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: 3,907
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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Photo of silverblaze540
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Minimal head; dissipates quickly. Pale amber color. Very bubbly.

S - Strawberries and sour cherries.

T - Front almost tastes like a lager, the middle is sweet, and the finish a bit bitter.

M - Medium body, strong alcohol and carbonation burn.

O - The flavor is strange, but mildly enjoyable.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours mahogny-red/brown with a one finger high, beige head.

Nose: Tart, red berries, dark fruit, raspberry, red apple and cherry.
Taste: Malt, sour, oak, red apple, funk, mineral and citrus.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel. Sour aftertaste. Great!

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Photo of RickS95
1.66/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a fairly clearish, dark brown color, if that's possible. No haze, not cloudy. Light won't come thru but it lightens everything. A thinnish white head forms and just like that it's gone. A swirl brings a thin tan head back to life with lace amounting to almost nothing.

I hate the smell but I think it's supposed to smell like that. I don't like sours or krieks but saw this had a high score so I bought it. Smells like many of my previous drain pours with an extreme tart vinegar-like scent. Some tart fruits in there as well and nothing resembling hops.

I can't do it. These things have the worst flavor of anything. I'll take spoiled milk over this. Vinegar. That's it. I could have saved a few bucks and just bought a gallon of vinegar and been just as unhappy.

A beer should be enjoyable, this isn't. The ugliness doesn't hit until it starts to cross the tongue. And then your eyes squint, your butt puckers, and you almost spit this out. So extremely tart and nasty.

I don't know how people enjoy these. I'm close to hitting 1,000 beers reviewed and I still can't drink these with anything close to enjoyment.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown with a one-finger off-white head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is tart dark cherries and vinegar.

T - The flavor is tart cherries, green apple, and vinegar. The oakiness comes through in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Nice crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice Oud Bruin. For the price point this is hard to beat.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark rusty brown. Hazy. Very little head but carbonation is active.

Tart cherry, vanilla, port aromas.

Tart and sour cherry taste. Highly acidic. Green apples. The sour fades into a brown sugary sweet finish.

Light body, prickly, and puckering.

I'm pretty certain it's the best beer I've had from NB. A great representation of the style with depth.

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

Weird that I've never rated this. 2007 and 2008 C&C bottles opened side by side. 4.0 to the 2007, 4.5 to the 2008. Either one notably more complex than recent releases.

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Photo of franklioni
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a real strange beast. Colour and smell are both very appealing and the taste is immediately sharp and fruity, something I last remember from a locally made cherry beer at Dirksuid beer festival in Germany.

The only real spoiler was the almost bicarbonate fizz that kicked in with each taste but even then it still dissolved into that fruity sourness again...

All in all I want to live this beer but I guess I want the more mellow stuff nowadays.

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Photo of J_K
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one came highly recommended to me. 2015 22oz bomber. Nice and tart. Sour fruit and oak. Complex, but not overwhelming flavors. Definitely up there on my sour list.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep red color with a half finger width foamy head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is mild. Has a strong pomegranate and sour apple aroma. There is some sourness involved as well. Strong sour apple taste. Slightly sour aftertaste. Very good beer, but still not may favorite Lips of Faith

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Photo of kw_pip
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bizarre brew, packed with flavor. Dark color (from aging?) Very tart, like a condensed green apple, with yeast flavors. Deceptively high ABV. Finish turns unfortunately.

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Photo of 14erFan
4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Living in Colorado and being a fan of sours, trying this one was long overdue and much enjoyed! The tartness mixed with the ale flavor was just right. The taste evolved quickly as I sipped it wrapping up with a really pleasant, barely lingering flavor.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a Belgian tulip glass

A: Dark brown with some light coming through on the edges, not much on the head, some lacing, head is an off white color, very little carbonation coming off the bottom.

A: Sour, tart, funk, vinegar, smells kind of a like coke, picking some slight bitter fruit aromas, no alcohol, little cherry funk in there, smells pretty good, some complex aromas, not picking up the wood.

T: Sour, tart, funk, a slight bitter flavor, picking up some of the wood, dark cherry, spice, plum, very complex, taste really good.

M: Not much here, medium mouthfeel with a strong dry finish.

O: Very impressed, very complex, nice sour balance, warms up really well, it's definitely world class, going to pick up a few more bottles, if this came in 12 ounce bottles I would probably buy more and it's got a really good price point for the quality, you like sours, this one is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a cola colored brown. Head quickly dissipates. Nose consists of vanilla, cherries, brown sugar and slight vinegar. The taste is similar with a pleasant balance of mild sweet flavors, tart cherries, and wood vanillin. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation that gives a smooth impression. The best example from America and rivals the Belgian version, but may lack their depth.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz from Chuck, poured into snifter. 2014 version had on 3-26-2015.
A: subtle of white foam head, spotty lacing, rich amber brown body
S: slight vinegar, huge tart cherry punch, sweet fresh cherry
M: medium light body, sour that puckers the tongue
T: sour cherry, some red wine,slight oak and smokiness at the end.
O: I'm getting fonder of sours, and this one hits the spot very well.

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Photo of mchegash
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4/5
A deep red color. Fairly clear. Not a lot of head. Can see a fair amount of carbonation rising through the beer.

Smell - 4.75/5
TONS of tartness and sourness, cherry and other fruity tones. This smells like an amazing sour.

Taste - 4.5/5
Sour beer heaven. This beer is extremely sour and packs a ton of flavor. The beer is extremely sweet as well.The main flavor profile I am picking up is cherry, berries, tartness, and perhaps a hint of alcohol. The fruity flavor is more than just cherry though, it's just hard to discern any specific flavors besides the cherry. I love this taste, and while the beer is quite sour, it's not too much so (although I imagine for some people who don't like sours, it would be). Most sour beers aren't sour enough for me. This one hits it right on the spot.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
A sip of this beer starts off with a strong kick of high intensity carbonation. The latter half of the sip, the carbonation is more moderate. The sourness is strong enough that it definitely plays into the mouthfeel of this beer. The inside of your cheeks will start feeling the sourness pretty soon (think eating Sour Skittles).

Overall - 4.5/5
I thought this was an excellent beer. While it may be way too sweet or way too sour for many, for sour beer lovers, this is definitely one to try.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 edition in a 22oz bottle picked up in Feb, 2015

L - Brown with little to no clarity, 1/2 of finger of quickly fading tan head, and some lacing left all over the glass

S - Tart and sourness! Clearly a damn good sour

T - Very tart, but not overwhelming. Smooth and just perfect. Sour finish that lingers. Subtle flavors from the wood

F - Light to medium body, very oily and coats your mouth and tongue. Just about a perfect mouth feel

O - One of the better sours out there. Damn good! Definitely going to look for this one each year its released. Next year I will buy multiple and age for a future vertical

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.61/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 Wood Aged Sour Ale. Ruby brown (SRM 14) with khaki head from 22 oz bomber. Sour fruit notes. Tart fruit start. Viscous earthy middle - not "oaky", but still "woody". Medium lite mouthfeel, great sour tingle on tip of tongue, soft, full tongue coating. More complex/less tart (IMO) than the 2014. Great finish.

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

solid, nice brown ale hue small tan head with excellent lacing. Fruity aroma of cherry and other tart fruit tempered with oak, much stronger flavor and excellent but not overpowering sour tartness.

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

Poured a beautiful dark amber color with a one inch caramel/coffee froth head that quickly dissipated. Very sour and oaky in the best way possible. Tastes like apple cider vinegar and a little sulfur like the way a freshly struck wooden kitchen match smells. Fantastic! Can't wait to sip on the next bottle while BBQ-ing this summer!!

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Photo of Jasonm2
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One exceptional and amazing beer. Brewed right here in Fort Collins, and aged in barrels for years, La Folie is one exemplary beer. Combining traditions of European style sour ale with American hops and home-country brewing, this beer deserves it's price and rarity. At 7 percent ABV, La Folie allows the consumer to experience the subtle deliciousness of an ale combined with the sweet and earthly-bitter fermentation of the wine barrel. Overall, this in one beautiful beer. I recommend it whenever and wherever you find it, even with the price it's set at. Make this an opener of a good night and enjoy, because an American brew such as this is rare and worth your time.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Extremely sour, typical Flanders flavor profile but a dry bitterness of bark. Not as pronounced as far as the red wine vinegar taste. One of the better Flanders I've tried

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Naja's. Reddish-brown with little head and no lacing. Aroma of tart cherries, vinegar, and wood. Taste is similar with not too much puckering sourness, moderate carbonation, crisp mouthfeel, and a dry finish.

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Photo of pkalix
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

yeah, like the last guy said....."expensive sh*t....." not worth the price. but still a very good brew. very tart. nice aroma. but just where do they get off on the price?

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Photo of whatthehull
4.92/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a white/red wine glass

A - a deep brick red/brown, half finger light tan head and some sticky lacing

S - bready yeast, serious funk, unripe cherries, wet wood, sour grapes, lots of grainy malts, sour grass flower, apple, slight earthy hop note and some very light fruit notes

T - sour cherries/grapes/raspberries, french/old world wine, oak, lemon, bready/belgiumy yeast, lots of awesome funkiness and all around mouth puckering.

M - full/medium body, balanced, nice complexity, perfect carbonation, medium plus acidity and such a wonderful ale/wine/sour awesomeness from start to finish

D/O -very tasty, very refreshing, unique and just overall delicious! This is an all year, all weather anytime, any day, open up straight away or age. Just flat out impressive.

Final thoughts - the price is a bummer, I can't remember the first year I had my first bottle, however, I do remember it was $8 for a 22oz, now it is $16, twice the price? Kind of a bummer because I only pick up one, instead of many! The abv at 7% is just perfect.

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La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,907 ratings.
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