Ughsmash (7184) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 18, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at 3rd Annual FoBAB. Pour was hazy chestnut with a fizzy beige head that settled down pretty quickly. Aroma was sour and complex... cherries, funky yeast (horseblanket & must), oak, and some lighter fruits. Flavor carried through all of the aroma and more... with sour and somewhat acidic cherries and pears upfront (acidic good, not acidic to the point of being painful), funky yeast remniscent of being in the now dilapidated barn on the old farm, more fruits, balsamic vinegar, and some caramel sweetness holding it all together. Finish was dry and complex, with sour cherries, oak, and more of that wonderfuly yeast. Excellent.
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - NOV 8, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Beautiful garnet color with a fizzy soda pop head. Sour cherry, tannic oak, malt and barnyard aroma. Smacks your palate with a wall of sourness and leaves you puckered. Fast flavors of afore mentioned aromas with a hint of nail polish. Maybe the cleanest beer in the world.
GarrettB (1096) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 29, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2014 May 12th, 2013 - Here’s the treat of our tasting. The beers are lined up like the drinkers - two parallel fines facing off in a gorgeous LA loft. But the radian shining comes from one participant: New Belgium’s La Folie, a bottle from 2006, and aged 7 years. This was the first bottle I ever aged, and I held onto it for awhile for the simple reason that I never felt ready to taste it. It was a work of art beyond me ability to recognize it. But I felt different this week, and endeavored to share the experience with good friends on a happy occasion. What immediately strikes me is how complex this beer has become over time, and how dull and clumsy the fresh 2013 La Folie smells and tastes by comparison. On the nose, caramel, bourbon, pear, swirls of cinnamon, clove, honey, and the sweet honeyed baklava, or a more northern treat: belgian waffles. The flavor has also mellowed considerably, with a nimbus cloud smoothness, a touch of pomegranate, smears of strawberry, watermelon and white grape juice, backed by very subtle, very supple notes of leather, and even the smell of age that surrounds a good bottle of balsamic vinegar. It’s a moving beer, and everybody agreed that it was one of the best beers they’ve ever laid hands upon. (4.5)
May 12th, 2013 - I’ve had New Belgium’s La Folie before, but this was something of a special occasion. My friend and I gathered in his picturesque loft/Designer’s Bat Cave and arrayed before us a parade of high-quality brews, which included two brothers paired for comparison: one La Folie from 2013 and another La Folie I had been storing since 2006. Fearing that it would soon go sour in an unpleasant way, I felt its time had come to shine. By comparison the 2013’s scent was totally flat, muted, and awkward, It had all the acidity and expected tanginess, but none of the depth, complexity or attractiveness. The mouthfeel, in spite of its youth, felt chewy and heavy, and the champagne and white grape notes were strong (others might also report apple cider vinegar here in the flavor.) The directness of the flavor is a bit like licking the side of the burnt barrel, in a good, but unsweetened kind of way. But in absolutely every respect the 2013 version (brand new as of drinking) pales in comparison to the aged brew, which was a mellifluous experience. (3.9)
La Folie is a furtive juice indeed, a deceiving bottle of beer with a most mysterious demeanor, closer blood relations to the Champagne noble family then its beer brethren. One of the best parts about La Folie is purchasing it. The liquor store guy shoots you a quizzical look, assents to your confident gaze and delicately plucks the bottle off the shelf and hands it to you like a nurse handing a new mother her baby. The bottle comes with a “Do Not Disturb” sign strung onto twine for a calming bucolic effect. You can tell that it demands respect: the bottle is covered in a thick dust like a newly uncovered treasure descended antiquity. Opening the bottle feels, by instinct, like sacrilege. Just remember that La Folie is brewed to be imbibed. Its ultimate ambition is to trickle down a grateful esophagus. Don’t deprive it of that.
Of the beer I have equally epic thins to say. The color is difficult to describe, something like a shade of sullen emotion, or mayhaps “tempered rage”. I don’t foresee that becoming a Crayon color anytime soon. The foam is light in texture and color, and the smell is salty and vegetable like, with a lot of alcohol to form the base. The taste is far sweeter, like premium champagne, replete with citrus tastes and green apple. La Folie is also very creamy; a churning river of taste but relaxed. The paucity of this beer may thwart some who seek its golden touch, and the price tag will intimidate those who do find it. If you are such an adventurer, do not make the mistake of turning your back to it. Buy it, hold it, embrace it, care for it, love it and drink. You won’t regret it, because life hardly gets any more luxurious. (4.2)
kepano (247) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 28, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2005 I would be lying if I said this brew wasn’t one of the paramounts of my beer tasting experiences so far. It is not the best I’ve had, nor is it revolutionary in its style. However it has been long on my list, building anticipation and it did not disappoint. Since I’ve been in Colorado it has been one of my goals to get a hold of this precious elixir. It was not a cheap acquisition at $20 a bottle, but I can surely say it was worth it. My experience with sour ales is admittedly narrow, with Rodenbach’s Grand Cru as the only representative. Yet their mysterious flair has only furthered my curiosity and appreciation of the genre. The pour was exciting and truly a stressful experience, one only matched by fine wines. The hue is difficult to describe without remaining in the realm of clichés, but I would call it a dark Cognac orange. The liquid was clear yet deep and nearly opaque, a very mesmerizing effect. Like looking into a cedar abyss. A frothy custard-colored head rose above to slowly diminish leaving thick airy lacing. The aroma is sharp as a blade, I was almost afraid my nose would be sliced off if I got too close. Sour apples and cherries, Champagne, generous brown sugar and a slight metallic twang resonate in the nose. The fragrance is simply delectable. As I took my first sip, I noticed the carbonation was not as lively as I had expected - pleasantly so. This Flemish Sour is surprisingly smooth and creamy, a quality I wouldn’t expect to match the intense tartness. Vanilla, oak and light banana notes add to the effusive bouquet. Every sip is a wrapped gift that slowly unveils itself in your mouth. As it moves back in forth on your tongue, you uncover different parts of the flavor. When I finally swallowed, the acerbity left me grinning with pleasure and warm satisfying sensation ran through my veins. The finish seems to last forever and the light sour aftertaste lingers until your next sip. A remarkable brew by New Belgium which I hope to enjoy again some day.
Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - OCT 27, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Thanks to Crosling for this brew. Poured out hazy reddish brownish color. Nose is full of sweet fruits, cherries stand out the most, some apple, very sour on the nose already! First taste and wow its sour. I mean almost too sour, but its so damn good at the same time. Has hints of a caramel apple at times, so tasty. Really enjoyed this brew, and believe I am finally ready to expand more into this sector of the beer world.
jbrus (4992) - Delft, NETHERLANDS - OCT 26, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Blind tasting session, Bottled. Aroma of cherries, sour apples, vinegar, light nutty and a hint of varnish. The sourness is more like a geueze than the lactic sourness in a flemish sour ale. Orange/brown color, little hazy, off-white head, good lace. Very sweet start but this diminishes fast. But the sourness goes the other way and starts off tiny growing to a big wow! Soft bitterness in the background but also vinegar, fruits and a hint of varnish.
jzzbassman (1522) - New Albany, Mississippi, USA - OCT 22, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
One that has been on my list the longest, it did not disappoint. Looked great dark brown with red highlights and a compact head. Sharp aroma of vinegar and barnyard. Flavor is sour cherry and just layered with complex vinuos notes. Perfectly balanced and drying on the end.
marcus (6785) - Sacramento, California, USA - OCT 21, 2005
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at Toronado. This dark amber ale poured with a short off-white head, eliciting a sharp acidic aroma. The flavor was carbonated and fruity - sort of a cross between kriek and sour brown ale, and was complex but well-balanced. I enjoyed this one to the very last drop, as I have never had a better sour ale. Thanks to Jamie for getting this one to Toronado.
Silenus (14) - Savannah, Georgia, USA - OCT 19, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I tried this one at the tasting room at the New Belgium brewery while out in Colorado for the Beer Festival. I’ll have to admit right up front that I’m not a big fan of sour ales but I was willing to give it a try. It arrived in the tasting glass a nice rich orange color with a head of fine bubbles. I was warned to save it for last in my tasting so I did. The aroma was very sour (as you’d expect) and the first sip was very sharp. After a few sips my palate settled down and it began to taste almost of lemonaid. There was no strong hops in either the aroma or flavor but they came back in force when I later burped! Talk about a lasting impression! All in all I think this is a good solid example of the style.
bb (6860) - Alamo, California, USA - OCT 17, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. reddish amber beer with a nice off-white head. Huge sour aroma. Sour/tart flavor with some berry fruits and oak. Sour with some pop rocks at the end. Doesn’t stand up to Roddenback - a lot of the same characteristics are there (and given the brewer, they should be), but this one was a bit of harshness around the edges where Roddenback really just pulls everything together nicely.