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Stone Cali-Belgique - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Cali-BelgiqueStone Cali-Belgique

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

2,651 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,651
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 77
Gots: 213 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: gpogo on 07-23-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,651 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber served into a tulip glass

Pours a very light orange - like liquid sunshine - that has a nice balance of transparent clarity and haze. Two fingers of tiny-bubbled off-white head make for some soapy lacing. Not amazing but pretty just the same.

The aroma presents a perfect hybrid of hoppy west coast IPA and spicy Belgian ale. The grapefruit and pineapple reach my nose first. The lupulin smells transition swiftly and completely to a coriander, peppery spicy scent which underlies a plantain/slight banana sort of Belgian yeast fruit character. The transition between the two sides of this beer is impressive to experience. If there is a downside it is that the malt is obscured by the strength of the hops and yeast. And yet despite the lack of malt smell the beer smells really sweet. This is a 4.0 or a 4.5 depending on your tolerance for sweetness.

If you're expecting a really hoppy beer then you will be disappointed. The hops don't get to hog the spotlight on your palate. Up front you taste pepper and and a lemon/banana fruit characteristic as if this were a Belgian Pale Ale all the way. Then the grapefuit and orange flavors blossom to a simmer just short of fresh IPA vibrancy. The finish combines the two in that the citrus fruit slowly dies down in strength while the astringent spice character from the yeast lingers. As the beer warms it concentrates in flavor, becoming a spicy, orange flavored beer from start to finish.

This is a lot thicker in mouthfeel than I would ever personally prefer in an IPA. It thickens up good if you swish it around in your mouth. There is very little active carbonation to help alleviate the heft of the body. So the drinkability for me is affected a bit. Nothing wrong or bad per se, just not categories that this beer excels at.

Cali-Beligique/Belgie is nice experiment, one that I am glad to have tried. Good beer. I wouldn't buy this very much if it were available to me but I can think of some dishes to pair this beer with that would be pretty kick-ass.

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

A- Dark, gold body with a sticky, white head.

S- Tons of yeasty ester with a big hop profile (grapefruit and tropical fruit).

T- Follows the nose pretty well; basically a west coast IPA with some nice Belgian yeast qualities (slightly medicinal an mineral-like).

M- Medium body with slick feel.

D- An interesting beer; easy drinking like a good IPA with a little Belgian funk in there.

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

A: Bright, clear gold color with an orange sparkle. Pired a 2 finger stark white head with fair retention to an even skim. Rings of lace slipped down the inside of the glass. Lazily decanted.

S: Big yeast esters up front. Sweet caramel malt follows along with citrusy hops (grapefruit, lemon and pine) and tropical fruits.

T: Just like the aroma only hops exert more character over the malt. Sharp bitter to balance all thats going on.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Smooth and coating ahead of the finish with all the complex flavors.

D: Very enjoyable, complex and balanced; there's a lot going on this beer that sems to work pretty well - moderate abv too. Just get a little full (and taste-bud-shock).

Photo of Cmuska902
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bomber into a Weyerbacher tulip. Received a thick chunky head about 1/2 inch or so upon a relatively vigorous pour. Has a classic golden color of many big Belgian beers. Adequate carbonation makes its way from the bottom to the head. Looks absolutely delicious.

S: The smell of this beer for me is mostly earthy, sweet, and Belgian. Reminiscent of a big Belgian tripel, with that distinct aroma. Perhaps a waft of fruitiness, orange, or orange peel.

T: The taste is exactly as the brewer describes. Belgian upfront, a wallop of hops and bitterness to follow. Not lopsided, this beer uses the sweetness and bitterness of the two styles to create a well balanced flavor.

M: Somewhat thick, perfect balance of carbonation, mild, smooth, and relaxed. Flows over the palette nicely, allowing all flavors to be discovered.

D: Moderately drinkable, the bitterness was good, but left me wanting more. It almost is like a stone IPA with a Belgian attitude. I would almost rather it be a Ruination with the Belgian attitude. Very delicious nevertheless.

Photo of jwinship83
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased shortly after it came to chicago. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours out a golden orange colored body with a large bright white head on it. the head lasts a while before receding and leaves behind complete rings of lacing.

S- belgian yeast is the first thing i notice. after that comes some caramel malts, and hops. there is some grapefruit and pine in here, but the focus seems to be more on the tropical fruits. pineapple and mango come to mind. very nice.

T- the taste is full of belgian yeast like i could smell. the caramel malts take a backseat to the hops in this one. lots of pineapple and mango. theres lots of grapefruit and to a lesser extent, pine.

M- medium bodied bordering on full. highly carbonated.

D- wow, what a difference changing the yeast can make. this seems to have very little in common with the regular stone IPA. one of the better examples of a belgian IPA, this one is also on the lower end of the spectrum as far as ABV goes. check this one out.

Photo of 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.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours an bright, clear orange/amber with mounds of stiff, bubbly milky white head. Much lacing.

Smell -- Lots of Belgian yeast, clove, some banana, pine resin hops, and some bready yeasts.

Tatse -- Lot of grassy/resinous hops up front with some bread and biscuit maltiness to sweeten out the end. in the finish some clove/banana/yeastiness eeks out.

Mouthfeel -- Moderate carbonation, medium-light body, somewhat dry finish. Could've done with more carbonation.

Drinkaility -- The massive hop bittering really muted the cove/banana/yeast flavors that make belgian pales so enjoyable. Aside from the smell and the clove, it would be hard to distinguish this from a American IPA.

Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer, but I think Raging Bitch married the Belgian pale and American IPA elements a little better. Not a bad beer, but I was hoping for more.

Photo of mempath
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ok....bought this at a deli in Penn Station NYC before boarding...took a chance since the best before date is past by a few months...! but can't find this one anywhere else. now we try...actually a bit concerned....thought it said best before 12 (december) 2009...but can't tell if the one is rubbed off or not....maybe it's before 2 (february) 2009....!!! yeah, and it was $8 (hey, its NYC...) aahhgh

pours a 'fresh' quasi-clear orangy-amber with a super belgie-fluffy head and intricate lacing. at least it LOOKS great

as expected...smells like smelling a belgion ale and an extremem ipa simultaneously. very inticing. hopefully the nominally strong ABV allowed it to remain fresh in taste.

and it is simply delicious and very FRESH (still!). yeah, it's the two traditional styles blended. simply and seamlessly. i often find myself quickly bored or turned off by the classic belgian ale...this has those notes expertly interwined with the classic (Stone) IPA hallmark. hop-smacking chewiness that is somewhat (not diminished but) mellowed/enhanced by the yeasty flemish character of the european style. it's not really extreme, but rather balanced. a probably upgrade for those who have jumped into signature but non-extreme IPAs etc.

mouthfeel is luscious. too drinkable. i can only wonder what it tastes like 'fresh' !

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Looks very similar to the Stone IPA, for reasons explained on the bottle. Maybe a tad darker, but a hazy golden color, with a generous, bubbly white head. Good retention and nice lace stick.

Smell: Very strong Belgian yeast aroma, along with a pleasant sweetness. This is the first time I have smelled bubble gum in the aroma, and I like it. Grapefruit and orange are also present in the nose.

Taste: I like this even better than the regular IPA. The blend of the Belgian yeast and Cali hop blend is so smooth, it tones down a bit of the overly bitter taste (barely) of the regular IPA. Fruit and spice up front, with a bubble gum biscuity flavor pressing through. Hops are more suppressed, but nice citrus flavors come out toward the end. Very mild pine notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, with medium carbonation wrapped in a medium body. Slight pine oil residue.

Drinkability: The balance of flavors here really does it for me. Not a complete bitter bomb, but a well crafted, creative IPA. Count me as a fan.

Photo of LuckyBrewer
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer: Cali-Belgique
Style: IPA
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Location: Escondido, CA
Website: http://www.stonebrew.com/
Serving Type: 1 Pt. 6 Fl.Oz.
ABV: 6.9 ABV
IBU: 77
Pour: Smooth pour with a nice head and even thick legs.

Smell: This beer smells hoppy, floral and even malty smell.

Taste: The Stone Brewery Co. is my favorite brewery hands down. Stone Brewery have yet to disappoint me, this beer was another impressive beer. The beer is so well balanced, but it is still a strong complex IPA.

Drinkability: As I mentioned earlier this beer is well balanced and therefore I could drink about two bombers of this fine brew. Many of the IPA's that I have tried are not well balanced and therefore lose their enjoyment about one glass in.

Photo of goatgoat
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Pours a pale honey gold with a moderate off-white head. Little lace.
Aroma has light banana fruit, honey, lemon and citrus rind. Slight spice. Overall light and pleasant. Taste follows, light and enjoyable with a crisp bitterness. Light feel in the mouth.

Nice combination of IPA characteristics and Belgian yeast. A real nice brew.

Photo of alli4051
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was looking for something else, they didn't have it, got this instead and it turned out to be a nice surprise. I must admit this is only my second foray into this style and I continue to be intrigued. Pours a bright and slightly hazy straw color. Decent sized white head that recedes slowly leaving some nice lacing behind. Nose is true to the label, a distinctly Belgian scent with some hops mixed in. Taste follows suit, Belgian yeast up front with a nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. I wasn't blown away but definitely a good drinkable brew, I'd be pouring another one if I had a second bomber.

Photo of armock
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a growler purchased from the brewery a day prior.

A - Poured a clear golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a funky nose with grapefruit hops

T - For the most part it follows the nose with a rather dry funky flavor with a touch of grapefruit

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - I'm pretty much torn on this one as I like Stone and Belgian IPAs but the taste doesn't make me love it like other Belgian IPAs don't get me wrong its a good beer but not as good as an authentic version worth a try though if you see it

Photo of babaracas
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a thin white head, big clumps of lace. Smell: floral, spicy, lemon zest, a little musty grain, soft pear and a hint of pepper. Taste: spicy and lightly tropical, peppery + background clove, citrus peel, a little cantaloupe in the back of the finish. Everyone seems to be making west coast hopped Belgian IPAs, but this is a good one. Best by 7/10.

Photo of ne0m00re
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Mad Mex in Columbus, Ohio in a snifter.
A: Golden with red hues, it poured with a fluffy white head that died to a lace with constant, slow bubbles working up the glass.
S: Mild rustic bread, floral, grapefruit hops. Pungent like cheese, with a hint of oranges.
T: Slightly tart, rustic (brett.), sweet bread with an aftertaste of piney lemon citrus hops.
M: Crisp, slightly syrupy, and foamy.
D: Very good.

Photo of WOTO97
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this cask version made with palisades hops when visiting Stone. Nice head retention and lacing off the pour top a nice pale gold. The nose had a nice hay character to complement the fresh fir notes from the hops, even some faint horse blanket notes. This version finishes really clean. My gf had the std. cali-belgique off the tap and this one had a much cleaner hop character and mouthfeel. If I had any qualms, I'd say the mouthfeel was a little thin, even for being on cask.

Photo of daledeee
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A mystery beer for me. It says IPA on the bottle but the website says Belgian IPA.

This beer pours a very nice bright clear gold with a white head and lace. Nose is very spicy with cinnamon or coriander and some orange to boot.

The taste is unique. The beer is rather dry up front but finishes rather wet. Taste is malty and hops and oh yes, lots of spice. Overall, a very unique beer and quite tasty.

Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.1/5  rDev -47.4%
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.

Photo of Krevee
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light clear amber gold color. Pours with a small, maybe quarter inch head that slowly dissipates.

S - Smells of hops along with fruit and citrus.

T - The front taste is a strong hop taste along with some bitterness, followed by fruit flavors especially citrus fruits.

M - Very thin in the mouth, smooth with not a lot of carbonation

D - Pretty good hybrid of the California IPA and a Belgian, definitely a beer a would sip to get all the flavors. But I could see myself drinking more than one of these in a night.

Overall a good beer from stone that represents the two styles well.

Photo of kylehayworth
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Good pour, mild amber colored, the head was great, off white.

S: It seems like a set up, the nose is misleading compared to the taste. It has a mild hop presence, with a backdrop of easy going fruits.

T: It has a good hop profile, with the same easy going fruit, banana, mango, or something. There is a mild spice to it.

M/D: Easy drinking, crisp, smooth, and subtly light.

Raise an IPA in Belgium and this is what you get, makes sense.

Photo of GarrisWH
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a barely hazy golden color with a frothy white head that slowly drops down to a nice cap. Leaves ample, sticky lacing behind and has nice head retention.

S - Citric hops blend with some slightly funky/spicy character from the belgian yeast. There is a touch of pale malt sweetness in there as well.

T - Lightly sweet, biscuity malt up front that leads into a mix of citric, floral hop flavors and spicy, bready, and herbal yeast notes. Finish brings some dryness a sturdy kick of bitterness. Aftertaste is subtle, but carries some floral hop and slight yeast flavors.

M - Medium body with a crisp carbonation that suits the feel well.

D - Another interesting and tasty offering from Stone. Their IPA being one of my favorites, it was nice to try it with a twist. I think I still prefer the original, but I'm glad I tried this and would try it again.

Photo of jmhart
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this on tap at Taco Mac @Metropolis, Atlanta, GA, served in a goblet

A - Honey-amber with a creamy head. Intricate web.

S - Honey, fruits, mild hops. Hint of citrus.

T - Wonderful balance of fruity/citrus notes with mild hobby flavor. Nicely balanced. Mildly yeasty, with a honey finish.

M - Balanced acidity and not much bite. Holds up well with a meal, but could stand well alone.

D - Different than other Stone offerings, but perhaps one of their best. Smooth with a mild bite on the finish.

Overall: A unique brew, but definitely paying tribute to traditional Belgium IPAs.

Photo of rustymoore
4.88/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a golden hue with nice head with minimal lacing throughout...very visually appealing.

S: Smell is amazing with strong citrus and spice notes not to mention the strong hop notes as well.

T: One of the better beers I have sampled as of late. Taste is very citrusy with strong spices throughout every sip. The hop combination with this is something that I haven't experienced before but it one of the best tasting offering you will experience this year in the world of beer.

M: Very mild and easy to swish around and get all the flavors.

D: I could drink this all night. It makes me wish I had bought more at the Greenlife in Asheville. Big ups to Asheville!

Photo of DNICE555
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber with the usual Stone screen printed bottle. Thanks go out to BA PatronWizard for the chance to try this one. Stone special releases have not yet made it to GA.

Very nice, light golden pour with the very lightest hint of haze in the clear body. Head is above average but light but it does leave decent lace. Looks strong. Has a Tripel appearance.

Nose is hoppier and more IPAish than the beer drinks. The nose points more toward the West Coast IPA function of the name rather than the Belgian part.

Very smooth and really quite sweet. The hop edge only comes in at the end and in the aftertaste.

Very tasty and easy drinking and pulls off a very nice combo of styles in this relatively newly established hybrid slot.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong aroma is hoppy and evergreen with a firm, sour citrus overtone, a mixture of lemon and orange with just a whisper of lime. It pours an average golden amber with a decent off-white head, but appearance is this beer's weakest suit. Flavor is fairly hoppy, but pleasantly sour citrus dominates with orange and lemon and a little bit of lime. Texture is exceptionally smooth, yet tingly and fizzy enough for a beer. Recommended to all hop-heads.

Stone Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,651 ratings.