341. La Folie

341. La Folie

New Belgium doesn't distribute to Massachusetts, so I had to order a bottle of this from Arctic Liquors. With mark-up ($10) and shipping ($14) it ended up costing me $40, $25 more than retail. New Belgium makes some fine beers, and I've heard good things about La Folie in particular, so I figured it was worth it.

This came in a 750 mL green corked champagne bottle. The label says "La Folie Wood Aged Beer" and has a picture of several barrels. The label also says "Hand Bottled" and had #05-2246 written in ball-point pen. Ali and I split the bottle on my birthday. I let it warm to approximately 50°F, and served it in my New Belgium snifters.

La Folie is a Flanders Red Ale, this style is also known as Flemish Sour Ale. The tart and sour flavors that these beers are known for are the result of fermentation by wild yeast such as Brettanomyces, and bacteria such as Lactobacillus. These beers are often aged in Oak barrels, which contain the souring bacteria. The aged beer is often blended with a young beer to provide balance. BJCP Style Guide.

Appearance (4.5): Pours a hazy-orange red with large yeast clumps evident. A thick off-white head thins to continuous layer, with nice lacing.

Smell (4.5): A sour smell predominates. There are also sweet aromas, notes of cherry (like a lambic), and a mild phenolic smell.

Taste (5): The upfront sweetness is quickly ovepowered by a strong acidic tartness. There are lambic like cherry flavors. The finish is dry.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. The dryness is mouth-filling.

Drinkability (3.5): La Folie is very tart and strong in flavors. This is a nice sipping beer, but not something to have pint after pint of.

Overall (4.55): This is a really amazing beer.

Beer related birthday gifts in an upcoming blog entry.

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