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Cali-Belgique IPA - White Wine Barrel-Aged | Stone Brewing

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Very Good
48 Ratings

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 11
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a tulip glass.
8.4% abv according to the growler label

A: Clear, light amber color with over one finger of diminishing white foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: A dominating combination of crisp and peppery Begian yeast, bright vinous fruit, as well as milled oak. Hops-derived aromas exert a minimal influence upon the smell--from this perspective this beer's identity as an IPA is concealed; it could just as easily be a strong blond ale. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with bright vinous fruit and restrained biscuit malt. Acidity is moderate into the middle where bitterness begins to develop fairly early amidst mild yeast phenolics and oak. The finish is well-oaked and substantially bitter; absolutely bone-dry. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly acidic on the palate, with high carbonation.

D/O: This experimental treatment of Stone's Cali-Belgique IPA succeeds at capturing the intended barrel qualities. A side-by-side comparison with Russian River Temptation would reveal a beer just as woody and wine-infused, although far less sour due to the omission of bacterial inoculants on the part of Stone. The hops-derived bitterness turns out to be this beer's greatest distraction, although it is excusable. After all, it is not easy to conjure up the name of another production recipe that would fulfill the role of the Cali-Belgique here, but also repress the hops.

 1,454 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's rather incredible how the procession of flavors build, and build, and build and build. But equally as incredible is how the layering on of complexity doesn't make the beer confused. It make the beer smooth and complex. What was once American IPA collides with Belgian character and is then soaked in white wine barrels for a taste that's just that- smooth and complex.

Medium amber and with strong golden tendencies, the ale's look is of softly back-lit honey. Following with a soft perfume of honeysuckle, orange blossom, rose and lemon drop. Its tantalizing aromatics scents fold in on the chamomile, white pepper and clove that offer as a rebuttal. But unlike the standard "Cali-Belgique", the white wine barrel influence mutes its perfume and aggressively asserts its spicy oak, vinous tartness and earthy charm.

The highly complex ale dances on the early palate with the malty-sweet taste of honey, corn syrup and angel food cake. As its creamy richness approaches the middle, its fruit tones take command- piling on the citrus and orchard fruit flavors in all their tangy and juicy forms. What follows is a tangy wine taste that attests to the barrel- equipped with spicy wood tannin, cedar and cinnamon in the beer's lingering warmth.

Medium-light on the palate, the barrel-aged beer is further lightened with its expressive carbonation and its high vinous tartness. A peppery pang against the palate further removes the sweetness and richness of the beer from the tongue and easily ushers in a zesty warmth that cleanses the palate and strips its taste.

Where I find the standard Cali-Belgique a highly formidable American-brewed, Belgian-inspired Indian Pale Ale, it was always siding on the off-balanced perfumy side and insists on a soapy finish. This white wine barrel-aged version seems to temper its floral-ness and dissolves its detergent-like taste; all the while promoting vinous sour grapes and tantalizing acidity.

 1,942 characters

Photo of Jenray
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of colts9016
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice golden yellow color with and a firm one finger head. The head left lacing on the glass and has some legs.

Bright fragrant floral bouquet with lemon, grapefruit, and a hint of pine. Other aromas in the beer are a slight toasted malt with a spicy, yeast aroma. The white pulls through making this complex nose.

Taste: A very perfumy, floral bouquet with fruity esters and some pine notes. The fruity esters are grapefruit with hints of oranges and lemons. The malt is slightly toasty and a note of yeast. Tropical fruits, butter, oak are the background.

A smooth creamy finish that linger pleasantly on the palate.

This is already a good beer, but aged in wine barrel add a level of complexity that makes this beer ever changing with each sip. I really enjoyed this beer.

 785 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.19/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

At 2014 Most Arrogant Bar Bash (Barleys in Greenvillle, SC).

Pours with a very good white head over an amber body. Clear.

Aroma: Lightly sweet; floral; herbal; Belgian yeast; touch of vinegar.

Flavor: medium tart; fruity (soft fruits); light white pepper.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation. Semi-dry finish

O: ABV not hidden but compatible with other characterisitcs of this ale.

 388 characters

Photo of BirdsandHops
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Santosizer
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a very nice light colored yellow. Very fresh looking. a very thick head, 2 finger widths and nice retention.

S - This smells straight up like white wine. A bit of pine coming through, citrus, grape, a very wine smelling brew.

T - Tart, sweet, hoppy, bitter. A fusion of grape with pine, orange, mango, pineapple. Very refreshing.

M - Very light body, carbonation is a mild, silky, light. Very drinkable.

O - I really liked this. I just started getting into wine before trying this and I must say, it definitely is a wonderful fusion. You definitely get wine characteristics through this IPA. I'm glad I got a growler fill. A must try. I'm surprised I reviewed a Belgian IPA this high. It is one of my least favorite styles.

 738 characters

Photo of TucsonTom
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a tap takeover at Tap + Bottle in Tucson, Ariz.

The white wine barrel aging allows the Cali to pick up dry wine-like characteristics. Add in the Belgian yeast and IPA hops, and you have an incredibly complex beer to explore and savor.

A great, unique beer worth seeking out.

 284 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of KFrank729
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of kmanjohnson
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of JDizzle
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of vrbulldog22
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of JRod1969
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of ezperkins2
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

the chardonnay barrel here changes the game on this already delicious brew. the white grape fruitiness marries beautifully with the belgian yeast esters, a very cool match in any beer, but especially unique in such a hop forward one. the hops half mash and half clash with that fruitiness, making an odd but enjoyable battleground out of the tongue. the oak on this is also fairly intense, adding weight to the beer at the same time the acidity of the wine lightens it up. a number of compatible and uncommon juxtapositions in this brew. alcohol is still dangerously well hidden, and that chardonnay character just makes the whole thing sing. hop bitterness is lower now than i remember, probably a product of the age in the barrel. that was true with other barrel aged variantes of this one i have had as well. carbonation is rock star though, and the finish is oaky and buttery like a decent chardonnay. one of the better wine barrel beers ive had in awhile, not overdone or pretentious, just accenting an already top tier brew.

 1,030 characters

Photo of jvillefan
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of ortie
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of sd123
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

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Cali-Belgique IPA - White Wine Barrel-Aged from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 48 ratings