27 May 2009

Beer Review: Stone - Cali-Belgique

This weekend I got to try another wonderful beer from the guys over at Stone Brewing. I feel like I am becoming a bit of a shill for these guys, but the bottom line is they are just making some great beers! I've enjoyed their brews now for, about, eight or so years. Their beers are what got me interested in the whole craft beer industry and, further, what got me interested in home brewing.

This weekend I managed to get in a tasting of Stone's Cali-Belgique IPA. Admittedly a lot more IPA in my opinion than Belgian, it was a great beer. This is one of Stone's regular releases, on a "when we can brew it" basis.
APPEARANCE: A beautiful bright orange beer, with a beautiful white foamy head.

AROMA: A noticeably hoppy scent, citrusy – grapefruity or lemony – with a slight yeasty, spicy note.

FLAVOR: The hop smell comes through in a hoppy California IPA sort of way. Very citrusy hops, very little malt or sweetness, which I expected from the “Belgique” side. The

PALATE: Medium-bodied, balanced but hoppy. As it got to room temp in the glass the malt seemed to start to peak its head in, and it finished nicely. It was just creamy and complex, as I would expect from a Belgian, but just thin enough that I could take a few down like an IPA.

NOTES: The only regret I have surrounding this 6.9% beer is that I only picked up one bottle. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this. I could get into some trouble if I had a keg of this laying around. I’m not a hugely crazy Belgian fan, truth be told I haven’t made it a point to really try a whole lot of Belgians, but this was just IPA enough that I could put more that a few down and be happy. I think I usually find the Belgians to be too rich for my taste, but this was more of a medium body and just rich enough that it was a joy to drink.


Jason McGlone said...

I've been starting to foray into the Stone brews here and there. Reviewed a couple of 'em, but haven't come across this one yet. I'll have to keep the ol' peepers peeled on my next trip out, which should be this weekend, strangely enough...

Nice review!

Matt Steele said...

I'm a huge fan of Belgian IPA's. Stone Cali-Belgique IPA is simply our IPA fermented with Belgian yeast, but it makes for a completely unique beer. Another great example of the style is Green Flash Le Freak. Cheers!

Bluenoser said...

I love beer Phunster but what I love even better is when someone hits me up with a word I don't know.

shill | sh il| informal
an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.
verb [ intrans. ]
act or work as such a person.
ORIGIN early 20th cent.: probably from earlier shillaber, of unknown origin.

This is turning into a cool blog. Bikes and beer. What better? but don't the Belgian's already have that figured out?


Cycling Phun said...

Jason: Cheers! I haven't had a Stone yet that disappointed me. I can't tell you where you might be able to find it in Belleview, KY. I'd ask around where you bought your other Stone. It's pretty limited from what I gather, but they put it out year round. I got mine at http://buckeyebeerengine.com. Well, I bought it AT the Beer Engine, they don't sell online as far as I know.

Matt: I've actually been looking around for Green Flash, as Premium Bev Dist (Ohio) distributes, but so far nothing close. I hear the West Coast IPA is good, and if I find it, I'll have to beg for the Le Freak.

BN: "an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others" Stone doesn't need any of these, but in me they have a customer for life. They just put out great beers. I have a goal of getting out to Cali for two reasons; see my cousin, and drink at Stone (and take the tour). "Bikes and beer. What better?" I have no idea. If you find out, let me know. Probably illegal, immoral, or both!