Celia Saison - Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Celia SaisonCelia Saison

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80 Reviews
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Reviews: 80
Hads: 236
Avg: 3.25
pDev: 34.46%
Wants: 11
Gots: 18 | 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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Reviews: 80 | Hads: 236
Photo of MoreThanWine
1.45/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Sorry but this was horrid, and it's not that I've never had a gluten free beer before either. Poured a half inch off-white soap suds head which faded fast. The body is a hazy apple cider color with no effervescence left in it. It smells weird, hard to describe, yet I do smell the citrus and spice. The taste is heavy on the spice, which I guess I understand considering without the spice it's a weird sour unpleasant taste, but really this comes across kind of like one of those overspiced pumpkin beers (without the pumpkin of course). Long finish but not of a taste I wanted to stick around. 90% of this bottle got poured down the drain. I guess I should just feel lucky I don't have celiac disease. But then again I've had gluten free beers I did think were OK.

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Photo of harrymel
1.64/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Gluten Free, made with sorghum. I'm excited for this given the advance of some sorghum beers lately (Widmer really did it right IMO)
Bottled: unk

Muddled apricot color with a fine light cream sheet of foam. Nice cloudy lace. Smells of flowers, coriander, clay, udder hand lotion, a hint of butter and some orange peel. The yeast is pretty intense in the nose. Flavor is heavily yeasty and has an almost mushy consistency for me, hard for me to get past the yeast here. Some medicinal character and black olive juice flavors. Boom, just realized why I dislike this beer - the yeast reminds me of Unibroue - nasty. Full thickness and slippery with a longer than desired finish for me. I am thankful to have had this, I am thankful to never likely have this again.

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Photo of NardiByNature
1.92/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Unfamiliar with gluten-free brew.

A: Hazy orangey body, with a white head that sticks around.

S: At first the typical powdery phenolic/sweet saison smell, but there's a really odd smell here: raw and bitter unlike anything i've smelled in a beer - raw vegetable?

T: Vegetables: bitter and dry and tastes like i bit into a raw gourd.

M: Drying with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

O: Pass.

If this represents beer sans gluten, I'll pass on the lot. I can respect the emergence of gluten free, though, because I'm sure plenty out there appreciate it.

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Photo of mpedara429
1.99/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured out a hazy amber color, thin white head, no real retention or lacing to speak of.

S: Booze, bubble gum, clove/spices, and a funky musty scent.

T: Similar to the smell plus hints of orange and dirty gym socks.

M: A lighter body with medium to heavy carbonation. Sharp bitter bite after the beer goes down.

O: If I didn't know any better, I would think this beer was infected. Gym socks and bubble gum are off flavors in beer that are totally unfavorable. On the other hand, I'm perfectly capable of consuming gluten so this may be a treasure for those who are gluten intolerant.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.47/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Poor head with low retention and lace. Hazy orange gold body.

S - Lightly floral, honey, Smarties candy, tangerine, honeydew melon, just the faintest hint of sour.

T - Oh man, something is reeeally off on the back end of this. Rancid bacteria just absolutely wipes out everything else in the profile.

M - Medium body. Really low carbonation for the style.

O - Given the quality of the brewer I'd be willing to give this another shot in the future, but man... this bottle was really, really off.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.52/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.55/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked this one up locally...just couldn't resist checking out something from the alchemist. enjoyed from my HF tulipy wine glass.

a - brew poured a murky orange with a foamy head and visible carbonation. the head fizzled away quick, but left a thin skin of bubbles.

s - sweet coriander and orange peel. some grassiness and a bit of bubble gum.

t - at first a burst of coriander, orange peel and bubblegum sweetness which is almost immediately overtaken by some weird off spiciness. each successive sip boasts more of this almost moldy flavor. not really digging it.

m - prickly but leaves an off aftertaste. the orange peel is there, but the forefront of the beer is just like an odd pepper dominant thing that i don't love.

o - overall, i figured anything alchemist is a safe bet. i have a few friends who are gluten free and as a beer geek i feel it is my responsibility to help show them that you can still have cool beer even if you are gluten free. as such, i've had a few gluten free beers and it is cool to see folks experimenting with various styles for gluten free beers, but all i can say is that i'm glad i'm not restricted to these types of beers as some friends of mine are. everyone's palate is different so i might pass one of these along to my gluten free friends, but this is not one for me.

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Photo of lnashsig
2.56/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
2.56/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decent starting head. Some spots on the glass. Cloudy gold color.

White pepper and plastic smells. Reminds me of Creepy Crawlers.

Medicinal and plasticy taste--a clear miss. Behind this are the typical Saison flavor of astringent malt and hop bitterness. Good, lasting aftertaste of bitterness from the hop finish. Respectable body with a mildly elevated level of carbonation. Overall, I can't get over the plastic.

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Photo of DanH83
2.6/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Gluten free beers are something I've sought only because my GF is gluten intolerant. Once in a while it's nice to cheers beers!

Anyway, this was okay, a little thin and uninteresting. So far, nothing that's Gluten Free can match Tweason'ale. I'll keep searching, but this Saison won't be the go-to for her.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.62/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

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Photo of Moneypenny
2.64/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I feel like a heel giving this "beer" such a low rating. It tries so hard to be what it's not. Plus my daughter brought it to me as a gift. There's enought alcohol to make it amusing, but where is the flavor? This is like those lo-cal crackers made of rice that taste more like air or styrofoam chips than they do food. I suppose it has an "ethereal" quality. If I could not under any circumstances drink beverages with wheat, this would be an okay consolation prize--the cheap rubber toy in a sea of giant stuffed Clifford dogs. But I would not consider spending my own money on it. Let the gluten intolerant eat cake.

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Photo of DrJay
2.66/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy straw yellow with a thin skim of whitish bubbles. Decent retention. Strange aroma, bananas and a bit of citrus, with a pronounced sweat sock character, a bit spicy. Lemony and citrus bitterness with fruity sweetness and a spicy, salty finish. Light bodied with moderate carbonation, a bit dry. This just didn't work for me.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
2.7/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle received as extra.

Clear yellow elixir, thin white head, no lacing.

Sweet, over ripened fruit (peach), yeast, formaldehyde.

Tangy, tart, medicinal. Aftertaste of olives.

Thin, fizzy. Light body. Refreshing.

Maybe a bit old? Not my cup of brew.

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Photo of dmgnyc
2.73/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I figured if anyone could make a palatable gluten-free beer it'd be The Alchemist. Given the constraints, this is a pretty good beer, but I still wouldn't ever choose it to the exclusion of those with a traditional malt bill.

Cloudy orange beer with minimal head and lacing, nose of sour orange. And bitter orange peel is the overriding flavor here. Finishes more than a little bitter and metallic...the orange peel makes its presence felt a bit too much.

All that said, actually improves as it warms, and the 6.5 abv provides a nice little buzz without being too present. Still, probably a one and done for me, unless I was drinking it out of necessity.

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Photo of gcamparone
2.74/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at the Alchemist Cannery half a year back. Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle.

A- Pours a golden hazy body with some floaties. Small white head that reduces quickly.

S- Plastic, soap, citrus, and some oranges.

T- Weirdly musty.. plastic, gym socks, soap, detergent, soaked in old orange juice and bananas.

M- Medium body and carbonation.

I think I left this in my fridge a little too long. I don't think the Alchemist even makes this any more.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

First had: bottle from the Alchemist

Poured into a Heady Topper stemless snifter, a darker amber color, fairly hazy, with a rocky off-white head that retained well and left some lacing on the glass. Bready malts and lots of funk in the nose, lesser notes of citrus rind and floral hops. Taste of funky wet hay, earth, cardboard, cobwebs, hints of old orange peel, pith and all, imparting a lasting bitterness. Stale and astringent, and not very good overall. Body was about medium, carbonation moderate. Seemed like a beer past its prime, though I got it straight from the brewery and it was in my fridge for just a couple weeks, so...I don't know. Not recommended.

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Photo of tobelerone
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a few of these at Winooski Beverage while grabbing some Lawson’s and Heady cans..figured it was worth a shot. Well, I’m glad I tried it but that’s about the best I can say about this one. Not quite a drain pour but I left a few fingers in my glass. The beer looks fine; nice fluffy head with good retention and decent lacing, clear bodied, orange color. Decent aroma; vaguely herbal and medicinal; Belgian style yeasty notes; spicy and phenolic.

The flavor is where this all went wrong for me. At first sip it’s ok; again lots of the Belgian yeast notes and spice, pepper and orangey citrus, but something unpleasant emerges at the back of the tongue and hits you full force upon swallowing. The aftertaste is very medicinal, soapy and unappealing; I have no experience of sorghum or gluten free beers but if this is what you get I won’t be trying anymore.

The mouthfeel is fine, medium-light bodied, with crisp carbonation. A touch of alcohol in the finish. Again the flavor and aftertaste is not very nice and lingers a bit in the mouth. If you’re really suffering from Celiac’s I might try another drink besides beer, but that’s just like, my opinion, man.

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Photo of RyanLigeia
2.8/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden color. Lowish level of visible carbonation. Around a finger of head. I was expecting more head because after i popped the cap off foam started to slowly rise out of the bottle. Looks decent.

As far as the smell goes, Im getting belgian yeast before anything. Or at least some sort of belgian aspect. A slight sour smell, not sure if that was intentional. A hint of caramel maltyness. Lemon/orange citrus scents, faint grassy hops, slight peppery spice.

Tastes lemony, bitter orange peel, peppery,yeasty. Acidic. Apparent alcohol. Way more sour than I would have liked.

Mouthfeel is interesting. It has a strange "coating" characteristic. Sort of feels like it leaves an oily film behind. I woudnt mind that at all if it didnt leave the sourness along with it. Moderate carbonation. Slight grapefruit-like bitterness.

Overall this beer is...interesting. I haven't tried too many other gluten free beers, nm gluten free saisons, so its hard to judge without much to compare it to. I wasn't too impressed. Maybe not the best choice for my first beer by The Alchemist. Its definitely an interesting style to try and pull off though, so I'll be giving them another shot with an open mind.

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Photo of rudzud
2.81/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Julios. This is Batch 2, as their first batch was recalled due to carbonation issues.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip an almost banana-y hazy yellow with with a nice quarter inch foamy white blanket leaving very light lacing

S - Ehhh. There is some nice light faint orange peel aromas, which I expect, but I just cant get past the herbal/medicinal/weirdness that is sorgum. Gaaah.

T - Light orange and citrus with more of the herbal medicinal, cloves. Someone stated theres an aftertaste of olives...I'm getting that as far as an almost briney aftertaste. The saison yeasty, banana-y flavours are there but ehh...sorgum!

M - Mouthfeel isnt bad. Nice carbonation for a saison. Feels good in the mouth. That said, there is a very odd lingering aftertaste that is quite unpleasant.

O - Overall, this beer was somewhat of a trainwreck for me. I just dont dig sorgum based beers I guess, they lend too weird of a taste for my liking.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.94/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Glad to see this one at a local beer store. I have only tried Heady from Alchemist and that is my favorite DIPA! Let's see how they do on a saison. 12oz bottle...

A: A clear golden color with a lot of carbonated bubble action. A small which head hangs around at the top of the brew. Decent.

M: I get some belgian candi sugar and bubble gum up front with some orange peel quickly following. Definitely smells like a saison. Good.

T: I get a strange pepper taste upfront with an almost slight meat / bacon taste. I get a thick bubble gum towards the back. The beer really fell short with this brew. Could've been so much more. Eh.

M: Very carbonated. Over-carbonated IMO. A full thick peppery bubble gum on the back. Eh.

O: This one started well but ended on a bad tone. As soon as you take a sip it's all downhill from there. Alchemist needs to work with this recipe a bit more. It started amazing on the appearance and smell, but fell short everywhere else.

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Photo of Slatetank
2.99/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I purchased this from half-time, enjoyed chilled in a pub glass.

The color is golden with brilliant clarity with thick cream of white cap with fine bead and a lace that sticks with good retention. The smell is kind of band-aid like with a phenolic yeast and slight citrus element in the aroma. The feel is moderately carbonated and semi light body with very light sweetness, but mostly dry with a gentle warmth of alcohol in the finish.

The taste is not good, it has that slight herbal, semi-medicinal character I have encountered in other gluten free beers. The flavor has a slight citrus tinge but more pith than actual fruit with a slight grainy dry husky quality in the middle and odd earthy almost grassy and more band-aid type flavors in the back of the throat which seems to linger after the sip with a slight bitter herbal element that mixes with a light alcohol finish. Overall this is not the worst beer I have ever had, nor the worst gluten free beer I have tasted, but it is certainly not worth having again.

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Photo of pat61
3/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-slightly hazy amber color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-citrus, earthy, spices

T-citrus, earthy, grassy, sour, astringent and somewhat off aftertaste, can't quite place the off taste

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp but with the astringency noted above

O-not a great Saison, just not the flavor profile one would expect, especially from The Alchemist

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.08/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz, Winter 2012
Heady Topper stemless

A: Slightly hazy, but mostly clear pale orange color. Didn't get tons of head. Thin layer of bright white bubbles. Seems like there is some carbonation.

S: Strange chalk like smell on nose, sourgum maybe. Then I get the Belgian yeast and orange peel there.

T: Sourgum is strange. Doesn't really taste like a Saison to me at all. Get some off flavor right away. Then some spice from the Belgian yeast. There is some orange there. Dry finish.

M: Medium bodied.

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Celia Saison from Ipswich Ale Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.