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Green Flash Le Freak - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Green Flash Le FreakGreen Flash Le Freak

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,897 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,897
Reviews: 687
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.95%
Wants: 90
Gots: 146 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This Belgian Style IPA is an "out of the box" convergence of beer styles where American Imperial IPA meets Belgian Trippel.

(Beer added by: Westsidethreat on 05-08-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,897 | Reviews: 687 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of asabreed
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%

Bomber into a Brooklyn snifter.

Appearance: A more golden copper color, with huge ice cream-like lacing that sticks around for a while, leaving huge clumps everywhere. What a sight to see in the glass, though it would've been nice to see more carbonation surging around, and it's odd that the head was that mountainous without such a factor.

Smell: An awesome combination of Tripel-like fruit, candied fruit, and pungent citrus hops. Lots of pineapple, pear, candied oranges, sweet banana cream, and nice lemon and mild grapefruit complimenting the brighter fruit flavors. The yeast seems to be doing magical things. Heady and intoxicating overall, with much to discover.

Taste: I can see how some would be turned off by this, but I am certainly not. Huge burst of Tripel-like fruit and Belgian flavors at first. Everything from banana, vanilla, candied and tropical fruit, maybe some mango, certainly some pear, grapefruit, white wine characteristics, pear, and pineapple. But what the beer achieves is the immediate yet not jarring transition from the sweeter flavors to the absolute onslaught of pungent bitterness, and I mean insanely pungent bitterness. But because of the malt sweetness and huge effervescence on that end, the hops don't drown anything out. But this is more for the hophead, as the hops are bitter as hell, yet they still manage to do great things with the transition, the amalgam, and the long finish. When the bottle's done, a huge cake of yeast lies on the bottom of the bottle, even more than I've seen in many real Belgians. That has to make a difference, with a ton of flavors, and probably many changing from bottle to bottle, as the yeast is beyond generous.

Mouthfeel: Expectantly medium to full-bodied, with a decent creaminess and carbonation.

Drinkability: From what I heard before I tried this, it's a love it or hate it beer, and it seems that for most folks it's the former. And I'm certainly also in that camp. The biggest detractor is the $9-ish price tag, which just seems a bit outrageous. Take it down to the $7 range and we'll see, but Green Flash -- unlike someone like Lagunitas -- always has their prices high, so I suppose you have to expect it. But man, what a wild beer, and a style that I hope continues to catch on.

asabreed, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of ElGordo
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

Finally got around to reviewing a bottle of this, which I have to say was my favorite beer at the GABF last year. Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. The body is somewhere between golden and orange, topped by a thin, creamy white head that leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Wonderful aroma of shary citrusy hops, funky Belgian yeast, and notes of cut grass and pineapple.
Palate is a good dose of sweet, bready malt that is quickly supplanted by a strong dose of grassy, citrusy hops. A husky bitterness is detectable underneath the more overt flavors and lingers for a while after the finish. Otherwise, the finish is mildly sweet, with just a hint of candi sugar and spicy Belgian yeast.
Body is robust and creamy, but with a mild chalky streak that is a little offputting. Still, on the whole, the body is a good balance between the thick, syrupy backbone of a double IPA and the creamy carbonation of a tripel. A good effort on Green Flash's part, but there are still a few flawed elements.

ElGordo, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%

22 oz bomber bought for me by a friend at Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear light copper color with a huge pillowy off white head. The head on this one was at place in the glass I picked. It settles pretty well, but doesn't completely go away. It tries to leave lacing, but the bubbles slide down the glass instead of sticking.

S: What an interesting aroma. Citrus hops mixed with a banana aroma that I assume comes from the yeast. It definitely has caught my attention with the nose.

T: Tastes like what I would expect. A tripel with a kick of hops. Yeasty sweet Belgian flavor that is washed away with a load of citrus and piney hops. A little bit of spicing adds some extra interest too. Its interesting, but I have had better tasting versions of the style.

M: It has a medium body with a nice in mouth carbonation level. The spicing adds a little bit extra character.

D: The piney hoppiness of this one turns me off a little bit. It makes it a bit more harsh than others I have had of the style.

GatorBeerNerd, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of brewcrew76
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%

Thanks to Jcb890.

A - Slightly hazy, golden, burnt orange with a thin white head that quickly turns into a small wisp of foam in the center.

S - Juicy citrus hops, maybe even a bit of lemon, spicy clove, Belgian yeast, candy sugar sweetness and a touch of banana and bubblegum.

T - Tripel like candy sugar sweetness with spicy cloves followed by orange cream like, resiny hops that leave a lingering bitterness on the tongue. A touch of alcohol is also noticeable.

M - Crisp mouthfeel with prickly carbonation. Medium mouthfeel that gets heavy at times. Slight warming from alcohol.

D - One of the hoppier Belgian IPA's I have had. Very good but the flavors seem to be in contrast at times.

brewcrew76, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%

A: Hazy golden-amber with a head somewhere between cola-like fizzly and creamy. Leaves a wonderful wall of lace behind that makes for a nice looking brew.

S: On first smell, I detected the citrus hops. With each further sniff, the more delicate qualities all started to come out - some a little more pronounced than others (that is to say, NOT so delicate!) The yeast esters compliment the citrus hoppiness wonderfully, allowing it to carry an aromatic character and sweetening it in a way with a softer fruitiness, and even some hints of clove. Very nice.

T: Flavour is much like the scent... yeasty fruitiness, citrus hops with a bit of an herbal bite adding a nice touch of bitterness towards the finish. I could swear I'm even picking up a good little note of banana in here. Either way, it's very tasty.

M + D: Full flavoured, and full bodied to go along with that. Not TOO heavy, though... it's on the richer side of medium, really. Moderate, but assertive carbonation does it justice, and makes for a very enjoyable beer. This is an impressive beer, I'd certainly recommend trying it out. Green Flash has done a terrific job with this, and I'll most definitely be getting some more in the near future!

Proteus93, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of dancinwillie
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%

Pours a hazy, straw yellow color. Head is large, long lasting, and white. As I hold my glass up to the light, I realize this beer looks exactly like a hefe. No matter, as it's still an inviting looking beer.

Aroma is a yeast fruitiness, lemon mostly. Hops are detected, but I got a couple snorts of beer up my nose for trying to smell them.

Some good hop bitterness hits me up front. Followed rather quickly by the yeast flavors. Much like a tripel. I'm not picking up any malt flavors, however, and I'm not sure I approve of that omission. Seriously, a really good hop and yeast combo though. Hops are somewhat indistinct, however, and I wish there was more west coast citric hopping going on.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little chewy, and semi sweet finish.

This beer is kind of all over the place, and sometimes in the wrong places. This is an OK tasting beer, although not really for me. I have yet to taste a better Belgian IPA than the one Furthermore Brewing makes. That being said, I would drink this again if I saw it on tap somewhere. Cheers.

dancinwillie, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.3/5  rDev +7%

Picked up a 22oz single from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins. Around $6. Very intrigued by this beer,the idea sounds amazing.

A: Poured a dull, cloudy orange color with an extremely huge three fingers of head, which is spot on for the trippel, extremely dense small bubbles, tons of lacing all around. Excellent and interesting looking beer. Amazing head retention.

S: Really dominated by the smells of a trippel, big time candy sugar sweetness, various spices as well, lots of banana esque Belgian flavors, a bit of bubblegum. I was hoping for more on the hop bill simply because it was described as a DIPA/Tripple mix. A little lacking in the DIPA mix. Tripple is spot on though.

T: The hops really come out in the mouth, quite bitter, citrus, but mixed with the sweet candy like trippel flavors as well, this is so complex. I love it. My mouth is being pulled in two distinct directions. Bitterness is spot on, but sweetness is there too. Honey, but hops as well. Definitely a complex beer. I'm really enjoying this.

M: thick and extremely dry, definite pucker from the hop bitterness too, relatively thick, very light carbonation.

D: Dangerously high, the trippel aspect of it really hides the alcohol. Very interesting beer. Highly recommended. One of my new favorites. Excellent beer.

pokesbeerdude, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of RunDWP
4.3/5  rDev +7%

Let's get freaky!

Wow, what a brew. This guy really woke me up when I opened up the bottle. The piney, slightly fruit aroma surged from the opened bottle. Poured a hazy orange in my tulip, like an orange cream float with a fluffy and chunky head floating on top. Lots of lacing and sheeting on the glass, and the head stubbornly refused to go away. Taste was really intense upfront with lots of fruity and piney goodness. Hard to identify the fruity notes, I picked up some pineapple, maybe some mango, and some apricot. Nice resin, mellow like aftertaste and a nice, pleasantly astringent mouth feel. Could barely detect the alcohol, and what I did taste blended well with the overall brew. With all these intense flavors going on, I'd hesitate to call this easy drinking, but it was pretty enjoyable.

I'd have another right now!

RunDWP, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of acrawf6
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%

Pours out a very nice hazy rich orange amber with a frothy slightly tan head floating on top. It looks very appetizing.

Smell. I get a strong clove aroma with a little bit of pine. The belgian side sticks out with sweet esters and creamy to my nose. I also get some banana and nutmeg.

Taste. A very nice flavor with the belgian sweetness and the ipa hoppiness balancing very nicely. Overall i think the hops take the dominant flavor, with a present, but mild citrus character, and i can taste the spice coming out too. But as it warms in my mouth the sweetness comes through nicely, and somehow remind me a little like sugar cookies i used to get at a grocery store that tasted like they barely baked the batter. Aftertaste is a nice sweet orange citrus.

Mouthfeel. Body is a crisp medium, but fills my mouth up real nicely. Carbonation is at a good and high level. I'm amazed this beer has this much alcohol but stays so light and refreshing.

Overall, an incredible beer! Just great complexity, and great balance; all these flavors work together so nicely. This style is such an interesting concept to me, and i with the others i have tried this one stick above the rest.

acrawf6, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

Hazy. Light amber color with a touch of orange. Four-finger head that ends up in a rocky foam. Extensive lace...clumpy and impressive.

Belgian yeast aroma with a light level of hops. Slightly sour with some smell of pine.

Strong pine and pepper with lots of bittering hop. The alcohol is strong. The malt flavors is subtle...unlike most Belgian style ales, this is mostly hoppy. The body is what I'd expect of this style; the carbonation is appropriate.

smcolw, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of TheMistler
4.22/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a 22oz bottle, this beer is a hazy (only a bit, though) but bright orange color, with some amber. White head displays appropriately good retention. Millet-y, but creamy on top. Drapery lacing. Settles to hardly any cap at all and only a slight ring, surprisingly.

Fruity aroma, aided by yeast notes. Candied white raisins, malt sugars. Slight warming. A hint of pine, spice - slight peppery quality.

A malt forward taste, white bread. Grassy, pine hops. Finishes bitter, dry, but not particularly resiny. Some of the dry quality can be attributed to a hint of alcohol, but the ABV is very well. Also evidences a slight yeast, dough quality.

Medium feel, creamy. Continuous but tiny CO2 prickliness.

A fantastic Belgian IPA, I like it quite a bit. I wish came around these parts more frequently - maybe now that its popped up at RFD that means it will.

TheMistler, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%

Poured from the bottle a cloudy tangerine color with a rich, frothy white head.

A big aroma of citrus hops, Belgian yeast, and cloves.

The label says it all. A combination of San Diego-style IIPA and Belgian-style trippel. Perfect. Big grapefruit hoppiness with the warmer notes of yeast and cloves. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium bodied, bright, and moderately carbonated.

So unique. So drinkable. So good. A must try.

Monkeyknife, Feb 18, 2009
4.18/5  rDev +4%

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber with plenty of frothy, sticky head that left plenty of lacing inside the glass.

S: Smells of freshly cut grass and bready belgian yeast. I didn't notice much hop aroma.

T: What a beautiful job Green Flash has done in marrying the best aspects of a DIPA and Belgian Tripel! Somehow, the bitter hoppiness plays a beautiful background to effervescent Belgian yeast flavors.

M: Medium-light mouthfeel with ample carbonation to help clear the palate.

D: Another? Yes please.

FACEMEAT, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of allengarvin
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured into a large Val-Dieu chalice, this beer is a slightly hazy honey-gold color. A small head forms on top, and disappears quickly. The nose is luscious, with wonderful citrus hoppiness and spicy, fruity undertone of fresh pears. The taste is dominated up front by a grapefruity hops, and a high, drying bitterness. If you look for it, you can find a lot of underlying sweetness, and a fair amount of fruity flavor like a good Belgian golden. Good carbonation level, and the beer isn't too heavy. A nice effort.

allengarvin, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.3/5  rDev +7%

Poured into a large Gulden Draak tulip and received an enormous cloud of puffy white stuff on top (capped with meringue-like texture on the surface) under a brilliant burnt orange color. Leaves some lace stick as the head slowly, slowly mellows.

I'm guessing Green Flash used a Belgian yeast strain here, and on that assumption, it seems the Belgian yeast and American hops are playing nicely together. One doesn't dominate the other in the nose; they coalesce nicely, with the final outcome being a slightly flowery and very fruity scent. Toss just a kiss of alcohol heat in there and it's unlike any other beer I can recall.

As complex as the nose is, the flavor offers just as much depth and is even more of a pleasure. Warm sweet dough comes to mind, somewhere between sugar cookie dough, glazed donuts and yellow cake batter. Flashes of butterscotch. Grassy bitterness from the hops offers an interesting complement to the particular tweak of sweetness happening here. Citric bitterness and fruity tartness ride through to the finish, while warming brings out the peculiar yeast personality--a bit dirty, a bit nutty. Alcohol is present, but with everything going on, you hardly notice--it definitely doesn't stick out too far.

Mouthfeel is also pretty complex...it can't decide whether to be buttery or effervescent, so it sits equally between both. It's a little sticky and a little dry. Beguiling texture, at the very least.

I couldn't wait to try this one. Double IPAs and Belgian Tripels are two of my favorite styles--how could a top-notch brewery like Green Flash go wrong? They certainly didn't. Le Freak is delicious and a bit elusive. It's a tough one to fathom, and for that reason I wouldn't rate the drinkability higher than I have. Maybe my mere human tongue and brain aren't sufficiently equipped to process this new style--I look forward to acquiring more in the future to try and tackle its mysteries.

Metalmonk, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

Paid $7.49 for a bomber from BevMo in San Jose, CA. Poured into a goblet. This is about the fourth bomber of this I've had, yet the first review. I already know I really like this brew!

Just under a half inch of white, somewhat fizzy head. Well carbonated. Fairly cloudy glowing orange color. Some head retention, phenomenal lacing.

Smell is a perfect marriage of a west coast IPA and moderately spicy Belgian. Some moist breads and yeast, some spice, yet very nicely balanced with clean and fresh grapefruit hops.

The taste is just as the smell. So perfectly balanced - you can't really shift it towards more Belgian or more IPA. Alcohol greatly masked.

Mouthfeel if very alive and crisp at first sip. Maybe a bit overpowering on the carbonation. Somewhat creamy, could be smoother. Medium body, long finish.

As I drink more, the grapfruity aftertaste gets a bit much.

I love this hybrid beer!

ibbjamin, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of timtim
4/5  rDev -0.5%

clouded haze of yellow straw with a white head that holds around a bit and leaves a little lace. not amazing, not bad. a lot has already been said about this beer, so iwill say this: it really changes as it warms up, and i found the best way to pour it was a bit at a time into several glasses. balanced? in a wierd way it was. the sweetness and the clove/corriander were mellowed by the hops and vice versa. i love san diego ipas, especially green flash, and i'm a big belgian beer fan as well. that being said, this one didnt' do it for me quite like stone's cali-belgique, but it was a very pleasant beer, and i was glad to have sought one out. let's retire this one now and move on.

timtim, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%

22 oz. bottle tried 2 Jan 2009.

Poured in a 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Large foamy creamy off white head. Cloudy dark amber color. Aroma smells strongly of green bananas, cloves, resiny hops. A bit soapy at the start. Lots of yeast and banana. Astringent and puckery through the middle, finishes with a strong hop bite. Ethanol is warming.

Not really freaking out here.

htomsirveaux, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of mikedashg
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%

Pours with a big head. Golden, lightly amber in color. Could not see through this one at all, really cloudy (although I couldn't see actual clouds like a Kolsch, just very non-transparent)

Smells of citrus and hops.

Tastes are similar to nose, good belgian yeast with nice american hops and spicy clove. Pretty hoppy, more IPA like the belgian.

Very good mouthfeel. Perfect balance of carbonation. Not too heavy, not too light. Nice full body.

Drinkability on this one is really high. Very smooth. Except the only thing killing this for a session beer is the high ABV, one is nice. Two might be one too many.

Overall, this is a very good example of this style. If you like belgians and IPAs, this one is for you. This beer tastes like those two styles had a baby.

mikedashg, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.7/5  rDev -8%

Reviewed 1/25/2009 (bottle):

Pours a cloudy amber yellow colored body, with an average but quickly diminishing white. Pretty good lacing. Very bitter hoppy aroma. Also sweet and flowery. A lot of sweet spiciness. Soft palate, spicy taste. Some light floralness. Some bitterness too, but not very hoppy tasting. A little sourness. Definitely tastes like a weak cross between an IPA and a Belgian. Alcoholy as it warms up more.

jujubeast6000, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of Aenema
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%

Appearance - Pours a cloudy honey with a thick, sticky head and nice lacing.
Smell - Starts with Belgian sweetness and spice before a faint waft of hoppiness at the end.
Taste - A burst of piney hops morphs into a sweet mid-palate of sweet and spicy Belgian yeast. It finishes with a bitter crispness.
As this warms up it loses the initial hoppy kick and becomes very sweet with a bitter finish.
Mouthfeel - Creamy and well carbonated with cutting power and a clean finish.
Drinkability - Becomes too sweet towards the end. One of these is plenty.

Aenema, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.9/5  rDev -3%

Pours a big head with great retention. Orange in color

Smell is of banana phenols and a hint of cloves. This overtakes the hop aroma.

Taste is of sweet caramel malts with some hop flavor and bitterness with the clovey/phenolness of belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel is crisp and very dry.

This is a decent example of the style. I wish there was more hop aroma, but the bitterness and hop flavor that mixes with the phenols of the yeast is nice.

jasonjlewis, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of hoplover82
3.9/5  rDev -3%

Pours a clear golden color with a bubbly white head that leaves great lacing. Very bubbly carbonation.

Smells very esthery with lots of fenols, with some citrus hops in the back.

The flavor is very malty with lots of citrus hops and some good amount of bitterness to balance. Good hop flavor with belgium fenols and esthers. Very smooth on the alcohol, it's not boozy at all.

Full bodied and smooth. Almost creamy.

Pretty drinkable.

hoplover82, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of toweringpoo
4/5  rDev -0.5%

I've had a few of these newfangled american belgian hybrids and I've enjoyed them quite a bit. This one is no different.
Big thick rocky head. Color is a bit darker than a normal trippel. On the nose the belgian yeast and sugar dominate (practically screams trippel), hops light in the background. Taste is satisfyingly bitter. The hops really take over in the body. Otherwise, coriander and spiciness round out the flavor. And don't forget citrus abound. Carbonation is on point for the style. It's quite easy to drink. I will definately have more of these in the future.

toweringpoo, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of farrago
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

Generous two-finger plus head of uneven white foam that takes a good long time to dissolve and leaves a sticky lacing behind. Zinc orange to copper in color, warm hazy glow to it, draws you in. The mandarin orange and pink grapefruit citrus evident in the nose, avoids excessive sweetness and sourness, flowers and coriander spice add depth, same for the pear, apricot, guava fruit scents, hoppy in a gentle grain-driven fashion, not too bready nor toasty. Full-bodied, pushes into the mouth but ceases the aggression thereafter. The clove, anise, coriander spice beats the white grapefruit, orange citrus out of the starting gate. The carbonation stays at the right level to allow it to retain weight and chewiness, also allowing for clarity and separation of the flavors. The semi-tropical feel of guava, mango, apricot, pear fruit continues, with a glazed or dried fruit character. Momentary pinch of white pepper and salt, however, this only serves as entry to the herbal hops past the mid-palate. Tries hard to achieve a lot, thus don't see this as a beer to "relax" with.

farrago, Feb 01, 2009
Green Flash Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,897 ratings.