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Viven Imperial IPA | Brouwerij Van Viven

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Viven Imperial IPAViven Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Viven

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 06-24-2010

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 179
Photo of jlindros
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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 +11.7%
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 rand
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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 -3.7%
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 +1%
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 +6.5%
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 -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Yardhouse.
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 +0.7%
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 +2.5%
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 +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
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 -3.7%
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 reebtaerG
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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 +4.5%
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 -0.7%
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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Photo of RuudJH
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.27/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours warm amber with a generous thick and quite tall off-white head. Slowly the head settles, leaving nice lacings.

S: Caramell malt, sweet. Lots of bitter hops and quite some floral as well, very American; tropical citric fruits together with pine.

T: Bitter hops galore. Caramell malt, somewhat sweet. Lots of tropical fruits, pineapple, grapefruit and oranges, even some lemon sezt.

M: Long bitter aftertaste. Smooth medium full body and low carbonation.

O: A nice, well balanced DIPA, but not too American - still there is a Belgian vibe to it.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of bark
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Perfume-like aromatics with citrus and pine notes. Light caramel and bread in the background. Smells big.

Appearance: A ruddy brick red pour with aggressive effervescence forming a thick and sudsy off-white cap.

Flavor: Prickly candied orange sweetness up front, moderate earthy hop bitterness, and a touch of lingering caramel sweetness. Hints of orange juice and lemon zest well knit into the malt character. Balance is firmly bitter. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Hop derived astringency and no alcohol heat (surprising given the aroma).

Overall impression: Blurring the boundary b/t American Barleywine, American Amber, and Double IPA. It hangs out in a space that has characteristics of all three. Regardless, I put it in the "delicious" style category and wish I had more.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33 cL bottle,

A: Pours burnt orange with a medium white head, nice thick lace. Good head retention.

S: Sweet orange and some Calimyrna figs. Some noticable malt and peppery yeast esters. Mild squash and pine notes.

T: Hop heavy, big pine with a hint of iron on the back end. Candied oranges midway through. Very yeasty throughout, hoppy for sure, but this is distinctly Belgian. Has some minor ethanol flavour, but it melds well with the beer; I don't find it a flaw.

M: Medium to full-bodied, frothy soft carbonation, lightly metallic, minerally, rustic, moderate hoppy aftertaste.

O: These new hoppy beers coming out of Belgium always have that Belgian hallmark to let you know exactly where they're from, and this one is no different. Well made, interesting, not too expensive (of course that is relative to the country).

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Viven Imperial IPA from Brouwerij Van Viven
4.03 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
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