Sunday, February 20, 2011

457. New Belgium La Folie Falling Rock Tap House 10th Anniversary Special Edition

While we already tried La Folie, the fact that this is described on the label as “a special blend of all 10 of New Belgium’s Foedres designed to challenge your senses,” and it was bottled specially for the Falling Rock Tap House’s 10th Anniversary means that we’ve got at least a couple of reasons to consider this something slightly different. So we will. After all, we make the rules around here. I picked this up a while ago in Seattle at Bottleworks, and we’ve been saving it for an appropriate occasion. Tonight was that occasion. And no, you don’t need to know anything more than that. Previously from New Belgium, we’ve tried Mighty Arrow Pale Ale, Ranger, Le Fleur, Misseur?, Transatlantique Kriek, Biere de Mars, Fat Tire, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale and La Folie. It’s been a while, New Belgium, but we’re back.

Yo! Highlights! Highlights, yo.

La Folie Falling Rock 10th Anniversary pours an orange-ish brown with an initially foamy white head that quickly reduces to a few wispy arabesques across the top of the glass—sort of the traditional sour beer head. The nose is an interesting mix of acetic sourness, tannic oak with a touch of mustiness, and slight mineral-like aroma that is not quite fully chalky. With some warmth, dark fruit flavors like cherry and raisin start to emerge, and in the final third of the bottled we also got some slight earthy funkiness along with an increased citric sourness. The initial flavor is tart, sharp, and puckeringly sour, although there is also a candy sweetness that accompanies the tartness. As the tartness recedes, bone dry chalky and mineral flavors emerge in the middle before a return of the tartness in the finish; the mix of acetic/vinegar tartness and oak tannic flavors bite and linger pleasantly. La Folie has a light, dry, and tart mouthfeel; mixed with the bright carbonation and the drying components added by the oak, it is lively and puckering on the palate, to say the least. I ended up with a slight flush of perspiration from the tartness across my nose and cheeks about halfway through the bottle. So. Delightful. This version is also more nuanced and developed that the La Folie 2010 we had over Thanksgiving in Seattle—I am guessing the blending and additional aging of this bottle has shoved it on over into the exceptional category. Easily one of the better beers we’ve had this year; totally a Top 10 Best contender.

ABV: 6.0%
Hand Bottled #07 6729


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