Celia Saison - Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Celia SaisonCelia Saison

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232 Ratings
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Ratings: 232
Reviews: 82
rAvg: 3.2
pDev: 20.31%
Wants: 11
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: grub on 06-14-2010

Gluten-free Saison-style beer made with sorghum and brewed with orange peel.

Previously brewed by The Alchemist, Ipswich now owns the brand and production.
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Ratings: 232 | Reviews: 82
Reviews by facundoCNB:
Photo of facundoCNB
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an orange/amber pour, light in color but opaque. 2 fingers of white head dissipated quickly, great retention. smells of oranges, very citrusy, floral, black pepper, bready yeast. a very fresh smelling saison.

the taste is a spicy bitterness up front, followed up by the taste of apples, then oranges, then back to being bitter. spicy breadyness throughout, thanks to the yeast. and a funky mold taste that leaves an earthy after taste. not too impressed.. it's pretty good, but i've heard SO much about heady topper, that i had way higher expectations about this.

medium body, medium carbonation, slight creaminess.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jondeelee
3.53/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of pat61
3/5  rDev -6.3%

I had the Alchemist version of this beer. It is now brewed by the Ipswich brewery. It is a noble effort trying to make a gluten free saison but not necessarily a worthy one.
It has a spicy nose with the hints of orange, some tartness and earthy, spicy hops
It pours hazy gold with a humungous white foam cap that gradually diminishes to a large rootbeer float type head.
The palate is OK but it has a less complicated yeast character than many Saisons, has some plum and peach, orange, and finishes with a touch of tartness and a bitter hop accent. A hint of faint lingering mustard on the finish.
Medium body. Despite the humungous foamy head, the body of the beer does not have that Saison effervescence.
If I needed a gluten free beer I would try this but if I wanted a saison, I would try something else.

Photo of ehammond1
2.62/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, whartontallboy!

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.

Photo of mocktm
3.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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...

Photo of lnashsig
2.56/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

#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.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.52/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of tkelley
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A -- Clear bronze body with very little head. Lots of little bubbles bubbling up.

N -- Kind of fruity and yeasty.

T -- Old world taste. Dried sticky fruits, yeast. Little lemony and resiny. I have no idea what sorghum tastes like, but I imagine its in there somewhere.

M -- Thick for a saison.

O -- Pretty good. If I had to drink gluten free, I would definitely be okay drinking this regularly.

Photo of Gmann
3.62/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of Kinsman
3.64/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Photo of trentbent
3.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of Xalechim
3.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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.

Photo of Amalak
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A. Bronze color, completely opaque, with a big bubbly white head, and some lacing.

S. Very rich wheat scent...for a gluten free beer. Sweet.

T. Very nice and smooth, with a good lemony and wheat tingle. Some passion fruit taste to it.

M. It's carbonated, with a sourish aftertaste.

O. Not too bold or tart.Flavorful and refreshing. Surprisingly good for a gluten free beer. In a one off it is good.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this. I must also remark on the irony that I was unable to get this in VT when he acquired it in MA.

Consumed 5/12/12

Appearance: Mostly clear but slightly hazy, pale golden orange - starts with a nice, white, fizzy head, fades to a little ring with minimal lacing

Smell: Very floral, with Belgian yeast and orange peel - slight clove and banana from the yeast, but not much of the typical farmhouse funk (this is very clean, not necessarily a bad thing) - at first whiff, the pale malt profile could probably pass for barley - but it is a little different, thanks to the sorghum - starts to get a little more strange (not in a good way) when this hits room temperature

Taste: Strange, but in a good way - the orange peel is quite obvious and quite prominent - orange and lemon flesh - a spicy bitterness- some clove and dry banana from the yeast - like the aroma, it tastes flowery - some earthiness, grassiness - lightly bready, peppery, with some light fruits and a touch of alcohol

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, very smooth, a little chewy

Overall: Tasty, and somehow gluten-free!

This beer is a little odd. It's cleaner and fruitier than what I would expect in a saison. And somehow this is a gluten-free beer. It's like some of the ingredients cancel out or mask the weirdness of sorghum. This is not an amazing saison, but it is an amazing gluten-free beer. Bonus points!

Photo of metter98
3.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of orange peel in the nose.
T: The taste has a mixture of sorghum and orange peels along with some hints of medicinal flavors and faint bits of spices.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is no dryness.
O: This beer has some off flavors but at least the orange peels help to mask some of them.

Photo of rlee1390
3.66/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear bright orange, not much carbonation or head.

S-Lots of sorghum, or at least what I assume to be sorghum. The orange peel is there as well.

T-Starts with sorghum? Also has a good deal of citrus fruit flavors, like orange and lemon. No bitterness.

M- Light, not much carbonation.

O-The best of two gluten free beers I've had. Shared with someone who is gluten free and he said it was the best he's had.

Photo of mountdew1
3.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Color was a slightly hazy golden with a white 1 finger head. A few minutes in the head was down to a thin layer that clung a bit to the sides. Visible yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma was heavy on the yeast, and was slightly sweet floral. Flavor was very upfront. A bit of tangy floral with a tad of sour in the back. Over time the sour seemed to linger in the mouth. Coated reasonably well, perhaps too well from the sour that was left lingering. A bit of strange feeling in the mouth. Overall a bit off from the sour, but not bad.

Photo of brewtus
3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the brewery poured into dogfish tulip glass

A-pours light copper with a bubbly white head
S- big Belgian yeast, banana, a little orange
T/M- slightly dry from start to finish, I get Belgian yeast, licorice, a little orange zest, ironically tastes a little bready, finishes little sour. After a few sips I get a little tomato flavor. Mouthfeel is as expected for the style.
O- yeah this isn't a greatest beer but it beats drinking cider all the time for those who can't drink gluten. It could use more orange flavor to balance out the bitterness. I'm glad to see a gluten free offering and I'm glad I got to try it. I don't think it's fair to compare this to HT and if I couldn't drink gluten I'd be even more excited to see this.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.16/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into my New Belgium globe. Pours an orangey haze with lots of bubbley head. Belgian dry yeast aromas, but very veg like...its unique but weird and not in a good way. Taste is very dry and vegteble like..I taste tomato, herbs, some hops, but mostly veg...its the V8 of beer for me. Its way overly carbonated, champagne like with no real body. Overall, its probably one of the worst saisons I ever had, but I guess its unique and good to expand on the gluten free category...just not sure why they chose to go from Heady to this....

Photo of aasher
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of my Adam Jackson beer. Thanks Adam!

This award winning gluten free beer pours a light bodied, slightly polished copper in color with a one finger head that disappeared within a minute. The nose is light, spicy, and yeasty with a light mint character. The flavors are nice. It's light and has plenty of yeast character with moderate spicing. It certainly has more flavor than any other gluten free beer I've had to date. If this was available nationwide it would be the popular gluten free option around. I'm glad the Alchemist made this.

Photo of cbutova
4.07/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New bottles, picked up a week or so ago. Sorghum beer brewed with orange peels according to the label.

A- Poured into a snifter with a hazy orange body. Small white head forms but doesn't have great retention. Creamy cloud atop the beer and a bubbly ring. A few spots of lace.

S- A mix of Saison/Belgian yeast hints, sorghum and some fruit. Clove, banana, orange zest and some yeast spice.

T- I get more complexity and overall strength in the flavor. Sort of a mix of floral, fruity, spicy and perfumey. Clove and yeast spice notes are big. Notes of apple juice, oranges, raisin, coriander, sorghum, coriander, tart grapes and bread.

MF- Very bubbly carbonation stings the tongue in a light but silky body. Somewhat bitter and a slight tartness.

Probably the best gluten free sorghum beer I have had thus far. I can tell there is something different about it compared to barley beers but it is quite tasty, refreshing and enjoyable.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains wild Belgian yeast, tart citrus, some spice, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh tart burst of orange and other citrus flavors followed by some wild Belgian yeast funk that enhances the sourness. Then some mild spice flavor comes in along with a thin malt character. The hops presence is very mild and there is not much balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly tart.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, not the best representation of style, this definitely not one of the better beers I’ve had in the style.

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Celia Saison from Ipswich Ale Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.