Cletus
Oxbow Brewing Company

CletusCletus
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Wild Ale
Ranked #974
ABV:
10%
Score:
90
Ranked #13,999
Avg:
4.08 | pDev: 8.33%
Reviews:
4
Ratings:
21
From:
Oxbow Brewing Company
 
Maine, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  4
Gots
  2
SCORE
90
Outstanding
CletusCletus
Notes:
Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 21 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The appearance is almost exactly that Westvleteren 12 brown, with that acorn to darker varnished quad body and its perfectly uniform, dense tan blanket.

The dark sour notes of mild crab apple tartness complemented by some caramelly bourbon barrel seamlessly come together to emulate a cedary humidor sort of character that is just remarkable.

The medium body has a firm, mild carbonation that finishes semi-dry, exhaling red grape and a hint of almost piney hops.

Jul 06, 2020
Photo of BergBeer
BergBeer from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Opaque black with chocolate brown highlights. The head is khaki colored and thick. Very active.

Smell: Smarties candy tartness, red wine vinegar, Brett funk, marble rye bread, figs, prune juice, faint vanilla, and just a hint of bourbon. The tartness is potent so it dominates the nose over the rest of the notes.

Taste: Much like the nose. Smartie candy tartness up front that recedes quickly to a body of figs, toffee, sweet bourbon, pumpernickel sweet malt, and drying oak on the finish.

Feel: Medium plus body. The tartness is pleasant as it’s bold up front yet quickly fades to not over stay it’s welcome. The body is quenching with a semi dry finish. The carbonation is natural and prickly. There is only a hint of alcohol and it’s smooth on the finish.

Overall: Another slam dunk from Oxbow. Much like the barrel aged farmhouse pale ale, the tartness is bold yet recedes quickly. It’s some magic trick Oxbow keeps pulling off that I’ve never really seen in any other brewery’s beers. The interplay of that sweetie tartness and the malty sweet bourbon body is fantastic. This beer really defies all beer styles I can think of. It is some tasty unique stuff.

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of hopley
hopley from Massachusetts

4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I was jaded by reading some reviews that suggested the brett takes over this beer. I'm not a huge brett or sour fan, but I loved this beer. Nice malty base, tangy and maybe a little sour, but not over the top - really tasty. Perfect mouthfeel. Really enjoyed this beer!

Nov 12, 2015
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo from New Hampshire

3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 mL swing-top growler, counter-pressure filled. This was a brewery-only release from March 2013 (I think). According to the brewery this is "a strong dark ale aged in bourbon barrels and bottle conditioned with brettanomyces."

Poured into a small snifter with an aggressive pour there was a normal head but it fizzled out quickly. Solid lacing remained for some time, however. This beer is dark brown in color with some amber coloring blended in.

Smells of some dark fruits but mostly brett-induced funk. Dry on the nose. Pleasant but not overly complex.

I tried to let this come up a bit in temp before taking a few sips. Up front there are tasty notes reminiscent of a nutty brown ale and some fig and raisin notes. But the initial flavors are quickly wiped out by the brett. Little to no barrel or bourbon notes. Over time this just tasted like "dark beer with brett" and not much more.

Overall, I like brett-forward beers, but with this beer style I'm not sure how well it works. I was hoping for some complexity from the bourbon barrels, but the brett masked everything very quickly. Certainly a tasty beer, and I had no problem finishing the whole bottle over an hour or so, but Oxbow has set the bar pretty high for me. The only other dark beer I've had from them was the Saison Noel, which was excellent - this one is not at that level.

Jul 12, 2013
Cletus from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 21 ratings