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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

206 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 3
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrMonkey
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, rusty brown with a one-finger light tan head that sticks around for most of the duration. Little to no lacing left behind. Probably the darkest saison I've ever seen, and I was quite surprised.

Smell is Belgian yeast, plums, and wet hay.

Taste starts out yeasty with some tart cherries, sour apples and plums. Some wet hay and horse blanket round out the middle with a hint of alcohol. Finishes slightly bitter with a bit more sourness.

Creamy, medium body with a slight tingle from the carbonation.

A good saison, but probably not a bottle a could drink on my own. I was glad to be able to share this one with a couple of friends.

MrMonkey, Nov 23, 2008
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.

Rainintheface, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of BWH3
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

BWH3, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of ryrust5301
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

ryrust5301, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of daythree16
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

daythree16, Nov 09, 2008
Photo of ShrLSU
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

ShrLSU, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of KZE80
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

KZE80, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of JDavidRice
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

JDavidRice, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of dbmernin83
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

dbmernin83, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of walshclimb
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

walshclimb, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of sjccmd
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

sjccmd, Dec 30, 2010
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.

LiquidCucumber, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of CPeterson
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

CPeterson, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of BeTheBall
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BeTheBall, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of rdickey
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

rdickey, Jul 18, 2008
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.

jakon, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of RodBurg
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

RodBurg, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

midnite2sixman, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of eljefe21
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

eljefe21, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of thirdeye11
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

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.

thirdeye11, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

USCTrojanBrian, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of fartingdog
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

fartingdog, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of BrewMonkey
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

BrewMonkey, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of TheCrowsNest
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

TheCrowsNest, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of danflath
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

danflath, Oct 09, 2013
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.