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Stone Cali-Belgique - Stone Brewing Co.

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Stone Cali-BelgiqueStone Cali-Belgique

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,030 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 1,030
Hads: 3,069
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 97
Gots: 475 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,030 | Hads: 3,069
Photo of charlesbyrd
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a footed glass.

A: Pours a beautiful honey-amber, bold and orange at the core with just a touch of haze. The head is eggshell in color andd soapy in texture. Decent lacing forms on the edges of the glass as the head slowly dissipates into an island at the center of the glass.

S: The Belgian influence is immediately met at the nose; the Juicy Fruit bubblegum aroma is the first thing i smell. There's also a decent amount of woody and floral hop aromas, reminding me that this is first and foremost an IPA, but the complexity is definitely boosted with the addition of Belgian yeast.

T: For a split second I forget this is an IPA and imagine I'm drinking a saison. I get a ton of tart fruit with a mild sweetness and lots of musty, yeasty bread. Many of the notes at the front of this beer remind me of a Belgian Pale Ale like Duvel, although it doesn't reach the same level of cohesion. However, these characteristic Belgian notes quickly fade to a blast of hops for the rest of the ride. It starts with grapefruit, then herbal, then ends with medicinal bitterness that lingers.

M: Light to medium in body with slightly less carbonation than expected. There's a certain level of astringency that coats the mouth, and the finish is slightly dry.

D: I found this to a rather enjoyable IPA for someone who doesn't necessarily like IPAs. In the end, this beer is what it is--a hop-forward beer. But the addition of Belgian yeast has given it an additional element other than the malt alone to balance out the bite and bitterness. I congratulate Stone on making an IPA that I would look forward to drinking again. (1,648 characters)

Photo of MShirokov
3.04/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes like an ok IPA to me. Where's the Belgian yeast? Where's the complexity of flavor?
One-dimensional, leaves a bitter aftertaste I don't like. The bottle was cheap, so that's at least one good thing about it. Not gonna drink the rest. When will I learn to stop taking advice from Binny's employees? (304 characters)

Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Stone does amazing IPAs, and this is no different. The only thing is with this beer is that it is very light. Much like a light IPA. I didn't get that strong IPA kick while I drank this one. Great for someone who's just starting out on IPAs or for someone looking for something light with a little IPA taste (308 characters)

Photo of ccm414
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 1 Pt 6 Fl oz bottle...

A- Poured with a nice, uniform 3 finger head. Slightly orange, but mostly a straw color. Leaves a decent lace while the head settles.

S- Rather sweet in the smell with the belgian yeast coming through very strong. Light grain. They really nailed the smell of a belgian ipa here, very nice. The hops come through on the back of the nose with some lighter piney scents.

T- Sweet and tart, very balanced with great flavor. Almost like a piney orange. I was expecting to get much more flavors from the yeast after the smell, but not much. For this "style" beer being a cali ipa with belgian influence, they really nailed it on the head. A great brew, I just wish it had a little more weight to it.

M- Light bodied, but packed with unique flavor. Not much carbonation. I feel it would be a little better with some more body to it, but still an excellent beer.

O- They really nailed it on this beer. It is exactly what I was expecting, and then some. The smells and flavors are all there for this california ipa with a belgian influence (mainly the yeast). I would grab for another one. Will visit again some time soon.

Cheers!
ccm414 (1,178 characters)

Photo of BeachRez
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking from a bomber purchased mid-08.

The color is a very nice orange. Nice head, no lacing on the glass. Perfect presentation.

The smell has a mild citrus aroma, which is also present in it's taste. It does have a hoppy aftertaste that real adds depth.

Very good and something that I would drink often. (309 characters)

Photo of digitalbullet
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep golden mahogany with a nice medium head. Fair head retention.
Smell: Fruity with a light bubble gum sprinklin'. Smells like a triple. There is a fair amount of citrus hops present.
Taste: This brew is the bomb for me! All the characteristics of a classic triple with a hoppy Stone twist. Bubble gum with a hoppy twang. A fair amount of malt can be tasted and good amount of bread "y" yeast can be tasted as well.
Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp. Excellent carbonation and so smooth on the palate.
Drinkability: So Damn easy to drink! If this brew were easier to obtain in my area I could become more of an alchy. Get it if you can! (646 characters)

Photo of JJBlanche
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I’ve always been intrigued by the Cali-Belgique concept.

A: Crystal clear golden to amber. Two finger head. The clarity gives me pause for something associated with a Belgian…but the lacing and the color are there.

S: Grassy hops up front, citrus hops fast taking over, then some spiciness in the background. After a second or two, once you’ve taken stock of the components, it blends well. Nice.

T: The hops play well with Belgian phenolics. A really nice menagerie, but my sample has this cidery tartness on the back end I don’t care for. Cloying, almost like a fruit lambic. It’s as if it starts off magnificent, has a great nose…then fades into sour milk. Bipolar is the best way to describe this brew.

M: Appropriate.

O: If it wasn’t for that sourness on the back end this would be a go-to. As it stands, not quite right. Look for the Schneider Hopfen Weissen if you want a seamless melding of old world and new. (936 characters)

Photo of JoshuaJ
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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? (1,039 characters)

Photo of vitrael
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice bright and slightly hazy golden ale with a small white head. Odd, producing really large soap-like bubbles on the pour.

S: Fruity Belgian ale yeast smells and a relatively light, fruity hop nose. Not the hop bomb I expected. A touch of bready malt.

T: Just... different. A lot of perceived sweetness coming from interplay of malt and heavy perfume of esters, with a relatively aggressive bitterness from start to finish. It tastes like a fine Belgian, such as Delirium Tremens, overhopped into a lingering and clashing bitterness that overwhelms and fights with the finer points of the yeast palate. I am a fan of both styles as they are but this beer has not sold me on trying to combine them. There are some fine Belgian pale ales out there, but this one is a little too aggressive. The flavor is really not bad, but my expectations were not quite met.

M: Appropriate to a middle of the road American IPA but a little heavy for a Belgian. (951 characters)

Photo of silverevo9
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasty Brew! Love the flavors of this IPA. Head is so thick i could stand on it. It does not give up either. Remains strong and sticky for the duration of the beer. Waiting time on the head is long, but a good thing. I love observing the beer as long as i can. Carbonation is healthy. Nice sweet taste on a flat tongue. Brings out a lot of flavor. Pleasant sweet malts with a tinge of bitterness. The hops bring up the back and remain with the nose. Smells of banana, and bubble gum.Typical belgian yeast smell. Love how clean tasting this is. Really easy to drink.Aromas from the beer keep you focused and interested. Watching the beer descend in the glass is a show. Presentation is outstanding. I will continue to enjoy this for the winter. Definitely recommend.Cheers! (771 characters)

Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.14/5  rDev -46.6%
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. (1,624 characters)

Photo of keytown
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P - Pours a golden yellow, with a 1 finger white head

S - Smells of fruity yeast, hops & spice.

T - Tastes of Belgian yeast, clove, grapefruit with a hint of banana and apple.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth finish

O - Overall good beer, typical piney bitterness of an IPA. Stone did a good job of combining multiple styles to come up with a very enjoyable beer. (366 characters)

Photo of tangentrider
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber beer with a white, disappearing head. No lacing.

S: Sweet, caramel malt; fruit, faintly spicy hop.

T: Very faint malt; citrus bitterness; very clean. Bitter finish lasts and lasts.

MF: Smooth, almost chewy, yet clean and crisp. Moderate carbonation.

D: Very good beer; I'll have this one again. (313 characters)

Photo of orangedive
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A - Goldeny orange. 70% opaque. 2 inch off-white head that dissipated slowly. Nice lacing is beginning.

S - Hoppy and fruity. For some reason, I'm not getting a whole lot of aromas, which is surprising for a beer with so much flavor. (Might have something to do with my glassware.)

T - Lots of hops, grapefruit and tropical fruit initially. Also, some candy orange. Quite of bit of malt is present, but the beer is nicely balanced. The yeast gives it a slightly tangy flavor, which is nice. It is not as "in your face" as Raging Bitch by Flying Dog, but it has a similar profile.

M - Nice...smooth, medium-bodied. The bitterness lingers on your tongue.

O - This is a great beer. It is very drinkable and has that wonderful tangy flavor that comes from the belgian yeast mixed with IPAs. (851 characters)

Photo of dukew456
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (1,259 characters)

Photo of drinksandeats
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of William85
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reading the description of this beer on the back of the bottle, I suspected gimmickry -- I couldn't imagine that the addition of Belgian-sourced yeast alone could have a major impact on the taste of an otherwise textbook American IPA, and I thought this might just be a repackaged Stone IPA.

However, I was proved wrong even before my first sip: at first sniff, I could have sworn the snifter in front of me held a Belgian ale (albeit a very hoppy one). And this is exactly how the Cali-Belgique tastes -- as far as I'm concerned, it is a really hoppy Belgian Ale.

I've read other reviews of this beer in which folks declared themselves as Belgian Ale lovers who enjoyed this IPA in spite of themselves; and as a hophead who doesn't generally enjoy Belgians, I would describe this as a Belgian Ale which I can easily drink. I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone who likes either hops or Belgian yeast. (914 characters)

Photo of dsprainman
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this one at the store today and was intrigued by the name. Just got back from Belgium, but being a west coaster, I'm very partial to a good IPA. Lets see how this stacks up.
A- Poured from a 22 into a Duvel tulip, Fat 2+ finger head from a slightly aggressive four. Rich opaque golden-amber body. Loads of lacing and the cloudy head sticks around.
S- The piney goodness of hops stick out with the belgian yeast hanging in the background. Spices and cloves also meet the nose.
T- Wow. All the typical up front fresh hops of a normal stone IPA with the subtle smoothness of belgian yeast sweetness to round them off.
M-Medium bodied, actually very drinkable for 6.9% ABV
Overall, This beer might be my favorite offering from Stone. While it falls more on the American IPA side than an actual Belgian IPA like La Chouffe Houblon, it's just an amazing interpretation of the style. As it warms the Belgian side opens up a little more. My new favorite from stone. World class. (979 characters)

Photo of Zbyler
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pale yellow with a nice white head. Mild carbonation.

S- bready notes for sure, slight hop aroma, citrus.

T- Belgian all the way until about mid taste when the hop bitterness becomes apparent. Bready, belgian yeast, slight sweetness to it. Bitter hop finish.

M- crisp, clean, lightly carbonated, not very complex. Feels like you're drinking two different beers as it passes through your mouth. Belgian on the front and pale ale on the back.

O- I was pleased with this brew overall. I am glad it wasn't as hoppy as some belgian IPA's tend to be as that is not my favorite style. The belgian aspect of it was great. (623 characters)

Photo of robby23
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It had a little had light carbonination. Its a very light in tast but still has good aroma to a little out doors tast to it with a belgian wheet. The hops were a little weak but still had a little critus tang to it . No date on the bottle which was odd, but for the price it wasnt bad. (285 characters)

Photo of MisterSH
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle. No printed freshness date that I can find, but I'm happy to report that I've complied with this bottle's stated instructions to keep refrigerated. Hooray for freon, which has allowed me to pour this moderately chilled beer into a Duvel tulip.

Fairly aggro pour reveals a rich orange/gold colored beer with a one finger head that quickly disappates, leaving some nice lacing sliding slowly down the glass. Looks good.

Aroma - a combo of the piney, grapefruity hop resin we're all used to with stone, and a sugary sweet bubblegum essence of belgian yeast. Yeah, there's clove in there too. It smells so much like a stone IPA that my American nose is finding the addition of the belgian aromas a little hard to get used to. It's like running into an old friend who suddenly... smells a little different.

Taste - An up front belgian clove note, followed by a spot-on stone IPA with a satisfyingly mellow, but undeniably perceptible essence of sweetness amidst the hops. Finishes just slightly spicier and more peppery than a stone IPA. If you've never had a stone IPA than this description is not making any sense to you, but the gist is that this beer tastes exactly like what it is - an established American IPA brewed with beligan yeast. Lingering aftertaste is a pretty tame and pleasant hop bitterness, accompanied by an unusual but very subtle bready sweetness, balancing things quite nicely and keeping the palate ready for the next sip. More drinking reveals complex hints of lemon peel, bubblegum, and fresh bread present.

Mouthfeel - Fairly high on the carb, a little chewy and certainly heavier on the tongue than a regular stone IPA.

Easy drinking, nothing dramatic here just a nice remix of a classic that makes sure not to throw anything off balance. All the essentials are still here, the belgian "essence" is subtler than I was expecting and offers a nice, gentle addition to a set of flavors that I hold quite dear to my heart as one of my all time favorite beers. If the choice was between another glass of this or of a regular stone IPA, I'd probably take the IPA. That said, I'd gladly drink this anytime, and I will most definitely be having more of these in the future. (2,206 characters)

Photo of ksmi116
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours clear dark gold, with a decent white head with good retention

S - Belgian yeast and tartness

T - Wow, this is interesting. Tangy grapefruit, pineapple, belgian yeast, and other tangy, but not overly bitter flavors

M - Could be a little heavier, but the carbonation and overall mouthfeel is quite delightful

O - I was really impressed that this is as different from anything else that I have tasted. Stone has not disappointed me with a beer yet! (460 characters)

Photo of CONOR8832
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice amber color with mild golden tones, cream colored fluffy dense head which leaves very good lacing on the glass.

S - At first gree apple peels with a mild caramel aroma from the malts but not too intense. good sweet yet floral aroma. Very well balanced in my opinio between hops and malts.

T- Hit with a bittnerness and you can for sure see the tastes that come out of this with them using the begin style yeast. Finishes with a some what not quite ripe great fruit appeal.

M - Good medium bodied IPA with a sharp and crisp feelin about it. Hops leave your palate with a slight coating on them.

D - IMO very well balanced, the belgin style really comes out in this one as the Name says that it should. Not my first choice when it comes to a beer or my first choice when it comes to Stone's beer but worthy of trying. (829 characters)

Photo of scbrew
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bombers now available at...what Albertsons!? Pours slight hazy gold with white head. Sweet belgian aroma of spice, banana and grapefruit. MInimal bitterness and hop aroma. Flavor is mainly Belgian Golden Ale, with nice citrus notes, maybe grapefruit, with mild hop flavor. Slight hop bitterness. (295 characters)

Photo of hsway
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass in two sessions (over the course of one night, obviously). I put the open bottle back in the fridge between sessions.

a: Didn't generate much head despite a relatively strong pour - body is a medium golden color - glows nicely when you hold your glass up to a light.

s: Floral and hoppy.

t: I think this beer balances the Cali-style hopiness with the yeastiness of a Belgian quite nicely - rather than fighting each other, they complimented quite nicely.

m: Smooth but not especially memorable.

d: I thought this was quite easy going down, despite combining two rather intensely-flavored beer profiles. (662 characters)

Stone Cali-Belgique from Stone Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,030 ratings.