Stone: Cali-Belgique IPA (USA: IPA: 6.9% ABV)

Visual: Clear gold with moderate carbonation. Tight bubbled off white head.

Nose: Grapefruit. Squeezed lime. Kiwi. Light hop prickle. Moderate bitterness. Dried apricot. Very citrus filled. Smooth. Slight fresh white bread.

Body: Dried apricot. Syrup sweetness. Liquorice and lime. Slightly sour white grapes. Kinda key lime pie like. Toffee mid backbone of the beer.

Finish: Bitterness and kiwi fruit. Lime.  A milk and hop mix.

Conclusion: Bit of a tastebud confuser this one. Really fresh and citrus filled, but the citrus deviates from the usual grapefruit and pineapple to a kiwi and lime styling. In fact in some ways it is pretty much a liquid key lime pie. With hops.  Sharp shocking and distinctly nice.

The confusion comes in that it has the good bitterness, not heavy for an IPA but still pretty noticeable. Then you get the smooth texture and the funky slightly musty aroma that the Belgium yeast brings. All in all quite the confusing base to ground the beer in.

Stone brewing have turned mixing hops into an art form, and here the dried apricot hops give a nice straightforward backbone to the beer that they can weave the oddness around. It feels restrained punch wise for a stone beer, but flavour wise you can’t mistake their mark on the beer.

Nice hop tingle and great flavour. It is the kick back and put your feet up beer of the stone range.  Or possible one to enjoy with a David Lynch film, just to make the whole thing a tad odder.

Not show stopping great like Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, but still a bloody good beer.
Background: Basically this is Stone IPA but with Belgium yeast. Which would be a useful comparison if I had drunk Stone IPA yet. Oddly I have a bottle in my cupboard so I’m guessing I’ll end up doing the comparison the opposite way round to what was expected.  As a fan of Belgium style IPA and Stone brewing this was riding in on high expectations.