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

BA SCORE
85
very good
214 Ratings
Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse AleSaison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Belgium
proefbrouwerij.com

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewmaster's Collection - Special Reserve
Mixed Fermentation - Saison De Flandres

Added by clickpush on 05-04-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
214
Reviews:
168
Avg:
3.81
pDev:
10.76%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 214 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of BrewMonkey
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of jenitivecase
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of buffettfan
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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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%.

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Photo of rdickey
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of gonzo46and2
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
3.58/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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

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Photo of dedrinker
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of mcallister
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of jakon
4/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle. First thing I noticed was how much head there was, but then it is a wheat beer. The color of the beer was an reddish orange color that was hazy. The head was white and had some moderate retention.

The smell was of apple, banana, and wheat. There was a very mild sour undertone. The taste was more sour and of soft wheat with some of that apple coming through. Interestingly enough there wasn't a bit of alcohol in the smell or taste.

Medium bodied with some chunkiness coming from the wheat. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of HombreWing
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

corked bottle...Glass > oversized Duvel

Eyes: Pours bright, darker amber....off white creamy head, laces as it goes. 2nd pour let some of the yeast come into play....nice little haze.

Nose: First pour had mostly malt w/ a little yeast ester. 2nd pour some lactic aromas...peppery yeast

Tongue: First pour...malty, subtle ripe fruit, balanced by mostly yeast characteristics. 2nd pour added a nice element of tartness that played nicely w/ the fuller mouth feel from the haze.

Texture: I prefer a drier saison. This was a little more fuller bodied but I'm sure that was due to it's strength

Overall experience: As much fun as it was to drink I thought it made a better Biere de Gard

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Photo of bort11
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been eyeballing this one on the shelf for some time. Finally broke down and grabbed it.

750 ml corked bottle, poured into a St Bernardus chalice. Solid 1/4 inch thick head that leaves OK lacing. I think the head would have been bigger if the glass wasn't so wide mouthed. Dark but clear orange amber color.

Smell is full of banana esters with some nuttiness. Sweet malt aroma, lots of fruit, baked apples. Taste is also quite sweet with the fruity flavors. Spiced apples, banana nut bread. All very warm flavor combinations.

Mouthfeel is very sticky and juicy. Solid carbonation. I really liked this saison a lot. I will definitely try the others from the brewery.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that leaves a bit of a structured lacing pattern on the sides of my glass as it falls back into the beer. The head sits on top of a murky cherry red colored beer that shows an almost brilliantly clear, light cranberry color when held up to the light. The aroma is a mix of sticky, sweet malt notes and earthy spice aromatics. Flavors of buckwheat honey, cheap coriander, soft orange peel, clove, slightly woody (though more like hay) and lots of earthy spice / herbal notes. The aroma is ok, but really doesn't have a bright, Saison-like character to my senses.

Sweet, with a medium fullness to it up front, the beer actually gets a bit cloying towards the middle and end. Sweet flavors of herbal honey and grassy grain mix together with the substantial green, but still earthy, spice notes that are most evocative of cheap coriander and grass. A light bitterness in the finish and a herbal / grassy (complimenting the same flavors found in other components of the beer) hop character provide a touch of additional balance. The earthy, grassy notes really dominate the flavor profile of this brew, but it completely misses the finesse of a Saison Dupont. Instead the beer just tastes muddy, flabby and out of balance.

A bit too under-attenuated for me; I like a Saison that is typically a lot drier than this, this is just too heavy on the palate. This also doesn’t have the piquant spiciness (yeast character only please), or bright hop character, either of which I would expect in a good example of the style. This is especially true, despite the Imperiale moniker, when one considers this isn't really any stronger than most Fantôme beers and is lower in alcohol than Dupont's Avec les Bons Voeux.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour is a hazy reddish amber, filled with tiny suspended particles. Foam has a creamy texture. It settles to a thin ring on the perimeter of the glass soon enough. One dimensional apple juice aroma. Slightly sweet, lightly spiced like a cider.

A light dried fruit note leads off, with an undercurrent of farmy Brettanomyces. It's a little horsey, but restrained well enough. The finish is dry, with a long aftertaste of rustic Belgian yeast.

Dry mouthfeel overall, but initially juicy and slightly cidery. With a medium level of carbonation, it could be quaffed or sipped. The dry Brett gets to be a little much, paired with the apple sweetness, i'm glad the 750 was shared.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- An ever so slightly hazy, honey and gold colored liquid. The head is thick and creamy and leaves excellent lacing.

S- Funky and sour with fruity notes. Definitely a farmhouse characteristic. I love the smell of open fermentation.

T- Sweet, funky, fruity, honey, with a definite olive characteristic. Slightly tart. Not as crazy as I was expecting. Something is a little different here, but it is not necessarily a bad thing.

M- Very very smooth and creamy. Not sticky and pretty clean on the aftertaste.

D- This was a pretty interesting brew. Tasty and enjoyable. The alcohol is nowhere to be found here.

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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.

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Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
3.81 out of 5 based on 214 ratings.
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