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McKenzie Dark Saison
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RATINGS: 29   MEAN: 3.86/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Dark amber in color, bursting with tropical fruit aromas, and flavors. This beer is continuing to develop, and will only get better with time.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
hophead75 (2008) - Largo, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2009
Shared by Dickinsonbeer at the CL Rosso release. Amber in color with a small lasting head. Aroma shows spices- cardamom, rosemary, and is rather malty. Taste has spices, slightly sweet with toasted malts and rye, the saison yeast character is subtle in comparison to other saisons I’ve had. Good, but I am sure this was much better when Scott brewed it.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 16, 2009
Draught at McKenzie Malvern: Listed as 7.2%ABV. Very spiced aroma of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, yeast, anise, and menthol. Poured copper/amber in color with a medium-sized, rocky, off-white head that diminished but lasted throughout. Slightly hazy. Not sparkling. Good lacing. Flavor is light to medium sweet. Tastes of spices, yeast, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, menthol, light tobacco, slight bubblegum, a hint of caramel, a hint of nuts, and a hint of chocolate. Light to medium body. Dry, thinish texture. Soft to average carbonation. Spiced, slightly sweet finish. Too much spice!

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
PilsnerPeter (3028) - Flushing, New York, USA - FEB 16, 2009
Growler shared by Dickinsonbeer. Thanks Paul! Pours amber with a strong tan ring of head. The aroma is quite licorice like- spicy anise notes and perhaps some cardamom and grainy notes. Creamy feel. Perhaps a touch of diacetyl in the flavor, but hardly detectable. Spicy anise/licorice notes with cardamom and phenolic-y clove-like hints. Some toasted amber malts come through when it warms. Decent.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dickinsonbeer (5077) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 14, 2009
Growler at McKenzie’s in Malvern- shared at CL rosso release. Pours a lighter than expected medium amber- not too dark, slight haze- nice lasting head and good lace. Aroma is very spicy- to the point where it is apparent that it isn’t the yeast and it is added spices- cardamon anise, and a good amount of rosemary- ok toasty malts, slight sweetness and earthy rye. Good smooth flavor- the spices are tones down a bit from the aroma, still a good amount of spice- anise, but not as floral or herbal- rosemary is subtle in the flavor- good toasted malts, light biscuit and a nice earthy nuttiness with a dry finish.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
puzzl (3249) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 14, 2009
Fresh growler shared by Dickinsonbeer. A nice saison for sure but there is no way this is how it tasted back when The Dude was brewing it many years ago. Very very grainy and malty, lots of pumpernickel, a touch of sweetness and a mild spicy character at the finish. Nice carbonation and an easy body, but nothing too impressive. Thanks Paul for sharing. I definitely still want to get a bottle of the original brewing of this but I doubt that will ever happen.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - JAN 27, 2007
Shared by boboski, arrived via The_Epeeist. Ugly brown color capped by 2cm of frothy, off white head. Flavor and aroma of grainy wheat, peppery yeast, toasty biscuits, bitter earthy hops, and spices (mostly allspice). Balanced, medium/full body. Perfect on the palate for a saison. Very well done American saison, a shame it’s been retired.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - JAN 11, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2007 Growler. I am thankful I’ve been provided the opportunity to try this before it fades into retired obscurity. I’d like to note that while I noticed many subtle nuances in this beer, it seemed muted in almost every aspect, but would prove to be a lovely McKenzie offering nonetheless. Due to the brewer Scott’s recent termination, knowing that this would be the last batch ever made for some anticipation of the highest order. My last good quality McKenzie brew ever?

On to the show. Pours a ruddy amber with highlights that remind me of the muddy bog Atreyu’s horse succumbs to in The Neverending Story. A cloudy beer with a light beige head. the syrupy consistency leaves little lacing, sucking the webs of froth back into the murky depths. The aroma is of heavy wheat malt, earthy hops, cinnamon, nutmeg, grassiness and light yeast. Hmmm. More like an ultra-complex Weizenbock. Flavor is more playful, bringing in more of the aroma’s hints, but also notes of full wheat malts, caramel, pepper, must, coriander, the slightest hint of cardamom, brown sugar, tea with lemon, mushrooms and finally some cocoa dust. The finish is very sweet up front. Near the end, at warmer temperatures, a big hop dose leads to a medium-dry, somewhat long climax. Seems as similar to weizenbock as true saison in both aroma and flavor. In the warmer temperatures, this libation seems earthier, funkier, sweeter in aroma, with big banana and vanilla wafers sliding into the fray near room temp. Alcohol present but not overwhelming in any manner. Very full bodied for a saison. Very nice, good way to finish out my run trying McKenzie’s mostly wonderful lineup.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 28, 2006
Draught at Kennett Square Brewfest October 2005
Hazy, deep caramel brown colored beer, with some light mahogany and tan/beige tones. Fluffy beige head is moderately slow to recede, but eventually does mostly, leaving fair lacing on the glass.
The aroma seemed to be quite subtle for a dark malted saison. Soft floral hop notes, with fresh cut herbs and wintergreen-like esters. Sticky, yet still mostly dry caramel notes combine with a light, unfiltered graininess to provide light wood notes. Growing lightly vinous as it warmed, but not nearly as much as many of the other American Dark Saisons (Heavyweight, Shed). The fruits remain rather reserved, while a sweet vanilla and choco-caramel malt seem to take over. I didn’t find near as much playful yeastiness and found simply too much sweetness. Soft and balanced sweetness, but malty sweetness nonetheless, which overtook the hop and yeast apparency.
Flavor is a soft, round (with a bit of toasty, grainy brown malts) caramel and graham cracker sweetness, cut with juicy, green herbal/floral hops, though quite reserved on the hoppiness and especially so on the bitterness. A late note of some phenolic yeast qualities attempts to break the sweetness, with some punchy fruitiness (plums, currants, mangoes, raisins) but it’s not enough to break through the malt, in my mind, anyways. Though I keep alluding to being disappointed by the maltiness, I should certainly make note that I loved the ample, well-extracted malt, especially the creamy, soothing texture it provided, but comparing this to something like, La Moneuse Winter, it just comes up short on saison complexity (yeast character). Though to it’s credit, it’s better to be more reserved with your yeast than take the other route, which most American brewers do, leading to meaty, yeast-thick, fatiguing beers.

4.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
TheEpeeist (3297) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 22, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2007 My first rating! Thanks to all the ratebeerians for opening my eyes to the real world of beer. Its been an exciting 3 months! 2/17/06 - 64 oz growler from the brewpub. Bread, wood and floral scents. Medium head subsides in a few minutes leaving nice lacing. Honey-mahogany color. Tastes of roses, butterscotch, caramel and nutmeg but not too sweet. Very faint alcohol. Medium body & carb. Lime hops bitterness sneaks through a bit in the finish. Sweet stickiness on the lips. Very nice and very drinkable. 12/31/06 - Fresh growler. I had to try this one again as it may be the last batch ... ever! After 250+ ratings I have found few beers better and have bumped the flavor and overall a point each. Beautiful balance with the Belgian yeastiness, sour playing off the sweet honeysuckle, melon, mango.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
DocLock (7741) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 17, 2006
I was pleased to see this one on draft yesterday. The beer arrived deep brownish in color, with a minimal white head. The aroma was very complex, providing hints of caramel malt, spicy florals, some fruit, and even some roasty malty porter type aroma notes. The aroma had bananas, nuts, caramel, tobacco, some dark chocolate, cabernet, floral citrus, and peaty barnyardy notes. The beer changed as it warmed, also. It started as a sort of dunkleweizen/saison/scotch ale hybrid, yet as it warmed, I noted more red winey grapey notes, no doubt provided by the Dupont yeast strain that is used in this. It developed hints of a less intense and non-sour Flemish red as it warmed, while retaining the base hybrid scotch ale/saison/dunkleweis elements. One of the more complex beers I have had, and one that begs for more investigation on my part. Well done, Scott Morrison.


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