Stone Cali-Belgique - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone Cali-BelgiqueStone Cali-Belgique

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,022 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,022
Hads: 3,029
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 94
Gots: 445 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,022 | Hads: 3,029
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber served in a duvel tulip

Appears a clear, light amber when held up to the sunlight. The color of the two+ finger cap is somewhere between off-white and light tan. Sticky, spider-web lacing is littering the insides of the tulip.

Bold herbal, medicinal hop aroma. Not overly enticing. Fresh clipped pine needles make the medicinal scent a little more palatable, but still overly astringent. I think the astringency enhances the spiciness in the aroma, because it is quite noticeable. Melon, oranges and undercooked biscuits make up the rest of the nose.

Faint biscuits hit me initially and then herbal, piney and citrus hops take over. The finish is rather dry and spicy. The astringency is definitely enhanced by the spices (clove?) in the flavor. The flavors didn't seem congruent or balanced in any way until the very end. It took me a few sips before I could really wrap my head around what was going on.

Medium bodied, highly carbonated with a dry finish. A bit prickly.

As I stated above, it took me a few sips to try and figure out what they were trying to do here. Once that happened, I liked it. It's not great, but a decent offering and a style that is growing on me. (1,191 characters)

Photo of armock
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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 (587 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Cali-België (I got the Walloon labeled spelling) is a clear dark gold with an orange tinged off-white head that has long last and leaves fantastically dense, baby swiss cheese lace. The bottle is the typical Stone silkscreen with all the pretentious babble on the back, but uses a gold pigment for most of it that is flaked off and generally sloppy looking. The laces reigns supreme though, earning the high score.

Smell is great, definitely a Stone IPA, big resinous west coast hop nose, some fruitiness that I assume are the Belgian esters, as it's not really the citrus you get from Cascade family. I give this points for being the closest to what I expect from this style - not just a Belgian with an extra dose of noble hops, but decidedly a West Coast IPA. The problem is, that's pretty much all it is, I'm really not getting a lot of Belgian character behind the hop blast.

Taste is heavy on the spicy, piny hops and rather yeasty. I served this at fridge temp, like I prefer my IPAs (for both keeping and serving, to maintain the hops). Let it warm up some while I walked the dog didn't really open up many esters. Honestly, Stone's isn't my favorite IPA, and here the dankness of the hops overpowers the Belgian esters, it's just a bit to resinous for my taste. I'd like a better balance of both styles, this one swings too wide to the West, and without the hop profile I prefer out here. I guarantee that if I gave this to 9 out of 10 Portland IPA fans they wouldn't peg the Belgian character in a blind tasting.

Mouthfeel is pretty oily, nice foamy carbonation flirts with the trademark Belgian mouthfeel, but it's on the chewier, heavier side.

Drinkability is pretty good. I'm most impressed with their restraint in the ABV, it's plenty big enough to warm your cheeks without being gratuitous, as many west coast IPAs are, especially Stone. On the other hand, this was so limited, that I suppose getting a bit extra punch out of my only bottle wouldn't have hurt, but I certainly wouldn't have wanted to sacrifice the cleaner alcoholic taste. If you love Stone's IPA, you will love this, and while I like the more overt west coast influence, it's still not my favorite. (2,238 characters)

Photo of rye726
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm usually a huge fan of this style, but was not super impressed by this offering which I find strange since Stone makes such good IPA's. Not a bad beer, just nothing special. Pours and orangish brown with a tan head. The nose has Belgian yeasts and fruity hops over candy malts. Taste is light on the Belgian spice and on the bitter hops. Medium to full body is well carbonated. (380 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pretty clear gold color just maybe the slightest bit of a hazy. Nice white head with good retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

S- Citrus and floral hops are the first thing I notice. Also can pick up some malts and as it warmed up a little bit of yeast.

T- Pretty nice flavour. Somewhere in between a Belgian IPA and an American IPA. Nice and hoppy with a peppery yeast in there as well.

M- Medium in body and nice carbonation.

D- This one went down very easy and was enjoyable. Not quite a hop bomb but has a great balance to it. (547 characters)

Photo of zerofear13
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was very surprised to see this at a local store - I'd never heard of it, so was excited to give it a try. I didn't set my expectations too high when I noticed that they were using the very common yeast strain of Belgian beers. I'm quite wary of that bready, herb-spicey flavor.

Smell had that bready herb-spice smell, but definitely had that extreme hoppiness common of Stone brews. Taste was a pleasant surprise. The first notable thing was that wonderful Stone IPA flavor - very American. Grapefruit and refreshing bitterness. But that herb-spice that is common of Belgian beers was more of a sweet background. As it served in this beer, it worked quite well.

Overall, really shocking. I think I've found the first Belgian-yeast beer that I can find tolerable to sit through. Is it the best beer Stone's ever made? Definitely not. But it opens a window of hope for that Belgian beer that I was getting so bored of. (919 characters)

Photo of BeTheBall
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to my Duvel tulip; reddish golden rust color, incredibly clear to look through, small head with minimal lacing. Smelled of grapefruit, and hops. Taste was nice and hoppy but not so bitter as most STone beers (which I love). Working through the glass the hop bitterness and flavor seemed to diminsh. Mouthfeel was average; nothing great or bad. Drinkability was good, as the flavor was fairly mild. I would say, although a good beer, a little tame compared to Stone's other, remarkable beers. Probably will pass when i next see this in the store, but glad I tried it. (576 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bomber to nonic pint glass

A: Pale golden sunset in color. Massive 3+ finger head on a reasonable pour. Sticky lacing consumed the top of my glass as the head fell.

S: The highlight of this beer. Melted butter and caramel - the moment I pop the cap it hits my nose like a sack full of half dollars.

T: Not your Daddy's IPA. Pork belly and liquid smoke on the forepalate. The malt makes an appearance too, though apparently the hops didn't get invited. It is quite apparent that this is a Belgian style brew, as the yeast used changes the profile of this one completely (the bottle states this is the Stone IPA, brewed with a special Belgian strain).

M: Like most of Stone's brews, it's the perfect level of carbonation for the style. It's creamy and luxurious, yet not so heavy as to be offputting.

O: I like that Stone has done something different here. I can say with sincereity that I prefer their standard IPA, though I'm certainly glad I picked this up. I don't know if I'll return to this one. (1,009 characters)

Photo of FickleBeast
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Stella chalice.

Pours a hazy yellow color with a finger of white foam. Aroma is unmistakable belgian yeast - some bubblegum, clove, and phenols in the nose.

First sip presents itself as a hop-dominated flavor, with a sharp bitter middle and lingering belgian yeasty aftertaste. Overall very pleasant and flavorful. However, I'd prefer it as a straight IPA, rather than a Belgian varietal.

A good, tasty brew that would really appeal to fans of Belgian yeast flavors. Personally, I'd prefer a regular Stone IPA any day. (556 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a completely clear orange amber with a thin creme head. Nose is perfume and floral tones. Flavor comes off as the skins of some fruit to me. Grapefruits I think. I don't like to eat grapefruit skins, and I don't really want to drink them. There's also a bitter acidic bite from too much hops, I am guessing. Earthy dirt aftertaste a bit. Carbonation is slightly aggressive and the liquid is smooth. Overall this is a below par Belgian IPA IMO. The hops are too prevalent to let the Belgian Ale side shine and it doesn't have the balance I would seek out from this style. (576 characters)

Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A surprisingly tame Stone brew, that marries aspects of the California IPA and a Belgian strong ale.

Overall it's more IPA, which is what stone knows best. It pours a pale straw yellow, with a limited head and lacing. The aroma is light - almost like a pale lager with it's banana and honey scents.

The flavor strikes the tongue with it's tart lemon notes, but opens up nicely into a floral bouquet of flavors. The alcohol is masked by it's heavy carbonation and tartness - overall it goes down without an ounce of aggression. (530 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

A hazy, golden orange with amber edges and a moderate white head that sticks around. Leaves rings of lace down the glass with every big sip. This beer could be on a magazine cover!

Sweet and tangy hop note with a ever-present punch from the Belgian yeast, although it smells a bit vinegary here for some reason. I think the strong yeast character covers up a lot of the special hop character I love about Stone IPA. Certainly an interesting marriage, but the hop aromas do get lost; and the hop aromas are one of the best things about drinking a world-class San Diego (or in this case, "Cali") IPA.

An interesting blend of California hop juice married with old-world Belgian yeast. The hops here are sweet mixed with a familiar tang and spicy peppery note from the Belgian yeast. I miss the more pungent and bitter hop presence I'm familiar with from Stone IPAs, while at the same time missing the well-crafted sweet balance found in my favorite Belgian IPAs. This one seems a bit off in both directions.

A bit thick and heavy in the mouth for my tastes, but nothing to really complain about.

A fun and relatively successful experiment, but this beer does too many things simply well, as opposed to doing anything perfectly. Good, but not great. (1,289 characters)

Photo of browncrayon
3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a tulip glass, a beautiful orange amber with a 2-finger fluffy, white head.

S: Hoppy, with a bit of sweetness in the back. The warmer this one gets, the more the maltiness and sweetness comes through in the smell. I expected to get a bit more on the nose with this one.

T: This beer isn't as hoppy as I was expecting (or as I remembered from the first time I had it), but the hops give way to some great citrusy and floral notes. The maltiness in this beer really balances that out, giving a sweetness that cuts the bitterness of the hops. The taste lingers with you for a bit. The warmer it gets, the more the hops die down to give way to the malty and yeasty flavors.

M: I find the carbonation to be fairly light in this one. Medium-bodied and crisp.

D: Went through my glass fairly quickly, but I don't know how much I could drink. Realistically, probably no more than the bomber, but I was satisfied after my one glass. (942 characters)

Photo of FrognutUnl
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Crystal clear, gold in color. Slight head dissipates very quickly to a slight swirl which hangs on indefinately clinging to the side of the glass.

S -Bubble gum and fruity esters collide with a nice floral and resinous hop aroma. The nose is quite interesting though I am not sure how I feel about it.

T - Classic belgian yeast flavors of bubble gum and cloves combined with resiny, citrusy hops make this one of the more interesting beers I have had in a while. It all fits together quite nicely, bringing complexity not often seen in IPA offerings.

M - Medium body held up by a healthy dose of carbonation.

D - Very delicious though I was unsure at first how it would grow on me. Would definately reccommend though probably wouldn't drink it on a regular basis. (774 characters)

Photo of nickhiller
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy, apricot colored, decent one finger head is gone without a trace in less than a minute, no lacing.

S: biscuity malt, honey, plum, cedar.

T: tastes like a slightly sweeter than the average Stone beer. I honestly don't have much more to say, it's not bad, there's even some interesting tangy orange/tangerine towards the end there, maybe even some dates, but it really just tastes like a classic California hopfest.

M: medium body, weak carbonation, very sweet finish.

D: if you told me this was their IPA I'd be inclined to believe you. Alternatively if you told me that this was a dry hopped mead I'd also be inclined to believe that as well. (654 characters)

Photo of rallison
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice hazy golden amber color with a 1/2 finger white head.

Smells of Belgian yeast with a nice bready character. Slightly hoppy here, but not overly so.

Good flavor. Definitely a Belgian yeast flavor profile with a distinct West Coast hop profile. Overall, not bad. This leans a bit too much toward the West Coast hops...thus overwhelming some of the complexity. Don't get me wrong - this isn't overly hopped - it just lacks some of the superior complexity of the true Belgian IPAs. Some orange peel in the taste.

Mouthfeel could use some more carbonation. Drinkability is good.

Overall, good. This lacks in certain areas but is a fair attempt at a Belgian IPA.

Edit: Looking back at this review, a 4.0 for taste was too generous. (743 characters)

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into My Duvel tulip.

A-A dense,snow white,very Belgian,3 fingers of foam
sat atop a minimally cloudy,light orange body.Retention was good and lacing was nice consisting of sticky ribbons.

S-Light citrus,clove,Old school bubblegum(The hard kind found inside packs of baseball cards)grassy hop notes,toffee and mild pine.

T-Meyer lemon,floral hops,green papaya,clove,yeast rolls,some slight banana and cracker-like malts.

M-Light/medium bodied.Nice prickly carbonation.Moderately bitter,slightly dry finish.

O-I wouldn't say that this is my favorite Stone offering but I appreciate the effort. (617 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Pale golden brown color and very hazy and 1 finger head with good retention

N: Nose has some light hops as well as sweet malts and yeasty tones and a touch of nuts, some citrus and spice from the hops

T: Taste starts with some interesting sour sugary notes, lots of raw sugar taste, an interesting fruity center and slight creamy taste, some interesting Belgian yeasty taste mixes with a slight hoppy taste, somewhat like a Belgian IPA and reminds me somewhat of Hopsinjoor, it also has some bright citrus as well as a chalky dusty cinnamon taste in the middle

M: Mouth is juicy with a lot of carbonation and kinda thin

F: Finish has some strong bitter hops and spicey hops with grassy earthy taste that maintains its sweetness as it leaves a huge bitterness on the tongue

Final thoughts: An interesting beer that combines two great beers, as many have done before it, that don't usually blend well. Even with stone doing it, it doesn't blend perfectly but they do a pretty decent job of it. It doesn't have many qualities of either Belgian tripel or Cali style IPA, but slight parts of each rounded pretty well. Its not something to drink every day but occasionally it's an interesting change. (1,226 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at the Stone Brewery. The beer poured with a honey-gold color, with a tall, frothy, bright white head. The beer looked like it had a heavy, almost syrupy feel to it. Citrus, Belgian spice, and resiny bitter-sweet aromas on the nose. The smell is very vibrant and full. The beer itself is bitter-sweet, with heavy malted and spiced flavors forming a backbone for the dry, pepper spiced hops profiles. The beer has a sweet and sour balanced aftertaste, with some bitter hops giving the beer a dry finish. The beer is sweeter than most IPAs, and the Belgian funk makes this one difficult to drink lots of, for my personal tastes, at least. (650 characters)

Photo of Mancer
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden amber with a 2 finger high off-white head. The head dissipated after about one minute. Lacing appeared thick. The initial smell of the beer is citrus, pine and an added sweetness. The initial taste of the beer was the citrus and pine, followed by a flavoring of fruits and some spice. There was something odd about the end of the beer and it may have been how the spices meshed together. This beer had a medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall, this wasn't the best Stone offering that I have tried. I like Belgian IPA's, but this one seemed alright, nothing really special, which caught me off guard for a Stone. Can't say it was bad, but I don't think I'll get this one again. (710 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tulip.

Pours a clean, light copper in color with great clarity; noticeable beads of carbonation. Creamy white head that recedes after a moment leaving multiple pools of patchy foam. Thin and spotted lacing with good durability.

Semi-sweet candied sugar that melds very smoothly with a fresh, bright citrus aromas: lemon, grapefruit, pear, apricot. Hints of corriander amidst a slightly stiff, wheat character.

Intensely tart citrus and tropical fruit up front that is somewhat short lived on account of a burnt, bitter, floral hop presence. Apricot, pear, kiwi, and lemon. The corriander spice is pleasant following the fresh fruit flavors; however, the burnt-mustiness and faint candy sugar at mid-sip is bland and a slightly unpleasant. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a balance in this Belgian-IPA combo.

Medium bodied; crisp prior to the bland, candy-sweetness which turns the body somewhat dry and filmy.

The IPA 'portion' is definitely flavorful, but the Belgian yeast and sweetness hamper these highlights. Glad that I tried this offering, but next time I'll order a Ruination instead. (1,136 characters)

Photo of alli4051
3.65/5  rDev -9%
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. (600 characters)

Photo of pastradul
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a growler that was 1 week old.

Pulled the top off and there was a nice "pop". Poured into an allagash tulip. tons of carb in the pour, the head builds quick as I pour!

The smell is belgian yeast/bread/spice... followed by that signature stone hop smell!

The taste is similar. There isn't as much carb on the mouth as there was in the pour :-(
but the flavor is good. Strong hop presence that cuts through followed by agood amount of spice and bready presence. (477 characters)

Photo of mschind
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle no freshness date. I love reading the Stone stories on the bottles even though the small print leaves me cross eyed when I'm done. The story behind this one is Belgian yeast used to ferment what would otherwise be Stone IPA.

A- Pours a slightly hazy pale gold color into a chalice. One inch white, foamy head that clings to the glass.

S- The nose is unmistakable, the spicy Belgian yeast with the customary Stone hop blast.

T- The nose has me anticipating a Tripel but the taste is something else entirely. It starts dry and then I get the yeasty esters which add a banana flavor and a hint of honey like sweetness that turns sour at the finish. It reminds me of a Saison at this point.

M- Despite the modest head, the carbonation is fairly aggressive. The body is fairly light which adds to the Saison like quality.

O- This is an interesting mash up and I admire the brewer's adventurous spirit. It is enjoyable once you get beyond expectations of what it is supposed to taste like. It certainly defies any attempt to pigeon hole it. For my taste, I would prefer it to be either an IPA or a Belgian Ale. There is a bit of a clash between the IPA level hops and the Belgian yeast. (1,202 characters)

Photo of deereless
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The color of a light yellow straw, somewhat frothy and cottony head that sticks around, some spotty lacing down the side of the glass - 4.00, S: Quintessentially Belgian aromas, some clove and fruity esters, also a touch of sugar free bubblegum, the nose also showcases a range of hops that I can't necessarily decipher but I do get citrus and tropical fruits such as papaya, a very light and floral aroma all-around - 4.25, T: Obvious elements of the a Belgian yeast and an IPA - a solid hop bite which becomes even more evident as the glass warms, like the nose there is lots of tropical fruit, I also taste candied sugars, the beer is also quite dry - 3.50, M: Smooth and medium-bodied - 3.50, D: A very drinkable beer though a touch too edgy for my likings, I'm a big fan of the style of beer and Stone but this one just falls a shade short of what they generally produce - 3.50 (885 characters)

Stone Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,022 ratings.