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: 1,057 | Ratings: 3,896
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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Photo of Invinciblejets
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Dark hazy Brownish reddish. Finger of head turned into a soapy layer.

S: Grape juice. Tons of wine grapes and cherries some acidity bit of oak.

T: Vinegary acidity tons of sour grapes and dark fruits bit of oak at the end.

F: Smooth not a lot of carb. A bit dry.

O: It's ok nothing crazy special missing the funk. Sort of a one sided sour if that makes sense.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass. 2014 release.

Pours a deep, sexy cherry amber with a thin cap of creamy beige head that leaves eroding rocky landscape lace as it recedes. I want to buy this beer a drink.

Smells of juicy black cherries, sliced green apple, cold raspberry pie drizzled with caramel, soft wet soil and oak barrel vanilla.

Tastes of more ripe black cherries, wildberry and caramel dessert tarts, soft brown sugar malt, more wet soil funkiness and barrel wood.

Feels soft and smooth. Medium-light bodied with mild carbonation. Finishes dry and pleasantly sour.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Complex and very drinkable. Two years of age has done no hurt upon this beer.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a snifter into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a clear, deep, dark red/amber color with some ruby highlights when held up to the light. Also has a slightly off-white head that's about an inch thick when first poured that settles fairly quickly to a thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with a big cluster swirl of surface foam along with very nice lacing to boot. Aromas of some caramel malty sweetness, there was more of that than I was expecting from a beer like this indeed. Also red grape notes, some plum, vanilla oak, and a musty sour funk are all nicely present. Has an excellent, slightly vinegary and salty, red wine and green apple musty funky flavor upfront that gives way to some hints of caramel malt sweetness followed by black currants, cherry, and a hint of raspberry. A good mix of flavors. Has a crisp, yet somewhat smooth, slightly prickly, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Has a clean finish with a very dry after state. The sour, vinegary, and slightly salty flavors really like to linger on the palate well after each sip. I haven't had too much experience with this particular beer style, although I have had more experience with other styles of sour and funky beers, and I liked this one a lot. Certainly worth a try.


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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A light brown beer, thin head. Aroma of darker cherry variety. Acidic. Malt is noticeable in the aroma, that is tough in a wild ale.

Taste was brown malt, more dark cherry, a slightly sour mouthfeel. No funk. I guess a little more sour than a traditional oud bruin, but America.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really happy these guys came to Philly. Pours a brilliant clear ruby red color. Could smell the funk, the fruit, and the oak as soon as I opened the bottle. Just the right amount of sour with berries, fruit peel, and a bit of oak. The flavors leave the palate quickly but the sour does not.

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Photo of FLima
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 Edition.
Red brownish color with a thin beige head with short retention, but leaving strong laces.
Nice sour vinous aroma with notes of red grape juice, plums, caramels, oak, white pepper, some chocolate, a bit of butter and vanilla beans.
Flavor with notes of red wine, lots of spices, grape juice, orange peel, green figs, vinegar, lactic acid, oak, salt, muffled toasted and caramel malts, green apples, mild chocolate, cherries, raspberries, black currants, jaboticaba and alike. Dry aftertaste with a lasting fruity acid sensation.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation of the tiniest bubbles. Alcohol of 7% abv is completely absent.
This surprised me quite positively; I wasn’t expecting a Flanders Red Ale, even less a faithful one. This is very complex and quite acetic with prominent vinous, berries and dark fruit notes (ps. this is more acetic and less malty than an Oud Bruin). In my opinion this exemplar can compete with the top rank in Belgium, though less rounded that a Rodenbach for instance. Recommended, best beer I had from them. Sour heads won’t be disappointed.

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

Full disclosure, I love this beer. From the tart and funkified smell when it is first poured to the mouthwatering pucker of the first sip, it is one of my favorites. The finish is oaky with notes of dark cherries, almost wine like in many respects. The only negative for me is that it is a bit of a palate wrecker. Don't trifle with other tastes after beginning with La Folie.

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark sour with delicious oaky cherry, raspberry, tarty pie filling, pinot noir grapes, velvet body. Smooth and refreshing, great sour and easy to find.

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

2013 Vintage.
Poured into a snifter and yields a small head which dissipates rather quickly.
Nose of berries.
Tastes a bit like unripened strawberries.
Feel is just about right.
Overall a nice representation of the style and my favorite beer from this brewery.

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Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 vintage.

Aroma of vinegar, cork wood, hickory and a touch of sweetness. Very mouthpuckering, vinegary, abrasive and strong wood overtones thoughout. The feel wears on you but this is still a stellar offering.

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Photo of epyon396
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing mind-blowing, but very solid.
This is the first beer from New Belgium that I legitimately liked and would buy again without hesitation.

Brown with little head. Ruby-like when held up to the light.
Tartness/funk in the nose and taste with some cherries and a vinous quality. Oak is present, but not overpowering.

Addendum: I smell cola, ever so slightly, but my girlfriend says I'm insane. Off the record.

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La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,896 ratings.
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