Monday, July 2, 2012
Saison Imperiale Belgian Farmhouse Ale
Hello, or Hola as they say in the South Florida dialect. Today I'll be checking out Saison Imperiale Belgian Farmhouse Ale brewed by De Proef Brouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium. The label on this wine-sized bottle shows a small photo of an old farmhouse. You are told this beer is part of the Brewmaster's Collection and a Special Reserve. 120° around the bottle, there is a little story that is there to set your expectations for this beer. "Saison Imperiale was created as a bolder more flavorful interpretation of the style." Let's see.
Deep rich copper color. Ripe peach and pear aroma, very nice, with some yeast characteristics. Rich caramel flavors blend with ripe apples, a little candied, then a little tart. Really nice start which actually repeats itself over and over.
Some spicy cinnamon comes next, more than a background flavor, really working itself in with the sweet caramel. Bananas, then some sweet sugary flavors. Again, those sweeter flavors are in a bit of a tug-o-war with more tart and even sour leaning fruity flavors. After a few sips, you will start to taste the funk, and it builds throughout, nicely.
More caramel, some sweet raisin nuances. Fairly rich and very flavorful with a great body (like the story told you). The carbonation is creamy and the texture of the beer is terrific. The zing comes at you from several directions--some citrus, some yeasty tartness, some funkier more sour nuances. Pretty cool! Saison Imperial has 8.5% alcohol which I will say was barely noticeable, if at all. An enjoyable beer all around.