Brooklyn Savoir Faire | Brooklyn Brewery

very good
37 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by waltonc on 11-07-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It's golden yellow-orange, very much like honey, with a thin layer of bubbles delicately covering the surface.
S: The aroma is very malty and bready with some notes of yeast and fruits.
T: The initial flavor is rather fruity, which is followed by a dry finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and very crisp.
D: This beer is relatively easy to drink and the alcohol is well masked.

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Photo of corby112
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange/amber color with lighter golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a massive three finger creamy, pillowy white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a large lasting cap that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

Slightly spicy aroma with lots of bready yeast and crisp light fruit notes. Slight alcohol and spice presence.

Lighter end of medium body with some zesty spice up front followed by some estery crisp light fruit, especially apricot, apple, pear and grape. Slight alcohol sweetness but no warmth making it pretty quaffable. Subtle hops and slight biscuit malt provide nice balance with a slight dry finish.

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Photo of Deuane
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Copper with a thin white head that held on well and left decent lace.

S-Gala apple a bit of spice and some malty sweetness.

T-Up front fruitiness with notes of bartlett pear and banana. A nice spicy sweetness supports with fruitiness. Very tasty.

M-Medium bodied, sharp and crisp. A rather "bright" feel with nice lingering flavours.

D-Very nice a lot more flavour than I expected. A fresh, fruity and very tasty brew.

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Photo of mhatters
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at my house in a Duvel glass

Light golden colored when poured, with a thick head.

Lots of sugar in the nose, also some hints of cotton candy (really)

Great taste - not the standard FrenchBelgian style, but not far off, kind of a modern twist - citrus hint, fruit comes through in the end (apple and pear)

Lasts perfectly, long and sweet - diminishes well without any unpleasant notes


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Photo of Yetiman420
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the Dilly Deli in Cincinnati Ohio. Poured into a standard pint glass which may have been a disservice to this style. Cloudy in appearance.

Description included a comment about a candy party with cherries, bubblegum, and either hay or hops (sloppy notes).

I found it to have a pronounced sweet finish that hit you quickly. No lingering and no early hit on the mouth. Just a wallop and it hit the middle of your mouth and leaves just as quickly. Hard to describe.

Candy aroma is certainly a trait of this beer. I continued to comment on the sweetness punch and how it's difficult to appreciate and certainly part of the beer.

The nose picked up a bit more Belgian style spice around 3/4 of the way through which I enjoyed.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Dilly Deli.
Pours a cloudy light gold in color. The pour creates a nice inch thick head that forms on top of the beer. Smell is telling me this isn't your normal Bier de Garde. Plenty of sugary candy, banana, and even some bubblegum flavors in the taste. I wouldn't say it fits the Bier de Garde category perfectly, but it is a very interesting and good beer. Very smooth to drink. Very non-cloying and enjoyful through the entire pint. Nice spring time beer. I would have it again.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a dark honey gold color with good head retention and fair lacing. On the nose, there is cherry and honey, with a hint of spice. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and there beer has a moderately sweet flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with fair richness. Drinkanility is pretty good, though you can tell there is some alcohol in this one. Nevertheless, this is another solid beer from Brooklyn brewing.

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Photo of BeerFan
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Latest Brew Master Reserve beer on tap in my basement. Pours a slightly cloudy amberish color. Light beige head which leaves some lacing and a tiny layer of foam. Sweet biscuit, bready nose. Hint of fruit - apple and pear. Ends with a clean finish due to the cold ageing. The added candy sugar definitely makes this a bit sweet, but not too far out of balance. Medium-bodied and very easy drinking for an 8% beer.

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Photo of Kendo
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got it on tap at the Lionheart on 3-11-09.

A: Body is dark golden-amber with a small white head. Good visible carbonation. Some lace.

S: Some spice (cloves), some biscuity malt and a hint of fruit. Not terribly strong in the nose, however, but pleasant.

T: Light biscuity/toasty malt provides a foundation. Fruity with some cloves, banana and mild bubble gum sweetness. No apparent bitterness, but it finishes clean, so something is cutting through or counteracting that sweetness.

M: Good creamy fizziness in feel. Call it lighter side of medium-bodied. Nicely carbonated with gentle bubbles.

D: Very good. Good mouthfeel and a clean aftertaste made this one go down easily.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich golden tone with slight carbonation and a lovely lacey head.

The bouquet is rich with yeast and powdery malt. I am detecting a slight citrus component.

The taste, for me, is spot on. Nice citrusy esters complimenting slightly sweet powdery malt. A nice clean aftertaste that made me yearn for the next sip.

This beer is easy on the tongue and mouth, but cloyed a bit for me. This, as are most of Mr. Oliver's tasties, a fine sippin beer that you can enjoy 2 or 3 of them. I look forward to our next meeting!

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Photo of Hautacam
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep cooper amber with barely a head. Smell is fruity (apples mostly) and slightly phenolic. Taste is very sweet, big on honey, apples and pears, hints of yeast and spice. Mouthfeel was full and almost syrupy. This is one to definitely warm a bit...really opens up. Pretty sneaky alcohol....didn't taste it , but half way through a 12 oz snifter and I was buzzed ! Not like other Biere de Gardes that I've had... but it's another tasty creation from Brooklyn.

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Photo of ConanDan
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham, NC.

Deep amber appearance. Nose very slight fragrance of fruit. First sip started mellow on the front of the tongue but turned into a bright, clean but bold apricot apricot finish on the palate. Surprising, but very drinkable and one I will go for again (as long as it lasts)

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Photo of ffejherb
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Via growler pour on 2/18/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a hazy light copper/orange-ish body with modest carbonation and one-finger off-white head that settled into a thin ring of retention and left subtle amounts of lace behind.

S - Smells of fleshy fruit with apparent apple and pear notes, as well as a touch of spicy yeast with a clove presence. Caramel and toffee sweetness is also present. Mild banana notes waft in and out. Underneath all of this, there is a very slight cough drop character to the aroma.

T - Honey sweetness with plenty of fruit flavor suggesting apple, pear and, to a lesser degree, banana. Some very slight leafy, tea-like hops emerge in the backend, and finishes with just a very mild solvent-like flavor, but not in a bad way.

M - Medium body with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is sweet and not very bitter at all.

D - Sweet and refreshing brew with lots of fruity flavor that is complemented by a spicy character. This is the first Biere de Garde I remember trying.

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Magnolia's in Purcellville, VA

A - A clear dark amber color with champaign-like bubbles beneath a 2-finger white, fizzy head. Nice head retention and fantastic lacing on the glass.

S - Citrusy and malty up front with sweet alcohol giving chase. Nice fresh smell with hints of grapefruit and lemon.

T&M - Taste follows the smell very well. I am hit first some nice smooth malts and then a taste of grapefruit and possibly a little bit of watermelon flavor. Some candy sugar sweetens it up a bit more with the alcohol. Lightly dry with champaign-like bubbles tickling the tongue. Nice and crisp.

D - I could easily put down a couple of these in a sitting. Very refreshing and a nice sipper. Alcohol is masked quite well, just slightly noticable in the sweetness

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Brooklyn Brewery.

Pours clear dark amber, with a fluffy white head.

Nose is heavily spiced, yeasty, big sweet bready malt.

Flavor is spicy up front, with a body that's big and sweet, bready, with some dark fruit in there as well. Finish is yeasty, slightly off-dry.

Mouthfeel is creamy, very light, but still a bit scrubbing.

This was a big hit for me, really well done.

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Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Clark's Ale House 1/28/09

The beer pours a beautiful dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice golden ale profile with some light sweetness and a bit of esters as well. The taste is outstanding. It's incredibly smooth with a wonderful malt character and fruity yeast esters in the finish. It's a bit sweet, but nothing out of character. It goes down with ease and finishes clean. The mouthfeel is good as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It's true to style and easy drinking. Cheers!

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle N' Hum in NYC.

Copper wire colour with the gleaming complexion of Swarovski crystal. It's an alluring looking beer that possesses a most wonderful glow and fetching blush. It is topped with a thin sheet and loose soapy collar. I'll say it if it's not already evident: the beer looks good.

True French Bières de Gardes often have what is known as a "cellar" character. It is a sort of antiquated mustiness derived from indigenous, well cultured yeasts. Savoir Faire doesn't quite duplicate the authenticity of such character but it comes awfully close. The yeast used must certainly have some European descendants because it is teeming with fruity esters and spicy phenols. There's lots in the bouquet to keep you entertained.

Both aroma and taste share a number peculiar qualities. Beyond kilned roasted and kettle caramelized malts, the palate is treated to an assortment of flavours: ripened red apples, bruised yellow pear, pink bubble gum, pine bark, heather, wild flowers and wild honey. It shows its strength but maintains proper grace and character. Of the three variations of the style (blond, brown, and amber) I've definitely developed a preference for the amber.

The mouthfeel begins on a thin, almost solventy note of alcohol but quickly recovers with a brittle, softened hop bitterness. It borders on sticky with notes of heated caramel and could be considered quite rich with a texture like that of melted butter. Although the alcohol can be a little forward it isn't enough to detract from drinkability and serves to add a touch of depth.

In his book 'The Brewmaster's Table', Garrett Oliver wrote of Bière de Garde's ability to pair with Thanksgiving dinners; it's only suitable that his offering makes wonderful accompaniment to such foods. My mouth waters at the thought of pairing this with fall and winter time vegetables. Any oven-baked meat, honey-glazed ham and turkey are first to come to mind, would make an absolutely perfect marriage.

This beer is aptly named Savoir Faire (literally "know how"). Anyone who has read 'The Brewmaster's Table' knows that Brooklyn's brewmaster understands beer very well. To successfully brew a traditional artisanal French farmhouse ale requires not only mastery of craft but also a familiarity and appreciation for the delicacy of the style. I wish Brooklyn would stop "keeping" this only on tap and start distributing it in bottles!

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Photo of morebeergood
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second beer of the night yesterday at Roadhouse. Came served in a 10 oz goblet. Wonderful golden color. Would have liked to have seen more head. Tulip glass might have been a better choice for serving. Good amount of lacing. Hay-like smell, earthy and fresh. Taste was spot-on for biere de garde. Sugary, grassy, with a bit of hops. Slight note of honey. Smooth and easy drinking, but crisp enough on the palate to give it some bite. Alcohol was well hidden. Would love to see this in their corked bottles. I think it would be a perfect summer beer. Very nice version of the style.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Eli Cannon's Taproom in Middletown. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful amber/gold in color, a nice size head generates and spawns nice lacing as well.

Smell: Alot of fruit elements going on here, banana is the first to pop out, followed by some apple, pear and a tinge of orange peel. This one is fruit overload in the nose! Very inviting.

Taste: Compared to the nose, this one taste like all banana. A chewy malt texture bleeds the banana through beautifully. A nice toastiness is somewhat hidden throughout, but the explosion of fruit is complex, yet balanced.

Mouthfeel: This one was surprisingly light on the tongue, good carbonation is prevalent. Not too wet.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this one for the fact that it displayed it's fruit element perfectly. It wasn't floored to the floor with the banana husk, and it stayed reserved through an excellent mouthfeel and fruity nose. Very sessionable as well, this one could catch up to you. A wonderful job by Brooklyn on this one.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice deep golden/orange color with 2 fingers of eggshell white head. Really good lacing especially for the style.

S: Nice nose. A nice mix of yeast and malts. Quite a bit of sweetness shined through. A little bit of fruit from the yeast with just a touch of spice.

T: Fruitier than the nose. The malts are assertive and enjoyable. The hops were not really detectable but lent enough balance. A nice mix of malt sweetness with some nice esters from the yeast. A little bit of earthy mustiness.

M: A thick medium body. Very smooth.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. I got an imperial pint and I could have had another. The ABV was well hidden and it was a really good drinker. I wish they would bottle some of these brewmaster reserve series.

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Photo of atsprings
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10oz glass on-tap at Raleigh Times. Served a crisp orange with a thin lasting head. Aroma was some sweet fruits and malts with a mild spice touch. The taste was surprisingly a bit on the sour side, sour fruit was evident, as well as present alcohol. The beer was on the heavy side of medium with plenty of sticky alcohol. This one was a sipper for sure, but an enjoyable one indeed.

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Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: orange in color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: some soft orange citrus, yeast, and some fruity sweeness is mild but pleasant.

Taste: a mild bready malt character with some yeast, green apples, pears, and hints of banana. Bitterness is mild and alcohol is well hidden. Mildly refreshing.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start, smoother and a bit dry towards the finish. Medium bodied. Aftertaste is brief but strong flavored on the tongue.

Drinkability: superb version of the style and extremely easy to quaff. Alcohol will creep up on you with this one.

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Photo of gdfan47
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a nice lighter yellow with a good amount of white head and lacing
S- yeast, faint bannana , bread and spices in general
T- yeast, some light fruit notes, a touch on the sour side , finishes with a little bit of hops, very refreshing
M- very nice, good carbonation, way to easy to drink..
D- wow this one was 8% really.... I would have never guessed, I thought it would have been a fiver....very sneaky

I havent had too many beers of this style , this was lighter than the last one I had... I will reach for this one again, havent had too many like it

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap in a pint glass at Coasters in Melbourne, FL

Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head which quickly dissipated. Mild nose, yeasty, a little sweet spice in there. Taste was also mile, yeasty and a little sweet spice as well. Mouthfeel was lighter than I would have liked. 8% abv is well hidden. Left a lingering aftertaste, which I think hurt the drinkability.

Brooklyn brews some great beers, but I was disappointed with this offering. This was my first Bière de Garde, maybe it's just not my style.

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Photo of scootny
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At the brewery Saturday 1/3/2009

A light and clear copper color. A white head that thins somewhat quickly. Pretty good considering the beer was at a lager temperature. Lacing is good for a plastic cup. . Thin covering on top of the brew stays the duration. A light swirl reforms the head nicely as it warms.

Smell is complex and multilayered. Sweet malt and and bready notes. Faint banana is mixed with stronger apples and white grape. Light hop florals. A touch of hard cider/white wine.

Taste is sweet malt and buttered biscuit. Apples and white grape from the nose as well. Spices touches. Cookies slide in here, maybe a touch of ginger. Finish is light hops florals and hard cider. Sour apples come in after with more biscuits. Graham crackers linger with light cookies as well. Drying and short finish. No alcohol.

Mouthfeel is light with creamy carbonation.

Drinkability is off the charts. No trace of alcohol, refreshing and not filling. You can go glass after glass.

A superb Bier de Garde. Appearance suffers from the plastic cup, gotta call it as I see it.

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Brooklyn Savoir Faire from Brooklyn Brewery
4.15 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
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