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 ncstateplaya
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this into my new Ommegang flute while watching the 2008 Papa John's Bowl. Not a good game for me as my Wolfpack lost to Rutgers, but I tried to not let it show in my review of this beer.

Appearance: The head caught my attention more so than the actual color. It was extremely frothy and cream colored, measured at three fingers. The was a "mushroom cloud" in my glass that was very impressive, and stuck around for quite a while. It poured a hazy orange, I am assuming because of all of the yeast, with golden edges. There was a decent amount of lacing, however it did not stick around on the glass for long.

Smell: The alcohol esters were abundant as was a musty yeasty smell. There was definitely a caramel malty presence that went nicely with the subtle spicey hop aroma.

Taste: The alcohol was what caught my attention at first. Almost to the point of tasting more astringent like. This property mellows as the beer warms. It was very bitter and had tons of spice from the hops, as well as hints of apricots.

Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied ale with plenty of hoppy spiciness and malts to keep your mouth interested. The carbonation keeps the tongue tingling and the alcohol definitely warms as it goes down. The malts led to an pretty smooth finish.

Drinkability: Not one of my favorites, but I can appreciate this craft brew. It is an enteresting extreme beer, but the alcohol-astringent flavor turns me away.

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Photo of ikats
4.59/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy gold in color with thick white head. Belgian-style aroma - light and refreshing. Aroma is full of fruity notes, cloves, some gratefruit and some pine notes. If you think too much, hops (American addition) are quite obvious, but they blend in so well that they work perfectly. Taste is very bitter, plus hops stick to your tongue to provide you with a bitter after taste. This beer seems to give the tongue a good scrubbing. Mouthfeel is pleasant and the beer is very drinkable giving the right circumstances. This beer will go great with some food.

I didn't plan to review this beer when I picked up a bottle to open. However, see how it's wonderful, I figured I have to get it on record. Nicely done beer.

UPDATE: I did not edit anything in my original post which was based on the first glass of chilled Le Freak. As the beer warmed up and as I drank more of it, its taste moved more and more towards hoppy bitterness. I was pleasant, but if you're not a hophead, you won't enjoy it.

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

Bomber, a nice little surprise found at Toll Gate Liquors in Wilmington, DE.

Pours deep amber and translucent but slightly cloudy-- more orange and less opaque than Belgian examples. Lots of lacing. This beer looks more IPA than Belgian, and it smells that way too, with a big pineapple-citrus aroma over a background of fruity esters and malt.

The flavor profile starts out in Antwerp, goes to San Diego, and finishes somewhere in between. Caramel malts and spicy phenols dominate the opening, with citric hop flavors swelling mid-palate; hop flavors slide into hop bitterness, and then finally the phenols and esters come in at the end, along with just a drop of alcoholic heat, blending neatly with the lingering bitterness.

There is no way that anyone would mistake this for a Belgian beer, but even though it's a California hop bomb, the Belgian characteristics are strong enough to keep it interesting (and appropriate for the style.)

Mouthfeel is oily and resinous and very, very SoCal. This is not a session beer, but alcohol is restrained enough that it's possible to forget it's there at times-- at least until you wake up in someone else's bathtub.

This is probably the first American attempt at a Belgian IPA that I've tasted that wasn't just trying to reverse-engineer Houblon Chouffe (not that that's a bad thing), and I can't wait to see more like it.

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Photo of badbeer
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden color with a white head that has excellent retention and lacing. Bubblegum, citrus hops, clove, and nutmeg in the aroma. Bubblegum, clove, citrus, nutmeg, and allspice in the taste. This beer reminded me of New Glarus' Dancing Man Wheat. Medium body and medium carbonation. I'd definitely enjoy having this again; very good beer!

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a semi transparent, hazy light gold with a 2 finger head of off white fluff. Decent retention and lacing left around the glass.
Smell is of sugary, estery, doughy yeast with some citrus, and floral, herbal hops coming through with a peppery spiciness.
Taste is of the mentioned aroma with estery, spicy, caramel, apple, vanilla, citrus, sugary, hoppy.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sticky of sugar & hops, boozy, and warming.

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Photo of Derek
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden-bronze with a fluffy off-white head, excellent retention, good lacing.

S: Candied pineapple, mango, tangerine, banana, clove, nectarine, pine, cotton candy. Awesome. Seems perfect for a Belgian IPA.

T: Tangerine, nectarine, pine, grapefruit rind, steelie grass (I'm guessing Amarillo & Crystal), cloves, candied pineapple, nice spiciness, pleasantly assertive bitterness, alcohol is well-hidden. A little more IPA than Tripel.

M: Moderate to full body is smooth with some hop acidity and a dry finish.

D: Quite drinkable for its strength.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/9/08. Bottle. Pours a deep orange with a hazy ring of white head. Aroma of lots of sweet melon rind. Flavor of more melon rind and light fruits with a bitter rind finish. Heavy mouthfeel. More of a Belgian strong ale than an IIPA...I'm not very impressed by this beer. There are much better hoppy Belgians, this one is a little boring and bland.
7/4/7/3/14 (3.5/5)

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent golden orange with a big pillowy cap of foam. Looks sticky and icky. Man, the marriage of those Belgian yeast aromas and piney hops create the perfect smell of Christmas...Christmas trees..mmm. Tingles the nose. Subtle maltiness infused in these smells. Fuck yeah. Taste is SPICY! Everything hits you at once. Belgian yeast flavors everywhere similar to those of a spicy wit beer. Hops aren't as in your face as the American versions I am used to; hops just work with the yeast to create a wonderful spiciness. Warming alcoholic edge that is definitely perceivable but it works VERY nicely in this beer. A very very faint hint of a soy-like flavor in the finish. White pepper. Some sugary sweetness takes a backseat to all this spiciness (I really can't say it enough), but comes out in the finish. As far as mouthfeel goes, spicy tingle with a little too much bubbly carbonation for my goes with the theme of the beer I guess...I can't really decide how I feel about it. I won't have any problem drinking this bomber.

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

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. The beer pours a hazy mandirin orange color with a massive sticky white head. The smell is heavy on spices. It smells like a triple. The beer is crisp and leaves a fruity/ spicy taste in my mouth. I was expecting more of a hop profile, but I guess that is why it is a Belgian IPA. The beer is medium bodied and highly carbonated. It is a sipper, which is good because the high ABV is barely noticeable. A solid hybrid type of beer, worth trying but maybe not worth the hype.

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Photo of MEsquandoles
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into Duvel tulip. My only bottle. Would certainly like to have it again.

Color is a gorgeous peach-golden gradient. Bubbles were all mid-sized at first, a bit unimpressive, but looks more Belgian carbonated after awhile. Somewhat clear, then hazy, but some yeast sludge at the bottom of the bottle - I poured this in at the end.

Aroma is bit lacking in power, but interesting. Bubble-gum spice Tripel yeast dominates with some banana-clove, but some West Coast dry hop as well (significantly less than GF WC IPA, but some similar flavors).

Flavor: If I had to name dominating flavor in one word it'd be peach. Progression goes: Peach - Honey -Mango - Pear - Pineapple - Pine - Pear - Pine. Finishes with green hop flavor, some green peppercorn and maybe some white pepper that cover the high abv. Not harsh. Belgian flavors come through in waves. Still some green hop/pine on the pallet 20 seconds later. Nice balance. I'm glad there's not more Tripel sweetness.

The WC hop and Belgian yeast flavors have definitely melded by now. I'm not sure when this was bottled, but it tastes like almost 6 months of melding. However, the whole still seems a bit lesser than the sum of the parts - it's got some intense parts. I'd love to try it again in 6 months (but kept cold to preserve the hops!)

I'd be interested to see the recipe, but I'd guess a Tripel yeast and some Belgian Tripel-style candi sugar, American DIPA hops and malt, and maybe some Belgian-style beer malts too. I'd also like to know the FG, as it's obviously a big beer, but has a nice finishing dryness that I enjoy.

I've had no trouble reaching the end of this bomber. A pleasure.

Even amongst Stone 08-08-08, Chouffe Houblon, and Urthel Hop It, I'd certainly recommend 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 jojox
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - gold, slightly cloudy, fair amount of sediment. Small, holding head. Tons of sediment in the bottle.

s - belgina yeastiness, clove + bananna. Smells like a belgian trippel.

t - like a belgian trippel, bittering hops stronger at the end. Peppery at the end. Aftertaste is a bit IPA-ish.

m - nice, dry and well carbonated.

d - good. The trippel aspect shorts it for me, but only due to personal dislike of trippels.

It's like a belgian trippel with a good amount more hop bitterness.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle received as an extra from a very generous soul in LA who goes by the handle of JRS. Thanks, Josh! You and Evan have hooked me up with some absolute gems!

A: I carefully decant this into my Duvel tulip, yielding a crystal clear orange beer with a massive off-white head with great retention. As the head slowly recedes, it leaves a ton of lace. Pretty awesome

S: On the nose this is surprisingly subdued on the hop front. I had this on cask a couple of months back and the hops were a riot. This time round, they're more muted with some citrus and orange notes. The spices do jump out, though, with clove, pepper and some floral notes. Intriguing. Swirling in the yeast adds a (surprise) yeasty complexity and evens out the balance fairly well

T: On the palate, this opens up with some moderate hop character that's quickly overwhelmed by the spicy characteristics from the yeast, incredibly aggressive it is. Tons of white pepper, clove and a strange anise-like astringency. There's some mild malt sweetness but it's overwhelmed by the spices (at least on my palate) Finishes dry and spicy. After I reviewed it, I poured the yeast and that does make this seem a little more muddled

M: Carbonation is pretty spot on and the body is pretty light and tripel-like. The finish is pleasingly dry but the spiciness is a bit much

D: The spices do hurt the drinkability but I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber from Abe's in Bethlehem for around $8. Poured into a small juice glass and slim mason jar (the only things around).

Cloudy orange straw color, really intriguing color. Big, cloudy white head, awesome retention, tons of lacing. Visible CO2 bubbles floating up through the murk--amazing to look at.

Smell was hoppy, fruity, spicy, sweet. Looking forward to this. No sign of the 9% ABV.

This beer is dry but not overwhelmingly so. Bitter, sweet tasting, fruity and spicy yeast esters really round this out nicely. If the booze is there it is really subdued.

Mouthfeel is hurt somewhat by the bitterness that lingers in the mouth. This is where the lack of malt character shows its downside. I'm still glad this one is as dry as it is. Mouthfeel is somehwat of a necessary casualty. It is actually smoother and easier to drink with the yeast dregs swirled in at the end.

Drinkability is great. I would definately have this again and could have easily finished the bomber on my own. A bit pricy but definately worth it, if only as a one-time (or once in a while) treat.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a cloudy orange color. A nice white head with nice retention. Head leaves a tremendous amount of lacing down my glass.

S- I can pick up a lot of spices. I thinking a lot of cloves and pepper on this one. Also some malts, yeast and hops. There also seems to be quite a bit of a fruity/citrusy smell as well.

T- Pretty much right in line with the nose. Its kind of a Belgian and an Ipa smashed into one.

M- Medium in body and maybe a little high on the carbonation.

D- It kind of grew on me as I finished up my bomber but I still think this isn't something that I'd go out and look for.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Bruisin Ales in Asheville.

Pours a clear gold color with a two-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty good.

Smells great. Huge hits of raw hops up front that meld with light fruits and bits of pepper and anise as the beer warms. Very nice.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of raw hop citrus and pine flavors up front that soon give way to light fruits - pear and sweet lemons. There are also light hints of pepper and anise in the aftertaste that gain steam as the beer warms. Very complex, and something different comes out with every sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's not as carbonated as others in the style, but I don't hold that against the beer. Thickness is good and it goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is great. Tons of flavors coming through with every sip make this one go down very quickly.

Overall this beer certainly lived up to my expectations. I was a huge fan of West Coast IPA, and this certainly has the same aroma up front. As it warms more trippel characeristics become apparent and they don't fight, instead they join hands and collectively make their way to my tastebuds. Definitely give this one a shot if you see it around.

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

This was a very gracious gift from a fellow BA member that visited Kauai and brought me a few goodies.

On with it

A - sexy golden amber, 2 big fingers of head....frothy. just like a beer should be. oh yea...lacing...mmm

S - as soon as i opened this BAM! holy amazing. fruityness mixed with warm comforting smells. this beer makes me feel ignorant to not be able to distinguish what amazing things i am smelling. sweet and buscuity.

T - yep. that's a hybrid! up front...belgian. pale style. but that moves away to big bold hops al la the ipa. this is fairly incredible, as it is so well balanced and there is a distinctive change from the belgian to the ipa

M - Not overly thick...but there is plenty of linger of flavors as the beer transitions.

D - Good question. Unbelievably delicious but at 9.2 and fairly hoppy at the end not sure how many 22oz' one could take. then's freakin' good.

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

For me, this beer is the model of the IPA-Belgian crossover. Pours clear copper with a puffy white head. Rich, spicy aroma characteristic of a Belgian trippel: yeast, pepper, banana, but with a citrus zest. Clean, crisp, yet sweet taste. Good amount of grapefruit and resin, but tempered with the sweetness of the spice and yeast. Spicy and bitter, citrus and sweet; it all formed a great beer with the best qualities of both the DIPA and trippel coming through.

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

App: Pours a chunky, clean, golden splash into a half pint tasting glass. Color is a truly glowing golden orange color. A beautiful white pillowy head settles into a solid white cap with strong lacing that creeps up the edges of the glass a good distance.

Aroma: A really nice aroma, definitely defines the style of Belgian IPA, reminiscent of a Captain Lawrence triple. Strong pear, peach and apple aromas all up front mix with light mossy, grassy hop notes. Underlying all of this is a nice triple yeast and slight sugary smell. Super balanced and refreshing.

Taste: Starts slightly sweet with tart citrus hop flavors underneath along with subtle pear and peach notes. Moves to a strong pine middle with a heavy sweet honey flavor that finishes sweet and with a light hop bite. It's a little hot in the middle, definite alcohol strength throughout which isn't terrible for the style but a bit too much.

Mouthfeel: Pretty high level of carbonation on a light body. Pretty estringent and bitey. A little metallic but not bad for the style.

Drinkability: Not bad. I like the style and i like this beer so I could have a few pints of this beer on its own or with food.

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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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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.

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

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a very nice golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, very nice one-finger creamy white head, with lots of nice thick creamy sticky lacing and some small islands. The nose is malty, with some yeast, corinader, pepper. The taste is very nice, malty/yeasty, with a very nice spice note. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome brew, glad to have had a chance to try it out, thanks Joe.

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Photo of philbe311
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been waiting to try this one for a while...

A - Great creamy cloud like white head... A radiant orange hue... Opaque with great refractive qualities. A subtle cyclone of carbonation dances in the center of the glass... Stellar head retention... Great lacing throughout the session...

S - Citrus hops... Honey... Leather... Apple... Pear... Yeast... Subtle spicy notes... Hints of malt...

T - Complexity... Several distinctive flavors blend together to craft a wonderfully delectable experience... The fruit, pears and apples, hit first and fade quickly... This is followed by the alcohol which is warm and potent... Then comes the full IPA assault - hoppy bitterness... Then the Tripel takes over with the fruit returning joined by the yeast complexity... Final the hoppy bitterness returns to complete the experience... Wow, this was an experience...

M - Lush and mellow... Creamy and smooth... The hoppy bitterness is quite noticeable but it's not overpowering... Medium bodied... Dry... Gentle bubbly carbonation... Warming...

D - A unique experience... A stellar example of brewing craftmanship... This is not a day-in-day-out brew, but this is one to have on hand at all times and enjoy when the mood suits you... A relaxing sipper...

Note - This is a beer that needs to be brought closer to room temperature to fully enjoy the nuances and subtleties of this outstanding brew... Average at best when served too cold, world class when served appropriately...

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Photo of YankChef
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into tulip glass

appearance: burnt orange amber with huge pillowy white head that is very stable and sturdy. ridiculous lacing that just sticks and sticks

smell: very floral and yeasty as well, scents of orange peel, a little honey not so much of the ipa type aromas, perhaps some citrus and pine.

taste: taste is mostly ipa, it has the sharp grapefruit bitterness that really hits the front of the palate as well as the full mouthfeel of a tripel as well as the breadiness and yeasty flavors of a triple, maybe a bit of fennel or corriander. This beer has tons of layers of flavor

overall: this is one hell of a beer, really super complex with great characteristics from both of the styles it says that it represents. THe more green flash I have the more i really like this brewery. Must try for a unique experience.

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Photo of biegaman
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1 on tap at the Toronado, in San Diego and again at Cole's, in Buffalo.

Golden and orange tones are blended into an assortment of soft-hued pastels - the delicacy and balance of this synthesis is quite emblematic for a beer that sets out to fuse two distinctly archetypal brewing traditions. Although clarity is impeded it isn't entirely obstructed. The haze also fails to repress what is a very healthy looking glow.

Its lean, peachy coloured overlay is firm and durable. Despite the only modest proportion, it manages to embalm the glass like a mummy; strips of white are wrapped around and around. Le Freak certainly doesn't look like much of an aberration; instead actually, all indications show signs of a really well crafted beer.

The aroma isn't funky like I braced myself for it to be. I could possibly be convinced there was use of brettanomyces, although I know none were used. No, this bouquet of soft fruit (pear and apple) is the indication of an authentic, time-tested Belgian strain of yeast. It should go without saying that a proper yeast is the most important aspect of making a Belgian-type ale.

Here's where fruit will start to come at you from all angles. First, overwhelming and aggressively so from the hops. This is definitely West Coast style: it has all the juice, peel, piths, rinds and otherwise citrusy character you can soak out of hops. This produces flavours of banana, pineapple, grapefruit, melon, lemon zest, and cantaloupe.

The second source of all things fruity and flavorful, Belgian yeast, is far more subtle. It has the suggestion of fruit through its esters. It concentrates more on the orchard fruits (rather than citrus) and tops it all of with a smack of buttery vanilla, tons of white pepper and a pretty generous dose of barnyard funk.

The brewer considers this a "Belgian-style tripel meets San Diego imperial IPA" and it's still a bit of a mystery to me how, given if that's exactly what they set out to do, Green Flash could pull off something so well balanced. American hops are obnoxiously in-your-face aggressive whilst Belgian yeast works with subtlety and elegance. In theory the two contradict...

Yet in this beer both somehow go about their ways independently and do nothing to compromise the other. If there is one anomaly with Le Freak it would be how well the quintessence of both Belgian and American brewing has been merged. Green Flash must be commended for this. The result is something smooth and tremendously gratifying to drink.

I was very happy to learn Green Flash has decided to brew this one again. 'Le Freak' was definitely no miscreation; it happened to be one of the most ingenious, praiseworthy and admirable brewing aspirations I've had the pleasure of drinking. Mission accomplished Green Flash... now do it again!

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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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