Brother Levonian - Saison Ale | Port Brewing

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Brother Levonian - Saison AleBrother Levonian - Saison Ale
81 Ratings
Brother Levonian - Saison AleBrother Levonian - Saison Ale

Brewed by:
Port Brewing
California, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
For the Ballast Point version:

Added by scottoale on 05-11-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 57
Reviews by slaintemhor:
Photo of slaintemhor
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of jp7161
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
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 Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
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 grownfool
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of prototypic
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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 russpowell
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pours an effervescent honey with 2+ fingers of fluffy eggshell colored head. Hazes as the bottle drained, great head retention & very good lacing

S: Green apples, mustyness

T: Green apples, grapefruit, & lemons up front, plus a touch of booze up front. Dry cider notes dominate as this warms, plus hints of dirt & mushrooms & red delicious apples, along with more grapefruit & lemons. Finishes dry with slight hints of booze & more mustyness. plus a touch of apple sauce

MF: Light/medium bodied & soft/moderate carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, but one 750 ml bottle is enough for me, a good west coast slant on the style

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Photo of Beertracker
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Port's Brother Levonian Saison Ale starts off with a big, cork bang and pours up quite effervescent with a voluptuous white head that towers above the slightly hazy goldenrod-sunset body leaving lots of Brussels lace as it eventually subsides. The aroma has a zesty spiciness from a combination of the black peppercorns & turmeric, but also from the Saaz hops. There's a pleasant fruitiness from the tangerine peels, as well as some ripe fruit esters of Bosc pear, bruised peach & tropical passion fruit. Soft graininess with a low-moderate hop aroma. Good complexity. The flavor starts of with a lightly toasted malt sweetness that's quickly undercut by a spicy hop bitterness. This fine saison is quite fruity from the warm ferment with a nice compliment of acidity. Off-dry, zesty finish with barely a trace of alcohol warmth. Maybe a wisp of wildness? This medium-light bodied Saison is surprisingly complex, yet straightforward. This is a shining example of a microbrewed Saison from 'Mighty Mike' & the San Marcos Port crew. Here's to homebrewing Brother Levonian!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
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 hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of TexIndy
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Front label and back story were touching tribute to Dave Levonian whose passing inspired the beer. It was a slightly hazy golden honey color. Usual carb geyser in center of glass from the etching. Good lacing. It had a massive foamy white head that very, very slowly settled into a constant foam.

The aroma was excellent. Peppery, spicy with citric fruits upfront with sweet malt in the back. Good sniffer. Got drier and more peppery as it warmed up. The taste was also good but not as good as the aroma. I enjoyed the pepper in the aroma but found it a bit too strong in the taste. Needed a little more sweet to offset it. So much of it that the back of my throat itched a bit after each swallow. That also hurt the mouthfeel since felt like needed to swirl some water to clear it out after several drinks. Starts out with classic saison flavor then the pepper really kicks in and stays thru the aftertaste. Finishes with a medium dry.

Overall, a good saison that I really enjoyed for the 1st half before the pepper piled up too much. I enjoyed the initial taste but struggled in the back half. Would be good for sharing. Do recommend as it is good and it's great that they are donating part of each bottle's proceeds to Dave's daughters college fund. For me, one is enough.


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Photo of TheRealDBCooper
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another gem of a bottle I was able to track down recently. This one as an extra of all things in a recent trade! Got to love it. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 09/01/2009.

The pour was brilliant, rich golden in color with a good bit of cloudiness to it. Nice head of three inches or more caps off the top of the glass and falls down effortlessly into a broken and rocky cushion of foam. Light aroma of bananas and pears, hints of light peach and a floral, albeit light hop note to it. Warming brings out a touch of grain that serves to balance it quite nicely. Smooth, elegant flavor. Light notes of fruit, touches of grass and a slight floral flavor all combine quite nicely. Smooth, great carbonation and light enough that it goes down quite well.

Overall this was very solid. Nothing earth shattering here, but very solid indeed. I would have no issue at all with trying this one out any day of the week.

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Photo of rallison
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Released at the Anniversary Party. Beautiful, sad label, by the way.

A very well done saison. Citrus and funk play together quite nicely in the nose. The flavor is a bit spicy, with a soft, creamy background. Notes of grass and toffee. Nice bitterness at the end.

Definitely one of the better saisons I have had recently; I look forward to aging this one!


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Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage released at the brewery in green 750ml. champagne bottles with cork finish. Also drank one from a 750ml. brown Lost Abbey bottle before the release. Poured into a chalice, a bright, yet hazy orange gold with nearly two-fingers of frothy white head. Good carbonation and great head retention that leaves sporatic patchy lace and a good surface cover. The lace eventually slips back into the drink.

The smell is sweet and fruity, some spicy yeast and a bit of funk. Authentic Belgian farmhouse aroma. Lots of orange peel and clove with a twang of funkiness.

The taste starts sweet with sharp green grapes, pear, orange rind and a big note of spicy clove. More yeast and some funk step in giving some balance with a nice twang. Some hint of bitter cinnamon bring it down to a very clean and slightly dry finish. The alcohol hiding all the while.

Light and refreshing sub-medium body with great flavor and a gem for the style...very drinkable and part of the proceeds go to a very worthy cause. Buy some and read the label while enjoying a fine Saison!

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Photo of mwilbur
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into cervoise. I don't think I've commented on a label before but this one requires it. I have to be honest, the picture on the front and the words on the back choked me up (and I already knew the backstory). What a beautiful way to honor someone's memory and help his daughter in the process. On to the beer...
A: Pours a cloudy lemon color with high carbonation producing a 2+ inch thick white head. Good retention.
S: Wonderful citrus and farmhouse funk. Definite brett too. Perfect for style. Honey, lemongrass, melon, and pear round it out.
T: Creamy lemon citrus hops, earthy mineral notes, honey, canteloupe and some spices (coriander, orange peel, and black pepper are my best guesses, but it's hard to say). I wish it more closely followed the aroma, but still very good.
M: Smooth and creamy feel. Light-medium body. Lingers on the palate nicely...especially the brett.
D: Very, very drinkable. Nice summer beer...excellent with picnics/outdoor gatherings. Good complexity, but not overpoweringly so. Definitely one of the better saisons I have come it out!

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Photo of Xul
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
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 FtownThrowDown
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RoyMunson for popping this open and sharing.

Pours a golden color with a very nice inch or so of pillowy white head sitting atop the beer. Smell is yeast, some spice and a little bit of black pepper. Very nice saison qualities.
Taste picks up right where the nose left off. This is full bodied, very creamy and very easy drinking. This is a very well made saison. Just a hint of lemongrass and a bit more of the black pepper in the flavor. Provides just a bit of a bitterness zing in the mouthfeel.
I could drink this all day long and never tire of it. Very good saison.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

NHC 2009 commemorative beer.

A - Pours up a golden yellow with a dense white head

S - Fruity aroma, apple and peach notes, some spiciness, but a bit faint

T - Some malt flavor, then the fruit kicks in about mid tongue. Peach or apple notes, some spice, and then finishing with a soft bitterness at the back of the tongue. Dry but still has a fruity sweetness

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation

D - Smooth and easy drinking. A nice beer to cut the summer heat.

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Photo of rdickey
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, orange-hued gold into a Duvel tulip. One-finger fine white head lingers and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: You immediately know it's going to be funky; the brett comes through nicely, along with an interesting mix of orange, coriander and black pepper. Enticing...

Taste: The nose prepares you for the taste for the most part, but the mix is a little different than I expected. The funk recedes a bit in favor of the black pepper and citrus, along with some clove notes. It finishes with a bracing hop bitterness that I didn't anticipate but very much enjoyed.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, with medium carbonation; very nice.

Drinkability: Quite quaffable. I'm enjoying one on a warm spring evening and it feels just about perfect.

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Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
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 scray24
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of Tayner

Straw golden with hints of orange, slightly cloudy, 2 fingers head that disappears with some belgian lace.

Bread, slight sort farmhouse funk I associate with saisons like dupont, citrus and spice in the nose.

Slightly tart but not sharp peppery taste that moves into citrus and slight bread that finishes dry.

Effervescent carbonation spot on for the style.

I could drink this all night. It was an outstanding version of the style in my opinion.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
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 riored4v
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 5/28/09

Poured into a pint glass. 1 1/2 finger, white head. Hazy, copper colored body.

Smell was mildly funky, slightly sweet, spicey, orangey, hints of cloves fruity esters.

Taste was very crisp. Good amount of fruity esters and bananas. Slightly spicey. Mildly sweet along with being mildly bitter in the finish that slightly lingers. Hints of cloves and oranges.

Mouthfeel is very light and crisp with a dry finish.

Drinkability was very good. Very light, no signs of 6.5% at all. Very good balance of flavors.

Very good Saison. Initially purchased for the reasons behind the making of the beer and was not disappointed. Good balance, easy drinking.

Second Review --

09 release, reviewed on 9/26/11

Poured in to a Duval tulip. Excellent appearance. 4 finger, frothy, egg-white head. Crystal clear, golden body.

Smell was slightly earthy and along with some spicey ntoes. Notes of bread with a mellow, musty, farmhouse aroma.

Taste had lots of earthy and spicey notes upfront. Finished with a crisp bitterness. Some mild maltiness with notes of caramel. Hints of orange and pepper. Signs of musty, farmhouse, Brett flavors. Delicious.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry. Light body. True to style.

Drinkability was very good. Light ABV, good appearnce with the typical flavors you would expect from a Saison. Aged very nice.

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Brother Levonian - Saison Ale from Port Brewing
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 81 ratings