Stone Cali-Belgique - Stone Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,410 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Pahn:
4.75/5 rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date, but the store just got the bottle in 2 days ago. First had this beer about a year ago and remembered it as being a great IPA/Belgian hybrid. Let's see how it stands up after trying several more iterations of the style.
Appearance: Careful pour yields an inch and a half fluffy white head that dissipates slowly. Both the head and the beer itself leave thick, webbed streaks of lacing everywhere. Pours a translucent orange.
Smell: From the bottle I get grapefruit and Belgian yeast--a good start. In the glass: mildly dank grapefruit and tropical fruit hops, mixed beautifully with sweet, musty Belgian yeast. This is exactly what I would think a "Belgian IPA" would smell like. Strong, interesting, individuated, delicious hoppy smells, and equally distinct, relatively deep smells of Belgian yeast, spice, and mild funk. There's also some pine and a slight herbal/medicinal smell.
As the beer warms and I get deeper into the bottle, all the aforementioned notes stick around and stay strong. Excellent.
Taste: First sip: maltier than expected, with a big breadiness up front and a strong citrus hop finish with lots of bitterness (advertised 77 IBU sounds about right). In the next sip, some mustiness and clove come out, along with a deeper hop profile. Delicious. A slight soapiness comes out, along with a restrained, sweet Belgian yeast influence. Just as the citrus and Belgian yeast/funk notes seem to be getting carried away, there's the classic Stone IPA malt backbone to reel it all in!
Really, I don't think this could be better, besides drinking it immediately upon it being ready for consumption. Stone IPA is a classic, excellent IPA, and Cali-Belgique takes it and combines it with Belgian pale ale characteristics in a beautiful, balanced fashion. Rating to style, this has to be a 5.
Mouthfeel: Juicy and medium bodied, with medium carbonation. Not world class (D)IPA feel, but very good.
Drinkability: The 6.9% ABV is barely noticeable, and the taste (and aroma) stays balanced and beautiful for the entire life of the bottle. I want to drink this beer all summer, and often.
Houblon Chouffe on tap redeemed the concept of the Belgian IPA for me, which had dropped off over the past year. Raging Bitch was, ultimately, a sweet mess, local brewpubs followed suit, and the other random attempts I'd tried (save the wholly different Wild Devil, which is awesome, but simply an IPA with brett in it) fell flat. Cali-Belgique is the beer that originally got me excited about the style, and finally returning to it again (and fresh!), I can see why. It's a better IPA than our recent east coast darling, Larry, and the Belgian influence just makes it deeper and tastier. The brewers at Stone are geniuses.
Serving type: bottle
05-10-2010 03:33:27 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
More Belgian than IPA, most of the facets of this brew lean towards Belgium. Starts with a funky, yeasty aroma, lightly hazy golden body and small, thin silky head. Taste brings on the yeast again, but the Stone hops come in to bite at the end. Finish reminds me of some French cheese. Interesting!
Serving type: bottle
07-22-2014 01:43:10 | More by stevoj
Stone Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,410 ratings.