La Folie | New Belgium Brewing

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La FolieLa Folie

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-22-2002

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Reviews: 1,058 | Ratings: 3,905
Photo of sjdevel
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Copper with reddish hue. A bit hazy, but mostly clear. About a 1/4" head - recedes quickly to a foam ring. Decent lacing continues.
Smell: Sour cherry and raspberry. Slight vinegar. Some malt and caramel. Quite aromatic.
Taste: Strong bitte at first. Bitter and sour - a tad harsh. Only a brief hint of sweet malt, but quickly dries and gets very tart - almost puckering level. Fruit flavors spin around and around. Plum, cherry, apple, grape, raspberry. Strong Oak flavor. Smokey and nutty. Left with fruity aftertaste and some earthiness.
Feel: Medium / but thinner.
Overall: Checked this one off of my beer Bucketlist. A great beer for sure. I really enjoyed it. Not to many big beers really live up to their hype, but this one is great.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.82/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark Amber color with medium bubbles on the body. Off-white head, rising maybe half a finger's length.

Smell: Like bread and lemon, and a hard hit of yeast. Light scent which is not bad just wish it had a little more potency.

Taste: Sweet and sour brew, lemon and grapes with a shot of yeast.

Mouth: medium carbonation, sticky and probably the best characteristic of the beer.

Overall: descent brew which could just use a tad tweaking. Sours usually aren't my regular thing, but wouldn't mind another turn. Always in a glass...Salud!

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage; 22 oz bottle.

This beer has been high up on my "wants" list for quite some time. Beautiful ruby-brown/copper color on the pour with good clarity. One finger of tan head that sticks around for a while. In fact, there's a slight head on the beer throughout its entire duration. Sticky spots of lacing on the glass.

Lots of deep fruity notes in the aroma, along the lines of plums, figs, and cherries. Slight caramel and brown sugar sweetness but nowhere near cloying. More fruit in the flavor except there's a good amount of apple mixed in. Cranberry juice-like tartness with a slight vinegar kick, but it strikes a really nice balance with the malt and fruit flavors.

Medium bodied. Carbonation is low. This just comes across as such an expertly crafted and blended beer. All of the flavors and the body are in check. Really impressive and I'd say it's an excellent intro to sour beers, for those looking to try some.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(22 oz bottle, poured into a wine glass)

L: crystal-clear dark tawny liquid... rather tall gummy pad of tan foam, doesn't hold long... chunky-jagged specs in the bottom of the bottle... messy splotches of suds left, not an unbroken cap, little lace

S: big bop of mid-dark caramel, sour cherry pits, vinous flourishes... hints of juicy grapefruit flesh, light-brown cocoa-brownie - chocolate-orange??... booze is mellow and brightens it all up... overall, very clean, near-full, on point

T: bright up front, tart bitter lemon in finish, with a hint of nutty yeast in the immediate aftertaste... certainly a somewhat dense, brown bread-crusty malt underneath, but heavily weighed down by the soft acidity of the sour atop, its character never quite rising up and with hardly any sweetness - at least not in like some Belgian examples of the style

F: again, light flowing, but with some body for sure - smooth and lightly glassy (till the dregs go in)... the front and finish both have a bite that mellows with each sip

O: I hesitate to say it could use a lil more sweetness - it does, due to its dry bottom (blush), seem to maybe lack a lil depth (or unique character) - but its dryness will only enhance its pairing appeal... I've had this a few times on tap and this bottle version was, by a few hairs, the most subtle, but the most drinkable

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Photo of stevoj
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A more subdued, woody, earthy version of Le Terroir. Murky brown with a skin of creamy head that clings to the glass. Aroma more of darker dried fruits and milder tartness . Excellent companion to Le Terroir . Ying and yang. ’14 and ’16 rated.

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Photo of dd43
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really a great oude bruin especially considering its stateside origin. Nicely malty and sweet, but balanced well by a fairly pronounced tart cherry and sour apple note. Highly drinkable, splitting a 750 with a friend is a no brainer. Does have a certain amount of tackiness that is style appropriate but might throw some folks off who are looking for a slightly more dry, vinous character like what you'd get in a Flanders red.

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Photo of EMV
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 edition, poured from a bomber into a tulip

L: Pours a clear dark mahogany color... tints of red around the edges and with 1.5 fingers of off-whit head. Sticky lacing.

S: Funky... sour fruit, green apples and cherry. Faint citrus.

T/F: Moderate sour up front... unripe fruits... green apple and lemon rind. A bit of baking cherry and just a dash of brown sugar. Medium carbonation... more than expected, and very sticky on the tongue. Literally coats your mouth after a few sips.

O: A decent mild sour... better than I was expecting, and one of the best I've had from New Belgium. Good intro to the style, and drinking the whole bomber over an hour or two was no problem.

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Photo of Buck89
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Clear ruby dark brown color. Thin light tan head that retreated quickly into a resilient cap. Complex aromas of cherry, oak, vanilla, candied apple, and orange. Puckeringly tart up front. Sweet tart candy, cherry, mustiness, and brown sugar, evolving into a subtle funkiness with white wine on the finish.

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Photo of Mateo2699
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pour is a darker brown hue, hints of red when held up to the light. Long lasting tight white bubbled head, with moderating lacing. Hints of candy like green apple with the aroma, but mostly dominated by this caramel like malt. Even detecting some hints of saltiness. Aroma is slightly muted. Taste is an interesting maltiness not familiar with most sours I've tried. Caramel and brown sugar in the forefront, with hints of sour apple and white grapes in the finish. Hints of saltiness in the back end as wel. Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, not overly palate coating. Overall, nothing too complex. More of an olive-like sour. Interesting saltiness like quality with an even amount of sweet, typical brown ale malt.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard Duvel Tulip from a 22oz bottle. 2016 edition.

A: Dark ruby body with off light kaki head.

S: Fruit and acidity, some rich candy aroma.

T: Not as powerfully sour as I remember. Sour fruit up front, nutty flavor in the finish.

M: On the thin side, but on target for sour beers.

D: Really nice easily drinkable beer. Hoping for a touch more complexity, though.

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Photo of akolb
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma of spice, dark fruit, funk, tartness, malt, sour apples. Nicely tart flavor, balanced by some bread and chocolate. Peppery spicy fruits. Nice sour bite that bleeds into the aftertaste.

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Photo of Bluecrow
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-ruddy brown, but clear bottle (2016) pour with appropriate carbonation (which persisted over the 80+ minutes). Aroma is tart and a bit musty. Flavor, yes a fruit-first sour, very pleasant, tart apple, vinegar, finish is dry and clean. This was quite pleasant both cold and warm.

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 version. Purchased for as advertised $12 compliments of management when this rang up $15. The $12 is value, and what it's worth. If I'm going to spend $15 to get my sour fix I'll just stick with my usual Riserva, bigger beer and raspberry ...

Nice color, head retention pretty good for a sour and perfectly carbonated. Smells and taste very fresh and sour. Beautiful Saturday afternoon before dinner drink. The only issue is the lower ABV requires a big beer after.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage.

Look: Two finger white-brown head, very dark red body.

Smell: Smells like a pie. Tart cherries, apples, brown suger, mild cinnamon, and maltiness kind of like pie crust.

Taste: Same as above, but the tart fruits are are more upfront.

Feel: Medium-full bodied, medium carbonation, slightly tannic, and definitely tart. I'm surprised none of the sourness has left due to the age.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 vintage. Poured a rusty brown color with a head that vanished quickly. Still a beautiful color though. Aroma is very nice with currant, black cherry and sour fruitiness blended well with a nice malt and French Oak backbone. Flavor is a bit different with sour apples and a bigger pucker character to the tartness. Breaded malt, faint oak and tasty yeast blend very well together. A little lighter than I'd prefer even for the style as its a bit on the thin side, but In those regards it's highly drinkable and doesn't get boring like some American sours do. Overall this is a fine American Sour Brown ale crafted in the finest of standards and definitely gives Flemish browns a run for their money.

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Photo of Eli2814
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got this one for free from the store I work at (score!)
Great looking beer. First time ever seeing a sour brown, and I dig the look for sure. Not alot of head, but I wasn't really expecting much in that respect.
Smells as one would expect a sour brown to smell: a little malty, a little salty (no rhyme inteded).
Holy cow this taste. I almost wasn't ready for it. Strong malt flavors in perfect harmony with tart, almost fruity notes, even though they didn't brew this with any fruit.
Mouthfeel was great. If you really like a tart kick from your sours, this is the one to go to. Keeps you sipping on it for a good long while, partially because it's so sour, and partially because it's so damn good.
Overall, I'd put it in my top 3 favorite sours. I would gladly try this one again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a tiny fizzy white head. The head fades very fast, leaving just some hints of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of a sour green apple smell mixed with a good deal of sour cherry. The sour fruity smells are accompanied by some aromas of oak and a strong apple cider vinegar and slightly hay-like aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather sour green apple flavor mixed with a little bit of cherry. The cherry grows slightly stronger as the taste advances with a sour flavor of apple cider vinegar coming to the tongue. Along with these developing flavors comes strong flavors of hay and some yeast. A light level of cherry sweetness develops toward the middle, with it only fading again more toward the end of the taste. At the very end, a decent showing of oak and even more tart green apple and sour tastes come to the tongue, leaving one with a cherry and apple fruited sour taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is rather thin with a carbonation level that is moderate. The thin body is fantastic for the sour flavors and with the medium carbonation it makes for an easier drinker in light of its very sour and bitter nature.

Overall- A somewhat fruity, but still rather dry and quite sour brew. A pretty good example of a Flanders Oud Bruin and one to at least give a try too.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer. Not $14 good, but quite good.

Medium-red brown.

Smells nice, reminiscent of geuze.

Tast's nice. Sour, citrus & currant. Mild.

Mouthfeel is fine. Possibly just the slightest amount more carbonation that ideal.

Overall, this is a good beer. Feels like a more expensive, not quite as good, but also less funky and more approachable rendition of Duchesse de Bourgogne.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First bottled in 2000, this is the beer that proved the American craft brewers could make an ale as good as something as ridiculously Flemish as the Belgian brown sour.
New Belgium almost has as many "Hads" in its style as the next two (native Belgians) and rated higher than both the natives.

This ale is listed on the "1001 Beers" and deserves it very much.... despite that this style is a taste that is very hard for me to acquire... hence my rating.

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Photo of KatyBeerGuy
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not much head at all, mildly carbonated. Delicious taste, surely is sour. Probably should be paired with some strong tasting food.

Is this an everyday beer? Hell no. Does it taste like Bud? no. Is this something different to feast your taste buds on and keep you interested in trying new beers? Fuck yeah.

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Photo of AnotherBrick00
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2016 vintage. A bit more brown and dark than expected. Not much head at all. Overall less complex and interesting than I had hoped for. Please don't get me wrong, this is FAR from a bad beer, but I guess I had higher expectations (and I bought two bottles!). I think I will let one age as it almost seems like its in a bit of bottle shock.

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Photo of Slack
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany with a ½ inch of very light brown head and decent lacing.

Tart fruit dominate the nose. Cherry and citrus are discernable. Oak also is present.

Tart fruit dominate throughout. Finish is mildly sweet. Notes of oak and vinegar are also present.

Mouthful is crisp with a medium body and average carbonation. Finish is long and dry.

The beer is a nice balance of sour and sweet although the sweetness could be a bit higher. The aging definitely contributes to its overall smoothness and complex flavor profile.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy rusty brown. Little fizz but not really a head forming.

Nose is a bit muted, hint of tart funk and ripe fruit.

Flavor and feel are fantastic. The malt notes aren't really forward here but help the feel immensely. Flavor has a big bright pucker, hint of vinegar and salinity with fast clean finish. Really an incredibly nice brew.

I'd put this on par with just about anything I've had from Cellar 3 and for the price it's

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Photo of Masonz223
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: redish brown with a one finger head.
Smell: white grape sour apple oak
Taste: upfront sour apple white grape middle of the mouth more sour apple un ripe cherries lemon tartness.Finishes with A white grape juice an you get some
Of that Oak from the oak barrel.
Feel: it has a medium body with a dry finish.
Overall: this beer is the perfect balance of sour. It has just enough to pucker your lips but not so much that your lips and face get stuck in that puckering look. I haven't had many
Beers in this style. But im becoming a big fan
And I love this beer!

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Photo of ajm5108
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark cola color, pours with a decent head & carbonation but fades quickl leaving just a slight lacing. The aroma features an inviting tart cherry with notes of pear, wood / oak & blackberry. A faint hint of black currant as well. After such a luxurious smell I was a tad dissapointed with the flavor profile. It is fairly flat. There is an initial tart stab at the beginning - more sour fruit tart than lacto - but it never transitions or brings other flavors past the sourness. If you strain a bit you can pick up the oak & shoe leather that you get with lots of oud bruins. And the berry comes in a bit at the end but it is very supressed and muted. If they could have coaxed more from the flavors and matched the aroma it could have been a wonderful beer. It is still one of the more accessible sours out there, and an easy sipper, but with so many breweries churning out sour programs New Belgium needs to step up.

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La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,905 ratings.
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