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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
86
very good

204 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | 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
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

This is a real farmhouse, the barnyard smell is there and it stays, whati the brett accumulating?. Active white head that evolves ito some creaminess. Active spice and carbonation, yet it does not detract. Satisfying aftertaste. The alcohol warms as it accumulates.

10-17-2008 02:49:29 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. First thing I noticed was how much head there was, but then it is a wheat beer. The color of the beer was an reddish orange color that was hazy. The head was white and had some moderate retention.

The smell was of apple, banana, and wheat. There was a very mild sour undertone. The taste was more sour and of soft wheat with some of that apple coming through. Interestingly enough there wasn't a bit of alcohol in the smell or taste.

Medium bodied with some chunkiness coming from the wheat. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

02-22-2008 21:17:09 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -21.3%

12-17-2011 17:38:22 | More by djrn2
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

Bronzed orange peel with a hint of cherry red. One doesn't normally see saisons this dark. The top half of the glass is filled with an outstanding looking crown of orangish ecru that is impressively sticky. No surprise, then, that the glass is positively coated with lace when the cap eventually recedes.

The nose is next to absent. I'm hoping that it'll open up when it warms, even though it isn't exactly cold right now. My impressions at the moment consist of musky, earthy and fruity; nothing more specific than that. Note: warming helps just enough to pull the aroma to above average.

Saison Imperiale is an odd beer. It's heavy on the caramel malt, moderate on the spices and light on the farmhouse funk. I'm not sure what it is, but I'd call it any number of things before I'd call it a saison, despite the catchall nature of that style. English old ale?

All that gooey caramel malt gives it a sweetness that is out of place. It also tends to drown out whatever complexity might have been provided by the yeast. One source I found says that coriander was used. I can sorta taste it, but I could never have identified it on my own. Add some earthy hops for a moderate bitterness and you have... nothing special really. Bruised apples? Nuts? Caramel-covered apples with nuts? Faint impressions at best.

The mouthfeel is more American than Belgian. In other words, it's medium-full with a moderate chewiness and a less than expansive amount of carbonation. I don't hate it, I just don't love it.

Saison Imperiale is a decent, drinkable beer, but it's nowhere near what De Proefbrouwerij usually delivers. What's a farmhouse ale without any farmhouse character? If you happen to run across a bottle, I'd suggest spending your money (I spent $8.99) on something else.

07-19-2007 22:37:05 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

Appearance: Pours a murky amber color with a couple of head fingers; leaves a nice pattern of lace behind, too

Smell: Expecting a Saison, I am picking up an Old Ale, with caramel and a range of fruity esters; there is a bit of funk, but it is very subtle

Taste: Plenty of caramel and fruit, up front, with pear, apple and cherry elements; by mid-palate, however, the Saison spice arrives to add a vaguely herbacious angle, though very subtle; after the swallow, the caramel lingers while the herbal and fruity elements combine to add contrast

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An Imperialized Saison??? Well, I can't say the style does anything for me; interesting, but many things are off here, ranging from the overwhelming taste of caramel to the heavy mouthfeel; everything I love in Saisons is missing from this brew; glad I tried it but not something I would seek out again

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

05-27-2011 01:05:52 | More by brentk56
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3/5  rDev -21.3%

Pours a nice clear and bright copper with a thin white head.

A lightly sour unripe peach, malty pear nose with some hints of spice and a light hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium character and a bit creamy; good mouth.

Flavors are a bit of sour malt. A bit of sour sweet coffee and a bit of lightly sour sweet peach with hints of apricot. Just misses in the flavor department and I wonder if perhaps I have an old bottle. This warrants another taste with another bottle.

Finish a bit coffee/carmel with hints of sweet and bitter. Not bad; just not real drinkable. All around character is a bit of "sour/sweet tortilla" or, a sweet-sour yeasty beer. Actually, it is a bit "soda poppy."

10-01-2009 06:53:15 | More by GRG1313
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

07-05-2008 18:25:27 | More by oberon
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

12-14-2007 03:20:26 | More by emerge077
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

2.95/5  rDev -22.6%

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly dark but clear amber, pretty unlike any saison I've seen. The head rises to about three fingers height and has great retention.

Smell: Extremely estery; berries, figs, dates, a hint of spice (nutmeg, allspice).

Taste/mouthfeel: Lots of estery dark fruit here, leaning toward the berry and fig flavors. The body is fairly light despite the high ABV, and I'd guess that this was significantly lower in alcohol if not for the slight heat that shows up in the finish. Sweet berry-like flavors continue right on through the finish - where's the dryness? This isn't a bad brew overall (nor is it great), but it's lacking all of the qualities that I look for in a saison.

Notes: A disappointing beer from a generally good brewery.

06-11-2008 00:55:19 | More by largadeer
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JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +5%

11-29-2011 03:56:34 | More by JAHMUR
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NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

12-02-2008 01:29:34 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Crystal clear and bright orange amber color, thick bubbly frothy off-white head leaves a crown of lace on the glass. Aromas of lemon grass, turmeric, ripe melon, parsley, tart plum and musty hay. Alcohol is quite noticeable in the nose. Big viscous smoothness and crispness rolls slowly through the full body. A bit creamy and slick in the mouth feel. Caramelized malt sugar, grainy horse feed like malt flavor, earthy with a hint of mineral and salt and sweet cooked veggies in the back. Alcohol is a bit flamboyant with fruity esters in tow, ripe pineapple and papaya come to mind. A complex herbal phenolic slowly peels away layers as it warms up a bit more with each sip. Suggestions of pumpkin seeds, pepper corns and starchy plantains. A little buttery, stripped hop character appear middle to end. Finishes with a deep grassy grain flavor that runs semi-sweet.

A complex beer for the mature palate ... or simply an acquired taste. Any true Belgian beer lover will appreciate if not have high regards for this ale. Unlike all Saison I have ever tried, think one part Saison plus one part Quad and this is what you will probably end up with. I broke out a wedge of creamy Danish blue and fig spread with the rest of the sample, with a beer like this blue is always a good choice.

09-08-2007 03:21:48 | More by Jason
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.43/5  rDev +16.3%

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with 3+ fingers sand colored head. Superior head retention & lacing

S: Appleskins, dirt, mushrooms & mustyness

T: Appleskins, tartness, grapefruit & dryness up front. Hints of caramel, mushrooms, phenolics & tartness follow as this warms. I get acidic notes from the appleskins & puckery dryness as this continues. Finishes woodsy dry, with apricot, apple, & grapefruit & a hint of pear brandy

MF: Slick, medium-bodied with spritzy carbonation

Drinks a might ponderous, even on a dreary late summer's date here in the rockies. Very complex & dry, so that does slow me down a bit, plus the 8.5% abv, as well. One of the better Saisons I've had. This is retired??? What gives?? Get it if you can find it, Saison fans

09-11-2007 02:02:09 | More by russpowell
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

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....

11-21-2010 02:47:57 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

05-25-2013 23:24:45 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

10-08-2009 23:11:03 | More by Mora2000
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Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +5%

11-26-2011 02:29:24 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.05/5  rDev -19.9%

Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves a bit of a structured lacing pattern on the sides of my glass as it falls back into the beer. The head sits on top of a murky cherry red colored beer that shows an almost brilliantly clear, light cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of sticky, sweet malt notes and earthy spice aromatics. Flavors of buckwheat honey, cheap coriander, soft orange peel, clove, slightly woody (though more like hay) and lots of earthy spice / herbal notes. The aroma is ok, but really doesn't have a bright, Saison-like character to my senses.

Sweet, with a medium fullness to it up front, the beer actually gets a bit cloying towards the middle and end. Sweet flavors of herbal honey and grassy grain mix together with the substantial green, but still earthy, spice notes that are most evocative of cheap coriander and grass. A light bitterness in the finish and a herbal / grassy (complimenting the same flavors found in other components of the beer) hop character provide a touch of additional balance. The earthy, grassy notes really dominate the flavor profile of this brew, but it completely misses the finesse of a Saison Dupont. Instead the beer just tastes muddy, flabby and out of balance.

A bit too under-attenuated for me; I like a Saison that is typically a lot drier than this, this is just too heavy on the palate. This also doesn’t have the piquant spiciness (yeast character only please), or bright hop character, either of which I would expect in a good example of the style. This is especially true, despite the Imperiale moniker, when one considers this isn't really any stronger than most Fantôme beers and is lower in alcohol than Dupont's Avec les Bons Voeux.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

01-10-2008 02:15:45 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

Appearance: cloudy amber in color with a 1" head. No lacing develops.

Smell: loads of fruit and some farmhouse funk rise from the glass.

Taste: apples, pears, green grapes, somne caramel, touch of sourness, some mild funkiness, and a soft bitterness make up a different kind of saison than one expects.

Mouthfeel: lightly crsip throughout. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is short as the fruitiness comes through the most.

Drinkability: this one is more of a slow sipping saison. Definitely worth grabbing a bottle of this.

03-08-2009 21:26:10 | More by Gavage
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4/5  rDev +5%

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.

05-11-2006 05:25:35 | More by GClarkage
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours a very dark cloudy amber color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a thick two finger yellowish head. Decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves splotches of soapy lacing behind.

Slightly earthy, funky aroma with slight maltiness, dark fruit notes, oak and spice. Bready yeast, clove, coriander, banana, apple and pear in the nose.

Medium bodied that's on the fuller end of the spectrum with a surprising amount of chocolate maltiness along with a very prominent peppery/coriander spice character. Earthy oak with a slight tart sour funkiness that is balanced out by dark fruit notes, especially dark cherry. Soft carbonation up front that lingers over a funky sweetness midpalate into a lingering dry finish. Complex and pretty quaffable.

05-14-2010 06:09:15 | More by corby112
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

12-06-2008 00:20:44 | More by Billolick
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.4/5  rDev -10.8%

Of the newer beers available from De Proef, this is my least favorite. It is by no means a terrible beer, I just think they missed the mark for a Saison. Pours amber with a decent initial head that fades to a swirly cap that leaves some minimal lacing. Darker than most Saisons, but it is a broad category. Smells sweet/sour with aromas of cellared apples and a touch of balsamic, old fruit, and orange marmalade. No peppery snap that I like to see in a Saison. The taste also heavily leans on overly ripe fruit, very similar to the aromas, with the addition of apricots and persimmons. Again, no crispness, spice, or peppery snap, and without that it seems a little too sweet and tires the palate too quickly. I enjoy this less the more I drink of it. Give me any Fantome over this beer any day- they make plenty of examples with similar abv to this one that ccould also be called "Imperial" but vome across as much more complete, bold, and balanced.

06-27-2008 14:00:27 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

Clear dark amber colored ale with a very tall and lasting tan head, very dark for the beer style.

Smell is "Belgian Farm House Funk" with apple, lemon, plum, and allspice in the mix. Fainter coriander and ginger aromas and a Touch of Sour Flanders Red Ale.

The taste starts out sweet and woody with a bit of a bitter aftertaste at first. Cork and lemon on second taste and the herbal bitterness gets stronger, a lot like Italian bitter aperitifs. Tropical aftertaste, mainly pineapple and papaya.

Mouthfeel is Good.

Something like a Saison crossed with a Flanders Red to this tongue. It's OK but I will get Hennepin next time.

10-17-2008 01:03:58 | More by Zorro
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

05-22-2014 20:05:32 | More by afsdan
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Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.