I am finally finishing up my series of articles and reviews covering the beers I grabbed on my trip to Maine at the end of August. Good timing too, I am headed back to Maine next week for a big reunion of my college rugby club, and I will absolutely be grabbing some more delicious Maine beers. One of the breweries that was on my need-to-visit list for many years was Oxbow Brewing in Newcastle (original location) and Portland (newer brewery), Maine. This summer I was finally able to swing by the Portland location and grab some beers to go. One of the beers I picked up was Black Light, a dark saison. Dark saisons can be really interesting if the right combination of roasted malts and expressive yeast strains are used, but they can also be a muddled mess. Fortunately, the brewers at Oxbow specialize in Belgian beer styles and I trusted them to find the right balance. Oxbow Black Light is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 375 mL bottles.
Oxbow Black Light pours nearly black with a solid tan head. The aroma is mostly the Belgian style saison yeast, fruity and spicy. The roasted malt leads the flavor, notes of cocoa, date, and coffee. The saison yeast also comes through strongly, adding hints of peppercorn, pear, and bubblegum. Some mild earthy hops round out the flavor and add a little late bite. Black Light is lighter-bodied and drinks very easy, but at 6% ABV isn’t a light beer. The finish is dry with some lingering malt and yeast flavor. Dark saisons can be a little hit-or-miss but I am not surprised that a version from Oxbow is well crafted and very tasty. A great beer for a cool fall evening! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Oxbox Reviews: