McKenzie Brew House, Peche Barrel Aged Saison Vautour. Early Contender for DDB best of 2017.


I hate to deck out superlatives, especially hot in the first month of 2017 but lord this is undeniably legit.  I can’t say that this result is entirely surprising  given that back in 2012, this beer haunted the BA top 100 and was one of the best saisons I had ever had.  Those 300 bottle PA Bangers setting the standard on some lowkey Upright shit. So yeah, it’s been a while, since the days of my Blackberry Potato phone. Days of them narratives.

So I walked into this assuming:

  1. Changing of the guard, different talent
  2. some shift toward PA new currency palate pandering
  3. some reliance on fruits to denature what was previously amazing about the base beer
  4. an acrimonious intense acidity or otherwise fuck up in the pH realm


So imagine my surprise when NONE of that shit was the case.  Not only was the fruit restrained and perfect in its vellus hair landing, but the juicy aspect was a merger of Persica b1 750 and New Glarus Wild Peach.  The acidity was a complete afterthought and even made the casey stonefruit examples seem intense by comparison.  Imagine how fucking pillow down duvet soft you have to pull to make CASEY exist as the upper registry counter point for excess.

The nose is zero of the typical eye watering jolly rancher atomic warhead shit, it is first and foremost a saison.  It is M.O.B. MUSK OVER BITCHES.  There’s a brett B profile and a sort of fruit leather peach fruit roll up and dried apricot earthiness.  If you agitate it and then swallow it opens up into this peach meringue type of Home Run Pie type of sweetness that is counter blaanced by the french oak vanilla profile just latticing the fuck out of that biscuit crust.


The middle body of this is sweet but lightly tannic like apricot pie filling

“If you are eating pie filling, something terrible has happened” – Paul F. Tompkins

But in a good way.

The swallow is hardly dry and even less residual marmalade, somewhere like a fastball in the inside corner where it feels like grace in art.  If you’ve ever watch Fedderer play power baseline, it’s that peach smash with mad backspin that feels effortless but remains fielding shit on its toes nonstop.  There’s hardly praise for agility in the stonefruit game since they are usually split 9 ways but, I implore you, take these Sampras peach BALs to your own face. Do not share this beer under any circumstances.

Ask yourself: when was the last time that a 750 simply wasnt enough? Sure in two dimensional beers like Live Oak hef, all day, but i mean a COMPLEX beer that you want more than a single bottle. That is above all impressive to me. I don’t mean some easy to apprehend shit like a 4 hour ROTHKO exhibit, I mean like a peachy discography that continues to deliver like the first four Mars Volta album in AWA form.


I don’t want to rock on my heels and pander out the same 14 randomized stone fruit sour adjectives you have seen ad infinitum, i want to underscore that I took time out of my busy ass schedule because this brewery deserves utmost praise for this. Hats off McKenzie, cementing the very real possibility that Pennsylvania is the best state for beer in the United States. srs.


2 thoughts on “McKenzie Brew House, Peche Barrel Aged Saison Vautour. Early Contender for DDB best of 2017.

  1. DDB I’m waiting for you to post your “top ten of 2016” post! It is not too late! Are you gonna make one for this past year?

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