Zaison Imperial Saison Ale | Brewery Vivant

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BA SCORE
81
good
43 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
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Zaison Imperial Saison AleZaison Imperial Saison Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MichPaul on 05-12-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
183
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
32.68%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 183
Photo of beersabound
1.64/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer had a massive amount of sweet white grape flavor which was not pleasant. This characteristic also made the beer seem much sweeter than most saisons. I was pretty fired up to try this beer. It had a decent head, was clear and looked nice in the glass. Overall, though, this is not a tasty beer. :(

 306 characters

Photo of pschul4
2/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Leaving it in the can because whalesbro

S- Interesting nose. Sweet notes, alcoho notes, malt in there a little bit, sour and funk a little too

T- I hate to say it but this is BAD. I might pour it out to see if that helps it at all but at the moment this is going to be drain poured. Abrasive vegital sour note that overtakes all else

___

Okay start over, pouring this into my Great Lakes snifter (numeric score reflects this time around)

A- Pours a slightly dark orange with a white head that completely dissapears

S- Nose s te same, maybe a bit more pungent

T- Improved over drinking from the can but still not good. More vegital notes with some sweetness and funk flavors. Something is really wrong here though

M- Totally still, no carbonation whatsoever

O- Maybe this was a bad can but this really sucked.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.32/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of aasher
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of dfillius
3.15/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass
A: Gentle pour yields 1/2 finger of tight off-white head with so-so retention. Hazy orange-gold looks like a beautiful IPA. More head please, as it is non-existent after 30 seconds.
S: Orange peel. Slight earthiness. Slightly cheesy. Pleasant but not complex.
T: Alcohol is a bit overpowering. Orange peel is a bit heavy too. Peppercorns are apparent but unfortunately overpowered. Decent but too warm and imbalanced. Tastes more like a cocktail or a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
M: Very sweet finish, I'd like it to be drier for a saison. A tad cloying. Strong on ethanol, but not boozy.
O: Would not buy again and would not order another. Won't finish this pint probably. Just too alcohol forward and sweet.

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Photo of zachary80
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16oz Brewer's Reserve Zaison: Imperial saison ale. Beer brewed with Tellicherry black peppercorns and orange peel.

Light golden body with small white head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is a faint blend yeast and lemon juice. Hint of the peppercorn.

The flavor has a cirtusey bite to it that dominates its taste. It isn't unpleasant, just one note.

Mouthfeel is heavy for a saison, but expected for an imperial.

Zaison is better than I expected from an imperial saison, but loses some of the complexity of the style to the almost overwhelming citrus overtones.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.26/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled pounder into a pint glass. I like how the can actually has a label on it. Not mind blowing, just something I haven't seen before and logical for a craft brewery. No visible freshness info.

Look- Hazy honey/light amber with a finger and a half of effervescent off-white foam. Just a few streaks of lace left by the time the glass empties.

Smell- Light toast, apple cider, apricot preserves, white pepper. Maybe some white raisin or grape juice. Jamlike sweetness, tart aroma similar to pulverized raspberry.

Taste- Flowery, light honey and lemon pith. Yeasty savory spice on the swallow. Overall impression is of some sort of lemon chewy nougat candy- floured light chewy caramel with a candylike citrus. Mildly grainy, finishes with a hint of cane sugar syrup and lemongrass.

Mouthfeel- Light-medium body, carbonation low to average for the style. Barest hint of sourness, clean, on the refreshing side, finishes lightly dry. 16 oz. feels like a pretty appropriate serving.

Overall- A pretty nice brew, hits the points required for the style, but it's pretty restrained. A summertime drinker for those that don't like the especially dry or sour incarnations of the Saison. Worth trying.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of Durge
3.34/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.34/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a decent representation of the style, with some added features...

the pepper adds just a hint of heat, while the coriander imparts a tartness that is unique.
imperialized saison? sure, whatever. worth a try if you are all out of saisons to try.
stay away if you dislike sour or tart beer with citrus undertones.
the peppercorn hides some of the alcohol heat, but not all.
it's a powerful beer for the lightness of the body.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Duvel tulip on 7/2/12

Thanks to beesy

A) Cloudy, dull honey tones. Two fingers of foam drops to 1/4th inch layer that remains fed by a stream of rising bubbles. Minimum lace.

S) Quite tangy, almost tart aroma - ripe apple, over ripe pear, peppercorn and some orange zestiness. Prairie grass and floral tones as it warms. Hints of biscuits and dough.

T) The taste is pretty tangy too, but there is a decent grainy presence to balance it out. Mild orange zest, but there is plenty peppercorn spiciness. Some alcohol is picked up toward the finish.

M) The feel is a juicy medium body. Carbonation is ample but not harsh; the overall feel is billowy.

D) Not too bad at all but it's a bit too ripe, as it were.

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Photo of david131
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear yellow liquid with a thin and splotchy white head. Simple and clean looking.

S- Peppercorns jump out to me first, followed by some light fruitiness and alcohol. A little faint but slightly intriguing.

T- Light fruit and some peppercorns. The malt sweetness is kept in check, but it is most definitely lacking complexity.

M- Warm alcohol presence, but it is not hot. The carbonation is about right and the flavors are a bit sticky and linger for awhile.

O- For the style, this is nothing to write home about. However, it drinks pretty nicely on a hot summer night, even when the alcohol content is taken into account.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: light straw yellow color. two fingers of a white head that fade pretty quickly and leaves just about nothing behind. hazy and nearly opaque.

Smell: agave and citrus. pepper, some yeasty qualities.

Taste: opens with a little bit of agave, some pepper and spicy yeast. back end is full of orange and bitter citrus.

Mouthfeel: medium to heavy. pretty strong dryness. some lingering bitterness.

Overall: a pretty good offering from Vivant but misses some of the qualities that I enjoy in a saison. worth a try but I don't think Ill be visiting it again too soon.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
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?

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Photo of tectactoe
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Jason
3.62/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of korguy123
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can into tumbler.
Special thanks to TheSevenDuffs for this.

A- Hazy golden coloured pour with a two finger white head that doesn't stick around too much. Lacing is minimal.

S- Spicy yeast, a touch of buttered popcorn, pepper and oranges.

T- Spicy yeast again, peppercorns, orange juice and pulp, some apples and pears.

M- Light bodied, prickly carbonation.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GRPunk for the BIF beer. Tasted 5 July 2014.

Pours a clear medium golden yellow. Two fingers of fuzzy white head, good retention and lacing.

Smell is powerfully citrusy. That's the prominent character - a sweet, juicy citrus presence. I don't get much funk or spice, despite what the can says.

Taste is odd for a saison. It's quite sweet, and very fruity. Almost like a shandy. Doesn't have the zip or the dryness I expect. Tasty enough, just a little weird.

Feel is good. Medium body, fizzy carbonation that reminds me (again) of a soda or shandy.

Good beer, like a jacked-up shandy or a very fruity saison. The citrus is too powerful for my tastes, making it hard for me to pick up on subtler elements.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a cloudy golden orange with a two-finger foamy white head.

S - Yeast, orange peel, and light sweet malts.

T - Taste is sweet juicy orange juice mixed with the bitterness from the orange peel. Finish has a nice yeast flavor and a lingering bite from the peppercorns.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry finish.

O - This was a nice surprise. Could have used a little more carbonation, but still rather good.

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Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Zaison Imperial Saison Ale from Brewery Vivant
81 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.
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