Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Not Rated.
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse AleSaison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

207 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 3
Gots: 7 | 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: 207 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a real farmhouse, the barnyard smell is there and it stays, whati the brett accumulating?. Active white head that evolves ito some creaminess. Active spice and carbonation, yet it does not detract. Satisfying aftertaste. The alcohol warms as it accumulates.

Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice style glass.

I have to say that as I poured this into the glass I did a double take. To date, the Saison style brews that I have had have all been light golden yellow in color. This brew is different as it has a dark orange amber color. It is not at all unattractive but it was different than expected. The finished pour sported a nice two fingers of creamy white foam that stayed put through the whole drink. Lacing was light to moderate.

Malt is the first thing I noticed, followed by sweet smells of caramel and Belgian candy sugar. There is a light fruit smell as well but it is faint.

Sweet caramels and malts steal the show with this one followed up by some dark fruit flavors, like fig. There are no real noticeable hop notes but there are a few hints of spice. The flavors stay solid and relatively heavy on the tongue, not quite cloying but definitely sweet. The finish is relatively long and again, sweet. The carbonation does give this some body and character as the bubbles are fine and persistent, giving the brew a nice creamy texture. Pleasant overall.

This was a pretty good Saison but not what I would call 'great'. I give it kudos because it is relatively strong for Saison but I didn't get a real strong sense of alcohol on the palate or in the finish. It was a little too sweet for my liking but it still wasn't bad. Give it a shot if you like the Saison style and would like to try something different.

Photo of DrDogbeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a goblet. Thanks, TP!
Pours a dark orange/brown with a small off white head. Smell is pungent. Strong aromas of funk - definite barnyard here. Some cheese and alcohol too. Taste is totally phenolic. Tons of band-aid flavor. Very strong on the horse blanket as well. A good deal of spice to finish. Very dry mouthfeel. Interesting, does not taste like any saison I have ever had- more like a funky american wild ale.

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.

Photo of jenitivecase
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber brown, with the color fading out at the edges. Pillowy off-white head pours about two fingers and then leaves a ridiculous amount of lacing. A very pretty beer.

S: Dried fruits (apricot, fig, plum), dark sugar, juniper, and an antiseptic scent - kind of rubbing alcohol-y.

T: Strong alcohol taste, as well as the dark fruits, sugar, antiseptic from the nose. Leaves an aftertaste which reminds me of Robitussin.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, very smooth. The alcohol is present enough to leave a definite sting on the end of the taste, though.

D: This has a high alcohol content for a saison or for a Flanders, and you can definitely taste it. Not a session beer, and not something I'd really want more than one of.

Photo of buffettfan
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, into a tulip glass.

Poured a cloudy copper/orange color, with a thick, pillow of creamy head that lasted a long time. There was a nice layer of head in the glass almost the whole time!

Smell, hint of fruit, apple cider, almost a pumpkin spicy smell. Smelled like fall to me.

Taste- fruity, spicy and bit bread/yeasty. Not a real hop taste.

Went down smooth, not a beer I would drink more then one of, but certainly a nice, refreshing late summer/fall beer. I enjoyed it.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange-ish copper, with a fluffy tan head. In the aroma, yeasty and a small tart green apple. In the taste, just like the aroma, small tart green apple, and a nice yeasty taste. A small tart bite, and a medium mouthfeel, with a dry, tart green apple aftertaste. A great saison, good flavor and mellow, and doesn't taste like 8.5%.

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.

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.

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass a hazy amber/bronze color with a large fluffy white head that settled very slowly leaving globs of lace behind.Aromas are a mix of overripe pineapple,green apple,and a big black pepper shot,not overly yeasty wich is a good thing for me,flavors are big and sweet up front like candied fruit with a touch of alcohol burn,the overripe pieapple shows thru as well as a hefty dose of black pepper.This is a big flavored saison alot different than many I have had,I really enjoyed it.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright cloudy red. Minimal lacing. Poured a bit heavy with less lacing than the sasion.

Aroma of sweet tart fruit like cherries and brown sugar. Floral hops.

taste is sweet and a bit puckering with bitter sweetnesss.

Mouthfeel is heavy and carbonation is explosive and intermittent.

Drinkability is medium. It's a bit heavy but pleasant and easy to drink.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BigJTrucker
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Of the newer beers available from De Proef, this is my least favorite. It is by no means a terrible beer, I just think they missed the mark for a Saison. Pours amber with a decent initial head that fades to a swirly cap that leaves some minimal lacing. Darker than most Saisons, but it is a broad category. Smells sweet/sour with aromas of cellared apples and a touch of balsamic, old fruit, and orange marmalade. No peppery snap that I like to see in a Saison. The taste also heavily leans on overly ripe fruit, very similar to the aromas, with the addition of apricots and persimmons. Again, no crispness, spice, or peppery snap, and without that it seems a little too sweet and tires the palate too quickly. I enjoy this less the more I drink of it. Give me any Fantome over this beer any day- they make plenty of examples with similar abv to this one that ccould also be called "Imperial" but vome across as much more complete, bold, and balanced.

Photo of Beertracker
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saison Imperiale pours up effervescent with a creamish white head that encompasses the glass and crowns the slightly hazy deep orangish-amber body with nobility. The lightly acidic aroma is ripe with citrus fruits (lemon, tangelo). In addition, there's a notable Brett character (earthy barnyard, horse blanket, etc...) with some mild spiciness (black peppercorn, clover, coriander) warmth that add to the overall complexity. The gravitational flavor starts off with a sweet maltiness that is somewhat restrained by a characterized bitterness. The spicy, earthiness from the brettanomyces helps create an acidic, slightly yeasty warming finish. This medium-full bodied Farmhouse Ale is a nice "throwback" that will keep the tastebuds happily entertained. Pick up a bottle to enjoy now and one to cellar, as this Saison Imperiale will likely only become more complex with age. Here's to The Prof and his Special Reserve!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Photo of dedrinker
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of rajendra82
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of largadeer
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly dark but clear amber, pretty unlike any saison I've seen. The head rises to about three fingers height and has great retention.

Smell: Extremely estery; berries, figs, dates, a hint of spice (nutmeg, allspice).

Taste/mouthfeel: Lots of estery dark fruit here, leaning toward the berry and fig flavors. The body is fairly light despite the high ABV, and I'd guess that this was significantly lower in alcohol if not for the slight heat that shows up in the finish. Sweet berry-like flavors continue right on through the finish - where's the dryness? This isn't a bad brew overall (nor is it great), but it's lacking all of the qualities that I look for in a saison.

Notes: A disappointing beer from a generally good brewery.

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.

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.

Photo of
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25oz. bottle

Very clear, red toned brass in color. Large, creamy, ivory head. Some legs, pretty good lacing.

Smelled sweet, cherries and honey. Touch of the barnyard, very mild. Green apples. Bananas.

Taste was malty and sweet, almost like a yeast roll. Cherries popped up again. Touch of bitter at the finish, herbal. Honey.

Medium to full in body, a bit slick. Carbonation seems low compared to size of head, but fine. Sweet more than dry.

Not much like a prototypical saison (DuPont, for example), and a bit sweeter than what I was looking for, but very tasty. Reminded me a bit of Delirium Tremens or La Fin du Monde.

Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
85 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.