Saison Noel
Oxbow Brewing Company

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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #313
Ranked #7,144
4.1 | pDev: 8.29%
Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Notes: ‘Tis a wheat based saison-style Christmas Ale.
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 68 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of illpass78
illpass78 from Maine

3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taster at the brewery.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany. Not a lot of lace at all.

Aroma: Funk, booze.

Taste: Whoa there. They aren’t kidding about 9 percent. Big booze punch in the face. Also dark malts, dark grains, roastiness, funk, sourness.

Mouthfeel: Tough on the palate because of booze burn. Tasty but very aggressive.

Overall: This is a challenging beer. It’s nice, but it’s best for the end of the day. The booze hits like a sledgehammer and the flavors are very big. Good stuff, but not entry level saison material.

Dec 08, 2018
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BitterOldSalt from Maine

3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Just a hint of funk elevates this dark wheat saison to something special. Despite its thin body and high ABV, this one manages to be flavorful instead of boozy.

Dec 01, 2018
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snowmageddon from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

13oz pour on tap at ginger man.
A: pours a deep burgundy with a modest mocha colored head.
S: raisin and caramel, but also saison pepper
T: I keep picking up different notes as I sip. Biscuit, toffee, pepper, grape.
M: medium body with a short dry finish.
O: Really impressed. This beer makes me want to try more from oxbow. You could've fooled me if you had given me a blindfold and told me this was an allagash beer.

Jan 15, 2017
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DrinkSlurm from New York

4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Tap at theresas cafe Wayne pa into tulip. No head on a brown almost reddish color. Nice spicy saison aromas with a hint of woody funk?
Taste is dried fruit and maybe some woody leather. Spices are mellow and warming. Superb dry mouthfeel...and a perfect winter saison. I love when a beer surprises the hell out of you. ..this one did just that. Its so funky and real that its probably a brew I will hunt down always. I hate to even say it but its as close to a Fantome brew as I've ever encountered from a domestic...hell any, brewery ever. Really a fantastic brew. Not to be passed up.

Dec 17, 2013
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a one finger, off-white head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.  

Slightly spicy aroma with subtle farmhouse funk and dark fruit notes.  Slightly medicinal with some zesty pepper and cinnamon spice followed by sweet caramel malt, bread, toffee, raisin and cherry juice.

On the lighter end of medium body with a crisp, zesty spice presence countered by sweet vinous fruits and subtle farmhouse yeast.  Peppery with some cinnamon and nutmeg followed by subtle earthy funk and a sweet, vinous dark fruit presence.  Lots of sweet cherry along with subtle grape, currant and other dark berries.  Really nice balance and the high ABV is well masked making it very easy to drink.  This beer was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to drinking it again sometime.  

Nov 02, 2013
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter. Pours a medium-dark brown with some crimson highlights. Short head and a collar throughout.

The nose has some like cherry and faint caramelized grain. Nose and flavor both have background spice and a nice dryness. A bit earthy, especially as it warms up.

Body is medium with relatively-soft carbonation, though appropriate for the beer. Light bitterness through the finish.

Overall, very well integrated and smoothly executed. I'd happily order another glass of this.

Jan 23, 2013
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler from Maine

3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Oxbow Saison Noel
12/31/12, draft

Not much head, dark ruby translucence. (3.5)

Aroma is slightly acetic, notes of cherry, ripe fruit, light smoke, a bit funky. (4.5)

Flavor is complex, good amount of malt, yet dry. Strange acidity, unrestrained yeast character, a bit soapy (Brett?). Tobacco, black cherry, date. Alcohol is warming, though not terribly detectable in flavor. A bit thin on the tongue, could use more carbonation too. (4, 3)

Complex, though not as malty as expected. Soapy yeast character is a bit strange. Not Oxbow's best offering, but still interesting and drinkable. (4)

Jan 05, 2013
Photo of HiAIPA
HiAIPA from Maine

3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in growler form from the taproom. At 10% ABV, this is smooth and hides it well, but this years version is not as good as last years. This is amped up a notch and has lost some of the distinctive wheat flavor of last years recipe in the process, which to me is what made the beer so great last year. Still good, but I hope Oxbow revives last years recipe and keeps it each year without alteration, saving the experiments for the freestyle series. Having said all that, this is decent and Oxbow is a great place with great folks, and great beers overall.

Dec 30, 2012
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valdieu2 from Maine

4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezers, so it was better than great. Very dark amber with a thick creamy head and much lacing My nose picked up dates, figs and anise, very pleasant. The taste was much the same as the nose but with a bitter hoppy after taste unlike most saisons.The mouth feel was very soft and pleasant. I would have this again. Another hit from Oxbow.

Apr 20, 2012
Photo of redleaves
redleaves from Maine

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, in a pint at when pigs fly pizzeria. Very dark fruit and tobacco on the nose. Almost had a Zinfandel nose. Easy drinking, dark fruit, tobacco, leather and a bit of bitter. Very dry, and dark for a saison. Definatly in the Christmas saison spirit. Dark malt, spice and a hop roundness. I liked it, wasn't my fav of the night, however interesting and damn worth a try. Oxbow seems up and coming and I see them here and there, but sure not everywhere.

Jan 06, 2012
Saison Noel from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 68 ratings