Celia Saison | Ipswich Ale Brewery

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Celia SaisonCelia Saison

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by grub on 06-14-2010

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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 246
Photo of grub
4.28/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at the brewpub may 31/2010. a gluten-free saison made with sorghum. 5.4% and 30 IBU.

pours crystal clear deep yellow with a big fluffy white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves lots of chunky lace as it falls.

aroma is good. honey and a bit of caramel. a nice blend of spice with no one element really jumping out. nice floral edge that never gets perfumey. hint of alcohol. white bread and cracker. touch of light orangey citrus.

taste is great. much like the aroma with a touch of caramel sweetness. you'd never pick it out as being gluten-free.

mouthfeel is great. medium body with a fairly dry finish. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance, leaning just a bit toward sweetness. nice depth and complexity. a win even if you like gluten, and a huge win if not.

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Photo of jermar
4.23/5  rDev +30.2%
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.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.17/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper body beneath he vanilla colored head packed loosely with foamy bubbles of carbonation which patiently froth away to faint traces of lacing.

Pleasant aromas of pepper, coriander and fruity zest float from the glass.

The flavor also offers hints of pepper but is more focused on yeast and lightly tart fruit like green apples in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium in body with generous carbonation and Drying champagne like finish.

Certainly not a mirror of some of the style staples like Hennepin but certainly an excellent example and the shift towards a drying tart finish is nice.

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Photo of cbutova
4.07/5  rDev +25.2%
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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Alchemist in Waterbury, VT. Served in a pint.

Look: hazy amber body with a thin, off white layer of foam at the top. Good retention and excellent lacing. A bit darker than I am used to from Saisons but still looks good.

Smell: some sweetness, maybe that's from the sorghum. Lightly hopped with floral hops and bits of Belgian yeast inspired aromas. Smells pretty good.

Taste: follows the nose nicely. Floral hops, Belgian yeast, and bits of apple. Good.

Feel: a bit thick for a saison but still on the thin side. Crisply carbonated and easy drinking.

Drink: could easily be sessioned.

So this is what a gluten free beer tastes like. Interesting. I liked this one but I don't think it was the best offering by the Alchemist. Still, beats the pants off of most other beers in the world. I would certainly recommend it... once you've had everything else on the menu! Cheers!

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the brewery this gluten free beer made from Sorghum was a dark, golden color with one-finger of off-white head. The retention was good and the lacing in sliding patches. The aroma was a pleasant blend of caramel malt, bready malt, grassy hops and floral notes. The flavors were quite tasty for a gluten free beer. Clearly it was not traditional malt but it wasn't overly tart or sour as many Sorghum beers can be. The alcohol was well concealed and the Sorghum came off as citrus and floral hops. The mouthfeel was good, the body light and the carbonation good.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

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Photo of aasher
3.97/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.85/5  rDev +18.5%
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!

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Photo of Jayli
3.85/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear amber/golden, huge and creamy looking white head forms, very thick, settles down to a very thick layer, tons of lace sticks on the glass, this looks good, very bright.

Smell is neat, sweet and perfumey, honey, some floral, oranges, apples, strawberry, grapes, lavender, a bit of caramel, lightly spicy, very neat nose.

Taste is neat too, lots of floral and perfume, apple juice, very fruity, apricot and honey, lavender, white grapes, orange peel, a bit of spice, some caramel, pears, interesting but the apple character isn't my favourite.

Mouthfeel is very light bodied with medium carbonation. The nose is great, flavour is interesting, but definitely the best gluten free beer I've ever had.

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Photo of mocktm
3.8/5  rDev +16.9%
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...

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Photo of Brad007
3.78/5  rDev +16.3%
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!

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Photo of Amalak
3.75/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.75/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.75/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.74/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of davey101
3.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll preface this by saying that I have tried quite a few gluten free beers on the market. Green's, Bards, Red Bridge, New Planet, T'weason'ale, New Grist, Daura, etc. This is the best one I have tried hands down. As a gluten free beer its excellent. As a saison...well....its average.

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Contract brewed in Ipswich, MA. Fancy! The label is lacking the words "Gluten Free" as well as the required nutritional facts.

A - Hazy burnt orange body with a very thin edging of bone-white foam. Lacing is on the thin side. The head is almost non-existent, but the beer itself looks amazing.

S - An odd, but somewhat pleasant aroma that is also hard to describe. It smells almost wheaty, but there obviously isn't any grain in here. Its somewhat grassy and sweet, almost syrupy. Finishes lightly spicy with a touch of dried orange peel.

T - Very neutral. The strong sorghum spice that I normally associate with gluten free beers is missing. Instead its a boring take on a saison. Sweet grass, light coriander, black pepper and orange peel. Finish is cereal like. Its tasty though. Mouth feel is probably a bit on the thin side but its very well carbonated. Drinkability is high.

O - Well it certainly can't compete with a beer like Fantome, but when compared against other gluten free beers its a clear winner. The sorghum is barely present and it has a nice and refreshing flavor with some light spice and sweetness. Very well made beer.

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Photo of trentbent
3.72/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.7/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

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Photo of Buckettt
3.68/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.67/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a stemmed-pilsner, the beer is a slightly pale, copper coloring, with a steady flow of carbonation and a sparse splash of filmy surface bubbling. Aromas of clove, nutmeg, coriander, subtle citrus notes, and some plum and date. Surprisingly heavy nose. Flavors are tangy sweet forward, with a citrus overlay on an old world fruit backbone of date and fig. Spice blend of clove, nutmeg, and coriander, pulling the focus of the palate in their direction. The body is robust and full, with a effervesced edge undercutting slightly. The aftertaste is old-world fruit and spice blended nicely, into a crisp, thin, clean finish. Pretty full and robust take on the style.

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Photo of Dope
3.67/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Celia Saison from Ipswich Ale Brewery
3.25 out of 5 based on 246 ratings.
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