Viven Imperial IPA | Brouwerij Van Viven

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Viven Imperial IPAViven Imperial IPA
BA SCORE
3.99/5
Very Good
Viven Imperial IPAViven Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Viven
Belgium
viven.be

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
54
Ratings:
207
pDev:
9.52%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
45
Trade:
0
 
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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 207
Photo of woodychandler
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ah, the approach to Christmas. I haven't anyone to celebrate it with & school had its last day on 21 December, so I have over two weeks free to drink & review beers. It sounds nice until you realize that I am paid per diem, so if I am not working, I am not getting paid. 8=( It makes it easier to drink beer, though.

From the bottle: "The art of Flemish brewing - L'art de brassage flamand - Vlaamse brouwkunst".

I am always amused by what comes out of a Belgian bottle & it begins with a Pop! of the cap. I was extremely gentle with my pour since the Belgians pride themselves on playing with their yeast & who knows what might be lurking in this mystery bottle. Once sufficiently decanted, I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl that raised nearly three fingers of foamy, rocky, light-tan head that threatened to overrise the lip of the glass before suddenly exhaling and falling away, leaving a mess of sticky lacing in its wake. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose did not smell like a DIPA! Instead, it smelled like a stack of musty newspapers discovered in the attic after the death of a loved one. Still, I love the unexpectedness that often accompanies a Belgian beer. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, very light for this style. The taste reminded me of a fruitcake with a slightly tart fruitiness and a pronounced breadiness. How odd! Finish was dry, thanks to the action of the yeast, but there was no way that I would have identified this as a DIPA had it not been for the label. This was a strange little duck, IMHO. YMMV.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Playing A Foretold Affair. Very pleasant floral notes, with caramel. Abv well hidden. Nice feel. Its only downside is the lots of foam it generates

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz bottle. Has a dark chestnut color with a 1/2 inch head and some floaties. Smell is of dark fruits. Taste is dark fruits, malts, some pine, alcohol is present. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, not really what I consider a DIPA, but a pretty good beer.

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Photo of mbunje
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Preface: I am a west coast IPA kinda guy. Though Inlike Blondes and Trippels.

This smelled very true: Belgian mealtimes and hops.

But after that, the biscuity malt and sweetness was too much. The Hops were not upfront enough and there was no bitterness.

I admire the attempt, but this came off as a stale (Hops have died) double IPA. Not distinctly Belgian and not distinctly IPA.

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Photo of beerdealer
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A beer, that brings out the best of Belgium brewing culture and combines it with the best of American beer culture. This Imperial IPA has great taste as well as a very good look. It starts with an interesting label, and continues with a great look, when you fill your Viven glass.

This great feeling from the start is even better if you visit the brewery, where the café area supplement the look of the labels - this is a complete brewery - from brewing to drinking the beer in the great surroundings in Sijsele.

When you put your nose over the glass, you know that you have found a great IPA - Enjoy it - Feel how you can have the best of Belgium as well as the best of America.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is biscuit malts, spices and pine/citrus. The flavor is citrus/fruit, malts, slightly dirty in the middle, grapefruit and a spicy/warming alcohol finish.

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Yard House in Cincinnati. Its an Imperial from Belgium. That is all that needs to be said. All the expected qualities are here. Enjoy!

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Photo of jlindros
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tap at yard house in San Jose

Big creamy rich head, thick and frothy fades slowly, nice lacing, murky mahogany orange brown color.

Nose nice sweet Belgian candy malt, candi sugar, mild toasted biscuit and fig date fruit, mild grassy floral hop and touch of citrus.

Taste brings more of the sweet candy malt, toasted brown Belgian malt, sweet brown sugar and candi sugar, touch biscuit, mild baking spices and fruity esters, fig, candied dates, then some grassy spicy hops, not super bitter, little fruity hop and hint of citrus on the back end. Finish little sticky, just a hint of booze warmth, lingering candi sugar but drier, fair bitterness, bit more grassy and orange zest hop.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, decent carb, very little booze warmth.

Overall quite nice, great Belgian ale flavors with hops that actually blended quite well.

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Photo of MoohMooh
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark amber, unfiltered, with a thick head, lots of lacing. It changes a lot as it warms up: smell goes from woody and cellary, with alcohol and a hint of banana, to a more classic citrusy smell -- although there's also coffee in there to spice things up. Taste is sweet chocolatey malts and bread; hops are a bit subdued and mostly in the aftertaste. It's quite bitter and spicy. Body is dry and light, with medium carbonation -- it's extremely drinkable.

A surprising brew -- very different from what you'd expect from a double IPA, it uses malt much more than hops.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

While more interesting than great, Viven IIPA's was worth a second try and probably a third.
As a malt-head, I probably am in the bottom quintile (20%) of IIPA fans. Usually... I like the malts, but the hops win.

Not so with Viven's. The hops and malt fight to a draw... or at least they politely settle the matter.
Looks do not promise compromise. They start average, but large globules floating in the amber concern me.
Smells give me 2/3 malt and 1/3 hops, mostly fruity ... and I suspect some Belgian yeast is at work bringing out the malts.
Tastes have a nice interplay of malts and hops... but the mid-palate balance finishes and I get too much bitterness as I approach the bottle's end. So, I have some Indian leftovers and all is good. (I prefer Indian spices over bitter hops.)

OA: I gotta love what this yeast does to this malt. I'll have third, but probably not this decade.

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Photo of rand
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Small Bar SD, into a chalice.

One of the more unusual looking IPA's you'll come across - mahogany-leather and completely opaque, with almost no head or lacing.

And because of a nearly complete lack of carbonation, the nose is subdued. You've really got to get in there and suck it in to parse the aromas. Sweetbread malts at the front of the bouquet, nutty with tones of honey. Hops are floral, wet. None of the dank, citrusy aspects typical of stateside pales are present, but the brew has a generally pleasant bouquet.

On the palate, the homage to American IPA's comes through, with hop-forward, slightly bitter flavors. Floral, lemony and candied, with subtle hints of spice and oak.

Medium complexion with almost no carbonation, like cask ale

One of the more unique IPA's I've had. Reminds me of a chef tasting something in which they haven't a clue as to the actual ingredients, but able to replicate through their own creative path.

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Photo of stevoj
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Yard House-Springfield . Ending an evening of VA tastings with a Belgian. Saved for last. Murky medium amber pour, with soft off white head. Sweetish nose recalls honey and jelly. Taste is oft and welcoming, sweet, minor bitterness, honey, preserves. Silky smooth and creamy. Just what the doctor ordered. Fare thee well, Virginia.

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Photo of Durge
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very unique overall. A rusty cloudy appearance with a fair off white cover and superb blanket of lacing. The head holds and the stone offers a deep caramel malt with a slightly mentholated pine hop. The flavor jumps out with more minty herbal hops and mango fruitiness. Hints of cloves and light licorice. The feel is fairly bright and crisp with medium light body but maybe a tad watery. Enjoyable as a very different take on the DIPA.

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Photo of EMV
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at the Yard House, Las Vegas. Poured into a goblet.

L: Pours a hazy dark golden color. Two fingers of off-white head... sticky lacing.

S: Toasted malts and herbal hops. Slightly spicy. Citrus notes.

T/F: Great big malts up front... faintly toasted, and giving way to a very smooth hop profile. Citrus and spice... complex, and just awesome as it started to warm. Medium carbonation.... and finishes dry.

O: This is an awesome beer... and the best way I can describe it is the Belgian take on Stone's 'Arrogant Bastard', and to me it drank more like a hoppy strong ale than an IPA. Similar flavor profile to 'Bastard' but smoother. Loved this one.

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Photo of chinchill
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Yard House in Atlanta.
Clear, orange amber body with a very good head and good lacing.

Aroma is hoppy and fruity with citrus, other but fainter tropical fruits, and caramel.

The flavor is also fruity but not hoppy by American IPA standards. Drinks like an AmericanPale Ale that's loaded with caramel malt and made with some Belgian yeast. Not a bad thing.blends

Feel medium plus body with medium ight carbonation.

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Photo of puck1225
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter. A cloudy brown-orange with a thin head but nice lacing. Citrus and herbal smell. Earthy and woodsy taste, with oranges and vanilla, not too bitter. Slightly tart and not overly sweet or boozy. This beer was a nice experience!

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Photo of troyvar
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Unfiltered, red/orange color. Nice head with some lacing on my beer glass. Fruit taste, nectarine and citrus. Creamy mouth with good cabonation, as for the abv, didn't even notice.

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Photo of drmeto
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L:
-pours a cloudy red-orange with a big,frothy,offwhite head
-low carbonation visible
S:
-passionfruit,peach,pineapple,caramel,strawberries,grapefruit,mango,slight farty off-smell
T:
-peach,resin,caramel,toffee,pine,grapefruit
-finishes dry
F:
-medium carbonation
-medium body
-faint alcohol warmth
O:
Really good belgian take on a West Coast DIPA

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of Wanne
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

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Photo of beergoot
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle. Dark copper pour, hazy and with a lot of sedimentation visible. Tall off-white head. Notes of pineapple, passion fruit, copper, caramel and sugar, yeast, subtle farmhouse funk and some pine resin. Medium body and carbonation with a hop bitter finish.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at flying saucer on 4/7/14 in tulip

A-Pours orange with a nice dense head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma is a lot of simcoe, some blood orange, some tangerine, a lot of citrus, and grass.

T-Taste follows the aroma but gets better as time passes.

M-Mouthfeel has a thin slick palate with faint background carbonation. Well balance of hops and malt.

O-Overall great beer would love to have in the summer very smooth.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark orange/caramel pour, one finger sturdy head, sticky.
Great American hop smell, with citrus, faint tropical fruit and pine, balanced with caramel malts.
Really tasty and fresh fruity hops: oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, pineapple, faint passion fruit. A quick flash of sweet caramel malts, then big herbal notes, with spruce, pine resin and green hay. A nice Belgian yeasty feel separates it from other IPAs, with a certain chunkiness and some nice fermentation sugars. Strong bitter finish.
Medium body and carbonation, lots of citric zestiness. Great hops in the aftertaste.
The amount of hops added in this one rivals with many American counterparts, and surpasses most of them. Keeps enough Belgian ale elements too. Very drinkable and tasty, tho a tiny bit too straightforward.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Bières & Chopes, and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : dark orange color, with tan foamy head (w nice lacing).
Smell : hoppy and grassy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : floral and hoppy flavors, with a bitter long duration
Overall : a nice beer in the style Imperial IPA.

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Viven Imperial IPA from Brouwerij Van Viven
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 207 ratings