Dec 22, 2017

Oxbow Saison Dell’ Aragosta

I picked up this bottle of Oxbow’s Saison Dell’ Aragosta in the same purchase that also featured their Crossfade. At the time, I had assumed, based on the name and label, that this 4.5% ABV brew was a saison. As it turns out this collaboration with Italy’s Birrificio del Ducato of Parma is actually more in line with a gose than a farmhouse ale.

And I suppose that gose distinction helps clarify a few things for Saison Dell’ Aragosta, but it doesn’t really help with the incredibly assertive tartness that dominates this beer. First, however, let’s address the aroma which is quite wonderful. A light funk and rustic character are supported by grain and sea salt. There isn’t a hint of that tartness aside from soft lemony citrus notes. There is no lobster to be found.

Once the beer hits your tastebuds everything takes a giant step back behind the potent lemony tartness. A soft funk and touch of sea salt linger late in the finish after each sip, but man, this thing packs a pucker. When I was under the impression that this was a saison, I was a bit disappointed. After I found that the beer was more a gose, the tartness made sense, but is still a bit too strong for the style. It just doesn’t really allow anything else in the flavor to come forward enough to stand out. Again, no hint of crustacean or lobster is to be found.

As noted, I wasn’t really expecting such an abrasive tartness upon opening this one up. I’ve had oyster stouts in the past that have had more of a sea shore influence than this brew. The sea salt certainly helps, but I’d still like to experience some of that lobster character if a beer is brewed with live Maine lobster. Ah well, I’ll just pick up another bottle or two of Oxbow’s Crossfade.