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 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

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Reviews: 749 | Ratings: 2,406
Photo of mugglesandhops
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle received in a BIF. Poured into a tulip glass. Orange in color, big frothy head, very active carbonation. Smells more like an IPA than a Tripel. Citrus fruit, bready, some clove like spice also. Alcohol up front in the taste, citrus. The tripel blend of this comes out more as it warms. The clove flavor really comes through in the taste as it warms.

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Photo of thryn
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful golden color into my St. Bernardus goblet, with a finger of fluffy white head and carbonation that just won't quit. I suspect if I had a tulip I would have gotten a really nice head. Note to self -- get a damn tulip! It leaves *gorgeous* lace. ... Pouring the second half of the bomber, ALL the yeast was there. So the first half was crystal gold -- the second half is very cloudy amber. Still beautiful, and a lot more head in pour 2.

The nose is super interesting! Forward grassy hops, some honey-sweetness, spice character and some funky sourness.

The taste follows. All that is there -- the bold, forward hop character, the warm sweet honey and spice, the funky sour finish, a bitter aftertaste. Lots of grass. It doesn't come together *quite* as well as it does in the nose, but it's still damned good.

Mouthfeel is light but creamy, with the carbonation staying in the background.

Drinkability is good, but not great simply because this is a strange beer. Still, I am *really* glad I picked this one up. I'd definitely grab it again given the chance.

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Photo of Willytee3
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rating on my 2nd bottle into the 4 pack. The first was too good to stop and write.

Pours a rich clear orange with yellow tinge around the edges. Nice two finger head settles to a thick film with good lacing.

Incredible smelling beer! Bubble gum and spice with some bright funk. Candy apple and flowers.

Tastes of bubble gum and spice with green flowers and light Brett funk! Bitter through drink carries all with a piney hops on the finish. Nice carbonation.

Great beer with lots going on funky and just works! Daring to combine a Trippel with an IPA and it comes up a winner!

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap a few weeks ago at Blue Palms, and managed to score a bottle soon after at Vendome! Nice.

A: Pretty standard color, yellow on the edges and getting near amber in the center. Big fluffy 2-3 finger head, quite pitted and with great lacing. Retention is decent. Something interesting about the look that I can't quite point out though...not as bubbly looking as a lot of IPA's I guess...and while I've found most IIPA's are either clear or super hazy...this one is just slightly hazy. Maybe I'm overanalyzing it...but it does look "different" to me.

S: Smells like a trippel. Big Belgian spices: corriander, cloves, maybe some nutmet? A nice fruitiness to the smell as well, a bit peachy or even figgy. I don't detect any hops in the nose at all...I'm serious when I say this smells like a trippel.

T: Wow! Complex brew that starts out Belgian and quickly becomes quite hoppy. First taste is all trippel, with the spices and sweetness. Hops come out almost immediately though. Hops are mostly resiny or piney, but perhaps there's some flowery and citrusy hops in there as well. Hard to tell what with the flavors of the trippel. Finish is quite bitter, but with a lingering spicyness as well.

MF: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. A bit sticky and plenty of heat. Finish is dry, even more so with the hops being slightly harsh.

D: I think this is pulled off really get a nice bit of each individual flavor in there, and then the combination of all the effects at the end. The hops are a bit harsh, something I noticed with the Green Flash IIPA as well. Not a bad thing, but if you're not into that it could be a detraction. Pretty high alcohol, so a pint is enough for one sitting. I don't really have anything to compare it it's hard to say how it compares to other Belgian IPA's...but I gotta say this is pretty good. It was great on tap too...even better than in the bottle IMO. Also, really makes me wanna try Green Flash's trippel...I bet it's really good.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An old favorite. I am sure am glad they started bottling it. Reviewed 1/14/09. Poured from bottle to oversized St. Bernardus glass.

A: MMmm! A crisp, bright orange/amber with a slight-off white head that fizzles away quickly and leaves a small rim of lace just above the liquid in the glass.
S: Tangy, citrus hops. Aromas of tropical fruits, pineapple, blood orange, and a bit of pine. Faint esters of alcohol.
T: Crisp pine flavors up front. Fruity dominance with grapefruit, pineapple. An herb-like quality presents on the back end. Can't put my finger on it exactly, but it is a bit savory, salty.
M: Sharp carbonation. Balanced body with heavy flavors and distinct hoppiness. Astringency from the hops leaves me smacking my lips.
D: Oh how I missed Le Freak. I didn't find the bottle tasting as good as I remember it served from the tap, but it is still damn good. A nice SoCal spin on the Belgian IPA. Chuck really nailed this one. 9.2% ABV is well balanced with the serious flavor packed into each serving.

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Photo of RunDWP
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let's get freaky!

Wow, what a brew. This guy really woke me up when I opened up the bottle. The piney, slightly fruit aroma surged from the opened bottle. Poured a hazy orange in my tulip, like an orange cream float with a fluffy and chunky head floating on top. Lots of lacing and sheeting on the glass, and the head stubbornly refused to go away. Taste was really intense upfront with lots of fruity and piney goodness. Hard to identify the fruity notes, I picked up some pineapple, maybe some mango, and some apricot. Nice resin, mellow like aftertaste and a nice, pleasantly astringent mouth feel. Could barely detect the alcohol, and what I did taste blended well with the overall brew. With all these intense flavors going on, I'd hesitate to call this easy drinking, but it was pretty enjoyable.

I'd have another right now!

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Photo of Thanby
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale amber with a huge sticky off-white head.

Very pungent nose, crystal malt/caramely, Belgian yeast creates the characteristic banana, American hops in a nice sweeter balance, some apricot mixed in, overall pretty sweet.

First taste is a punch of hops, tastes like maybe Mt. Hood and Willamette with some higher-AA base? Anyway, the blend is nice and has a good floral/pine quality. Beyond the hops is a solid pale malt body with a little caramel sweetness, not as yeasty as it smells. The hops are almost overpowering at first, but as I got acclimated to them the malt characteristics began to shine through.

Medium body, a little sticky and with a long-lasting bittering hop aftertaste, this is definitely a good blend of styles.

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Photo of TheLiterati
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Le Freak combines an imperial pale ale with a Belgian-style trippel, resulting in another great hybrid beer.

Pours a bit more gold than amber with a finger-high creamy white head. Smells of pine, with a bit of candy sweetness in the nose. Tastes like a smooth DIPA at first sip, but then mellows into the Belgian-inspired sweetness of a trippel.

Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, making this a quite drinkable beer.

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Photo of OskarL
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange color with a steady stream of carbonation. The head has good retention and leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma is full of citrus hops, spices (corriander) and yeast.

Taste is also a lot of citrus hops, spices (corriander, pepper), earthyness, a tartness, yeast and warming alcohol. Finishes with orange zest like bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite carbonated, full body and a dry finish.

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Photo of ABOWMan
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an awesome golden yellow color which was slightly cloudy from yeast sediment. One finger of cream colored, fine bubbled, head resulted from my pour which produced lacing on the walls of my tulip glass. So far, very typical of a high octane Belgian ale.

The aroma is fruity with a burst of floral hops.

The flavor is full and rich. Ripe fruit, malt, bubble gum, piny hops all of which resulted in a perfect balance of bitter/sweet in this Belgian style ale.

The mouthfeel is rich and full on your palate yet refreshing because of the ample amount of hop bite.

Drinkability, despite this ales high abv, is great given it wonderful balanced flavor.

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Photo of Momar42
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip

A - hazy, straw color. Good head with moderate retention. Lacing evident down the glass.

S - Belgian bottle yeast and biscuits. Great smelling BIPA. Especially from the states.

T - bananas, yeast, sweetness. Great flavors indeed. Really hard to put this one down.

M - Great IPA mouthfeel. Yeast and carbonation blend well. Medium mouthfeel. Finishes extremely clean.

O - The more I drink from Green Flash the more I love them. This is a fantastic BIPA, only slightly below Rich Life from FFF. Super easily drinkable for a 9%+ ABV. Great fresh flavors and clean finish. Keeps you coming back for more. Wish I could find a 22oz bottle!!! Green Flash = most underrated west coast brewery.

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Photo of wchesak
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served out of a bomber into Allagash tulip

A - golden, slightly hazy, a little more than 2 fingers worth of nice fluffy white head, instantly leaves lace as it gradually dissipates

S - not too much smell too it really besides some citrus hops and belgian yeast that is very minimal

T - starts like a Cali IPA and ends like a belgian tripel...finish is very dry, and you also get a faint hint of the alcohol

M - good carbonation and dry like it should be

D - love this combination, Green Flash did a great job accentuating the distinct flavors of the two types of beer while at the same time allowing them to complement each other

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Photo of bigkahunas4
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've really been looking to having this - as sign the BBF - I've had a soft spot for Belgian IPAs. I found a 22 oz bomber and am going to sample it in an oversized wine glass. "01 08" was barely etched near the base of the glass - leading me to believe that was when it was brewed.

Appearance: Gave it a fairly vigorous pour to elicit in hopes of eliciting some decent head from her. The body poured a gorgeous opaque bronze with mahogany highlights. The head had some great great retention, starting at about a finger and a half, and really holding strong at about half a finger. The foam looks vintage with it's parchment coloring. Some nice suddy lacing as well.

Smell: The first draw is the comforting Belgian yeast, with hints of pepper and lemon. Upon aerating it a bit, bubblegum emerges, as well as a smoky profile much like when incense is first lit.

Taste: My first thought was "Hmm" definitely interesting, as a big hop firestorm really takes over what was a big Belgian nose. Subtle yeasts flavors really try to peak their heads up, as I can sense some citrus. Really hard to pull out much of the normal Belgian sweetness, as the hop tide really rolls in almost immediately. Hop characters are very earthy, and unlike any I've really encountered. I'm pulling out some grass and dark wood, with a light hint of grapefruit. As it's warming - I'm enjoying it more, as the hops become more fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium body on this guy, with a touch of viscosity as it hits your tongue. The hops are extremely sticky and really coat the back of your pallete and mouth - actually leaning towards unpleasant on this.

Drinkability: Alcohol is completely muted in this 9.2% freak - however, the hop bitterness really keeps you from drinking too much of this. I'll be honest, in that I was quite disappointed. Certainly complex, and interesting, but the rave scores led me to believe that I was going to be in complete lust here due to my love of Belgians and serious hops. This is my first Green Flash tasting - so perhaps I just am not used to their hops.

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Photo of RickSawyer
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lively orange with amber undertones. A nice, thick, stark white head bellows up and then clings to the walls while falling to a slick. Smell is full of earthy citrus hop, orange zest, pine apple, a bit of tropical / mango comes through. Aroma is balanced with a nice, cakey malt with hints of spicy yeast. Taste is very nice. Assertive bitterness full of earthy, citrus hops reminiscent of biting into an orange with some rind left on it. Hints of a belgian strong golden ale lie underneath... shortbread like malt flavors with white pepper and ginger spiceyness. The bitter finish pairs extremely well with the dry, heavy carbonation beer's swallow. Alcohol slightly burns the back of your throat on the way down, but easily a sipper. Another win from Green Flash in my books. My favorite of the style so far.

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Photo of ElSid
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California


Freshness Date: None

A: Hazy golden in my snifter topped with about a finger and a half of bone white fluffiness which fades leaving a film on the glass

S: Spice and powdery, biscuity maltiness with highlights of banana and possibly even pine.

T: This brew is built on a biscuity, powdery, fresh baked bread maltiness that lends this brew a wonderful chewiness. Strong black pepper and clove appropriately paired with hints of banana and peach. The hops are bittering adding also some notes of lemon citrus and pine needles. Nice warming alcohol finish.

M: Chewy with good linger and moderate carbonation

O: Green Flash's version of marrying Belgian and California style brews. A brew which at first may confuse and overwhelm the palate, but remains interesting, exploring new flavor combinations, and creating a style of its own. Although a brew with good ideas, it is far from perfect and I am interested to see how California breweries build on this style of Belgian / West Coast blends.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter

A: Nice fluffy gold, slightly hazy; aggressive pour leads to over an inch head. The beer looks great, but what impresses me the most is the head that retains throughout the beer. Lacing all over the glass afterwards

S: Citrus, but a lot of ripe banana and clove. Maybe nutmeg? Some pine and caramel. A lot going on here.

T: To me, it tastes more like a belgian ale at first, then out of no where you are hit with the citrus taste of a west coast IPA. I taste banana, orange, slight grapefruit/lemon, and pine. Alcohol warms the palate on the back taste, which ties in great. The Belgian yeast ties it all together--very balanced beer, and after a glass or two, one picks up on the subtleties.

M: I'd say medium bodied due to the intense carbonation, yet extremely refreshing in this 95 degree Atlanta heat.

Overall: Haven't had a Belgian IPA in some time, and this one was a great find. The 9.2% ABV is an afterthought with this one, very drinkable after a long day at the office. Definitely recommend and will pick up this and more Green Flash brews now that they are available in ATL. Good stuff.

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Photo of IPA4LIFE
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden color with a huge fluffy white head that has massive amounts of retention. Beautiful beer.

S- Definite Belgian spice notes and a slight hint of earthy or dank hop notes. Clove and a little banana are the main aromas.

T- Interesting mix of hoppy bitterness and the classic spicy belgian yeast flavors. Also a touch of citrus or mango hop notes, but the flavor is dominated by the belgian yeast.

M- Ultra smooth, really nice.

O- Pretty smooth, with an interesting mixture of flavors, but it isn't a world-beater. Good mixture of flavors. Overall, I like it, but I'm not in love with it.

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Photo of Flyer
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little surprising that the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts, but when the parts are this good, it probably doesn't matter. Pours orangey-yellow with aromas of orange peel and belgian candi sugar, plus a little pear and peach. Big flavors of trippel and sugar up front, quickly washed aside by a delicious wave of bitter citrusy hops. Finishes bitter hoppy with a trail of sweet. Worth buying, but ultimately will it be more than a great tasting novelty? I'm not sure.

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Photo of travduke
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To my delight I got this in a trade from hophead101. One of my favorite styles of beer, excited to try this one.

Appearance: Hazy ruby orange with an incredible 2 finger white foamy head with great retention.

Smell: I can smell this from across the time. Strong banana aroma, yeast, very fruity.

Taste: First sip is delicious. Bready, fruity, piney and citrus all in one. Slight warming alcohol that doesn't bother me at all. A little bitter but delicious.

Drinkability: Great sipping brew. I can drink a bomber but that's it. Its meant to be sat with and enjoyed. This is a great example of the style. One of the best being made in America that I've had so far.

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Photo of bifrostguard
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden with a tall off white head

S - Clove and spice. This is not a good sign as it is reminiscent of other IPA/Belgian meshes I have tried out here on the west coast.

T - Not as bad as I expected. Still too much clove and spice flavor for me. Grains are prevalent as well. I have come to face the fact that I just don't enjoy the southern California take on the Belgian style trippel/IPA.

M - Smooth and unremarkable other than that.

D - Not really drinkable for me. The flavor is somewhat unpalatable to my taste. I would prefer something with a little less spice. Just not my style. This will be the last of the like that I will try.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: cloudy yellow/gold - about three fingers of head.

Smell: Strong smell of hops, belgian yeast - like witbier/saison, alcohol

Taste: Tons of hops up front and then transforms into a belgian tripel. Alcohol bite hides behind the bitter hops up front. An amazing fusion of flavors - like a good mashup by Girl Talk.

Mouthfeel: hop bitterness, dry - nice effervescence from tripel

Drinkability: this one is very drinkable - I felt that it's a sipper - I wanted to savor this beer moreso than drink it because I liked it so much. I wish we got Green Flash in Charleston - then I could enjoy this beer on a regular basis. Great fusion - I recommend for the beer drinker/geek who appreciates both styles. Very cool!

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Photo of Nick3
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Rochefort chalice, beer forms a 2 finger white head that dissipates quickly. Apple juice golden in color with some lacing, beer looks enticing. Nose is yeasty with notes of banana, clove, hops, and pine trees. Hops are mellowed well on the forefront by the malt but the hops kick in big time in the finish and linger in mouth for a while. Taste like a Tripel until the finish when it transforms into a strong IPA. Mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy, very nice. I appreciated the uniqueness of this "combo" styled beer. I typically don't enjoy Tripels or IPAs too much but thought this one was pretty good.

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Photo of Takahiro
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a duvel glass for the tasting

A: clear, deep golden, with thick melengue-like foam
S: yogurty yeastiness, that reminds me of Belgian-saison yeast, bit of strawberry
T: fruity candi flavor (can't describe actual fruit) upfront then quickly transition to hop-flavor and bitterness which linger on the tongue.
M: soft and silky smoothness, light on the malt side. the bitterness is relatively sticky
O: nice Belgian pale with hoppy twist. very good

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Photo of CruisaC
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22oz bottle into a new belgium tulip

Pours a hazy dark amber color with a 3 inch creamy head that slowly dissipates and leaves some beautiful lacing all the way down

Smells of sweet malts but I detect almost some winter spices with cinnamon and cloves.

Taste is more belgian style malt flavor with some mild hoppiness at the end. Again I taste the winter spices and warm cinnamon bread.

The body has medium carbonation and just enough silkiness to hang around on the mouth

The 9% is somewhat detectable which is the only thing that would limit the drinkability on this one. Otherwise it's a fine blend of two styles that I very much enjoy. If you are looking for a hop bomb or a belgian sweet bomb then look elsewhere; Le Freak tries to marry the two and pulls it off quite nicely

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Photo of ChillMike
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very murky rusty orange color with mildly frothy head that drops down quickly to about half a finger worth and leaves only the slightest bit of lace. Nice looking beer.

S: My sniffer isn't the best right now so forgive me if I'm a bit off in this department....The first thing I notice is a very distinct very sweet sugary malt, it is followed or mixed with a pleasant piney hop scent and what I think is a somewhat peppery spice. Very nice smell, basically what the bottle says a mix of an IPA and a Belgian

T: Starts out with a nice bitter flavor that tastes very earth with an ever so slight taste of citrus which leads way to the Belgian side of things with the sweet malty flavor that helps to balance out the hoppy side of things. Finally it ends with a perfect blend of the two flavors in a wonderful aftertaste or piney hops and what I'm going to say tastes a bit of banana, sweet malts and spices. It's an interesting take on this type of style....whereas the other types of these I've tried tend to be more Belgian front tasting with a bit of a hoppy IPA taste, the guys and gals at Green Flash seem to have reversed it and made it more of an IPA with a Belgian twist. Very interesting I like it.

MF: Nice mouthfeel a bit high on the carbonation and it does pack a bit of a punch on the tongue but it is still very enjoyable.

D: It does hide the alcohol very well and it is very tasty I don't know how many of these or how often I could put one of these down, though it would be a great beer to share amongst friends.

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Green Flash Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 2,406 ratings.
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