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Green Flash Le Freak | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Green Flash Le FreakGreen Flash Le Freak

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Le Freak® is the first-ever hybrid ale of its kind: the convergence of a Belgian-Style Trippel with an American Imperial IPA. This zesty Amarillo dry-hopped, bottle-conditioned marvel entices with fruity Belgian yeast aromatics and a firm, dry finish. Aromas of orange and passion fruit with sweet bready malts, and flavors of orange marmalade and citrus fruit pith. Experience a legendary beer.

Added by Westsidethreat on 05-08-2007

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Reviews: 744 | Ratings: 2,383
Photo of SSS
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am not a big fan of Belgium beers. That said, the concept of this beer is quite interesting. It's an IPA that crossed a yeast strain from Belgium. You get the typical Belgium style flavours, banana, bread, etc. They add sugar to bump the ABV and sweetness. This is a very sweet beer.

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Photo of spointon
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from a 22oz brown bomber bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice.

A= This ale poured a chill hazy gold color with a slight orange highlight to it. The white head rose 1/2" at most and then settled to a thin but solid cap. Some nice wispy lace decorated my glass.

S= Aromas of pale malt, grassy and spicy hops, mild fruity esters, and a bit of Belgian "funk".

T= Flavor profile was a wrestling match between a big spicy IPA and a fruity Belgian ale. I think the IPA won, but the Belgian character was not completely overwhelmed either. The malts were biscuity with just the slightest hint of caramel. The hops were always front and center showing a spicy, grassy, and all around "noble" character. Finish was dry and left a hoppy aftertaste.

MF= Medium bodied with a higher carbonation level.

D= This was a good but not great beer. I wish the IPA qualities were slightly more in-check and the "Belgian" qualities were turned up just a bit more, but it was enjoyable all the same.

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Photo of Franz4
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a nice golden color with a two-finger head that mostly settled, but hung around throughout the duration of the beer. Lacing was evident.

S- Grapefruit and grassy notes come through strongest.

T- Solid, but not as complex as I was hoping for. Grapefruit and grass dominate as in the nose, there is also some yeasty belgian flavor

M- Medium bodied, drinks smooth as a trippel should.

D- An above average brew, but not something that I'm feeling excited about. 1 was probably enough.

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Photo of argock
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a chalice at The Regal Beagle (San Diego, CA). Reviewed from notes.

A: Golden amber with sticky 1/2 finger of white head with good staying power and copious lace.

S: The hoppy IPA side of this beer strikes first with mango, pineapple, and tart lemon that segues into the tart yeast aromas. The base maltiness is crackery and bready.

T: The flavor has much more Belgian yeast character than the aroma, although the hoppiness is no slouch. The tart yeast is a tad rough and doesn't mix with the fruity alcohol as well as it should. The hoppiness is very tropical fruit oriented with mango and pineapple and a bit of pine and citrus. The malt component is pretty substantial but one dimensional as it should since this beer already has enough going on.

M: They did a good job of drying this beer out to help its consumability. At 9.2% it's still a bruiser but still drinks reasonably light relatively. Carbonation is also lively which helps too.

O: A pretty enjoyable beer overall although I would pick a Belgian yeast strain with less tart and more fruity esters to go with the hops and evident alcohol fruit character.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-clear golden orange with a nice frothy cream colored head. decent lacing

S-smells like spicy hops with a touch of citrus and belgian sugars. good strength.

T-hmmm this isn't too bad. hits with a strong taste of spicy hops and bitterness. there's also a good hint of orange peel in there as well as a strong alcohol note. the spicyness and alcohol are the main characteristics and they last through the after-taste. there's also a good bit of belgian sweetness in the after-taste. definitely a complex beer.

M-full bodied, medium creamy carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-definitely a belgian IPA. its a good mix of bitter hops and belgian sugars/spices. its also fairly complex as well as fairly well balanced. i like it. its not something i want a lot of, but its definitely a decent attempt at the style.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled a semi-cloudy apricot/peach color with a light orange hue throughout. A soft white fizzy head that had limited retention after the initial pour. Some lacing but light as well.

The nose is complex with some light Belgian malt notes, complex yeast and noticeable hop aromas. To start the malt has a more grainy note with a hint of Belgian pale. Some lighter caramel and some prune notes that I associate with Special B. A light sugar notes as well, but limited. The hops are there with a herbal and almost woody aroma. Some yeast notes with a light ester and phenolic notes, mostly cloves and plums. Would have liked a bit more Belgian characteristics with malt and yeast but still good.

The taste is a bit different. The malt is a bit more grainy and is limited in the Belgian malt notes. Some hints but very lacking. More of a 2 row husky and hints of honey malt. The hops are there. A strong bitterness that leaves an astringent bite in the finish. A light herbal hop note in finish but the bitterness is the stronger character. The yeast comes out more and brings more "Belgian" beer quality. The fruity esters are nice with plums, apricots and a hint of cherry. Some pepper and cloves come out in the finish.

The body is moderate and a bit big for style. Would have liked to see it finish a bit drier. Overall a good Belgian IPA but limited Belgian quality really deters.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Into my chalice:

A: hazy orange/amber body that leaves a half finger foamy white head appears that lasts for a good two minutes before dieing. No carbonation is seen rising nor any lacing was left

S: some clove, banana, combined decently with some citrus and floral tones. Hops are pretty subdued.

T: dominating clove with fairly strong banana, citrus and floral tones are less defined. The alcohol is very hidden.

M: medium and well balanced - not too watery, but not too heavy, just right. It has a dry finish. I would say this is fairly drinkable.

O: this isn't a bad brew, however I'm still finding my bearings on the "Belgian IPA" style. Yes, this is good, I'm pretty sure I'd have this again.

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Photo of snpub540
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at AJ's Fine Foods in Peoria, AZ. Seemed like an interesting beer since IPA's are my go to and Belgians I am starting to have more of an appreciation for.

Poured a hazy, orange color with a small off white head. Left very clingy lacing on the glass the whole way down.

Smell was mostly hoppy, with citrus and floral being the most apparent. There was also a slight amount of earthyness from the yeast in the nose.

Taste was very complex and interesting. My first sip was all IPA. Hoppy, dry and delicious. My second swig was spicy and yeasty, what I would expect from an unfiltered belgian style beer. There was also the faint sweetness and warming effect of the alcohol. Towards the end of the beer I did get a sort of chalky aftertaste but it didn't linger.

Mouth feel was medium bodied. Drinkability was great. It is definately a different tasting beer but one that seemed to blend the two styles very well.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nothing better than walking into a gas station and seeing rows of Green Flash bombers; I’ve got to go to Missouri more often.

A: Pouring this into a Duvel tulip was a great idea, because Le Freak fits the Belgian pale look perfectly. Half-and-half white head and hazy amber body, with the foam looking nice and chunky as it slowly disappears. Bubbly lacing webs spread all the way around.

S: Pepper, ginger root, and white wine hop notes provide an uplifting aroma to a nose that broods with the caramel butteriness of American DIPA malt. It has a hint of age to it, almost old enough to provide an overpowering mustiness to the nose; however, the molasses and plum scent of Belgian candi sugar paint over most of the flaw with a hefty, in-style meatiness.

T: Candi sugar oozes tastes of plum and black cherry cobbler from the start, with a slight black licorice quality. A familiar hop pattern of pine and grapefruit make this distinctly American, exciting the palate to a momentary crispness as it melds with a slightly cheesy yeast funk. A buildup of brine sweeps across as the aftertaste hits, as bright, dry, and catty as any Belgian ale, but with a lingering note of biting fusel alcohol.

M: Try to swirl it around your mouth at all and you’re left with a frothy remnant of the beer you first drank – this is as softly carbonated as they come. A sign of bottle conditioning, sure, but a little crispness would help battle the thickness of the palate.

O: I’m left wondering whether I got all that I paid for. I know that Green Flash started bottle-dating recently, but it’s possible that the light yellow ink had been rubbed off, which is frustrating. Now, I don’t think every brewer should make their beers like Stone, with the “Enjoy By” date in huge letters on the label, but it wouldn’t hurt to date bottles in a manner that couldn’t be sabotaged by any bottle shop employee with a wet rag and a desire to sell old beer. At any rate, this is a beer that did pretty well with a little age on it. Though I wished it were fresher, I’m glad I got to try – because it was an excellent Belgo-American ale.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Green Flash, they said they were the first or only brwery to create a belgian IPA, sounds dubious but ok. Hazy, cloudy, murky yellow orange. Smells spicy, some herbal hops. Taste is more perfume than floral. Mouthfeel was chewy and probably the best feature of this beer.

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Photo of beertunes
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a hazy golden yellow with 1/4 inch of white head that dissipated quickly leaving a little more than light lacing.

The aroma is dominantly hops with some yeast and spice in the background. There is a notable citrus scent to the nose. The flavor starts out with a strong hop bitterness followed by some of the yeast/spice notes of a tripple and finishing with a combo of floral and bitter hops.

The body is good, substantial without being heavy. Drinkability is going to vary depending on individual taste, I split a 22 with 1 other person and that was enough for one day, although I would have it again.

Overall, a decent beer that you're just going to have to judge for yourself.

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Photo of 45nDown
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Hazy amber pour with an ample head. Clove taste comes out fairly strong in the beginning but tapers off through the drink and warming. This beer is not bad but not my taste.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The brewers at Green Flash Brewing Company have really out done themselves with this convergence of beer styles where American Imperial IPA meets Belgium trippel. The end result is a zesty brew with enticing American hops and Belgian yeast aromatics that lead you to delicious malts and a complex layering of hop flavors that quench and refresh your pallet. When you pour it you notice its orangish amber color with a huge amount of American hops on the nose with notes of citrus. The palate itself feels heavy at first but then leaves you with a silky smooth mouth full of yeast and hops beautifully layered with fruity flavors of banana and grapefruit.

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aaaahhh Le Freak out!

Opaque golden yeller. Good looking mushy head.

Smells like a spice beer. Freaky Spice. Or a really strong hefe. Bordering on sour.

Taste has that tea flavor kind of bitter I associate with an ESB. Overpowering, as I don't believe I taste anything else. Surprising. I thought I was opening an IPA/tripel kind of thing. Maybe I am, but it would be my least favorite so far. Not bad, just not great. Le Freak comes out at night.

So I'm not loving it, but I'll have absolutely no problem whatsoever finishing it and I do appreciate the favorable 9.2%

Overall: one timer for me

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Photo of ehammond1
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4


Green Flash Brewing Co.
Mira Mesa, CA

Clear golden orange, nearly amber. Not nearly as much carbonation as I would have expected or preferred. Pours with a thin head and doesn't leave much lacing down the glass. A pretty color, but this beer seems under-carbonated.

The aroma of this beer seems more Belgian than it does San Diego. The tart and tangy Belgian yeast is dominant, along with some sweet fruit aromas and a honey-like sweetness. Interesting and evolving as it warms, but distinctly Belgian.

Tangy Belgian yeast flavor along with a more typical San Diego IPA hop bitterness. A nice combination. There is some sweet citrus, perhaps lemon, flavor as well.

This beer seems a bit syrupy and heavy. Unfortunately, this wasn't quite as carbonated as I'm assuming others have experienced.

A good marriage of Belgian yeast and a San Diego style hoppy and bitter IPA. Better carbonation would have significantly improved a couple areas, but still a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of jjchristiano
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hops and Alcohol.
One of the hoppiest beers I've tried and the ABV is 9.2%.
Appearance is a little murky as I poured into a wine glass and there was active yeast still bubbling away in the glass. Drank it at temperature in the 45-50 degree range which was just right. smell and taste are a perfect match in this beer as the very hop flavor you anticipate is what you get. No other off flavors to surprise.

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Photo of ReDave
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy cloudy orange amber yellow, with a large fluffy white head.

Aroma was pretty limited, either it was me or something, but i couldn't detect much.

First sip.... interesting spices..
then... hops... mmm different than some other Belgian IPA's I've had. more spices, more hops..

also, can taste and feel the alcohol...

nice sticky lace down the side of the glass.

Some build up of hop flavors. nice

I like it.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz Bomber, poured into a chalice

A: Dark amber. Rich foamy head, and lots of it.

S: Hoppy and sweet! True to it's namesake, this thing smells freaky ... an odd combination to be sure.

T: Rich sweet start, hoppiness rises late, then bitter, then sweet again through the finish and we've come full-circle.

F: Creamy, but light.

D: For how freaky and demanding as this beer is, it's quite good. It definitely takes an open mind, and a little getting used to. Tasty though ... and that's all that matters.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very thoughtful extra from a great trader, torchednoodle. Thanks!

Pours a super cloudy golden orange color with some dull straw highlights. A nice short cap of ivory froth covers the top, settling slowly to a thick filmy layer. Leaves some decent hanging spotty lace.

Some really enticing aromas rise out of the glass. Hoppy juices of peach, pineapple, and grapefruit. Yeasty notes of grape and white pepper hang in the mix. Coriander and doughy hay also make it into the nose.

Wow, taste. The immediate assault on the taste buds makes it difficult to know where to begin. Fumy notes of banana doughy belgian yeast hit the tongue and last for only split seconds as they're immediately wiped out by overbearing hop flavors. Bitter pine and grapefruit grind over the tongue mixed with a tingly carbonation. Lemon zest plays boldly in and out of the hoppiness, with a momentary dappling of soft bread and white pepper. Trippel character fights to return at the finish with building yeasty flavor, finding an awkward imbalance against the hanging bitterness. Finishes with a stylistically consistent tinny grainy bitterness, the clash of what would be a spicy smooth trippel finish now blended with an intense hop flavored bitterness.

Sips rather nicely, though notably impeded by the impressive, if not awesome bitterness throughout. Alcohol, while only mildly notable in character, is still a detractor in overall drinkability given its strength. It's admittedly a difficult blend of styles, and this is one of my preferred examples of the attempt, but I think I still prefer a trippel to be a trippel and an IPA an IPA.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a slightly hazy golden amber tone with two fingers of an off-white/beige head that impresses with both its retention and lacing.

nose is aromatic and wild. bold hoppy notes (citrus), spice, bubblegum, banana, sweet, candy-like malt, and maybe a touch of pepper. flavor mostly follows the aroma, though i pick up on a stronger presence of floral hops and a bit more booze as it warms. finish is bitter. to be sure, le freak is an interesting, tasty brew. doubt this would be something i would turn to on a regular basis, but enjoyable nonetheless - especially in small doses; if you're looking for a change of pace i would definitely recommend it.

has a medium-plus bodied mouthfeel with about average carbonation. so-so drinkability: not bad, but personally i'll be set with a glass.

original review: 10-10-2010

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Photo of bmwats
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into footed tulip.

A: Golden hue. Pours a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly. Plenty of spider web lacing.

S: Sourdough, paper, pine, coriander.

T: Hoppy bite, pale yeast, coriander, clove, oregano....

M: Crisp, yet syrupy. Pungent hop bite throughout.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is really good. Nice head, plenty of lacing. Nose is Bready with some strong hops and Italian spice. Hoppy, yet yeasty with spice. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of matty
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange colored ale with a very slow fading head.Aroma is hoppy and citrusy.Taste starts off hoppy and citrusy then changes to more warming belgian ale flavors.Very sweet and enjoyable.I would recommend for someone to try this ale at least once!!

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Photo of FLima
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden color with a thick head with good retention and leaving laces.
Aroma of Belgian yeast, molasses, maybe some cinnamon and matured oranges.
Sweet flavor of oranges, Belgian yeast, mints, tea bag and sweet malt. Dry and bitter aftertaste with a lingering fruity and resiny taste.
Medium to full body with medium carbonation. Alcohol of 9.2% is felt but is harmonic.
A mix of styles, clearly a Tripel hop-turbinated the American way. But this is a Belgian IPA, right? A style that I believe is hard to get it right. Drinkability not so high, given its sweetness, it is a big bottle though.

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Photo of deereless
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear coppery orange, cottony head, signs of layering on the glass - 4.50, S: Perhaps it is a little too cold but the aromas a more subtle than I expected, the Belgian side is what is most noticeable - orange peel, some spices - likely coriander, citrusy/lemony off the hops I assume - 3.75, T: All of a sudden this beer becomes a hop bomb, loads of piney bite, some syrupy sweetness to try and moderate the hops though in reality the hops just dominate, only the slightest sign of the Belgian makes it through all the hop juice - 3.50, M: 4.00, D: Always a fan of the IPAs, this one is a good representation of the style though the balance is a little too far skewed in the direction of the hops - 3.50

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Photo of BeerlyLegal
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured this 12oz into a tulip. From the outside looking in it's got great aroma (apples, oranges, lemons) and a vibrant orange appearance. However, from the moment this brew hit my lips it was freakishly bitter and dry (pun intended) for the way in which I've gotten used to Belgian's tasting. The bottle description states this is a "Zesty Brew" which it is.

Nonetheless I like my beer like my women. This one is just throws itself onto you and there isn't a whole lot of discovering involved.

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Green Flash Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,383 ratings.
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