Saison Vautour | McKenzie Brew House

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Saison VautourSaison Vautour
102 Ratings
Saison VautourSaison Vautour

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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 -

Added by tempest on 10-22-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of DearthVader
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of DSlim71
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of hwwty4
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of canjeeps
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of geo1267
5/5  rDev +17.9%

4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL bottle to tulip. 2009 version with Brett. "Blonde Farmhouse-Style ale brewed with rye" inscribed on the label.

A: Enormous pop upon cracking the gold wax dipped cap. The head pours with 4 fingers of fluffy/foamy bright white head becoming rocky as it recedes incredibly slow. The body is a pale, creamy, light colored orange, hazy, with a 90% opacity. Fair to good lacing. Great look.

S: Average malts of of hay, straw and lightly toasted grain. Meyer lemon scented hops stand out above a beautiful floral bouquet. Heavily yeasty with a pronounced brettanomyces character. Lightly funky. The barnyard aromas becoming even more prevalent on the second pour. The third pour becomes very funky with slight sulfuric notes. Quite a dynamic aroma.

T: Additional yeast derived fruity esters present flavors of apple and a very light bubblegum (think Extra, pink pack). The flavor duration is long with a perfect and mild sweetness from front to mid palate. Lightly acidic all the way through. The addition of rye may add to the depth of this beer, but it goes by unnoticed. While I don't miss it, I wouldn't dare recommend changing a thing about the recipe.

M: The body is medium full with a minerally texture. Perfectly effervescent with a fizzy and lively carbonation. Moderately tart and sour.

D: There is absolutely no improvement to be made. In my mind, this is THE perfect saison.

Read the notes section on [BAs] Saison Vatour's main page...Brett version is only in bottles. And I didn't find the draft version to be nearly as impressive.

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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.

 1,472 characters

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 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.

 1,006 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL gold wax dipped bottle, "October 2009" printed on label. Apparently this is the batch that won Gold at GABF in Belgian/French Saison, which is different than the version on tap or the 2007 Gold winning version. Description states it contains "25% rye-based saison with German Tradition hops and French Stisselspalt" and was also bottled with a little of brett.

Appearance is a translucent gold with a slight orangish hue. Large fluffy white head that is supported by a steady stream of bubbles and leaves thin sticky wall of lacing. Aroma is dominated by a funky, brett aroma, barnyard and horse blanket like. Underneath the funkiness as the beer warms up is a sweeter, more citrus aroma, with coriander and other spices. Mouthfeel throughout is medium-full, with soft carbonation resulting in an effervescent body. Finish is very clean and dry. Flavor is immediately sweet, citrus and honey like, before being balanced by an earthy spiciness and mild brett funk. Very complex, pleasant balance of flavors, though slightly sweeter than expected for the style. There is some mild spiciness, but I'm not sure I detect any of the rye. Overall, a very nice saison, definitely worth seeking out, but I'm mildly disappointed that this isn't the same as the version regularly available on tap (though I haven't tried that yet to tell the difference).

 1,351 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottled versions of this beer are dosed with brett.
Lightly haze of gold with small white head that sticks around for a while. Scatered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, citrus, wet hay, vanilla, gently roasted grains, earthiness, barnyard, and a hint of dry, slightly tart rye.
Flavor is of the mentioned aromas with a beautiful taste citrus, caramel, spice, and vanilla cream. Beautiful beer.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, dry, and spicy. This is such a cool beer. I could drink this one all night.

 538 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml, one with a thin veil of sparkling golden wax encasing the cap; 'October 2009' dated. Split to a pair of tulip glasses and matched (superbly) with a spicy bool kogi/bok choy/mushroom/onion dish served over rice. Happy Mothers Day.

A: After uncapped, a rising gusher of fizzing white foam. Even filled carefully, each glass sports a massive pile of whitish cream (2+ fingers) that lingers for minutes and leaves thick dollops of scattered lace. Lightly hazy golden, not much carbonation and quite a bit of bottom-dwelling chunkiness. I guess the look is 'rustic' and that's a fine look indeed.

S: The fact that the foam slowly spilled from the bottleneck before pouring meant the sink wafted a magical scent of spiced honey, plump fruit, hay/grass.

T: Excellent spiced bread dough, black pepper and earthy ground herbs. Just enough brettanomyces 'funkiness'; a dry spice that ends with a bit a candied sweetness (apple, tart-ish pear) amidst a cluster of herbal bitters. Not quite sure how the rye in the recipe affects the flavors, but my guess/gut says it's spicier and drier than it would be with all wheat or another grain. Flavors in waves, complex notes with every sip.

M: Creamy feel and a body that tops what I'd call 'medium' (but not quite full) and a tingly effervescence just starts to build when a sudden mellowness softens. Despite a 7% alcohol, only the mildest alcohol warmth.

D: Just a wonderful beer, among the biggest 'wows' of 2010. So fun to drink and such a 'disappointment' that my wife liked this as much (if not more!) as me - meaning she got AT LEAST half the bottle. Oh well, when she loves a beer as much as me, that bodes really well for a high score. Let's cut to the chase and give it the '5' Saison Vautour deserves...

HUGE thanks to jyoungsbcp - Josh, more please?!?!? I thought Sly Fox's Saison VOS (oddly, also from SEPA) was my favorite US-made saison...I think we may have a new leader in the clubhouse...

 1,969 characters

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.

 752 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ChrisPro
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of gcare02
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of dcolatriano
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jconrick1
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of redliner8
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of George2744
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of MalReever
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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Saison Vautour from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 102 ratings