“This beer is indeed a complex and surprising combination of flavors, but behind the fancy title is simply delicious Stone IPA dressed up in new Belgian duds. The addition of a carefully selected strain of Belgian yeast adds unexpected layers of flavors and aroma, providing a deliciously funky overtone to the hoppy brightness you already know and love as Stone IPA. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.” 6.9% Belgian IPA
Purchased from BevMo in Clovis, California.
Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Belgian Ale glass. The body of the beer is slightly hazy and honey-golden in color. A modest mostly-white sudsy head is poured, which dissipates to a wispy covering and leaves good lacing. Medium carbonation is visible.
Herbal and lemon citrus hops upfront, but with heavy underlying typical Belgian ale characteristics – clove spice, coriander, banana and other fruit notes, as well plenty of yeasty phenols.
Cali-Belgique is medium-bodied, though it doesn’t quite carry the same level of effervescence expected from a typical Belgian Dubbel. Just like in the nose, the flavors begin with the hops; modest citrus notes but with a bit of pine dank sneaking in as well. Then the beer goes in to full Belgian mode (see aromas-hardly any deviation from there). It finishes moderately dry, with lingering citrus and woody esters on the palate.
Well, this is an interesting combination of styles. It seems a Dubbel-style ale with West Coast hops, though it’s actually a West Coast IPA fermented with Belgian yeast strains. The Belgian yeast seems to overtake some of the intense hop profile Stone uses in their IPA, or maybe they just don’t add as much for this particular brew. Either way, this one is probably just a taster for me, not one I’d pick up regularly. There isn’t anything particularly flawed with it, but it’s not my favorite. 7/10.
Stone Brewing Co. – Escondido, California