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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 scruffwhor
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Goose Island tulip a deep burnished copper. Very reminiscent of a lot of Fantome's offerings. Nice head with strong retention and good lacing, but decreases as the beer warms The aroma is a sweeter, malty version of my pre-conception of a saison. Very caramelly. This is one of the sweetest and maltiest saisons I've ever had. Very unique, and you can taste and feel the alcohol on the palate. This saison would be awesome if the alcohol wasn't as present. This sweet saison still maintained a much lighter natural, earthy feel than most other saisons. A little tough to wanna ghave another after you had a bottle with your meal. Very glad I tried though.

scruffwhor, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of kamiller
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 ml poured into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: poured a slightly cloudy reddish brown.

Smell: a great smell, fruity notes, sweet.

Taste: semi fruity taste, just a very slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated, light to medium body, crisp and clean finish.

Drinkablity: Seems very drinkable, hides the high alcohol content very nicely.

Overall: I bought this beer on a recommendation from the store worker and I have been impressed. It is my first Saison's hopefully they are all this good.

kamiller, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of Sephiroth
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lively carbonation with this one, and it's darker than most Saisons. Faint aroma of wild yeast, I think most of the fruity scents come from the malt. Some spices.

This is quite a twist on a Saison. Plenty of dark, fruity malt comes together with the wild yeast, which brings an earthiness to the whole thing. Something apple-like. I can't tell if they used spices in this, or if it is just their yeast. Mouthfeel has gone from prickly to lively to pretty smooth, the bubbles are small.

I love De Proef beers mainly for their wild yeastie beers, but I love this one for its "restrained" yeastiness.

Sephiroth, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of calinative68
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 fartingdog
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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 merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
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 silenius
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber with an off-white dense and long lasting head.

Moderate lacing on the glass and carbonation is very active.

Smells of dates, clean sheets, and a light lavender scent. Not very spicy smelling and no hops are detected.

Taste is on the malty side with the hops being detectable, but definitely playing backup here. Other flavors include some citrus elements without being acidic.

Mouthfeel is dry with some hop bittering in the aftertaste.

Drinability is good, but I was expecting more from this beer.

silenius, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a muddy copper color with a thick white head. The head fades slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a nice fruity aroma. Lemon and orange. It is also spicy. I smell some cloves and coriander. It has a pleasent grassy hop aroma also.

This beer has a spicy flavor. It is also slightly sour. I think the lemon flavor is very strong. It has a slight bubble gum flavor. The citrus hop flavor is very nice.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a pleasent citrus like slightly sour aftertaste. This highly carbonated beer is very crisp and refreshing.

I think this beer would make a decent session beer. The only problem is that it is slightly high in alcohol.

Overall: I think this is a great beer. I have no complaints. If I see it again, I will buy it.

OStrungT, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4/5  rDev +5%
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 26, 2006
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 750ml tall thin necked brown bottle sealed with a silver cage, black steel cap and a simple thumbed artificial “new”cork which is plain looking except for a relief code of “25D.3” on its underside. Main label has a beige colored background with the words “Saison Imperiale Belgian Farmhouse Ale”. Listed as “De ‘Proef’-Brouwerij Brewmaster’s Collection Special Reserve” on the top part of the label. The main picture is one of a quiet Thatched Flanders Farmhouse. Listed at 8.5% ABV. No discernible Freshness Date, but it has a smudged code on the plastic newcork.

Appearance: Ruddy amber with some deep polished coppery tones. Monster deep head besets a ¼” finished off-white head which laces with a serene scattered Milky Way set of depleted rings which deposits with each mouthful. Streamer laden body shines with a russet sunset glow when backlit. Carbonation is resilient and produces a fine appearance with a little agitation from each mouthful to keep things alive.

Nose: Lots of sweet caramel and some tannic fruits. Sweaty funk is soaked in crab apples and the barley sugar finish detracts at times. Yet fading Strawberries and other red berries punctuate the massed sweetness. Strange yet intriguing nose beguiles and fascinates. Nothing special but very nice.

Taste: Spiced malts, caramel body thins in the middle as a slight bitterness rides high against lactic tannins and brown sugar soaked in cold tea. Deft fruits are moldy and fade quickly. Saisons are delicate, even the powerful ones, but this one is far too bold, the residual Saison therefore ends up being suppressed and it ultimately means that this fails, rather spectacularly.

Mouthfeel: The body has only the mildest hint at an average feel, but the sweet sugary aspects fail to bolster anything more than a “not-good-but-not-bad” texture. Ultimately, for an 8.5% brew this one disappoints.

Drinkability: Not that impressed by this one, it’s OK, but I think that its biggest detraction is that this is not that sure what it really wants to be, I’m not sure either, I mean a Saison Imperiale!??! You see, it’s not the just the American brewers that push the boundaries, but some things just don’t work, no matter where the origins. And this, for me, doesn’t work – it’s like a 20lb Hummingbird, it just doesn’t fly.

Overall: It is a Quarter to Half Past 12……and Computer Says No <Urghurrhh>; I want that one, but not this one.

TheLongBeachBum, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of shroompod
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plastic caged cork. Clear orange color. Decent head with some lacing.

Smells faintly of grass. Some alcohol coming through. After tasting I think my sniffers broke with allergies.

Tastes intially tart , some carmel coming through. Spicy finish I can't pinpoint , cardamom maybe.

Mouthfeel is medium with decent carbonation.

Drinkabitly is pretty good for beer with high ABV.

shroompod, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.35/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of RBorsato
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber to chestnut in color with a low tan head, nice active carbonation in the middle of the goblet, and nice sheets of lace at the end. Spicy grassy aromas with a touch of Belgian candi sugars (maybe..). Similar flavors for the most part with a small touch of sourness and a touch of cinnamon. Medium bodied with a light warming alcohol sensation.

An interesting and different Saison...

Per label: "Brewmaster's Collection Special Reserve" & "Mixed Fermentation" & "Saison de Flandres"

'S1 1005' on faux cork
Tasted: 07/04/06

(25.4 oz / .75L tall brown wine-like bottle, corked, and caged)

RBorsato, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of Tbone
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer. I don't worship at the style alter andI don't knock beers for being atypical, unless they clearly belong to a very different category than labeled.

This is a saison, darker and stronger than most (as indicated by the qualifier 'Imperiale'), but I would still peg it as a saison, due to its subltle but still noticable spicy bite. I have actually been on the lookout for a saison that is a bit darker, stronger, and more caramelly. This fits the bill.

The appearance is crystal clear deep copper with a nice head.
The weakest element is the nose. Very few aromas come out of the beer . However, the taste is very nice. A classic though subtle dry peppery spice starts halfway through the swallow and stays with you for a half minute. The intensity is far below the highest rated Saisons, but the flavors are there to be had with a little reflection.
The caramel sweetness forshadowed by the color strolls along with the subltle pepper bite, while the 8.5% ABV stays well hidden.

The mouthfeel is thinner than what the appearance leads you to expect, but about right if not slightly on the rich side for a Saison.

If you go into this beer expecting the 'imperiale' to denote a stronger than average saison taste, then you will be dissapointed. The moniker reflects more its stronger ABV accompanied by a darker, more caramelly, and sweeter than typical beer, which somewhat mutes, but also complements the peppery bite and is an interesting twist.

Tbone, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a hard time reviewing this beer- what is it? A saison? Not like any I've ever seen. More like a light DIPA than a saison. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

750 ml. bottle purchased at La Bodega in Riverside, CA. in July 2006 for $8.99.

Pours a deep reddish amber with a light off-white head in a Duvel tulip. Lots of carbonation feeds the head.

Color is much darker than any saison I've ever seen. Aroma is not strong, but it's good malty, with a slightly sweet biscuit nose. A bit of saison organics, but not much.

Flavor is malts and hops, with little to no farmhouse ale notes- disappointing. Actually a decent touch of alcohol in the back end- I generally don't like that, but it's not bad here. It actually reminds me more of DIPA flavors than saison.

I really like DeProef brews (OK, I like most of them) and this is interesting and enjoyable. But it's completely off-style. As I said, tough to review. Points for creativity and different approaches, but I don't know why I would buy this one.

Dukeofearl, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of IceAce
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle with synthetic cork dated SI 1005

Initial pour is chestnut brown with outstanding clarity. Collar is medium tan, pock-marked and rocky, leaving beautiful trail of light tan lace on my Duvel tulip. Nose is phenolic, sweet, and promises a dry / funky experience.

Entry is lively and coats the palate with a pleasing mouthfeel. Midtaste gives way to sweet malts as well as candied plums and raisens. The finish is vinuous with plums as well and ends on a very dry note.

A very different take on Farmhouse Saison.

IceAce, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of ypsifly
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 that has a synthetic cork but no dates purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.

Dark amber with over two fingers of light tan that shows good retention and leaves lots of scattered lace.

The nose is yeasty and has some clove, sweet and tart notes with some basement funk in the background. The sweet/tart notes remind me of a cherry-strawberry flavored Sweet Tart candy and is actually quite appealing. Mouth watering aromas overall. I like it.

The sweet and tart combo is first up with lemon zest dipped in confectioners sugar. The tartness lasts throughout while the sweet flavors turn from sugars to more of a malty flavor that is backed by grassy hops. Very dry finish with some pepper from the alcohol in the back.

Moderatly carbonated and with an almost puckering tartness. Dry and very clean with a spritzy feel. A very nice summer drink if your in the mood for something with strength without all the weight and heat. I will buy this one again.

ypsifly, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

05/10/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle. No freshness dating on the bottle. Poured into my Troubador tulip.

Appearance- Odd amber, extreme dark golden color. Full solid 3/4 inch head and leaves above average lacing. Can't remember a amber colored saison I've had.

Smell- The slightest bit of barnyard. A sweet carob-caramel scent? A bit of sourness and sweetness. Some definite sugary aspects.

Taste- This is some freaky hybrid beer. It's got qualities of many styles. If I had to call it something I would make it a Belgian Pale Ale. It has the bit of powdered sugar and touch of lemon rind like saisons have. It has a nice spicy and sweeter flavor like a strong belgian pale ale. It has a funky light brett sourness like a wild ale. It tastes good, but trying hard to figure out what it is.

Mouthfeel- Medium carb, nice sweet-sour aftertaste.

Drinkability- Whatever it is, it's definitely drinkable. Not outstanding, but worth giving it a shot...whatever the style may be. Although the $10 was a bit steep. I'm thinking about $7 or so may be worth it.

GClarkage, May 11, 2006
Photo of clickpush
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Note: This is a special release for Michael Jackson's beer-of-the-month club. Labeled as Brewmaster's Collection.

Pour: 750ml to wide mouth wine glass, slightly chilled. It pours a gorgeous deep mahogany hue with a small but very long lasting tan-colored head. This ale is slightly foggy from yeast and the insane amount of tiny bubble trails streaming throughout the glass. Excellent, excellent lacings remain after the head has gone.

Nose: Smells slightly sour and at the same time floral; the raspberry and rose aromas would be responsible for that. There's also a sweet, malty smell in there.

Mouth: This beer enters the mouth smoothly and stimulates the back section of the tongue as it makes its way through. Starts sweet, nutty, and fruity (figs). It moves on to a pleasant tartness and hits the back of the mouth with just a touch of dry, hoppy bitterness. The sip concludes with a warm swallow, really allowing the flavor/feel of the alcohol to come through.

In all, this is a very well balanced and drinkable beer!

clickpush, May 04, 2006
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.