Another beer that is new to Iowa this year is New Belgium Brewing La Folie. I had a chance to have some of this the other day.
All I can say is “Wow”. It started off with an extreme sour punch, then the finish left a nice sweetness. My recommendation is to make sure you have more than just one drink, and it definitely becomes less intense. It is a great beer that is very complex.
Have you tried La Folie? Can you put the complex taste into words? Tell me what you think!
A few days ago I had the chance to sample one of the new sour beers from New Belgium, Le Terroir. It is a dry-hopped (with peach/mango flavored Amarillo hops) sour ale that changes from batch to batch (sounds like homebrewing).
The beer had a nice citrus aroma, similar to a grapefruit or a lime. The taste had a hint of sour on the front of the tongue that became more pronounced toward the back of the tongue. It left a nice refreshing finish with a bit of lingering sweetness. The beer reminded me of grapefruit juice, and I thought there was a nice amount of sourness without being too overwhelming. I enjoyed this beer very much.
I have to say, it took me a while to review New Belgium‘s Frambozen. One time I enjoyed it, where it was slightly tart, and then the next bottle I didn’t like it at all. It seemed to be a bit of a beer enigma. Over the course of the six pack, I found it was better chilled and poured into a goblet-type glass.
The beer started off slightly tart. It had a brown-ruby color and has a slight scent of raspberries. As it traveled through the mouth, it had a fairly light mouthfeel and had a bit of tartness. It finished fairly clean, but left a hint of raspberry behind.
The overall impression of this wasn’t great because, to me, it seemed to be stuck between two styles – malty brown and tart raspberry.
While in Tennesse, I had a chance to try a bottle of Vrienden (Flemish for ‘friend’), a collaboration between Belgian beer specialists New Belgium and Allagash Brewing. It was a Belgian style ale brewed with hibiscus and endive.
It had a bit of a slight ‘funky’ Belgian smell from the Brettanomyces and Lactobacillis. The flavor started sweet then finished with slight Belgian funkyness. It was definitely an interesting beer, but unfortunately, not one of my favorites. To me, it seemed that the sweetness and hibiscus flavors were overpowering. I have a feeling that the beer may have been better if I would have been able to age it for a period of time.
Ah, winter ales. Thank goodness for New Belgium to shake up the traditional idea of a winter seasonal ale with 2 Below.
2 Below is not your normal run-of-the-mill spiced winter ale. In fact, I don’t even know if they use any spices. What they do use is subtle hops and lightly roasted malts, for a pale ale-like flavor that is very balanced.
At first, you get a nice scent of earthy hops. The taste is slightly malty, with a clean hop profile as it hits the back of your tongue. According to the packaging, the brewery chills the beer to a near-freezing state, which makes the beer very clean and nice on the palate.
I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, and it is very close to being one of my favorites.
Have you had 2 Below? What was your impression? Did you like it as much as I did?