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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: 1,101 | Ratings: 3,398
Photo of Reaper16
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bomber served into a tulip glass

Pours a very light orange - like liquid sunshine - that has a nice balance of transparent clarity and haze. Two fingers of tiny-bubbled off-white head make for some soapy lacing. Not amazing but pretty just the same.

The aroma presents a perfect hybrid of hoppy west coast IPA and spicy Belgian ale. The grapefruit and pineapple reach my nose first. The lupulin smells transition swiftly and completely to a coriander, peppery spicy scent which underlies a plantain/slight banana sort of Belgian yeast fruit character. The transition between the two sides of this beer is impressive to experience. If there is a downside it is that the malt is obscured by the strength of the hops and yeast. And yet despite the lack of malt smell the beer smells really sweet. This is a 4.0 or a 4.5 depending on your tolerance for sweetness.

If you're expecting a really hoppy beer then you will be disappointed. The hops don't get to hog the spotlight on your palate. Up front you taste pepper and and a lemon/banana fruit characteristic as if this were a Belgian Pale Ale all the way. Then the grapefuit and orange flavors blossom to a simmer just short of fresh IPA vibrancy. The finish combines the two in that the citrus fruit slowly dies down in strength while the astringent spice character from the yeast lingers. As the beer warms it concentrates in flavor, becoming a spicy, orange flavored beer from start to finish.

This is a lot thicker in mouthfeel than I would ever personally prefer in an IPA. It thickens up good if you swish it around in your mouth. There is very little active carbonation to help alleviate the heft of the body. So the drinkability for me is affected a bit. Nothing wrong or bad per se, just not categories that this beer excels at.

Cali-Beligique/Belgie is nice experiment, one that I am glad to have tried. Good beer. I wouldn't buy this very much if it were available to me but I can think of some dishes to pair this beer with that would be pretty kick-ass.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Light and golden in color almost crystal clear transparency and lots of effervescing bubbles. Fine head with some good retention. Smells fruity and yeasty with mild hops. Pineapple, cloves, citrus, and florals. Very light flavor but surprisingly well balanced. A unique combination of an IPA and Belgian. Very well rounded beer, lots of great flavors and great if you're looking for something new and unique.

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

A: Pours a very crisp and clear pale yellow, with a finger of white head that is slow to dissipate.

S: Reminds me a little of Brugges, with that light sour yeastiness and slight hint of candi sugar. There is a hint of spice and a nice light malt character.

T: Light hop flavor, more floral than citrusy, with a pale malt flavor and a nice lightly sour Belgian yeast essence. As it warms a slight spiciness comes to play as well as a little bitterness from the hops that goes well with the sour.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: Its okay, but nothing special.

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

I’ve always been intrigued by the Cali-Belgique concept.

A: Crystal clear golden to amber. Two finger head. The clarity gives me pause for something associated with a Belgian…but the lacing and the color are there.

S: Grassy hops up front, citrus hops fast taking over, then some spiciness in the background. After a second or two, once you’ve taken stock of the components, it blends well. Nice.

T: The hops play well with Belgian phenolics. A really nice menagerie, but my sample has this cidery tartness on the back end I don’t care for. Cloying, almost like a fruit lambic. It’s as if it starts off magnificent, has a great nose…then fades into sour milk. Bipolar is the best way to describe this brew.

M: Appropriate.

O: If it wasn’t for that sourness on the back end this would be a go-to. As it stands, not quite right. Look for the Schneider Hopfen Weissen if you want a seamless melding of old world and new.

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Photo of clvand0
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an amber color with a medium head that hangs around for a while and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has the Belgian spices upfront followed by a citrus hop character on the back end. Interesting. The flavor has the yeast and malts playing backup to the strong citrus hop flavors and lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium and drying. The drinkability is ok, but the hops dominate.

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Photo of corby112
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Pours a clean golden orange color with a thin white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal lacing.

Crisp citrus and floral hop aroma with light golden fruit, pale malt and bubblegum.

Medium bodied with a nice balance of crisp light fruit and bitter/sweet citrus hops. Hints of pale malt and a weird bubblegum flavor make this taste like a hoppy Belgian golden ale. Very weird. Hints of apple, grape and pear blended with sweet citrus peel, pale malt and subtle alcohol sweetness. A bit too bitter to be a Belgian ale and to sweet to be an IPA. Dry finish.

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

Bottle. Pours a hazy deep orange with a small ring of white head. Aroma of melon, sweet citrus and other sweet fruits, and a touch of grassy hops. Flavor has a decidedly hoppy presence with some Belgian yeast, clove, and melon notes also present in the finish. This was actually a successful effort at a true Belgian-IPA blend! Nice beer.

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

It has a aroma of a typical Belgium ale, it has the scent of banana and bubble gum. The taste has a good flowerily hop taste and luckily, the Belgium yeast does not completely carry through into the taste. Overall, a cool variation on the American IPA.

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Photo of BB1313
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by 1/21/14. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a transparent golden with amazing clarity; white head that slowly fades and leaves nice retention with decent lacing. The aromas are full of Belgian yeast. Sweet aromas. Bubblegum in the mix. The hops take a backseat in the nose. The flavors are extremely earthy. Lots of yeast, but the hops seem to really come through in the flavors. There's a nice piney bitterness to this one. Some grapefruit and hints of lime zest in the mix. Some citrus notes that linger. It ultimately finishes dry. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is wonderful. It's medium-bodied; very creamy and fluffy; smooth with active carbonation. It's a fun beer to drink.

This is a very good example of how American breweries do the style. The craftsmanship is there. This is a style that I love. There's still a few other examples of the styles I prefer, but this is always a nice experience when consumed fresh.

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Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Mellow here in Greensboro.Poured into a standard pint glass a peach infused medium golden with a thinner white head atop,medicinal and citric aromas mainly.Flavors have a slight medicinal quality and deep fruity esters,a citric pine hop component comes into a lingering finish.Not a bad beer but Iam not a fan of the medicinal yeasty quality it has to it.

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Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I held on to this one too long...at least a year. Still a nice experience but I'm sure I lost some of the hoppy profile. Poured a hazy orange color with a nice size off white head with lots of timy bubbles. Head retention was ok and there was thick sheets of lacing.

Smell was pretty blah. I'm sure this suffered with age. Taste was pretty pedestrian. some maltiness, hint of orange and a little hops spiciness at the end.

Mouthfeel was rich and crisp. No hint of alcohol. Drinkability was good as well. Goes down easy, taste is ok. Nice and smooth. I would like to try this fresh and see if there was more spark from the hops.

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Photo of DNICE555
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber with the usual Stone screen printed bottle. Thanks go out to BA PatronWizard for the chance to try this one. Stone special releases have not yet made it to GA.

Very nice, light golden pour with the very lightest hint of haze in the clear body. Head is above average but light but it does leave decent lace. Looks strong. Has a Tripel appearance.

Nose is hoppier and more IPAish than the beer drinks. The nose points more toward the West Coast IPA function of the name rather than the Belgian part.

Very smooth and really quite sweet. The hop edge only comes in at the end and in the aftertaste.

Very tasty and easy drinking and pulls off a very nice combo of styles in this relatively newly established hybrid slot.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber served in a duvel tulip

Appears a clear, light amber when held up to the sunlight. The color of the two+ finger cap is somewhere between off-white and light tan. Sticky, spider-web lacing is littering the insides of the tulip.

Bold herbal, medicinal hop aroma. Not overly enticing. Fresh clipped pine needles make the medicinal scent a little more palatable, but still overly astringent. I think the astringency enhances the spiciness in the aroma, because it is quite noticeable. Melon, oranges and undercooked biscuits make up the rest of the nose.

Faint biscuits hit me initially and then herbal, piney and citrus hops take over. The finish is rather dry and spicy. The astringency is definitely enhanced by the spices (clove?) in the flavor. The flavors didn't seem congruent or balanced in any way until the very end. It took me a few sips before I could really wrap my head around what was going on.

Medium bodied, highly carbonated with a dry finish. A bit prickly.

As I stated above, it took me a few sips to try and figure out what they were trying to do here. Once that happened, I liked it. It's not great, but a decent offering and a style that is growing on me.

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Photo of armock
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a growler purchased from the brewery a day prior.

A - Poured a clear golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a funky nose with grapefruit hops

T - For the most part it follows the nose with a rather dry funky flavor with a touch of grapefruit

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - I'm pretty much torn on this one as I like Stone and Belgian IPAs but the taste doesn't make me love it like other Belgian IPAs don't get me wrong its a good beer but not as good as an authentic version worth a try though if you see it

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Photo of ccrida
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Cali-België (I got the Walloon labeled spelling) is a clear dark gold with an orange tinged off-white head that has long last and leaves fantastically dense, baby swiss cheese lace. The bottle is the typical Stone silkscreen with all the pretentious babble on the back, but uses a gold pigment for most of it that is flaked off and generally sloppy looking. The laces reigns supreme though, earning the high score.

Smell is great, definitely a Stone IPA, big resinous west coast hop nose, some fruitiness that I assume are the Belgian esters, as it's not really the citrus you get from Cascade family. I give this points for being the closest to what I expect from this style - not just a Belgian with an extra dose of noble hops, but decidedly a West Coast IPA. The problem is, that's pretty much all it is, I'm really not getting a lot of Belgian character behind the hop blast.

Taste is heavy on the spicy, piny hops and rather yeasty. I served this at fridge temp, like I prefer my IPAs (for both keeping and serving, to maintain the hops). Let it warm up some while I walked the dog didn't really open up many esters. Honestly, Stone's isn't my favorite IPA, and here the dankness of the hops overpowers the Belgian esters, it's just a bit to resinous for my taste. I'd like a better balance of both styles, this one swings too wide to the West, and without the hop profile I prefer out here. I guarantee that if I gave this to 9 out of 10 Portland IPA fans they wouldn't peg the Belgian character in a blind tasting.

Mouthfeel is pretty oily, nice foamy carbonation flirts with the trademark Belgian mouthfeel, but it's on the chewier, heavier side.

Drinkability is pretty good. I'm most impressed with their restraint in the ABV, it's plenty big enough to warm your cheeks without being gratuitous, as many west coast IPAs are, especially Stone. On the other hand, this was so limited, that I suppose getting a bit extra punch out of my only bottle wouldn't have hurt, but I certainly wouldn't have wanted to sacrifice the cleaner alcoholic taste. If you love Stone's IPA, you will love this, and while I like the more overt west coast influence, it's still not my favorite.

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Photo of rye726
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm usually a huge fan of this style, but was not super impressed by this offering which I find strange since Stone makes such good IPA's. Not a bad beer, just nothing special. Pours and orangish brown with a tan head. The nose has Belgian yeasts and fruity hops over candy malts. Taste is light on the Belgian spice and on the bitter hops. Medium to full body is well carbonated.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pretty clear gold color just maybe the slightest bit of a hazy. Nice white head with good retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

S- Citrus and floral hops are the first thing I notice. Also can pick up some malts and as it warmed up a little bit of yeast.

T- Pretty nice flavour. Somewhere in between a Belgian IPA and an American IPA. Nice and hoppy with a peppery yeast in there as well.

M- Medium in body and nice carbonation.

D- This one went down very easy and was enjoyable. Not quite a hop bomb but has a great balance to it.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was very surprised to see this at a local store - I'd never heard of it, so was excited to give it a try. I didn't set my expectations too high when I noticed that they were using the very common yeast strain of Belgian beers. I'm quite wary of that bready, herb-spicey flavor.

Smell had that bready herb-spice smell, but definitely had that extreme hoppiness common of Stone brews. Taste was a pleasant surprise. The first notable thing was that wonderful Stone IPA flavor - very American. Grapefruit and refreshing bitterness. But that herb-spice that is common of Belgian beers was more of a sweet background. As it served in this beer, it worked quite well.

Overall, really shocking. I think I've found the first Belgian-yeast beer that I can find tolerable to sit through. Is it the best beer Stone's ever made? Definitely not. But it opens a window of hope for that Belgian beer that I was getting so bored of.

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Photo of BeTheBall
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in to my Duvel tulip; reddish golden rust color, incredibly clear to look through, small head with minimal lacing. Smelled of grapefruit, and hops. Taste was nice and hoppy but not so bitter as most STone beers (which I love). Working through the glass the hop bitterness and flavor seemed to diminsh. Mouthfeel was average; nothing great or bad. Drinkability was good, as the flavor was fairly mild. I would say, although a good beer, a little tame compared to Stone's other, remarkable beers. Probably will pass when i next see this in the store, but glad I tried it.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bomber to nonic pint glass

A: Pale golden sunset in color. Massive 3+ finger head on a reasonable pour. Sticky lacing consumed the top of my glass as the head fell.

S: The highlight of this beer. Melted butter and caramel - the moment I pop the cap it hits my nose like a sack full of half dollars.

T: Not your Daddy's IPA. Pork belly and liquid smoke on the forepalate. The malt makes an appearance too, though apparently the hops didn't get invited. It is quite apparent that this is a Belgian style brew, as the yeast used changes the profile of this one completely (the bottle states this is the Stone IPA, brewed with a special Belgian strain).

M: Like most of Stone's brews, it's the perfect level of carbonation for the style. It's creamy and luxurious, yet not so heavy as to be offputting.

O: I like that Stone has done something different here. I can say with sincereity that I prefer their standard IPA, though I'm certainly glad I picked this up. I don't know if I'll return to this one.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Stella chalice.

Pours a hazy yellow color with a finger of white foam. Aroma is unmistakable belgian yeast - some bubblegum, clove, and phenols in the nose.

First sip presents itself as a hop-dominated flavor, with a sharp bitter middle and lingering belgian yeasty aftertaste. Overall very pleasant and flavorful. However, I'd prefer it as a straight IPA, rather than a Belgian varietal.

A good, tasty brew that would really appeal to fans of Belgian yeast flavors. Personally, I'd prefer a regular Stone IPA any day.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a completely clear orange amber with a thin creme head. Nose is perfume and floral tones. Flavor comes off as the skins of some fruit to me. Grapefruits I think. I don't like to eat grapefruit skins, and I don't really want to drink them. There's also a bitter acidic bite from too much hops, I am guessing. Earthy dirt aftertaste a bit. Carbonation is slightly aggressive and the liquid is smooth. Overall this is a below par Belgian IPA IMO. The hops are too prevalent to let the Belgian Ale side shine and it doesn't have the balance I would seek out from this style.

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Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A surprisingly tame Stone brew, that marries aspects of the California IPA and a Belgian strong ale.

Overall it's more IPA, which is what stone knows best. It pours a pale straw yellow, with a limited head and lacing. The aroma is light - almost like a pale lager with it's banana and honey scents.

The flavor strikes the tongue with it's tart lemon notes, but opens up nicely into a floral bouquet of flavors. The alcohol is masked by it's heavy carbonation and tartness - overall it goes down without an ounce of aggression.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

A hazy, golden orange with amber edges and a moderate white head that sticks around. Leaves rings of lace down the glass with every big sip. This beer could be on a magazine cover!

Sweet and tangy hop note with a ever-present punch from the Belgian yeast, although it smells a bit vinegary here for some reason. I think the strong yeast character covers up a lot of the special hop character I love about Stone IPA. Certainly an interesting marriage, but the hop aromas do get lost; and the hop aromas are one of the best things about drinking a world-class San Diego (or in this case, "Cali") IPA.

An interesting blend of California hop juice married with old-world Belgian yeast. The hops here are sweet mixed with a familiar tang and spicy peppery note from the Belgian yeast. I miss the more pungent and bitter hop presence I'm familiar with from Stone IPAs, while at the same time missing the well-crafted sweet balance found in my favorite Belgian IPAs. This one seems a bit off in both directions.

A bit thick and heavy in the mouth for my tastes, but nothing to really complain about.

A fun and relatively successful experiment, but this beer does too many things simply well, as opposed to doing anything perfectly. Good, but not great.

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Stone Cali-Belgique IPA from Stone Brewing
3.99 out of 5 based on 3,398 ratings.
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