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Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Not Rated.
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse AleSaison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

204 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewmaster's Collection - Special Reserve
Mixed Fermentation - Saison De Flandres

(Beer added by: clickpush on 05-04-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ypsifly
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 that has a synthetic cork but no dates purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.

Dark amber with over two fingers of light tan that shows good retention and leaves lots of scattered lace.

The nose is yeasty and has some clove, sweet and tart notes with some basement funk in the background. The sweet/tart notes remind me of a cherry-strawberry flavored Sweet Tart candy and is actually quite appealing. Mouth watering aromas overall. I like it.

The sweet and tart combo is first up with lemon zest dipped in confectioners sugar. The tartness lasts throughout while the sweet flavors turn from sugars to more of a malty flavor that is backed by grassy hops. Very dry finish with some pepper from the alcohol in the back.

Moderatly carbonated and with an almost puckering tartness. Dry and very clean with a spritzy feel. A very nice summer drink if your in the mood for something with strength without all the weight and heat. I will buy this one again.

ypsifly, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of domtronzero
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish copper with a tan/off-white rocky, massive head. Lacing left through the finish. Aroma is of sweaty gym socks (major musky funk) and some piney resionous hop smells noted. Taste is similar to the aroma, but much more intense. Caramel sweetness up front, with the same gym sock flavor (it sounds bad, but is actually quite good tasting). Subdued hoppy resin/herbal flavors. Earthy undertones with some slightly noticable DMS flavors (cooked veggies). Mouthfeel is smooth but oily, and quite easy drinking. Not for the average beer drinker. For a good laugh, try giving this to one of your buddies who prefer Coors Light.

domtronzero, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. No bottle date as far as I can see. Beer seems interesting from the description, but like it should work...brett to finish a saison, not too out there.

A: Cloudy amber hue, head has medium size bubbles, off white color. Lacing is great, retention is also pretty good.

S: Incredibly fruity, definitely some brett character in the nose. Smells a little like Pez candy (in a good way).

T: Kind of a light tasting Belgian amber with extra fruitiness from the brett and a more aggressive bitterness. Not what I was expecting, but tasty.

M: Nice and dry for a beer of this gravity.

O: It is a unique version of the style, unlike any beer that I can remember. Reminds me of a mild dubbel they dried out further with brett. Good stuff (but I forgot the price).

51mmz0rz, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of daythree16
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Nice orange/amber/gold color with a huge, fluffy, three-finger head. The foam sticks around for most of the duration and leaves pretty decent lace as I drink it. This one is definitely darker than previous saisons I've had.

Big time aromas of Belgian fruity esters. Some honey and spiciness as well. Taste is very fruity with a little phenolic banana. The alcohol is slightly noticeable on the mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light-medium with lots of carbonation. This is a really delicious saison that definitely ranks up there with Hennepin and Dupont in my opinion. Very drinkable.

daythree16, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of thebreederswow
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks wayyy different than I was expecting for the style. A nice reddish orange, like thick honey. Creamy head that dissipated moderately quickly.

Aroma: Plum, honey, liquor, butterscotch, and some unfiltered apple juice. For me, this was one of the most appealing scents I'd smelled in a long time.

Taste: What a trip! Lots of rich, malty notes. Raisins, subtle funkiness (bordering on chantrelle-y), pear, apple, and many dark, non-roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel: More carbonated than I would have liked, but nice body, not too syruppy.

Drinkability: Drinkable, though the richness and complexity lends itself to smaller quantities.

thebreederswow, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of BWH3
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep gold to light amber with orange hues. Big beige head creeps ever so slowly back into the beer while clinging to the edges of the glass. This is a sill and hazy beer. In appearance, it seems more like an Imperial IPA than a Saison.

S: Overripe pear dominates atop a solid base of bread-like pale malt sweetness that is punctuated with a faint banana ester. No tart, sour, or sharp scents. No clove or spice notes. Minimal musty hops aroma.

T: An unexpected shift in flavor tones to favor the musty and mineral hop profile as opposed to the light fruits. Overall, crisp and light. Unusual flavors for a saison and not quite the most pleasing.

M: Despite the hazy appearance and great head retention, this beer does not have an overly heavy body. perfect for saison.

D: A truly interesting take on the Saison. Perhaps more hops in the taste than any other saison I can recall.

BWH3, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of eljefe21
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ice tea like in color. Pours to a single-finger head that quickly zeros out. Impressive fine lacing.

S: Sour malted smell. Very enticing. Ever so slight hint of vanilla.

T: Sour, slightly spicy, with a nice malt backbone. A very faint sweet, almost vanilla finish.

M: Good carbonation up front, fine bubbles like the lacing. Carbonation rolls back over the tongue and leaves with a pleasing dryness.

D: Probably popped the cork on this when it was still a bit cold. Got better as it got warmer (or was it me getting warmer?). Flavor and smells came out as it did. Refreshing flavors and mouthfeel hid the power in this brew. Nice for any time of the year.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

Review from notes taken on: 9/7/09

eljefe21, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of buffettfan
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, into a tulip glass.

Poured a cloudy copper/orange color, with a thick, pillow of creamy head that lasted a long time. There was a nice layer of head in the glass almost the whole time!

Smell, hint of fruit, apple cider, almost a pumpkin spicy smell. Smelled like fall to me.

Taste- fruity, spicy and bit bread/yeasty. Not a real hop taste.

Went down smooth, not a beer I would drink more then one of, but certainly a nice, refreshing late summer/fall beer. I enjoyed it.

buffettfan, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of mmmbeer
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL cork and cage Belgian bottle is mistakenly labeled 11.2 oz. This "saison de flandres" utilizes mixed fermentation. It is a hazy reddish copper, with medium carbonation and an inch of yellowed head that leaves sheets of lacing. Hops and spicy, lightly funky yeast in the nose, with caramelly and bready malts. It has a nice hop flavor, mild bitterness, pungent yeast bite and more caramel malt than most saisons. Light and smooth, with lots of carbonation and a dry finish. Not as assertive as I was hoping for, but this is a delicious brew that has a good hop/malt balance, and a mild, but noticeable "wild" flavor; probably a good gateway beer for those who have yet to try Brett.

mmmbeer, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of CHADMC3
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky copper with amber hues and a light tan head that starts foamy and scatters as it dissipates to a voluminous lacing.

This saison possesses a unique aroma immediately exuding the yeasts that are traditional to such a beer. Beneath the yeast lays certain sweetness, perhaps a touch sugary, perhaps a bit fruity or zesty like citrus, maybe even plum. There is also certainly some clove spice in here as well.

The flavor somewhat mirrors the aroma with the same yeasts, but also pepper like spice, as well as both dark and citrus fruits. It is also quite earthy and increasingly sour as it warms.

Medium to light in body with generous carbonation while remaining both crisp and assertive, and also just a hint puckering and a hint spicy.

This is fantastic beer, I am really impressed. The unique combination of aromas and flavors really leave you craving the next sip. A must try.

CHADMC3, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of Kraken
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured from a corked an caged 750 ml bottle into a Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Moderate pour yields 1 inch of head. Head is an off white/tan with great retention and copious lace. Color is a cloudy orange brown.

Nose- Citric and musty, with nuances of yeast and dough.

Palate- Slightly sour citric quality. Smooth with highly active carbonation. Plenty of bitters at the finish. Some sweetness comes through. Distinctive yeast characteristics contribute to a musty element in the flavor profile. Plenty of hops, reminiscent of a Belgian IPA rather then a saison. Finish is long and dry with plenty of pithy bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Mildly cloying, very active and dry.

Drinkablility- This is a great beer. Keeps you interested.

Kraken, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of shroompod
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plastic caged cork. Clear orange color. Decent head with some lacing.

Smells faintly of grass. Some alcohol coming through. After tasting I think my sniffers broke with allergies.

Tastes intially tart , some carmel coming through. Spicy finish I can't pinpoint , cardamom maybe.

Mouthfeel is medium with decent carbonation.

Drinkabitly is pretty good for beer with high ABV.

shroompod, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of fartingdog
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice auburn color, with a soon-to-receed head. Surprising color for a saison- smell was typical of a saison with an underlying sweetness- I wouldn't say raisiny, but perhaps some rich candied fruit. Taste hits all around- some typical spicy/appley notes with some good caramelized candy-sugar sweetness- kind of a cross between a saison and a dubbel. The carbonation dances on your tongue. Very nice and unexpected- I'm drinking this quicker than expected, glad I saved it till fall!.

And on that note, this is a perfect fall/indian summer beer (which we are currently having) - it's flavor is light and spicy, yet has a little more body , richness and warmth for the warmer days that receed to cool nights. Absolutely perfect fall beer!

fartingdog, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of HombreWing
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

corked bottle...Glass > oversized Duvel

Eyes: Pours bright, darker amber....off white creamy head, laces as it goes. 2nd pour let some of the yeast come into play....nice little haze.

Nose: First pour had mostly malt w/ a little yeast ester. 2nd pour some lactic aromas...peppery yeast

Tongue: First pour...malty, subtle ripe fruit, balanced by mostly yeast characteristics. 2nd pour added a nice element of tartness that played nicely w/ the fuller mouth feel from the haze.

Texture: I prefer a drier saison. This was a little more fuller bodied but I'm sure that was due to it's strength

Overall experience: As much fun as it was to drink I thought it made a better Biere de Gard

HombreWing, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (corked & caged), poured into a pilsener glass.

A forceful "thwup" from the cork lets me know that good things are in store. The appearance is a bit darker than most Saison's I come across, but the clear, amber-russet body is attractive. A lively carbonation level fuels a well-retained cap of finely sorted, creme-colored foam. The aroma starts off almost like a good lambic with some vinegar and sour notes, but lurking below the surface is the signature "horse blanket" saison boquet. Notes of peat, dark spices, and charred wood present as well.

Wow...MUCH different flavor than I was expecting. Gone are the sour notes, as an influx of rich, caramel malt balances nicely with a spicy, floral hop bitterness. Lots of horse blanket funk and wood on the finish, outshining the softly carbonated, medium mouthfeel. A subtle hint of whiskey-like booze is all the 8.5% ABV lets on. Body is a bit on the watery side, and I was looking for a little more bubbliness given the appearance, but that's okay. All in all, I thought this was an above average-saison with lots of complexity. Would I have it again? You bet.

wagenvolks, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of draheim
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL into a Hennepin glass. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger head that leaves behind some fine lace. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma is spicy, earthy, and floral. Some wet hay. Typical Belgian saison character.

Taste is a little more complex than the nose. A blend of pale and sweet caramel malts, along with some spice and fruit. More floral notes; warm, bready yeast. No hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, very drinkable. Crisp clean finish.

Overall a really nice saison from De Proef. There are more traditional versions of the style, but this one gives it a unique twist.

draheim, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange-ish copper, with a fluffy tan head. In the aroma, yeasty and a small tart green apple. In the taste, just like the aroma, small tart green apple, and a nice yeasty taste. A small tart bite, and a medium mouthfeel, with a dry, tart green apple aftertaste. A great saison, good flavor and mellow, and doesn't taste like 8.5%.

OWSLEY069, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of allengarvin
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Van Dieu glass, this rather brown, hazy saison has very little head to notice. The nose is interesting--one of the most bubblegum-like aromas I've ever smelt on a beer. There's also a distinct spiciness that's curious. Nice flavor--a distinct brett taste right from the start, though the sourness is restrained. A bit like Orval but funkier. Moderately high bitterness but hop flavor, I think, is mostly absent. There's a good spiciness accompanying but I'm guessing it's more yeast character, or actual spices, than hop taste.

Very interesting beer, and not what I expected. It misses my favorite flavor components of saisons, but that makes it complex.

allengarvin, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle as pictured here. Pours into a tulip a slightly hazed copper body with an immense pillow of foamy beige head. Retention is excellent and lacing lavishly drapes the glass.

Aroma is an unexpected combination of caramel and cinnamon. A mild note of barnyard funkiness quickly comes to the rescue, followed by hints of lemon, mint, and pepper.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with silky carbonation.

Taste opens with sweet caramel maltiness, followed by a bitter floral hops presence. Just enough of an undertone of outdoorsy spicy botanicals to make you think this is really a saison. Pepper and mild coriander join with lemony citrus as it warms.

More an excellent bierre de garde than a saison, but a very palatable brew, nonetheless. Not at all like the brewery's Flemish wild ales, but still pleasantly drinkable.

merlin48, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of mwilbur
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed and reviewed on 1/28/10.
Poured from 750 mL bottle into pint glass (yeah, not ideal, but I had no other glassware on vacation).
A: Pours an inviting dark amber with moderate carbonation producing 1/2 inch tan head that quickly recedes. Decent lacing. An atypical appearance for style...first clue.
S: Caramelly sweet malt, candi sugar, and a hint of yeast.
T: Dark dried fruit, caramel malt, and candi sugar dominate. A dry acidic yeast note is in the background along with a backbone of mild farmhouse funk. Interesting--and definitely different--for style.
M: Medium body. Oily smooth sweet feel with hint of alcohol burn/bite at the finish.
D: Good drinkability and interesting for style. An enjoyable and atypical (more malt-forward) saison that doesn't stray too far from style.

mwilbur, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of bort11
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been eyeballing this one on the shelf for some time. Finally broke down and grabbed it.

750 ml corked bottle, poured into a St Bernardus chalice. Solid 1/4 inch thick head that leaves OK lacing. I think the head would have been bigger if the glass wasn't so wide mouthed. Dark but clear orange amber color.

Smell is full of banana esters with some nuttiness. Sweet malt aroma, lots of fruit, baked apples. Taste is also quite sweet with the fruity flavors. Spiced apples, banana nut bread. All very warm flavor combinations.

Mouthfeel is very sticky and juicy. Solid carbonation. I really liked this saison a lot. I will definitely try the others from the brewery.

bort11, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of walshclimb
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice reddish amber color that is cloudy with a thin off-white head. Smells of rich, sweet malt and sour yeast and a hint of spice. The initial flavor is a dominant lightly sour yeast with a good malt base. Less alcoholic than expected though it is definitely there. Sour yeast and lightly bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with alcholic finish and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a tasty saison. I can't say I have had another Imperial Saison, but his beer is definitely bigger than the saisons I have tried. It is very nice and easily drinkable. Try it paired with mussels. We steamed the mussels in 3/4 cup of this beer along with some garlic butter, and the results were very tasty with the rest of the beer!

walshclimb, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of Jimmys
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750mL shared with friends.

A: a very hazy caramel hue. much darker than most saisons. billowing off-white head.

S: the aroma begins horsey. definitely get the Brett aspect. following the tart, a moderate amount of caramel and fruity smells. pears and apples.

T: im really enjoying this funk. very unique to this bottle. not overpowering, but certainly present. the palate then moves to a big malts. chewy toasted caramel and toffee. more fruit. figs. plums.

M: great carbonation. perfectly dont bottle carbonation here that makes for just the right amount of fizz. medium/full body.

D: really neat saison here. very different. the funk as well as the additional dark malts really makes this brew unique.

Jimmys, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged, I could not find any date marking on this bottle. It opened with a solid 'crack' (or should I say snap, or pop), but it didn't foam up. It poured a disappointingly hazy chestnut brown with an orange cast. I chalked the haze up to having not let the bottle sit long enough. Raised to the nose I got sharp fruit. There's a little bit of tang there. Green apple and dark fruit. Plum/prune, cherry, red grape/raisin. Leather, mineral and earth. Dusty. A bit of mud and a bit of barnyard and a bit of horse hair and sweat. Damp wood or straw perhaps. And spice. Soft spice... it's all kept in check. I'm thinking coriander, but also cinnamon and anise and even all-spice. And nutmeg. I'm thinking there can't be nutmeg, but I kind of get it. Who knows? It all comes back to prune though. Green apple and prune... I'm thinking that's the main note. That's what cuts through. And that's perhaps the main note of the flavor too, after you run through all of the aromas that I've just listed, and then break your way through the dry finish - because what differentiates the aroma from the flavor is the solid, dry, raspy and woody bitterness that runs through it! It's solid, and wide, but not sharp... maybe blunt is the word... no, I think perhaps raspy better suits it. Yes, it has a solid, blunt bitterness, but there's also an edge - raspy. And that must be because of spices. And for me, anyway, that kind of works. There's also a kind of herbal and dry-grass quality to it, and that seems to work with the low-level Brettanomyces. It's unusual in that way, with such a bark-like and woody bitterness. There's not as much fruitiness, but then again, it's also pretty malty. Those residual sugars are clinging to the palate and holding the bitterness and spice with them in the finish. So I have to think about it... what is Saison Imperiale? Well, obviously, it's a big saison. And with that comes bitterness. Right? Or is it too bitter and not big enough? Hmmm...? Well, it's not over-the-top in malt. I think it's just enough to keep from going over. And that needs to be balanced. Either by tartness or hop flavor or hop bitterness or spice. This has a little of each. I think it's well-done and well-balanced. It's interesting, and rich in character. I find it compelling as each sip seems to offer up a little bit more of the story. On the other hand, it can build on the palate after a serving or two. So final thoughts in five words... interesting, rich, full, worth-trying.

NeroFiddled, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of sjccmd
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly murky amber. Dark for the style I suppose, but it's appealing. Large frothy off-white/light tan head that recedes but sticks around for a while. Nice sticky lacing.

Smells of overripe fruit, green apples, brown sugar, molasses, a hint of bubblegum, earthy and funky yeast. A nice dose of tart and barnyard from the Brett. Somewhat spicy and very nice.

The taste consists of mild dark fruit, brown sugar, roasted malts. Finishes relatively sweet but earthy as well and leaves a spiciness that is almost reminiscent of rye, but is most definately from the yeast. The funk is not as present as in the aroma. Sweet and roasty for the style, but it's good.

Definately not carbonated enough. It's not awful because it does has a nice silky quality, but for a saison, it lacks the necessary dry crispness.

It's a very interesting beer to drink. It's a bit sweet, but for 8.5%, it's not much of a trouble to finish.

sjccmd, Dec 30, 2010
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
84 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.