Zaison Imperial Saison AleJanuary 1, 2013
Grand Rapids, MI
This beer was the brainchild of our owner Jason Spaulding; a unique high-gravity Saison that maintains a sneaky, easy drinking quality that belies its alcohol content. Spiced with Tellicherry black peppercorn and Spanish orange peel, with our house Belgian yeast strain.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1077
A nose of oranges and pepper, and sweet, yeasty dough (like a Danish). Wham! A mildly sweet mouthful that springs open like a time-elapsed daisy with razored-orange edges and a small core of wet, fresh pepper; very dynamic beer. The orange dominates the finish, big, lush, but not as sweet as the opener … and the pepper returns at the end. Good flavor and an interesting progression, if ultimately a simple beer; I’ve experienced greater complexity in “non-imperial” saisons, and really expect more, not less, here.
- Lew Bryson
Should I be surprised that a limited-edition beer from the “Living Brewery” has a hazy countenance and a somewhat funky nose? Outside the mildly barnyardy appeal of the aroma, there are softly tart notes of lemon and gooseberry. The body begins with citrus fruit salad leading to a fruity-spicy and lightly floral body, with palate-adjusting tartness turning more bitter by the tingling finish. I didn’t note the alcohol content until after I reviewed it, but ’d already figured it for a soft cheese or nightcap beer.
- Stephen Beaumont
Lew Bryson writes about beer and whiskey from his home in southeast Pennsylvania. He has a family and two dogs. That’s all you need to know.
Once described as “beerdom’s Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the co-author of The World Atlas of Beer, five other books, and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, and how it all goes together.
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