BAFPA | Oxbow Brewing Company

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 263

#56 ranked Belgian Saison | 6.50% ABV

Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Notes: Rotating availibility. BAFPA is produced by blending varing vintages of our flagship farmhouse ale that have been resting in French and American oak barrels.
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 263
Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blending various vintages of their Farmhouse Pale Ale which have been aged in French and American Oak invites a woodsy, musty, earthy tone to the session while also bringing about the uniqueness of spontenae; but its discipline still harks back to the rural landscape of Belgium.

Pale gold and cast in a moderate yeasty haze, the sparkling ale builds an arid but lasting eggshell froth. Above all that swirls a farmhouse scent of weathered citrus, orchard fruit, vinous fruit, funk and fauna. Gentle sweetness graces the tongue with a notion of sourdough and hard candied in a modestly sweet but malty introduction.

Then as the flavors unfold on the middle palate, the fruit flavors soon take the lead. Lemons mingle with cider, white grape, pear and honeydew for a lightly juicy, lightly sweetened ester profile. As the oak, spice and acidity rises to balance the fruit, an aura of dried oak in attic-like conditions play off of white pepper, a mossy bitterness and cork-like tannins of dry white wine eventually outlast the sweetness and easily contend with the fleeting sweetness. Hints of hay, grasses and lemon pepper drive the final frame into a short finish.

Medium light in body, the beer's brisk and briny acidity harks to modern day sour ale but its farmhouse roots keep the finish dry, effervescent and refreshing despite a retro-olfactory sensation of saddle leather, sea air and an earthen nuance to hover above the tongue long after the flavors have concluded.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Crystal clear hay good with a medium white head. Very active.

Smell: Funky preserves lemons, wet hay, wet gravel, pear, green apple, and bitter dandelion greens. Funky and clean.

Taste: Very Brett forward. The attack is lightly tart with notes of dried pear, white grapes, and coriander. The body whole a sourdough bread malt, lightly citrusy hops, green apple skins, and a bitter floral note. The finish reveals the woody oak notes with overall lingering note of cucumber and more sourdough bread notes.

Feel: Funky and clean. Light plus body. Light acidity. Light tartness. Quenching body with a champagne like dry finish. No alcohol present. The carbonation is tight small natural bubbles that fit the style perfectly.

Overall: Once again another clean drinking beer from Oxbow that holds incredible complexity and full flavors. The kiss of tartness on the attack is really unlike anything I’ve seen. It leads like it will go sour but then quickly recedes to reveal layers of complex clean saison flavor. The oaky finish is bold yet is intertwined with the rest of the flavors to compliment. A real gem. Oxbow is absolutely killing it.

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Photo of Phineasco
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Yellow hazy with a 1 inch white head. Medium carbonation.
Smell: Lemon, apples, herbs, and funk.
Taste: Tart, lemon, apples, hay, and funk.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Overall: A very good farmhouse ale from Oxbow.

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Photo of kevanb
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into an Oxbow snifter glass. Enjoyed on 1.23.17, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a hazy and cloudy golden color, straw and lemon hues with a foamy white head, good retention and soapy lace. The aroma is super funk forward, lots of mineral water and barnyard funk, oak barrel, citrus and wildflower leap from the glass with some more earthy mustiness and straw linger well with pale grain and a touch of spice. The flavors are nice, tons of funky, tart citrus with underlying wildflower and stone fruits with a white wine like acidity. Musty oak leads to pale grain and light spice while a nice minerality lingers on the tongue. The mouthfeel is good, light body, extremely lively and bubbly, coats well and finished with a crisp but delicately tart bite.

Verdict: A great farmhouse pale ale from Oxbow. Bright, lively, complex, delicate, the oak barrel really brings out the funk and accentuates the subtle fruit and floral nuances. The balance improves as it warms and makes for a really special beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

there is this magical simplicity about some of the oxbow stuff, and for the number of crazy (lobster!?) beers they do, there seems to be a great majority of them that have this old school rustic nuanced simplicity, at least of ingredients, that come together in a way like few others are able to assemble them. i know it takes time and skill and knowledge to craft a barrel aged wild beer, im not saying the process is simple, but this is not one of those five grain, double fruited, barrel blended whatevers, its just almost a naked and beautifully exposed wild beer that is as good as any i have had from them. its also not at all simple in its flavor profile, but they just seem to get more from less here. an extremely pale straw color with a big white head on it, and only gets a little hazy towards the bottom of the glass. the aroma here is amazing, new slightly sweet oak, grassy old world hops, and a super mature and funky brett that flashes under ripe strawberry, limoncello, and hay loft. super mouthwatering, rustic, and enticing! the flavor is just as good, with all the same elements at work. i would guess little more than some white wheat and belgian pils malt on the grain side of things, and the hops are quite relaxed and earthy, its more of a platform for this yeast, which elegantly introduces a complex fruit bouquet that might even tease green pear. the barrel is smart here too, with newer wood complexion, vanilla and honey notes, adding a bit of body and maturity to this, smooth and patient. its carbonated like champagne and positively sings on the palate, dry and clean in the finish, leaving just a memory not an aftertaste. this is about as well done as a style like this can be, and in a lineup of really impressive beers of similar style, this was a clear standout. oxbow is becoming one of my very favorites!

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Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of funk from the Brettanomyces are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, except that the funk is a bit stronger and there are also notes of oak from the barrel aging. Although no spiciness is present, there are hints of apples and pears.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and a little tart and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation and dryness in the finish.
O: This saison is light, dry, and has some refreshing properties.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Pre-Borefts Ratebeer Tasting 2016. Hazy orange with a thin white head. Notes of farmhouse funk, bitter medicine, lemonade and citrus hops.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled March 2016. 500 ml poured into a teku glass.

L: Clear golden yellow, Small layer of white foam settles into a thin ring and white film on top of the beer.some lacing and bubbles sticking to the side of the glass.

S: Funky Brett barnyard aromas

T: Brett funk and some light oak and vanilla characteristics. Under-ripe peach, and apple notes. Light tartness.

F: Dry, yet crisp with a soft bubby carbonation. Slightly tart on the backend.

O: An easily drinkable, fun and tasty funky pale farmhouse ale.

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Photo of grover37
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gusher, be careful. Regardless, the best Oxbow beer I have had yet - reminds me of a delicate Hill Farmstead Saison. Mineralic lemon and citrus with a moderate funk. Soft body with fluffy carbonation. Top notch.

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Photo of chinchill
3.16/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

March 2016 bottle.
Funky unappealing smell, as is common for this style. The flavor is better. Medium high carbonation. Refreshing. Some funk and fruit in the aftertaste that lingers on and on.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding saison with a big brett profile. Pours an amber/apricot hue with a short half-inch head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is delicate and forceful - green apple, hay and tart fruit with that impressionable brett-funk. Taste is right there - white grapes, hay, coriander, pepper, lemon zest, oak, brett, green apple and tart cherries. Complex taste profile...that makes me tick off all kinds of flavors. Finishes super dry with a lingering sour aftertaste. Great beer but, when you factor in cost, it's hard to justify another go-round. Just too much for a little over a pint.

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Photo of Dope
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

3/2016 bottling

A: Pours a light amber with a small, thin white head. Decent retention despite the initially sparse head.

S: Some oak and some peach. Citrus peel.

T: Super tart citrus up front with an oaky backing. Loads of sour lemon in the middle, mouth-puckering at times. Peppery leading into an incredibly dry finish, one of the driest I've ever had. Hint of burnt rubber at times.

M: Light bodied, ultra dry.

O: Huh. Extremely tart and dry saison. Like eating a 20 year old saltine, just as dry as you can imagine. Lots of great bitter and tart flavors but man I just can't get over that moisture-sucking quality.

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Photo of brureview
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a yellow color with a 4F head in a tulip which takes a while to resolve.

Very sour- Brett aroma, which dominates. Later. mild citrus.

The MF is one of the strengths of this beer: dry, very malty for a Saison with spicy bitterness.

The Brett dominates the taste. Some citrus.

Very crisp, dry spicy finish.

Overall- very well brewed. Is it a Saison? More like a Brett beer. The Saison style is usually more carbonated.
with more spice such as coriander. Regardless, this is an excellent beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. I enjoyed this much more than their regular Farmhouse Pale. I found that beer to be too phenolic and yeasty. Come to think of it I would probably like it better now as I have started to accept those flavors more willingly. Regardless, this was quite tasty. This brew is Bretty and woody. It also has become rather tart and rustic in flavor. Finishes with hints of those Belgian elements I found to be too heavy in the original. I had wanted to try this for a while and I am happy I spent the pretty hefty price.

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Photo of Rockthedashboard
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy straw yellow when emptied into glass.
A: Aroma of wet leaves, green apple, slight musty funk. A little hefe-esque phenols.
T: Initially sweet malt, followed by mild, pleasant lactic acidity with a lingering musty funk and slight bitterness.
M: Light to medium body.

O: Really enjoyed this beer; it got better as it warmed in the glass. Reminded me of Hill Farmstead's Dorothy.

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Photo of rjp217
4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Incredible beer. Lots of citrus and acidity yet so drinkable. I need more of this in my life because the barrel aging takes this farmhouse to the next level. Bravo!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super drinkable, crushable indeed... refreshing, crisp, beautiful and airy... aromas of fresh pear, lemongrass, lime zest, salt and tequila... and yet this beer has few traces of barrel... reminds me of Spanish sidra/cider...

A unique experiment overall, not sure whether it succeeded but it is nevertheless interesting and delicious.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a gold straw with white head. Some mild funk and white wine in the aroma. There is definitely a vinous note. A little bit of mild funk that comes out more as it warms. It's a little thin, but it's a pleasant Belgian pale ale.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.42/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.

The tale of two looks: At first, a clear golden color with a thin white head and no lacing at all. Endless bubble stream. Then, after the finish pour: Hazy, sediment filled golden colored cloud. Still no head or lacing.

Brett funk and sour green apple aromas.

Tart apple and spiced malted cider. Slight oak-woodiness. I am looking for yeast.

Very funky and sour. Too dry. Light and tart.

Better as it goes along, I guess. This just isn't the right beer for me today, it's not "beer-y" enough. It seems more dry wine or champagne- like. It gets good ratings but I would not try it again.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed 3/12/16

Cheers to Dustin for this beer

A: Pale gold, with some yellow around the edges - surprisingly clear for something barrel aged - pours with a medium sized, white head, fades to a wispy cap, retains a small collar, leaves some spots of lacing

S: A nice blend of barrel and pale, mild yet still interesting - some nice oak, woody, with Oxbow's funky yeast, some barnyard - powdery Brett - the pale ale/saison component is fairly neutral, with some pale grains, pale malts, light fruits - lightly floral - lightly earthy - pleasantly mild overall

T: Again, mild in a great way - some nice barrel flavors, wood, oak - lightly funky, with some yeasty weirdness, tart, touch of phenols, spice - super dry Brett - clean pale malts, with some light grains, light bread, touch of biscuit - some light fruits - floral, with some earth, and some minerality - finishes clean

M: On the light side of medium, super smooth, low carbonation, refreshing overall

O: Self-explanatory

Oxbow makes some truly funky beers. I'm not sure if this was a mild one to begin with, or it lost some of its funk in the barrel, but the final product is delightfully easy to drink. Barrel aging a burly, high abv beer can produce interesting results, but aging something on the lighter side is interesting in its own way.

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Photo of SABERG
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a bottle dated May 2015, into the modified tulip glass.
A - A fine color, late spring sun setting on a cloudless evening, Deep, yellow, a tireless stream of
mid sized spheres meander to the top. A ring of white accumulation in lieu of a froth top the pool.
S - Minerals like chalk, limestone start things off. Fruits like apricot, white peach, follow quickly. A sharpness
is next, suggesting a Ph shift to the sour side. With a rise in temperature, fresh French bread, with a bit of honey round out the wonderful experience.
T - Lemongrass, green apple skin, warm toasty cracker, more fruit skin reflects the bitterness blending with tart goodness. A tension exists between the barrel element and the wild/house yeast. A wonderful graininess acts as the canvas keeping them on display. No bosses here a true team at work.
M - Sweet tart start, mid feel is tight and narrow, ashen rine wash, fruit elements reduce the impact on the palate. Superbly dry finish. Mineral driven. The oak adds a little heft to keep things just a bit fuller. Nice touch.
O - A superbly crafted offering, the body, aromatics and complexity add up to a fine experience.
I appreciate the use of the barrel. There is no dominant feature on display and the makes this shine.
Cheers all

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Photo of Jason
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Bubbly and pours out a clear golden colored brew, just enough white lacing to keep the beery appearance. Brett all in the nose. Fruity, phenolic, woody, dry, and mildly tart. Wood character settles this beer down from the lively funk character. Dryness is amazing, very crisp which makes it that much more drinkable. Delicious all around, way too much fun to sip on.

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Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer offers green apple, lemon tart, but restrained with some wheat and crackery malts in the middle. The malt is reasonably pronounced for the style without the tart or funk poking its head up too aggressively. Not as intense as some other American barrel aged farmhouse beers.

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Photo of bobv
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Revisit review.

Moderate pour yields a 3/4 inch head with fine, little lacing and light golden body. Nice funk on the nose with a little mineral/slate. Tastes follows with a little citrus. Very nice feel and overall this latest (March, 2016) is better than the previous one I had back in Nov., 2015.

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Photo of rudzud
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with Kyle on his birthday. This bottle, I believe, may be batch 1. Happy birthday man.

A - Poured into a hill farmstead tulip a hazy golden hue with a fluffy one finger head that fades to leave thin lacing and solid halo.

S - Aromas of brett funk, barnyard, light green apple. Super aromatic.excellent.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, phenomenal brett funk, green apple skin, barnyard, really super pleasant tart and soft. It's got loads of apple skins...this has aged phenomenally.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, clean, glorious.

O - Overall this beer was absolutely incredible. It aged incredibly well with awesome brett notes. Man alive I wished I had another bottle of this. Wow.

Serving type: bottle

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BAFPA from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 263 ratings