Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Farmer's Reserve #4 - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Farmer's Reserve #4Farmer's Reserve #4

Educational use only; do not reuse.

32 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 284
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 7.78%
Wants: 136
Gots: 47 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OBeerMeGreatOne on 05-30-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Ale aged in wine barrels with Cara Cara Oranges, Meyer Lemons, and Buddha's Hand Citrons (all from Hamada Farms).
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 32 | Hads: 284
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Pours a murky yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt and sour and tart lemon, orange, and other citrus fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and wine flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very nice citrus presence all around.

 589 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours clear golden with a massive head; streaky lacing all around

Smell: The oak from the wine barrels is the first aroma I detected but there is plenty of sour citrus in the mix, as well; the citron and Meyer lemons are particularly noticeable

Taste: Acetic citrus tones jut forward, bringing citron and Meyer lemon elements; I am not familiar with Cara Cara oranges (although I just did a Google search and discovered they are in season so I will pick one up tomorrow) but I get a touch of orange as the lemon sourness fades; the vinous and oaky tones build in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Another fine beer in the Farmer's Reserve series, although I think I enjoyed the #3 better that I tasted a few weeks ago

Thanks, c64person, for the opportunity

 817 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Library Alehouse for a tap takeover with 9 offerings.

A: Pours a clear yellow with a lingering thin (1/4") white head which leaves spotty lace.

N: Lemon dominates followed by herbal and other citrus notes.

T: Tart and lemony with a slight funk. This may expand with some age.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Prickly and zingy zesty finish.

O: Oh so refreshing. Perfect for a summer day. Worth trying once.

 420 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't remember who brought this, but thanks! Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Nearly identical to Farmer's Reserve #3, but a bit paler due to the different fruit addition.

S - Loads of sweet Meyer lemon here, along with some exotic Buddha's Hand. Pale malt and a bit of wheat round things out. Verging on Pledge-like in the lemon intensity. Not getting a ton of barrel character.

T - I like the taste a little more, as it's not as evocative of household cleaners. Still a lot of lemon, but decidedly more natural in character. Orange finally shows up and imparts a citrus peel flavor. Fruits are supported by sweet and slightly doughy pale malts. Again, very little barrel and no obvious alcohol.

M - Similar feel to #3. Medium body, pleasant carbonation, and a dry, tannic texture.

D - Enjoyable, but not quite as good as #3. If you're big into lemony citrus this may appeal, but it's a bit heavy-handed for my tastes. I'm curious how these beers will age, as I get very little 'wild' character from them. I'd be curious enough to try this again.

 1,052 characters

Photo of stakem
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clear yellow with a white froth that fades leaving patchy lace. The smell contains lemon rind and candied zest with sweet tarts and soft grain inclusion. The taste is tart like sweet tart candy with a lot of lemony rind and some fresh wheat grains - pretty much identical to what the aroma leads on. This is light bodied with moderate to effervescent carbonation. Overall light refreshing and enjoyable.

 451 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Small white head. Nice lacing. Thin layer of foam.

Smell - Very bright citrus. Orange and lemon. Kinda herbal.

Taste - Much more pale malt here. Grainy. Lemony sourness. Some orange, but not as prominent. The herbal character comes through in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium light. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Monotonously citrusy, but good.

 417 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled summer 2013, opened Nov 2013.

A - Bright yellow gold body. Great clarity. Fine white head with ok retention and nice lace.

S - Wonderfully thick, sour lemon, orange zest, crystal sugar, and bright white oak.

T - Lemon juice, agave syrup, orange extract, lime zest, lemon soda concentrate, and lemon bars.

M - Bright, brisk, medium-light frame. Lightly syrupy. Sharp acidity and nice staying power.

O - Outstanding flavor and well balanced restraint.

 462 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

375ml bottle, split

"Ale aged in wine barrels with cara cara oranges, meyer lemons and buddha’s hand citrons"

Fantastic. Extremely unique and elegant. I've never tasted a beer with such a clean, pronounced lemon flavor and it was really wonderful. Lots of unique citrus flavors from the unique blend of potent cara cara's, meyer lemon and buddah's hand citrons. Unfortunately the price point is such that frequent consumption isn't feasible. This was really great.

 470 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks for the bottle, Chris!

Pouring a clear light orange with a dense, white head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this looks great! The nose is probably the brightest, most refreshing Almanac beer I've had yet. Bright citrons, oranges and a mildly buttery and moderately tropical chardonnay barrel character are most noticeable up front. A citrusy sourness is noticeable along with a mild vanilla note. Lactic sourness with some oak are also noticeable. Nice!

The palate opens with a refreshing citrus sourness, bright, acidic, mildly oily and particularly reminiscent of citrons. Juicy, floral, mildly tropical, faintly earthy with a musky Brett backbone present, this beer finishes dry, clean and refreshing. A lactic sourness is also present, lending a yogurty twang. Mild oak character is also present. Awesome stuff.

 837 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is clear golden yellow with a thin tight white head. Nose is oaky, lemon, light phenol. Citrus doesn't really shine, a bit tannic. Taste is more citrusy, fleshy ripe orange. Oak comes in after, light sourness, lacto. Lemon comes in at the back of the palate, strong carbonation and dry finish. Lingering tartness and tannin. Red wine starts to come out more as it warms.

 375 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Paccamacca for this beer!!!

bottled in 2013 Summer. 375ml bottle with pressure cap.

Poured into Crooked Stave belgian style tulip/snifter.

Appearance: brilliant yellow bodied beer that is slightly opaque with two full fingers of head that eventually drops down to a thin cap. A little better than a spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Tons of citrus mostly lemons and oranges. Citrus rind and zest. Oaky. Moderate brett like funk. White grapes.

Taste: This is a lemon bomb with a mix of sweet and tart notes to start the beer off. Oranges provide some sweetness with a hint of white grapes. Tartness from lemons and lime notes. Oaky with a mild generic funk. Floral notes and herbal notes. Maybe a hint of ginger, lavender, and dandelions? Really complex beer, its not so easy to pick apart some of these flavors. A little bit medicinal or "perfumey" in the finish too.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. The carbonation is fairly dry and eppervescent. You could call the carbonation boarderline aggressive, but it needs to be for the big flavor profile that this beer has. Dry finish. Very refreshing, but not a drinkable as farmers RSVP#3.

Overall: If you really like lemons than you will really enjoy this beer. The oranges definately take a back seat to the lemons. A few weird flavors on the back end of this beer that I wasnt to wild about, but its still a nice and complex sour beer. I thinks its another great effort by Almanac. This is the 2nd Farmers Reserve beer that I have tried so far.

 1,551 characters

Photo of popery
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow. Very light in color. Mild haze, but it might have just been a good pour. Small white head, somewhat rocky. Decent retention and a tiny bit of lacing. The aroma is dominated by spicy citrus. The citron comes through strong, and you get a heavy dose of that citrus rind flavor. It's such a sharp note that it reminds of the fresh ginger in Farmer's Reserve #2. The Cara Cara oranges come through as well with that berry-ish orange flavor. The Meyer lemon is a bit more in the background, but it's there if you look for it. The flavor just seems a tad delicate against the citron and Cara Cara. There's a definite lactic sourness in the mix, as well. Some mild funk. No real malt presence. The taste is a blend of sourness, funk and citrus. Very nice combination. There's a touch of cheesiness to the funk, particularly in the finish, but otherwise, this is the cleanest of the Farmer's Reserve series, so far. Bright, refreshing sour citrus flavor. Some more of that spicy rind flavor, but more of the Meyer and Cara Cara delicacy shines through in the taste. Lasting lemon, orange, berry finish with some firm acidic sourness. Very light malt that's kept well in the background. Mouthfeel is light and lively. This is really good stuff. It's great to see Almanac improve with this line of sours, and it's even better to see them improve within the line. I'm very much looking forward to more.

 1,412 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

again, super big cheers to beachstrength49 (cwhittle53) for the surprise box with this and the matching glass and keychain...cheers! enjoyed from my new Almanac Beer Co glass...right after finishing up the #3 that was sent.

a - brew pours a very similar murky honey yellow...maybe a tad more orange than #3 was. same thin fizzy head that fizzed away quick.

s - lemons and oranges lead the way on the nose, but lots of white wine and good crisp clean citric notes (not hoppy, just citric). not nearly as sour as #3.

t - HUGE lemon slam in the face. orange and white wine is there, but more in the background. tasty beer.

m - fairly prickly carbonation.

o - overall, another nice brew, not quite as nice as #3, but different. this is the lemon version. not as sour, but just as enjoyable to drink as #3. very well done and this is definitely a brewery i'd like to try more from.

 881 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into Duvel Green tulip.

A: Pours a glowing citrus golden with a frothy, rocky, bright white head that slowly collapsed into a chunky greasy film that left clumps of sticky lace down the glass.
S: Huge citrus nose with drying notes of wine barrel and barnyard funk. I get scents of orange and lemon citrus, vinous white wine, drying oak tannins, earthy spicy yeast, and bitter citron. Drying and complex smelling.
T: A fresh citrus sour all-the way. Fresh citrus rind and pulp dominate the flavor and are mildly acidic and faintly sweet and juicy. Characteristic citron taste is easy to pick out over the standard orange and lemon flavors. The finish is full of drying vinous wine barrel and oak tannins, and the aftertaste is tart with flavors of earthy yeast, barrel and yeast spice, and a musky damp funk. Extremely bright and flavorful and very easy to drink.
M: Ultra gritty and dry and way more tart than I was expecting (in a great way). Medium-light body, desert mouthfeel but smooth, and soft and fluffy carbonation that frothy us on my palate.
O: Good use of citron with white wine oak barrel. Tart and light without hardly any sharp acidity. Very clean, super dry, and overall enjoyable. My first wild from Almanac, can’t wait to try the others.

 1,275 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy bright orange, well carbonated, two finger head, with some lacing.

S-Some funk, grapes, oak, lots of oranges, lemon citrus notes.

T-Wow. Gread blend og funk, grapes, oak, lemon, orange and citrus. The balance of citrus and funk is amazing.

M-Light to medium bodied, well carbonated, very crisp and semi-dry.

O-Never have I tried a sour with such great citrus notes. A well made beer that I was glad to try, a wonderful extra.

 438 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2013)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Another incredible entry in the Farmer's Reserve Series of beer. A hugely sour offering, but with great amounts of bright, sour lemons throughout. This is like a limoncello made into a fantastic California sour ale. Mild funk and earth character, but very sharply sour.

 325 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This pours a light straw gold with white golden foam. It’s clear with a chill haze. There's an underlying wet hay note that sneaks across the layers of citrusy and intense lemony notes. Flavor is pleasingly tart and lightly funky with a crisp lemony citrus finish. Citron & Buddhas hand? Yum!

 294 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a light golden hay color with a few fingers of foamy white head that settles quickly & thinly coats the surface throughout drinking and provides mild lacing. The nose is ripe with tart citrus fruits, but not pine sol potent, and also has a good underlying grain (minimal funk). However, the taste is next level citrus sour goodness - juicy, vibrant, and alive - really a remarkable cirtus flavor. It's well carbonated and has a light, citrusy body that is perfect for summer. The finish is pleasant and dry finish and begs for the next sip. This beer has held up exceptionally well and I prefer it to the newer Farmer's reserve citrus.

 650 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 375 mL bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful gold, nearly clear, with tons of visible carbonation and a half-finger of white fluffy head.

S: Vinous, grapes and lemons, with wood and a tangy tart, sour citrus and a barnyard undercurrent. This smells really damn good.

T: Tart lemon citrus, lactic and acetic, vinous, with apples and woody dryness over the crystal malt sweetness. Less depth that I'd like to the tart funky profile. The taste is good, but a letdown after the amazing aroma. Finishes dry and tingly on the tongue.

M: Light body, moderate alcohol presence, and good level of carbonation sensation.

O: Well, this started with tons of promise - poured beautifully and smelled amazing. In the end, it was still enjoyable and tasty, but just seems like it didn't live up to its promise. Still, glad to have tried it.

 922 characters

Photo of WillCarrera
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle, bottled Summer 2013, poured into a wine glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy yellow color with a thin white head, recedes to a thin layer, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Loads and loads of citrus flavors, lots of orange, lemon and some spiciness. A bit of funk and barrel aromas beneath the huge citrus.

T- Starts out with some huge citrusy flavors, especially orange and lemon, although I don't know what the hell a buddha's hand citron tastes like. A bit of citrus rind-ey bitterness. The tartness is really on-point here, as it has been from Almanac in the past. There's a bit of funk and also some lemon-ey puckering sourness at the end. Has some oak and white grape towards the finish, with lingering fruity flavors.

M- Medium-bodied, nice carbonation, smooth feel with a dry finish.

O- This series really hasn't disappointed me so far. Another really great sour from Almanac, the fruit and barrel flavors are pretty damn nice too.

 950 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass bringing forth a voluminous thick meringue of white head. The body is a clear gold, but hard to see through the myriad of bubbles flooding the glass.

The aroma is decidedly citrus heavy as the bottle indicates. Lemon and orange aplenty. There is a nice funky brett yeast to it. Slight white wine character to it.

Big bright citrus fruit on the taste which bring a mild tartness. Musty funky quality. Finishes dry.

Fairly refreshing and super enjoyable.

 482 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head that goes down slowly. Scent is PACKED with lemon...it's pretty ridiculous. A bunch of citrus and oranges. I have no idea what cara cara oranges are, ...or meyer lemons or buddha's hand citrons...but they smell AWESOME! Very zesty and funky with some hay aromas as well. Taste is soft at first with some saison-like spice and hay. Turns quite tart with citrus and a ton of lemons. Very citrusy and tart with some tangy flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this beer is fantastic...especially in this 100 degree weather. So refreshing and pleasantly sour. Another successful sour from Almanac. Keep up the good work guys!

 714 characters

Photo of impending
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5


375ml into a tulip. Pours a hazed fairly classic golden yellow with a pure white head, nice lacing,

Aroma surprises with a herbal note, sage & rosemary, which I'm not aware of as possible ingredients nor is anyone else noting the same. Unripened citrus. No sour but a little mustiness. Unsweetened.

you know when half of you says it smells nasty
and the other half says I love that smell cause it's so nasty
this almost gets there

Thankfully the herbs are nowhere in the expressive flavor except in the fading end. Sharp dry citrus sour twang does not reach lip puckering level. Zero bitter, dry does all the wonderful heavy lifting and compliments the thin bodied spritzy mouthfeel.
pairs well with food

 731 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at the sour tasting that I organized with friends. Split with many people. Thanks for the bottle, Josh. Poured into a tulip glass from a 330ml bottle.

Pours a golden color with some slight amber hues, not looking too different from the other farmer's reserve offerings that this brewery makes. While I docked the others, specifically made with red fruits, for not mirroring the phenolic flavors within, in this case this golden color works to its advantage, looking shiny, juicy, and nectar-like in the overall scheme of things. Very well carbonated, with a nice white frothy head at the top, which makes it resemble sparkling wine. Definitely delightful and vibrant.

Smells fantastic - maybe a bit too one dimensional as far as the citrus profile goes - but still awesome all the same. Notes of Meyer lemons are especially predominant, almost to the point where it would remind you of a car freshener or window cleaner detergent of sorts. Nevertheless, I let this breath for a bit and the Myer notes settled down, allowing more citrus peels to come through, as well as vibrant notes of rose pedals, violets, and lavender from the cara cara oranges, as well as Eastern spices from the Buddha's Hand Citrons. There's a nice, slightly bittered sensation both from the massive amounts of citrus and floral notes, as well as from the wine must and barrel spice the beer aged in. Really good stuff - unlike anything I've had, really.

The flavor is a little bit more tame in terms of the citrus peel profile, and, yes, far more tart than I expected it to be. There's an immediate sharp flavor of lemon and orange peel, as well as a juicy, sour sensation of drinking fresh squeezed, unsweetened lemonade with spices added. Notes of dried leaves, ginger, tart grapes, roses, and herbs waft to mouth, producing a sensation that is delicious and complex. The finish is a little sweeter, with notes of vanilla and grapes, as well as an everlasting aftertaste of lemons, oranges, and fresh flowers. Very well carbonated, as far as the style goes - slightly syrupy and juicy enough to serve as a strong backbone for the excessive citrus within. Very well made.

This has to be my favorite offering from these guys thus far - the tart flavor from the barrels and blonde ale base is further enhanced by the fruit, and it takes the potential of beers of its kind to the next level. I could do without the excessive amount of Myer at the front, but otherwise this proves to be complex and extremely refreshing and satisfying. I should have bought some of these to sit on for the next summer. Highly recommended.

 2,606 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

New notes, 4/31/14.
The fruit really shows up in the aged bottle. The lemon still rules the rest, my rating won't change except the smell which improved with age.

5/30/2013 Pours out a hazy straw with a small white head, no real lace.

Pale malts, oak and lemon start off the scent. Slight vinous note in the middle with a hint of spice.

Wine barrel and Meyer Lemon start the taste off very nicely. The vinous taste fades to show off pale malts and more fruit. The lemon almost over-powers the oranges and citrons, but they peek through. Slight hint of spice in the finish. The body is moderate to light, perfect amount of carbonation.

Almanac keeps on kicking some ass in the sour beer catagory. Glad I have one for the cellar too!

 738 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Farmer's Reserve #4 from Almanac Beer Co.
92 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.