Oxbow Brewing Company

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Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Wild Ale
Ranked #501
Ranked #8,793
4.11 | pDev: 8.27%
Dec 23, 2021
Jul 12, 2013
Notes: None
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Ratings by ElGallo:
Photo of ElGallo
Reviewed by ElGallo from New Hampshire

3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
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
More User Ratings:
Photo of BalancingBrooms
Reviewed by BalancingBrooms from California

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bottled 6/2017, Opened 12/2021 (bottle states enjoy within 5 years)

Brown to almost black with ruby edges and a two finger creamy khaki head. Nose is all funk with cherries, blackberries, hints of plum and horse blanket. Opens with deep black cherries, plum, and blackberry funk that folds into a smooth stone fruit pith/almond malt and a hint of vanilla cola on the end. Body is light to medium with medium carbonation. Ends dry with a lingering smooth oak tannin. Overall a wonderful beer that is very well balanced with hints of barrel.
Dec 23, 2021
Photo of Alieniloquium
Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
500 mL bottle. Deep brown with an ample head. Smells of dark fruits, vinous notes, then bourbon. Fascinating. Tastes of bread, dark fruits, Bourbon, strong yeast flavors, and vinous notes. Medium heavy but quite flavorful. Fascinating flavor profile. It's big, but it's really good.
Mar 30, 2021
Rated: 4.09 by WDJersey from Colorado

Nov 13, 2020
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
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
Rated: 4.29 by wip998001 from Massachusetts

Feb 23, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by Manfrombelmonty from Massachusetts

Nov 02, 2019
Rated: 3.99 by vfgccp from New York

May 22, 2018
Rated: 4.18 by NHbeerfishing from New Hampshire

Mar 04, 2018
Photo of BergBeer
Reviewed by BergBeer from Hawaii

4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
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
Reviewed by hopley from Massachusetts

4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
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
Rated: 4.71 by Faxmesomehalibut from New Hampshire

Apr 29, 2015
Rated: 3.84 by CTJman from Connecticut

Feb 28, 2015
Photo of johnnnniee
Rated by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -2.7%
On tap at Goods from the Woods 2014 with Festero.
Big thick stout went down smooth on a beautiful day.
Nov 03, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by spycow from Illinois

Oct 25, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by ShanePB from Pennsylvania

Oct 13, 2014
Rated: 5 by benbazi from California

Aug 04, 2014
Rated: 4 by Hopheadhiker from New York

Jul 13, 2014
Rated: 4 by kbuzz from North Carolina

Jul 12, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by jjcote from New Hampshire

Jun 09, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by cufarley from Maine

May 22, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by sendbeer from Georgia

Aug 29, 2013
Rated: 4 by DonFrap from Massachusetts

Aug 15, 2013
Cletus from Oxbow Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 23 ratings