Green Flash Le Freak | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Green Flash Le FreakGreen Flash Le Freak
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Le FreakĀ® 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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,408
Reviews:
750
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
10.92%
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
473
For Trade:
6
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,408 |  Reviews: 750
Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a hint of orange; the foamy head retains nicely but failed to deposit very much lace

Smell: Lots of citrus and a quick whiff fails to detect anything else; sniff for a while, though, and you can pick up the yeasty phenols

Taste: Biscuity, at first, with a growing pineapple citrusy/pithy bitterness; by mid-palate, the peppery phenols start to kick in, with clove in the mix, as well; after the swallow, the bitter citrus and peppery clove flavors combine into a lengthy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a bit of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A real tug of war on the palate, and that ultimately limits its drinkability; I liked it, at first, but then struggled with it the more I had

 773 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second time trying this, a bomber from the cooler at a local shop.

It glows a deep orange shade, plenty of creamy foam to top it off.

Aroma is sweet and caramelly, some pine there, traces of Belgian yeast.

Sweet and more or less syrupy, mild hop bitterness in the back. Huge caramel & toffee flavor. Bready with some green herbal notes from the hops. More hefty malt than hops showing through though, this may be an older bottle, but honestly there's no way to tell. Pretty full bodied, not the lightest, bordering on DIPA.

Probably not one i'll be reaching for again, with many better examples out there.

 613 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy orangey color ale with a large foamy head with great retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry citrusy hops. Taste is also dominated by dry citrusy hops with a lightly sweet malt body. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no sign of alcohol. Very well done with great balanced between hoppy notes and malt; some more fruity ester would have brought this to another level.

 405 characters

Photo of largadeer
2.38/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with a small white head.

Smell: Estery funk, candy sweetness and hops of the herbal and citrus variety.

Taste & mouthfeel: Candy-like sweetness and fruity esters up front. A bit of yeasty funk is present in the background, lending some nice complexity until the abusively bitter hops begin to rape the palate. This beer has to have the worst balance of hops I've ever tasted - there's little hop flavor or aroma, while the bitterness is completely over the top. Midway through the glass my palate was numb and I couldn't actually taste anything beyond bitterness. Pretty ridiculous stuff, and not in a good way.

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Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a somewhat hazy, golden orange color with a thick, off-white, thick, three-finger head of foam.

S - It smelled spicy, yeasty and quite fruity.

T - It tasted very fruity, like pineapple. Also, sweet caramel maltiness with a spicy yeasty flavor.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is a very tasty brew. I'd like to try many more brews from Green Flash.

 397 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of LXIXME
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but should be pretty fresh. Pours lightly cloudy golden amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, tangerine, banana, clove, pepper, floral, grass, pine, candi sugar, bread, bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of hop and yeast ester notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, orange rind, banana, bubblegum, clove, pepper, floral, grass, pine, candi sugar, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, banana, clove, pepper, bubblegum, candi sugar, bread, floral, pine, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity and balance of hop and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a fair amount of malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a lightly slick and crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian IPA. All around awesome complexity and balance of hop and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,418 characters

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jlindros
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet, I've had it a bunch of times cause it's a great beer.

Light head with golden orange clear beer.

Nose of light funk, light barnyard light golden malts, light grassy and citrus hops, floral and effervescent, semi sweet.

Taste starts sweet, light grassy and citrus hops, fairly bitter hops as well, light orange peel, as well as light funk and Brett, light barnyard funk, long bitter hoppy finish, drier finish, and light honey.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation.

This beer is really interesting, fresh is a nice citrus and floral IPA with just a hint of funk, older gets fairly funky with less of the hop profile. On both ends its a great beer IMO. This is a fairly standard go-to for me when I have to pickup a beer for a party or something, especially for newer beer drinkers to really show them the ropes.

 867 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well I didn't know what I was ordering when I asked for "Le Freak", just that there has been a lot of hype about it. I'd seen it on tap in San Diego and passed it by while I was out there, so I figured I'd have to have it now. I was expecting something funky, tart, and maybe even barnyard. How wrong I was!

(I should note up front that I had this while I was out for dinner and it was kind of dark and very loud, and the room was full of different aromas. I couldn't even see the bottle to read it! Therefore I can't give this a proper review, but I'll go more hedonistic and base it mainly on my enjoyment of it).

The hops were apparent during the pour, citrusy and just slightly piney or spruce-like. It didn't seem sour..

...and it wasn't. It was oddly Belgian-esque, however. The yeast was clearly Belgian, and the sweetish malt blended well with notes of vanilla, mild honey, sugar with perhaps a touch of clove, and more mild spices. And then there were hops!

I immediately thought of La Chouffe Houblon, and then I got it. Ahhh, I says, as a light-bulb comes on over my head, it's a Belgian style IPA. Well, that's not too uncommon these days. But then it all made sense. Green Flash makes a very decent IPA, and a very decent Tripel. I toyed with the idea that perhaps they'd just made a blend and called it "Le Freak" , but I waved that off with another sip.

I had a burger with blue cheese and mixed greens, and it went quite well. I drank the whole 22 oz bottle by myself, and it's a bit strong, but I'd have considered another one under different circumstances. It was reasonably priced; and I'd suggest giving it a try.

 1,641 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured clear (no sediment added) with a large tan head that had moderate retention.

Smell: Lots of citrus from the hops with sweet fruits tossed in (Belgian yeast?).

Taste: The ample hop load is not overdone, as feared ("American Imperial IPA"), allowing clove, other spices and fruits from the tripel to contribute.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; Medium carbonation; a bit too harsh and astringent.

O: This mix of styles was better than expected, and is done well enough that they don't just clash. Still, it lacks the fine amalgamation found in, for instance a Chouffe Belgian IPA.

 605 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, floral hops, Belgian yeast and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of grassy hops that is quickly followed by the bready flavor of Belgian yeast and sweet flavors of citrus & caramel. The malt character is a little on the thin side for the style but provides some balance. There a strong booziness that comes though at first but it fades a little as the beer warms. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet. The label reads "Extreme ale converging San Diego-style imperial pale ale and Belgian-style trippel." The interesting part about this beer is that in one sip I'll taste 2IPA and in the next I'll taste Tripel.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice stronger beer with some complexity that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

 1,129 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a goblet.

Pours a clear golden orange with a finger of creamy off-white head. Retention barely shrinks down at all, leaving solid, nearly finger high layer that leaves a huge sticky latticework of lace behind. The aroma is a tingling mix of piney hops, floral notes, citrus, and some deep notes of clove and yeast in the back. I'm also picking up a light waft of heat under the other scents.

The taste is much the same, with a lot of West Coast character to it. Resinous hop bitterness, juicy citrus, spices, candied sweetness, and strong notes of clove and yeast that really starts to emerge towards the finish. The bitterness is strong but not so strong as to overpower the other flavors, which I think really helps this from becoming a bitter alcohol bomb. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an effervescent carbonation that possesses a touch of slickness to it. Thanks to the good balance, the almost 10% ABV is extremely well hidden, with an overall feel that is very smooth.

Nice. I've enjoyed the Belgian Style IPAs that I've had before but Green Flash takes things to the next hoppy level with this concoction. This is very West Coast but the Belgian qualities definitely get their day in the sun as well, making for a well balanced and easy drinking sipper.

 1,290 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mactrail
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful golden amber in the Affligem chalice. Nice foam and lacing. It's certainly a big hoppy beer but it does swing both ways. Rather sweet, and probably more of the Belgian sugar. Even tastes a little like the recent GF Rayon Vert, with the big dose of Brettanomyces. So there are plenty of Belgian tastes with a lot of the off-center bitter-sweet.

This has a lot of the Imperial IPA character, with the malty richness and huge hops. Very bitter aftertaste. Overall it's just too much of the bitter hops but the yeasty and bacteria flavors are quite forward. On the coarse side and quite sharp. 22 oz bottle from Mega Liquor in Hemet.

 640 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orangey body with a bubbly, wispy, white head.

Smell: A mix of grains and grapefruit held together by mashed bananas and tossed with pine needles and white pepper.

Taste: Pale and Belgian maltiness, with a touch of grain, and a brief, though refined sweetness. Tastes of bananas, citrus grapefruit, and pine before a caustic, moderate bitterness is unleashed upon the tongue. Dash of spice. Light yeastiness. Some floral and fruity peach hints to be found during the rare times when the bitterness lets up. Finishes crisp and with a bitterness that lasts well into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Yep, it's a bitter tripel, alright. It performed a bit better than expected, but I wouldn't push over an old lady to get a bottle unless she was really really asking for it (to be pushed, not the bottle).

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hophead101 for this one, cheers Greg!

Pours a semi-hazed apricot with 2 fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Murks up at the bottom of the bottle, good lacing & head retention

S: Honey, pineapples, lemons, green bananas & white pepper

T: Passion fruit, pineapples, grapefruit up front, plus appleskins. More grapefruit, green bananas & noticeable but light alcohol, as as this warms. Finishes with much grapefruit, some booze, pears & apple peels, plus a touch of breadyness

MF: Syrupy, low carbonation, medium bodied with pretty good balance & warming sensations

Drinks pretty good for the style & abv, this Belgian PA certainly has a west coast slant, as you'd expect from Green Flash

 703 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly smoky apricot with bright lemon peel trim. Active carbonation feeds the underside of a firmly creamy, yellowed ivory cap that becomes gently rocky while melting. Squiggles of soapy lace do a pretty good job of covering the sides of the glass.

Le Freak is essentially an American Double IPA that uses a Belgian yeast strain. The GFBC brewers used their house yeast as well. The hops are 100% red-white-and-blue: Summit and Nugget, dry-hopped with Amarillo. The nose features mostly pale malt, an enjoyable orange citrusiness and a whiff of Belgian spiciness that I hope is much more prominent on the palate.

This is a pretty good American-brewed version of one of my favorite styles, but it doesn't even sniff the world's best. There's too much DIPA and not enough tripel for the marriage to be an entirely successful one. A little too much unmasked alcohol doesn't help, although it's already fading some with time and warming.

Green Flash must not be in possession of the world's most outstanding Belgian yeast strain because their Trippel doesn't make the grade. Maybe that's where they should start if they decide to make changes to this offering. There are a boatload of alpha acids zipping about, with white grapefruit pith, bitter orange rind and bitter grasses delivering the bulk of the hop flavor.

White pepper and ground clove put a spicy kick on the tail end of each mouthful, which is probably my favorite portion of the ever-changing flavor arc. Sugary sweetness lingers, which brings things together pretty well in the end. It's a shame that this review focuses on the negatives more than the positives, because I'm enjoying this big bruiser. It's just that I'd like it to be great rather than merely good.

It's no surprise that the mouthfeel is more akin to an American DIPA than a Belgian ale of any stripe. Since I love full, sticky and lush (in most cases), I'm fully onboard. One might even say that the mouthfeel is LF's finest feature. Even the lightly prickly carbonation works, given the beer's overall aggressiveness.

When cracking the crown on a bomber of Le Freak, don't expect a freakishly delicious Belgian IPA. This is, however, a worthwhile purchase for anyone who likes both American hops and Belgian yeast. It helps if you like big beer enough to forgive some of its excesses.

 2,323 characters

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

Photo of smcolw
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy. Light amber color with a touch of orange. Four-finger head that ends up in a rocky foam. Extensive lace...clumpy and impressive.

Belgian yeast aroma with a light level of hops. Slightly sour with some smell of pine.

Strong pine and pepper with lots of bittering hop. The alcohol is strong. The malt flavors is subtle...unlike most Belgian style ales, this is mostly hoppy. The body is what I'd expect of this style; the carbonation is appropriate.

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Green Flash Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,408 ratings.
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