Oxbow Brewing Company

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Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #460
Ranked #6,020
4.13 | pDev: 8.72%
Mar 27, 2022
Jan 11, 2013
Notes: Arboreal is an American Sour Ale fermented in wooden bourbon barrels with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus. Produced without the use of stainless steel fermenters or brewers yeast, this uniquely traditional beer pays homage to our rural farmhouse habitat and the trees surrounding us.
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Rated: 3.88 by Sammy from Canada (ON)

Mar 27, 2022
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Reviewed by Roguer from Connecticut

4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
An absolutely fantastic sour, reminiscent of some of the best Flanders Reds and Oud Bruins. Musty and funky, sharp and sour. Tons of oak wraps around funky notes of earth and cheese, along with a vinegar-like sourness along with a dash of citrus.

Quite puckering; not a sour for novices, but very rewarding for sour aficionados.
Feb 10, 2022
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Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with a one finger head that fades; squiggles of lace

Smell: Caramel, vanilla, Bourbon and apple confronts a tart, acetic and funky aspect

Taste: The caramel and vanilla flavors are first to arrive and underpin throughout; it doesn't take long for the acetic, tart, cider vinegar elements to assert themselve; the Bourbon emerges, mid-palate, to round out the edges; a blend across the multiple elements in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; somewhat puckery

Overall: A lot of complexity here with many aspects in the flavor profile; among the better beers I have tried from Oxbow
Oct 05, 2021
Rated: 4.56 by blisscent from Rhode Island

Jun 13, 2021
Rated: 4.15 by AD17 from New Jersey

Dec 12, 2020
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Reviewed by ChipChaight from New York

4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
April 2018 bottle from the brewery in Portland during 2020 trip to Maine. Pours dark amber with a finger of yellowish head and nice lacing, smell is bourbon fruit punch, plum skins, cherry flesh, fruit by the foot, prunes, hints of strawberry and lemon, taste follows the nose with warm bourbon with strong oak character throughout, bitter sour cherry, plum skin, hints of fresh leather and lemon flesh, taste is light, well carbonated, and dry. A distinguished, complex, and bourbon forward treat. Yum!
Aug 14, 2020
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Reviewed by StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Jan, 2016 vintage

Pours hazy amber red with a creamy frothy off-white foam head. Smells like acetic red wine, oak barrel funk, bourbon, caramel malts, cherry, red fruits, dark fruit, apricot, with earthy herbal floral piney grassy hops. Tastes like acetic leathery red wine, oak barrel funk, bourbon, apricot, tart cherry, red fruits, dark fruit, caramel malts, some spice, with floral earthy herbal piney grassy hops. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a nice bourbon barrel fermented sour ale.
May 13, 2020
Rated: 4.15 by yancot from Canada (ON)

Apr 01, 2020
Rated: 4.17 by JakerLou from New Hampshire

Oct 13, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by Simon212 from Canada (ON)

Mar 18, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by StormAles from Canada (ON)

Mar 11, 2019
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Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
When extreme is the norm, everyone is out to be memorable. The craft beer scene is a stark reminder of our curiosity with polarizing flavors whether it's sweet, sour, bitter, roasty or spicy. Oxbow brewing hopes to become not just memorable but downright addictive with the combination of sour and spice.

Pouring a rusty, ruddy brown, Arboreal gets real with a nose piercing twinge of acidity that rocks the olfactory senses with the very first pass of its scent. Stone and sour fruit come with a piquant whisky scent and remnants of vinegar, cider and red wine. Scant sweetness flies over the tongue with the steely caramels remiss of peanut skins, oak drawn char and a modest sourdough character.

And then the sourness simply batters the middle palate with an acetone rich taste of sour red grape, red wine vinegar, cherry, plum and cranberry- all of the booze soaked, macerated variety. Sourness soon turns to spice as the bourbon nuances of steely caramels, toasted oak, nuttiness and a serious punch of nail polish remover-type spice. An aura of saddle leather, weathered attic woods and wine aged cork swirl above the palate in retro-olfactory fashion.

Medium light in body, the sour ale trends drier and lighter during the session as its acidity creates an intense enamel ripping sense of drinkability and refreshment. Nearly sweat inducing and jaw tightening, the ale has a medium short aftertaste laced with faint balsamic and tannic bordeaux wines.
Feb 16, 2019
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Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Bottle: Poured a brown color ale with a medium size off-white foamy head with light retention and no lacing. Aroma of light caramelized malt with some intense Brett notes with some bourbon and oak notes also perceptible. Taste is also a mix of fruit Brett notes with some light caramelized malt notes, no residual sugar notes with some pretty intense woody and bourbon notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Enjoyable but Brett was maybe too strong and overtaking the bourbon flavours.
Dec 03, 2018
Rated: 4 by PprBurke from Virginia

Nov 20, 2018
Rated: 4.14 by UCLABrewN84 from California

Apr 01, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Mar 10, 2018
Rated: 4.45 by NHbeerfishing from New Hampshire

Mar 04, 2018
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Reviewed by hopley from Massachusetts

4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
500 ml bottle dated 2014, drank 02.13.18

Delicious. Simply a beautiful beer. A light delicate bourbon taste, not too overbearing. Moderately tart, not overly so. The color is intimidating in a fireside cocktail manner, but relaxing in that it draws you in (what??). No head or lacing but I’m not too concerned about that given what I’m tasting. This is one of the best Oxbow beers I've ever had. I'm not sure what the 4 years of age did but I look forward to trying one fresh for comparison. Cheers!
Feb 14, 2018
Rated: 4.49 by Montanabeerz from Montana

Aug 22, 2017
Rated: 4.51 by schinebd from Massachusetts

Aug 07, 2017
Rated: 4.72 by DrewSnyc667 from Massachusetts

Jul 21, 2017
Rated: 3.46 by sweemzander from Illinois

Jun 20, 2017
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Rated by mcpat1993 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pretty sour and very delicious. Not sure it was worth what I paid for it but still very good. :)
May 13, 2017
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Reviewed by Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured into a teku pint. Label says JAN, 2016.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves large clots behind.

S- Great combo of lactic acid and funk with nice oaky undertones.

T- Very lemony and bright with moderate sourness and a decent barrel presence. Leans toward the dryer side and there's a decent amount of funk but there's a bit of a plastic-y flavor that's not jiving with me. Slight bourbon flavor that comes through more as it warms and pretty easy to drink considering the higher ABV. Even bigger tangy tartness once the sediment is introduced.

M- Moderate amount of pucker with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Not as impressive as Synthesis which had a more cohesive flavor profile. This one is decently balanced but the flavors aren't as focused. Also the bourbon barrel doesn't seem to lend much extra character than a fresh oak barrel would.
Jan 11, 2017
Rated: 4.4 by madelf66 from Pennsylvania

Jan 06, 2017
Rated: 4 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Dec 18, 2016
Rated: 4 by Jason_cs from Florida

Dec 01, 2016
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Reviewed by brewandbbq from New Hampshire

3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
500ml bottle dated Jan 2016.

Pours sparkling clear and dark copper. Retention and head is decent for a sour. Aromatics are a blend of red fruit and balsamic. Faint apples and Worstershire. Medium bodied and a bit creamy. A bracing sourness starts the palate with vinegar-soaked apples and mild malt following through. Finishes very sour and tart with lingering balsamic and watering jowels.

No bourbon barrel character here and very sour. It will take a while to get through this bottle.
Nov 20, 2016
Rated: 4.24 by Stolenface1 from Virginia

Nov 19, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by rodmanfor3 from Vermont

Nov 19, 2016
Rated: 4.19 by Hopheadhiker from New York

Nov 01, 2015
Rated: 4.21 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Oct 19, 2015
Rated: 4.14 by nmann08 from Virginia

Jun 24, 2015
Rated: 4.32 by doremite from Vermont

Jun 11, 2015
Rated: 4 by Texasfan549 from Texas

Jun 06, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by kjkinsey from Texas

Jun 06, 2015
Rated: 4.76 by Faxmesomehalibut from New Hampshire

Apr 23, 2015
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Reviewed by notchucknorris from California

4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A: Pours a deep copper color with a fizzing cream colored head that settles down to nothing fairly quickly.

S: Really interesting smell here. You get this overlying musty, wet bourbon barrel note, but it's nicely restrained. Red cherries, lemon meringue, vanilla and almost an almond meal note in there. Smells really fantastic.

T: You get a good amount of tart fruit upfront. Green kiwi, tart red cherry skin and maybe just a touch of lemon. Then the flavors sort of glide into a smooth lightly bready malt and gently bourbon finish with a good smack of tart red cherry and underripe plum skin. Leaves a lingering tartness in the back of your mouth, almost to the point of being bitter. Everything in here works really well. I'm a fan.
Apr 14, 2015
Rated: 4.16 by iatethecloudsfor from Vermont

Apr 07, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by jtladner from District of Columbia

Mar 11, 2015
Arboreal from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 77 ratings