I have always enjoyed brews from Stone and I’m really excited about trying this one.
From the website, stonebrew.com, we find this description.
When reading the name “Stone Cali-Belgique IPA”, “Cali” hints that it is a California-style IPA, and this brew has an undeniable Belgian influence, indicated by the word “Belgique” (which is how Belgium’s French-speaking population says the word “Belgian”; the Dutch-speaking Belgians say “België”). We carefully selected a Belgian yeast strain that illuminates a fascinating new aspect of the beer that is otherwise quite simply Stone IPA. The result is both completely new and different, while still being recognizable as a Stone brew—and Stone IPA in particular. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.
Here we go.
This particular brew comes in a 22 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 6.9%.
The “Cali-Belgie” poured a very hazy orange color that cleared up a bit as it began to warm. From a fairly aggressive pour it produced a very nice sized, barely off white head that was smooth, soft and frothy. The retention time was good and the lacing was more than adequate. A very nice looking beer right here.
The nose began with a solid citric “pop” of tropical fruits. Hints of orange, grapefruit and maybe a bit of mango. Some piny components were noticed too. By aerating the glass I exposed some of that Belgian yeast. Very nice!!! Hints of freshly thrashed wheat and loafs of white bread “rounded” the aroma. A light peppery spice helped tie everything together while a light alcohol note arose once the brew sat for a minute or two. The bouquet was very well balanced, however it wasn’t overly robust. Just a well suited and mellow fragrance.
The flavor seemed to be a tad bit stronger. It was very fruity on the initial tasting. Orange zest, grapefruit and pine notes were abundant. The Belgian yeast came through in the middle and was meshed politely with the fruitiness. The hops were plentiful and the bitterness was spot on. The yeasty/bready undertones only endorsed the overall flavor and in no way did they ever seem out of place. The peppery spice gave a little complexity, but it only served to compliment and not dominate. It developed a little bit of sweetness towards the end. I’ll say that I loved the taste of this beer though. Superbly balanced and pleasing.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. It was also very dry, smooth, crisp, refreshing and thirst quenching. The carbonation was very lively and good and a bountiful amount of flavor was left on the palate long after the sip.
I’ll tell ya. I really liked this beer. I should have picked up another bottle. I loved the combination of the fertile citrus and the Belgian yeast. The beer looked great, smelled nice and tasted wonderful. Just a good, all around brew in my opinion. The drinkability was superb and I think this was more than fitting on the warm Spring day in which I tried it. I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you see it. It could have just been the mood I was in when I tried it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and want another.
Have you guys ever tried the Stone Cali-Belgique IPA? What did you think of it? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know.
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Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 4.3 out of 5