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Monday, October 22, 2007
McKenzie Brew House's Gold Medal Saison Vautour
How are you all making out with the Saison Vautour over at McKenzie Brew House? It's currently on tap only at the Malvern location. I had a chance to try it on Saturday night. It's one of my all-time favorite styles, regardless of the season of the year. And, in my opinion, it's one of the most food pairing-worthy styles out there. Now, admit it (I can). After the dismissal of Scott Morrison (The Dude) late last year, most had written off McKenzie Brew House as any kind of serious, uh, brew house. Though, wasn't its beer reputation based largely (solely?) on Scott's handicraft anyway? But, it looks like the apple fell somewhere in the vicinity of the tree here. So when Ryan Michaels goes off to Denver this year and wins two GABF medals, who wasn't just a little shocked? It certainly got my attention and had me revisiting MBH exclusively for beer for the first time (save for a baby shower and a going away party) since last December. It took a bit of digging, but I did find that a mention of the medals actually did make it onto the corporate website. While I'm not a certified judge and far from an expert, this attempt is one heck of a decent Saison. It brings the flavorful spice, some smoothness, light tartness, and overall memorable drinkability. Oh, and isn't vautour French for vulture? (Still trying to figure the deeper meaning, if there is one) Go get some for yourself while it lasts.
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Like most I also pretty much had written them off, despite having met Ryan numerous times. I hope to try this soon as well. Just to...you know...compare and stuff.
BTW...Vautour was a French fighter pretty much taken out of service due to the newer and bolder American jets they added on to their legion.
I'm still writing them off. The beers in general are OK, but nothing like the passion from the dude and his beers. All of the dude's the beers were very good to excellent, the amber to the stout. I still think you can't say that about the beers there now.
I heard that Ryan said it was his on creation, but should have paid some tribute to the dude(and his influences), if you ask me.
Any day of the week, I'll buy a Southampton Saison or a Sly Fox Saison, but not McKenzie. same owners, same attitude.
Loren, thanks for the research. Yeah, let's dwell upon that for a second ;-)
Well, Jon, it's certainly a fine-edged fence to straddle. On one hand, I don't like the idea of lining the pockets of a businessman whose handling of good people is highly questionable. On the other hand, there is a very good beer available, one that was judged best in style.
So, I think that if you're in the neighborhood, it's worth making an exception for. Regarding the other beers, I would generally tend to agree, but would sooner quibble more about the atmosphere (crowd, smoke, iced glassware, etc.)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Let me say I'm enjoying any discussion of my beer in general and promise it (the beer) will only get better. I also felt I should pitch in to express sentiments again(if you haven't seen them) that I owe a whole lot to the Dude, and not just for one beer. Phil Markowski to. I've read his book repeatedly for the last year. Those guys are the real deal. I'm just learning to make great beer.
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