Crossfade (Oxbow Brewing Company)

Style: Blended Mixed Fermentation Hoppy Farmhouse Ale

5% ABV

December 2015

From: Newcastle/Portland, ME

Brewery’s Note: “Crossfade is a blend of hop-forward saisons. The presence of wild yeasts increase the complexity and longevity of this blonde farmhouse ale.”

This bottle pours out a frothy, radiant yellow with chalky highlights. A head of sudsy, eggshell white that dwindles to a soapy cap. The beer’s body is clear and clean with a definite haze. This glass looks like a beautiful cup of farmhouse ale. Lacing is slick and sudsy with nice strands braking off from full sheets in lovely tentacles. On the nose, the beer smells of beautiful citrus with subtle loam, slight cheese rind, and damp mushrooms. Hay blends with healthy doses of lemon and tangerine, slight herbal spice, and a little bit of pine. Faint cider, lemongrass, warm bready malts open slowly as the glass sits. On the tongue, the beer tastes citrus sweet, and with a touch of bread and oak sugar. The citrus gives a faint touch of acidity that moves in between the sweet citrus, but bitterness moves in beautifully on the close with a great blend of herb with bitter citrus and just a touch of tannic oak and tea bitterness. The bitterness builds beautifully, interplaying with the slight acidity and sweetness, slowly growing to a dry, piney finish. The taste starts like a dry-hopped sour, fruit juice with slight mango and lemon juice, but then it slowly falls herbal and piney with big pith and citrus. As it warms, the oak and fungal funk build to lovely levels. It starts funky, dry-hopped sour citrus and tropical fruit forward, but then really builds beautiful bitterness into a drying and tasty finish. It’s like a true IPA finish, yet with a more old world, herbal bent. On the mouth, the beer feels on the thinner side of medium bodied with a middling carb that gives lovely effervescences and a snap of bitterness that builds to almost resinous on the finish, leaving a sticky sheen on the tongue. Spittle is pouring over the tongue as the beer finishes, yet the mouth grows dry despite the torrent of spittle. Overall, this beer is a beautiful hoppy convergence of barrel-aged farmhouse ales, dry-hopped sours, and an IPA finish. In many ways, this feels like a hoppier evolution of Etoile Du Maine. It’s definitely more hop forward, but with that same nice barrel nuance that really builds long-lasting complexity into the sip. Oxbow has been doing funky things in the woods for 5 years now, and this is a beautiful continuation of their ever rising claims to fame. This is delicious, and despite the half year of age, those hops are still bright and wonderful in the mouth, meshing bitters and citrus and all the yum.

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