La Folie | New Belgium Brewing

3,929 Ratings
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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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,929 |  Reviews: 1,064
Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of eulerthegrape
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to oxymoron for this via trade!

Every now and then a beer comes along makes you take notice. This is one such beer! Complex, sour, dry, oaky, damn its hard to describe. I've had a few "wild" ales - gueze, flanders red, lambic and american wild. I think I have a new #1 or #2 favorite within this spectrum.

worth the price of entry!

 346 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Hmm. I'm really perplexed to have this years after loving it in 2012 (rating: 4.5) . The tartness is way more intense than i remember it, and not in a good way.

 160 characters

Photo of kaseydad
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage...7% abv

Pours a murky brown with a fairly decent cream colored head but is like a distant visiting cousin....doesn't go away. Volumes up when agitated.

The aroma is very much oak. Decent whiffs of vinegar, raspberry, floral, and blood orange.

The sour is there in the taste but enjoyable. Not as sour as the label would have you believe, but definitely drinkable. As it warms the sour lessens and the true magic happens. Big and oaky with a firing of sourness on the swallow. Bitter. Slight grapefruit/orange rind. Sour cherries. Funk. A tad salivation on the buds but not much.

Nicely carbonated.

Overall I dug this. There are many other sour browns out there, but this was enjoyable and nary a palate wrecker. It's got the flavor and the right amount of sour to compliment the overall end product. Not a huge fan of some of the NB beers, but this one was well made and worth seeking out.

 909 characters

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

Photo of GuttaMane138
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of PeakedInHighSchool
2.75/5  rDev -34.8%

Photo of GregSemenza
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of elgiacomo
4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2012 batch. Served at around 45F and allowed to warm in the glass.

Pours clear reddish brown with a two finger light brown head that recedes to a ring and leaves only a few spots of short-lived lacing behind.

Aroma is sour, vinegar, apples, cherries, a little funky, some wood and a hint of vanilla. All comes together quite nicely. Good to very good strength.

Flavor starts with a big blast of sour, quite puckering, strong sour apples, cherries, vinegar, oak, a little touch of sweet malt dances around, particularly at the finish, but this sour first and foremost. Minimal alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied, a bit sticky, lowish carbonation.

Very nice Sour and quite sour at that.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle of the 2011 release, allowed to warm a good bit from my chilly refrigerator before being poured into my Duvel tulip.

La Folie pours a deep mahogany, almost bordering on black. Ruby highlights are present, but (a little too) faint. There's a surprisingly solid head, about three fingers of khaki colored foam tops the beer. It all disappears quickly though, without any lacing left aside. The nose has the requisite notes of cherry skin and racy acidity, but it's a little bit too far tipped in favor of the latter to really be good. I'm not finding the more pronounced cherry influence in the flavor that I was hoping for, but there's a certain biscuit/caramel malt sweetness right at the open of each sip that does the job instead of balancing out the acidity of the beer. The mouthfeel is just about all I would ask for considering the style. Beguilingly light body for a beer with a definite malt presence, with carbonation that's clearly in the background, just enough to be there without becoming distracting or fizzy. La Folie really rounded out and came into its own as it finished warming up, but I can't see myself going through the effort of ever getting this beer again with Rodenbach Grand Cru so readily available.

 1,241 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle complete with corn husk. Murky reddish brown body with nice sized light tan head. Strong sour fruit notes with a bit of funkiness to it. A touch of caramel sweetness seems to be hidden under the tartness as well as some woody notes. The flavor is similar with strong tart cherry flavors being upfront. Some funky woody notes mix in nicely. A bit of light fruit sweetness and possible some caramel shows through as it warms. Finishes with an acidic and puckering fruity tartness. This is surprisingly smooth and drinkable stuff. Also a bit refreshing to boot. Definitely one of the best the style has to offer.

 622 characters

Photo of rand
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lips of Faith 2010 La Folie 07/27/2010
From bomber to tulip glass

A: Pours a copper-red, light in texture with a fizzy, effervescent carbonation that leaves little lacing. Looks more like soda than beer.

S: Has a nice fruity nose with sour cherries and a grassy funk

T: Cranberries and citrusy-sour cherries hit the tongue, reminding you of sweetened red wine vinegar. Grapes and prunes are also noticeable, all of which combine to a nice, puckering sour that retains its effect throughout out the bottle. At 6%, this doesn't have the complex layering of flavors you might find in some of today's more sought after barrel-aged ales, but in La Folie's case, less is more. As you continue through the bottle and the beer warms, the distinctive sourness has a consistently lively and refreshing affect on the palate.

M: Feels light and effervescent, a lot like it appears. The carbonation is enough to cleanly wash away each sip.

D: Given the relatively low alcohol content and how this beer really mastered a relatively simple flavor profile, this beer goes down easily. When your palate adjusts to the puckering sour you might as well be drinking orange juice.

Notes: This has become one of my favorites of the style. I not a big fan Fat Tire, and although I think some of New Belgium's more common beers are OK, they often have that Fat Tire-ish malt, which I find a little off-putting. This beer is an experience unto itself - I would have never thought this was a New Belgium ale.

 1,490 characters

Photo of cosmonick
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of IBUnit63
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750, corked and caged...hand-bottled 10/2008...#9945. Via trade from googzoid10 - thanks Greg! Took it from the fridge for about 20-30 minutes to warm a bit. Into the Ommegang chalice it goes with a solidly strong pop of the cork...letting it breathe for about 10-15 minutes after opening...

Pours a murky dark sofa-leather (distressed leather) brown...a little hazy and cloudy topped by almost a finger of tight buttery ginger-maple head. Leaves moderately quickly but leaves strong bready wisps of yeast up top.

Beautiful leathery (power of suggestion) horse blanket and saddle notes (now I get what the wine community means by saddle notes - it only took 7 years and a very special beer to figure it out). Mild clove and ginger spice cut the thick sour funk...a little cinnamon, dates and stewed prunes. The oak character is mildly husky and reduces the poignancy of it all...acting as a moderator or liaison...or maybe a bring this all together.

I enjoy the hell outta this at virtually room temperature...Leathery body with slight vinegary sour warmth envelops and warms the soul. Mild ginger/clove spice blends like a Christmas fruit cake (I mean a good one) for an even backbone. The oakiness of it all provides an even keel and really mellows this and calms it down incredibly well.

Powerful yet soothing sourness meld with dark fruits to create Beautiful Chemistry. On the palate presence the oak is key in providing a creamy vanilla feel while working with the carbonation to put it all together. Even-keeled for the style and the most creamy and soothing example I've come across.

Under normal circumstances a 750 in the style would be a daunting task in and of itself to enjoy in one setting. But, this is not normal - a tremendous effort that yes, drinks rather slowly but warms the body with every sip and is consistent from start to finish - only enhancing itself slowly with warmth. Very even quality and superb construction.

 1,960 characters

Photo of Eighty
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of joepais
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a local brewer tell me this was his favorite beer so I grabbed a bottle to share with him. The bottle spit between 4 of us into tulip glasses it was a murky reddish brown in color almost no head but a wisp of off white lace.

Aromas of old wet horse blankets yup it's a sour, vinegar and sour cherries filled my nose as well

Flavors sour cherries and more sour comes to mind. Very tart but I like Flanders so I know what to expect I couldn't find any oak quality's to it the sourness just overpowered those. Medium in the mouth not to much carbonation

It is a sipper it warmed up very good as I enjoyed the conversation it is nothing you would want to pound a ton of but it is very drinkable if you are into sours

 723 characters

Photo of Knoxrb12
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of dalepryor
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of williahd
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of cdkrenz
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From my beautiful wife. She knows what I like.

A - Poured into a snifter this brew is a deep purple color in its body. The top is a quarter of an inch of real pale tan head that has modest stamina.

S - Smells like a sweeter wine with some real grape presence. It resemles the aroma of a grape flavored Laffy Taffy. There's a hinting in the tail end of each whiff of a yeast presence.

T - The sour has some super power in this beer, and I have to say I love it. Past the sour is hinting of cheery mixed with apple and some pungent plum.

M - The feel is possibly its best attribute. The dry feel is done extremely well. The only portion of the feel that could be improved upon is the body could be a bit more airy. Its slightly heavy for the style.

~ I've been looking forward to this bottle for months now. I first tried a sample of this beer back in January 2011 and I've been seeking it out ever since. I would definitely recommend it and I will continue to seek more.

 975 characters

Photo of funkyaudio
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of blabaer
4/5  rDev -5.2%

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

Tasted On: 04-17-2013
Freshness: 2013 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Teku
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Pours a cloudy, dark sienna color, brown with red hints. The head is off-white and sits a couple of fingers high. Lacing is very good with a good bit of head retention as well.

Aromas have a real "pow" moment of sourness, with resemblances to sour cherries and green apples. Other smells include a woody/oak character and then fruity grapes, which give it a wine-like bouquet.

The taste is both tart and sour, like in a sour cherry, and has elements of both sweetness and sourness. Strong flavors of green apple and wine bring acidity to the picture. Bitterness is very low.

The mouthfeel is sharp with a high carbonation level. Medium-bodied, it finishes somewhat dry and with mouth-puckering sourness.

Overall, this is one of only a few beers I've had in this style, but it seems to be a well-made and enjoyable sour ale.

 973 characters

Photo of judkinst
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,929 ratings.
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