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Saison Vautour - McKenzie Brew House

Not Rated.
Saison VautourSaison Vautour

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 48
Hads: 99
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 127
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 48 | Hads: 99
Photo of sweemzander
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz pour
McKenzie's tulip glass

A: Pours a light, hazy golden yellow color. Initially got a full finger of tight bubbled bright white head. Good carbonation. Served at the proper temp. Left some sticky lacing bits. Pretty beer.

S: Citrus. Pepper notes. Light farmhouse yeast smells. Bright and light.

T: Flavor follows the nose. Just a really solid Saison. Perfect for a spring evening. Nice peppery flavors up front from that yeast strain. Wheat. Some citrus flavors. Dry and refreshing finish.

M: Light to medium bodied.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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.


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Photo of MrVonzipper
2.77/5  rDev -34.7%
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.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.97/5  rDev -30%
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

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Photo of joefuzz
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle sent me by G311 split with a fellow BA.

Pours straw yellow with a suddy white head.

Smells strongly of belgian yeast and wheat with a white grape like hint.

Tastes of papaya strongly upfront and mellows out to a nice wheat based saision. With a super dry finish.

Mouthfeel is nice and light carbonaton is pretty on the high side but I have come to expect that from this style, cap came off with mucho force.

Overall very good beer wish I had enough to drink year round.

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Photo of oline73
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of LSUPT
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Axic10 for sending me this one. 750ml unlabeled, capped bottle poured to a Lost Abbey tulip.

Little hiss when I cracked the bottle but still gushed for a while. Very hard pour yields only a 1/2" bright white head, unusual for the style, poor retention and little lacing. Color, on the other hand, is excellent. Seriously glowing orange but with a good bit of haze and cloudiness.

Barnyard funk in the smell, mainly, wet horse blanket, lemon and slight grassiness. Very strong smelling but not too complex. Taste is amazing. Funky, bretty, lemon, champagne-like flavors, peach and a hint of orange in the middle, with a nice tart finish. Creamy, creamy mouthfeel with still a good level of carbonation and medium body, odd for the style but very enjoyable.

Overall, easily the best saison I have reviewed and I'm really impressed, probably my favorite to date.

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Photo of dubinsky
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Axic10 for sending this to me as part of the N00B Round5 BIF.

A – This beer pours a very light and hazy yellow with a very airy and wispy white foam. As the head settled it left some lacing.

S – Very crisp and clean smelling citrus and citrus zest. Obviously, due to the style this is some very apparent barnyard funk from the brett, but unlike others the funk is so well blended, it doesn’t punch me in the face as aggressively as others in the same style. Im also picking up other fruits such as peaches. Slightly grassy on the finish.

T – The taste follows the nose very closely, but is a bit more pronounced and bold. Slight pepperiness with wonderful citrus and farmhouse flavors blend together in one of the best crafted beers I have yet to enjoy. Everything comes together so well and is so balanced its really incredible. Its delicate flavors and aromas play off of each other very well.

M – The mouthfeel is perfect for the style, but like I mentioned its somehow more delicate and refined than other top-tier saisons I have enjoyed. Extremely refreshing and delicious.

O – What more can I say about this. This beer was part of an incredible tasting that include heavy hitting beers as Armand’4 Zomer, Mamouche, Brute, le blue, 06 BA Speedway, and many other huge, whaleish beers. This one really shined among those beers and garnered rave reviews among all the BA’s present. I will definitely try to trade for this again.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks jyoungsbcp for this treat

Pours a light yellowed orange. Fairly clear. White frothy head. Smells funky and light. Phenomenal nose. Tastes a bit sweet. Very funky with a lot going on on the tongue. Smooth and rich. Very nice mouthfeel. Easily one of the best saisons I've ever had.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml unlabeled bottle courtesy of Axic10. Many thanks!

Vautour pours well, with a cloudy, grassy-blonde body and a decent tuft of eggshell-white foam. The head doesn't stick around for long. Excellent Brett notes in the nose--bright and floral with aromas of mandarin orange, lemongrass, rye bread, and vinous vegetation. Very enticing.

Flavor is equal parts juicy and earthy, presenting a slight tartness alongside a huge burst of citrusy, fruity funk. Grainy rye malt in the finish, but not at all spicy or unpleasant. Mouthfeel is creamy with a perfect carbonation level, and the medium-light body is slightly dry in the finish but juicy and refreshing overall. What a superb saison. The Brett really shines in this beer. Job well done, McKenzie.

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Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of claspada
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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.


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!

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Photo of gford217
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from Kiel.

Pours a hazy golden yellow with very little head to speak of and subsequently it leaves no lacing.

Aroma is fantastic with lemonzest, vinegar and some nice grassy notes. Plenty of other citrus notes are present - peaches and apricots - as well as some brett and oak.

Taste isn't quite up to the nose as the fruit is a little less prevalent and there is actually a noticeable floral character, and I mean flowers, not floral hops. The finish is dry and oaky with a hint of brett. Not much spices.

The mouthfeel is slick with low carbonation and maybe a little thin for the style. Very dry in the finish.

This is a really nice saison and extremely drinkable. One of the better McKenzie beers I've had.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First off huge thanks to Alex (Axic10)
Pop, fizz, and I fear this may be too bretty...Lovely pillow of head which leaves nice sheets of lacing. Opaque hazy yellow with an orange tint. However it does have fairly poor retention. As the beer breaths the brett quality subsides and a well balanced farmhouse aroma is presented. Some hay and brett, some citrus, spice and grass; a nice marriage of the aromas. The grass, spice and citrus is more pronounced in the flavor then the brett. Although there is some horse blanket and leather lurking around. Could be a bit more snappy and crisp. A very clean and dry finish, one of the best saison mouthfeels. A great saison, period.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big big thanks to jwjon1 for this bottle (thanks Jason!!). Part of a BIF package, and this bottle was VERY welcome in my stash. The label calls this "Saison Vautour du Bois", apparently this beer has several names. Gold wax on top.

The foam started moving for the exit as soon as the cap was removed, but at a slow enough rate that nothing was lost. This pours a very hazy light golden color, with several fingers of foam on top.

Huge brett presence in the nose, a bit of a weizen style ester behind that, some light fruits as well. This smells absolutely delicious.

It tastes initially sweet, with grains and maybe some spices in the middle, and a dry tart bite at the end. A little fresh mowed grass in there, at least that's how it now smells after taking a sip.

Soft and dry mouthfeel, there are no bad marks against this beer anywhere. Outstanding, unexpectedly so, this is a fantastic take on the saison style. I'll go ahead and place this on my WANTs now, would love to try this again any time.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle generously shared by Thirstybird. Bottle 145 of 372. Pours a golden-orange with a semi-hazy clarity and no head, just a cluster of bubbles. Nose exhibits that classic farmhouse musty, skunky, funk characteristic of Belgian exports, but often missing in domestic offerings. There's also a citrus quality that permeates the nose. Taste expresses citrus, vinegary funk, peaches, apricots and a minty character. Mouthfeel is light-medium with some citrus astringency and a lively, crisp carbonation. Finish is semi-dry to dry. Perhaps one of the best domestic Saisons I've had to date. This beer truly epitomizes all of the qualities that the Belgians have mastered.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 750ml bottle, 44 of 372, thanks to Sean, poured into my Hill Farmstead glass... Murky honey gold body, semi-transparent. Head is a bright off white, watery and light, not much retention or lacing... Outstanding aroma, very funky floral muskyness, some nice brett... Taste has some nice things going, this is a musky sour brett saison, not sweetness, makes no bones about it. Finish is tons of brett.

Crushable musky saison, well worth trying.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, #44/372, poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a slight hazy golden yellow, off-white head, some bubbles along the edge of the glass, some whisps here and there as the cap.

S - Belgian yeast funk, lots of floral notes, some sweetness.

T - Loads of funk, some oak, nice rose pedal notes/floral.

M - Light to medium, smooth, light carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - A solid Saison, but after 4 in a row, Hill Farmstead Anna is the clear winner for me out of them all. I would def have again, and I will, because I have another bottle in the cellar. Recommend.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Mike. Bottle 39/372

BRETT BOMB! and it feels so nice.

Beer is yellow with low carbonation but forms a soft white head of small bubbles, minimal lacing, slightly hazy.

Whoa...Brett c anyone? Funky lactic nose. What a saison.

Beer is strong with the funk, weak on the lead off but the mid and late palates are interesting. There is a series of different funk flavors from the brett in this one all leading up to the finish, mildly dry, light bitterness. It was fun to drink for sure.

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Saison Vautour from McKenzie Brew House
93 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.