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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 258 |  Reviews: 166
Reviews by slaintemhor:
Photo of slaintemhor
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got to sample a bottle of this at a Beer Advocate gathering this evening (4/1/09). Colour... rather peach like and slightly clouded. Nose... reminiscent of the dankest, deepest, mustiest part of my basement, but with some newly mown hay and cow barn thrown in. Palate... funky, musty, vinegar, little bit o' ginger, anise(?), light carbonation, decidedly puckering.

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More User Reviews:
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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%

Bottle shared by Bob last night. '03 vintage.

Pours a very dark orange, one of the darker saisons I've seen. There's a 2 inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like apple cider, wheat, and library books. Sort of a dusty and musty smell.

This one tastes a little oxidized, but it blends in well with the dusty flavors, some moss, apple cider, wheat, citrus fruits. Nothing outstanding, but tasty enough.

This one is medium bodied, with a tart and vinegary mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable.

Interesting as an aged beer, but this one probably hit its peak about 5 years ago.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(on tap at Tria Taproom - served in a teku glass - first rated on 02 Sep 2012)

A: light amber, cloudy as hell.... cottony, krausen-like foam that slowly receded, kept some wisps of sud around the outer edges... had this on tap once before, about a year and a half ago - the cloudy, unfiltered look is consistent, if a little foreboding

S: (unripe?) peaches and cream, rose petals - mostly yeast(y)-derived aromas - a little like liquid brewers yeast, bold but not forward... each scent is pretty damn powerful, having dimension - perhaps the glass is key here... unique

T: custardy, bosc pear-like fruit... hint of watermelon (flesh? rind?)... fair amount of doughy malt... touch of a black-peppery aftertaste... overall a bit different, more rustic than the Dupont benchmark

M: soft, quiet in carbonation... the unfiltered, unconditioned constitution lends some fluffy roundness... quietly drops off in the finish... no heat - dry, but not parching

O: had this twice now on tap and a sip of the '95 from a friend's glass (which was a different beast!) - this has to be one of the most interesting, unique, and flavorful saisons out there

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Photo of dougbassett
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #40 of the ones I've reviewed here.

I've recently been on a "Belgian in big bottles" kick, buying them more or less blind. The only thing I knew about this one was "saison", which brings to my mind certain types of flavors I associate with the style. That's not this, this is a very eccentric take on Saisons.

Maybe best understood as a bitter fruit beer, if that makes any sense. If it didn't say "Saison" on the label I would not have pegged it as such. Pours a kind of orangish-brown which is evocative to look at, although I'd have appreciated more of a head. The nose is oddly citrus: lemons, orange, with a little anise and ginger in the background. The flavors are quite unusual, imagine unripe peaches, of all things, along with bitter orange and maybe a little of that spice sneaking in the back way at the finish. (Which I could've stood to have a little longer).

I gave this fairly high scores because it's really quite unusual, I've never had any Saison quite like this. That said, I don't know if I'd ever seek this out again -- it's unusual but I don't know if I'd actually describe it as pleasant to drink, exactly. It's more a beer you admire than one you groove behind, I think, and it's odd to find that cropping up here in a Saison, a style that I've always associated as being "the working class Belgian" (or as close to it as you can find in Belgium). That said, it's definitely worth a try -- maybe you'll be more enthusiastic about it than me.

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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.

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Photo of rudzud
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Francois for sharing 1985 vintage.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear golden hue with some nice half finger head.

S - Aromas of funk, tart, funk, cork, cheese.

T - Taste is really weird, old fruits, cork, almost spoiled milk. Very strange

M - Mouthfeel is very drinkable shocked.

O - Overall this beer was very interesting. Really glad to try it.

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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!

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Photo of oberon
2.66/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Heard great things about this,found it in Buffalo bought a 96 vintage.Started promising I liked the color and the nice head,after that all downhill.Had little to no smell,the taste was peppery (overpoweringly so) and way to sour!The beer was way to thin and watery to go along with that taste.Didnt finish the bottle just to peppery and thin for me,waiste of six bucks.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Bright orange body with a smallish head that dissipated quickly.

Smell – Big, deep, apple cider with a huge lime scent and a noticeable malt body. There’s also a strong, very musty oak aroma that mirrors vintage American oak wine casks if you’ve ever smelled that.

Taste – The giant lime and apples come out big time in the flavor. This is one Sweet-Tart that’s been around for a while, too. The musty aroma follows through in the taste. The malt is mostly absent and broken down. This ale is a little past its prime.

Mouthfeel – More sour and broken than I like my Saison/Biere de Garde beverages, but an interesting experience nevertheless. There is little carbonation left in this bottle.

Drinkability – A sipping ale even when in its prime, now it’s slow going.

Comments – This may have been a, “Beer for keeping,” some time ago, but this particular vintage is overaged. This is an '85 vintage, so it''s a full 18 years old. I would have like to have tasted this in '90 or '95.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Green 750, sides are coated in ancient yeast, bottom of bottle is jet black from a decade or more time spent in a cellar. Mettle cap with a cork beneath. White label on the neck states, “This ALE has been brewed in 07/95, bottled in Oct. 1995 and stored in our cellar. When you get it, put it back in a cellar for some days or better weeks (like an old wine). You should find a begin of wine porto taste. Enjoy it!

Cork pulled with no sound (bad sign). Pours a thin, transparent golden brown apricot. Almost no head. Carbonation streams are nonexistent. This beer looks flat.

Nose of kafir lime leaf, cider, white port, peach skins, brut champagne, must oil, sour grapes, lime soup. Notably sour and lambic like, almost gauze character is present.

Sips without any carbonation, damn. Also notable is an almost complete lack of hops…and body for that matter. Damn, this stuff passed its prime some time ago. I’m left longing for what it could have been. Despite the age, its taste is wonderfully dynamic and complex and drinks much more like a wine than a beer. Tastes salty, dry, rocky and fruity. Notes of cherries, pineapple, mellon, citrus fruits, and cilantro are all apparent.

Mouthfeel is weak, but not without some pleasant tartness and sourness. Drinkability suffers from the lack of vitality.

I can’t wait to try a younger vintage. The 95, however, is spent.

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Photo of Todd
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1 pint 10.4oz green wine bottle with cork and beer cap. From the back label: "This ale has been brewed in 10/1996, bottled in November 1996 and stored in our cellar. When you get it, put it back in a celler for some days or better weeks (like an old wine). You should find a begin of wine porto taste. Enjoy it!" ... I stored this beer for another year plus.

Appearance: Pours a dark, cloudy amber/peach coloured beer with a snapping, fizzy white foam head that snaps down to stillness.

Smell: Soft, musty, aged. A bit cider-like, with loads of ginger in the nose, and dash of pepper.

Taste: A very crisp beer. Coarse on the palate. Carbonation is quite fizzy, like mineral water, both in feel on the palate and taste -- a bit champagne-like too in that respect. Puckering tartness with a stand-out sweet orange citrus flavour that is absolutely lovely. Very vinous in character. Apple-skin-like feel thrown into the coarseness, too. Hints of lemon grass, hop leaf and spices that taste steeped: coriander and pepper. The use of ginger really rounds things off and adds yet another layer of depth, and more spice to the brew. Slight "cheesy" flavour around the edges and towards the finish, which is coarse and dry.

Notes: Bottle-conditioned. Unpasteurized. Brewed according to an original 1785 recipe with: pale & Munich malts, Hallertauer hops, ginger, pepper, sweet orange, coriander and curacao.

Saison. What an underrated style of beer. So wine-like, but more complex with citrus and spices that pop-out with a most refreshing carbonation and lightness. Saison de Pipaix is a classic example of the style. Can't really say much more than ... Be adventurous. Live a little. Buy a saison and sip it with an open mind.

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Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and capped bottle pours a hazed copper body with a two finger ecru head. The head diminishes to attractive satiny sheets of lace on the goblet. Aroma is spicy with ginger and orange peel. Vague fruity notes suggest lemon and lime leaf. Medium body and carbonation. Taste is medium dry, with spicy white pepper, ginger, and orange peel dominant. Citrusy notes seem to be kiwi and lemon rind. Finishes with a hint of mustiness. Surprisingly drinkable for such a spicy saison but lacks the pastoral feel of better examples of the style.

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Photo of Billolick
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large green bottle,(not the aged stuff) corked and capped, the cork was kind of wet and gooey, hmmm, minimal energy released upon popping the cork. Pours medium almond, cloudy, without much noticable sediment, slight tan head and leaving just moderate lacing. Head shows good retention leading to a splotchy tiny bubble film The nose is where things start to get interesting, its smokey, sour, sugary, interesting. This has got to be the most sour "saison" out there, its close to a lambic in the strength of the puckering sourness that you will experience. Also notes of more smoke, tropical fruits, and honey. This is an interesting, complex and tasty brew. Has the feel, taste and character of being real authentic Belgian brew, sort of quirky and definitely differant. Well worth a try for all lovers of fairly sour Belgians

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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.

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Photo of Dinkel
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of OStrungT
4.65/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle at O'Brien's. There is a sticker on the bottle that says "This ALE has been brewed in 04/1995, bottled in Sept. 1995 and stored in our cellar. When you get it, put it back in a cellar for some days or better weeks (like an old wine). You should find a begin of wine porto taste. Enjoy it!" I have never had a beer this old. I know the style is not the best candidate for aging. Lets see how it held up.

This beer pours a clear golden yellow with a white head. The head fades slowly leaving a thick layer of laces.

This beer has a noticable alcohol aroma. Behind that, I detect a sour , citrusy aroma. Also, I can detect a spicy aroma. A little clove aroma also maybe?

This beer has a slightly sour flavor. I taste nutmeg, and a slight clove flavor. There is a good citrus flavor. The alcohol in not noticable in the flavor. I

This beer is very smooth. It leaves a sour cherry, slightly citrusy aftertaste. This beer is very refreshing. It has held up good after so long. The carbonation is very low, but that is understandable since it is over 10 years old.

This is a very drinkable beer. Low alcohol, smooth refreshing taste. If this beer was more available, I would drink a lot of it. Well worth the $20 it cost. O'Brien's has some left, I just might go buy another one.

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Photo of mocktm
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of rastaman
4.97/5  rDev +34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An excellent little brew, aroma of pepper, flowers and perhaps a bit of licorice, wood shavings or something like that. Very fresh and summery in taste, i dug it a hell of a lot, nice bitter finish aswell, well balanced, light, tart, exciting, i just love this stuff, close to my favourite.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a very clear soft slightly aged copper colored body with a beige head that last a bit and a gentle carbonation of microbubbles.

S- The soft fusel white plastic aroma has some soft berry esters to follow but it is otherwise pretty clean in the aroma.

T- The brassy bite as a white wine characteristic with some cider and green apple notes. It becomes even more dry in the finish. There is a grapefruit pith note with a dry sugar note and some sherry hints linger with a slight tang to them.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel is crisp with a tight soft fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has some odd off flavors and no yeast character or malt flavors. It was ok to drink but too dry and tart. I don't know if this beer is old or just how the brewer intended but it is not for me.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Magpie14
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: the color is as nice as a good summer sunset. Bright oranges with yellow hues and a soft amber color floating directly in the middle of the glass. The look is made shiny by the loads of bubbles floating around. No real head formed and fizzy ring remains at the top

S: acidic whiffs with lemons and tart apples. Very mild barnyard smells of hay and straw. I also gather something I can only describe a ginger root

T: flavors put forth a somewhat strong acidity with a touch of vinegar. The elements of the farm funk are softly available to the palate and the dominant flavors are of citrus augmented by pears, sour apples, a twist of lemon all sprinkled with white pepper. Body has the fruity appeal reminiscent of white wine on the palate with the carbonation of a champagne

M: two main words: coarse 'n' dry. The body is a true fizzy lifting drink. Carbonation makes gulping difficult and sipping with the window open on a nice warm day makes things a bit more enjoyable. The body is very light and airy

D: a sipper all day long. This is one of the better Saison's I have had. The flavors rely on fruity wine notes and are amped up by the strong carbonation. It also is not loaded with musty farm smells or tastes. It is different...

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Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of cokes
4.39/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy apricot body with a thin white head. Muddy yellow after the yeast pour, with a more defined crown.
Nose of limestone, lime juice, and lime leaves. Traced with sourdough, fuzzy peach skin, and a deliciously contradictory whisper of vanilla.
Pours throught the mouth with a melange of unripe and sour fruits. Peaches, cherries, pears, apple, and pineapple and muskmelon, all laid upon a salted lime juice backing. It's forcefully tart without being shearing or choking, or off-seeming. Like a gueuze-lite. Sedimentary rocks provide an earthen backing, mostly via sandstone. There has been a good deal of hop atrophy after 9+ years, but it still ends with a leafy cilantro herb note, and phantasmagoric Hallertau mist.
Yeast pour bolsters the body with wheat bread, caramel, and salt.
Light of body and of carbonation. A near decade later, this is a delectably different quaffer. More downable than a lambic, which might be its closest reference point. Otherwise, compare this to cilantro-infused salted limeade filtered through bedrock and garnished with melon rinds and pineapple.

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