Jul 7, 2015

Mad Fox Barrel-Aged Reynard

My first encounter with Mad Fox Brewing was an excellent experience. Oaked Diabolik was one hell of an introduction to the company. So there was little reason for me to not pick up a bottle of their Barrel-Aged Reynard despite its classification as a black saison.

This 8% ABV barrel-aged brew (aged in Opus One Cabernet wine barrels) should be funky, vinous and perhaps even a little roasty with the “black” aspect of the style. Unfortunately, it’s not really much of any of those. I have a feeling that this particular bottle of Barrel-Aged Reynard may have gone south a bit — a healthy dose of sour tartness being the major clue.


The beer pours a near opaque black with a garnet edge and a quickly falling dark tan head.

Mad Fox Barrel-Aged Reynard photo


Smells more like a wild ale than a saison as a soft tartness infiltrates light wood and a touch of roast malt. I get a hint of cocoa maybe and vinous notes, but nothing that says “saison.”


Again, there’s very little saison here. Not sure if this is really a wild ale or if it’s gone off the reservation so to speak. There’s a healthy amount of sour tartness that probably shouldn’t be there. Vinous notes and wood are present as is a light bit of roastiness that lingers in the background.


The more I drank this beer, the more I think it’s off. I know that the brewery has been playing with wild and sour ales, but I can’t imagine that the tart presence here was intentional — it just doesn’t go with the style or potential flavors. I may pick up another bottle in the future, but for now I’ll keep my eye open for the Diabolik if I’m interested in something with a pucker factor.

Rating: 2.5/5

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