FlacoAlto (3800) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 10, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours into my 25cl tulip glass with a frothy, pale, just barely off-white, initially three finger thick head. The beer is absolutely, brilliantly clear and is a red-tinged, deep copper color that shows a bright copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma is clearly a mix of hops and yeast character; as I pour this brew aromas of spicy clove and fruity hops intermingle. Interesting, yeast derived fruity esters mix with the hops and it can be hard to figure out where one starts and the other ends. Aromas reminiscent of lychee, tropical fruit, peach, tart grapes are each noticeable but seem to fade pretty quickly once my nose gets used to them. The finish has a dusting of biscuit like malt, some crushed cracker aromatics and a lingering, sweet-tart tropical fruit note.
This is served lightly chilled (approximately 58įF / 14.5įC). There is a nice, biting bitterness that becomes more the dominant note as this moves to the lingering finish. Tropical fruit flavors play a big role in the flavor with a mix of lychee, kumquat, pineapple, peach and mango flavors. Yeast derived spiciness that really leans towards clove pairs with the hop bitterness in the finish and really tends to linger on the palate after each sip. A soft, toasty, biscuit-like malt character contributes to the finish as well and serves as a very light foil to the much more dominant hop character. This is nice and light bodied, which is perfect for a dangerously quaffable IPA; there is just enough malt to accentuate the fruit character with a light sweetness and to contribute a touch of body that keeps this from being anywhere near water.
The yeast character really seems to accentuate the fruitiness that is in the hop character. The standard IPA never had such a vibrant fruitiness to it. This in its freshness reminds me a lot of the IPA from stone that I had years ago. I just can’t seem to find a fresh bottle of it that lives up to my early memories of drinking this on tap, this particular beer does have that fresh hoppiness that I miss in the Stone IPA though. This is quite enjoyable and sadly makes me think I need to down grade my rating for Stone IPA as I just can’t seem to get that juicy, vibrant hop character in it anymore. I am clearly a sucker for this beer; this really hits the spot and I like how the secondary, but clearly noticeable, Belgian Yeast character interacts with the hop component here.
Purchase: 22oz Bottle from South Bay Drugs, Imperial Beach CA
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - SEP 8, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
These Belgian IPAís are all the rage around here, and everyone seems to be doing them. This one is damn tasty, although I have to admit, itís a style that is difficult for me to get into. For some reason, most of the American hoppy Belgian ales taste the same. This actually was similar to the 080808, which I found odd that they released this mere weeks after that release. Personally, I would prefer more hops and less Belgian yeast-flavor, but thatís just me. Maybe a tad too sweet. I definitely prefer the Belgian versions (ie, La Chouffe, Urthel Hop-it), but this is pretty good. As for American versions of this style, I still prefer Le Freak to this.
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 8, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours clear orange-gold with a big pillowy white head. Bubble gum, clove, orange peel, and peaches in the aroma. Strange (but good) taste up front. Like a very bitter trippel; more bubblegum and spice, but dry white pepper and pine are right there with it. The beer sweetens as it warms and your palate adjusts. More pine and spicy hops come out and mix well with the Belgian sweetness. Much better than Le Chouffe or one of the other Belgian IPAs.
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 8, 2008
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a clear orange-yellow hue with a frothy fast-fading head. Aromas of banana, orange peel, bubble gum and some spice. Mouth feel is light to medium bodied with flavors of banana/apricot, a little roasted nut, pine, with a light sweetness that still finishes dry. Initially pleasant, but lacks any depth or characteristic that makes me want more.
steview (1019) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 6, 2008
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
it certainly smells like a Belgian ale (yeastiness... and some apricot in the aroma)--the qualities of an IPA appear to me in the aftertaste (bitterness and pine): slightly dry, moderate everything to me... I donít think I get this overall.
RedSox2004 (1244) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - SEP 6, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Great idea - Stone IPA with Belgian yeasts - well executed. Poured clear gold with a one finger head that left a solid disc and nice lacing. Strong piney hops aroma accompanied by grapefruit and clear evidence of the yeast and spice like a good Belgian ale. Belgian pale ale flavors hit first, but gave way to the bitterness and pine flavors of the hops. Medium bodied, decent carbonation, and a crisp, spice-dominated aftertaste.
BrotherGrendel (787) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 6, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tasting at PP C-Bad. Fairly clear light orange hue, thin head and lacing. Nose is pepper and spices, hints of grass and pine resin, light fruits, yeast. Taste is light fruits (apples and pears), grassy and pine resin hops, peppery spices, yeast, finishes slightly drying. Thick texture with moderate carbonation. Great aroma and flavor here, well-balanced with good spice profile.
Snojerk321 (2960) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 6, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22oz bottle from BevMo Mission Valley. I heard this is the same recipe as the IPA with the yeast being a Belgian strain. Big hoppy nose with a light funk. Good Hoppy flavor with again that Belgian yeast funk.....great stuff.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - SEP 5, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2009 Tasted at Pacific Park Market in Aliso Viejo and brought a bottle home:
Nice looking golden pour with a frothy white head. Very nice aroma of sweetness. I liked the balance between the belgian candy sweetness and the IPA hoppiness.
Hophead22 (2880) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - SEP 4, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22oz bottle. Poured a med. gold color, white head. Smells orangy/hoppy kind of weird, but in a good way. Very interesting flavor, nice hoppiness with that belgian character in the backround, very tasty.