Our esteemed alot of beer is out doing life things that may or may not be more important than reviewing beer for imaginary internet friends, so you’re stuck with substitute teachers for the next few Beer Barrels. First sub up: ME!
Last time I filled in for this column I wasn’t drinking. Boooooooooring. This time around I was already a few beers in before I started to throw together the review, so apologies to the beer gods (and makeitsnow) if I don’t do this one justice. And/or if I soil myself.
It just so happens that this past weekend, Lady BFC (again, she’s gonna hate that name, so don’t tell her) and I were exploring Ft. Collins, CO, for the first time, so after walking around for the appropriate amount of time before leaving, we did what you’re supposed to do: we drank local beer. More specifically, we headed over to New Belgium Brewing Company to drink from the source. We also went to Odell Brewing Company, but that didn’t yield the beer I’m reviewing tonight so never you mind.
After finishing up the above paddle of beers, I REALLY wanted to bring home some Le Terroir (furthest taster on the left). But they were sold out, so I did the smartish thing and bought a bomber each of La Folie 2016 and La Folie 2017. I thought I’d drink them both in one night to compare but a) that was before I knew we were an alot down for the barrel this week and b) that was definitely biting off more than I could chew if I wanted to enjoy these pricier than a regular weeknight of drinking beers. So you’re stuck with me reviewing ONE great beer instead of comparing TWO great beers.
Without (much) further ado, I bring you my review of La Folie 2017!
Ok, so a little more ado first. For those of you who only know New Belgium for Fat Tire, they also have their “Lips of Faith” series, which is a new sour beer or three every year that they just mess around with to generally fan-fucking-tastic results. You can pretty much count on Lips of Faith releases to be the secret stuff that wows, even if it’s not always perfect. According to this press release that I totally knew about ahead of time and didn’t just find through random googling, the 2017 La Folie marks New Belgium’s 20th anniversary of brewing sours. I don’t think I’ll buy part of a china pattern, drinking out of a pint glass seems more appropriate.
If you don’t like sours a) it’s you, not me and b) you’re not going to love this. La Folie isn’t a subtle sour or a saison with a little sour in it. It’s a sour sour, and the oak barrels bring that out further. Or at least I’m going with that until/unless makeitsnow comes back and corrects me.
The first thing I notice about this beer is the smell. It’s not overpowering or anything, but it wafts from the beer to give you that fragrant “this is tart but not like cranberries tart like that fast girl in high school but who says ‘fast’ in that context anymore but really this smells good I’m cold will you pass me that blanket” aroma. It’s a reminder that sours are different, and, contrary to what our President believes, different is good.
That first sip hits, and it is acrid and sweet and soft and sharp all at the same time. Shut up, it makes sense. The cherry flavor is dominant for me here, as it often is, but it’s not cloyingly sweet. I only get the chocolate flavor at the end, and it’s not as smooth as previous La Folie(s) or at least what I remember of them from being young and drunk.
I will say that this year’s edition doesn’t linger as much as years past, and I don’t like the finish as much as I expected. I’m not sure it deserves the 100 rating in this ratebeer review. Candidly, I prefer Le Terroir. But La Folie 2017, like so many La Folie(s) before it, is a damn fine sour. That being said, don’t buttchug it. I mean, you could, but that might be better for your rimming partner than for you. And as much as I love sours, I think a bottle of this size is best to be shared. /sobs lonelily
lady snow says: How did you get my number? I’m celebrating, go the fuck away and drink your beer, weirdo.
tl;dr: We all miss makeitsnow. But shut up and drink your sour, it’s fucking delicious.
BrettFavresColonoscopy likes sour beer more than your average bear or your above-average human. He drank a whole bomber of La Folie 2017 while writing this review, but if Lady BFC asks then he only had half. All photo credits (except Gandalf, duh) are to BFC, even the ones that suck. He did not eat the banana pictured until the following morning. Next week, someone else will disappoint you by not being makeitsnow.