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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

168 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 168
Hads: 208
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 9.45%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: clickpush on 05-04-2006

Brewmaster's Collection - Special Reserve
Mixed Fermentation - Saison De Flandres
View: Beers (102) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 168 | Hads: 208
Photo of scruffwhor
3.77/5  rDev -1%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a turbid dark orange color with a big two-finger head. The head sticks around for a while before settling into a thin pancake of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Nice lacing is left all the way down.

Smells more like a quad than anything, with Belgian candy sugar and a yeast funk, but it's also joined by a grassy aroma.

Tastes very good. Again, more like a quad than a saison up front, with light and dark fruits mixing and sweet Belgian candy sugar. As it warms, the malt asserts itself more and there's definitely a grassy twang.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing this one and wish I'd bought the big bottle.

Overall, there's a lot of stuff going on in this beer and the flavors change slightly with every sip. An interesting "Belgian saison" that's definitely worth a shot. (939 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 750ml cork and wired bottle it pours a slightly cloudy golden amber color with a substantial head that is white and creamy, it slowly fades leaving a fine velum like coating on the glass. Nose is rich in malt, sweet with a sour musky tone, spicy and citrus like in its crispness, start is nicely malted, and sweet with a tangy bite at the back, top is light to medium in feel. Finish has a biting acidity, the hops present and accounted for; tart dry aftertaste lingers long on the palate, a fine drinking beer and certainly a credit to the style. (Note): after decanting the beer, the pour was completely cloudy golden amber, with the dregs increasing the musty sour aroma. (683 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle served in a craft pub glass.
A: Pours hazy chestnut with a lacy, persistent 2” white linen foam cap.
S: Ripe to slightly over-ripe fruit, plums, earthy hops, toast, alcohol, spice.
T: Fruit, light funk, plum and prune, darker malt flavors, subtle tartness, a hint of anise. M: Very creamy texture, medium body.
O: Darker than many saisons but the darker malt flavors play well with the yeast driven saison flavors. (441 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a thick consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head and solid lacing.

S: Smelled of Belgian yeast, some fruit and spices.

T: Not exactly what I expected. Taste consisted of dark fruit, Belgian yeast and malt. Another reviewer said this was more like a quadrupel than a saison. That's pretty accurate.

M: A nicely carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, a drinkable beer, though not as complex or in character as other saisons I've tried. Not bad, though. (559 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet, the Saison Imperiale is a bright garnet color with a small but persistent white head. There are active streamers rising from the bottom, and there is a bit of scattered lace.
The aroma on this is moderate at best, sugary and musty, caramel and a discernible, but not off-putting funk. Letting it warm opens up lots of bread and fusels.
The taste is heavy on the candi sugar, initially reminding me of a belgian style micro, but with a dry, highly attenuated finish, as well as a very musty bite, boarding skunky. I like wild brews, but something about this one just doesn't seem to work, maybe because of the sugar. There are hints of dark fruits and honey trying to fight through the earthiness, and a bit of biscuit maltiness. There is also a fusel bite on the finish that could have been better executed. Overall, I liked the taste more then that description probably sounds, and when I stopped trying to categorize this beer and just drank it, I began to enjoy it more. I should note that when reviewing, especially from a 750ml, I ususally start with the first beer, then just drink it for a while, and then update any text and score it for the last 1/2 glass. On that note, as this warmed, there was more honey, and fusels.
The mouthfeel is dry and minerally, but still a bit sugary, tempered by spitzers of carbonation that stayed lively throughout.
The drinkability on this one is average. It was pretty interesting, and after 750ml I'm still not sure I have my head around it. That being said, it wasn't so great that I'd want to spend to much more time cracking it's code. Still, pretty good, and an interesting experience. But not my favorite Saison, nor what I was expecting. When I want a rich Saison, I'll take an Avec Les Bons Voeux over this every time, or most any Fantome for that matter. (1,871 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clearish red-brown w/ 2 finger offwhite head that died real slow and left lace ring as it descended. A great mix of that Belgianesque aroma of yeast and orange, as well as some citric fruit/floral hops, a touch of sourness (or funk) and I'm getting a rather good amount of sweet caramel malts. The beer passes my tongue smooth, even slightly creamy, a bit chewier than a regular saison as there is some bready type malt in here. I still get that yeast/wheat twang with helps the beer go down easy and has some residual sweetness. Also picking up tart, citric fruit flavors mixed w/ touches of cherry/sour fruit and some dark fruit as well. The sweetness is there as there is a nice chunk of caramel and sugary sweet malts. The the spices and hops come together (w/ just a touch of the alcohol) for a dry, crisp finish that complements the rather sturdy and complex finish. To me, maybe closer to a Belgain dark ale than your typical saison as the malts and hop bite are stronger, but nonetheless a great beer. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A nice, hazy mahogany-brown with a fairly decent-sized but not too persistent head. Aroma is strong and malty, and has an overtone of fruit, mainly apple. Flavor is rich and fruity, sweet but not cloying, with just a touch of hops and hints of caramel and nutty taste. Finish is smooth and very satisfying. (306 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (779 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque amber/brown color. A large beige head of over two fingers forms. As the rocky, and frothy head recedes, rings of sticky lace are left.
S: Like all De Proef beers, a great medley of fruits. Lots of dark fruits of plums, raisins, melons, ect. That lovely barnyard funk that I love so much for the style as well.
T: At first a big caramel and sugary malt flavor. A bit odd for a Saison. A good fruitiness that follows the nose. Not as much of a barnyard flavor as I was expecting though. Still, the flavors work well together.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation, which is a bit out of style. Though I love the rich creaminess that I don't get much of with Saison's. At well over 8%, this is so smooth and easy to drink. If I am not careful, I can do more than sip on this.

I love this beer. I am not sure I would call this a Saison though. Maybe a Belgian Strong Ale? I guess that is why it is Saison Imperial. A new style perhaps? What ever you want to call, it is very tasty. Something I would highly recommend. (1,044 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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%. (345 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
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) (603 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,151 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer was a nice red color with a fluffy white head lazily floating atop the beer. The smell was a little funk (just a little) and some spices. The taste was good and had some tartness and sourness but not very much. It was also spicy and had a distinct taste that reminded me of watermelon (just barely). This was a pretty decent ale and it hid the alcohol well. Also, at $6 it was a good deal. (417 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (2,464 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle into an Old Engine Oil snifter. Thanks to vonschplieffen for sharing.

A: Hazy deep amber body with a dense tan head. Ok retention, spotty lace. Not bad looking, but way too dark for the style.

S: Sweet candied fruit and not much else. Caramel apple, some plum, and a bit of grassiness. Not that good for a Saison. A Tripel, maybe, but never a Saison.

T: Follows the nose - super sweet, fruity, and sugary. Nothing but candy. Meh.

M: Medium body, moderate amount of creamy carbonation. Great.

O: This was a disappointment, as it was WAY too sweet for the style, and the Brett really didn't add much of anything. It was mediocre for a sweet beer, and decidedly underwhelming for a Saison.

Cheers! (713 characters)

Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a mud puddle brown color, plenty murky, with a nice semi dense head that left some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of plums and raisins, some light nutmeg, flowery perfume, and brown sugar. Quite different saison aroma than I am use to. The taste of raisins and what I will call bitter figs are forefront and strong. Brown sugar runs throughout and is complimented by some bark spices. The Saison Imperiale is to saisons what BSDAs are to BSPAs, if that makes any sense. Significant malt body is fizzy carbonation; sweet & spicy, finishes a bit bitter. Quite the different saison. Pronounced aroma and flavor, I just not positive I am digging the flavor, at least not in a saison sort of way. Definitely worth a try as I haven't had a brew like this one before. (821 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (1,580 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy and almost creamy looking brown color with a one finger light brown head.

S: Earthy with some bread, a touch of yeast, almond paste and maybe some cola nut.

T: Big malty flavors with distinct notes of earth and bread and some alcohol peeking out. Subdued peppery hops and some hints of lemon on the finish. Not a bad beer at all but probably not one I'd go for again. (385 characters)

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. (846 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
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! (429 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured in to my chimay chalice.

A- Body is a cloudy dark amber color. Much darker than most saisons. Pours with a 2 finger, creamy, slightly off-white head. Head fades slowly to 1 finger but has perfect retention from there and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass. Cloudiness has medium thickness and is dynamic as yeast sediment and the cloudiness can be seen moving about in the glass.

S- Smell is on the sweeter side with peach, maybe some mango, and apple and pear coming through first with a slight floral accent. Some yeasty funk can be found in the background.

T- Upfront is a mix of sweet and tart fruitiness. I can definitely detect apples and pears, and maybe some peach and mango also (as there is definitely an exotic presence here). This is softly accented by a floral hop presence and a slightly funky, yet bready yeast looms in the background along with a healthy dose of sweet caramel malt. The finish is more tart and bitter than the initial flavor and the floral hops and yeast really make their presence known here.

M- Low to medium carbonation and nice, smooth, yeasty body.

D- This is an awesome beer and is definitely not typical of the style. I've never seen one this dark before and the exotic fruit presence is a great spin on this style. It is a bit sweeter than most but still very good. The ABV is undetectable also. (1,373 characters)

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. (1,406 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Van Dieu glass, this rather brown, hazy saison has very little head to notice. The nose is interesting--one of the most bubblegum-like aromas I've ever smelt on a beer. There's also a distinct spiciness that's curious. Nice flavor--a distinct brett taste right from the start, though the sourness is restrained. A bit like Orval but funkier. Moderately high bitterness but hop flavor, I think, is mostly absent. There's a good spiciness accompanying but I'm guessing it's more yeast character, or actual spices, than hop taste.

Very interesting beer, and not what I expected. It misses my favorite flavor components of saisons, but that makes it complex. (670 characters)

Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
86 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.