Stone Cali-Belgique aged in Reposado Tequila Barrels by Stone Brewing

12043190_10102848168843770_3212225484000182621_n 12079047_10102848169841770_4669879346342295375_nRating: 5.25/6

Stone Cali-Belgique aged in Reposado Tequila Barrels by Stone Brewing is a 9.3% ABV Belgian India Pale Ale aged in Reposado Tequila Barrels.


Obtained at the Stone Company Store in Pasadena California, this beer along with other awesome beers were released to the public on tap. This one was the only barrel aged serving on tap eligible to take home in growler fill.

Vanilla, bubble gum hints, oak, tequila notes, agave, peppercorns, stone fruit apricots, peaches, flowers like lavender and chamomile, cane sugar, lemon, herbs, farmhouse hay, wine grape notes, banana hints, clove spice and minor tropical fruit hints.

Lechugilla Agave, Cane sugar, Mezcal, Tequila, oak, peppercorns, honey, oranges, herbal, floral, grapefruit, piney and grassy hops, clove spice, ginger spice, coriander spice, vanilla, bubblegum notes, Italian basil, lemon, mango, pineapple, stone fruit apricots, peaches, butterscotch hints, dragon fruit, passion fruit hints, funky notes, farmhouse hay, wine grapes, chardonay hints, mustard seed, bananas, cantaloupe, lavender, hibiscus and tamarind.

Finishes with some notes of tequila, peppercorns, stone fruits, grapefruit hops and clove spice. No alcohol in the taste, clear gold body, sipping drinkability, smooth, crisp, refreshing and moderate mouthfeel.

A bit above exceptional. The beer originally was already delicious as I really loved the flavors of the Cali-Belgique as they reminded me of a border lining Belgian Pale Ale or Hopped Saison and mainly the Golden ale that was the As Follows by stillwater with its pungent orange and herbal flavors. Now with Tequila, especially reposado tequila give this beer a touch of something that not many beers of this style get to see. A European blend with not just west coast style but also a major Mexican influence. This beer was a great out come. Tequila barrel aged beers are rare and few in between so getting a chance to have one once and a while is an awesome feat since many breweries go with mainly bourbon now a days which also is extremely delicious as well. Each spirit adds something genuine to beers.

Anime Corner:
Jedah Dohma “Midnight Bliss” version from Darkstalkers/Vampire Savior was used in this pairing as with the last time I tried and reviewed the original brew, I used Jedah as well. This time, Jedah fermented in the dark recesses of Reposado tequila barrels represented by the mezcal and agave colors of the picture where she is with the deathly bird (Think of it as the Mexican Tequila influence and the Scythe being the harvester of Agave). I also brought back one of the original pics back too. Jedah for this stone beer represents the fancy tradition of European beers meeting the west coast. Meaning she has like a European Dracula like outfit but also blonde hair represents the aspect of the west coast style in terms of the blonde and clear colors that this beer has.


Honey Bee Waggling Hop Bats by Nubis Sanctum Ales

10506912_10102665616754620_3689677893754158767_oRating: 5/5

Honey Bee Waggling Hop Bats by Nubis Sanctum Ales is an 11% ABV Belgian Trippel India Pale Ale (IPA) brewed with Arizona Wild Flower Honey. Brewed at the Avila Ales Household.


Project #7 was my take on the famous hoppy Belgian Tripel IPA, La Chouffe Houblon Dobblen IPA tripple but my take was using a variety of other ingredients such as Columbus and Amarillo hops and using Arizona Wild Flower Honey. Yes, the ABV does have a story to tell as my original gravity was supposed to keep things near the 9ish% ABV but instead went to the 11% ABV range. Literally a Triple IPA that is also a Belgian Tripple. What a Trip? Especially considering the name. Waggling and Dancing, don’t fall and “trip”now! Cheers!

This brew was born on National Homebrew Day when I brewed with my friend Richard Stan Avila of Avila Ales, one of my great friends and fellow homebrewer. A great brew in a somewhat of a collaboration as great beers are made with great friends.

Phenolic notes, Belgian candy sugar, Citrus, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, grassy, floral, piney hop notes, bubble gum hints, honey dew melon, Stone fruit apricots, peaches, strawberries, raspberry hints, kiwi hints, marzipan bready notes, rich honey, bananas, brown sugar and clove spices.

Rich bananas, clove spices, Citrus, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, grassy, piney hop notes, honey, dulce de leche caramel, phenolic notes, vanilla, Belgian Candy sugar, dark fruit plums, grapes, peppercorn, tangerine candy, Stone fruit apricots, peaches, strawberries, raspberry hints, kiwi hints, marzipan bready notes, dragon fruit hints, passion fruit, rye bread, plantains, pineapple hints, lemon hints, bubble gum, flan and sweetened condensed milk hints.

Lots of sweet caramel, tropical fruit hints, Belgian candy sugar, bananas
Slight booziness in the taste which is covered by honey and malt as it warms up, Golden Honey Amber, light to medium body, smooth crisp, syrup and creamy mouthfeel and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

I’m well damn impressed. The fact is, I did not get the carbonation right (Still learning 😦 ) But… the beer itself was well damn amazing. The beer has lots of great flavors reminding me of the La Chouffee Dobblen IPA Tripel but taking it a step further into like a Honey and Barleywinesque territory. The fact that I used Amarillo hops most likely makes the difference in the enhanced excotic fruitiness but either way, this beer is ridiculously delicious and is something I would love to make again.

Anime Corner:
Morrigan Aensland and Q-Bee from Darkstalkers/Vampire Savior were used in this pairing because I wanted to show how the fusion of the honey and hops combine by doing a dance mainly done by bees called waggling. Do bats do the “waggle” too? Maybe, maybe not but both bees and bats are in your face enemies in some 2-D platform games that become annoying. The fact that I found this pic thought was a major tribute to some of my favorite characters to the Darkstalker series but also one of the greatest compliments to the Belgian IPA as Morrigan represents the dark fruits and hoppy goodness while combining with the floral rich honey and sweetened condensed milk and citrus provided by Q-Bee all fusing in a beer that is probably way better than the original Dobblen Trippel IPA from La Chouffe. Although I can only hope.


Malheur Zestig by Brouwerij De Landtsheer

1380507_10101484476918320_823335324_nRating: 4.8/5

Malheur Zestig by Brouwerij De Landtsheer is a 10% ABV Strong Golden Belgian IPA

Aromatic hops of European origin. Malheur Zestig has a high level of bitter units and a balanced hop flavor.

Get this from the While trying to order, Jolly Pumpkin’s Los Vivos y Muertos Saison, they had to replace that beer with this one due to the Government shut down in early October 2013. While I was a bit disappointed, great talks about this beer made me think otherwise. Since I had ordered previously to get the JP beer, I was sent this one instead. Not a bad choice at all considering that it is made by the brewery who has ties to De Halve Maan Brewery. I was pleasantly surprised.

Aromas are of white peppercorns, cloves, peach, floral and herbal hops, apricot, biscuit bread, herbs, coriander spice, citrus, vanilla, slight oak hints and pears

Flavors are of the awesome Belgian IPA goodness I like but with more fruit and herbs. White peppercorns, peach, phenolic spices, cloves, coriander, flowers, honey, herbal hops, apricot, biscuits, vanilla bread, waffle cone, citrus, lemon, pear, apples,

Aftertaste is mildly hoppy but floral, herbal, fruity and honey sweet. This is one good Belgian beer. Very nice, smooth and refreshing. Hidden alcohol and moderate drinkability.

Overall, an amazing great Belgian IPA. It hits the right places. Nice Flowers and hop character and releasing some very nice bread, yeast, spicy and fruity flavors. Definitely recommended if you love Belgian beers for sure.

Anime Corner:
Alkaid from the Dothack series. A character with a fiery and pride driven personality defending herself at any moments notice (Hop and white peppercorn influence of the beer). While maybe hot headed, she is a very loyal friend and a protector to those she trusts and respects. She would defend their honor as well (fruit and vanilla sweetness). This beer not only matches some of this characters personality but also her colors, red hair with the yellow and black outfit. If you see any other pairings to this art piece let me know

Why Can’t IBU? by Stillwater Artisanal

1380783_10101428760858750_1213259403_nRating: 4.45/5

Why Can’t IBU? by Stillwater Artisanal is a 5.7% Hop Accentuated Belgian India Pale Ale

The awesome Stillwater Artisanal has released another awesome beer. This time with a fancy label. 3D at that. This beer goes into the more hoppy direction starting at it’s base, a farmhouse ale to then become a very hoppy Belgian IPA. However, the hops are supposed to be stronger, hence the pun in the name.

Aromas are of grassy, piney, floral and herbal hops, peppercorns, flowers, hibiscus, biscuit bread, clove spice, farmhouse hay, orange juice, citrus, black pepper, spices, apples, apricots and peach.

The flavors are way more hoppy than your typical saison but not super bitter aggresiveness. Flavors include grassy, piney, floral and herbal hops, biscuit bread, spices, flowers, peppercorns, black pepper, hibiscus, cloves, lemon, honey, hints of tropical fruits, mango, apricots, peach, grapefruit and oranges

The aftertaste is dry buts a nice floral and grassy hop finish. It is a easy to drink, crisp and refreshing. 

Overall, I think is a very good beer. It reminds me why I love Belgian IPAs and BPAs in the first place. The beer is pretty hop forward but still able to carry the nice saison and Belgian IPA flavors. If you like Belgian beers and Hoppy IPAs, this would be an interesting one to enjoy.

Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale

8947_10101113148099250_2146186661_n 559164_10101113151492450_1823794525_n 575657_10101113150953530_1818817387_nRating: 4.8/5

Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale is 6.9%ABV Belgian India Pale Ale.

The name “Stone Cali-Belgique IPA” both begs a question, and answers it at the same time. It begs the “what exactly is that?” question, and then answers it: “Stone” designates this ale as one brewed by the Stone Brewing Co., “Cali” hints that it is a California-style IPA (which all of our IPAs are, as Stone is certainly one of the best known progenitors of the West Coast IPA style), and finally, it has an undeniable Belgian influence, indicated by the word “Belgique” (which is how Belgium’s French-speaking population say the word “Belgian”…the Dutch-speaking Belgians say “België”*). “IPA” of course stands for “India Pale Ale”—but this label is not the time nor place to delve into that storied history. Of course, there is the implicitly posed and as yet unanswered question of what exactly the Belgian/Belgique/België influence is. And “yeast” is the answer. We carefully selected a Belgian yeast strain that illuminates a fascinating new aspect of the ale that is otherwise ostensibly and simply Stone IPA. This is a yeast that showcases Stone IPA from a completely different angle. The result is both completely new and different, while still being altogether recognizable as a Stone brew, an IPA, and Stone IPA in particular. Think of it as an otherwise identical twin to Stone IPA that was raised in a Belgian culture. Literally.

Now, all grown up and standing next to each other, they look the same…yet different. We’d say the Belgian one sounds a bit funny when it talks, but yeast and ale being decidedly non-verbal (except through you), that’s not literally the case. Their aromas have some similarities, but the Stone Cali-Belgique IPA is decidedly a bit more, shall we say, aromatically funky. (No, we are not saying that Belgians smell funny…we didn’t say or imply that at all in any way…no angry cards or letters please…really, some of you people simply have too much time on your hands!) All in all, we find it all quite fascinating. But we’re brewers, and that’s the way we think. You might find it merely delicious. We, as brewers, most certainly do too, actually. And so…C’est avec le grand plaisir que nous le présentons vous! / Het is met geweldig genoegen dat wij het naar u voorstellen!

* Even though yeast cells are non-verbal, and arguably have no firm affiliation that shows preference for either the Flemish or the Walloons, we don’t want to accidentally misrepresent the little buggers. As such, approximately 50% of the Stone Cali-Belgian IPA bottles are labeled “Cali-Belgique” and the other half “Cali-België.” We at the Stone Brewing Co. respect both cultures highly and equally.

The last time I tried this beer was at a Bev and more tasting special in 2011. I thought it was awesome but I really haven’t had a chance to grab it and sit down with it. When I went to the Stone Company Store in Pasadena California I decided to grab a glass. I was very surprised because this reminded me so much of the As Follows Eschatological Ale by Stillwater Artisanal. The aromas of this beer are simple amazing. Strong Belgian sweet and honey bread fragrance with a lot of herbs, spices, peppercorns, minor grassy, piney and grapefruit hops some tropical fruit like pineapple and mango as well as oranges, cloves, and lemon. The flavors are of nice herbs, honey, pepercorns, cloves, coriander, Italian basil spice, bubblegum, orange, lemon, mango, pineapple, apricots, honey, french bread, some slight grape sourness, grapefruit, slight grassy and piney hops but mainly herbal and floral notes.This one is almost like the Saison du Buff too. The flavors are better on tap. Hence the reason I got a growler of this to go. Better as fresh as possible, but even if not, the Belgian side takes over to address even more complexity. So choose wisely 😛

Belgorado by Wynkoop brewing

181017_10101110814041720_593072308_n221788_10101110814545710_1738602895_nRating: 4.45/5

Belgorado by Wynkoop brewing is a 6.7%ABV Belgian India Pale Ale

Meet our small batch Belgium-meets-Colorado thriller. It’s built with Colorado-grown malts and whole leaf hops, then fermented with a Belgian yeast. Luscious and balanced, it features pale malt flavors, layers of hops from start to finish, and spice notes.

The aromas had some very interesting bready and somewhat exotic fruit aromas. I was able sense like a mango, guava, grapefruit, biscuit bread, honey, pineapple, bubble gum, slight banana, slight grassy and hoppy notes. The flavors are mostly sweeter than hoppy. Very nice honey, mango, papaya, orange, pineapple, guava, floral, bananas, peppercorns, biscuit bread, slight grapefruit, grassy and herbal hops near the end for some bitterness. This beer is more like a Belgian Pale that is almost at the Tripel borderline. Brings for light amount of bitterness with some nice fruit and bread forward. This was definitely awesome.

Belgo Belgian India Pale Ale by New Belgium

601638_10101089982054190_1473596584_nRating: 4.5/5

Belgo Belgian India Pale Ale by New Belgium is a 7%ABV Belgian IPA. I have tried this several times but I finally got one to sit down and review.

Friday night and the lights are low; Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial and Simcoe, looking for a place to belGO. Get in on bottle condition beats and hop aroma blasts as India Pale Ale grooves with Belgian yeast.

Fragrance of this beer reminds me so much of all those delicious Belgian IPAs and Belgian Pales I have tried many times although in a lighter sense. With a mix of sweet honey, biscuit bread, citrus, floral and grassy hops, herbs, spices, rye, peppercorns, grapefruit, peach and apples. The taste is where it saves the beer. Flavors are of herbs and spices, apples, grassy and grapefruit hops, biscuit bread, a little bit of peppercorns, slight flowery flavor but to the level of Saison,citrus orange, honey, peach, slight caramel and a bit of those tripel clove esters. While a lot of the flavors of the delicious BPAs and BIPAs are there, they are not full frontal and overwhelming. Meaning it is a beer to enjoy the flavors one enjoys from the awesome Belgian Pales but without too much of a full body giving way to a beer of very good flavors but still light crisp and refreshing. They mostly sell this in a 6 pack and it is a major winner for me. From the regular stuff (not Lips of Faith series) I would call this one number 2 next to the their Abbey ale. The Abbey ale is simply world class awesome. I will review that one as soon as I get my hands on one 😀

Naughty Girl Blonde India Pale Ale collaboration between New Albanian, De Struise and Louisville Beer Store

574676_10101059918930930_2080890803_n 75541_10101059918222350_2095235923_n285263_10101059917453890_633345016_nRating: 4.5/5

Naughty Girl Blonde India Pale Ale collaboration between New Albanian, De Struise and Louisville Beer Store is 6%ABV Belgian IPA.

It started out as a Belgo-American menage a trois, but then the brewers arrived and transformed the trans-oceanic affair into a beery lover pentangle. The collaborative minds at Louisville Beer Store, De Struise Brouwers and New Albanian Brewing Company offer this, a willfully disobedient Blonde India Pale Ale with a hop on her shoulder. 
Malts: Rahr 2-Row, Rahr Premium Pils, Castle (Belgian) Aromatic, CaraPils 
Hops: Cascade, Galena, Golding, Cascade for warm dry-hopping 
Yeast: De Struise House Ale 
OG 14.4 degrees plato 
IBU: 69

Naughty girl sounds like an awesome name for a beer. Blonde Ale, Sweet and Bitter. Aromas of this beer are of light bready notes, banana, mango, herbs, peppercorns, some underlying grassy hops, grapefruit and orange. The flavors are more grassy and hoppy bitter up front. The sweet bread, biscuit, wheat, honey, peppercorns, banana, pears, apples, light apricot, grapefruit and citrus comes alittle bit afterward. There is some spicy herbal almost agave like notes in there as well. Pretty nice. Some of the sweetness I get is reminiscent of the De Struise yeast while the hop profile is that which I remember from New Albanian Electoral Ale. I have had some more world class Belgian IPAs but this one is good for those who like a refreshing experience as well. Not just a lot of full bodied type of beer but medium to light type which provides a good amount of flavor while still keeping it crisp and refreshing. Belgian IPA lovers may like this one

Bellerose Bière Blonde Extra by Brasserie Des Sources

402237_10101006079954670_1172880957_n 602769_10101006079375830_413976880_nRating: 5/5

Bellerose Bière Blonde Extra by Brasserie Des Sources is a 6.5%ABV Golden Pale Bière de Garde

Bellerose is a Top fermented beer made with 3 hops from 3 different continents by Brasseries Des Sources(Brewery of the Springs). A mix between French “bière de Garde” and IPA with distinctive aromas of citrus & litchi with a hoppy but refreshing aftertaste ! After less than one year of brewing, this beer have won three medals in prestigious beer Competition and was elected as the “Best Ale over 5% in the UK” at the International Beer Challenge of London 2011 !

According to the research, this beer is a Belgian IPA / French Biere de Garde Hybrid. Fragrances of this beer are of champagne, apples, lemon zest, citrus, biscuit bread, vanilla, flowers, pineapple, banana esters, hibiscus, lavender, french bread, cheese and slight grassy hop aromas. The flavors are of honey, citrus, lemon, vanilla, biscuit bread, Belgian yeast phenols, French Bread, apples, pears, banana, lychee fruit, pine apple, champagne, berries, peppercorns, chamomile (Manzanilla), roses, and pine. The after taste has some minor grassy and hoppy bitterness with honey sweetness that lingers. Never thought I would see a light bodied beer be so flavorful and yet so refreshing and easy to drink. For being an ale that is closest to a lager, this one is definitely delicious. Almost in the lines of a Tripel but without the over powering full body and easier to drink. Very hard to find but very delicious. If you can find it, get it and try it. C’est Magnifique!