Zaison Imperial Saison Ale | Brewery Vivant

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
81
good
43 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
Zaison Imperial Saison AleZaison Imperial Saison Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States
breweryvivant.com

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 183
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.

 613 characters

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 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.

 731 characters

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.

 821 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.

 820 characters

Photo of dudecandle
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful orange color, but the fluffy head dissipates quite quickly.

S: Something of an applewood smell, between the citrus and the Belgian yeast. Relatively one-note.

T: Lovely fresh orange citrus with a good dose of grass. It has a long-rolling finish of black pepper and the Belgian yeast. A bit boozy and almost lemonadey.

M: Surprisingly full, even once the carbonation dies down.

D: The flavor doesn't develop to be terribly complex, but I think it's one of the best citrusy punches I've come across in a while. If the carbonation would hold a bit longer, I think this would be a very impressive beer. The high alcohol is impressively not noticeable. As of now, it's still quite good, but it perhaps doesn't quite live up to its price tag.

 753 characters

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.

 733 characters

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.

 641 characters

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.

 361 characters

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.

 1,200 characters

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.

 582 characters

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.

 730 characters

Photo of BBP
4.32/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden-orange with thin head, but excellent lacing.

The aroma is fruity with subtle spice. Ever so slightly peppery. Very refreshing.

The taste is incredibly smooth considering the 9.0% ABV. This is perhaps one of the easiest beers to drink in that regard. Lemon and orange come through accompanied by a bit of hoppy citrus. After that fades away a bit of pine seeps through. The spices are very minimal while complimenting the drink quite well. Usually I find spices to be overdone, but this beer works incredibly well. Some mild funk is inside of this, and it has a bit of vinegar acidity at times.

The mouthfeel is quite smooth while having ample carbonation. The nature of the carbonation isn't one bit aggressive though. The finish is moderately dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, this was a very interesting brew. The "imperial" aspect of this saison is mostly noticeable in the slightly reinforced flavor, but the drinkability takes no hit whatsoever. I'll definitely stock up the next time that I see it.

 1,025 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I stop by Vivant on my way back from a wedding and had to pick up some samples
This pours a slightly haze deep gold. The rocky white head fizzles away quickly like half an alka selyzelter.

The aroma is like orange, apricot and with some spice which is mostly pepper and something else. There is some low spicy hop aromas and some alcohol in the nose.

Wow it's like a hug hit to the palate with big thick layers of fruit and spicy the dominate flavors being orange, apricot and pepper. There is a moderately high bitterness and a fairly firm tartness like there tasting like they had used some orange peel. There is that belgian yeast quality in there with a hint of sourness. The hop type bitterness really hang in there after the fairly dry finish.

It a little thick for a Saison style with a medium-heavy body and high carbonation.

I didn't know what to think of with an Imperial Saison other than that sounds like a great idea. This really fits that description, it an assertive bold beer with the Saison characteristics amped up a few notches. It's a great concept and it's well executed.

 1,098 characters

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.

 637 characters

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.

 574 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

 737 characters

Photo of MichPaul
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had many Belgian beers, and hadn't been a fan of the style too much, but this beer is impressive!
This beer, as with all BV offerings, comes in a nice tall 1Pint can. It pours a nice golden color, with a nice medium head.
The smell isn't that impressive, but I can look past that when this taste hits me.
As for this taste, it's a perfect blend of citrus, hops and a bit of sour! The scary thing about this beer is how easy it is to drink with such a high ABV. And it's delicious too!
It's too bad this is a limited release in cans. I will be buying more of this, as well as looking for it at the brewery someday.

 627 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Zaison Imperial Saison Ale from Brewery Vivant
3.55 out of 5 based on 183 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!