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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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1,018 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,018
Hads: 3,653
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 545
Gots: 856 | FT: 46
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,018 | Hads: 3,653
Photo of pfknapp
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this beer in a trade with jhammerly

The beer pours orange/red amber. It really is a beautiful color, but a bit hazy. Has a huge head initially which fades very quickly.

Aroma is beautiful. Sour, but not too sour. A bit of acetic acid in the aroma, but mostly a general sourness, not weighed too heavily towards lactic or acetic. It has nice hints of read fruit, particularly raspberries and cherries. Some malt sweetness and possibly some tropical esters.

The taste is really nice. Not as fruity as the aroma, but still quite prominent. Assertive sourness, but it does not detract. It is well balanced between sweet and sour. I almost detect some hop flavor, but that could be my palate fooling me. This is really good.

It has a lively carbonation. I imagine without the carbonation this beer would be rather creamy. The carbonation livens it up nicely.

The drinkability suffers somewhat due to the sourness. It is just a shade too sour for me to drink much of this. But I am prone to heartburn, so don;t let that scare you. This is a beautiful, well balanced beer. (1,080 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Sadly this beer has become one dimensional due to it's pasteurization and mass production, I feel. Every time I try it, it seems like a shell of its former self. :'( (1,507 characters)

Photo of freethehopspc
5/5  rDev +18.8%
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. (340 characters)

Photo of stimy
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I drank this at a "The Belgian Beer Diaspora" beer tasting hosted by the late Michael Jackson at the National Geographic. The tasting involved pairing a number of Belgian beer styles with a Belgian and American interpretation of the style.

These are my tasting notes:

This was my 2nd sour beer and it was in the same night as my first. I was struck by the totally different and unbelievably sour taste of this beer and had a hard time drinking it. It had an incredibly sour smell and taste, but a hint of sweetness came in as you drank and get used to the sourness in a beer.

This is something I'd like to try again now that my palate has expanded. (651 characters)

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Riedel snifter. Pours reddish brown with no head.

S- Cherries and oak in the front. Not an overly strong nose.

T- This is a pretty good example of a Flanders Red. Definite oak from the aging with the sour cherries. Good level of sour flavor for this beer.

M- Med to low carbonation. Could be a bit higher to cut through the sourness.

D- I love this style of beer. Good sour character and fruit in this beer. (448 characters)

3.19/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Original review done on July 3rd to celebrate the 4th a day early.

A two finger rich tan head quickly crackles to the top of the glass. Big rocky bubbles pop with nice sound effects. Body is a deep brown with hints of orange amber on the sides of the glass. Nose is very invigorating with lowd spiceyness, and hints of sweet fizz candy, and old fashioned cream soda. This nose is so unique and amazing. As I take first sip I wasnt ready for the electric sour rush that attacks the tongue. I mean the sour is so shrill that it makes me squint with each drink. Like if the coating on an atomic sour ball came in liquid form. This is just to much for me. The total sour feel ruins my buds to taste much else, and hurts the drinkability. (735 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one comes from franksnbeans

A: Beautiful amber hue with a thin head that clings on for dear life. It's very bubbly but the head dies down and there is no lacing noted.

S: Lots of cherry with hints of oak. Fresh wet black cherries. The sourness seems to burst from the glass.

T: A great balance of oak and cherry. Sourness dominantes the palate, But sweet yet tart cherries and oak make themselves known in such a wonderful way. There is a touch of white pepper that adds just enough spice to balance out the tartness of the cherries.

M and D: Wonderfully balanced. The marriage of sour and sweet fruit and married to oak creates one wonderful beer. It's easy to drink and oh so enjoyable.

Overall: My favorite Red Ale to date. It's just a bonus that it happens to be brewed in the US. Tons of fruit and tart, funk and sweetness. Perfectly crafted, perfectly brewed. It's the standard that other breweres should use as a bench mark.

I love it! (955 characters)

Photo of grub
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one from nlmartin as part of BC2. thanks nate!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. hand bottled #06-3445. sampled dec 31/07.

pours deep ruby red with a big fluffy light brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace.

aroma is excellent. cherry. funk. bit of sourness. touch of cider vinegar. bit of lemon. lots of dark fruit. touch of vanilla and raw oak. hints of tangerine and orange. bit of alcohol.

taste is sour! big lemon and grapefruit blast. bit of cider vinegar. vanilla. horse blanket. bit of tobacco. leather. crackers and grain. light alcohol. hint of dark chocolate. big sour and acidic character.

mouthfeel is good. low carbonation level. medium-light body. incredibly dry finish.

drinkability is ok. this beer is intensely sour. the other aspects of the beer balance well, but there's no getting away from the sourness and acidity. as a result, you just really can't drink too much of this. even splitting the bottle 3 ways it was still a sipper that took a while to get through - mostly because you're enjoying every sip but also because of the sourness. curious to see how this would change with time. (1,140 characters)

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I tried this brew in a side by side tasting with Rodenbach Grand Cru. This, IMO, was the superior brew. Both were delicious, but this brew was nothing short of incredible. Thanks Sid, for the opportunity to try this one again.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - it produced a 1 finger whitish head that lasted longer than I expected it to. This brew has amazing head retention - the head never fully dissipated, it just became a thin crown on the surface of the beer. It is a hazy translucent peachy amber color.

Smell - This beer has a really complex nose. I get notes of oak and vanilla, a heavy sour cherry scent, and old school Halloween bubble-gum. It has a very funky scent that is thick with wild yeast notes. Tasty.

Taste - The flavor is amazing. It is like drinking a liquid alcoholic SweeTart. The flavor is very similar to the scent - there are flavors of oak and vanilla, heavy sour cherry, green apple, an almost vinegar note (very slight), but there is less bubble-gum in the flavor than there is in the scent. It is extremely tart.

Mouthfeel - It is light/medium bodied. It is highly effervescent, the carbonation level is nearly perfect. However, the mouthfeel is very astringent - it isn't sticky or oily, but rather rips at the taste buds as it goes down the throat. That detracts from the overall feel of the beer, IMO.

Drinkability - Although this brew has an astringent mouthfeel, I don't think that the drinkability gets any better that this, for a Flanders Red. I could've drunk the entire bottle if I had the chance. This brew is amazing, and easily New Belgium's best brew. (1,628 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle I picked up in August at Beertopia in Omaha. Saved it for New Years. Poured a light terracotta and very clear, with hints of red. Nice egg-white colored head, quickly falling. Smells pungently sour. Tart cherries, red wine and hints of vanilla on the nose as well. Taste was obviously sour, but that came later for me. First is got a very woody, oak and vanilla taste, followed (and quickly) by the big tart cherry punch. Very sour, earthy and complex. Fruity like a cherry wine but without the rudeness of overwhelming alcohol to choke you. As it warms and i get used to it, more of the oak barrel flavors and a brett-barn floor and wet hay taste grow through. Effervescent enough to compliment the sourness, but not overwhelmingly so. Medium bodied. Overall, its great. A delicious, interesting beer. Glad to have tried it. (832 characters)

Photo of NoLiberty
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from an elegant brown bottle with a well designed label. The color is a beautiful rose, cran-apple, copper color with tinges of orange edging. Low but persistent head with good lacing. The aroma is the best part of this beer. It's like a summer pond - murky fresh, funky, sweet and refreshing. The strong smell creeps out of the glass. Strong notes of wood, cherry pie and baking crust. The taste is much more tart than expected. The front is big, tart and lactic and strong tartness confined to the finish. The flavor is very prevalent and drips off your teeth. I'm missing a middle maltiness that would provide a balanced sweetness but overall very impressive. The beer is dry but not puckering with a nice carbonation presence. This isn't a session beer for sure, but it's delicious nevertheless and I could come back to this one several times again. (859 characters)

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This 2L Growler was filled with 2005 La Folie @ Bier Stein, Eugene, OR aproximately 12 hours ago.

Upon popping open my flip top growler i am immediately struck by a strong sour aroma, reminiscent of the last gueze i remember having. Man, i've been enjoying sour beers lately so this is already off to a good start.

It pours into my NBB Abbey glass a deep copper color, with a very thin head that settles fairly quickly. ***EDIT: a second, more vigorous pour produced a 3/4" head that last about 30 seconds***

Smell is clearly sour, with some fruity sweetness tucked in back that reminds me of apple cider, maybe even with some cranberries.

Taste is "mouthpuckeringly" sour to start, hints of bitter apple, cranberries, the expected oak flavors seem to be a bit more muted in this 2 year old edition than i would've expected.

Mouthfeel is a complex jumble of smooth,sweet,fizzy, dry,sticky Very interesting but in a good way.

If you are a fan of sour beers, this one hits the spot. fairly low abv make this a somewhat sessionable beer. I will certainly have another glass of this tonight. I Would really like to get my hand on some bottles and put a few more years on it to see it further develop. (1,206 characters)

Photo of Stoneman78
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at O'Brien's
A- Pours a deep dark red hue with brown highlights, thin layer of sparse white bubbles, minimal lacing
S- Farmhouse funk, yeast, dark fruits, molasses, apples, vanilla, oak
T- Initial taste is tart and tangy fruits, cranberries and green apples followed by hints of dark fruits, mild malts, and oak, finishes sour and dry. . . absolutely delicious
M- Medium-bodied, watery texture, mild carbonation
D- This is one sharp Flanders Red Ale that is best enjoyed sipping and in lower quantities, the flavor profile is smooth yet complex, and great example of the style complemented well by wood aging (617 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked bottle served in a Duvel tulip. Poured a clear reddish brown.
Lots of carbonation, almost Champagne like. Fine white bubbled head.
Lots of sour fruit in the aroma, cherries and apple. Light bodied.
Very tart, lots of fruit flavors. Very dry. Didn't really taste the wood.
Nice version of the style, might not be everyone's cup of tea (or beer!) (358 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Uncorking this beverage was a 30 second explosive fountain of foam. Afterwards, it poured a hazy dark tea color with a wispy head that's gone in a flash. Negligible lacing observed. The smell suggests a sour tyrant with an underlying sweet apple malt. Highly carbonated, the mouth feel is light-medium bodied. While "sour" is the word, there is a solid complexity in the nose and mouth feel. The flavor is masked by the sourness. The first Flanders Red Ale that I've experienced; it's quite similar to the both of the popular New Glarus Fruit/Vegetable products...but IMO the drinkability of this beverage is far less superior than the similar tasting New Glarus products, even though they are different styles. (711 characters)

Photo of bwatson
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown and bubbly pour. Head fizzes up and down rapidly. Smells rich and sour with fruity notes of apple. Sour taste is forward with the hints of fruit in the background. Apple and strawberries mostly. Oak adds a subtle complexity that is barely detectable but still there. Carbonation is perfect for this style; bubbly like champagne. Great job with this unique style. (373 characters)

Photo of wardough
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luckily found this one at a local store. It pours a nice reddish brown color into my flute. Bubbles rise to the top like a nice sparkling white wine. Smells are of a mild cheese, strawberries, and oak. The taste is totally different than the smell: Granny Apple and tart cherries. The sour resounds through the tasting, asking for more saliva in the mouth. LF is much more balanced (sweet and sour) than other in the same category. Mouthfeel is heavy, definitely a sipper. This is highly drinkable for the style. (512 characters)

Photo of kleffman
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at O'briens poured into a Chimay goblet. served rather cold so drank slowly to allow it to warm.

a dark brown cloudy beer with some red hues in the dim light. poured with zero head.

Smelled pleasant unlike some flanders red ales that only smell like vinegar. sour cherry, wood barrel and yeast character. improved with warmth.

the taste was immediately surprising as this really isn't my style of beer. tart cherrys and sour green apples, with some earthy wood flavors mixing in. very balanced for such a complex and strange beer. Definitely more of a lactic acid tartness rather than the vinegary acetic acid. This was more sharp and clean.

Light body, very smooth mouthfeel. extremely acidic and puckering aftertaste, yet so easy to drink. Long dry finish that I'm still tasting an hour later.

So drinkable that I could've finished off a 750ml myself.

I don't think I've had a Flanders Red that's really from the Flanders region but if I had to guess this would meet or beat any of theirs. It's truly something to experience even for a hop head like myself. (1,072 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'07 Vintage poured at 45F into large snifter.

Cloudy and slightly glowing redwood color. Thin tan head that settles to a nice silky cover.

Great nose, a strong mix or tart cherries and sour yeast. There is also a presence of citrus fruits, sweet honey and caramel. Rounding it out are lavender and violet like floral hops with a slight oaky sent. The bouquette really expands well as it warms to room temperature.

The taste is also predominantly composed of tart pitted fruits but still quite complex. Citrus and floral hops mixed with fresh berries slowly emerge. The finish is wonderful with sweet malts accompanied by a light musky oak flavor. Like the aroma, the complexity here continues to grow as it warms.

Light to medium body with a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Acidic throughout and a nice dry finish that generously lingers for some time.

Very drinkable for this style of brew. Vast complexity, but perfectly balanced. I live outside of Brussels during the winter months and have tried multiple sour red ales. La Folie stands up high them all. For this offering, I find this Colorado brewery truly deserving of it's New Belgium name... Damn, my beer has somehow disappeared. (1,193 characters)

Photo of mikescags
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the most interesting beer I've ever had. It pours a brownish red w great tan head. The smell is overwhelming of sour fruits. This beer tastes just like it smells. Sour fruits at first and then a hint of a brown ale. This beer is phenomenal if you like sour things, if not I would prob still taste it for the experience of it. This stuff goes fast so if you run into a bottle of it I'd pick it up (403 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/07, #8742
Pours a murkey chestnut, brown colorwith a big, tan head. Aromas of a oaky sourness. In the taste, a very sour grape-ish flavor, quite acidic. A light body, sour mouthfeel and a dry sourness, with small fruity presence in the aftertaste. Fantastic sour ale, with a nice fruity touch, however just a bit acidic. (333 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat muddy and muted, reddish brown in color. Huge fluffy head that goes away almost immediately. Sour and fruity nose. Quite woody and musty. Sourness hits the tongue in an instant. Quite fruity-almost a sour cherry taste. Very dry though quite quenching. Amazing mouthfeel-between the sourness and the carbonation it does quite a dance on the tongue. Very interesting and enjoyable beer, especially coming from the US. Couldnt drink a lot of it but the whole bottle is damn enjoyable to say the least. (507 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Man, I've been wanting to try this one for some time now. I just received it today (thanks Fugazme) and decided to sip on it during the World Series tonight.
Cork popped off with a huge thud as it shot up and broke the chadelier on my ceiling fan. Instantly beer started spewing out of the top. At first I tried to drink the fizz that came out, but it wouldn't stop so I just sat it in the sink to let it spew like a volcano.
Hazy mahogany color. Almost opaque as you can't see any light coming through. Nice 2 finger head that falls as quickly as my Mets did in the penant race. No lace, no head, nothing. After about a half hour or so the head reforms. Very interesting.
Tons of sour fruit smells. Green apple, cherry, raspberry. Smells abit like wine.
Huge complex flavors that never get out of balance. I honestly can't imagine this beer tasting any better. White grapes, Grannysmith apples, cherries, raspberries. Excellent play on the tastebuds from bitter to sweet and dull to strong. The bitterness kind of creeps up and then stealthly disappears. All of this happens in what feels like a light and refreshing beer. Super dry and tingling mouthfeel is exciting. This is kind of like those hyperactive kids that are fun instead of annoying.
I'm pretty much a light weight. Never even thought about drinking a 750 ml bottle by myself in one sitting. It's happening tonight. (1,379 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is hot sex. At the falling rock for 34 dollars OUCH! Bottles 07/2007

Initial appearance is clear red. However, later pours and swirling put yeast into the beer, giving it a cloudiness. There is some decent initial head on the glass that fades after a little while.

Smell is of apple phenol and other tropical fruit under tones. Funkiness from the bacteria also comees out.

Upfront the taste is a little sweet followed by a sour funkiness from the bacteria from the spontaneous fermentation. Upfront is some green apple and white grape flavor. Sort of wine like in a way. As the beer warms and breaths, more fruity tropical undertones come out. This beer should breathe before drinking. It becomes better and beter as it warms, some slight oak undertones were not apparrent on the first sip, but came out as subtle undertones that only enhanced the flavor of the beer. This beer is perfection in a bottle. There is not a single off flavor in this beer. It's just hot sex in a bottle.

The mouthfeel is crisp and dry. I was disappointed when this bottle ran out. This was worth the 34 dollars to try. The beer stores had it for about 18 I believe, but they ran out and I had to get my hands on this. I'm glad I did. I will remember this beer for years to come. This was epic. (1,286 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to session1979 for this treat.

750 mL bottle caged/corked
2007 Batch# 67-3599

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear dark cherry red with a nice two finger fluffy off-white head that quickly dies down to a nice layer that lasts. Stickiness is a bit lacking, but not sure how it should be for this style. Smell is super tart cherries, raspberries, and grapes not a whole lot more, but very enjoyable. Very faint wood notes in the nose as well. Taste...WOW. Explosive sour cherries and green apples. I've had a couple wild ales from Russian River, but La Folie surpasses them all in the sour department. After the initial tartness, there is a nice vanilla wood flavor with a finishing Macintosh apple flavor. Very creamy and smooth with a light to medium body. Lots of carbonation with a lasting bitterness on the tongue. The mouth gets throw in so many different directions with this beer and I love it. A bit difficult to drink because of the extreme sourness, but still an amazing beer all in its own. Very fortunate to have had the opportunity to try this beer. (1,076 characters)

Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,018 ratings.