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

168 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 208
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | 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 (105) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 168 | Hads: 208
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has recently became available in Texas so I thought that I would pick one up for review. I really like Saison's so let's see how this one stands up. I like mine pretty funky, and typically this brewer has used reserved funk...let's see...

Appearance: Pours a pretty murky dark orange color with a thick head of tan bubbles that was about 3/8" thick after a pretty reserved pour, and it was still at least 1/8" a couple minutes after the pour. The head look really nice. Even after about 30 minutes, the beer doesn't realy clarify...but there is still a solid foam standing on top of the beer, so that is impressive. There is some thin lace left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: Amazingly enough, the aroma was pretty reserved for this style. I get some candy sweetness with a little bit of a fruit...like passion fruit...interesting. There is a little bit of woodiness and leather that I am hoping develops as the beer warms. The beer is cold right now and pretty full in my tulip glass. <Pause> After the beer warms up some, the Brettanomyces is really coming out. It is giving the beer a really earthy aroma which is pretty nice, but doesn't remind me much of a Saison.

Taste: I am really anxious for this beer to warm up some. Right now, as a cold and fresh beer, all it has it mouthfeel. You get a bit of sweetness in the beginning, and then it gets fizzy on the tongue which confuses you until after you have swallowed...then you just get some dryness on the back of the throat and a subtle warming that sets in a couple seconds later. As the beer sits, I can pick it up more, and it really seems like he didn't use the Saison style yeast at all, but instead made up for it with a typical Belgian yeast and maybe some Brettanomyces. The leather from the Brett is definitely becoming more noticeable as it warms, but I don't get the Saison spiciness that you would expect.

Opinion: Well, I would not get my hopes up in having a Saison when you drink this beer. I would put it more in the classification of the Belgian Pale Ale category. If it were there, it would be a really nice beer. Actually it is a bit like Orval, so if you like that beer...this would be good. I have been more impressed with other offerings from this brewery, but this beer is still no slouch. I will certainly drink it all, but I will be telling myself that it is Orval's cousin and not a Saison. (2,406 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a hazelnut color into my Bell's tulip. About a finger of quick forming head that is just as quick in disappearing. Moderate lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

Smell - A slight sourness to the nose which is followed by some barnyard funk. Not as prominent as one would think though. I get a bit of wet grass/hay, just a tinge of leather and is that cinnamon and/or nutmeg? Smells pretty good actually.

Taste - This tastes different at first from other Saison's I've had. I get an immediate sweet/malty taste (caramel) which is followed by the spices and finishes up with a slight barnyard funk. Not nearly as much funk as I would have assumed.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied (almost on the lighter side), decent carbonation, and finishes sweet.

Drinkability - I'm not sure yet...this is a very sweet Saison and I honestly am not sure I like it as of yet. I thoroughly enjoyed Bam Bière which had a lot more funk to it though was still relatively balanced. There are many more spices in here than I remember with other Saison's also. Overall it is not a bad sipper but I would prefer a more funky Saison in the future. (1,142 characters)

Photo of ShrLSU
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to glid02 for sending this brew my way.

A = A nice amber color with a generous white head. Thick lacing around the sides.

S = Lots of fruitiness. Some pear, apple, and some slight sour cherry.

T = This is pretty complex. i taste pears, some slight apple, and sour cherry taste. It comes through sweet in the end with some orange zest and a bit of spice with coriander. Very interesting and complex.

M = Kinda heavy and creamy with low carbonation

D = This is pretty interesting. It's worth a shot if you see it in the store or the bar. It's something that's a little different. Thanks again to glid02 for another tasty hook up! (648 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surprisingly dark amber color with a typically huge, fluffy saison-esque head. Just like the color of the brew, the foam is very dark for the style...I dont remember it being so dark last time I had a bottle. Excellent mountainous retention and sticky lacing.

Nose is mostly sweet base malts, alcohol and a bit of saison funk, but not enough for me.

Boozy malts and woody Belgian funk are foremost in the flavor. For me, this beer does not taste very saison-like, but it is an enjoyable beer nonetheless. Maybe more like a Belgian Strong Dark ale blended with a Farmhouse ale. Toffee malts give it an earthy funk enhancer, while the grainy malts remind me more of a kolsch. Alcohol is a bit much as well. Overall, it tastes good, but DeProef has better beers out there. (779 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and solid lacing.

S: Smelled of Belgian yeast, some fruit and spices.

T: Not exactly what I expected. Taste consisted of dark fruit, Belgian yeast and malt. Another reviewer said this was more like a quadrupel than a saison. That's pretty accurate.

M: A nicely carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, a drinkable beer, though not as complex or in character as other saisons I've tried. Not bad, though. (559 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber to chestnut in color with a low tan head, nice active carbonation in the middle of the goblet, and nice sheets of lace at the end. Spicy grassy aromas with a touch of Belgian candi sugars (maybe..). Similar flavors for the most part with a small touch of sourness and a touch of cinnamon. Medium bodied with a light warming alcohol sensation.

An interesting and different Saison...

Per label: "Brewmaster's Collection Special Reserve" & "Mixed Fermentation" & "Saison de Flandres"

'S1 1005' on faux cork
Tasted: 07/04/06

(25.4 oz / .75L tall brown wine-like bottle, corked, and caged) (603 characters)

Photo of brewdoc75
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paired with a fresh, goat cheese

Mixed fermentation bottle

A: Pours a murky brown with a modest, off-white head. Very murky. I guess saisons are supposed to be rustic and look like this, but for some reason it doesn't look too appetizing to me. It isn't bad, but just not terribly inviting.

S: Beautiful notes of citrus and grass. This is followed by a lemony pepper aroma. Some aromas of flowers and hay. This is followed by some plum and maybe a hint of cherry. Some light earthiness. Rose petals in the end. Very aromatic. Some interesting aromas represented.

T: Citrus and tart cherry flavors predominate. Some deep plum flavors too. Not as much flavor as what the nose implied. Not as spicy as some saisons I've had. It has a light sourness that seems to be mostly present with the cherry notes. A light lemon rind bitterness is there in the end. Good flavors overall, but not as flavorful as it was aromatic.

M: Light-medium bodied. Some warming from the alcohol. Finishes to heavy for a saison. I like mine bone dry. Seems almost creamy at times.

D: This was an interesting beer. I really loved the aromas. It definitely reminded me of a farmyard or countryside. The flavors were a little too muted for me. Unfortunately the mouthe feel brings down the drinkability a little for me. It is worth a try as it is a very interesting beer. Definitely not one of my "go-to" saisons. (1,391 characters)

Photo of IceAce
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle with synthetic cork dated SI 1005

Initial pour is chestnut brown with outstanding clarity. Collar is medium tan, pock-marked and rocky, leaving beautiful trail of light tan lace on my Duvel tulip. Nose is phenolic, sweet, and promises a dry / funky experience.

Entry is lively and coats the palate with a pleasing mouthfeel. Midtaste gives way to sweet malts as well as candied plums and raisens. The finish is vinuous with plums as well and ends on a very dry note.

A very different take on Farmhouse Saison. (533 characters)

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is sour and medicinal on a malty, fruity base. Dark, ripe fruit with citric notes. Smells great. I love the complex aromas and interactions between malt and yeast.

Pours a deep murky brown with a small top. Looks okay - so dark and murky, some head but not a lot. Certainly doesn't look bad.

A complex sweetness greets the tongue; lots of fruity sugars. Good, stiff dose of medicinal and powdery dry yeast. As they say, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicinal go down. Moderately bitter and tannic-feeling. A little tart.

I wish it tasted like it smelled. It leaves me feeling kind of empty (flavorly speaking). I get some good yeast funk and sweetness, but I never get a good grasp of the malt or hops. Saisons are often lightly hopped, so I won't hold that against the flavor. I think it should be maltier to balance the medicinal yeast or the yeast should be tamed to balance the lighter malt.

Mouthfeel is alright. On the lighter side of full bodied, mild carbonation, a good deal of bitterness and residual coatings of yeastiness.

Drinkability is pretty good. It has many good qualities, but none roped me into loving it. As a Saison it is strong (as advertised by 'Imperiale') and lacks direction and balance. As a Belgian Strong Pale Ale it is soft and light with most of the medicinal flavors of a beer like Orval without the balancing grounding or strength to make up for it. As a beer, it is definitely better than average but it lands closer to pretty good than good. (1,488 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not your typical saison, but it was still an enjoyable beer. Taste was much more funky than a typical saison, as I detected no pepper or spice in the beer but got a lot of funk. When I smelled the beer the first thing I thought of was Victory WildDevil. The beer is very drinkable, but if you are looking for a standard saison, you need to keep looking. (353 characters)

Photo of Traquairlover
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into tulips.

A = Opaque amber, small yellowish head which resolves quickly into thin layer of foam on surface.

S = Overripe pears, orange zest, some slight general barnyard funk.

T = Pears, maple syrup, apricots, fresh vanilla beans, slightly smokey quality, quite complex but not at all what I expect from a Saison, has some Scotch ale or English barleywine aspects.

M = Medium-heavy to heavy body, luscious creamy feel but surprisingly light mouthcoating for the body, would have been an almost perfect mouthfeel but for that.

D = I like this beer and enjoy drinking it, but one glass is enough. (623 characters)

Photo of DrDogbeer
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a goblet. Thanks, TP!
Pours a dark orange/brown with a small off white head. Smell is pungent. Strong aromas of funk - definite barnyard here. Some cheese and alcohol too. Taste is totally phenolic. Tons of band-aid flavor. Very strong on the horse blanket as well. A good deal of spice to finish. Very dry mouthfeel. Interesting, does not taste like any saison I have ever had- more like a funky american wild ale. (439 characters)

Photo of pinotboy007
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy amber/birch beer look to it with a decent, khaki head that revives a bit with a swirl. Trace amount of lace.

S - Interesting toffee, booze, leather, peat and barnyard aromas. I like it - it's something different.

T - Toffee, alcohol, wet leather - tastes sort of like its aroma. I like it.

M - Nice citus-like fizz deftly balanced against a creamy blanket of ale that's not too heavy.

D - More than drinkable but my guess is that it would shine best when paired with food such as stew, BBQ ribs, etc. (515 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle while out in Orange Co, as I don't recall seeing it much in Philly.

Poured into a snifter with a fat, frothy off-white head over a chill-hazed amber body, with a touch of carbonation flowing up the middle.

Aromas are wild - lots of guava and mango fruit sweetness, cinnamon, and oatmeal in the finish.

Flavors carry through the aromas, but seem more leaning toward watermelon in the fruity profile. Lots of dull spices, biscuit, bubble gum, and just a touch of orange citrus.

Mouthfeel is rich, but lacking in carbonation for the style.

This is clearly not a traditional saison - as advertised, it is "a truly unique saison experience." (663 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Goose Island tulip a deep burnished copper. Very reminiscent of a lot of Fantome's offerings. Nice head with strong retention and good lacing, but decreases as the beer warms The aroma is a sweeter, malty version of my pre-conception of a saison. Very caramelly. This is one of the sweetest and maltiest saisons I've ever had. Very unique, and you can taste and feel the alcohol on the palate. This saison would be awesome if the alcohol wasn't as present. This sweet saison still maintained a much lighter natural, earthy feel than most other saisons. A little tough to wanna ghave another after you had a bottle with your meal. Very glad I tried though. (670 characters)

Photo of Hophead101
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on 6.14.08 with bro in law jason. poured from bottle into wide mouth glass.

godo copper color, hazy. thick and bubbly head, foamy. however the head dissipated quickly. it did leave a decent lacing.

good sweet malty smell with hints of cherry and honey. unexpected taste. a little sharp at first but a great malty flavor. mouthfeel was quite nice. (354 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belgian bomber, caged and corked, no freshness info to be taken in. Pours dark and murky for a saison, dark tan head, with good staying power, then leaves a load of ringed, froth and then lace. The nose is just moderately of some earthiness and perhaps some lazy yeast in the background. On the malty side for a saison, this one lacks some of the guiding traits that make saison the popular style that it is. Light on the spice, funky barnyard and yeasty intrigue. I do get plenty of maple infused malts, some light holiday type spicing, some heady warming alcohol and a moderately floral hoppy final wave. Decent stuff, nothing special, a bit of a disappointment, especially from Deproef, who have turned out some special brews over the years. (744 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a hazy reddish amber, filled with tiny suspended particles. Foam has a creamy texture. It settles to a thin ring on the perimeter of the glass soon enough. One dimensional apple juice aroma. Slightly sweet, lightly spiced like a cider.

A light dried fruit note leads off, with an undercurrent of farmy Brettanomyces. It's a little horsey, but restrained well enough. The finish is dry, with a long aftertaste of rustic Belgian yeast.

Dry mouthfeel overall, but initially juicy and slightly cidery. With a medium level of carbonation, it could be quaffed or sipped. The dry Brett gets to be a little much, paired with the apple sweetness, i'm glad the 750 was shared. (678 characters)

Photo of dbmernin83
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellowish amber brown, with a one finger head. The darkest saison I have ever seen, but the label on the bottle warned of such a color.
Smells tart for a saison. Almost a sticky sweet toffee, fruity esters.
This is the lovechild of a saison and a quad. The first sip took me by surprise and I was mildly turned off, but the following sips grew on me quick. Dark fruits sweet, balanced by a lambic tartness.
A brave and interesting brew. A great twist on the style. (480 characters)

Photo of rossthefireman
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice deep brown hue, good head

S- Smell of funk and alcohol. Got a sweaty sock smell.

T- Lots of flavor. Slight sour and funk. Dark fruits. Tripel like sugar flavors. Caramel and biscuit. Lots of malt very ,little hops. Dark rum raisin alcohol. There is a lot going on in this beer.

M- A little thick and definatley heavy.

D- This isnt for everyone, its drinkable but for a small group.

Is this beer a saison or a belgian strong ale? I know its called 'imperale' but this isnt very close to 'normal' saisons. Too heavy, too thick not as light on the palate as it should be. However, this is a good beer with good flavors ! I like it , just not as a saison. It definitely strays from the norm. If you go into this beer thinking 'saison' you might be disappointed, but if you have no preconceptions, you will be okay. Definitely worth trying but if your looking for a true saison, this isnt the beer you want. (916 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours amber with a two finger creamy off-white head that dissipates leaving plenty of residual lacing. Lots of clumps of yeast floaties.

S. sweet cream, banana, some caramel malt. A nice mix of sweetness.

T. lots of sweetness with some belgian spice and caramel malt.

M. Medium body with fairly high carbonation.

D. A interesting sweet brew. Not really a saison, but a tasty beer regardless. (398 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very solid saison that straddles the line of beer definitions. It has some strong saison characteristics, but it certainly isn't the poster child for the genre.

It pours out surprisingly dark, mostly orange with a ruddish hazy tint. Quite a large tan head for a saison too. Nose is mild wild yeast and a gentle mix of light fruits, vaguely citrus, with subtle wet hay.

Taste is malty at first, with tinges of allspice, and a mish-mash of dark fruit flavors. Slightly nutty. It's complex, but the flavors overlap just a bit too much.

The mouthfeel is great. Perfect amount of carbonation. Appropriately dry. Nice drinkability. (638 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewmaster's Collection Special Reserve 'De Proef' Breweries

Saison Imperiale Belgian Farmhouse Ale, De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi, Belgium

Nice, amber-ruby hue, 1/4 inch beige-ish head. Definitely doesn't look like a saison, but that's not the idea, is it?

Aroma: rustic, earthy, gritty, spicy, ...rich malt...a touch of cocoa and coffee, just a hint. Not a typical saison aroma, and we're not doing a saison, are we? So far it seems that way. Raisins, toffee, coffee,...nope, not at all, saison-like.

Taste: Mmmmm, very nice, warm, malty, rich dark fruits...and very un-sasion-y, once again. Mmm, chocolate...mmm, coffee....mmm, raisins...but no matter how Imperiale, I never get the saison. I feel we've gone too far in pushing this envelope, in that we can't call it that anymore. And yet they do, so, who are we/am I to say?

Tasty stuff. Too malty for a saison, too spicy, not sure, but it is bigger in more ways than booze, as is the style in Imperializ-ing these days. It's a nice brew, but not terribly special, and still so confusing, that I can't really recommend it. Doesn't transcend the boundaries in such a way that it's exceptionalism should be celebrated.

Overall: eh.... (1,193 characters)

Photo of scootny
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A surprisingly dark saison. Initially not too cloudy but as I go down the bottle chunks of yeast murk up the glass. A very large head with impressive staying power and good lacing finish off the pleasing looks of this one.

Smell is not typical. A bigger dark malt structure overlaid with a touch of wine. Light banana and a hint of citrus are layered with a raisin and date combination. A firm yeastiness blends into a floral hoppiness. The saison spiciness is there but it is blended into the mix a bit more.

Taste is very much like the nose. Big smooth maltiness with a dark fruitiness and toffee infused sweetness. Buckwheat honey and faint banana as well. A very dry sharpness comes in and puckers the mouth. Firm hop florals as well a a phantom like grapefruit bittering that leaves tannic sourness and graham crackers on the palate and back of the throat. More tropical leaning fruitiness unfolds as it warms. Feel is medium and somewhat chewey. A healthy but finely carbonated touch breaks it up and keeps it pleasant on the tongue.

A very easy one to drink as the abv is well masked. I should say seductively hidden. This one gets better as you drink it and I wish I had more than one bottle.

Thanks to Dr. Dogbeer for this one. (1,242 characters)

Photo of
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25oz. bottle

Very clear, red toned brass in color. Large, creamy, ivory head. Some legs, pretty good lacing.

Smelled sweet, cherries and honey. Touch of the barnyard, very mild. Green apples. Bananas.

Taste was malty and sweet, almost like a yeast roll. Cherries popped up again. Touch of bitter at the finish, herbal. Honey.

Medium to full in body, a bit slick. Carbonation seems low compared to size of head, but fine. Sweet more than dry.

Not much like a prototypical saison (DuPont, for example), and a bit sweeter than what I was looking for, but very tasty. Reminded me a bit of Delirium Tremens or La Fin du Monde. (626 characters)

Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.