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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Cali-Belgique IPAStone Cali-Belgique IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,050 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,050
Hads: 3,173
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 11.28%
Wants: 103
Gots: 534 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gpogo on 07-23-2008

A California-style IPA with a Belgian twist
AKA Stone Cali-België IPA
First Release:
September 2008

Stone Cali-Belgique IPA features a complex and surprising combination of flavors, but behind the fancy title is the simply delicious Stone IPA. The addition of a carefully selected strain of Belgian yeast adds banana and spice notes to the hoppy brightness of our flagship IPA. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,050 | Hads: 3,173
Photo of JoshuaJ
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Hyde Park Tavern, Cincinnati, OH.

Pours a golden color with a slight haze. Thin head (probably from the pour) and thick lacing all the way down.

Smells overwhelmingly piney and citrusy. A bit of the malt backbone shines through, but not by much. Can one smell crispness? I think I smell it here.

Tastes almost identical to the nose. The biscuity malts and Belgian yeast don't stand a chance to the American hops. They dominate as they do in pretty much every other Stone brew I've ever had. 'Tis the American way. At any rate, I don't know what's so "Belgian" about this other than some very faint, yeasty flavors that never make it above a whisper. Ah well. Regardless of the name, it's still tasty.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy and crisp at the same time. The beer finishes dry, requiring another sip ASAP.

Drinkibility is decent, in that it's a crisp, refreshing beer. Sessionable? No way. Regardless of the 6.9% ABV, this beer will numb the palate after more than one. If you can't taste the beer, what's the point?

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Photo of vitrael
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice bright and slightly hazy golden ale with a small white head. Odd, producing really large soap-like bubbles on the pour.

S: Fruity Belgian ale yeast smells and a relatively light, fruity hop nose. Not the hop bomb I expected. A touch of bready malt.

T: Just... different. A lot of perceived sweetness coming from interplay of malt and heavy perfume of esters, with a relatively aggressive bitterness from start to finish. It tastes like a fine Belgian, such as Delirium Tremens, overhopped into a lingering and clashing bitterness that overwhelms and fights with the finer points of the yeast palate. I am a fan of both styles as they are but this beer has not sold me on trying to combine them. There are some fine Belgian pale ales out there, but this one is a little too aggressive. The flavor is really not bad, but my expectations were not quite met.

M: Appropriate to a middle of the road American IPA but a little heavy for a Belgian.

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Belgique-what? It's Stone. It's West Coast awesomeness. It's IPA. Don't fence me in.

The look is enticing. It's a deep amber color. The head is strong, an inviting eggshell color above the deeply amber brew. The head retains and laces well to the bottom of the glass, arrogantly displaying the exceptional malt.

The smell is delicious. Stone has calibrated their bold hops into and around an indefinable Belgium influence. It's spice and citrus, not dank pine. Along with Stone Saison, to which it has more than a passing resemblance, Cali-Belgique has one of the most refreshing scents on the market.

The taste is delicious, challenging, and deep. The spice and citrus from the hops form a unique and delicious flavor. The taste is refreshing and delicious, but has a strength that must be balanced by the malt. Here we seem to find the Belgian influence in a deep, luxurious malt with barely a hint of sweetness. Yes.

Perhaps it is worth comparing this IPA from Stone with Stone Saison and Firestone-Walker's Pale 31. The reason is that they are on a similar spicy and citric trajectory. Pale 31 is by far the lightest of these spicy brews, since it's a mere pale ale. Stone Saison falls in the middle. Cali-Belgique fully deserves the title of IPA. It's the fullest flavored and heartiest beer that I have enjoyed on this particular aroma-flavor arc. It pushes the volume of the flavors up, and I like that about it.

The feel of this beer is substantial. This is not a beer you are going to chug. The flavor is strong and heavy, even while maintaining thorough appeal. The malt is thick and has a hint of Belgian sweetness to balance the hops. One may be enough for a while, but not because this beer is unappealing. One may satisfy.

This is one of my favorite IPAs. It is completely different than the "classic" dank or piney IPA. I don't want to drink the same flavor of ales all the time. This unique and flavorful IPA never hits a false note. It's great.

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.14/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into my beautiful, over-sized tulip glass from a 22 oz bomber.

Pours a hazy golden-amber. It almost glows. Tight bubbles make a finger and a half's worth of head, with several larger bubbles varying the texture. Head dissipates disappointingly quickly.

Smell is ... pungent? Kind of bitter, almost kind of ... sour? Sting the nostrils a little bit. Smells almost even a little boozy -- a surprise at just under 7% ABV.

Taste is ... disappointing. Somewhat bitter, but no real bite. No real fruitiness from the hops, which is a disappointment given the "Cali" in the title. Just a little bit of bitterness. As for the "Belgique," not digging what I'm getting from the yeast. Maybe it's as it should be, but to me it tastes a little funky. This actually reminds me of the homebrew IPA I made this summer where I fermented at sweltering-garage temperatures. The more I think of it, the more it reminds me of that disaster. This is certainly more palatable, but not what I'd call good. This beer is actually making me sad.

Mouthfeel is akin to lightly carbonated water. A disappointment. Drinkability, sadly, is low. I've got a little ways to go to finish this bottle.

Final thoughts. This is a miss for me. The only other beer I've had of the style was Allagash Hugh Malone, which I had on tap and thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps freshness is an issue, given the sensitivity of highly hopped beers -- I did buy it unrefrigerated. But of course, until we have bottle dating on every bottle, we'll never know (and so on and so forth). Or, maybe this is a world class example of the style, and maybe it just isn't for me.

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Photo of keytown
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P - Pours a golden yellow, with a 1 finger white head

S - Smells of fruity yeast, hops & spice.

T - Tastes of Belgian yeast, clove, grapefruit with a hint of banana and apple.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth finish

O - Overall good beer, typical piney bitterness of an IPA. Stone did a good job of combining multiple styles to come up with a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of tangentrider
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber beer with a white, disappearing head. No lacing.

S: Sweet, caramel malt; fruit, faintly spicy hop.

T: Very faint malt; citrus bitterness; very clean. Bitter finish lasts and lasts.

MF: Smooth, almost chewy, yet clean and crisp. Moderate carbonation.

D: Very good beer; I'll have this one again.

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Photo of orangedive
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A - Goldeny orange. 70% opaque. 2 inch off-white head that dissipated slowly. Nice lacing is beginning.

S - Hoppy and fruity. For some reason, I'm not getting a whole lot of aromas, which is surprising for a beer with so much flavor. (Might have something to do with my glassware.)

T - Lots of hops, grapefruit and tropical fruit initially. Also, some candy orange. Quite of bit of malt is present, but the beer is nicely balanced. The yeast gives it a slightly tangy flavor, which is nice. It is not as "in your face" as Raging Bitch by Flying Dog, but it has a similar profile.

M - Nice...smooth, medium-bodied. The bitterness lingers on your tongue.

O - This is a great beer. It is very drinkable and has that wonderful tangy flavor that comes from the belgian yeast mixed with IPAs.

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Photo of dukew456
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a bright golden color, with light orange tints around the edges. Slight head quickly recedes into a thin cap, leaving decent lacing. There's been plenty of discussion about the proper glassware enhancing aromas, but damned if every beer doesn't look beautiful in this glass.

The aroma on this is hop-heavy, and far less Belgian-yeasty than I imagined. Floral/grapefruit smells come up first, followed by that familiar Belgian yeast funk. A sweet, tart scent of dried apricots also comes through.

Up front, this immediately tastes like Stone IPA (as denoted/disclaimed on the bottle). Big, clean hop notes burst out front but they're mirrored by a sweet, subtle, and funky Belgian undercurrent. This is kind of like biting into a dried date along with a piece of dried pineapple in trail mix. The bitterness of the hops dominates, but there's a chewy, semi-sweet backbone. The alcohol finally comes through in the finish, pairing nicely with a sticky Belgian linger.

I keep trying "Belgian IPAs", and this one definitely sticks out as the hoppiest in my book. I think my favorite part about drinking this style is comparing the notes from the beers that actual Belgians are making to a beer like this.

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Photo of drinksandeats
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22 oz. of this at Derby St. Liquors, Hingham Mass.

Appearance: bright and clear. A good amount of fragrant head.

Smell: Very hoppy, but with a bit of a sour fruity aroma. This is what I was hoping for in a Belgian IPA, and this is what I got!

Taste: A great hoppy IPA from Stone, with a lot of the bold flavor found in their Ruination, although more on the bitter and less on the citrusy side. Lots of sour cherry and plum taste. Unlike any IPA I've had before.

Mouthfeel: Good body. Flavors float around well and are nicely mixed.

Drinkability: Definitely worth trying at least once, and I could sure go for another.

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Photo of William85
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reading the description of this beer on the back of the bottle, I suspected gimmickry -- I couldn't imagine that the addition of Belgian-sourced yeast alone could have a major impact on the taste of an otherwise textbook American IPA, and I thought this might just be a repackaged Stone IPA.

However, I was proved wrong even before my first sip: at first sniff, I could have sworn the snifter in front of me held a Belgian ale (albeit a very hoppy one). And this is exactly how the Cali-Belgique tastes -- as far as I'm concerned, it is a really hoppy Belgian Ale.

I've read other reviews of this beer in which folks declared themselves as Belgian Ale lovers who enjoyed this IPA in spite of themselves; and as a hophead who doesn't generally enjoy Belgians, I would describe this as a Belgian Ale which I can easily drink. I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone who likes either hops or Belgian yeast.

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Photo of dsprainman
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this one at the store today and was intrigued by the name. Just got back from Belgium, but being a west coaster, I'm very partial to a good IPA. Lets see how this stacks up.
A- Poured from a 22 into a Duvel tulip, Fat 2+ finger head from a slightly aggressive four. Rich opaque golden-amber body. Loads of lacing and the cloudy head sticks around.
S- The piney goodness of hops stick out with the belgian yeast hanging in the background. Spices and cloves also meet the nose.
T- Wow. All the typical up front fresh hops of a normal stone IPA with the subtle smoothness of belgian yeast sweetness to round them off.
M-Medium bodied, actually very drinkable for 6.9% ABV
Overall, This beer might be my favorite offering from Stone. While it falls more on the American IPA side than an actual Belgian IPA like La Chouffe Houblon, it's just an amazing interpretation of the style. As it warms the Belgian side opens up a little more. My new favorite from stone. World class.

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Photo of Zbyler
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pale yellow with a nice white head. Mild carbonation.

S- bready notes for sure, slight hop aroma, citrus.

T- Belgian all the way until about mid taste when the hop bitterness becomes apparent. Bready, belgian yeast, slight sweetness to it. Bitter hop finish.

M- crisp, clean, lightly carbonated, not very complex. Feels like you're drinking two different beers as it passes through your mouth. Belgian on the front and pale ale on the back.

O- I was pleased with this brew overall. I am glad it wasn't as hoppy as some belgian IPA's tend to be as that is not my favorite style. The belgian aspect of it was great.

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Photo of robby23
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It had a little had light carbonination. Its a very light in tast but still has good aroma to a little out doors tast to it with a belgian wheet. The hops were a little weak but still had a little critus tang to it . No date on the bottle which was odd, but for the price it wasnt bad.

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Photo of MisterSH
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. No printed freshness date that I can find, but I'm happy to report that I've complied with this bottle's stated instructions to keep refrigerated. Hooray for freon, which has allowed me to pour this moderately chilled beer into a Duvel tulip.

Fairly aggro pour reveals a rich orange/gold colored beer with a one finger head that quickly disappates, leaving some nice lacing sliding slowly down the glass. Looks good.

Aroma - a combo of the piney, grapefruity hop resin we're all used to with stone, and a sugary sweet bubblegum essence of belgian yeast. Yeah, there's clove in there too. It smells so much like a stone IPA that my American nose is finding the addition of the belgian aromas a little hard to get used to. It's like running into an old friend who suddenly... smells a little different.

Taste - An up front belgian clove note, followed by a spot-on stone IPA with a satisfyingly mellow, but undeniably perceptible essence of sweetness amidst the hops. Finishes just slightly spicier and more peppery than a stone IPA. If you've never had a stone IPA than this description is not making any sense to you, but the gist is that this beer tastes exactly like what it is - an established American IPA brewed with beligan yeast. Lingering aftertaste is a pretty tame and pleasant hop bitterness, accompanied by an unusual but very subtle bready sweetness, balancing things quite nicely and keeping the palate ready for the next sip. More drinking reveals complex hints of lemon peel, bubblegum, and fresh bread present.

Mouthfeel - Fairly high on the carb, a little chewy and certainly heavier on the tongue than a regular stone IPA.

Easy drinking, nothing dramatic here just a nice remix of a classic that makes sure not to throw anything off balance. All the essentials are still here, the belgian "essence" is subtler than I was expecting and offers a nice, gentle addition to a set of flavors that I hold quite dear to my heart as one of my all time favorite beers. If the choice was between another glass of this or of a regular stone IPA, I'd probably take the IPA. That said, I'd gladly drink this anytime, and I will most definitely be having more of these in the future.

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Photo of ksmi116
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours clear dark gold, with a decent white head with good retention

S - Belgian yeast and tartness

T - Wow, this is interesting. Tangy grapefruit, pineapple, belgian yeast, and other tangy, but not overly bitter flavors

M - Could be a little heavier, but the carbonation and overall mouthfeel is quite delightful

O - I was really impressed that this is as different from anything else that I have tasted. Stone has not disappointed me with a beer yet!

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Photo of CONOR8832
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice amber color with mild golden tones, cream colored fluffy dense head which leaves very good lacing on the glass.

S - At first gree apple peels with a mild caramel aroma from the malts but not too intense. good sweet yet floral aroma. Very well balanced in my opinio between hops and malts.

T- Hit with a bittnerness and you can for sure see the tastes that come out of this with them using the begin style yeast. Finishes with a some what not quite ripe great fruit appeal.

M - Good medium bodied IPA with a sharp and crisp feelin about it. Hops leave your palate with a slight coating on them.

D - IMO very well balanced, the belgin style really comes out in this one as the Name says that it should. Not my first choice when it comes to a beer or my first choice when it comes to Stone's beer but worthy of trying.

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Photo of scbrew
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bombers now available at...what Albertsons!? Pours slight hazy gold with white head. Sweet belgian aroma of spice, banana and grapefruit. MInimal bitterness and hop aroma. Flavor is mainly Belgian Golden Ale, with nice citrus notes, maybe grapefruit, with mild hop flavor. Slight hop bitterness.

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Photo of hsway
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass in two sessions (over the course of one night, obviously). I put the open bottle back in the fridge between sessions.

a: Didn't generate much head despite a relatively strong pour - body is a medium golden color - glows nicely when you hold your glass up to a light.

s: Floral and hoppy.

t: I think this beer balances the Cali-style hopiness with the yeastiness of a Belgian quite nicely - rather than fighting each other, they complimented quite nicely.

m: Smooth but not especially memorable.

d: I thought this was quite easy going down, despite combining two rather intensely-flavored beer profiles.

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Photo of PGRADY
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am normally not the biggest fan of Belgian style ales/pale ales/IPAs, but make an exception for this. Quality 6.9% IPA with minimal after taste and full flavor

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Photo of seabeetastetest
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours with very little head. Smells more Belgian than Ipa with some bready and sweet tones to it dont expect any smell of hops in this bad boy. Excellent malty taste with a good clean creamy finish. The hops were ever subtle but added to the overall great tasting experience. Overall a good solid 9 out of 10 Great Brew from the ever astounding Stone Brewing CO. This is a hybrid worth buying!

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Photo of trpng0bily
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: golden orange, moderate pure-white head, nice lacing, very crisp

s: citrusy hops, yeast funk that becomes more prominent as the beer warms

t: not enough going on taste-wise to balance the yeast; odd to say about a stone brew, but this one needs more hops to be in balance

m: heavy carbonation; crisp as they come, somewhat creamy

d: more drinkable than i expected

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Photo of roscoehnj
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice enough looking beer, clear, slighly amber gold with nice lacing.

I've never had a Belgian IPA so don't quite know what to expect. I am getting a lot more "Belgian" than IPA for the nose. Clear smell of Belgian yeast.

Same for the taste. The sweetness imparted by the yeast is leavened somewhat by the hops with a bit of hop bite. Nice mouthfeel with a hit of carbonation at the end. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I can't get the usual grapefruit typical of Stone IPA. This will take some thought.

Goes down nicely but I'm not sure I like the melding of what to me are two distinct styles. I'll have to try others and see if its the style or the beer that doesn't quite work for me.

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Photo of myost88
4.74/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle a tulip pint.

Appearance- Crystal clear pale gold color. Very active bubbling. Two finger frothy white head. Sticky, patchy lacing remaings sporadically across the glass.

Smell- Hop forward like most Stone beers. Floral and a little piney. Clove scent is present from the belgian yeast. It smells quite sweet. Very complex aroma with many layers.

Taste- Wonderful biting hops at first. Tart grapefruit and pine is prevalent. Strong malt backbone rounds this out perfectly finishing sweet. The Belgian yeast strain really serves to highlight the hops and malts, both seperately and taken together, adding a nice spicy kick just before the end of a quaff. Typical of Stone it is sweet at the end not dry. Dare I say I like this better than the original Stone IPA?

Mouthfeel- Just enough carbonation to make this one "jumpy" but keep that nice smooth feeling going down. Medium bodied.

Drinkability- This is both a slow sipper and a beer you can really take some good gulps of. I could see myself enjoying a few pints of this in a row and it wouldnt grow old. Complex, layered brew makes this a good stand alone beer, though I wouldnt want to pair this with food because I like it as is without other flavors going with it.

Overall- Really a terrific beer in my opinion. Belgian yeast really plays well off of the American hops. Stone I hope you make this at the very least a perennial seasonal release, if not a year round.

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Photo of SolsticeDreamer
3.41/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is golden with a rich thick head that crowns.

The smell is Estery with hints of bubble gum and sweet malt. Oh yeah, there's hops in there.

Tastes like good Belgian yeast chased by a good hop flavor. No real strong bitterness which allows the malt and yeast characteristic to come through.

Mouth feel is medium light with good carbonation. Good bite from the dryness, finishing clean.

I buy this stuff by the case, it's my favorite style and, well, stone is a good brewery. It's well done and cheap. Good daily night ender.

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Photo of Clembo1957
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 1 pint 6oz bottle with a good foamy head.

This is a Belgian twist on Stones' IPA made with Belgian Hops. the beer pours with a good foamy head and has afruity but not too fruity taste with Grapefruit and Pineapple. there is a mildly spicey presence but not too obtrusive.

6.9% ABV but very deceptive while drinking, i felt like knocking back several bottles but unfortunately only had one!

An interesting twist on Stones IPA, very drinkable and worth checking out!

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,050 ratings.