Saison | McKenzie Brew House

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16 Ratings

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by NeroFiddled:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Available only at the brewpub. Limited edition 750 ml bottle. Bottle 1 of 500. Aged for 6 months before release. Original gravity 14 Plato / 1.056 specific. Yeast from Saison Dupont. Carefully poured it's a slightly hazy golden color with a creamy bright-white head that holds well. Eventually, the head drops to a 1/4 creamy covering and leaves very nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma is lightly sweet, mildly fruity and gently spicy with a hint of earth. Very Belgian, very nice. It's medium/light body is supported by a very fine and lightly effervescent carbonation that tingles the tongue. The flavor offers a gently sweet and lightly honeyish malt with a touch of fruitiness (plum, cherry) and a delicate spiciness. The bitterness is restrained, allowing the spiciness of the yeast to help reign in the gently sweet malt. Really nicely balanced! It finishes spicy with some lingering malt before becoming nicely dry. Although the alcohol level isn't that high at 6.5%, what is there is completely hidden throughout the entire serving. Exceptionally well done and highly drinkable. Although this is labeled as "Special Limited Production", I'm pretty sure that refers to the specific batch - and that it will continually be available sporadically as a "limited edition". Definitely worth trying.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a very hazy light orange (mostly yellow) with a picture-perfect head that left a huge pool of foam in the middle on top of the liquid.

Smell – Ah, yes. A farmhouse ale indeed. All the grassy farm smells are here. The horse especially is quite pleasant (as I like horses). The traditional spices came along as well, and there’s a very mature and complex but mild yeast backbone. All and all, this is classic Saison aroma.

Taste – This is very good. The complexity from the nose was lost a bit at the taste, but the big, bold farmhouse flavors are here in force. The horse again is terrific, and the complicated yeast flavors are a wonder to behold.

Mouthfeel – Medium in the body, tightly carbonated, and very entertaining.

Drinkability – I pulled this out to finish the evening, and boy was I not disappointed. I’m not a huge fan of the style but this was exceptional.

Comments – What a treat! Thanks to Davo for the trade of the century!!

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Photo of shapudding
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased on the BA swarming event when Morrison bottled a bunch of 750's, and we all scrambled to get them all before they were gone!
Dark and golden orange, unclear with a good amount of sediment floating throughout. Holy freakin' head! Insane amount of thick, white bubblebath of beaten eggwhites! What a fun pour this one was! Nice yeasty spiceyness of nutmeg and cinnamon, bit of red apples and chardonnay. Such a good smooth carbination mouthfeel... wow! I do not like alot of carb, but in this, the carbination is present, but it just rolls over your tongue so that you barely feel the bubbles.... Very dry with such well blended flavors. Tastes of freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon left on the tongue after. Amazingly great session beer.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Review #500 - worthy beer for that honor)

Pours slighty hazy golden color with a neo white fluffy head that leaves lots of patchy lace on the glass.
Aroma is cracked wheat, lmeon, a metallic hard water hit and a spicy, peppery close.
Flavors of wheat with a heavy does of dry pale malt predominant front. Then a subtle hint of honey as well as full on frontal assault of pepper appears.
Mouthfeel is dry spice from the moment it touches the palate. Some pale malt and a small amount of citrus is hiding in the background but its all about the spice. Be prepared its not subtle.
Drinkability is excellent. Saisons are generally not my personal cup of tea but this is one solid and exquistely crafted beer.

Thanks to the evil dwarf Davo for this gem.

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Photo of Gusler
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The “Saison” style which was overlooked by this “Beer Lover”, certainly has risen in my book after sampling some Fantome and a few other beers from this style, and one if you have not tried, should certainly be put on your “Must Try List”, well in my “humble Opinion”!

The beer as it disembogues from the 750ml bottle displays a beclouded lemon yellow color with a dinosauric in size head that is spumescent in texture, and the color a bright white with the lace a silky sheet to drape the glass, also noticed some dross both suspended and coating the bottom of the bottle, and I will make sure to disengage it all, as I think it adds much to the taste and something to the appearance. One other thing I noticed it gained much in bouquet and flavors as it warmed to the room and the glass, something this style requires in my opinion, so on with the review. Sweet malt with a lime like crispness, hints of ripe pear, coriander and quite a treat for the olfactory and ocular senses. Front is sweet and tart, nice malt presence with the top light to middling in feel, acidity strict in its feel to the palate, hops are delectable in their spicy presence, aftertaste desert dry. Quite a good American representative to the style, certainly not a “Saison” clone and one that has many fine characteristics, and I thank my “Good Friend” Davo for this sample.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice foamy white head, very cloudy caramel golden hue. Appealing foresty wet sand aroma. You immediately know what you’re dealing with. Perfumey and peaky (sorry for not thinking of a better word, but I find it evolutive, expressive on various levels). Smells of dry fruits, tart and sprucey. Rather authentic taste, very doughy, yeasty, citrusy thirst quencher. Larch reminiscent noble hops, hinting yet not reaching vinegar, but getting pretty close to lime. Gentle woody undertones contribute to the enjoyment, but the overall balance and complexity is not up there with the finest takes on the style. Heavily dry, moderately bitter. Initially biting body, fading out a bit and leaving a slightly blank moment when it flattens out. This remains a remarkable beer, a worthy effort on a difficult style to master. Thanks EyeDrinkAle!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When this beer first arrived I thought it to be either peach or grapefruit juice, it was so foggy and bright. It’s head was just a small collar that left some slight lace.

Smelled too like peaches and pine with a grapefruit rind dryness.

The taste began with an electric tingling bitterness, like grapefruit with powdered sugar and golden raisin sweetness beneath and just a slight touch of creamy, musky yeast.

The mouth feel was medium bodied with a slight carbonation.

For a saison, this was just too hoppy for me. In a blind tasting, I’d never peg this for the style it professes to be, but it is never-the-less tasty.

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Photo of WonderWoman
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy yellow with a tiny ring of head that fizzled to nothing.
I could smell lemons and pine with some yeasty under tones.
The taste was interesting, not really what I was expecting. At first I tasted hops, then some sort of flower blossoms, followed by a yeast, then finishing with hops and orange zest.
It was quite bubbly with carbonation yet thin when swallowed.
Compared to other saison’s I’ve had this seemed much hoppier. Not particularly bad but not what I was expecting.

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

Presentation: Shared at the excellent 5-star Beer Tasting held on Friday night over at fellow So. Cal. BA, xlperro’s house. It had arrived courtesy of BA, Davo. Nicely chilled, a 750ml dark green glass bottle, Hand-numbered on the front label as Bottle #53 / 500.

Appearance: A slightly hazy, lovely deep fleshy peach color, it had a glowing sunset orange hue when held to the light. Lots of carbonation produced a thick head which was ‘white with a hint of pale yellow’ in color. Excellent appearance and some very nice lacing as the beer is consumed.

Nose: Typically ‘Saison’ with no surprises. Lots of zingy-zangy-zesty fresh citric fruits at first, some Grapefruit. Deeper inhalation reveals the farmyard element mixed with a light sweetness – some damp straw, rotting wood & dried manure, though this aspect was a little restrained for my liking.

Taste: Sharp acidic fruits are strong in the beginning; Lemons, Pears, Apples & Oranges all mix together. The middle is spicier, light hops, malts & a little sweetness sneak in & mingle. The barnyard aspect only appears in the latter stages, & is restrained, but there.

Mouthfeel: The conditioning is sufficient that even after standing the beer for a good while, it still manages to release a good rush of fine CO2 bubbles that dance on the tongue.

Drinkability: This Bottle emptied pretty quickly, but so did the Glasses it filled. I found it exceptionally drinkable.

Overall: One thing makes this beer great, rather than just good. It is the fact that it is fermented with yeast from Brasserie Saison in Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium. The Dupont yeast is itself a complex yeast mix said to contain at least 6 strains. These types of yeast mixes are responsible for the farmyard aspect, &, ironically, they are also often the cause of a lack of consistency in Saison’s.

A very enjoyable Saison, but if I had one criticism, it would be that it lacked a bit of depth to the musty funkiness for me. The citric aspects were a little too acidic & so a little overpowering. I like the funky farmyard aspects to take the edge off the acidity at the end. That criticism may be a teeny-weeny bit harsh, especially as I feel more time in the Bottle may very well actually achieve this characteristic.

Cheers to Davo! An East Coast BA who put a smile on the face of a few West Coast BA’s!

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clouded but bright and insistant yellow, which played beautifully when put to the slightly green light that came through my house's back window. The head was rocky, strung out, and otherwise weird. Sounds about right for this rocky, strung out, and otherwise weird style. Variety is the spice of life, what can I say.

Aroma is bright tropical fruit, a bit of the farmhouse (more on that in a second), and a bracing yet crisply subtle hop finish.

Taste is potent and aggressive for the style --- and I like it. What seems to be warmer than usual fermentation temps have rendered all sorts of fruits in the mouth -- papaya, bartlett pear, star fruit, and underripe acidic plums, mixed in with a classic farmhouse/horse blanket tinge, and a distinct, yet mellow hop finish, which tastes like a mid to low AA variety, the kind you would find in a good british IPA. This finish allows the strong points of the beer to keep from being cloying, keeping you anticipating the next sip

Mouthfeel is bright, foamy, sparkling...well, I guess I could even say ditsy, and otherwise perfectly rambunctious for the style.

Drinkability is almost right on...the bottle I enjoyed was just about the perfect dosage.

All in all, an aggressive Saison, more in your face than its Belgian brothers. Dupont still is the benchmark, but I bet this beer could kick its ass in an alley fight.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Label: Three months aged.

A most delicate airy cloudy sticky huge frothy head that is the thinnest of meringue dissapating to a spumescent lace. Cloudy hazy peach hues.

Bold spiced aromas. Obligatory saison cloves and horse blanket. Bready yeasty bouquet with some lemony citrous notes.

First swigs: Barnyard hay & citrous. Lingering aftertaste of clean grain and husk. Becomes leafy, with sweet dry hops. This is so clean tasting that it "tasted & feels" cold. A twinge metallic & Spring Water. Middle of nutmeg watermelon rind. Bone dry.

Tight liquid velvety touch. Gently frothy. Light bodied.

Last swigs: Dry clean hay & barnyard notes. Complex sipper that could otherwise easily be gulped but is too rare and expensive. Sweet, sugary and clean. Thanks to Shapudding for the offering.

Beer is good. Happy local beering.

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Photo of Jarod
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle numbered # 3 of 500
Bottle bought in April of 2004, but bottled 3 months prior
Special Limited Production

This beer poured a crystal clear golden yellow on the first few pours, then slightly cloudy at the end d/t sediment. The carbonation bubbles swirled like a hurricane then a funnel in the glass, well carbonated but not overly present in the taste. The head that was produced was pure white in color; its consistency was of a pillow, spun cotton, cloud like, thick, sticky, creamy, and very dense and stayed throughout the whole glass. It started off 2 inches then fell to about ½ inch on the last sip. The lace that was produced had some creaminess to it and at times in sheet form. The aromas that came from the glass were fruity and spicy, lots of fruits and hay at the front – aromas were fresh, outdoorsy at times – spices, sweet malts, more hay, earth tones and hops in the middle with a mix of farm seemed to be present throughout the middle and near the end, as it finished some citrus notes grass and spicy bready yeast seemed to finish off the nose. The flavors and tastes that swirled over my tongue were of fresh fruits (grapes, citrus), light sweet malts, that farmy taste but subtle, hops (fresh, spicy and bitter) fresh ground pepper and fresh spices, hay, earth tones, some grass, a tad charcoal near the end and a yeasty finish with notes of cilantro. (All flavors were taken through the entire bottle from first sip to the last drop) (Please note that temperature changes brought allot of the flavors out and intensified them). The aftertaste had notes of hops – drying and a tad bitter at the beginning. The body was on the light to medium side. This beer was light, refreshing, crisp, and subtle, a great beer to drink. I can see why it would make a good summer beer. A good example of the style, with its blending of flavors and aromas. This is slowly becoming a great favorite style of mine. Another hit from McKenzie’s. Well done.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.3/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer looks the part. Sunny, golden hue. Thick and frothy white head with great retention. Streams of carb accelerating at a rapid rate to the surface. But then I noticed a single black hair on the surface of the head. The aroma was nice. Spicy, yeasty, doughy and sweet. But the flavor is off. Not enjoyable. Between the bad taste and the hair, I will not be able to drink more than a few ounces of this 750. What a shame. The taste starts nice, but turns brutal quickly. Sour and astringent. Bad aftertaste lingers long begging you to not take another sip. Almost like acetone. Nasty.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle sampled at the source this past Saturday. This is a lovely peachy golden brew with a nice head of pure white that leaves nice lacing in the interesting drinking vessel that I am drinking this from :-) Aromas are classic Belgian saison. Farmyard aromas blend with fresh herbal hops, light biscuity malts and a kiss of lemon. Blissful. The taste of this brew is pretty standard as well. A well blended taste sensation of floral hops, funky near-lambic notes, a unique hint of lemon peel, and that awesome saison crispness. The mouthfeel is sharp and bubbly on the tongue and the drinkability is very nice. Another excellent brew from McKenzies!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a very fizzy, alka-seltzer sound.

Yellow gold body, slight haze, a few gentle bubbles rising regularly to the surface. Tight level head rises to three fingers then drops to one.

A very spicey nose, pepper, and a bit of coriander, and a slice of lemon (none of which are actually present).

An extremely light malt dances across the tongue, accompanied by a notes of apple and lemon and a host of spice sensations. It's light and tingly and peppery at the end.

Though not apparent in the glass, except at the pour, it's a lively, effervescent brew on the tongue. Would be very refreshing late on a hot afternoon, on the deck before dinner.

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

From a big ol' 750 ml. bottle:

Poured a hazy banana-gold color, with a bright hue despite the haze. Showed sexy-looking thin velvety lace – soft, wide, and nice to watch it cascade around the glass. Its thin foam head was at times soupy.

Smelled of a sweet bouquet of pale malt, fruity florals, and light honey notes. Also, occasional green apple juice scents and small hay & horse blanket scents. Tasted of serious East Kent hops, toned in a way I’ve never tasted: slightly lemony and quite astringent but not too drying, though at times the hop notes tasted quite green. Very spicy beer for having no spices added. As it opened, some white grape notes bounced around. The finish was most definitely a tickling and spicy dry bitter, and with a chewy yeast that was even more spicy. Yet, the finish receded well despite all the power within the midst of the beer – that’s impressive.

A light bodied mouthfeel but very full tasting saison, it does a lot without any spices and an odd choice of hops.

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Saison from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 16 ratings