Brother Levonian - Saison Ale | Port Brewing

very good
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Brother Levonian - Saison AleBrother Levonian - Saison Ale

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
For the Ballast Point version:

Added by scottoale on 05-11-2009

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 81
Photo of sweemzander
3/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange color. Minimal white froth.

(S)- A nice yeasty body with some subtle sweetness. A little apple cider and lemon peel.

(T)- Fairly sweet and apple-like for a Saison. Some light grassiness and biscuit-like yeast.

(M)- A crisp carbonation level. Fairly well balanced, though a bit sweet for my tastes in a Saison.

(O)- Enoyable, but gets lost in a sea of far more layered & dynamic beers in the style.

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Photo of portia99
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary glass.

A - Pours very clear with a pale golden color. Capped with a small finger of white foam.

S - Sweet overall...a bit white wine like, citrusy oranges, mildly tart, malty and spicy.

T - Sweet, malty - maltose, very mild tartness...interesting.

M - Lightish medium body. Lower carbonation...a bit boozy which is surprising at only 6.5%...quite winey in overall character.

O - Not bad overall...enjoyable, but perhaps left in the cellar a bit too long (a 2008 vintage bottle sampled in early 2013)

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Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with JLindros at his Birthday whale tasting last month. Reviewed from notes. This is a 2008 vintage

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice clear golden hue with a thin half finger head that fades down to leave some light lacing.

S - Aromas of light funk, no ABV, light sweet malts. Faint, faint fruit notes along with incredibly faint hops as well (to be expected with its age). Impressed at the lack of alcohol on the nose.

T - Taste is more of the sweeter malts with a light funk finish and faint farmhouse. There are some light fruits as well but for the most part its fairly faded.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and still quite bright. Super drinkable.

O - Overall, not a bad saison, just perhaps a bit too much age on it? I dunno, did not really blow me away.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy light gold...lingering head. Big aromas of herbs, malts, and the skunk from the bottom of church pews. Big carbonation, rich malt and hop and yeast flavors. Overall, very tasty and quaffable...I'd drink a 10 - 16 ounce portion and feel content.

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Photo of prototypic
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brother Levonian pours a very hazy straw color. When held to light, it looks bright gold. A foamy white head rises to over two fingers in height. Looks good. It’s very slow to dissipate and leaves a nice, sticky coat of lace trailing behind. Pretty impressive.

The nose is very impressive. It’s loaded with earthy and herbal notes throughout. It has a strong fruit presence. Apple, pear, and light orange are all in the mix. A light crackery, malty scent is noted throughout. There are some grassy, earthy hop notes. They’re not strong. Given this bottle’s age, that’s no surprise. Smells like remnants of noble hops. Alcohol is blended very well. Smells good to me.

The flavor is perhaps even a little more impressive. It has a light cracker-like, malty flavor up front. It’s good and works well with the strong earthy and herbal flavors. Spicy, herbal notes of clove and coriander are simply delicious. Apple, pear, and orange flavors are strong and flavorful. They complement the malty and herbal flavors nicely. Hops have largely faded, but grassy remnants remain. It does taste like noble hops were the ticket. I’m curious how a fresh bottle would’ve been, but this is excellent. Alcohol is not a factor at all. Finishes fruity, spicy and herbal. Excellent.

Brother Levonian has a medium body. Carbonation is definitely active, although it’s not quite buzzy. It retains a smooth feel despite all the bubbles. For what it’s worth, drinkability is excellent. This 750 is disappearing far too quickly. I wish I had more.

Port Brewing Company did a really nice job with Brother Levonian Saison. It’s a nice tribute beer. As far as Saisons go, it’s really nice. I can’t say that it has any glaring flaws. It’s very flavorful and has aged nicely. This bottle is a couple of years old. Not sure if any are still floating around. If so, seek one out. Well worth it.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did you know there are two Saison's called Brother Levonian listed on BA? I do now.

A - Golden colored hazy beer. Had a fairly large head with good retention.

S - Tropical fruits along with some floral and yeast notes. Seems a little more sweet and less phenolic/yeasty than a lot of saisons.

T - Fruity. Tropical fruits with some lemon citrus and some grass. Some bready malts and a slight bit of spice. Yeast is evident, but not overbearing.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Finishes dry, but not as dry as a lot of saisons.

O - This is a good one, fairly easy to drink with some nice flavors that may make those who eschew saisons enjoy one for a change.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 2/6/2010. Bottle thanks to TheCheeseman. Pours a cloudy light orange with a small white head. Aroma of brett, lemon, citrus, light fruits, dry hops. Flavor of brett, citrus, sweet malt, light spices with a dry finish. Easy drinking saison, very nice! Great beer!

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Photo of JAXSON
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

September 2009 rate.

Bottle, thanks Dennis! Pours clear honey gold, big fluffy head. Yeasty, peppery nose. Some light orange and floral expression. Initially sweet in the mouth, finish is slightly bitter and quire peppery. I like the pepper expression in this. Pretty solid, but has a chalky kind of sweetness I don't really love.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bmanning for puling out a bottle of this. Reviewed from notes.

Pours golden with a tiny bit of haze. The nose brings some really nice notes of citrus as well as some grain, yeast, and a bit of spice. The taste is good as well with citrus, general yeast, and some nice spicy characteristics. The feel is quite nice with a good body and a nice spice. Drinks quite well and is a really nice saison coming from a brewery I wouldn't necessarily expect this from.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kevin for sharing this!

A- Body is a murky, nearly opaque dirty golden hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger foamy white head.

S- Nose is that of a classic, very well done Saison. Lots of floral hops, some spicy yeast, a little bit of funk, and a hint of lemon.

T- Lots of floral hop flavor comes through initially with a load of spicy yeast and pepper. The finish is quite dry. Left to linger is a hint of lemon as well as an essence of spice and a lot of floral hop bitterness.

M- High carbonation and a body that is lightweight and rather dry.

D- This is an awesome hoppy, spicy saison. One that I wish I had available to me all of the time. Great example of one of my favorite styles!

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light orange yellow with a light white head.

Green "spicy" Saison nose that is assertive and pleasant, if not actually enticing; nice yeasty pepper character.

Nice full mouth with big, bold and well balanced character. A rich character.

Big full spicy green grass flavors with undertones of orange spices with a lemon/lime bitter character. The yeast is present and pleasant. Layered flavors and flavor profiles make this very nice to drink and very good friendly.

A complex beer with layers of nice flavors and an attractive pine bitter finish. It is surprising that this saison does not get more hype or attention. It is very drinkable and a really nice effort.

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Photo of clvand0
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great story on this bottle. Pours a cloudy yellow color with a tall head that hangs around and leaves good lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of good stuff: lemon, pepper, breadiness, other fruits - all very nice. The flavor has a lot of lemon and orange with some breadiness. There is also a nice floral hop character. The body is medium - normal for a saison. The drinkability is great because the citrus makes it very refreshing and the alcohol is lower than most saisons. Highly recommended. Like a typical saison with an extra few flavors in there.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasantly surprised to find bottles of this at Brickskeller.

Pours a clear, radiant golden straw color with a massive, retentive steak white head. Aroma is a strong citrus and tropical fruit blend with a sturdy typical yeasty and spicy saison body. The body and flavor are pretty great for the style. Body is rather full, thick and fluffy with strong carbonation. Flavor starts with a nice, crisp refreshing typical saison blend of flavors; yeasty, spicy, crisp dry and refreshing. The finish is taken over by a subtle funkiness with strong citrus and tropical fruit with sweet spices. One of the best saisons I've had recently, the only reason I'll be returning to the depressing Hole that is the Brickskeller any time soon.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Richard for sharing this one last night.

A: The pour is a very hazy straw color with a big white head on it.

S: There are a lot of fruit notes coming through on the nose. Some tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango, along with a solid citrus character. A nice mix of floral, yeast, and bread aromas as well.

T: Again, a lot of fruit comes through right off the bat. Pineapple, grapefruit, lemons, and mangos provide sweetness and a bit of a tang. A subtle spice note along with the usual bready malts.

M: The body is medium in nature with a moderate carbonation.

D: It seems I've been on a big saison kick lately, and seemingly with good reason. Another nice beer in this style that was easy to drink and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Xul
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Won this off the tree at Christmas in July...Yellow Bus would've been nice, but no complaints here.

A: Pours a moderately hazy dark golden, capped by a frothy two finger white head. Retention is good and it leaves light lacing down the glass.

S: More citrus and tropical fruits than a normal saison, but it adds a nice extra dimension. Oranges, grapefruits and mango are all rather evident up front, along with more traditional lemon zest. Some green apples and light funk and followed by a pepper/coriander spiciness over a light bready base.

T: Bright, juicy fruit notes up front with grapefruit and orange. The orange lingers pretty much through the whole tongue and into the finish. Lemon zest comes in mid-palate along with spices and the bready base. Yeast and a light funk come in near the backend, leading to a finish with oranges, light vinous notes and funk.

M: Medium bodied with high carbonation, the bubbles are a bit overly-pickly on the tongue.

D: Very refreshing and easy drinking.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a dark cloudy amber color with a light tan colored head.

S-the nose is pretty nice, light saison yeast aromas, plenty of citrus hops in there, apricot, mango, floral aromas, a nice light peppery spice to it in the finish.

T-the taste follows the nose, a lot of citrus and floral hops, mango, apricot, peach, typicall saison yeast flavors, with a hint of peppery spice to balance.

M-a medium body with a syrupy texture, slightly grainy on the palate with a nice carbonation to balance out the syrupy texture.

D-this is quite nice, plenty of citrus flavors to make it quite enjoyable with the nice saison farmhouse yeast and enough light peppery spice to balance.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dgb3 for bringing this to a tasting. Reviewed from notes.

Unfiltered orange with a small froth on top. Huge citrus on the nose, showcasing orange and bitter zest. Aromas and flavors mirror each other with the huge bitter citrus. Also wheat and spice, which is teamed up with a nicely carbonated but thin-bodied mouthfeel. Refreshing, and right on for the style.

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Photo of timtim
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very very nice. instead of the typical belgian style with an american twist, this one is pretty traditional. seems like they used european hops. pepper, flowers, funkbarn, spice, etc. with a hint of honeyish sweetness. more sour and farmy funk in the nose than the taste. very well rounded with just enough carbonation for the style and my personal liking. just a hair less prickly than some of it's counterparts, and i found it to be quite smooth, almost slick. really good beer if you can find it. proper. well done.

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Photo of craytonic
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: golden straw-yellow, some haze, mother of pearl head

Smell: Light, lots of citrus (lemon), honey, orange, and spice (clove, coriander, orange zest)

Taste: Lest flavorful than I hoped, very faint funk (too faint), citrus zest with the spices listed above, along with some light malt, green apple, pear, and apricot.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, but a bit thin.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, but not high on the list of saisons (or highly drinkable saisons).

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a glowing, hazy yellow color with good carbonation and a small white head. nose is floral, pepper, and some hay. Taste is nice, peeper notes with floral hints being very prominent, some hay and grass at times. mouthfeel is good, light booze tinge follwoed with perhaps some honey, lemon and floral notes. Very drinkable.

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Photo of slaintemhor
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got to try a bottle of this in September of 2009 thanks to a friend who had cellared it for a while. The colour was a cloudy-peach with a thick head. The aroma was quite yeasty and spicy with some nice citrus notes as well. On the palate it felt dry and tart with plenty of yeasty notes, citrus pith, stone fruit skins and a medium finish.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this!

750 ml cork-caged bottle, poured into a wide-mouth glass:

Pours hazed golden with a one-finger head that has respectable staying power before diminishing to a lasting thin cover. A steady stream of fast-moving carbonation rises from the center of the glass.

The smell is bready, spicy, with lemon-grass and some funk.

The taste is of overripe fruits - lemon, orange, some banana with a hint of honey sweetness coming and going. Bready notes with a touch of grass lead to a dry finish. Alcohol warmth shows through in the aftertaste. I liked it more as it progressed, with a complex balance coming through, landing the taste score at the higher of the two scores I had in mind.

It is between fizzy and effervescent. Carbonation is just a bit too tingly. Still, it does maintain a body that is not watery and leaves a gentle funky tartness on the palate.

A nice American interpretation of the style that I was happy to sip on!

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decent cross style. Fairly hoppy for a saison, but both are understated making for a decent drinking beverage. Lighter colour with foamy white head. Enjoyable mild complexity between the saison and the mild hopping.Could have used even less carbonation.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to SuzyGreenberg for the bottle and all the fantastic trades.

I raise my glass in the honor of the man this beer was brewed for, Dave Levonian. I did not know him, but it sounds like those who did were priveleged. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends. Cheers.

Pours a slightly hazy peachy orange with slight brown tints. A big billowy white head builds and retains very well, leaving good lacing.

Nose has alot of belgian yeast presence, and smells mighty dry. Euro hops are there, but the yeast is definitely prominent.

Taste follows. Pretty damn good actually. One of the closer attempts at belgian authenticity that ive come across in the united states. A nice almost appley presence, with biting dry belgian yeast and a finish that shows off a touch of hoppiness. Grassy and there is a slight soapiness im not big on, but its not any kind of deal killer. Nice dry finish, and yeast lingers on in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty close. Could be just a tiny touch more carbonated for the style, but its close. Viscosity is also just a touch on the high side here, but again, no deal killer.

Drinkability is pretty solid, as it should be with any saison. Will easily plow through this 750.

Overall, im actually pretty impressed with this one. Its a good shot at the belgian style, seems pretty authentic. There are alot of good US made "saisons" out there, but very few that come very close to the more famous belgian big guns, and this one actually nips at the heels. There's a couple things that could be better, but this is a nice beer for sure.

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

75cl bottle. Orange with a big white head. The aroma and flavor were both heavy on orange and pepper, with a good yeast presence. The flavor was sweet up front, drying in the end, and pretty hoppy as well, with a lingering bitterness. The orange was a but too up-front for me, and seemed to exaggerate a sweetness that I thought was a little to much to begin with. Still a nice beer, but a little more brash than I like my saisons in general.

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Brother Levonian - Saison Ale from Port Brewing
4.14 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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