Review #16 Stone Cali Belgique 82/100
It’s taken a surprisingly long time for me to get around to trying this one, especially since Stone’s IPA is one of my favourite American IPAs. The hops used in the Stone IPA are Magnum, Centennial and Chinook, which are all high alpha acid hops, each contributing different aromas, flavours and bitterness to the final product. With the Cali-Belgique, the addition of Belgian yeast strains in the fermentation give the IPA a bit of a twist, in that the beer finishes with notes of ripe banana and fruit cake.
Out of the bottle and into the glass, the beer pours a deep golden honey colour with a slight amber hue producing a brilliant white foamy head. Medium to high carbonation with this one.
On the nose we’ve got a heavy dose of pine and citrus notes – grapefruit, orange zest and yuzu fruit. There’s not much malt in the aroma with this one, but this is almost always the case with heavily hopped beers.
On the palate it’s very upfront with the alpha acid bitterness, just what we’d expect from an American IPA. As the nose would suggest, the bitterness is followed up with sharp citrus flavours of pink grapefruit, orange zest and yuzu.
The Cali-Belgique finishes up quite dry with a flavour profile I would associate most with the Westvleteran Blonde, with quite a strong ester flavour profile of very ripe banana, raisins, prunes, fruit cake and an almost rum infused flavour. A very nice twist on an already very good classic.