Bavay | McKenzie Brew House

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
12 Ratings

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-11-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by erica:
Photo of erica
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

McKenzie's makes good bottled beer, as I have now discovered after sampling 3 of their fine offerings. The only compaint is that they are TOO COLD. I suppose you could just buy a bottle to go, or let it sit and warm up, but if you're already out and you order a 750, you don't want to have to wait 20-30 minutes before taking that first sip! However, I digress- onto the rest of the review!

The beer, poured into a nice very round goblet, was a cloudy rusty-gold colour with a slightly off-white fluffy puffy head. An attractive beverage, to be sure.

It smelled quite sweet, like the perfume of a honeybee dancing in a flowerbed...

Taste was quite lovely as well- very grassy- almost like you are drinking a garden- in a garden, with hints of pepper and perhaps cinnamon too.

Mouthfeel was fizzy and a medium thickness, again a bit on the cold side.

Drinkability- well, it was a fleeting moment, sort of like a romantic picnic lunch in a meadow full of wildflowers, as your companion confesses to you he is and always will be your lover... and then he's gone, far away. You don't know if or when you will meet and embrace each other again, but you know there will always be a love between you.

In other words, very sensory, invokes great feelings of the outdoors through taste and smell, but I believe it would get to me after 2 glasses. I would have to walk away and let things cool down. (or rather warm up actually!)

 1,441 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle cellared 6 to 9 months. This medal winning (2004 GABF) Saison delivers a perfectly balanced and very drinkable ale that delivers enough richness and depth of character to keep you coming back for more, but never overwhelm your senses. The alcohol, however, may get you in the end! Its slightly hazy auburn body reveals extremely fine bubbles (bottle-conditioned) rising steadily beneath a creamy head of ivory foam. The head holds fairly well and leaves some minor lace, but it's clearly inhibited by the alcohol content. Fruit, malt, and delicate spice combine in the nose with a splash of apple,white grape, and raspberry over some subtly toasty and lightly toffee-ish malt, all backed by herbal, floral and spicy hops. I'm not sure if there's spice added, as it might be coming from the yeast, but there are suggestions of coriander, star anise, and grains of paradise; as well as a hay-like note that helps to give it depth. The body is decidedly medium and it's very fine and natural carbonation washes over the tongue with a gently zesty caress. In the flavor the fruit (with some additional raisin or date) and malt appear upfront, seamlessly melded together; but the maltiness becomes a bit more apparent midway just before the hops and spice appear in the finish. It's an exciting beer to say the least, and I think it rivals some of the best from Belgium. Well worth trying.

 1,405 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Head is big, generous, off-white and leaving a well-laced 1-inch foam for long minutes. Body is cloudy, brownish orange, dark. Very appealing. Sweet aroma, apparently fluffy as a pillow, very earthy, hoppier than most bière de garde and less malty. Notes of spices, cloves.. Palate displays a dry musty fruitiness all the way through (orange), gets even drier as it evolves, very sharp. Complex finish hesitating between deep earthiness, cust and cement dryness. Huge overwhelming carbonation, medium body

 506 characters

Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sckressler for this growler that he brought me for my 30th birthday.
Appears a hazy dark coppy toned amber with a small off white soapy head that slowly fades out. Small patches of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light caramel, vanilla, toffee, earth notes, and a little hop punch.
Taste is of the same aromas.
Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, and smooth with a mild amount of sugar.

 411 characters

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

This beer poured a murky copper color with a film of off-white head.

Smelled of figs, raisins, slight prunes and a dry pine in the background.

Tasted of sweet pastry, bananas and cherries with an electric sour tingle. Finish off with a touch of coffee and cream and a mild grapefruit.

The mouth feel was light to medium bodied with a prominent, carbonation.

 366 characters

Photo of meathookjones
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml brewed in Nov 03. Cloudy apple juice body with light tan well formed head. Light fruits with a touch of spice and funkiness. A small bit of sweetness was lurking in the background as well. Spicy hops with a light peppery bite over mild fruitiness. Tastes of yeastiness and funk also are present. Very clean and dry with a touch of bitterness. Bubbly feel. Pretty good drinkability here but not great. Something seemed a tad off putting in the flavor but I couldn’t identify it. Overall it is a solid well made brew.

 522 characters

Photo of garthwaite
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled from 750ml bottle. Poured a pretty clear deep amber with a white bubbly head that dissipated quickly. Nose of fresh cut grass, vanilla, sweet fruit (apples, pears), & mild spice. Fills the mouth beautifully with very full toffee malts. The malts are complimented with flavors of apple cider, herbal hops, & some mildly musty yeast. Finishes very clean, dry, & full with bitter fruit & more toffee-ish malt. Overall, this brew seems understated, with a subtle mix of flavors...making them all work together so well is a thing of beauty, nothing is overpowering, everything is delicious. Well done.

 604 characters

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

Poured slightly cloudy with a medium amber color that had visible carbonation bubbles floating to the top to keep a thin film of head present.
The smell reminded me of concord grapes, honey and wisps of apples.
This beer had a sweet hoisin sauce flavor with grainy barley undertones. The alcohol made itself known and the beer had a bitter finish that was present a few seconds after swallowing.
This was medium bodied and nicely carbonated.
Over all, this beer was better once warmed however the alcohol burn was more prevalent once warmed.

 547 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, sampled at the source this past Saturday. This is a light brown brew with an off-white head of foam that lasts, and leaves adequate lacing as well. This is a very good biere de garde. The aromas are complex and consist of some sort of barnyard funk, caramel, a bit of chocolate, grass, herbal hops, and a bit of a roastiness as well. The taste of this beer is very excellent. Funky and fresh up front, a tad roasty in the middle, and sweet and caramel-like in the finish. Nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and to style, and the drinkability is very, very good. I think the abv was listed as 6.something. What a good example of this often over-looked (by brewpubs) style.

 683 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been hanging around to this bottle for about a year and had it with Christmas Eve dinner.

Nice brownish/amber color typical for some biere de gardes I have tried. Head, which goes down to an OK lace.

Hops on the nose. Malty, earthy taste. It also displays hops in the taste. Bottle says 20 IBUs, but I'm not sure if that's right. Hops are more noteable early. As it warms, that wonderful malty and earthy taste come to the fore.

 434 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed November 2003.

A hazy amber body, alive with rising carbonation, topped by more than a finger of tight white foam.

Aroma is of malt and a bit of spice, but is very low key.

Taste begins with a smooth malty foundation, but one which is not overly sweet. Light and a bit nutty. Spicey hops, with a bit of pepper bite to them, not bitter. A delightful, smooth, clean finish.

Full mouthfeel, and a nice easy drink.

Charming and refreshing, quite nice for a summer afternoon, with friends, or a good book.

 526 characters

Photo of nomad
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a buxom amber that fades to orange and then to gold on the edges. Not much of a head does not retain well. As imagined from such a pour, it was surprisingly flat on a thin-to-moderate mouthfeel.

Smells of a big nutty, bready malt with a caramel tone. A fair amount of booze and a general fruity sense mix well with the malt.

Taste is malty, nutty, and vinuous with a great snappy hop bite at the finish. The nutty malt is fabulous and the hop complexity is surprising. Unfortunately there is a large amount of alcohol laid bare through out the profile - quite hot and spicy and detracting to say the least. Close to being a smooth brew.

If that alcohol could be reined in and covered over this would be a stellar Biere de Garde.

 751 characters

Bavay from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 12 ratings