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

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Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse AleSaison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale
BA SCORE
3.81/5
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
Ranking:
#15,631
Reviews:
168
Ratings:
214
pDev:
10.76%
Bros Score:
3.95
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
9
Trade:
0
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Ratings: 214 |  Reviews: 168
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.

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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.

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Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

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 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.

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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!

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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 mrebeka
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

corked caged 750ml bottle

A-pours a slight hazed copper/amber color with a 2 finger tan head that recedes to a fresh cap with slight lacing

S-was malty first with caramel molasses and toffee ,dark fruits followed plum dates

T-followed the nose with sweet belgian candi mixed with earthy notes and yeast lots of caramel and molasses with prune and date notes
M- sweet and a tad boozy
O- very sweet and boozy with too much toffee/molasses not enough funk or light fruits

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Kerrie
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +5%

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.

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Photo of South2NW
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GbVDave
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass at Hopleaf 3/27/07. Assist by HeatherAnn.

A:Served a dark, tarnished copper color with no head to speak of.

S: Sweet apples and big yeast dominate.

T: Yeasty bananas and clove mixed with sweet & tart fruit, vanilla, and hops.

M: Tart, prickley, and fruity.

D: Very sweet and bitter with almost no horse blanket/barnyard funk. Very strange for a Saison. Not nearly tart or peppery enough.

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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 wagenvolks
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle (corked & caged), poured into a pilsener glass.

A forceful "thwup" from the cork lets me know that good things are in store. The appearance is a bit darker than most Saison's I come across, but the clear, amber-russet body is attractive. A lively carbonation level fuels a well-retained cap of finely sorted, creme-colored foam. The aroma starts off almost like a good lambic with some vinegar and sour notes, but lurking below the surface is the signature "horse blanket" saison boquet. Notes of peat, dark spices, and charred wood present as well.

Wow...MUCH different flavor than I was expecting. Gone are the sour notes, as an influx of rich, caramel malt balances nicely with a spicy, floral hop bitterness. Lots of horse blanket funk and wood on the finish, outshining the softly carbonated, medium mouthfeel. A subtle hint of whiskey-like booze is all the 8.5% ABV lets on. Body is a bit on the watery side, and I was looking for a little more bubbliness given the appearance, but that's okay. All in all, I thought this was an above average-saison with lots of complexity. Would I have it again? You bet.

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Photo of sparx1100
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of HardTarget
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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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 stephens101
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 1,170 characters

Photo of kbrown
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

Saison Imperiale - Belgian Farmhouse Ale from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 214 ratings
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