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 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.

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Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample on 11/23/2008. This IPA/Belgian Strong Ale pours a orange gold color from a 22oz bottle. Medium to large sized white foamy head, with good retention and nice long lasting lacing. The aroma is fruity and sweet, with bubble gum and candi sugar, but with a large dose of grapefruity and piney hops. A medium bodied IPA. The malts are fruity and sweet, with some bread and cookie. The hops are grapefruity and piney. Nice meld of a Belgian Ale and an IPA, it has that sweetness, fruity, yeast and pepper flavors of a Belgian Strong Ale and the big malts and aggressive hops of a California IPA. It really works well. Nice carbonation. Hides the 9.2 alcohol fairly well, there is a touch of bite in the middle. Nice beer, curious to see how this one will taste with some age. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is crisp and very dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of kwakwhore
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Really pretty golden color with an off white head which lasts forever and leaves lace on the glass.
Cloves dominate the aroma. Smells like a tripel to me. As the beer warms up, a little bit of malty sweetness creeps in as well. But aromas can be deceiving.
Serious shot of grapefruit bitterness up front in the taste. Hops are a large part of what's going on here. At first it seems almost out of balance, but the more I sip it the more the flavors seem to merge and make sense. Some malty undertones emerge and provide a hint of balance, more than in most Green Flash beers.
Decent mouthfeel. Drinkability depends on how if you like hops. If you do, you can drink this for a while. Alcohol is not noticeable at all on the way down, but I am starting to feel the 9.2%.
I'm not sure I'll finish the bottle but I'll be giving it a good try. Hopheads rejoice, all others beware.

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Photo of imagineiii
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poored into my trusty dfh snifter. amber colors and thin white head. thin layer of bubbles stays on the top for quite some time.

S: Honey, Orange, ciderlike acidity, spice. hops are all over the front of the nose.

T: Sweetness at the front is too quick to leave, bitter hops follow quickly. Cascade and amarillo maybe? They arent kidding when they say this has san diego style IPA in it, and the aftertaste is slightly too bitter for a belgian for my taste.

M: Light and bubbly on the tongue. Smooth for over 9%

D: Drinkable like a belgian because its light and bubbly, but not so much because the bitterness sticks to the back of your tongue.

If youre a hop head, this beer is a MUST. Even though I like some IPAs, Im no hop head. I will always think of Belgian IPAs as less hoppy (La Chouffe Houblon)

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

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is slightly murky golden-honey with a 2-finger rocky ivory-colored head. Some lace.

S: Nice combo of an American IPA and a Belgian Ale. I get hops (citrusy orange), spice (both clove and pepper), malt sweetness and a hint of yeasty earthyness, even musk.

T: Also a nice combo of the styles. Fruity and sugary-sweet malt provides a good foundation. Some spice follows -- cloves -- but then it finishes with the American IPA flourish -- i.e., hops, tropical fruit and oranges are noted. Also some heat at the back of the sip and down the gulley, with a lingering grassy or piney dryness. Nice.

M: Close to heavy in heft and slightly syrupy, but a fairly active carbonation seems to lighten it a little bit.

D: Very good.

Notes: I'd definitely buy this again if it were a little bit cheaper (I think it was around $8 or $9 for the bomber).

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Photo of jim102864
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of a collection of Cali brews I shipped from Holiday Liquors in Escondido during a recent business trip. "Extreme ale converging San Diego-style imperial pale ale and Belgian-style trippel" per the label. "Imperial Pale Ale" not "Imperial 'India' Pale Ale? Hmmm.

Went with the Trois Pistoles goblet given its alleged Belgian triple influence. Light drizzlie shower of carbonation and a clear, orangey-copper color with a thin pond for a head. Incidentally, lots of yeast in the bottle floating around.

Nose is not a good indicator of the taste. Mild grassyness and grapefruit perhaps and little more. However, both club you in the head in the taste. Extremely bitter with the 101 IBU's rearing their ugly head. Bitter grapefruit mouthfeel which goes straight through the same way in the swallow. No idea how the nose on this is so subtle with the aggressive hoppiness. This is "hop bomb" defined. In fact, the hops are so overpowering as to squelch any evidence of the Belgian yeast strain and malt. It's slightly milder as it warms and the taste buds nearly go numb. But, this is an Imperial IPA not influenced in any way by the Belgian Trippel style. So dry as to make you parched for a glass of water.

You've got to be a serious hop head to thorougly enjoy this. For the rest of us, it's a one and done beer that you may want to sample on occassion but not actively seek out.

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Photo of Hophead101
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this from a trade with mikereaser. drank at home on 9.28.08, poured from bottle into wide mouth glass.

pours a good looking beer. nice hazy tannish golden orange color. nice thick head, good off white foamy bubbles, also left a nice lacing in the glass. typical belgian smell, sweet malts, mild and not overpowering, citrus tones, mild mellow peach with hints of lemon.

great taste. mostly hoppy, belgian smell, IPA taste, nice butter hoppy taste with a great belgian maltiness in the background. This beer has a great balance. mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated but not overly so. nice light hoppy aftertaste. the more of this beer that i have, the drinkability gets better and better.

this is a great brew if you are digging the recent trend of hoppy belgians. one of my favorites of the year.

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Photo of Foxman
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a very hazy honey golden amber. Two fingers of sculpted off-white head scoop and sink slowly. Escher prints of dimensional lacing print the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, there's a mildly sweet and tart melding of caramel malt and earthy wheat. Candy sugar and citrusy hops intersperse crisp esters carrying clove and banana. A brush of alcohol tickles the sinuses.

Upon sipping, a very brief glimpse of grain and sugar clinches to a singeing crisp ester blast that layers clove and green apple. As well, hops assert a broad push of gritty bitterness along with some dry citrus. Alcohol soft-shoes it here as well. A mild slide of biscuit and citrus hops lead into an enveloping bitter edge that finishes with a crisp, dry sustain. It's two strong characters agreeing to co-exist happily.

Medium bodied, the flow is just sticky enough to plaster a clean, crisp glow on the palate as it fades.

Unlike many of similar style, this beer is content being both distantly Belgian and American in style. It never blurs so much that it loses its intriguingly dual personality. Whatever the ABV, now known to be hefty indeed, it mixes well but it lays on a buzz quite capably. For me, this is one more reason to go on being a Green Flash fan.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.19/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Clear golden orange in appearance. Two fingered fluffy white head gathered at the top after an aggressive pour, almost like whip cream. Left beautiful lacework on the glass as the beer was consumed.

S- Nothing exciting, generic. Smell of wheat and grain with a faint aroma of hops.

T- Very different in that the flavors were subtle, but still delivered a huge hop flavor, almost too much. Have to let this one warm up a bit for more complexity.

M- Medium bodied. Something was just a little off, almost watered down at points.

D- I don't think I can drink another one of these. Will most likely have to share with someone if I decide to drink this again.

Overall, I almost considered a drain pour at points. As the beer warmed up, the complexity of the taste was more acceptable. Still, I was on edge the whole time just trying to put this one down.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.29/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Appearance - pours a clear coppery gold into a shaker pint. Two generous fingers of foam form up with a pale yellow cast. Smooth and pocky, it settles down leaving impressive lacing all around. Lots of beading from underneath make this quite a looker. The bottom-bomber pour clouds up the glass considerably, but the streams of bubbles sustain throughout.

Aroma - wisps of grain and citrus appear among the classic Belgian funkiness.

Taste - some sweet light grain up front, not much to it. The ensuing hoppiness is much like an assault. Full bitterness, extreme medicinals going on here. Combining with the Belgian yeasty/funky taste, this contains two of my least favorite flavors, creating a synergy that will take all of my willpower and determination to endure. The swallow is unbelievably bitter, dry and tasteless except for some Orval-like Robitussin/medicinal stuff. This may be a first from my pen, but I prefer the funky Belgian flavor to the hops. That's primarily because I am not liking the hops one iota, but there it is. The finish is a brief respite from a host of tastes I'm not digging, but then I plunge in again. Some solventy alcohol flavors as it warms, which I'd normally rail against, but here I'm trying to focus it. Whew, a tough bottle of beer to drink for me. To be fair, as it warms, the flavors do start to unfold a *little*. I'm picking up some earthy/grassy stuff at times. Some more citrus would have made a big difference here, the hops were just too raw, harsh, and unflavorful, and pulled the rug out from under this beer.

Mouthfeel - crisp, somewhat smooth with a solid body. Smoother still towards the end as some sediment is added to the mix.

Drinkability - no, I can't do this one again. Much thanks to the good folks at Hyde Park W&S for stocking this, but it is not for me.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Roadhouse BBQ in Brookline. Came served in a small 12 oz stemmed glass. Hazy orange color. Thin white head. The smell tingles the nose; there are some hops in there for sure. Taste was very different. Had a very unusual initial flavor of a sweet Tripel with that upfront alcohol flavor, then before you could swallow, there was a tons of hops in your mouth. For an IPA, very different. For a Belgian IPA, very tasty. Alcohol was very pronounced, hence the small pour. This, plus the stringent hops profile, makes this beer a sipper, and not something to drink all night, in my opinion. Well worth a try though.

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Photo of azbadger
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: poured a beautiful hazy golden orange, with a nice head

Smell: wonderful belgian smell with bananas but also piney, citrus hop smell present, more so as it warms

Taste: really like this beer, very complex with a lot going on, tastes of a triple with great hop finish

Mouthfeel: full bodied with good amount of carbonation

Drinkability: really enjoyed this beer, great blend of two styles, green flash continues to impress me. Lived up to the hype in my opinion

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Photo of HopDerek
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at Spinnerstown Hotel on 10/25/08.

Poured a hazy light amber with thin white head. Some good retention and a bit of lacing. Smells of citrus and pine, yeast, fruits, candy, caramel, and clove. Tastes of fruits like pear and apple up front followed by banana, clove, and honey. Belgian candy and yeasty funk follow, then a medley of citrus and pine hops for a West Coast style finish. Medium full in body, smooth. Fruity with a nice spicy bitter finish. Another impressive brew from Green Flash, combines both Belgian and West Coast IPA styles nicely.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 from dqderrick .... This brew has been on my radar for a while.. and much thanks goes out to Derrick for the great trade... poured into my Chimay goblet.

Very pretty meringue like head.. tons of Belgian lace.. woow! no kidding.. very nice... the brew is very hazy.. golden orange.. sorta glows.

There is a ton of stuff going on in the Le Freak.. loads of esters and phenols... spicy for sure with orange peel.. very complex... slight pink bubblegum and banana.. I am very impressed at this point.. and I haven't even taken a sip... maybe a little bit of solvent alcohol.. but not bad at all and it actually lends to the overall complexity.

Flavor is remarkably complex too but is very different than the aroma.. huge expected triple flavors but punctuated with a fair amount of SoCal hoppiness. clove and white pepper.. orange and lemon.. a thorough bready sweetness that never separates but more binds everything together verging on perfectly.... the finish takes minutes.. amazing.. this reminds me of Midnight Sun Wrath but with a great "freshness" quality to it...

I've had quite a few Green Flash brews over the last year or two.. but wow.. this is far and away my favorite.. I need to get more of these in a big way.. simply a lesson in complexity and balance.. I am soooo impressed. Cheers... I wish I could get you guys locally.. but again.. Wow! Thanks Derrick!!


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Photo of stephenpcowan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was outstanding at the bbf but didn't want to review it based on the overexposure of the day.

In retrospect, I probably liked this beer so much because it was so different from most belgian ales. Left alone with a bottle, the balance tilts too much to the hoppy side.

The pour is great, big beautiful fluffy head and light golden color.

The smell is primarily pine, grass and citrus notes from the hops, but there is more subdued banana and tooty-fruity.

The taste is dominated by hops all the way through. This beer could use a bit more residual sugar--the high attenuation combined with the hoppiness puts the beer out of balance for my taste. As a result I recruited my roommate for help finishing the bomber.

I would drink this beer again but I like it best in small amounts with other beers.

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

Pours translucent off-gold color with generous, pillowy white head.

Very aromatic with lemon, french bread crust, and overall bread qualities.

Early on, the Belgian bready/yeasty flavors are apparent, but then shortly after (almost concurrently) the panopoly of hops take center stage. Odd balance of the two, and I can't help but wonder if this style should not exist. As it is though, it is quite wonderful, but not something I could tolerate drinking regularly.

Good beer. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Cresant
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 16.9 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. No date. The body was a bright and rich orange. Clear on the first pour. A frothy two fingers of vanilla colored head stayed. Murkier on the second pour.

Smell was Belgian yeast. Spicy banana bread. Wet cement. Fruity. Some slight dustiness. Citrus. Lots going on here!

Taste was alcohol. Green/astringent hops. Substantial. Belgian fruity/organic/yeastiness nicely juxtaposed with the scorching West Coast IPA style. Very nice. Drying finish with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel was zesty and full-bodied. Mouthfilling creaminess.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I really can't decide whether I like this or not. I had good expectations for it going in, and it left me craving a tiny bit more.

Poured a nice hazy dark-ish yellow color with a stark white head into my DFH 22oz snifter. The nose was somewhat sweet but with highlights of citrus.

An interesting merge of two different flavors in the mouthfeel. I'm getting somewhat of a spiciness from the belgian yeast, but then back again with the hops. The candy sugar is quite evident. I'm not a huge fan of triples but the 'blending' between that style and an american IPA is appealing to me. However I am slightly unsure how to feel about this one. It's definitely worth revisiting. The style in general is a good one to try (albeit tough to find sometimes) .

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Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bottle picked up at State Line.

A: The BIPA is an amber color, tea- or penny-colored. A steady stream of bubbles is the only disruption in the glass. A small head is attempting to lace around the edges of the glass.

S: The nose has a nice tripel profile, sweet with a blast peppery coriander. Floral hops emerge, moreso as the ale warms, releasing an intoxicating lupulin aroma that is strong but not blindly bitter.

T: The body is boozy and heat, heavy on the alcohol from the get go. The hops are just behind the alcohol, herbal and bitter. The hops blend nicely with the Belgian profile, meeting the sweetness with blinding bite. The tripel's profile is fast to fade, leaving the candi and coriander rather quickly. Bitterness is the catchphase for the finish. As I drink the ale, I appreciate the melding of flavors but some of the elements are too strong and don't always work.

M: You better like either a) blinding booze or b) blinding hops. The heat and hops are both wicked.

D: The ale is too strong to have more than one bomber. I want to love the beer, I really do. I just struggle with fact that it comes across as too big. Damn, damn, damn.

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Photo of tpd975
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice golden hue with a solid two finger head. Wonderful retention with some spotty lace.

S: Nice aromas of apples and touches of spice. A bit of Belgian yeast and a touch of citrus hops.

T: I really like this one. I have not really liked many of the previous attempts at this style that I have had. Nice sweet apple up front with hints of peppery spice. Touches of banana esque Belgian yeast come next. Bubblegum gets overtaken by bitter grass and grapefruit rind. Wonderful blend of Belgian Ale and West Coast IPA.

M: Medium in body with snappy carbonation. Quite bitter and dry in the finish.

D: Put the bomber down by myself without a problem. Wish I had taken this one home from Denver to share with the local tasting group.

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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 SShelly
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Blue Palms.

A light golden color with a 2" bright white head.

Nice hop aroma, lots of citrus and pine.

Taste is almost all pine in the bitterness/hop flavor/hop aroma, my wife described it as "sprucy". there is enough malt to balance out the hops, and as it warmed I was able to get some residual sweetness . While there was a little spiciness to the flavor there wasnt much there that I would label as "belgian". Also a great sharp hop bite aftertaste that was again very piny.

Overall I will most definetly order this again if I see it on someones beer list.

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

The color is a light orange, with a fluffy white head, leaving a bunch of lacing all the way down. Smells of hops, but not much belgian content to the aroma. The initial taste is mostly of hops, but after a few swallows, the belgian character starts to make itself known. So you get the hoppy attack of grapefruit and orange, along with the more subtle peach and apricot hints. It's an intriguing combination, though overall I'd say the hoppy aspect overbalances the belgian component. Still a helluva brew.

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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

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GABF Weekend '08: I'm a'luv'n the hoppy Belgians. This one comes out with a witbier appearance- canary yellow and a firm head formation that laced well and retained to the bottom of the glass. Piercing aromas of lemons, acidic berry-like tartness, and sharp citrus-piney hops that stand out over the softer pilsner malts. Flavors are acidic of lemons, berries, white pepper, and a plethera of other fruity esters and peppery phenols. Hops (Amerillo's?) give a citric orange / grapefruit flavor swirled around strong notes of pine and lemmon grass. The hop flavor is intense, religating the malts to a backup role only. The intense hops and spices give a lot of complexity and variety. A light vineous, barrel-aged tannin quality prounounces in the finish. And so does a mild lactic astringency and a light soapy phenolic character. Otherwise a near-flawless beer.

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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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