Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Celia Saison - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Celia SaisonCelia Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.

80 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 80
Hads: 238
Avg: 3.26
pDev: 34.36%
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.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 80 | Hads: 238
Photo of DrJay
2.66/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

 328 characters

Photo of steve8robin
2.94/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

 962 characters

Photo of jermar
4.23/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have celiac disease and non-barley, non-wheat, non-rye based beers are very rare and generally taste like crap. This one, although it does exhibit the odd (unmalt-like) sorghum aftertaste, is formulated so that the Saison-style tastes dominate, rewarding the drinker with the tasty by-products of fermentation by Belgian yeast and hops and masking, to a large degree, its sorghum-ness. Of course, one needs to be a fan of the Saison style to truly appreciate this "beer", but it is certainly a remarkable brewing accomplishment. It has a beautiful, orangey, head-retentive appearance as well. My only complaints are the price tag, which can reach $66 a case, and its limited availability.

 690 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this while on a trip to VT.

Poured from a 12.oz bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

The color is a slightly hazy orange with a finger of foamy head with little lacing sticky to the glass.

The smell is fruity with orange peel and a touch of apricots. There is a nice earthy tone o the aroma that does say "farmhouse" a bit with a slightly hoppy aroma in the back.

The taste is sweet at first with the citrus hitting the tongue then there is a strange bland flavor where the malt should be. Not quite giving this beer enough of a sweetness that I expected. The orange rind flavor does come forward and saves this beer. There is a clay like aftertaste that does have a good slight sweetness with it so it does not become too much to handle.

The feel of this beer is light and goes down easy. There is a decent amount of carbonation in this beer that does wash off some of the aftertaste. Not bad for a gluten free beer.

 932 characters

Photo of lnashsig
2.56/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

 580 characters

Photo of aasher
3.97/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Should be an interesting beer. I've been waiting to try this for some time now.

Pours a light fizzy pasty white 1/2 finger head that fades semi quickly, no lacing, over mostly clear yellow orange citrus colored beer.

Nose is interesting, lots of floral aromas, lemony, lemon zest, light floral saison spices, hint of a creamy malt like aroma, bit of a candied citrus zest, a bit fruity, light floral and lemony hop bitter like aroma.

Taste comes with a weird malty-like flavor that I'm guessing is the sorghum, slight creamy and wants to be sticky but isn't. Then bitter lemon zest, candied lemon, floral citrusy flavors and light floral saison spices, and some lemony floral hops with a touch of bitterness. It has an herbal like earthy weird flavors I can't really label that takes away from it slightly, and just a touch of bubblegum. Light husk and weird medicinal flavor. Finish is quite dry, with more floral spices, lemony flavors, and bit of the medicinal flavor.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall just didn't do it for me. It has some really strange flavors I couldn't put a finger on, and a light medicinal and husk flavor. Not sure if this came from the sorghum or off flavors, but just wasn't getting me off the ground.

 1,255 characters

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pleasantly surprised to find a new beer out from The Alchemist at Route 7 Liquor and Deli just outside South Burlington. Stopped in to pick up some Heady Topper of course! Poured this one into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a hazy rose gold in color with a very thin white head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing or retention on the head whatsoever.

S - Belgian yeast, coriander, and orange peel are very prominent. Nice earthy scent on the back, but mainly sweet and spicy up front. Not much of that typical, wheaty farmhouse funk that I would expect.

T - Lots of spice up front (mainly pepper and clove), but not really that much sweetness as the nose led on. It was sweeter the first few sips, but then it became more spicy and hoppy. Really nice floral hop finish that lets on more of the earthy funkiness usually found in a farmhouse ale.

M - Light bodied and very crisp, with generous carbonation but not overly so. Since this beer uses sorghum malt instead of normal brewing grains, it comes off as a bit watery and not as rich as a normal saison. A bit dry and sticky on the lips.

O - I didn't get this for the gluten free quality, I got it because of my fond memories of The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. While it's a nice saison and I'm sure a real treat to those that are afflicted with gluten intolerance, it's not quite on par with other saisons that I've had. Glad to see The Alchemist is starting to put out more styles though, and I hope it continues. Up next, Heady Topper!

 1,493 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +19%
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.

 606 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

 821 characters

Photo of tobelerone
2.78/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

 1,188 characters

Photo of rudzud
2.81/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

 963 characters

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.74/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely color, honey golden. A soapy head, loose and un-attractive. Retreats quickly, poor head retention. Orange zest, estery saison yeast, pepper, and saw dust, phenolic to boot. An aroma worth expereincing. Peppery, hay, phenolic flavor, yes spicey. Bitter orange peel, check. Farmhouse attitude check. I also pick up a hint of caraway. Fairly rich mouthfeel, but not as dry as saisons should be. If you never told me this was a gluten free beer I'd never know. While not the best saison it certainly is a great beer for being brewed with sorghum.

 549 characters

Photo of davewlfpckfan29
3.24/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Went to the Brattleboro Food Co-op and found this one.
This is interesting because its a gluten free beer made by the Alchemist. The bottle actually reveals that it was bottled in Ipswich Massachusetts.

Regardless I knew it would be a fun beer since it was brewed by the Alchemist.

The beer is not very appealing as far as appearance and smell goes. Because of the absence of yeast and wheat, there is not much carbonation. The smell is very funky. Big time orange peel smell mixed with a clove, and herbal scent.
It tastes very similar to how it smells. The taste was more enjoyable as the beer got closer to 45-50 degrees.

I could see how this beer would not be liked by some people. But I could also see how some people would like the unique taste of a saison.

 771 characters

Photo of CaptCleveland
2.7/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

 261 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra from youbrewidrink. Thank you, Joe.

Clear orange with a dense, white head that falls off to a thin disk rather rapidly, this beer looks pretty good! Head retention and the clarity are poor for the style, but considering this beer is gluten free, I guess that's to be expected. The nose has a pretty intense spice character (from the sorghum), herbal, spicy and mildly astringent bringing to mind a blend of coriander and thyme. A definite "green twig" aroma is present - is that the celia hops? A mild citrus is present, faint but noticeable and aided by the power of suggestion. The yeast hasn't brought a lot to the table here, but enough to complement the grain bill.

The palate is pretty darned spicy! Wow. Coriander, caraway, thyme and bark, along with a definite blend of orange and lemon zest, fruity but not particularly bitter. An herbal tannic character is present, especially on the mid-palate, lending a mild bitterness. The saison yeast is in the background, playing second fiddle to the sorghum and hops.As it warms up, the citrus notes grow in prominence. Drying and herbal on the finish with a blend of coriander, orange peel and ginger, this beer is medium-light in body and moderately carbonated. A touch watery, but apart from that, I can't criticize it too much. Ultimately, as a saison it's not the best, but is easily the best gluten-free beer I've had.

 1,406 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev +18.1%
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!

 1,448 characters

Photo of Kinsman
3.64/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 1,200 characters

Photo of Dope
3.67/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy golden-orange pour with a good sized fluffy white head. Fades at about a medium pace. Almost no lacing.

S: Green grape skins and oranges oddly enough. Kind of a spicy peppery aroma with a little clove from the yeast.

T: Tart orange followed by some sort of strange and strong spice character. It keeps getting stronger through the middle of the taste and then finally starts to fade into the aftertaste. It's VERY peppery but beyond that I can't describe it. I guess it's probably the sorghum. Very strong and pervading spiciness which lingers long into the aftertaste.

M: Medium mouthfeel, relatively smooth but with a bristling spiciness.

O: Very unique brew. I've never had a gluten-free beer before. This is extremely spicy, tastes very close to a sharp black pepper. I guess it's a good style of beer to choose since some saisons can be very peppery. It's not bad but nothing I'd try again.

 910 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I remember having this at the old brewpub and I was thrilled to hear that it was being bottled by Mercury Brewing. It's a great way to make this beer available to a wider audience.

Cloudy blond with gold streaks and a thin head in my glass. Looks like a saison.

Sweet with lots of floral and citrus notes. Very subtle. It doesn't grab you by the hoo-hoo or anything.

Sweet, peppery and funky. Flowery with only a hint of citrus. The sorghum adds a sweet, mediciny flavor to the overall mix. It's not sickly sweet though.

Pepper, funk and flowers linger in the mouthfeel. Could use more of a citrus kick. A bit hard to enjoy for some reason.

Not for everyone but gluten-free consumers will appreciate this addition. It's well above other gluten-free offerings and if you're looking for flavor, ditch the Redbridge and give this a shot!

 840 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellowish and a bit hazy, with a good head to start, and a ring of foam right at the end.

Yeast, rind bitterness, and a little spice at the end in the nose. perfect for saison.

Dry bitter brew, and I like it a lot. You get the orange rind note to a T. Hops, malt, yeast, and dried musty notes. Bitterness is long and has a touch of acidic bite. Bitter, dry, malt and earth (dust?) in the end.

Medium light bodied.

Terrific version of the style. Had 2 very different saisons back to back. Liked this the best. Very worthy.

 531 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.85/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 3/4
Poured into a pint glass

A: This beer pours a hazy straw yellow with a 1/4 inch of bone white, bubbly head. Head recedes immediately leaving no lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is fruity, and major soapy floral hop notes.

T: Taste has a lot soapy floral hops at the forefront. Yeast, hay and grass come in to even things out. Finish has a continued grassiness with an orange peel and lemon zest flavoring, notes of clove spicing mingle in as well.

M: Light body, medium carbonation.

O: Goes down ok, somewhat tasty, not too filling, nice kick, ok representation of style. The floral notes could be a touch overdone for some, and if you get used to that, it is a decent beer.

 691 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.07/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

 947 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep golden color. Acceptable head. The head does manage to lace quite well. Couldn't see if it was hazy.

S-Some Belgian aspects mixed with some cool American aromas. Sweet and a bit fruity. Yeasty and a bit hoppy too. Interesting. I am excited to try it.

T-Follows the nose quite well. Flowery, slightly bitter, fruity too. Yeasty as well. Pretty neat.

M-Light carbonation. Body is a bit thick for me. Would have enjoyed a bit lighter body. It is quite smooth however.

O/D-I am not sure which Saison I liked better, this or Sass Mouth. This was a bit more mellow, and I may have enjoyed the easy flavors more. Glad to try it but when I go back I would put my money to the hoppy Alchemist brews.

 702 characters

Photo of Buckettt
3.68/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Cloudy amber, light white head with some lacing

S- The sorghum is really strong, but there's some banana and clove as well

T- Starts sweet with the banana, ends lemony and slightly bitter, that bitterness I attribute to the sorghum, as it's such a unique bitter flavor

M- Barely carbonated, almost flat, somewhat heavy

O- I'm extremely impressed as this is a GF beer, which are truly in a league of their own. I'm gluten intolerant, so I really appreciate any attempts at GF beers, and so far this is the best I've had. I find it's a little unfair to rate it against non GF beers since there's such a disadvantage to GF beers, but it's honestly worth a go for my fellow gluten intolerant beer lovers.

 707 characters

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