La Folie | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,057 Reviews
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La FolieLa Folie
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,057
Ratings:
3,900
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
597
Gots:
961
For Trade:
50
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,057 | Ratings: 3,900
Photo of armock
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of funky sour fruits but in a good way

T - The fruit flavors come out pretty tart yet again very tasty

M - This beer has a fuller body with light carbonation to it

D - You have to sip this one to enjoy it its very good and nice to see that New Belgium is capable of making such a good beer worth finding to try

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

Bottle is 2007 Vintage (is that the only vintage of this brew?) ferk it!

pours a red amber color with a nice white head. the nose is very musty, slight sourness, dark fruits tickle me pink. WOW! the taste is super tart and super sour! I taste oak and fruits and super insane sourness! Deelish...medium bodied, sour finish with a thick texture remaining on my tongue for hours, days, and weeks to come!

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Photo of oakbluff
4.76/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage- pours a muddy deep rust colour with a vigorous initial head with excellent lacing. Nose- sweet cherries, wood, green apples and tart citrus. Taste- extremely tart and mouth puckering. Cherry taste doesn't overpower- well blended earthy malts, horseblanket, minerals, lemon rinds. Finish is very woody and dry. Drinkability is very good with medium to high carbonation.

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Photo of champ103
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown/reddish color. A two finger tan head forms and recedes to leave a little lace.
S: Very fruity and sour, funky. Peaches, apples, pears, cherries, ect. Very sweet as well. Vinegar and tannin like. Lots of complexities in the nose.
T: Tart, sour, and fruity. Almost to sweet for my tastes. Vinegar and grapes as well. Belgian yeast and funkiness. Lots of complexities, and a huge flavor.
M/D: A full body and good creaminess. Low carbonation. Because of the sourness, this is a sipper. Though I am really enjoying this.

Overall, a great beer. The sourness borders on cloying. Which is the only reason I did not give this a higher grade. I love sour beers, but almost to much for me. A solid all around beer that is complex as hell. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours dark crimson, with a small off-white head, average retention, some lacing.

S: Complex mix of scents - light bubblegum, sweet malt and vanilla, mixed with oak and lactic acid.

T: Light sweet malt flavour with bubblegum and some molasses is there initially. Vinegar and lactic acid, oak and berry there as well. Strong barrel character.

M: Strong acidity, dry, overall light body.

D: Good drinkability, though its strong acidity takes this away at times, a swirl of the glass lightens this effect and makes it easier to drink. Real good sour, glad I finally got to try it.

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Photo of Kempleton
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Cartdan for this in the secret bunny 2008 BIF. Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750ml bottle into a Silly Scotch tulip glass.

Cloudy reddish brown amber color fades to dark ruby color at edges and at extreme outer edge is yellow. Light tan foamy quickly disipating head. Smells like oak, sour apricots, cheeries, with some damp earth smells, like a forest right before a rain. Some funk. Picking up hints of lemon scented nail polish remover but not in an offensive manner. Smells of Lacto sour gone crazy. defininly going to taste sour. WOW! This has an explosive sour taste. Tastes like soured cherry, sweeter grapfriut, almost a hint of metal this one is funky and sour and delicious. Champagne like effervescence, thin tangy mouthfeel. sour taste really stays in the aftertaste.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ Pizza Port in Carlsbad, CA

A- auburn to copper with a milky off white head and decent retent

S- sour fruit, lactic, funky

T- tangy, mouthpuckering malt flavors, sour fruity flavors, some spice in finish

M- medium body that coats the palatte and leaves a film, well carbonated

D- very tart and mouth puckering, dead on for style, recommended, very interesting brew

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Photo of younger35
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My buddy sent me this bottle a couple months ago and I've been itching to try it and tonight is the night. I've had about every beer that New Belgium brews and oddly this is the first I've reviewed. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute. Hand bottled in November of 2007, bottle number 12,163.

Appearance- Pours a semi chill hazed brownish orange with a nice thick and excited head that slowly recedes to almost nothing. No cap, small collar and plenty of sticky lacing is abundant.
Smell- Exactly what I was expecting and very nice! Loads of sour green apple and slightly metallic sour pears. Apple cider vinegar and fermented cherries come to mind as it warms with a light bit of vanilla and oak. Doesn't have as much funk as I was expecting and is actually pretty clean. It makes me salivate profusely knowing how sour and delicious this thing is going to be!
Taste- Very sour from the first sip but mellows a bit as my mouth acclimates. A bit of funky sour apple and musty balsamic vinegar add a whole lot of acidity. Some vanilla and light woodiness are apparent but not for long. The sour is the dominate characteristic (obviously) and it's a bit sharper than I'd prefer. Definitely gets better as it warms and becomes much easier drinking. A long lingering brown apple and vanilla aftertaste seems to stay with me.
Mouthfeel- Loads of sharp Champaign carbonation and a light crisp acidic feel.
Drinkability- For the most part this thing is uber quaffable. At times it can get semi acidic and the carbonation keeps you from chugging but this is really good. New Belgium is hit or miss for me but I definitely enjoyed this one!

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

On tap at Belmont Station's Puckerfest, I was super excited to try this on draught, as the bottle I had a few months back didn't quite do it for me, was actually a bit to acidic, with a stronger vinegar character then I care for...but I was not disappointed this time, it was great!

Served in a pilsner glass, La Folie is a murky chestnut with a small off-white collar that leaves light lace.

Smell is sweet and sour, with fruity, bubblegum notes.

Taste is oaky and vinous, very tart but not overwhelming so, with just enough sweetness, wow! Really nice, much smoother then the older bottle I had.

Mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated, with a medium body.

Drinkablity is very good, great really. If I had the time to try and session these, at only $4/pint, I would have! But since I only had one smaller glass, I can't give it the 5 my instincts say it would merit.

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Photo of donaldchapman
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Amber color with a substantial head and good clarity.
S - Lacto, aceto and brett aromas mix with a slight malty character to create a great mix.
T - A tart sourness, married with some great brett characteristics (Goaty, horsey, farmyard), some good oak flavors and malty toasty caramel.
M - light to medium bodied with high level of carbonation, and warmth.

This is a great beer, my only complaint would be the amount of Aceto present in the beer. Even with this, it still makes for a great beer.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will admit that this was my last tasting at the tap room in Fort Collins, so my chicken scratch is a bit chicken-scratchy and my memory is a bit hazy. Nonetheless, I'll make due---

This brew is special. No doubt about it.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish-brown with a nice creamy tan head that settles down into a sticky skim that clings to the side of the glass. So far so good. The smell is sweet, a tad vinagary, with a hint of cherries. The taste is pretty darn cool. Sharp. acidic. sweet. cherries. sour. It's got it all. I wish I could get some locally.

So I'll just cross my fingers that some day this beer will make its way to my home in Florida.

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Photo of jdubjacket
2.59/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burgundy color with a lot of carbonation. Smell just knocked me back. It's INCREDIBLY tart and sweet, with a touch of vinegar on top of it. While thinking the smell was interesting, the taste was not for me. Way too tart. Every sip made my lips pucker. I couldn't get past the tartness of this beer. I had a hard time with this beer, and, unfortunately, it's simply not for me.

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Photo of
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2006 vintage.

A beautiful, clear, dark red/brown liquid. Modest, sand colored head. Some lacing, no legs.

Scent was vinegar/acetic acid and funk. Once your nose starts working again, you pick up a fruity, underlying sweetness, citrus in character.

Taste was, no disrespect intended, reminiscent of a liquid Sweet Tart! Puckeringly sour initially, but carried along well by a quickly following sweetness -- fruity. Some hints of vanilla were mixed in, but very mild.

Light to medium in body. Medium carbonation. Quite dry.

I'm still breaking into the sour beers, but this one may be what pushes me over the edge. Initially, didn't like it that much, but as I got past the sour edge, I really began to enjoy it, and found it incredibly drinkable. Went quite well with sushi.

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

750ml bottle (Huge thanks to Skoisirius). A clear maroon pour with a small soapy white head. Aroma consists of apples, malts, cherries, cranberries, hops, with a slight caramel note. Taste is definitely sour and quite fruity. A nice sour tartness mixed together with slight hopiness and the light spices is absolutely wonderful. I also detect a faint cinnamon note. Palate is sour and acidic from the fruit element. Overall, This is some good stuff! If you want a change from the hum drum of other lagers and ales pick up one of these. Rather expensive but worth the money!

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Photo of punkindrublic50
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being a big fan of Flemish Reds I was extremely excited to try La Folie during a tour of the New Belgium Brewery (highly recommend the tour if in the area). After polishing off several other samples to warm up I was finally ready for the big dog. Smell is INTENSE to start, Belgian funk, vinegar, some sour fruit. First sip was so sour and flavorful I honestly couldn't even decide if I liked it. Second helped my mouth adjust a little, and by the third I was completely hooked. Just an explosion of carbonation, sour fruits and yeast every time. If you like sour beers you absolutely have to track this down; when I was at the Brewery 750ml bottles were still availible for purchase.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed my first La Folie (bottled 3/08) with a steak, on the porch.

It pours a dirty amber color with a massive head that fizzes out fast.

It smells of vinegar, sour apples, cherries and barnyard animals. Very funky.

It tastes woody, tart, vinegary and puckertastic! It is so sour right off the bat, but as it warms, it begins to glide down very easy making this an extremely quaffable beer when it's all said and done. Lots of carbonation.

This is well worth the effort to track down. I'll leave my last bottle in the fridge for a few months to see how it ages.

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Photo of iuhophead87
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tanks to lightindarkness for sharing this beer on a random Thursday night.

A- Pours a reddish brown with an off white fizzy head. The bubbles continued to appear throughout the tasting!
S- Smells like sour apples and cherries with figs and leaves.

T- VERY SOUR! It starts off watery and finishes very dry! The carbonation is overpowering almost a gassy effect. As the glass got warmer the cherry and alcohol taste was mote apparent. In fact, I think this beer would taste even better warm with a cinnamon stick added.

M- Can you say carbonation?

D- Depending on the weather and what I am eating the drink ability of this beer would greatly change. Not for a cold day or paired with a thick hearty stew. Could see drinking this beer on a sunny afternoon with my wife.

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Photo of tempest
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours red with a tan head into my glass. The aroma and flavor are a wonderfully balanced (relatively speaking) mix of musty barnyard flavors with tart fruit. I'm reminded of a raspberry lemonade with the esters and it goes nicely with the dusty, earthy taste of the wild yeast. There's also the oak character, which contributes a nice element of vanilla and toasted wood. Really a great, beer, must try.

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Photo of hero27
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked/caged 750ml bottle.
6% abv
Hand bottled 11/'07

Bottle courtesy of vasdef42 in trade, thanks Jared!

Pours a murky, soft burgundy with hints of burnt orange..small, tightly-formed head slowly gives way to a the reddish liquid below.
Sour, infused cherry aroma with just a slight underlying oak character. Fresh blackberry & wild funk are noticed in the flavor, with a bold acidic backing & a surprisingly sweet cherry finish. Some oak/woody notes are present as well but lie well in the background of this sour beast.
The mild alcohol (6%) doesn't really come into play, as this is one beer that is meant to be savored because of the gauntlet of flavors you have to pick through with each sip.
I can see why this is considered the best Flanders Red in the world..it's well-deserving of the title.

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Photo of kkipple
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2004, drunk June 2008.

A. Fine dirty bungundy. Tenacious off white head that fades low but never fully dies. No active carbonation.

S. Outstanding. Tons of oak and sour cherries, barrel funk, sweaty socks and wood, fruit and old fermented sugars that still cling to life. Musty and oaky, wild and tart. Very pungent. Memorable.

T. Very woody, with heaps of barrel character and old earthy cherries. A bit of vinegar and booze, but this is only 6%... Tart and sour, fruity, eye-opening and refreshing. A very good American Flanders, and better than some "real" Flanders I've had.

M. Dry, sour tart, and lightly carbonated. Fine carbonation lends a sparking wine character here. Quite drinkable after a pile of BBQ and potatoes, really.

This is a fine Flanders ale that stands with the best of 'em. Another knockout from New Belgium. Thanks to ThomasHardy for the bottle! Cheers!

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

Corked and caged bottle (note to home brewers: this bottle can be capped as well as corked)

Appearance: Pours reddish brown with a massive effervescent head.

Smell: Very fruity, apples, cherry basically any tart fruit you can think of and you'll detect it. I could sniff the cup all day.

Taste: It's like drinking a granny smith apple. Very tart but not to the point that it is hard to drink. Cherry on the finish. Nothing offensive at all.

Mouthfeel: Very dry and tingly effervescence. The carbonation tartness make it difficult to judge the body.

Drinkability: I was surprised at how easy it was to keep coming back for more. I expected palette fatigue after my first sample and it never showed up(it could be that I ignored it because the beer is so frakking good).

I like this beer, a lot. Excuse my while I auction my extra kidney for a some more.

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Photo of FMetzger
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark amber. Reddish and brown with a nice pillowy head. Off white head and great retention.
S: Unbelievable. Sour fruit straight away, developing deepness to tart cherries. Best I have ever smelled.
T: Not overpowering. While this is the most sour beer I have ever tasted, it does not blow your mind with vinegar-y flavors. Cherry flavor in after taste.
M: Soft on the tongue and the palate. Best word to describe it is "smoothness" after initial sour bite. Clean taste. Minutes after last sip all that is left is the delicious cherry-fruit hints still on the tongue. Not sure the wood aging is coming through, though...
D: While easily the most enjoyable for me on any night, this would be a single flute drinker. Sharing a bottle is definitely the way to go.

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Photo of 0110x011
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a reddish brown with a long lasting two finger head into a snifter. Nose is cherries & sweet fruits, with a bit of caramel maltyness & some oakiness. The sour cherry punch hits the tongue first, with sweet fruit & oak backing it up. Dry & tart, the mouthfeel is very nice, especially as a palate-cleansing after dinner drink. Crisp & refreshing. A perfect brew for a warm summer evening. Definately gives the rodenbach grand cru a run for its money. A very tasty brew, to say the least!

Big thanks to jw347 for the hookup!

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Photo of abankovich
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/07 #12,814

Poured into my snifter a deep maroon/dark brown color with a very light tan head that had tons of tightly formed bubbles. The effervescence was all over the sides of the glass after a very gentle pour. Thick 2 finger head faded quickly but bubbles are still popping up at the top of the beer.

First time having this beer. Opening up the cork and pouring this into my glass I can already smell some sour/tart/fruity notes, dark cherries, grapes and berries. I'm not too familiar with this style, so I'm excited to see what else I pick up on. Some musky earthen tones are present beneath the sharp tart aroma. Slight alcohol smell is noticeable as well along with the smell of a beer that has been on oak.

Instant tingling the second this liquid hit my lips. Sour and tart... absolutely. My first impression, this was about all I could notice. Letting this one sit in the mouth is fantastic. The fruity notes (cherry and grapes) are mellowed and noticeable while characteristics of the oak aging become recognizable as well. Extremely dry, tart, crisp finish. The tingling fades as the beer has warmed and the tastes are more rounded, noticeable and simply delicious.

Mouthfeel is effervescent. That's certainly the most dominating feel right now. When held on the tongue there is still some tingling but you are able to pick up the complexities of this beer. While swallowing the effervescence picks right back up again though. There is also a smoothness across the middle after the beer warms up and breathes. Even later on, as the beer has warmed more, the carbonation has died down and it is even more smooth. I am really loving this beer.

I think the only thing that would make it hard to drink multiple bottles of this is the tartness. However at 6% and with the complexity of this beer, I would love to have more to see what else I notice. Things do mellow out after it has warmed a little. Definitely be sure to appreciate this beer as it changes after being opened a little while.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.79/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looove this beer. As a general rule, there are few Flanders Red's that I don't like, but this one done by an otherwise large regional brewery, really wins me over every time i've had it.

Caged and corked champagne bottle.

Rusty pale orange with small fluffy head that doesn't hang in there too long.

Cherry, apple, and a strange blend of other underripe and overripe fruits combined. Woody, mushroomy, and good vinegar presence.

Lambic sweet tartness and funly underripe apples and berries. Complex sourness hangs around, but it's not as intense as some others iv'e had. Small tight carbonation, different from some other campagne-like carbonation i've had with other flanders reds.

I finished the bottle on my own, and still wasn't satisfied yet!!

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La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,900 ratings.
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