Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale - De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev -0.3%
Autumn bronze gold color with a massive crown of dark beige foam that never moves. Impressive. Lacing is a lather of leftover sticky foam that coats the glass thickly.
Soft but alluringly complex nose with some dark earthy spices, fruits, and grasses. Quite musty as well with some rum raisin bread, a touch of dirty wood, all spice, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Taste is of paled breadyness and light fruity tang of dark malts. Some raisin and dates softly display a bit of dark tangyness. Caramel and molasses seep in as just a nudge of some the earthy grasses and spice tinge towards the finish as it stays mostly sweeter throughout. A bit drab overall on the taste and a bit muddled. However I do like it, but the complexity I found in the nose wasn't as prevalently showcased as I would like on the taste.
Body is a fluffy sweet medium with some malty tangyness creating a soft and smooth roundness with just a touch of grass and spice along the edges to make it interesting. Reminds more of a bakery with its bready flow and cookie spices as it goes along.
A OK to good Saison that's more on the malty side, which I tend to favor in this style.
10-07-2011 20:37:39 | More by tavernjef
3.78/5 rDev -0.8%
A. Pours amber with a two finger creamy off-white head that dissipates leaving plenty of residual lacing. Lots of clumps of yeast floaties.
S. sweet cream, banana, some caramel malt. A nice mix of sweetness.
T. lots of sweetness with some belgian spice and caramel malt.
M. Medium body with fairly high carbonation.
D. A interesting sweet brew. Not really a saison, but a tasty beer regardless.
09-17-2011 22:48:38 | More by BeerAndBourbon
4.03/5 rDev +5.8%
A - Ruddy amber with a finger of thick white foam. Some yeast floaties are present.
S - Smells heavily spiced; cinnamon and the like. Still an undercurrent of yeast and a touch of saison funk.
T - Not quite as spiced as the smell would lead you to believe, but the cinnamon/nutmeg combo is coming through here and is really brought forward by the caramel malts. Not too much like a traditional saison, but some of that farmhouse flavor does come through. Also some citrus and other fruits; pear, grape etc.
M - Medium bodied and fairly high in carbonation; luckily this one doesn't cloy or the spices might be too much.
O - I like this beer; that being said, it really is unlike any saison I've come across. I guess the intensity is the whole 'imperial' part of the equation. Personally, I would desire this beer on a cooler evening where the warming alcohol and spices could comfort better.
08-10-2011 03:50:33 | More by LiquidCucumber
3.53/5 rDev -7.3%
ruby red and brownish hue's make this a little bit out of the norm from a typical Saison. Great lacing
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.
Similar to the smell. Somewhat subdued in the taste department, malt, caramel, dark fruits, tropical fruit.
low to medium mouthfell with low carbonation.
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.
07-30-2011 01:29:36 | More by nppeders
3.78/5 rDev -0.8%
Picked up a bottle while out in Orange Co, as I don't recall seeing it much in Philly.
Poured into a snifter with a fat, frothy off-white head over a chill-hazed amber body, with a touch of carbonation flowing up the middle.
Aromas are wild - lots of guava and mango fruit sweetness, cinnamon, and oatmeal in the finish.
Flavors carry through the aromas, but seem more leaning toward watermelon in the fruity profile. Lots of dull spices, biscuit, bubble gum, and just a touch of orange citrus.
Mouthfeel is rich, but lacking in carbonation for the style.
This is clearly not a traditional saison - as advertised, it is "a truly unique saison experience."
07-13-2011 05:42:45 | More by BeerImmediately
4.25/5 rDev +11.5%
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.
06-21-2011 02:17:35 | More by HardTarget
3.83/5 rDev +0.5%
Pours a hazy yellowish amber brown, with a one finger head. The darkest saison I have ever seen, but the label on the bottle warned of such a color.
Smells tart for a saison. Almost a sticky sweet toffee, fruity esters.
This is the lovechild of a saison and a quad. The first sip took me by surprise and I was mildly turned off, but the following sips grew on me quick. Dark fruits sweet, balanced by a lambic tartness.
A brave and interesting brew. A great twist on the style.
06-08-2011 03:22:53 | More by dbmernin83
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
05-27-2011 01:05:52 | More by brentk56
3.9/5 rDev +2.4%
A: Amber to golden amber in color with a hazy clarity, and this one is topped with a nice mother of pearl colored sea foam head. Good head retention and spiderweb lacing. Looks pretty great.
S: Lemon and black peppercorn come to mind as well as coriander and hints of clove and subtle floral note. I can't help but wright that i get a dried raspberry component to this as well. Smells really nice actually, I would have expected more barnyard. a white sugar cane note floats in there too.
T: Spicy and complex. Soft flavors overall, this is an elegant beer. Citrus zest like bitterness meets earthy spicy flavors. Subtle brett funky spice is the key to this one I think. No barnyard just spice. Overall a bit to sweet in this department for my particular taste though.
O: Pretty good stuff though It could just as well read Saison sans Imperial on the label. If your into spice driven saison this is worthwhile.
05-12-2011 03:00:43 | More by flannelman808
4.15/5 rDev +8.9%
Pours a murky copper with amber hues and a light tan head that starts foamy and scatters as it dissipates to a voluminous lacing.
This saison possesses a unique aroma immediately exuding the yeasts that are traditional to such a beer. Beneath the yeast lays certain sweetness, perhaps a touch sugary, perhaps a bit fruity or zesty like citrus, maybe even plum. There is also certainly some clove spice in here as well.
The flavor somewhat mirrors the aroma with the same yeasts, but also pepper like spice, as well as both dark and citrus fruits. It is also quite earthy and increasingly sour as it warms.
Medium to light in body with generous carbonation while remaining both crisp and assertive, and also just a hint puckering and a hint spicy.
This is fantastic beer, I am really impressed. The unique combination of aromas and flavors really leave you craving the next sip. A must try.
03-14-2011 01:13:25 | More by CHADMC3
3.85/5 rDev +1%
750ml into a tulip. Pours a unique shade for a saison, a raspberry copper, creamy dense head, nice lacing.
Aroma is sweet and fruity, perhaps I'm imagining but raspberries here as well, maybe not but fruit loops definitely and a multitude of quiet spices. Some hay but no real funk.
Raspberries again in the taste. Begins with a hint of a lambic, suddenly stops to have a mild saison middle then ends with just a hint of tart. Very little bitter, just slightly dry. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Sweet tiny tart fruity aftertaste.
Interesting arrangement of flavors but weak as a saison. This needs some serious whacks with a brett stick.
03-06-2011 06:34:47 | More by impending
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.
01-22-2011 01:54:24 | More by JamnesCameron
3.68/5 rDev -3.4%
Paired with a fresh, goat cheese
Mixed fermentation bottle
A: Pours a murky brown with a modest, off-white head. Very murky. I guess saisons are supposed to be rustic and look like this, but for some reason it doesn't look too appetizing to me. It isn't bad, but just not terribly inviting.
S: Beautiful notes of citrus and grass. This is followed by a lemony pepper aroma. Some aromas of flowers and hay. This is followed by some plum and maybe a hint of cherry. Some light earthiness. Rose petals in the end. Very aromatic. Some interesting aromas represented.
T: Citrus and tart cherry flavors predominate. Some deep plum flavors too. Not as much flavor as what the nose implied. Not as spicy as some saisons I've had. It has a light sourness that seems to be mostly present with the cherry notes. A light lemon rind bitterness is there in the end. Good flavors overall, but not as flavorful as it was aromatic.
M: Light-medium bodied. Some warming from the alcohol. Finishes to heavy for a saison. I like mine bone dry. Seems almost creamy at times.
D: This was an interesting beer. I really loved the aromas. It definitely reminded me of a farmyard or countryside. The flavors were a little too muted for me. Unfortunately the mouthe feel brings down the drinkability a little for me. It is worth a try as it is a very interesting beer. Definitely not one of my "go-to" saisons.
12-31-2010 22:23:54 | More by brewdoc75
4.05/5 rDev +6.3%
Pours slightly murky amber. Dark for the style I suppose, but it's appealing. Large frothy off-white/light tan head that recedes but sticks around for a while. Nice sticky lacing.
Smells of overripe fruit, green apples, brown sugar, molasses, a hint of bubblegum, earthy and funky yeast. A nice dose of tart and barnyard from the Brett. Somewhat spicy and very nice.
The taste consists of mild dark fruit, brown sugar, roasted malts. Finishes relatively sweet but earthy as well and leaves a spiciness that is almost reminiscent of rye, but is most definately from the yeast. The funk is not as present as in the aroma. Sweet and roasty for the style, but it's good.
Definately not carbonated enough. It's not awful because it does has a nice silky quality, but for a saison, it lacks the necessary dry crispness.
It's a very interesting beer to drink. It's a bit sweet, but for 8.5%, it's not much of a trouble to finish.
12-30-2010 03:23:42 | More by sjccmd
4.18/5 rDev +9.7%
Appearance: Looks wayyy different than I was expecting for the style. A nice reddish orange, like thick honey. Creamy head that dissipated moderately quickly.
Aroma: Plum, honey, liquor, butterscotch, and some unfiltered apple juice. For me, this was one of the most appealing scents I'd smelled in a long time.
Taste: What a trip! Lots of rich, malty notes. Raisins, subtle funkiness (bordering on chantrelle-y), pear, apple, and many dark, non-roasted flavors.
Mouthfeel: More carbonated than I would have liked, but nice body, not too syruppy.
Drinkability: Drinkable, though the richness and complexity lends itself to smaller quantities.
12-27-2010 03:31:33 | More by thebreederswow
3.95/5 rDev +3.7%
The first thing to notice is this beer pours a dark orange, much darker than most saisons. Head is cream-colored and thick, rising above crystal-clear orange beer. The first taste is much less tart than you might expect from a Brettanomyces beer -- instead, you taste ripe cherries and dark musty plant matter, like a pile of fallen leaves or wet bark. There is also a bit of the "bandaid" Brettanomyces flavor, but it's not nearly as pungent as a box of the real bandages -- more like a hint of plastic funkiness. The wild flavors are supported by just a twang of acetic acid.
The Saccharomyces have not delivered the usual earthy and peppery flavors of a Saison, though there are plenty of fruit esters and a hint of spiciness.
The malts are thick and caramelly, with hints of dark caramels and a solid body of medium, sweet caramel flavors. Like a good Saison, this beer finishes sufficiently dry, a feat considering the sweet caramel and thick body. Perhaps the Brettanomyces has contributed significantly to the effect of the dry finish.
The alcohols are present and noticeable in every sip, but not so fusely to be unenjoyable. You couldn't classify this beer as dangerously strong, because nobody will have illusions about the beer's strength. But the strong alcohol flavors and the bizarre Brettanomyces flavors certainly go together to make the effect of a big rambunctious beer, meant to be enjoyed on its own or maybe with a spicy Cajun seafood dish.
Not a bad beer to showcase Brettanomyces, either. You could try Saison Imperiale alongside Orval and a dry lambic to get a feel for the range of flavors that genus of yeast is capable of.
12-08-2010 18:00:08 | More by drummstikk
3.83/5 rDev +0.5%
Brewmaster's Collection Special Reserve 'De Proef' Breweries
Saison Imperiale Belgian Farmhouse Ale, De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi, Belgium
Nice, amber-ruby hue, 1/4 inch beige-ish head. Definitely doesn't look like a saison, but that's not the idea, is it?
Aroma: rustic, earthy, gritty, spicy, ...rich malt...a touch of cocoa and coffee, just a hint. Not a typical saison aroma, and we're not doing a saison, are we? So far it seems that way. Raisins, toffee, coffee,...nope, not at all, saison-like.
Taste: Mmmmm, very nice, warm, malty, rich dark fruits...and very un-sasion-y, once again. Mmm, chocolate...mmm, coffee....mmm, raisins...but no matter how Imperiale, I never get the saison. I feel we've gone too far in pushing this envelope, in that we can't call it that anymore. And yet they do, so, who are we/am I to say?
Tasty stuff. Too malty for a saison, too spicy, not sure, but it is bigger in more ways than booze, as is the style in Imperializ-ing these days. It's a nice brew, but not terribly special, and still so confusing, that I can't really recommend it. Doesn't transcend the boundaries in such a way that it's exceptionalism should be celebrated.
11-21-2010 02:47:57 | More by feloniousmonk
3.7/5 rDev -2.9%
A: Dark tawny color, non-translucent, with a soft pillowy light tan head of generous size is slow to lapse while leaving thick spongey coating for a lacing. When held to the light a dense showering of micro-bubbles is aided by my etched duvel glass with a extreme rapid rate of rise.
S: Musky oranges, light worty notes with some cellar like dampness of fruit and pears. The finish is topped of by a faint peppery spiciness. Overall the strength was light, bordering on medium which was a slight disappointment for an imperial style labeling.
T: Rich caramel base with complimentary fruity tones of cantaloupe, fresh pears and miscellaneous notes of damp fruitiness. Sweet caramel, apples with some toasty warm munich malt is finished of with a spritzy, almost seltzer like carbonation that brings some life to the situation with a fade of peppery spiciness. The beer comes off with a bigger malt base then usual per style, with some sugary rum cane moments and chocolate. The touch of brettamyoces is nice, never overbearing and used as a compliment to the ale yeast to give it just the right amount of musky quality. Dried caramel nuttiness rounds things out here.
M: Lively mouthful from the overly active carbonation. Beautifuly malt base and forward beer with a medium dense state. Slippery smooth with a boozy malt finish.
D: A bit acidic but not so much per style, with a bit of alcohol. Smooth making for a moderate sipper, but with Fantomes and Duponts being commercially available in my area I find it hard to justify spending money (esp. $15) on a bomber that was just good, but ultimately falls short of the two fore-mentioned staples per style which are at par or even in some instances cheaper.
11-19-2010 00:11:03 | More by beerthulhu
4.15/5 rDev +8.9%
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.
10-26-2010 13:19:09 | More by mmmbeer
3.93/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
10-25-2010 23:57:50 | More by JoEBoBpr
4.03/5 rDev +5.8%
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.
06-28-2010 03:11:50 | More by brystmar
3.9/5 rDev +2.4%
Pours a very dark cloudy amber color with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a thick two finger yellowish head. Decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves splotches of soapy lacing behind.
Slightly earthy, funky aroma with slight maltiness, dark fruit notes, oak and spice. Bready yeast, clove, coriander, banana, apple and pear in the nose.
Medium bodied that's on the fuller end of the spectrum with a surprising amount of chocolate maltiness along with a very prominent peppery/coriander spice character. Earthy oak with a slight tart sour funkiness that is balanced out by dark fruit notes, especially dark cherry. Soft carbonation up front that lingers over a funky sweetness midpalate into a lingering dry finish. Complex and pretty quaffable.
05-14-2010 06:09:15 | More by corby112
4/5 rDev +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!
05-04-2010 04:41:34 | More by srandycarter
3.43/5 rDev -10%
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.
04-17-2010 05:40:57 | More by IrieJackalope
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.
04-17-2010 02:14:32 | More by ryanonline
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.