So, I’ve been looking to try this beer for a long time now. And, if you live in the Philadelphia area (or pretty much the entire east coast until recently) you haven’t been able to get your hands on anything from New Belgium unless you were trading for it.
Of course, that’s how I came about it.
La Folie is a “sour brown ale.” From what I’ve heard and read, New Belgium is doing some serious experimenting when it comes to wood-aging beers.
From New Belgium’s web site:
“La Folie Wood-Aged Biere, is our original wood-conditioned beer, resting in French Oak barrels between one and three years before being bottled. Peter Bouckaert, came to us from Rodenbach home of the fabled sour red. Our La Folie emulates the spontaneous fermentation beers of Peter s beloved Flanders with sour apple notes, a dry effervescence, and earthy undertones.
New in 2010, we’ll do a single bottling of La Folie for the year. Collect the 22oz unique to 2010 designed bottle and start a yearly wood-aged collection of goodness.”
La Folie comes in at a nice 6% ABV and pours a murky red-brown leaving a thing head of off-white bubbles. The nose imparts tart apple and mulled wine along with earthy tones that really bring out the tart notes. The taste follows the nose but to a whole other level. The level of lactic-acid is staggering.
Almost like biting in to crab apple while sipping on some old wine. It’s definitely reminiscent of Russian River’s Supplication but even more extreme. After the initial taste bud assault, you can pick up some of the earthen tones and perhaps even some chocolate flavors in it.
This beer is definitely not for the faint of heart. I would, however, recommend this to someone who really likes eccentric wines. Even then, it may be a little overwhelming.
While I was sipping on this beer, I was thinking about the new explosion of “wild” and/or tart/sour beers. Are sour beers becoming the new hoppy? They definitely seem to be the rage these days among beer people. However, I have to say that I think sour beers appeal to a much smaller group of beer drinkers than the next IBU bomb.
That being said, I’m super jealous of anyone who can readily get their hands on this palate-ripping gem.