Home > Belgian IPA, India Pale Ale > Stone Cali-Belgique

Stone Cali-Belgique

Rating: 4.15

Apparently Belgian style version of the classic Stone IPA, this one was a beer that I was very much looking forward to when I ordered a bottle from the Brewdog online store recently after it was recommended to me a couple of months ago, I actually found it once previously in a local bottle shop but opted against buying it at the time because the bottle was past it ‘enjoy by’ date so when I spotted it on the Brewdog store I was quick to order a bottle. I was again disappointed when the beer arrived to find out it was already two months past its ‘enjoy by’ date, so once I raised this with Brewdog they refunded the price of the bottle but I’d much rather be drinking a fresh one. Naturally this will have some impact on the taste and unless it is an absolutely terrible beer then I’ll probably pick this one up again in future when it’s fresh to see how it really holds up; it is currently listed as the 21st best Belgian IPA on BeerAdvocate at the moment so I still expect it to be a good one. The beer is one that was introduced by Stone back in 2008 and is now one of their year-round offerings but I was surprised to find it was as old as it was since it has only been in the last year or two that I’ve noticed it appearing in the UK.

Stone Cali-Belgique

Appearance (4/5): This one from Stone pours quite a light, golden amber colour with very good clarity and the odd fine bubble rising to the surface. The drink is topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head that is foamy and covers the entire surface of the beer but looks a little thinner in the middle. It’s not a bad looking beer but it did pour a little lighter than I’d expected, the fact that the head retention was so good did make it all the beer though.
Aroma (8/10): Quite fresh on the nose with some citrus note, most notably lemon, coming through early on alongside some Belgian style yeast and a pleasant helping of coriander. There was some spices and a background hop aroma that featured some grapefruit and faint pine before some banana and orange notes made an appearance. I managed to detect some nice bread malts and a hint of sweetness with this one as well as plenty of floral notes and despite being past its ‘enjoy by’ date it has held up very well on the nose.
Taste (9/10): Quite a bitter tasting beer to begin with, there was a lot of pine and grapefruit hops to kick things off along with the yeast from the nose coming through strong. I could taste some bread malts that were a little more pronounced than they were with the nose and the beer featured some orange, peach, apricot and a hint of mango as well, with all these flavours combining well and providing a nice variety that followed on well from the nose but also kept things interesting. There was some further citrus around the middle and towards the end, backed up by some nice spices, coriander and some biscuit plus some great floral as well as herbal flavours.
Palate (4/5): A smooth and crisp beer with plenty of spices coming through and a very nice citrus tang as well. The beer seemed clean and fresh with a remarkably good balance and a nice tang to it as well making it an easy on to drink. The beer had a medium body and was well carbonated, standing up a lot better than I thought it might given its age.

Overall (17/20): This one was yet another outstanding beer from Stone and despite being a bit past its ‘enjoy by’ date but it has managed to hold up very well and still seemed fresh, crisp and quite lively with good carbonation levels. The beer went down very well indeed and held a good balance with plenty of yeast coming through to give the beer the desired Belgian twist; I’m already on the look out for this one again and hopefully I’ll be able to get hold of a fresher bottle next time round.

Brewed In: Escondido, California, United States of America
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2008
Type: Belgian IPA
Abv: 6.9%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £3.50 (Free)

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