Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cali-Belgique IPA

Ribco hosted a tapping party last night for Stone Brewery finally being distributed to the area. Jen and I went around 7:45 and secured a table. I was surprised how many people I recognized there from the Brew club, festivals, etc. Found out from Justen Parris that we could keep the glass from every pint we bought, so it ended up being rather a great deal! We tried the Belgian IPA, Arrogant Bastard (I still concur, 6 months later that it deserves a 95/00), Vanilla smoked Porter and Levitation Session ale. Unfortunately I was only able to write up a review for the first one..

Appearance: Clarity is exceptional. Golden color with a brief white film caressing the surface which later dissipates into a thin ring within the glass. No carbonation or activity occurring inside. No lacing present either.
Aroma: Pine with a subtle yeast character, particularly originating from the Belgian yeast. A bouquet of citrus and tropical smells braces the malt backbone which is brief and biscuity with a scent of honey sweetness. Phenols are minimal underneath the fresh hops and floral undertones.
Taste: Immediate spicey flavor. Pale malt foundation present with a note of biscuit malt sweetness noted from the aroma. I pick up a fresh blast of oranges both citrus and zest in character. The remainder leaves a back taste of grassy bitterness and fruity phenols (less estery). Again very crisp and spicy. Some tropical fruit husk permeates through under the complexity of alpha acid bitterness. Clove is present, as well as a boost from Cascade hops. Mildly peppery to the finish.
Mouthfeel: Light body with a bubbly crisp mouthfeel. Carbonation is mid level with a foaming bite that is interestingly unique to the beer. Not in the slightest aggressive and finishes relatively clean. Very drinkable and refreshing.
Overall Impression: Not overly hoppy relative to their normal IPA, but still maintains a nice fruit and bitter complexity. The hop profile provides a balanced aftertaste while encouraging a light and drinkable texture.


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