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Brandy Barrel Peche - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Brandy Barrel PecheBrandy Barrel Peche

Educational use only; do not reuse.

40 Reviews
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Reviews: 40
Hads: 424
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 7.88%
Wants: 74
Gots: 47 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Tyrus on 02-04-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Historically, fruit-infused sour beers were a way of preserving the summer harvest. In that tradition, this blonde ale was added to brandy barrels with high-summer peaches, hand-picked by the Loewen family at Blossom Bluff Orchards in Reedley, California. We aged this liquid gold for six months until we needed a reminder that summer will come again. Pair with Prosciutto, crusty bread and fruit preserves.
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 424
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at Retsinis' tasting.

Bottled February 2013.

Pours a murky gold with a foamy off-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, peach, perfume, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour malt, grain, and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with no distinct brandy qualities apparent in either the smell or taste.

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Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey/orange color with yeast in suspension; the rocky head leaves a smattering of lace

Smell: The Brandy barrel adds a nice dimension to the aroma; lactic peach and wheat bread tones, underneath

Taste: The sour elements contain both lactic and acetic aspects, with the peach and toasted bread flavors appearing, up front; the tartness builds, into the middle, but I am surprised not to pick up more of the Brandy barrel in the finish, which is otherwise quite acetic

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; considerable pucker

Overall: I was expecting something somewhat different here; another nice sour but I think it should have spent more time in the Brandy barrel

Thanks, lincolnbeard (I think), for the opportunity

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Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Thanks to Joe for sharing!

Hazy orange with a thin layer of white foam that slowly recedes to a ring around the edge. Initial burst of charged carbonation.

Aroma is acidic and fruity, distinct peach note and barrel complexity.

Taste is sour and acidic with peach at the forefront, slightly acetic, drying in the finish with some light barrel traces. Feel is spritzy and sour. Overall it's pretty tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours from a 375 ml bottle a slightly hazed straw yellow with a tiny (1/16") white head which vanishes leaving some spotty lace.

N: Lemony citrus, oak wood, tart, yeasty, floral, funk/barnyard, grassy/hay, and some spices.

T: Sour fuzzy peaches, wood, faint sweetness, bright lemons, acidity.

M: Moderate body and light carbonation. Prickly sour, fruity and yeasty finish.

O: Interesting sour, but I'm not detecting much of the brandy barrel aging other than the spicy sweetness. Summertime in a glass.

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Photo of stakem
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml into a snifter. The brew appears a beautiful clear golden yellow color with fizzy white cap. The aroma is lightly peachy and vinous with almost a buttery caramel or vanilla aspect. The taste is tart with lemony essence and faint peach flavor. Its fruity with pleasant mild alcohol warmth. This is tart enough that its effortlessly drinkable an light bodied with modest to effervescent carbonation. Not bad, id drink this again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale orange, almost yellow. Almost no head. Very thin collar.

Smell - Smells like peach and then strong brandy. Lends to the fruitiness, but a deeper sweet fruitiness. Oak.

Taste - Bright lemony tartness. Some peach, but not a whole lot. Grain flavor as brandy builds in the finish. Oaky in the back.

Mouthfeel - Light and pleasantly sour. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Not really complex or peachy, but it's nice.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

A - Not the prettiest beer on the planet. Moderately opaque, hazy pale body. White head sits low with ok retention and lace.

S - Bracingly sour nose. White peach, lemon, touch of funk, and dry chardonnay.

T - Lemon lime soda into an aggressively tart opening. Smooth, oaky center with peach puree and nectarines. Dry white wine and grape skin finish.

M - Bold carbonation, medium-full body for the style.

O - Like a tart Bellini; fruity and sour with bright carbonation.

3.95 Brandy Barrel Peche
--- -Jay- -Jon- -Anth- -Vin- -Avg- Weight
A - 3.75 3.00 3.00 2.50 3.06 10%
S - 4.50 4.50 4.25 4.25 4.38 20%
T - 4.25 4.00 4.50 3.75 4.13 40%
M - 3.75 4.00 3.25 4.25 3.81 10%
O - 3.75 4.00 4.00 3.00 3.69 20%

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 2.28.14

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a small light tan head that is gone fast.

S - Subtle peach and sweetnees from the Brandy.

T - Tart, oaky, subtle peach. The Brandy is lost a bit.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Funky, but flavors are lost and muted, still solid.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

on-tap, Chucks Central District

Light straw-orange body - aromas of peach, lemon, apricot jam. Barrel notes are nice, albeit light, though it's hard to really pinpoint the brandy other than the residual sweetness it imparts on the beer. Tart and lively body but a bit of an off grainy finish that didnt sit well with me.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, batch 1. Thank you, Chris.

A mildly hazy light orange with a dense, white head that falls off to a disk leaving patchy lacing, this looks solid. Served a little on the cooler side, the nose is a blend of pomace, mildly oxidized wine and peach. The oxidized sweet white wine note from the brandy pairs beautifully with the peach; this is an inspired blend. As it warms up, the sourness, with its unripe grape characteristic, becomes more apparent, along with a faint hint of sulfur, a moderate vanilla sugar note and lactic acid.

The palate opens with a full and balanced sourness, a blend of lactic acid, verjus and a little drinking vinegar. Buttery chardonnay, vanilla, brandy and peach are present on the mid-palate. Medium-light in body with a moderate carbonation and a long, drying finish that's sour with a blend of peach and brandy.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is hazed golden yellow with a small amount of tight white head. Nose is faint, light sweeter barrel with some slightly un-ripened peach and notes of grain. Taste is a hint sweet; but not sugary. The sweet brandy barrel and the loads of peach in this seem to pile onto each other a hint more than I would like. It still drinks easily with a light body and soft carbonation.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle sealed with a pressure cap

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: Golden orange bodied beer with 2 fingers of foamy white head that drops down to a thin ring. Spotty lace left on the side of the glass.

Smell: Mild tartness. Juicy peaches, sweet tangerines, green apple, white grape, and stone fruits. Very mild musty funk.

Taste: Mild almost moderate tartness. Dry peaches, tart lemons, and sweet tangerines. Moderate oak notes. Not getting much funk in the flavor profile. As this beer warms up, the sweet brandy makes some creamy vanilla notes pop out at you as well as an increasingly stronger oak presence.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with low carbonation levels. Very drinkable and refreshing. A short burst of zippy carbonation when the beer first hits your tongue. Oak seems to start to dry the beer out slightly, but it never quite makes it to the semi dry finish.

Overall: What can I say... Almanac makes so many different sour fruit beers in the farm to barrel series. Very approchable for newbies to sours and still interesting enough for those dedicated sour fans. Nice flavors and mellow sourness with good balance. Not overly complex, but its enough to keep my attention through out the entire 375ml serving. I could have used more peach flavor in this one though.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle into snifter. Bottled February 2013.

A: Pours a lightly hazy golden with a finger of fluffy bright white head that faded into a soft film and collar. A few soapy streaks of lace was left down the glass.
S: I get notes of the light blond ale base, clean and refreshing, with hints of tart acid and fruity peaches. There’s perhaps a touch of oak in there as well maybe vinous white wine barrel, but I’m not really getting anything that screams brandy.
T: Follows the nose with notes of stone fruits and juicy peach over the pale malt blonde ale base. The finish is tart, acidic, but not exceedingly harsh or vinegary. The bandy barrel comes through in the late finish and aftertaste, but it is really just a suggestion of flavor. The aftertaste lingers of fresh peach and tannic oak, and perhaps some white grape.
M: Very fluffy carbonation is soft and frothy. Tart and biting acid hits the mouthfeel, and after it subsides this beer is drying and gritty. Medium-full body is thicker than some blonde based sours.
O: A great acidic sour, but the flavors were not as bright as I had hoped. Maybe I waited too long to drink this, peach is a delicate flavor. Either way, what I have in my glass right now is damn good, but it’s not my favorite blonde sour, peach sour, or Almanac sour.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from a recent trip to Napa. Pours a slightly hazy light orange color with nearly no head. Sweet peach aroma with some fruity brandy behind it, a bit of tart and sourness, some yeast funk. Very nice. Flavor is big peach brandy notes, a kick of refreshing sour that lightens things up, then finishes with a hint of booze and along sweet peach finish. Medium bodied with medium plus carbonation. A really nice beer with flavors that blend nicely to give you something subtly different from, and a little mire hearty than, the average sour brew.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy bright yellow orange, some carbonation

S-Peaches, lemon, tartness, wheat, oak some spices.

T-Very fruity. Peaches and lemon abound. Some spice, but more of the brandy barrel would have been nice. As it warms it becomes more tart, but not quite sour.

M-Medium in body, nice carbonation, dry finish.

O-A very good beer. More brandy characteristics and sour notes would take this to the next level.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a muted golden color with a slight off white head that disappears pretty quickly.

S: Definitely get underripe white peach out of this. Some cinnamon and oak as well. A touch of doughy yeast in the background. Not getting anything close to brandy.

T: Opens with a light lemony smack of tartness. The tartness morphs into underripe white peach, nectarine and white grape. Finish shows a touch of oak and spice and just a hint of grain and bready malt. Zero brandy. Pretty good, but the lack of brandy leaves me wanting a little more.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours an un-characteristically filtered looking clear golden yellow (light haze) with a thin head that fizzles into nothing rapidly. The nose had a marmalade/jam/jello sweetness upfront, some deep woody notes and a hint of booze. The taste is a slightly tart unripened peach, some caramelized brandy sweetness, and minimal funk. It drinks with a light body and is quite refreshing. There is minimal sweetness or carbonation, lingering tart fruit, well integrated barrel characteristics, and a chardonnay-like semi-dry oaky finish (truthfully one of the most wine-like beers I've ever had). I'm thoroughly impressed with this beers complexity and drinkability, it's very much a thumbs up.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Hardywood Singel snifter...

A. Pours a cloudy pale gold, rich and hazy. A quarter finger ring of off-white head halos the brew with some frothy clumps of carb coasting on top. Lacing is consistent, with a tight sheen of suds lingering on the sides of the glass.

S. Cane sugar, candied peach skin, bretty funk, hints of lemon, some toasted grain, fruited liqueur. Relatively straightforward, if delicious. Peaches and brandy.

T. Tart, fresh peaches, sugary peach juice, barnyard funk, some drying grape and cherry notes from the brandy barrels, sweet malt and some drying yeast on the back end.

M. Moderately carbonated and fairly thick bodied. The peach flavors are fleshy and sweet, with a bit of underripe tartness. Brandy barrel adds even more body and it's all undercut with a somewhat drying finish that is equal parts booze and some toasted grain bill and yeast.

O. A tasty peach sour and an interesting blend of flavors, primarily tartness and a fleshy, earthy sweetness. Not intensely sour, but certainly more than just tart. I'm not sure the brandy barrel adds as much to this as you'd expect...its contributions are booze, sweetness, and a tannic dryness that undercuts the flavor profile a bit. That said, there is plenty here to enjoy. Almanac is creating some amazing concoctions with their local farm connections, excellent barrel program, and outstanding recipes. If this review sounds disappointed, then it's a credit to Almanac that they set my expectations so high with every sour that one can be slightly below my expectations and still pull a 4.25.

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Photo of rawfish
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with tight fizzy bubbles, peach juice and very hazy. A small half finger cap of white is there and gone in seconds, only a few flecks of lace to remind you of its presence. Typical for a sour but looks rather like juice after the first minute.

Sour profile falls in line with many of the Almanac offerings, the bugs provide a vinegar and fruity acidity with cherry juice and lemons adding to the tart complexity. Tame oak and brandy adds a smoothing sweetness. Lacks the peaches in the nose.

Tart lemons and a bright tangelo and kumquat citrus is smoothed by some bready malt, oak, red berries and plum brandy. Lip smackingly tart, peaches some out in the finish, perhaps a bit underripe but unmistakeable and it lingers long after the finish.

Prickly and active, perfect carbonation atop a light drinkable body. Tartness is moderate and leaves enough drying to sense the delicate peaches. Alcohol is well masked.

Not the most commanding sour beer, the label proudly features brandy and peaches but both are light contributors at best. Standard Almanac souring bacteria really livens this one up with lots of sour cherry and lemons, but honestly I beginning to think Almanac sours are a one trick pony.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured on 7-Feb-14

From 375 mL bottle into Anchorage Teku glass.

The smell is fantastic. I get some tropical fruit, oak, and some additional sweetness that I'm assuming is brandy.

I get the tart blond ale at first, which gets rushed with sugary peaches and hints of lemon and apples. Get the soft oak barrel rounding everything out at the tail end. I want to say that the brandy heightens the fruity sweetness of the peaches. It's difficult for me to dissect all the flavors because they gel together so smoothly. Slight vinegar. I don't like my sours puckering sour that gets me smacking my lips and tongue a third of the way into a glass so IMO, the tartness in this one is spot on.

Typical of some of Almanac's barrel-aged brews, I didn't know what to expect. I'm not familiar with any other peche sour that's aged in brandy so I found it to be unique and was thoroughly satisfied. I prefer this over all their other sours I've tried (ranked below). Wish I was able to hunt down more.

Brandy Barrel Peche
Farmer's Reserve #3
Farmer's Reserve #4
Valley of the Heart's Delight
Dogpatch Sour

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Photo of portia99
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

375ml bottle (bottled Feb 2013) poured into a Jester King Funk n' Sour glass.

A - Pours a pale peachy golden color with a strong haziness. Almost no head forms - just a faint cap of white bubbles that barely forms a collar and leaves no lacing on the glass.

S - Sour up front, almost Sweet-Tart like, peaches, lemon-lime citrusy. Not really picking up much else - no real malt character and not getting any brandy out of this either. Smells good but lacking in dimension/complexity.

T - Nice firm tartness/sourness up front. Acidic lemony/limey citrus character makes the first impression. The brandy kicks in here adding some flavor but remaining restrained in the overall profile - definitely only complementary in the flavor palate. Mild funkiness mixes in with the peaches from here ending with a sour fruit presence that lingers past the swallow.

M - Medium body with a firm mid-high level carbonation that is finely bubbled and tingly on the tongue. Assertive sourness gives a slight puckering sensation. Tartly fruity and just a hint of funk play well off of the subtle brandy flavors.

O - Overall, I like this a lot. Not the most complex wild ale out there especially in the aroma department. Flavor is quite good with a firm sourness. The fruit and barrel contributions are well received, integrated nicely and not overpowering. Some would probably prefer a more forward barrel treatment on this, but I like the subtlety it provides - it doesn't overpower the beer, just adds a little more nuance.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 375 mL bottle into a Tampa Bay Brewing Company snifter.

A: Bright gold, moderately hazy, with lots of visible carbonation and a thin white head.

S: Fruity peaches, dry tannins and some funk, mild boozy undertones, and a touch of wood dryness.

T: Underripe peaches, hints of bourbon, brightly tart and tamed funk, barnyard, and wood. Finishes with some lingering sourness, acidity and dryness.

M: Light bubbly body, and low alcohol flavors even with the brandy aging.

O: Quite enjoyable, nice peach flavor. Still not the best of Almanac's sours, but a solid and drinkable offering.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle, poured into a tulip

A- pour a hazy pale golden-yellow color with a small fizzy white head that dissipates quickly, leaving nothing behind

S- juicy peaches with fruity notes of green apple skin, tangerine, white grape, lemon zest. Slightly woodsy with some tart funk and a hint of sugary sweetness

T- puckering gusher of fruit up front with flavors of green apple, fresh peaches, lemon & grape skin, floral perfume. Oaky mid-palate, the brandy barrel is faint, but does add a bit of cherry-sweetness. Drying funky yeast on the finish with lingers of peach

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a slick, puckering, bone dry finish

O- mouth watering sour notes, with some complex fruity notes. Would have liked a little more brandy barrel presence

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a long stemmed tulip glass.
Bottled: Feb 2013

Pours a gorgeous and slightly hazy yet bright orange with golden yellow notes. There is a nice thin yet dense head that recedes pretty quickly.

Aroma is quite delicious. Fresh and fruity tartness with nice notes of peach. Notes of midl sugary sweetness mixed in with some nice acidic yet not overpowering sourness. Nice notes of barrel wood and some slight earthy grain as well.

The flavor is outstanding. Nice notes of mild acidic citrus tartness. Its mild and fruity tartness and goes well with the notes of fresh peach skin and some nice funky yeast and wood. Nice notes of grain with slight sweetness is also perceived. Pretty dry brew with some nice peach notes and orchard fruit mixed in with tartness and some nice woody funk. The body is light and refreshing yet very flavorful. Dry and lightly carbonated.

OVerall a delicious sour with nice fruit notes and a balance that invites more sips.

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Photo of joe1510
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


Shall I say this newish sour from Almanac pours the color of a high summer peach? I shall. Haze is heavy enough to keep much of anything seen through the body but I did just pull this from the box. The head grows easily to a finger in height, snaps, crackles and pops before fading to a thick ring and swirling. Pure white foam decorates the glass thinly on the way down.

If the smell is any indication Almanac has done another great job in their Farm to Barrel series. Spring wildflowers makes my nose twitch, husked grains, and minerality all have their place. Each swirl brings forth a burst of juicy peaches, somewhat alcoholic, like peach brandy as a matter of fact. The fruit and brandy barrel seem to come together as one. A little dusty and a little musty. My mouth is watering.

Flavor is light up front but quickly bursts into bright peach with a mildly acidic aspect. Big vinous notes join the party in the middle and push through to the finish. Musty peach and soft floral notes pass throughout. An undercurrent of husked grains and green apple add welcomed depth. The barrel notes are very soft but the vinous brandy is a nice compliment to the bright peach. As it warms the tart peach invades every nook and cranny.

Mouthfeel, nailed! A light body, somewhat slick, is accompanied by a masterfully executed champagne frothiness. The finish dries up rather quickly and there's enough tartness to give me heartburn halfway through the bottle.

Bright acidic peach leaves its mark. The barrel aging was deftly handled, never getting in the way. Carbonation, near perfection. I have thoroughly enjoyed every Farm to Barrel beer I've had from Almanac, Brandy Barrel Peche being no exception. These guys know what they're doing.

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Brandy Barrel Peche from Almanac Beer Co.
91 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.