Zaison Imperial Saison Ale - Brewery Vivant

Not Rated.
Zaison Imperial Saison AleZaison Imperial Saison Ale

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BA SCORE
82
good

152 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 152
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MichPaul on 05-12-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 152 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.3/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my parents for picking up this can. Pours a golden-orange color with a good white head and some lacing. The nose carries some peppercorn and a bit of citrus. Some alcohol present. Earthy as well. A bit too mixed and muddled. Flavor has spice and citrus. Again, too much going on without being integrated. Medium body with spice and some alcohol.

Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Gold white color with light white head. Orange/light toast nose. Very big and bold flavors but not pleasing - sour in a weird "not supposed to be sour" kind of way. Tastes like spoiled oranges. No need to try again.

Photo of TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Shit, we can barely pronounce this style properly, now these guys wanna go and alter the spelling here? We're screwed... Anyway, this stuff pours a cloudy sunset golden-auburn topped by over a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises banana peel, orange peel, black pepper, and plenty of white grape skin. The taste brings in more of the same, with less banana and a a strong vein of caramel and sweet biscuit. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, I found this stuff to be too sweet and too, well, boring for its own good, coming across more like a mildly Belgian-inspired amber ale than a saison. Sadly, another letdown from the former shining light of Vivant.

Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tallboy can with no freshness date.

LOOK: Bright golden, lacing on the glass, thin head

SMELL: Agave, peppercorns, citrus peel, quince paste, tartness, herbal, alcohol, poppy seeds, crackers, yeast

TASTE: Slick, crisp, tart, bitter, peppery, faint fusel, citrus peel, earthy, phenolic, herbal, nutty yeast, pineapple, applebutter, broth, peppery drying finish

Very bold and does not wait around to take over my palate. Peppercorn is a the perfect level though it too more than a few sips for this one to turn around, thankfully it did and ends up being pretty good.

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of woodychandler
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

If you are ever in the Chicagoland and CAN get to one of their locations, Binney's Liquors remains a CANQuest (TM) source nonpareil! This was a recent score.

From the CAN: "Special Limited Release"; "Freshly Brewed in Michigan"; "Imperial Saison Ale Beer brewed with tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel"; "WHY USE CANS? We set out to build a sustainable brewery and found through our research that cans are a better option than bottles. Cans are much lighter in weight, contain more recycled content, are able to be up-cycled, and use less energy to produce. The canning line also has a much smaller footprint than a bottling line. If this was not enough, cans provide better protection from flavor degenerating oxygen and hop flavor robbing sunlight. This is the best package we can provide to bring our beer to you, tasting the way the brewer intended it. Enjoy."; "IMPERIAL SAISON ALE Zaison takes its name from the famous Saison style of beer made in the southern rgion of Belgium. Traditionally this beer is made in the coolness of the winter months to be enjoyed in the Spring and Summer. Our interpretation uses a special yeast strain that gives this beer a little funkiness and is accented with tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel."; "COMPLIMENTARY FOODS Barbecue, curried mussels, hard salumi, farm cheeses or aged gouda."; "GLASSWARE A tulip glass provides the right shape to capture the spicy aromas and maintain a rich head on the beer."

My Crack once again revealed a brimful CAN that gave us a mild spritz and caused me to again await some settling. The Glug produced two fingers of bone-white head with decent retention. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality and King Midas, Croesus and Mammon all suddenly appeared to begin fighting for a taste. Up those guys! The Old Lady and I had drinking to do! Mouthfeel was medium, approaching full and the taste had a tartness to it that I was not really expecting. The CAN mentioned "tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel" so it may have been the CANbination of the two or their interaction with the yeast, but this was odd in terms of taste. Finish was dry and it was here that the peppercorns really came into vogue. I would have said something about black pepper anyway, but since they cop to it, who would I be to disagree?

Photo of ppoitras
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz can received via Growling at the Moon from Stonequarrywest. Thanks for the brew, Gabe!

Poured into an imperial pint with a 3/4" blonde head over the cloudy golden brew. Head dwindles gradually, with thick coating lace. Aroma is tart with spices.

Taste starts spicy, comes on strong in the middle with the sour grapes, which carry through the close, where the spicing tries to overcome, but cannot. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, if you can ignore the tartness, and drinkability is ok. Would make for an ok thirst-quencher, but the abv isn't agreeing too well with that idea. Not what I was really expecting.

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of liamt07
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can from the brewery. Alcohol content and can label matches this listing as opposed to the other "Super" Saison. Into a tulip. An imperial saison with tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel.

Unfiltered orange body with a finger and a bit of white head. Light retention but good lacing. Not a whole bunch stands out in the nose, some citrus peel, a bit of yeast, subtle wheat and grains with a hint of spice. Taste has more prominent orange peel character, citrus and some orange juice 'pulpiness.' Alcohol, wheat and finishes spicy and yeasty. Fairly big body, substantial density. Moderate effervescence. Simple and fruity, but doesn't hold a candle to Avec les Bon Voeux in terms of an imperial saison. Still good however.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz can picked up at Oades... Pours hazed dark golden... short lasting white head leaves no lacing.

Nose is slightly spicy.. tons of fruit that reminds me of overripe apples.. dried apricots... and rotting peaches.

Flavor is heavy fruitiness... peppercorns come out swinging a bit mid palate but are KO by the fruity esters... tastes like apricot nectar with a metallic twinge... sweet and not "malty", just sweet..

Carbonation is too light... body is entirely too heavy... not "too heavy for a saison", just too heavy in general... Thankfully, I had a good fella to share this with or it would have been 8oz down the drain... Sorry... This needs a TON of work. Not even close to a Saison... Sorry.

All 3's and that is generous.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can opened on 5.8.14

A - Pours a cloudy medium orange with a large light tan head that fades slowly.

S - Saison yeast, citrus orange, peppery.

T - Very orange and bright, a hint of pepper in the finish.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Light and very orange heavy. Good stuff.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Can to Duvel tulip.

A - Cloudy orange/yellow colour. One finger of off-white head that reduced to a film on top of the beer.

S - Big grassy aroma up front with a sweet bready malt backbone that has a touch of caramel coming through as well.

T - Fairly big tartness up front that was unexpected but settles down after a few sips. A fairly prominent hop bitterness is present with some grassy, herbal and floral flavours. The malt backbone is fairly prominent as well, adding some sweet caramel and bready notes.

M - Medium body with a fairly big chew. Light carbonation.

O - This one is a touch strange but interesting in its own way.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

16 ounce can thanks to Trent!

It pours a hazy straw colour and brings a 1 finger head of foam. Lacing aplenty.

My, I sure can smell the orange peel. Other spices, but no real funk showing up for me.

Orange way up front in the taste too. It seems to bring some sweet and tart notes unless something else is doing the former or latter. A bit of pepper starts to show up after my 3rd sip. Tellicherry black peppercorns? Okay, I had to google that. Imparts floral and cherry flavours. 'splains a lot!

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, it starts of with the orange and finishes with it. There's not much heat from the alcohol or the peppercorns. It isn't the easiest brew to drink but it's enjoyable. I guess, my bottom line is...do "we" have to imperialize every style?

Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a light copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell has some spice, funky, a bit different. Taste is yeast, oranges, spices, alcohol is present, balanced and tasty. Feels ,medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a unique and solid beer.

Photo of aasher
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was courtesy of a coworker, thanks Will!

This beer pours a light bodied, very cloudy bright gold in color with a one finger bright white head. The nose smells of slightly sweet creamed corn, bitter citrus peel, and citrusy Belgian yeast character. The nose wasn't what I expected. The corn aspect threw me for a loop. The flavors feature slightly sweet pale malt, light Belgian yeast, citrus, an odd creamed corn character, and perhaps some grainy notes. It's different. There is a touch of alcohol in the flavors as well. It drinks light and is relatively easy to drink. Despite the odd nose and flavor it isn't off putting, it just means it isn't necessarily traditional and I wouldn't really recommend trying it. It's ok.

Photo of tectactoe
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a hint of orange. Hazy, with a nice-sized white head. No lacing to speak of. The nose is full of wheat, orange zest, lemon peels, herbal spiced tea. The taste hits with background notes of banana and clove, along with nice warming alcohol. Peppery spices, lemon herbs, and pineapple really come through about halfway into the sip. The aftertaste leaves the palette with a slightly bready and sweet malty flavor with a touch of bitterness and sweet fruity esters. Slight hint of floral notes in the background, but hard to notice. Medium body with sharp carbonation.

My first saison. Tasty brew here, although it's hard to compare to other saisons since this is my first one. Based off of this one, the Belgian style is noticeable, but I would prefer a Belgian strong ale or dubel/tripel over this type.

Photo of Durge
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Cold from the one pint can this brew is a clear golden hue with a fair white cover that breaks up quickly and leaves just a scant trace of lacing. The aroma has a distinct apple cider/vinegar, tart with a hint of straw wheat. Not much else. The flavor again hits me with a very tart apple and wheat blend, almost more of a sour rhubarb deal with a little alcohol along the lines of lime gin. If I think "sour" it works better but thinking it's saison on steroids isn't so terrific to me. It finishes with too much booze and loses any of the grainy goodness I associate with great saisons. It has a medium-light body and a somewhat slick watery feel despite a prickly carbonation. Disappointment to me but maybe it's just over my head.

Photo of enelson
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of barnzy78
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16oz can, a copper colored ale with a bubbly, white head, loads of carbonation to keep the head afloat. Bready and yeasty aroma with orange and booze. At initial sip, it's boozy and hot, with orange rind, bready malt, yeast, peppery, and fruity. Full bodied, but not how I want a saison, plenty of carbonation only makes it feel fuller - too full. I get where they were going with this - a huge saison, but it's too bold. One and done here. I wouldn't get this again.

Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of tommy5
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

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Zaison Imperial Saison Ale from Brewery Vivant
82 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.