greatest fan of lambic beers, but La Folie distinguishes itself among the ones I have sampled. I'd drink this again, certainly.

BeefTongue, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of dukedevil0
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at sheffields in Chicago

A: pours a reddish hue of brown with a khaki head that settled down some

S: smells like funky old sour fruit, dark fruit or apple

T: tastes like sour apple or dark fruit juice with a woodsy oakey flavor towards the finish with alcohol in there too

M: somewhat thin but I really don't mind the mouthfeel for the style

D: you can definitely tell it's powerful and I'm not crazy for the flavor...I'm sure that people that like sours will enjoy this though

dukedevil0, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of bigbelcher
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is dark reddish amber with a small pinkish head. Straight plastic glass at a beerfest so no lacing evident. Aroma is of tart sour cherries with oak and brettanomyces. Very fruity and musty. The flavor is sour cherries and funky belgian brett. Some woody oak notes are apparent. The finish is sour and dry. Light body with good carbonation.

bigbelcher, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of philipquarles
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a very dark ruby red with a light brown head. Aromas of sour cherries and apple cider vinegar dominate most everything else. Not overbearing though. Tastes of cherry initially, followed by a lot of tartness. Some fruity sweetness in the background, along with some oak and spice. Medium body with good carbonation. Nice beer overall, though the sourness is too far to the acetic side to be great.

philipquarles, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After reading that "long winded" Kate the Great intro from my good buddy PatronWizard (who I commonly refer to as...well, names that I shouldn't mention on this website), I decided it would be appropriate to return the love to this swell guy.

While studying for the EIT (another engineering exam that us, engineers, must go through to prove our worth in this world)...Victor decides it would be a good idea to break open this gem. What a pal!!!! All I had to offer him was a Pliny the Elder and a Stone RIS...pathetic offerings for such a rare beer that this man was about to open. This isn't even the first time he's pulled something like this...he's even opened up a Bourbon Barrel Aged Angel Share and Darkness for me...in the same night! So buddy, this is to you...a douche bag who keeps on giving to a bobo like me. See you in the aero wing! Here's my review...

A: Poured a nice dark caramel color with hints of red, along with a beautiful 1 to 2 finger heat that unfortunately disappeared shortly thereafter.

S: Wood/Oak, cherry, and green grapes, which came across more like a zinfandel wine than any other entity.

T: A very tart-like cherry with delicate notes of those green grapes that I picked up in the aroma. What I liked about this particular sour was the fact that the sourness never reached that ceiling of unbearable, but was able to linger well after the sip had been consumed. No alcohol bite was present at all...as should be expected by a 6% ABV beer.

M: An ample amount of carbonation along with another characteristic that I don't find with many beers similar to this style...a full-body. An almost chewy, and as my good friend Victor pointed out, syrupy feel.

D: Even though the flavor wasn't anything extraordinary, it still was able to leave a good impression on me. On top of that, it's definitely a good session beer to have...especially in spring and the dog days of summer.

Overall: Perhaps a top 100...but nothing to get silly over. I've had better beers similar to this style (a better flanders that comes to mind is the "Dissident"), but worth a try if you are trying to conquer the "Best of BA". Cheers!

OlieIPA, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of rtepiak
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour looks like a flemish red alright. redish brown with a bit less murk than usual. the take is a bit sour... on the side of rodenbach. quite refreshing. very similar for the most part to it outside of something in the aftertaste. a earthy quality that a lot of flemish reds try for and can't get. its oaky but its also got a mellow yeasty finish that is quite impressive for something this sour. pans out the astringent quality in a way. making you notice interesting esters. will have in the summer with food. a bbq... its a must on that part. would like it in bottle form to get the most of the mellow earth though.

not as balanced as rodanbach grand cru in a parallel tasting...

rtepiak, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of wagenvolks
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a New Belgium goblet at the new Ginger Man location, Austin.

La Folie pours an absolutely gorgeous, deep plum body with ruby red highlights. The khaki head is continuously circulating from a central plume of bubbles, and a gentle swirl of the goblet effortlessly builds a sexy quarter inch of foam. Aroma is an intoxicating blend of dark cherries, currant, sour citrus, oak, toffee malts, and raisin bread.

Unfortunately, as with most sours I've come across, the smell is an order of magnitude better than the flavor. That's not to say that La Folie doesn't deliver a whopping sour bite to the palate, however, as it easily lives up to the Flanders Red style. Still, I would have liked a hint more sweetness from the malt and yeast, as the puckering sour tartness quickly wore away at my tastebuds. Finishes dry and almost bitter, with a hint of wood lingering along the back of the palate. I can appreciate the Belgian sours for their craftsmanship, but I still don't quite understand the infatuation with them...

wagenvolks, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a St. Bernardus chalice. Pours the color of prune juice; very murky clarity. No head, but a thin band of foam formed around the perimeter of the glass. Nose was all sour cherries. Taste reveals sour cherries, as well as a bit of saltiness; just the merest suggestion of wood. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied with a consistent liveliness without the burn. Very dry with some acidity/astringency. I'm just starting to explore sour beers, and after trying this brew at the Belgian beerfest, I fell in love with this beer and the style. Excellent and flavorful beer, particularly with respect to the abv.

Jwale73, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of klewis
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany with a small fizzy head. No lacing.

S: A prominent brett character but without extreme funk. Also, black cherry.

T: Cherry and dark fruits, a slight caramel flavor, and lemon zest. A prominent woody character with flavors of cedar and oak provides quite a bit of complexity and is the source of this beer's essence. Moderately tart and nicely balanced.

M: Medium-bodied with high carbonation. The flavor and then tartness fades quickly from the palate.

D: Solid and worth the $18 price tag, yet I'll still prefer offerings from Russian River and Cantillion.

klewis, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of Rayek
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep garnet with chestnut highlights. Dense and rocky parchment colored head has decent retention, but unfortunately leaves little behind in the way of lace.

S: Extremely vinous, with aromas of cherry, grape, currant and a hint of pepper. The oak comes though with a kilned timber scent. A lemon scent arrives late to add to the complexity.

T: Sweet and tart sum things up for me. Tastes more like wine than beer. Dark fruits from the nose transition perfectly into the flavor. An aged wood note rides underneath. Balance is provided with a tart and sour cherry flavor rather than a hop bitterness. Finishes very tart and very dry. Mouth puckering lemon and choke cherry flavors linger through the long finish. Slightly sour.

M: Medium body reinforces the wine-like theme with its low carbonation level. The beer initially feels slightly sticky, then becomes incredibly dry and wood like.

D: La Folie ranks right up with Duchesse De Bourgogne for me. Only La Folie is dryer and more tart. Truly and excellent beer.

Rayek, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of prototypic
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to vasdef42.

Bottled September, 2007. Bottle #9359

La Folie is a very attractive garnet stained brown color. There's a bit of light haze (at least from the top of the bottle), but I suspect it will get more cloudy on round 2. A cream beige head covers and never fully disappears. I suspect the motor in the bottom of the Sam Adams glass keeps it rolling. Lacing was on the lighter side.

While the nose is nice and pretty well done, I suspect that it doesn't do a great job of presenting the breadth or depth of flavor it features. Initially, it smells sweet and full of sour cherries. There's no doubt it smells sour and tart, but it smells fairly well restrained. I like that aspect. I'm not into overly sour beers. A faint oak or wood-like aroma emerges a bit late. It's a nice addition, but I hope is stronger and more noticeable in taste. Smells a little musky or funky (am I allowed to use that word?). Overally, it's good, smells a little more limited than it should in terms of depth.

Sour cherries kick it off. It is sweet and definitely has a sugar aspect to it. A very strong sour and tart flavor kicks into overdrive shortly thereafter. It's not the most intense tart flavor I've encountered, but it is strong. It's a little too strong, at least for my taste. A little vinegar-esque, if you will. A little citrus fruit (lemon and mango) and other varieties (apple and pear) emerge as the strong sour flavor fades. It tastes a little spicy and earthy. Finishes sweet with plenty of sour reverberations. An oak or wood flavor is noted on the finish, but it doesn't have quite the impact I'd hoped for. It's just too faint. It does have a really nice flavor, but it could be a little better.

The body is medium and is ultimately smooth. Carbonation is active and really prevents it from completely smoothing out. Drinkability is good, but it's definitely a sipper. The intense tart flavor limits it. I'll polish off the 750, but I wouldn't object to a little assistance next time.

La Folie is good beer, but is slightly disappointing. It's a little too tart for me personally and it doesn't seem very well polished or refined. A more pronounced oak flavor would be beneficial. But, that would require toning down the tartness a bit. Perhaps that's the biggest problem. Its aggressive tart character probably masks some of its finer, more subtle points. It's very good beer, don't get me wrong. I'm just nitpicking. Carry on.

prototypic, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of doppelmeup
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a style I'm starting to grow into.

Poured a brownish-amber with a nice head. Dots of lacing clung to the glass when swirled.

Aroma of sour cider vinegar. Not much sweetness.

Tastes of tart apple, cider vinegar, just slightly sweet. Not as sweet as a Rodenbacher Red. Maybe a slight oakiness as well?

A dry finish and definite palate cleanser.

Overall, this was a solid brew. Fairly expensive at over $20 a bottle. Recommended if you are a fan of sour ales.

doppelmeup, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of JonathanL7890
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This just became available on tap in Texas --Yay!
On tap at the Draught House in Austin.
Poured into a New Belgium Globe Glass.
Color is a deep red. Slight ring of foam that maintained throughout (thanks to the laser etching).
Smell: vinegar, oakey, vinous. some fruit ->cherry.
Taste: Sour, tart, dry finish. I can taste the oak. Vinous -- almost like a red wine.
Mouthfeel: nice well balanced.
Drinkability: goes down great. My favorite Flanders red. Seems a little less oakey than the bottle version.

JonathanL7890, Mar 27, 2009
Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 3,255 ratings.