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: 3,895
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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Photo of beer-me-pls
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

really solid sour, and one of the old stalwarts in the US. I don't think this will knock anyone's socks off. It does not compare to a good Flemish Red and definitely not with the big names in Sour beers. I've heard mixed things about cellaring so I drank this 2015 at a young age.

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Photo of kbwalters
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a pilsner glass. The 2014 vintage, consumed on 9/21/14.
Look = 4.25 Pours a deep brown with red highlights and 2 fingers of brown head that fades to a ring. Good lace.
Aroma = 4.0 Caramel malt like a brown ale but also that sour/tart/acidic aroma too. Not picking up the fruit notes I was expecting, but nice smell nonetheless.
Taste = 3.75 Strong sourness on the front of the tongue and on the finish. Intense sour through out, notes of sour apple or vinegar. Not much of the malt sweetness comes through, as it’s masked by the sour.
Feel = 4.25 Medium bodied with high carbonation; fizzy as you’d expect for the style.
Drinkability = 4.0 Takes a hit because of the intense sourness and acidity.
Overall = 3.9875 A good Oud Bruin. Definitely fits the sour brown ale description but I failed to pick up on any of the fruit notes most reviews revolve around.

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Photo of ljjpowers
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full disclosure: I love the concept behind the LOF series. Full disclosure: this is the first LOF beer that I did not love. Pours a non-viscous, dark brown color. The dark/roasty malts and tart funk indicative of good sours is present but weak.

Update: aged 3 years, this beer really flourishes and all those beautiful flavor a come to the surface.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage, on tap

Had this on the behest of my manager at work, and i gotta say, it delivers. Pours a dark brown, consistent with the brown ale it is based on, nothing special. Smells like a funky sour... and tastes like it too. Alot of complexity in the taste as you get sweet, sour, tart. The main fruits are for sure the cherry, plus some grapes. The oak/malt backbone of this beer is excellent and leaves me with a tart oakiness on the toungue. The feel is smooth and easy to drink, relative to the style.

Cannot comment on the 2015 vintage, but the 2014 with a year on it is quite excellent.

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

Pours a murky reddish brown with a light tan head with a little lacing, Nicely blended aroma of sweet and tart elements on the nose. Balanced flavor profile with soft oak and vanilla in a caramel malt e with some funk and tartness on the finish.. An enjoyable light flavorful sour Oud Bruin. Nicely done.

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Photo of Tele
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Bottle
Consumed: 8.9.15

A: 4.25 Pours a murky reddish brown with a light tan head. Good retention.

S: 4.25 Nice mix of sweet and tart elements on the nose with some funk on the finish. Soft oak and vanilla work in the background, blending nicely with a slightly damp wood smell and dark berries.

T: 4.25 Again, nice balance between sweet and tart. Reminds me of supplication without the cherry presence (although there is a noticeable berry flavor here too). The sweetness is complimented by oak and some caramel malt. The long finish is where most of the berry flavors come in and linger, leaving a tannic dryness.

M: 4.25 Good, satisfying body with a slightly watery, dry finish; the lack of body on the finish is actually quite nice and helps drinkability. Carbonation is a bit low.

O: 4.25 This beer is really nice and better than I remember when I drank this vintage when it was released. It seems less tart and more balanced than it did two years ago. I know this beer is pasteurized and shouldn’t develop in the bottle, but it does seem better (also possible that my palate has developed as I’ve gotten more into sours).

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Photo of Jonoesh5
3.42/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2015 La Folie wood-aged sour ale. Very mixed about this brew. On the spectrum of sour ales, La Folie is extremely sour! The nose is apple vinaigrette, lemons, and medicinal. First sip is so strange. Incredibly sour as if bitting into a ripe green apple. If you have not had a milder sour, this beer will be a punch in the face. But after the punch, the beer unfolds into plum, red fruit, and winey flavors. The sour is very much present, but the fruit punch is a K.O. (yes, pun and double-entendre intended). Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and carbonated, similar to a sparkling wine.

Overall, La Folie is not for me. I can appreciate the brew for it's unique style and American interpretation, but this is not a drinkable beer nor a beer I enjoyed sipping. Let the sour heads pucker up as they pay through the nose for apple vinaigrette.

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

the local beer store charged 17 bucks for this so I had even higher hopes. It met expectations. This was the 2015 version. great body and color. the smell was better than any other lips of faith i've had. I can see why this one is so high on the list. sour up front but goes away quickly into a very smooth beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2015, thanks to my friend, Ken, for sharing this one blindly with me
A - ruddy brown with a beige head that holds decent retention
S - cherry, oak, brown sugar, funky yeast
T - tart and sour cherry, plum, grape, brandy, oak, vanilla, yeast
M - medium body, modest carbonation, finishes dry, tart, and sour
O - the first time I had this was about 5 or 6 years ago. It was the first sour I'd had, and I did not like it. Today I really enjoyed it's complexity and tartness. Really glad to have it again!

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish/ruby red body with one finger head and left lace patches around glass. Aroma is lightly sour (cherry is all I can detect) with hint of malts but aroma is not overly/overpowering on sour aspect. While the flavor can be pretty much be summed up as "sour cherry" the beer is light and easy drinking and has a touch of sticky malt sweetness along with crisp finish. A rather easy-drinking sessionable sour ale that doesn't nuke or overpower your taste buds.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright ruby red-brown with an thin layer of off-white foam that succeeds rapidly.

Citrus and dark fruit, oak and woody undertones, subtle vanilla, and some light funk.

Huge dark and citrus fruit flavors, subtle vinegar, vanilla, earthy/oak notes, and very tart.

Light-medium bodied, high carbonation, prickly acidity, fruity, tart, surprisingly refreshing.

Overall, I've heard only good things of La Folie, so going into it I was open-minded, but wow, the rest of you folks weren't kidding. This is fantastic!

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours bright garnet brown under a 1” light tan foam collar that slowly disappears while gripping the side of the glass.
S: Fruit, caramel, vanilla.
T: Lightly sweetened creamy malt fills the palate dissolving into increasingly tart fruit flavors as it moves through the mouth leaving a prolonged tangy tart aftertaste.
F: Creamy yet highly carbonated medium to medium light body.
O: a very refreshing beer for savoring.

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Photo of FrancisSmooth
4.91/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The color of copper, the taste of sour. Great combination.

This was the end of a session before bed, which led into sweet dreams of sugar plum fairies. Tart, fruity and malty. Well crafted. Perfect way to change up a session or end the night.

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

Draft. Poured a dark copper reddish brown. Half finger of head that dissipated quickly and left nice lacing. Smells of fruit, mainly cherries and malts. Taste is much the same with green apples and cherries dominating upfront with roasted malts on the back end. I don't detect a lot else but not overly sour either. Little pucker. Little thin in the mouth for my liking since it is allegedly barrel aged. Still easy drinking sour. Tasty.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Spokeasy Public House

A: Pours slightly hazy brown, kinda rusty ruby copper, with a khaki head that settles to a thin ring and laces lightly.

S: Tart, fruity notes, a little cherry, maybe a touch of toasty malt.

T: Nicely tart, fruity maybe even kinda berry like notes, cherry, green apple, lemon, a touch of toasty malt and a little sweetness come out as it warms.

M: Medium body, prickly carbonation.

O: I'm still relatively new to sours and learning to pick out things beyond just the tartness, but this one was pretty enjoyable.

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La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,895 ratings.
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