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

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

207 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | 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:
Beer added by: clickpush on 05-04-2006

Brewmaster's Collection - Special Reserve
Mixed Fermentation - Saison De Flandres
View: Beers (109) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass a hazy amber/bronze color with a large fluffy white head that settled very slowly leaving globs of lace behind.Aromas are a mix of overripe pineapple,green apple,and a big black pepper shot,not overly yeasty wich is a good thing for me,flavors are big and sweet up front like candied fruit with a touch of alcohol burn,the overripe pieapple shows thru as well as a hefty dose of black pepper.This is a big flavored saison alot different than many I have had,I really enjoyed it.

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a turbid dark orange color with a big two-finger head. The head sticks around for a while before settling into a thin pancake of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Nice lacing is left all the way down.

Smells more like a quad than anything, with Belgian candy sugar and a yeast funk, but it's also joined by a grassy aroma.

Tastes very good. Again, more like a quad than a saison up front, with light and dark fruits mixing and sweet Belgian candy sugar. As it warms, the malt asserts itself more and there's definitely a grassy twang.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing this one and wish I'd bought the big bottle.

Overall, there's a lot of stuff going on in this beer and the flavors change slightly with every sip. An interesting "Belgian saison" that's definitely worth a shot.

Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Large bomber into a chalice. Bottle label says 11.2 fluid oz, but that's clearly a misprint. :)

A: pours a hazy orange color with reddish hues. Beautiful white head reduces to a thin layer of white protection atop the brew. Mild lace adorns my glass.

S: earthy with plenty of yeasty funk. Malts and spice in the background.

T: spicy and malty with strong farmhouse yeast undertones. Mild sweetness and sourness too, but mostly just delicious.

M: medium-bodied, carbonation stings the tongue early on. Further through the experience, the bubbles subside which lends itself to a smoother and more enjoyable drink.

D: zero detectable boozy warmth. Very easy to drink; I could finish this entire bottle myself without problems if I didn't have company here to help me out.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Ruddy amber with a finger of thick white foam. Some yeast floaties are present.

S - Smells heavily spiced; cinnamon and the like. Still an undercurrent of yeast and a touch of saison funk.

T - Not quite as spiced as the smell would lead you to believe, but the cinnamon/nutmeg combo is coming through here and is really brought forward by the caramel malts. Not too much like a traditional saison, but some of that farmhouse flavor does come through. Also some citrus and other fruits; pear, grape etc.

M - Medium bodied and fairly high in carbonation; luckily this one doesn't cloy or the spices might be too much.

O - I like this beer; that being said, it really is unlike any saison I've come across. I guess the intensity is the whole 'imperial' part of the equation. Personally, I would desire this beer on a cooler evening where the warming alcohol and spices could comfort better.

Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice looking saison in my opinion. Amber in color with yeast particles reminiscing. Pours with an enormous fluffy carbonated head of off white that has the tendencies of a leach.

Much malt character in the nose very caramel in nature with some residual sugar accents. Nice contrast to the fruity, belgian spicey, yeasty traits of this beer. A floral hop shows through as well. Nice!

Again just great malt character. Caramel covered apples, orange, earth, spice, yeasty with a floral bitter finish. Nice refreshing carbonation and very easy to drink. Not one of my favorite styles because the belgian spices can sometimes be intruding to my palate. This one is very neutral and easy going.

Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 750ml cork and wired bottle it pours a slightly cloudy golden amber color with a substantial head that is white and creamy, it slowly fades leaving a fine velum like coating on the glass. Nose is rich in malt, sweet with a sour musky tone, spicy and citrus like in its crispness, start is nicely malted, and sweet with a tangy bite at the back, top is light to medium in feel. Finish has a biting acidity, the hops present and accounted for; tart dry aftertaste lingers long on the palate, a fine drinking beer and certainly a credit to the style. (Note): after decanting the beer, the pour was completely cloudy golden amber, with the dregs increasing the musty sour aroma.

Photo of srandycarter
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky brown with tan head with pretty good retention. Disk remains and lots of spotty cling lace.

S - Yeast and caramel, with a little straw.

T - Taste similar to smell, but has an astringent aftertaste that lowered the mark for me.

M - Med to full, creamy viscous and coating. Only thing is that astringent aftertaste...

D - Nice beer, fun to try.

Note: REtry 2012 - Much more lush, tropical fruit and banana. Pleasant!

Photo of stephens101
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, very murky amber with hints of red on the edges. A tan two-finger head fizzles out quickly with a few various sized spots of lacing left behind. Aroma is very sour, tart and vegetal up front with dark fruits lying in waiting underneath. Kind of smells like damp hay sitting in a barn, all musty but inviting like a mid-afternoon lay by a Belgian farm girl who might be a few pounds overweight. Maybe there was some manure in the aroma as well, but who gives a flip, it's a farmhouse ale right? I guess what I'm saying is the shit is authentic smelling. Just make sure you stay away from the back door of the barn.

Taste is complex and very fruity (prunes, grapes, figs, sour apples ) with beer bread and tangy yeast thrown in and some earthy graininess and spice at the end. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, but if you go looking for it, you will find it. Mouth-feel is creamy, soft and almost chewy going down, which makes sense, because beer is food, and if you lived a subsistence lifestyle this would be a great way to get nourishment. Hell yeah, this farmhouse lifestyle is looking very tempting, so I say screw the whales, save the Farmhouse Ales.

Photo of Seaba
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a mud puddle brown color, plenty murky, with a nice semi dense head that left some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of plums and raisins, some light nutmeg, flowery perfume, and brown sugar. Quite different saison aroma than I am use to. The taste of raisins and what I will call bitter figs are forefront and strong. Brown sugar runs throughout and is complimented by some bark spices. The Saison Imperiale is to saisons what BSDAs are to BSPAs, if that makes any sense. Significant malt body is fizzy carbonation; sweet & spicy, finishes a bit bitter. Quite the different saison. Pronounced aroma and flavor, I just not positive I am digging the flavor, at least not in a saison sort of way. Definitely worth a try as I haven't had a brew like this one before.

Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange with ruby tones. Nice white head falls rather slow to a minimal one. Very thin lace.

Nice aroma up front. Deep down there is a bit of musty earth smell with a slight aroma of a urinal. Yeah, you read that right.

Nice full "Imperial" flavor. Rather nice and quite boozy. Sweet raisin-like taste ending with a slight sour taste.

Rather full and smooth, not overly carbonated. Bit of alcohol on the tongue.

Pleasant. Bolder than I was expecting. Decent.

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jakon
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased for $8.99 on 4-25-7 at Whole Foods Tanasbourne.

This beer pours dark for a saison. Almost amberish. Average sized head that collapses on itself quickly, leaving behind splotches of lacing.

The aroma features light fruit notes such as honeydew, and a distinct sweet caramel maltiness. Yeasty, but not getting any funk here.

The taste is lightly sweet with a background hop bitterness. Not much of a resemblance to any other Sasion I've had, but I really like it. It's not as crisp and funky as I expected.

There was zero yeast sediment in the bottle, so I'm not sure if a bit of age would yield anything in the way of the desired brett funk.

Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Unique.

Photo of Spineypanda
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice amber color slightly hard to see through with a nice lasting head, not huge.
Smells like spices, some cloves and something else not sure what.
Tastes like a neutral yeast instead of the Belgian yeasts were used.
A great beer, one of the more enjoyable Belgians I have had in a long time.

Spices are nice but not overwhelming like in some Christmas beers.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Pours a dirty gold bordering on light tan. Decent amount of froth forms and recedes fairly quickly. In the nose, Belgian yeast esters, mild fruity notes, brett, and some earthy/musty farmhouse aromas as well. In the taste, tempered fruit notes (fig, pear, plum) as well as a little brett funk but not really tart or sour. Caramel, toffee, even banana flavors emerge. A beer full of nice complexities that make this beer a sipper. Soft woody hop bitterness, and just a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, semi-dry, and a clean finish. Overall, a really nice effort, a perfect night cap.

Photo of Rainintheface
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into my Duvel glass

A: Darker than anticipated. A murky brownish orange with a 1+ finger off-white head and fairly high carbonation. Great lacing

S: cinnamon, faint dark fruit, wild yeast funk, sour berries, a little medicinal, candied sugar and grassy. All sorts of aromas

T: dark fruit and berries (like aroma) caramel, malt, some wood

M: rather full bodied with high carb and a sourness, dry with a little bit of a sticky mouthfeel

D: A pretty good saison, not my favorite, but well done.

Photo of bruachan
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

damn, this bottle was stored a little warm, too. lots of foam (it's off white). the bits of sediment dance about in the columns of wild carbonation. the aroma these bubbles bring to the surface is quite yeasty and spicy, with coriander and cloves seemingly dominant. it actually smells quite a bit like a wit with some darker sweetness. hop character is limited

warm, yeasty and bready with fruit (of the dark variety: raisin, cherry). it's a nice brew, but something prevents me from declaring it excellent

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/10/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. No freshness dating on the bottle. Poured into my Troubador tulip.

Appearance- Odd amber, extreme dark golden color. Full solid 3/4 inch head and leaves above average lacing. Can't remember a amber colored saison I've had.

Smell- The slightest bit of barnyard. A sweet carob-caramel scent? A bit of sourness and sweetness. Some definite sugary aspects.

Taste- This is some freaky hybrid beer. It's got qualities of many styles. If I had to call it something I would make it a Belgian Pale Ale. It has the bit of powdered sugar and touch of lemon rind like saisons have. It has a nice spicy and sweeter flavor like a strong belgian pale ale. It has a funky light brett sourness like a wild ale. It tastes good, but trying hard to figure out what it is.

Mouthfeel- Medium carb, nice sweet-sour aftertaste.

Drinkability- Whatever it is, it's definitely drinkable. Not outstanding, but worth giving it a shot...whatever the style may be. Although the $10 was a bit steep. I'm thinking about $7 or so may be worth it.

Photo of GJ40
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber wtih an off-white frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity with caramel and an earthy character. The aroma contained a light bit of dirty spice which most resembled cinnamon and a bit of pepper. Caramel malt ruled the aroma with a bit of a nutty and toasty presence.

The flavor was strong dark caramel and graham flavor. The flavor was strongly nutty, biscuity and toasty. Along with the strong toast character was an earthy presence and a light bit of Belgian yeast spice. The spice was cinnamon with a bit of pepper, just as was noted for the aroma. The flavor of the strong biscuit and spice just did not seem to work together to boost complexity, more of a struggle to see who reined supreme. Some dark fruits, namely raisins, were present.

The finish was dry with lasting earthy character, light spice, and dark fruits into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium with a moderate carbonation and a mouthfeel that was almost creamy. This beer teeters on being a Belgian Strong Dark. Perhaps that is what a Saison Imperiale should be. Drink it warmer as it tends to increase in complexity as the temperature rises. While not alluring at first, the beer certainly grows on you. Give it a whirl if you have the chance. Some alcohol warming was notable after consumption.

750 ml bottle.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clearish red-brown w/ 2 finger offwhite head that died real slow and left lace ring as it descended. A great mix of that Belgianesque aroma of yeast and orange, as well as some citric fruit/floral hops, a touch of sourness (or funk) and I'm getting a rather good amount of sweet caramel malts. The beer passes my tongue smooth, even slightly creamy, a bit chewier than a regular saison as there is some bready type malt in here. I still get that yeast/wheat twang with helps the beer go down easy and has some residual sweetness. Also picking up tart, citric fruit flavors mixed w/ touches of cherry/sour fruit and some dark fruit as well. The sweetness is there as there is a nice chunk of caramel and sugary sweet malts. The the spices and hops come together (w/ just a touch of the alcohol) for a dry, crisp finish that complements the rather sturdy and complex finish. To me, maybe closer to a Belgain dark ale than your typical saison as the malts and hop bite are stronger, but nonetheless a great beer.

Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.