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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA | Stone Brewing

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPAStone Cali-Belgique IPA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 1,100 | Ratings: 3,397
Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Head lays an inch of creamy foam on top of a vibrant gold color with burnt-orange sunset highlights. Lace is abundant, splotching and dotting it's way all the way down as the liquid disappears. I ended up adding an extra half-point to the appearance because the lace beginnings stacking like sedimentary layers after awhile. A freaking gorgeous beer.

Very much hop-forward aroma, clean and breezy like dryer sheets and not as much Belgian character as expected. That might just come out in the flavor, though. Also some crisp green apple.

Flavor is a little more complex than the aroma. The clean, pine-leaning hops are fresh as could ever be expected from a bottle, and Granny Smith apples and young pear also feature in the flavor. But there's an earthy tone on the tongue giving added depth. It evokes soil, or fresh-cut grass, or something crazy-raw and earthbound like that, and this is likely thanks to the Belgian yeast. Some herbs/spices pop up, although it's difficult to pick anything out specifically. Malt is layered through everything, candy-like but merely a supporting element. Grassy hops and spices linger in the finish.

This beer wants to be syrupy, but the flavor is too buoyant and the body not thick enough to get it there. And that's fine, because it feels wonderful. A most excellent balance between carbonation/tingle and smoothness/softness. Lightly sticky.

All in all, this marries two of the greatest things about beer: Stone and Belgian yeast. This is delightful and should not be missed. (Kudos to Stone for recognizing both the Dutch- and French-speaking cultures within Belgium, printing exactly half of the bottles "Cali-België" and the other half "Cali-Belgique.")

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Photo of GPHarris
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a snifter. it really coats the glass and left light sheeting and lace throughout. the head billows nicely after each swirl of the glass. the body is a crystal clear and bright amber color.
s - grapefruit with a aromas of belgian yeast that comes through as bread. there is a hint of bubblegum sweetness as well. the belgian aromas seem to come through more.
t - sweet and fruity with light grapefuit hops.
m - fantastic. incredibly smooth and creamy.
d - highly drinkable and a delicious beer.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ON TAP at STONE. Dark honey color with a nice white head and heavy lacing.

Big lemon citrus assertive nose with hints of yeast, white bread and nose develops to a bit of burnt toast.

Big citrus/grapefruit flavors and a balance and character that belies the alcohol. Pleasant flavors and a very "all around" good drink.

A beer that really goes well with most foods and with a long grapefruit hop finish.

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Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip...

A-Pretty bright colden color. Somewhat cloudy, not entirely. Very carbonated, evident to the eyes. Held up to the light there is an orange tint.
S- Very floral and medicinal scent. Some surefire hops going on with noticeable yeast. Lemony- citrusy and wet.
T- Grassy and a little funky. Lime-grapefruit. Big yeast presence. Some spice. Very tasty. I can absolutely taste both the Belgian and American influences- well done.
M- Nice medium bodied beer. Not too thin, not too thick. Good stuff.
D- I found this one to be so tasty that I could not put it down. Very drinkable beer- flavors will keep you coming back for more.


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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 gmcfarre
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a hazy golden orange color with a very respectable 1 1/2 inch frothy white head. Yep, that's Belgian yeast for you. Lacing is left in little bits and pieces as the head fades to a thin layer.

S - Citrusy west-coast hops are plentiful, but the belgian yeast adds a great deal of funky spice to the mix.

T - Starts with some citrus and grapefruit flavors. Grassy in a good way. Slight, delicious funkiness comes on strong mid-palate.

M - Moderate carbonation with a medium body that can be filling at times. Finish is tacky and dry and slightly bitter.

D - Funny how simply changing the yeast results in such a different beer. An interesting brew that is certainly worth trying, perhaps next to a standard Stone IPA to compare/contrast. Alcohol is manageable and not too high in the mix.

Bottled is of the half that are labeled "Cali-België"

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

finally got to try this one, after much anticipation.

poured out of a 22 bomber into my snifter, the brew came out a transparent copper w/ active carbonation, and an off white 2 finger foam head.

this is a very interesting smelling beer. citrusy hops, very similar to other stone IPAs but also a welcoming spice and different sweetness is apparent. cloves, pepper, banana, bubblegum all apparent, i like

more of the same in the taste dept. the belgian yeast adds a welcom zest of spicy/sweetness to the otherwise dominant hops. this beer has the base of a belgian pale, but has the aggressive hop bitterness of an American IPA.

I actually enjoyed this one more that Ruination, or the regualar Stone IPA. This is the perfect marraige of style for someone like myself who is a hop=head, but also loves a good belgian. Kudos to Stone and American craft breweries for their willingness to experiment and take chances.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful golden color with an average head.

S- Citrusy, grassy. Smells like summer a little bit. I can smell some spices, but can't put my finger on what they are.

T- Tartness, grassy, and some citrus notes. Very even hop taste throughout your mouth.As the beer warms I can taste the spices,but,again I can't think of what they are.

M- Very good mouthfeel. Not too thin.

D- Very smooth and very drinkable.

This was good,but not really "wow" good. It is a little forgettable.

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Photo of TheNightbird
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Nice orange color with a long lasting head. The head was large and lasted a long ten minutes.

S- When the beer was first poured there was a great deal of hop aroma. With a backing of Belgian yeast. As the beer warmed up Cali-Belgique turned into a yeasty aroma and then hops.

T- Hops nail the tongue bringing a citrus and fruit mouthful. The taste turns into a yeasty profile. The hops and yeast blend well and are balanced. This beer is not super bitter.

M- Medium body with soft carbonation.

D- Overall this is a great beer that is different from all of the other brews Stone puts out.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: the glass is brought to life with light yellow gold and a light tangerine swirl. The body is reasonably active with a foamed blob sitting on top that left adamant sticky-filmed lace, a near bright white in color. Pleasant color for a nice sunny warm day

S: wow! a nice amalgamation of smells. I can gather the hoppy west coastness of oranges, pines, and grapefruit mixed with a spicy yeast whiff and most importantly, soft chunks of pink bubblegum. Good things so far...

T: the fusing of hops and Belgian brewing yeast could not be refined any further, it is really spot on. The hops hit the tongue with a slap of pine needles and a squeeze of grapefruit and then wash away slowly leading to a piece of clove spiced bubblegum and soft earthy-bready toasted notes. Man, as it warms I am gathering tropical fruit notes...hard to pinpoint...maybe some passion fruit with some California strawberries. Sounds crazy, but it is true. This thing is bonkers on the palate
After a few sips and gulps, I think that flavors lean more toward the Belgian style on the palate...this is by no means a complaint. This is great stuff and a good balance of the flavors that it holds

M: a good medium bodied brew. Things are not real creamy and yet it is easily accessible down the hatch. A good fit for the unique style

D: this is a tasty beer and I recommend it to those interested in giving the palate a workout. What do ya know, another solid Stone

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Photo of projectflam86
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep golden color with a thick white marshmallow style head that leaves lots of sticky lacing.

S- Strong banana and clove nose with other fruit (lemon, orange) and spice scents.

T- Lots of banana and clove flavor initially. Light bitterness accompanies the beginning taste with a decent amount of sweetness in the finish. Hops are light to moderate in the overall taste and are present throughout adding to the spicy Belgian ale flavor.

M- Light/medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden well and no funky aftertastes.

D- Overall a solid brew that wasn't as hoppy as I had expected but still very drinkable.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a 22oz mug.

Clear, bright golden color. Medium (maybe one finger) head, still effervescing, gorgeous lacing. Smells floral and hoppy and spicy.

Taste is hops. Lots of hops. A little citrus, and a very pleasant background sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light and airy, a tiny bit filmy. Very drinkable.

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Photo of imaguitargod
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into my new goblet and it formed a nice head that slowly died to a small dusting of foam which stuck around. Decent lacing and your typical Belgium golden color to the beer. Instant Belgium candi sweetness hits then the hops right after it. Floral and citrusy with a slight bitterness. As it warms up the sweetness backs off and the hops come to the forefront with more of a bittering hop presence.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of Lepley
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle.

A: Poured clear gold/orange with about two fingers for white head, good retention, and lots of lacing an
S: Floral, hops, fruity, citrus, lemon. Much like their IPA but more fruit in my opinion, not just citrus but sweet fruits like peaches or something similar.
T: Peaches, cherries, pineapple, lemon grapefruit, hops, spiciness, and a not-too-much bitterness. This is where this beer feels very different from their IPA, much more sweet and fruity.
M: Very carbonated, smooth.
D: This was pretty interesting, another good one from Stone. I made sure to have their IPA directly afterwards to note the differences, which are definitely in its fruity sweetness. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a clear golden orange with a huge creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is earthy muddy peppery hops and yeast with some bubble gum and cotton candy.

The flavor is lots of flowery soapy spices, bubble gum, and peppery hops with a big bitterness in the finish. A little fruitiness comes out as it warms. The mouthfeel is medium to full and is very velvety and creamy.

Overall, it is interesting and unusual. I didn't really care for the soapy bubble gum and bitter blend. It was a little reminiscent of a British nitro ale.

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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 boston2bburg
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I purchased this bottle skeptical about how well Cali would meld with Belgique, but with a deeply-rooted trust in Stone. The best Belgian ales are powerful and complex yet delicate, a quality American brewers often disregard. Stone, however, can seemingly do it all.

A smell unlike anything I've ever encountered, save a greenhouse, greets me kindheartedly, as if presenting me with a wreath of flowers for my triumph in bringing it home to be released to my senses. It's massively floral, hops blending perfectly with the earthy, fruity, and bubble gum/lemon pound cake sweet yeast aroma. Very suitable for the seasonal warmth and dampness.

The head is modest at first, a finger's worth in a fairly wide snifter. It settles thin and wispy but forms a very fine patch of lacing on the glass. The second (more vigorous) pour produces two fingers, The body is a crystal clear, brilliant golden poppy color, and I was surprised to see it was a filtered beer.

The beer is wet on the palate like morning dew. Earthy, fresh, berry fruit with a touch of lime (think mojitos), blending so well with gentle malt sweetness and again some bubble gum, that it seems the ingredients have aged together for centuries. Alas, being filtered I'm not sure how long you could age it. This is unfortunate as my only real gripe with the flavor is that it's maybe a bit too bitter for that Belgian yeast delicacy. It grows on you though.

Hops and spice coat my mouth, pleasant for me but not for all. Definitely an IPA sharpness to it. Trademark Stone.

Not really a session ale, but not supposed to be. I could see drinking a couple because it's so good, but for most, one will satisfy, if not sit heavy.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a pint glass from a 22oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Attleboro, MA.

A - Golden and clear with an off white head and good lacing.

S - A nice combination of Belgian spice and floral hops. Not overpowering but rich and satisfying.

T - Oily hops flavors slightly edge out a spicy crispiness for control. A well balanced collection of flavors that few can bring together in such a balanced and effective way. Well done Stone!

M - A thick and almost oily consistency with a low to moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles.

D - Very intriguing and enjoyable. I'll definitely look for this one again.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into two wine glasses. Special thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for the trade and hook up!

A: Pours a cloudy golden hue with a pillowy bright-white head of foam that leaves some slowly melting specks of lace in the glass.

S: Interesting aromas of piney and fruity hops, spices, red apples, pepper, and a slightly dirty yeast smell.

T: Lots of dry & toasty malt, tangy orchard fruit, a healthy helping of spicy/peppery hops and more of that dirty yeast

M: Spicy and peppery. Rather dry and prickly, even as it warms.

D: Pretty darn good, but I was hoping for a little more Cali than Belgique.

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Photo of brushtachio
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my brand new Duvel tulip. Light copper color with a tight head that dissipates but never dissappears.

Smell is excellent and unique. Predominate smell I get is apricot. Also a floral, nectar-like scent that reminds me of honeysuckle.

Taste builds on this by adding some resiny pine and a sharp bitterness that blends nicely with the sharp crisp finish.

I like the carbonation. Along with the dryness in the finish, this is what reminded me of a traditional Belgian trippel.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of taez555
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a crystal clear pale orange body with a small white head.

Nose is spectacular, like smelling springtime in the mountains. Fresh cut grain, flowers, fruit, yeast, bananas, cloves, coriander, fresh passion fruit, mangos, ripe golden fruits, lemons, strong bubblegum as it warms.

Taste is medium to full bodied with an immediate identity crisis. There's a definite citric hop flavor and bitterness but at the same time a very present yeast belgian quality. What's really interesting is that it's nothing like De Ranke or Houblen Chouffe, other big hoppy IPA/Belgian style beers. In those cases they're more Belgians with American hops, this is an american IPA with Beglian yeast. Quite a different beast. As it warms the strong piney resin hops really start to come out. Tropical fruits, strong resin hops, black pepper, citrus peel, lemon juice, grapefruit peel. Bitterness is actually kept to a surprising nice balance. It's not overly bitter in any way. Finishes with a nice full, but not in your face bitterness.

What an interesting beer. Like I was saying in the description. It's sort of an American IPA with Belgian influences, rather than DeRanke or others that are Belgian's with American touches. Cool beer, way to go stone.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown glass pry-top. Enjoy by 7.14.09 etched around base.

Appearance: Pours crystal clear with 1 finger of off-white sudsy head. Lots of staying power and leaves nice lacing.

Nose: Split between fruity aromas from the yeast and citrus aromas from the hops. The dusty/pine quality gives the hops a slight edge over the yeast.

Palate: The Belgian yeast strain plays a more important role on the palate. Lots of black pepper, seared grapefruit, toasted malt, and something brooding that reminds me of charcoal-grilled steaks. Hops pull up on the finish, coming back strong with grapefruit and pine, and drying.

Notes: A really unique beer that captures both styles really well. Probably best when fresh. Thanks Michael for getting this beer into Vermont!

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Photo of arizcards
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Total Wine and More in late February for $4.99.

Beer poured a light orange with a white long lasting head. Nose is belgian yeast, citrus hops, and hints of belgian candy. Taste is light malts, a bit of sweet candied sugar, white pepper finishing with a blast of west coast hops. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, lively from the carbonation and semi-smooth when gliding on the palate. Drinkability is pretty good, definitely a fun twist on their wonderful IPA. It may benefit from more of a malt backbone to even the hop volume. Nice effort, recommended for hopheads to try.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Cali-Belgique poured a clear light autumn orange with 2-3 fingers head with a batter like consistency. The smell was of bubble gum and that familiar Belgian yeast smell.

The taste was pretty peppery with a soft malt backbone. In the mouth it was lively and highly carbonated. Overall an interesting effort.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best buy 3.5.09

22 oz bottle.

A: Poured nice golden amber color with a big, thick white head with decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Aroma was mainly Belgian yeast with hints of the hops. Some floral and fruit fragrance as well.

T: Taste was the opposite, more hops with the fruity Belgian yeast in the background.

M/D: Beer was smooth, refreshing and very easy to drink. Nice carbonation to it and a medium body feel. This is a solid beer, one that I may pick up again in the future, but more than likely will stick to the straight IPA.

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA from Stone Brewing
3.99 out of 5 based on 3,397 ratings.
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