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Green Flash Le Freak | Green Flash Brewing Co.

736 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Le Freak® is the first-ever hybrid ale of its kind: the convergence of a Belgian-Style Trippel with an American Imperial IPA. This zesty Amarillo dry-hopped, bottle-conditioned marvel entices with fruity Belgian yeast aromatics and a firm, dry finish. Aromas of orange and passion fruit with sweet bready malts, and flavors of orange marmalade and citrus fruit pith. Experience a legendary beer.

Added by Westsidethreat on 05-08-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 736 | Ratings: 2,351
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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!

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Photo of timtim
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of mikedashg
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Aenema
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of toweringpoo
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of farrago
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of trevormiller
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 Oz bottle into tulip.

A: Amber color, very cloudy with a lot of sedmient in the bottom of the bottle. Moderate amount of head with bigger bubbles and minimal lacing.

S: Sour, grassy smell. I tasted outdoors, though, so some more interesting notes might have been blown away.

T: The description on the bottle, "converging San Diego-style imperal pale ale and Belgian-style trippel" is right on. The weird thing that happens is that, as you taste it, you can decide which you'd like to focus on and that particular style. However, for me, there's a reason these two styles are usually, well, two styles: they really don't mesh well on my palate. However, they get points for achieving exactly what they set out to achieve.

M: Feels more like the IPA side than the Trippel side.

D: A bit of a chore to drink this much of it, even over the course of a couple of hours. I don't need to have it again, so I won't be buying it. An interesting creation, but not on the frequent flier list.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle poured into a Dogfish pint glass twice. Not sure of the date on this one.

A- GF Le Freak pours out a beautiful golden color with orange highlights. Even with a careful pour this yielded a 3+ finger head that was thick and foamy like a milkshake. This head had a beige color& stayed throughout the drink. This has the look of a Belgian triple (De Dolle) for sure. Small patches of foamy lace stick to the glass in places.

S- With a beer billed as an IPA/belgian triple blend i'm picking up more ipa scents, although the triple is represented with the yeast profile. Typical IPA scens such as pineapple and other citrus. The Belgian influence is also backed by the up front spices and sweet candy factor. Some apple shows up as well balancing the two styles more equal.

T- A nice candy sugar blast backed by an array of hops giving off some pine, grapefruit, pineapple and other citrus flavors. A good amount of bitterness. Some funkiness maybe from the yeast strain and is 100% Belgian influenced. I'm really digging the yeast in this as it gives off a lot of fruit taste consisting of apple banana pears and others. A lot of spices show up with cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, pepper Etc. This is all backed by a nice caramel malt build. All things considered this is on the funky side of things with no brett used & leaves me scratching my head.

M- Le Freak finishes incredibly dry and has a medium body to it. It leaves a lot of the spices in the mouth and good carbonation. Quite bitter for the first 10oz but that subsides with time. I could see how this could be difficult for some to handle as even i had to take my time. Did not notice any alcohol.

D- No problem taking the whole bottle down but it took time. The bitterness became a non issue with warming as it became more creamy with the spices and malts coming out more. I'm glad I picked this up and need to find Green Flash Grand Cru. Took me a while to really pinpoint the style and what the brewery was going for and truthfully i'm still baffled but impressed.

Would love to try this on tap and another impressive offering from GF.

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good melange of West COast IPA and Belgian. Aroma is hoppy, and complex. Taste is above average mouthfeel, almost full mouthfeel. Taste is satisfying: Controlled hoppiness, with yeast notes. A bit ore to sweet side, not too bitter. Nice small white head.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an overflowing head into my pint glass. Color is a clear light amber. Yeasty on the bottom.
Smell is clovey, belgian hops, sweetness from the malts. Floral.
Taste: Is this a west coast IPA or a belgian tripel? Tastes like a blend. The flavors come over very nice, though. Nice smooth hop bitterness. Nice clovey taste.
Mouthfeel: pretty good. Small bubble dominate , ala a typical belgian beer.
Drinkability: Really good. Surprised to see that it's 9.2%. I went through that bomber pretty quick.
A very nice Belgian IPA, not quite up to Urthel or Houblon Chouffe but damn good.

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Photo of matty
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange colored ale with a very slow fading head.Aroma is hoppy and citrusy.Taste starts off hoppy and citrusy then changes to more warming belgian ale flavors.Very sweet and enjoyable.I would recommend for someone to try this ale at least once!!

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Photo of midaszero
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy orange straw body with one finger of white head

S - Sweat floral and citrus hops with Belgian yeast

T - Citrus notes with bitter hops on the backend

M - Medium body with medium-high carbonation

D - Not to bad but wish it was more subtle and balanced

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

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

Pours a slightly chilled orange with a fluffy cream colored head that sits beautifully in the tulip. Good retention and rings of lace left here and there.

A nice citrus aroma of lemons, oranges and pineapples with a touch of honey and spice and lightly toasted bread.

A little more exotic fruits in the flavor profile. Mangoes and passion fruits, pears, green apples, toasted bread, white pepper, and caramel. A good bitter punch here. Wasn't expected but was welcomed with an open palate.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. Chewy hops and a bitter, dry finish.

This was a nice west coast Belgian IPA, exactly what you would expect from Green Flash. Easily quaffable for a high abv. I had to remind myself to slow down.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful golden color with a nice finger layer of foam. So many bubbles swimming to the top it reminds me of the song "Tiny Bubbles".

Smells fruity with hints of green apple and pineapple.

The first taste is an eye-opener. Tart with a major jolt of grapefruit characteristics. A lingering aftertaste may not be enjoyable for some, but I like the feel on the back of the throat and tongue which makes me yearn for another taste.

I think this beer is a great take on the Belgian IPA mix but it also reminded me of a Double IPA.

Well done Green Flash.

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Photo of RickSawyer
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lively orange with amber undertones. A nice, thick, stark white head bellows up and then clings to the walls while falling to a slick. Smell is full of earthy citrus hop, orange zest, pine apple, a bit of tropical / mango comes through. Aroma is balanced with a nice, cakey malt with hints of spicy yeast. Taste is very nice. Assertive bitterness full of earthy, citrus hops reminiscent of biting into an orange with some rind left on it. Hints of a belgian strong golden ale lie underneath... shortbread like malt flavors with white pepper and ginger spiceyness. The bitter finish pairs extremely well with the dry, heavy carbonation beer's swallow. Alcohol slightly burns the back of your throat on the way down, but easily a sipper. Another win from Green Flash in my books. My favorite of the style so far.

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Photo of stumac
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Me and Green Flash go back...

this brew pours up a murky orange color easily resembling orange juice. Nice bubbly white head with great lacing on my Duvel glasseroo. the nose is a symphony of WHOA! American hopfest! citrus, subtle floral, pale malts, a hint o'booze, very spicy. the taste is thick and creamy. orange citrus, grapefruit, nice hop bittering, couldn't even tell that it has high alki. full bodied, crispy heavy carbo. A very bitter and tasty beer.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An old favorite. I am sure am glad they started bottling it. Reviewed 1/14/09. Poured from bottle to oversized St. Bernardus glass.

A: MMmm! A crisp, bright orange/amber with a slight-off white head that fizzles away quickly and leaves a small rim of lace just above the liquid in the glass.
S: Tangy, citrus hops. Aromas of tropical fruits, pineapple, blood orange, and a bit of pine. Faint esters of alcohol.
T: Crisp pine flavors up front. Fruity dominance with grapefruit, pineapple. An herb-like quality presents on the back end. Can't put my finger on it exactly, but it is a bit savory, salty.
M: Sharp carbonation. Balanced body with heavy flavors and distinct hoppiness. Astringency from the hops leaves me smacking my lips.
D: Oh how I missed Le Freak. I didn't find the bottle tasting as good as I remember it served from the tap, but it is still damn good. A nice SoCal spin on the Belgian IPA. Chuck really nailed this one. 9.2% ABV is well balanced with the serious flavor packed into each serving.

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Green Flash Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.