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Viven Imperial IPA - Brouwerij Van Viven

Not Rated.
Viven Imperial IPAViven Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

130 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 130
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 5
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Viven visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 06-24-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 35
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Slightly hazy orange-amber pour with nice two finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Big and bold fruity, hoppy nose with hints of pine, tropical fruits, grapefruit, orange zest, peach, and caramel. The taste is just as big. Lots of resiny pine, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, grass, orange zest, and caramel along with a touch of mango. The balance definitely leans to the bitter, hoppy side, but there's enough malty sweetness to make it pretty drinkable for an Imperial IPA. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly syrupy with an awesome tangy, mouth-puckering bitter finish. It's right up there with De Struise Shark Pants as far as top notch European Imperial IPAs go.

More User Reviews:
Photo of charlieos
4.64/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this while in london in September of 2010 at a restaurant.

It's basically a Belgian (yep) clone of an American west coast double IPA. Boy howdy did they get it right. Amazing hop bouquet. Strong, full citrus flavor. Smelling it was as fun as tasting it.

Very well balanced. It's pretty weighty, at 8%, but it wasn't cloyingly sweet or thick. Whoever's responsible for this, congrats.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2012. Acquired from a Belgian webshop quite a while ago.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Plenty of yeast sediment in the bottle. A hazy coppery-amber hue with medium carbonation. Produces a large head of orange-white foam with a creamy texture; it remains for a few minutes before subsiding to a frothy surface layer. Aroma of spicy hops with notes of citrus and subtle pine, underpinned by sweet grainy malt and fruity Belgian yeast. Hints of banana and a whiff of alcohol in the background.

Tastes of sharp, tangy hops with a fruity yeast character and a restrained bitter finish. Notes of grapefruit, citrus, mild pine, caramel malt, banana and fruity yeast esters. An astringent hint of solvent/alcohol in the background, followed by a piny bitterness and a faint sour quality. Quite dry. Mouthfeel is smooth and spicy, with decent body. A tad undercarbonated. Pretty astringent - dries the palate. Aftertaste of spicy hops, caramel malt, fruity yeast and bitter pine.

Quality - probably the best Belgian IPA I've tried so far. Plenty of aromatic hops and a nice bitter finish, while the fruity yeast stays in the background. The malt is understated but pleasant. The biggest issue I've had with other Belgian IPAs is that the yeast and hop notes seem to clash badly. Great - well worth trying if you come across it.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy orange/amber with a large, creamy head.
Nose shows lots of resinous, piney hops, citrus, orange blossom, grapefruit and some peach. Underneath is a fair whack of caramel and clean malt.
Lots more resinous pine upon tasting, though the fruit doesn't transfer through quite as well. Next comes a load of sweet clean malt before the hops return for a big, piney bitterness. Does have a medicinal/astringent herbal character to it, reminds me of the bittersweet character found in cough-syrup.
Nice syrupy body, carbonation could be higher.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark auburn color, with a creamy beige head of about a finger or so. Left a nice bit of spongy lacing. The aroma had some citrus, light pine resins and some subtle spicy Belgian yeast notes. The taste had a nice citrus hop bite, bits of piney, resinous hops and a touch of Belgian spicy yeast. The yeast doesn't over power, which is awesome cuz there's some Belgo IPA's out there that are so overpowering with yeast that it takes away from the IPA aspect. This makes a fine balance, it's nicely bitter and hoppy. Good stuff.

Photo of RuudJH
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orange amber colour. Nice big head, good carbonation.
Smell of pine and citrus, and strong as well.
Taste very powerfull too. It's initially bitterness all over, but the malts do come through sweet, making it a nice experience.
It has a soft sweet mouthfeel, but also dry bitter finish.
Excellent beer as an IPA. This brewery (it's my third beer of them today) does have a range where you cannot go wrong. It's simple and tasty.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 3/11/11 in a Pint glass. Pours dark orange color, clear body foggy due color deepness. Foam is dense & extended, nice lacing. Intense hoppy, mildy caramel, roasted malts aromas. High hoppy level flavor, dry & sharp. Very refreshing & well balanced.

Photo of beerpirates
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottel poured in my bruery glass

Pours amber with a big offwhite creamy head. Aroma is fruity - peach and apple - with hops and som viniousity and som caramel. Flavour is very dry - pine - at first then fruity - again peach and apple - there is a hint of caramel sweetness and viniousity piney hops again in the end. NIce soft mouthfeel and overall a great beer.
Very nice !

Photo of yapi
4.54/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here in Belgium the only IPA locals are familiar with is a Poperings Hommel Bier.
A good beer but I tend to drink one every couple of months, not really that special. Then you have a less known, but better Belgian Ipa (IMHO), the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel. A combination of Ipa and Tripel, and well done!
And then you have the Viven IPA imperial...

Only a couple of reviews here, but they are rather unanimous... so I had to try this one, even more when you know half of my family were living in Vivenkapelle, the inspiration for the name...

Stats: 8% ABV, 33cl bottle, tomahawk + simcoe hop.

The minute I poured the beer my nose was overwhelmed. There were floral notes, caramel, citrus, very hoppy, just an extremely appealing and attractive smell... you know when you have the choice of holding your beer in your hand the whole time, or just put it back on the table when you're not drinking? This one is a holder!!

And not only the smell was great. First sips, citrus hits you in the toes, very hoppy, and a lovely grassy taste, reminded me of excellent cohiba robustos or great fuente cigars... Very well done!!!

Mounthfeel... hmmm, that's the only thing that could put me off of this beer. A bit dry, and I'm not a big fan of dry drinks... But then again, it wasn't that dry, I could handle it.

Overall, superb drink, an absolute showstopper! You could only tell the 8 % ABV after I finished the beer... wouldn't drink 4-5 in a row... or maybe I would, but it wouldn't be the best day-after in my life

I already went out today to go buy me some more but the shop in Sijsele was closed... they'll see me back this week for sure.

Photo of Wanne
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber color and an overwhelming aroma. Nice bitterness from the hops. Exotic fruit and especially grapefruit are found in the smell and the taste. The bear is bitter and yet it is very smooth to drink. Thesmooth, creamy aftertaste makes you want to take another sip. Top class beer!

Photo of lanbewardin
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark gold/amber, very little light gets through, inch of golden head, very pretty beer

Smell is piney hops, not overpowering

More pine on the taste, some citrus, its pretty thick, syrupy, smooth. Its hoppy, but not crushingly so, pretty balanced.

Best ipa from Belgium that I have tried so far.

Photo of mdagnew
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle bought from Beermerchants.com

Poured a dark orange colour with a slight haze... White head poured big, thick and foamy and faded slowly to good thick layer... lots of sticky clingy lacing...

Aroma - Tart fruits to the fore (lemons, limes, grapefruits, sour apples) followed by piney hops, light honey sweetness, nice toastiness, grassy notes, earthy, light biscuit malts, some traces of basil and light coriander, the faintest hint of Belgian yeastiness, some floral traces...

Taste - Strong grapefruit and pine hop bitterness, lots of citrus notes, hint of orange and some apricot, quite grassy, faint sugary sweetness, peppery, quite herbal and earthy, fairly floral, alcohol just coming through at the end..

Feel - Quite sharp and dry. Light body. Very refreshing and drinkable - dangerously so at 8.0%..

Overall - An excellent Belgian take on the DIPA !! Highly recommended !!

Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Burnt copper colored beer with a bit of a foam head that dissipated to a little bit of lace and stick on the sides.

S - Some citrus and fruity hops as well as some earth and pine notes. A little bit of caramel backbone with some barnyard funk and yeast.

T - Burnt sugar and caramel malts, some ethery yeast, spice and herbal/earthy hops. Not my favorite style, but this isn't bad at all.

M - Medium bodied, dry finish, moderate carbonation.

O - A pretty nice beer, enjoyed drinking it. Tastes more like a Belgian DIPA though. If nothing else, it's a pretty Belgian take on a DIPA.

Photo of Samuel906
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks great, pours a dark copper with huge fluffy head that clings to the glass. This beer has a huge aroma too, very hoppy with caramel, lemon, honey and basil. Smells very good, crisp and clean. Taste follow suit; lots of sour fruits and hops. Citrus and apples, some banana, a little peppery spice, piney hop resin. Very dry, with some mild honey sweetness. Feels crisp and refreshing, and flavors really coat your mouth. Good carbonation. Pretty strong beer all around, strong flavors and terrific smell. Looking forward to trying some other beers from Vivien.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 5/26/2016. Pours very hazy/cloudy reddish orange color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, pepper, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops, spicy yeast, and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, lemon zest, orange peel, pepper, pine, caramel, toasted bread, floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of piney bitterness and peppery yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, pepper, pine, caramel, toasted bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of citrus/tropical hops, spicy yeast, and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately crisp/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian DIPA style. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of citrus/tropical hops, spicy yeast, and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival bottle shop.

Body is a light amber. Poured to a half inch head, has good head retention and leaves lots of lacing.

Smells of light malts, and fruity, floral hops. Very aromatic. I am enjoying the smell of sweet malt and green floral hops. Has a very nice expression of wet hay. There is also some banana/tropical fruit from the belgian yeast.

Tastes of sweet malt, candi sugar, and aromatic hops. Nicely mellow with the hops, but more than one would expect from a belgian IPA.

Body is medium and the carbonation is enough to give this a delicious, creamy mouthfeel.

This beer is a very good Belgian IPA.

Photo of bark
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The colour is brown-orange (25 EBC), the liquid is clear (there is some yeast in the bottle). The enormous head is airy and beige topped with a grand crater; it sinks slowly leaving lots of thick lacing.

The smell is hoppy with lots of grape fruits, bitter oranges, green pants, biscuits and crackers. Some flowers and green trees. Hints of red apples, cream candy and metal.

The taste is bitter with lots of citric and exotic fruits. Thick sweet notes of orange juice lemon peels and bitter oranges. The sweetness got notes of caramel, fruit drops and biscuits. Medium body. The aftertaste is a bit salt with more of the fruity notes, biscuits and dry smooth bitterness. The finish is balanced with some hints of alcohol.

The carbonation is smooth with few mid-sized bubbles, the liquid is sticky.

This beer is at least 6 months old. I guess that the bitterness was more powerful and distinct when it was fresh. But it is not at all a bad or completely tired beer today.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark orange color with tints of red, cloudy, and a very nicely formed two finger head that's an off white/tan color.

S - The aroma is a little weak, bready caramel malt, oranges with a little tang, and slight alcohol. Everything blends together nicely but wish it were stronger in aroma.

T - No surprises here, bready Belgian yeast underneath a tangy orange citrus layer mixed in with some peppery spice, the finish starts semi-dry and builds into a nearly "bone dry finish" with nice citrus and pine bite that settles on the tongue and sticks around for several minutes afterwards.

M - Medium body with gentle bubbles. The acidic part of the orange is tart enough to make the mouth water under the tongue and at the back while the front is super dry. The citrus orange aftertaste is really nice.

O - A nice interpretation from a Belgian brewer. My very first sip was smacked with bitterness on the tail end but once I got 1/4 through everything adjusted to give it some balance. Enjoyable and a nice find, happened to see it on the shelf at my local bottle shop and anything labeled "Imperial IPA" will always catch my attention.

Photo of richmof
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is as good an IPA as I've drunk and certainly as good as other Belgian beers that are brewed in an IPA style. Interestingly, it is a Belgian beer that actually uses the name IPA (traditionally Belgian brewers have avoided hat-tips to anglo-saxon beer culture).

Pours a deep amber into my Brasserie de la Senne tulip with a creamy two fingered head that laces nicely.

So good on the nose I almost wanted to inhale the whole beer. Added to the typical earthy, herby IPA smells is a deep caramel - yum.

On the palate it opens up with the fruity citrusiness of the amarillo hops coming through - not just limes but also orange peel. It also has a nice herby, earthy hoppiness that you would expect from an IPA. The caramel from the nose doesn't seem to follow through though.

It has a nice, balanced effervescence and is (as other reviewers have said) dangerously drinkable at 8%.

Well done Viven. I can't wait to try the porter, which is supposed to be excellent. The blonde is also very good.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Solid sandy head that craters over glowing orange body.
Straight up hop pellet nose - green, resin, flower - stunningly fresh.
A bit of apricot on crispbread then piney, sappy, orangey hops.
Pink grapefruit zest finish and undulating waves of bitterness on the linger.
Medium, well chewy, oily.

American (CTZ and Simcoe) hops delivered with aplomb: proper IBUs, loads of citrus, and just enough malt. Some reviews here say it's got a Belgian signature; I can't see that - it could be from Cali. Especially resonant; flavors just don't give up.

"Jackie Chan in your mouth" sez Mark C.

Photo of GJ40
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at the Bruges Beer Festival 2015.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks quite cloudy on the pour, and very amber. Tight malty and hoppy nose. Flavor is super hoppy with a lot of meaty tones of an earthy nature going on. This is actually pretty good, though it lacks subtle character, but it has a nice full body. Nice to see this style done properly coming out of Belgium.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Birthday gift from @LaitueGonflable, purchased at Warners on the Bay.

Pours a really gorgeous, red-hued, deep orange colour, with a huge and frothy head of very pale yellow, almost as though it's flecked with orange. Lacing is patchy, but solid. Carbonation and body are fine. Looks great.

Nose is wonderfully hoppy, with classic citrus and fruit notes from American hop varieties. Crisp, fragrant rubbed orange skin, crushed greenery, and a bit of pepper spice. Just lovely, very strong, very classic.

Taste is clean and bitter, with a slickness to the palate, but not a huge amount of body. Good fresh juicy hop bitterness persists throughout the palate, leaving a clean and refreshing bite. Just enough malt to balance... almost. The hops do dominate a little too much, but I'd rather it err that way in an IPA.

Great American style from a Belgian brewer. I'm tempted to say this is more of a single than a double IPA, but it's still a cracking American example. This is no hopped-up Tripel, or Belgian-American hybrid. This is the Belgians telling America not to forget who were the brewing masters for centuries.

"Anything you can do, we can do too."

Photo of beergoot
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The body appears a cloudy, orange-amber body with a lasting, thick, chunky, sticky head (4.0). Malt grain aroma with a stale orange aroma (4.0). Malty, fruity, bitter flavors - well-mixed together (3.75). Medium-heavy body; thick yet smooth; semi-dry finish (3.75).

A fine IIPA with a big dried citrus fruit character backed with a solid malt backbone and sweetness. Deep and complex yet very approachable, fans of big malt-forward beers and well-balanced hop bitterness should appreciate this offering.

Photo of tbeckett
2.94/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from ABS Drinks outside Brussels. From notes. Split with a friend.

A - Dark copper with no visible carbonation. Slightly hazy with a thin cap of beige head.

S - Citrus and grapefruit with a tingly note or pineapple.

T - Citrus and bread. Pineapple is obvious.

M - Medium carbonation with a full body and not overly bitter.

O/D - Underwhelming. Not a hop bomb at all. Not overly hoppy but not bad. Not what I expected and just not all that great.

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Viven Imperial IPA from Brouwerij Van Viven
89 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.