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-Belgiƫ 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: 1,107 | Ratings: 3,423
Photo of neenerzig
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was lucky enough to have this on-tap last week at La Cave Du Vin. Served to me in a Unibroue tulip glass. This beer draws a clear, medium golden color with a copper,orange glow. Fluffy white head is about 1/2 inch thick when poured and settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass with nice spots of lace on the surface. Lots of little bubbles rising to the top of my glass. Aromas of citrus hops, some spices, followed by a malt presence. This beer has a good bitter citrus hop flavor, along with the aforementioned spice and a nice malt backbone rounding it out. Not a very complex beer in some ways, but damn good. Has a nice crisp, sort of oily, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Excellent. I would certainly drink this on-tap again.


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Photo of philbe311
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A finger and a half of lush rocky compact head comprised of varying sized bubbles... Moderate retention give way to a delicate veil of lace with a fuller ring of Pale godlen orange color... An ever so slight haze... A little bit of slow paced carbonation rises in the center of the glass... A medium amount of stickiness remains on the sides of the glass along with a slight oily residue...

S - A wonderfully riveting hop aroma... Grapefruit... Pungent citrus... Some minor piney hop characteristics... Belgian yeast... The nose seems to fade greatly during the session... T

T - As expected the hops dominate the palette... Yeast... A subtle spiciness... Cracker... The hops also dominate the the aftertaste...

M - A tad bit of carbonation on the tongue... Delicate and sophisticated... Medium bodied... Slightly puckering... Exceedingly dry...

D - A wonderful Belgian IPA, but one that is a level removed from the best of style... A sipper with style... Enjoyable all the way around... Would gladly welcome in the future and invest my own money in buying additional bottles...

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Photo of montageman
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

Found one bottle of this gem on a shelf in a local beer shop today. A lucky find indeed. A well made Belgian ale that has impregnated an ultra hoppy Stone IPA to conceive a deliciously complex sweet, bitter nearly perfect beer. Really, this everything I look for in a beer - not sure how readily available this brew is, but if you find a bottle, grab it and gives this bad boy a shot. Highest recommendation.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Well, the famous Cali-Belgique certainly sold out fast @ Abraxas during Stone Weekend.

Pale golden body, OK head, not exactly the eye-popping beauty of a tulip full of Houblon Chouffe though.

Aroma is of massive Stone hoppiness. Interesting to note that while this is Stone IPA with a Belgian yeast, the hops smell different - much more of a green, leafy fresh tobacco aroma, and less pine and grapefruit that you find in regular Stone IPA. I know the hops are not different, but the aromatic expression comes off different, perhaps modified by the different yeast. At any rate, it's outstanding.

I taste the ultra-green tobacco hop, also some pretty fair notes of chewing gum courtesy of the yeast...nice Juicy Fruits flavor. Between that and the awesome hop, you have a winner. Malts are slightly sweet.

Feel-wise, it just doesn't have the pillowy feel of the top shelf Belgians...yeah, I am thinking of Houblon Chouffe again.

At a *relatively* low ABV, this is very drinkable. It would be nice if it was easier to come by down here in South Florida.

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Photo of atsprings
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Belgian IPA has become one of my favorite styles, but like many other Belgian beers, they're never as good on-tap as they are bottle conditioned. This one, however, on-tap at Flying Saucer, is even better than the bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a crisp pale orange with a decent off-white head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is a nice blend of spice and citrus hops. The taste is a wonderful blend of spices, citrus hops and sweet malts that leaves a nice blend of spice and hops on the tongue. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation and just a touch of sticky alcohol. This is likely one of the best Belgian style beers I've had on-tap.

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Photo of cbutova
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Second time around for this one. Pours a golden yellow, slightly orange with a one and a half finger head that leaves light lacing on my pint glass. Head dissipates after a few minutes into a nice creamy coating on the beer, a bit too bubbly though. Smells of hops, piney floral and citrus and a good malt presence in the nose too, the Belgian yeast adds to a good nose in this beer. Tastes of citrus, pine/wood, more hops, some sweetness, belgian yeast and a good malt backbone. Mouthfeel is kind of fizzy for me but is light-medium with a good malt aftertaste coating on the tongue. Drinkability is high here, a fairly light beer, no alcohol taste or other bad tastes, the hops would get tiring if doing a session of this one though, great stuff from Stone once again.

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

Appearance is a light golden orange with a medium sized head. A crazy amount of carbonation is visible for a little while until it disperses after a minute or two. Smell is hoppy, floral notes, I'm enjoying this a lot. Taste is also hoppy, malty finish. Good amount of floral hops. Mouthfeel is a bit slippery for my liking. Good brew overall.

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Photo of aristeros
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my trusty Bodum pint glass. Very light amber with an orange tint. Some white head, good Floral and bittering hops in the aroma, some citrus.

Crisp, light bodied with a good mouthfeel, bitter, but gentle by Stone standards. Sort of like Corsendonk meets Stone IPA. Interesting, but I don't think it was a good combination. Dry finish and moderate carbonation make this pretty lively.

Well-crafted. A neat experimental by Stone, but it's not for me.

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

Pale amber, finger head.

Some hops in the aroma, yeasty. Much less than the standard Cali IPA hence the Belgian influence.

Very easy to drink, a little malt, more hops and citrus notes. A little sweet. Good mouthfeel. Not sure if Belgian yeast melds well with a ton-o-hops though. Interesting experiement and would like to try again on draft. Dry finish.

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Photo of Shaw
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a beautiful beer. It's bright gold in color with a large sticky white head.

The aroma spicy and lightly hoppy.

It has a similar taste of spice and general Belgian beer flavors. Mild levels of hops for a Stone beer, which takes little getting used to. But after wrapping my mind around it I like it. There is still a good hop presence, but it a non-Stone way.

A nice slick body.

Overall this is a very good beer and a neat departure for Stone from their normal hoppy brews.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was very good. It reminded me of a slightly more expensive and harder to get version of Bell's Two Hearted. This isn't meant as faint praise - I love Two Hearted, common though it may be.

A golden yellow with a bright white head that quickly fades to a scummy coating. A light but sweet citrus aroma backed by a good framework of maltiness. Flavor is more hop citrus, and delicious. Mouthfeel is pretty light and not at all sticky.

Really good, but I'm not sure it is worth the trouble for those of us here in the Midwest.

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

Cali-Belgique pours a yellowy/orange/peach color. Maybe a little opaque as well. The head is dense and sits nicely atop this pour. A tantalizing display in a glass.

The aroma that juts forth first is the expected clove/banana from the Belgian yeast, but wow is it fresh and intense, much stronger than I am used to. This is very aromatic. Behind all those spicy notes are the hops. The hop profile of the Stone IPA plays second fiddle but is a nice counter punch. Some good citrus smells and some pineyness.

The taste is not just their IPA with some added spicy flavors. Its a little more complicated. Lots of lemon citrus flavors on the tongue are meshed with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pineapple, banana and the list goes on...There is also a nice floral hop flavor thats very fresh tasting. So much flavor and a good deal of complexity in such a thirst quenching beer. As this one warms and I get to the bottom of the glass the IPA takes over and the spices fade. Absolutely delicious.

Consider this the product of a one-night stand with Stone IPA somehow ending up with a beautiful Belgian Ale!

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Photo of haningj2
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is very solid beer all the way around.

Poured from bomber into pilsner glass.

Beautiful beer. Great golden hue with the smallest tint or orange/brown. This beer is very active. Its one of those beers that mesmerizes against a gleaming sun. Very fitting that Stone brews it, cause you'll see the side effects after staring into Medusa's head.

Very aromatic. Slightly spicy. You get the obvious hop spice but seems to be a little piney and nutty. Citrus is present. Typical IPA.

Very clean for Stone. It smells much more IPA-ish than it tastes. Not that I'm complaining. Has much more fruit flavor than I expected. The initial hop punch is there but quickly backs off. Very subtle after-taste. Ruination this is not. The aftertaste has a wonderful hint of vanilla that I never would have seen coming.

Feels nice...even better going down. Not overbearing and has a very clean finish. "Mouthfeel" is opposite ends of their typical brew.

Drinkable but not a sitter. Will probably find yourself drinking faster than you'd like. I actually got preoccupied and let mine sit a little too long. I'd recommend drinking it on the chilled side.

Very solid beer. I will definitely purchase again.

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

Pours a orange golden hue with a thick effervescent off white head, forming thick and rising well above my glass. Sporadic chunky lacing simply clings to the sides of my Gordon Biersch Imperial pint glass. I know not exactly the choice for many Belgian style ales, however this one retains enough American hops to fit smoothly into this style of glass. Big grapefruit and citrus tones simply crash down on my senses, excellent American hop fact it's one I don't think that I've enjoyed since early on in Stone's uprising. A bit of Candied sugar and sweet biscuit or cracker sweetened malts lay open to a load of citrus hops, and since that's the case that is all I can recall from recent Stone Cali-Belgique examples. Sweet sugary hops and malts with spicy Beglian malts not as much of a train wreck as some of the Belgian style ales, I just hope that Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale makes it out to southeastern Ohio more often. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft effervescent carbonation from your atypical Stone creation, I thought I was going to hate the American hops with Belgian yeast but this version worked for me and I hope to see more of it in greater Pittsburgh area. Btw, I snagged this bottle from the Piggly Wiggly at Market Common in Myrtle Beach.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into a perfect pint

pours a clear gold with a off white head. not to much head, not to much lace, but some tints in the hue, somewhat copper toned.

smells hoppy and yeasty. some nice mix of fruits.

bitter and hoppy, but not what i come to expect from stone. not enough bite. i loved ruination and ipa, but this is a bit to weak. obviously its a belgain ipa, but i wanted a more refined taste. still, good. light body. pretty easy to drink.

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

had it on draft before, but no notes...

poured from a bomber to a ABA pint glass: yields a tiny little head (less than one finger). the body is a cloudy-hazy bright orange color. some pretty decent lacing around the glass.

hops and the belgian yeast notes rule this one. you get some hops (citrus) and then some spiciness, and a aroma that i can only say is belgian yeast. can't put it into words exactly.

not as hoppy flavored like the regular IPA. there are some of the mentioned spicy notes, and some hops flavor as well. the malts are not playing in this one much. a nice dry finish.

i'm guessing i expected the carbonation to be a bit higher on this one, but the lower level does suit it to a degree. a little over medium for body.

for it's strength (which is well masked) this beer is pretty easy to drink provided the spice is up your alley.

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

Okay...Stone IPA fermented with a Beligan yeast strain. Nice.

Pours a light, hazy straw color. Opqaue. A thin tan head, which descends quickly but leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smells of grapefruit, citrus, pine...pretty hoppy here. Maybe some orange blossom or summer flower aroma.

Taste like an IPA...hoppy sweet...some malts here, bready on the tongue...somewhat chalky in the mouthfeel. Some banana and clove, perhaps as a result of the Belgian yeast's bitter-sweet.

Overall, this is a good beer. It's nice, subtle variation on the standard IPA..reminds me a little of the Chouffe IPA...that very hoppy flavor with subtle hints of funk.

Drinkable? yes. This is a beer that goes down easy and is worthy of another sip.

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

A- A hazy golden yellow color with a two finger head. Falls to a slight ring of bubbles around glass. Good lacing.

S - There is an interesting blend of a yeasty bread and citrusy hops aroma.

T - The large hop characteris balanced form the Belgian bread and malt character, the hops don't trounce all of the flavors like the stone IPA, rather it's a more balanced beer with a good finish with touches of Belgian spices.

M - Medium body, good carbonation.

O - Awesome beer. Maybe not the best California IPA/ Belgian beer, but darn good.

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Photo of McDiddyPop
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Total Wine on a recent visit. Poured a 22oz bottle into my Stone IPA Stemware.

This one pours a bright golden color with an orange tint. Perfect clarity. My pour brought on a two-finger dense rocky head that subsided to a cap and left a thick ring of lace. One of the best collars of foam I have seen.

The smell is somewhat unimpressive. Herbal hops are very faint. A hint of sweetness from the Belgian yeast. I much prefer the citrusy goodness of the standard IPA.

Taste is fairly decent. Nice herbal hops fill the mouth. A mild tartness and a bit dry. An interesting mix of flavors, but I could use a bit more sweetness to round out the hops.

The mouthfeel is good. A bit effervescent with a nice dry, almost mouth-puckering finish. The dryness enhances the drinkability, however I won't reach for this one all too often. Overall a good beer, but Stone has plenty better.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam's Perfect Pint glass. Pours a dark yellow, not quite orange, close to a golden color with some cloudiness to it. Gets clearer as it warms up still a bit hazy, very little lacing on the glass. Smell is good. It's initially hoppy, then you can smell the Belgian characteristics to it. Taste is interesting, but gets better as it warms up again. Has the Belgian yeast but the initial taste the hops again, mostly citrus, maybe some slight pine at the end. Noticeable hops but not a very strong taste. Mouthfeel is pretty good, has a slight bite with a dry finish from the hops, but not bad. I found the beer to be pretty drinkable. I feel this is a beer that you really have to be careful if your drinking it with a meal, not a whole lot of options to have it with , maybe something lite.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured in to a goblet.

Pours a clear orange with a steady white head.

Belgian sweet with a fruity hoppy pop.

Taste is very smooth. Light bitterness on top of belgian yeasty.

Very creamy, carbonated mouthfeel.

Very drinkable beer. I could drink it all day.

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

Grabbed a growler while at the fantastic brewery/restaurant.

Appearance - A nice copper color. A solid foamy head and very nice lacing. Looks good.

Smell - Some nice sharp hops. A little more to the pine side of things. Also some lemon, hint of yeast.

Taste - Real bitter pine hops. There's also a hint of fruit, maybe apricot. A solid biscuit malt background keeps it balanced.

Mouthfeel - Not oily or thick, with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability - Goes down smooth and easy.

This is a very nice beer. Nothing to light your world on fire, but a pleasant, slightly more balanced drinker from Stone. Good times.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This bottle is one of the "Cali-Belgie" variety with the Dutch/Flemish spelling of Belgium. Learned that off of the back of the bottle... neat-o.

A: Fairly clear, pure amber colored body with golden highlights around the edges of the tulip. Pour produces a 1 finger thick, foamy, off-white colored head. Head reduces to a sheet of wispy foam after a couple sips and a couple seconds, but reforms to a centimeter depth upon a quick swirling. Good lacing grips the side of the glass with each sip, forming notches and rings.

S: Definitely got that Stone aroma to it with some prominent hop notes (even though, surely, the hop character has faded after this much time on the shelf and then in subsequent cellar storage). Still getting blasts of resiny pine/herbal hops and some sweeter citrusy notes. Then there is the familiar Belgian aspect of this beer, with the yeast strain giving off a bit of barnyard - some sweet, grassy straw and a bit of musky, definitely soapy funk. Also picking up what I believe to be touches of honey interspersed between grainy/cereal-like wheat aromas. Only a kiss of alcohol present in the nose, just slightly stinging the nostrils right before you exhale Interesting to say the least, but I enjoy it.

T: Where to begin? You get an initial dose of hops in all their earthy herbal and piney glory, followed by a moderating flash of lighter citrus/foral hops and honey notes. Then the malt bill takes charge with a lightly toasted grain flavor that is punctuated by flashes of a soapy like funkiness (obviously from the yeast) and some light, grassy flavors. Then a sharp, stale bread flavor takes charge of the palate and dominates well into the finish, which ends with that slightly soapy, funk flavor competing with some light, flowery esters on the palate. Alcohol starts to creep in with a slightly medicinal bite late into the glass, but its not overwhelming. All-in-all, complex and quite funky, as advertised.

M: This Belgian IPA has some texture to it - slightly syrupy/oily. Carbonation is moderate, but what is there is very refined and quite fine in texture, leaving a wave of tiny prickles across the tongue.

D: Quoted at 6.9% ABV, and while you can start to catch the alcohol near the bottom of the glass, it never dominates the palate, making Cali-Belgie enjoyable to drink. Still, one bomber is probably enough, given the uniqueness of the flavor profile and the funkiness in this beer, you'll probably only need one to do the job.

A nice Americanized twist on a Belgian IPA. Not sure if it bests Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel, but its still an interesting and tasty Belgian IPA. If you can find a bottle, give it a try - the hops might be faded, but the funk from the Belgian yeast strain definitely makes up for that.

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

Forgot I hadn't reviewed this yet, so here goes.

Appearance: Golden hue of yellow-orange with some yeasty remains poured into the glass. Head is white and lacing is decent. Nothing outstanding yet still a pretty IPA.

Smell: I want to say the hops are very similar to the Stone IPA standard, but the yeast makes all the difference. The fruity aromas are there with some more bready hints as well, and I'm happy to say that the coriander was kept to a minimum. Spice is there, yes, but it's much like I'd picture a Belgian IPA being: the fruity Belgian esters with a hoppy punch. It's not particularly aromatic, but what is there is pleasant.

Taste: Unsurprisingly, much like the smell. Spiciness is latent and mild, with the main flavors being a very balanced result. The Belgian is more present in my mind than the IPA styling, as the hoppiness that is the calling card of the Stone IPA is much more subtle here, leaving the way for a fruitier and less resiny IPA.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated appropriately and never too clove-y or spiced. Finishes drier than the Stone IPA as well.

Drinkability: Decent, I wouldn't want to have much more than a bomber of this just due to the style not being my favorite, but still a pleasant brew that is not a game changer, not too bitter nor hoppy and a nice example to introduce a friend to what the difference between a Belgian and an American style is.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Armsby Abbey

A: Pale golden brown color and very hazy and 1 finger head with good retention

N: Nose has some light hops as well as sweet malts and yeasty tones and a touch of nuts, some citrus and spice from the hops

T: Taste starts with some interesting sour sugary notes, lots of raw sugar taste, an interesting fruity center and slight creamy taste, some interesting Belgian yeasty taste mixes with a slight hoppy taste, somewhat like a Belgian IPA and reminds me somewhat of Hopsinjoor, it also has some bright citrus as well as a chalky dusty cinnamon taste in the middle

M: Mouth is juicy with a lot of carbonation and kinda thin

F: Finish has some strong bitter hops and spicey hops with grassy earthy taste that maintains its sweetness as it leaves a huge bitterness on the tongue

Final thoughts: An interesting beer that combines two great beers, as many have done before it, that don't usually blend well. Even with stone doing it, it doesn't blend perfectly but they do a pretty decent job of it. It doesn't have many qualities of either Belgian tripel or Cali style IPA, but slight parts of each rounded pretty well. Its not something to drink every day but occasionally it's an interesting change.

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA from Stone Brewing
3.99 out of 5 based on 3,423 ratings.
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