Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison
Moody Tongue Brewing Company

Steeped Emperor's Lemon SaisonSteeped Emperor's Lemon Saison
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,361
Ranked #24,558
3.82 | pDev: 12.83%
Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Steeped Emperor's Lemon SaisonSteeped Emperor's Lemon Saison
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 155 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

2/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled spring 2015; drank 5/23/15 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque dandelion appearance.

HUGE, fluffy eggshell head; frothy lace.

Lemon Pledge nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

This tastes exactly like Lemon Pledge smells. Straight up. Maybe a hint of pepper on the finish, but all I could think of was Pledge.

My first & last bottle.

Oct 12, 2019
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Taste: crisp lemon citrus, white pepper, tart, yeast, bright finish. Mild lemon peel, fruit, nose. Honey/Golden hue, semi unfiltered, white head nice ring lattice of lace. Medium body. Easy to drink.

Aug 31, 2019
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GreenDragonPurse from Idaho

3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours golden-pale orange amber with a big white head; lots of lacing. The scent is slightly fresh, slightly malty, very lemony. The taste is sweet lemon, basically equal parts lemonade and beer. This is probably safe for your 10-year old to drink. There's not enough going on here to get excited about.

Sep 18, 2018
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avalon07 from South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a yellow-orange color and a very cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, very long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of citrus fruit, Belgian yeast, the barnyard funk, malt, and spices.

T: Tasted of a fair shot of Belgian-style yeast, some spices (a little pepper, perhaps?), some of the advertised lemon (not quite enough), light malt, and the aforementioned barnyard funk. The flavor's a bit on the uneven side, but still likable. Could have used a bit more oomph with some ingredients, particularly the lemon.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this beer has its flaws, but still manages to be likable. Worth a look.

Dec 27, 2017
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megapyro6 from Wisconsin

3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice yellow-gold with a thick head. Fades rather rapidly into lacing.

The aroma is a little crackery and bready malt with with yeast phenolics. If I really look, there is the faintest hint of a lemon type aroma, but I probably wouldn't have smelled it if I wasn't looking for it. A little earthy.

The taste matches the aroma. Earthy yeast character with a little peppery spice. Lightly sweet malt character with some notes of funky and hay. A touch of fruit, but nothing distinctly lemon. It's mostly earth, dirt, and rustic character.

The mouthfeel is a little prickly due to high carbonation. It's a fairly dry beer. Goes down well.

Overall, I'm a little disappointed. It's an alright saison, but no lemon aromatics or flavor. I was also expecting even a light tartness, but there is none. Maybe I got an older bottle. The bottles are dated, but they're all too smudged to read. It looks like 4/10/1X The X could be any number from 6-9. I'm not sure if it's a bottled on or best by date. I may check and see if anything at the store is more readable the next time I'm in.

Jun 20, 2017
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Unholy_UFO from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very thick head of foam, straw colored out of the bottle.resolves with an amber color.
I get a very aromatic smell to this one, as if I can taste the sour flavor from the lemon off of this one.
Tastes like a happy medium between Sierra Nevada's Otra Vez and Bells Oarsman ale, sour enough but not the main focus.
The mouth feel is a very light sting from the alcohol, and the sour flavor never pervades over the beer.
Overall I am surprised i would enjoy this considering how little I enjoy sour flavors.

Oct 26, 2016
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donspublic from Texas

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into shaker, minimal head, no lacing. Dar amber in the glass, crystal clear. Smells of lemon and some faint Belgian esters. Taste is initially Belgian yeast muddled with lemon, finish on the dry spicy side. Drinking this with a pizza so not a bad paring, though personally I feel the lemon is too dominate, thus losing the saison yeast esters I so adore. That said, still a very drinkable beer that has a great mouthfeel

Sep 16, 2016
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bmeehan from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this beer is among the most unique tasting beers I've ever had. It tastes like a saison until it tastes like lemons at the very end, and while that back taste can be a little strange, it's very pleasant and it works really well.

Aug 15, 2016
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StArnoldFan from Texas

3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not appealing, no bubbling or lacing. Not all that great on the nose either, faint lemon peel and not much else. Taste reminds me of a lemon seed in the mouth. A bit under carbed for a saison, I expect more on my tongue with this style. Very forgettable and glad I only bought a single.

Jun 27, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Because I've seen only bombers from these guys, I shied away from buying in stores.
With this Saison, I had their second beer on tap at a restaurant last night being a fancy pizza place. This Saison went well enough with both a tomato based pizza and white pizza. The lemon cut through the cheese and washed down a crispy crust. But the beer only complemented the food and did not seem to stand out on its own.

This was served a bit cold for my tastes, so the flavors never quite developed... but it's possible that there is not too much there, there... yet. Beyond the lemon, I did not smell or taste the yeast working that typical Belgian fruity magic.

I like what Moody Tongue is doing; focussed on exploring the gastro side of beer. And this probably is beer's future since the "me too" pile-in-the-hops formula seems to have saturated the market.

1/24/17 Had again. I missed something. Lemon Saison has a extremely soft mouth that let's the food do its work. A very good food beer that I will have again. Rating upped.

11/1/17 Clearly an optimum saison for summer foods. I had this with a hearty soup and while it was a good complement, it was not the same as the lemon cutting through a summer salad or pizza. I will continue having this with other foods as it seems somewhat versatile.

May 28, 2016
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champ103 from Texas

3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at BRC in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a slightly hazed golden/yellow color. A one finger white head forms and recedes after a minute. Light lace is left behind.
S: Lemon rind with a light tartness, some nondescript "funk" which is fairly pleasant and the lemon character is interesting. Even some chamomile. Though I get a lot of soapy, oily, almost dish detergent like character as well.
T: Lemony, grassy, and lemon rind. Light funk, that is again nondescript. Though the soapy and dish detergent like character is even more prevalent here.
M/O: For the alcohol content this has a really light body. Moderate carbonation that is thin and a bit watery. Not hard to drink, but nothing I am really wanting to come back to.

There is a big soapy character that I get throughout. Which I am not a big fan of. While not all together bad, just not close to some better examples of the style. Which I will almost always pick over this example.

May 18, 2016
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Czarkazm from New York

4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, poured into a snifter. The body is a cloudy deep orange, toasted amber color with a thin eggshell white head. Definitely get the lemon zest in the aroma, some strawberry comes through as well, along with a light pilsner malt biscuitiness, agave sugar sweetness, sorbet, white pepper spice, fruity yeast, sour gummy candies, and some hay in the background. The mouth feel is light, the beer is slightly tart and refreshing with moderate carbonation. A very interesting beer that seems to get more enjoyable as you drink. The flavor has a good deal of lemon tartness as well - lemon juice, green apple, crackery malt, underripe pineapple, dark green vegetable bitterness, pears, and kiwi. Had this on tap a little over a year ago and remember liking it a lot more.

May 05, 2016
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MarkQ617 from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this, had it poured into a pint glass. Color is a deep, rich golden...nearly orangish, but not quite. Flavor was a touch of hops, bit of malt, and not as much lemon as you might think (most beers with lemon are too fruity and too sweet (sour?) I've found, but not this one). Refreshing, but not too light. Mouthfeel wasn't too harsh, especially considering how much body it has. Pretty good stuff.

Feb 20, 2016
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gopens44 from Virginia

3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy gold and massive foamy white head. Certainly lemon scented but there's also a weird lanolin? smell? There's a hand cream quality, that's all I'm saying. Lemon, splash of earthy funk, bitter edges and again - a hand cream "thing" happening. Longer it lingers I get dandelion and maybe mint? Something there is leaving a cooling sensation. This one is complex and colorful.

Dec 25, 2015
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infinitebruner from Arkansas

3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

November 26, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip

A – Medium to medium-dark gold with a massive, frothy, foamy, slightly off-white head, which takes forever to settle. Took about three to four attempts to pour the entire bottle without overflowing the glass. Mostly clear, some chill and protein haze evident.

S – A ton of lemon, almost as strong as a lemon extract used for baking, without the sting, still very pleasant. A bit of crackery malt impression. Some floral hops in there as well, but hidden behind the lemon.

T – High lemon impact here, though without much of the sour/acidic kick. Like a rich lemon cake or lemon frosting. Crackery malt presence, supports the intensity of the fruit fairly well. Mild bitterness on the back end, but well balanced.

M – Very high carbonation, very much to style, and a medium-light body. A bit of sweetness up front, a touch of acidity with the lemon, and medium-low bitterness on the finish and aftertaste.

O – The most intense straight lemon flavor and aroma I’ve seen in a beer, very remarkable. Walks the line very well to avoid an Endust-like impression. Base saison is excellent on its own, I’d imagine.

Dec 08, 2015
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-draught @ Allium, Chicago. First beer from this brewery. Brief impressions below (given a subpar review environment).

A: Body is obviously filtered, with a clarity that runs counter to the style 's characteristic yeasty bretty haze. Vibrant yellow in colour, with a crisp clean look.

Head is foamy and frothy, with a soft look, a stellar complexion, and a great consistency. Retention is nice - about 4-5 minutes. Leaves sn uneven coating of lacing as it recedes.

Unconventional for the style, yet nevertheless appealing.

Sm: Lemongrass, grassy Hops, biscuit vitamin yeast, faint brettanomyces funkiness, barnyard notes such as hay/straw, ale yeast esters, dry Belgian Grain's. Rustic, lively, and inviting. To style.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TMf: Perfect carbonation, ideally fragile body, and a refreshing, smooth, and wet presence on the palate accent the subtleties of the Lemongrass and neutral Belgian grains beautifully. Hints of nuanced brettanomyces funkiness interweave with barnyard notes of hay/straw, rustic saison yeast, and intangible vitamin biscuity characteristics. Clean yet well attenuated, with liveliness from the yeast but grassy flavour from the subdued Hops. Farmhouse redolent without boasting much of a spice profile aside from glimmers of clove and allspice.

Well balanced and built, with decent depth of flavour and aptly average flavour duration and intensity. A restrained saison, but not a terribly intricate one. I quite like it, and dig the lemony twang.

O: The marriage of a refreshing yet rustic and somewhat dry mouthfeel with the nuanced flavour profile is a highlight, but there's ample room for further complexity and depth. Discerning drinkers will be impressed by its subtlety and restraint, but its eschewing of spices and overt wild funkiness do hold it back. A beer I'd get again if not for its egregious pricing ($9 on draught).

Low B

Oct 19, 2015
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle, no apparent freshness date
A - tall, foamy white head caps a hazed golden colored ale
S - yeast, earthy, lemongrass, lemon-pepper
T - zesty lemon, pepper, bready yeast, grass, biscuity malt
M - very effervescent, lighter side of medium for body, moderately dry finish
O - this was just ok for me. I had higher hopes for it, but it didn't deliver for me.

Sep 13, 2015
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ChefMacAttack from New York

3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Hazy yellow pour, with a thick foamy head.

Aroma is heavy on the lemon.

Taste is again, heavy on the lemon. However, the taste seems somewhat artificial and overpowers any yeast or spice that's trying to creep through.

Sep 03, 2015
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mdfb79 from New York

3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 08/24/15 notes. 12 oz. bottle into a stange glass at The Smith on 2nd Ave in NYC.

Pours a hazy bright yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. The nose is great, taste is just ok. Nose is super lemony, some wheat; taste has more spice and pepper. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall a nice saison but not my favorite. Smells really good and tons of lemon and lemongrass, but the taste is a bit too spicy and peppery for me. Probably wouldn't seek it out again.

Aug 25, 2015
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rmm123 from New York

4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Frothy effervescent poor at Colicchio and Sons in Chelsea, NYC - they seem to consistently pour their beers well from keg to glass so maybe that's why I like this one better than many of the other reviewers; or maybe it's just me :-) - the lemon nose is bright and refreshing, nice smooth mouthfeel and lemon / light hop / light sweet flavor and an easy finish - really enjoying it

Aug 16, 2015
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JordonHoltzman from New York

3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A orange amber color, not your typical saison color, especially one characterized as lemon. poured into a snifter. Lacing is alright.
Smell and taste however, are of a very pleasant saison. Lemon is present, clove and tea spices also definitely come through. Good Mouthfeel

Jul 23, 2015
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is well done with a crisp easy drinking feel but it tends to highlight my least favorite of the Saison...clove. This is grassy, perfumey, yeasty and filled with tangy lemon but clove tends to rear it's head.

Jul 12, 2015
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Treyliff from West Virginia

3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- pours a clear, deep & bright golden color with a small foamy white head that retains after the pour, leaving some short lasting lace behind

S- lemon heads candy, lemon pledge, lemon-grass, floral hop, doughy malt, candied grapefruit

T- lemon head candy flavor follows the nose up front, before giving way to some doughy sweet malt and some grassy/floral hop notes, hints of earthy yeast come out before finishing with more lemon head candy

M- medium body & carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that feels the mouth into the finish, leaving dry

O- an interesting approach with lemon, I felt that it overpowered the subtleties of a good saison though

Jun 02, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear dark yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and a collar around the edge.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of lemon cleaner are present in the nose—if you take a deep inhale it sort of smells like Lemon Pledge.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather lemony, but tastes more like lemongrass than an all purpose cleaner.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No dryness is perceptible.
O: The amount of lemongrass in this beer would make it suitable for a pairing with Thai cuisine.

Serving type: bottle

Apr 25, 2015
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DrRambis from New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into goblet directly from fridge

Look: Deep copper, slightly hazy (probably from the chill), small eggshell white head that dissipates quickly, appears gold under the light.

Smell: Strong aromas of lemon-grass, fresh rising dough, and pine-y floral hopes dominate, lemon dominates but some sweet mango fruit smells pop up in the finish, like dried mango candy, candy sugar notes as well. Really an awesome array of smells here.

Taste: Sweet lemondrop candies, fruit forward and pine-y hops, clove and coriander spice, with a strong star anise flavor backing this all up and dominating in the finish. While quite sweet the saison yeast and hop bitterness are able to subdue the sweet lemon flavour that this beer brings. The tension between sweet/dry is fantastic. Incredibly balanced flavors that meld perfectly together. Tastes like the finest lemon cake Ive ever had. I hate those things. I love this.

Feel: Slightly thin although certainly not watery with a very crisp finish, quite refreshing, leaves the mouth with surprising astringency for the style. In both flavour and feel this is hopped more-so than the average saison but unlike others hoppy saisons this is not to its detriment. Leaves you wanting another sip.

Overall: I think its clear that I enjoyed this beer. It may be a bit on the sweet or hoppy side for the traditional saison lover, but alas I am far from that. I think even the purists would find many things to enjoy in this beer. The yeast profile for one is quite sophisticated yet not cloying and does not overpower the other elements of the beer. For that, the hop profile or the lemon flavours could have all thrown this beer's flavour off yet they really sing together. Very good stuff.

Apr 17, 2015
Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison from Moody Tongue Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 155 ratings