Zaison Imperial Saison Ale | Brewery Vivant

BA SCORE
81
good
184 Ratings
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
Ratings:
184
Reviews:
43
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
15.77%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
18
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 184 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of StoutHunter
4.39/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a tall boy of Brewery Vivant's Zaison Super Saison last week for $3.29 at The Lager Mill. This is the second beer in Brewery Vivant's Brewery Reserve series, I thought that the first one, Kludde was pretty unusual so hope this one turns out good, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date, but its a fresh spring release, pretty fitting for the season. Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip.

A- The can is pretty much the same as the other beer in the series. except it had a nicely drawn castle scene on the sticker, it looks pretty good. It poured a nice pale golden color that was kind of hazy and took on a nice bright orange tint when held to the light and it had two and half fingers worth of velvety smooth white head that left hardly any lacing and died down to a thin ring that eventually faded to nothing. This was a proper looking Saison but I wish it had some lacing and better retention.

S- The aroma starts off with lots of sweet malts that have a slightly wheaty and bready aroma. Next comes a pretty earthy hay and straw aroma followed by a slight tart aroma. Next comes those typical spice aromas that you get from the Belgian yeast followed by some citrus rinds and some peppery aromas. Towards that end I get some grassy and earthiness that could be from some hops. The aroma was pretty damn nice, and just how I would expect a well done Saison to smell and the extra alcohol didn't show up in the aroma.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma, at the start I get some some pretty sweet malty and wheaty flavors followed by some nice lemon and orange rind flavors and a lighter amount of peppercorns. Next comes a little bit more sweetness with some grassy hay and a very slight funky slightly barnyard flavor followed by a little bit of tartness. Towards the end I get a really slight amount of alcohol followed by some more and sweet and tart flavors and a sweet, bready, and citrusy aftertaste. I really like the flavor of this beer, it had all those normal Saison flavors they just stuck out more and were much bolder I really liked that.

M- Pretty smooth, slightly creamy, crisp, on the thicker side of being medium bodied, and it had a lower amount of medium carbonation that worked well with this beer. The mouthfeel is nice, it's much bigger then your normal Saison, but so is this beer, so it's needs a bigger body, it works out well.

Overall I really liked this beer and I thought it was a good example of a Saison, specifically the higher alcohol or Imperial Saisons, I haven't had many but this beer had all the nice flavors and aromas that I want from the style just way more intense. This beer had great drinkability, it's a bigger beer but the alcohol hardly shows, it goes down smooth, and has more then enough flavor to hold my attention, I wouldn't mind drinking on a four pack on hot day. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much every thing, but I thought the aroma and taste stuck as being especially good. What I liked least about this beer was nothing, I couldn't find one flaw with this beer and that doesn't happen very often, but I do wish it was a little cheaper and that this was a year round beer and not a limited release. I would buy this beer again, it's a little expensive but worth the price, in fact I will be picking up a four pack before this great beer disappears. If you like Saison's, but want something a little stronger with bigger flavors this beer is for you. I thought the first beer in the series was just ok, but Brewery Vivant really took it to the next level with this beer and it is pretty much everything I would want in a Super Saison, I might even try holding on to a can for a while to see if any of those light funky flavors get any stronger. Brewery Vivant did a great job with this beer and I can't wait to see what else they have in store for this series, I hope a Quad and Tripel show up in the near future, great job guys this is one awesome Super Saison. 2014 Update, so I did end up aging a few of these for a year and it got a little funkier and the spices really dropped off, I like it, but it's a different beer from when it was fresh. I might try aging one even longer to see what happens.

 4,220 characters

Photo of robwestcott
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of wtkphoto
4/5  rDev +12.7%

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.

 336 characters

Photo of 71CrazyOtto
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Image of beer can here has changed to yellow/orange hue.
Bought the 4-pack and sessioned it.
First experience with a heavy peppercorn assault on my palate not including a dead cow on my plate and it took some getting used to but after first beer my palate shouted uncle and they went down smooth. The Tellicherry black peppercorns concealed the 9% well I will say that.
I view this as a bold attempt by a brewer and I salute the effort.
This beer isn't a home run but I would try again but I wouldn't drink through a whole 4-pack again because the famous india peppercorn had me dreaming of multiple arm hindus and sound of sitars...most unpleasant, lol.

 654 characters

Photo of TonyJ815
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of pmoney
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of kodt
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of beergorrilla
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of ccozzi
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rjcoy06
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

 731 characters

Photo of pferrier
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of jschwei
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Agentveba
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of CORKSCREWFISH
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of baybum
1.75/5  rDev -50.7%

Photo of HRamz3
1.25/5  rDev -64.8%

Photo of alelover
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of tommy5
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Paul_Apsley
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

 734 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of fishkab
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Zaison Imperial Saison Ale from Brewery Vivant
3.55 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More