Friday, October 23, 2009

STONE BREWING’s “CALI-BELGIQUE”

Here’s a Belgian IPA, that most interesting of hybrids, that actually hails from the US of A and not Belgium. Once URTHEL and LA CHOUFFE appropriated the American-style, ultra-hopped IPA a few years ago, and combined it with Belgian yeasts, tripel-style fermentation and age-old brewing processes, it was a matter of time before the boomerang effect kicked it and us Yanks started copying those. STONE BREWING came out with theirs earlier in the year and have dubbed it CALI-BELGIQUE.

This is a very crisp, very floral beer, leaning probably more to the Belgium side of the equation despite a big kick of hops. The bitterness is well-muted by the spicy and light citrus characteristics of the ale, and in some regards it’s a good thing, but overall I’m not too sure. I typed in “a little underwhelming” in my portable note-taking machine, the same one that snapped this photo. It actually got less interesting as it warmed, and that’s the opposite of how it usually works for me. It’s a lot better than the “drain pour” reviews I saw of this when it first came out – way better – but I’ll stick to the Belgian versions of this weirdo style for now. 6.5/10.

4 comments:

David said...

One thing I have noticed about this beer that if it is not fresh it looses some of its zing.

RHB said...

Strange question...Do you know who made that puzzle piece coaster that the beer is sitting on. I collect coasters and I'd love to get some of those.

Jay said...

RHB, I'm not sure. I drank this at a bar called The Neighborhood in San Diego; they could probably send you some if you called them up.

Travis said...

I wasn't a fan of this beer either. I am a huge fan of IPA's, and a huge fan of belgians. However mixing the two didn't really do it for me.