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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

168 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 208
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: clickpush on 05-04-2006

Brewmaster's Collection - Special Reserve
Mixed Fermentation - Saison De Flandres
View: Beers (99) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 168 | Hads: 208
Photo of GbVDave
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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. (1,130 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (799 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (776 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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 (473 characters)

Photo of david131
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (1,066 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,142 characters)

Photo of joe1510
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (1,326 characters)

Photo of Cresant
2.1/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this 750 mL undated brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. Bottle was corked with a synthetic corke and caged. Gentle pour resulted in a minimal tan head that faded to a constant island. The body was a dull, dark goden-brown/ruby color.

Smell was vinous and spicy. Later it began to smell of cough syrup.

Taste was also vinous. Powdery and dry. Prunes. Liquer-like. Somewhat medicinal. This is the worst tasting saison I have experienced. No funk, no spritziness, no fresh fruit character, no sourness. Not really saison-like. More appropriately classified as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I did not finish this bottle.

Mouthfeel was full to medium bodied. (675 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL into a Hennepin glass. Pours a clear amber w/ a 1-finger head that leaves behind some fine lace. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma is spicy, earthy, and floral. Some wet hay. Typical Belgian saison character.

Taste is a little more complex than the nose. A blend of pale and sweet caramel malts, along with some spice and fruit. More floral notes; warm, bready yeast. No hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, very drinkable. Crisp clean finish.

Overall a really nice saison from De Proef. There are more traditional versions of the style, but this one gives it a unique twist. (590 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Large bomber into a chalice. Bottle label says 11.2 fluid oz, but that's clearly a misprint. :)

A: pours a hazy orange color with reddish hues. Beautiful white head reduces to a thin layer of white protection atop the brew. Mild lace adorns my glass.

S: earthy with plenty of yeasty funk. Malts and spice in the background.

T: spicy and malty with strong farmhouse yeast undertones. Mild sweetness and sourness too, but mostly just delicious.

M: medium-bodied, carbonation stings the tongue early on. Further through the experience, the bubbles subside which lends itself to a smoother and more enjoyable drink.

D: zero detectable boozy warmth. Very easy to drink; I could finish this entire bottle myself without problems if I didn't have company here to help me out. (773 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of this Saison was quite deep orange and bordered on red. The carbonation was reserved, and the head was limited to about one to two fingers thick. The smell was floral, spicy, and a little hoppy, with some cheese like funk. The taste was crisp, tart, but not as funky as the nose led me to believe. There was some orange peel herbal spiciness, biut the overall flavor was blander than I had hoped for. As it warmed up, a little more sourness started to show up. A good beer, but other standard bearers of the style are noticeable better. (548 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Striking orange amber color with a less impressive head that reduces quickly to a thin skim and minor clinging around the glass. Nicely assertive carbonation.

Aroma: Highly impressive nose. Sweet caramel base, with all the farmyard attributes one expects in a good saison and then some. This brew goes above and beyond to a certain degree in terms of sour lemon that one might find in a lambic. Other aroma notes include rotten hay, clove, and a cherry-strawberry jam like quality. Also, some light floral notes are present.

Taste: What a let down. The nose got me all hyped up for something unique and interesting yet the taste is just blah. Very plain caramel malt and light floral hops with almost no farmlike qualities to speak of. Subtle candied sugar, lemon sweetness but that’s it. Very dull.

Mouthfeel: Almost flat, despite loads of visible carbonation, although perhaps this was just my perception because the flavor was so bland (I suppose this beer could have been spritzy and I didn’t notice because I was so depressed by the flavor. Very simple, light, and dull.

Drinkability: Average. There is nothing special about this beer’s flavor and I would not go out of my way to drink large quantities of it, however, it does quaff well and has no negative attributes.

A let down overall yet so close to my favorite approach to one of my favorite styles. (1,390 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, very murky amber with hints of red on the edges. A tan two-finger head fizzles out quickly with a few various sized spots of lacing left behind. Aroma is very sour, tart and vegetal up front with dark fruits lying in waiting underneath. Kind of smells like damp hay sitting in a barn, all musty but inviting like a mid-afternoon lay by a Belgian farm girl who might be a few pounds overweight. Maybe there was some manure in the aroma as well, but who gives a flip, it's a farmhouse ale right? I guess what I'm saying is the shit is authentic smelling. Just make sure you stay away from the back door of the barn.

Taste is complex and very fruity (prunes, grapes, figs, sour apples ) with beer bread and tangy yeast thrown in and some earthy graininess and spice at the end. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, but if you go looking for it, you will find it. Mouth-feel is creamy, soft and almost chewy going down, which makes sense, because beer is food, and if you lived a subsistence lifestyle this would be a great way to get nourishment. Hell yeah, this farmhouse lifestyle is looking very tempting, so I say screw the whales, save the Farmhouse Ales. (1,170 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this saison to be rather non-approachable; interesting yet challenging to drink. Based on my experience with American saisons, I have a hard time calling this authentic version better.

Appearance was fairly carbonated looking, coffee colored, and fairly viscous looking.

Aroma was of cinammon and apples.

Taste was rather un-distinct. It tasted like alcohol in the nose, with pear in the finish. As it got warmer, I picked up some isoamyl acetate (banana) falvor.

Mouthfeel was pretty good, but I found this beer rather difficult to drink. (559 characters)

Photo of rtepiak
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

rather dark for a saison but i suppose thats what imperial means. come out reddish amber with some debris and a mild murkiness. nose has a flemish wild funk. barnyard. similar to their primitives but a bit earthier instead of sour. some fruit. raspberry marmalade with what would seem like juniper twigs. woody earth. a tad yeast. burn coriander and some premature orange peel and some cocoa bitter in the finish. it is rather meaty but i wouldn't have with something that isn't gamey. seems perfect for duck with boysenberry.

surprisingly close to jolly pumpkin Maracaibo Especial but broader and not a abrasive on the palate with smoke. (640 characters)

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

This one has recently became available in Texas so I thought that I would pick one up for review. I really like Saison's so let's see how this one stands up. I like mine pretty funky, and typically this brewer has used reserved funk...let's see...

Appearance: Pours a pretty murky dark orange color with a thick head of tan bubbles that was about 3/8" thick after a pretty reserved pour, and it was still at least 1/8" a couple minutes after the pour. The head look really nice. Even after about 30 minutes, the beer doesn't realy clarify...but there is still a solid foam standing on top of the beer, so that is impressive. There is some thin lace left on the glass after drinking the beer.

Aroma: Amazingly enough, the aroma was pretty reserved for this style. I get some candy sweetness with a little bit of a fruit...like passion fruit...interesting. There is a little bit of woodiness and leather that I am hoping develops as the beer warms. The beer is cold right now and pretty full in my tulip glass. <Pause> After the beer warms up some, the Brettanomyces is really coming out. It is giving the beer a really earthy aroma which is pretty nice, but doesn't remind me much of a Saison.

Taste: I am really anxious for this beer to warm up some. Right now, as a cold and fresh beer, all it has it mouthfeel. You get a bit of sweetness in the beginning, and then it gets fizzy on the tongue which confuses you until after you have swallowed...then you just get some dryness on the back of the throat and a subtle warming that sets in a couple seconds later. As the beer sits, I can pick it up more, and it really seems like he didn't use the Saison style yeast at all, but instead made up for it with a typical Belgian yeast and maybe some Brettanomyces. The leather from the Brett is definitely becoming more noticeable as it warms, but I don't get the Saison spiciness that you would expect.

Opinion: Well, I would not get my hopes up in having a Saison when you drink this beer. I would put it more in the classification of the Belgian Pale Ale category. If it were there, it would be a really nice beer. Actually it is a bit like Orval, so if you like that beer...this would be good. I have been more impressed with other offerings from this brewery, but this beer is still no slouch. I will certainly drink it all, but I will be telling myself that it is Orval's cousin and not a Saison. (2,406 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750 mL bottle.

Pours with a fizzy lacy peachy white head. Somewhat flat, clear bright ruby color. A strong smell of tart cherries and brown sugar, almost burnt caramel. Starts tart and sweet with a distinct hint of cherry pits, becoming dry in the finish and aftertaste. Light to medium body is warming in the finish. Becomes sweeter as it warms. (354 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750mL shared with friends.

A: a very hazy caramel hue. much darker than most saisons. billowing off-white head.

S: the aroma begins horsey. definitely get the Brett aspect. following the tart, a moderate amount of caramel and fruity smells. pears and apples.

T: im really enjoying this funk. very unique to this bottle. not overpowering, but certainly present. the palate then moves to a big malts. chewy toasted caramel and toffee. more fruit. figs. plums.

M: great carbonation. perfectly dont bottle carbonation here that makes for just the right amount of fizz. medium/full body.

D: really neat saison here. very different. the funk as well as the additional dark malts really makes this brew unique. (709 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle sealed with cork-in-cage; a freebie courtesy of BA Cindirene... muchas gracias, Chuck!

The bottle disgorges the cork with a hefty poof! and a whiff of fruity funkinesss registers briefly on my olfactory radar. Poured into my Duvel tulip, Saison Imperiale is cherry-tinted amber with a bit of haze and a huge cap of creamy orange-stained ivory foam. As the head deflates into a convoluted, misshapen mass, sticky gobs of webby lacing coat the curvy inner wall of my glass.

The aroma is tart, perhaps even to the point of sushi vinegar acidity, with a just a spritz of juicy citrus and floral fruit to sweeten things up. The brew is increasingly aromatic and more sweetly floral as the encounter continues.

The taste is a complementary melange of crisp and tangy with a dry, citrusy zip, but is also quite mild, mellow-sweet, and toasted-malty at its core. The same floral character from aroma appears in the flavor profile as well, assisting the drink in maintaining balance between grainy-sugary and lightly-funky twang. Any alcohol flavor is mildly fruity, complementary, and otherwise very well-hidden. Late into the bottle, a splash of dilute pear juice freshens the drink, along with a succulent bit of caramel that fits right in. A grassy hop flavor occupies the finish and a bit of a steely mineral note lingers in the aftertaste.

The drink is crisp and well-carbonated with a solid medium body. The brew is quite quaffable despite the beefy ABV. Good stuff, and it was definitely the right price! Thanks again, Chuck! (1,542 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL cork and cage Belgian bottle is mistakenly labeled 11.2 oz. This "saison de flandres" utilizes mixed fermentation. It is a hazy reddish copper, with medium carbonation and an inch of yellowed head that leaves sheets of lacing. Hops and spicy, lightly funky yeast in the nose, with caramelly and bready malts. It has a nice hop flavor, mild bitterness, pungent yeast bite and more caramel malt than most saisons. Light and smooth, with lots of carbonation and a dry finish. Not as assertive as I was hoping for, but this is a delicious brew that has a good hop/malt balance, and a mild, but noticeable "wild" flavor; probably a good gateway beer for those who have yet to try Brett. (688 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Interesting, plastic cork. An attractive root beery copper color with a refined character to it. Squirrely bubbles work their way to the top where a lid of medium sized off white bubbles welcome them.

S: Green bananas, vanilla, yellow apples, daisies and hints of yogurt.

T: Begins mildly sour with delicate sweetness. Minor banana, pear and white grape add the fruit component with floral notes moving in strongly. This saison is on the sweet side opposed to dry with a boring honey overtone across the entire thing. Finishes up with more flowery flavors, peppery moments and lingering dried apricots.

M: Medium body, smooth but fizzy.

D: Decent beer but fairly boring. Good balance but nothing special. (719 characters)

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