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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA - Stone Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,060 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,060
Hads: 3,237
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.55%
Wants: 106
Gots: 578 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA | 6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

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

Stone Cali-Belgique IPA features a complex and surprising combination of flavors, but behind the fancy title is the simply delicious Stone IPA. The addition of a carefully selected strain of Belgian yeast adds banana and spice notes to the hoppy brightness of our flagship IPA. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,060 | Hads: 3,237
Photo of jminsc76
2.78/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

At home and in the mood to try Stone's Belgian IPA.

Pours a white, creamy head with lots of bubbles and carbonation. The body is a deep reddish gold, very vibrant and clear. Plenty of rising carbonation. Creamy lacing down the side as the head dissipates, which reemerges well upon agitation. These are some great visuals.

Aromas of pine and grapefruit, with slight smells of spices and lager. Definitely has that Belgian-ale aroma. Overall bouquet is not that intense though.

Here is where the problem begins. Flavors of bitter hops, citrus, strong grapefruit, and a little kiwi. The typical spicy Belgian ale flavors are also present. None of these flavors are a bad thing, all are good, but the issue is the bitterness overwhelms the taste. And unlike Stone's original IPA, the hops are not smooth: They impact the palate, but don't refresh it.

This one almost misses the mark completely when compared to other Belgian IPAs such as a Piraat or Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen. I am practically forcing myself to finish it, but do so out of respect for Stone.

On the plus side, the mouthfeel is actually quite decent, but the overwhelming bitterness negates all of the other flavors. Seeing as how it's getting a lot of good reviews, HOWEVER, I may try Cali-Belgique again out of fairness. Perhaps my palate was affected by something else that day.

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Photo of boston2bburg
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this bottle skeptical about how well Cali would meld with Belgique, but with a deeply-rooted trust in Stone. The best Belgian ales are powerful and complex yet delicate, a quality American brewers often disregard. Stone, however, can seemingly do it all.

A smell unlike anything I've ever encountered, save a greenhouse, greets me kindheartedly, as if presenting me with a wreath of flowers for my triumph in bringing it home to be released to my senses. It's massively floral, hops blending perfectly with the earthy, fruity, and bubble gum/lemon pound cake sweet yeast aroma. Very suitable for the seasonal warmth and dampness.

The head is modest at first, a finger's worth in a fairly wide snifter. It settles thin and wispy but forms a very fine patch of lacing on the glass. The second (more vigorous) pour produces two fingers, The body is a crystal clear, brilliant golden poppy color, and I was surprised to see it was a filtered beer.

The beer is wet on the palate like morning dew. Earthy, fresh, berry fruit with a touch of lime (think mojitos), blending so well with gentle malt sweetness and again some bubble gum, that it seems the ingredients have aged together for centuries. Alas, being filtered I'm not sure how long you could age it. This is unfortunate as my only real gripe with the flavor is that it's maybe a bit too bitter for that Belgian yeast delicacy. It grows on you though.

Hops and spice coat my mouth, pleasant for me but not for all. Definitely an IPA sharpness to it. Trademark Stone.

Not really a session ale, but not supposed to be. I could see drinking a couple because it's so good, but for most, one will satisfy, if not sit heavy.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a pint glass from a 22oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

A - Golden and clear with an off white head and good lacing.

S - A nice combination of Belgian spice and floral hops. Not overpowering but rich and satisfying.

T - Oily hops flavors slightly edge out a spicy crispiness for control. A well balanced collection of flavors that few can bring together in such a balanced and effective way. Well done Stone!

M - A thick and almost oily consistency with a low to moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles.

D - Very intriguing and enjoyable. I'll definitely look for this one again.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two wine glasses. Special thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook up!

A: Pours a cloudy golden hue with a pillowy bright-white head of foam that leaves some slowly melting specks of lace in the glass.

S: Interesting aromas of piney and fruity hops, spices, red apples, pepper, and a slightly dirty yeast smell.

T: Lots of dry & toasty malt, tangy orchard fruit, a healthy helping of spicy/peppery hops and more of that dirty yeast

M: Spicy and peppery. Rather dry and prickly, even as it warms.

D: Pretty darn good, but I was hoping for a little more Cali than Belgique.

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Photo of brushtachio
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my brand new Duvel tulip. Light copper color with a tight head that dissipates but never dissappears.

Smell is excellent and unique. Predominate smell I get is apricot. Also a floral, nectar-like scent that reminds me of honeysuckle.

Taste builds on this by adding some resiny pine and a sharp bitterness that blends nicely with the sharp crisp finish.

I like the carbonation. Along with the dryness in the finish, this is what reminded me of a traditional Belgian trippel.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a crystal clear pale orange body with a small white head.

Nose is spectacular, like smelling springtime in the mountains. Fresh cut grain, flowers, fruit, yeast, bananas, cloves, coriander, fresh passion fruit, mangos, ripe golden fruits, lemons, strong bubblegum as it warms.

Taste is medium to full bodied with an immediate identity crisis. There's a definite citric hop flavor and bitterness but at the same time a very present yeast belgian quality. What's really interesting is that it's nothing like De Ranke or Houblen Chouffe, other big hoppy IPA/Belgian style beers. In those cases they're more Belgians with American hops, this is an american IPA with Beglian yeast. Quite a different beast. As it warms the strong piney resin hops really start to come out. Tropical fruits, strong resin hops, black pepper, citrus peel, lemon juice, grapefruit peel. Bitterness is actually kept to a surprising nice balance. It's not overly bitter in any way. Finishes with a nice full, but not in your face bitterness.

What an interesting beer. Like I was saying in the description. It's sort of an American IPA with Belgian influences, rather than DeRanke or others that are Belgian's with American touches. Cool beer, way to go stone.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown glass pry-top. Enjoy by 7.14.09 etched around base.

Appearance: Pours crystal clear with 1 finger of off-white sudsy head. Lots of staying power and leaves nice lacing.

Nose: Split between fruity aromas from the yeast and citrus aromas from the hops. The dusty/pine quality gives the hops a slight edge over the yeast.

Palate: The Belgian yeast strain plays a more important role on the palate. Lots of black pepper, seared grapefruit, toasted malt, and something brooding that reminds me of charcoal-grilled steaks. Hops pull up on the finish, coming back strong with grapefruit and pine, and drying.

Notes: A really unique beer that captures both styles really well. Probably best when fresh. Thanks Michael for getting this beer into Vermont!

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

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine and More in late February for $4.99.

Beer poured a light orange with a white long lasting head. Nose is belgian yeast, citrus hops, and hints of belgian candy. Taste is light malts, a bit of sweet candied sugar, white pepper finishing with a blast of west coast hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, lively from the carbonation and semi-smooth when gliding on the palate. Drinkability is pretty good, definitely a fun twist on their wonderful IPA. It may benefit from more of a malt backbone to even the hop volume. Nice effort, recommended for hopheads to try.

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

The Cali-Belgique poured a clear light autumn orange with 2-3 fingers head with a batter like consistency. The smell was of bubble gum and that familiar Belgian yeast smell.

The taste was pretty peppery with a soft malt backbone. In the mouth it was lively and highly carbonated. Overall an interesting effort.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best buy 3.5.09

22 oz bottle.

A: Poured nice golden amber color with a big, thick white head with decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Aroma was mainly Belgian yeast with hints of the hops. Some floral and fruit fragrance as well.

T: Taste was the opposite, more hops with the fruity Belgian yeast in the background.

M/D: Beer was smooth, refreshing and very easy to drink. Nice carbonation to it and a medium body feel. This is a solid beer, one that I may pick up again in the future, but more than likely will stick to the straight IPA.

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

this beer pours a very pretty golden color with a frothy white head that recedes to lacing. the aroma is really nice with the belgian yeast works well with the hops... a nice balance. the taste loses me a little bit, the sweet malt and belgian flavors fall behind the hop bitterness. the mouthfeel is a little light, the co2 is a bit much for it. could have been better, but it's still a damn good beer.

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aromam is great. It has a refreshing hop and Belgian yeast aroma. It's bitter with a solid malt base. It goes down easy and finishes nice and fruity. The taste is decent. It has a very bitter hop taste with a thin malt flavor and a dry fruity yeast finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tastey beer, but it's too bitter and lacks malt character.

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Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy dark gold with a thin whitish cap of fine bubbles. Quite a bit of streaky lacing, good head retention for what's present. Big citrus hop presence in the nose, grapefruit and pine, a bit powdery, but with some pineapple/tropical character, bubblegum, and faint spice as well. Same in the flavour, coming together in a sweettart-like fruitiness, but with a solid bitterness. Mild sweetness was mostly fruity, with a hint of strawberry, rather than malty. Closer to light than medium bodied and fairly dry, moderate carbonation, a bit on the rough side. I liked it. The difference in yeast added more complexity than I expected, but a slightly modified malt bill would probably improve the texture and create something truly impressive.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.44/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not up to the usual Stone bar, the biggest issue is a huge metallic twang in there, like chewing on foil or licking a signpole...not like i've done the later.

The aroma is big herbal florals and sticky hop resin that defines the Stone experience.

There's some powdery floral hops and chewy resin in here. astringent lemon peel and some slices like white pepper and clove. It's just an IPA, big chewy and bitter...with some metallic funk. Drinkablility isn't really there, it's just too one-dimensional for me to enjoy in large quantities...i got bored by the bottom of my 22. You want a really good belgian ipa, go with choffe...same price, yet delicious.

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Photo of Pencible
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a clear gold with white head. It smelled like rose and lemon and wild yeast, with a bit of honey. It tasted like wild yeast and lemon, with some honey and floral rose hops. It was watery with no carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a very well done Belgian IPA, but unfortunately that isn't my favorite style of beer. It was clean and pretty easy to drink, and it had decent body. I might have missed some of the subtlety to the flavor, since this had such a delicate character, but I wasn't in love with the taste. It was very nicely crafted, and it helped me appreciate Stone more as a brewery, even if this beer isn't quite my style.

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

Pours a light and clear gold color with a decent white head.

Aromas are of sweet malts, hard candies, some fresh floral hops, and some mixed spices. The nose is pretty complex and nice on this one.

Flavors of creamy and with light malty sweetness up front. Settles into hard candies, dry minerals, and a general crisp and dry hop bitterness. Finish has some funky yeast spices and a strong herbal hop bite. While this beer has a lot of hoppiness, it is still quite balanced with the upfront malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is great, very full, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is high. Another excellent Stone offering. Very complex without being to heavy or overly strong. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and I wish I had bought more than one at the brewery.

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

Appearance is golden with a rich thick head that crowns.

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

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

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

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

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

Presentation: 22 oz bomber, screen printed but it looks like its had a rough life. I couldn't find a date on it.

Appearance: Clear golden, large white head with good retention.

Smell: Lots of hops - bubble gum aroma is very appealing, there is a bit of Belgian yeast aroma in there as it warms.

Taste: The Belgian yeast is much more noticable in the taste - plenty of hop flavor, but not much bitterness, the belgian flavors round out the hops nicely.

Overall impression: Nice twist on a great IPA - plenty of great hop flavors with an interesting yeast note .. this one is pretty drinkable, I'd love to see it in 6 packs.

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Photo of citan133
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a Smuttynose tulip.

App: Looks a lot like the regular Stone IPA. Nice, two finger frothy white head, much like a tripel head, maybe not quite as thick. Light gold in color, not as orange as the regular ipa. Looks much like a belgium ipa normally would.

Lots of floral and pine hops in the hose, with the pine dominating a ton. Something else in the back of the nose that I can't pick my finger on. This smells really good. A little citrus in there too as it warms.

It tastes almost like a light ipa, if that makes any sense. Has a nice pine/citrus hop character to it, especially in the front, then goes into a yeast/slightly spicy very tripel-tasting part at the mid-point where the belgian yeast is very apparent, and then the finish goes back to a light, almost sweet hop flavor before going bitter again.

Kind of light, much lighter than the hop profile would make me guess. Leaves some nice bitterness in the finish for a long time, nice and crisp, very drinkable.

I didn't expect to be a huge fan of this beer but I am very surprised. This would be a perfect hoppy summer beer for me, I'd get my hop fix while still having something relatively light to drink. The hops are all over the board in terms of flavor, in a good way, and there are lots of layers to delve into, more so than in most other belgian ipa's i've had. Very nice.

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Photo of Brad007
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark-golden color with a two finger head into my glass. Looks about right.

Aroma is full of grassy hops and spice in the nose. A hint of grapefruit peeks out. Very decent for the hops part.

Taste is full of floral hops with a pronounced spice bite upfront. Elements of a west coast IPA and belgian IPA are abound but the hops dominate as with most of the Stone lineup that I've had. The malt shows through only a bit.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hops and spice and malt. Not bad. Alcohol is well hidden, though it's not that high anyway.

Not bad at all. I like this example of the style. It has a definite Stone feel to it. My only problem is that Belgian part of this beer seems lost. Regardless, you cannot go wrong with giving this a shot.

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Photo of katan
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber into a pint

A - Pours an extremely clear light golden color. Head formation is quick and strong. Dissipates to only a light film with a small amount of lacing. As stated, very clear - not showing much carbonation.

S - Very American IPA smelling. A strong combination of American hop citrus notes with malt sweetness. Has the characteristic stone brewing smell.

T- Starts off with a balance combination of malt sweetness and the background bitter bite. Along the way, a hop citrus and grapefruit note starts to really dig in. After taste is a combination of citrus hop note with a malt sweet bite. Not sure if these flavors meld all that well.

M - Moderate to low body on this beer - seems thin and watery. The carbonation bite is probably the best dominating aspect. Does leave behind an oily alpha acid aftertaste bite.

D - Moderate drinkability. For the style it does not distinguish nor hamper its drinkabililty The body of the beer is not filling - nor is the abv off the charts. The problem with this beer is its rather difficult to understand flavor profile - how do you drink this in a session.

Picked this up at the brewery - was worth a shot.

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

Picked this one up from the factory. Split this one with a buddy and I found it to be more pleasant than I was expecting. The mouth feel is smoother than you would expect from stones IPA tag. I like this as much as the Vertical Epic Ale which is a tough comparison for some. Overall this a heck of a beer. A must try for any Stone fan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, bright orange with a 2 finger, spongey ivory capping that was moderately lasting. A visible light effervesce was faint and slow moving while a small patchy covering was left for a lacing. Nice coloring.

S: The aroma had a bit of fruitiness with fresh oranges and soft grapefruit notes. A faint underlying smokiness was detected while lemons and a wildflower hopping rounds things out.

T: The flavor opens with tart tangerines with a citrusy flowery hopping. Slightly acidic with a dry flowery fade and a light dried malting and muskiness was well noted. Some sweet orange candy notes and a modest showing of dried fruitiness (grapes) and alcohol were also present. Overall a decent flavor, but was expecting more from this and lacked the complexity or yeastiness from other staple Belgian style beers.

M: Medium body, smooth texture with a soft carbonation tingle. Finishes dry with a slight tartness.

D: Overall good drinkability easy enough to consume but somehow was expecting more from this. Good, but only moderatly enjoyable. Drinks much bigger then its advertised 6.9% abv.

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Photo of becktone
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From notes 3-29-09

Eye: This beer pours clear and orange with gold in there too. Head is a creamy 1 1/2 fingers in height and is creamy in appearance. Really nice looking, quite inviting. Lacing is composed of nice rings connected by sheets.

Nose: Real nice nose on this. Fruity tones and citrus....both mingle to give this beer an overall aroma that smells of fresh cantaloupe. Not really much more to it than that. There's a malt backbone to it that supports it. This isn't the first occasion I've drank this beer, but I can tell you now that the aroma is much weaker than I remember it being. From memory and from what I've in front of me this one really does smell nice. Some belgian yeast aroma in there, like a tripel. Getting other fruit hints as well, a bit of orange.

Tongue: Bitterness strikes the tongue first, then some sweetness from malt, then phenols from yeast. Just when you think that the flavor of this brew has worn itself out it keeps going, transferring to belgian flavors after some transitionary phenols/esters, malt becomes different, and the whole perception of the beer changes. This is probably one of the most complex beers I've drank. This thing has a lot going on in it. Hop flavor is everywhere, citrusy notes come and go, play with the malt and ester/phenols then fade to reveal new esters/phenols. When tasting this citrus hop flavor first comes into play as an agent that acts as a barrier or transitionary agent. After that first taste of citrus hops, new flavors emerge and then give way back to the citrus hop. Wow! this is one hell of a beer, complex and full, just awesome. After the first citrus its kinda like a tripel then going back to an IPA with the hops leading to the finish which ends up finishing somewhere between the two. This beer is the Prime Meridian, East meets West, figuratively speaking. It straddles both Belgian and American, just awesome.

Feel and Drinkability: This one has a medium-full body with just the right amount of carbonation. Carbonation is lower overall, but this beer is packed with so much flavor that any more carbonation would be devastating to it. There is nothing I would change about the way this beer feels. This is one that I'm definitely going to pick up again, after all this isn't the first time I've had this beer, the first time I've really studied it...yes. I'm not sure if I'd call this a Belgian IPA, its more like exactly in between and Belgain Tripel/BSPA and an American IPA. It seems to me that Belgian IPAs such as Chouffee's Belgian IPA and Piraat, are a bit different. To me this seems to be different than either of those.

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA from Stone Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,060 ratings.