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Lips Of Faith - La Folie - New Belgium Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,033 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,033
Hads: 3,738
Avg: 4.22
pDev: 19.91%
Wants: 571
Gots: 911 | FT: 49
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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: 1,033 | Hads: 3,738
Photo of beerbrains
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow!! One of the most unique brews to ever pass my lips. Dark red color with a frothy head. First reaction is what the hell. Tart and sour. Shock-tarts sour. Citric acid not citrus flavors dominate. Half way through the glass the citric acid mellows and the sour fruit emerges along with nutmeg and vanilla. Finishes very dry. Actually a great beer even though I don't think I could drink more than one at a sitting.

My gfs reaction after taking a sip "I never want that in my mouth again"

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Photo of oberon
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
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

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review #500. I figured this beer would be apt.

2006 Vintage #1156

A: Pours a hazy unfiltered paprika color with very fizzy carbonation. Head is almost all together gone, light beige and disapating rapidly. A healthy ring around the glass does remain though.

S: Pungent oak, cherry, raspberry, tomato vine, ascorbic acid and some cooked strawberry.

T: It begins tart, no surprise...but balanced. Its much like it smells. Cherry can be identified as well as strawberry and lemon juice. Very woody indeed. As it warms, berries and vanilla really begin to shine. Some minor spicyness of nutmeg and black pepper can be found far under the surface. Very juicy, explosive with flavor. Finishes sour, dry and fruity with just a hint of vanilla.

M: Medium body with a hard mouthfeel but fuzzy consistency.

D: This is close to the most sour beer I've had. Every sip I take makes me pucker. At first I really didn't think this was anything special, then it started to grow on me. Every sip is an experience. I have a feeling though gastronomically this one is gonna hurt me.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the 2006 edition. Pours a deep mahogany color with a thick cream colored head with some nice lacing.

The aroma is intense of bitter cherries, along with some oak, pepper, must, and a little vanilla as well.

Taste is extremly tart. Taste is of very sour cherries, green apples, a little must, and oak. This brutally bitter. Not really my thing.

Mouthfeel is ok a little dry in the finish and pretty heavily carbonated.

Not drinkable at all due to the sourness in my opinion. I can handle sourness and bitterness, but in my opinion this is over the top. I won't buy this again anytime soon.

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Photo of jazappi
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bottle, poured into a tulip.

Appearance: A very amber/red color, head went away quickly and left behind very little lacing.

Aroma: Very sweet, almost like a champaign smell.

Taste: Very sweet. Tart. And almost sour aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp.

Overall: A very unique beer, I liked it a lot. Would be a good beer to have with a steak.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, caged and corked. Bottle # 05-4260, purchased 7/3/06. Pours a clear reddish amber with a thin off-white head that quickly diminishes to a wispy collar that has some legs.

The aroma is peppery wood, fruits, a tart acidic sourness and some sweet-tarts.

The flavor is a little sweet fruitiness quickly followed by a huge mouth-puckering sourness - kind of like the sour sweet-tarts. The mouthfeel is medium to full and low on carbonation, but what little there is is pretty sharp and zings the back of the throat.

Overall, a very nice sour ale! It's different and not for everyone, but is quickly addicting. It has much more in your face sourness than the Panil.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Falling Rock as part of the GABF 06 festivities. Really cool looking reddish brown. Served with not head, or even indication of head. A lot going on in the nose. Tart cherry, brett funk, wood, nail polish remover. It about put me down when I took the first drink. Huge rush of tart sourness. Certainly not for the timid. Those that take the challenge with will be nicely surprised.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Mark Wedge for this bottle. 2006 vintage, poured into a clean Duvel glass. Comes out with a deep ruby-brown color with a good initial head, though it fades. Aroma is truly beautiful, tart but not too sour-smelling, fruity, reminiscent of cherries, lightly woody and earthy. Very acidic at first, but after the sourness declines a bit there's a coppery-metallic fruity character that makes it very refreshing. Finish remains very tart, but by no means undrinkably acidic; a lingering oaky-vanilla taste becomes apparent after a moment. Well-carbonated with a light and effervescent texture.

What a fantastic effort! I think I prefer this to Rodenbach Grand Cru.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to rsyberg01 for this trade.
A very pretty cloudy light amber in the glass is topped with a small white head that melts away to nothing.
Aroma is tart green apples, tart cherries, and light oak aging present.
Taste is very tart....again, tart cherries and green apple with oak barrel touches.
Needless to say this leaves the mouth very dry very quickly.
You have to have another sip or your tongue will turn to powder.
This is definitely the definitive Flanders.

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Photo of rsyberg01
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

S - Bottle # 05-2591. 2005 vint.

A - Pours a reddish orange with a head that fizzles out but sticks in the corners. Very soft and pretty.

S - Woody, oaky, soft undertone malt hints, nice fruit character that is soft. Apples and cherries, very ncie. earthy and musky as well.

T - Tart, apple and cherry, woody with some funk from the earthiness, slightly sweet in the back. Complex and delicious.

M - Smooth and crisp. Perfect.

D - The tartness may take a toll but overall its really quite nice.

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Photo of nortmand
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours somewhat cloudy and red with a frothy pinkish head.

Old pickles dominate the smell. In your face sour smells, with an edge of vinegar. Horse barn, blanket, stall all that stuff is ever present. Amazing that this is made in Colorado.

Flavor is unapologetically sour all the way through. There is so much going on, sour lemon flavors, earthy tones, musky mushroomy things also. Some bitterness sneaks through at the end as well.

Light to medium body, so complex, so sour, so damned good.

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Photo of SacoDeToro
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the New Belgium Brewery.

The beer had a light garnet hue and an off-white head that became a nice lace around the glass.

The aroma of the beer was of sour cherries, fusel alcohols, oak, and solvents. Very interesting indeed.

The flavor of the beer was rich with complexity. It tasted of sour fruit (mainly cherris), alcohol, some solvent, vanilla, and oak. Uniquely complex.

The carbonation was good and tight. The mouthfeel was medium-light and seemed appropriately attenuated for the style.

Probably the best Flanders red ale I've had. New Belgium certainly did there homework on this beer. It transcends any of their mainstay beers, most notably, the medeocre Fat Tire amber ale.

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Photo of weeare138
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'05 version...
Appears a hazy red toned amber with a small white head that fades out into a small cap.
Smell is oaky, earthy, with tart cherries, spree candy, perhaps a touch of papaya somwhere in there...heavenly.
Taste is of the same aromas with a spicy, wild bite that is outstanding. The oak is subdued enough that it brings out all of the tart, meaty characteristics that make this beer a winner. This is very much to the liking of Rodenbach Grand Cru, only better. There must be some magic on those Rodenbach barrels b/c everything that goes inside of them, comes out enticing my palate and making me want more and more.
Mouthfeel is spritzy, sugary, tart, balanced, and medium bodied.
Really nice. I'm sure this will be in my personal top 10 for a while.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We had this beer with a bunch of friends at a sour beer tasting. This one was definitely one that stood out among many.

The beer was a mostly clear reddish brown color with a 1/4" head of off white bubbles on top. The head stuck around for a minute or so, but didn't really leave any lace on the glass.

The aroma and flavor tells that it was truly sour with some noticeable wood that comes across as aged and somewhat dry. There is a sweet cherry and other fruit noticeable in the aroma to go with the sourness. The flavor is dry with a clean fruit flavor in the finish. Dryness is the whole theme with this beer. There is some caramel apparent deep within this beer, and as it warms up, there is a noticeable red wine or sherry becoming noticeable. It doesn't come across as being oxidized, but really complex.

I will try this beer again all by itself to get to know it better. I really enjoy the bold flavors and aromas that this beer has, and in my opinion it is probably one of the best beers to come from the US. I would certainly drink this one again.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

How have I not rated this beer before? Pour is a cloudy amber red color with very little foam that quickly disappears. The aroma gives off sour almost vinegar qualities and leaves no doubt of the Flemish Red style. Some lighter notes of fruity cherry are noted really blend well with some feint oak smells.

The taste is a beer to savor. When served it was chilled and had a tart cherry, almost a hint of apple finish. Some lighter notes of oak and vanilla flavors come out. As the beer warms, more sour and vinegar-like taste become noticeable. The vanilla and oak flavors are enhanced and the vinegar tastes become for prominent. More of a our cherry then tart. There also is a sweetness with come candy-like flavors and a light bready tang.

The body is light but acceptable. This isn’t a easy beer to drink but one to savor. If you have a chance, enjoy every taste you get.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't get in Illinois, but is available in Arkansas along with a lot of other New Belgium brews. Had to buy two bottles for about $16 a piece. Hand numbered on the bottle, #4 of 570.

Appearance- Pours an almost apple vinager amber. More like tree sap in color. I was tricked at first into thinking there was no carbonation, but upon closer inspection was proven wrong. Small light bubbling noticed in the amber sappiness of this "red" ale. Like head with no retention. This was expected.

Smell- A very pinot noir, chardonnay viney aroma with some hints of ambery sweetness in the back corridors of the nostrils. Plenty of cider notes as well.

Taste- I knew this beer would be tart as per the style. I have to try every beer even if most tart beers don't appeal to me. This tasted a little like tart cork. Not a lot of easily perceived sweetness. The brettanomyce is very evident in the overall profile. Lots of memories of Granny Smith apples along with more atrt and dry wine flavors. I did notice hints of bright red plums in the sporadic bursts as well.

Mouthfeel- Does get a little in the back of the palate, but there is a mostly acidic tongue. Little touches of vinegar.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, I've never had a Flanders Red so when they tapped this the other night at Falling Rock I had to try it.
A dark red/amber color with a small head given it was in a snifter.
Smell was fruity, cherry, raspberry, raisin and some citrus.
Taste was sssourrr. I didn't think I would be able to drink it, but as it starts sour it is also fruity (sour apples) and finishes kinda sweet. Leaves a nice aftertaste that persuades you to have another sip.
Kinda thin, though. Didn't really feel like a beer.
Semi-hard to drink overall.

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Photo of Knuckles
3.87/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Honestly, I keep trying to love this beer. I really do. I'm a huge fan of Flemish sours, and I keep hoping (nay, praying) that someone in the US will be able to brew one to compete with giants like Rodenbach Grand Cru or Panil Barrique. They may, but La Folie is still not that beer.

Appearance: No shit, this thing is gorgeous. The huge bubbles bursting out of the white head that sits so lazily on top of the gorgeous amber liquid are primordial in size, and the beer itself just glows. I'm not super high on the hasty retreat that the primordial head beats from the top of the glass, but that seems like a minor criticism. I'm a little put off by the size of those bubbles, yo. They're freaking huge. You could drop some Junior Mints in those sumbitches...

Smell: Well, I'll be damned, but this smells damn fine. Sour, tart, and behind me at the moment because I've set it on the window sill. It's got that funky sour, oaken smell that I associate with the Flemish sours.

Taste: Dammit, once again La Folie fails me. I want something...more.I want some body and some balancing maltiness to go with a testicle clenching sourness. Now, understand, that I actually find these Flemish sours to be incredibly refreshing and irresistably drinkable. Dammit, if the style were a woman, I would name it Gwen. Or Dr. Zaius. Or Huey. Salma? But this beer is not Gwen, or Salma, and just barely qualifies as a Huey (the duck, not the senator nor the helicopter). And that damn, dirty ape Dr. Zaius is FAR funkier than this beer. It's tart and sour, yes. But nothing lingers. There is no persistence. I want dedication from my sours, and I simply don't get it from this beer. It gives up the ghost to quickly, and that makes me sad.

Mouthfeel: This is really the other problem for me. It's not robust enough. I expect a mouthfeel that has some weight behind it, and this thing is light like a macro lager. Honestly, I've had pilseners that have a better mouth presence than this beer. It's been a problem for me in the past, and continues to be so in the present. Kind of like my kung fu.

Drinkability: I may not love it, but I could easily drink the shit out of it. I don't think it's brilliant, I find it to be merely good. Now, let this merely good reviewer go polish of the rest of his 750, or he'll be cranky about wasting his $15.73.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous cloudy reddish orange hue with plentiful meringue like head. Aromas akin to sour cherry, a little citrus packed with heady smells of funk and horsehare apparent in the bacteria present. A strange "new plastic" like acetone aroma is detected giving it further complexity. Flavor is incredibly tart, nearing a gueze like sourness. Finishes with a slight sweetness packed with a bit of oak. This is one incredible beer that I wish I had a case of, and that it was more highly distributed.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.94/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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Photo of beersabound
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was very happy to find this while on vacation in CO. From reading a couple of other reviews it seems that I should have cellared it for a few years. But I wanted to share it with some friends so we enjoyed it last night. It has a very unique red/brown color with a head that dissapates quickly in a flurry of quick release bubbles. The aroma is sour with black cherry or other dark fruit; quite enjoyable. The flavor is sour with some malt sweetness but lots of dark fruit. The wood aging seems to come through with the dryness of this but not in the flavor which is fine as it would overcomplicate thes beauty. The mouthfeel is dry, light and quite puckering. This is one to share with some friends as drinking a 750 by one's self would be a bit much. Next time I'll pick up three bottles and cellar two of them.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2004 Vintage.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ryantupy
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of maxpower
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle # 05-2683 pours a cloudy reddish brown color with a small light brown head. Aromas of vinegar and fruit, mouth puckering sour, tart cherry and sour apple flavors. Medium bodied with perfect carbonation, La Folie is an amazing beer.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.97/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, corked and caged, into a thin pilsner.

slightly hazy bright copper-orange with tons of rising bubbles. an inch and a half of foamy off-white head that retains well but leaves little lace.

sweet and sour cherries dominate the aroma. some sugary cider, sour apple, lemon sour, and a slight sharp bite of acidic vinegar.

feel is fairly light and refreshing with a biting carbonation. tartness dominates the flavor with a touch of funk. hints of fruity sweetness and an undertone of bready, cookie-like malt. finishes very dry and tart with another acidic bite of balsamic vinegar. very drinkable, and a very good beer.

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Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
94 out of 100 based on 1,033 ratings.