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Stone Cali-Belgique - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Cali-BelgiqueStone Cali-Belgique

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BA SCORE
89
very good

2,699 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,699
Reviews: 976
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 79
Gots: 240 | FT: 3
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: 2,699 | Reviews: 976 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice IPA but a tad watery, a tad thin, not nearly as hop up as some American varieties, and this is not your orangey bursting nouvelle variety. So, what's left. This is a rather pale yellow amber colored beer with a nice foamy head, some lacing and retention, but more so when the beer settles. The nose is floral hops, some pine notes, definite sweet malts underneath, but mostly just some pine hops, but not over the top in aroma.

The taste is neither here nor there. The beer is sweet and has some characteristic Belgianesque sweetness, some Belgian yeasty spices, some overly sweet malts from the candied sugars. The beer gets sweeter as it warms. The hop is not overly bittering, slightly more leafy than anything else, but with some very slight orange burst, some candied sweetness too. The beer is a tad thin, the carbonation is modest, the aftertaste is on the mild side, the consistency is light to medium bodied. The hop devolves into more bittering leafy notes, more than the oily or overly sweet florals. This is a decent beer but not my favorite by a long shot.

Photo of MusicmanSD
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Didn't know what to expect from a Belgian IPA with California balls, but I gotta say, this beer kicks ass. It's like drinking a spicy pilsner, but in the style of an IPA. It looked great on tap at Stone, smelt slightly clovey-belgian-y and tasted awesome. Really quite balanced, and actually, when compared to the house IPA at stone, very clean. In fact, the sag you get out of a worn out California yeast compared to this is strikingly noticeable. I'd recommend this to anyone as an interesting beer to try out. Really drinkable too!

Photo of Norfawkers
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts off like an IPA and finishes like a Belgian (as the name suggests)

Appearance: Clear golden; little head and lacing

Smell: Quite fragrant with spices, hops, and citrus

Taste: Hops up front, spices (cinnamon)

Mouthfeel: Robust, lingering bitter finish

Drinkability: An excellent sipping beer; very flavorful

Photo of Rhynes2
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gald I bought the last one of these from a store in columbus, ohio. The first thing that comes to mind is grapefruit which seems to be a stone thing. It reminds me a lot of the regular Stone IPA but with the citrus notes a little on the extreme side. I loved it. Pours a hazy golden color with decent but not spectacular head retention. No lacing, just a little when you take a sip but it quickly goes down the side of the glass. As I take another sip I want to add honey to the list of subtle tastes. Overall I loved this beer. It is drinkable, complex, exciting and all around a great brew. Can't wait to get my hands on another bottle.

Photo of david131
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- An absolutely clear golden color with a thick, craggy white head that has some good retention.

S- Some cooked vegetables, funk, citrus, and honey. Pretty unique and enjoyable.

T- A strong bitterness hits me at first with some orange rind and flowers. There is a nice caramel malt backing. Some Belgian funkiness comes through.

M- An oily bitterness is most definitely apparent that gives way to a dry finish. But, the carbonation gives this a creamy mouthfeel.

D- An enjoyable beer that I hope to see around more often. This became more enjoyable as it warmed and opened up.

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?

Photo of beertunes
2.27/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a very clear, urine yellow color. A foamy, bright white head dissipated at a moderate pace leaving a lot of sticky lacing.

A nice, spicy yeast aroma greets the nose. Sadly, for me anyway, this the rare beer that smells better than it tastes. The dominate flavor is an overly sticky, sweet clove flavor.

The body is thinner than even a regular IPA and if it wasn't for that clove taste would be non-existent. I did not find this to be a very drinkable, or enjoyable, beer. I think this kind of a bastard style to begin with, with that said there are better examples of the style, go find them. Stone IPA is among my favorite IPAs and I love Belgian beers so this was a big disappointment for me.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear bright golden color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some pretty good lacing. Aroma of slightly bitter hops with a light fruity yeast. Taste is also dominated by some light fruity ester with some dry hoppy notes and some neutral malt in the background. Body is full for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done thought there is some better example for this style with better balance between yeast and hops.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a golden color, a thin soapy head of foam forms up. As it fades to a thin cover, it leaves lacing behind that is intricate and lacy up high, getting progressively thicker and solid as it travels downward.

Aroma - certainly a hopppy nose as I would expect. Has an herbal, grassy side, and some pleasant floral/honey scents as it opens up.

Taste - a light biscuity grain underpinning, it moves quickly to a brief citrusy flavor, then onwards to ample bitterness that reminds me of a robust rye ale. There is an element of distant funkiness in there. The Belgian yeast is barely making it through the alpha acids, but does so in a complementary fashion. Definitely more Cali than Belgie. The finish is bitter, slightly warm, and ever-drying. Never quite reaches a medicinal intensity, impressive for an IPA of this size.

Mouthfeel - medium to a touch light in the body. Plenty crisp for the style. Well done.

Drinkability - pushes the upper limits of sessionability for an IPA, Belgian or otherwise.

Photo of jnfs
4.39/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear light orange in color, there is a little head that takes a minute to fall. It's moderately carbonated. The aroma is of a IPA or 2X IPA and super citrusy, I think there's a note of caramel on the nose too. This tastes rounded, sweet, Belgian and 2X IPA with intense bitterness and finish. The finish carries on your tongue and sticks to it. A wicked beer, if you don't mind rolling the dice and are up to something different.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone has cloned its IPA and raised it in a different culture. How will this differ from their standard IPA? On to the beer:

No cloudiness to this one....it looks like its older sibling. A darker orange haze, tilting towards golden in the glass, with a thick and sticky head on top. Great lacing. Smells...hoppy. It's a different kind of hoppiness flavor. Grapefruit and lemon pepper are more pronounced. A bit of horse blanket sits underneath....ah, there's the Belgian influence.

In the flavor, the clean hoppiness found with the regular IPA is cut in intensity. The yeast really takes over the beer. You will taste some pine and assorted citrus, but that horse blanket, lemon, aspirin, and cloth notes sure tastes Belgian. The mouthfeel is medium-light, not heavy, and goes off the palate easy without much carbonation.

Cool experiment, and it's successful. This certainly proves that beer raised in different culture can indeed be influenced.

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

Enjoyed in a tulip.

A: Light haze blurs light golden and soft orange tones with yellow at the edges. Under a finger of frothy white head, with some retention and a bit of sticky lacing.
S: Good floral hops on a candied sugar, sweet malt backbone. Citrus (specifically orange peel) and woody hops.
T: The hoppiest Belgian IPA I've had yet. Tons of citrus and florals up front. Orange peel with a hint of bitter grapefruit. Then comes the sweet candy sugar, and some bready malts are detected. The bitter residuals swoop in to take over the palate with a bit of non-citrus fruitiness.
M: Light body with low (and fitting) carbonation.
D: This is a great brew. A wonderful take on the style, and so undeniably Stone.

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

22 oz. bomber.

Very clear, brassy yellow straw, with a thick, creamy, lacy, beige-white head. Good retention. Inviting nose initially reminds me of a pungent hoppy German pilsner, with funky sea-air hops and noble accents. Further sniffing reveals a definite Belgian yeastiness which blends nicely with powdered sugar and tropical fruit notes. Piny, resinous hops around the edges.

Numbing, herbal hoppiness up front. Some pine in there as well. Nice wallop of sticky tropical fruit sweetness follows, with a distinct pineapple and cocktail juice ring to it. Sweetness is tempered by the constant hop bitterness, but also by a funky, hay-like, saison-ish twang (thanks to the yeast?). I like it. Dry finish with lingering bitterness and wee notes of aspirin and pine resin. Some fruity malt hangs in there too. Medium-full body with a nice creamy feel. I really like this one.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A golden-orange color with a frothy, thick ecru-colored head that lays down some thick lacing. Retention leaves some to be desired.

S: Like Stone IPA, it's got a large amount of sweet pineapple, lemon, and grapefruit aroma. The Belgian yeast is definitely present, as well, contributing a light straw-ish, funky aroma. The two aromas are distinct, and don't feel as cohesive as a true Belgian IPA should.

T&M: Very interesting, to say the least. Definitely unlike any of the other Belgian IPAs I've sampled. Fruity and hoppy upfront, with the Belgian yeast taking command late. A crackery/bready dry malt flavor and a phenolic flavor. The finish is extremely drying and long. Body is medium, but it's not got the kind of carbonation I'm looking for in a Belgian. Though I know this is more of an American IPA with Belgian yeast thrown in the tank, and it's not bottled conditioned at all, the feel could be better.

D: Decent. An interesting brew from Stone, and definitely top-quality. I think a more conscious effort by Stone to brew a Belgian IPA could prove more effective, however.

Photo of Lerxst
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Nice golden amber with decent head that dissipates and leaves some nice lacing.

S-I can smell the hops here, along with floral & citrus notes and a distinct Belgian aroma.

T-Grapefruit hits me along with hops and some maltiness.

M-A nice bite to it, dry finish, medium body.

D-This ones a sipper for me. It is a nice experience, but definitely not a session brew.

Photo of Offa
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Up 'till this, the only "Belgian IPA" that I'd had was Russian River's Defenestration, which I really liked and led me to look forward to others. Although good, however, this is a bit disappointing.

Orangish gold-pale amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and wisps, leaving some nice lace.

The aroma is grapefruit, candied orange zest, grain that is slightly caramelly lurking underneath, light raisininess, then, after a few second, it develops a lightly Belgian yeasty and fruity character - pear, faint banana.
It smells fairly good and definitely has at least some elements of an IPA (American) and a Belgian blonde/golden ale.

The taste also definitely has both American/West Coast IPA and Belgian traits but it's a bit thin and bland. It is mostly dry with whiffs of sweetness and light hints of bitterness and is rather low in both sweetness and bitterness. It is somewhat yeasty with pear, plum skin, spiciness, and hints of banana and leafy-resiny-grapefruity hop. It has a light, lingering spiciness. It's good, fairly easy to drink, quite crisp, but a bit too dry and thin.

Photo of lackingfocus
4.02/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Gold. Not golden amber. Not golden tan. Just gold. Minimal head and virtually no lacing.

S: Hoppy, floral smell. Light hints of citrus. Definitely very pleasant.

T: Really just a good quality IPA. Lots of hops with floral undertones. Makes for a very pleasant aftertaste as well.

M: This is where the Cali-Belgique excels as an IPA. Has all the crisp, clean fell you'd expect, but without overpowering or drying out the mouth.

D: IPAs aren't my favorite, but I could stick with this one for quite a while.

Photo of Casey10
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad a good brew no doubt.

A - Golden amber pour into chalice about 1 finger head.

S - light, grassy smell

T - Ripe bananas, raisins

M - tart, spongy leaves a sour impression

D - Don't know if I would keep drinking these but is good as ABV is low a good sipper.

Photo of wchesak
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a stone ruination ipa pint glass

A - golden amber, thick white head that leaves splotchy lace, white bubbly rings forms on top of the beer

S - not a large hop presence, lemony/citrus, floral also, pick up some of the caramel malt

T - great malt start, hops hits at the very end, not overly bitter or dry, the belgian-ish shows up in the yeast character

M - not too carbonated, medium body, alcohol is not hot or noticeable

D - great mix of a Californian IPA and Belgian IPA, more Californian than Belgian though however not a hop bomb either, will enjoy all 22 oz

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

22oz bottle purchased yesterday at merchant's fine wine in dearborn. sampled june 7/09.

pours crystal clear golden yellow with a small dense white head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is nice. bit of light belgian spice. floral and slightly perfumey. some light citruis - orange peel, tangerine. touch of cracker and white bread. bit of alcohol.

taste is good. just under medium bitterness level. grapefruit. orange peel. tangerine. bit of pine. light alcohol. cracker and white bread. touch of belgian spice, but less than i noticed in the aroma.

mouthfeel is good. medium body with a fairly dry finish. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. well balanced. the aroma is quite belgian and the taste leans more american, but overall it's tasty and enjoyable.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, 6.9% ABV. Pours a nice golden color, with a slight peach hue. Thick white rocky head. Excellent head retention. Nice patches of sticky lace.

Citrusy, earthy, and a bit yeasty in the nose. A hint of pepper as well. A whiff of caramel malt going on as well.

Nice citrusy hops, with some earthy and yeasty components. A bit of pepper in the end. Well balanced. The citrusy hops are there, but do not take over the yeasty notes. Nice contrast of flavors.

Medium body. Carbonation seems low. Alcohol well hidden. This was interesting.

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.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on March 3rd, 2009.

A: Clear copper color. Nice, this is one good looking beer.
S: The smell is typical of belgium beer. Spicy with some hops behind.
T: Strong taste that is very complex. Hard to get everything in the taste. It is typical belgium with some typical IPA taste. Spiciness with lots of hops! My first Belgian IPA. Quite special tasting, not bad, however I'm not sure I prefer it over a straight IPA.
M: Medium bodied beer. Mellow feel in the mouth. Dry at the end.
D: Quite easy to drink to the dryness of a beer.

To sum it up: A banana bread with lot hops in it!

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 3/30/09
Stone Brewing Co.
Cali-Belgique
Belgian IPA
6.9% Abv.
22oz. bottle into an oversize red wine glass.

Appearance= Vigorous pour into OS red wine glass yields a skinny 2 finger head. Nice lacing and rings around the glass. Good looking golden color.

Smell= Initial smell is yeasty, belgiany. When you swirl it up and let it warm, the nose is really good! Faint overall, unless you agitate it, but good.

Taste= Good taste. A little sourness on the tongue is interesting...Bready, yeasty, hoppy. After taste is a little funky... Not won over by the taste...But it's growing on me.

Mouthfeel= Carbonation on the tongue is present. Good all-around mouthfeel.

Drinkability= Abv. is not present, the flavor is good, a genuine quaffer.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Head lays an inch of creamy foam on top of a vibrant gold color with burnt-orange sunset highlights. Lace is abundant, splotching and dotting it's way all the way down as the liquid disappears. I ended up adding an extra half-point to the appearance because the lace beginnings stacking like sedimentary layers after awhile. A freaking gorgeous beer.

Very much hop-forward aroma, clean and breezy like dryer sheets and not as much Belgian character as expected. That might just come out in the flavor, though. Also some crisp green apple.

Flavor is a little more complex than the aroma. The clean, pine-leaning hops are fresh as could ever be expected from a bottle, and Granny Smith apples and young pear also feature in the flavor. But there's an earthy tone on the tongue giving added depth. It evokes soil, or fresh-cut grass, or something crazy-raw and earthbound like that, and this is likely thanks to the Belgian yeast. Some herbs/spices pop up, although it's difficult to pick anything out specifically. Malt is layered through everything, candy-like but merely a supporting element. Grassy hops and spices linger in the finish.

This beer wants to be syrupy, but the flavor is too buoyant and the body not thick enough to get it there. And that's fine, because it feels wonderful. A most excellent balance between carbonation/tingle and smoothness/softness. Lightly sticky.

All in all, this marries two of the greatest things about beer: Stone and Belgian yeast. This is delightful and should not be missed. (Kudos to Stone for recognizing both the Dutch- and French-speaking cultures within Belgium, printing exactly half of the bottles "Cali-België" and the other half "Cali-Belgique.")

Stone Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,699 ratings.