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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 jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a mud puddle brown color, plenty murky, with a nice semi dense head that left some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of plums and raisins, some light nutmeg, flowery perfume, and brown sugar. Quite different saison aroma than I am use to. The taste of raisins and what I will call bitter figs are forefront and strong. Brown sugar runs throughout and is complimented by some bark spices. The Saison Imperiale is to saisons what BSDAs are to BSPAs, if that makes any sense. Significant malt body is fizzy carbonation; sweet & spicy, finishes a bit bitter. Quite the different saison. Pronounced aroma and flavor, I just not positive I am digging the flavor, at least not in a saison sort of way. Definitely worth a try as I haven't had a brew like this one before.

Gmann, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured much darker than the other Saisons that I have tried. I was wondering about this based upon the "Imperiale" note on the label. But I do notice that this is considered the same style as the other Saisons.

I did enjoy trying this one, but have to admit that I enjoyed the other Saison versions a bit more.

But definitely worth trying.

The beer poured an Amber color with a great deal of orange tones to the color. This is a very good looking beer. There is an extremely creamy and thick head that formed in the glass. This head stayed for quite some time and later there was an insane amount of lacing left in the glass.

Aroma was very fruity and first made me think of bananas or pineapple. But later some regular apple. Also you can detect the spicy notes and perhaps what is referred to as "the funk"

After reading the article in the recent BA magazine on the style, I was waiting to encounter the "funk" discussed. I think I finally came across it in this version of the Saison vs. the others I've tried. It's certainly more pronounced at any rate.

Taste was definitely what I would call Belgian like. There was a fruity punch, some spiciness, then the classic yeast finish. Lots of things happening in this flavor profile. The fruity notes did change as the beer warmed up and I was becoming a bigger fan as I made my way through the glass.

Mouth feel was medium to slightly big and it was quite drinkable.

I really enjoyed the last pour from the bottle when we stirred up all the sediment.

Very creamy, smooth and black pepper notes really kicked up.

Reagan1984, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle as pictured here. Pours into a tulip a slightly hazed copper body with an immense pillow of foamy beige head. Retention is excellent and lacing lavishly drapes the glass.

Aroma is an unexpected combination of caramel and cinnamon. A mild note of barnyard funkiness quickly comes to the rescue, followed by hints of lemon, mint, and pepper.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with silky carbonation.

Taste opens with sweet caramel maltiness, followed by a bitter floral hops presence. Just enough of an undertone of outdoorsy spicy botanicals to make you think this is really a saison. Pepper and mild coriander join with lemony citrus as it warms.

More an excellent bierre de garde than a saison, but a very palatable brew, nonetheless. Not at all like the brewery's Flemish wild ales, but still pleasantly drinkable.

merlin48, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Exiled, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky brown with tan head with pretty good retention. Disk remains and lots of spotty cling lace.

S - Yeast and caramel, with a little straw.

T - Taste similar to smell, but has an astringent aftertaste that lowered the mark for me.

M - Med to full, creamy viscous and coating. Only thing is that astringent aftertaste...

D - Nice beer, fun to try.

Note: REtry 2012 - Much more lush, tropical fruit and banana. Pleasant!

srandycarter, May 04, 2010
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured in to my chimay chalice.

A- Body is a cloudy dark amber color. Much darker than most saisons. Pours with a 2 finger, creamy, slightly off-white head. Head fades slowly to 1 finger but has perfect retention from there and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass. Cloudiness has medium thickness and is dynamic as yeast sediment and the cloudiness can be seen moving about in the glass.

S- Smell is on the sweeter side with peach, maybe some mango, and apple and pear coming through first with a slight floral accent. Some yeasty funk can be found in the background.

T- Upfront is a mix of sweet and tart fruitiness. I can definitely detect apples and pears, and maybe some peach and mango also (as there is definitely an exotic presence here). This is softly accented by a floral hop presence and a slightly funky, yet bready yeast looms in the background along with a healthy dose of sweet caramel malt. The finish is more tart and bitter than the initial flavor and the floral hops and yeast really make their presence known here.

M- Low to medium carbonation and nice, smooth, yeasty body.

D- This is an awesome beer and is definitely not typical of the style. I've never seen one this dark before and the exotic fruit presence is a great spin on this style. It is a bit sweeter than most but still very good. The ABV is undetectable also.

PittBeerGirl, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber wtih an off-white frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity with caramel and an earthy character. The aroma contained a light bit of dirty spice which most resembled cinnamon and a bit of pepper. Caramel malt ruled the aroma with a bit of a nutty and toasty presence.

The flavor was strong dark caramel and graham flavor. The flavor was strongly nutty, biscuity and toasty. Along with the strong toast character was an earthy presence and a light bit of Belgian yeast spice. The spice was cinnamon with a bit of pepper, just as was noted for the aroma. The flavor of the strong biscuit and spice just did not seem to work together to boost complexity, more of a struggle to see who reined supreme. Some dark fruits, namely raisins, were present.

The finish was dry with lasting earthy character, light spice, and dark fruits into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium with a moderate carbonation and a mouthfeel that was almost creamy. This beer teeters on being a Belgian Strong Dark. Perhaps that is what a Saison Imperiale should be. Drink it warmer as it tends to increase in complexity as the temperature rises. While not alluring at first, the beer certainly grows on you. Give it a whirl if you have the chance. Some alcohol warming was notable after consumption.

750 ml bottle.

GCBrewingCo, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Van Dieu glass, this rather brown, hazy saison has very little head to notice. The nose is interesting--one of the most bubblegum-like aromas I've ever smelt on a beer. There's also a distinct spiciness that's curious. Nice flavor--a distinct brett taste right from the start, though the sourness is restrained. A bit like Orval but funkier. Moderately high bitterness but hop flavor, I think, is mostly absent. There's a good spiciness accompanying but I'm guessing it's more yeast character, or actual spices, than hop taste.

Very interesting beer, and not what I expected. It misses my favorite flavor components of saisons, but that makes it complex.

allengarvin, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of GbVDave
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass at Hopleaf 3/27/07. Assist by HeatherAnn.

A:Served a dark, tarnished copper color with no head to speak of.

S: Sweet apples and big yeast dominate.

T: Yeasty bananas and clove mixed with sweet & tart fruit, vanilla, and hops.

M: Tart, prickley, and fruity.

D: Very sweet and bitter with almost no horse blanket/barnyard funk. Very strange for a Saison. Not nearly tart or peppery enough.

GbVDave, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of JamLand
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

JamLand, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice looking saison in my opinion. Amber in color with yeast particles reminiscing. Pours with an enormous fluffy carbonated head of off white that has the tendencies of a leach.

Much malt character in the nose very caramel in nature with some residual sugar accents. Nice contrast to the fruity, belgian spicey, yeasty traits of this beer. A floral hop shows through as well. Nice!

Again just great malt character. Caramel covered apples, orange, earth, spice, yeasty with a floral bitter finish. Nice refreshing carbonation and very easy to drink. Not one of my favorite styles because the belgian spices can sometimes be intruding to my palate. This one is very neutral and easy going.

mcallister, May 17, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (corked & caged), poured into a pilsener glass.

A forceful "thwup" from the cork lets me know that good things are in store. The appearance is a bit darker than most Saison's I come across, but the clear, amber-russet body is attractive. A lively carbonation level fuels a well-retained cap of finely sorted, creme-colored foam. The aroma starts off almost like a good lambic with some vinegar and sour notes, but lurking below the surface is the signature "horse blanket" saison boquet. Notes of peat, dark spices, and charred wood present as well.

Wow...MUCH different flavor than I was expecting. Gone are the sour notes, as an influx of rich, caramel malt balances nicely with a spicy, floral hop bitterness. Lots of horse blanket funk and wood on the finish, outshining the softly carbonated, medium mouthfeel. A subtle hint of whiskey-like booze is all the 8.5% ABV lets on. Body is a bit on the watery side, and I was looking for a little more bubbliness given the appearance, but that's okay. All in all, I thought this was an above average-saison with lots of complexity. Would I have it again? You bet.

wagenvolks, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of notchucknorris
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy and almost creamy looking brown color with a one finger light brown head.

S: Earthy with some bread, a touch of yeast, almond paste and maybe some cola nut.

T: Big malty flavors with distinct notes of earth and bread and some alcohol peeking out. Subdued peppery hops and some hints of lemon on the finish. Not a bad beer at all but probably not one I'd go for again.

notchucknorris, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of mrebeka
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

mrebeka, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost brown, dark orange color. Tanned head is pretty tall, pretty tight, with pretty good lacing.

The aroma brawls to get through the cap, but what's there is spicy, earthy, and a little fruity. Some pricks of alcohol.

It doesn't look or taste much like a saison in the usual sense; not unpleasant, just different. Lots more caramel malt than pale malt here. Spicing is prevalent, hops are there but not doing a ton to the flavor. The finish is hoppy and pretty long for this style - normally saisons are all bubbles.

Mouthfeel is a little thick for style, helped along by the caramel malt. Nothing funky or tart, just a lot of sweetness and the nutty spiciness. Pretty chewy.

Not worth the price, but an interesting, strong brew from De Proef. Not up to my expectations from that brewery.

BretSikkink, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not much of a looker. Cloudy dark amber brown glass manages to hold a film thin head and a collar of tan foam.

Smell: Wow. Bubblegum, banana, juicy fruit. A Belgain yeast note and some background dark fruit. Close to a 5 here, really great smell.

Taste: Much of the smell is in the flavor,with a sour cherry finish that goes just a hint tart and funky. The banana is there, the bubblegum drops off a bit. A slight cola sweetness, a bit of gummi bear.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body goes a bit thin in the finish. Low carbonation is very noticable. Very slick and oily in the mouth after a swallow, takes two or three tries to really get it all.

Overall: Not what I was expecting at all, and I'm very happily surprised. Going to try to grab another one of these.

HardTarget, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Caged & corked 750 mL. bottle synthetic cork cap offering.

Pours into a Piraat tulip with an impressive statue ivory head cap topping of of pillowy cloud coating loading the glass with impressive lace content.

Nose is doughy with full on bready scents and light almond nuttiness.

First swigs: Thick saison with full body yet easy on flavor. Delicate citus fruit middle, red apple, crisp finish of fading wood. Dry weak funk of wet leather, but follows dry almost wanna be Orval.

Last swigs: An average stradle of Belgian Ale that is inviting but not impressive.

blitheringidiot, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of david131
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- An ever so slightly hazy, honey and gold colored liquid. The head is thick and creamy and leaves excellent lacing.

S- Funky and sour with fruity notes. Definitely a farmhouse characteristic. I love the smell of open fermentation.

T- Sweet, funky, fruity, honey, with a definite olive characteristic. Slightly tart. Not as crazy as I was expecting. Something is a little different here, but it is not necessarily a bad thing.

M- Very very smooth and creamy. Not sticky and pretty clean on the aftertaste.

D- This was a pretty interesting brew. Tasty and enjoyable. The alcohol is nowhere to be found here.

david131, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

corked caged 750ml bottle

A-pours a slight hazed copper/amber color with a 2 finger tan head that recedes to a fresh cap with slight lacing

S-was malty first with caramel molasses and toffee ,dark fruits followed plum dates

T-followed the nose with sweet belgian candi mixed with earthy notes and yeast lots of caramel and molasses with prune and date notes
M- sweet and a tad boozy
O- very sweet and boozy with too much toffee/molasses not enough funk or light fruits

gatornation, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a nice hazy dark orange color with a .5 inch head that is a light tan color. It is quite dense and has some nice sticky properties to it.

S - Aroma is of some nice fruits like pears and apples with some slight hop hints as well. There are slightly tropical hop hints which is surprising. There are some nice funk hints on the nose as well as some yeast phenols.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice yeasty funk followed by nice dry vinous fruit characters. The Brett notes are pretty prevalent with some nice woody notes as well. The yeast phenols are very delicious. There are some bready malt hints that have slight caramel sweetness but are then well balanced by some nice hop bitterness and spicy notes. Slight clove and great earthiness are prevalent in this beer. The beer is nice and medium bodied with some great carbonation. Flavors are clean and crisp but also have some great funk to them. Overall this is a great tasting Saison.

D - Very high even for the higher ABV. This is a good brew from a solid brewery.

JoEBoBpr, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

SpdKilz, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev +5.3%

uturn, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of Kerrie
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Kerrie, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of joe1510
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml.
$8.99
Binny's Willowbrook

Saison Imperiale pours extremely dark for a saison. Pours a slightly hazy amber that glows ruby when backlit. A three finger bubbly and fluffy head formed on the pour. Tiny carbonation bubbles rise to the ecru head after it falls to a one finger cap. Suprisingly the haziness clears up after a couple minutes. Leaves mild lacing.

The aroma starts off with a field of wildflowers and a touch of banyard. Some lightly toasted malts in the background. Not a whole lot going on here to get excited about. The barnyard aromas are welcomed but on the subtle side.

Malts in the flavor are more caramel than toasted. That little bit of barnyard is there but it's muddled and subtle. Slight metallic finish. Not bad just not what I expect from a saison.

Light body, a little too light even which wouldn't be bad if there was a little more carbonation to create a frothiness but the carbonation just isn't there.

Easy enough to put down but a glass or two is plenty for me.

This is a disappointment of a saison. Not at all bad just not really a saison. Too dark, too caramelly, not enough of the funkiness I've come to love in a saison. Not at all what I expected. Like I said not bad but nothing to get excited about either. Mediocre. At $9 I'll be passing by this one from now on.

joe1510, Aug 18, 2007
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.