Saison De Pipaix | Brasserie à Vapeur

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Saison De PipaixSaison De Pipaix
258 Ratings
Saison De PipaixSaison De Pipaix

Brewed by:
Brasserie à Vapeur

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-16-2002

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Ratings: 258 |  Reviews: 166
Photo of steverx8
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of desint
2.72/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Photo of shelby415
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bobv
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Label states: Brewed in 2002!
Moderate pour yields a 3/4 inch white head over a medium amber body with scant lacing. Nose of grapefruit, zero hops, hay, straw, very slight funk, and old wet oak. As it warms a bit, some barnyard rears its funky head. Taste of citrus, that wonderful oak, barnyard, cellar floor, and all kinds of spice. This is so complex while going through so many changes as it warms. As I poured the 3rd (and last) glass, a bit of schmegma falls into my glass. No biggie: this beer is old! Real nice feel and overall, I may have waited too long to open this but it really is an experience and so glad for the opportunity. Cheers!

 648 characters

Photo of siebevl
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of biegaman
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of Belgian producers use their heritage as a marketing ploy but Brasserie à Vapeur still actually operates the traditional way; they've preserved the same logo since 1785 and their flagship ale which sports it on its label, Saison De Pipaix, still looks like a product of that time. Unfiltered, the ale has a muddied tangerine complexion and healthy, natural carbonation.

The nose is exactly as funky as you'd expect from a farmhouse recipe that dates back to the 18th century and is still brewed using steam power ("Brasserie à Vapeur" translates to "Steam Powered Brewery"). Fermentation is said to take place in three stages, the last being quite warm and, this is just my guess here, very inviting to additional yeasts and critters...

Cider vinegar notes and musty, vanillin impressions of oak are delicate but really come through on the palate (despite that this is neither sour nor does it ever see the inside of a barrel). Apple skin tartness, leather and 'farmhouse floor' are prominent features, each complimentary and/or extensions of the ripe orchard fruit, dry straw and feed grain flavours.

How have we not talked about spices yet? Unlike other Belgian producers (*cough*, Fantôme, *cough* Trappist monks) these guys are happy to share their secret ingredients: pepper, ginger, curacao, sweet orange peels, coriander and roast chicory. You'd have to be an idiot savant to note any of those outright but the amalgam, however mild, is hugely gainful.

Long, long - a little over 200 years - before Brettanomyces were deemed "cool" and sour farmhouse ales became the flavour 'du jour' there was Saison De Pipaix. This iconic Belgian ale might not have the same status as Cantillon, Dupont or Fantôme but it has all the great elements of each - funk, farm and spice respectively - and belongs right next to them on the shelf.

 1,851 characters

Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sjccmd
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bruised apples in the aroma. Ripe pear, wet wood, white pepper, very herbal. A touch of honey and crackery malts. Perfume like. A hint of funk. If you dig for it, you can find anise.

Pours hazy light orange with a frothy white head. Lots of bubbles. Great head retention and lacing.

Juicy apples, oranges, and pears. Tons of fruit upfront followed with earthy tea, finishing with balancing bitter hops. A touch of acidity, not fully sour. Very earthy and rustic. Solidly dry finish.

Juicy mouthfeel. Medium light body with heavy carbonation. Fruit and wood linger on the palate.

Very fruity but with balancing earthiness. Rustic and a little strange. Somewhere between DuPont and Fantome.

 692 characters

Photo of Euroglot
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of eric5bellies
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dcmchew
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Pours clear, gold in color, with 1/2 inch head. Taste is strawberries, Belgian spice, funk, and light bitterness. Very complex sipper that was thoroughly enjoyable. I will look to find a bottle of this.

 218 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

If you are a fan of Michael Jackson (as I obviously am) or you cannot take the time to visit out-of-the-way Belgian breweries, then you should read his review in "Great Beers of Belgium." Given the brewery's limited distribution and following, MJ gave this brewery a long review (almost two pages and only one photo) that draws you into its multi-century history and the travails of the current family committed to keeping traditions alive. It is a great story of the way brewing used be, passion, bucking the trend, beer's medicinal value and its craft in making a meal great.
Largely a reduction of that "article", MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 3.5 stars of 4 and said Pipaix "has a very fresh, orangey character and contains six botanicals" (for spicing.)

While I note if a beer is among the "1001," I rarely quote the review. But this one is particularly good; describing how the current owner saved the brewery and "found heritage recipes, interpreting them with his own imaginative flair and redeploying long-forgotten spices... rejecting the contemporary hoppy saison model for a complex and exotic melange"

Bravo ! And enjoy.

1/21/17 (remember that historic day) I Had Pipaix again with Indian food (Garrett Oliver says saisons pair well with Indian herbs and spices.) I was skeptical, but "The Brewmasters Table" was right again !

4/15/17 (Another historic day in which hundreds of thousands of taxpayers turned out to ask why Trump wouldn't reveal his tax returns when that was the convention of Presidents.) Had Pipaix again with Mexican food (tamales) and that spicy is not as good as the Indian, perhaps because Mexican hot peppers go well with hoppy beers and Pipaix's blend of different spices downplay the hops (which is why I like it so much and just gave a slight bump to my re-rating.

Think about this as a theory: soft feel and blended spices (like Pipaix) complements those similar foods (of which Indian curries certainly qualify) ... but peppery foods require more carbonation and hops to cleanse the palate and cool the hot.

 2,132 characters

Photo of LostHighway
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StJamesGate
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Muddy amber-tan with a ring of off-white fizz that trails. 3.5
Chalk, flowers, and mango or kumquat skin - fresh with a hint of crystal. 4.25
Crackery grain, cinnamon apple sauce, some tannins, spice, lemon rind, and leafy hops. 4
Wood and pepper end and numbing linger.
Medium, chewy, but clean. 4

Dull look but intriguing smell. Fruit esters play big and there’s a rustic buzz about the whole thing. Layered but untamed, yet dry and easy. Ultimately too malty, but curious and interesting. 4

 497 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The bottle gushed like crazy for me when I opened it cold. Pinkish hue with tons of haze and carbonation. Spicy, fruity, raspberries, lemony, funky and tart. A nice funky farmhouse but not spectacular.

 201 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of WunderLlama
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft poured into chalice

Very foamy , needs to settle after a few tap pulls , good lacings

Faint aroma of apples

Hazy orange

Light mouthfeel , smooth

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Photo of crbnfbr
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mklisz
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Doublechar0517
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Eziel
3.14/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of chinchill
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A 2002(!) bottling. Perhaps past its prime but certainly held up very well.
Rich complex aroma and flavor with figs, raisins and spices.
The flavors are nicely balanced and blended.

 183 characters

Photo of DeutschesBier
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wise456
4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Saison De Pipaix from Brasserie à Vapeur
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 258 ratings