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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 midnite2sixman
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.

midnite2sixman, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of JamnesCameron
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured into a MJ tasting glass.

Pours a hazy, reddish orange color with a huge light tan, yeasty head. Head drops after a few minutes leaving big chunky lacing.

Aroma of sweet malt, figs. No real hop aroma.

First sip is of a cross between a flandres red and a saison. A touch of watered down sourness, barnyard funk, dark fruits, with a slightly bitter finish. Good level of carbonation, but no carbonic bite.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, almost watery. Slight prickle from the carbonation.

Overall good drinkability. Not my favorite example of the style. A little too sweet, although the sweet and sour mix is a nice touch.

JamnesCameron, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

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 BretSikkink
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

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 calinative68
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

calinative68, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of khiasmus
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

Rust-water that's been steeping a while has a few specks in it. Specks of some sort of yeast or active culture, it seems. A small mountain of tannish foam sits atop, dropping after a few moments to a patchy layer. A few leftovers cling to the walls, lending an attractive appearance.
One of my favorite flavors in the world is butter-graham-cracker-crust, the kind that crumbles when you attempt to pick up whatever it is that the crust contains. Some nuttiness in the aroma, and just a bit of wild yeast... but that very crust that I love so much is the dominant note in the nose. I'm not sure what they were, some sort of almond-brownie-bars, but as I walked into the house last night, it smelled like this. Maybe just a little too rich and sweet of an aroma for a farmhouse... I wonder if this would sour a little more after some years?
That ridiculously sweet, buttery graham cracker and almond is the same in the flavor... I wonder if she blended them and snuck them into this bottle? ("are you trying to tell me something? Gain some weight?") Just a tinge of spice/sourness... and then, with the almonds and buttery-sweetness, comes an earthy hop note that balances the finish and makes one want another draw... Just the slightest touch of peppery alcohol rounds it out...
Crumbly, though. Dries out the mouth after swallowing. Dances on the tongue. Some hints of warmth.
I just don't know. It's a great beer, but I feel the calories seeping into me as I drink, far more than an RIS. It's as though the almond-butter-graham-cracker-pecan-pie-bars were liquefied and chilled, then carbonated and a little hint of bitter and sour was added. Caramelized sugars, I suppose. Doesn't taste like Brach's or anything, but you'll get some of that buttery sweet.
I think a little wilder yeast would do it some good... balance that sweetness a little more. Maybe some age. Let the yeast change and mature and sour the flavor a little. Certainly a worthy brew, but could be world-class.

khiasmus, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.58/5  rDev -6%

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer poured a deep amber, almost red with a thick, foamy cream colored head which was retain for some time and a little throught the drink.

S: The aroma was a rather strong citrus. Could not put my finger on exactely what it was, but certainly gave me pause as to what to expect from the taste of the beer. Also some spices.

T: The first sip was not enjoyable for some reason, but after that, I seemed to enjoy it a bit more. The taste was crisp, somewhat sweet and spicey, but the flavor was enjoyable.

M/D: The carbonation was just right for the beer. Overall, not a bad beer but not a great beer either. I warmed up to it as I got through the glass, but I would reach for others in the style first before this one.

PhillyStyle, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of ryanonline
3.58/5  rDev -6%

deep hazy coppery color, with a big ol tan head and good clumpy lacing.

smells a little like cotton candy and apples. a little farmhouse scent, straw and funk.

taste is the same. a little bitter and funky. dry finish

mouthfeel is watery and foamy. very dry finish.

moderate drinkability. kind of lasting flavor that doesn't necessarily taste all that wonderful.

im a bit confused by this beer it is kind of an odd farmhouse ale. not bad, but confusing.

ryanonline, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

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 BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

Bronzed orange peel with a hint of cherry red. One doesn't normally see saisons this dark. The top half of the glass is filled with an outstanding looking crown of orangish ecru that is impressively sticky. No surprise, then, that the glass is positively coated with lace when the cap eventually recedes.

The nose is next to absent. I'm hoping that it'll open up when it warms, even though it isn't exactly cold right now. My impressions at the moment consist of musky, earthy and fruity; nothing more specific than that. Note: warming helps just enough to pull the aroma to above average.

Saison Imperiale is an odd beer. It's heavy on the caramel malt, moderate on the spices and light on the farmhouse funk. I'm not sure what it is, but I'd call it any number of things before I'd call it a saison, despite the catchall nature of that style. English old ale?

All that gooey caramel malt gives it a sweetness that is out of place. It also tends to drown out whatever complexity might have been provided by the yeast. One source I found says that coriander was used. I can sorta taste it, but I could never have identified it on my own. Add some earthy hops for a moderate bitterness and you have... nothing special really. Bruised apples? Nuts? Caramel-covered apples with nuts? Faint impressions at best.

The mouthfeel is more American than Belgian. In other words, it's medium-full with a moderate chewiness and a less than expansive amount of carbonation. I don't hate it, I just don't love it.

Saison Imperiale is a decent, drinkable beer, but it's nowhere near what De Proefbrouwerij usually delivers. What's a farmhouse ale without any farmhouse character? If you happen to run across a bottle, I'd suggest spending your money (I spent $8.99) on something else.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

Appearance: Pours a murky amber color with a couple of head fingers; leaves a nice pattern of lace behind, too

Smell: Expecting a Saison, I am picking up an Old Ale, with caramel and a range of fruity esters; there is a bit of funk, but it is very subtle

Taste: Plenty of caramel and fruit, up front, with pear, apple and cherry elements; by mid-palate, however, the Saison spice arrives to add a vaguely herbacious angle, though very subtle; after the swallow, the caramel lingers while the herbal and fruity elements combine to add contrast

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An Imperialized Saison??? Well, I can't say the style does anything for me; interesting, but many things are off here, ranging from the overwhelming taste of caramel to the heavy mouthfeel; everything I love in Saisons is missing from this brew; glad I tried it but not something I would seek out again

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

brentk56, May 27, 2011
Photo of BigJTrucker
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

Poured this into my Chimay goblet. A honey color with hints of chill haze. Bright white foamy head settled very quickly. Aroma is very sweet, with hints of candy sugar, some citrus or dried fruit as well. Taste is not like other saisons i remember having. Some fruity notes , light sugar sweet flavor . Mouthfeel starts of fizzy, but fades nice and smoothly, leaving just a bit of sweet aftertaste. A fairly drinkable brew, unique flavor, but i kinda wish it was more sour.

BigJTrucker, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of joe1510
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

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
Photo of nppeders
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

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

smell
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.

taste
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.

nppeders, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of JamLand
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

JamLand, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of x37x
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

x37x, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of JDavidRice
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

JDavidRice, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of dedrinker
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Copper color with a soft foamy cream colored head. Aromas of burnt sugar and a little earth. Flavors of burnt sugar, candy corn, slightly tart. metallic. Damp earth? After it warms up it really gets an identity crisis - this doesn't taste like a saison. Medium-full body with a slightly bittersweet finish. Certainly interesting, but it starts tasting like a dubbel, maybe St. Bernardus Pater 6. Weird. Not much of a saison thing going on, so I can't score it too high. Initial flavors are best impression, but the flavor falls apart with a little time.

dedrinker, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

A: pours a rather opaque tawny color. great thick head, slightly tan head/ great retention rate and solid lacing.

S: aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, wonderful fall fruits, apples, green raisins and dates. nice funk in the aroma.

T: green raisins, nutmeg, cinnamon, some serious fall fruits, apples and pears. very funky. some alcohol notes. I also get some blueberry notes.

M: very well balanced ale, smooth and creamy mouth feel, slight alcohol burn. good mellow carbonation level.

paulthebeerguru, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of KZE80
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

KZE80, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

Clear dark amber colored ale with a very tall and lasting tan head, very dark for the beer style.

Smell is "Belgian Farm House Funk" with apple, lemon, plum, and allspice in the mix. Fainter coriander and ginger aromas and a Touch of Sour Flanders Red Ale.

The taste starts out sweet and woody with a bit of a bitter aftertaste at first. Cork and lemon on second taste and the herbal bitterness gets stronger, a lot like Italian bitter aperitifs. Tropical aftertaste, mainly pineapple and papaya.

Mouthfeel is Good.

Something like a Saison crossed with a Flanders Red to this tongue. It's OK but I will get Hennepin next time.

Zorro, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of CPeterson
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.

CPeterson, Apr 07, 2010
Photo of rajendra82
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

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.

rajendra82, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of Onibubba
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%

Warning - LOTS of sediment. Pour this baby gently. Color is a dark amber. Darker than any other Saison I can recall. Nice head retention, nich lacing, but not the rocky monster it should be. Has a sweet funky smell which is reflected in the taste. Wow, this is sweet. Some banana. No white pepper, no discernable spice. Some barnyard is there, but the sweetness is too overpowering for it to stand out much.

Highly carbonated with a full and tingly mouthfeel. Drinkability is fine, but the sweetness just makes this too much for an everyday Saison. ABV is very well hidden. All and all, a decent brew, but not wone I would turn to before the big 3 (Dupont, Fantome, Hennepin).

Onibubba, Apr 19, 2007
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.