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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

168 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 210
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot) visit their website

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 (101) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 168 | Hads: 210
Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured orange/brown into a small stange glass. White, fluffy foam rounds on top, above the rim of the glass and sticks around with delicate lacing decorating the walls.

Very light farmhouse funk with some pear and apple esters also present. It's a light, refreshing aroma.

Delicious. The Brett is immediately present and a variety of light colored fruits are bouncing around. A delicious aftertaste of bubblegum lingers.

Effervescent and light bodied. Anything more would hide the complexities of this farmhouse ale.

I really liked this. I've heard a lot about these bubblegum flavors that are created by a lot of Belgian yeast strains, but this is the first time I've been able to track it down interdependently.

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Photo of MEsquandoles
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL with synthetic cork into Duvel glass. Purchased for 10 bucks from Spec's here in Austin a few weeks ago. Not much info on the bottle, but it does display "Brewmaster's Collection - Special Reserve" and "Mixed Fermentation - Saison de Flandres". After pouring I see the big, reflective "Brett bubbles" joined to one another that cling to the inside of the glass bottle.

A deep amber brown. Thick carbonation with lasting power.

Smells of a Flanders Oud Bruin. Smells of plum, dark cherries, and caramel sweetness, with a Brett funk, and some faint Saison barnyard flavours. Also a little spice - white pepper?

Caramel toffee and brown sugar, fig, then an immediate Brett sprizteryness, followed by a swelling sweetness that dominates the mid to end taste. Noticeable earthy hops too. Dry saison aftertaste with some spicy coriander and Brett. Complex and intermingling.

Mouthfeel is thick and slick. Enjoyable Brett burp that bring out the earthy hops.

More Brett and dark red wine characteristics as it warms at the end of the bottle.

Given the color, 8.5% alcohol, aroma, and flavours, I'd say this should not be in the "Saison" category. I can usually drink a lot of Saison with ease, but this is sweeter and I prolly should have split this bottle. However, I had no problem finishing it.

This kinda reminds me of a "Imperial Orval" or "Orval Extra". Alot of similar flavours but some more malt character, thicker, and sweeter here. It still seems fresh enough to perceive a decent hopping. This could definitely pass as a Oud Bruin or Biere de Garde.

I will try to buy another to age in the hopes that the Brett will come forth some more, and the coriander subsides.

12-07-2009 update: All the same flavours as in the review before, but now there is more Brett character. Lots of molded cherries, as well as plum, fig, and a variety of apples. The malt flavours have really melded together. Some nutty Dubbel flavours I didn't note on the previous tasting.
Wish i had some brie and fig spread on some sourdough. And some nutty earthy cheese, maybe some Bleu if it wasnt too strong.
Feels great, very slick and smooth. Pretty drinkable for 8.5%
If you like it crisper and spicier, try to get it fresh. If you like the funk and fruitiness, let it age. I've bumped up drinkability half a point. I look forward to having this in spring and fall, when the weather is ideal. I also love Brett...

07/24/2010: Not much to add except that I don't like it as much. Not as complex. Mostly sweet fig. Moving drinkability back down .5

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Photo of TheDoorman
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber color with a white head, minimal lacing. Pungent aroma that initially reminds me of grape soda. Its a funky yeasty aroma. Earthy. A hint of animal feed and hay. Vaguely reminds me of XXX De Ranke Bitter. A bit spicey, like a spiced winter ale, cinnamon notes perhaps. The palate is has an earthy, yeasty tartness. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is as it should be for the style. Light and refreshing. This is a saison that makes much more of a statement that DuPont, Hennepin or Forte. Though it seems a bit off-style, I truly enjoy this beer.

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Photo of buffettfan
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of jenitivecase
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber brown, with the color fading out at the edges. Pillowy off-white head pours about two fingers and then leaves a ridiculous amount of lacing. A very pretty beer.

S: Dried fruits (apricot, fig, plum), dark sugar, juniper, and an antiseptic scent - kind of rubbing alcohol-y.

T: Strong alcohol taste, as well as the dark fruits, sugar, antiseptic from the nose. Leaves an aftertaste which reminds me of Robitussin.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, very smooth. The alcohol is present enough to leave a definite sting on the end of the taste, though.

D: This has a high alcohol content for a saison or for a Flanders, and you can definitely taste it. Not a session beer, and not something I'd really want more than one of.

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Photo of drummstikk
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first thing to notice is this beer pours a dark orange, much darker than most saisons. Head is cream-colored and thick, rising above crystal-clear orange beer. The first taste is much less tart than you might expect from a Brettanomyces beer -- instead, you taste ripe cherries and dark musty plant matter, like a pile of fallen leaves or wet bark. There is also a bit of the "bandaid" Brettanomyces flavor, but it's not nearly as pungent as a box of the real bandages -- more like a hint of plastic funkiness. The wild flavors are supported by just a twang of acetic acid.

The Saccharomyces have not delivered the usual earthy and peppery flavors of a Saison, though there are plenty of fruit esters and a hint of spiciness.

The malts are thick and caramelly, with hints of dark caramels and a solid body of medium, sweet caramel flavors. Like a good Saison, this beer finishes sufficiently dry, a feat considering the sweet caramel and thick body. Perhaps the Brettanomyces has contributed significantly to the effect of the dry finish.

The alcohols are present and noticeable in every sip, but not so fusely to be unenjoyable. You couldn't classify this beer as dangerously strong, because nobody will have illusions about the beer's strength. But the strong alcohol flavors and the bizarre Brettanomyces flavors certainly go together to make the effect of a big rambunctious beer, meant to be enjoyed on its own or maybe with a spicy Cajun seafood dish.

Not a bad beer to showcase Brettanomyces, either. You could try Saison Imperiale alongside Orval and a dry lambic to get a feel for the range of flavors that genus of yeast is capable of.

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Photo of Tbone
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer. I don't worship at the style alter andI don't knock beers for being atypical, unless they clearly belong to a very different category than labeled.

This is a saison, darker and stronger than most (as indicated by the qualifier 'Imperiale'), but I would still peg it as a saison, due to its subltle but still noticable spicy bite. I have actually been on the lookout for a saison that is a bit darker, stronger, and more caramelly. This fits the bill.

The appearance is crystal clear deep copper with a nice head.
The weakest element is the nose. Very few aromas come out of the beer . However, the taste is very nice. A classic though subtle dry peppery spice starts halfway through the swallow and stays with you for a half minute. The intensity is far below the highest rated Saisons, but the flavors are there to be had with a little reflection.
The caramel sweetness forshadowed by the color strolls along with the subltle pepper bite, while the 8.5% ABV stays well hidden.

The mouthfeel is thinner than what the appearance leads you to expect, but about right if not slightly on the rich side for a Saison.

If you go into this beer expecting the 'imperiale' to denote a stronger than average saison taste, then you will be dissapointed. The moniker reflects more its stronger ABV accompanied by a darker, more caramelly, and sweeter than typical beer, which somewhat mutes, but also complements the peppery bite and is an interesting twist.

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Photo of nppeders
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ruby red and brownish hue's make this a little bit out of the norm from a typical Saison. Great lacing

mostly malt, not a ton of yeast which I was expecting. Hoping for some more funk. a little bit of plum and some dark fruits in the nose which are pleasant. not overpowering like a belgian Dubbel. crazy fruityness going on...not sure what kind at all but seems more like the tropical type. Really nice.

Similar to the smell. Somewhat subdued in the taste department, malt, caramel, dark fruits, tropical fruit.

mouthfeel -
low to medium mouthfell with low carbonation.

overall -
Interesting belgian beer. Hard to think of it as a Saison, but it's definitely a tasty beverage. Something just doesn't really work in this one. Maybe it's too fruity, or not yeasty enough. It's just ok.

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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

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Photo of SuperWhite92
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red color, almost brown. Smells like pepper and fruit. Has a reasonably thin mouthfeel, which is actually appreciated in this brew. Taste is exceptional. It's peppery, spicy, a little fruity, but the saison yeast is very well balanced and actually a little subdued.

Rather impressed. I wonder how this cellars, because I really would like to keep a few bottles for shits and giggles.

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Photo of calinative68
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprising amber color with a decent lasting head. I was looking for a more golden color

Good carbonation.

Taste is on the malty side with slight hops. Not what I was expecting for a Saison.

Kinda dry mouthfeel again with slight hop flavor.

Drinability is ok, not an all nighter. Again, I was expecting a completely different beer. Might give it a try again, but there are other Saisons that I would prefer.

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Photo of IrieJackalope
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Russian River goblet from a 750ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a deep brown, much darker than your average saison, almost looks like a clouded Belgian brown. Aroma is yeasty, but not overwhelmingly so. Taste is not nearly as dry as I would expect from the style, not nearly dry enough, and too malty sweet. Overall, kind of a disappointment. Would much prefer a Saison Dupont or Red Barn from Lost Abbey.

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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.

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Photo of kamiller
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 ml poured into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: poured a slightly cloudy reddish brown.

Smell: a great smell, fruity notes, sweet.

Taste: semi fruity taste, just a very slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, light to medium body, crisp and clean finish.

Drinkablity: Seems very drinkable, hides the high alcohol content very nicely.

Overall: I bought this beer on a recommendation from the store worker and I have been impressed. It is my first Saison's hopefully they are all this good.

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Photo of thebreederswow
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of davidthesnoozy
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Saison Imperiale is a Belgian style beer with a brownish color and citrus aroma. The head is a creamy color. There is moderate head retention. The appearance reminds me of a British brown ale. There is a malt aroma coupled with citrus. The taste is balanced between bitter and sweet with a slightly more sweet finish. There is no lingering aftertaste. The mouth feel is moderately carbonated with strong alcoholic heat. The Saison is one of the more interesting Belgian style beers I have yet to try.

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Photo of spower
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

corked caged 750ml bottle

Some of the other reviews stated no brett. My bottle was a little dusty so maybe the brett came out more. Well the type of brett.

Color much darker than I expected. Dark amber.

Nose was malty. Very malty, but I got some cherry pie normal for a type of brett. Not the horse sweat brett at all.

Taste.. well it was a surprise. More hops than I thought for that cherry pie nose. A slightly bitter bite. Not to abnormal for saison though. No flavor or aroma from the hops.
I got some small amounts of sour from the brett. It made me think this beer was made to age and mix with a sour.

Mouth feel. Well like I said It made me think this beer was made to age and mix with a sour.

Over all. I was nice to get the cherry pie brett nose and sourness. It would be a good beer to brew to mix with a lacto and pedie ale to make a good flanders red, brown or the type. Enjoyed the beer very much. Great buy if you like malt and cherry pie.

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