Saison Vautour (Draft) | McKenzie Brew House

very good
21 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by yourefragile on 11-05-2011

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Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 41
Photo of MDDMD
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-light amber color with a smallish white head and some lacing

S-bread, citrus, belgian yeast, pepper, cloves

T-whole grain bread, lemon, belgian yeast, some tart apple, little candy sugar, pepper, clove

F-medium body with lively carbonation, crisp and dry

O-decent saison, easy drinking

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Photo of onechordwonder
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a growler directly from the brewery in Glen Mills. Poured into a goblet. %0A%0APours straw colored with a thick head that laces all the way down. %0A%0ASmell is hay and funk%2C with citrus mixed in at the front end. Taste is somewhat bretty%2C but mostly dry malt and a little banana. Finishes long and dry. %0A%0AA great showing of the style%2C which is how I rated it%3B not my favorite but very true to the style.

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Photo of corby112
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Boilermaker in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a clear, pale golden yellow color with a two finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly grassy, earthy aroma with a strong light fruit presence and subtle booze.  Not as funky as expected with faint spice(coriander/pepper) and musty hay.  Hints of apple and pear dominate the nose.

Medium bodied but slightly fuller than expected with subtle funkiness and a strong spice presence that lingers over the sweetner notes into dry finish.  Hints of earthy, grassy hops and subtle barnyard funk followed by pepper and zesty citrus peel.  Toward the end of swallow, sweetness comes in with booze and light fruit notes.  Slightly funky and full bodied yet still drinkable and refreshing.  Not terribly interesting but sessionable.

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Photo of Axic10
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap in a 13oz tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy golden yellow with about a quarter inch of head.

Smell: Tart sour apple and other fruits, hay, wet grass and a funky yeast aroma.

Taste: Bready malt, spicy pepper, grassy/hay/earthy funky taste. Interesting and it works nicely.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation and a bitey dry finish.

Drinkability: Very nice saison and not overly powerful at 7%. I can't drink a lot of a saison in one sitting, but this one had me wanting more immediately after finishing the glass.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 07-16-2010 04:28:49

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Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed copper tinted gold, moderate head, decent retention. Scent is dominated by belgian yeasts, bready with only touches of musty earth. Mild spicy kick towards the end with notes of alcohol. Taste again dominated by the bready yeasts, quite a decently spiced kick (from the rye i suppose) evens the beer out, finnishes with touches of mustyness. Medium bodied, active carbonation, dry. While i have a hard time finding much in this beer that makes it come close to being a farmhouse style ale, it is good tasting and easy drinking none the less.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This heralded saison by McKenzie left me feeling a little let down. It’s certainly not bad but also nothing exceptional. Perhaps it was in years past, I can’t speak to that, but this was a serviceable beer and nothing really more than that. Pours a lightly hazed pale gold with a very small head that dissipates rapidly and virtually no lace at all. Sweet nose with lots of Belgian candi sugar, banana and bubblegum notes and very mild spiciness.

Like the nose, the flavor was lacking complexity and a bit heavy on the overall sweetness. Again there is lots of candi sugar, Belgian yeast creating lots of bubblegum, and banana notes, and the expected black pepper and clove spiciness. A touch of rye spice and minerality helps a little to add some nuance. Very light citrus character as well, with a mildly lingering bitterness in the finish that cleans things up a little, but still remains only semi-dry. Medium light body with medium carbonation, not as crisp as I’d like.

Bottled versions of this beer seem to be very highly reviewed and many mention a substantial Brett presence, which seems to be completely lacking from this draft version. Perhaps the formulation has changed, it’s hard for me to say, but this failed to impress me more than any other run of the mill saison, unfortunately.

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Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft offering at the Boiler Maker. The brew pours a clear straw yellow color with a thick, frothy white cap. A full wall of fluffy lacing sticks to the glassware.

The aroma is a bit rindy with fruit and pulp like lime zest. Lots of peopery notes from the yeast. Overall this is fairly clean smelling with a fresh citrus aspect that blends well into the yeasty esters.

The taste is the same based on the aroma. Clean citrus notes mingled with pepper and clove spiciness. There is some herbal bitterness present that lasts into the aftertaste.

This is a light bodied brew that is fizzy with carbonation and easy drinking. Perhaps I am spoiled by the "du bois" version. I can see why the barrel aged verison is so good since it starts with a very nice base brew. However, the barrel aged version is on a completely different level of complexity and boldness of flavor that i found to be superior. Still a good brew but if you can, seek out the du bois version.

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

Pretty much everything I expect from a saison. Hazed golden body, white cap with good retention and lacing. Funky, yeasty nose with a solid lemongrass aroma. Taste follows with more lemongrass and grains up front, with the yeast funk coming on the back end. The light/medium body finishes crisp, and dry with a lingering herbal hop bitterness. Really nice example example of the style, and probably the first beer from McKenzie that I've really enjoyed.

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Photo of akorsak
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A glass at the new Berwyn location. Shared with Ryan Michaels, my happenstance barstool neighbor.

A: The saison is luxurious, golden pale with a thick white head. Plenty of lacing is the result of that head, thick in patches all around the inside of the glass. The light brilliance of the ale is comforting.

S: Phenolic bubblegum, followed by dry yeast with anise, fruits, and pepper. The wide array of aromas surprised me, especially the phenolic start. The dryness accentuates that initial funky sweetness. Nice sniffer - although phenols don't continue into taste, very intense and spicy as a top-notch saison should be.

T: Dry and sweet - and incredibly complex. Bubblegum comes in the head, after that nothing. The saison yeast picks up quickly, fruity and spicy, filling the void of the phenols. The whole package is very tasty and quaffable, spicy with just a dash of mustiness. Hoppiness stands out, as do biscuity breads late in each sip. Pepper and anise, light fruits, and sharp yeast all provide full flavors, really a top notch saison.

M: I've had the bottled version replete with brett - alright, but the complexity of the draft version was stunning. Dare I say, this may be the one. Not overpowering but incredibly rich.

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Photo of DIM
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: This was a clear, golden straw color. It was served to me with a small, sticky, frothy cap.

s: Hard water minerals, light tropical fruits, and plenty of peppery cloves.

t: Mildly sweet tropical fruits up front. Things dry out quickly with a hard water and floral hops. There is a long, lingering, unpleasantly strong clove flavor.

m: Light and spritzy.

o: This was fine except for those overdone cloves.

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

I had this on tap at the pub in Chadds Ford, hazy yellow pour with a rock hard white head. The aroma is heavy on citrus, zesty, some barnyard qualities. The beer is light and has nice lemon zest qualities, light funk, easy drinking dry finish. The beer is light, good carbonation. A nice easy drinking saison, would love to try the bottled version.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at McKenzie Brew House, Malvern, PA

Poured a hazy copper color with a foamy head that receded to a thin layer. Earthy aroma, with some bread and a touch of citrus. More earthiness in the taste, funky, lightly toasted rye bread, mulched grass, and a touch of citrus zest. Just too funky for me. Medium mouthfeel with an unpleasant aftertaste. Not terrible, but I wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at McKenzie Brew House, Glen Mills, PA.

Appearance: Looks great. Has a nice two-finger head that takes a good while to dissipate, leaving behind a nice sticky lacing. The color is golden yellow with a tinge of murkiness.

Smell: Smells of citrus hops and floral notes, with maybe a bit of breadyness in the background. The main citrus notes are that of grapefruit, for sure. I want to try this now!

Taste: Tastes just as good as it smells. There is a strong grapefruit and citrus hops taste in the beginning that is then followed by a nice hoppy bitterness with floral tinges. Yum.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation as well as a medium body, but surprisingly crisp and refreshing. An easy drinker for its ABV.

Overall: This is my favorite offering from McKenzie so far. Love it.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at capone's and recently on tap at Mckenzie's when I was 'on the run' from the cops.

Vautour looks very light since the last time I seen it (about two months ago) with a bright yellow pale look and a nice whisp of foam on top. Not a big clencher to the glass though. Smell is grass, apple, pear, yeast, spice. Simple and plain. Taste is the same as stated above with a very earthy approach. Some citrus, pale malt, grassy hops. Feel is light and very refreshing, the taste stays on the tounge long afterwards, which I am digging with the spice addition. Nice carb punch on this. If this was 4% with the same amount of taste on this, It would be a all nighter.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is pale yellow with thin white head. Yeasty and light spice character, hints of lemon and faint citric note. Sugary in the nose and flavor. Yeast and spicy undertones with some candied sugar in the flavor. Syrupy with a fair amount of carbonation and a touch oily rather than dry.

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Photo of craytonic
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by yourefragile at a recent tasting

Appearance: pour is a straw-gold with a touch of haze, decent lacing

Smell: Wheat and grain, light citrus, bread. Very light

Taste: Light, grain, wheat, citrus, very light funkiness. Saison light, I think it would be good on draft but prefer the bottled version.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin, good carbonation

Overall: good, but I prefer the bottled version.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Michael at a recent tasting, this is the non-barrel aged version of this beer, the non-funky, totally different beer. no comparison.

Beer is hazy light amber with a soft white head of small bubbles, decent retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, bready, mild yeast character, overall a nice aroma.

Beer is thin and wet throughout, yeast in the midpalate regions and a mildly dry finish. Nice little saison, not as good as the barrel aged version one but still pretty good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to yourefragile for opening this one up at the Fantome tasting. Served in a Fantome glass.

Pours a clear golden straw color with a good white head and a bit of lacing. The nose is faint pepper with light citrus and some grain and a bit of wheat. Taste is mildly tannic with a good bit of grain and wheat. Slight saison spice. Slight twang to the finish. A bit too much grain flavor, but otherwise light body and crisp carbonation.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/05/11 notes. Thanks to yourefragile for sharing this one; thanks Michael. Poured into my Cigar City snifter.

a - Pours a hazy straw yellow color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks like the other Saision Vautour I've had but with a little less head.

s - Smells of pepper, spices, yeast, floral hops, and earthy notes. Nice, but heavy on the pepper.

t - Tastes of pepper, yeast, spices, bready malts, and floral hops. Again, heavy on spices and pepper.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. A pretty easy saison to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a good saison; if you like pepper and spices in your saison than you'll probably really like this one. Personally I like the bottled version of Saison Vautour with wild yeast a lot better, but this is stilla good beer I'd have again.

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

Shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael. This is the version without barrel aging and wild yeast.

The beer appears transparent and light yellow hued with a half inch of white head that generates some decent lacing. Aromas include floral, yeast and citrus notes. Flavor is nice and well balanced. Refreshing and easy to drink. Light to medium bodied. I much prefer the bottled version that incorporates wild yeast, as I find it much more delicious, intriguing, and complex. Still, this is a tasty brew, and I would happily have it again.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler from Malvern location. Creating a new entry for this since the draft version is not barrel aged, has no wild yeast and has never been bottled. Hence, Virgin Vautour deserves a separate listing.

Slightly hazed straw golden color with a finger thick white head, fading to a thin film and crown. Sweet yeasty aroma with grass lemon, honey and light pepper. Medium thick body with soft carbonation and a sweet juicy finish. Pale malt, floral flavor with a sweet citrus and grassy finish. Not as remarkable as either of the bottled versions, but a solid saison.

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Saison Vautour (Draft) from McKenzie Brew House
3.85 out of 5 based on 41 ratings.
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