I haven’t written about too many Saisons on this blog, and it is mostly because until recently, it was challenging – to say the least – to find domestically-produced amazing saisons that were worth writing about. Because I don’t review import beer on my site (though I admit to loving it a lot) that has left Sasions out of the styles I’ve reviewed much.
This post, about Farmouse Pale from Oxbow brewing is also a bonus in that it is a brand-new brewery in Maine. I found myself at Novare Res on the eve of Columbus day, on the most perfect night I can imagine for imbibing Belgian-style brews.
Oxbow brewing came on my radar very recently, and is beginning to creep into Portland bars, including Novare Res and the Great Lost Bear.
I was handed a beautiful, straw-colored brew with minimal head, and I took it close and inhaled deeply. My favorite part of Saisons are their aroma. Difficult to describe, the smell gives me a similar visceral reaction like smelling newly tanned leather – it smells positivly inviting and natural. Yeasts, grass, hay, and even fall leaves seem to creep into its aroma.
The taste is soooo smooth. Some Saisons are tart and sharp (in a wonderful way…) but this one is just – beautiful. It has a little bit of sweetness that is usually lacking, and it comes forward in the taste for sure.
From the Oxbow website:
Our Farmhouse Pale Ale has a golden and unfiltered body, the spicy yeast notes of a Belgian Saison-style ale, and the citrusy hop character of an American Pale Ale. This beer’s creative merging of traditional styles embodies American farmhouse brewing at its finest.
This is a wonderful, and unexpected surprise, and this is why I love living in New England. Brewing on an 18 acre piece of land in Newcastle, ME, these guys are going to be bringing a whole new level to the artisan beers around here. Currently, it’s only available on draft in Maine, so you’ll have to come out here to see what they’re about.
But judging from the quality of this, their debut beer, only wonderful things are on their way from these guys.