Sunday, July 24, 2011

Review - Stone Cali-Belgie IPA

A "style" of beer that has been of great interest to me lately is the Belgian-IPA. One of the most exciting things about this type of beer is that it hasn't been formalised yet into an official style with official guidelines and parameters. Because of this it is being currently defined by brewers as they continue to brew beers of this type. An interesting example of this style is Stone Brewing's Cali-Belgie IPA. It is actually the same beer as another of their offerings, the excellent Stone IPA, but fermented with a strain of Belgian yeast.

Cali-Belgie pours a gorgeous bright gold, that seems to glow out of the glass and sports a nice half-inch white head. Its aroma has a spicy Belgian character interlaced with a mild hoppiness. Its entry is somewhat sweet, almost honey-like, but quickly moves into flavours of hop bitterness. This bitterness, although fairly intense, is incredibly smooth and blended, which is characteristic of many of the hoppy beers produced by Stone. Its finish is long and satisfying as the smooth and rounded hop character is drawn-out along the taste buds. This beer is definitely an IPA first, and should satisfy any hophead, but has the added character that goes along with the Belgian yeast used in its creation. I'm not sure of this beer's local availability, but I would recommend it for all but the most puritanical of IPA drinkers.
Rating: Very Good

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