New Belgium 2014 La Folie Sour Brown Ale

I had previously made some disparaging remarks about New Belgium's ability to design a label. Fat Tire seems like the only one that doesn't look like it belongs in a small frame hanging in grandma's room, but this one is different. This one looks like it belongs in a 1970's head shop. It's not really an improvement.

The color is a very dark brown with a reddish tint. The head flies away quickly and leaves a few scant bubbles bobbing on the top. The aroma is something different. It's got bruised apple, soured grapes, cider, wine, prunes, and a sourness that is pervasive. I'm not sure what to expect from actually drinking this one, but I know that I really want to try it.

First sip is distressing. This is not what I came here for. It is tart as heck. It is biting into sour cherries that have gone bad and mashed with some prunes and raisins. It is an unpleasantness that I'm not looking for in a beer. I know someone may be looking for this, but it's not me. I wonder if this might get better with a full swig. Well, I have a nearly full bottle, so I might as well give it a shot.

Tip-in is sour apple and sour cherries with an earthiness in the background. My lips pucker uncontrollably as soon as the beer hits my mouth. The middle hits with more waves of sour and tartness with grapefruit added to the mix and the prunes peaking out and an oak trying to add something to the mix. It is not a nice taste, and the finish is like sticking a bullhorn on the rest of the beer, amplifying the natural sourness to an uncomfortable level.

Bottom Line: If you like really, intensely sour beers, this might be for you. It's not for me.



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