Sasuga (Oxbow Brewing)

Style: American Brett Saison w/rice

5% ABV

From: New Castle, ME

Brewer’s Notes: “A rice ale fermented with Brettanomyces and saison yeast.”

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The beer’s label is funky an awesome, displaying a nice Japanese –flair with the red sun, Japanese characters, and calligraphic lettering for the beer’s title.  In fact, I love the font for the title.  It’s funky and has a hand-brushed feel to it, and the fonts that explain the beer are simple and quiet, which I love as it draws the attention to the graphic and the beer’s title.  There is a little bit cluttered with ugly with the legal stuff, but that is understandable.  The label is made from the thicker, ridged paper, which I personally love for its texture and its organic look.  The Oxbow symbol on the right side of the label is also awesome.  I love the owl in flight and I love the stylized “O.”  It is a kick ass label.  The beer’s cap even looks amazing with the label as it is a simple red dot, much like the red son on the label.  This label is funky and awesome, with terrific minimalist artwork, its worthy of the shelf for sure.

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The beer pours a hazy, muddy, golden yellow with copper tinges and a fizzy head of lightly creamy, white, medium sized bubbles that fizzle away to leave a nice scrim.  In body, the beer is lightly foggy, with little bubbles coming up through the haze.  On the nose, the beer smells of pineapple citrus, fresh leather and a touch of barnyard funk and horse blanket thrown in.  There is even a slight saltiness to the smell, which adds a more savory character to the nose, and a touch of apple skins and vinegar.

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On the tongue the beer tastes tartly acidic with citric and lactic acids and a touch of malty sweetness.  In flavor, the beer begins as citric tart with a touch of chalky acid, much like a Berliner Weisse, but then mellows into a grainy malt taste which comes on strong in the finish with a touch of lemon citrus, and is slightly reminiscent of brown rice.  There is a touch of grassiness in the taste which must come from the hops, and which provides a nice, light bitter balance to the beer’s tartness.  In the mouth, the beer feels prickly and alive on the tongue with strong effervescence and a creamy carbonation.  The beer is on the light side of medium in body with just a touch of grip on the tongue and cheeks.  The mouth is left lined in slight saliva with a chalky feeling.  Overall, this is a refreshingly tart ale with a nice grainy flavor that is slightly different from other Oxbow beers, but still refreshing and crisp in the mouth.  An excellent summer beer with a lot of similarities to a higher alcohol percentage Berliner Weisse.  Try this beer.

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4.04/5

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