Stone Cali-Belgique - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone Cali-BelgiqueStone Cali-Belgique

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BA SCORE
89
very good

2,987 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,987
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.31%
Wants: 93
Gots: 419 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,987 | Reviews: 1,042
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stone Cali-Belgi IPA (bottle)
A: pours a great, clear copper color. Nice frothy white head, with a great retention rate and outstanding lacing.

S: great aroma of spices from the Belgian side , very flowery and earthy. Great nose from the hops, slight citrus and earthy notes.

T: great IPA notes, some citrus and earthy flavors blend well with the Belgian sweetness and spiciness. Very well done.

M: full bodied brew. Nice bitter palate with some sweet malt backbone. Big carbonation level.

D: nice brew and well worth getting. A typically good brew from a good brewery. I love this style.

Photo of mspindler
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly clear, bright golden with a slight haze. Lots of bubbles and a tall, soapy cream-white head that sticks to the glass nicely. The aroma is the highlight of this beer, distinctly Belgian yeast with floral hops and fruit, namely grapefruit and pear. Taste starts with yeast and an almost sweet tart flavor and a smooth mouthfeel. The finish hits you with a bold hop bitterness that lingers for a while then slowly dies off, leaving you with a hint of sweet fruit. A great variation of one of the classic IPAs.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clea, pale amber color with a foamy head and good retention.

Didn't smell too much like the original IPA to me. I didn't detect any hops but there was a nice, strong bubblegum flavor from the yeast. Most of the character of this beer is in the fruity yeast flavors.

As I'm thinking bubblegum from the aroma, it comes through nicely in the taste. I like it. It's hard to believe this is just the IPA with different yeast. Hop flavors are hard to pick up, but there is some nice bitterness. The bitterness is lighter than a normal IPA.

Not incredibly memorable for the mouthfeel. It was smooth, nothing overpowering, and not much lingering in the mouth. Drinkability was good, I finished it at a good pace and would have more.

Overall, the combo of IPA and Belgian yeast didn't really make a perfect, complex blend. This combo was just good. But the beer was good by itself and I liked it for that. I would have again if it was brewed again and I could find it.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunny tangerine with a few fine floating flecks that don't look like yeast particles. It'll be interesting to see what the final pour adds to the glass (note: nothing much). Atop the beer can be seen three fingers of foam the color of pearls bathed in a soft orange light. The sturdy crown looks more American than Belgian, but then this is an American ale. Cheese grater-like lace sticks to all available surfaces.

The nose is as expected given the ingredients. Magnum, Centennial and Chinook hops add the Cali, while the yeast adds the Belgique. A pretty successful marriage if you ask me. Each sniff delivers orange, grapefruit, lemon and bubblegum. Clove and other spicy yeast esters aren't prominent. A hint of orange-flavored children's chewable aspirin keeps the score from the next highest number.

I like what Stone Brewing hath wrought in this attempt to merge New World hops with Old World yeast. That's a much more inviting combination than Old World hops (just one BA's opinion) and New World yeast (simple ale yeast). This brew may not be quite as delicious as Stone IPA, but it's close. Unfortunately, my flavor memory of their standard IPA is sadly fading since I have no easy access.

The balance between hop flavor and yeast flavor is close to perfect. The impressive tropical fruitiness of the former gradually morphs into the bready and bubblegum-like qualities of the latter. As in the nose, spiciness is kept to a minimum (without being completely AWOL). A blast of clove and cardamom wouldn't have worked as well.

Despite 77 IBUs, the beer doesn't seem overly bitter. Having said that, at roughly the midway point of the bomber, my tongue in beginning to quiver just a bit. Incidently, the alcohol is hidden very well. As the beer warms, kiwi and strawberry notes begin to filter in at the edges. This really is a sneakily complex ale.

The mouthfeel is merely good. It wouldn't be fair to expect something Belgianesque, since the only thing Belgian about this offering is the yeast. Still, it could be more full... or more smoothly creamy... or more softly fluffy. I'm not picky.

If Cali-Belgique IPA is an experiment, then it's a successful experiment. By virtue of one simple change, Greg and the boys at Stone have managed to create an IPA that tastes nothing like the original, yet is just as good. If the suggestion box is open, here's a vote for continued production. Distribution to Iowa is probably a pipe dream, but then that's why I look forward to traveling back to Ohio several times each year.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle received as an extra from seaoflament. Thanks for knocking off a want, Carlos! Chilled and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A: Crystal clear orange capped with a solid almost pure white head that's frothy and dense with decent retention with some lacework

S: Wonderful citrus hops up front with sharp tangerine fruitiness and bitterness. There's a good deal of hop character but as the beer warms up, there's some classic Belgian spiciness that comes with some pepper and clove with a yeasty sweetness. Not very strong with the Belgian character and that's the reason I like it. As it warms up over an hour, this definitely get spicier with white pepper, mace and a hint of cinnamon.

T/M: Opens up with a ton of hops with citrus, tangerine and floral characters dominating the palate. Again, the Belgian yeast character is over-powered by the hops (which, according to my tastebuds, is a good thing) and appear towards the end of the sip with some spice and sweetness. Like the IPA, this beer is pretty light in body (a plus) with a long, bitter and dry finish. It is here that the spices become a little more prominent with a white pepper and clove blend becoming noticeable. As with the regular IPA, the carbonation is excellent and this beer is a pleasure on the palate.

D: This is one easy drinking BIPA, probably my favorite of the bunch so far. Well done, Stone!

Notes: This is not a style I dig because I don't like the conflicting use of hops and yeasty characteristics. This beer subdues the yeast and lets the hops do the talking - if this doesn't sound appealing to you, don't try this.

As this warms up over an hour, it's quite remarkable how the balance shifts in this beer from being hop-driven to yeast-driven. All told, it's still delicious,

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GABF Weekend '08:

One of my favorite emerging styles. The beer has a lot of Chimay Tripel character, but sweeter, with a more caramel, cotton candy-like confection. A bit darker (copper-golden) than most tripels, but this one also gives a light toasty-toffee note that balances the fruity esters and spicy phenols well. The strong hop flavors compliment the peppery, clovey, yeasty spices very well with a sharp citrus, chai-tea herbalness that never wavers from the other complex 'Tripel-like' notes. Evaporative feel to the mouth from the dry hops, minty alcohols, and efforvescent carbonation. The beer just lifts off of the toung and dries out in the finish for superb drinking enjoyment Finishes spicy, citrusy, and with a mild phenolic-soapy note that I pick out in most all hoppy Belgians. Not quite a Houblon Chouffe, but very close in quality.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA - one of six they got in. Poured into a snifter and split four ways.

Appearance: A crystal-clear orange with a one-finger white head, slightly off-white, with medium retention that fades into a frothy foamy ring.

Aroma: Strong juicy fruit, Nugget Nectar-like, grass, mint, basil, strong sweet and lightly roasted malts. A light yeasty twang. Banana bread as it warms. Belgian spices. Floral. Sweet and syrupy as it warms further. A really nice aroma.

Taste: Dry hopping is assertive, strong bitterness, slightly bready, a little bit of a roasted edge, a little more of a banana/other fruity edge. The dry hopping on this one seems a little off - it reminds me of a great Belgian IPA in the nose, but the taste seems just a little strange, though it is interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and of a medium thickness, with a medium level of carbonation - even a bit low, perhaps. Leaves a bit of a film, as well.

Drinkability: Nice, and really does add a whole new element to the Stone IPA. And everything works really well, in my opinion, with the exception of that dry hopping, which just sort of seems ... well, off. The alcohol is, like the Stone IPA, just fine, well hidden and of a reasonable level. The aroma is out of this world ... the rest is just a little bit of a letdown. Still, a great beer, and one I'm glad I got a chance to try. Maybe tweaking the regular Stone IPA recipe a little for its Belgification would yield a slightly improved taste?

Photo of Proteus93
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle split with Chris (CrellMoset). Dan (dkachur), and Mark, bartending at our local watering hole.

A: A crisp golden... clean and straight forward amber. A rather nice head, leaving a sheeting of patchy lace.

S: Aroma is a high point of this brew. The nice floral and herbal scents along with the standard citrus. If flowers smelled a little sweeter. Quite nice.

T: Herbal, leafy, citrus, and bitter with a little bit of a fruity esters, thanks to the yeasty esters. Almost an apple taste with the lemon rind. Not too shabby.

M + D: A nice shimmering carbonation, giving to it the bit of a foamy mouthfeel that I appreciate. A solid brew... the standard Stone IPA would be more likely to be a regular offering in my fridge, but this one is a nice treat.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber from South Bay Drugs. Pours a fairly standard golden orange, but with a nice head thatsticks around as a cap. It's amazing what the adddition of a different yeast will do. I like Stone IPA quite a bit, and I like this as well, but the addition of Belgian yeast to the IPA has yielded an entirely different beer. This beer smells and tastes bready and meaty- almost of bacon. There are the standard Stone IPA hop flavors of citrus and lingering piney bitterness, but this bacony breadiness with some tangy notes overlies that. Unusual, and takes a bit of getting used to, but I like it.

Photo of Zorro
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian IPA, makes me think of a retake on the Old Reese's Peanut butter cups commercial only with beer drinkers involved. "You Got Ruination in my Duvel! You Got Duvel in my Ruination! Sips...GREAT!"

Poured in my Duvel Tulip I have a brilliantly clear copper colored ale with a good off-white to neat tan colored head. Beautiful beer in the glass.

Smell is sweet and herbal with a remarkably spicy aroma supposedly all from yeast and hops. Aroma of apricot, cloves, spice, grapefruit, citrus, orange and pinesap. Fainter woody and melon scents.

The taste starts out sweet and woody with a bone dry aftertaste. There is an earthy flavor here that is hard to place, something like half cork and half mushroom. Decent amount of bitterness present but honestly I would call this a Belgian American Style Pale Ale flavor wise.

Mouthfeel is good and full yet dry.

Pretty drinkable even though flavor is it's weak point. Not that it tastes bad at it is just light dry and refresh, not complex. Pretty much I beer I will try every year it comes out.

Photo of johnd513
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks goes to ducksfan for this one!
This beer pours a clear golden color with a two inch white fluffy head. Smells of sweet grapefruit and Belgian yeast. The taste is similar to the smell. Very citrusy with grapefruit and a clean finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, has a light body with lots of carbonation and is a little chewy. Drinkability is very good, I had no problem finishing this bomber. Overall a great beer from Stone.

Photo of bennetj17
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold, clear, with a perfect 1/2 inch of white foam holding on nicely. Nice aroma of lemon/orange fruit rind, dusted with a nice Belgian yeast note. There is a touch of honey-sweetness in the aroma, but it leans more toward a tangy fruitiness.

The flavor seems to have a sharpness that carries all the way through to the finish. The bitterness is nice, although it leans on being astringent. Those classic Belgian pale flavors are a bit subdued, and the complexity is lost somewhat. The mouthfeel is pretty light, and the carbonation is quite intense as it darts into the tongue. The carbonation needs to be more foamy and less spritzy to be more like a true Belgian pale.

All in all this was a decent attempt for Stone at what is at least partially a Belgian beer. Considering the disappointment of most of the Vertical Epic series, this was actually almost a step up. Worth a try, but don't expect it to be anything close to a Choffe Houblon...

Photo of bifrostguard
2.61/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Appearance is clear copper color with a tall off white head.

S - Spice and grains backed up by some citrus hops.

T - Spice and grains. The hops aren't easily detected.

M - Thin and unremarkable.

D - Too much spice for me, but if you like the Vertical Epic release you will probably like this as well.

This is definitely not my style. That being said if you like strongly spiced beers you'll enjoy this one. I would attempt to describe the spice but I dislike this one so much I don't care to try.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear gold with a half inch head of white. Retention is short-lived and a partial skim coat remained throughout the glass. A few dots of lacework also.

Aromatics lead off with a blend of grapefruit, apricots, spruce, and phenols.
A hint of lemon and earthy pepper follow through. Fairly aromatic but not pungent or extremely floral.

Medium bodied, crisp and drying. A very snappy mouthfeel.

Ripe fruit, bitter citrus pith, and crisp malt start the pallet. Grapefruit, peach pits, lemon seeds, and pine resin.
A firm, drying bitterness steps quickly forward, followed by some warming alcohol, clovey phenols, and a trace of bready malt.

Finishes with a chaulky dryness, lingering bitterness, and fading tropical fruit with pine bark.

Tasty..Of the three recent hoppy Belgians from Stone, this one is the the biggest all around. The VE '08 is the most subdued with the hops, followed by the Collaboration, and then this one.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the BA Belgian fest yesterday, and reviewed based on notes, pours lighter amber, clear under an initially fluffy and dense off white head. I got resiny hops, some lime in the nose. Fruity, hoppy, yeast going on here. Complex, tasty offering. I love the regular Stone IPA, love the Belgian addition..so enjoying this one is a no brainer...I'd love to see this one in bottles locally sometime soon

Photo of ironlung
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Crystal Clear golden tan. Pours with a nice 2 finger head that settles to nothing quite rapidly.

S: Smells like spring in the spice islands. I've never tried a Belgium beer b4,and I won't count this as my first(maybe stone knows that and made this just for me!).

T: When I was at Stone a few months back I'd herd that the guys went over to the abbys on an "education" excursion. If this is what they learned I'll take it!

M: Pretty neat. I like this beer. A nice way to mix up their ipa. Feels like I'm broading my horizons, but then I remember it's from San Diego.

D: A good fall brew. The spice is making me think of the coming holidays(where did the year go??).

Photo of torchednoodle
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer tastes like a mix of Stone IPA and Belgian, and it's on purpose and spot on.

This beer is faithful to it's name. Tastes eactly like a mix of California IPA with more than a touch of Belgian. Hint of bubble gum-Belgian aroma and taste, with a totally palatable and not-insignificant complement of Stone IPA. Excellent combo, and a much more complete attempt than Green Flash's Le Freak, which tasted more Belgian than a mix of styles, and was more expensive to boot. Seriously, hats off to Stone on this.

Dug it. Thanks, Greg & Co., I will be buying again. It may not be up my particular alley, but I recognize the artistry in the mixing of styles.

Photo of MiScusi
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Hollingshead's Deli in Orange, CA.

A- pours an orangish gold with a really rocky, dense white head. Look very inviting just from the start.

S- Definitely the Belgian yeast earthy smell. It's quite hoppy along with that. Similar to a Houblon Chouffe in terms of the earthiness combined with hops.

T- Really unique in this regard... you get a lot of orange citrus flavor right away, then fading to a huge amount of the Belgian yeast earthiness after that. It's quite complex as there's other stuff there I want to be able to describe but I just can't. Really good. The citrusy hops is where Stone puts its "Cali" in it.

M/D- The beer is on the lighter side overall, which is nice. Nothing too overwhelming in texture even at almost 7%. Still, this isn't my favorite type of beer, as the Belgian yeast character takes some getting use to along with a huge hop presence. Quite good still. Something different when us West Coasters want to go for something a bit different.

Photo of PatronWizard
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge fan of Stone. How could I not try anything new? Bomber to glass...

Glowing light copper haze. Billowing white head of mushmellow. Great lacing.

I don't want to be an asshole, but this smells like a cross between an IPA and a tripel. You can certainly smell the hops. Mmmm. And you can smell the light fruity tripel odor. It's unique for sure. I hope it tastes more like the IPA.

I applaud the effort, but I don't know how many of these I'll keep in stock. It's almost like the hops and fruit flavors cancel each other out, leaving a subtle flavor. Or sometimes you catch one or the other side of the beer. It's not bad, but not exactly good. Again, I say unique. Whoa, at least it produces the old familiar yummy Stone hop belch. I dunno man; every drink has a different taste. I like it, I don't like it... I guess that's all part of the experience.

Overall: just try it

Photo of tangentrider
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Daily Pint
Poured a very bright orange color with a white head. Smells like citrus and yeast. The taste is a bit more balanced, but still very yeasty with a citrus kick. I thought it was a little tart at the end. Drinkability is low. Just strange but good.

Photo of Murchmac
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I didnt really pay attention to much except it smells like fruity goodness and tasted like a classic stone IPA, but with a belgian kick.

This beer was really good and I was lucky to get it on tap. I thought stone was slipping as of late, but this gives me hope that every once in a while a brewery just goofs. Very good beer.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rather lighter/thinner in color and mouthfeel than Ruination. Maybe closer in those respects to the regular Stone IPA? A light, airy head mostly dissipates fairly quickly leaving a thin layer of bubbles on top. Smell is mostly piney hops with the yeasty, Belgian aroma faintly in the background (and becoming more prominent as the beer warms). I really like the mouthfeel--it is light and fluffy, almost like a cask-conditioned beer. It's a nice change of pace for me as I often drink heavier, thicker, more syrupy beers.

I think the taste is very interesting. I had half my bomber with Indian food for lunch and the pairing was terrific, where by "terrific" I mean terrific. A bit later I had a post-lunch solo celebration in honor of having had a good beer with lunch--menu for the party: the rest of the good beer.

When drinking the beer all by itself, I noticed the Belgian tones more--similar to a light-bodied tripel or even a Hefeweizen in some of the aftertaste. Except that there is also all that hoppiness happiness going on.

Well done, Stone, well done again.

(The French at the end of the blurb on the back is grammatically incorrect.)

Photo of bbothen
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden brown with a nice bubbly white 2 finger head.

Smells of earthy & fruity hops, Belgian yeast, and some spicy notes.

Crisp big hop bite, pineapple, citrus, earth, grass, spicy, clove, and bubblegum Bealgian yeast. Nice dry hoppy finisg. Interesting.

Medium bodied, crisp, dry, lingering finish.

A unique & interesting brew. Glad I had the opportunity to try.

Photo of paytoplay
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressed with this brew on at SD Toronado. Like it's labeled, very CA and Belg. Big dose of pine resin / sap. Hops are nice and the mid doens't go so belgium aged hop sweet but still has a hint of it and the great texture. Would this possibly age?? Complex nose and maybe the carbination was a bit high? Nice complexity and mission accomplished as it felt 50/50 CA and Belg.

Stone Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,987 ratings.