1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Saison Vautour - McKenzie Brew House

Not Rated.
Saison VautourSaison Vautour

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 126
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tempest on 10-22-2007

Belgian style farmhouse ale balances a bold, spicy yeast character with a dry hoppiness. A significant addition of malted rye adds further complexity without betraying the styles roots.

GABF gold medal winner 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Draft/growler reviews should go here -  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profi ... 1872/74927 
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by sweemzander:
Photo of sweemzander
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a cloudy pale yellow color. Some good white froth.

(S)- Pretty dry with some orange peel. Slight Brett-like funk.

(T)- Fairly dry with lots of orange peel. Slightly sweet with minimal funk.

(M)- A bright and lively carbonation level. Nice balance of sweet, dry, and funky.

(O)- A good Saison from the states. Not too sweet, but balanced well overall.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nellie and thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma is lemons and wheat. The flavor is yeast, lemons and wheat and is slightly tart. Very drinkable and refreshing. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant – thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a white head leaving solid lacing.

Smells of light malts with earthy hops, bright citrus hops, and light funk. Also present are hints of lemon rind and tropical fruit hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not as complex. Light malts up front are joined by moderate amounts of light citrus flavors. Solid amounts of funk round things out. The ending is crisp. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall this was a solid beer and the funk from the brett was integrated well. A nice beer that’s well worth a shot.

Photo of MrVonzipper
2.77/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy orange color. Actually kind of looks like a dark orange juice. No head. Just white bubble that last seconds. Obviously no lacing from the lack of head.

Nose is nothing special at all. Sour with faint fruit like a blend of sour fruit juice along with a little bitter orange peel.

Flavor really isn't very special or good either. No nice distinguishing characteristics that stand out like I want in a good Saison. Just sour wild yeast up front then a watered down blend of fruit juice blend. Like sour orange juice, mango, and grapefruit juice. But hard to say cuz nothing stands out. Very muttled.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, pretty thin with no carbonation. Again like drinking fruit juice. Although this would be very tough to drink with high carb.

Overall I'm very disappointed by this one I had real high hopes. By reading others reviews previously I thought it was gonna have all the characteristics I like in a Saison but that was just not the case and in more ways than one it just fell flat.

Photo of tempest
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 GABF Gold Medal Winner.

On-tap at the Malvern location. I'm told they brew this with a bit of rye, I don't know if I could taste that in the beer, but what I did taste was freakin' amazing. I'll just start by saying the only thing that seems off was the carbonation, the bubbles weren't fine like a good saison is. Mouthfeel aside, the flavor was all over the place, yet seemed balanced. It was sweet and bitter, funky and fruity, there's some spice, some white pepper and citrus rind. Yeah, just trust me that this is damn tasty. Find this beer while you can.

Photo of nickd717
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle thanks to chswimmer.

Pours hazy golden-yellow with a nice lasting one-finger white head and good lacing.

Very funky, bretty, and a little tart on the aroma. Lemony with lots of horseblanket.

Flavor has pale malt, tart lemoniness, and lots of barnyard horseblanket. Some mild hops and rye. Seems like there's definitely some brett in there.

Medium-bodied with lively carbonation and a little acidity.

Really good stuff overall. Surprising.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unlabeled 750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Apparently barrel aged?

Appearance - Hazy orange. Nice white head. Eternal retention.

Smell - Bretty, oak. Yeasty and pale malt. Bright citrus.

Taste - Very bretty. Keeps a bright citrusy flavor going to stave off the earthiness. Yeasty and just a bit of funky. Earthiness comes back with some oak.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated. Maybe too much. Bretty as hell.

Overall - Excellent without being overly complex. Just a solid brett saison.

Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An unlabelled bottle, distinguished only by a sticker. Thanks to Kramer for the share.

A: The saison is a darker amber color, still translucent but lighter than several other saisons from the night. A white head is generated but no lacing results.

S: The saison refuses to shy away from its bretty side, allowing a musty dirtiness to come through. Lemony citrus is the calling card for those funky beasts. Grainy breads joint the roll call of flavors, representing the malty base underneath the funk.

T: Lemons, citric and tart, come through thanks to the brett, a dirty mustiness coming through as a result. The brett dries the ale out, requiring multiple sips in a futile attempt to sooth my palate. The recurring bite is nice, reminding me of the complexity fo the saison. The wildness completely overruns tha multy base, dominating with its dirty flavors. Funkiness defines the finish; the dryness making me want another sip.

M: An appropriately complex saison, brett adding a mature depth to the ale. Sign me up for more, a delicious blend of funk and spicy saison.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle to tulip. 2009 version with Brett. "Blonde Farmhouse-Style ale brewed with rye" inscribed on the label.

A: Enormous pop upon cracking the gold wax dipped cap. The head pours with 4 fingers of fluffy/foamy bright white head becoming rocky as it recedes incredibly slow. The body is a pale, creamy, light colored orange, hazy, with a 90% opacity. Fair to good lacing. Great look.

S: Average malts of of hay, straw and lightly toasted grain. Meyer lemon scented hops stand out above a beautiful floral bouquet. Heavily yeasty with a pronounced brettanomyces character. Lightly funky. The barnyard aromas becoming even more prevalent on the second pour. The third pour becomes very funky with slight sulfuric notes. Quite a dynamic aroma.

T: Additional yeast derived fruity esters present flavors of apple and a very light bubblegum (think Extra, pink pack). The flavor duration is long with a perfect and mild sweetness from front to mid palate. Lightly acidic all the way through. The addition of rye may add to the depth of this beer, but it goes by unnoticed. While I don't miss it, I wouldn't dare recommend changing a thing about the recipe.

M: The body is medium full with a minerally texture. Perfectly effervescent with a fizzy and lively carbonation. Moderately tart and sour.

D: There is absolutely no improvement to be made. In my mind, this is THE perfect saison.

Read the notes section on [BAs] Saison Vatour's main page...Brett version is only in bottles. And I didn't find the draft version to be nearly as impressive.

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chswimmer shared this one a while back. Thank you, Craig.

Cloudy, yeasty blond with a nice fluffy white head, signature saison appearance.

Really nice aroma, spicy and lemony, grainy and hoppy, yeasty and funky. Hard to tell if there's a mild brett character or if the saison yeast used to ferment this is just really intense.

On the palate there's some fruity sweetness up front, reminiscent of apples, pears and lemons. There's plenty of peppery spice too, and a little bubblegum. Medium in body, lightly tart and grainy with a moderate hop bitterness in the finish and a hint of orange peel and earth. Pretty damn good, this one really surprised me.

Photo of oline73
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to finewinemike for hosting the tasting and providing this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellow with an orange hut. There is a layer of white head that fades to just a trace on top of the pour.

Smell: Tart with some citrus, pineapple and mandarine orange. Bready yeast along with some Belgian spice.

Taste: A bit funky up front (in a good way). Tart citrus fruit notes with a nice amount of sweetness. Light and herbal with a bitter finish. There is a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium. Tingly carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this was a really great beer. So much going on and it all works together.

Photo of weeare138
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottled versions of this beer are dosed with brett.
Lightly haze of gold with small white head that sticks around for a while. Scatered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, citrus, wet hay, vanilla, gently roasted grains, earthiness, barnyard, and a hint of dry, slightly tart rye.
Flavor is of the mentioned aromas with a beautiful taste citrus, caramel, spice, and vanilla cream. Beautiful beer.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, dry, and spicy. This is such a cool beer. I could drink this one all night.

Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two HUGE shout outs on this beer. First, to BYO magazine for writing an article about this small brewpub making kick @$$ American Saisons, which initially peaked my interest, and then much more importantly, G311 for reminding me during our in-person swap this past weekend and for reserving me the final 3 bottles of the year.

Pours a gorgeous light yellow, almost golden color with a gorgeous white fluffy head. I let this get a little warms before I opened it to guarantee a nice pour.

The aromas begin with delicious smells of lemon zest, ripe pears, light vinous white grapes and lighter lemon juice. As you further examine you are greeted with the light grassiness and emerging Brett mustiness. Light pilsner graininess in the background.

The flavors perfectly follow the nose with initial tart lemons, clementines, melon, all backed by the slight pils graininess. As it warms more you get light earthiness and lesser amounts of musty funk. I cannot do the taste justice here. There are so many light fruits and slight tart, grass, herbal notes that continue to dance on my palate. As it warms you get a little more evident Belgian Saison spice and a nice crisp finish. The rye malt really adds a nice dynamic to this style which I originally did not think would work/balance because it can easily be overdone, but here it is a delight.

The mouthfeel is light in body with high carbonation. Drying hopping is evident here which helps to add a nice bitterness and allows this to finish both extremely crisp and clean while also being dry and sticky.

Overall I had no idea what a rye saison would taste like or if it would work but I am thoroughly impressed. This is definitely not one of my favorite styles by any means because it is often too clovey, spicy and doughy from the traditional old world estery Belgian yeasts. But this was different thanks to the dry-hopping and unusual rye malt additions. It is extremely drinkable and complex and I cannot recommend it enough.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.97/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to MrVonzipper for the bottleshare who won this in the WWF LIF

Look: Murky yellow orange in color which reminds me of watered down orange juice. 1/8 inch head and no retention

Smell: Notes of fresh fruits mixed with a bit of funkiness with a touch of sourness

Taste: This to me taste like watered down orange and pineapple juice that you buy at the store but you put just a bit too much water in it and it sucks and they on yeah it has a interesting grapefruit sourness on the backend

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin and mild carbonation and a bit tart

Overall: I just dont get this style at all the flavors are not enjoyable the mouthfeel sucks and why do I want to drink something that is sour. The flavor has a sour fruitiness that is just not good

Photo of Arenbeer
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a Tulip Glass

Drank at last tasting. Thanks to my good buddy Finewinemike bringing this bottle.

A- Pours a cloudy lemonade/pineapple juice yellow with 1 finger of white head.

S- Slight funk, pineapple, white grapes, citrus, tropical fruits, lemon, banana, and bready belgian yeast.

T- Immediate funk and tartness with a nice bready background from the yeast with a good amount of lemon, banana, clove. Really great

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a slight funky dry finish.

SkÅL!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to G311 for getting me this bottle. Bottle 39/372 from the most-recent release served in a snifter.

Pours a nice golden-yellow color with some visible carbonation and a nice white head. a bit of lacing on the dies of the glass. The nose brings a really fantastic Brett presence with a bit of mild Band-aid presence in the background, though in a good way. Really quite earthy as well. The taste is along similar lines with a great funky Brett character as well as some light citrus character. The body is medium with a really dry finish. Extremely drinkable.

Photo of AgentZero
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for bringing this one.

A - A hazy golden color with a good sized off-white head. Some spots left on the side, but not much else, poor head retention.

S - Great smelling beer with appropriate saison-floral notes and a great brett aroma. Good amount of funk and sweetness present.

T - Apples give the sweetness in this. Belgian yeast, funk, oak, floral notes, and a lot of brett. A lot of kick for a saison, which I tend to find one of the milder (and generally more boring) styles.

M - Medium bodied with a dry finish.

D - Quite easy to get this one down, and I recommend trying it as it's a really good beer.

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Don't know what happened to my review of this. I'm 99% sure that I had put it on here, but apparently not. From notes.

Thanks to Richard for sharing and to Michael for sending a couple of these my way as well.

A: The pour is a slightly hazed golden straw color with a massive white head that clings to the glass.

S: A very nice earthy aroma to this beer providing some grass and hay notes. Lightly sweet malts with a bit of a cracker thing going on. A touch of fruitiness, but certainly some lemon zest that is very pleasing.

T: This one starts out with a very light tartness (of the lemon variety). Grass, hay, and leather give this beer a fantastic earthy character and really dry it out. A hint of of spice (white pepper) and a bready malt base completes this one.

M: The body is medium with plenty of carbonation and a very dry finish.

D: Just fantastic stuff. Glad to have an extra one of these sitting at home.

Photo of Biscuit033
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden-orange with a nice one finger head and great lacing.

S: Brerady/yeasty, orange, honey and a bit of coriander.

T: Biscuity, hoppy, earthy, and spicy with notes of coriander and white pepper.

M: Light to medium body with a crisp bitter and spicy finish.

D: This went down quick considering the amount of flavoe. This is a very well done beer.

Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was just telling Deuane I really wanted to try this one and the very next day Kramer brings an unlabeled bottle to Ffej of July IX!

A - Pours slightly hazy golden yellow with a nice bright white one finger tall white head leaving little to no lacing down the glass.

S - Tons of barnyard brett throughout this one to go along with hints of lemon peel, wheat, a touch of spice from the rye, and a tiny bit of earthy hop bitterness. Very nice nose.

T - Starts off with a big dose of funky brett that lingers throughout consumption. Once the brett dies down a bit you can detect hints of lemon, spicy rye, chewy wheat, and a touch of earthy hop bitterness at the very end. Finish is pretty chewy, lingering for a short period of time. Not as good as the nose but still very nice none the less.

M - Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Chewy, funky, feel with plenty of it lingering through the finish.

O - Damn, this is one good saison. I had never even heard of this one until last week and when I looked it up I instantly knew I had to track down a bottle for myself and then Kramer just happens to bring one to the party and boy am I glad he did. Excellent stuff for sure.

Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken 12/11/10, shared at ClockworkOrange's tasting. Bottle #120/372

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a light hazy golden yellow color. A yellowish stained head appears and sticks with a webbing of lace around the glass and top of this brew. Somewhat poor retension, a swirl revives a quickly dissolving cap.

The aroma of this brew is very lemony, lactic and brett'd. The typical classic style saison scents of barnyard funk come through more as the beer warms. It has a light sulfur quality that leans towards a strange scent that is almost plastic-like.

The taste mimics the aroma with a full throttle taste of seemingly artificial lemon, lactic acidity, Brett, funk and a moderate oily bitterness from clingy hops. The aftertaste is somewhat plastic-like. A dry tannic aftertaste comes out once this brew gets warm.

This is a light bodied brew with a lower than expected level of carbonation. Somewhat watery at times in the feel. It is however, light refreshing and easy drinking for 7% abv. There is seemingly no indications of alcohol in flavor or warmth. I'm not sure about this particular experience/bottle, it is worth trying again though.

Photo of 321jeff
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful slightly hazy bright gold color with a finger worth of eggshell white head. Looks like a good saison should.

They weren't kidding when they said this batch was funkier than the rest. Aroma is lots of funk and there are some hints of oak and red wine in the background.

The wine barrels really come through in the flavor and meld well with the base saison. The finish is dry and nicely offsets the rest of the beer.

Medium in body and a little light on carbonation but it's very smooth and goes down way too easy.

Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6/24/2011

Thanks to Jason for opening the bottle.

A: Straw colored with a lively white head that fades to lingering bubbles.

S: Wheat, hay, and a vibrant floral redolence. Nice fruit profile, composed of lemon and ripe apple. Lightly tart and lactic with some horsey and leather Bretty notes. Evident oak with a decided graininess. Light phenols reminiscent of white pepper. Earth with lots of pineapple. Killer nose.

T: Apple, lemon (slightly tart), and wheat. Light citric acidity accompanies slightly spicy white pepper. All aspects are balanced. Very nice. Grain and earth with mustiness. Finishes dry with a light lemon tartness.

M: Light in body with high carbonation. Mouthfeel is dry and sticky.

Overall: An excellent sourish Saison, which I just happened to get as an extra today from yourefragile today so I'll be able to revisit it.

7/17/2011

I opened up my bottle from yourefragile with seaoflament and was able to enjoy it slowly. Really fantastic stuff. Awesome aroma. Highly recommended. Thanks again!

Photo of Jayli
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired from G311 via Nobody Wants to See A Beer Geek Naked 3 so a big THANK YOU goes out to him.
750mL with gold waxed cap poured in to my Brooklyn tulip.

A: This beer pours a beautiful, hazy deep straw, golden yellow with a two finger of white sudsy, rocky head. Head retains nicely leaving a fair amount of spotted lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is citrus - grapefruit, and lemon, with a real hearty grassy, earthy backbone. Spicing and funk are also present.

T: Taste starts with a touch of pepper spicing that quickly lends to a touch of lemony flavoring. Brett, hay and funk fill out the middle. Finish has a crazy grapefruit flavoring that hits the back of your mouth. It seems to hang for a moment and then completely disappear.
** As this beer gets warmer, the grapefruit bite lessens and the hay and funk really come through. Flavors on this beer are complex and fantastic - enjoyed seeing how this beer changed as it warmed.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, nice light feel with a bone dry finish.

D: Goes down easily, pretty tasty, not too filling, nice kick and nice representation of style.

Photo of illidurit
3.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy goldenrod color with a crazy huge dense head that leaves massive lacing. Aroma is light banana pith and grains, with a hint of orange peel and a mild metallic note. Flavor is a nice banana/vanilla sweetness with an earthy character midpalate that includes mineral and grass notes. Finish is peppery with a light booziness. Bitterness is substantial.

to view more.
Saison Vautour from McKenzie Brew House
94 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.