New Belgium 2015 La Folie Sour Brown Ale

La_Folie2015Brewer: New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
Style: Oud Bruine
ABV: 7%
IBUs: 18

Description: This is New Belgium’s 2015 vintage of their La Folie series of sours. Much like last year’s, this beer is brewed in venerated Oud Bruine style of Belgian sours, combining Pale, Munich Carpils, C-80, Chocolate malts are combined with Nugget hops. It is then fermented using wild brettanomyces strains and then barrel aged in oak barrels for up to 3 years.

Tasting Notes: This year’s offering was much as I remember, tart and sour as all get-out! And much like a good sour brown, it possessed all the usual oaky, fruity, and yeast notes, bringing to mind flavors of sour cherry, plum skin, and red wine tannins.

Appearance: Dark brown, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malts, lactic acid, yeast, green apple, oak, red wine
Taste: Smooth malt, burst of tartness, plum skin, sour cherry, green apple, tannins, oak
Aftertaste: Lingering tartness, yeast and oaky notes
Overall: 8/10

New Belgium La Folie 2014 Sour Brown Ale

LaFolie2014Brewer: New Belgium Brewery, Fort Collins, CO
Style: Oud Bruine
Alc/Vol: 7.0%
IBUs: 18

Description: La Folie, French for ‘the folly’, is part of New Belgium’s Sour series, which celebrates a distinctive Belgian brewing tradition. Using wild, naturally occurring yeasts, this brown ale develops a natural sour flavor loaded with lactic acid. The ale is then aged in oak barrels for one to three years before being bottled.

Tasting Notes: As Oud Bruines go, this beer was exceptionally dry and tart. And consistent with this style, it smacked of tartness and sour flavor, and had some serious fruit esters. These called to mind green apples, sour cherries, apricots; and of course, plenty of oak tannins.

Appearance:  Deep ruby red, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Sour malts, sour cherry, plum, apple, oak
Taste:  Immediate burst of lactic acid, tart green apple, sour cherry, apricot, oak
Aftertaste: Lingering sourness and oak flavor, dry fruit
Overall: 8.5/10