Celia Saison - Ipswich Ale Brewery
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3.53/5 rDev +10.3%
Celia opens with a lovely Saison aroma, full of musty fruits, breads, and spices. Especially noticeable are the pineapple, banana, and cherry fruit esters, backed by lighter touches of orange and peach, and the floury rye bread toast crust, which adds a layer of pepper and earthy dough. There is, however, still a strong remnant of the sorghum used to make gluten-free beers, adding an acrid-sweet burnt sugar and molasses overtone to everything, which doesn’t mingle very well with the sweet esters and lovely breads, and in fact comes across smelling slightly like bicycle inner tube. As a whole, the Saison aromas in here are lovely, and perfect for the style but the sorghum doesn’t quite mix, providing a strange and slightly off-putting counter.
On the tongue, the beer presents much the same problem. The Saison aromas are full and lovely, with musty pineapple, cherry, and banana notes mixing with floury bread dough, and bits of sour apple cider floating through everything and mingling with pink grapefruit and touches of pine resin. But again, the sorghum adds an acrid-sweet burnt sugar and molasses layer that makes it seem like the mash was somehow overcooked, much the way slightly-burnt garlic still tastes like garlic, but also like charcoal and ash. The effect does slightly meld with the sour and musty Saison notes, but not completely, and the result is strange. The aftertaste is a continuation of these main notes, with slightly less emphasis on the sorghum, and lingers for a good while on the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, and recognizing that this is a problem I have with all sorghum-based beers, I found the sorghum flavors simply too overwhelming, and not able to blend well with the other textures. Having said that, Celia does qualify as one of the more flavorful and enjoyable of the gluten-free beers I’ve had, and I can see why it won a gold medal in its category. But for someone who doesn’t regularly encounter sorghum flavors in beer, the result is still strange and overly reminiscent of burnt sugar.
09-16-2012 20:39:47 | More by jondeelee
2.53/5 rDev -20.9%
Acquired via trade
Hazed dark orange with a small off-white head that doesn't leave much in the way of stick down the glass. Appropriate for the style.
The aroma is easily the best aspect of this beer. It's actually quite nice, and does nothing to warn the sorry drinker who's about to put it to his lips. There's nice floral and citrus elements, along with some bread, and a hint of barnyard. Quite nice.
The flavor, however, is a different story. It's overly bitter, and none of the floral and citrus elements present in the nose appear in the flavor. There's some chemical flavor in sip, swallow, and finish, with an astringent alcohol tone as well. Not good.
Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This is not where this beer falls apart.
I didn't notice it at first, but this is a gluten-free beer. I believe it is my first, and, this one did nothing to get me excited to try my second. I'm either going to continue smelling this or drainpour it--I haven't decided yet.
07-25-2012 01:38:22 | More by ehammond1
3.83/5 rDev +19.7%
Stumbled upon this rather randomly at the bottle shop. Bought it for two reasons: A. I love Saisons; B. It's brewed by Alchemist, who are supposed to be pretty kick-ass according to their IPA reputation. I'd also like to mention that this is right up there with HopSlam in my favorite labels contest.
Golden, glowing orange hue, decent lacing and a semi frothy white head. Eh...nothing spectacular, but nothing horrendous either.
Loads of citrus fruit, mainly that of orange. Some spiciness as well, but I don't get that funk kick that I love out of my Saisons.
Taste is rather more complex than the nose. That fruitiness hinted at is very present, a bit of candied malt, mild spiciness and a lingering hop bite at the conclusion. Mild alcohol presence. Not bad, not bad at all.
A bit off in consistency; feels a bit flat and no where near as effervescent as I like my Farmhouse brews. Still drinks rather easily though.
Overall, not bad, but I was expecting big things because of the brewery on the label. Still a interesting brew to try. I sent out a few as extras recently so I'll have to see what they think. Really need to track down some Heady...
07-23-2012 23:44:46 | More by mocktm
2.55/5 rDev -20.3%
#BOTG 73! Thanks to Eric for the chance to taste this. Very interesting- a gluten free beer. I look at this pretty skeptically, almost like looking at fat free cheese. Poured from bottle into Brooklyn Tulip- pours a cloudy dark orange color. A little head retention. Decent looking beer. Smell- definitely orange peel as advertised, also a vinous aroma. Not a huge fan of what I'm getting here. Taste- hmm. bitterness, somewhat slick orangey mouthfeel. It's lacking carbonation, and the malt (sorghum) used leaves a lot to be desired. Yuck. Drainpour, will try something else now.
06-18-2012 23:13:48 | More by lnashsig
3.98/5 rDev +24.4%
Had a bottle at The Salty Pig in Boston. Review from notes.
A: Pours a hazy orange with a small white head that has minimal retention leaving a tiny cap on top. Not much lacing.
S: Rather spicy with some Belgian yeast aromas, coriander, and lots of orange and orange peel.
T: Very similar to the aroma with lots of orange peel and zest along with some nice spice notes. There is a slight floral taste to it, some faint lemon, and a a little apple as well. Some peppery spice also.
M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, rather easy drinking.
O: Rather enjoyable, probably the best gluten free beer I have some across, probably would not have guessed that it was gluten free in a blind tasting. Having read a few other reviews, I am wondering if there is that much of a difference in palate or bottle variation.
05-29-2012 21:44:59 | More by mdaschaf
3.9/5 rDev +21.9%
A 12 oz bottle served cold with a tulip glass at Crop in Stove, VT.
Celia is a slightly hazy amber color with thin white head developed during a straight-forward pour. Very good lacing left behind.
Aroma is sweet and floral with a hint of Belgian yeast.
Flavor is well balanced with elements of herb, spice, yeast, and floral. It's true to style and enjoyable. It isn't until I've enjoyed half of it that I realize it's gluten free.
Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and nicely carbonated.
Overall a really nice beer and one I wouldn't mind having regularly if, god forbid, I'm ever gluten intolerant.
06-05-2012 22:02:34 | More by GilGarp
3.35/5 rDev +4.7%
Its missing some body, being gluten free, still drinkable. Spicy Vegetable, herbal tea like tulsi with red mango, something I would be Ok with health food, buckwheat and chia seeds. Pronounced orange peel is a nice touch.Dry finish, carbonation is above average. I would be OK cooking with this or using in place of...balsamic vinegar? Saison yeast in aftertaste. Medium yellow, fairly clear, a foamer with a touch of lace.
09-12-2012 02:55:30 | More by Sammy
2.5/5 rDev -21.9%
Thanks to Eric for this one. 12oz. bottle into a Duvel artist tulip.
Pours a 1 finger foamy white head with moderate retention. Beer is semi-cloudy dull orange. Lacing is spotty and sparse with little cling. Slightly below average for the style.
Nose is coriander, citrus peel, some soapiness, mild sweetness, and a sprinkling of other spices. Decent.
Opens medicinal. Some spiciness upfront but big ethanol notes towards the middle with only a hint of citrus to smooth things out at the back. Spicy finish with a mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Not very good.
Light bodied with high carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth but goes down abrasive and boozy and slightly dry. Aftertaste is dry and lingering. Lacking the quenching, refreshing body I want from the style.
For a brewery that put out Heretic, Luscious, and Heady Topper, I'm sorely disappointed by this one. This is my first gluten-free beer and likely my last if this is what they taste like. A good effort, but this beer isn't a good representation of the brewery.
08-02-2012 22:27:24 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.63/5 rDev +13.4%
Pours a dirty golden straw color with an airy puffy white head. Definitely a couple of shades darker than a traditional saison.
The aroma is floral and sugary sweet. Big clove and candi sugar presence with some flower and bubblegum notes. Some white pepper and light grass/hay. Its a nice aroma a bit aggressive for the style.
The taste is not as bold and more to the style. The malt is a little dirty but has a dry pils character. The hops are subtle and grassy. The yeast provides some floral notes and hay, not much clove or bubblegum. Light orange peel provides a nice fruity note. I am glad they didn't overdo the orange. It has a dry and lightly bitter finish which hits the style points.
The feel is light and dry. Good balance between sweet and bitter.
A very respectable saison and props for it being gluten free. No off flavors, perhaps a tad bitter with the orange peel and hops.
08-19-2012 21:18:12 | More by Gmann
3.63/5 rDev +13.4%
Bought a 4-pack to share with gluten intolerant friends. Previously have only had sips of a few different gluten free beers but I can already tell this a much better product.
Pours a hazy orange colored body with a nice bubbly white head on top. Fades quicker than your normal saison but some sacrifices have to be made I'm guessing.
Pleasant aroma with a distinct fruit note from the orange peel, which is complimented well by spicy yeast notes. A notable clove-like aroma becomes more apparent as the beer warms.
A nice variety of flavor on the palate with a healthy dose of peppery and clove like spice flavors that are ever so lightly balanced out by the floral hop notes. Finishes with a slightly earthy/musty funk reminiscent of many saisons.
Mouthfeel is crisp, dry, and rather unique. I'm not sure the full effect sorghum malt has in terms of flavor and feel but there seems be lacking the rich texture you get from other brewing grains. Overall, this is certainly an enjoyable saison even for gluten-tolerant drinkers but not one I'd turn to every time. Gluten intolerant drinkers however can finally rejoice in having a real tasty beer to enjoy with their beer drinking counterparts.
05-07-2012 20:07:51 | More by Kinsman
3.73/5 rDev +16.6%
You know, I liked the bottle and bought a 4-pack of these, and only at the register did I notice I'd just bought gluten-free beer!!! Dun dundun...Oh well, I was too curious by then. This beer appeared to be marketed as a delicious thing and not just a beer that doesn't have gluten, so perhaps it's drinkable, quaffable, not just laughable.
I had a couple of these bottle with dinner that night (I think it was pasta) and it didn't really go and I thought, well, the Mrs. likes it and it ain't half bad to my tastes, better than Blue Moon. (Whenever I'm not crazy about a beer I think, "well, it's better than Blue Moon")
But now I'm having it with a clear palate and I must say I'm enjoying it quite a bit.
The mouthfeel is the most unique aspect of this saison, as you can definitely feel the bubbles buckle on your tongue sort of like a soda but without the syrup taste of soda, instead, it's like orange peel and then a yeasty aftereffect. It's a little sour a little bitter and a little sweet. Sunshine on the nose (that's right).
I grabbed it from the fridge because I wasn't really in the mood for any of the four IPA in there and now I'm just basking in its yeasty curves.
11-21-2013 04:13:34 | More by trentbent
3.18/5 rDev -0.6%
This was my first Saison, as it was reccomended that I might like the taste. I do like the taste, but not as much as I had hoped. It has a bit of a soapy taste upon impact but doesn't taste as bad as that sounds. Hopefulyl other saison will make me rethink this category.
04-11-2014 00:39:11 | More by Xalechim
Celia Saison from Ipswich Ale Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.