NicerInPerson (337) - North of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JAN 1, 2008
The aroma was tart and magnificent with an acidic presence which was fruity and nicely contained a bacterial presence. The aroma had some semblance of Brett but also other buggy infestations and a tannic characteristic of oak and perhaps wine. The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber/copper with a beige slow growing, yet moderate and everlasting head which lasted forever to lace the glass. The flavor was tart with a fruity characteristic. The flavor was oaky and sweaty and had a horsey nature that was very sublimely achieved. The tartness was light and refreshing and did not detract. The finish was dry with light tartness and fruit lasting into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the beer was highly carbonated and spritzy on the palate. A really nice Oud Bruin, excellent aroma and great flavor. Many thanks to the guys from CARBOY for bringing this one back to me.
750 ml corked and bailed bottle. BigMilly8 (389) - Wesley Chapel, Florida, USA - DEC 30, 2007
From bottle, Number 07-6723, courtesy of Valpoaj : Pours a very dark color with red highlights, and a big ole’ huge foamy white head. Awesome lacing. Sour fruit aroma, green apples, some grapes. Taste is very nice. Sour and tart, but allows a very smooth and mellow finish. Medium bodied, no signs of alcohol. I dont think it is over carbonated as some others have said, atleast not my bottle. Very very nice beer krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - DEC 25, 2007
long before the printing press or dental floss came to old europe, before casual pillaging fell out of favor, brewing was in it’s infancy. along the marshy, fetid rivers of the low country, tribal people were able to collect steeped barley juices and contain them in hand hewn wooden vessels. then, by forces unknown to them, a fortuitous alchemy occurred: it would ferment, becoming not merely drinkable, but mood-alteringly alcoholic. cheers! well enough so far, and the neo-lithic timeline of beer was launched in the trial and error evolution that all arts and sciences undergo. along the way it was inevitable that casks of beer would upon occasion become breached and both emit and absorb elements of their respective environments. sometimes the cask would float away in a flood and wash up months later in a putrid bog where flies would bite and dead carp would bloat in the viscous muck. the lost, supurating cask, once rediscovered and pried out of the sulphurous clay and brought back home, would frantically have it’s bung cleaned and removed, unleashing the pickled beer so cherished in those hard times of subsistence living. pulling lice from their beards while smiting the skulls of their rivals, the haggard elders would hoist a kiln-baked ox bladder chalice and joyously decant some of the precious beverage. being innured to the quotidian eating of slugs and dirt-encrusted flotsam of the sort that would disgust a starving jackal, they shuddered only momentarily to observe that the liquid was the color of wind-dried mackerel, a mummified flesh kind of ruddy yellow, translucent and foaming with disease. those that bothered to sniff were assaulted with odors of rose hip vinegar and the pine-sap based solvents used to waterproof ocean kayaks. the dried apricots used to sweeten the brew had been preyed upon by malignant bacterial barbarities, striping away sweetness and leaving a lemon juice sourness that is to the tastebuds what a bulldozer is to a tulip bed. there is sour cherry and crab apples, grasshopper excreta, composting cucumbers, and corn husks. in addition we discern a suggestion of foie gras livers --not the forced-fed foie gras of geese-- but the bloated livers of lifelong alcoholics. and now, from this page of zymurological history, a beer that evolved in a ripe humidor of conjoining accident and design-- drenched in sweat, error and ocassional food poisoning, comes this: new belgium’s la folie! i honored it’s reputation, recoiled momentarily at it’s price, and resigned myself to settle into whatever spell it’s gustatory poetry might beguile me with. when my skull twisted back with the aroma in a way that would behead a bobble-head doll, i knew i was out of my element. the astringency of this put me into a full arrest of acid reflux syndrome that a half pack of tums could scarsely contain: the tablets bubbled in my digestive cauldron as fecklessly as turning a kitchen fire extinguisher upon a volcano. there was a remote brown sugar sweetness crying out from the overburden of puckering sourness, but it was like a spritz of air-freshener in a hog farm. the heart and soul of the beer is in it’s unrepentant green olive sour bitterness, like ketchup vinegar-- a lethal tartness that would cause seizures in dung beetles. every sip becomes a bruising bite upon the tongue-- i could have worn out three tongues and still come away beaten, exhausted, and heartbroken. OldMrCrow (2440) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 24, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2010 2005 bottle tasted Christmas Eve 2007.DonMagi (5593) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 23, 2007
The beer starts beautifully. A soft pop of the cork, a gorgeous pour (clear deep beautiful copper read with a nice white head). Simply lovely aroma: wood, balsamic vinegar, sour cherry.
But for whatever reason, the flavor doesn’t blow me away the way that the best lambics do. Rather, the flavor is just a little bit over the top sour for my taste (Despite the fact that I adore e.g. Cantillon Bruocsella 1900 Grand Cru) or perhaps it is that the intense sourness is not matched with a corresponding dryness. The acidity burns the throat almost like whisky; it scorches the inside of my nose like vinegar; it kicks away at the inside of my stomach like too much black coffee at 4 in the morning. The woody tones in the flavor are wonderful, but my palate doesn’t "shift" as I sip into this one as it does for my favorite lambics. (By this I refer to that glorious saturation of one’s sour receptors that kicks in a third of a way through a great bottle such that the subtle sweetness comes through and shines like miracleberry on the tongue.) A day later, I still struggle to finish this one, even with help from my father, who did more than half of the work. Sadly, I’m in little hurry to repeat the experience and in less hurry yet to repeat it on a full bottle. 7/5/7/3/13=3.5
Tap 7/25/09. Perfectly reasonable sour, but I just don’t understand the hype. A schooner of this one was more than enough.
Bottle 8/05/09. As part of the Naked City sour tasting, this one shined, easily outclassing the competing flight of Duchess, Rodenbach GC, and Cascade Cuvee de Jongleur. Deep sourness, very clean, certainly deserving a 4.0 if Rodenbach Grand Cru deserves a 3.9.
I’ll bump in that general direction.
Tap 2/4/10. I’d forgotten what a rich dark brown this pours. Again, richly enjoyable. Very nice woody flavors. 3.8 or 3.9 range.
Bottle huge massive thanks to secret santa. Aroma is tart sour fruit, loads of acidity, wood and a massive lactic acid note. Taste is similar but the acid is over powering, far too much acidity, i still drank the 750 in a mtter of minutes, but trying its hardest to be rodenback but missing the mark. Carbonation is too heavy also.
popdoggy (100) - USA - DEC 21, 2007
I loved this beer. Sour, Tart, a great sour ale. Drinkability is unmatched and mouthfeel is like a fine champagne. drfabulous (7950) - Lexington, Kentucky, USA - DEC 19, 2007
Based on all the hype, I was expecting a serious Duchess competitor for best sour red. Not so fast, as Lee Corso might say. This is a good beer. Decent aroma. Pours nice. A bit too carbonated. Fairly nice sourness. But it’s no Duchess. Still, it is absolutely the best New Belgium I’ve had. La Folie goes beyond New Belgium’s typical mediocrity. I wish my wife would like sour beers so that we could share. Alas, the bottle is mine tonight. Bradrcr (806) - Renton, Washington, USA - DEC 17, 2007
11/7/07 From the bottle. Aroma is fruity and tart, efevescent, with a sweet malt background and lightly alcoholic note. Appearance is a medium hazy copper with a moderate tan head. Flavor has a strong lactic acid tang that becomes much stronger in the finish, sweet, with a low resiny flavor. Mouthfeel is highly attenuated, dry, tingly and warm. Overall, this is marred by the back of the throat tingling/finish just being too strong and overpowering the rest of the flavor. Perhaps an extra 20 minutes to open up and oxidize on the next try will help the flavor. Skyview (6055) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - DEC 17, 2007
For rate number 1,700, brewfiend was kind to share this highly rated brew. From a 750 ml bottle, pours a dark reddish amber brew with a fizzy off-white head that has some good retention. Aroma of sour dark fruit, some cherry, and some earthy herbs/spices. Taste is medium bodied, well-carbonated with flavors of tart fruit, some wood character, and some yeast funk. Finish is just as tart as its flavor, with a touch of lemon zest. I would easily put this up with some of Belgian’s top sour ales. drseamus (103) - Troy, New York, USA - DEC 15, 2007
A: Dark amber/red body with decent white head.
S: Nice sour aroma with a bit of pucker factor. Some slight wood aroma as well.
T: Big pucker/tingle in my jaw effect. There is a bit of sweetness, but this is definitely on the dryer side. I love this beer, although the Le Terroir is a bit more my style.
M: Medium/light bodied. It tastes heavier than it feels.
D: Excellent. Can’t drink it all night, but I could put a bottle away myself.