1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

3,298 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,298
Reviews: 978
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.56%
Wants: 482
Gots: 674 | FT: 38
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lips Of Faith - La Folie Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,298 | Reviews: 978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srandycarter
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark caramel brown with small head, leaves to ring pretty quick. Small bubbled tight lacing around rim, active cascading bubble when tilting glass.

S - Champagne like, tart, cherries. Reminds me of wine on wood.

T - Much like a dry sparkling wine, but with the sour and funk. Nicely played.

M - Medium body, tons of carb, good balance.

D - Nice stuff.

Photo of drunkboxer1
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Never had a beer like this before. Poured into a snifter. It smells pretty strange, at first it reminds me of the way a lot of white wines (chardonnays I guess) smell. Theres some sweet maltiness to it as well. Tastes completely different than any other beer I've had. Really tart and sour. Reminds me of a cider in some ways, but with a grainy malty taste behind it all. Mildly sweet finish. It reminds me of berries, I guess. But as you drink it the caramely sweetness from the malt comes out. There's no real hop presence, and I guess there isn't supposed to be? Pretty complicated, I don't really know what I'm tasting here. Good though.

Photo of glid02
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy purple-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of tart cherries, fruity vinegar, mild oak, and mild funk that becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Tart cherry flavors up front followed by a solid amount of oak. The ending is just tart enough to entice me to take another sip. As the beer warms funk becomes more apparent and the tart ending gains steam.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had 0.47 liters of this stuff and not long enough to drink it. Definitely a sipper.

Overall there wasn't a whole lot of difference between the tap version and the bottle version, although the bottle version seemed a bit more complex. Either one is well worth a shot.

Photo of Tdizzle
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

A- La Folie pours a clear reddish-brown with amber hues at the bottom of the glass. A moderate amount of tan colored foam breaks apart into a thin layer over the beer. Some stringy lacing hangs around.

S- Notes of acidic dark-cherry sourness coupled with a pronounced oak barrel aroma. Though this beer is only 6% alcohol, the smell possesses a strange "hot" quality that's a bit acrid; sort of like rotten, fermented citrus fruit.

T- Moderately intense sourness hits the sides of the palate, giving way to flavors of bready, slightly sweet malts and oak barrel. The finish is dry and leaves a nice woody flavor lingering on the back of the tongue.

M- A medium-bodied mouthfeel with watery edges and a good amount of active carbonation.

D- An interesting beer. Tons of barrel character and lots of puckering sourness, but the funky smell kinda threw me off. I made my way through a 22oz bottle with ease though.

So far, this is my favorite bottle version in the Lips of Faith series.

Photo of tronester
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a chalice, was a brilliant reddish brown, with a thin white head. The smell was quite pungent, an aroma of ripe fruit and vinegar. Taste was super tart, ripe cherries, and a sour vinegar finish. Nice mouthfeel, low carbonation. Ultimately the only negative of this beer is its drinkability, 12oz is really too much, as the tart and vinegar flavors get cloying after awhile. Still a great example of the style and definitely worth a try.

Photo of malcontent
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Striking deep mahogany body with an off-white head that maintains for the beer's duration.

That woodiness really comes through on the nose, almost too much. Red wine vinegar, sherry-like at times. Nice.

Sure it's sour and the acidity is pleasantly bracing but the tannic finish is almost overbearing. While I find Duchess de Bourgone too sweet this is on the opposite end of the Flemmish sour and, for me, I don't get enough sweetness. I love that sweet-tart duality that Rodenbach manages and with this I just get tons of woody dryness. Don't get me wrong, it's still awfully good and it was worth the trip to Andersonville to get this on tap.

Solid carbonation with the aforementioned tannins sticking to the tongue for a while after the last drop is gone. A decent drinking beer but an exceptional food partner.

Photo of blackc5
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not a huge fan of sour beers, although I can see their great appeal to some. I actually like the taste of them quite a bit, but I can't say I like to consume them frequently, or in any high volume. In any regards, the La Folie is definitely a very interesting, unique brew that I recently enjoyed on tap.

A - The appearance is a dark, malty brown with some reddish tones as well. A frothy head faded quickly, and left little in the way of lacing.

S - Cherries, lemon and apple cider with a bit of honey sweetness. Quite interesting and appealing, and very strong overall.

T - Sour, pucker-inducing tartness. Definitely some apple cider and a bit of vinegar. Some dry white wine. Lots of tart cherry fruitiness, with overtones of lemon citrus and earth, and then as you swallow the oak really comes through.

M - Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated. Dry finish.

D - As I mentioned, a little bit of sour goes a long way for me, but as sours go, this is pretty good stuff. My experience in this category is pretty limited, but this was probably the best I have had, and does open the door for me to try a few more in the near future.

Photo of rhinos00
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting with rye726 and ratman197. Beer #8 of 8. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a New Belgium snifter. 2001, 2002 or 2003 Vintage (no markings on the bottle, so it's one of those three).

A- Pours a reddish brown, cider-like. Semi-hazy with a thin white ring.

S- Scent of dark fruits is pretty pervasive. Lots of oak and some vinegar notes. Huge contrast between the various ingredients gave off a pleasant sweet and sour aroma.

T- I'm usually not a big fan of the flanders style, but this is an exception. Has the basic flanders feel, lots of wood notes and vinegar acidity, however there was plenty of sourness to give it some variety. Had a semi-sweet finish.

M- Carbonation has held up really well. Has medium bodied feel with a lower viscosity.

D- Silky, smooth. Complexity kept me interested and wanting more.

Overall, a fantastic beer. It has always been said that there is always one beer in every style that someone will like. Well this is mine for flanders styled beers. Wonderfully crafted and well done.

Photo of KarlHungus
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.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the 6.13 Epic Tasting. From Notes. 2008 Corked bottle.

Thanks to UncleJedi for the trade!

Deep, dark ruby color with a mimicking light cherry head which rises quickly. Sour Cherries, funk, some berries in the aroma. And wood. I've got wood. The taste is so sourrr. Somewhat of a palate wrecker- but oh so worth it. So intensely tart with flavors of sour cherries, sour patch kids, and the ripest of granny smith apples. I definitely couldn't do a whole bottle by myself but it's a great beer to split with a few friends and drink out of wine glasses. I would love to see how older batches have held up.

Photo of Riccymon
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a deep, deep red with all head immediately boiling away to nothing; looks like red wine. Smell is of sour cherry, the rotting apples I used to pick up out of the yard on hot summer days, and ketchup, with just a touch of grapiness that further reminds me of wine.

Sipping brings out cherry, soy sauce, and a sweet maple syrup/woody note all wrapped up in a tart mouthfeel that leaves the mouth tingling. Body isn't too full, which feels appropriate. The intensity of flavor definitely makes La Folie a sipper, and I don't think I could drink more than this bomber, though it is tasty!

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dig this: Hand Bottled # "1/09 57" was written by hand. That is awesome. I love NB!

Nose is sour and sweet-smelling. Some black liquorish, mint, herb, apple-like fruit, and honey. Smells good.

Pours a cola color but forms a deep murky brown pool, mild head with quick retention. Looks okay.

Man-oh-man is it tart! Ouch. Some malic acid come screaming out of the first few sips - tarter than a warhead - and shrouds all other detectable flavors. A number of sips later and the tartness is still king, which is most impressive. There some malt, perhaps dry and toasty, and some sweetness, which comes across candy-like through the tartness. Upon reading the website, 'earthy undertones' is a good description. Scanning other's reviews, I agree that it is not in the least vinegary, but I don't notice 'oak' like I love in wine. There's a soft sweetness. Tastes good. Feels good. Fair drinkability.

Near the end, the yeast does greatly reduce tartness while adding some body.

Overall, I enjoy the tartness as it's rare to find such a dogged tartness, but I would like to see it a little sweeter or maltier so there's something else besides tartness.

Photo of Docer
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Grabbed about 3 of these new bombers.. new to the style, so here is my first... $14.49 a bottle..

- Wonderful dark and cloudy brown molasses color..little bit of bubbly head but vanished quickly.. pulled the bomber right from my cellar/cooler. Almost bubbles like a cider or sparkling wine. Cloudy a bit..

- Bit of a tartness, alcoholness.. and molasses brown sugar.. slightly woody.. smells great.

- Puckering it is... makes the mouth water a bit.. sourness hits the back of the throat quite quickly... slight woodiness only from its watery backdrop... but then leaves a nice hidden molasses sweetness in the background.. but tart it is! That is sour!

- Tart and dry, but overall refreshing as well... saliva anybody?

- Ok for drinkablility.. perhaps on a hot day and ice cold.. but for me, too sour, and not my style of choice. The other 2 I have will be for trades for sure.. otherwise they will sit.

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

A: Into a tulip glass, it appears semi-opaque woody brown with burgundy around the edges. The head is frothy, dense, and cream colored.

S: I smell sour fruit candy, a little brandy, and some stinging but sweet ammonia.

T: The flavor follows the aroma, adding some dates with the sour fruit candy, and yeasty champagne qualities, and a malt vinegar clean finish.

M: This feels hefty, but with a nice sparkling carbonation, an aftertaste is there, but not unpleasant.

D: I find this to be the most drinkable of the sours I've tried, striking the right balance of sweet, sour, and funkiness.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into New Belgium Globe Glass.

A. Poured a tannish white 1 finger head. Nice collar of foam left. Nice lacing. Dark Ruby Brown color.

S. Aroma almost fills the room. Sour cherries, oakiness in the background. Definite sour smell, but not quite the vinegar smell of other sours.

T. Very tart up front. Sour cherry taste. Oak flavor.

M. Light/medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish.

D. I am by no means an expert on the style, but this beer holds its own with the Belgians.

Photo of alovesupreme
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lindemans Lambic glass.
Pours a caramel warm brown with a fantastic head for the style. Beer also exhibited good lacing.
Cherry, lemon, maple syrup, dates and a slight vinegar presence. Strong Oak finish.
Sour character is most prominent with lemon being the primary contributer followed by vinegar. A caramel character is also present with some cherry. A unique earthy finish reminiscent of damp oak and Pu-erh tea.
A good mouthfeel with good carbonation. Could be a slight creamier but is clearly a tier above.
A fantastic beer that will undoubtably fulfill any sour appetite. Clearly world class.

Photo of PEBKAC
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big Tex goes out of his way & surprises me for my birthday with a goodie. 32 ounces all for me. :D

I think I've tasted some dregs from a bottle once, but I'm feeling like this is a really good time to be a little selfish.

Poured into my favorite Ommegang Anniversary glass.

The glass flips open & I get showered with lovely, vinous mist. 7 out of 10 out of shape beer geeks prefer this to being in the clubhouse after winning the Pennant I bet. :P

It slowly gurgles out the bottle the color of dry blood, settling in the glass a murky oiled brown leather with edges of bourbon. An inch of frosted, slightly orange, coffee creamer head impedes my movement for just a bit.

Smell is all about over-ripe cherry juice & perceived strawberry tartness. To a lesser extent, apple skins, butter, soil, & sweet table wine. Musk. The trail end is just slightly bready.

Taste is vinegary of course but with a lot of soft white wine fruitiness. Lots of palate drying wood, & sour green apple esters. A bit of leather. Salivating pitty apricot tartness & bitter grapefruit rind. Paper dry finish. I consider funky notes a tossup on whether they work or not. This right here doesn't exhibit any barnyard or off-kilter aspects. If it's just done really well, I don't think it needs that quality to be effective. They certainly have the experience & modern equipment to mimic & refine something old world.

Light to mild acetone harshness. Carbonation is just barely there, but I think it works. So dry.

Okay, here's where I say all this negative stuff because I'm such a downer & everyone rakes me for it: The alcohol is noticeable through the fruit notes; eventual cottonmouth; price; heartburn... okay, I'm reaching. It's a very good beer with insignificant faults.

Thank you Blake, may the winds shift a little more in you favor.


Photo of davexisxrabid
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this bad boy in a trade with ottovon. Thanks Ricky!

Popped the cork and let the bottle breathe for about 15 minutes prior to pouring into a Chimay goblet. Ruby/brown color with a thin off white head that dissipates quickly. Very little lacing.

Very robust caramel malt aroma with vinegar. No alcohol or hops detected in the nose.

Tart flavor as expected; flavor of sour cherries, raspberries and a zing like vinegar in the middle of the drink. No alcohol burn.

Lingering tart flavor on the palate. Well carbonated, medium bodied drink with full flavor. Not too gassy (although it does make you burp a little more than a non-sour)

Very drinkable. Full flavor is not too tart and perfect either with a meal (as I did with my girlfriend) or after a meal. Just don't drink the entire bottle by yourself, I would imagine you would get heartburn!

Photo of Kromes
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of twelvsies
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of craytonic
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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

Photo of atsprings
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of lonestar4lunch
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
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

Photo of trep
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of jjanega08
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 3,298 ratings.