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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: 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
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BWH3
BWH3

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

11-10-2008 21:07:41 | More by BWH3
Photo of ryrust5301
ryrust5301

Louisiana

2.55/5  rDev -33.1%

Appearance - Almost the color of cherry oak, which is a little dark for a saison. Looking like an impostor and not true to style will cost it a fair amount of points.. Pretty nice off white head, which stood up for quite some time and left it's mark around the glass.

Smell - Sweet cherry with a sour breath to it, almost like a flemish red. Sour, most definitely sour, with a fruity aroma to it; most likely banana. Very pungent, while not bad, not very saison like.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Really mellow with a thick creamy malt. Has a lot of sour fruit to it, and a little bit of a belgian quad type taste. Loads and loads of dark fruit are thrown in and have a candied taste to them. Have no idea what they're trying to pull off here? Medium mouthfeel is coating, but not really interested in what it's coating my mouth with.

Drinkability - This beer has no identity whatsoever. Don't know how or why this beer came to be, and don't really care.

04-10-2009 06:54:03 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of daythree16
daythree16

Tennessee

4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

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.

11-09-2008 05:51:59 | More by daythree16
Photo of ShrLSU
ShrLSU

Louisiana

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

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!

04-10-2009 06:46:56 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of KZE80
KZE80

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

10-22-2012 05:12:01 | More by KZE80
Photo of JDavidRice
JDavidRice

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

06-11-2013 00:53:41 | More by JDavidRice
Photo of dbmernin83
dbmernin83

California

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

06-08-2011 03:22:53 | More by dbmernin83
Photo of walshclimb
walshclimb

Nevada

4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

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!

10-16-2007 22:59:18 | More by walshclimb
Photo of sjccmd
sjccmd

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

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.

12-30-2010 03:23:42 | More by sjccmd
Photo of CPeterson
CPeterson

Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

A -- Pours a deep amber orange with a nice frothy head that settles into a light skim and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S -- Caramel malt slightly soured with a solid barnyard funk. Almost smells of wild yeast although I don't think it A -- Pours a deep amber orange with a nice frothy head that settles into a light skim and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S -- is.

T -- Deeply malty with a nice crispness with a lingering dryness. Notes of peach and grapes, lightly hopped.

M -- Smooth and slightly tart, with a nice dry bitter note to end.

D -- Nice and approachable, I would use this as a great introduction to the style, although I wouldn't buy it again for my own consumption.

04-07-2010 00:58:11 | More by CPeterson
Photo of LiquidCucumber
LiquidCucumber

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

08-10-2011 03:50:33 | More by LiquidCucumber
Photo of BeTheBall
BeTheBall

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -20.5%

Poured from a 750 into my Duvel tulip. Darker than other Saisons I've had, an amber to brown color with lively carbonation and a one finger head. Some minimal lacing down the glass.
Smell was funky, sweaty, almost sour.
Taste was similar; dry but musty and funky. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but not horrible either.
Mouthfeel was good due to the carbonation.
Drinkability was decent smoothness-wise, but not a favorite taste for me. I wouldn't buy it again, but I'm sure there are those (Fantome fans) that would like it.

06-01-2009 16:49:04 | More by BeTheBall
Photo of rdickey
rdickey

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +1%

Appearance: There wasn't a huge pop when I pulled the cork, so a gave it a roughish pour into a tulip, which resulted in some yeast sediment making its way into the glass. This is much, much darker than I expected, with a one-finger off-white head that lingers somewhat.

Smell: Tartness attacks even before I put my nose into the glass, at which point there's some barnyard funk. Frankly it's not the most appealing nose I've experienced, and I'm a fan of the funk.

Taste: Fruit sweetness dominates - peaches and pears, and a little spice. The tartness is present, too, and I'm wondering if this one is a little past its prime; could over-aging cause it to both darken and get tart? Although interesting, it feels a little unbalanced - the hops just play around the edges, and the funk in the nose doesn't get rolling in my mouth, so I ended up feeling like this was a bit sweeter than I'd typically expect for the style.

Mouthfeel: As you might expect, I didn't love the mouthfeel. Given the sweetness, a little more zip in this category might have helped. As it is, it finishes a little heavy for what I expect from this style.

Drinkability: I applaud the brewers for pushing the envelope a bit here (and the saison envelope is a pretty damn big envelope as it is), but it's not really a beer I'd be happy drinking all night, and at the same time it doesn't do it for me as a evening capper, etc. I wouldn't say don't try it, because it's interesting, but there are better saisons out there.

07-18-2008 00:32:29 | More by rdickey
Photo of jakon
jakon

Oregon

4/5  rDev +5%

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.

04-30-2008 08:05:16 | More by jakon
Photo of RodBurg
RodBurg

Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

Poured a nice dark copper with a thick tan head into a goblet. Good Lacing.

Lots of spice floating off this one. Cinnamon, allspice, cloves. Also has some fuity notes, plums and apples and some yeast.

Taste starts off with the spice and a little fruit. Yeast and banana bread also there. End has unique combo of tart, tang, and bitterness. Body goes well with the prickly carbonation.

Very complex and well put together. I'm a fan.

09-11-2008 00:29:40 | More by RodBurg
Photo of midnite2sixman
midnite2sixman

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

Dark hazelnut brown in the glass. Lots of floaters. A good thing.

Brown sugar, yeast, belgian soil?, caramelized something or another on the nose. Lots of sweetness.

Taste: sour maltiness, rock candy and all sorts of flavors that I cant really put a name to.

Mouthfeel is medium, nice finish, lots of malts on this one, not nearly as big tasting as the ABV may indicate.

This is my first Imperial Saison and I am not sure of what to say about it. I enjoyed it, but cannot say I'd go back or not.

04-17-2009 22:16:51 | More by midnite2sixman
Photo of eljefe21
eljefe21

Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

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

10-02-2009 04:12:44 | More by eljefe21
Photo of thirdeye11
thirdeye11

Texas

2.93/5  rDev -23.1%

Presentation: Poured two beers from 750ml bottle to my Duvel tulip over about a 3 hour period.

Appearance: This beer pours a 1 finger head that recedes quickly, but leaves a LOT of lacing on the glass regardless of temperature. Very pretty brown/red almost rusty orange color that is completely opaque and darker than I expected. The second beer I poured of course was completely saturated with yeasty floaters throughout. I don't mind this and actually like the taste of the yeast in my beer.

S: Extremely funky barnyard smells here, horseblanket, and even detected what smelled like urine to me a couple of times. The smell does change throughout. I am not completely offended though as I do keep smelling it repeatedly, and sometimes a dark fruit aroma comes through which is good. There must be some Brett yeast in this beer. Oaky and earthy as well. I didn't care for the smell, and my wife absolutely hated it.

T: The taste was quite a bit better than the smell. Lots of sour tastes, some sweetness, and definite bitterness was there. I felt that the sour was nicely muted by some of the fruit flavors, but not enough to counteract some of the funkiness and sour that was going on here. More sweetness would have balanced this out and made this beer far better. The one fruit I do taste is sour green grapes. When I bought it I expected less earthy sourness, and less color as well. Maybe some caramel in the first notes of tasting as well. The bitter aftertaste lasted longer than almost any beer I've ever had, and I did find myself appreciating that particular quality.

M: Creamy, extremely carbonated in a great way. My wife said the one thing she liked about this beer was its carbonation, and I couldn't agree more.

D: I had some issues drinking a full 750ml of this. I might try it again, but I think I'd really rather only have 8-10oz of this at a time. It took me probably 3 hours to drink a 750ml which is pretty slow for me.

Overall I was surprised by how dark, unfruity, and funky this beer was. I suspect some Brett yeast was used and can be attributed to these qualities in the beer. I doubt I would buy it again in a 750ml format, but I might try it again just to see if some fruitiness comes through more for me a second time. That would make this beer far better. I don't mind funk when it is properly balanced, this one just wasn't.

03-19-2009 13:57:04 | More by thirdeye11
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
USCTrojanBrian

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

750 ml bottle, corked (newcork) and caged, purchased at The Perfect Pour (Columbia, Md.)

Wow, dark, dark "saison". Brown, yellow, interesting mix there. Not much head, poured into my Brewer's Art chalice.

Sweet aroma. Get some malts in there. This is really different. Something else in there too, some too-ripe fruit like raisin plus figs.

Nothing like a saison. More quadlike, a watery quad at that or a Belgian Dark. Sweet and fruity are the two main components here. Dark, complex concentrated sugar fruits like raisins, plums, figs.

Not what I expected. This is a talented brewery doing something a bit unpredictable here, I'm not necessarily taking to it but if someone digs those flavors this is probably a really interesting concoction, a less-intense quad or BDA with the various fruity flavors and nose.

09-29-2008 03:29:55 | More by USCTrojanBrian
Photo of fartingdog
fartingdog

California

4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

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!

10-21-2006 02:14:05 | More by fartingdog
Photo of BrewMonkey
BrewMonkey

California

3.13/5  rDev -17.8%

Pours clear, caramel in coler with lots of tan head. Slow to recede, the head leaves tons of lacing behind. Spicy belgian yeast aroma with some medicinal and metalic notes.

First sips bite at the sour parts of the pallate and there is a distinctive medicinal taste reminiscent of sort throat spray. Some light sour fruit taste are there, some sour fruit, but personally I can't get past the medicinal taste. To be fair, my wife likes sour tasting ales more than I do, and she liked this one. The sting of the flavor I don't like seems to fade as I drink, but the menthol like mouthfeel does not. Just not for me.

08-18-2008 23:57:19 | More by BrewMonkey
Photo of TheCrowsNest
TheCrowsNest

California

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%

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.

02-02-2012 22:43:14 | More by TheCrowsNest
Photo of danflath
danflath

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

10-09-2013 02:07:37 | More by danflath
Photo of MEsquandoles
MEsquandoles

Texas

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

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

01-17-2009 03:33:45 | More by MEsquandoles
Photo of TheDoorman
TheDoorman

New York

4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

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.

02-01-2009 03:58:37 | More by TheDoorman
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.