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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

207 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 207
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: 207 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
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 IrieJackalope
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Russian River goblet from a 750ml corked and caged bottle.

Pours a deep brown, much darker than your average saison, almost looks like a clouded Belgian brown. Aroma is yeasty, but not overwhelmingly so. Taste is not nearly as dry as I would expect from the style, not nearly dry enough, and too malty sweet. Overall, kind of a disappointment. Would much prefer a Saison Dupont or Red Barn from Lost Abbey.

IrieJackalope, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of ryanonline
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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 dstc
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange with ruby tones. Nice white head falls rather slow to a minimal one. Very thin lace.

Nice aroma up front. Deep down there is a bit of musty earth smell with a slight aroma of a urinal. Yeah, you read that right.

Nice full "Imperial" flavor. Rather nice and quite boozy. Sweet raisin-like taste ending with a slight sour taste.

Rather full and smooth, not overly carbonated. Bit of alcohol on the tongue.

Pleasant. Bolder than I was expecting. Decent.

dstc, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Spineypanda
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice amber color slightly hard to see through with a nice lasting head, not huge.
Smells like spices, some cloves and something else not sure what.
Tastes like a neutral yeast instead of the Belgian yeasts were used.
A great beer, one of the more enjoyable Belgians I have had in a long time.

Spices are nice but not overwhelming like in some Christmas beers.

Spineypanda, Mar 13, 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 mwilbur
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed and reviewed on 1/28/10.
Poured from 750 mL bottle into pint glass (yeah, not ideal, but I had no other glassware on vacation).
A: Pours an inviting dark amber with moderate carbonation producing 1/2 inch tan head that quickly recedes. Decent lacing. An atypical appearance for style...first clue.
S: Caramelly sweet malt, candi sugar, and a hint of yeast.
T: Dark dried fruit, caramel malt, and candi sugar dominate. A dry acidic yeast note is in the background along with a backbone of mild farmhouse funk. Interesting--and definitely different--for style.
M: Medium body. Oily smooth sweet feel with hint of alcohol burn/bite at the finish.
D: Good drinkability and interesting for style. An enjoyable and atypical (more malt-forward) saison that doesn't stray too far from style.

mwilbur, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not your typical saison, but it was still an enjoyable beer. Taste was much more funky than a typical saison, as I detected no pepper or spice in the beer but got a lot of funk. When I smelled the beer the first thing I thought of was Victory WildDevil. The beer is very drinkable, but if you are looking for a standard saison, you need to keep looking.

Mora2000, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of eljefe21
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ice tea like in color. Pours to a single-finger head that quickly zeros out. Impressive fine lacing.

S: Sour malted smell. Very enticing. Ever so slight hint of vanilla.

T: Sour, slightly spicy, with a nice malt backbone. A very faint sweet, almost vanilla finish.

M: Good carbonation up front, fine bubbles like the lacing. Carbonation rolls back over the tongue and leaves with a pleasing dryness.

D: Probably popped the cork on this when it was still a bit cold. Got better as it got warmer (or was it me getting warmer?). Flavor and smells came out as it did. Refreshing flavors and mouthfeel hid the power in this brew. Nice for any time of the year.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

Review from notes taken on: 9/7/09

eljefe21, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice clear and bright copper with a thin white head.

A lightly sour unripe peach, malty pear nose with some hints of spice and a light hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is medium character and a bit creamy; good mouth.

Flavors are a bit of sour malt. A bit of sour sweet coffee and a bit of lightly sour sweet peach with hints of apricot. Just misses in the flavor department and I wonder if perhaps I have an old bottle. This warrants another taste with another bottle.

Finish a bit coffee/carmel with hints of sweet and bitter. Not bad; just not real drinkable. All around character is a bit of "sour/sweet tortilla" or, a sweet-sour yeasty beer. Actually, it is a bit "soda poppy."

GRG1313, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of philipquarles
2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle. Pours a surprisingly dark, slightly hazy amber color with a tall light beige head that dies slowly to leave nice lacing. Smells heavily of caramel malts. Quite sugary sweet, with some dark fruits. Strong caramel malt taste with brown sugar and dried fruit. Cloyingly sweet throughout, though somehow it dries out a smidge at the end. Slight alcohol taste and warmth. Thick mouthfeel bordering on syrupy. Way too malty-sweet to be drinkable. This in no way resembles a saison...even a strong one. Kind of shocked that this came from the Proefbrouwerij.

philipquarles, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to Thirstybird for the opportunity to try this. Poured a hazy garnet with a quarter inch, frothy head embedded with ringlets. Head eventually dissipates into a skim. Nose reveals caramel, sour cherry, a little malt with some medicinal qualities at the back. Taste follows nose, but medicinal quality really comes out in the flavor; however the flanders red character stated on the bottle label makes an appearance towards the back. Mouthfeel was just shy of medium-bodied and a little bit too effervescent with a slightly tart finish. I know farmhouse is a catchall style; however, not really consistent with my impression of the style. That being said, definitely interesting and flavorful.

Jwale73, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of rtepiak
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

rtepiak, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of timtim
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very very dark burnt orange with a slightly tan head that holds fairly well and leaves just a little lace. nose is extremely malty for a saison, but w/the imperiale thing, i guess i expected it. all kinds of stuff going on, from a honey nut cheerio cerealishness to earthy, barnyardy hoppiness to banana and clove to sweet, mild brown sugar. taste represents the nose in a pretty well balanced rush to the senses that rolls through on a medium full body with a slightly acidic mineral finish that carries a touch of bitter. very easy drink for such a complex beer and not hot at all. another interesting beer from deproef.

timtim, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of scootny
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A surprisingly dark saison. Initially not too cloudy but as I go down the bottle chunks of yeast murk up the glass. A very large head with impressive staying power and good lacing finish off the pleasing looks of this one.

Smell is not typical. A bigger dark malt structure overlaid with a touch of wine. Light banana and a hint of citrus are layered with a raisin and date combination. A firm yeastiness blends into a floral hoppiness. The saison spiciness is there but it is blended into the mix a bit more.

Taste is very much like the nose. Big smooth maltiness with a dark fruitiness and toffee infused sweetness. Buckwheat honey and faint banana as well. A very dry sharpness comes in and puckers the mouth. Firm hop florals as well a a phantom like grapefruit bittering that leaves tannic sourness and graham crackers on the palate and back of the throat. More tropical leaning fruitiness unfolds as it warms. Feel is medium and somewhat chewey. A healthy but finely carbonated touch breaks it up and keeps it pleasant on the tongue.

A very easy one to drink as the abv is well masked. I should say seductively hidden. This one gets better as you drink it and I wish I had more than one bottle.

Thanks to Dr. Dogbeer for this one.

scootny, Jul 02, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged 750ml bottle. Pours a dark brownish color with an off-white head. A little darker than most Saidons I've tried.

S- The aroma is surprisingly very malty with hints of spices, must, barnyard funk and yeast. The dark color was the first sign that this wasn't going to be your typical Saison, the aroma confirms this notion. I really like it! Fantastic!

T- The taste starts out with a good amount of malt and caramel flavors. Some spices start to come in along with some funk and earthy hops inthe finish. Like the aroma, the taste is fantastic!

M - The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It is another great beer from this brewery and something I will definitely pick up more of in the future. Highly Recommended!

cjgator3, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of ATPete
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle corked and caged

Pours a dirty brown/amber color with a medium sized tan head. Very malty nose, sweet and husky with subtleties of his signature funkiness. Sweeter than many other saisons, more compost-like in the grassy hay character, wet barnyard, but not as intense as that may sound, if that makes sense. Smooth as all hell, very drinkable for over 8%, a lot of wheat character here. I like the late appearing hop profile as well, its refreshing and begs for another sip. Well done and certainly unique in the already unique world of Belgian Saison.

ATPete, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of BeTheBall
3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into my Duvel tulip. Darker than other Saisons I've had, an amber to brown color with lively carbonation and a one finger head. Some minimal lacing down the glass.
Smell was funky, sweaty, almost sour.
Taste was similar; dry but musty and funky. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but not horrible either.
Mouthfeel was good due to the carbonation.
Drinkability was decent smoothness-wise, but not a favorite taste for me. I wouldn't buy it again, but I'm sure there are those (Fantome fans) that would like it.

BeTheBall, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of rossthefireman
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice deep brown hue, good head

S- Smell of funk and alcohol. Got a sweaty sock smell.

T- Lots of flavor. Slight sour and funk. Dark fruits. Tripel like sugar flavors. Caramel and biscuit. Lots of malt very ,little hops. Dark rum raisin alcohol. There is a lot going on in this beer.

M- A little thick and definatley heavy.

D- This isnt for everyone, its drinkable but for a small group.

Is this beer a saison or a belgian strong ale? I know its called 'imperale' but this isnt very close to 'normal' saisons. Too heavy, too thick not as light on the palate as it should be. However, this is a good beer with good flavors ! I like it , just not as a saison. It definitely strays from the norm. If you go into this beer thinking 'saison' you might be disappointed, but if you have no preconceptions, you will be okay. Definitely worth trying but if your looking for a true saison, this isnt the beer you want.

rossthefireman, May 23, 2009
Photo of hwwty4
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a corked and caged 750 into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer is remarkably dark for a saison. The color reminds me of a dried cherries, dark brown with red-amber hues when held to the light. The head is a massive beige explosion that leaves sticky lacing as it recedes down the glass. While it says it's an imperial saison it is still a rather odd color. The aroma is caramel malt. Huge toffee and caramel notes drown out any expectations of spices, apples, or funkiness. The flavor is fairly similar with caramel dominating the flavor profile. Dark, ripe plums, apple skins and just a slight bit of brett funk, peak out of the flavor profile but it's just not as dominant as I would have liked it to have been. Also this beer has very little spice to it. I would have expected some cardamom, pepper, or a yeasty spice but nothing. The mouthfeel is chewy. Full and carbonated. This beer reminds me of the antithesis of what a Saison is supposed to be. It's big and full and honestly not nearly as refreshing as most saisons are. I know the trend it to "imperialize" all beers, but maybe Saisons are just better left alone.

hwwty4, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surprisingly dark amber color with a typically huge, fluffy saison-esque head. Just like the color of the brew, the foam is very dark for the style...I dont remember it being so dark last time I had a bottle. Excellent mountainous retention and sticky lacing.

Nose is mostly sweet base malts, alcohol and a bit of saison funk, but not enough for me.

Boozy malts and woody Belgian funk are foremost in the flavor. For me, this beer does not taste very saison-like, but it is an enjoyable beer nonetheless. Maybe more like a Belgian Strong Dark ale blended with a Farmhouse ale. Toffee malts give it an earthy funk enhancer, while the grainy malts remind me more of a kolsch. Alcohol is a bit much as well. Overall, it tastes good, but DeProef has better beers out there.

twiggamortis420, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of stephens101
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

stephens101, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

cvstrickland, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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