Oxbow Brewing Company

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Belgian Saison
Ranked #288
Ranked #5,334
4.06 | pDev: 7.14%
Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 183 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Stooven
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated February 2017, enjoyed September 2019. I have not had a fresh bottle for comparison. Lacing and head held up impressively for the age. Very dry, I'm not at all used to Brett, but this is what I know it to be like. Though a farmhouse, I was surprised at how tart the flavors were, was expecting more rounded balance with the citrus.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a moderately hazy straw amber with a slight gold tint and a fine, two finger white head with great retention and thick lacing. Slight gushing on opening. Aroma of grainy malt, lemon, light stone fruit and light funk. Flavor is grainy malt, bretty farmhouse yeast; grainy and dry at first, but with interesting stone fruit, melon and citrus character developing into the finish. Medium bodied with bright, peppery carbonation. This is what I hope for in a farmhouse ale, with perhaps a bit more sharp funk than I'm usually ready for, but very interesting fruit notes that play off the dry farmhouse yeast. The citrus leans towards yuzu and grapefruit and there are faint, but unidentifiable stone fruit flavors too. I thoroughly enjoyed this, an initially simple saison that slowly reveals more flavor depth. Glad I found this.

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Photo of dzni
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from January 2016 bottle.

Appearance is bright golden with frothy white head
Smell, I get citrus, grapes, funk .. there's probably more here, but pretty complex, really nice smell
Taste is dry with a tiny citrus sweetness for balance, with a touch of funk.
Light body and mouthfeel, fairly carbonated
Overall, dry, super refreshing, with just enough funk to make it interesting but not overwhelming. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at The Malted Barley in Westerly, RI

Pours a hazy golden straw with a thick, frothy white head; a bunch of sticky lacing left behind.

Smells of tart barnyard funk, torched wood, an elevated earthy brown sugar, and sweet peaches; strikes a subtle and quite incredible balance here.

Taste brings a light backbone of hay followed by familiar notes of cane sugar, peaches, and mild vegetation filtered through fresh spring water; such dynamic flavor considering its lower ABV.

Mouthfeel shows a fluffy, medium carbonation making itself felt immediately, thinning out over time without losing an inherently bright, bursting quality; both assertive, crisp, and refreshing.

So much packed into this saison; the notes are unique, refined, and never overwhelming. Beautifully done, and really expressive of what this style can bring to the table.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

found marked down in some random liquor store in chicago, i love when something like this happens, a pricey bottle doesnt move and gets blown out at low prices, but is a wild beer and has clearly appreciated over time. hard to believe this hasnt resonated with the chicago beer community, but maybe i just got lucky. murky straw yellow from the bottle, thick looking for its modest abv, and without hardly and head at all, not particularly attractive aside from its bright sunny shade, but i pour it sort of lazily and drunkenly, and maybe didnt do it justice there, and the aroma is great, fully mature funky brett, peachy and melony and citrusy and somehow still hoppy to me after quite some time in the bottle. the label calls it a blended saison, perhaps using multiple yeast strains in it, a saison type with a little belgian flare, and this mix of bretts, or, the brett is just so mature and complex that it presents a mixed type fermentation profile. sliced pineapple and guava tropicality, minerals and earthiness as well grounding it, raw wheat, faint acidity, kiwi fruit and honeydew, white wine and green tea, a botanical freshness here for a beer so old, and honestly just a really good wild saison, even lambic-esque in spots. oxbow always impresses me, and obviously this one is pretty bulletproof as far as time as concerenced, as its still drinking beautifully. a little more carbonation would be cool, but the flavors here are awesome. a great illustration of what mature brettanomyces looks like in a well made saison!

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a very nice white head that dissipates quickly while the beer itself is nice looking clear pale straw color that is pretty nice looking.

The smell is nice with a good hay and musky barnyard smell to it and some light kuzu citrus to it. It also has a little rye spice to it. The brett is fairly light but still adds a nice funk to it.

The taste is roughly the same as the smell. The brett in the finish is moderate and funky; not to mention a good complement to the other notes to give it a rustic impression from it.

The feel is pretty light with some good carbonation with a very good bite to it.

Overall, it's a good if fairly light saison

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Photo of Nicolaiw
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw yellow, little hazy with one finger white head.
Aroma has hay, tart, barnyard, citrus, yuzu, little funk.
Taste is bitter grapefruit, hay, barnyard, pig stable, hoppy.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Hazy straw yellow with a thick white head. Very active.

Smell: Bright lemon, fresh cut grass, and a pronounced salinity. This mellows to preserved lemons, fresh cereal malt, and a hint of Belgian candi sugar.

Taste: Light preserved lemons and fresh cereal grains on the attack. This fades to a body of cracker malt, light hoppy pine, bright citrus, and hay funk. Finish is light and airy with a lightly grassy hop.

Feel: Light bodied and quenching. Mild acidity. Strong carbonation. No alcohol. Dry finish.

Overall: Another superb saison from these guys. As with all Oxbow beers I've had, it's light, delicate, and full flavored. This one was maybe a bit muted compared to the other but only slightly. I'm still in awe of their ability to make saisons like these. Brilliant stuff.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy bright blonde color ale with a large pure white foamy head with great retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma of Dry funky Brett notes with some dry floral hoppy notes is quite enticing. Taste is a nice mix of fresh cereal notes with some nice dry floral hoppy notes with a funky Brett finish with light fruity notes. Body is about average with excellent carbonation. Great mix of complexity while retaining some excellent drinkability.

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Photo of avalon07
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright yellow color and a cloudy consistency. Some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. There was an inch and a half of foamy / fizzy, long-lasting head. Not much lacing, though.

S: A big, enticing aroma of light fruit, the saison barnyard funk, and a floral quality.

T: Tasted of a bit of Belgian-style yeast, lots of the aforementioned barnyard funk, a light grassy quality (not overly intrusive), fruit (grapefruit, lemon), the floral quality and some spices (pepper). An incredibly lively and complex flavor with a lot of character. Sweet, lightly spicy and flavorful.

F: A highly carbonated beer with a somewhat dry, yet vibrant finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: One the of the better American examples of a saison I've tried recently. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy light yellow body with minimal head and lace. A funky and spicy barnyard funk aroma with hint of sourness. Light bodied beer that is very funky yet smooth thanks to noticeable yeast strain and has a hint of sweetness underneath the funk. Finishes light and crisp and is an enjoyable mild farmhouse ale.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It's taken me a long time to get to this beer, not sure why, so here it is. December 2014.

Pours a large fizzy bubbly frothy 1.5 finger head that fades at a med pace and decent spotty lacing, clear honey blond color.

Nose nice farmhouse, a little funk, saison spices, grassy hay and a little bready but not much for funk, grassy in general, a bit of a fruity ester.

Taste brings a bit more of the funk, farmhouse funk, Brett like barnyard but not a lot, saison spices, plenty of grass and hay, a little bready dough, cracker malts, creamy toasted wheat, fair fruitiness with a little apple pear ester and a little lemony funk.

Mouth is med bod, over carbonated even for this beer, little gritty touch acidic.

Overall OK, nothing too special esp for what Oxbow can do, just a decent funky farmhouse saison.

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Photo of wedge
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

January 2016 Blend

Lightly hazed straw yellow with an airy pure-white head that settles to a foamy covering. Smells bright and funky...barnyard, damp hay, leather, lemony citrus zest, and peach skins. Floral, funky Brett flavor with grapefruit, grassy herbs, apricots, and light grain. Light, well-carbonated feel, finishing dry and crisp. A nice wild farmhouse-style beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: A modest gusher, the beer pours cloudy and honey-colored; a massive head tops the liquid and turns rocky as it fades

Smell: Brett and grainy tones, grassy, slightly funky and a hint of lemon and pineapple

Taste: The citrus and tropical fruit flavors open more on the tastebuds than in the aroma, with modest bitterness, grassiness and barnyard funk building, through the middle; melon and tropical fruit flavors emerge, through the finish; spicy Saison yeast throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A January 2016 bottling, so the hops have likely faded as the funk has emerged; drinking this fresher would likely shed more light on the brewer's intentions

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Perfect carb. Super dry. Tropical notes from the hops. Brett forward on the nose and the flavor. Loads of funk. Crisp white wine and melon finish. Very light. Beautiful at this low ABV.

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Photo of TFawcett
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

bottled January 2016

bright straw, light haze

dried grass nose with canned pineapple and lemon peel citrus with solid brett

feels great on the palate. fruity and herbal bordering medicinal blend of hop and brett.

Great acidity, not necessarily tart. Excellent mid-course choice moving into an entree.

Overall juicy and delicious hopped farmhouse ale.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle sealed with orange pressure cap.

bottle date of December 2015.

poured into Treehouse taster glass.

Appearance: Translucent yellow body beer with big 2 full fingers of white head. Big bubbles and tightly packed. Has decent head retention, but does eventually fall down to only a ring around glass.

Smell: Nice balance of hops and tartness. Smells like an earthy and floral rustic saison.

Taste: Again well balanced between lemony / citrusy hops and the tartness of an American style saison. Earthy and floral with nice minerality like well water. Really a nice melding of a rustic Belgian saison with the hopping of an American saison.

Mouthfeel: light body with moderate carbonation. Light fluffy and creamy carbonation. Lightly dry finish.

Overall: Great effort on a blended and dry hopped saison. Well executed and fantastic mouthfeel. Oxbow did pretty good on this beer. The balance between hops and tartness is perfectly dialed in. I am a fan of cross fade and it easily exceeded my expectations.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ROOM TEMP BOTTLED DECEMBER 2015 (my recommendation: do not consume at room temp)

A: be careful, it's a bit of a gusher. 1/2 finger head, very effervescent head quickly fades , hazy straw yellow.

S: wonderful pineapple aroma that is strong and inescapable. peppery, acidic and funky, but pineapple dominates

T: some pineapple undertones right away, though not as assertive as the nose is, and a bitterness that follows that while not entirely strong is nevertheless not complimentary or enjoyable, I think that without sacrificing the bitterness the beer could benefit from being just a hair sweeter, there is a touch of what might be some orange here but that's about it in the citrus department. a grassy note as the beer opens up

M: exceptionally dry, no real surprise there

O: a solid beer, good not great, I've had 3 beers from oxbow as of writing this and I have to say while i've only had one that I outright thought was bad, most of their beers sound far better on paper than they actually are, give credit where credit is due for good ideas but there is something missing. worth a try if you can find a good deal but don't hurt yourself trying to find it you're not missing that much

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Poured a slightly hazed golden color. Smelled and tasted a bit funky. I got some barnyard elements as well. A very soft grassy hop flavor, too. Pale, crisp maltiness. I wouldn't pay the high price for this again but this is essentially a yummy beer. Too hard to find and too expensive.

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Photo of Dope
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I don't see a bottling date but this just hit the shelves.

A: Clear straw pour with a tall, airy and frothy white head. Decent head retention but no lacing.

S: Big bright lightly tart citrus. Lemon peel for sure.

T: Grassy up front with citrus coming up immediately after. Tart lemon peel. Wave of bitterness with more lemons in the finish. Lightly funky and grainy.

M: Medium bodied, lightly tart.

O: Very bright and crisp saison. Hoppy but not over the top - the same can be said for the tartness. Refreshing for sure.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Most amazing, ultra light, lemon yellow tinged color.

Smell reminds me of cake with vanilla and a touch of lemon.

Very delicious, lightly carbonated, bright, and crisp

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml into a snifter, the beer is a bright, hazy, straw yellow coloring with a filmy, bubbly, white head. Aromas of farmhouse and yeasty funk forward, followed by a solid herbal blend of basil, pepper, dill, thistle, evergreen, and floral highlights. Really impressive nose...balanced, with hints of fruit darting in and out. Flavors are herbal and funky forward, heavy on the evergreen, dill, dried grass, and basil, with a solid backbone of bread and lemon zest. Yeasty funk provides some fruity esters, as well as some earthy overtones. The body is light, dry, and crisp, with a more citrus-heavy component to the herbal and floral aftertaste. The finish is dry and crisp, with a solid vegetal and herbal linger.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a medium straw yellow color with a frothy white lacing ring.

S - Lemon, tart, funky, dry aroma.

T - Tart lemon rind, grassy, funk, lingering bitter citrus finish.

M - Very dry finish, light medium body.

O - A very good Saison but not worth the $16.99 price tag.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Glad I picked up a bottle on a trip up to Maine last month. Only knock is the price as a 500ml bottle costs about 13 bucks at the brewery. Nice funky saison. Very refreshing. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

thanks so much to Tim for sharing this with me, enjoyed chilled in a tulip. Some gushing happened but we saved almost all except a few drop -very active!

The color is golden lightly hazed with thick white head. The smell is tropical and fruity with brett heavy aroma and herbal hop odor with mild pineapple sweet aspect. The feel is very fruity yet bretty with dry and highly effervescent texture with moderately spicy hop finish.

The taste is great fruity and dry with almost medicinal combination of wild yeast and hop bitterness, not quite aspirin but light malt flavor with mostly brett dominant taste with a light spice -like hop enhancement and gentle grass

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Crossfade from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 183 ratings