Stone Cali-Belgique IPA | Stone Brewing

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1,097 Reviews
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Stone Cali-Belgique IPAStone Cali-Belgique IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States | website

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by gpogo on 07-23-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,097
Ratings:
3,382
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
19.8%
 
 
Wants:
117
Gots:
689
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,097 | Ratings: 3,382
Photo of MouthfulOfchris
1.64/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a cloudy golden color with a thick bright white head that dissipates at a moderate pace and leaves a thin film behind.

S: A pungent aroma of citrus, bready yeast, and alcohol. Not a pleasant overall smell.

T: Tastes like a Belgian that has fermented outside in a Texas summer. It is just a terrible mix of flavors punched by an overpowering bitterness.

M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation.

O: I do not hate many beers. I HATED this beer! Half was miserably drank with the rest dumped. Based on some of the other positive reviews, I wonder if I had a bad bottle. I am not willing to risk it on this one to try again. I love Stone IPAs and figured this was a guaranteed hit. I guess I was wrong.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.13/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Cali Belgique with French Oak" served from a cask into a New Belgium stem-goblet at The Daily Pint in Santa Monica. Chinook and Centennial hops. Reviewed from notes. Cost was around $9.00.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger white colour thin head of little lacing and no cream. Appears quite soapy. Body colour is a vibrant copper-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Caramel, sweet malts, fresh floral hops, some hop oil, light nectar, and a bit of soapy detergent. A mild strength aroma.

T: Hop bitterness with no balance whatsoever. Little oak at all. Some floral character does come through, but the hp notes are mainly just flat bitterness. Simple and bland. Boring. Poorly executed.

Mf: Thin and weak. Undercarbonated. Slightly nectary. A casualty of its cask serving type.

Dr: Difficult to drink due to its low quality. A major disappointment, even coming from Stone. I definitely wouldn't get this again. One of the worst beers I've had in a while.

D

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
2.14/5  rDev -46.4%
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.

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Photo of mikeborglum
2.22/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured 22oz bomber in tulip glass; light amber color with nice tall head that does not last long but nice lacing; lighter than expected from a Stone IPA oily and flat with long astringent finish; too flowery in the aroma with smell of hay; bitter flowery taste to with strong alchohol; pretty dissapointing for a Stone brew!

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Photo of Thingus
2.24/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have been on an IPA kick lately and I picked this up on one of my recent shopping sprees... I feel like I had it at some point in the past but couldn't remember for sure so I snagged one...

Appearance; pours a lovely crisp goldenrod color, head went kinda crazy for me on this one (I may have had a violent pour...) i got three fingers of nice white head, started off with super fine bubbles, with a few large ones interspersed, the head gave way to larger bubbles not unlike bubble bath... Lacing is ok, retention is poor, all that's left of the the three fingers of head is a thin film.

Smell; smell is just kind of off... It's got a slightly pungent aroma similar to other belgians I can remember with a hint of honey and some slight pine hop aromas in there...

Taste; unfortunately was not what I was expecting... Its kind of a mish mash of an IPA and a Belgian, as if a drunken bartender somewhere starting pouring an IPA for someone who ordered a Belgian and rather than dumping or setting aside the IPA, added the belgian to what was already in the glass... Belgian yeast flavor dominates this and I get the slightest pine and hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel; effervescent, much like Belgians I've had in the past, but aside from that fairly unremarkable, generally speaking I prefer thicker, full bodies beers, and this falls in the light body category in my opinion, which isn't bad, just not exactly what I was expecting...

Overall; I really feel like I'm trashing this beer unfortunately, however I am being honest with my impressions. I feel like Cali-Belgique does two things half as well as a beer that does one thing pretty well... Kind of brings the saying "jack of all trades, master of none" to my mind. Perhaps this is simply a style I am incapable of appreciating and I'll likely revisit this one at some point a couple more times at varying intervals to give it (and any changes my palate goes through) another shot.

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Photo of beertunes
2.27/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a very clear, urine yellow color. A foamy, bright white head dissipated at a moderate pace leaving a lot of sticky lacing.

A nice, spicy yeast aroma greets the nose. Sadly, for me anyway, this the rare beer that smells better than it tastes. The dominate flavor is an overly sticky, sweet clove flavor.

The body is thinner than even a regular IPA and if it wasn't for that clove taste would be non-existent. I did not find this to be a very drinkable, or enjoyable, beer. I think this kind of a bastard style to begin with, with that said there are better examples of the style, go find them. Stone IPA is among my favorite IPAs and I love Belgian beers so this was a big disappointment for me.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.39/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

22 oz bottle into a tulip. From notes.

A: Pours an extremely clear golden color. Belgian-style beers shouldn't be this crystal clear. There's about two fingers worth of white-colored head. It retains decently and leaves a few rings of lacing behind. Even if the clarity scares me, it still looks good in a glass.

S: Mostly, the aroma provides notes of bready, undefined Belgian yeast. Not only does this lack definition, but it also obstructs some of the nice citrusy hops that would have otherwise popped out of the glass even more. Not bad, just rather simplistic.

T: It starts off quite bready from the yeast. The hop profile is shockingly gentle - and it's not like this was an old bottle (at the MOST, it was 2 months old: most Stone IPAs are still quite good at 2 months), it's just devoid of a hop bite. There are light touches of citrus, herbs, and pine, at least. After a few sips, it dawns on me: the yeast ruins it. It's too generic, too one-note, and too obstructive of the other flavors all at once. Add in a lousy phenolic aftertaste, and this is downright tiring to drink.

M: Not light, crisp, or refreshing. At. All. At least it's dry...I guess that's worth a quarter of a point. The yeast is so damn heavy, it just chokes the drinkability completely. Hell, it's even slightly undercarbonated for the style.

O: Moar liek Cali-Failgique, amirite? I really, REALLY hope Stone's saison is about thirty times better than this.

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Photo of nhindian
2.42/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

22oz bomber poured into a large snifter.

A - Seriously cool bottle on this one. Following in Stone's trademark, this one features a "destroyed" label with the iconic gargoyle. Pours an amber brown and builds a little, off-white head. Decent head retention and some spotted lacing here and there. Some sediment is visible in the glass

S - Interesting nose on this one. A trio of citrus, yeast, and booze. Notes of hops but not as dominant as I would've initially thought. A fairly unique bouquet that really grabs my interest.

T - Unfortunately, the taste does not live up to the nose for this one. Just tastes off and flat. Muddled flavors and a rush of hop bitterness at the end just mutes everything. Not very enjoyable at all and I foresee this bomber becoming quite difficult to finish off. A shame, as I really anticipating this one.

M - Light bodied and enough carbonation to sustain this IPA.

D - However, the drinkability of this one is completely shot. I'm only halfway through my first glass and I am seriously contemplating making this my first drain pour. The bitterness wrecks havoc on the palate and each sip becomes increasingly harder than the last. A complete disappointment.

I have (and hope) an inkling this bottle may be infected or light-struck as this beer is just a complete disaster. Almost undrinkable due to the flavor imbalance.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This beer was chilled and poured into an Imperial Nonic.

Appearance: The beer pours a very pleasing bright golden coloration. The head of the beer is thick with major retention. White pancake lacing marks the beers passage from my glass.

Smell: The aroma of the beer is heavy handed citrus orange, lemon, grapefruit from the hops. This combines well with yeasty clove, bubblegum aromas.

Taste: The beer delivers my expected hop bitterness. A bit grassy, grapefruit. The beer gives way to cloves and a very annoying mint flavor. In short the mint ruins my enjoyment of this beer. I want to score it higher but cannot.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beer has medium body with moderate carbonation. The drinkability of this beer was ruined for me due to an astringent minty flavor. This beer is simply not brewed to my taste.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
2.53/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Recommended by a friend. Approached with caution because this style sounded terrible. Poured a yellowish color, spices, yeat & banana on the noise. The first sip was wild. Had the yeasty Belgian bits along with the hoppy fruitiness of an IPA. But the way the banana flavor faded into the hops was rather gross. I don't see the appeal at all. How this is a growing style is beyond me, but even trying to appreciate this for what it is was difficult.

Since then, I've tried a couple others which tasted better and more balanced. Still not big on it, but make this one look even worse in hindsight.

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Photo of HappyGuy12345
2.55/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Sampled in a tulip glass while at the San Diego Airport (Stone Brewing in Terminal 2)
Appearance: Straw/gold in color. About 0.5 fingers of white head.
Smell: Well, this beer smells a lot better than it tastes. Hints of pine, citrus, and spices.
Taste: A bitter and off-putting mix of pine and pepper. It left a long and unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth. This beer also advertises the addition of a Belgian yeast that adds a banana flavor, but I did not detect this. I am not a fan at all.
Mouthfeel: Moderate-high carbonation with medium body.
Overall: In general, I am a huge fan of Stone beers, just not this one. By far, it's the worst Stone beer that I have sampled. To put it simply, this beer just doesn't taste good.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.56/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 ounce bottle from La Bodega in Riverside, CA., September 2008 for $5.99 (?).

Pours a pretty clear golden (on the dark shade) with a gorgeous thick rich head with lots of stickage. This is by far the best part of this beer.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with the other reviewers on the rest of this beer, because I was sorely tempted to toss it after the first few sips. But I stuck it out to see how it developed as it warmed, and it didn't do much for me.

Aroma of Belgian yeast, bubblegum, and a stale hops/organic (weedy) tone. Tobacco?

Flavor was harsh unfriendly hops, an odd rotten orange fruitiness, an underlying sweetness, coupled with a chewy mouthfeel I just did not enjoy.

Sorry- I appreciate experimentation, and give them credit for that, but as a beer to drink and enjoy, I just couldn't do it. In the end, I did toss about 1/3 of the bottle. Such a waste...

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Photo of Telix
2.57/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bomber into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: It pours a weak orange-goldish color with very minimal head. Fairly clear for a Belgian yeast strain, almost translucent, but a slight opaqueness in the thickest part of the glass. Good level of carbonation rising from the nucleation points. Nothing special.

S: Pretty strong nose on this. Spicy hops with Belgian frutiness and a bit of the sour funky banana one would expect, almost a rotten note hiding under there. I like the strength but it's not super enticing.

T: It hits the mouth with this weird light foaminess, almost tasteless at first. Slightly lemony, creamy. After the bitter effervescence clears some very mild breadiness shows up. Ultimately this tastes more like a highly carbonated mineral water with lemon than a beer - it's weak and a big let down. The finish is long and alkaline. Really not good.

M: The high carbonation levels give it good body, it's a nice thickness that outdoes the taste by far. A bit too carbonated, however.

D: I drank my bomber fairly quickly because I kept taking sips to try to describe whatever flavors I could find in this beer. It's really not tasty in the least, and doesn't leave you wanting more.

One of the overall worst beers released by a craft brewery in the past few years. Awful.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
2.58/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Fresh 22oz bomber served in a large wine glass. Freshness date is BB 07/2015.

Appearance: clear and golden with a nice white head. Great Belgian lace.

Nose: sweet hops, malty, Belgian yeast funk, pears, strawberries

Taste: bitterness from the typical Cali-style hopping rates, not very Belgian flavor, fast finish with nothing but bitter.

Overall: underwhelming, next time less hops more Belgian. Especially if your going to call it Belgian. The SoCal twist didn't do it for me.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.59/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Pours a one finger white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit nose. Flavor is grapefruit, malts are in the background, lingering bitter aftertaste that won't go away. Overpriced at $7.99 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of bifrostguard
2.61/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Appearance is clear copper color with a tall off white head.

S - Spice and grains backed up by some citrus hops.

T - Spice and grains. The hops aren't easily detected.

M - Thin and unremarkable.

D - Too much spice for me, but if you like the Vertical Epic release you will probably like this as well.

This is definitely not my style. That being said if you like strongly spiced beers you'll enjoy this one. I would attempt to describe the spice but I dislike this one so much I don't care to try.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
2.62/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle with mad verb's on back, as usual.
Yellow to orange in color, with a fizzy dissipating head.

Smells like belgium yeast, some sweet essences, but not much hops.

Taste was medicinal, astringent hops. The hopping isn't fruity but rather dry. The yeast comes on heavy and dominates the taste.Mouthfeel was astringent, body was light.

This was more of a belgium pale ale than a BIPA. Way overpriced. Stone missed the mark on this one.

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Photo of wcintula
2.63/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Not a good representative of the style. Pours a clear golden body with a big white head. The smell is a little hoppy with a sweetness and citrus twang to it. Hops seem subdued in the flavor as the citrus takes over. The middle contains a sour sensation right before a very mild Belgian yeast flavor takes over and finishes on a smooth note. There are better examples out there.

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Photo of ebrauser
2.66/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. No best by date.

Appearance: Pilsner yellow with a thick white head. Lacing is about a 6/10.

Aroma: Belgian yeast w/ hop resins and pine. A little peppery and spicy.

Flavor: Dominant flavor is the belgian spices, similar to a wit, but with a very strong bitter streak coming from the hops. The two flavors are not supported very well by any malt sweetness, and I don't think they are very complementary. Interesting, but I'd say that's the only reason for finishing this bomber.

MF: Drinks a lot like a white, but I think the bitterness (in this context) is off putting

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Photo of heapofaoatmeal
2.72/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured glass, nice pale color yellow orange. very clear. smell was weak hops and clove a little to simple for an ipa or a trippel. taste was kinda a mess the hop bitterness battled the sweet maltyness. its odd. le freak worked for me while this didnt. meh its a perfectly ok beer just not something i would go out of the way for. interesting concept less then impressive execution.

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Photo of clager
2.72/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Look - clear golden color, good lacy head.

Smell - Yeast primarily, did not get the good fruit scent that others are describing.

Taste - Bread flavor prominent, as expected with a Belgian. Good bitterness level. Metallic taste not enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - ruined by metallic taste for me. Well-carbonated.

I am big Stone fan but did not enjoy this mix, which is partially my preference against Belgians but also a metal flavor that limited my rating significantly.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.75/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A: [3.75] Beer is a golden straw color and forms about a 1/2 finger of head. The head has chunky and irregular bubbles. The bottle has a best by date (10/01/15) and lists the ABV (6.9%)

S: [2.50] Mostly Belgian yeast on the nose. Also a melted plastic sort of smell.

T: [2.50] Belgian yeast is there to ruin the party. That is all I can taste Belgian yeast.

M: [3.75] Slightly tingly carbonation. The mouth feel is slick and coating. Probably the highlight for me.

O: [2.75] I really dislike Belgian yeast. So this was a stretch. I hoped that this would have the IPA character and some hints of Belgian style. I get no IPA and all Belgian.

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Photo of mactrail
2.77/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Astringent is the word that comes to mind.

Attractive golden color, promising aroma. There is a hint of sweetness on the lips but immediately hits you with the full force of bitter hops. The wisp of Belgian complexity is quickly overwhelmed. Hint of spoiled fruit. Oof, gets less tolerable with each sip.

What's wierd is that I tasted this a couple of times in 2009 and liked it -- I wonder if this bottle is a little bacterial. Came from a store cooler in San Diego.

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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 Hambonillo
2.79/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The look is a light straw color, and the feel is like I'd expect from a Stone IPA.
The smell is too sweet for me.
The taste is kind of nutmeggy, and I find it to be objectionable.
Like mulled beer? The hoppiness is fine.
If you like pumpkin beer, this might be for you.

Of all of the Stone IPAs, this is the only one that I don't care for, much.
All of their other IPAs are great.

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA from Stone Brewing
3.99 out of 5 based on 3,382 ratings.
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