Saison Brune (Dark Saison)
McKenzie Brew House

Saison Brune (Dark Saison)Saison Brune (Dark Saison)
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #1,217
Ranked #27,261
3.87 | pDev: 7.75%
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Saison Brune (Dark Saison)Saison Brune (Dark Saison)
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 11 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by weeare138:
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a mahogany toned amber with a small, off-white head that slowly fades out. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of red wine soaked oak, vanilla, earthy, mushrooms, citrus, brett, funk, mild traces of wet leather, and a touch of caramel, and spice.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a unique tart funkiness that melds well with a refreshing citrus blast.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, gently acidic, and attenuated close to 100%, if not there completely.

Jan 23, 2010
More User Reviews:
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msubulldog25 from Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with a chintzy paper label (edges peeling, a faded French flag? Look up, that's my photo...) and a blue wax-sealed cap ~ October 2009. Another ridiculously obscure and tremendously appreciated bottle sent by jyoungsbcp; thanks, Josh!

"Amber Farmhouse-Style Ale Brewed with Spices and Aged in Oak Barrels - 8% ABV"

A: Poured to a simple pint glass. A massive pile of foamy light tan grows to a couple fingers, holds for several minutes. Tons of carbonation, a super-highway of busy bubbles rising through a slight haziness (cloudier in later pours). Amber-hued, tho' not quite as dark as I'd imagined, but still plenty gorgeous and appealing. Coating lace in fluffy dollops, long sheets.

S: A scintillating tang laced with impressive underlying sweetness; in the midst of the funk is a pure, unadulterated candied sugariness. Strong and inviting, showcases the barrel aromas well.

T: Lots of pit fruit and tartness (a little unripe berry, tangy apple, peach pit, vinous/red wine) and an upfront boozy/rummy spice. Deep and robust, reminds me of a pinot noir in its earthiness, blatant oakiness (vanilla and nutshells), dry grass. Very little that resembles a 'traditional' saison, but that's quite alright. Flavor builds and tumbles about in the mouth, perplexes.

M: Creamy beyond belief, only the slightest warming. Carbonation is not so much 'prickly' as it is 'lively'; it has a sparkle that ignites with each sip. A soothing, medium-full mouthful. Acidic tang has my taste buds dripping.

D: A pleasure to drink and one I'd dearly love to have again. Not quite as 'refreshing' as your 'everyday' saison, but I don't really think that's the point. What an interesting experiment, to barrel-age a strong 'farmhouse ale'. At 8%, it deserves respect, but only because to go at this with reckless abandon is to tempt fate. Seek it out, you won't be disappointed.

Aug 17, 2010
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Jan 11, 2012
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JAXSON from Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, pours a very dark, clear burgundy with a thin soapy head. Nose is huge red wine barrel, some red berries, Belgian yeast and some brett. Flavor needs some time in the glass to blossom, as at first it's just this massive, acetic red wine barrel that overwhelms everything. A touch medicinal. With some time the barrel kind of calms down and raspberries and cranberries come through. Quite a lot of wet wood with some musky wild yeast. A bit sweet for my liking. Finish is a lot of barrel and kind of muddled with that acetic quality coming through a tad. Overall this has some merit -- it's a nice style, reminds me a bit of Beekeeper but clearly without the finesse, and the flavors are rich. Certainly a nice effort and I'd like to try an aged bottle at some point. After trying 4-5 McKenzie oak-aged offerings I think these guys need to play with subtleties more instead of just going for huge wine barrel as they do here and with Cuvee McK. Good but I'm done giving them brownie points just because they're small and local.

Sep 06, 2010
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mendvicdog from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Jul 18, 2014
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL blue waxed capped bottle, labeled "October 2009". Brewery's copy: "Brune Reserve is our dark saison aged 9 months in Pennsylvania oak barrels. The resulting beer has a wine- like acidity that can accentuate even the simplest flavors in food."

Pours a deep, clear brown amber with an off white thick bubbly head that has amazing retention and thick sticky sheets of lacing. Also a steady stream of tiny bubbles rising to the surface. Aroma is rich and complex, strong blend of red wine grapes, oak, vanilla, earthy tones, leather. Predominantly vinous and acidic with underlying sweetness. Flavor is similar composition as nose, but slightly sweeter and more citrusy. Strong oak and vinous flavors act as backbone to sweeter vanilla and citrus flavors, mixed with mild spice and funk. Not as funky or brett-y as the vautour was, though I don't think is supposed to be. Finish is oaky and acidic fruit with one last initial earthy pinch that is first note to fade. Body has active fine carbonation, overall well attenuated and finishes very smooth, in general a very soft pleasant body. Overall I'm very impressed by this latest batch of McKenzie beers and highly recommend seeking these bottles out. The vautour is my favorite of these two so far, but this is by no means a slouch.

Jan 30, 2010
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gford217 from Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL blue wax-topped bottle courtesy of hopdog.

Pours a hazy brownish amber with a big rocky head that recedes to a solid cap and leaves spotty lacing. The body is very active with tons of bubbles streaming to the top.

The aroma is funky and acidic with earthy yeast and plenty of vinegar in the nose as well as some leather. There is a bit of sugary sweetness and plenty of spicy oak with an intriguing juniper/mint thing going on.

The taste starts off with a seriously dry and funky kick with leather and barnyard all over the place. Some grapes and brown sugar mixed with vinegar, but the finish is exceptionally dry and astringent, with the oak tannins dominating in the end.

The mouthfeel is active and extremely wine-like with a funky astringency throughout. The finish leaves a burn.

This is a big ole funky saison with lots of complexity but dominated by the dry funk and oak with some interesting herbal and minty components. Very interesting.

Apr 18, 2010
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craytonic from District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: brown-amber-mahogany with a good sized tan head that slowly fades, large bubbles, no real lacing:

Smell: Some funk here, also musty yeast, brett, horse blanket, wet leather, and spice

Taste: Similar, some interesting funk, must, brett, horse blanket, wet leather, scotch, balsamic vinegar, and oak.

Mouthfeel: A bit dry, medium body

Drinkability: Big ABV, 8%, which is felt but not tasted. It is a bit harsh at first but after a few sips it gets decent enough. Solid but certainly not exceptional.

Oct 13, 2010
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EasyReader from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.4%

Jan 02, 2012
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oline73 from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Jul 18, 2014
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duceswild from Heard & McDonald Islands

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Jul 21, 2014
Saison Brune (Dark Saison) from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 11 ratings