Lips Of Faith - La Folie | New Belgium Brewing

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Lips Of Faith - La FolieLips Of Faith - La Folie

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

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: 1,053 | Ratings: 3,869
Photo of RedHaze
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had a couple bottle of this, and I've also enjoyed on tap, but this is the first time I've sat down to review it.

Pours a mahogany with a two finger off-white head that fades rather quickly to a spotty cap and ring. The subsequent lacing is sticky, leaving behind a nice webbing of foam behind.

Smell; sour cherries dominate the aroma upfront, along with vinegar and oak. There's a little vanilla and pepper, along with a mild underlying sweetness. This has one of the more complex noses of any beer that I've ever had.

Taste; the oak comes out a little more forcefully in the flavor, and then settles into the sour cherries with some tart apples. The vanilla doesn't come out right away, but starts to peek though as this warms, as does a little bit of the pepper I noticed in the smell. This actually makes my mouth water from the sourness after a little while.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a nice crisp carbonation. I actually enjoy beers like this on a warm day, which is good as it's about 90 degrees out side, and this is going down very nicely..

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Photo of DrJay
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #06-4133. Hazy, tawny amber with a faint reddish hue. A generous beige head appeared off the pour, but settled quickly to a short, solid cap. Some lacing throughout. Complex aroma with lots of woody character, tobacco, fruity and tart, light acetic character, a little funky, and a faint whiff of vanilla. Wow, that's a sour beer! Very tart with berry fruitiness and light vinegar notes. Woody and very lightly funky too. It started with some sweetness, but this disappeared by the end. The finish is long on tart acidity with a bit of lingering berry flavour. Quite dry, plenty of tannins, yet the texture stays fairly smooth. Full bodied with higher than average carbonation. I really liked this one - strong without being aggressive, refined without being boring. Very drinkable for me, though my wife found it a little too sour. I'll definitely be searching this out again.

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

This if from a review I did back in 2002...
I finally got around to opening my bottle which I bought from the brewery while visiting Colorado last November. It was corked, hand bottled (#7922), and had a very different style label than any of the other New Belgium beers. If I remember correctly, the person at the brewery said that this beer had only been brewed twice at that time. He also said they achieved the final product be a process of blending various barrels together. I liked the has some nice Lambic characteristics to it. The color was deep, dark, red. The head was fairly small but creamy. I liked how the head lasted all the way to the end. It's been a while since I've had a Rodenbach, but I would guess this is closest in style to the Grand Cru. It has a great depth of flavor with a nice tartness and acidity. This may not be as sweet as the Rodenbach Grand Cru. (I wish I had one here so I could compare.) The flavors linger on the tongue long after each swallow. I have to say I like this beer. In fact, I really like this beer. Had this been a blind tasting, I never would have guessed this was made in the good ol' U.S. of A. Great job New Belgium! If you like Belgian red ales, you owe it to yourself to track this one down. By the way, the brewery and tap room are beautiful. Big change from the small basement of a house that I visited many years ago.

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Photo of Cresant
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this 750 mL dark green bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Hand bottled and dated 06-4403. The bright garnet and brown body was topped with a thin cap that remained.

Smell was acrid, nose tingling tart. Somewhat sweet and powdery. Woodiness and much later a toffee-like aroma. Complex and enjoyable.

Taste was strongly tart like under-ripe cherries. This is the tartest Flanders Red I have had. Wood/oak prominence. Aged balsamic vinegar tanginess. Faint caramel sweetness arrived later as it warmed further. Refreshing but I believe aging this one more may smooth out the roughness.

Mouthfeel was zippy and mouthfilling. The carbonation was biting in the throat. A sipper.

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Photo of marc77
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 edition. Murky deep bronze hue. Head recedes into a spotty layer that yields isolated foam wisps. Upfront in nose are notes of underripe raspberry and mildewy sandalwood. Secondary are sharper young balsamic twangs. Well rounded and appetizing aromawise. Barbed acetic acid and cranberry bitterness envelope the palate intially and linger. After a deliberation, hints of vinous sherry vinegar and faint caramel provide token sweetness. Red currant esters arise mid palate along with subtle notes of fresh hay and earth. "Barnyard" notes are virtually absent. Woody oak and sandalwood notes surface as the beer warms. Prickly, but enjoyably dextrinous in mouthfeel. Finishes cleanly sour, with fleeting hints of fermented kumquats and ghostly dark caramel. La Folie, especially the 2006 version, is a stunning brew that's not for the faint of heart. I just don't get to drink this fine ale enough. Thanks to Realale for the bottle!

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

Bottled in 06, Bottle Number 3422. Thanks to BeerHandy, I think. Poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip, there is two inches of head. Color is a nice toasted amber. Smells sour and refreshing, hints of oak, vanilla, and sour cherries, or other such fruit.

Tastes way sour, not as much sweetness as Rodenbach. There is noticeable Brett and lactic acidity. Oaky tannins, and notes of red wine. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a lingering finish. I want to drink another bottle, but will not out of fear of toilet paper.

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

Pours a brownish / red color with a nice big head.

Aromas are of apples and vinegar.

Very dry and crisp, with carbonation that is about perfect. A super tart and sour beer. Flavors of oak, apples, and pure funk. Similar to RR Supplication, but a bit more muted and subtle, but still quite complex. Very interesting!

Mouthfeel is awesome. Feels so full and thick, especially upon first sip.

Shared this with Mom for Mother's Day. She can appreciate a good and interesting beer. So this was perfect to share. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy caramel color with a nice head that retains well and leaves strandsl of lace all over the chalice

Smell: Sour cherry with a range of other fruit subtleties such as green apples, passion fruit and sour orange

Taste: Opens up with a malty base that grows increasingly sour, mid-palate, with all of the flavors from the aroma, plus a new one - overripe bananas; very fruity and very sour

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation but a real mouth-puckerer

Drinkability: I wish somebody else in the household liked sour beers as it will be tough to polish off the entire bottle by myself

Thanks, Bitterbill, for the grand experience

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Photo of dren
3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I took a tour of the New Belgian brewery over the weekend. This was the last of 4 beers that I sampled. Pours a dark amber with a slight head. Smells of vinegar, cherries and red wine. Tastes about the same. Sweet cherry flavor with some fermented grape notes, a little spice and then bam the tartness vinegar flavor at the back of the mouth. Reminds me of cider vinegar. The oak aging is noticeable but not overbearing. Being a huge fan of vinegar, this beer was refreshingly different. I enjoyed it as did my girlfriend but I don't think I would want to put down an entire bottle. It is certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerandBlues2: Poured a deep reddish color ale with a medium foamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of oak and tart is quite impressive with some tannic qualities also discernable. Taste is quite sour and tart with a nice oak presence and some subtle sour cherries. I thought taste had some great tannic qualities and was very reminiscent of Rodenbach Grand Cru, which is a great compliment when coming from me. I would love to try this again and I really appreciated all the complexities that this beer had to offer.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Monk's Cafe for their New Belgium dinner the other night. The beer poured a hazy redish amber color with a nice pink ring around the glass, solid lacing. The nose was a solid amount of cherries and a bit of barny funk. The taste is a wonderful tart cherry flavor that is so pleasing to the taste buds in my mouth. There is also a nice peppery sensation and overall this is one damn fine, smooth beer.

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Photo of custardcb
4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought back to me from the brewery over the holidays. Been hanging onto the bottle for a few months and finally decided to crack it open. It was hand bottle number 06-2338

Appearance: Poured into a goblet it has a murky amber color that is pretty hazy. A think lacy head settled onto the top leaving a nice trail down the sides of the glass.

Smell: I popped open this and the aroma came flooding out at me. Nice sour smell kind of like cider. Other hints I'm getting are citrus, musky wood, and sweet cherry. A very floral aroma overall

Taste: It has a light sweetness to it before the sour hits you, however once it does it is like a train. Sour skittles don't have a thing on this. Dark cherries are prevalent again along with cranberry and lemon.

Mouthfeel: It makes you pucker up that is for sure. It has a real long finish that refuses to go away. The hops are kicking in big time.

Drinkability: You really have to be craving something fruiting and sour if you are going to open a bottle of this up. A long sipper that I'm going to be working on for awhile before this bottle is empty. Overall it was a real treat and I'm glad I got it.

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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!

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Photo of Vancer
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 1 of 2 graciously provided by andrewtraughber and babydoc for Xmas and my BA annv.

A Champaign pop of the cork, and the musty sour aroma is immediately detected. The snifter is not having any problem releasing sour ale aromas; my nose is already scrunching up. Also, I’m enjoying the reddish hue mixed with the brown in this pour. Great ivory head tops it off nicely.

Holy moly, this is the sourest brew I’ve ever had. My throat almost closes off trying to keep it from going down. But it goes, finishing so sharp, tart, and tangy. Plumish type fruits and cherry mingle around in there, hiding a bit but making their presence known.

Drop a sample of this off to some “all beers taste the same” person.

What a classic.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to babydoc for this bottle

A - this ale pours a hazy dark brown, that is significantly darker on top than beneath, almost like a black and tan, a half finger of tan head that patches quickly, too hazy to note carbonation

S - sour tart cherries dominate the aroma, there is definitely a hoppy backbone to it, the aroma, as nice as it is, is not terribly complex

T - whoa is this sour, im talking like tearjerker sour (remember tearjerkers, anyway), tart cherries of course dominate the taste as well, but there is a sour apple flavor as well, man this is sour, i hurts the teeth sour, whew

M&D - you really have to enjoy sour beers to enjoy this beer, i liked it, but im not into sour beers, though i will not hold that against the brewer, dry and medium bodied, oh and its sour, but nonetheless a well crafted brew, and pretty tasty too

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

I owe the greatest debt of gratitude to phnphilly for the opportunity to try this SPECTACULAR beer. Thank you for sharing this with me. You are a true friend. Thanks prAna for trading with him. Keep sending sour beer ;-) I hope he keeps sharing with me!!!

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous amber color with a creamy ivory head and notable lacing.

Smell: the massively intense aroma smacks you upside the face and demands you full attention. After a huge sour apple, tart berry and ripe fruit whiff comes more subtle and complex layers - acidic lactic - and also aromas of smooth scents of old wood, burnt caramel (light sweetness) and lemon juice.

Taste: I am flabbergasted!!! I never run out of words but I must just say, I LOVE THIS BEER! It is intensely sour!! Sour apples and vinous sour tart berry acidity and a very bold pucker inducing (hard swallow) finish that magnificently forces a wince and nearly draws tears to my eyes, meanwhile loving every moment of the treasure. This beer has the best aftertaste. It actually gets better and better long after the swallow. The flavors continue to grow and reveal more depth in the aftertaste. As the sour fades more sweetness come seeping out of the cheeks. Take my breath away! This is EXCEPTIONAL!

Mouthfeel: For an aggressively sour beer this one is quite creamy and smooth. It maybe light/medium but it works perfectly with the poking and prodding on the palate from the sour and the dry astringency.

Drinkability: It is a sipping beer but I could drink (sip) it day and night 24-7-365 (if I could acquire it). God, I love sour beer. And this is crème de la crème of my favorite style!!! WOW!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of timtheenchanta
4.89/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to beerhandy for the chance to try this one.

Dark reddish brown brew topped by a light beige head with some thin spotty lacing.

Beautiful nose! It's slightly sweet like muscadine grapes straight from the vine (scuppernongs to us southerners) with a hint of oak and a friendly dose of sour apples. Eighteen months ago, trying this beer would have been a complete waste of my precious funds.

HUGE flavor on this one. This one hits the tongue in such sweet fashion compared to any other flanders red I've tried. Big sweet muscadine grapes flush the tongue with ecstacy after every sip. Hold that sip in your mouth for a second or two and the brett rushes your mouth with a sourness you could have missed if you weren't swishing it around in your mouth. Whoa that's some bite! There's a hint of apple and a sweetness from another fruit although I can't seem to wrap my tongue around it. This one also gets "hotter" as it warms up to room temperature but the spiciness doesn't seem to take away from the experience.

I always feel skeptical going into highly toted beers like this one but I feel this one lived up to the hype. It's so great but also so radically different from all the other flanders reds I've had. A great beer indeed! Thanks again go out to beerhandy for the chance to try this and mschae1017 for sharing the bottle with me. Oh to be able to live with this one at least once a month... alas, I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all, thanks to timtheenchanta for sharing this gem with me.

The New Belgium's La Folie Wood Aged Beer is presented in its corked 750mL bottle marked as "HAND BOTTLED # 06-3420" in hand writing indicating that this is the 2006 version. The beer escapes from bottle and into my snifter with a dark copper body nestled underneath the frothy off white head that hangs on with a ring around the edge of the glass and wisps of foam across the top leaving a slight bit of lace. The aroma hits you the sour and tartness from the bacterial fermentation, yet there is a lingering sweetness that promises an interesting flavor to come. The beer hits my tongue, causing my mouth to pucker from the wonderful sourness, yet the sweet undertones balance out the beer so nicely, that you cannot refuse another sip. The beer finished with a hint of wine and the wood aged flavor while letting the sour bacteria prevail. The body of the beer is right on with a medium feel and just enough dryness to no be overpowering. It has some nice bottle conditioning to round out the mouthfeel. Overall, this is the definitive Flemish style sour ale in my opinion. I have enjoyed the style before, but as my beer is almost finished, I am ready for the next glass. However, it must be said that this beer is not for those new to the sour ale style, but for the rest of us, drink up!

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

2004 vintage (#04-2011). Got in a trade with TxHops. Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottled. Did a gentle pour into my New Belgium snifter so not much head a ton of initial carb that slowly faded. It had a reddish copper color with a bit of alcohol haze in it. Looks like it has held up well over the years. The aroma was obviously heavy on the sour cherries with a bit of wine/champagne throw in there. The taste is really, really good. This is my first La Folie and since it's 2.5 yrs old I can't say how it compares to a fresh one but at this point it's a nice smooth drink. The cherries are just approaching being too dominant so not sure if that has increased or decreased over time. The mouthfeel is pretty good but considering the initial carb I thought there would be more of carb bite. Overall, the aroma and taste are amazing and highly recommend. I only give 4 on the drinkability because I'm still growing into the style and one glass is enough for me for now. Can't wait to try a fresh one and see how it compares. And of course get another new one to age for awhile. (4, RB, T, Y)

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

Bottle # 06-564

A- About a 1/4" light tan head in my flute. Kind of cloudy amber body with quite a lot of hues of copper. Lacing covers pretty much all of the top.
S- Big sour aroma. Tart and sour apples fill the nose. A good helping of hops can be found under all of it. Some smokey wood is under all of it. Alcohol also makes it way through.
T- This is good! Nice big sourness to it. Big tart apples. Big wood flavor. Big lingering bitterness mixed in with the sourness also. Nice complex flavors. Light alcohol warming in the back (very light but is there). Very well balanced and has a great complexion it.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D- I love this. I can't see a Flanders red ale getting any better than this. It has a great balance to it. Very sour and tart flavors. Wood comes through great too. Just love it.

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

Wow!! One of the most unique brews to ever pass my lips. Dark red color with a frothy head. First reaction is what the hell. Tart and sour. Shock-tarts sour. Citric acid not citrus flavors dominate. Half way through the glass the citric acid mellows and the sour fruit emerges along with nutmeg and vanilla. Finishes very dry. Actually a great beer even though I don't think I could drink more than one at a sitting.

My gfs reaction after taking a sip "I never want that in my mouth again"

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

Thanks to orfeu for picking this up for me while in Nebraska,first off normally I am not a big fan of the style but this, this is awesome.Poured a hazed brugundy spiked with tawny brown a well defined slight off white head atop leaving one ring around my oversized wine glass.Complex to the hilt in the nose so much stuff going on I almost dont know where to begin,tart sour cherry and vanilla I would say are most prominant then the subtle stuff shows thru sherry,phenolic clove,nutmeg,pepper its all there.Quite tart at first it takes a minute to take it in then I start to pick vanilla and a real peppery presence a touch phenolic spiciness finishing with a saltiness that sticks and really hits the back of the tongue whoo!Wow what can I say it seems like each sip gives off something new,as I stated before not a style I go for much but damn how can you not at the very least respect this bad boy,a real gem.

2006 bottle#2006-1139

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review #500. I figured this beer would be apt.

2006 Vintage #1156

A: Pours a hazy unfiltered paprika color with very fizzy carbonation. Head is almost all together gone, light beige and disapating rapidly. A healthy ring around the glass does remain though.

S: Pungent oak, cherry, raspberry, tomato vine, ascorbic acid and some cooked strawberry.

T: It begins tart, no surprise...but balanced. Its much like it smells. Cherry can be identified as well as strawberry and lemon juice. Very woody indeed. As it warms, berries and vanilla really begin to shine. Some minor spicyness of nutmeg and black pepper can be found far under the surface. Very juicy, explosive with flavor. Finishes sour, dry and fruity with just a hint of vanilla.

M: Medium body with a hard mouthfeel but fuzzy consistency.

D: This is close to the most sour beer I've had. Every sip I take makes me pucker. At first I really didn't think this was anything special, then it started to grow on me. Every sip is an experience. I have a feeling though gastronomically this one is gonna hurt me.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the 2006 edition. Pours a deep mahogany color with a thick cream colored head with some nice lacing.

The aroma is intense of bitter cherries, along with some oak, pepper, must, and a little vanilla as well.

Taste is extremly tart. Taste is of very sour cherries, green apples, a little must, and oak. This brutally bitter. Not really my thing.

Mouthfeel is ok a little dry in the finish and pretty heavily carbonated.

Not drinkable at all due to the sourness in my opinion. I can handle sourness and bitterness, but in my opinion this is over the top. I won't buy this again anytime soon.

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

Presentation: Bottle, poured into a tulip.

Appearance: A very amber/red color, head went away quickly and left behind very little lacing.

Aroma: Very sweet, almost like a champaign smell.

Taste: Very sweet. Tart. And almost sour aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp.

Overall: A very unique beer, I liked it a lot. Would be a good beer to have with a steak.

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Lips Of Faith - La Folie from New Belgium Brewing
4.22 out of 5 based on 3,869 ratings.
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